“Is it Balemtime’s yet?! Can we make chocolate tweats?”
I didn’t think a 4-year-old could get more excited about something that wasn’t Christmas- or dinosaur-related. But I was wrong. It’s because there’s chocolate.
And Master Yoda.
She is my kid, after all. Although only one of us would choose broccoli & ranch over chocolate. Spoiler: IT’S NOT ME.
She picked out “chocolate writing cupcakes” to make for our friends after seeing a picture over my shoulder. And heart-shaped pancakes for Balemtime’s Dinner at home.
The one-bowl, deep, dark chocolate cupcakes are coated with an insanely messy chocolate glaze. Then decorated with melted white chocolate. Perfect for you and about 20 of your other favorite Valentines. I mean Balemtimes.
Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes
Rich chocolatey cupcakes, perfect for your Valentine.
For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used nonfat Greek yogurt)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
For the glaze:
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1-2 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners (I got 21 cupcakes).
Whisk the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until mixed well.
Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
Scoop batter into the liners, filling ~2/3 full.
Bake ~18 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched.
Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Microwave the heavy cream until hot, 1 minute.
Add the chopped chocolate and corn syrup and let sit for 3 minutes.
Stir until smooth. If there larger chunks remain, let the chocolate sit another minute or two.
Let the glaze sit about 5 minutes and then dip the cooled cupcakes into the chocolate glaze, returning to the rack to set. You'll have leftover glaze.
Microwave the white chocolate in a small bowl until melted and smooth.
Transfer to a sandwich bag, twist the bag closed, and snip a very tiny corner off the bag.
After spending a week learning about cooking and nutrition at her preschool, my sweet(ish) little(ish) Landry Kate came home with a chef hat, an apron, and an intensely unwavering interest to help me brownies.
Can we make brownies? Can we make brownies now? [yelling from inside the pantry] I can’t find the box of brownies!
Intensely. Unwavering. Interest.
But only in the “making brownies” part. (Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll focus on Unloading the Dishwasher 101 next week.)
Like any 3 1/2 year old, some of her favorite things are measuring, scooping, whisking, and stirring. And like any human, her absolute favorite part is licking that last bit of batter from the spoon, scoop, or spatula. But not the whisk! You only have to get your tongue pinched once before you realize that thing is the devil.
We made peanut butter cookies last week and as we’re getting ready to scoop out the dough, she throws her hands out and yells in that panicky, shrill tone that sends a mother’s heart into high gear fight mode: Oh, no Mommy! We forgot the chocolate!
Drama. We has some around here.
There have been many times when I’ve joked whether or not she might have been switched with another baby at the hospital. Like that time when she ran up to pet the weird giganti-lizard on a leash at the zoo. [shudder] And that time when she brought me a “brown lady bug” (a June bug). [double shudder] Or all those times she peeled open a quesadilla, ate the meat and cheese and left the tortilla virtually untouched.
Soft, chewy peanut butter cookies studded with chocolate chips.
1 stick butter, at room temp
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking mat.
Cream the butter and peanut butter on medium high for 1 minute.
Add sugars and beat at med-high for another minute. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add flour, baking soda and salt on low speed until thoroughly combined. Mix in chocolate chips (the dough will be quite soft).
Chill dough for 15-20 minutes.
Drop the dough by the small scoopfuls onto a lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. For a crispier cookie, allow the entire cookie to brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.