Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

I've never had Mexican hot chocolate. I'm guessing it's like regular hot chocolate, maybe with a bit more kick? Regardless, it's hard to go wrong with any recipe that references hot chocolate. Even if the temperature has been in the 90's the past few days...

These cookies reminded us of Snickerdoodles, only with a subtle chocolate flavor. Dennis actually wanted even more chocolate flavor and asked if next time I could add chocolate chips. I thought they were good as is but he is the cookie expert.

The original recipe gives you the option of adding in some chili powder but I left it out. Feel free to try it out if you're feeling adventurous.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies (from Everyday Food)
Makes 32

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (if using). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I'm not a blueberry muffin person. I like my blueberries straight out of the carton, or in blueberry pancakes. Dennis, on the other hand, never eats blueberries on their own (thanks to his Grandma overfeeding them to him when he was young) but likes blueberry muffins. He also loves sugar and butter (who doesn't?), so when I found this recipe that tops the muffins with a butter-sugar streusel I had high hopes.

These muffins are what blueberry muffins should be - buttery, moist, studded with delicious blueberries. Oh, and the streusel topping definitely doesn't hurt either.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins (adapted from Cook’s Country)

Makes 12


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


4 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat and no one was the wiser)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 cup buttermilk*

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

1. For the streusel: Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt in bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened and mixture forms large chunks with some pea-sized pieces throughout.

2. For the muffins: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin. Whisk egg in medium bowl until pale and evenly combined, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla, sugar, and zest and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in melted butter; add buttermilk and whisk until combined.

3. Reserve 1 tablespoon flour. Whisk remaining flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Fold in egg mixture until nearly combined. Toss blueberries with reserved flour and fold into batter until just combined.

4. Divide batter in muffin tin and top with streusel. Bake until light golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 23 to 27 minutes. Cool muffins in tin for 20 minutes, then carefully transfer muffins to rack to cool completely.

*If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute 1 cup milk with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Just let it sit for about 10 minutes then use ½ cup for the muffins. Also, I’ve done this with soy milk and it works fine too.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's hard to beat a good chocolate chip cookie. But on the other hand, it's hard to make the perfect one. Everyone has their preferences (chewy, crispy, nuts, no nuts) so I guess you can never please everyone. But I know that Dennis likes chewy chocolate chip cookies, and those are my preference too. Also, nuts will never make an appearance in my cookies - it's all about the chocolate, baby!

This recipe comes from the back of the Ghiradelli chocolate chip bag. I basically stuck to the recipe though I did try some different things. I left the butter out to soften slightly, and also kept the eggs at room temperature for about 45 minutes. I did find that the batter came together easier and I didn't have to worry about over-mixing it. Also, in between batches I put the batter back in the fridge to keep it cold and also made sure that to cool the trays in between batches so the cookies didn't spread too much. There, that's all my cookie wisdom...

Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
  • 11 1/2 ounce(s) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.