Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

These little beauties are my new favorite cookie.  They are easy to make, moist, chewy, perfectly chocolaty, and just plain awesome, the texture and richness of this cookie is wonderful. You don't taste the cream cheese but it does make it very rich and moist; Cornstarch does the same thing pudding mix in a cookie does to keep it moist.
You DO need to plan ahead because these need to be refridgerated before baking so they do not spread and thin out.



Yield: 2 dozen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 2.5 hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

1. Combine butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

2.Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

3.Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

4.Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days to avoid the cookies spreading too thin..

5.Preheat oven to 350F, place cookies on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart.. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake
This cake is dark and moist and very festive! Its subtle mint flavor is reminiscent of the holidays but could be enjoyed any time of the year.
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 +1/8 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 10 cup Bundt pan with some melted butter and dust with cocoa powder (I use a paper towel for the butter then tap the cocoal powder around the pan and use a pastry brush to help coat if needed)
Put chocolate in a bowl, add boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended well.
Whisk both sugars in a medium bowl. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the sugars. Stir mixture to combine (break up any brown sugar clumps with your fingers).
Using the whisk attachment, beat buttermilk, eggs, both extracts, oil and melted chocolate on low speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients in two parts and beat until each part is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium low speed for 3 minutes. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until  center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then invert onto wire rack. Cool completely.
The Ganache should be added just before serving :)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Place 5 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (chopped) in a heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan bring a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth/chocolate is completely melted. 
Glaze the Bundt
Drip about half the ganache onto the top of the cake. Chill the cake for 5 minutes in the fridge, then add the rest of the ganache. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve immediately (with peppermint or vanilla ice cream).