Category Archives: Chocolate

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesI’m not sure exactly how I’ve allowed 3+ years to go by without giving you my recipe for Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies, but I’m happy to be rectifying that travesty today.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesI mean, how dare I deprive you of this dead-easy recipe for these deeply chocolaty, shockingly tender blank-slate cookies for 362 posts! How. Dare. I.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesYou may think I’m being dramatic—they’re cookies, not rocket science—but these are really delicious. Like more chocolaty than any plain, no-frills cookie really ought to be.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesChocolate Cut-Out CookiesSo rich and buttery and utterly decadent that you’d be more than happy to eat them by their lonesome…Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies…but then you’d be missing out on the cheeriness that comes with a layer of my go-to Quick-Dry Royal Icing.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesOr perhaps you, like me, prefer your cookies and icing with a little light-hearted snark. I’m not one of those people that hates Valentine’s Day—far from it—but I do prefer a more tongue-in-cheek approach over the traditional syrupy-sweet message.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesPerhaps I’ve had my heart broken one too many times. Or maybe I just know exactly what I want: a man who will tolerate me for all my weirdness and vast amount of baking equipment.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesYes. That and a pile of cookies.Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies
makes about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Quick-Dry Royal Icing, for decorating (recipe below)

Special Equipment:
rolling pin
graduated cookie cutters

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by the egg and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients in 3 installments, combining completely after each. Dough may seem a bit crumbly, but will hold together well when pinched. Divide dough into quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Take one quarter of chilled dough at a time, roll it to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut with cookie cutters. Place cut cookies at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until soft but no longer raw-looking. Let cookies cool on the pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with any remaining dough.

Decorate cookies with Quick-Dry Royal Icing and allow to dry.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.

Quick-Dry Royal Icing
recipe barely adapted from SugarDeaux

3 tablespoons meringue powder
5 ounces warm water
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar, divided
1 tablespoon corn syrup
water

Special Equipment:
small bowls
gel food coloring
piping bags (or plastic sandwich bags)
small round piping tips and couplers
squeeze bottles
toothpicks
sprinkles

In a large mixing bowl, combine meringue powder and warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until doubled in size, about 1 minute. Mix in cream of tartar, vanilla, and almond extract. With the mixer running on low, add 1 pound of confectioner’s sugar. Mix in corn syrup. Add the remaining pound of confectioner’s sugar. Scrape down the bowl before beating on medium-low for an additional 30 seconds.

Divide icing among small bowls. Press plastic wrap to the surface of all exposed icing.

Make outline icing. Working with one bowl of icing at a time, add water 1/2 teaspoon at a time until icing dribbled into the bowl forms a ribbon that fades within a few seconds. Stir in gel food coloring until the desired color is reached. Place 1/4 cup of icing into a piping bag with a tip. Alternatively, load icing into a plastic sandwich bag and snip a very tiny corner. Outline all cookies. Set aside to dry while you prepare fill icing.

Add water by the 1/2 teaspoon until the ribbon of icing fades into the bowls within 2 seconds. Load icing into squeeze bottles. Working with one cookie at a time, fill icing into outlined sections. Use toothpicks to coax fill icing evenly to the outlines.

Decorate with more icing or sprinkles, as desired. Let cookies dry uncovered at room temperature for 4-6 hours. For 3D decorations, use outline icing to decorate dried cookies and allow to sit uncovered for another 3-4 hours.

Iced cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.Chocolate Cut-Out CookiesChocolate Cut-Out Cookies

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One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

One Big Chocolate Chip CookieI know I’ve been keeping it savory and vaguely healthy this month, but I like to live on the edge. Especially on Saturday nights while wearing my softest/oldest/ugliest/best pajamas and a sweatshirt only the person who bought it in college (12 years ago!) could love.

(With a wardrobe like that, it’s a wonder that I’m single.)One Big Chocolate Chip CookieMy partying days are well behind me now. I don’t drink or smoke anymore. I quit Diet Coke completely and have cut my seltzer intake to a maximum of two a day. My coffee…well, that’s neither here nor there.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieThe point is that my list of vices is pretty short these days, but making myself One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie on the occasional late night is one that I have no intention of parting with. Sometimes you just need a cookie the size of your face. Sometimes it’s the answer to all your problems.

Well, a big cookie and acceptance. Acceptance is a pretty important important part of solving problems.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieBut this is a baking blog so…back to this big, no-sharing-required dessert for one (or two, if you’re feeling benevolent). It requires miniscule amounts of 8 ingredients that you likely already have, and only about 25 minutes start-to-finish.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieThis recipe differs drastically from that of my usual Chocolate Chip Cookies. For one, there’s no egg. I have tried many of the single big cookie recipes out there and have always been frustrated by the fact that they require you to scoop one tablespoon of a beaten egg. Have you ever tried to measure a spoonful of beaten egg? It’s stupidly difficult. Also, what do you do with the leftover two tablespoons of beaten egg?!

This is the sort of baking silliness that infuriates me (clearly), so I found a way around it. This recipe mitigates the egg-measuring problem by swapping in one teaspoon of water, and it works incredibly well. I wouldn’t try this for any large-batch cookie recipes, but it works here.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieThe other differences from my regular recipe are less…scientific. I use melted butter here because creaming one tablespoon of butter is ridiculous and unnecessary. Oh, and there’s no need to chill your dough. This recipe is meant to be made on the fly and enjoyed while the chocolate is still melty.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieMelted chocolate + soft centers + chewy caramelized edges = ❤ ❤ ❤ One Big Chocolate Chip CookieA quick word about leaveners before I get to the recipe. I tested this recipe seven times (!) with both baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda, which I use in my large-batch recipe because it produces browner cookies with more surface area, won out, but just barely.

Generally speaking, baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable, but this is one recipe where you can use either one (in a 1/8 teaspoon volume) and still have a quality cookie. The baking powder version will be a bit thicker and won’t have the same dark, buttery edges as the baking soda version, but it will still be delicious. This soda/powder swap will not work for many (if any) other recipes, but it works here. I thought about leaving this information out of this post, but I don’t want a lack of leavener to come between you and a cookie the size of your face.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieThank me later.One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes 1 large cookie

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon water (not cold)
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda*
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for optional topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Mix in water and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt, and whisk until a dough forms. Use a silicone spatula or spoon to mix/fold in chocolate chips.

Use your hands to form dough into a ball and place on parchment. Dot with additional chocolate chips (for aesthetic purposes), if desired. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges have darkened to a golden brown color and center is still a bit pale.

Let cookie cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes before using a spatula to remove it to a plate. Enjoy.

Note:

An equal volume of baking powder will work in place of baking soda. The cookie it produces will be a bit thicker and paler, but still delicious. I do not recommend swapping baking soda and baking powder in any other recipes.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesIf you want to know what kind of person I am outside of this blog, you should know that I once spent six months of my life obsessively making jam (and preserves) in a kitchen that is smaller that my current closet. Strawberry, cherry, grapefruit marmalade, gingered nectarine—you name it. I had all the preserving equipment you can imagine and an entire kitchen shelf filled with jars of colorful fruit-based spreads.

Years later, I’m pretty sure all that equipment (except for my beloved jar funnels—great stocking stuffer, btw!) and that jam is still sitting in that apartment because I left it all there when I moved out…because I don’t particularly care for jam. I just like to make it.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesSo, to wrap that up: I am prone to intense kitchen projects (hello, three year-old food blog with 338 unique recipes) and I have never once wanted a linzer cookie.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesI mean, I am all about crunchy, nutty roll-out cookies, but why must they always be sandwiched with jam? Jam is not a dessert food, at least as far as I am concerned. A breakfast food? Sure. Lunch? You bet. Dessert? No way.*

*Except in these.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesYou know what absolutely *is* a dessert food? Nutella.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate hazelnut spread = dessert food.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate hazelnut cookies = dessert food.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesA layer of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread sandwiched between two crunchy chocolate hazelnut cookies = the dessertiest dessert food.

(“Dessertiest” is a word today.)Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesSo, in conclusion, when it comes to Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies, no jam, no problem.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies
Looking for more chocolate hazelnut? Check out this cake, this granola, these grain-free cookies, these brownies, and this pie. Oh, and this other pie. And this buttercream. I ❤ chocolate hazelnut.

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies
makes 22-24 sandwich cookies

1/2 cup raw whole hazelnuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar, for dusting
1/4-1/2 cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread (based on preference)

Special Equipment:
rolling pin
2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
1-inch cookie cutter
sifter or mesh sieve

Preheat oven to 350F. Place hazelnuts on a dry, rimmed sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Immediately transfer hazelnuts to a clean, dry, textured hand towel. Fold towel around the hazelnuts and then rub the towel with the palm of your hand. This will allow the hazelnut skins to loosen. This step does not have to be done perfectly.

Once hazelnuts are cool, transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a fine meal forms. Set aside.

Make the cookie dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. When butter is fluffy and lighter in color, beat in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Mix in hazelnut meal. Add dry ingredients to in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place half the cut cookies on prepared pans. Use a smaller cutter to cut a small hole in the center of the remaining cookies before placing them on the prepared pans. If dough becomes too warm, freeze pans of cut cookies for 10 minutes before baking.

Bake 12-13 minutes, until slightly puffed. They will be a touch soft, but will crisp up as they cool. Let cookies cool at least 10 minutes on their pans before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking until all dough has been used.

Set a cooling rack over a piece of parchment. Once all cookies are baked and cooled, set the cookies with the centers cut out on a prepared rack. Sift confectioners sugar over the tops.

Spread each whole cookie with 1/2-1 teaspoon of Nutella (amount is based on your preference). Carefully sandwich cookies together. Serve.

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days. Place wax paper between layers for best storage.
Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

Nutella Cream Pie

Nutella Cream PieI suppose this is a year of unconventional Thanksgiving pies here on E2 Bakes.Nutella Cream PieI usually go for traditional pastry crust pies this time of year (and there’s at least one coming your way), but then there was vegan pumpkin pie with toasted pecan crust. And now there’s Nutella Cream Pie.Nutella Cream PieMade with a graham cracker and hazelnut crust, a Nutella pudding filling, and topped with whipped cream and candied hazelnuts, this pie is basically the dessert of my dreams.Nutella Cream PieThis beauty has hazelnut flavor all over the place. We’re talking 2/3 cup toasted and blitzed into a buttery graham cracker crust…Nutella Cream PieNutella Cream PieNutella Cream Pieanother 1/3 cup that are lightly candied and scattered on top…Nutella Cream Pieand a creamy pudding filling that tastes like pure Nutella, but somehow even better.Nutella Cream PieNutella Cream PieNutella Cream PieDon’t ask me to explain how it’s possible to improve the flavor of Nutella—I can’t quite find the words.Nutella Cream PieYou’ll just have to make a Nutella Cream Pie and see for yourself.Nutella Cream Pie
Looking for more Thanksgiving Pies? Check out my light & fluffy Pumpkin Pie, Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie, and Chocolate Buttermilk Pie!

Nutella Cream Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Crust:
2/3 cup raw whole hazelnuts
6 full-sheets graham crackers
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Nutella Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Candied Hazelnuts:
1/3 cup raw whole hazelnuts
3 teaspoons granulated sugar

Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Make the crust. Scatter hazelnuts on a dry rimmed baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted. Do not burn. Let cool 10 minutes.

Combine toasted hazelnuts, graham crackers, light brown sugar, salt and melted butter in the bowl of a food processor. Process until hazelnuts and grahams are broken down and the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a deep pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes to set. Let cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium-large saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Boil one minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk 1/3 of the mixture into the egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to pan. Place pan over medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture boils for one minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla, followed by Nutella and butter.

Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Push filling through the sieve and discard any solids. Transfer filling to prepared crust. Press plastic wrap to the surface. Chill at least six hours.

Make the candied hazelnuts. Line a plate with parchment and set aside. Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and shiny. Add sugar by the teaspoon, stirring until it dissolves (it may smoke up a bit). When all sugar has dissolved, remove hazelnuts to prepared plate and let cool completely. They will be clumped together. Once cooled, place them on a cutting board and give them a rough chop with a large, sharp chef’s knife.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Remove pie from refrigerator and top with whipped cream. Scatter candied hazelnuts over the top, as desired. Slice and serve pie.

Leftover pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutella Cream PieNutella Cream Pie

Five Ingredient Fudgsicles

Five Ingredient FudgsiclesUntil last Wednesday, I had no plans to create a new Fudgsicle recipe. I have some vegan Raspberry Fudgsicles in my Recipe Index that are kind of a salad masquerading as dessert—they’re made with avocado, dates, and fresh raspberries. They’re super delicious, so it makes sense that my boss had requested them (sans berries) on that hot, miserable day.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesI trekked over to Trader Joe’s to buy the day’s groceries. It was only when I was turning onto the block where I work that I realized I hadn’t bought anything for Fudgsicles. I had been a bit distracted when my boss had requested them, and had forgotten to put the ingredients on my list. It was getting late and I needed to get started on dinner, so instead of going back to TJ’s, I determined that I’d figure out how to make Fudgsicles from things they had on-hand.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesOnce I got dinner on, I started to look through the cabinets for ingredients. It went something like this:

  • I knew I had most of a container of cocoa powder tucked into the back of the pantry—it only ever gets used for WHAM Cakes—so the chocolate part was covered.
  • I found a can of coconut milk leftover from making coconut rice. That would work for creaminess.
  • I decided to add the dregs of a jar of coconut oil for richness and to mitigate any iciness from the water in the coconut milk. Fudgsicles are always a little soft (because otherwise they’d just be chocolate popsicles), so a lack of large ice crystals is pretty important.
  • For sweetener, I used maple syrup. Honey would have worked too, but they were fresh out.
  • Vanilla extract went into the mix because when it comes to desserts, it’s almost always a good idea.

Five Ingredient FudgsiclesFive Ingredient FudgsiclesI put all the ingredients in the blender, said a little prayer to Julia Child, and blitzed everything together until it was smooth. I divided the mixture among a set of ice pop molds and put them in the freezer.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesFive Ingredient FudgsiclesBefore the Fudgsicles were completely frozen, it was time for me to go home. As you probably could have guessed, I spent the next 18 or so hours wondering if they were any good compared to my old favorites. Imagine how delighted I was when I got to work the next day to see that the family had already eaten most of them!Five Ingredient FudgsiclesLuckily, there was one left for me to try. It was deeply chocolaty, perfectly sweet, and soft enough that I could bite through it—so basically, exactly what I was going for. I love that a recipe that began as a guessing game worked on the first try. That rarely happens, so I’m calling it a victory.
Five Ingredient FudgsiclesI’ve made three more batches of these Fudgsicles since last week—two for work and one for me. I love how quick and easy they are and that they’re made from the sort of ingredients I always have on hand. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that they’re vegan and fairly low-calorie for an end of the day treat. I don’t follow any sort of diet, but it’s nice to make something on the lighter side every once in a while.Five Ingredient FudgsiclesSpend five minutes making a batch of Fudgsicles this weekend! I hope you love them as much as I do.Five Ingredient Fudgsicles

Five Ingredient Fudgsicles
makes about 6 fudgsicles

1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined), melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until no lumps remain, scraping down sides as necessary. Divide mixture among ice pop molds. Do not add sticks.

Freeze one hour. Insert sticks. Freeze at least 5 more hours before enjoying.

To release from ice pop molds, place mold in a glass of warm tap water for 30-45 seconds. Fudgsicles should release easily. If they don’t, place them back in the warm water for 15 seconds before making another attempt.
Five Ingredient FudgsiclesFive Ingredient Fudgsicles