Category Archives: chocolate

Chocolate sandwich cookies with milk chocolate filling

 

This week has been whoa.  A lot of weird things have happened, and being my birthday week, I tried to put it all in perspective.  Life can sucker punch you sometimes, and you just have to keep going, even when it’s hard and hurts.

 

What doesn’t hurt is having a good cookie around.  These cookies are amazing, the cookie itself isn’t too sweet, but definitely full of chocolate flavor.  The inside, now that is what I call a little piece of happiness.  Milk chocolate that is smooth, sweet, and just comforting enough to make the car repair bill sting a little less. 

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Cookie dough

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt    

2 sticks softened unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

raw sugar for dusting

 

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then add yolk and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch square, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 2 hours

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

Roll dough out, using a biscuit cutter cut into circles and lay on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle some raw sugar on top of each cookie and bake for 15-20 minutes or until no longer shiny.  Let cool for 30 minutes or until room temperature

 

 

Milk chocolate filling

 

2/3 cup heavy cream

8 oz cooled/melted milk chocolate

4 T softened unsalted butter

 

Heat cream in a pan until simmering

Take cream off heat and let cool

Add cream to milk chocolate stirring until incorporated

Add butter and mix until smooth

Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes

 

Using a piping bag and tip (I used star tip) pipe filling onto one cookie and add another on top.  Can keep at room temperature for up to a week. 

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Devil’s food cake and cocoa fudge icing

Apron’s optional for this cake, but it’s old school and delicious. It’s the kind you take to work to celebrate a birthday, or make for a party at a neighbor’s house. It will not only impress, it will be gone quickly.  Don’t let the amount of ingredients intimidate you, it’s an easy recipe and worth making homemade.*

Devil’s food cake

3 cups cake flour

3 T cocoa powder 

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1 cup melted shortening

2 1/4 cups sugar 

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

6 oz milk (3/4 cup)

5 eggs lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 345 degrees

grease and line two 9 inch cake pans

Combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder/soda and shortening and beat in mixer for three minutes on low speed

Add half the milk and vanilla, mix on low for 5 minutes, stopping each minute to scrape down the sides

Add milk and eggs, mixing well for another 5 minutes on low

Pour into cake pans and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool to room temp before frosting

 

Cocoa fudge frosting 

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder

1/8 tsp salt

2-3 T corn syrup

2 T melted butter

1/4 cup melted shortening

1/2 cup plus 1 T hot water (140 degrees)

1 tsp vanilla

Blend sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and corn syrup, beat until smooth (add more corn syrup if necessary)

Add melted shortening, melted butter, hot water and vanilla until mixed well and fluffy.  Increase mixing speed if necessary, add more water if too thick, more powdered sugar if too runny

Frost cake and enjoy

Notes-add a layer of whipped cream between cakes for added flavor (homemade just add a pint of heavy cream, a cup of powdered sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla extract, whipped until medium peak)

*if you don’t have time to make a homemade cake, use a cake mix! There is no shame in that game. Just make your own frosting, your guests/friends/family will thank you

I added crushed peppermint to the top for holiday flair.  Can add coconut, sprinkles, fruit, whatever sounds good. 

And with the leftover cake, I made little trifles.  Because I am cool like that 

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Glamping

I am going into the outdoors. Glamping. Now if I had said camping, I would have had to stop typing from all the laughing. I am not the outdoorsy type. I love rain boots, cardigans, cute coats, but I can do without the wind/heat/cold. Yet I am going to try this! And believe me when I say that it’s going to be a pretty bourgeois with the flat screen tv, queen beds, shower and full kitchen. But I am going to sit around a campfire, making s’mores, taking pictures, and drinking. All while wearing a plaid shirt and overpriced boots. So here are some s’mores I made to get myself psyched up for my overnight in a state park well lit and free of bears. Happy Fall people

 

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Baking truth

Sometimes we don’t have time to make everything from scratch. And that is ok, no one is judging. Unless you unwrap a bunch of store bought Rice Krispie bars and put them on a fancy plate, then I am judging you. But I am getting off point. Cake mixes-use them. They are quick, cheap, and tasty. I use them, and I went to grueling school to learn how to make from scratch cake. But if I am in a hurry I will buy a buck cake box in a hot second. Stick with name brand, let’s have some standards here. Even when using a box mix, I always use homemade frosting, a tub of frosting is literally my line. This cake was made tonight for dessert/work tomorrow. It’s a chocolate fudge cake, with homemade whipped cream in the middle, and I frosted it with Smitten Kitchen’s fudge frosting. I have some glazed strawberries in strawberry balsamic vinegar that will go on top at the last minute (pictures of that tomorrow) 

In conclusion (as if I am writing a book report) don’t be ashamed of cake mixes, just always tell the truth if asked. I will post a homemade cake recipe soon, which is just as easy, just a few more steps. Happy baking

Frosting I used (recipe about halfway down)

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/08/espresso-chiffon-cake-with-fudge-frosting/

Cake is Duncan Hines chocolate fudge 

Homemade whip cream

Cup of heavy whipping cream

teaspoon vanilla

1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or until it’s sweet enough for you)

Combine all ingredients, whisk by hand, or combine in standing mixer until medium peaks 

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My “real” job

My day job

 

I work in a crazy place. And by crazy, I mean over 40 different personalities, mostly feeling like family crazy. I have been here almost 12 years, I went  from a file clerk to my position today as reigning bossy gal, and it’s been a bumpy ride. There have been some people here with backstabbing agendas, accusing me of being things I would never be, all in the name of getting attention and getting themselves out of working.  It was not such a great place for a short time, but it always works itself out in the end.

 

My job-they were so wonderful when I was in culinary school, letting me come in early or in the afternoons around classes, so I could fulfill my dream of being a pastry chef. They would get very excited on days when I would have an early out class, so they could taste some of my “schoolwork”.  They would keep me awake and off the ledge when I wanted to just lay down and sleep, or cry. I am lucky that the whole floor was so supportive of a career that has nothing to do with my current one.

I make about 98% of my desserts for work. They are my judge team, my taste testers, my real recipe developers. They tell me what they like and don’t like, they hint for their favorite dessert, and they can sometimes tell my mood by how much I have baked. Some go on diets and quit for awhile, but there is always someone in the wings, ready to try that new cookie, bread, or cake I bring in.

 

My day job is not my “passion job” but we can’t always do the thing we love at this moment. Until then, I will keep baking for my work peeps, and let them decide what goes on this blog/in my oven. 

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