Friday, June 17, 2011

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cherries

My parents visited a few weeks ago and I had to make sure I had some homemade cookies on hand.  I looked through the pantry and grabbed the bittersweet chocolate chips and dried cherries.  The tart dried cherries and smooth, sweet dark chocolate complement each other very well in these cookies.  I'm sure semi-sweet chips would work as well, but the higher quality Ghiradelli bittersweet chips really put these cookies over the top.
From Hannah's Kitchen

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream butter, shortening, and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla and eggs until combined.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and dried cherries.

3. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set and just turning light brown.  Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday and Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Every so often I end up with a bunch of overripe bananas, which of course requires me to bake something so the bananas don't go to waste.  Instead of making banana bread, I thought I would try this cake.  It is a little bit lighter than banana bread, and the chocolate chips make it a little more exciting.  This cake is great with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top, and is also very good served warm.

Adapted from

1/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one bundt pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Add bananas and mix well. 

3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, stirring just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. 

4. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday and A Themed Baker's Sunday.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies

I really like white chocolate. When I was younger, Nestle made an Alpine White bar, which happened to be one of my favorite Halloween candies.  Some time ago they stopped making Alpine White bars, and I've had to satisfy my white chocolate tooth with Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme bars.  If you've never had the Cookies 'n' Creme bar, it is a white chocolate bar speckled with crunchy pieces of chocolate cookie.  I recently bought a bag of new Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme drops, which I really wanted to incorporate into a baked good of some sort.  I settled on a super fudgy chocolate cookie, and then cut up the drops and added them in.  The result was a super rich, almost brownie-like cookie that was quickly devoured at the office.  If you decide to make these without the Cookies 'n' Creme drops, just add an extra cup of chocolate chips instead.
 The Cookies 'n' Creme drops.
 The cookie turns out tasting like a super rich and fudgy brownie.
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme drops

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and instant espresso together until the espresso is dissolved.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the egg mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in the melted chocolate, about 30 seconds.

4. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped Cookies 'n' Creme drops until incorporated. Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the consistency is scoopable and fudge-like, about 30 minutes.

5. Working with 3 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until the edges are set and beginning to brown, but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 10 to 12 minutes. (The cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.)

6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday and This Chick Cooks.