Chocolate

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

by Shawnda on August 20, 2012

in Chocolate,Cookies and Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Some little known facts about me:

Before retiring a couple of years ago – or maybe I’m just on sabbatical, I haven’t decided yet – I was a project manager in the tech industry. My clients made iThingies and super expensive servers and magical photo editing software that lets you zap that jerky ex-boyfriend out of any photo and replace him with any Hollywood or NFL cutie (I vote the latter). I miss it. But only sometimes. Usually when my kid has a set of molars coming in.

I never soften butter for baking recipes. Ever. Those recipes that call for a softened stick of butter? I throw a straight-from-the-fridge stick of butter in the mixer bowl and just turn it on medium-high while I get the rest of the ingredients out. I’m just gonna cream the heck out of it anyway, right?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We named our daughter after the greatest NFL coach of all time. And the most annoying female character on Lost of all time.

I’ve never been as sick, so often, in my previous 33 years than I have been over the last 11 months. Ever. My daughter started preschool 11 months ago. These things are not unrelated. I’m almost certain that her school hires the Outbreak monkey to clean her classroom with dirty needles and used Kleenexes at the end of the school day.

As the daughter of two bakers and a reformed bakery brat myself – I still have that dream a couple of times a month where I’ve overslept and didn’t get to the bakery in time to bake croissants and muffins – I know better than to ever, ever want to open my own bakery. The hours. The overhead. The hours! No thanks. And any job that actually makes you hate the smell of baked goods should be illegal.

And when giving the choice between every fancy dessert in the world and a warm chocolate chip cookie, I’ll take the cookie 9/10 times – there’s no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Okay, that’s not true. Remind me to tell you about the one time my mom opened the cabinet door and the canister of garlic salt came tumbling down into the mixer bowl. Those were turrible. But you know what I mean.

As long as you mostly follow directions – and don’t add 1/4 cup of garlic salt – you’re going to get a good chocolate chip cookie. But you can make a good chocolate chip cookie even better and that’s what we did here. We replaced half the butter with peanut butter, used more chocolate than we were supposed to, and added peanuts.

They’re gigantic and the perfect combination of chewy cookie, chocolate, and peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Perfectly thick and chewy peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies studded with peanuts.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened... or not)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 16 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted peanuts chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cream the butter and peanut butter together until uniform.
  3. Add sugars and cream 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
  5. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
  6. Add to the mixer bowl and mix just until blended.
  7. Add the chocolate chunks and nuts to the bowl, mixing until distributed. The dough will be very stiff and even a little crumbly.
  8. Divide the dough into 16 balls, approximately 4 oz each (think larger than a golf ball; a 2.5-inch scoop will do the trick perfectly) and place on a lined baking pan.
  9. Chill the dough for 20 minutes (you can also freeze dough at this point). Bake 6 cookies per pan (they're huge!) for 18-22 minutes or until browned on the edges and just set in the center.
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
  11. They'll keep several days in an airtight container or zip top bag.

Notes

Yields: ~16 cookies

Adapted from Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Estimated time: 45 minutes

{ 38 comments }

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

If you love chocolate, cherries, and ice cream, you are in luck today. If you love skinny jeans and have problems with will power… I’m sorry. But look! I made you ice cream!

Our second recipe to celebrate National Ice Cream month is a dark chocolate ice cream, swirled with fudge ripple and chopped roasted cherries. I had intended to make the ice cream as a sundae, drizzling leftover fudge ripple over top and adding a cherry but the look in my husband’s eyes said, “Please don’t.”

Or maybe it said, “Do it and I’ll have you committed.” The two looks, they’re very similar.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

I stopped looking for a chocolate ice cream recipe the day I stumbled across this one in The Perfect Scoop. It’s everything a chocolate ice cream should be: rich, dark, and insanely chocolatey (I even add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder).

Making this ice cream involves making the ice cream and chilling it for a couple of hours in the fridge; roasting the cherries, chopping them, and then chilling them in the fridge; making the fudge ripple and then chilling it in the fridge. But you only have to make the fudge ripple once all summer. It keeps forever in the fridge.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

A decadent dark chocolate ice cream swirled with chunks of roasted cherries and fudge ripple.

Ingredients

  • For the ice cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 4 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5 oz good semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the roasted cherries:
  • 1/2 lb cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • For the fudge ripple:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Warm 1 cup cream with the cocoa powder and whisk thoroughly.
  2. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
  3. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and stir until smooth. Then stir in the remaining cream.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible.
  5. Set a mesh strainer over the bowl.
  6. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the saucepan.
  7. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the yolks together.
  8. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg yolks and then pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
  9. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat , scraping the bottom, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of your spoon.
  10. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
  11. Add the vanilla.
  12. Set the bowl in an ice bath (put several cups of ice into the sink and fill with a few inches of water).
  13. Stir every 15 minutes until cool and then chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge (~2 hours).
  14. While the ice cream is chilling, roast the cherries and make the fudge ripple.
  15. Preheat the oven to 425.
  16. Toss cherries with sugar and place in a small baking dish.
  17. Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool slightly before transferring to a small food processor or blender and pulsing to chop the cherries into small pieces.
  18. Transfer the cherries to a covered bowl and refrigerate thoroughly.
  19. To make the fudge ripple, stir together the water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  20. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat.
  21. Stir in vanilla.
  22. Let cool and then store in a jar in the fridge (will keep for several weeks). The fudge ripple must be completely chilled to use.
  23. Pour the chocolate custard into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions.
  24. Transfer 1/3 of the ice cream into the storage container.
  25. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of fudge ripple and half of the cherries over top.
  26. Repeat, with the next 1/3 of the ice cream, 2 Tbsp fudge ripple and remaining cherries.
  27. Transfer the last of the ice cream to the bowl, drag a spoon or a knife held upright through the bowl in a figure 8 pattern to lightly swirl.
  28. Cover with a lid, and freeze completely.

Notes

Yields: Chocolate ice cream and fudge ripple from The Perfect Scoop

Estimated time: 4 hours

{ 14 comments }

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

There are 10lbs of fresh, pitted cherries in my freezer right now – they probably won’t still be there when that cherry margarita craving hits in November, but I do plan to stretch cherry season out as long as I can this year!

We’ve managed to work cherries into dinner, dessert, and most importantly: margaritas. What’s missing from that list?

Breakfast.

And pizza. One thing at at time, though.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I took my very favorite stripped-down basic muffin recipe – it’s moist, reliable, and bakes up a beautifully domed top every single time – and converted it to a dark, chocolatey muffin loaded with fresh cherries chunks and chocolate chunks.

And it was sweet, rich, and decadent. Exactly like dessert-for-breakfast should be.
Continue Reading…

{ 11 comments }

Rolo Ice Cream

by Shawnda on July 1, 2012

in Chocolate,Ice Cream

Rolo Ice Cream

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? You do now!

On a stick, in a cone. In a cup, a bowl, or floating in a frosty mug of Dr. Pepper… doesn’t matter how you eat it, it has the ability to turn back the “feels like” number on the calendar and the thermometer and has magical cooling powers.

Especially when it’s 104 out and you’re lugging 35 lbs of ticked-off toddler around the zoo. I speak from very, very recent experience.

We’re big ice cream fans, store-bought and homemade alike. And because you can never have too many recipes, we have a a couple of new ice cream flavors to share with you this month! So let’s get to that Rolo ice cream!

Growing up, we didn’t live close to anything. We were almost 40 miles from Houston, right in the middle of no man’s land between two really small dots on a map. When we went to church, it meant we were driving in to Porter (and lunch at the Hot Biscuit!) and when we went “to town,” that meant we were driving all the way to Humble.

Going to town meant a stop at the “big” Shell station for gas. And Rolos. Dad was a Rolo junkie. He’d break the roll in two and pitch our half into the backseat where 4 kids were crammed into a spot meant for 3. It was kind of like tossing a bucket of chum into shark-infested waters. 11 seconds later, there was little evidence left aside from a few chocolate smudged smiles and the occasional gold foil shred.

When my family was over for one of our weekend “you have a pool, it’s hot, you win” get-togethers, I made Rolo ice cream for Dad. I swirled leftover caramel sauce and leftover fudge ripple (make them once and you’re set – they keep forever) into our favorite vanilla ice cream recipe and added a mountain of chopped Rolo candies.

The ice cream was a hit, I barely had enough to eek out a photograph (I would have loved just *one* more scoop). Ice cream shouldn’t have to come with a warning but do make sure that you chop the Rolos into at least quarters – anything bigger and there’s too much hard caramel filling to bite.

Rolo Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel, fudge, and Rolos.

Ingredients

  • For the ice cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ~40 Rolo candies, unwrapped and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce, homemade or purchased, at room temp (or slightly warmed to pourable)
  • For the fudge ripple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add 1 cup cream and set a strainer over top.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir remaining cream, milk, and sugar until very hot.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
  4. Stream in 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking.
  5. Pour the egg yolks into the sauce pan and heat the custard until thickened, stirring constantly (if you're watching a thermometer, this will happen around 175F).
  6. Turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour the mixture through the strainer into the large bowl.
  7. Stir the custard into the cream and refrigerate overnight or until completely cold (I speed up the process significantly by placing the bowl in the sink, adding 2 bowls of ice, and adding just enough water to meet the level of custard in the bowl. Stir occasionally until cool, about 30 minutes, and then transfer to the fridge for another 2 hours before churning.)
  8. To make the fudge ripple, stir together the water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  9. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat.
  10. Stir in vanilla.
  11. Let cool and then store in a jar in the fridge (will keep for several weeks). The fudge ripple must be completely chilled to use.
  12. Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions.
  13. Add the chopped rolos and let the mixer run another minute more (or fold them in manually).
  14. Transfer 1/3 of the ice cream into the storage container.
  15. Drizzle 2 Tbsp each of caramel and fudge ripple over top.
  16. Repeat, with the next 1/3 of the ice cream and 2 Tbsp each of caramel and fudge ripple.
  17. Transfer the last of the ice cream to the bowl, cover with a lid, and freeze completely.

Notes

Yields: ~1 quart

Source: Vanilla ice cream and fudge ripple from The Perfect Scoop

Estimated time: 4 hours

{ 12 comments }