Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies retain the lovely pink shade of the ruby chocolate callets. Two ways to retain the color are to lower the oven temperature and to only use baking powder as a rising agent. The undersides of the cookies are brownish in color.
Stand or hand mixer Baking sheets Cooling rack Parchment paper or Silpats Cookie scoop [ice cream scoop] Sifter Mixing bowls Measuring cups/spoons Spatula Cookie jar or airtight storage container
1/2 cup [115 grams] unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup [100 grams] firmly-packed brown sugar 1/2 cup [100 grams] granulated white sugar 1 large egg, room temperature 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups [185 grams] all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt 1 1/2 cups [262 grams] ruby chocolate chips/chunks + 1 Tablespoon [15 grams] for adding later
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and cream together well. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt to the butter mixture. Lastly, add the ruby chocolate chips and mix until incorporated. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop dollops of dough [about 1-2 Tablespoons]. Place onto a parchment-lined baking tray with about three- inches between the cookies. This step is optional, but you can put the cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to one hour before baking. Bake for 16-18 minutes until browned around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking tray. Let cool slightly and transfer to cooling rack.
TIPS: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week. Cookies can be refrigerated or frozen if wrapped in freezer-safe plastic wrap and put in an airtight container. Label and date your container[s] of cookies. Underbaked cookies can be reheated in an oven or toaster oven.
The combination of dark chocolate and tart yet sweet raspberries is classic. I’ve slightly revised this recipe to include golden sugar and organic coconut sugar rather than plain granulated sugar. Also, golden ‘tinker dust’ has been added on top of each frosted cupcake to give it a distinctive glittery appearance.
CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS: Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot water over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. The rack should be in the center. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk the virgin coconut oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth. There will be small lumps from the raspberries in the dark chocolate. DON’T OVERMIX! Fill cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 – 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
ROCKIN’ RASPBERRY FROSTING
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature [6 oz]
FROSTING DIRECTIONS: Beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the raspberry preserves and beat until thick and creamy, about 5 full minutes, so it’s very soft and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton’s 1M piping tip.
Clay soap is designed for either oily skin or as a shaving soap. The clay seen here is called Pascalite and it’s only found in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. It’s a form of bentonite clay but has higher amounts of calcium.
1 pound white or shea butter soap base
1 teaspoon Pascalite OR preferred clay
1 teaspoon powdered green tea
½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
½ teaspoon green tea fragrance
Mold: 4 four-ounce rectangle molds
Instructions: Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. Just before it’s fully melted add clay, green tea and vitamin E. Stir well. Add fragrance. Pour into molds. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden at room temperature. Remove from mold. Wrap in cling wrap and label.
Online comment: If only someone would have warned these gullible people about what was going on BEFORE they took the bioweapon. I warned people. Did you?
My reply: I didn’t realize how bad it was until June 2021. I spent all summer writing a novella about what I saw going on. Sadly, I don’t have a billion-dollar budget to bamboozle people with endless publicity. But I did try…
After answering that question, I decided to put together a book trailer to promote my book. And I changed the cover from one of the watercolor illustration of the mall’s interior to a photo of a dead mall’s exterior. Finally, I rewrote the book’s description.
New Book Description:
It’s 1979 and Laurie Caswell is working as a bookstore clerk at the Northbrook Mall. That Saturday evening, she sees a movie with her boyfriend, Dennis Nolan. Instead of dining at a restaurant, the teenage couple goes to her parents’ suburban house for some adult beverages. He leaves, and in the early hours of the morning, she has a horrifying nightmare.
A nightmare of a future where the mall resembles a prison. It’s populated with overweight, black-clad people wearing face masks, and lining up outside the former Sears department store for mandatory Convict-21 injections.
Will the nightmare come true, or will the old book she discovers the next day at a yard sale help change the course of humanity forever?
“The signs on the door demanded that recipients of the Convict-21 vaccine must wear masks, be over the age of twelve and I stopped reading the sign after that. The cosmetics section of the once-thriving department store was minus its display cases. The Avon and Revlon makeup kits were gone. Vibrant young salespeople offering sprays of perfume were absent. No floral fragrances lingered in the air other than generous gusts of alcohol-based sanitizer from spray bottles being squirted by uniformed medical workers. It reminded me of some sort of pest-control team—and it appeared like we were the pests.”
Meet Icy, the saber tooth tiger. I bought this cute stuffed toy at the La Brea Tar Pits gift shop. I thought he’d be a great model for this soap, as I used to live in the vicinity. There was a mini tar pit on the rental property. Below is a photo of the oozing tar spilling onto the sidewalk, which my former landlord refused to fix. I have another photo of the smelly tar seeping onto the narrow walkway leading up to the stairwell, but I decided not to share that one.
Living in that environment motivated me to make a cleansing soap that got rid of a substance that fixed roofs, not stained hands and skin.
La Brea Tar Pits soap is loaded with oatmeal, pure Bulgarian Lavender and Australian Tea Tree essential oils, cornmeal and extra shea butter. This soap is for those of you who garden, paint, fix your car, or need a super cleansing soap. And yes, it does remove tar.
Instructions: Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. If not using goat’s milk base, add the powdered goat’s milk. Just before it’s fully melted add oatmeal and cornmeal. Stir well. Add essential oils and remove from heat. When soap is just starting to form a layer, pour into molds. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from molds. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label.
In late 2021, I wrote about a special blend of antioxidant-rich tea I drink every morning. Since then, I’ve changed the blend a bit with another healthy addition – cumin seeds. These small seeds contain all your basic vitamins along with calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
I’d been drinking jasmine green tea with a twist of fresh lemon for many years. I revised my morning beverage back in 2020 due to the scare of the spring cold and flu season. Determined not to get sick, I looked up the most nutritious and beneficial herbs that could enhance my daily dose of goodness.
Blue butterfly pea is a tropical flower from Southeast Asia and India. It’s caffeine-free. Due to its color, it contains loads of antioxidants. Many attributes are listed such as how it’s supposed to help blood flow to the eyes, lowers blood sugar, and helps rejuvenate skin. I make no claims and just love the fact that it’s a vivid shade of royal blue and turns to royal purple when a squeeze of fresh lemon is added to the tea. The taste is very mild.
For flavor, hibiscus is my favorite. The aroma and taste are reminiscent of cranberries. As with most plants, there are different varieties and colors, but the most common is the vibrant red flower [Hibiscus rosa-sinensis]. Drinking these petals lowers high blood pressure and may assist in weight loss. I’ve also seen well-steeped hibiscus flowers used to condition and color hair. Found in Asia and the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, Mexico, Africa, India, and the warm regions of the United States. Like any tea, it can be served hot or cold.
Along with the flowers, the other ingredient is pine needles. Yes, they smell like a Christmas tree. They have that distinctive herbal taste but since mixed with hibiscus, the taste is lighter. Pine needles are abundant in vitamin C, so they’re the perfect addition to this healthy combination which boosts your immune system. They are also rich in suramin, which may prevent blood clots. It might even help when being around those who’ve taken experimental injections and may be shedding spike proteins.
Another benefit from pine needle tea may be improved eyesight and intuition. Think of how the words pine needle and pineal are similar. The pineal gland is your third eye and when it’s open, your intuition and creativity flows.
Also, pine needles can be very easy to find if you have certain types of pine trees in your area. In America, the most common are the Eastern White Pine, the Scotch pine and red pine. Pine tree needles from tops of mountains and hills are considered better than those at lower altitudes. You shouldn’t gather the needles if near a road or street as they’ll contain pollution.
Yew, ponderosa, and Norfolk pine are NOT recommended for consumption. It’s also advisable to avoid drinking pine needle tea if pregnant. To find the right type of pine needles in your area, contact a botanist or consult with someone who knows how to identify edible plants. This is also helpful if you live in areas where blue butterfly pea flowers and hibiscus flowers grow. Both lovely flowers can be brewed in fresh or dried form.
For a sweetener, I use fresh lemons. As most of you know, lemons are renowned for their high concentration of vitamin C. The colors I drink every morning include bright red, forest green, jet black, royal blue and sunshine yellow.
Here’s a video showing the ingredients used in making my morning cuppa tea. It’s so simple to make that you don’t need to use a measuring spoon.
Apples and autumn go perfectly together. Think of apple cider, candy or caramel apples, apple crisp, and Apple Spice Macarons.
160 grams powdered sugar, sift with almond flour 160 grams almond flour, sift with powdered sugar 150 grams egg whites 185 grams confectioners’ sugar, sieved 1 Tablespoon [8 grams] arrowroot powder 1/2 teaspoon [3 grams] cream of tartar 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste several drops Burgundy gel food colorant
Preheat oven to 300°F.
~ Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and set aside.
~ Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
~ In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
~ Place bowl over pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium until meringue is hot. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F [54 C].
~ Remove from heat and place bowl onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla bean paste.
~ Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
~ Add food coloring and whisk until the color is incorporated.
~ Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
~ Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture.
~ Turn mixer on low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
~ Test for the ribbon stage. When you lift your spatula above the bowl, the batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
~ Pour batter into a pastry bag [14″ or 16″] fitted with a large round tip.
~ Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
~ When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a toothpick.
~ Let shells rest on a flat surface in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. The surface will change from glossy to matte. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
~ Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 or so minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
~ Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or the parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
~ Remove from oven and gently slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack. The shells should be cool enough to remove after 10 minutes.
~ Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling. Match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.
APPLE SPICE BUTTERCREAM FILLING
115 grams [1/4 cup] apple butter 115 grams [1/4 cup] unsalted butter 150 grams [3/4 cup] dark brown sugar OR organic pure cane sugar 30 ml [2 Tablespoons] heavy [double] cream 2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice* 125 grams [1 cup] confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the cream, apple pie spice and cinnamon, whisking constantly, and return to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Whisk powdered sugar until smooth and it reaches a frosting consistency.
* Make your own Apple Pie Spice by combining: 1 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) allspice and two dashes of cloves. Add ingredients to a small container and shake until blended.
Want to have a great big chewy cookie for a dessert, snack or even a meal replacement? The Mega Oatmeal Raisin & Walnut cookies will qualify. These big, chunky cookies have nice, plump raisins due to soaking them before mixing all the ingredients together. These aren’t just any oatmeal raisin cookies, they’re mega oatmeal raisin [and walnut] cookies that are sure to be a hit for cookie fans of any age.
Mega Oatmeal Raisin & Walnut Cookies Recipe
2 sticks [8 ounces] butter, softened 2 large eggs, room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup golden brown sugar 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cake flour 1/4 cup 2 tapioca starch OR corn starch 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups rolled oats 1 cup raisins, soaked in water for 30 minutes 3/4 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans
Hand or stand mixer Mixing bowl Measuring cups/spoons Whisk Spatula Sieve Cookie/ice cream scoop Large baking sheet Baking/cooling rack Parchment paper/Silpat Kitchen scale Oven thermometer
Oven temperature: 400 F
~ Whisk dry ingredients [flour, tapioca starch, salt, baking soda and cinnamon] together in a large bowl. ~ Mix sugar and butter in a hand or stand mixer until well creamed. ~ Add eggs one at a time. ~ Add vanilla extract. ~ Add the dry mixture until well mixed. ~ Drain the raisins into a bowl and save raisin water for later. ~ The oatmeal, raisins, and walnuts should be added last. Mix until it’s stiff, which makes it easy to form into balls. ~ Measure out dough in 4-ounce balls. Lightly pack them and place on cookie sheets. ~ Let sit in the refrigerator for about one hour. Midway through the cooling off phase, preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit. ~ Bake for about 10 -11 minutes. ~ Cool on cookie rack for about 10 minutes before removing.
One dozen 4-ounce cookies
You can store in a cookie jar or airtight container for about 5 days [if they last that long]. They can also be frozen and heated in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes on 350.
I used tapioca starch because I had more of it than I did corn starch. Either works well to soften these delightful oatmeal raisin & walnut cookies.
Substitute pecans or go nut-free if you choose
Healthy Tip! You can save the raisin water in a mason jar and refrigerate overnight. Drink the next morning on an empty stomach. Raisin water is a healthy way to eliminate toxins from your body and give you natural energy. Some people drink raisin water before doing a workout.
This recipe is similar to the big, 6-ounce Levain-style cookies, but there are distinct differences. My recipe calls for ruby chocolate, the cookies are slightly smaller at four ounces, and I used three different types of sugar to enhance these distinctive cookies’ flavor. I also used a good amount of Neilsen Massey’s pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract. I had a difficult time refraining from eating the batter because it was so tasty!
Below is a photo of my newest addition: a Kitchen Aid 5-quart stand mixer with a white bowl. I also have the original shiny bowl. Two bowls are better than one, especially when making cupcakes and frosting. Even better, I invested in a flex-edge beater attachment which thoroughly creams the sugar and butter in seconds. I only had to scrape the bowl once. If you have a 4.5 or 5-quart Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I highly recommend this helpful, time-saving attachment. Kitchen Aid flex edge beater attachment link: https://amzn.to/3K99aGl
1 cup butter, cold, cut into cubes 2 large eggs, cold 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons corn starch 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 10 ounces chocolate chips 3.2 ounces chopped ruby chocolate bar OR ruby chocolate callets 1/2 cup chopped walnuts [optional]
Hand or stand mixer Mixing bowl Sifter Measuring cups/spoons Whisk Spatula Cookie/ice cream scoop Large baking sheet[s] Baking/cooling rack Parchment paper/Silpat Kitchen scale
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, and sugar until it’s well-combined, which will be a paste-like texture. You can also use a hand mixer or mix with a whisk or wooden spoon.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Blend well.
Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended.
Mix in the chocolate chips, ruby chocolate chunks [or chips], and walnuts.
Form into balls approximately 4 ounces [120 grams]. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Refrigerate for one hour.
The cookies should be at least 3 inches apart. Bake on center rack for about 11-12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
This recipe made a dozen  4-ounce cookies.
Store cookies in an airtight container.
If serving the next day, bake in oven/toaster oven for about 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees.
You can also heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Chilling the dough in the refrigerator before baking helps to keep the cookies higher so they won’t spread a lot. You want dry dough. Mix minimally but mix enough to ensure that everything’s well incorporated.
Adding nuts makes cookies healthier, more rustic looking, and helps hold the shape better. If you don’t like walnuts, substitute pecans, macadamia, cashews, etc. Or don’t use any at all.
I’ve finally got around to updating my first book about shea butter. I’ve added more photos, resources, and a new cover.
In NUTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER the reader will discover shea butter’s benefits, its numerous applications, and how to get optimal use from this healthy and natural nut fat. Learn about the differences between East African and West African shea butter. What is the right kind of shea butter for your needs? Various types of shea butter and shea oil are described in this cutting edge e-book.
Used in African countries for centuries, shea butter has been an ingredient in medicines for the preparation of skin ointments, and to treat inflammation, sunburn, chapping, rashes and more. Written for the consumer and the bath & body products crafter, NUTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER contains fascinating facts and effective explanations. Shea butter is an ancient African beauty secret that is becoming more popular everywhere.
This new 2022 edition includes several color photos, more varieties of shea butter, interviews with shea butter suppliers and more shea butter resources.
The author has worked with shea butter for more than a decade and named her company after this star ingredient.
The price of NUTS ABOUT SHEA BUTTER has remained the same! I strive to keep all my book prices affordable.