Tag Archives: Chocolate

The Search for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie – Part 3: A Photo Essay.

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I think we may have a winner. Behold:

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I don’t know if the pictures do them justice. Just try them. Go. Trust me. (and yes, that is almost a quarter cup of dough per cookie)

Best Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie

adapted from allrecipes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk (room temperature
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just
    blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. IMPORTANT: Put dough in fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. (I used my ice cream scoop and it worked perfectly)
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Enjoy!
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The Search for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Part 2: Childhood Flashback

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I can’t get away from my constant craving for chocolate chip cookies. I love all kinds of baking, but it seems that when I have all the options open to me, the only thing I want to make is a warm, gooey, delicious, chocolate…what was I saying? Oh yeah, Part 2 is here! My mom recently passed along the cookbook from our childhood. Kids Cooking – A Very Slightly Messy Manual was the only cookbook that I was allowed to use (relatively) without supervision. ANd, surprise surprise, all I ever wanted to make was the chocolate chip cookie. To be precise, the “Darrell’s Forget The Cookies Just Give Me That Batter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe”. I immediately wanted to know how they lived up to my memories, so I dove right in.

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See the cute illustrations? It is such a good cookbook. I hope to hang on to it for any future kid’s birthday parties!

Darrell’s Forget the Cookies Just Give Me That Batter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/8 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional, I didn’t use them!)

Directions:

  1. Turn your oven on to 375 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, melt the butter. While it’s hot, add both sugars. Stir, then let cool a bit.
  3. While the butter mixture is cooling, mix the flour, soda, and salt in the mixing bowl
  4. In a small bowl,  beat the egg lightly with a fork. Then add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture. Stir.
  5. Now add the butter, egg, and vanilla to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl. Stir again, then add chocolate chips and nuts if you want them.
  6. Stir everything until it’s all mixed up well and put the bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour to cool.
  7. When time is up, get your cookie sheet – don’t grease it. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls , put them on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Don’t overcook! You want your cookies to be moist and chewy. Take them off the cookie sheet carefully with your spatula and let them cool.
  8. Yum!

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They turned out delicious. And I tested the batter, in the name of title verification, and it was delicious too. Plus, the recipe was so simple I managed to not mess it up. The only thing I would change would be to add some more chocolate chips, but that would be a general rule for life if I had my way. Yay for kid’s cookbooks!

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White Chocolate Chunk Chocolate Cookies

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Sorry for the break in posting – real life has been keeping me away from baking. I am sure my one reader is very dissapointed 😉

I was housesitting for my parents this past week and decided to take advantage of my mom’s beautiful, shiny kitchenaid mixer. I have been coveting one of these ever since I started reading all the amazing baking blogs with their fancy tools.

I was looking into what to make, and came across a large chunk of white chocolate. It looked so delicious and filled with possibilities that I decided to adapt one of my standard chocolate cookie recipes to include white chocolate chunks. Usually this recipe calls for peanut butter chips, but I have made it with butterscotch or the regular chocolate and it seems to be versatile to any type of chip you can think of. These cookies are my stand by, and I have yet to make a batch that isn’t incredibly delicious and immediately eaten.

Any Type Chunk Chocolate Cookies

(adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in your choice of chunks – in this case, white chocolate. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool on wire racks.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

 

One of my favourite cooking blogs, and probably my biggest inspiration not only in creating this blog but in the photography of my creations, is smittenkitchen. The top of my list of recipes to try from the blog was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Once again, I have a big paper due this week, and instead I am baking. The only request I received for baking today was that it involved chocolate and peanut butter (as usual) so of course this cake popped into my mind. It also is a pretty lengthy process, even better for this rainy and quiet day. 

The original recipe that is posted on the website was for a three layer cake, supposedly serving 12 to 16 people, if not more. Since we are only two at home, and we will have to resist the temptation of the cake until I can bring some into the office on Monday, I decided to half the recipe and make it a two layer, more reasonable cake, which we still will not eat all by ourselves (I figure if I write it out, it will come true). Halving everything didn’t make for the most precise measurements, but here is my take on the cake. Remember, these measurements are for half of the normal cake – to get the whole thing, go check out the original page at smittenkitchen.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze

Source: smittenkitchen/Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes an 8-inch double-layer cake; serves 8, maybe more.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1.75 cups sugar
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I also skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 2 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. I then put the cakes in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm them up, and to allow them to be iced more easily (thanks to the tip from Deb)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. I also used Deb’s tip of putting a thin glaze of icing on first to catch all the crumbs that break off the cake. I then put the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes, before using the rest of the icing on the top and sides.

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this step). 

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 2.5 cups

5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 cup

2 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1.5 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

 

I found the whole process to be surprisingly simple. I had never attempted a layered cake before, so I granted I was a little intimidated by the whole thing at the beginning. I am glad I was just making it for us, rather than company, because that reduced a little bit of my stress at making my cake look as perfect and beautiful as Deb’s did.

The cake is delicious – but VERY rich. Even the most devoted chocolate lover (myself) found it to be a chocolate overload. It tastes like a giant, creamy, Reese Peanut Butter Cup.I could only manage to eat one very slim piece. However, I get the feeling I will be returning for more in the middle of the night.

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The Search for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Part 1

I once thought that all chocolate chip cookies were created equal. I now know the foolishness of that idea. There are a huge variety of these delicious cookies out there, and they all have their own slight differences and claim to be ‘the best’. I am a sucker for these classic cookies, so I figured it would be a good excuse to try a bunch of different ones in the name of research. First up – Good Thing’s Catered “The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies”

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
-Adjust oven racks to upper and lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
-With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined.
-Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.
-Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips.
-Roll scant 1/2 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.
-Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy. (I put in only one rack at a time, and cooked them for 15 minutes each)
-Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

They said it makes about 24 – I actually got about 30 out of my dough.

My rating for these cookies was good, they were delicious and crisp on the outside when I took them out of the oven. I am unconvinced that these are the “BEST” ever, but they are definitely high on my list. I give them a 3 out of 5 rating.

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Dorie’s Midnight Crackle Cookies

Today I have a fairly important test in one of my classes, which means that since I should have been studying last night, I instead decided to bake (of course). Baking is my number one procrastination technique, and the only activity that can cheer me up on even the worst of days.

Chocolate is a staple in our household. The more chocolate, the better. So I was flipping through my shiny new baking cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, and came across her recipe for Midnight Crackle cookies. Dark chocolate, butter, brown sugar – what more could a girl ask for? I was intrigued by her description of the crackly tops and rich center, and since there was no picture to reference I decided I just had to see for myself.

I made some slight changes to the recipe. I had no cloves on hand so I used a little bit more cinnamon, and I baked them for 9 minutes instead of the 10-12 she recommended. I find my oven to run a little hotter than what is indicated, and I prefer my cookies under-cooked rather than over. I do not have a silicone mat or parchment paper, so I just sprayed the sheets with Pam and the cookies came off beautifully. I found the finished product to be delicious and crisp on the outside, with a moist and chocolatey center. I love them!

The dough was a little difficult to work with at the beginning since there is so much chocolate and the mess got EVERYWHERE while I was rolling them out. But all the work was worth it! The recipe made about 45 cookies for me, each one looking perfect.

Dorie’s Midnight Crackle Cookies

Ingredients

* 10 tablespoons butter, cut into 10 pieces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
* 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
* 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (which I omitted)
* 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Put the butter, sugar and chocolate in that order into a 2 quart saucepan. Put the pan over low heat and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted and smooth. Scrape everything into the bowl of a mixer or into a large bowl.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Working with a mixer with a paddle attachment, if you have one, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the eggs are well blended into the chocolate. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny; it will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days. (If the dough is solid, leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding.).
  4. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.
  5. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form firm, shiny balls. (If the dough breaks as you work, squeeze and knead it a bit, then reroll it between your palms.) Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and lightly press each one down a bit with your fingertips.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and crackled across the top. (It’s better to under- than over bake.) Remove the sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes, then, using a wide metal spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a rack; cool to room temperature.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches. (mine only took two sheets to use up all the dough

The results are incredible and so, so delicious. These cookies look very professional but are super simple to make, and I loved the short cooking time since even the dough smelt delicious. Enjoy!

-C

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