Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate chip cookies

BM #106 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Baked Dishes

I am a big fan of Hershey’s cookbooks. Those come with recipes that you can try without fear of failure. The Hershey’s best brownies and “Perfectly chocolate” chocolate cakes have been my go-to recipes for many years now. I am surprised that I missed their recipe for cookies until now. This is again from one of their baking books. My son wanted cookies with white chocolate chips and that’s what we made. 

I had made this to celebrate the birth of my nephew who was born just before Diwali. Shreyas helped me a bit with baking, but mostly he was interested in trying out the cookies. As is my ‘tradition’, the first batch had quite a few burnt cookies. The first batch is always a trial batch for me to figure out the time needed to bake. But with chocolate cookies, its hard to tell when they are cooked because of their dark color. So there were some cookie casualities :D. But the rest were saved and distributed to our friends. 

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Hershey’s Recipe Collection Book

Makes about 4 dozen, depending on the size

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter ( 2 sticks / ~220 gms)
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 375 F. 
  2. Beat softened butter with both the sugars and vanilla until light and creamy in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time and beat it in.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. This helps in breaking lumps in cocoa. Add this dry mix to the butter mix in batches and beat in low speed until well incorporated.
  4. Turn off the mixer,  add the chocolate chips and mix it in with a spatula. 
  5. Take a rounded teaspoon of cookie dough. Place this into a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving enough space between it to allow the cookie to spread. 
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool slightly in the sheet itself before moving to a wire rack. Cool completely and store in airtight containers. 

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Honey Pound cake with strawberry buttercream

BM #106 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Baked Dishes

Here is a cake from my drafts folder. This was one of the recipes from the book Erin Bakes cake where she had given a base recipe for pound cakes and variations with different liquid sweeteners. I chose to bake with honey, but you can use the same amount of molasses or maple syrup for a different flavor. Instead of a regular vanilla based buttercream, I also made a strawberry buttercream here. A cup of strawberry jam or preserves to the buttercream was all it took to get a nice pinkish strawberry buttercream.

The design pattern is from one of the books I borrowed from the library, but I don’t remember the name to give a link to it. It was one of the simplest designs I had done. The polka dots are made by dabbing black food coloring with the flat end of a skewer on the cake. I never thought it would be that simple! The flowers and leaves are fondant cut outs.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Erin Bakes Cake

Ingredients:

  • 5 sticks butter (20 ounces/560 gms)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 large eggs
  • 6 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces honey (1.5 cups)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line three 8″ pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, add softened butter, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and salt for about 5 minutes until it’s light and creamy. Stop in between to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. With the mixer running at a low speed, Add honey and beat it in until combined. Add eggs, one at a time and beat it in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the flour in three batches, alternating with whole milk. So add 1/3rd of the flour and let the mixer (at the lowest speed possible) incorporate it with the butter mixture. Then add half of the milk. Once the milk is combined well, add another batch of flour. Repeat this for one more round of milk and flour.
  5. Take the bowl off the mixer, combine everything with a silicone spatula to make sure that everything is incorporated well. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes or so, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes free of crumbs.
  6. Take off the oven and let it rest on the pan for 10-15 minutes. After that, remove it carefully from the pan, peel off the parchment paper. Cling wrap the cake two times and return it back to the pan. When it’s completely cooled down, fill and frost with buttercream and cover with fondant. Decorate as you like.

For the strawberry buttercream,

  • Beat 4 sticks (16oz/450gms) softened butter and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer bowl.
  • Turn off the mixer, Add 7 1/2 cups (2 lbs bag) powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2-4 tablespoons milk. Mix it in with a spatula to prevent sugar flying all over the kitchen.
  • Switch the mixer ON at the lowest setting and beat it until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  • Add 1 cup of strawberry preserve for a strawberry flavored buttercream.

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Chocolate Chip Cake

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 BM #105: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : One country, One category

A chocolate cake with a good dose of chocolate chips in it and topped with a chocolate glaze – That could be the definition for dessert! The one here is even more sweeter than the rest, because my son baked it for our friend’s anniversary. He insisted on baking and I decided that’s a great thing. The problem with him baking is that he looses interest half way through and then it would be up to me to take care of the rest. That’s the reason why I chose a simple cake, one with not much of decorations. That way he can do most of the work and truly claim to his work of art :-).

I am a big fan of Hershey’s baking books. I have never had a dud from any of their books. What I like about most of their recipes is the simplicity. This cake was easy to put together and it is from Hershey’s Recipe Collection.

Read on for the recipe.

chocolate_torte2

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2sticks, ~220 gms)melted butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Melted white chocolate for decoration

 

 

 Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line a 9″ cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup melted butter, 1.5 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat well. Now add 3 egg yolks, one at a time and beat after each addition.

 

 

 Add 2/3 cups cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plain flour and 3 tablespoons of water. Beat well. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

 

In another clean mixing bowl, Beat 3 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until stiff peaks form. Fold this carefully into the chocolate mixture.

 

Pour this into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly. Take off the oven and let it Cool for an hour. Carefully take it out of the pan and cover with cling wrap and return to pan until you are ready to serve.

For the glaze, combine 1 cup chocolate chips(semisweet or dark) and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth. It shouldn’t boil. Remove from heat, let it cool until it thickens a bit – 10 to 15 minutes or so. Pour this glaze on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. You can cover the sides as well. Decorate as you wish, here its a few lines with melted white chocolate.

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Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Whole wheat Oatmeal cookies

1oatmeal_chocochips BM #105: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : One country, One category

Here is another popular sweet treat from USA- cookies! My son is a big fan of homemade cookies. I used to bake these a lot when I was in India, but after moving to US, I find it easier to buy this from Costco than to make it at home. The main reason I hesitate to make is that the quantity is almost always huge. It’s hard to overcome the temptation when you have to spend the whole day at home with these delicious treats right in front of you!

Anyway, these cookies are also from my drafts folder. I had made these awhile back. It was a Christmas gift for some of our friends. Home baked treats make excellent gifts in my opinion. We had received whole flour oatmeal cookies with coconut as a gift from my husband’s colleague that year. Those cookies were delicious and that was the trigger for me to bake the ones here. I have followed the recipe from King Arthur Flour and didn’t make any changes to it.

Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe source: Basic Whole grain cookies

Makes : 4 dozen plus cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 gms) butter, at room temp.
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 2 cups nuts, and/or dried fruit, optional

Method:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using paddle attachment, beat the butter, both the sugars, salt, baking powder and soda until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again until well combined.
  3. Add flour and oats, combine at the lowest speed possible, or better- fold it in using a spatula. That prevents the flour from spreading all over the kitchen.
  4. Add the dry fruits and /or nuts, if using. I have used chocolate chips here. Refrigerate the dough if not baking right away.
  5. When ready to bake, heat oven to 375F. In a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop a tablespoon of dough leaving enough space to spread. Don’t crowd the pan. The cookies might spread and fuse together otherwise.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10-13 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown in color. Take of the oven, let it cool on the pan for a few minutes. Move to an airtight container once it’s cool. Repeat the baking with the rest of the dough.

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Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week