Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Heritage Chocolate - Review and Recipe for Chocolate-Chunk Cranberry & Walnut Cookies

Chocolate figures prominently in Early American history. With a rebellion against tea and everything British, our forefathers proudly chose hot chocolate and coffee drinks as symbols of freedom. Thus began chocolate’s uniquely American journey of good taste.

Soon, chocolate found its way into many recipes, including baked goods and early chocolate bars. Using cacao beans ground by the local miller, the bars were often flavored with other exotic tastes, such as chili pepper and mustard, from the spice trade.

Today, MARS, Incorporated manufactures American Heritage Chocolate – an authentic Colonial Chocolate recipe, made only with ingredients available during the 17th century. American Heritage Chocolate offers a selection of authentic products from the days of our ancestors. American Heritage Chocolate is based on historic recipes which included spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, annatto, red pepper, orange, salt and vanilla. You can order the chocolate, cook up some of the historic recipes, or use them in your favorite current recipe. You can find their authentic historical chocolates at historical stores and the gift shops of America’s best-known heritage sites.

American Heritage Chocolate is available in:

Finely Grated Chocolate Drink - Experience the full flavor and consistency of a true chocolate drink and compare to today's hot cocoa mixes. It's also great for bking.

Chocolate Block - Grate or shave the chocolate block on your favorite dessert, or melt and drizzle it on a bowl of ice cream.

Chocolate Sticks - Enjoy as a stand-alone treat, or stir a chocolate stick into your favorite warm beverage for a chocolate kick.

I received the Chocolate Sticks and Chocolate Block for review. I felt like I was taken back in time, learning about how chocolate was made in the 18th century and getting to taste chocolate that's replicated for its period.

With the Chocolate Block, I used it in lieu of semi-sweet baking chocolate for brownies I had a recipe for. I grated it to the desired amount and added it to the recipe. I was able to taste the chocolate in my brownies and it added a nice, rich flavor. Another way I used the Chocolate Block was by melting it for a short time in the microwave and topping it on vanilla ice cream. The ambrosial flavor of the chocolate just added to the treat.

I tasted the Chocolate Sticks as a pleasing entity all on its own. It tasted like dark chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. I was also able to taste a hint of the orange in it. The dark, deep, rich flavors of American Heritage Chocolate and how it's made gave me an enjoyable chocolate experience.

Here is a recipe for Chocolate-Chunk Cranberry & Walnut Cookies, using American Heritage Chocolate:

Chocolate-Chunk Cranberry & Walnut Cookies

Serving Size: 3 Dozen Cookies


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp cardamom, ground
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 cup (7 oz) American Heritage Chocolate Block, roughly chopped
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (not light brown or white)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably canola
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place racks in middle and upper positions. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. If using non-stick cookie sheets, leave unlined.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. In a small bowl place oats, walnuts, cranberries and American Heritage Chocolate. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add oil, egg and vanilla and combine. Add flour mixture with mixer set to low. Do not over mix. Add nuts, fruit and chocolate and mix until just combined. Use rubber spatula to ensure even distribution.

Scoop out two tablespoons of cookie dough and place on cookie sheet 1-1/2 inches apart. Place cookie sheets in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Pull out pans and rotate top to bottom and front to back. Bake 6 to 8 minutes longer. Cookies should be lightly browned on edges. Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature and enjoy. Cookies can be stored for up to two days. Store cookies in an airtight container to retain freshness.

You can find this cookie recipe and other recipes using American Heritage Chocolate on the recipes section of their site.

I received products for review from PR agency. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products. Your opinions and results may differ.


Heidi Jane Blankets said...

Dang, no giveaway? I love chocolate ;)