Archive for: milk chocolate
I bake brownies more often than I bake blondies, because the fudgy chocolate bars are always a crowd pleaser and they simply come to mind a bit more often than their non-chocolate counterparts. Blondies are such a versatile type of bar cookie, however, because you can work any ingredients you want into them – chocolate or not. They’re also much quicker to bake than individual cookies, since you don’t need to portion out the dough or bake in batches. This particular batch of blondies is something that I put together just to break out of my brownie rut, but the recipe is definitely a keeper.
Milk Chocolate and Coconut Blondies are moist, chewy bar cookies that are bursting with milk chocolate chips and shredded coconut. These two flavors make a great combination, and I wanted to make sure that I used enough of each that they would really stand out and shine in these bars. The batter for these bars starts out much like cookie dough, with a touch less leavening because you want them to keep a dense and brownie-like consistency as they bake. You definitely get the butter-brown sugar-vanilla combination that you get in a good batch of chocolate chip cookies with these, though the milk chocolate and coconut are still the stars.
I used sweetened shredded coconut, but unsweetened coconut can also be used. Milk chocolate is sweet and rich tasting, but a little bit more mellow than dark or semisweet chocolate chips are, so they don’t overwhelm the flavor of the coconut. That being said, you could certainly give these bars a try with regular chocolate chips if you don’t have milk chocolate chips (or you could chop up a bar of milk chocolate). The toasted coconut on top of the bars helps to keep the coconut flavor in the forefront no matter what else you decide to mix into these bars.
Tempered chocolate is very glossy, has a firm finish and melts smoothly at around body temperature. Simply melting the chocolate before you use it to dip berries, truffles or other goodies does not temper it. The process of tempering involves raising and lowering the temperature of the chocolate to encourage strong, organized crystallization of the cocoa butter so that the finished chocolate will have that glossy look, a sharp snap and will be resistant to chocolate bloom. In short, tempering chocolate makes it last longer and look better, and if you are serious about using chocolate in your kitchen, it is good to know how to do it.
There are several ways to temper chocolate and this method is known as seeding. It is very simple and it is very easy to do at home, both with small and large quantities of chocolate. For this demonstration, I am working with dark chocolate. Milk and white chocolates also need to be tempered and can be tempered in the exact same way as this dark chocolate, but the tempering process happens at a slightly lower temperature.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can’t go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie. With that in mind, a chocolate chip cookie makes a great jumping off point for other flavors in a cookie and you can transform an old classic into a new one without missing out on anything. With these Apricot Pecan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, I was looking for something to put a little bit of a twist on oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I added in dried apricots, toasted pecans and milk chocolate chips for a cookie that offered a variety of flavors and textures.
All of these ingredients come together for a great cookie combination that seems not only delicious, but a bit unusual, since you don’t usually see them all together in once place. The chocolate adds sweetness, while the apricot adds some chewyiness and a bright, fruity flavor, and the pecans add a toasty crunch. The cookies themselves are buttery, tender, have just the right amount of crunch around the edges and make the perfect backdrop for all of the ad-ins.
The reason that I opted for milk chocolate is that I really feel it is a better match for the apricots than dark chocolate would be. Dark chocolate can have such a strong flavor that it is easy for it to overpower the light, flower flavor of the apricot. Milk chocolate adds some great sweetness to the cookies and still allows the apricot to be a standout flavor on its own.
Some say that the only thing better than a chocolate chip cookie is a cookie with even more chocolate in it. I have a hard time passing up a classic, but there are certainly occasions when more chocolate is in order. These Double Chocolate Coffee Toffee Cookies look simple and pack a lot of flavor, giving you a great cookie as well as providing you with a chocolate fix when you’re in the mood.
The cookies are a chocolate cookie made with plenty of cocoa powder and a good dose of coffee (instant coffee or Starbucks Via are both good choices). They are studded with pieces of toffee and milk chocolate chips. The cookies that have a great chocolate flavor and the coffee notes only serve to deepen it, highlighting the unsweetened cocoa powder in the dough. That dark chocolate flavor means that the cookies aren’t too sweet, so I opted to use milk chocolate chips in these. Milk chocolate adds some extra richness to the cookies in addition to adding even more chocolate flavor. You can use semisweet chocolate chips, if you don’t have milk chocolate, and can even use dark chocolate chips if you prefer the dark side! As for the toffee, you can buy prepackaged toffee bits in many supermarkets, or you can buy a chocolate covered toffee candy bar (such as Heath) and chop it up yourself.
The cookies are tender, slightly chewy and very satisfying – especially if you manage to grab one when they are still slightly warm from the oven. They’re not brownie-like cookies when it comes to texture, but the definitely have a brownie-like depth of flavor to them! The cookies will keep well for at least two or three days when stored in an airtight container, and they make great ice cream sandwiches if you’re inclined to save a few for a warm day.
While cupcakes can come in any flavor, I think that there are still just two main kinds of cupcakes, judging by the standards that you will see in every bakery, every coffee shop and every market: chocolate with chocolate frosting and vanilla with vanilla frosting. To be honest, I like to mix chocolate and vanilla, but I’ll readily admit that nothing goes better with a big, tall, cold glass of milk than a good chocolate cupcake topped off with chocolate frosting
This is one of my favorite basic chocolate cupcake recipes. These cupcakes use a generous amount of sour cream in them, which makes the cupcakes moist and tender. The tang from the sour cream also seems to ensure that the cupcakes taste chocolaty, without tasting overly sweet. The chocolate flavor comes from a lot of cocoa powder, adding flavor without adding any density, and again not making the cupcakes overly sweet. Adding a little bit of coffee doesn’t add a mocha or coffee flavor to the cake at all, it simply deepens the chocolate notes. This base is perfect for a sweet, chocolaty frosting. In this case, it’s a milk chocolate sour cream frosting that is both smooth and rich. Add the confectioners’ sugar in gradually when you make the frosting so it doesn’t become overly thick and maintains a nice, spreadable consistency.
If you really want to take these over the top, thrown in a big handful of mini chocolate chips. They’re not going to dramatically change these cupcakes for the better, since they’re moist and have a great flavor on their own, but they will still sneak in a little bit of a extra chocolate punch with each bite. You can even sprinkle a few on top of the frosting as a decoration in lieu of regular sprinkles. You might want to have a second glass of milk handy if you take this route or risk chocolate overload!