Dark Chocolate Tart With Gingersnap Crust


8 oz gingersnap cookies (about 32)
1/4 cup butter melted

12 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 C whipping cream
2 lg. egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 C sugar
1 T flour
1/8 t. ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 T chopped crystallized ginger

CRUST Preheat oven to 325.
Grind gingersnap cookies in processor.
Add melted butter.
Press into a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Place pan on rimmed baking sheet.

FILLING Combine chocolate and cream in heavy saucepan. Whisk over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Remove saucepan from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, egg, sugar, flour, pepper, and salt in medium bowl to blend.
Very gradually whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until smooth and blended.
Pour filling into crust.

Easy-Tart Shells


1 pkg. Pillsbury Refrigerated Ready Made pie crusts
24 small muffin tins

With biscuit cutter, cut out 3 inch circles of pastry dough. Line each muffin form with circle. Pat into shape, trimming edge if needed. Stuff centers with crumbled foil. (Save for future use.) Bake according to pie crust directions. Remove from pans, cool and fill. Shells may be frozen, well wrapped.

Olive Pinwheels


24 large pimento stuffed green olives
1 8oz. package cream cheese
3/4 cup finely minced toasted pecans

Drain olives & pat dry. 
Form softened cream cheese around olives & roll in minced pecans. 
Chill overnight.
To serve, slice in half & arrange on a platter with greens. (serves 24)

(Herb Day 2010 hospitality table recipe)

Lime-Cinnamon Basil Cookies


Preheat oven to 375º

2 C flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅔ C soft butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp finely chopped lime peel
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cinnamon basil OR 1½ Tbsp dried cinnamon basil
1 C chopped pistachio nuts

Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter and add sugar, egg, vanilla, basil and peel gradually until fluffy. Beat and add dry ingredients 4 items at a time. 
Fold in nuts. Turn dough on floured surface and divide into 4 portions. Make each roll 5” long and roll in plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Slice dough ⅛” thick and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly brown. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container.

(Herb Day 2010 hospitality table recipe)

Sugar and Spice Nuts


Preheat oven to 300º

¼ C packed brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg white
½ C dried cranberries
1 C salted cashews
1 C pecan halves
1 C dry-roasted peanuts

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk egg white; add nuts and combine. Add sugar mixture and stir well. Bake on greased cookie sheet until golden.
Makes 3½ cups

(Herb Day 2010 hospitality table recipe)

Flourless Chocolate Cake


Preheat oven to 350 º

Combine in a heavy saucepan:
½ C strong coffee
8 oz. sweet chocolate
1 C sugar
1 C unsalted butter

Take off the heat after melting and stir in 4 eggs
Combine well but do not cook further.

Line a 1 quart baking dish, charlotte mold or 8”x2” round cake pan with buttered foil and pour in the chocolate mixture.

Bake for ½ hour or until the cake cracks around the edges and is crisp on top. Cool and then cover overnight or up to one week.

At serving time, invert the cake onto a flat serving dish and remove the foil. Brush the cake with heated currant jelly and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow the jelly to set. Serve with whipped cream.

(Herb Day 2010 hospitality table recipe)

Chocolate Squares & Mint Crème Anglaise


8 oz good-quality semisweet chocolate
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces, and melt them in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, and set it aside.
3. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk until the mixture is light and falls from the whisk in a ribbon when it is lifted. Set it aside.
4. Beat the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
5. Stir the melted butter into the chocolate. Then stir in the egg yolk mixture. Add one quarter of the egg whites, and then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
6. Rinse two sma ...

Olive and Tomato Toasts

These “toasts” – either baked and served hot from the oven or unbaked and served at room temperature – are great to pass around at large parties. The fresh tomatoes cut into little cubes have a sweet taste that goes well with the concentrated taste of the oil-cured black olives.


4 Tbsp virgin olive oil
16 slices from a baguette, preferably homemade, cut ½ inch thick
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice (1 1/3 cups)
½ c oil-cured black olives, pitted and cut into ¼-inch pieces
4 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro leaves
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread 2 Tbsp of the oil on a cookie sheet, and dip both sides of the bread slices in the oil. Arrange on the sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, until l ...

Goat Cheese Crostini with Grape Salsa



1 cup red grapes, diced
1 cup blue and/or black grapes, diced 
1/2 small red onion finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, leaves for garnish
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 baguette, thinly sliced 
6 ounces herbed goat cheese, slightly softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1. Combine grapes, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and vinegar in medium bowl. 
Season, if desired with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes
2. Preheat oven to 375. Arrange bread on large baking sheet in a single layer and 
bake, turning over, 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crisp on both sides.
Remove and let cool.
3. Combine goat cheese with mayonnaise in small bowl until smooth. Spread 
cheese mixture onto crostinis, ...

Shortbread Cookies


1 c butter, at room temperature
2/3 c confectioner’s sugar
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c sifted all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
2/3 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350º F. Finely chop the rosemary leaves. Add to all remaining ingredients except for pecans. Stir until smooth or combine in a food processor. Remove batter from processor and stir in pecans.
Measure out dough by the teaspoonful. Roll each into a small ball and flatten to about ¼ inch thick with the bottom of a glass covered in butter and dipped in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes then remove to cool completely. Store in a tightly-covered tin. Yield: 6 dozen. ...