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The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
Recipes and History from America's Premier Chocolate Maker
by The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

Ten Speed Press, 2007 

America's longest continuously operating chocolate manufacturer, The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, is also one of the world's most recognizable chocolate brands.  Not surprising, the name stands out boldly on the cover of the updated edition of the company's signature cookbook, lifting this volume above the mass of chocolate-oriented cookbooks on bookstore shelves.

This collection of over 80 recipes for enticing desserts and rich drinks were gathered from from Ghirardelli's own chocolatiers as well as renowned pastry chefs. The creations range from well-known classics like Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies and Grown-Up Hot Chocolate to more elaborate confections such as a Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake or  Chocolate Lava Cakes or Tiramisu-Me, a hot cocoa inspired by its namesake Italian dessert.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the company's founder -- Domingo Ghirardelli -- got his start sellling chocolate drinks to miners during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s., Ghirardelli has a proud tradition which it loves to share. It is one of the few chocolate companies in the Americas that actually makes its own chocolate from beans to finished bars.

This book opens with the "legendary" history of Ghirardelli, along with some background on making chocolate, its varieties, how to store and use and appreciate and entertain with the treat.

Recipes are arranged by dessert type, beginning with cookies and brownies and cakes and pies and concluding with chocolate candies, breads and drinks. Fortunately, nutritional information is not included for any of the recipes in this collection.

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with white and brown sugars using an electric mixer at medium speed until mixture is creamy and lightened in color, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated.

Gradually blend flour mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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