White Chocolate Almond Chunk Cookies

After the holidays I know you want salads + kale + quinoa + millions of vegetables. Trust me, I do. I want those things too.

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But I was looking of my page views and popular recipes in 2012, and the stats don’t lie. You beautiful, smart, and totally amazing readers are looking at sweet things. I get it! I like to stare at pictures of cookies too.

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And so I decided to start 2013 off with a delicious recipe for a cookie with slivered almonds, white chocolate and tons of chewy goodness that you can save for later. Or if you’re weird and anything like me, you can make it now and eat them while watching every episode ever of Gossip Girl. *hangs head in shame*. Now on to these cookies!

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This recipe is easy! First, preheat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the top position. Then cream the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

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Mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Mix the almonds into the dough.

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Drop mounded tablespoons of dough on the a cookie sheet spacing them 1 inch apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

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Bake the cookies 4 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking for 3-5 minutes, until they show the barest amount of brown around the edges. The centers should be soft but not gooey.

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Cool completely on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container.

Enjoy! And Happy 2013!

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White Chocolate Almond Chunk Cookies
recipe from Shutterbean via With Love and Butter
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups white chocolate chips/chunks
1 1/2 cup almonds (I used slivered)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the top position.

Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Mix the almonds into the dough.

Drop mounded tablespoons of dough on the a cookie sheet spacing them 1 inch apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake the cookies 4 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking 3-5 minutes, until they show the barest amount of brown around the edges. The centers should be soft but not gooey. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Note:
I baked the cookies for 5 minutes and rotated and then baked for another 5 minutes. Just check your oven often and see what works best for you! xo

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Eggnog Fudge

Some things just scream Christmas for me.

Eggnog Fudge // Warm Vanilla Sugar

1. Eggnog.
2. Gingerbread anything.
3. Cats in Christmas hats….

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I officially finished all of my Christmas baking yesterday, and tried quite a few new recipes from various bloggers. Needless to say, my pants don’t fit. Despite running between 5-15 miles five days a week my body has decided to let me know that I’m now 25, and can’t eat whatever I wan’t anymore. I was warned about this day…damn you metabolism!

Eggnog Fudge // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I can deal with stretchy pants though, because if nothing else, the extra pound or two I’ve gained has gone straight to my butt, and I think it looks just fine ;)

Eggnog Fudge // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I’ve had this recipe for Eggnog fudge waiting to be made since I saw it a year ago on Brown Eyed Baker‘s blog. No need for me to repost the recipe here, since I followed her instructions to a T, but this recipe is a must make for any eggnog lovers out there. If you’re a hater…I’d skip this one.

Eggnog Fudge // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Recipe for Eggnog Fudge here.

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter

I have now been in Switzerland for a week running around like crazy, and trying to get organized. My work day is from 8 to 5:30, but with marathon training and morning exercises in between I find it hard to get anything done. This weekend I had some time to myself so I went to the grocery store only to find that it didn’t have peanut butter. I was confused, but upon asking a local (in my very bad French) I learned that the Swiss don’t really eat peanut butter. You can get it in some specialty stores, but it’s not common at all. WEIRD!

In North America people go crazy for it, and when they can’t have it they go nuts for peanut butter substitutes like sunbutter or almond butter (which are both amazing as well). I am one of those typical North American’s that also love the stuff. Before leaving for Switzerland I made my own peanut butter often, and tried this white chocolate variation from How Sweet It Is. It’s a must try!

To begin, grab some high quality dry roasted peanuts.

Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until a thick nut butter forms. Stream in oil and vanilla with the processor on, continuing to run it until the mixture is smooth (about 3-4 minutes). You can add more oil if needed, but in small increments. Turn off processor, add melted chocolate, and turn processor back on. Blend until smooth.

Try it out on some yummy whole wheat toast, and enjoy! I miss this stuff.

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter
Recipe from How Sweet It Is
Makes about 3/4 cup

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dry, roasted peanuts (I used salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup white chocolate chips/chunks/bars, melted

Directions:
1. Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until a thick nut butter forms. Stream in oil and vanilla with the processor on, continuing to run it until the mixture is smooth (takes about 3-4 minutes). You can add more oil if needed, just do it in small increments.
2. Turn off processor, add melted chocolate, and turn processor back on. Blend until smooth.

You can keep this peanut butter at room temperature for a week, but refrigerate it if you want to keep it for a few weeks.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

I had a splendid Valentine’s day this year. My boyfriend took charge of the main meal and my part of the day was to make the dessert. I rarely get the chance to make a special cake, so I searched my favorite blogs, and read my favorite recipe books for the most decadent cake I could find. It didn’t take me too long, I have had this Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake bookmarked from Annie’s Eats Blog since I first saw it way back in May.

The bottom layer of this baby is a flourless chocolate cake, the middle layer is a silky chocolate mousse and the top layer is a beautifully creamy white chocolate mousse. I salivated for hours waiting to eat this cake.

Let’s begin, shall we? To make the bottom layer, butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325˚ F. Combine the butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds.  Crumble half of the brown sugar into the mixing bowl with your fingers to remove any lumps.  Beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds.  Add the remaining brown sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more.

Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges and the center has just set but is still soft about 14-18 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Do not remove the cake from the pan.

To make the second layer, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2-5 minutes.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds.

Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until smooth. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.

Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.

Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake and tap gently on the counter 3 times to remove air bubbles. Gently smooth the top with a spatula. Wipe the inside edge of the pan to remove any drips. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while preparing the top layer.

To make the top layer, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let stand at least 5 minutes to soften.  Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl.  Bring ½ cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved.

Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate and let stand about 1 minute.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Cool to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.

Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the middle layer.  Smooth the top with an offset spatula.  Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours.  (Note: Do NOT cover your pan with plastic wrap unless you are completely sure you can do so without it touching the top of your cake during placement or removal.)

Decorate to your liking. I had a Valentine’s theme so I put shaved semi-sweet chocolate, and heart sprinkles on top.

Eat!

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats via Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients:
For the bottom layer:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (plus extra for greasing the pan)
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ tsp. instant espresso powder
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

For the middle layer:
2 tbsp. cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
5 tbsp. hot water
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

For the top layer:
¾ tsp. powdered gelatin
1 tbsp. water
6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups heavy cream

For garnish:
Chocolate curls or cocoa powder

Directions:
To make the bottom layer, butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325˚ F. Combine the butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Crumble half of the brown sugar into the mixing bowl with your fingers to remove any lumps. Beat until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Add the remaining brown sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges and the center has just set but is still soft (should spring back after pressing gently with a finger), about 14-18 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Do not remove the cake from the pan. (If not making the second layer right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to proceed.)

To make the second layer, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl; set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, 2-5 minutes.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds. Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until smooth. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake and tap gently on the counter 3 times to remove air bubbles. Gently smooth the top with a spatula. Wipe the inside edge of the pan to remove any drips. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while preparing the top layer.

To make the top layer, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and let stand at least 5 minutes to soften. Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring ½ cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate and let stand about 1 minute. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup of cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 30-60 seconds. Using a whisk, mix one-third of the whipped cream to the white chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream gently with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain. Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the middle layer. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours. (Note: Do NOT cover your pan with plastic wrap unless you are completely sure you can do so without it touching the top of your cake during placement or removal. If it does touch the cake, it will smudge the top.)

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Aren’t cookies awesome? I absolutely adore the little mounds of sugar and butter. When I was in high school I used to love walking up to Subway at lunch and getting two chocolate chip cookies with my six-inch roasted chicken sub. My taste buds have changed a lot since then. I have given up meat for one thing, but also I like to try different kinds of cookies. I will pretty much try anything. Recently I tried re-creating the Subway white chocolate macadamia nut cookie and not to be self-centered or anything buuuuut I nailed it! This recipe dishes out thin, soft, chewy cookies, that linger in your mouth. I’m happy.

To begin, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly blended in another medium bowl.

Chop some white chocolate chunks. Also, chop some macadamia nuts.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until thoroughly blended. Stir in the white chocolate and nuts.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on greased, prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat the little beauties!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
This recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 ounces (12 squares) white chocolate, chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease three baking sheets with baking spray or butter. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until thoroughly blended. Stir in the white chocolate and nuts.
3. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Double that chocolate chunk…cookie


Eventually, you’ll begin to notice that I love baking cookies. Why? Because when you don’t have anyone to bake for they are a nice small snack, and they freeze really well if you want to save some for later.

Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. They’re filled with butter, and feel so great on the taste buds. So I thought, why not make these bad boys better and put extra chocolate into that batter, add some chocolate chunks with the chips, and add some white chocolate? Sounds good to me, and I followed through. No regrets.

I try to eat my breakfast early everyday for one reason – so I can eat chocolate right after, and not feel guilty about it. I love chocolate. Sometimes, a little too much. These chewy, double chocolate, dream cookies are amazing in every way. There are a few white chocolate chunks mixed in with the semi-sweet chocolate to balance the cookie’s richness.

You’ll notice that my recipe calls for chocolate “chips”. I wrote it out like this so that it would be easy to do the measurements. I chopped up some semisweet bakers chocolate as well as white chocolate blocks to add to the look of the cookie, but chips definitely still do the trick. Umm..pass the milk!

These double chocolate chunk cookies are an original recipe :)

Ingredients:
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Melt 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until melted. Set aside and cool to room temperature; do not allow the chocolate to become firm.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and melted chocolate until fluffy.

4. Stir in the flour mixture until combined, then stir in the remaining chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.

5. Scoop out the dough by tablespoonfuls, and drop 2 to 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until set (centre will appear soft and moist). Cool for 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheet, and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.