In the Kitchen with Lori Ann LaRocco


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Wicked Yummy Triple Treat Brownies
Brownie layer
1 18oz. box of brownie mix, prepared, unbaked
OR
10 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butterscotch or white chocolate chips, or nuts (optional)
Oreo layer
1 15.5 oz. Oreo cookies
Chocolate chip cookie layer
1 18 oz. roll ready-made refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
OR
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips
Chips can be mixed as long as they equal 1 1/2 cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line bottom of 8x8 baking pan with tin foil, spray foil liberally with baking spray (or use 9x13 if you don’t want gooey center)
Make the brownie layer per instructions without baking
OR
In medium sauce pan melt butter over medium-high heat, when melted add sugar and cocoa
Stir, remove from heat
Add salt, vanilla and eggs to batter, whisk until combined
In separate bowl, sift flour, slowly incorporate four into batter until mixed
Set aside batter
For homemade cookie dough
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with hand mixer
Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, scraping sides of bowl as you go
Add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, mix on low until incorporated
Fold in chocolate chips, set aside
Put it together
Gently press cookie dough into bottom of pan, making even layer (you can use bottom of 1 cup measuring cup)
Add layer of Oreos on top of cookie dough, place close together, don’t overlap
Pour brownie batter on top of Oreo layer, make even with spatula
Bake 30-35 minutes. Test with knife to see if center is done – it’s OK if there is some brownie on it
Note: It’s easy to over-bake cookie layer if in oven too long
Brownies will be crumbly, delicious and gooey. Let rest for several hours for easier handling. They get better with age


By Ginny Raue

Some people know how to manage their time and get a lot accomplished each day. It’s an enviable skill and West Milford resident Lori Ann LaRocco certainly possesses that quality. She’s a wife, a mother of three children, the senior talent producer for CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and a published author. And she also finds time to teach a religious education class at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church.

LaRocco reports to work each morning at the CNBC facility in Englewood Cliffs. By that time, her husband, Michael Wallace, who gets up for work at 2:15 a.m., is more than half-way through his job as the morning drive anchor on WCBS News Radio 880. But by the end of the day, they sit down for dinner with their children, mostly leaving their careers at the door and focus on family life.

Their children lead active lives; Nicholas, 12, plays hockey and is a member of the People to People Program who will travel with a delegation to Australia this summer, Declan, 9, plays basketball and baseball and Abigail, 8, rides on an equestrian team in town. There’s a lot to talk about over dinner.

LaRocco, 42, knows where a childhood interest can lead. Growing up in Holbrook, N.Y., she loved reading Laura Ingalls books and writing “little stories” herself. She became editor-in-chief of her junior and senior high school newspapers and knew early on she would become a journalist.

“I think you can be inspired at any age. News gathering is all about capturing the moment and gripping the reader,” she said.

At the State University of New York at Plattsburg, she studied Mass Media Communications and Broadcast Journalism, graduating in 1992. She became an anchor, reporter and assignment editor in various news markets and met Wallace when they were both covering the city council in Watertown, N.Y.

They married 17 years ago and migrated around the country, usually moving for Wallace’s jobs. But while they were working in Florida in 2000, CNBC came knocking on her door with the opportunity to do a business show. She answered the knock and they relocated to New Jersey.

“We moved for me. It was a little scary at first but it was a good move,” she said.

They moved to West Milford 12 years ago after looking for a town with a New England feel, a place with some land and an outdoor life.

“West Milford fit the bill," said LaRocco. "All the neighbors know each other and we’ve got each other’s backs.“

When at work, LaRocco’s job is to book big names for “Squawk Box,” the financial business show that airs from 6 to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.

“Squawk Box” is the flagship show for CNBC, she said, and there probably aren’t many people who can say they have the phone numbers of 13 billionaires - and they answer her calls. She has a “trillion-dollar Rolodex” and she knows how to use it.

“I’m pretty well connected and my job is to get the real cool, unobtainable news makers. We try to infuse pop culture with the news makers, in terms of business news.”

The show’s aim is to inform viewers of what’s happening in the world and how it impacts their money.

“It’s for college kids looking for hot stocks, for retired people trying to keep their money, for billionaires and CEOs, for anybody who wants to know what’s going on in our economy.”

When she speaks with the movers and shakers, she treats them in a straight-forward manner, no pedestals involved, and she believes that earns their respect. She has their trust and they often give her the first scoop on billion-dollar deals. She knows Donald Trump well and takes calls from the White House. Sometimes business calls picked up at home can get a little awkward.

When Steve Forbes reached LaRocco at her house, her two young children were engaged in an argument in the basement. There was the sound of physical contact, then the crying began. Forbes simply said, “Who won?”

LaRocco’s children understand that their household is not always typical. Sometimes she does interviews from home and during an election cycle she is constantly on the go. “Even when I’m busy, they know I love what I do and I hope to inspire them to love what they do. I hope my husband and I teach our kids by example,” she said.

LaRocco has written three books and is excited about her latest: “Opportunity Knocking: Lessons from Business Leaders.” Directed more towards the main stream, it delves into strategies that can be used to achieve success by recognizing and seizing opportunities at all levels.

In her spare time LaRocco likes to write, read and work out but her passion is gardening and landscaping. She enjoys cooking, especially Italian dishes, but chose to go the sweet route and submitted a recipe for one of her children’s favorite desserts.





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