Ghiradeli, who?

  FullSizeRender Everyone needs a go to brownie recipe and we're not talking about Betty Crocker or Ghiradeli. Because making desserts from a box is a real Becky move (and not the Becky with the good hair). If you need clarification, please see Beyonce. These are called Prescription Strength Brownies for a reason (and not because of any added THC's). Anyone who believes that the only thing in the world better than chocolate is more chocolate will know what we mean. Surprisingly enough, from scratch brownies are pretty simple. As with any simple recipes, the better the ingredients you put in the better then end product will be. If you've spent any time in the baking section of a nice grocery store or gone to a specialty chocolate shop, I'm sure you've noticed the different kinds of cocoa powder (dark, extra dark, dutch, etc...). What we love about this brownie recipe is that you can class it up or keep it classic simply by trying different cocoas and using different kinds of toppings. Go wild and give something a try. We enjoy finding the darkest cocoa powder we can and topping the brownies with dark chocolate chips and walnuts. A few tips:
  • Brownies bake better in a good quality metal pan. If you're hard up, line your Pyrex pan with heavy aluminum foil.
  • This one will be hard, but these brownies need to cool AT LEAST 30 minutes before you take them out of the pan. I guess this is only important if you need them to present well. If you're making them just for yourself and can't wait just dig them out. They won't be pretty, but they will be gooey and delicious.
  • As with any baking, you'll get better results if all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start.
  • Instead of buttering and flouring the pan you can just use cooking spray, but personally I believe buttering and flouring the pan gives you better results here (others may disagree).
Prescription Strength Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-9 brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup toppings (walnuts, chocolate chips, toffee chips, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Butter and flour 8x8 metal pan.
  2. Melt butter in pan.
  3. Once butter is melted, remove from heat and add cocoa powder. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add salt and sugar, mix to combine.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Add vanilla and mix well.
  7. Sprinkle flour over chocolate mix and mix together, using a spoon.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth.
  9. Add desired toppings.
  10. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool for 30 minutes on cooling rack.

 

 

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Do you know the muffin man?

Ok, let’s have some real talk for minute. While most of what we post on here (read: all of what we post on here) is not designed to make you thin, in our day to day eating habits we generally eat pretty healthy. Granted, we have our free meals (or free weekends, sometimes free weeks, let’s be honest), but the key to feeling good and being at your best is really based first and foremost on what you eat.

If you’re looking for some real advice on that we recommend you speak to someone else. However, having some go-to foods that don’t throw your normal diet off track but still allow you some indulgence (or feel like you’re having some) is important. These muffins are one of our go-to’s. They don’t have any added processed sugars and as you’ll see the ingredient list is full of all those things that you’d find at a Whole Foods. Even so, they aren’t too bad and don’t make you feel like you’re eating from the bottom of kale barrel. (still all things in moderation, don’t have five of these in a sitting)


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ C whole wheat flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ground flaxseed meal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ C coconut oil
  • ½ C raw honey
  • ⅓ C dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½ C chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat bananas until smooth. Add egg whites and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually mix in honey and coconut oil.
  4. In a different bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, flaxseed, and salt.
  5. Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture; stir in chocolate chunks and nuts, if using.
  6. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  7. Fill each cup with ¼ C of the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

Lemon Curd To-go

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You may (or may not) remember our post on the best summer dessert; fresh berries, lemon curd, and whipped cream. Lemon curd was definitely a revelation so when one of my employees gave me a cook book with a recipe for Lemon Curd Bars we had to give it a try. Now most of our readership will be familiar with the tried and true Lion House Cookbook recipe for lemon bars, and truth be told it isn’t a bad one (the real truth be told is that anything lemon is pretty good in our book). This new recipe makes a bar that is much thicker than you’re average lemon bar, but not in a bad way. We have purchased a lemon bar at a restaurant that was more like a lemon log and was way too dense to be as thick as it was. I was a little worried that this would be the case with this recipe.

The crust incorporates some cinnamon which isn’t noticeable in the finished product, but I think makes a difference in there nonetheless. Assembly is going to be pretty familiar for anyone who has done lemon bars before. No need to hash out the details here.

The end result is pretty good. The color wasn’t bad and after letting them cool they held their structure remarkably well and they didn’t come out too tough or dense either. Our batch didn’t cook real evenly, leaving the middle a little goo-y but I’d like to attribute that to Megan’s Philistine of an oven, which seems to enjoy pillaging and ruining things that are put into it, rather than placing the blame on the recipe or our baking skills (naturally).

The taste was what really made these Lemon Curd Bars stand out. The lemon flavor was really rich and kind of sneeks up on you, building slowly and steadily over the first sweet notes you get with the initial bite. The short bread crust and lemon custard top were distinctly different in texture which is what you want with a lemon bar. Be warned that these will not keep well (mostly because they are delicious and there won’t be any left) as they will get pretty melty and mushy sitting out on a counter. If it’ll be some time until they get consumed after they cool down we’d recommend putting them in a cool place or the refrigerator. A great topping both visually and taste wise would be a few glazed berried or just some mint leaves and sifted powdered sugar for a nice garnish.

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Lemon Curd Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 bars
 
Ingredients
  • For the Crust:
  • 1 C Flour
  • ½ C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ⅛ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ C Cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • For the Filling:
  • ¾ Granulated Sugar
  • 2 T Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • 3 Eggs, room temperature
  • ½ C Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 T Heavy Cream
  • Powdered Sugar for Garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 inch baking dish, preferably glass.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse briefly until blended. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs and sticks together when pinched, about 1 minute. There should be no trace of dryness. Press the dough into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared baking dish, lightly flouring your fingertips if necessary to prevent them from sticking. Bake the crust until pale golden, 20-22 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a rack. Reduce the temperature to 325.
  3. To make the filling, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and zest. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and cream and whisk until just blended. Carefully pour the mixture over the baked crust.
  4. Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack for about 30 minutes (if you can wait that long).
  5. Run the tip of a knife along the inside of the dish to loosen the crust from the sides, then let cool completely.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

 

Spilled Milk Deserves Cookies

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One of my most favorite/horrifying/eye opening moments while teaching high school comes from the time the class was making chocolate chip cookies. One particular student checked her groups’ cookies and said (with a very concerned tone) “Ms. Wright, our cookies don’t look right. They’re fluffy and light brown.” It was at this moment that I realized a lot of my students had only seen flat, pale, and sad cookies. So sad.

A great chocolate chip cookie recipe is a necessity. If you have never experienced a fluffy, delicious, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, golden brown cookie you are missing out.

Say goodbye to sad and flat cookies today with this recipe!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (High Altitude)
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2½ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 lb Butter (do not use margarine)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla
  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 1½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 6 Cups Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Cups Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Cream together sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer.
  2. Add flour, salt, baking soda. Mix well.
  3. Add chocolate chips and nuts.
  4. Pre heat oven to 350.
  5. Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on cooling rack.
Notes
i often times will half this recipe. When you cut the recipe in half, reduce the eggs to two, instead of three.

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Pumpkin Butter Pecan Pie

Now that we have pie crust taken care of, it’s time for the filling. First up, pumpkin butter pecan.

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I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ate a slice. However, pumpkin butter pecan pie is delicious! I love the crunchy texture on top and the depth of flavors in this pie.

I also love how easy this pie is!

Start with ingredients. The last time I was home in Arizona I asked my dad to make a couple pies for the blog. These are his recipes. This is a beautiful display of mise en place, am I right?

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Mix all filling ingredients in medium bowl.

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Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.

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Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling.

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Drizzle melted butter over cake mix.

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Bake at 350 for about an hour. I would start at 50 minutes and then check the pie. If crust is starting to get too dark, cover with foil and continue baking. Pie is done when knife comes out clean.

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Easy as…pie. This is a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie. I like it best served with vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Butter Pecan
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Pie
 
Ingredients
  • Filling
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Topping
  • ½ box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350o.
  2. Prepare 9 inch unbaked pie shell.
  3. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and level off.
  5. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling, spreading to the edges of the crust.
  6. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix.
  7. Sprinkle chopped nuts over cake mix and butter.
  8. Bake the pie at 350o for about 1 hour or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the crust or pecans start to get too brown, cover the pie with foil for the last 15 minutes.
  9. Serve hot or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream topping.

 

Muffin Lovin at 425 degrees

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Nathan has been slightly obsessed with finding the perfect blueberry muffin recipe for quite some time now. He has tried countless recipes. I’m not sure he has settled on one particular recipe, but this recipe is in the top three for sure. Between me and you, it’s my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

We hope you like these as much as we do!

Gather all ingredients.

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For the topping.: Stir together sugar and lemon zest until combined and set aside. This topping was a revelation. It adds the perfect amount of lemon flavor and crunch to these muffins. It’s magical.

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Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing blueberries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Let cool.

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This recipe calls for fresh blueberries. We used frozen instead, which seemed to work just as well.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

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Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together until thick and fully combined. About 45 seconds.

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Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined .

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Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.

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Fold egg mixture and remaining 1 cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened.

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There will be be a few lumps and spots of dry flour. Do not over mix. About 12 strokes.

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Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.

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Top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture.
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Use a toothpick and swirl together.  I was fresh out of toothpicks, so we got creative.
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Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups.  The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly.  Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups.  Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.  
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Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through.  Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool five more minutes before serving. Let’s be honest, they usually don’t last five seconds on the cooling rack! 
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Blueberry Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This is a great blueberry muffin recipe to keep on hand.
Ingredients
  • Topping:
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Muffins:
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
  • 1⅛ c. + 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. For the topping: Stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
  2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (or line with paper liners and spray). Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1⅛ cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.
  4. Fill muffin cups ½ full with batter and top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture. Use a toothpick and swirl together. Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups. The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly. Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups. Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
  5. Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through. Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving.

Favorites

The secretaries at the high school are always dropping (not so subtle) hints for cookies and treats. They certainly do a lot for me and my program, so whenever I can, I oblige. For Christmas I made the office staff their favorite cookies. Coconut macaroons was first up on my list.

I love that this recipe is so simple and delicious! Drizzle chocolate to add some class.

Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 20 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks.
  3. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Drop 1 TBSP of batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. While cookies are baking, melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  7. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies using a piping bag or spoon.
  8. Cool and serve.

Sugar Cookies

These are not the kind of sugar cookies you are probably thinking of. And that’s exactly the reason why I love them. There’s no frosting shenanigans. Just great cookies. Here we go.

The crew.

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Cream shortening, sugars, vanilla and eggs together.  Mix well.

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Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

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Mix well again.

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Form dough into balls. I like to roll out all 48 cookies before I coat them in sugar. Just to make sure they are all the same size.

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Roll cookies in additional sugar. Coat completely.

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Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten.

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Bake at 350 degrees fro 8-11 minutes. Cookies will start to crack around the edges when done. Cook longer for crispier cookies.

NOTE- Whenever working with a range of time, always start with the lower number. You can always add more time.

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Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 Dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • extra white sugar (for rolling balls of dough)
Instructions
  1. Cream shortening, sugars, vanilla and eggs together. Mix well.
  2. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix well again.
  3. Place additional sugar into a bowl.
  4. Form dough into balls and roll each ball in the bowl of sugar.
  5. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees fro 8 -11minutes. Cookies will start to crack around the edges when done. Cook longer for crispier cookies.

Sweet Memories

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If you’re looking for a new Christmas cookie this year, try this one. As kids we were obsessed with these cookies. There were a few treats I would consider staples at Grandmas. Chocolate Pillows was one of them. While I was in college I asked Grandma for the recipe (which I got) and also her cookie press! #win

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 These are always fun to make. But to me, it’s more about the memories associated with the cookie, than the cookie itself.

Let’s get started.

First, gather your ingredients.

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Sift flour and salt together. I used to skip over sifting, but now I’m convinced it’s these simple steps that make a good cookie, great.

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Cream butter (Grandma always used salted butter, so that’s what I used. But the original recipe calls for unsalted) and sugar. Beat until smooth.

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Add egg and vanilla. Beat well.

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Add in dry ingredients.

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Chill the dough in the fridge for a few minutes. While my dough was chilling I washed up the dishes…

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Got my cookie press out…

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And got the chocolate ready…

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Form the dough into a roll that will fit into your cookie press.

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Follow cookie press directions to assemble and add dough.

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Press out a “line” of the dough along the ungreased cookie sheet. Lay the rectangles of chocolate out end to end with just a little space between them. Press out another “line” of the dough over the chocolate, covering it completely. Repeat this procedure until your cookie sheet is filled, keeping the unused dough in the fridge so it will retain its shape when pressed. Until you get the hang of your cookie press, your dough will rip and tear. It is hard to get long pieces of dough. When my dough tore, I pinched it back together. Stick with it!

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Using a knife, lightly score between each piece of chocolate.

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Bake at 375 until golden, about 12 minutes. Upon removing from oven, immediately cut between each piece of chocolate and remove to a cooling rack.

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Happy baking!

Chocolate Pillows
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 48
 
A family favorite, delicious anytime of the year.
Ingredients
  • 2½ C Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 C Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ C Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 10 Hershey's Chocolate Candy Bars
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Sift flour and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Chill the dough for a few minutes.
  7. While dough is chilling, break chocolate bars into small rectangles and prepare cookie press using the saw tooth disc.
  8. Form dough into a roll that will fit in your cookie press. Fill cookie press.
  9. Press out a "line" of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Lay the chocolate pieces on top of the dough, leaving small gaps in between each piece of chocolate. Repeat this procedure until your cookie sheet is fill, keeping the unused dough in the fridge so it will retain its shape when pressed.
  11. Using a knife, lightly score the dough between each piece of chocolate.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  13. Upon removing from oven, immediately cut between each piece of chocolate and remove to a cooling rack.

It’s That Time of the Year

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Next week I’m in charge of some kind of cooking/baking activity for my Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. I have been racking my brain trying to come up with something that would be fun and work out well. Since most people give out treat plates during the holidays, I thought I would do a couple cookie recipes.

One that I will be sharing is Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. This recipe comes from the Cooks Illustrated Magazine. If you have never read Cooks Illustrated, I highly recommend it. (Nerd Alert!) They share the science behind the cooking and the process they go through to get the final product. It’s a great read! This recipe also work at high altitude, which I am always excited about.

Gather ingredients.

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Prepare cookie sheets by placing parchment paper on them. I like using silpats. Whatever you use, it just needs to be nonstick.

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Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.

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Whisk brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a different bowl.

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Combine chocolate and butter in a small pot and melt on stove over low heat.

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Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined.

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Side note. I was quickly running out of hands, taking pictures, pouring, whisking that I was having problems holding the bowl as well. If you ever have this problem, bunch up a towel under the bowl. The towel will act as a third hand and hold the bowl in place.Like this:

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Fold (gently mix) in flour mixture until all combined.

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Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. At this point, I was very skeptical that this was going to work. The cookie “dough” was more like brownie batter. When 10 minutes was up, my dough was thicker, but not thick enough to roll into balls. I tried, but it wasn’t pretty. I used two spoons to get the amount of dough I wanted and dropped it into the granulated sugar. Once it was covered with the sugar it was easier to work with. And once baked they turned out fine. I decided to let the dough sit for an extra 10 minutes. And like magic, it thickened right up to the point I could roll it into balls.

Roll each ball in granulated sugar and then in powdered sugar. Place on cookie sheet.

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Place 11 balls on each cookie sheet. So they have plenty of room to spread out.

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Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.

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Cool on a cooling rack.

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I cannot get enough of these cookies. They are such a pretty and delicious cookie!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 22
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1½ ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups packed (10½ ounces) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in bowl.
  2. Whisk brown sugar; eggs; espresso powder, if using; and vanilla together in large bowl. Combine chocolate and butter in a small pot and melt over low heat.
  3. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Place granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar in separate shallow dishes. Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space dough balls on prepared sheets, 11 per sheet.
  5. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cool completely on sheet before serving.