Our First Giveaway, The Banana Slug Hike and Laure’s Chocolate and Sea Salt Sables

These days Stacie and I are among Laure’s (Frog Mom’s) biggest fans.  She recently took us an amazing hike (rain notwithstanding) at the Purisma Creek Redwoods in Half Moon Bay.  We tramped across creeks, collected maple leaves, built fairy houses and had an unbelievable lunch (sandwiches, pork buns, savory apple-cheddar scones and freshly baked chocolate and sea salt sables) protected from the rain under the tall canopy of redwood trees. Much to the children’s delight, we encountered about a “million” banana slugs also out for walk along the damp trail, as well as little colonies of mushrooms nestled among the pine needles. As we made our way to a small clearing, Laure magically whipped up a round of hot cocoa for the kids and they let the rain drops cool their chocolate to the perfect sipping temperature. So what at first seemed like a stroke of bad luck (gray skies, wet weather, mud) ended up making our day even more wonderful in the end (ethereal ambiance, banana slugs, hot chocolate). Pure magic!

We had waffled a bit before setting off that morning, but I am so glad that Laure “gently nudged us” to to make the drive and brave the wet weather.  The children did remarkably well (so many puddles to jump in!) and we found ourselves completely inspired by Laure’s energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of family friendly hiking, not to mention her skills as a baker. Bay Area trails here we come!

On the heels of this fantastic adventure, we are thrilled to share Laure’s hiking finds and recommendations with you with our first ever, super special giveaway. We’re giving away a signed copy of Laure’s fabulous new book, “Best Hikes with Kids in the San Francisco Bay Area”.  You can find details on how to enter at the end of this post. But first the recipe of the delicious chocolate and sea salt sables that I ate way, way too many of….

Chocolate and Sea Salt Sables (adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques – Laure has made this recipe her own by tweaking it a bit and using salted butter and cocoa nibs.  Salt & chocolate are a match made in heaven. Yum!)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 8 tbsps (1 stick) salted butter
  • 6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 extra large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp coffee extract (optional)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips and cocoa nibs
  • 1 to 2 tbsp light brown sugar

Method

  1. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together.  Add the salt.
  2. In the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar at medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolk and coffee extract (if using), and beat until fluffy again.
  4. Add the dry ingredients slowly, and mix at slow speed.  The dough should be crumbly and not quite bound together.
  5. Right before dough comes together, add the chocolate chips and cocoa nibs just to incorporate
  6. Shape the dough into logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  7. Roll the logs in the light brown sugar and wrap each one in plastic
  8. Refrigerate until very cold and firm
  9. Preheat oven to 350F
  10. Slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place them 1/2 inch apart on on parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes until set.

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The GIVEAWAY: Frog Mom’s Best Hikes with Kids in the San Francisco Bay Area – an essential resource for Northern California parents and the perfect gift for your Bay Area mom or dad friends if you live elsewhere.  To enter, you MUST leave a comment at the end of this post (and/or do one or all four of the things below) telling us about your favorite hike/walk/stroll/stroller walk with kids or your favorite trail snack. It can be a urban walk/hike as well to the ice-cream shop as well.  🙂 Be sure to include your email address on the comment form  (it’ll be visible only to us) so we can contact you if you win.

The giveaway will be open till 12:00 midnight PST Monday, November 7th, 2011.  We’ll select a lucky winner using random.org and announce the winner here on the blog.  Good luck and thanks for participating!!

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MORE WAYS TO WIN OUR GIVEAWAY, READ ON……

Because this book is so great and we know you’re going to want a copy, we’ve included a few other ways to win. We’ll give you an additional contest entry for each of the following, up to 5 entries total per person. To register your additional giveaway entries, please let us know that you liked/followed/subscribed in your comment about favorite kid-friendly hikes and trail snacks.

  • Like A Little Yumminess on Facebook or let us know that you already like us.
  • Follow @alittleyum on Twitter or let us know that you already follow us.
  • Subscribe to A Little Yumminess (use the subscription form in the top right corner), or let us know that you already subscribe.
  • Like Frog Mom on Facebook, or let us know you already follow Frog Mom.

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