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Barrage of white chocolate blasts chocolate cookies.

And squash soup richly deceives

IN DECEMBER 1992, WHEN Chefs of the West published Gerry Cutler's recipe for White White Chocolate Cookies, we editorialized that the ultimate of chocolate chip cookie baking had been reached, and the only remaining challenge was a chocolate cookie with white chips.

Gerald M. Gardner is not one to ignore a thrown gauntlet. He set to work, ignoring the derision of critics and the indifference of the public, and eventually produced the recipe we are proud to print here. He appends two cautions: do not attempt to remove the cookies from the sheet until they have cooled (they are initially very tender), and do not be surprised if the flavor changes between first bite and last.

Chocolate Challenge Cookies

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee beans 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup sweetened shredded dried coconut 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Chop unsweetened chocolate and butter into small pieces. Combine with ground coffee in a metal bowl; nest bowl over hot water and stir often until mixture is smoothly melted. Or put mixture in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in a microwave oven on 1/2 power (50 percent), stirring at 30-second intervals, until smoothly melted.

In a bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and baking powder. Add chocolate mixture, milk, vanilla, coconut, and white chocolate chips; stir to mix well. Shape dough into 24 equal-size (about 1-in.) balls. Set balls about 3 inches apart on a lightly oiled 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. With your palm, flatten balls to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake in a 358 [degrees] oven until cookies feel firm at edges when lightly touched, 10 to 12 minutes. Let coot at least 10 minutes on pan (cookies tear when hot), then transfer with a spatula to racks to cool. Serve, or store airtight in the refrigerator up to 5 days; freeze to store longer. Makes 2 dozen.

Per cookie: 69 cal. (46 percent from fat); 0.7 g protein; 3.5 g fat (2.2 g sat.); 9.1 g carbo.; 45 mg sodium; 5.6 mg chol.

Gerald M. Gardner Redmond, Washington

HEARTY SOUPS USUALLY owe their heartiness to a lot of red meat, butter, egg yolk, or a smooth roux of flour and butter. Julie Walther's Creamy Winter Squash Soup sticks to your ribs without these delicious but calorie-laden adhesives.

Creamy Winter Squash Soup

About 1 1/2 pounds banana squash 1 large (about 1/2 lb.) russet potato, scrubbed 1 large (about 1/4 lb.) carrot 3 slices whole-wheat bread, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium-size (5 to 6 oz.) onion, thinly sliced 1 whole chicken breast (about 1 lb.), split and skinned 1 1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth 2 tablespoons dry sherry 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk 1/2 cup unflavored nonfat yogurt Thinly sliced green onions Salt and white pepper

Scrape and discard seeds from squash. Place squash cut side down in a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch pan. Pierce potato in several places with a fork and set in pan. Peel carrot and cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths; add to pan. Cover pan snugly with foil. Bake vegetables in 400 [degrees] oven until they are tender when pierced, about 45 minutes for squash and carrot, about 1 hour for potato; remove vegetables as cooked and let cool. Meanwhile, spread bread cubes in a 9-by 13-inch pan, and bake in the same oven as vegetables until cubes are toasted, 5 to 8 minutes, turning them over several times. Set vegetables and cubes aside.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir sliced onion and 2 or 3 tablespoons water until onion begins to lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Remove onion from pan and set aside.

Add chicken and about 1/4 cup water to pan. Simmer, turning chicken often, until pan is dry and chicken is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Lift out chicken and let cool. Pull meat from bone (it may be pink in center); cut meat into small chunks and discard bone.

Pour broth into pan, add sherry, and stir to free any browned bits; add chicken and nutmeg.

Peel squash and potato. Whirl vegetables with carrot in a blender or food processor until smooth, slowly adding milk. Pour mixture into pan with broth. Stir soup frequently over medium-high heat until simmering. Ladle soup into bowls, and add toasted cubes, yogurt, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 159 cal. (8.5 percent from fat); 14 g protein; 1.5 g fat (0.4 g sat.); 22 g carbo.; 135 mg sodium; 23 mg chol.

Julie Walther Renton, Washington

THIS ROAST PORK LOIN with a cranberry-ginger glaze can't compete visually with a roast suckling pig with an apple in its mouth, but to chef Don Peterson, it is a much more sensible way to combine meat with fruit.

The cranberry glaze and sauce are real contributors to the flavor. And the loin is much easier to carve than a pig. Dried cranberries are available throughout the year, so you need not wait for fall holidays to prepare this dish.

Pork Loin Roast with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze

2 cups dried cranberries

1/4 cup ginger-flavor liqueur

3/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 boned, rolled, and tied pork loin roast (6 lb. with bone, about 4 3/4 lb. boned)

1 3/4 cups regular-strength beef broth

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed smoothly with 1/4 cup water


In a 2 to 3-quart pan, combine dried cranberries, ginger liqueur, corn syrup, balsamic vinegar, and orange peel. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover and simmer until cranberries are plump, about 10 minutes.

Whirl 1/2 the cranberry mixture in a food processor or blender until pureed smoothly. If making ahead, cover both mixtures and chill up to 1 day.

Place pork loin on a rack in a 10- by 15-inch roasting pan. Bake in a 350 [degrees] oven until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part registers 155 [degrees], about 1 hour and 10 minutes. After meat has cooked 40 minutes, coat with the pureed cranberry mixture, using all.

Transfer cooked roast to a platter; keep warm and let rest at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine remaining whole cranberry mixture and beef broth. Bring to a boil on high heat. Stir in cornstarch mixture and return sauce to a boil. Pour into a serving bowl.

Slice roast, and accompany slices with cranberry sauce; add salt to taste. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Per serving: 397 cal. (39 percent from fat); 32 g protein; 17 g fat (6.3 g sat.); 28 g carbo.; 84 mg sodium; 95 mg chol.

Don Peterson Mapleton, Utah
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Title Annotation:Chefs of the West; recipes
Author:Griffiths, Joan; Dunmire, Richard
Article Type:Column
Date:Dec 1, 1994
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