Browsing Tag

chocolate

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies

February 28, 2011

I had to work this weekend, and although I love my job, working on a Saturday really isn’t my thing. Unless, of course, you are working on the set of a photo shoot and get to take a bunch of swag, like chocolate and cereal, with you. That helps to make working on a Saturday not so bad.

Baking with chocolate isn’t something I do frequently because chocolate is expensive and I find it hard to justify buying something expensive that I don’t really need. But let’s face it, we all have that drawer in our homes that has a half a bag of chocolate chips, and another quarter bag of white chocolate chips, and so on.

And so, after Saturday’s photo shoot, I came home with three half bags of chocolate to add to my already growing stash. What’s a girl to make when she has a whole bunch of mismatched chocolate and cereal on her hands? Chocolate Dumpster Cookies, of course! Upon first glance, you might think I made a typo. Only a quarter cup of flour is no mistake. It’s quite amazing, actually, that these cookies come together and taste as delicious as they do. Except when you combine chocolate, nuts, more chocolate and some yummy cereal it’s not really hard to believe they’re gooey, dense and 100% divine.

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies
Ingredients

*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
*2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
*1/3 cup butter
*3 large eggs
*1 cup sugar
*1/4 cup flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1 1/3 cups Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal (or other cereal of choice)
*2/3 cup rolled oats
*1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
*6 oz. white chocolate chips
*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchmen paper or Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
*In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate and the butter. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until well combined. Add in the chocolate and beat until combined. Then, add in the flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt and beat until just combined.
*Stir in cereal, oats, chopped nuts, and chocolate chips and chocolate chunks by hand until well combined.
*Spoon by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Madison

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

February 21, 2011
This weekend, Joey and I had a date to celebrate the fact that he passed a very important work-related certification exam. Naturally, I thought baking a cake was in order and had intended to share with you a cake and frosting recipe. However, the cake was a tad on the dry side and not yet ready to share. The frosting, on the other hand, was fabulous. 
It was thick, dense, and ultimately rich in the very best sense. And I was so delighted with how easy it was to work with when frosting a cake. The smooth, shiny, velvety texture made cake decorating a breeze. I would, however, offer this bit of advice: this frosting is best eaten on the day you frost the cake. After a day it loses its luster just a bit. Though it didn’t really stop me. 
And now for a public service announcement: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this year, go and do so this week. Though I felt decently healthy on Friday and was on the mend from my recent sickness, I woke up Saturday morning with chills, intense body aches, and major chest congestion. The doctor’s diagnosis on Saturday was Influenza B, and I spent the rest of the weekend in a ball on the couch. It was no fun and a flu shot could have saved me a bunch of pain and discomfort. 
Take care of yourselves and have a happy Monday!
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Adapted just slightly from Maida Heatter’s Cakes
Ingredients
*12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
*16 oz. milk chocolate chips
*1 pint sour cream
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/4 cup milk
Instructions
*Heat semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until just melted. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat 1 to 2 minutes on low heat until smooth. Add in milk and beat an additional 30 seconds. 
*Spoon over cake and spread into an even layer. 
Happy baking!
Madison

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies

December 13, 2010

I’m thinking of turning Monday mornings into a time for weekly wedding updates. Everyone okay with that? Mmmkay good.

What’s become very evident to me over the past week and a few days is that I’m a very decisive bride. One who doesn’t dilly-dally over decisions in the least bit. And since Joey and I didn’t want a long engagement, it works out well.

Decisions Made:
*Date: July 9!
*Ceremony and reception locations: Check!
*Dress and veil: Check and Check!

In other news, I made you some cookies. Ugly ones at that. But just because they are ugly doesn’t mean they don’t taste amazingly delicious and deserve to be given a chance. Seriously, these cookies are pure deliciousness. They’re chewy, thin and crispy around the edges with a slight caramel wafer appeal. And for anyone who loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, these will pull at your heart-strings like none other.

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2010 
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
*2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup mint-flavored hot chocolate powder
*3/4 tsp. baking powder
*1/2 tsp. salt
*2 sticks butter, softened
*1 cup sugar
*1 large egg
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 cup chopped peppermint patties

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 
*Whisk together flour, hot chocolate powder, baking powder and salt.
*With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture, beating until just combined, followed by the peppermint patties.
*Form dough into 1-inch circles. Place on baking sheets and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake 9 minutes per batch. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transfering to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!

Madison

Strongbow Hard Cider Cupcakes

August 24, 2010

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a passionate beer drinker. In fact, I’m not much for alcohol in general, and when J. and I sit down to have a drink, a half glass of anything is enough to satisfy my tastes.

What I am is a Strongbow drinker.

Strongbow, as in the English hard cider, my favorite alcoholic beverage, and pretty much the only drink I ever really have a craving for. It’s crisp, and bubbly, and slightly sweet. Just sweet enough, I reasoned, to put it into a cupcake. Playing up the apple notes of this cider, I peppered these cupcakes with a bit of ground cinnamon and apple jelly.

And in case you weren’t temped already, I gave you chocolate, too. Apples and chocolate? Heck, why not? I’m already made a cupcake based on something from a beer bottle for goodness sake. The time to be risky, if there ever was one, is now.

I know that questions will come in about how that little flower was made. It’s an edible marzipan flower and it’s super easy to make. So easy, that I think a tutorial is in order. More details to come! Until then, bake some cupcakes and bide your time.

Strongbow Hard Cider Cupcakes 

(Printable Recipe)
Ingredients
*1 stick butter
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 large eggs
*1/4 cup apple jelly 
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup hard cider (such as Strongbow)
*3/4 cup self-rising flour 
*2 sticks butter
*2 cups powdered sugar
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup cocoa powder
*1 Tbsp. milk, if needed 
*Shaved coconut (optional)

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Set aside. 
*With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in sugar, then eggs one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add in apple jelly, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until just combined. 
*Beat in all-purpose flour until just combined. Beat in the hard cider, followed by the self-rising flour. Spoon batter into muffin cups, about half full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until just golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire rack.

*Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Beat until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the extra tablespoon of milk, if needed.
*Top cupcakes with icing and shaved coconut, if desired.
*I also topped my cupcakes with homemade sugar flowers. Tutorial to come! :)

Happy Baking!

Madison 

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 23, 2010
I’ve been a real-life, full-time working girl for three whole days now and boy is it tiring! Tiring in the best sort of way, in the my-brain-is-exploding-with-new-information sort of way. Yet despite thinking about food all day at work, I still somehow find myself baking and cooking at the end of the day to decompress and relax. 
This morning I woke up to a sky full of rain, I have a new Netflix movie coming my way this afternoon, a half a dozen Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies in my kitchen, and my first weekend home in over two months! Needless to say, I’m just a little bit excited. If you have a free weekend, or even just an hour during the week, I strongly recommend these cookies. 
I’m going to keep it short because, really, I think these cookies say everyting they need to on their own. Nutella. Chocolate. Hazelnuts. Cookie. Chocolate drizzle. And if that wasn’t enough, the texture is somthing special, too. Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy in the center. Pretty much everything you could want in a cookie. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.
Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies 
(Printable Recipe)
Ingredients
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
*3/4 cup sugar
*1 egg
*1/2 cup Nutella
*1/2 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. baking powder
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)
*Additional melted semi-sweet chocolate (optional) 
Instructions
*Preheat oven to 375°F. 
*With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the egg and beat until combined. Beat in the Nutella, baing soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until well combined. 
*Beat in the flour until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts by hand. Scoop dough by large tabelspoons and form into balls. Place, about 2 inches apart, on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are crispy and center is still slightly soft. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Finishing cooling on wire rack.
Happy Baking!
Madison
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