Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mmm, Malt

It’s nice to have a lazy day when the biggest decision I have to make is what to bake. As you may know, I have an addiction to malted milk desserts and the large box of Whoppers on my kitchen counter was too tempting to resist experimenting with! These malted milk blondies aren’t too sweet, and have crisp edges with soft, moist centers.  

Malted Milk Blondies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons malted milk powder (I use Carnation brand) 
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 large egg 
2/3 cup Whoppers, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position rack in the center of oven. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, covering bottom and all four sides; set aside.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, malted milk, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. 
4. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in chopped Whoppers and chocolate chips. Spread in pan.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from sides of pan. Cool blondies in the pan on a wire rack. Lift foil and transfer to cutting board to cut into squares.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Melt In Your Mouth

Sometimes my best recipes result out of the necessity to clean out my ever-overflowing pantry and a second wind before bedtime. Thanks to a late night baking experiment last week, I may have created my favorite chocolate cookie recipe yet.
These mocha cookies are dense in flavor like a brownie but have a light, airy texture, similar a meringue cookie. I’d recommend using a very high quality chocolate for these cookies (I prefer Scharffen Berger).
Mocha Meltaways
Yield: About 24 cookies
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate 
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar

1. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when the mixture is fully melted and well combined.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour , baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix the espresso powder and water and set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a wire whip attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and coffee mixture until fluffy, about 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the chocolate mixture; blend until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture until just incorporated, about 1 minute. (The dough will look about the consistency of brownie batter.)
4. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and use a medium sized cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, on the middle rack of your oven for 13-15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cookies as they go from a gooey center to having a burnt bottom fairly quickly. Let cool on sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.