Tag Archives: chocolate

Getting Back into Blogging with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

12 Dec

So about a month and a half ago, I came to the decision to stop blogging because juggling weekly blog posts with college, friends, and family became more of a challenge than a source of pleasure. Luckily for me, prior to making this decision I had signed up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and the amazing outpour of passion and thoughtfulness of this event has reinstilled my desire to keep writing, cooking, and photographing for ModernAlice. Thank you to the wonderful ladies whose love of baking and blogging has been such an inspiration to me.

The elegant packaging and sweet notes were just as motivating as the delectable cookies that I received and that’s really saying something!

Lauren of SizzleEats sent delicious Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies that reminded me that food blogging and fitness can go hand in hand. Healthy goodies that are not only delicious but good for you can be refreshing and exciting in a blogosphere so packed with sinful indulgences.

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Hannah of FleurDelicious made my mouth water with her Pistachio-Cranberry Mexican Wedding Cakes. Until now, I thought a good cookie had to include chocolate, but these buttery, melt-in-your mouth cookies were so delicious that I couldn’t put them down. Thank you for introducing me to such a delicious new cookie to add to my to-make list.

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Rachel Sally of Le Peche Fraiche made some of the prettiest cookies that I have EVER seen! My boyfriend swore that she must have bought them because her beautifully iced butter cookies were so professional looking. If you’re reading this Rachel, you truly should sell these wondrous holiday goodies!

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For my cookies, I wanted to share one of my favorite indulgences that somehow hasn’t made its way onto my blog until now: Epicurious’s Chocolate Toffee Cookies.

These fudgey, chocolatey cookies taste almost brownie-like, but the toffee chunks provide a nice crunchy contrast. The recipe claims to make 18 giant cookies, but I made about 40 normal sized ones to keep the chocolate from becoming too overwhelming, but if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to make 1/4 cup cookies, as originally recommended.

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Giant Chocolate Toffee Cookies

yield: 32-40 cookies

Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered toffee bars (like Heath), coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee.
  4. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. You may have to return it to the refrigerator midway through the scooping process to let the cookie dough firm up again.
  6. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, 10-12 minutes. Top with sea salt if desired. Allow to cool on racks.
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Ooey Gooey Oreo Brownie Sandwiches

15 Oct

The blogosphere is abuzz with recipes for Halloween parties and Fall goodies, because these big seasonal affairs are universally exciting. But for now at least, I would rather celebrate the small things. The things that belong to no one else but me (and Goose too).

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the massive commercial holidays, even when you hardly know their significance, or even if they have one. Celebrating the little things, like straight A report cards, loosing teeth, the first snow of the season, and monthly anniversaries can bring just as much, if not more happiness.

Just because the rest of the world doesn’t recognize how incredible it is to dating the same person for 39 months, doesn’t mean that it isn’t incredible.I have a habit of baking something for Goose for each of our monthiversaries, not because there is any societal custom that dictates that I should, but because I feel so incredibly lucky to shared another month with my best friend and favorite person by my side.

I challenge you, find something for you to celebrate with loved ones this month besides Halloween. Maybe you’ll end up with a new tradition, or simply a way to jazz up an otherwise ordinary day.

Today I’m not sharing jazzed up pumpkin pie or homemade candies, instead I am focusing on something classic and timeless, with a slightly modern update because that’s what life calls for. Something (or someone) who is dependable, but also adaptable.

I present to you my Ooey Gooey Oreo Brownie Sandwiches. The cookies are almost like the lovechild between a brownie and a macaroon shell. They are perfectly rich and chocolately to satisfy any intense cocoa craving. I prefer to devour the cookies plain, but for anyone who prefers sweeter desserts, whip up the oreo cream filling to balance out the intense chocolate flavor.

As with your  holidays, feel free to make these cookies entirely your own. Skip the filling and instead add white chocolate chips into the cookie batter, mix some salted caramel sauce into your filling, add a smear of peanut butter along with your filling to the sandwich. Try out anything that sounds good to you! Remember that this is your life, and you deserve to do whatever makes you happy.

Ooey Gooey Oreo Sandwiches 

Cookies adapted from Recipe Girl

Yield: 10-15 cookie sandwiches

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • nonstick cooking spray (as unprocessed as possible, like canola oil spray)

Filling

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray it with nonstick spray.
  2.  In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar with cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder. Whisk in two egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened. You’re looking for a brownie-like, thick and fudgy batter consistency. If it seems too thick, add another egg white. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds per cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.
  4. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto wire racks. Let cookies cool completely. Because of the lack of flour, these cookies are very difficult to remove. You will loose some along the way, but don’t worry, the ones that refuse to make nice with you spatula are the gooiest, most delicious ones that should be going straight into your mouth!
  5. While the cookies are cooking, make the filling by creaming the butter in the bowl of a mixmaster, about 3 minutes, then slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla and the salt, mixing for another 30 seconds.
  6. Match up your cookies into similarly-shaped pairs. Spread the filling on one of the oreos, then smoosh the two halves together.

Roommate Cookies (aka Momofuku Milk Bar Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies)

29 Aug

After three tedious mornings of taking the SAT, weeks of college essay revision, and months of waiting for college acceptance letters, I am finally a university student at my dream school. For the past week I’ve been living in the arts and humanities building with my incredible suite mates, and I’m loving every minute of it.

What did I do my first weekend of college? Bake cookies of course!

When I went home for the weekend, I wanted to bring a nice big batch of cookies for the dorm. These couldn’t just be any cookies, they had to be knock your socks off cookies to introduce my constant baking. So I turned to the brilliance of Christina Tossi’s Momofuku cookies.

They turned out even better then I had expected. They were so delicious that my floor mates and I eagerly devoured them within a day. They integrated the staples of a college student’s diet: cookies, chocolate, marshmallows, milk, and cereal.

The crunchy cornflake crumb and gooey marshmallows are reminiscent of rice krispy treats, while the buttery dough and chocolate chips are similar to traditional chocolate chip cookies.

The cookies take a lot of prep time between making the cornflake crunch, creaming the butter and sugar for 10 minutes, and allowing the dough rounds to chill for over an hour, but they are worth it!

By making the cookies smaller, reducing the butter by half a cup and substituting half of the mini chocolate chips for higher quality dark chocolate chips, I made the cookies slightly lighter so that you can eat two or three of them without a terrible stomach ache or sugar rush. Trust me, there’s no way to stop after just one.

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar via Daily Candy

Yield: 15-20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1¼ cup mini marshmallows
  • 3 cups Cornflake Crunch
    • 3 3/4 cup cornflakes
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk powder
    • 1/4 cup plus 3/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons plus 2 1/4 teaspoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275° and line 4 large baking trays with parchment.
  2. Prepare the cornflake crunch by crushing the cornflakes with your hands in a medium bowl to 1/4 their original size. Add milk powder, sugar, and salt, then toss to mix. Add butter, then toss to coat. The butter will act as a binding agent to combine the dry ingredients with the cereal, creating small clusters. On a lined sheet pan, spread the clusters and bake for 20 minutes, until they are toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed. Allow them to cool completely.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg and vanilla and beat 7-8 more minutes.
  4. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or risk overmixing.) Scrape down sides of bowl. Still on low speed, paddle in cornflakes and chips until just incorporated, about 30-45 seconds. Then paddle in marshmallows.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup scoop to plop the dough onto the remaining lined pans, leaving 3 inches between cookies. Pat tops of dough domes flat. Wrap pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. Do not bake room-temperature disks — they will not hold their shape.
  6. Once again preheat the oven. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until cookies are browned on edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. Leave them in oven for another minute or so if they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
  7. Cool the cookies completely on pan before moving them to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Back to School Chocolate Strawberry & Zucchini Muffins

20 Aug

In June and even in July, summer seems like an endless stretch of time to cross items off your to do list, see people whom you don’t see often enough, and simply to relax. But as August starts to rear its ugly head, reality hits and you suddenly realize that the lofty plans you made for the summer will just have to wait some more. School and cold weather are just around the corner and no matter how tempting it may be to bury your books under your bed and forget about them, there’s no way to ignore rapidly approaching fall.

Rather than wallow in remorse over unaccomplished summer hopes and goals, focus on the exciting aspects of fall. This means that it’s almost close enough to Halloween that you can start planning your elaborate costume without sounding like a crazy person. This means it’s time to go shopping for new coats, boots, sweaters, or school supplies. This means that it’s gradually becoming time to resume your normal schedule of cozy nights indoors that your mind and body will appreciate even if you do not. And most importantly (for me at least) this means it’s starting to cool back down enough to turn back on the oven and stove to cook tasty, heart-warming meals and goodies.

Instead of resenting or resisting the passing of summer, set an example for those in your life who may not quite be ready for the change of the seasons by baking them tasty goodies to celebrate the best of summer produce in a form that is perfect for hectic fall mornings. By that I mean, bake them these Chocolate Strawberry & Zucchini Muffins, of course!

 

While these muffins are not exactly for picky eaters, they are delicious and nutritious, the perfect way to quell any chocolate cravings first thing in the morning while still getting in some veggies too. These muffins rely on shredded zucchini and applesauce to keep them nice and moist without the addition of any butter or oil.

Back to School Chocolate Strawberry & Zucchini Muffins

Yield: 18-20 muffins

Adapted from From the Little Yellow Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, rounded (or add 2/3 cup for sweeter, more traditional muffins)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 15 large strawberries (about 1 1/2 cups), chopped, plus 5 more, sliced for garnish
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or you can chop up 1 bar of dark chocolate into tiny pieces-I had some left over from s’mores, so that’s what i did)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffins tins with silicone baking cups. Muffin batter sticks to paper liners too much, so invest in a few sets of silicone liners to avoid eating paper and cut down on waste.
  2. Coarsely grate the zucchini, then place in a colander and sprinkle it with a pinch of salt. Let it sit for about 10 minutes while combing the other ingredients to leach out the excess water from the zucchini.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add the applesauce and yogurt, and stir well.
  5. Use paper towels to gently press the zucchini in the colander so that it releases any remaining excess liquid. Add the zucchini to the wet mixture and stir.
  6. Use your hands to form a well in the center of the dry mixture, then pour the wet mixture into the well. Stir until just combined. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.
  7. Fill each baking cup about 3/4 full, then gently press a strawberry slice into the top of each muffin.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Allow the muffins to cool on cooling racks, then keep them refrigerated for up to 4 days or freeze them for a quick and easy breakfast or afternoon snack.

 

Focusing On What Really Matters With Fluffernutter Chocolate Puddles

17 Jul

Sometimes we all get so caught up in our to-do lists that we lose track of what’s really important. I’ve always struggled with separating the things that I need to do from the things that I want to do. FOr years this has been a constant source of self-inflicted angst. For instance, in high school I would always shoot for the highest A I could get instead of simply being satisfied with a 90%, I used to feel a need to check in with each of the blogs that I read on a daily basis to make sure that I didn’t miss out on anything, and I always tried to publish the greatest possible number of posts here on ModernAlice per week.

While these may be characteristic qualities of perfectionism, a few weeks ago I decided that I wasn’t going to let my goals derail me from simply making the most of every moment and living a bit more spontaneously. Some people may call it slacking off, but I simply call it reevaluating my priorities. Spending time fully focused on my friends, family, and boyfriend is my greatest priority, and I am making sure that my habits and time distribution reflect that.

What this means for my blog is that I may be blogging less frequently and with fewer step-by-step pictures of my baking projects. It also means that when I go out to dinner with my family, I will focus more on the conversation than on snapping blog-worthy photos in hopes of turning a meal into a blog post.

Now back to the cookies….

Goose and my incredible younger sisters helped me whip up these cookies and this recipe was one of my first baby steps toward more spontaneous, relaxed baking. The recipe is pretty simple and adaptable, so this is a great place to start relinquishing my kitchen control.

I baked these cookies twice last year and got rave reviews both times, so instead of spending precious time searching the internet for recipe inspiration, I wanted to share this delicious stand by with you. It combines a slightly healthier peanut butter cookie base with ooey gooey marshmallows and a decadent chocolate glaze. What’s not to love? These are a snap to whip up and a great way to show the people in your life that you care.

This ooey gooey cookie is the antitheses of light and delicate Parisian macarons. It’s a purely American mishmash of beloved flavors: salty peanut butter, sugary marshmallow, and rich chocolate. The cookies are perfect in their imperfection. What matters most about cookies are how delicious they taste, not how beautiful they look. Allow the marshmallows to deform as desires and the chocolate to spread or drizzle however it wants, and simply embrace the puddles of deliciousness.

Fluffernutter Chocolate Puddles 

Adapted from Bakegirl

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown  sugar
  • 
1 egg
1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 bag of large marshmallows (or you can use minis if you prefer)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate (chips, bars, or chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk (or heavy whipping cream if you want a thicker glaze)
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Set the dry mixture aside.
  3. Combine the egg and both sugars in a medium bowl and whisk until the until the mixture becomes pale yellow. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring out the peanut butter, then use a spatula to combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture from step two to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  6. Roll the cookie dough into balls, then slightly flatten them and place the disks on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 5-7 minutes.
  7. In the meantime prepare the chocolate glaze by placing the butter and chocolate in the bowl of double boiler. Occasionally stir the mixture, then once it’s almost entirely lump-free, whisk in the milk. Set aside.
  8.  Remove the cookies from the oven and lightly press a large marshmallow (or 3-4 small ones) into the top of each cookie and bake for another 2-3 minutes so that the marshmallow softens.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes. Use a fork to lightly drizzle or a spoon to drop the chocolate onto the cookies.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on baking racks for as long as you can wait, then enjoy!

Four Bite Sized Desserts for the Fourth

4 Jul

Fourth of July is one of the most beloved American holidays because not only does it celebrate America’s hard-won freedom, it also gives Americans a great deal of freedom as to how they want to celebrate. While a BBQ and fireworks are traditional, there is no necessity to do anything other than have a good time. You don’t have to buy gifts, spend lots of money, or go through the stress of planning the perfect holiday meal. Fireworks are free, the beach is open to everyone, and barbecuing is way easier than planning a sit-down dinner party. The Fourth of July is an excuse simply to hang out and have a good time.

And what could be a better complement to your BBQ than a few homemade American desserts. Instead of getting super elaborate with the sweets, keep it easy with rice krispies, lemon bars, s’mores, or brownies. In bite-sized squares, these treats are easy to pick up and nibble on at any point of your 4th of July celebration.

I chose to update these American classics a bit with Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats, Light and Tangy Lemon Bars, S’mores Cups, and Chewy, Chocolate-Studded Brownies. When I made these desserts for a casual get-together with friends a few weeks ago, the s’mores bites and lemon bars were both HUGE hits.

Just a secret between you and me…these desserts are all a bit healthier than most treats, so you can indulge without feeling guilty. These desserts each take less than an hour to whip up, so make all four or just stick with one of two.

This year we are having a BBQ and outdoor screening of Independence Day for some of our friends and just keeping it simple and relaxed. What are you doing to celebrate?

Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Adapted from Krissy’s Creations

Serves 16 (to make 24 treats, I  made mine in a 9 by 13 inch pan and multiplied all ingredients by 1.5)

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag of large marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean extract)
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
 Directions
  1. Butter the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Continue to cook until the butter has turned a golden brown color, about 7 minutes.
  3. Place a mesh strainer over a large saucepan and pour the browned butter through the strainer to remove any little black dots (the slightly burned pieces). Place the large saucepan over low heat and add the marshmallows and salt.  Stir occasionally until the marshmallows are completely melted and smooth, then mix in the vanilla. Make sure not to keep the marshmallow mixture over the heat for too long otherwise your rice krispy treats will turn out hard and crunchy instead of soft and chewy.
  4. Add the cereal to the marshmallows and stir until the cereal is completely coated with the melted marshmallows.Remove from the heat and stir a few more times to make sure the cereal is evenly coated.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let it cool slightly for 2-3 minutes, then use a rubber spatula to press it down into the pan.
  6. Let the treats cool in the pan on counter until completely cooled and hardened, about 2 hours.  Do not refrigerate them in an attempt to speed up the cooling process, as this too will make your rice krispies undesirably hard.
  7. Cut into 16 squares, and serve!

Light and Tangy Lemon Bars

Adapted from Shape Magazine

Serves 16

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 chunks

Filling

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Additional powdered sugar for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and lightly coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To make the shortbread, in the bowl of a mixmaster, mix the almond meal, flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add butter and beat until no large chunks remain and mixture is loose and sandy.
  3. Transfer to baking dish and press firmly into base and edges until even. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling by combining sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Finely zest lemons (about 2 teaspoons) and one lime (about 1 teaspoon) into bowl. Squeeze 1/3 cup juice from lemons and 1/4 cup juice two tablespoons from two limes and add to bowl along with eggs; whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the filling over crust and return the dish to oven and bake for 30 to 32 minutes or until center is set.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Just before serving, cut the squares into 16 squares and sift powdered sugar over squares to garnish

S’mores Cups

Adapted from The Pampered Chef

Serves 24

Ingredients:

  • 8 graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 bars of chocolate, milk or dark
  • 12 large marshmallows (or 24 if you like very marshmallow filled s’mores)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the graham crackers in a large plastic bag, and use a rolling pin to finely crush them.
  3. Using a spoon, combine the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and butter in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin. Then evenly distribute the crumb mixture among the cups, placing about a tablespoon in each tin.
  5. Use your fingers to press crumbs to form shallow cups. Bake the graham cracker crust for 4-5 minutes, or until edges are bubbling.
  6. Meanwhile, break the candy bars into 48 rectangles. Remove the pan from oven; place one rectangle into each cup.
  7. Cut marshmallows in half  crosswise (or use whole marshmallows if you like your s’mores really gooey) using kitchen shears. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven 2-4 minutes depending upon how toasted you like your marshmallows.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and press the chocolate pieces into the top of each marshmallow and return for them to the oven for another 1-2 minutes so that the chocolate can start to soften a bit.

Chewy, Chocolate-Studded Brownies 

Adapted from First Look, Then Cook

Serves 16

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a straight edge. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate chips and butter in the bowl of a double boiler until melted. Remove chocolate from the heat and allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs into the chocolate mixture until combined.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the remaining cup of chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the brownies comes out almost clean.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool over e baking rack then cut into 16 squares.

Oatmeal Cookies Two Ways: Chocolate-Cherry and Butterscotch-Chip

6 Jun

I know that as summer rolls around, people start choosing frozen treats over baked goods, but I wholeheartedly believe that even during the summer, nothing can beat homemade cookies.

Butterscotch-Chip on the left and Chocolate Cherry on the right

These cookies are for when you just need a good, chewy cookie. The cookies that I have to share with you today are not soft, airy cake cookies, but rather chewy, textured oatmeal cookies. That’s why they’re best served warm with a glass of milk!

Yummy Fillings

Carmely sugar and butter mixture

Sugar mixture plus flour mixture

Dough combined

Mixed again after addition of egg and vanilla

Although my mom has always had a soft spot for  oatmeal raisin cookies, to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan. I always felt like I was getting ripped off by finding yucky raisins instead of chocolate chips in my cookies. Unlike raisins, tangy sour cherries, on the other hand, are delicious. Even still, everything is better with chocolate chips.

Two bowls of basic oatmeal cookie dough

Butterscotch and Chocolate Chips added

Dried Sour Cherries and Chocolate Chips added

Butterscotch-Chip on the left and Chocolate Cherry on the right

That’s why I first decided to make cherry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. But Goose hates cherries (or any fruit for that matter) and whenever I bake, I like to be able to share the goodies with him. So I decided to also make chocolate chip butterscotch cookies, so that he could have some too. Instead of making two entirely different cookies, I wanted to make a basic dough that could suit us both. Hence, these super-adaptable oatmeal cookies were the perfect fix. Simply divide the batter into two (or more) bowls and add whatever mix-ins you want.

Butterscotch-Chip cookies ready to bake

Chocolate-Cherry cookies ready to bake

Chocolate-Cherry Cookies (for me)

Butterscotch-Chip Cookies (for Goose)

Chocolate-Cherry and Butterscotch-Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted From Cooking Light

Serves 60

Ingredients

  •  2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  •  2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 2/3 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line your baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flours, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar until smooth.
  4. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Then add the vanilla and eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Divide the dough among two bowls and add cherries and one cup of the chocolate chips to one bowl. Add butterscotch chips and the remaining chocolate chips to the other bowl.
  6. Drop tablespoons of the dough two inches apart onto the baking trays from the first step.
  7. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks. Repeat until you have baked all of the cookies.

Other possible flavor variations…the sky’s the limit!

  • Pistachio Ginger
  • Salted Caramel
  • Apple Pie (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and freeze dried apples)
  • Peanut butter
  • Pumpkin Pie (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pumpkin puree)
  • Maple Pecan
  • Rocky Road (mini marshmallows, walnuts, and chocolate chips)
  • Fluffernutter (peanut butter chips and marshmallow fluff)