Fudgy Two-Bite Brownies

Need a dessert idea? You can’t go wrong with chocolatey, sea salty, fudgy bite-sized brownies. They’re the ultimate crowd-pleaser and these brownies will leave them wanting more.

Ingredients
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder or very finely ground coffee (optional)
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped, or ⅓ cup chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, while whisking constantly, until it’s a pale golden brown and the particles suspended in it are reddish brown. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Then add the cocoa powder, sea salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula after each one. When the mixture looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the vanilla extract and the flour. Stir until you no longer see streaks of flour. Then beat vigorously for 50 strokes with the wooden spoon or spatula.
  6. At this point, the mixture should be no more than slightly warm (if not, let it cool for a few more minutes). Fold in the chocolate chunks or chips.
  7. Spread the batter in the lined pan. Bake on the lower rack for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool the brownies in the pan on a baking rack.
  8. Once the brownies are completely cool, lift the edges of the parchment paper and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the brownies into 16 squares.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The holidays are creeping up and it’s an excuse for me to start baking more desserts. Generally I don’t bake too often because it’s just myself and Dan…and it’s usually myself who ends up eating the desserts. So generally if dessert posts show up, then you know we’ve been to a potluck or our co-workers have been well fed.

This year, we’re taking part in the 2nd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by our friends at Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. So I’m getting started with testing cookie recipes to share. A few months ago, I made the chocolate crinkle cookies from Hummingbird on High and loved them! So the other day, I put my own spin on these and made a few other types of cookies and brownies. My co-workers (as well as Dan’s) loved this cookie the most! They were surprised by how few ingredients were in them too! These cookies, adapted from Williams Sonoma, have a moist brownie-like texture in the middle but the outside has a thin crunch and a coating of powdered sugar. These cookies definitely taste great and turn out beautifully. They’re perfect for serving to guests or enjoying for yourself!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter or use parchment paper.
  2. Put the powdered sugar into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off the mixture and scrape down sides. Add 1 egg and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the other egg and vanilla and beat until blended.
  6. Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until just blended.
  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough.
  8. Roll dough into a ball using your hands and roll the ball in the powdered sugar until covered.
  9. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the balls 1-2 inches apart.
  10. Bake until the cookies are cracked and puffed, about 10-12 minutes.
  11. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
  12. Using a spatula, move the cookies onto the rack and let cool completely.

Cook’s Notes

When I started to beat the butter and sugar together, I realized that the butter was not soft/warm enough and instead of getting creamy, it started becoming crumbly. If this happens, just turn off the mixer and microwave the butter and sugar mixture for 10 seconds, but be sure to not melt the butter. If this does happen, just refrigerate the mixture for about a minute.

Alfajores

Hi all – long time no see! We were off on holiday the last week; but don’t worry, we’re back – and looking forward to an exciting 2012. But before we can fully begin, there are a few remnants, mainly in the form of desserts, from the holiday and New Years festivities that we need to clean out. So here’s one more cookie recipe. Shhh…we’ll start our New Years healthy eating and living resolution next week.

I first came across this cookie in Peru a few years ago. The cookie has sweet, creamy dulce de leche sandwiched between two rich, buttery shortbread-type biscuits. The fillings I’ve seen are usually dulce de leche; but I have come across jam-filled alfajores. So if you can’t find canned dulce de leche in your grocery store, jam is a good alternative. And for the daring bakers, after you assemble the cookie sandwiches, dip it all in chocolate!

 Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  3. Gradually mix in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until combined.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, or by hand, add the flour mixture in batches into the butter mixture until a dough forms.
  6. Place the dough on wax paper, parchment paper or foil.
  7. Roll out the dough to 1/8″ thickness.
  8. Place the dough onto a platter and freeze for 2-3 minutes, until it slightly hardens.
  9. Using a 2″ round cutter, cut out 48 cookies.
  10. If necessary, refreeze the dough between cuttings if it gets too soft to handle.
  11. Place cookies onto lined sheet.
  12. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not over-bake or let the cookies become golden.
  13. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
  14. To assemble, scoop a desired amount of dulce de leche and spread onto the bottom of a cookie. Top with another cookie to make the sandwich.

Cook’s Notes

The dulce de leche is quite sweet so I reduced the amount of sugar to 1/3 cup when I made them.

Whenever you’re handling cookie dough that needs to be rolled out and cut, work on top of a sheet of foil or parchment paper. This allows you to easily move the sheet of dough onto a plate and into the fridge to be cooled.

I actually don’t have any cookie cutters. For this recipe, I used the cap of a bottle of oregano. The cap was approximately 2″ in diameter. Be careful, if you apply too much pressure when cutting the dough, the dough can get suctioned into the cap, making it difficult to take out unless you break up the dough. Instead, apply a medium amount of pressure so you see the perforation of the round into the dough; and then you can peel the cut shape out of the sheet.

Coconut, Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

I’ve been meaning to post more desserts. Trust me, I love desserts. But I can’t regularly bake and eat a dozen (or two) cookies for 2 people. But I got an early start (7AM!) to my Saturday, ran in Central Park and planned to fill my afternoon with the semifinal matches of the US Open. I had my set-up with some fruit and nut snacks and ready to go see Djokovic vs. Federer at noon. Much to my dismay, the weather in Flushing got in my way and there was a rain delay. It’s remarkable to see how much the weather varies even within the distance of a few miles. The weather was great in Manhattan but there was no telling how long the rain delay would last in Flushing. So I thought I’d spend the time and bake some cookies. They’re a dessert that’s quick and easy to bake.

Cookies are pretty versatile. You can vary the mix-ins. It can be soft in the middle and crisp on the edges or it can be a chunkier cookie with a lot of bite. I love loaded cookies because of the amount of flavor, contrast and texture you get. The Ranger Cookie post by iamafoodblog inspired us to make a batch of our own! But any way you make these, they will definitely be delicious!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  3. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut flakes and walnut pieces into the dough.
  7. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Allow cookies to cool slightly before moving to a wire rack.

Cook’s Notes

 The recipe makes 2 dozen (or so) 2-3 bite cookies if you drop them about the size of a rounded tablespoon. Of course if you want them to be larger, the recipe will make a bit more than one dozen.

If you choose to flatten the dough a bit to make the cookies thinner, the baking time might need to be reduced depending on how thin you make the cookie. Set the baking timer for 8 minutes first. Check it and then add on additional time (1-2 minute increments) if needed.