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Sifted: Hot Chocolate Cake, Sparkling Pomegranate Margaritas + More

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  • After the ball drops, your first step of the new year should be taking a late-night slice of Two Red Bowls’ glitzy and effervescent New Year’s Cake. Frosted with a silky champagne buttercream, this chocolate cake ensures 2014 goes out with a bang.

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Brunch Rush! Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Maple-Bourbon Butter

 

Worried you’d have pumpkin spice withdrawals now that the holiday season has ended and a new year is upon us? Have no fear; there’s room for one last go with everyone’s favorite seasonal obsession.

Continue Reading Brunch Rush! Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Maple-Bourbon Butter

Sparkling Drinks to Celebrate the New Year

Cranberry Kir Royales

Pop! The sound of a bottle of bubbly getting uncorked is a sure sign it’s time to celebrate. Think beyond basic bubbly and craft one of these cocktails for your New Year’s Eve party or New Year’s Day brunch.

French 75: Gin, lemon and sparkling wine are the notes in this classic cocktail.

Cranberry Kir Royale: This beautiful pink drink (pictured up top) looks as special as it tastes.

Pink SHAMpagne: Who says bubbly needs alcohol? This flavorful, festive drink gets fizz from sparkling apple cider and raspberry seltzer.

Blood Orange Campari Prosecco Cocktail: Fresh blood orange juice and campari give this drink a brilliant orange hue.

Continue Reading Sparkling Drinks to Celebrate the New Year

Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Pasta Bolognese

Gluten-Free Pasta Bolognese
AKA It’s Like You’re in Big Night and You’re Cooler Than Stanley Tucci

I’m kind of obsessed with the movie Big Night. I’ve loved it since before I began writing about food and thinking about the role food plays in our lives. All the cooking, all the rushing around, the loud mouths and big stomachs, and that huge meal at the end that rendered everyone nearly unconscious: I’ve always wanted to host a dinner like that. The closest I’ve ever gotten is with pasta and Bolognese (I’ll save the timpano and the other 40 courses for another day).

Continue Reading Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Pasta Bolognese

31 Days of Cookies: Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

This edible version of the Irish coffee drink might just keep you buzzing throughout the entire 30th day of cookies. Both ground coffee and coffee extract infuse the sugar cookie dough with flavor and color. Pipe the delicate buttercream frosting — which contains additional coffee extract and Irish cream liqueur — into a frothy topping to make these cookies look just like their mugged moniker.

Click here for the Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Shake Shack Files For a Massive $100 Million IPO

Burgers are big business, as anyone in the burger business can tell you.  Burger joints reign supreme over any other kind of restaurant, making twice the dough of their nearest competitor, pizza parlors. So, with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that NYC darling Shake Shack has just filed for a $100 million initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

What does this mean? Well, for one, expect to be able to buy and sell Shake Shack stocks in the near future. You should also expect many new franchise locations to open up around the world. The company plans to open ten new locations per year, capping out at a ludicrous 450. They are also rebranding themselves under the new label ‘fine casual.’ It’s sort of like casual Friday if, instead of finally being able to eschew that suit, you had to wear one of those dumb tuxedo t-shirts.

The documents outlining the offering have some interesting facts about the company, including their plans to open multiple locations in Russia and the success of the Middle East market, which already boasts twenty locations. It looks like the golden arches may face some stiff competition from brisket burgers in the near future.

31 Days of Cookies: Layer Bars with Almond Butter and Strawberry Jam

Recover from holiday festivities on the 29th day of cookies with these nutty layer bars — they’re like your favorite peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, compacted into a cookie and jazzed up a bit with sliced almonds and a crumble top.

Click here for the Layer Bars with Almond Butter and Strawberry Jam recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Introducing Somabar, The Robot Bartender For the Home

There will come a day, as seen in every sci-fi movie ever, in which humans are no longer needed in the workforce, permanently replaced by robots. Help speed the dystopia along by pre-ordering this spiffy robot bartender.

The Somabar, currently funding on Kickstarter, is an all-in-one robot bartender for the home. You just pop in the ingredients you want and let the machine do the rest. It connects to the Internet, so the list of available cocktails is constantly updated. Never again will you have to suffer through the humiliation of having to lift a spoon to mix something by hand.

Somabar has already blown through its initial funding amount, so this thing will see the light of day. Of course, if you get weepy and start crying about your ex to this bartender, it probably won’t give you any advice.

31 Days of Cookies: Warm Chewy Macadamia White Chocolate Cookies

How did the nut of Australian origin and Hawaiian proliferation come to marry the cocoa-free chocolate as a high-profile flavor combo? We’re not certain, but we’re not complaining. Partake in the 28th day of cookies with this tender, chewy take on the sweet, nutty cookies.

Click here for the Warm Chewy Macadamia White Chocolate Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Gluten-Free Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies

On the 27th day of cookies, our guest blogger proves that gluten-free cookies can hold their own in the dessert spread.

The inspiration for my Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies was the holiday spirit — or spirits — so present throughout the season. And while cocktails abound, booze goes a long way toward successful holiday baking too. Vodka renders pie crusts impossibly flaky; brandy or rum gives cakes a crumb so moist and heady that dessert lovers may need a designated driver; and a tablespoon of any liquor will forever transform the way you look at cookies. (Because we’re talking about gluten-free baking here, just make sure to grab a gluten-free vodka or brandy in lieu of the traditional 40 proof.)

I was inspired by my grandmother’s hazelnut bacci when I started developing these gluten-free Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies. I used whole eggs and eliminated any trace of nuts by using my gluten-free cookie flour blend. I added a tablespoon of vodka to the dough and refrigerated it overnight so the sugars could absorb all the liquid. The end result? A chocolate cookie with a crunchy outer rim and a soft, supple center. Sandwich two with the chocolate ganache filling for a very seasonally appropriate splurge.

Click here for the Spiked Chocolate Decadence Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Karen Morgan is the founder of the beloved gluten-free Blackbird Bakery in Austin, Texas, and is the author of two cookbooks on matter:  Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free and The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free, which feature her new line of gluten-free flour blends.

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