You can also make these with any kind of cookie cutter but since today is Valentine’s day… These are crisp, densely chocolate cookies. I don’t like iced cookies so I sprinkled with fine caster sugar. Adapted from Sally’s Baking Recipes.
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process), plus more as needed for rolling and work surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
super fine sugar for sprinkling
Make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be soft. If the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling, add 1 more Tablespoon of flour.
Chill the dough for at least an hour.
Roll the dough: Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Dust 2 large pieces of parchment paper or 2 silicone baking mats with cocoa powder (or flour). Place a dough half on each. With a rolling pin lightly dusted with cocoa powder (or flour), roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use more cocoa powder/flour if the dough seems too sticky. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
Preheat oven & shape cookies: Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough, using more cocoa powder or flour to lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin, and continue cutting the dough until all is used. Work quickly so the dough doesn’t become too warm or soft. If it does, stop what you’re doing and place any unused dough back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to stiffen up again. Repeat cutting into shapes with 2nd half of dough. (Note: It doesn’t seem like a lot of dough, but you get a lot of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.)
Bake & cool: Arrange shaped cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are set. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
My husband loves peanut butter (and so do I). We had guests coming last weekend and I knew they liked peanut butter. Right now it is like surface of the sun hot out there so I thought an after dinner treat of cool, sweet peanut butter pie might just be the ticket! This was so cool, smooth and delicious! This was adapted from a Southern Living recipe.
for the crust
16 whole chocolate graham crackers (to make 2 cups crumbs)
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
for the peanut butter filling
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used low fat)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until finely ground.
Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and mix with the melted butter until uniform and clumpy.
Add the crumb mixture to an 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. I like to use a cup measure with a flat bottom to do this.
Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.
To make the peanut butter filling, wipe out your food processor and add the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to the bowl.
Process until uniform.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
Add the peanut butter mixture, starting with a little bit, to the whipped cream and fold it together until there are no streaks.
Pour the peanut butter filling into the cooled pie crust, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
If you are looking for an easy cooking project for the kids, or just want to eat some brownies, these are super easy. You can make this using 1 bowl. My husband ate about 4 after they came out of the oven… Inspired by a recipe from Cafe delights.
1/2cupunsalted butter,melted and HOT
1tablespooncooking oil,(olive oil or coconut oil are fine)
1 1/8cupsuperfine sugar,(caster sugar or white granulated sugar)*
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Peanut butter (optional)
1/2cupall purpose flour
1/2cupunsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray. Line with parchment paper (or baking paper); set aside.
Combine hot melted butter, oil and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well for about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in color (another minute).
Sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined (do NOT over beat as doing so well affect the texture of your brownies).
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly. (OPTIONAL: Top with chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.)
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the centre of the brownies in the pan no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch (the brownies will keep baking in the hot pan out of the oven). If testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out dirty for fudge-textured brownies.
Remove and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing into 16 brownies.
This is not just a chocolate cake, it is a CHOCOLATE cake. Deeply, densely and INTENSELY chocolate. I was in a hurry to make this for a party so the photos are not great but I had to share. From Bon Apetit 2006. This is gluten free.
Cake 1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
18 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs
Ganache 1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (optional)
For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment. Wrap 2 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.
For ganache: Bring whipping cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter or liquor if you desire. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges.
Maybe the world does not need another recipe for Zucchini Bread but this is truly wonderful. It makes 2 loaves so it is perfect for sharing. It is Saint Patrick’s Day so I thought a recipe that had a green vegetable was a good idea. This recipe is from the blog Once Upon a Chef.
Two 8×4-inch loaves
1-3/4 cupgranulated sugar
2 cupsgrated zucchini (about 2 medium Zucchini)
2 sticks (1 cup)unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 teaspoonsvanilla extract
3 cupsall-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
2-1/2 teaspoonsground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonground nutmeg
1 teaspoonbaking soda
1/2 teaspoonbaking powder
1 cupchopped walnuts, lightly toasted if desired
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and set rack in middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix eggs with sugar until combined. Add grated zucchini, melted butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
In another large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to mix well.
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add nuts and currants (or chocolate chips if using), then divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 55 minutes (I baked it in a Convection toaster oven), or until tester comes out clean. Set pans on wire rack and let cool about 10 minutes, then turn loaves out onto rack to cool completely.
When I heard about the terrorist attacks on Paris last night I felt sad, angry and most of all helpless to do anything meaningful. People who kill those who don’t believe in their religion must be stopped. One minute those people were breathing, living, enjoying the moment and the next gone. They never got to take that next breath, say good bye to loved ones, finish their lives. Someone else took that life from them. I got out my baking supplies and did what I do when I don’t know what else to do. I baked something. These are not healthy, not low calorie but when faced with living and dying celery just does not do it. This was adapted for an old recipe from “Taste Of Home” 1996.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture and mix well. Spread into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.