Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

20 May

I was craving dark chocolate yesterday, and I had a few free hours. I love spending my Sunday mornings baking and listening to NPR (how Chapel Hill I’ve become!). I whipped these up pretty quickly — they’re not hard to mix up, and they don’t take long to bake.

Mmm

They turned out kind of… weird. The flavor is AMAZING. Very rich and chocolate-y. But the texture was odd. The cookies held together just fine, but then have a sandy texture when you chew them. But still buttery, so kind of like greasy sand. There’s also hardly any oatmeal.

Chocolate-y

I’ll still definitely eat them, because as I said, the flavor is amazing. And the texture isn’t too weird. But I was kind of surprised they were weird. It seemed like this recipe had been posted by quite a few blogs, and none of them mentioned this issue. Maybe I didn’t follow the recipe somewhere. I dunno. Calling all bakers out there: Can you see anywhere in the recipe that you’d edit? I was surprised there was no egg… maybe it needs one or two? Or something else? What do you think?

Update: My coworker had one and said, “I don’t think it’s weird. It’s like a shortbread, which I guess makes sense if there wasn’t any egg in the recipe.” … So I guess she’s got a point! As I’m not the biggest fan of shortbread cookies, I don’t eat them often, so I didn’t really recognize the similarity until she pointed it out. 

Chip-tastic

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from Epicurious

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaping tablespoons traditional oats
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.

With an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat until moist clumps form. Mix in oats with spatula until evenly distributed (dough will be very firm). Add chocolate chips and knead gently to blend.

Using moistened palms, shape 1 generous tablespoon dough into ball. Place on prepared sheet; flatten to 2-inch round. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing rounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until center is slightly firm and top is cracked, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheet.

Tied up pretty

Linking up with:

YOLO Mondays from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Monday Meet Up from Covered in Grace
Market Yourself Monday from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Anything and Everything Blog Hop from My Thrifty Chic
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Cake

20 Feb

This is my favorite cake ever. It has 3 different kinds of chocolate. And it may have more, depending on the variation you choose to make — I’ve had up to 5 before! And this cake is always a crowd pleaser, so if I’m heading somewhere new and not sure what people will appreciate, this is my go-to recipe. I’m a little worried about posting this one because it’s actually only semi-homemade, and I don’t want people to think I’m a slacker. But oh well — all my secrets shall be revealed here sooner or later. The pictures for this one are awesome, so I’m including quite a few more than usual. Compliments to the BF/amateur photographer. So feast your eyes, and I’ll go feast my belly.

I start off by moving the rack to the middle of the oven, pre-heating it to 350 F, and buttering a bundt pan. I like using a bundt for this particular cake for a few reasons: One, because it looks fancier without any extra effort. Two, it has a drizzle instead of a full icing, and I think that looks nicer on a bundt. And three, it’s pretty rich, and it’s easier to cut a bundt cake into smaller, neater slices than it is a round or sheet cake.

So after the prep, I dump almost all the ingredients rather unceremoniously into a large mixing bowl: 1 box devils food cake, 1 package chocolate instant pudding mix, 4 eggs, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil.

Batter IngredientsI blend it with a hand-mixer on medium-low for 2-3 minutes. Then I fold in  1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, and once it’s well-mixed, pour it evenly into the bundt pan.

Mixing the BatterChips!Batter in the pan

I bake it for 45-50 minutes. The cake slightly pulls away from the sides of the pan, and it should pass the toothpick test. I let it cool it on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then remove it from the pan. If you don’t cool it long enough, it’s more likely to crack when you try to remove it. And if you’re having a hard time getting it to pop out of the pan, take a long wooden skewer and run it around the edge of the cake before flipping it over. This will loosen it up without cutting your cake or scratching your pan.

Plain cake
Once it’s completely cool, I add the ganache-y chocolate topping — the same one I put on top of the Banana Butterscotch-Chocolate Cake. The rule for this topping is a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to butter. So I melt about 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter in 30-second intervals, stirring well in between. While it’s still warm and runny, I drizzle in back and forth over top the cake. As it cools, it will firm up but not harden.

DrizzleChocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I just have to say it again: seriously, this is the best cake ever. The other reason I love this cake is because it’s sooo easy. There aren’t any silly rules about beating in eggs one at a time or anything like that. And aside from the sort-of long cooking time, it’s really quick and easy to throw together. Actually, I try to keep the ingredients for this on hand at all times in case I need a last-minute cake.

I also like that this cake is so versatile and easy to make your own. I’ve substituted the semisweet chips for milk chocolate chips. Once I did half semisweet and half white chocolate chips. You could get even more wild and crazy and use butterscotch or peanut butter chips, or maybe a caramel topping. I haven’t tried those yet, so if you do, let me know how it goes.

If you’re worried about it, it’s okay to swap light sour cream for regular sour cream. But if you’re honestly counting calories, that seems like a waste of time when it comes to this cake. I haven’t tried the whole swap your oil for applesauce thing, so I don’t know how that would work out with this particular recipe. If you try it, let me know!

Yum

Triple Chocolate Cake

Cake:

1 box devils foods cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Topping:

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Add all the cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Blend with a hand-mixer on medium-low for 2-3 minutes. Fold in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the sides spring away from the edges of the pan. Let cool for about 20 minutes before inverting onto a platter. Top with chocolate ganache topping.

For topping, place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Chop butter into rough chunks and add to bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each interval. Do not over-cook. Once thoroughly melted without any chunks, pour over top the cooled bundt cake. Let cool.

 

6/7/8 Layer Magic Bars

1 Feb

Seven-layer bars are not anything new or exciting, but I had been craving these “magic bars” for days. I have no idea why — I haven’t had a seven-layer bar in years. But I pulled out my bar pan, and two trips to the grocery store later (I forgot stuff), I set to work on the bars. This is a classic recipe and can be found anywhere online or even on the back of a can of sweetened condensed milk. I probably know this one of the top off my head now, it’s so easy.

Graham Cracker & Butter Mixture
Once it was completely mixed, I pressed a small amount into each  of the 12 cups of the bar pan, pressing flat to make a solid crumb layer along the bottom.

Graham Cracker Crumb Layer
Then I set about filling up the layers. What I like about using the bar pan is that you can change up the ingredients. Someone doesn’t like nuts? Leave out the nuts on one row. No coconut? Leave out the coconut. What I don’t like about using the bar pan is that it takes more time, it’s difficult to spread the layers evenly, and it can be hard to remove the bars too. So if you want to use a normal baking pan and cut them into squares, that’s cool too.

Bar Layers
I managed to pry out a few bars and keep them whole, and they look delicious. (All the bars that I broke I dumped into a bowl and I just eat them with a fork. Talk about guilty pleasure.)

Magic Bars
I picked out the three best-looking bars and packaged them in a gift bag with a ribbon. Adorbs!

Magic Bars Gift Bag

I consider these true seven-layer bars because they include seven layers: graham cracker crust, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk. Other recipes do not include the white chocolate chips, but still call it seven layers by counting the butter that’s mixed into the graham cracker crust as a layer. And I call b.s. on that.

Be careful not to add in too much sweetened condensed milk, which is really easy to do in the small bar cups. I definitely should have used a spoon to drop in a small amount rather than being impatient and trying to pour it in. Some of my bars ended up with WAY too much sweetened condensed milk — these looked funny, and they were the ones that wouldn’t come out of the pan in one piece. Check out this picture — the bars in the front of the shot are nearly overflowing with sweetened condensed milk. Too much!Too Much!And next time I’ll probably add in the coconut at the end, after I spoon in the sweetened condensed milk. The coconut got kind of mushed under the weight of the milk, and it looks better when the coconut is fluffier.

Enjoy!

6/7/8 Layer Magic Bars

1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter together. Press into the bottom of a bar pan or a 9×9 baking dish.

Layer on the chips and nuts evenly. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk. Spread the coconut evenly over top.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Let cool completely, and then carefully cut into squares and remove from pan.

Double Chocolate Brownies 3 Ways

22 Jan

I had the day off on MLK Day, so what better way to celebrate than make a batch of brownies from scratch? I cracked open my Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine and got to work. (You can see a similar recipe of hers here, but the one in my magazine is slightly different, and that’s what I’ll outline below.) With one batch of brownies, I prepared 3 different types: double chocolate, chocolate chip, and rocky road.

I got to work by preheating the oven to 350 F and preparing my bar pan. I decided to use a bar pan instead of a traditional 9×13 pan for a few reasons: 1) It would make uniformly shaped brownies, 2) I would more easily be able to make multiple types of brownie without them running together, and 3) I got a bar pan for Christmas and hadn’t used it yet. I tried lining the bars with parchment paper because I was worried about them sticking, but that got really annoying after a while, so I gave up on that and just spread a little butter in the pan cups.

Parchment Paper
In a medium bowl, I whisked together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, I melted 1 1/4 cups Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips and 1 stick of butter. I think the easiest way to do this is just microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring well in between. (DON’T try to microwave it longer than that without stirring — the chocolate will seize up and become an unusable consistency. Then you’ll have to throw it away and start over, and there’s nothing much sadder than throwing away chocolate.)

Once it was melted, I stirred in 1 1/4 cups white sugar and then 3 eggs. Once those were incorporated, I slowly stirred in the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Then I filled six of the bar pan cups.

Batter
Halfway through, I stirred 1/4 cup Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup Ghiradelli white chocolate chips into the batter. (If you want chips in all your brownies, stir in about 1 cup of whatever combo of chips you like before you fill the pan.) I filled in the rest of the bar pan cups with this chocolate chip batter.

Filling the pan
I filled another bar pan with the rest of the batter — it only filled another 6 bar pan cups. For these, I baked them about 13 minutes.

Mmm... Brownie Batter
While I waited, I cut up 3 marshmallows into eighths and chopped up a handful of pecans.

MarshmallowsMarshmallows are so sticky! They kept sticking to my fingers, and when I tried to shake them off, they’d fly off and stick to the counter!

Pecans

I pulled the brownies out, topped each one with a few marshmallow and pecan pieces, and then baked them about 5 more minutes.

Rocky Road Brownies

For the plain and the chocolate chip brownies, I baked them about 18 minutes, until a toothpick I inserted into the center of a couple of them came out with only a few moist crumbs (unlike cakes and cupcakes, which should come out clean).

I ended up with 6 double chocolate brownies, 6 chocolate chip brownies, and 6 rocky road brownies. Delicious!

Brownies

How Sue Sees It:

– It’s pretty easy to impress people with an array of brownies by just adding various toppings in different stages of the baking process. Definitely try this! And create your own!
– Lining with parchment paper was a waste of time. It was difficult to get the paper to squeeze in there, and then since it wasn’t perfectly flat, the brownies came out all deformed because they oozed in between the folds of the paper. And it turns out that the pan is non-stick enough to not matter. A little butter in the pan just in case, and I only crumbled two brownies when removing them from the pan.
Deformed Brownie– When you pull the brownies out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Then remove them from the pan: Run a butter knife along the edges to loosen it up and then scoop them out with a fork. If they mush in on themselves, let them cool a little while longer before attempting to remove any more. (I think the two I crumbled were because I was too impatient and needed to wait for them to cool a bit more.)
– Eat one or two brownies yourself, with a fork straight out of the pan, while they’re still warm. The brownie is nice and warm, and the chips are all melted inside. OMG so good.

Chocolate Coconut Sandwich Cookies

4 Jan

I made these delicious sandwich cookies about a month ago and completely forgot to post them! They’re very classy – sure to impress. I took them to an office holiday party, and they completely disappeared. Here’s the basic plan: make some sugar cookies, shape them into balls, roll them in coconut, bake, then sandwich them together between melted chocolate. Yum!

I pre-heated the oven to 350 F. In a bowl, I whisked together 1 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and  1/2 teaspoon salt.

In another bowl, I beat together 1 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar on medium for about 3 minutes. I then beat in 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. I turned the mixer to low and gradually added in the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Batter Ingredients
Shredded Coconut

I popped the dough in the fridge for a little while to firm it up and prepared a plate of coconut flakes. After I pulled the dough out, I rolled little one-inch dough balls, rolled them in the coconut, and placed them about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Coconut Dough Balls

I baked them for about 10 or 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until they were a light golden color around the edges. I moved them to a rack until they were cooled completely.

Coconut Cookies

I melted some milk chocolate and spread it on a quarter of the cookies, topping them with the other cookies to make milk chocolate coconut sandwiches. Then I melted some dark chocolate and spread it on the rest of the batch to make dark chocolate coconut sandwiches. The whole process took quite a while, baking multiple batches of cookies, waiting for them to cool, and then sandwiching the chocolate, but it was well worth it!

Cookie Sandwiches

 

How Sue Sees It:
– This recipe made about 20 sandwich cookies, with a couple extra coconut cookies that cracked or toasted a little too much. I served the milk chocolate and the dark chocolate separated on matching square platters. Classy!
– The coconut flavor was delicious, but not very strong. Next time, I would probably mix about a cup and a half of coconut into the batter. I’d still roll it in coconut, because it looks cool.
– To give this a more wintery, holiday vibe: Roll your dough balls a little smaller so that the final sandwich cookie is more of a round shape. Switch up the filling to white chocolate or vanilla buttercream filling (1 stick of butter, 1 cup confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, blended on medium-high until pale and fluffy). Roll the final ball in coconut again so that you have fresh coconut sticking to the middle filling. Now you have a coconut snowball!