Tag Archives: Chocolate

Today is the Day

To have your cake and eat it too.

Especially if it’s chocolate.

Enjoy.

And oh right, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yes, that is a potato. It’s from the farm on our campus. 😀

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Chocolate Brownie + Apple Crisp = ?

Math does not come naturally to me.

How did I get through calculus?

I memorized my way out of it…the different question types…and predicted which ones would be on the exams.

Not natural at all.

Unlike the equation above, the answer of which is…brownie crisp!

If you make peach crisp in August, apple crisp in November, then naturally you would make brownie crisp in February.

It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t  it?

The honey in the oatmeal topping cuts through the chocolatey-ness like a ray of warmth and I think you would enjoy the textural contrast between the tender/gooey brownie and the crisp/crunchy topping also.

My only regret?

I didn’t have vanilla ice cream. 😦

Brownie Crisp
makes a 9×9 square pan

for the topping:
1 c. oats
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. honey
pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

for the brownie:
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. chocolate chips or 4 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. dried instant coffee powder
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 c. flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. To prepare the topping, combine everything and mix until beginning to clump together. Set aside.(sidenote: I think this mixture would be great baked on its own and eaten as granola)
3. To prepare the brownie, melt butter and chocolate together in a double broiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
4. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
5. Add the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Stir until blended.
6. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture on top.
7. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

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Filed under Bars and Brownies, Chocolate, Desserts

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Take Two

I promised you that I would make cookies again before the summer is up. Here they are.

This recipe I pulled out of The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. The experts swear by melted butter to keep the cookies chewy. I whole-heartedly agree since I’ve been using it for years, both in CCC’s and my blondies. One thing to note is to make sure the butter is sufficiently cooled before creaming with the sugar or else the sugar melts, which effects the spread. Speaking of melted butter, I want to try using browned butter to make chocolate chip cookies one day. I imagine that would amp up the caramel taste even more.

The Test Kitchen says to add a bit of extra fat to the cookies to ensure tenderness, which I also agreed to. They did this in the form of an extra egg yolk. They also used a substantial proportion of brown sugar to white sugar because brown sugar is hygroscopic and will keep moisture locked in. I reduced the white sugar by half than what was called for in the recipe. The cookies were plenty sweet.

I also chilled the dough for about 6 hours before baking. Shaping the dough into balls poroduced more evenly spread cookies. Oh, and pecans. I added toasted, chopped pecans. They added such a marvelous flavour and picked up the vanilla notes in the cookies. I reduced the vanilla by half a teaspoon and added a bit more baking soda. This overleavens the recipe, thus preventing puffy cookies, encourages wrinkling, and enhances browning because the dough will be basic in nature.

I put eight balls of dough in my mini muffin tin and then baked up like little tarts, wonderfully chewy. Below is the original recipe with my notes.

America’s Test Kitchen Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
makes about 32 cookies

2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda (I added 1/4 ts. more)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar (I used 1/4 c.)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
(3/4 c. toasted, chopped pecans, optional)

  1. Cream the melted, cooled butter and the sugars until blended.
  2. Mix in the egg and egg yolk and vanilla.
  3. Blend in by hand the flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, and pecans.
  4. Chill 6 hours or overnight, or even longer if you’d like, or proceed directly.
  5. Roll into balls and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees (preheated oven) for 10 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges.
  7. Do not overbake, let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing.
  8. Keep in an airtight container at room temp, to preserve all the lovely chewiness.

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes

It’s always a treat to have pancakes for breakfast. Soft, fluffy, lightly sweetened and adorned with a smear of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

It’s even more of a treat to sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Especially for the kids. Be prepared for a round of “YAY!” Who knows, the little bit of chocolate in these pancakes might just perk up your mood for a bright and cheerful day. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
makes 12 4-in pancakes

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. whole milk with 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. oil, plus more for the pan
Chocolate Chips

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, eggs, oil and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and stir lightly until blended. Do not overmix.
  3. Heat up a large frying pan or griddle on medium heat, drizzle with a bit of oil, and ladle the batter on top. Sprinkle 7-8 chocolate chips on each pancake.
  4. Cook for about a minute on each side until both sides are lightly browned.

Pancakes on FoodistaPancakes

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Filed under Breakfast, Chocolate, Comfort Food

Birthday Cake

My brother had originally wanted a cake shaped like a giant Oreo cookie, but of course he changed his mind. He loves soccer so he asked for a soccer ball cake. So I altered the original plan, went with the same cake, the Emergency Chocolate Cake. I used a cream cheese frosting, and layered mini Oreo cookies in between the layers.

The cake itself was bake d in a large metal bowl, filled with one and a half times the cake recipe. It took quite a bit of time to bake, because of the deepness of the cake, but it it turned out level enough and did not stick to the bowl.

I split it into three layers, spread frosting and sandwiched it with mini Oreo cookies. Then I frosted the outside and drew in the pattern.

The frosting is great! It’s not overly sweet and is very smooth. It would be perfect for a carrot cake. It paired well with chocolate here too. The whipped topping lightened the texture just a touch and made the frosting extra creamy.

Cream Cheese Frosting
makes enough to frost a 2-layer cake

1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar, as much as is needed
1 1/2 c. frozen whipped topping, defrosted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, optional

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until well blended and creamy.
  2. Beat in the sugar one cup at a time, until the frosting is thick and spreadable, adding sugar as needed.
  3. Beat in the vanilla if using.
  4. Fold in the whipped topping.
  5. Frost and refrigerate, but it does stand well enough at room temperature for at least an hour with no ill effects.

We brought the cake to church and shared it with his friends. Franklin loved his cake! Happy Birthday!

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Filed under Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

Baking with Carolyn

I had my chocolate fix today. It should last at least a week. My sister, Carolyn, made a large batch of large brownie cookies with me. Usually I don’t break out the box mixes, but it’s much easier for Carolyn to begin to learn about baking if we work with a mix.

And it was good.

When you prepare a brownie mix the normal and place humongous scoops of it on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350 degrees you end up with ginormous black forest dark cookies. These disks have wonderfully chewy edges that remind one of candy and meltingly tender centres. Oh yeah, they also pack an impossible chocolate punch. Even the most die-hard chocoholics will need milk with these cookies.

I am no die-hard anything, except maybe for kouign aman, so by the time I had my third bite I was quite deliriously reaching for milk. Then I had a tenth bite, a fifteenth bite, and so on.

If you love chewy brownies, these kick the chewiness up ten notches. Next time you make brownies, make them into cookies instead. You will not regret it.

P.S. Carolyn makes a great little helper!

P.P.S. She helped me whip up a batch of cinnamon buns too, so guess what we are having for breakfast tomorrow? 😉

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Chocolate Pecan Rugalach

This is one of my favorite pastries. I remember making these for Christmas one year and giving some away to my friends. I think one girl ate half the box before lunch. These are incredible little morsels.

The dough is made with cream cheese and sour cream and isn’t excessively rich, as some doughs are out there. The recipe is from Marcy Goldman’s  The Best of BetterBaking.com. The filling is made with chopped chocolate, pecans, brown sugar, and a bit of oil to hold it all together. It’s rich, nutty, and has a subtle caramel undertone.

I have made a cinnamon and brown sugar filling before also. I will try a nutella filling one day. Hmmm…nutella.

Chocolate Pecan Rugalach
makes 3-4 dozen
adapted from The Best of BetterBaking.com

Dough:
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. unsalted butter, cold
4 oz. cream cheese, cold
1/4 c. sugar
3/8 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional

Filling:
1 1/4 c. pecans, chopped very finely
2/3 c. chocolate chips, chopped very finely
1/3 c. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. oil

To make the dough, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or two knives, until the mixture have pea-sized lumps. Beat the egg and vanilla together, if using. Add to the butter/flour mixture along with the sour cream. Work the mixture with a fork until it holds together. Knead a few times and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, or up to three days. I’ve also frozen the dough with no ill effects, just defrost before proceeding with the recipe.

In the mean time, make the filling. Mix the first four ingredients of the filling in a bowl. Pour in the oil and mix with a fork until the filling begins to clump together. Set aside.

Divide the dough into three or four equal parts. Pat each into a round disk on a floured work space. Roll into 10 inch rounds if divided the dough into fourths and 12 inch rounds if divided into thirds. Pat the filling onto the rounds. Using a sharp knife, cut each round into twelve slices, like a pizza. Take a slice and cut a half-inch slit on the bottom (the crust side), like you would for making croissants. Fold the cut corners towards the sides and roll up tightly into a small crescent. Repeat with all remaining slices.

Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven of 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until browned and crisp.

I was nibbling on one earlier and thought to myself, “this begs for some coffee.” Serve with coffee. Share with someone and they will love you immensely.

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Filed under Chocolate, Pastries