Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smarties Cookies

Forget the mixer, everyone should make cookie dough by hand. It's more fun and you get a bit of a 'workout' HA! to help burn off all those cookies you end up eating.
cookiessmarties (2)

I had a hard time incorporating all the flour in so I ended up using my hands, which gets kinda messy, but at least that's more cookie dough for me to snack on.
cookiessmarties (3)

I flatten my cookies so they actually spread.
cookiessmarties (4)

10 minutes later... I may have underbaked these a little too much because they were really soft and kind of reminded me of snacking on sugar cookie dough. I love cookie dough when it's completely raw, but the in between raw and cooked texture of grosses me out a little.
cookiessmarties (5)

I wanted these to be more sugar cookie like than chocolate chip cookie like so I adapted a snickerdoodles recipe from CI. I thought that increasing the butter while decreasing the flour would make these chewier, but they ended up even softer and cakier than the regular snickerdoodles. Does anyone have a crispy edges, but chewy center sugar cookie recipe recommendation?

Smarties cookies
Based on CI's Snickerdoodle recipe
2 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 335 F
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated
Add vanilla.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until the flour disappears
Portion dough using a medium cookie scoop ~ 1.5 tbsp and place on prepared cookie sheet three inches apart.
Flatten the dough slightly and press smarties into the dough
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are very lightly colored around the edges, the tops have cracked and the cookies have puffed and started to deflate
Cool cookies for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Smores Cookies

cookiesmores (4)

Best cookies ever! Seriously, make these now. Thanks to Kim at Lovin' From the Oven for sharing these because they are out of this world. These had the perfect cookie texture, being crunchy on the outside with a chewy interior. They also spread out really nicely, although mine were a little thinner than I would have like.

This had to be one of the yummiest tasting cookie doughs. I had to bake this before I ate it all
cookiesmores (3)

Chop the chocolate beforehand so that you can place the chocolate and marshmallows as quickly as possible partway into baking. It doesn't show here, but I cut them into thirds
cookiesmores (2)

Too yummy to share!

Smores Cookies
From Lovin From the Oven

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars, chopped

1. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars until fluffy.
2. Mix in egg and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, graham crackers, salt, and baking soda, mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Refrigerate dough for about an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375ºF (I baked at 335 F).
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon (I used a medium cookie scoop ~ 1.5 tbsp) onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a few pieces of a hershey's bar into each cookie. Return to the oven and bake an additional 2-3 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
6. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CI: Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake

cakeoldfashionedchocolate (6)

Simple and unadorned, that's how I like to enjoy my cakes. I made this recipe from before, but had to try it again. You see, I have this problem accepting that something as simple to make Hershey's chocolate cake always comes out so perfectly. Shouldn't the cake that requires 10 different steps and a bunch of messy bowls come out better, not the one where you throw everything into the mixing bowl and whip for 2 minutes?

Whip the eggs and sugar until they become thickened and pale. I'm lazy and hate cleaning the whisk so I just use the paddle.
cakeoldfashionedchocolate (2)

Add melted chocolate mixture. Isn't the marbelled effect pretty?

This is going to sound really stupid considering I've been baking for so long, but I finally understand the importance of greasing now that I stopped using nonstick pans. I used to think people went crazy with PAM only because it was fun to use the spray can. It was not easy prying this cake out even though I lined with parchment.
cakeoldfashionedchocolate (4)

Was this cake really worth all the extra effort of whipping, melting, more whipping and an extra dirty bowl? Probably not. Although the crumb was slightly more velvety compared to Hershey's perfectly chocolate chocolate cake, the difference is pretty small. When you take into account that this uses butter, chocolate and all the extra steps, I would rather have something lower in fat and easy to make if the cakes are fairly comparable. Don't get me wrong, this was still really delicious and I would never sacrifice taste for ease, ie. microwave cake in a mug... no thanks!

Here is the whole recipe. I only made the cake portion.

Cook's Illustrated Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), very soft, plus extra for greasing pans
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces), plus extra for dusting pans
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate , coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa (3/4 ounce)
1/2 cup hot water 
1 3/4 cups sugar (12 1/4 ounces) ; 1/2 cup, 1 1/4 cup
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon table salt 
1 cup buttermilk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
4 large eggs 
2 large egg yolks 


16 ounces semisweet chocolate , finely chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons corn syrup 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon table salt 
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (cold)

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-round by 2-inch-high cake pans with softened butter; dust pans with flour and knock out excess. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.

3. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting, 45 to 60 minutes.

4. TO MAKE FROSTING: Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over saucepan containing 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Increase heat to medium; add sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt and stir with heatproof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate, butter mixture, and cream to clean bowl of standing mixer and stir to thoroughly combine.

5. Place mixer bowl over ice bath and stir mixture constantly with rubber spatula until frosting is thick and just beginning to harden against sides of bowl, 1 to 2 minutes (frosting should be 70 degrees). Place bowl on standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula until completely smooth.

6. TO FROST CAKE: Place one cake layer on serving platter or cardboard round. Spread 1 1/2 cups frosting evenly across top of cake with spatula. Place second cake layer on top, then spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Cut into slices and serve.


Related Posts with Thumbnails