Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

My daughter loves to bake with me. Last weekend, she asked if we could make some cookies. So I pulled up my Pinterest cookie board and told her to pick one.  She is a total chocolate lover like her mom, so these were an easy choice for her.  Chocolate + cookies + M&Ms? It doesn’t get much better for a 6-year-old.   We set to work, her measuring and pouring and then her aunt called.  She is crazy about her aunt, so the cookie idea was quickly abandoned for girl talk.  She was sad that after her 20 minute phone call, I had finished the batter and had a sheet in the oven.  Well, the type A in me could not leave cookie dough unfinished.  But, no worries. All was forgiven when she tasted this cookie.  Sammie said “I have to say, my taste buds went on a yummy trip”.  I love this girl!  And I have to agree. These were some delicious cookies. The cookie base was very brownie-like and chewy. The M&Ms gave a nice pop of chocolate flavor and just look adorable anyways.  This one is definitely a keeper. A good lunch box cookie for sure. 

Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate M&M Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies.  I only got 18.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder   I used Valrhona Dutch Processed
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini M&Ms   I used 3/4 cups:   1/2 cup for the dough and 1/4 cup to press into the top of the dough

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.  I never bake more than one batch of cookies at a time.

In a medium bowl, sift the following together:  flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.  I almost never sift, but when cocoa powder is involved, I do because it is always so lumpy. In the bowl of your KitchenAid with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy, ~3 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla.  With the mixer on low,  add the dry ingredients a little at a time, beating until just combined.  Stir in the mini M&M’s by hand with a rubber spatula.  I would add about 1/2 cup to dough and reserve 1/4 cup to press into the top of the cookies after they are portioned. They look prettier this way.

Using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Press the reserved M&Ms into the top of each ball. About 5 or 6 should do it. Bake for about 8 minutes (rotating your cookie sheet(s) halfway) or until the edges of the cookies are set.  The centers may look a bit underdone – but they will finish baking on the cookie sheet. Please do not over bake! No one likes dry, burnt cookies.  Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets.  Remove the cookies from the sheets and allow to cool completely, if you can wait, on a wire rack.

Source:  Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Brownie pudding

Last month, I made myself this hot fudge pudding cake for my birthday.  It was so delicious that Jack and Sammie haven’t stopped talking about it since.  I thought about making the same cake again, but then I remembered Ina’s brownie pudding, that I made a few years ago, was very similar.  I love that this pudding is made from pantry staples and honestly, it only takes 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops, to prepare the batter.  Then you pop it in the oven, and like magic, a crispy, crusted brownie develops on top with a thick, rich, deep dark chocolate pudding on the bottom.  How easy it that?  All that is missing now is a big scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

I totally love Ina, but I can’t help but think that these it’s fine memes are hilarious. 😀  In every recipe she writes, she calls for “good” ingredients, those used in the Hamptons, I suppose.  This recipe is no different as she asks for good cocoa, which to Ina, is Pernigotti.   I have made this pudding with the “good cocoa” and it was delicious.  This time I used Hershey’s Special Dark and it was fine.  Well, better than fine.  Sammie says it was divine.  Apparently she learned that adjective from the cooking lady, AKA Giada.  Gosh, how I love that girl!  Another thing you’ll notice about Ina’s recipes, is that she always uses extra large eggs, a carryover from her catering days.  I almost never have them because large eggs are used in essentially every other recipe but Ina’s.  A few times, I bought them specifically for one of her recipes and then had to scramble the rest.  But, here I substituted 4 large eggs for the 4 extra large eggs and it was fine. ;D   The pudding has to be cooked in a water bath, so make sure you have a big enough pan to put your baking dish in.  I couldn’t find my big roasting pan anywhere because the baby likes to push his stuffed dog around in it or he likes to sit in it like a sled.  So, I had to make do with a 13 x9 Pyrex, but it was a close fit with all the water.  Oh well, it worked.  At least this time I had all of my measuring cups.  Some of them were missing for about a week, until I found them hidden in the griddle box (Alex!!) when I went to make pancakes.  Wow, it is so much easier to measure by the cup than by third cups.

How does one read brownie pudding and not want to make it?  It is quick and easy.  It tastes divine.  I know you have the ingredients….

Brownie Pudding

Yield: 2 quart casserole

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish

4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature  I used 4 large eggs and it was fine

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup good dutch processed cocoa powder    I used Hershey’s Dark

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

I added a pinch of espresso powder

1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional   I omitted

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish.  Melt the 1/2 pound of butter in the microwave. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on med-high speed for ~ 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together to remove the lumps. Set aside.

When the egg-sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low.  Add the vanilla seeds, framboise (if using), and the cocoa-flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter.  Mix again just until combined.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish. Place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish.  Bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked.  This dessert is between a brownie and a pudding- so it should.

Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor From Simple Ingredients   by Ina Garten

Double Chocolate and Mint Cookies

Okay, so I am not the only one in my family addicted to the Food Network.  Believe it or not, my 5 year old daughter, Sammie, is in love with Giada, AKA the Cooking Lady.  You know your daughter watches too much Giada at Home when she says spaghetti with an Italian accent, she pretends she is cooking using ingredients like extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest and finally when she asks “Can you live without olive oil”?  Apparently, the Cooking Lady says you can’t. 😀  Oh, how I love my little girl.

The other day we were watching Giada and she made these delicious looking double chocolate and mint cookies.  Sammie has always loved Andes mints.  In fact, it is her favorite part of a meal at Olive Garden.  Even better than the bread sticks?  Umm, no, I don’t think so.  These cookies reminded me of a mint version of the Chocolate Dreams I made a few weeks ago.  The cookie is super soft and fudgy, almost brownie-like in texture.   First you taste the rich chocolate of the cookie and then you bite into a warm, melted Andes mint…Mmmm.  I think the Cooking Lady maybe on to something. 😀

Double Chocolate and Mint Cookies

Yield: 12 cookies

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet (60-percent) chocolate chopped  I used Callebaut semi-sweet

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa   I used Valrhone dutch processed cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

One 5-ounce package chocolate mint thins, such as Andes, each cut into thirds  Or you can buy the Andes chips to make it easier on yourself.  I couldn’t find any at the store.  I think they are more seasonal.

Place 1 oven rack in the center of the oven and 1 oven rack in the bottom third and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the bittersweet chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  As usual, I just melted the chocolate and butter carefully in the microwave.  Just make sure to stop before the chocolate is completely melted and use the residual heat to finish the job.  Or else the chocolate may burn and taste bitter.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, 2 tablespoons water and vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Fold in the cooled chocolate. Stir in the chocolate mint pieces. Chill the dough 10 minutes to firm slightly. Using 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop 6 mounds of batter onto each prepared sheet, spacing evenly apart.

Bake the cookies 9 minutes. Reverse the baking sheets (top to bottom) and continue baking until the cookies are slightly puffed and dry looking with some small cracks on top, 9 to 10 minutes longer. Cool the cookies completely on sheets (they may deflate slightly as they cool).

Source:  Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis


Southern Living’s Fudge Pie

With my husband out for the afternoon, I thought it would be fun to surprise Jack and Sammie with a chocolatey treat.  I was looking through Classic Southern Desserts  and when I came to the picture of fudge pie, I was stopped dead in my tracks.   Like most people I love brownies and I love pie.  Not much could be better than a combination of the two.   I don’t make pie very often, mostly because I don’t always have time to make a homemade crust.  But, this pie has no crust.  How great is that?  You just make a simple brownie batter with ingredients that most people probably already have on hand and if you like, add a sprinkling of pecans.  I am a brownie purist, so I left them out.  Instead, I decided to throw in some mini chocolate chips to add some little pockets of melted chocolate goodness.   The batter is poured in a pie plate and baked.  It really is as easy as that.  I like to pull my pie out of the oven a little bit underdone, so I can achieve maximum gooeyness.  When it is still warm, it is best served with a big ol’ scoop of your favorite ice cream and a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup.  I called Jack and Sammie to the table for a surprise.   When they arrived, with their eyes large and fixated on the pie, they both asked “Why do we get to eat dessert before dinner?”  Do you guys really want to question me on this?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  Grab some forks and let’s eat!

Fudge Pie

3/4 cup butter or margarine

3 (1-ounce) unsweetened chocolate squares   I used Callebaut

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted and divided  optional

1/4 to 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips  optional

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often until melted.   I put the cut butter and chopped chocolate in a bowl and microwaved them carefully until almost all melted, then let the residual heat melt the rest of the chocolate.

Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Gradually add chocolate mixture, flour, and vanilla, beating until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans (if using) and mini chips (if using).

Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is firm. Cool. Top each serving with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Source: Classic Southern Desserts:  All-Time Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Puddings, Cobblers, Ice Cream and More

Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Fudgy brownies with peanut butter frosting.  The End.  😀  Ha!

I love Bon Appetit and since I love to bake, I especially love the Bon Appetit Dessert Cookbook.  It has more than 600 of the magazine’s best dessert recipes from over 50 years.   600!  How the heck was I going to choose where to start?  I was flipping through the book, when I got drawn in, yet again, to my favorite combination and I just had to make chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting.  Although the brownies come together quickly, the problem is waiting for them to cool so you can slather them with the peanut butter frosting.  My son loved these so much, I think he had at least 5 brownies yesterday, making mmm noises with each bite.  I love that!  It reminds me of the hilarious dinner scene in What About Bob?.  And really, who ever asks for a salt substitute?  😀

Anyways, these are too dangerous to have in the house, so I had to send most of them away with my husband for his first period students.  The kids are so funny.  They check my blog and see if I made something that Justin might bring to school.  They’ll come to class and say, “We saw that your wife made cookies. Where are they?”.  Then, they are so sad if Justin comes to school empty handed.  But, not today.  Today they will be so happy because Justin brought peanut butter frosted brownies and they are fabulous! 😀

Brownies

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped     I used Callebaut Semisweet

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving 2-inch overhang on both short sides. Spray foil with nonstick spray. Combine both chocolates and butter in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. I melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave.  Cool to barely lukewarm. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in large bowl on high speed until mixture thickens and is pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; beat in flour and salt, then melted chocolate mixture. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan.
Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs still attached, about 20 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack; cool 15 minutes. Press gently on edges of brownies to level with center. Cool completely in baking pan.
Frosting
Combine peanut butter and butter in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well blended and smooth. Spread frosting evenly over brownies in pan. I found an offset spatula to work best.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Using foil as aid, lift out brownies from pan. Cut into squares. Clean the knife as necessary to keep your slices neat.
DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Black Bottom Mini Brownie Cups

The only thing better than plain brownies is brownies with a cheesecake and chocolate chip swirl.  Then, you go and bake them up in a mini muffin tin to get the cutest little mouth poppable cheesecake brownie bites. Pretty perfect right?  As usual, this is a super easy recipe.  You make the cheesecake batter in the food processor and the brownie batter is mixed by hand.  Just be certain to spray the muffin wells liberally for easy removal.  I found that a spoon was the easiest way pop them out of the pan.  These do sink in a bit in the middle, creating a perfect cup for ice cream or a rich chocolate sauce.   The author, Nancy Baggett, says she bakes them in a mini muffin pan because they are so rich.  I don’t know, I didn’t have any problem eating 4 in one sitting.   Embarrased smileEmbarrased smile

Black Bottom Mini Brownie Cups

Yield:  24 mini brownie cups

Cream Cheese Layer:

3 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened and cubed

2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup (3oz) mini semisweet chocolate chips

Brownie layer:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed (1/2 stick)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate. coarsely chopped

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour — LESS 1 Tablespoon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2-12 cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray.  I suggest a spray with flour and spray well!!!

The cream cheese layer:  In food processor, beat cream cheese, sugar, butter, egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. By hand, stir in the mini chocolate chips; set aside.  (Or, in a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add the butter, egg yolk, and vanilla, and continue beating until smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips)

The brownie layer:  In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate on 50% power x 1 minute.  Stir well.  Continue microwaving on 50% power, stirring at 30 second intervals.  Stop microwaving before the chocolate completely melts and let the residual heat finish the job.

Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until well blended; cool until warm. In a small bowl, thoroughly stir flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. Beat the egg, 1 Tbsp of water and vanilla into chocolate mixture until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until evenly incorporated..

Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate mixture into each prepared muffin cup.  Spoon 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture over the tops, dividing it equally among the cups.  Spoon the remaining chocolate mixture equally over the cream cheese mixture.  Take caution not to overfill.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 11 – 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Place muffin pans on a wire rack to cool.

Gently loosen brownie cups with point of a knife; remove from the pan. I found a spoon to be easier.  Store in airtight container for up to 4 days; or freeze up to 1 month.

Source:  The All-American Cookie Book

Inside-Out S’mores Brownies

When I think of s’mores, I immediately think back to camping with the girl scouts.  I can’t say I’m much of the camping type…well, really not at all.  But, back in the day, we slept on cots, in cabins with wooden floors and cooked all of our food on the campfire.  To me, that was really roughing it.  😀  I remember grilling hotdogs on sticks, fruit cobbler made in a dutch oven covered by coals, and eating s’mores while listening to ghost stories.  It was a long time ago, and I don’t remember much, but of course, I remember the food.

The cold Chicago winters don’t keep me from grilling dinner outside.  I love grilled food!  But, even I’m not crazy enough to go out in the snow and heat up the grill just to make s’mores.  So, I just have to be creative and somehow make indoor s’mores.  I was looking through the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens and I saw these inside-out s’more brownies.  Basically you make an easy stove top brownie batter, divide it in half, and layer graham crackers and marshmallows in the middle.  It develops the cutest cobblestone top from the brownie batter covering the marshmallows.  So, you get all the familiar flavors of a s’more, while staying nice and toasty inside.  Who says you can’t have s’mores in the winter? Not me. 😀

Inside-Out S’mores Brownies

Yield: a 7 x 11 pan

1/2 cup butter

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

9 honey graham cracker squares

1 cup tiny marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 11 x 7 x 1 1/2-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan. Set pan aside.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour.

Spread half the batter in the prepared pan. Top with graham crackers (divide as needed to evenly top the batter). Sprinkle marshmallows on the graham crackers, but do not let them touch the sides of the pan. Carefully spread the remaining batter on the marshmallows and graham crackers, covering them completely.  I kind of drizzled the batter on top covering as much of the marshmallows as I could, then I went back, and spread what wasn’t covered with a spatula.

Bake brownies for 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens February 2012

Peanut Butter Candy Mini Brownie Cups

A few months back, I was eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and my daughter Sammie asked if she could have a bite because she never had one before.  Well now, how can this be that my poor, deprived, 4 year old daughter had never tried a Reese’s cup?   In my defense, it wasn’t for lack of trying.  😀  Every offer was met with the insistence “No, I hate peanut butter!”.  I can still see her face as she took her first bite.  Her eyes lit up and with every bite she exclaimed “This is delicious!”. Well, duh!!   Is there really any better combination than chocolate and peanut butter?  When I saw these brownie cups, I instantly thought of Sammie and how much she would enjoy them.  The base is a rich chocolate brownie with a bit of peanut butter to kick it up a notch.  (Sorry, I watch way too much Food Network.)  Then, when they are hot out of the oven, you press a peanut butter cup into each one, melting it into the center.  If you’re still reading this…you shouldn’t be.   You really should be in your kitchen making some of these brownie bites! 😀 Yum.

Peanut Butter Candy Mini Brownie Cups

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks

2 oz unsweetened chocolate, broken up or coarsely chopped

1 oz semisweet chocolate, broken up or coarsely chopped

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter (optional- you may want to leave out if you use Rolos)

1 tsp vanilla

24 Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups or Rolos, thoroughly chilled and unwrapped.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease two 12-cup mini muffin pans or coat with nonstick spray.

In a medium, microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolates and butter on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir well. Continue microwaving on 50% power, stirring at 30 second intervals.  Stop when most of the chocolate has melted (but some solids remain) and allow the residual heat melt the rest. Do not overheat! Alternatively, you could use a double boiler.

Stir sugar into the chocolate mixture until well blended.  Let cool until just warm.  In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.  Beat the egg and peanut butter (if using) into the chocolate mixture.  Add the vanilla and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth and shiny.  Stir in the flour mixture until all is incorporated.  Spoon the batter evenly into the mini muffin cups.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 to 14 minutes (start to check at 8 minutes), or until almost firm when pressed in the centers.  Do not over bake.  Immediately press one peanut butter cup or Rolo, smaller end down, into the center of each brownie until flush with the surface.  Transfer the muffin tins to a wire rack and let stand until the brownie cups are completely cool.  Gently loosen the brownie cups with a butter knife or spoon, and remove them from the pan.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month.

Source: The All-American Cookie Book

Also, check out Sweet as Sugar Cookies, for her Sweets for Saturday Roundup.  Three of my recipes are featured, along with more than 100 other delicious looking recipes!

Flour Bakery’s Intense Chocolate Brownies

There is always a debate going on between brownie lovers: fudgy or cakey?  I think Joanne Chang, the author of Flour, has the perfect answer to this question.  “If I want a piece of chocolate cake, I pull out the mixer and cake flour and make a chocolate cake.  And if fudge is what I have a hankering for,  I grab the candy thermometer and make fudge.”  So, Flour’s Intense Chocolate Brownies aim for the middle, giving you the best of both worlds.   This brownie is a perfect showcase for good chocolate, so I used Callebaut here.  The brownies should be a bit underbaked to maintain the fudgy-cakey texture or they will just be cakey, but still delicious.  So if you think you know the answer to the question…cakey? fudgy?  Give these brownies a try and I think you might agree that the correct answer is both.

Intense Chocolate Brownies:

Yield: 9 x 13 inch pan of brownies

5.5 oz (155 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2.5 oz (70 grams) bittersweet chocolate (62-70% cacao), chopped

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (1 & 3/4 sticks/200 grams) unsalted butter, melted

5 eggs

2 cups (400 grams) sugar

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Position the oven rack to the middle and preheat to 325°F.  Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  (I lined it with aluminum foil with overhang  first, so I could easily remove them from the pan and cut them.)

Place the unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.  Place over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring continuously, until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat, whisk in the melted butter until well combined and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the eggs in a mixer bowl and fit mixer with the whisk attachment.  On low, slowly beat in the sugar for 1 minute, or until frothy and somewhat thick.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Using the spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture into the egg-chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined.  Do not over mix.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer with the spatula. (Batter will be thick)

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes- but start checking at about 20 minutes.  They are done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few wet crumbs on it.  If there is still liquid batter on the tester, they need more time.  If the tester comes out clean, they are cooked through and will be just cakey (not fudgy too).  Let them cool for 2 hours.  They are so moist, they need this time to firm up enough to cut.

Source:Flour:  Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe

Helpful Hints:

  • I used the weight measurements in grams to make the brownies. If you own a food scale, this is really the most accurate way to bake.  I have this Oxo scale and love it!!  I had this scale for almost a year before I finally decided to use it. Embarrased smile  For some reason I was afraid, I guess because I have baked with measuring cups my whole life.  I’m not so good with change.  But, believe it or not, it is so much easier to just pour ingredients into a bowl and weigh them, than fill up cup after cup of dry ingredients.  Especially when you double or triple a recipe.  So many times I have lost track of how many cups I put in, usually because I have kids running underfoot or asking me questions. 😀 And, it is so much more accurate, you will immediately notice a vast improvement in the quality of your baked goods!
  •  Watch the brownies carefully. You want them slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven.  There should still be some wet crumbs on the toothpick.

Hot Chocolate Chip Brownie Sundae Cake

The fudge filled chocolate chip cookies were so good and sadly, now gone. 😦  This is not a house that goes a day without dessert, so I had to find something to make and fast! Encouraged by the success of the cookies, I decided to try another recipe from one of Elinor Klivan’s books, The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook.  I was reading through so many delicious looking recipes, but then stopped at hot chocolate chip brownie sundae cakes. If the name doesn’t grab you, then you need to see the picture. I just knew my kids would go crazy for them!

Have you ever been eating a dessert and every bite think to yourself, this is so good, I can’t believe I made this! Well, this is one of those desserts. The cakes are baked in 6 ounce ramekins, so everyone gets their very own. It’s funny how this somehow makes the dessert seem more special. What you end up with is a cross between a brownie and a cake. It is super moist and then has a big pool of melted chocolate in the middle that flows down the cake as you eat it. The recipe makes six servings, which is perfect because Jack, Sammie and I enjoyed it the first night and then looked forward to dessert tomorrow. About 45 seconds in the microwave and they were just as good as they were yesterday. Whether you choose mint chocolate chip like Jack, plain vanilla like Sammie, or your favorite flavor, it will be a delicious accompaniment to the warm, gooey cake and chocolate sauce.  What makes this dessert even better though, is that it is made with ingredients that most have on hand and it’s quick! In less than 45 minutes, you have a delicious and impressive chocolate dessert.  If you are really ahead of the game, you can even make them the night before and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them.

Hot Chocolate Chip Brownie Sundae Cake:

yield: 6 (6oz) ramekins

 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used Bakers)

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips for the cake, plus 6 Tbsp (1 Tbsp/ramekin) for the middle of each cake (I use Ghiradelli)

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Position oven rack to middle and preheat to 350°F. Butter six 6oz ramekins and put them on a baking sheet.

Put the butter, unsweetened chocolate, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl on top of a sauce pan of barely simmering water, creating a double boiler. Do not allow the water to boil, touch or enter the bowl. Stir until the butter and chocolates are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and salt on medium speed until thickened and light colored, about 1 minute. (Stop the mixer as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl.) On low, mix in the melted chocolate mixture and the vanilla until blended. Add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins, about 1/3 cup each. Put 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips in the middle of each, using your fingers to press them slightly into the batter. Note: You don’t have to cover the chips with batter, they will sink a bit during baking. Bake just until the tops look dry and a crisp top has formed, about 20 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes. But really, who can wait that long?? Top with ice cream and enjoy!

Source: The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

Helpful Hints:

  • I used a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter. You can probably do this in the microwave, if you check on it often and mix it with each check. Be very careful not to burn the chocolate or it will be bitter.
  • You can fill the ramekins and refrigerate overnight before baking. Cold batter will need to bake longer, about 25 minutes. This makes for easy entertaining…Ina would be proud 😀
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