Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fudge Raspberry Brownies

Dennis’s birthday was a few weeks ago (yup, we’re both June babies) so I thought I’d make him something with his favorite flavors, raspberry and chocolate.  He loves anything in brownie form, so I just plugged those terms into Google and picked this recipe based on the stellar reviews.

Holy moly, these brownies really hit the mark.  They’re deliciously chocolaty with the perfect balance of raspberry preserves to sweeten them up.  My co-workers gobbled them up – good thing I brought in enough so everyone could have two.  When I asked Dennis how he liked his birthday treat he summed it up with one word: “Yum!”  Is there any higher praise than that?

Fudge Raspberry Brownies (adapted from

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (I used a mix of semi-sweet and raspberry chocolate chips)
3/4 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, melt together butter and chocolate in a microwave; With a wire whisk, beat in sugar, eggs, and vanilla - Let cool slightly; Gradually stir in flour and baking powder just to combine; Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread about 3/4 of the batter evenly in a 13" x 9" x 2" pan that has been coated with a non stick spray.  Carefully spread raspberry preserves on top of the batter; Drizzle remaining batter evenly over preserves swirling top lightly with a spoon.  Gently smooth top.

Bake for about 24 – 30 minutes or until the top is slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies

One of my favorite foods is peanut butter (beaten out only by ice cream).  When I was younger, my go-to lunch was a peanut butter sandwich – simple yet perfect.  I decided to look for a recipe this week that incorporated my love of peanut butter, but wasn’t just a plain Jane peanut butter cookie. 

If you’re looking to treat a peanut butter lover in your life, you can’t go wrong with this cookie.  With the addition of cocoa powder and chocolate chips these cookies definitely live up to the “fudge” part of their name, while allowing the peanut butter to shine through.  People at work loved these cookies and even asked me for the recipe.  Anytime someone loves a cookie enough to request the recipe I know it's a keeper.

Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies (adapted from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken up
2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used a mix of smooth and crunchy)
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a small bowl, microwave the unsweetened chocolate on 50% power for 1 minute.  Stir well and continue microwaving, stirring at 30-second intervals.  Stop microwaving before the chocolate completely melts and let the residual heat finish the job.

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low, then medium speed, beat together the melted chocolate, peanut butter, brown sugar, sugar, and cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the butter and beat until very well blended and smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat or stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chips, just until incorporated.  Chill the dough for about 15 minutes.

Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto lined baking sheets.  Using the tines of a fork, firmly press down each ball horizontally and then vertically until the ball is about ½ inch thick.

Bake the cookies for about 8 to 11 minutes, or until just barely firm in the center.  Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let stand until completely cooled.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chocolate Chip Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies

The warm weather has arrived in the Northeast, which means we’re officially in the swing of barbeque season.  This is by far my favorite time since Dennis considers himself a grill master in training so he takes over most of the cooking.  We had a few friends over Memorial Day weekend and I was looking for a cookie that we wouldn’t be too full to eat after pigging out on hot dogs and hamburgers.  This cookie is from Cooking Light but it definitely doesn’t taste “light.”  It gets some sweetness from the dried strawberries, but it’s also filled with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips.  I ordered the dried strawberries from, but if you can’t find them feel free to substitute in your dried fruit of choice.  These cookies make the perfect ending to any summer day.

Chocolate Chip Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup regular oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried strawberries
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Add strawberries and chips; beat at low speed just until blended.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on pan 1 minute. Remove cookies from pan; cool completely on wire racks.