1. Today is Thursday, Feb. 23. The National Weather Service predicts mostly cloudy skies, a high temperature of 51 degrees, and a chance of rain before 9 a.m. The low will fall to 42 degrees tonight and there’s a 50 percent chance of rain.
2. The owner and baker at the in Groton have won the Cooking Channel's Cookie Swap Contest, which had more than 500 entries.
Every year during the holidays, deli owner Maurice Beebe and Gates Councilor bake a massive amount of cookies - about 10 dozen of 30 different kinds - for family and friends. They submitted the recipe for one of their favorite cookies - "White Chocolate Dipped Mint Mocha Chocas" - to the contest online.
Judges then baked the cookies and ranked them based on taste and popularity. The two won a trip to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and leave Friday. The recipe is at the bottom of this article if you'd like to try it!
3. Ship builders have installed the first plank on the outside of the 1841 whale ship Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport. The work is part of a $7 million project to re-launch the vessel on July 21, 2013, on the 172 anniversary of her first trip in 1841. The Morgan is the oldest surviving American commercial vessel still afloat, according to the seaport.
4. The Groton Town Council honored former Councilors and on Tuesday for their service to the town. Sheets served on the council from November 2003 until December 2011. Kolnaski served on the council from November 1997 until December 2011.
5. will hold an event in April to recognize third grade students whose drawings were chosen for the department's 2013 calendar "Drawing Wisdom from Kids". Nearly 500 entries were submitted, and 12 were chosen. Mayor Heather Bond Somers will be the master of ceremonies at the event from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on April 4 at the human services building. The students will receive a gift certificate from a local store and certificate of achievement.
White Chocolate Mint Mocha Chochas (makes 24 cookies)
6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered espresso coffee
1 teaspoon boiling water
1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup coarse chopped walnuts
1 cup (8 oz) mint chocolate chips (Andes)
1 cup (8 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
Approx. 2 cups rough chopped white chocolate, for dipping
In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and baking soda. Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water, then beat coffee liquid into mixer. Slowly beat in sifted flour & cocoa. Stir in nuts & chocolate chips. Chill for 4 - 6 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Scoop about 1 1/2 oz of dough & form into ball, place evenly on parchment lined cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake 12 - 14 minutes, until cookies spring back when touched. Be careful not to overbake. Cool on wire rack.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a small pot. put roughly chopped white chocolate in a bowl & place over the pot. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted & smooth, being careful not to let water or steam come in contact with the chocolate. Reduce heat to low simmer to keep chocolate melted.
Dip each of the cookies halfway in the melted white chocolate and place on clean parchment until chocolate sets. Place in sealed containers - keeps for 2 weeks. Makes about 2 dozen.