Checkerboard Cookies

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BM# 100: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Pick an alphabet

I make cakes regularly. Cookies – not so much, but I used to make it often earlier. The main reason was that my recipe sources were my cookbooks. I had excellent baking books and it was my habit to go through those regularly. I would try out the recipes and my first baking book – The Essential Baking, got me hooked to cookies. I never knew it was so easy to make cookies.

I have made checkerboard cookies also many times, but I haven’t had great success with the shape ever. I prefer making spiral cookies using the same recipe. The simple reason that it’s easier to make the spiral cookies. The shape doesn’t require you to bring out measuring tools.

Now a days, the recipe source for me has shifted from books to the Internet. So sometime back when I came across this recipe online for checkerboard cookies, I decided to give it a try. These were made as a gift and were well received.

Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe source: Taste of Home

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 sticks ( ~140 gms) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips, melted and cooled or 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Beat everything until its combined well. Slowly add in the flour in batches beating at a low speed until everything is well mixed.
  2. Divide the dough into two batches. Add the melted chocolate or cocoa powder to one part and mix it in.
  3. Follow this video for instructions on how to shape the cookies. Pictures or videos explain the process a lot better than words.
  4. Clingwrap and Refrigerate the dough until the time of baking.
  5. Pre heat oven to 350F/180C. Slice the cookie log into 1/4″ thick cookies. Spread them evenly on a baking pan, leaving some space between the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are set and edges start browning a bit. Take off the oven and let them rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. The cookie hardens as it cools.

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Brigaderio – Brazilian chocolate truffles

BM# 96: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Southern Hemisphere

On Day 3 of Blogging under recipes from countries in Southern hemisphere theme, I am here with a dessert. Brigaderio are chocolate fudge/truffles made from condensed milk and cocoa powder. It’s a very popular dessert in Brazil and is extremely easy to make.

I have followed the instructions and recipe from Easy and Delish. You can check out the videos by Tasty too where they share more flavor ideas. I have tried the cocoa version here.

All you need to do is cook, stirring constantly, condensed milk, a little butter and cocoa powder. In about ten minutes, the mixture will become shiny and start to pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan. The cooking part is over! The next part is harder though – the waiting time! You can refrigerate the mix to cool faster but even then you are looking at at least 30 minutes. Once it cools down completely and then all you need to do is roll it into small balls and serve.

The serving size is a little difficult to generalize since it would depend on the size of the truffles. If you take bigger scoops to make the balls, then you would have lesser number and if you stick with smaller scoops you will have more truffles. I got around 11 truffles, each slightly smaller than a golf ball.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14oz) can condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate sprinkles for decoration

Method :

  1. In a thick bottomed pan, add the can of condensed milk and cocoa powder. Mix well until no lumps remain. Add butter.
  2. Heat this mixture, stirring continuously, until it becomes shiny, thickens and starts to pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan. It takes about 10 minutes. When you run the spoon in the middle, you would be able to see the bottom of the pan. It should take a couple of seconds for the fudge mix to come back together.
  3. Take off the heat at this point and add the vanilla. Transfer to a greased plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or leave them at room temperature until it’s completely cooled down. At that point, grease your hands and roll them into small balls. Dredge carefully on top of chocolate sprinkles to coat and serve on mini cupcake liners.

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2 Ingredients Hot Chocolate

BM# 95: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Winter warmers

When you say winter, the first thing that comes to mind is Christmas. And the second thing is hot chocolate. A cup of hot chocolate goes a long way into uplifting your mood on a cold day. I don’t like the readymade hot cocoa packets that you just have to mix with hot water and drink. I prefer the old fashioned from scratch method using cocoa powder.

It is a simple basic method of mixing one tablespoon of cocoa powder and sugar as needed to a cup of hot milk. I also like using a candy cane as a stirrer to infuse peppermint flavor into the drink. This morning I tried a peanut butter version where you add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the basic hot chocolate recipe. I am big fan of peanut butter, so for me it was delicious.

But for my son, I wasn’t sure whether he would like it. So I made this much simpler version of hot chocolate. It uses only chocolate chips and hot milk. I added a tiny pinch of instant coffee powder to boost that chocolate flavor a bit more. And of course some marshmallows for topping!

Read on for the recipe. This post goes to Kids Delight event, hosted this month by PJ under the theme Winter warmers.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 spoon instant coffee powder, optional
  • Mini Marshmallows for topping

Method:

  1. Heat milk. Turn off heat before it starts boiling.
  2. Add chocolate chips and instant coffee powder, if using, mix with a spoon until it’s melted. Pour into a mug and serve topped with mini marshmallows.

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Slutty Brownie cake

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BM # 82: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : USA
Recipe: Brownie cake

Brownies and cakes are part of USA food and sometimes they come together as a single treat. Brownie cakes are actually brownies that are then decorated as cakes, that’s not the case here. While browsing I came across something called ‘Slutty brownies‘ which is a decadent treat. It has three layers – a cookie layer, oreo layer and then a final brownie layer. When made with ready made cookie dough, crushed oreos and a box mix for brownies, its an easy to make treat and every bit decadent as you can imagine.

The recipe here is a cake version of the same. It is a layer cake with three 9″ layers – each corresponding to the slutty brownie layer. So a base cake batter is prepared and divided into three portions – one each for the cookie layer, brownie layer and oreo layer. This is a delicious treat by itself, it is definitely a cake recipe and no means resembles brownies or cookies in any way. I followed the recipe from What’s Gabby Cooking without any change.

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The best part of this recipe for me was it gave a single recipe for a three 9″ layer cake. Else I was using a double batch of a two layer cake which would always leave me with an addition fourth (and unnecessary) cake. I have tried the same base recipe and made a Neapolitan cake instead of brownie layers.

I have to start making videos to explain the cake assembling better, but until I figure that out, you guys can scroll down and read the recipe.

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Recipe source: Whats Gabby Cooking

Ingredients:

Base cake:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup corn flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk

*Use 4 cups cake flour instead of a mix of flour and corn flour

Oreo Cookie layer:

  • 10 oreos crumbled

Cookie dough layer:

  • 1 tablespoon molasses (didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Brownie layer:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Filling, frosting and toppings:

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line three 9″ pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and continue beating at medium speed. Once the four eggs are combined well, add the vanilla essence and beat it in.
  4. We have to add the flour in three batches, alternating it with the buttermilk. That means, we have to first add 1/3rd of the flour mix into the butter mix. Beat at a lower speed to avoid spilling of the flour all over. Once the flour is mixed in without streaks, add one cup of buttermilk and continue beating. Now add half of the leftover flour mix. Once that’s mixed well, add in the rest of buttermilk. Once that’s combined well, add the remaining flour. At any point, you can stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to help combine the batter better.
  5. Divide the batter into three bowls. Add 1/3 cup cocoa powder into one batch, crushed oreo cookies into another and 1 tablespoons of molasses and chocolate chips to the last batch.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 35-45 minutes until a skewer comes free of cake crumbs when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  7. Take off the oven, let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then take off the pan, cling wrap it two times and return to the same pan until its time to decorate.
  8. For decorating, prepare the butter cream. Fill and frost the cake only after its completely cool. Prepare a glaze and top with assorted chocolates.

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