Sunday, November 28, 2010

Toasted Marshmallow Brownies

I came across this recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs (Culinary in the Desert) and adapted it for our tastes.

The original recipe was called Rocky Road Brownies and added chopped nuts in addition to the marshmallows to the topping. We're not big fans of nuts in our brownies though so I left them out. Also, instead of just baking the brownies to puff up the marshmallows I set the oven to broil for a minute or two, giving the marshmallows a nice golden hue.

These are Dennis' favorite brownies, high praise indeed. When I asked him for his opinion he said the best way to enjoy them is heated up in microwave for a few seconds, making them even more gooey and delicious.

Toasted Marshmallow Brownies (adapted from Everyday Food)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
12 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, divided (I used a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet since that’s what I had on hand)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350.

In a microwave-safe bowl, add butter and 6 ounces chocolate - heat in the microwave just until the chocolate softens and the butter has melted. Stir until smooth; if there are still chunks of chocolate, gently continue heating at 30 second intervals until the mixture is smooth when stirred.

Stir in sugars and salt into the melted chocolate. Add eggs and mix until combine - fold in flour. Scoop the mixture into a 9 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake until a toothpick placed in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven - quickly sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate and marshmallows. Place back into the oven until the marshmallows start to puff, about 3 minutes. Set the oven to broil and keep the brownies in there until the marshmallows turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One of the many things my mom instilled in me is a love of pumpkin baked goods. Growing up we baked a lot of pumpkin breads and pumpkin muffins, but never tried our hand at something more dessert-like. So when my mom's birthday rolled around (on Halloween, appropriately enough) I decided to bake her pumpkin cookies.

This recipe comes from Libby's so I figured it had to be good. The original recipe calls for drizzling a glaze over the cookies but I skipped that step. I thought it might be too sweet and I'm glad I left it off. I think maybe I'm more used to pumpkin baked goods for breakfast but I would've liked these better if they were just a bit less sweet. I think next time I'd throw in a bit of ground cloves to help balance the sweetness.

Other than that though, these cookies really were great. They were very soft and tasted great. My mom really seemed to enjoy them, so that's all that matters. Happy birthday Mom!

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies (from Libby’s)

Makes 36 cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half white whole wheat flour and half regular flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets or use Silpat mats.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

I love reading light cookie recipes, trying to figure out how they make them light. Usually it means that the serving size is half of what a normal person eats, or that something not so good for you (like oil) is swapped out for something more virtuous (like applesauce). Not that there's anything wrong with this, of course. But I don't make cookies to be healthy. Have you met my husband? I need to try my hardest to fatten him up! :)

So this recipe for Chocolate Cherry Cookies from Cooking Light definitely needed some tweaking. First off, the recipe says it makes 60 cookies. I have a feeling those cookies would be fairly small so I just scooped them out using my normal cookie scooper. Also, it called for 6 tablespoons of chocolate chips. That amount just sounds so...sad. So I upped that significantly. I'm not sure exactly how much I used - probably closer to 1/3 a bag.

These cookies give you a nice contrast between tart and sweet, though Dennis said he'd like even more chocolate chips next time to offset the cherries. So next time I'll up to 1/2 a bag, at least. You can never have too many chocolate chips.

Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Cookies
(from Cooking Light)

60 cookies if you're going for light, otherwise closer to 40

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
6 tablespoons semisweet chocolate for light cookies, otherwise put in as many chocolate chips as your heart desires
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 9-12 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven; cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.