Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Incredibly humbled and honored to be reviewed by DC’s finest chocolate chip cookie blog, Cookies With Stephen. Although I’ve never met him, Stephen clearly has an unparalleled palate for the craft of chocolate chip cookies.

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BROWNED BUTTER is the secret to this cookie. It’s what gives the dough a rich dark color, adds a little extra crunch to your bite, and leaves a sweet toffee-like taste in your mouth until you grab the next cookie!

So, the most important step to this recipe: brown the butter. Here are the five steps to browning butter. I don’t use exact times because its different depending on your stove, pan, and butter.

  • use good butter
  • melt on low, then turn heat to medium-low
  • ‘sautee’ the butter, stirring constantly while it simmers
  • as soon as you see the first sign of golden flakes at the bottom of the pan, remove from heat
  • if you’re feeling daring and think the butter needs a bit more darkening, put back on low heat. It’s better to remove the butter prematurely- as soon as one gold flake turns to black, the butter becomes burnt and you sadly have to throw it away.

Ingredients:

– 6 oz browned butter, cooled in the refrigerator

– 1 cup brown sugar

– 1/2 cup granulated sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

-2 teaspoons cornstarch

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-2 1/4 cup flour

-1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugars in a bowl with a fork or rubber spatula
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  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla
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  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined- do not over-mix.
  4. Add chocolate chips. At this point, I ditch the rubber spatula and mix with *clean* hands
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  5. Roll dough into a log, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes
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  6. Scoop the dough into 1.5 inch balls. Flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup, and sprinkle sea salt on the top. If you want a rougher look to your cookie, rip pieces from the dough log rather than scooping, and don’t flatten.
  7. Bake at 325* for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.edited_1241edited_1242edited_1219

 

Officially Holiday Season!!!

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Just made our Brandyland Holiday cards! I can’t believe it’s already December and this is the last week of classes. My last winter break of college is right around the corner…tear. Anyway we definitely started the holiday season right last night with our big holiday party. I made chocolate covered Oreos and some peanut butter buckeyes, but decided to spend the rest of our budget on a HUGE batch of hard cider that people loved. These are the Buckeyes, I am not including the recipe simply because my mother will be horrified at the amount of butter and sugar in these truffles. Google it, they’re pretty much all the same.

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What are your favorite holiday foods? Comment with ideas that I can try out this season!

Adios Bulldog! Mocha Cakeballs

Ok this is it, the third and final attempt at cake balls. Previously, my toughest critic (my sister) has said they were too dense or the chocolate coating was distractingly thick. I think we finally got it. The trick is using the right melting chocolate and not putting too much frosting in the cake mixture… only enough to make them stick together as balls.

The mocha cake recipe is from a great cookbook that I’ve had since high school. Don’t let the title fool you, the recipes can easily be used for cakes as well as cupcakes.

Ingredients-

Mocha Cake:

– 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– 2 tablespoons canola oil
– 2 eggs
– 2 egg whites
– 1 1/2 cups lowfat yogurt
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tablespoon espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water
– 2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate

Chocolate frosting:

– 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 6 tablespoons softened butter
– 4 tablespoons whole milk
– 1 tablespoon brewed dark coffee
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon coffee grounds
& Melting chocolate of your choice

After you’ve done the usual baking of the cake, COOL it completely and then rip it apart. Add 3/4 cup of frosting to the crumbs mixture and roll into balls. Start with that, but you can add more frosting if you like the cakeballs more dense. Refrigerate the balls for 3+ hours.

If you want to make small chocolate decorations for the cakeballs (debatable whether or not this is worth your time…mine all broke in the car) this is a good time to make them. A good cheat is to print out the image, to size, of what you want your decorations to look like. Place the image under parchment paper.

Melt some melting chocolate and put into a piping bag with a very thin tip. Wait about 45 seconds for the chocolate to cool down before starting to pipe. Pipe the image on the parchment paper and refrigerate the chocolate decorations. I attempted to do bulldogs but after the frustration of some very broken dogs, I accepted that they will be somewhat abstract.

Once the cake balls have been chilling for over 3 hours, melt your melting chocolate in a small bowl or double boiler. You can add food coloring at this point if you would like your white chocolate to be colored. Take out the small chocolate decorations. Use a fork to slowly dip into the melting chocolate and coat the entire ball. Place on parchment paper and quickly top with chocolate decoration. Place it very gently otherwise the warm melting chocolate/cold decorations will result in an ugly, broken decoration.

final product: the melting chocolate started to cool, so you can see the very left cakeballs got a more smooth chocolate coating whereas the ones on the right are messier. Tasted the same though, and the co-workers got a little bit of caffeine for the lovely morning!

Margot’s Chocolate Avocado Cakeballs

Chocolate and banana? yes. Chocolate and pretzel? for sure. Chocolate and peanut butter? def.
…but Chocolate and Avocado, you say? THE BEST.

Margot requested any chocolate recipe that I wanted to make be named after her. This girl would love to live off of chocolate if she could, with avocado being a close second favorite. I decided this would be a perfect time to experiment with this unconventional pairing. It seems a little cruel that I made this recipe for her but she’s across the country and can’t even taste it. At least everyone at the office enjoyed them! I guess we will just have to make them again!
No, these are not chocolate covered avocado balls, although that sounds intriguing. All I did in this recipe was replace the oil with 3/4 of an avocado, mashed up. The best part about this is that it uses a boxed chocolate cake mix as a base. Very rarely do I use boxed cake mixes, but they are great for experimenting. That way, if the recipe is a complete bomb, I didn’t waste too much energy.

Cake:

Use boxed chocolate cake mix. I used devils food mix. Replace the amount of oil required with mashed avocado, adding 2 tbl of oil to the mashed avocado for a smoother consistency. Mix well before adding.

Follow the ingredients on the box and bake in a 9×13 pan. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes. Once cooled, rip apart the cake and try to avoid big chunks or the crispy edges.

then…take the cake crumbs and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Make the frosting:

– 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 6 tablespoons mashed avocado
– 5 tablespoons milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix 1 cup frosting with the cake crumbs in a bowl. Just like I mentioned in my first cakeballs post, the amount of frosting added to the cake crumbs determines the consistency of your cakeball. More frosting will make your cake the consistency of brownies or cookie dough rather than cake-like. If you want it to be as cakey as possibly, start with 3/4 cup of frosting and keep adding until your cake crumbs stay together when rolled into a solid 1.5 inch ball. If you like them moist and doughey, keep addin that frosting!

And now the cake-balling begins!

1) Once your crumbs mixture reaches the consistency that you want, and will stick together when rolled, roll into 1.5 inch balls. Place the cakeballs on a pan with wax paper and refrigerate for 3+ hours. You can leave it overnight. Either way just make sure they are cold and this will be a much easier process.

2) after cakeballs have been chilling (literally) in the fridge for over three hours, you are now ready to insert the cake pop sticks. Start to melt your melting chocolate of choice (colored, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate) on low heat in a double boiler. Be sure to keep it on VERY low heat even if it seems like it is taking forever to melt. be. patient.

3) Dip one end of the stick into the melted chocolate and insert into the cake ball. Having this small amount of chocolate helps the cakeball not slip off when you dip it.

4) Making sure that your chocolate is not overheating (you might want to take it off the stove for a little), dip your cakeballs into the chocolate coating. Let the excess drip off and then set back onto the pan. If the flat edge caused by the pan bothers you, stick the cake pops into a styrofoam block to avoid a flat-pop. If possible try to avoid putting these in the refrigerator as condensation will form on the chocolate coating.

another superb idea from pinterest was to make my own chalkboard plate. Now, every time I bake I can erase and re-write the name of the daily treat! Co-workers ate these cake-pops pretty quickly and even the skeptics love the avocado + chocolate relationship.