Monday, September 15, 2008

Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everywhere you look on baking blogs, websites, food shows and even in the New York Times, people are discussing and fighting over the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I won't even begin to claim that I have found that. Opinions vary so much that it is an impossible statement. If Jillian shared her grandmother's chocolate chip cookie recipe, I'd be tempted to call it the best, but she hasn't and she won't, so I'm stuck with this one. Which, actually, I'm pretty okay with as it is freaking tasty and awesome. The honey really ads something to the flavor, even though I just used regular honey flavored honey as opposed to the floral stuff that everyone seems to favor. (Bleck!) I'm in love with honey just the way it is.

This recipe came from Baking Bites, another lovely blog with tons of recipes that you should definitely check out.

Honeyed Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in honey and both eggs, individually.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. On a low speed, gradually incorporate flour mixture into honey mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Use a small-ish scoop to create 1-inch balls and place onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie to allow for the dough to spread. (And, these do spread quite a bit, so err on the side of too much space.)
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4-dozen cookies

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Not So Outrageous Brownies

This was another one of those baked goods for the Longaberger ladies.
This trip was a whole lot of pain, not to mention the getting up at 4 a.m. post adventures in late night baking.
The recipe came from the Cookie Madness, a virtual treasure trove of cookie and brownie recipes. Most of the stuff I find there turn out pretty well. These, not so much. I don't know what is wrong with me, the texture turned out great, but I just didn't like the added flavor from the instant espresso powder. Of course, I hate coffee in general, so probably you shouldn't judge these based on me.
The Oreos tended towards disintegration, which I didn't appreciate, but the artificially based filling stood up to the test in the oven and was easily discernible in the brownies. I would probably make these again, forgoing the additional coffee flavor for an extra bit of vanilla.


8 ounces unsalted butter
8 ounces plus 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz total)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
8 Oreo cookies, broken up

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Line a 13×9 inch metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Melt the butter, 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.

Stir (do not beat) eggs, vanilla, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, salt and espresso powder together in another bowl then add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the Oreo chunks and 4 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with remaining 2 tablespoon of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into pan

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 minutes more, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool, then chill brownies. Lift from pan and cut into squares.

Makes about 32 (Or so the recipe said, I ended up with maybe 20, but apparently I make my brownies overly's how I like things.

Doughnut Muffins! = Delicious

Yum. Yum. Yummy. This are much easier than they sound, especially if you come up with a better way to dip them than by burning the tips of your fingers like I did. Robin took several young hoodlums to Longaberger Mecca, Dresden, Ohio, for a Saturday and I was urged to provide some baked sustenance for the arduous journey. I thought these sounded pretty good for a breakfasty type baked good. I chose to make mine into mini-muffins instead of full-sized, which ended up turning out really well, they tasted just like cinnamon sugar doughnut holes and they stayed really moist over the next few days.

Doughnut Muffins
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon cinammon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

Topping (I pretty much doubled this)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray and flour a mini-muffin pan. Don't use paper liners.
Cream oil 1/2 cup sugar and egg in a medium bowl.
In a seperate small bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together. Alternate adding the flour mixture and 1/2 cup milk to the cremed mixture. Flour-Milk-Flour-Milk-Flour. Spoon the batter into greased mini muffin tins about 1/2 full and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Melt the butter for the dipping mixture in a small bowl. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. When the muffins are done remove them from the tin, and immediately dip them into the melted butter and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Let rest on a cooling rack or some paper towels.