Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

First, Happy Halloween! Even though our little pumpkin is too young for Trick or Treating (or even having a clue that today is Halloween!), I still couldn’t resist dressing her in spirited gear. I think she looks pretty cute, but I might be a little biased. Second, I have to admit that in this house black and orange are not just colors you wear on October 31st. They are colors we rock all year long in support of our hometown team – the Cincinnati Bengals! Truth be told, when I saw this special bag of chocolate chips at Target the first thing that popped in my head was “Tailgate cookies!” Because who doesn’t like to eat delicious and spirited cookies while watching football? But it just so happened that I used the chocolate chips the day before Halloween, so holiday spirit works too. 🙂

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If you are a fan of Sunny Side Up on Facebook (and why wouldn’t you be ;)), then you may have seen my post yesterday about my entire house smelling like chocolate. These cookies are the reason why my house smelled so delicious. They are called “Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies” and the name is pretty much spot on. The cookies are rich with a crispy exterior and melt-in-your mouth fudgy interior. I used a bag of Halloween chips which were half orange-colored white chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use whatever chips you have on hand! All semi-sweet, all white chocolate, a mix of chopped up leftover Halloween candy… If it tastes good with chocolate, chances are it will taste good in these cookies!

 

 

Basic One-Bowl Blondies

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I’m one of those people that thinks it’s really fun to be in the kitchen all day, whipping up something fancy and delicious. I love desserts with multiple steps and ingredients, I can plan every detail out weeks in advance. Perfect example, my birthday cake. It required cake, chocolate ganache, vanilla bean mousse, and vanilla butter cream. And it was awesome. But I’m also one of those people that can be sitting on the couch and have an immediate urge to bake something. In those times I need something quick, reliable, delicious, and maybe even versatile. That’s why I think every baker, beginner, novice, advanced, whatever, should have a few basic go-to recipes.

I think the staple “basic” recipes in baking are Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, Blondies, and good Yellow and Chocolate Cake. I’ve already shared my go-to Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies, and thought that in the next few weeks (while I’m totally overwhelmed with packing, preparing, cleaning and looking for a good reason to procrastinate on those things) I’d share my baking go-tos. Because that’s the point of them, they’re not overly complicated, they don’t take a ton of time, and they’re still delicious. Good basics, that I can whip up while procrastinating packing.

These Blondies can made in one bowl and are great jumping off point for pretty much any flavor combination. When I made these I had a handful of random chips that I threw in, butterscotch, white chocolate, and semi-sweet, but really the sky is the limit. Have left over Christmas or Halloween candy? Chop it up and throw it in. In the mood for nuts? Chop them up and throw them in. Go wild and get creative!

The only other thing I want to add is that I have a horrible habit of way under-cooking my Blondies. I usually take mine out a minute or two less than the written time because I like it when the center is barely done and gooey and messy. Before I was able to stack these for the picture I actually had to throw them in the fridge to firm up. If that’s not how you like them then don’t take them out early and make sure to test with a toothpick. If it comes out clean you should be good. If it looks wet or comes out with dough on it, let it cook a few minutes longer.


Basic One-Bowl Blondies

Ingredients
7 Tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 cup mix-in of your choice (I used chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.

In a large microwave safe bowl melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir to combine. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Toss the mix-ins with 1 Tbsp flour and fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into squares.

Adapted from Deborah’s Culinary Confections, originally from Baking Blonde’s Weblog

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh man, I’m excited about this one!

First, I love re-purposing foods. I knew that cranberry sauce would go over like a lead balloon with my Thanksgiving crowd, but I like it and it’s traditional so I made it. As much as I love it, I can only handle a few spoonfuls with my meal. Needless to say, I had a ton left over! But I didn’t want to throw it away so I needed to come up with a new way to use it. I asked around for ideas and then overnight I had a very vivid dream about turning it into muffins.

Which brings me to the second reason I am so excited about these. I couldn’t find a recipe that matched what I had been dreaming of. So I headed to the kitchen with the goal of making my own. And it was a success! Score!

I should also mention that everyone that turned their nose up at the cranberry sauce at dinner, gobbled up the muffins and said they were awesome.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup flour plus 2 Tbsp, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-2 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup cranberry sauce*

*I only used 1/3 cup but once they baked it like they could use a little more, so I recommend a full 1/2 cup. Also, I’m sure you could substitute cranberry sauce from a can, especially if you can find some with whole cranberries in it.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In glass measuring cup stir together the greek yogurt and milk; set aside.

In another medium bowl (or a standing mixer with paddle attachment) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Next, alternate adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and wet ingredients in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, making sure there are not patches of unmixed dry ingredients. Toss the white chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of flour then use the spatula to mix them into the batter. Next, carefully fold in the cranberry sauce, so it creates a marbling effect in the batter.

Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Yields 12 muffins

Sunny Side Up original, with the muffin base adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner as I previously posted it here.

Giant Triple Chocolate Cookies

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These cookies are giant. And delicious. And rich. I dare you to try and eat one without a glass of milk. If you can eat more than one in one sitting you should probably get an award. That’s how chocolaty they are. And delicious. Did I mention that?

This would actually be the third time I have tried to make and blog about these cookies. Because these cookies are so dark, it is nearly impossible for me to get a picture of these that I am satisfied with. I really hate it when that happens because the purpose of this blog is to share delicious foods and when I can’t that makes me sad. Finally this time I was able to get some decent (though not fabulous) pictures, so now I can finally share them with you


Giant Triple Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dutch processed (or Hershey’s Special Dark) cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. And prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces, this was is about 1/2 cup per cookie). Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc. Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart. Bake 16-20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Very slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats