Supreme Chocolate Cookies (with chocolate chips and macadamia nuts)

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Everyone always talks about putting on winter weight. I am unconvinced that this is because I eat heavier or richer foods, (let’s be honest, I eat them year round). I think a lot of it is that I don’t want to be outside in the cold, so I choose to turn on the oven and make something delicious. It is really the only solution — I heat up the apartment a little more and I get something delicious.

These cookies are 1 part I didn’t want to go out and 1 part I wanted to mail Alex some cookies. I made three different types: Pistachio, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, and the Supreme Chocolate Cookies. The oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a standby, and Alex’s favorites, and I will post the recipe at some point; they are super easy! The other two were new experiments. The pistachio still need a lot of work, but the chocolate cookies were a wonderful surprise.

These cookies are sweet and salty, soft and textured, and extremely rich. They are perfect for the afternoon slump snack or an evening stuck in the house watching it snow. These are a modified version of this recipe; it made about 18 cookies.IMG_2172

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350º. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In mixer, or with electric beaters, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla and beat.

IMG_2185Add sifted dry ingredients and mix until just combined (this will be very wet, I almost thought I needed more flour, but I was very glad I didn’t add it). Add dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and chopped macadamia nuts (I used a blender and it came out a little finer than I originally anticipated (no less delicious, though).

Bake for 12 minutes. They will come out of the oven soft, but not gooey. Cool on wire rack and eat! They stay soft for several days in an airtight container.

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Blackberry Spice Cupcakes

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I am an epicurious girl. When I want to make something but am not quite sure what, epicuious is my go-to. Every now and then, I just browse through cakes or cookies and if I find something I think I might want to make at somepoint, I putit in my “Recipe Box” (it is my favorite feature). That is how I found/re-found this recipe.

This cake recipe looks delicious. I wanted cupcakes, so it took some conversion, and

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Adding sour cream.

it is certainly far from perfect. The first time I made it I used the whole recipe and it made 22. The second time I made it, I halved the recipe and got 18. I don’t think I did anything differently, but I was in someone else’s kitchen the first time, so who knows, maybe there was something different…

For Cake

  • 2 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoonground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

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    Fill cups 2/3 of the way full.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sour cream

For Filling:

  • 1 1/2 1/2-pint baskets blackberries
  • 2 tbs  sugar

For Frosting:

  • 1 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

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    Egg whites, stiff but not dry.

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Plus blackberries for garnish.

Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin tin with cupcake liners . Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Beat in dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with sour cream. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry; fold into batter in 2additions. Fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full (about a quarter cup or an ice cream scoop, if you have one).

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

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To fill cupcakes cut small circle, fairly deep but not all the way through, to make cutout. Cut off about half of the cutout top so that there is room for the filling. Use a teaspoon and fill in hole about 3/4 to 7/8 of the way. Put the top back on and push down a little, careful not to overfill.

For Frosting, cream butter and cream cheese together. Beat in sugar then sour cream and vanilla. To frost, I used a large star tip to make rosettes and topped them with a blackberry.

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The Beginning.

As someone with a day-job in publishing (even if it is just textbooks and not anything with a true plot line), I feel like no story can start without a beginning…

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There once was a girl named Michelle who lived in a small town in Massachusetts. She grew up in this small town and, as many young girls do, tried many different hobbies and interests, trying to figure out what she liked. She drew, wrote stories, designed dresses, played soccer, played basketball, ran around with friends, danced, participated in theater and tried stage crew. She refused to learn how to sail because she was convinced she would smell fishy; she later regretted this refusal. Growing up in a family of many chefs (both of the at-home and professional variety), Michelle had a basic understanding of cooking but often made nothing more than the quick snack or dinner and the occasional baked good (the kind with a recipe on the side of the box).

It was not until she met a wise, wonderful woman (I guess girl would be the proper term, since they were both in high school when they met, but hopefully she gets the reference) that she realized how wonderful it was to make something from scratch. This lovely person introduced Michelle to a whole new world of exciting possibilities. And so, for the last year of high school, they spent many an afternoon or weekend making delicious things, when they weren’t doing homework or after school activities, or watching their favorite show, Gilmore Girls.

Throughout college these two remained fast friends, despite hundreds of miles between them and vacation schedules that never quite lined up. Every trip home when the two of them were there together, there would be an afternoon or evening of Gilmore Girls and baked goods.

While Michelle missed her friend when she was away, college was a wonderful time where she met many fantastic people and made new friends, several of whom enjoyed cooking and baking, and, even, Gilmore Girls. Michelle tried out more cakes and cookies, she tried souffles and tarts, she learned the wonders of puff pastry, and got very excited about time spent in her kitchen. It was during college when a lovely boy gave her the best gift anyone could give, a KitchenAid stand mixer. Michelle named her Molly and the two of them concocted even more delicious things.

After college, Michelle returned to Massachusetts and found a job at a small textbook publisher. While she likes her job, she wishes she could spend more time in her kitchen. Then, one day, she decided she should start a blog.

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This is where the story begins (and I promise, the third person narrative ends here).