Monday, November 24, 2008

chocolate rice crispy treats

the goods:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 bag (10.5 ounces) mini marshmallows
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
6 cups crisp rice cereal
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides. Butter paper; set pan aside.

In a large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows, and cocoa.

Cook over medium, stirring frequently, until melted, about 6 minutes.

Stir in rice cereal.

Press rice mixture into prepared pan.

Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into treats!

Monday, November 17, 2008

dark-chocolate cookies

the goods:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (optional)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces melted, 4 ounces coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix in vanilla.

Combine espresso powder (if using) and melted chocolate; beat into butter mixture. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Drop dough by 2 heaping tablespoons, 3 inches apart on a baking sheet.

Bake until edges are dry, 14 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 10, 2008

chocolate-pumpkin tart

the goods:

20 oreo cookies, filling scraped out and discarded
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1 and 1/2 cups cooled sugar-pumpkin puree (see side-note)
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies and sugar until finely ground. Add butter; pulse until crumbs are moistened.

Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup, press crumbs into bottom (but not sides) of an 11-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until set. about 12 minutes.

Pour chocolate onto warm crust; spread with a spatula. Freeze until chocolate is firm, about 5 minutes. Brush sides of tart pan with butter; set aside.

Side-note: I am a big believer that when it is worth it, you should make it fresh (example: Fresh pumpkin puree: 100 times better than canned. Canned tomatoes: just as good as fresh! Therefore, not worth it to invest the time it takes to boil, blanch and peel your own!). So when fall commences, I buy a sugar-pumpkin. I peel it, scoop out the seeds, cut it into chunks and steam it until tender. Then I throw it in my food processor, and TA-DA! Fresh pumpkin puree that will most likely last me all season, depending on how pumpkin crazed I am. - If you are not a nut like me, then buying a can of pure pumpkin puree is just fine.

In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin, egg, cream, sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt.

Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until set, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 1 hour at room temperature; refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day).

Monday, November 3, 2008

chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

the goods:

1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together pats, flour, raisins, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. scraping down bowl as necessary. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined.

Gradually add oat mixture; beat just until combined.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2-inches apart onto a baking sheet.

Bake until cookies are golden brown, but still soft, 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheet; transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat as necessary until all dough has been cooked.