Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

3/2/15

Triple Chocolate Mint Swig Cookies



The Swig obsession continues.
If you are saying "What Swig obsession?" Go back and read this post before you proceed any further. There are four Swig variations I've come up with here on ABK: Lemon Lime Sprig Cookie,  Chocolate Swagg Cookie , Coconut Cream Swig, and the updated Original (Almost) Swig Cookie (volume 2).  And now, the Triple Chocolate Mint Swig.
I think the world is divided into mint and non-mint lovers. Or maybe it's chocolate and lemon lovers??  Whatever the case, I decided it was my duty to come up with a Swig cookie for mint lovers.






Since I am not a huge mint fan, I turned to one of the three sources of mint I occasionally crave: Andes Mints, Jr. Mints and the Girls Scout Thin Mint cookie. I wanted to melt a thin layer of mint and chocolate on top of the baked cookie, and decided on the Andes Mint because it seemed like the best option for my Triple Chocolate Mint Swig Cookie. The first time I put this cookie together, I knew it was going to make a chocolate and mint lover a very happy person!
Here's the end result: dark chocolate cookie with semi sweet chocolate chips, topped with a melted Andes Mint, and finished off with a dark chocolate frosting.
This cookie has turned me into a mint lover.








Triple Chocolate Mint Swig Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, (butter flavor is best)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for shaping cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
cooking spray
*glass with flat bottom, see notes below

2- 4.6 oz packages Andes Mints

Preheat oven to 350 or 325 on convection setting.
Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.
Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix. Add the cocoa and mix again until smooth. The mixture should be creamy, with no specks of white. Turn the mixer off.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips all at once. Mix just until all of the flour disappears, on the lowest setting. This should take about 10-15 seconds.
Using a 1 3/4 inch to 2 inch scoop, place the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Lightly spray the bottom of a glass with cooking spray. First press the glass against a cookie, then dip the bottom of glass in sugar to flatten cookie a bit. Continue dipping the bottom of the glass into the sugar after flattening each cookie.
After all of the cookies are flattened a bit, go back and lightly sprinkle sugar on top of each cookie.
Bake for about 8 minutes at 325 convection, or about 10 minutes at 350.
The cookies should be barely firm on top. The sugar sprinkled on top will form a light crust.  Do not over bake! While cookies are baking, unwrap the mints and set aside.

Remove the cookies from the oven. If the cookie has spread and is not as round as you would like, use a small spatula and push the edges back into a circle shape while still warm. Place two mints on top of each cookie. The mint will melt a bit.  After about 2-3 minutes, use a butter knife to evenly spread the melted mint on top of the cookie.
Let the cookies cool completely on cookie sheet. If you want to speed up the process of cooling the cookies and mints, place in refrigerator or freezer. Frost when the mint has set up on top of the cookies. After frosting, chop a few of the leftover mints and garnish the top of the frosted cookie.
Yield about 18-20 large cookies or 30-32 small to medium cookies.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon sour cream
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa, unsweetened
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
milk to thin, about 2-3 tablespoons

Cream butter, sour cream and powdered sugar. Add cocoa and vanilla, beat until smooth. Thin frosting with milk a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.

Tips:
-To achieve an edge on the cookie, or "lip" * :
1. Generously fill the cookie scoop, extra dough will help form an outer edge on the cookie.
2. Choose a glass with a flat bottom. Look at the bottom of the glass, if the bottom is not flat, the dough will not press out properly.
3. I use a 2 1/4 inch glass bottom.
4. Flatten the cookie ball with the bottom of the glass, twisting the glass gently as you flatten the dough ball. The dough should no longer be mounded. The cookie should be about 1/4 inch thick after flattening with glass.
-I use Dutch Process Cocoa, which I highly recommend for this cookie.
-This cookie will keep well refrigerated for a few days. Frost after cool, refrigerate in a single layer until the frosting is set, then stack in layers between parchment or wax paper, cover tightly.
-Be very careful to not over bake this cookie. It will be slightly firm to the touch when done. Because the cookie is so dark in color, it cannot be judged by color when it is finished baking.
-You may also skip the frosting step and simply let the mint melt on top of the baked cookie. Spread around a bit. The cookie will look like the second photo from the top of the post. 


2/24/15

Five Ingredient Hot Fudge



Do you love hot fudge, but don't love the price of premium jars of fudge sauce in the grocery store? This recipe makes enough to feed the hungry masses without breaking the bank, and also stores for a couple of weeks in the fridge, (if it lasts that long).







I love this recipe because it takes about 10 minutes start to finish, and is perfect on top of ice cream, brownies, fruit, waffles, crepes...the possibilities are endless.  It also makes a perfect home made gift for someone special.

I dare you to find a store bought hot fudge topping you love as much as this!






















Five Ingredient Hot Fudge
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken up
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups whipping cream, heavy cream is best
2 teaspoons vanilla

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium size saucepan over low heat on stove, or if you are worried about heat control, place in a double boiler. Simmer until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Add sugar and whipping cream and whisk. Cook on medium heat until the cream barely starts to boil and mixture is smooth. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until mixture is heated through and smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
Serve immediately. The mixture will start to thicken as it cools. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.
Serves 12-15



2/11/15

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberries and Almond Cream








What says I love you more than a home made chocolate treat?  This dessert is beautiful and simple and tastes like something you order in a high end restaurant. It takes about 10 minutes to mix up the cake, and less than 30 to bake. While it's baking, you can make the ganache and whip the cream. Haven't ever made ganache? It consists of warming the cream and adding chocolate to the warm cream. Yup.  That's it.
After the cake is cooked and cooled, it can be glazed and set aside for later.
Hope you enjoy a sweet holiday with the ones you love!











Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberries and Almond Cream
A Bountiful Kitchen, cake recipe originally from Deer Valley Bakery, UT
print recipe

for cake:
1/2 cup butter room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour*
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups buttermilk

for ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream (if you want the ganache to be thinner, use 3/4 cup)
1 cup dark chocolate (chips or broken up bar chocolate 8 oz)
1 teaspoon vanilla

whipped cream topping:
2 cups heavy whipped cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cocoa powder, for dusting top of cakes

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Set rack in middle of oven.
Grease and line two 8 inch cake pans. Grease the parchment paper.
Sift the flour into a bowl along with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until they are mixed well, about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the vanilla and eggs, beat for about 1 minute.
Add the dry mixture, alternately with the buttermilk mix on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl twice, until all of the buttermilk and the flour has been added and mixed well. After all of the ingredients have been added, mix for about 1 minute.
Divide the batter evenly into the two pans. Place the pans on the center rack and bake for about 25 minutes or until a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick. This cake may take less time if you are baking in a dark pan. Be careful to not let this cake overcook!
Remove from oven, let cool.

While the cake is baking, make the ganache:
Heat the cream in a medium size bowl in microwave for one minute. Remove and stir in chocolate chips or broken up bar chocolate.  Add vanilla and continue to mix with spoon or small whisk until smooth. The heat from the cream should melt the chocolate.  Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then spread the mixture evenly onto cooled cakes.  You may layer the cakes, or serve them as single layers. If this mixture starts to thicken too much before the cakes are cooled, you may warm the ganache for about 10 seconds and then spread on the cakes. If you want the ganache to be thinner, use 3/4 cup cream instead of 1/2.

Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and if desired, the almond or vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the cake and berries.

To assemble:
Slice the cake and place on a plate. Top with whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

Tips:
-*If you are not baking at a high altitude, Adjust the flour  to 2 cups. This recipe works well in our mountain (4,000 ft ) altitude.
-This recipe will yield about two dozen cupcakes. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.


2/5/15

Three Sweet Coconut Treats for Your Valentine



On my last appearance at KSL Studio5, I shared my favorite coconut treats.  We talked about why coconut is a great option for Valentines Day!




The Coconut Cream Swig Cookie is always a hit. Made with coconut flavoring, sour cream and topped with a sweet cream and coconut frosting. It's a coconut lover's dream cookie. 






Nan's Coconut Cake made with a cake mix, sour cream and coconut milk. So moist it stays fresh in your fridge for daaaaaays. Better the second day, when all the flavors have a chance to combine. There's not an easier treat to make for your sweetheart!







And last, but not least, the Joyous Almond Cookie. Made with coconut, chopped whole almonds, chopped Almond Joy Bars and chocolate chips. Moist, chewy, loaded with everything in an Almond Joy bar, stuffed into a cookie. Then dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut.  Probably one of the best cookies I've ever eaten.
End of story.


12/12/14

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies





To finish out our week of cookiescookiescookies, I've partnered with the Harmons bloggers to present a Christmas cookie post! We gathered a while back to share holiday cookie recipes and have a little tasting party. It was a sweet afternoon of sugar and spice.




Have you ever made a macaron cookie? My friend Caroline is an expert at macaron making.  Her Pumpkin French Macaron Cookies are amazing! Such a fun addition to your holiday cookie platter.
And the flavors! They taste just like the holidays.





Becky, from Vintage Mixer made Frosted Honey Christmas Cookies. They reminded me of a recipe that would have been passed through a family, hand written on a 3x5 card, and tucked away in a recipe box!  I loved the way Becky piped the frosting on this simple and not overly sweet cookie.



Jesseca at One Sweet Appetite was on Channel 4 News in SLC recently, and shared her recipe for these oh-so-darling Melted Snowmen Cookies. Wouldn't your kids love these? They're almost too cute to eat.


The Harmons bakers shared their recipe for Peppermint Ganache Cookies. If you're a peppermint lover, make sure to check out this recipe! Also,  if you are looking for a special ingredient for your holiday baking and can't find it, the amazingly helpful employees at Harmons will special order it for you.

For my contribution to our cookie-fest, and to end our week of Christmas cookie posts, I baked up a ginger cookie with a special twist.
The best kind of twist.
C H O C O L A T E !
What could be more wonderful than a Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookie? This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and is what I call a pantry-ready cookie, meaning most of the items for this cookie are probably already in your pantry. Or in your mom's pantry.
My family is officially addicted to ginger and chocolate.


photo credit Caroline Drake

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened powdered chocolate
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sugar, granulated or powdered for coating cookies

Place butter, oil, sugar, egg, molasses and unsweetened cocoa in a large bowl and beat together until blended well.
Mix remaining dry ingredients into wet ingredients, if using a mixer, this should be done on low speed and take about 10-15 seconds.
Form dough into balls using a 2 inch scoop. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Crowd cookies together on one cookie sheet and place in fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cookies on cookies sheets (about 6-8 per sheet) , and slightly flatten with palm of hand. Bake for about 8 minutes or until set. The cookies will flatten as they cool. Sprinkle with additional sugar after removing from oven.


10/21/14

Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread





I'm not usually a fan of  store bought pumpkin bread. It always tastes like a mix (because it probably is) or it is: too airy, too dry, too much like a cake. The one exception is Great Harvest Pumpkin Bread. If you've ever eaten a slice, you know that Great Harvest makes a killer loaf of pumpkin bread! I decided it was time to recreate their recipe at home.  I compared the ingredient list on the GH package to recipes online that claimed to be GH copycats. Hmmmm.  A lot of those recipes included ingredients not on the Great Harvest ingredients list. Ingredients like: honey, brown sugar, wheat flour.  All good guesses, but not accurate if you're trying to recreate the bakery version...





After several test batches, and experimenting with different temperatures of baking, amounts of flour, spices, pumpkin, and eggs,  I think I've finally nailed it.
This bread is lightly spiced, super moist, dense, and has a rich pumpkin flavor.  At over $9 a loaf (in SLC locations),  you'll be saving a few dollars and your house will smell great too!
Happy baking.



Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4  large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4  cups vegetable or canola oil
1-15 oz can Libby's pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


Place the rack in the center of the oven, and generously grease and line the bottom of two loaf pans with parchment or wax paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat for about 1 minute. Add sugar beat again for 1 minute. Add the oil, pumpkin and vanilla. Beat until all ingredients are incorporated.
Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices and chocolate chips into the bowl with the pumpkin mixture. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pans.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center of loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven. Let sit for 5 minutes in pan. Loosen sides of loaf if necessary with butter knife. Remove and cool completely.
Yields 2-3 loaves, depending on size of pans used*


Tips:
-I make a liner for the loaf pan by placing parchment or wax paper under the pan and tracing around the bottom of the pan. Cut the paper on the line. Place the paper in the bottom of the loaf pan and spray sides of pan and bottom (on top of the paper liner) generously with cooking spray.
-I bake in  4 1/2 x 8 1/2 pans. When I place the batter in the pans, they fill the pans over 3/4 full. There is about a 1/2 - 3/4 inch space to the top of the loaf pan.  This recipe will easily yield 3 smaller loaves. Adjust the baking time to 45 minutes then check to make sure loaf is set.





9/30/14

Old Fashioned Coca Cola Cake







Is there anything better than a cake that tastes like a slice of your childhood?  This recipe is an updated version of a classic favorite, made into a layer cake to dress it up a bit. The combo of Coke and buttermilk in the batter turns out a light, tender cake that stays moist for days.




I don't know about you, but I love homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and pecans on top.   Pour me a glass of cold milk and I'm a happy girl.





Old Fashioned Coca Cola Cake
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, I used pecans
Frosting (below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in middle of oven.
Mix Coke and buttermilk together in a measuring cup, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix and add the coke mixture all at once. Fold in the marshmallows.
Spoon mixture into two greased and lined 9 inch cake pans or one greased 9x13 cake pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes for layer cake and about 35-40 minutes for 9x13. Cake is done when a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick.
Remove from oven and if using layer pans, run a butter knife around edges and invert onto a rack to cool, placing the parchment side down so it won't stick to the rack. Make sure to peel parchment paper off before frosting cakes.
Cool completely.

Frosting:
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coke
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream as needed

Mix the butter in a bowl with powdered sugar and cocoa. Add salt, vanilla and coke. Beat until creamy. Add milk until desired spreading consistency.
Place cake on a platter. Spread 1/3 of frosting on layer. Top with other layer. Spread frosting on top and sides. Place chopped nuts on top of cake.
Serves 12

Tips:
-This cake is very tender, or falls apart easily because it is so moist. Be careful to not over bake. The first time I experimented with this recipe, it came out dry. I think I baked it for 40-45 minutes. I found that about 35 minutes worked perfect in my oven.
-The cake will come out with little indents where the marshmallows have melted and sunken into the batter. No worries. The frosting will fill in the indents.
-You may add up to another cup of marshmallows to the cake batter if you wish. Only use fresh marshmallows.
-Don't use Diet Coke. Or I'll have to come hurt you.







8/18/14

Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (2014)



School starts up next week in our community. Is there anything better after a long day at school than a melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolate chip cookie?
If you've ever made chocolate chip cookies, you've probably had a baking failure. Am I right?
Today, we are going to solve that problem. Once and for all.
NO MORE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE COOKIES.  Ever again.




In 2010, after months of testing methods and ingredient combinations for baking chocolate chip cookies, I came up with a recipe that works.  Every. Single. Time.
Since then, I've continued to update, simplify and improve this recipe. For the original recipe, with step by step photos, check out  this post.  This recipe is a one bowl, 20 minute (start to finish)  success.




I've made these cookies a few hundred times. Everyone- from young neighbor kids to folks in nursing homes love these cookies.
I know you're going to love them too.
Happy Baking!






ABK's Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (updated 8/2014)
A Bountiful Kitchen (adapted from Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe)
print recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened *
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt ( I prefer coarse salt)
2 cups  or 1 (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. If using convection, preheat to 375 as well.
For regular oven, place rack in middle of oven. When using a convection oven, you should be able to bake on all racks at one time.
Cut butter into pieces ( about 2 tablespoons each) and place in mixing bowl. I use a Kitchen Aid and power it on 2 (low).  After a few seconds, add granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until creamy (this takes just a few seconds). Add eggs, beating just until incorporated and smooth.  Never turn the beaters on high. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl to insure all ingredients are incorporated.
Dump 2 cups of the flour, soda, salt and chocolate chips all together into bowl with butter mixture. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour to the top of this mixture. Slowly mix the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips together.  Do not over mix.  Turn the dough with a rubber spatula so the bottom of the dough is mixed into the top of the dough. This will insure the flour is mixed in properly and the chips are distributed evenly.
Using a cookie scoop, drop onto un-greased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place 6 scoops of dough on each baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
If using convection, bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. If using regular oven, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly golden and the cookie should not be wet on top.
Cool on baking sheets completely.
Yield 18 large cookies.

Tips:
(or my mini-epistle on cc cookie making and baking)
-Only use butter. Unsalted is best. The butter should be more firm than room temperature butter. I take it straight out of the fridge, and microwave it for about 20 seconds.
-*Our altitude is about 4,400 ft. So, I use about 2 3/4 cups flour total. The original Toll House recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups. If you are at sea level, you will probably need less flour than the 2 3/4 cup.
-Don't over beat the butter-sugar mixture, or the batter will become too soft, and your cookies will not be beautiful and puffy. They will resemble pancakes. 
-Don't sift the flour.
-There is usually a notable difference between using a convection and a standard oven. If you bake at the same temperature, for the same amount of time, the convection cookie will be done, with a beautiful, golden, slightly crispy outer layer. Still soft on the inside. And it will be taller than the cookie baked in a standard oven. Not everyone has a convection oven- if you don't, you can still bake a great cookie using a standard oven!
-I think two of the biggest mistakes made while baking cookies are:
1-Over mixing. This will cause the batter have too much air incorporated, producing a fluffy, instead of a chewy cookie.
2- Over bakingUnder baking is good! Not under baked to the point the cookie is wet and doughy, but just until the top sets, and the dough looks like it has a bit of a crust.
-Chocolate chips - For semi sweet,  I use Nestle Semi Sweet chips. You can't go wrong here. But for Milk Chocolate, we prefer Guittard . The chips are called Maxi Chips and are sold in a silver colored bag.
-If the cookie spreads too much, or the edges are not even, I take a small spatula and push the edges inward to create a cookie that is round. This has to be done immediately after removing from the oven. 
- High Altitude info: Not recommended-directions on Nestle Choc Chip package for high altitude- I have tried this variation, and don't like the result. The cookies aren't quite sweet enough, and have a crispy more cake like texture. Here are the directions on the package: (again I do NOT recommend using this method, but have printed it here as an FYI)  Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
-Last tip. Mound the cookie into a ball. I make them about the size of a golf ball. I use a cookie scoop, because it's easier for me. For years, I just used a spoon, and then shaped them by hand. Make sure to flatten the cookie just a bit before baking. To yield 18 cookies use a  2 1/4 inch scoop.