Tag Archives: bittersweet chocolate

Black Angus Cookies

This is an excellent recipe for the chocolate lover. It uses coffee to accent the flavor of the chocolate. It is only missing the other item we are now seeing in recipes of cookies that contain chocolate- the sprinkle of sea salt on the dough just before baking. That could easily be fixed by the person making these wonderful cookies.

This recipe was published way back in 2006, and yet is seemed to predict a lot that is happening now in the cooking of chocolate oriented cookies. First, it starts with bittersweet chocolate. That is now available in chip form and is being used by a large number of the recipes I see. Second, this recipe melts the chocolate and butter into a smooth mixture before adding it to the rest of the wet ingredients. That also is showing up in a lot of current recipes.

Ron Paul Black Angus Cookies

from the Oregonian FOODday Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Makes 5 to 6 dozen (or less)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped (3 1/3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks; not margarine)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted and coarsely chopped pecans (1/3 pound; see note)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. In top of a double boiler over hot water, place bittersweet chocolate and butter and heat until melted, stirring occasionally; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, espresso powder and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon, or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer until well-combined. Pour in the bittersweet chocolate mixture and mix well. Gently fold in the flour mixture, pecans and semisweet chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough in 2-Tablespoon portions (or using #50 scoop), 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, until cookies are still shiny but are beginning to set in the cente. Do not overbake. Remove immediately to wire racks,or aluminum foil to cool.
  6. NOTE: To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch them. Or, spread on baking sheet and bake in 375 degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until brown Or, spread nuts on a paper plate on in a microwave-safe pie pan. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once.


My hint for the pecans is to toast them first, and then chop them. It is easier to toast large pieces than the many small pieces from chopping.

I find that the cookies are very slow to totally solidify. That means that if I try to take them off the baking sheet, or even the parchment paper too soon, the bottom centers stick and it makes a mess. I would recommend lining the baking sheets with parchment paper, and then pulling the parchment paper off the baking sheet and onto the cooling racks when the cookies come out of the oven. Use a new piece of parchment paper for the next batch. Take the cookies off the parchment only when they are stone cold.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

After making these cookies, I put them in tupperware containers and refrigerated them. When I got them out to make my Christmas boxes of different varieties of cookies, I ate one and discovered that the center wasn’t nice and soft and gooey as my muse had wanted, but was rather firm. I think there could be several reasons why.

  1. This is my new oven, and maybe the temperature isn’t as the readout says. I don’t think this is the problem because on another cookie, it seemed under-cooked instead of over-cooked
  2. I cooked the full suggested 18 minutes for refrigerated dough; perhaps that is wrong.
  3. Maybe refrigeration has something to do with it; could the centers dry out even when in a tupperware container?

I will be trying this recipe again in the future, and if I can determine a cause, I will add a not to this page.


My Seattle muse brought this version of a chocolate chip cookie to my attention. She liked how the center of the cookie was soft, and of course the salt on the cookie also makes it taste good. I searched around and found a basic recipe, but as I got into it, I found a lot of issues to resolve. Hopefully all those are resolved in this version of the recipe.

In some sense this cookie reminds me of the Pub cookies in that it is very large- it could be larger than the 4 inch diameter that I made- and is ideal for walking around and crunching as you take life easy and enjoy your surroundings.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Developed by Jacque Torres

Written up by David Leite

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Plus 2 Tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons (8 ½ ounces) cake flour*
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 ½ ounces) bread flour*
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 ¼ pounds (20 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, at least 60 % cacao content
  • sea salt, to sprinkle

* instead of 8 ½ ounces cake flour, substitute 2 cups AP flour, then use only 1 cup bread flour

Instructions

  1. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mising welll after each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Turn the mixer on low. Add both flours, the baking soda and baking powder, the salt and chocolate to the mixture in the mixer bowl.Mix only until the flour is no longer visible.
  5. Scoop 3 1/2 ounce mounds of dough onto baking sheets.*
  6. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Flatten each dough mound slightly and sprinkle with sea salt.
  9. Bake for 18 minutes.
  10. The cookies are done when a crust has formed and the edges are slightly crispy. The middle of the cookie will fall after removed from the oven and cooled.

The dough may be frozen for a month, or refrigerated for up to 5 days if covered tightly.

*The baking sheets may be covered with either parchment paper or silicon mats if desired. Or the cookies can be placed directly on the baking sheets. Do not grease the baking sheets.

A 3 1/2 ounce scoop would be a #9; I used a #20 scoop and was able to get only 4 cookies on a baking sheet. The cookies expand; my final cookies were about 4 inches in diameter.

Black and White Irish Cream Cupcakes

original.

This recipe was brought to my attention by my Seattle Muse who saw this picture. I decided to track the recipe down and make it. This picture has been “pinned” on social networking sites many times; I tracked the recipe down at the Better Homes and Gardens site, I found that nearly 40 people had rated the recipe such that it was at least a 4 star rating.

When I first made the recipe, I ran into several problems. Perhaps the biggest two were that when the batter is finished, the chocolate batter is far denser than the white batter, and so it is difficult to get the two batters into the cupcake papers with a nice vertical split of black and white. The white batter wants to flow over the chocolate batter giving a more marbled, if not horizontal split of black and white.

The second problem was with what they called the icing. It just didn’t come together. Instead I was left with brown fluff which was slightly moistened powdered sugar. I cheated on the recipe at this point and added more moisture until the “icing” came together. Even then, it was too stiff to swirl. (I was taught by my friends at the Decorette Shop that this is a glaze, not an icing).

At that point, I read the recipe reviews; there were only two. The newest review was interesting from the point that it said simply– please email the correct recipe for the icing–. So for a year, nothing had been done to the recipe on the web site. I wrote my own review calling the web site out for not correcting the errors.

That got some results. Colleen, the test kitchen cook wrote a new review stating that —all the recipes on the web site are tested before being published. She got a good vertical separation of the batters by using two scoops, one in each hand, and releasing them together for the cupcake. And, oops, there is an error in the icing recipe–. Is that not total vindication and an oxymoron? The recipe is tested but there is an error!

Anyway, I had already embarked on a process of discovering how to do it better. I first felt I had to address the size of the recipe which stated it made 28 cupcakes- who wants to make 28 cupcakes at a time? I mean, the muffin tins come in multiples of 6; I have a lot of tins and this would take all of them. My approach was to reduce the recipe to 6 cupcakes while experimenting; it is easy for anyone to double the recipe once or twice to get 12, 18, or 24 cupcakes, as many cupcakes as they would like.

My second step was to even out the density of the two batters. This could be done by either thickening the white batter with more flour, or thinning the chocolate batter by adding water. It turns out I did both. I thickened all the batter, then when I added the chocolate to half the batter, I also added water to keep the batters more consistent. That is the recipe I am giving you here. Here is the picture of my results.

first six 003

Black and White Irish Cream Cupcakes

For 6 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 recipe Irish Cream Ganache
  • 1 recipe Irish Cream Glaze

Directions

  1. Allow butter and egg to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Prepare 6 muffin cups with cupcake papers. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Mix the cocoa powder in the boiling water and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth; let cool.
  3. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, liqueur, and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and beat well.
  5. Alternate the flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just to combine.
  6. Divide batter in half (about 3/4 cup); stir dissolved cocoa in one half. Fill cupcake papers with some of each batter.
  7. Bake about 20 minutes; cool for 5 minutes in pan on racks. Remove and cool completely.
  8. Spread tops with Irish Cream Ganache; let stand about 1 hour to set. Spoon Irish Cream Glaze onto centers of cupcakes and spread with the tip of a spoon or knife.

Irish Cream Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Irish Cream Liqueur
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir ingredients together. Glaze needs to be thin enough to spread; add drops of water and stir if it is too thick. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar by the teaspoon at a time.

Irish Cream Ganache

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Irish Cream liqueur

Directions

  1. Bring heavy cream to a boil; remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Add liqueur and stir until smooth. Cool until slightly thickened.

The two batters are more consistent now, but are still too thin to stay on their own sides of the cupcake while the second batter is scooped and put in. Thus, if the vertical divide is really important for the looks, I think you will have to go with what Colleen says and put the two batters in the cupcake simultaneously using two scoops and two hands. Maybe a friend will offer to help with this step and handle one of the scoops.

I think the ganache recipe is superb, and will save and use it even without the black and white cupcakes. However, the glaze is not the right stuff to use on the cupcakes; I made some and refrigerated them for a couple days, and the glaze all melted where it was on the ganache. There is too much liquid in the ganache for the glaze. I would suggest using a simple Royal Icing or Buttercream, but must admit I need to try it first myself. But, do not expect the glaze to look nice after a couple days!

The cook time seems to be somewhat critical. I left a batch in the oven for an extra 5 minutes and it dried the cupcakes out and made than hard- more like biscuits- rather than soft and moist. The 20 minutes is just right for me.

I did learn one other trick from the recipe- how to make cupcakes without papers. This is nice since you then do not need to peel papers and have a trash receptacle around. All it takes is to grease and flour the muffin tins; the cupcakes turn right out. I tried it with a cooking spray the first time, but I disliked getting the tops of the muffin tins all sticky and messed up. So the second time, I used shortening and kept it inside the indentations, and then floured them; this worked well. The only trouble was when I was scooping the batters and trying to handle two scoops simultaneously, they would drip onto the top of the muffin tins. Other than looking bad before and after being in the oven, the muffin pan cleaned up easily.

The original recipe used only the white of the egg; I might go back and try that again. I dislike throwing the yolk away, and my thoughts are that first, it might be adding some color to the white batter, and second, it might be stiffing the cooked cake since it does contain cholesterol.

Notes: 8/21/2015- I baked some more of these cupcakes, and at the last minute decided to experiment with further stiffening the dough. So I added another 1/4 cup of flour making it a total of 1 cup flour instead of the 3/4 cup. It made for more total batter- I could have made at least 7 cupcakes, and the amount of batter to save for the white side needs to be increased if you are doing this; my seventh cupcake would have been totally chocolate. I was worried about the cooked product being dry; it wasn’t. It was nice and soft, with the exception of the outside. I cooked the cupcakes an extra 3 minutes to make certain they were cooked completely; I have a tendency to under-bake my products, and was reminded of that this week and decided I had to get out of that mode- thus the extra cooking time. As noted, unfortunately that dries out the outside and the cupcakes are slightly crusty. I will say that stiffening the batter did make a difference in getting it into the cupcakes; it is nearly enough to do each half as a separate operation instead of putting both colors into the cupcake simultaneously.