Sunday, July 26, 2015

Triple Chocolate Espresso Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Espresso Chip Cookies

Once again it's be a very long time since I updated this blog. Can you tell that my life is not conducive to blogging at the moment? Anyway, yesterday I had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookies and when I was thinking about making some I remembered that I had picked up some cacao nibs from HEB's Central Market when we were down there last week. So, I did a web search for something that looked like what I wanted but I couldn't find anything :( Then I remembered an episode of one of my favorite cooking shows, The Pioneer Woman, where Ree made some awesome looking chocolate chunk cookies with browned butter in them. So I started with her recipe (found here: Chocolate Chunk Cookies ) and built from there. I really am liking the results so I thought I'd share the recipe here on my blog so it can be saved for the next time I'm feeling like I need something like this :) I truly hope to be able to share some more recipes on this blog in the near future, including some I use in my job at the church where I started working last fall as the Wednesday night meal coordinator/church hostess. My job revolves around feeding people so what better way to share some of those recipes and ideas than here on my blog! Anyway, here's the recipe from yesterday's experiment. Sorry I don't have any pictures to share but my kitchen is such a mess I just didn't take any pictures to document :) 

Triple Chocolate Espresso Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (heaping) instant espresso granules (I like Medaglia Doro
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour PLUS
2 tbsp all-purpose flour, rounded
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz chocolate chips (I use Guittard semi sweet)
1/2 cup cacao nibs (These were the ones I used Valrhona Grue Cacao Nibs  )

Melt 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to bubble, swirling the pan to keep it moving. You will probably see two separate sets of bubbling. After the second set, watch carefully and remove the pan when the butter reaches a medium golden brown color. Be careful at this point because it goes from browned to black quickly! Pour the butter and anything in the pan into a heatproof bowl and stash in the fridge until completely cool. Allow the other stick of butter to soften on the countertop while the browned butter cools.

Once the browned butter is thoroughly cooled, combine with the softened regular butter in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, espresso powder, cocoa powder and salt until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture in small increments until all combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and cacao nibs.

Scoop the dough with a cookie scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet and park in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will help keep the cookies from spreading too much. Towards the end of the hour, preheat the oven to 375F. Transfer cookie dough balls onto another parchment lined cookie sheet leaving 2" between each and then bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 

Serve with a cold glass of milk and enjoy!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The absolute best mocha ice cream in the world!

So I have been absolutely awful at keeping this blog going. Life goes on and this goes to the bottom of the list. But today I was typing this recipe into my Mastercook program and I realized that I had never shared it before. This recipe comes from one of those supermarket "bonus" cookbooks. You know the kind that you used to be able to get at the grocery if you bought a certain item (or items)? I collect old cookbooks of all kinds and have a bunch of these "pamphlet" type cookbooks from various food companies. This one is from Folgers coffee and was published in 1980. It's called, aptly enough, "Cooking with Coffee". Anyway, this recipe is one that my grandparents used to make and I LOVE it. If you've ever had the pleasure to have Graeters ice cream (made in Ohio!) with it's "chips" you'll understand what the chocolate chips in this are like. They're more like chocolate slivers with some chunks when you don't pour it steadily. Super yummy but not "chips" like you'd find in chocolate chip cookies. I'm sharing the recipe as written in the cookbook but since the cookbook was published, ice cream makers have come a long way. Now, instead of pouring the chocolate into the chilled mixture and stirring, I start my ice cream maker up and pour it in once the ice cream starts to thicken. Then the ice cream maker does the stirring for me and I think the chocolate comes out better inside. I also half the recipe to use my smaller ice cream maker. Anyway, wanted to share this yummy treat while I was thinking of it. Hope you give it a try!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Mocha Chip Ice Cream

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 16    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    :

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2 1/2           cups  sugar
     1/4           cup  cornstarch
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
  4               cups  coffee -- strong-brewed
  6              whole  eggs -- slightly beaten
  4               cups  whipping cream
  2          teaspoons  vanilla
  3             ounces  unsweetened chocolate

In a large saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir into the coffee. Cook and stir over low heat till thickened and bubbly. Stir about half the hot mixture into beaten eggs; return all to hot mixture. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Chill. Add the whipping cream and the vanilla. In small heavy saucepan melt chocolate over low heat. While the chocolate is still hot, pour it very slowly into the chilled coffee mixture, stirring constantly. Freeze in 5-quart ice cream freezer according to manufacturer's directions. Let ripen for 4 hours. Makes about 1 gallon ice cream.

  "Pouring hot, melted chocolate into the chilled creamy coffee mixture results in tiny flecks of chocolate throughout the rich and smooth ice cream"
  "1 gallon"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 392 Calories; 27g Fat (59.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 161mg Cholesterol; 118mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 5 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Mini Muffins

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Mini Muffins

I haven't been keeping this blog up-to-date but after posting a picture yesterday on Instagram & Facebook for these Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Mini Muffins I was asked by a couple of friends for the recipe so thought I'd post it here for anyone who's interested.  This makes 48 so you could half it. I just went ahead and made the full recipe and freeze the extras for later :) Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Mini Muffins

adapted from recipe at

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk
4 large eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 bag of Nestles dark chocolate/mint chips (or a combination of both dark chocolate and mint chips like Andes)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
3. Combine the milk and the melted butter. Then add the oil, and finally whisk in the beaten eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.
4. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners, then lightly spray with cooking spray to keep from sticking.
5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix until just combined. The batter should be visibly lumpy. Don't overmix!
6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold chips into the batter. Don't overwork the batter.
7. Carefully spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. I use my smallest cookie scoop.
8. Bake 12-14 minutes or until the top of the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
9. Remove pan from the oven and let the muffins cool for five minutes in the pan. Then remove the muffins from the pan and let them cool another five minutes on a wire rack.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Sugar Cookies

Last week was the "Fall Festival" at Emma's preschool and we signed up to bring cookies for her class party. We had seen this cute idea on Follow Me on Pinterest and I just KNEW we needed to make these cookies. So, using my very favorite sugar cookie dough recipe, we did. I made a double batch of the dough and divided each batch into two parts and colored each a different color so we ended up with yellow, orange, red and brown. We let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight and the next day Emma and I set to work making the cookies. We broke the dough up into small pieces and "sprinkled" them over a sheet of parchment paper. We then topped it with another sheet of parchment and rolled the colors all together. Once the colors were joined together, we cut out fall leaves and acorns and baked them as directed. They were a big hit at school!

"Lumps" of dough, stuck together and ready for rolling

Cutting out the dough after rolling

Cookies ready for baking!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Making Pasta!

Continuing on with the pasta and dumplings chapter for this month's

My three year old and I decided to tackle plain old "egg" pasta and try out both my new King Arthur Perfect Pasta Blend and my "new-to-me" pasta maker (this one: Imperia Pasta Machine Deluxe Set ) It was a lot of fun! We used the recipe on the back of the pasta flour bag, which is very close to the one in The Professional Chef. In addition to the basic recipe below, I added about 1/2 tsp of freshly ground "Italian Herb Seasoning" from McCormick's grinder.

Here's the recipe:

King Arthur Flour's Perfect Pasta

3 cups Perfect Pasta Flour Blend
4 large eggs
2 to 4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup flour (use this to flour your work surface and dough)

Place the Perfect Pasta Blend into a food processor, bread machine or bowl. Mix in the 4 large eggs all at once. Once mixed, knead adding only enough water to form a smooth dough. Form the dough into a rectangle, about 1" thick, wrap well and set aside for 30 minutes or so,  allowing it to rest. Once it has rested, flour both sides of the dough rectangle and run it  through your pasta machine on the thickest setting. Repeat the process, flouring as necessary and gradually reducing the thickness setting until the desired thickness is reached. To do this by hand simply use a rolling pin and roll out to the desired thickness, being sure to keep both sides of the dough well floured. Cut into shapes by hand or by machine and toss with flour to prevent sticking. Hang in individual strands or arrange into small nests and allow to dry.

To cook: Boil 4 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon salt. Drop the pasta in to cook. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the pasta has cooked but is still slightly firm. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly, so keep an eye on it. Remove from the water and toss with a bit of oil or sauce.

Yield: 1.5 lbs dough (approx. 4 servings).

Just 4 ingredients: Perfect Pasta flour, eggs, water and Italian Seasoning

Pour the beaten eggs into a well in the middle of the flour
Enlist the help of a 3 year old! Since they don't make small enough food gloves, we put plastic bags over her hands...
A little dancing always makes cooking more fun!

Use a fork to incorporate the eggs into the flour
When it gets thick enough, use your hands to get all that flour into the dough
Make sure to let your helper in on the action
Pat it out to about an inch thick
Ready to rest
Feed it through the machine on the thickest setting
Continue feeding through, reducing width on machine to desired thickness. I went to the 3rd stop for the fettuccine and the 2nd stop for the spaghetti
Fettuccine drying on the rack

Spaghetti "nests"
So, what did I learn while making pasta this round? First, cut the pasta sheets to a manageable size when feeding through the machine! It's hard to try and keep it all separated and neat when the sheets are too long.  Second, if you're going to make "spaghetti" which is thin, cook it fresh. Dried, it crumbled too much and ended up in small "chicken noodle soup" noodles. Next time I'll make and cook it the same day. Third, don't use too heavy a sauce with spaghetti as it is delicate. I haven't cooked the fettuccine yet, but will use a heavier sauce with it since it's hardier.  All in all this was a good test and tasted fabulous! I'd forgotten how easy it is to make fresh pasta and now that I remember may do it more often!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Butterhorns from a master sweet dough recipe

I've entered this post in this week's

Come join the fun!

Yesterday I saw a post on the wonderful blog Life As Mom for a master sweet dough recipe with several awesome looking sweet bread results and I just KNEW I needed to make it! So, I did! I made one batch of dough yesterday and made 2 round braided loaves (placing one in the freezer for later) and 16 chocolate butterhorns (freezing 8 of those). I let one loaf and 8 crescents rise and then baked them. They were beautiful AND delicious! After that success, I knew I needed to try it with one of our favorite combinations... Nutella and toffee chips! So, check out the original bread machine recipe on 

and then see below for my changes and adaptations!

Dough ingredients
To the basic ingredients I added 1 tsp vanilla extract and also used sea salt instead of regular. I also "preheated" the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave to keep it from being too cold for the yeast...

The dough after bread machine dough cycle

Divide the dough into quarters

Roll out to a 12" round (yes, mine's more of a square...)

Cut the "circle" into 8 "triangles"

For my "Nutella" version, I used Nutella spread and Heath Bits O' Brickle toffee

Spread the Nutella onto the wedges and then sprinkle with toffee bits

Roll into crescent shapes and place on parchment paper to rise for 45 minutes.

Here is the "chocolate chip" version

Out of the oven and ready to eat!

Yum! The inside of one of the chocolate chip ones

Now that I've tried the nutella version, I think I'm gonna give them a try with some of my maple almond butter (from Justin's Nut Butters)  and drizzle with maple glaze...The possibilities are really endless!

Oh, and here is a picture of the braided loaf from yesterday!!!

Round braided cinnamon sugar bread