Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

I’m still wondering if I posted something similar before, nonetheless this is a new recipe so it deserves it own posts.

The past weekend, I decided to make Oatmeal Cookies and since it was for my boyfriend’s parents, I added in some Chocolate Chunk on the top of them.  If you’ve been following me for a bit, you know that I can’t eat chocolate.  I can tell you one thing: They were a hit.  The moment my boyfriend’s dad had the plate in this hands, he started munching on the cookies..one after another.  As someone who likes baking, I enjoy seeing the happiness others get from what I make.

P1190569

Makes 20 cookies

2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate chunks for topping

1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

2) Combine oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well.

3) In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and butter on low speed of electric mixer until mixture resembles wet sand.  Add applesauce, egg and vanilla and beat again until well blended.  Add oat mixture to sugar mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

4) Drop dough by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.   Use about 2 tbsp dough per cookie and space 2 inches apart.) Flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness using fork.  Dip the fork in water to prevent it from sticking to cookies.  Place a few chocolate chunks into the top of the cookie dough.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully remove from cooling rack.

This should turn out to be soft and chewy.  It was originally a recipe for oatmeal raison cookies inspired by Looneyspoons Collection.  If you’d like to do those instead, then instead of chocolate chunks as topping the cookies, you mix it in after the dry ingredients are moistened in Step 3 for 1/3 cup raisins.

What do you think? Are you going to try this one out?

Glow in the Dark Cupcakes!

Last night I went to the Halloween party and being inspired by a recipe from another blog, I decided to make chocolate cupcakes with glow in the dark frosting.  I had asked my boyfriend’s sister and she went to get the black light to make it all work.  Originally, I had wanted to do a test run of these cupcakes first but ended up doing the Pumpkin Spice Muffins instead, so I brought some of those as well as a backup plan if the others ones weren’t enough or others weren’t interested.  It will also be the first time that I used my frosting piping set that I had bought last month.

This is how they looked like at my place before going to the party:

Later on, I’ll show you what they look like under the light.  First of all, I’m going to show give you the link for the recipe.

The cupcakes are called Devil’s Food Cupcakes found on Sweet Little Thang’s blog: http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/devils-food-cupcakes/

She also came up the Glow in the Dark Frosting which can be found here: http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/glow-in-the-dark-frosting/

See them glowing? The top ones are more obvious.

First off, I’d like to say that my cupcakes are lacking a bit of decorative skills. I tried my best though and I guess they look okay.  I will try to practice more.  Now for the changes I made to the cupcakes recipe.  Instead of cocoa powder mixed with hot water, I just melted Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunks.  I also decreased the portion of butter and sugar because that just looked way too fattening.  I used 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar (not sure about the sugar modification). As for eggs, I used 3 extra large ones.

As for the frosting, I just kept it the way it was and I think it tasted alright.  The only thing was that I ran out of time so when it said to dip 4-6 times, I only had maybe 3 or 4 times.  I’m just glad it glowed so all the hard work wasn’t wasted and plus, the friends that ate the cupcakes seemed to enjoy it.  The only thing is that with the frosting process, the green ones need to be in the freezer for an hour so it was still pretty hard when it got to the party.  Although it sat in the fridge for a bit afterwards and I think it helped a bit.  Still, it seemed to be a hit.

The whole glow in the dark concept of it as it gave a little extra Halloween spirit to the dessert.  Extra because the place was decorated with spider webs and body parts, and everyone that came was dressed up really nice to the theme.  I’ll have another post touching on that soon.  As for anyone that wants to do this, try to schedule in maybe 2-3 hours from making the cupcakes to doing the frosting and making them glow in the dark, if you plan to do it all in one day.  If not, just do the cupcakes first and then the frosting and all the remaining work another day.

So what do you think about it? You think that it would be something interesting to do? Anyone going to give this a shot? Anything special that you usually make for Halloween?

Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Bananas! I looked around a few days ago and realized that we had A LOT of very riped bananas.  I mean, to the point that no one would actually want to eat them just like that.  It was a coincidence that I had planned to make a batch of Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with a switched up (unhealthier) version of my Healthy Oatmeal Cookies! My friend from NYC had come to visit me a few weeks ago and had brought me some Baker’s Chocolate Chunks and I was ever so excited to get cracking on using them.

Instead, I went on Martha Stewart‘s site and searched up some new recipes and found this one to incorporate the abundant ripe bananas to my original plan.  This was the end result:

http://www.marthastewart.com/338169/banana-walnut-chocolate-chunk-cookies?center=276955&gallery=274361&slide=284283

It was for a Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies but all I needed to do was not put walnuts and I’d be right on.

 

 

Just to set things straight, I DID NOT end up with 3 dozen.  I made crazy huge cookies so I got about 12 cookies and I had around 4 miniature ones since I was lazy to start another batch on another baking sheet.  I also had to make a few modifications.  For one, my flour supply is at all-purpose flour.  Thats all I own so I just replaced whole wheat flour with all-purpose.  Also, I ran out of butter, I realized I had maybe an ounce of butter max.  So I had to use margarine instead.

These cookies looked good (and huge), tasted amazing and smelled like heaven.  You know its one of the few recipes that the description actually matches the actual outcome.  The smell of bananas as an ingredient and chocolate has always been great because it just fills the kitchen with the best aromas ever in the process that its just only baking in the oven.  So this was fantastic! It said that its a mix of banana bread and chocolate chunk cookies and I think its right on at least! The cookie had the texture of banana bread for the most part and smelled like it too.  The chocolate chunks and the oatmeal gave it that extra boost to the next level of being a cookie.

If you have time and love chocolate and bananas, you HAVE TO give this a shot!  You won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Eclairs

Last Thursday was a big baking day.  I spent about 4 hours from 8pm-midnight spending quality time in the kitchen.  I finally made those Sugar Cookies with the dough I had made on Sunday and although the cookie cutters seemed to have vanished, that batch turned out rather nice as well.

Deciding to make Eclairs was a huge step.  I haven’t made anything like this before and most of the time when I get mixed up with whipping cream, it never turned out good.  So of course, at the same time, my best friend calls long distance and I had to ask for some help since my multitasking skills only go to a certain extent! Yes, my boyfriend.  I have to say though, he’s one great helper when it comes to these artsy recipes with whip cream.  Other than supervising and reading the quantities for the ingredients, he mixed  most of the recipes to have the right consistency to move on with the recipe.

Here is how it turned out after a night in the fridge to harden the chocolate coating:

I took this recipe from my baking book from the previous few recipes: Cookies, Biscuits & Bakes 500 by Catherine Atkinson.

CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS

MAKES 12

Ingredients:

9 tbsp all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter, diced

2/3 cup water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

FOR THE FILLING:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 tsp icing sugar, sifted

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE GLAZE:

4 oz semisweet chocolate

2 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Grease and line a baking sheet.  For the pastry, sift the flour and salt on to a sheet of baking parchment.

2. Melt the butter with the water in a pan, then bring to a rolling boil.  Remove from the heat, add all the flour and beat until combined.  Return to a low heat, beating until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a ball.  Leave to cool for 2-3 mins.  Gradually beat in the eggs to make a smooth, shiny paste.

3. Spoon the pastry in to a piping (pastry) bag fitted with a 1in. plain nozzle.  Pipe 10cm/4in lengths on to the baking sheet.  Use a wet knife to cut off the pastry at the nozzle.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until risen ad golden.

4. Make a slit along the side of each eclair to release the steam, lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for 5 mins more.  Cool on a wire rack.

5. For the filling, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla. Spoon into a piping bag and use to fill the eclairs.

6. Melt the Chocolate with 2 tbsp water in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the butter.  Dip the top of each eclair in the chocolate. Leave to cool until set.

As always, the curse of lack of flour was here again.  Step 2 was extremely hard because by the time I got there.  The paste had already appeared after the heating stage, but when you add 2 eggs it because horribly liquid.  We ended adding another 3 tbsp of sifted flour and beating that in to make the smooth, shiny paste.  My boyfriend probably stood there for a good amount of time patiently beating it in to get it done.  So be careful of that stage.

Also, we didn’t have a pastry bag so we just used a ziploc bag and cut off the tip to about 1in .  As you can see, we didn’t have exactly 10cm.  There really wasn’t that much paste to make 12.

I will eventually revisit this recipe and hopefully it’ll work out a bit better, although my boyfriend ended up loving the end result a lot.  He said it tasted really delicious.  Definitely worth it to make again! I should be looking at making more pastries soon!

Fudge Layer Birthday Cake!

Last week, I posted up a chocolate cake with pecan frosting in experiment for my friend’s birthday party in the following week.  This weekend, he has his party and after a lot of choices and debate, I decided to not make that cake, I ended up making a Fudge Layer Cake that I found on Kraft foods recipe.  I also had to modify this recipe though.  I wasn’t sure how sweet it would be so I ended up substituting some ingredients so that it would appeal more to a great group of people.  From the reactions, I think it turned out rather decent.  Everyone said that it was good and also said that it wasn’t too sweet.  As usual, I can’t eat this cake (because of the chocolate) so my friends’ opinions were the most important in this case.

Here’s how it turned out:

Here is the fudge layer cake.

 On the left side, you can see a bit of my second attempt at the almond cookies (this time I had almonds to put on top).

On the right, you will see my friend’s shortbread cookies (which were absolutely delicious).

Here is the original recipe: Best -Ever Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake

I replaced the following ingredients:

1)Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate with Semi-sweet chocolate chips

2)Chocolate Cake mix with Marble Cake mix

Also for the decor, instead of using sliced almonds, I ended up decorating with Oreos on the side and pecans in the middle.  Those were what I had on hand, so I used it in hopes that it’ll look more appealing.  I’m still working on my decorating skills for baked goods, hopefully it’ll improve bit by bit.

***UPDATE!***

In the beginning of April, I gave this cake another shot for another birthday!  This time I had to replace a few ingredients slightly different from the last and freestyled it a little bit as well. Not only changing ingredients but also the quantities and in some cases leaving out certain ones as well.  For starts, I had to replace the cake mix to yellow cake mix and used vanilla pudding mix instead.  For the icing, I mixed melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and Whipped Cream together.  For the decorative end, this time I added some marshmallows to line the bottom and sprinkled the top with chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Check out how it turned out below!