Chocolate Chubbies

Recently I was forced to take a day off from work and stay home to nurse Marshmellow’s nasty cold.

[Side note: as a mom, I have the hardest time deciding when a kid should stay home.  I mean…it’s a cold, right?  And the germs were more potent the week before we even knew there was an illness looming.  But the cough that morning sounded kinda nasty and she gave me sad puppy dog eyes.  So I changed back into my pajamas.]

The time at home gave me a chance to catch up on old emails and all of the blogs I like to follow.   Blogs are like a drug.  And they feed into the HGTV syndrome.  You know the one.  The one where you watch other people being creative and awesome and you immediately want to do it yourself, but you know in the long run it will never turn out as good so you don’t even bother.  Yeah, that one.  But baking is something I can do!

“Hey Marshmellow, what feel-better treat would you like mommy to make you?”

“What are my choices?”

“Anything you want!  Cookies, cake, bars, a special lunch.  Anything.”

“I do like cake…but…I like cookies too.  What kind of cookies would you make?”

“That’s up to you sweetie.  What ingredient do you want?”

“CHOCOLATE!”

Back to the computer I went in search of different chocolate cookie recipes.  Marshmellow quickly followed and helped in the selection process.  We eventually came down to two choices: Chocolate Chubbies and Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies, both found on Serious Eats.

We determined that there was TONS of chocolate in the Chocolate Chubbies, so they won.  This time.

After a quick run to the grocery store, I was back in the kitchen.  I sent Marshmellow to the couch for some rest, which allowed me to go about my merry way.  All. By.  Myself.

I find the whole baking process to be very therapeutic.  Especially if I am allowed to do it without kids fighting over which ingredient they get to pour in, who gets to stir, they’ve had the spoon longer, I wanted that one….  I also find the smell of melting chocolate intoxicating.  And who can resist warm cookies?

I never can remember.  Is is starve a cold, feed a fever or feed a cold, starve a fever? Actually, who cares?  I find both of them to be ridiculous.  Who ever thought starving a sick person was a good idea anyway?

Marshmellow and I enjoyed a few warm Chocolate Chubbies and snuggled together on the couch.  I’d say the feel-better treat was a big hit.

Eat.  And enjoy every bite.

sam

Chocolate Chubbies

Makes: 2 dozen cookies

Recipe from Serious Eats

1 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

  • Preheat over to 350° F
  • Line your baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Melt the butter on the stove using a double-boiler.  Add the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate, stirring often, until all chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Sift the flour, baking powers and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Whip the eggs using the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the eggs are foamy and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, then vanilla.  Whip until the eggs are very thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to medium and add the cooled chocolate until incorporated.
  • Place the paddle attachment on the mixer and reduce speed to low.  Slowly add the flour mixture.
  • Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the chocolate chips, pecans and walnuts until well mixed.  The dough will be soft.
  • Scoop batter onto pans about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake immediately if you want your cookies to look shiny.
  • Bake 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.  The cookies will be done with the edges release easily, even if the center seems underdone.

BTS Tip:

My first batch I just dropped the dough on the pans.  The second batch I rolled them.  I personally like the look of the rolled ones better.

Since these were the feel-better treat, I went all out and bought Ghiradelli chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate bars.  This made this little cookies ridiculous expensive.  Next time, I’ll try the store brand chocolate.  I bet they taste just as awesome.

My office raved about these cookies…so I think these are approved to serve at gatherings.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Remember how I said that Annie’s Eats was my current favorite food blog?  Well, I’m here to show you just another sweet reason it should be yours too.

My husband, aka. The Banker, is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.  He likes things simple.   He prefers his dessert to be chocolate cake from a box with chocolate frosting from the tub.  He rolls his eyes when I opt to use my creative side while baking.  [I get the full head shake when the camera comes out.]  He finds it quite unnecessary.  Pillsbury does it just fine for him.  But if I insist on stepping outside of the box, it better be something he might like.

It was a Saturday morning and I wanted to tap my kitchen creativity.  So I gave him a stack of my printed off recipes that I wanted to try.  I watched him flip through the pages, occasionally looking up at me like I was a nut job.  Apparently, anything with a fruit in the title is an unacceptable dessert. But then…

Chocolate Cake + Peanut Butter Frosting = Approved

This time, it was The Banker who picked a Annie’s Eats recipe.  It was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake and you can click on over to her recipe here.  I was initially pulled in by her beautiful presentation of this handsome cake on wood pedestal.  And with peanut butter cups sitting on top, I figured it might be a winner for The Banker.

In preparing my grocery store list, I discovered there were three sticks of butter in the cake and another three sticks of butter in the frosting.  Dear Lord, that’s a pound and a half of BUTTER!  I kept waiting to see that this was a Paula Dean recipe.  Nope.  Just a lot of butta.

Outside of all that butter, I knew this was going to be a good cake since she calls for sour cream AND instant coffee powder.  Two key ingredients for making a tasty and moist chocolate cake.  The only instant coffee powder I had in the house was Starbucks Vanilla VIA.  I figured if vanilla extract is good, a little vanilla coffee can’t hurt.  And it didn’t.

Tip: always add some instant coffee in with your water for any chocolate cake you make.  You can thank me later.  [And no, it doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee.  The Banker was very concerned about this the first time he saw me doing this.]

Tip:  if you have a little helper in the kitchen who insists on cracking eggs, use a separate bowl.  This is also a good suggestion if you are just a sloppy egg-cracker.  Don’t be ashamed, just plan ahead.  And to get those pesky egg shells out, wet your finger before you start fishing.  It really works.

Tip:  When baking with round pans, it is always best to use parchment paper to line the bottoms.  It prevents the top of the cake from sticking to the pan.  I like to start with lining and dusting my pans before I touch my other ingredients. Perhaps I should have opened with this tip.

When the cakes make it into the oven, it’s time to tackle the peanut butter frosting.  Mmmm… just let that sink in for  a minute.  Peanut.  Butter.  Frosting.

Okay, I’ll admit I could not bring myself to use another three sticks of butter.  First of all, that’s just a ton of butter.  Also, I was only making a two layer cake rather than the three layer cake the recipe was set up for.  I figured I didn’t need as much frosting.  I also cut down the amount of cream and powdered sugar to balance it all out.

Tip:  Annie suggests changing the measurements if you aren’t using three 8-inch cake pans.  I think it causes unnecessary brain damage to change 1 1/4 tsp of baking soda by a third.  That’s just too many fractions for this scatterbrain.

Tip:  fill what ever pans you are using about 2/3 full, leaving room for the cake batter to expand, but not overflow.  [A mistake I have made.]  Make cupcakes with any left over batter.  I used two 9-inch cake pans and was able to make about 10 cupcakes.

Eat:  And enjoy every bite!

Now I realize I’ve done two desserts.  I’ll try to balance this out and pick a different food group from a different blog for my next food post.

sam