Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This chocolate chip cookie recipe is way better than the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bag recipe. Believe me.

I adore making chocolate chip cookies, it’s a classic household favorite – eat it warm or cold, with milk or icecream, for breakfast or a midnight snack – I don’t think anyone can resist chewy bakery style cookies. I’m so glad I tried this recipe because these cookies right here are big, beautiful, rich, buttery, chewy, fluffy…Need I say more?!
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After reading several recipes online, I collected a few tips to end up with thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies, just the way I like it. (I know you do too). The secret is to increase the ratio of dark brown sugar to white sugar for a richer flavor of molasses, add cornflour/cornstarch for a fluffy texture, and under-bake the cookies (yes, have faith please!). So why cornflour? Both cornflour and flour are cereal starches but flour contains gluten which reduces the thickening power. That’s why cornflour is often used with flour to add a lighter structure to baked goods and increase tenderness (such as cake flour).
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Like I said earlier, underbaking the cookies is a must. As soon as the outsides are set and the centers are still puffy, remove them immediately! The cookies will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet even after being taken out of the oven. If your cookie sheets are too small, refrigerate the batter in between batches. I assure you, the cookies will retain their chewy texture even the next day – that’s IF there are any cookies left 😉

I also tried a new way of forming cookie dough balls instead of just dropping tablespoons on the cookie sheet. If you want to create jagged cookies don’t roll the dough into a perfect round shape. Just pull the dough apart with your fingertips to create an uneven surface then jam the pieces together to form a ball. You can see the difference here:

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LOOK at the oozing chocolate! Oh my.
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Just a closer look.
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It’s official – this is chocolate chip heaven! Every bite melts in your mouth and the chocolate chips literally explode on your taste buds especially when the cookies are hot from the oven.

Ingredients: (makes around 25 cookies)

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color.
4. Mix in egg and vanilla.
5. On low speed, mix in flour mixture.
6. Stir in chocolate chips.
7. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C.
8. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough onto cookie sheet.
9. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until slightly golden around the bottom edges. (Do not exceed 10 minutes).
10. Let cool for 3 minutes on the cookie sheet.
11. Transfer to cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chocolate Truffles

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Starting a baking blog is much harder than it seems. With a full time job during the week, the only free time I have to bake and write is at night or over the weekend. I’m always looking for easy recipes to satisfy my sweet cravings, and these chocolate truffles are so easy to do! The recipe does not require any baking, and it only calls for 2 main ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now. That’s right, no baking and no electric mixer! So simple.

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All you have to do is heat some heavy cream, pour it over finely chopped chocolate, add some liqueur (optional), and whisk until smooth and glossy.

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Refrigerate the ganache for a couple of hours, and roll into balls. Yumm who doesn’t love chocolate?!

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And finally garnish with cocoa powder!

Ingredients: (Makes about 40 truffles)

  • 1 cup (250 grams, 9 oz) liquid heavy cream
  • 300 grams (11 oz) high quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange-flavored cognac). Optional
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted for garnish. (you can also use confectioners sugar or chopped nuts)

Directions:

1. Finely chop the chocolate (to allow it to melt completely without having chunks of chocolate in the truffles). Place in a mixing bowl.
2. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan.
3. Pour half of the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Then slowly whisk until homogenous. Add the remaining cream gradually and mix until smooth and shiny.
4. Add the Grand Marnier and mix until fully incorporated. Now you have a chocolate ganache!
5. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
6. Using a melon baller or a teaspoon, roll out balls of the ganache and place on a sheet pan.
7. Place in the fridge again for at least 20 minutes.
8. Roll the balls in your hands to make perfect round shapes (the chocolate will melt from warm hands, so a good trick is to dip your hands in ice water for a few seconds, dry them, and proceed).
9. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, or chopped nuts. If the truffles melt again, put them back in the fridge for a few minutes before enrobing them with the garnish.
10. Keep them refrigerated up to 12 days.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

Ok I have a confession to make. I’m in love with these vanilla cupcakes.
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So I know that Valentine’s Day falls on a week day, but these vanilla cupcakes are so simple to make and they make a great gift for your loved ones. I’m always on the search for a great vanilla cake recipe, and since I baked my famous Chewy Chocolate Chip Brownies last year for my friends I decided to bake the best vanilla cupcakes this year. I stumbled upon Cupcake Project‘s recipe called “The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake – Test Baked by 50 Bakers and Counting”. I was so excited to try them out! The reviews were great and the recipe called for vanilla beans. Ohhhh yum.

The cake recipe is very simple and it contains basic ingredients such as oil, sugar, and cake flour (which I replaced with all purpose flour and cornstarch). The vanilla bean frosting requires vanilla bean paste, but you can always replace this ingredient with a vanilla bean. It’s important to use the best quality ingredients in all of your baking endeavors.

I am really happy with how they turned out! The texture of the cake was great, so moist and fluffy. The frosting was delicious and heavenly, it tasted just like vanilla ice cream *swoon*. For the mini red hearts, I made some icing, added some liquid red coloring, piped them on a baking sheet, and popped them in the fridge. (watch this video to learn how to pipe using a Ziploc bag)

This recipe yields 18 vanilla cupcakes. I think it pairs lovely with any frosting flavor but I decided to try the Vanilla Bean frosting for the  “ultimate” vanilla experience. 😉

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Ingredients: (Adapted from Cupcake Project)

  • 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 + 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch (half a 1/4 cup)
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream (or yoghurt)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure liquid vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. (Watch this video to learn how to get the seeds out of the bean.)
  3. Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes (you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture).
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  9. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid.
  10. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  11. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white, NOT a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again every two minutes.
  12. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack or on your counter to cool.

Vanilla Bean Frosting: (Frosts 16 cupcakes)

  • 3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (I got my Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste from here), or substitute with a vanilla bean.
  • 2+1/2 tablespoons milk
  1. Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste and milk and continue to beat for another minute.
  3. If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste, or more confectioners’ sugar to make it stiffer.