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A little over a year ago,* I tempted you with a tantalizing description of these brown-black beauties, the Williams Sonoma Chocolate Crinkle Cookie. I wrapped it up in a tale about how I hadn’t been able to cook in my kitchen, due to a nasty roommate situation, which was a rather lame thing for me to write about. Even more lame — I hid them from your sight, and didn’t even share a recipe with you. Shame on me. Do you (few, brave) readers come here looking for stories about unpleasant roommates? I believe that you do not.

Today, I remedy these wrongs.

I can hold out on you no more.

Behold, the recipe:

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Baking

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cocoa
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
4 large eggs
2 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli bittersweet)
1/2 c confectioners’ sugar

Melt the butter and chocolate on top of a double boiler, over simmering water, and stir often. Remove and set aside to cool a bit.

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients — flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture on low speed until blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. The dough will be stiff, but you must persevere: mix in the chocolate chips by hand.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a good long while, at least 2 hours. I sometimes leave the dough in the fridge overnight.

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 325, though if you have an old, tempermental oven like I do, you might need to settle for 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl.

Roll a rounded tablespoon of dough between your palms into a 1 1/2 inch ball, and toss it around in the powdered sugar. Place the cookies about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the tops are puffed and crinkled and feel firm when lightly touched, about 13-17 mins. (My oven usually gets them done in about 15 mins.) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

*Yes, you read that right. G3 is a year old (plus a little bit). Thanks for reading!

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More, please

Well, that certainly didn’t last long.

Yep, I’m (half-) sorry to report that my post-holiday plan to eat more modestly was scuttled the other day, when this chocolate bread pudding popped out of my oven.

chocolate bread pudding

I had really good excuses for baking up this dessert, like:

  • When the temperature dips down to teeth-chattering levels, my drafty apartment feels best when the oven is on.
  • A half a loaf of bread was going stale.
  • Half of a carton of heavy cream was ready to be used, or else.
  • Ditto for a carton of whole milk.

Something had to be done. And when you think about it, making this dessert was a virtuous act — using up all these ingredients in such an efficient way. Is it my fault that it was also ridiculously decadent?

Before sharing the recipe, I should note that bread pudding has only recently made its way into my repertoire. It never really spoke to me, probably because it has a tendency to get mushy; however, any doubts I had are now a mere memory. This bread pudding, with a healthy sprinkling of raw sugar, makes the top all sparkly and crunchy–a nice counterpoint to all that chocolate-custard-y goodness lurking underneath.

3/5 chocolate bread pudding

And did I mention it has tendency to disappear on you?

Consider yourself warned.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2003, by way of Epicurious

1 c whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (or semisweet, depending on your desired level of intensity)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups bread with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used stale Zingerman’s farm bread — French bread would be great too)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Add 1 cup chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth.

Whisk egg and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Cool chocolate custard 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add bread cubes and remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips to custard and toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes or so.

Transfer to 1 1/2-quart-capacity shallow oval baking dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over mixture. Bake until custard thickens and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.

Try to keep yourself from picking at the crusty, sparkly bits with your fingers. Save some for your significant other, children, friends, and you will earn their devotion many times over.

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