Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's cookies

Valentine’s Melting Heart Cookies

Yield: 30-35 cookies

Difficulty: Moderate

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes per batch

These delicious cookies have a sweet heart of deep dark chocolate. 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (if desired)

1 cup Horizon Organic unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar
2 large Horizon Organic eggs
2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Filling
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup Horizon Organic whipping cream 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease, spray or line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, cocoa, vanilla and espresso powder until smooth. Set aside.

In an another bowl cream butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture to butter mixture, stirring until completely combined.

Sift together flour, soda and salt and add to the chocolate mixture, mixing until combined. (Dough will be quite stiff.)

Using a soup spoon, scoop balls and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until tops bounce back when lightly pressed.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks. While cookies are still warm, use the back of a teaspoon to gently press an indentation in the center of each cookie.

Meanwhile, make Chocolate Filling:

In a small saucepan, heat cream to boiling, then remove from heat and quickly pour over chopped chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes then whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.

To finish, scoop a teaspoon of filling into the center of each cookie. Cool and serve. Cookies may be stored, tightly covered, at room temperature for 2-3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

 Nutrition Information:

Calories 113; Calories from fat 52; Total fat 6g; Saturated fat 3g; Trans fat 0g; Cholesterol 21g; Sodium 57g; Carbohydrates 15g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 8g; Protein 2g; Vitamin A 3% DV; Calcium 1% DV; Iron 4% DV

 

Season’s Greetings

It’s a pretty exciting time of year around here at WhiteWave.

1. Fall is upon us here in Colorado, which means spectacular scenery (see below).
2. Our brands are releasing a whole slew of Seasonal Flavors that people go nuts for (see also below).

To see where these flavors are available near you, check out the International Delight, Silk and Horizon Organic websites.

Thanksgiving Facts – Wednesday

Early American settlers used to settle disputes via pie eating contests on Thanksgiving Day… these contests served as the inspiration behind many of today’s popular organized eating events.

Thanksgiving Facts – Tuesday

Mashed Potatoes, or Smashed potatoes? Early Americans fought many a battle over what to call the classic Thanksgiving potato dish.

Which side are you on?

Thanksgiving Facts – Monday

You are allowed to eat Pumpkin Pie for breakfast everyday this week… seriously, it’s true

Whole lotta givin’

These past few months at WhiteWave are inspirational and a good reminder of what the holidays are all about. And no, I haven’t drunk the Silk Nog; I am truly inspired by the generosity of my WhiteWave colleagues and what we’ve been able to do, collectively, to make the holidays a little brighter for those in our communities who are less fortunate.

WhiteWave has been very fortunate to have a good year in spite of a challenging economy. So I was pleased to learn that we decided to scale back our holiday party a bit for the second year by giving some of the money we’d normally spend on it to Community Food Share (CFS) – one of our primary non-profit partners who help fight hunger in our area.

The cool thing is we were still able to have a great party to celebrate 2010 and all of our accomplishments, but this small sacrifice will help make a big difference in the lives of those who need our help. In fact, our donation will allow CFS to provide an additional 100,000 meals to Boulder County residents this holiday season. Not to mention, we’ve donated more than $150,000 and 1.5 million pounds of product to CFS so far this year and have volunteered hundreds of hours. Working for a food company, it feels pretty great to know that we play a role in ensuring food security in our own community.

In addition, over the last few weeks, our headquarters lobby has been literally busting at the seams with items collected for local shelters and non-profits. Some of our activities have included:

  • Holding a coat and blanket drive to benefit Coats for Colorado and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless
  • Adopting families and children for the Emergency Family Assistance Association, Toys for Tots and Share-A-Gift holiday giving programs
  • Sponsoring 120 children from the Mercy Housing “Adopt a Child” program, to extend our holiday giving reach into Denver
  • Holding a company-wide raffle (with chance to win front-row parking and snow removal in December) to benefit Attention Homes. One of our execs won and opened the space to a daily silent auction to raise additional funds. (Unfortunately, this year has not been the best to win snow removal, as that would in fact require snow; but in theory, I love this idea!)

In the end, it’s all about the holiday spirit, which I’m pleased to report is alive and well at WhiteWave. Not that such outpouring of generosity is contained to the holidays around here… There is a lot of giving and volunteering that happens here throughout the year. But I can’t help but feel an extreme sense of pride for what we were able to do to help those in our communities have a safer, warmer, happier and healthier holiday.

What has inspired YOU this holiday season? I’d love to hear your stories.

Don’t drink eggnog? You’re a Grinch

I’m just saying.

Last week I went to a Christmas party, and as a hostess gift I brought along a few half-gallons of one of my favorite holiday treats – Horizon Organic Eggnog.  Have you tried this stuff before?  Cause it’s crazy-good.  I mean, it TASTES like Christmas in a carton.  Creamy, smooth, delicious and with a hint of nutmeg, cinnamon-y goodness.

So I show up at the party, sure that I’m going to be a hit when I bust out my eggnog and instead I’m met with blank stares, gag reflexes and comments like “I just can’t drink anything that has the word egg in its name.”  Several friends told me that either they don’t like eggnog (how is this even possible?) or they’ve NEVER EVEN TRIED IT.  How is it even possible to make it to your mid-30’s without having tried eggnog once?  Where were these people’s parents?  To me, this is a clear case of neglect.

I guess I always assumed eggnog was just as much a part of every other American family’s holiday traditions as it was my own.  But since friends force other friends to at least try eggnog once before they pass such hasty judgment against egg-based beverages, I poured “shots” all around.  And while I can’t say that I made any lifelong converts, I did at least succeed in getting everyone to try it and all agreed that it actually tasted good when they got over their reservations.

But don’t take my word for it.  Horizon Organic Eggnog is available through the month of December at grocery stores nationwide.  If you haven’t already, I exhort you to get in the holiday spirit and make it a part of your tradition.  You won’t regret it.

(By the way, Silk Soymilk also makes a delicious non-dairy Nog, so I want no excuses.  Just do it.)