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Welcome to my collection of recipes and cooking related ramblings. Please don't expect culinary perfection during your time here... for I am a frustrated foodie with very little patience and more than a tendency for often unnecessary creativity in the kitchen. I have a hard time following instructions (Never fear, I can read, I just don't like being told what to do), so cooking is a good exercise in discipline for me. Luckily I have a willing husband to taste test these creations, good and bad, so I don't have to suffer alone in my experimentations.  

If you dare - learn along with me as I try out recipes, tweak them to my liking, learn what NOT to do and share all the mundane details with you! Let's do this... 

Entries in Chocolate (4)

Friday
Sep282012

Chocolate zucchini bread - better than brownies!

This bread is so good, I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. Yeah, that's what I said... deal with it. If you have a hankerin' for some serious chocolate but need to assuage your guilty conscience... then this is the "bread" for you. I got your doubly dark chocolate fudgy goodness right here.

Don't tell anyone is chock full of zucchini and they'll never know. I've tricked more than one man into eating his veggies under this disguise. Works on kids too. Go ahead, try it for yourself.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini (I used a little less than 2 medium zucchini)
  • 1 1/4cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/8 cup unsalted butter (3/4 of one stick), melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grate the zucchini (no need to peel) and set aside in a strainer to drain off excess liquid. No need to press out the liquid... just let it drain while you're preparing the rest of the recipe.

In one large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir or sift together until incorporated (flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and cinnamon). In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy then stir in the eggs and almond extract. Mix the zucchini into wet ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients (slowly) into the wet ones until well combined. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into a greased 9x5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. If you want to make 2 mini loaves, reduce the cooking time to about 35-40 minutes.  If you want to make muffins/cupcakes (makes 1 dozen) reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes. Cool for a bit before cutting, if you can!

 

Wednesday
Jul042012

Milky Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy fourth of July! In order to show my unique brand of lazy patriotism, I decided to express myself in an all American cookie - one that represents our unique melting pot of tastes and traditions. If American stands for anything, we stand for our rights to eat copious amounts of comfort food. Nothing is more comforting - and oddly American - than milk and chocolate chip cookies. So to represent all the peoples of America - this cookie is equal parts white, black and brown - with a dash of the nutty stuff... a little something something for everybody! 

Anyways, I really have no idea what to call these cookies. They are not particularly milky, or chocolatey, making the name I chose is a little misleading, but alas, I don't care enough to change it, because it's just a name after all, AND it's a holiday -  so lay off already! : )  Whatever you want to call them, these mellow chocolate clouds of cookie goodness, with rich white chocolate laced throughout, melt in your mouth with a sophisticated fudgy flavor. If I had to categorize this cookie, I'd say it would be especially delicious served at an lovely afternoon tea... or (like I ate them tonight) with a big glass of milk before bed (except without the glass of milk). 

Anyway, the recipe seems a little weird, but it makes for a milky, crunchy, rich cookie snack that tastes like milk and cookies all in one. Make about 30 cookies. 

Milky Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled completely
  • 2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (2 oz.), melted
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl cream together the cooled butter and the brown sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla and cream and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, baking soda and flour. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the two are just combined. Finally, stir in the melted chocolate until dough is evenly "colored" by the chocolate and then add in the chocolate chips and the nuts.

Spoon small balls of dough (about 1" round) onto cookie sheets about 2" apart. These cookies do not spread at all - so you may want to flatten them a bit with the back of a spoon. Bake for 11-12 minutes until cookies are set. Cool on wire rack.

For the record, these cookies are the annoying kind that taste best the next day. I know it's hard to resist, but you can do it. Okay, one now, then you can wait on the rest. I know you can...if you want. Or, you can just have another and we'll keep it amongst the two of us. Scouts honor! : )

 

Sunday
May202012

Southern Sweets - Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toasted pecan chocolate chip cookiesI've forever been on a culinary quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I like a substantial-sized cookie crammed full of nuts and chips. I like the cookie to have some flavor other than just chocolate to elevating the taste to the next level. I crave the texture of the ones my mom used to make - the kind where you substitute shortening for butter and the cookies have a light and fluffy texture. However, I can't really use shortening in my cookies -  I just can't bring myself to do it. 

Well folks, I may have finally stumbled on my version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. This confection has a hint of cinnamon that perfectly complements the dark chocolate and the nutty pecans. Heaven I tell ya. They don't flatten out and turn chewy - these have a thick texture that's just shy of "cakey" with a satisfying soft center and a perfectly crunch outside. Not to mention, this recipe makes a ton of cookies - so you can eat yourself silly and still have plenty to share. Perfection!

Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS: Makes about 4 dozen

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter + 2 Tbsp., divided
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup butter (nuke for about 45 seconds), stir until smooth and set aside to completely cool. You can put it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so if you prefer. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Next, coarsely chop pecans and toss with cinnamon.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in pecans and cinnamon until nuts are completely coated . Continue to toast over medium heat for about five minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Once nuts are aromatic and toasted, remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together cooled, melted butter and both sugars. Combine completely. Add in beaten eggs and vanilla. Slowly pour in the flour mixture until batter is thoroughly combined. Lastly mix in the pecans and chocolate chips. The batter will be sticky and thick but not runny.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using two spoons drop balls of dough (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes until cookies turn golden brown around the edges. Let sit for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack. 

Saturday
Apr282012

Chocolate Checkerboard Brownies

 

I stopped by the drugstore the other night on my way home from work, and as usual, there was a ridiculously long line. I was standing there with my conditioner and bandaids next to the wall of bags of candy and, darned it if my impulse control wasn't on the fritz. Next thing I knew I was leaving with two bags of Dove miniatures, dark chocolate almond and milk chocolate peanut butter) and the threat of calorie guilt on the weekend horizon. I decided to put those little candy nuggets to good use and make some Deluxe double chocolate candy coated brownie bites. Don't get intimidated folks, it's just a regular brownie recipe (straight off a box of chocolate) with candies on top. But, because it's my own culinary creation, it's in the details people, I'm gonna call them Chocolate Checkerboard Brownies. 

Chocolate
Checkerboard
Brownies

Ingredients: Serves 28-40

  • 4 1-oz. squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
  • 28 or 40 Dove candies. (My pan was 8x5 rows - but 7x4 rows would work well for bigger brownies.)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Unwrap all the candies (pain in the neck!) and set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt the baking chocolate and butter together for 2 minutes on high. Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted. Mix in the sugar, when combined, stir in the eggs and vanilla. Lastly, stir in the flour and mix until completely combined. 

Pour mixture into a foil lined 9"x13" baking pan. Alternate your two types of Dove candies in a grid on top of the brownie mixture. I put the candies upside down for a more even surface texture. Bake brownies for 30-35 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out with crumbly chocolate attached. Be careful not to overbake.

Cool completely in the pan and then slice and serve!

Verdict: The dark chocolate almond squares are over the top chocolatey. Not for the faint of heart.. could use a side of vanilla ice cream for sure. The peanut butter ones are yummy on their own, the peanut butter is melty on the inside. Sigh... I think I might need to taste another to be sure. Yeah, I think I do.