Holiday Gift Ideas: Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m busy baking for my annual gift boxes. These won’t be in them, because I”m working on two new cookie recipes I’ve never tried my hand at before. More on that later…

Chocolate Chocolate Cookie

These are pretty and very tasty.  They’re easy and just a touch above regular chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts), chopped

mixing bowl and cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.  Sift together salt, soda, flour and cocoa, then add to butter mixture, blending well.  Add nuts and chocolate chips.  Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on cooling rack.

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Originally posted Nov 2011

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Breakfast for Dinner (or Anytime)

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I love pancakes. Just not for breakfast. So when I’m in the mood, it’s time for breakfast for dinner. Pictured above are JeffreyW’s fluffy pancakes, and I have a recipe for super fluffy pancakes, here.

Want to dress them up a bit? How about Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes? Recipe here.

For something completely different and easy to make, German Pancakes with Walnut syrup, click here.

And what goes perfectly with pancakes? How about some bacon…JeffreyW candies his:

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JeffreyW’s Candied Bacon recipe is here and his Cayenne Candied Bacon (pictured above) recipe is here. And the basics of baking bacon vs. frying can be found here.

In case you missed it, this week’s full dinner menu was Spicy Potato Soup, Garlic Biscuits and Mocha Pudding Cake and can be found here.

What’s on your menu for the weekend? Are you a fan of breakfast for dinner? Hit the comments with your favorite breakfast recipes.

And the featured recipe tonight:

I love whole wheat pancakes, they are fluffy, hearty, nutty and sweet, just like some people I know. Making whole wheat pancakes can be tricky, though – I don’t want them to be heavy and dry, I still want light and fluffy. The recipe below serves that up.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Beat together until light and frothy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift together:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened, batter will be lumpy. Ladle into a hot, well oiled skillet or griddle. [Reduce heat to medium after it has heated up because these brown quickly.]

While with white flour pancakes you’d wait to see bubbles on the top of pancakes before flipping them, you don’t want to do that with these. As soon as the bottom is golden, flip. And as soon as the bottom is again golden, remove.

This keeps them from being too dry. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure they aren’t runny, but you also don’t want to over cook. As soon as the center bounces back they are ready to remove.

Top with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

Until next week – TaMara

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Breakfast for Dinner: Fluffy Pancakes

Caught a rain storm with my cell phone earlier in the summer,turn it up, you can hear thunder.

The temperature dipped considerably last night and we’ve had a steady rain for most of the day. Suddenly pancakes sounds delicious. But not just any pancakes. I wanted whole wheat pancakes. They are fluffy, hearty, nutty and sweet,  and that sounded just right.

Making whole wheat pancakes can be tricky – I don’t want them to be heavy and dry, I still want light and fluffy. The recipe below serves that up:

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Beat together until light and frothy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift together:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened, batter will be lumpy.  Ladle into a hot, well oiled skillet or griddle. [Reduce heat to medium after it has heated up because these brown quickly.]

While with white flour pancakes you’d wait to see bubbles on the top of pancakes to flip them, you don’t want to do that with these. As soon as the bottom is golden, flip. And as soon as the bottom is again golden, remove.

This keeps them from being too dry. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure they aren’t runny, but you also don’t want to over cook. As soon as the center bounces back they are ready to remove.

Top with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

It was the perfect dinner tonight.

Mmm…hush puppies

Mrs J called for fried fish for dinner today.  We  consider certain sides to be “must haves”  for a fish fry:  Slaw, baked beans, and hush puppies.  Occasionally there will be a substitution or an addition-French fries come to mind.

For years I used a box mix for my hush puppies, I would add some minced peppers and onions, maybe, and count myself as “really cooking now”.  LOL  Making them from scratch is fairly easy.  The recipe I used today could have been halved, we have plenty of leftovers.

1 c flour

1 c corn flour

1 c corn meal

2 T sugar

2 eggs

~1/8 c bacon grease

1 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 c buttermilk

And you can stop there for the basic hush puppy recipe.  Drop ~1T of the batter into oil heated to about 325 and let it brown-I used a small cookie dough scoop, worked great.  Here the usual instructions add:  turn it over after a couple of minutes to cook the other side.  Hah! You might be able to get one to turn over and stay one time out of ten.  I still try, don’t know why.  I guess it’s that one time in ten.  How long does it take  to cook them?  That will depend on the size of the portion, the temperature of the oil, the number of pups you are trying to do at once, and maybe humidity and how the dog feels about the cat.  Just let one get nice and brown and take it out, cut it in two and look at the middle.  Go from there.

Of course I didn’t stop at just plain hush puppies.  I minced 2 jalapenos, 1/4 c of yellow onion, about 1/4 c of various colored bell peppers, and a good handful of green onions.  Oh, and whole corn, from a can.  You can use creamed corn if you want.  I used about 3/4 of a can.  Be aware that liquid additions may require additional amounts of meal and/or flour to keep the batter stiff enough to scoop.

Enjoy!

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Mandarin Orange Cake

I mentioned this to Mrs J the other night when I ran across it while idly googling some cake recipes.  She thought it sounded good. Today she asked for a printout of the recipe. No fool I, she got it promptly, and I enjoyed the aromas as she baked the cake.  Nothing like the aroma from the coconut as it toasted.  Mmmm  The coconut and the walnuts were a Mrs J addition to the recipe.  She substituted Splenda for the sugar, and used a Splenda blend of brown sugar for the glaze.

A big hand, please, for the lovely and erudite Mrs J!

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve started my holiday baking already.  In the oven at the moment are Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They’re easy and just a touch above regular chocolate chip cookies. 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts), chopped

mixing bowl and cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.  Sift together salt, soda, flour and cocoa, then add to butter mixture, blending well.  Add nuts and chocolate chips.  Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on cooling rack.