Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies, Portobello Mushrooms, and Happy Birthday Robert Pattinson

Bloggers with Blogger had a few 'interesting' days without server! Pity about all the comments lost, but funny enough I had a huge amount of visits instead, after doing a little experiment: I was tired of seeing this post at the top of my most read posts (3,353 visits since June 2010), so I twitted the link of another post, my Twilight Menu, to a few Twilight/Pattinson/Meyer fans. And it worked!!! It got to the top of the list! (well, for this month at least... the home made halloumi with probably catch up by tomorrow!). Pity that I did my experiment during the Blogger outage, and then nobody could comment anyway! Hahahaha! That's showed me just how much I do rely on Blogger :-).

And of course today is also Robert Pattinson Birthday, so happy birthday and best wishes to him!

Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies

Now to the cookies: I used a whole 250 g bar of Whittaker's Macadamia Block (please note that this is milk chocolate). The Whittaker's Macadamia Block is good value, it is full of nuts and you don't need to buy extra for these cookies (macadamia nuts are quite expensive!): with one block we made 30 good sized cookies!

250 g macadamia chocolate
100 g butter
2 eggs
100 g sugar
200 g self rising flour
1 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (ar a few drops of vanilla essence)
icing sugar to roll the cookies in before baking

Melt the chocolate with the butter, then stir in the eggs, sugar, self rising flour, cocoa and vanilla paste (or essence). You will get a very oily dough. Line a 90 cm baking tray (or two 40 cm baking trays) with baking paper. Make little balls with your hands (about the size of a heap teaspoon) and roll them in icing sugar. Place on the baking tray, remembering that during baking they will flatten and take a cookie shape, so leave enough space between each ball (don't look at the photo here, once all the balls were ready we repositioned them a bit more far apart from how they appear in the pic above - those are too close!). Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes, then take them out of the oven and let them cool down on the baking tray: do not touch them until they are cold, even if they smell amazing: they are too soft when hot. They are very rich and chocolatey, so they should last a while...

And now for something completely different, and yet... I laughed when I looked at the pics, in a way these mushrooms look like the chocolate cookies of the previous photos, so I though of putting everything in one post, after all I could not post for a few days :-).

Portobello Mushrooms Escalopes

If you are vegetarian or a vegan then mushrooms can be your super-food! Clean the Portobello mushrooms with a damp cloth. Heat some olive oil with a few peeled garlic cloves, then place the mushrooms in the pan, top side down. Move them around with a spatula, so that they don't stick to the pan, but do not turn them. When they start to brown at the bottom sprinkle a little salt, and then add a glass of wine. Cover and let them simmer on low for about 20 minutes. They should put out lots of water, but if not add just a little water, if they become too dry. After 20 minutes turn them over and let more of the juices come out. With a sieve add one tsp of flour and stir, the juices, mixed with the flour, should make a nice gravy/sauce. Taste for salt, and then add plenty of freshly chopped parsley. Serve with polenta, or potatoes, or cous cous, or even in a bun as a veggie burger.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. hahaha, love your experiment! These both look very yummy by the way :)

  2. :-) Muppy, you should try the 'experiment' too, when you get some time!
    The Halloumi just got back to the top though...

  3. Io sono onnivora e quei funghi li apprezzerei tanto quanto un veggy o un vegan, una buona alternativa ai soliti funghi trifolati.......e per finire.....un caffè accompagnato da due biscotti please ;-) ciao, buon WE!

  4. Well, isn't that just the perfect meal - mushrooms and macadamias are two of my favourite things! And displayed in the perfect order in which to eat it ...

  5. ...e tiu sei data un bel da fare anche!!!!
    i bisscotti sono meravigliossimi, per cui tra oggi e domani sicuramente li provo, sempre che resista alla tentazione di non modificare la ricetta (di solito non ci riesco ma credo sia molto comune tra le persone che amano cucinare anche solo per diletto come me).
    e i funghi sono strepitosi, sono uno degli alimenti che prediligo, sempre :)

    per il crash di blogger mi fa piacere almeno avere fatto in tempo a leggere il tuo commento, era splendido e lo porto nel cuore parola per parola... :)

  6. Grazie Bibi :-).

    @ Red, the cookies are good for hiking :-) and then the mushrooms for when you are back in the 'cabin' :-). Yep, the right order!

  7. I am so into your great looking cookies but wonder if its going to taste as good if I use a hazelnut chocolates? I love cookies!

  8. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and brought me to your delicious posts. I'm looking forward to further exploring them. I returned from vacation to find blogger down--very frustrating!


  9. vedo due cose: 1. il fondo nuovo del blog, mi piace: 2. ho visto i funghi che io adoro, le morchelle, mi piacciono tantissimo, lo sai che c'è gente che non le conosce e le butta...e poi questi biscotti cioccolato e noci macadamia, mi sta venendo l'acquolina in bocca...bacioni

  10. Mi hai fatto morire :-)))) e il tuo esperimento e' da studiare!!!
    Come la ricetta di quei biscotti...;-)

  11. Alessandra these cookies look fantastic and delicious! gloria

  12. @Food Glorious Food, you could do it with hazelnut, almond or any other bar of nutty chocolate.

    @ Tamara, trovare quei funghi in Italia e' stata una cosa speciale :-). Ah, in quel post si vede uno scorcio di mio marito :-).


  13. se ci provassi altre 100 volte non riuscirei a ricreare quella liuce che ha fatto divenatre d'oro il mio risotto...non lo so come è successo, però mi piace...bacioni

  14. Son contenta che tu ci sia riuscita, tieniti da conto quella foto!!!

  15. Haha! And thanx so much for adding my blog to your list - I'm honoured!!

    Girlfriend, you ROCK!!

  16. complimenti pe ri biscotti al cioccolato, non so se li facevo io quanto degli ingredienti finiva nella mia bocca e quanto dei biscotti :-))

  17. Sorry to hear about all of the blogger drama. I read about it and felt bad for all of blogs that were affected! But glad to hear that you're back!

  18. You have been very busy. The cookies and the mushrooms look really grand. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  19. è vero, i funghi e i cookies in un certo senso si somigliano, buffissimo!

    i funghi non li amo troppo, ma la ricetta dei cookies me la segno di sicuro...

  20. Ciao,
    ho appena aperto un contest in collaborazione con Le Creuset, se vuoi saperne di più su come partecipare trovi tutto qui
    Buona domenica!

  21. Ciao Alessandra :)
    I am making very often portobello mushrooms. I really like them. I am making them coated with bread crumbs, parsley and eggs. In Poland we have similar mushrooms to portobello called "kania".
    Yours look truly delicious. Need to try your recipe :).

  22. @ Gunther, anche i bimbi hanno detto "ma la usi tutta la cioccolata???" Pero' non si sono lamentati, il maschietto poi mangia solo quella fondente, o i biscotti!

    @ Lorraine, Thank you :-)

    @ Cristina, vengo a vedere!

    @ Aleksandra, sometimes I do coat them and fry them too, but I prefer to coat them with polenta flour (and no egg), they become lighter and with a nice golden crust, while the version I posted above is really low fat :-), but still full of flavour.

  23. Your blog always makes me so happy....I love food. Hugs for a great new week. xo

  24. i love choc and macadamia combination looks amazing!

  25. I use macadamia chocolate to eat usually when I'm craving for chocolate, never thought of it to use for baking. Another inspiration!


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