Monday, February 27, 2012
Well it's finally winter time here in Northern Nevada... If by winter time you mean 2 inches of snow and hoards of tourists driving like there's a blizzard outside when the roads are merely damp (yes, damp is an appropriate term).
"What IS this fluffy white stuff falling from the sky?" Then panic. Slam on brakes. Panic. Oogle at snow. Slam on brakes. Panic. *KABOOM*
Ok, slight dramatization... But my psychic powers tell me their thought process is along those lines.
When all the while they could have been snuggled inside like little snow bunnies watching smart touristy shows like Bizarre Foods and eating Hot Chocolate Cookies.
Silly tourists.... I hope I inspire you.
(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)
1 stick unsalted butter
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 bars (3.5 oz each) milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
-In a medium saucepan melt together the butter and chocolate chips, stirring frequently over medium low heat. Once completely melted take off of the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
-In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
-Using a stand mixer, or a hand mixer, beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until smooth and combined. Mix in the cooled, melted chocolate mixture until just blended. Add the flour in 2 batches, mixing on low (as not to antique your kitchen) until just combined. The dough will look similar to a cake batter. Now refrigerate for at least an hour.
-Position a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or greased aluminum foil. Eye-ball about a tablespoon size amount of dough and roll between palms to form a 1-inch ball. Arrange on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and flatten slightly. Bake until the tops of cookies are cracked, around 12 minutes.
-Meanwhile cut each marshmallow in half with scissors and stick a stick a 1/2 square of chocolate unto each cut side.
-Remove the cookies from the oven and press the marshmallow/chocolate (chocolate side down) gently into the middle of each cookie. Bake about 4 minutes longer. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
You can top with shaved chocolate, graham crackers or leave plain if you like! Enjoy.
And you know I'm just playing with you tourists... I have nothing but love for you!!!
Friday, February 10, 2012
Snickers commercials crack me up! "Here! Have a snickers! You get whiny when you're hungry" really? When I'm hungry I want a big plate of pancakes and sausage or a juicy burger... but you expect to give me a snickers and say "oh my gosh THANK you, don't expect me to eat until supper time after this one"?
...But do expect me to pick every single snickers out of my kids trick-or-treat bag. I shame spiral...
Anyways, these are amazing and worth the time and effort. I could sit here trying to convince you to do so but honestly, you get a little whiny when you're hungry.
Bottom Chocolate Layer:
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
Thoroughly grease your 13x9 baking pan. I covered the bottom and sides with aluminum foil then greased with cooking spray which allowed for them to easily come loose from the pan.
Melt together ingredients in the microwave or a saucepan. If you go with the microwave start at a minute, then stir, and continue for 15 seconds until completely melted. Spread evenly into your baking dish and let cool and harden completely.
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil and let it cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring often. Add in the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and vanilla stirring until smooth and completely incorporated. Turn off the heat and fold in peanuts then pour over the chocolate layer working quickly as not to melt the chocolate and let both layers cool completely.
1-14 ounce bag of caramels
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
Combine ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high in 30 second increments (stirring in-between) until completely melted. Pour over the nougat layer and let cool.
Top Chocolate Layer:
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
Melt ingredients in either saucepan or microwave then pour over the caramel layer and spread even. Let cool and harden completely.
Refrigerate the bars for at least one hour before serving, then cut as desired. I cut the pan into 7 by 4, resulting in 28 bars. Realize as they come to room temperature the bars will get soft if you like a harder texture refrigerate again after cutting!
If you are any type of
candy fanatic, scratch that, CHOCOLATE fanatic and *hint hint* these would be great homemade Valentines Day gift, these are for you!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
These are the ultimate chocolate chip cookie and sorry to say... once you try this recipe you will never make a different chocolate chip cookie as long as you live! These cookies are fully loaded and after one bite, you will be a believer. I could go on this long shpeel with picket signs and a cookie monster t-shirt about how you NEED to make them but do yourself a favor and just DO IT! (I am not a Nike Sponsor)
Here it is, the recipe for the most amazing chocolate chip cookies! The unfortunate part is, I cant even take credit for them...
(adapted from foodnetwork.com)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounce large semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped
coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder and kosher salt.
In a stand mixer combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter. Beat together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them into the butter/sugar mixture. Add in vanilla. With the stand mixer on low, gradually add in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Spoon the cookie dough by 2 tablespoon sized balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 12-13 minutes (I found 12:30 to be perfect!)
Immediately when the cookies come out sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt. This is important to do while they are hot so the salt sticks.
Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.