Friday, October 17, 2008

Just Can't Get Enough - Attack of the Chocolate-Chip Blondie

You'll notice there's no picture accompanying this post.

Unlike the kouign amann, I didn't mess anything up this time--I ate it up.

Whenever I feel like eating something sweet and have chocolate chips on hand, I always crave the same thing: a chocolate-chip blondie.

For those unfamiliar with blondies (you won't be for long, trust me), they're like a huge rectangular cookie. They basically look like a brownie, but taste like a chewy, thick cookie.

Hungry yet?

I brought out my Pyrex rectangular glass pan, and the magic started. A blondie can be made in 15 minutes, baking time not included. That's a tiny 15 minutes compared to what you get. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart (again, I know, but who doesn't like Martha's recipes?) and is a true crowd-pleaser from what I've experienced.

The way I do it is the following:

4 tbsp melted butter
1 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips, or a mix of chocolate and butterscotch chips--even better
Mix melted butter and sugars, add egg and vanilla, and finally add flour.
Next, add chocolate chips or butterscotch chips, mix, and pour into a parchment paper-lined rectangular pan.
Sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips, and bake for around 35 minutes.

(I should be writing something along the lines of "Let the blondie cool before slicing into pieces", but I actually think you should rip off a piece with your bare hands while it's still warm.)

Then, of course, it's all yours. I would recommend not telling anyone that you've made a blondie; they will be expecting to taste it but when that time comes, either you will have eaten the whole thing already, or you'll just be mad that he or she is stealing a slice of your blondie heaven.

No, really, it's that good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cake Walk Cupcakes

When I think of elementary school cake walks, I think of cupcakes with sprinkles and a lot of frosting.

I also remember that I "wasn't supposed to eat cupcakes made by someone I didn't know". Which meant that most of the time, I didn't even get near them. But those sprinkles, those heaps of frosting... Translated into sugar content, though, I understand how looking at them from afar can be better. But still, the multicolored sprinkles on those cupcakes seemed better than anything. 

For some reason, I have always had a thing for sprinkles--it all started the day my maman and I ended up at the O'Hare Hilton because of a delayed flight. I may have been 5 years old, but I can still picture the donut I ate the next morning. I can't quite remember the taste, but the sprinkles covering the top of it definitely had an impact on my future tastes.

When I found a recipe for sour-cream chocolate cupcakes, I was curious as to whether or not I could transform them into the cupcakes of my cake-walk dreams. I bought some reduced fat sour cream, hoping it would work out just as fine--and it did. The cupcakes were really easy to make, the recipe was very easy to follow, and for once my frosting came out just fine. 
After topping the cake with an ice cream scoop-worth of frosting, I brought out my special sprinkle box. 

It has daisies, hearts, butterflies, and wildflowers--I think the end result is pretty cute.

Even better than those cupcakes from the "unknown parents".

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes - makes about 14

1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream (I used 3%)
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine water, butter, sugar, cocoa. Beat until sugar is dissolved.
Add dry ingredients, alternating with egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract. 
Fill cupcake cups about half full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

1 cup chocolate chunks
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Melt chocolate, stir in butter, sour cream, vanilla and salt. Slowly add confectioner's sugar until achieving desired consistency.