Archive for March, 2015

M and M Cookies

March 25, 2015

DSC_0500

I have a slight fascination with M&M cookies.  I think it all stems from snack time in elementary school.  Parents would bring those peanut butter cheese crackers all the time (so yum), or boxes or raisins (whyyyyy?!), but sometimes, sometimes there would be that mom that sent cookies.  And cookies, my friends, were fab.

DSC_0481

But it didn’t stop there.  Because there were those amazing days that my classmates would not just bring in cookies for snack time, but they would bring the cookies with the rainbow candies in the them.  The cookies that exuded all things magical, fairies and unicorns.  Those were the cookies that had an actual rainbow on the package itself, because those cookies just knew how special they were.  Those were the cookies that came around only if you happened to be lucky.

DSC_0490

Clearly I’m a bit nostalgic about them.  So I made them.  They’re not quite as magical as I remember.  Most likely because the original had about 3 candied nestled on top, and therefore, much more appreciated.  But these studded gems sure are fun, and tasty.  Perhaps eat them in a sandbox for the full nostalgic effect?  Or perhaps not.

DSC_0496

M&M Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup + 1/4 cup M&M candies, divided

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Lined two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and both sugars until well combined, and light in color.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix together salt, baking soda and flour.  Slowly add the flour mixture to butter mixture, with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.  By hand, fold in 1 cup of candies.

Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place on baking sheet, ensuring that there is enough space between each cookie.  Press in several of the additional candies on top.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are cooked-through and light in color.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Streusel Poundcake

March 3, 2015

DSC_0361

I need something sweet to top off every meal.  (I made a pan of rice krispy treats last week, and I ate three for breakfast every morning until I finished them.  I felt the need to tell you that).  And not the type of sweet where I can eat a piece of fruit and call it a day.  I typically want some chocolate.  I always want chocolate.  Revised: I need something chocolate to top off most every meal.

DSC_0343

This doesn’t mean that I break the calorie bank every 4 hours.  I improvise.  Sometimes I sprinkle some chocolate chips on to yogurt.  Sometimes I sprinkle some chocolate chips onto a graham cracker.  Sometimes I sprinkle some chocolate chips on to a rice cake.  Sometimes I sprinkle some chocolate chips into my mouth.  It’s sophisticated stuff.

DSC_0345

But you see a pattern.  So when I saw this recipe – a chocolate poundcake with a chocolate chip streusel not just sprinkled on top, but also the bottom – I knew that this would satisfy my chocolate needs for a bit.  This is actually brilliant.  A salty crumbly streusel, with chocolate chips still in tact, surrounding a velvety chocolate cake.  The streusel gives it texture and depth and everything you cannot get from sprinkling several chocolate chips on a rice cake.

DSC_0349

I may make a batch of the streusel and keep it for my daily chocolate sprinkling needs.  That will class it up a bit.

DSC_0359

Chocolate Streusel Poundcake (recipe from New York Times)

For the Streusel:

  • ½ cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons/45 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons/11 grams cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon/4 grams kosher salt
  • 4 ½ tablespoons/64 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • cup/60 grams semisweet chocolate chips

For the Poundcake:

  • 3 ounces/85 grams extra-bittersweet chocolate (70 percent), chopped
  • 1 ⅓ cups/185 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup/89 grams Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon/2 grams baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon/2 grams baking soda
  • ½ cup/113 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ cup/100 grams dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon/4 grams kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters vanilla extract
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters whole milk
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, then line with parchment paper, leaving enough to hang over the edges of the pan. Grease the parchment on the bottom of the loaf pan.
  2. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate for the cake, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool while you prepare the streusel.
  3. Prepare the streusel: In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Using fingers or a fork, cut in the butter until it is evenly distributed and forms large, moist crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scatter half the streusel evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until baked through.
  5. Prepare the cake: In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat melted butter, both sugars and salt together until combined. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, yogurt, milk and melted chocolate. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined.
  7. Scrape batter into prepared pan and top with remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake emerges clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely before turning out and slicing.