Monday, February 25, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Angus and Benny always say they love me every time I make chocolate chip cookies. They can eat the cookies up in no time. This awesome recipe actually from my sister in-law: Jenny Madden. Thanks Jenny!

Ready? It's cookie time!

- Preheat oven to 372 degree F
- Rack in the second

- Combine:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flower
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse salt

- Beat together until creamy:
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar

- Add:
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs (one at a time)

- Gradually, beat the flower mixture into the sugar mixture.

- Stir in:
11.5 oz Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet double chocolate chip (our favorite)
11.5 oz Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chip

- Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool them.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Buttercream Cake

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa with a little twist.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 tbsp brewed coffee

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rack in the middle.

-Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with wax paper, butter the paper, and dust the pans with flour.

-In a bowl, combine together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

-With mixer, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla.

-Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

-On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix them until it blended.

-Pour the batter into two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, remove from the pans, and allow to finish cooling.

-Place one cake on a serving plate, flat side up (I placed the cake flat side down or you can cut the top to make it even). Frost the top of the layer with chocolate buttercream. Place the second layer on top also flat side up (I still placed it flat side down), and frost the top and sides.

Chocolate Buttercream
11.5 oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tsp water
2 tbsp Grand Mernier (optional)

-Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water until smooth. Set it aside.

-With a mixer, mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in a bowl over simmering water until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or it holds a stiff peak.

-Add the butter on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and grand mernier, if using, and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely mixed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Witch Hat cookies

Flat round cookies
Big chocolate Kisses
Orange icing

Put a chocolate Kiss in the middle of each cookie. Glue the Kiss in place with the orange icing. Pipe the icing around the bottom of the Kiss to make the hat band. These cookies were a big hit at my son Benny's halloween party at his school today.

Eyeball Cupcakes

Makes approximately 40-45 mini cupcakes

Mini baking cups with foil liners
1 recipe batter for white cupcakes (I use Pillsbury)
1 recipe vanilla butter cream frosting (I use reduced sugar one Pillsbury)
red decorating gel
small black jelly beans
round candies with hole in the middle (I use soft Life Saver candies)

Put the mini baking cups on top of a baking pan. Fill the cups two-thirds full with batter and bake the cupcakes as directed in the recipe. I used mini baking cups, so I reduced the time by 15 minutes.

Frost the cupcakes. Pile the frosting up a little in the center to make a sort of domed shape, more like an eyeball. To make the surface smooth, dip a butter or frosting/palette knife in hot water and smooth it over the top of the frosting.

Use the red decorating gel to draw vein patterns on the tops of the cupcake. Make the veins radiate from the center of the cupcake to make the bloodshot quality more realistic. Cut the jelly beans in half. Place a jelly bean half into the circle of the round candy. Now you have an iris and a pupil. Place this in the center of a cupcake. Continue with the rest of the eyeballs.

If you want to check the original recipe, click here! Which is better for you? Mine or theirs?

Fingers Treat

2 packet Lady Fingers
1 large bag (11 1/2 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips or you can use chocolate spread Nuttela
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In double boiler melt the chocolate chips with vegetable oil. Coat the lady fingers with melted chocolate. Let the chocolate dry. Use a black decorating gel to draw knuckle marks on the lady finger. Attach almond slice fingernails to the tips of the lady fingers. Would you like some fingers treat?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tarantula Marshmallow

Makes approximately 25 - 30 tarantulas

I found this recipe at epicurious. But I didn't have time to do everything from scratch. So, I read the reviews and I found out that the tarantula body can be substituted with marshmallow. Horay !!!

1 packet big marshmallows
1 bag thin - short pretzel sticks
1 large bag (11 1/2 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp vegetables oil
chocolate sprinkles
small red candies

Halved the pretzel sticks to 2 inches. Press the tips of each of the pretzel sticks firmly into the marshmallow. Continue with the rest of the pretzels and marshmallow.

In double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with vegetable oil until smooth.

Brush the melted chocolate over each tarantula. Coat with chocolate sprinkles. Press in two red candy eyes on the front of the head.

Compare with the tarantula cookies one at epicurious, mine is not bad huh ... hehehe ;)