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Entries in chocolate (110)

Thursday
Jul252013

Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies

Every month or so, the irresistible urge to make a pan of brownies creeps into my mind. Often only a day or two passes before the craving turns into a reality. Despite my regular hunger for brownies, I have yet to create a brownie that suits my tastes. Each month I try out a new recipe, finding myself discouraged by the rubbery texture or the lack of chewiness. I have tried the most popular recipes, from names both big and small, only to find disappointment in the pan that emerges from the oven.

Three years and two dozen batches later, I'm still looking for the one.

Brownie Cookies Brownie Cookies

The dirty truth is that I love box mix brownies. I love the crackled top, the chewy texture, and the dense nature of the bars. I love box mix brownies so much that I feel that the homemade version pales in comparison. As a baker, I feel somewhat ashamed to admit these truths, to admit that I cannot match the box when it comes to this criteria (though it isn't for a lack of trying).

Every so often, I sneak a box mix into my red basket at the market, feeling deliciously guilty about my purchase.

Brownie Cookies

When the obligatory brownie craving struck this month, I searched around for another recipe to try. After so many disappointments, I have become wary of homemade brownies, especially those making bold claims of box mix similarities. When my search came up empty handed, I decided to try something completely different. A cookie. And, surprisingly, it worked.

These cookies are the closest I have ever come to the perfect brownie. Dense and endlessly chewy, a handful of cookies disappeared before they completely cooled. Though they may be missing the classic crackled top, I can assure you that it won't be missed. If you are a box mix brownie lover like me, I know you'll love these, too.

Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies take the classic pan of brownies and turn them into individual servings. The cookies are made with both melted chocolate and chocolate chips, which lend a deep, satisfying flavor. Brown sugar makes the cookies undeniably chewy—a feature I look for in all of my brownies. The cookies are so good warm and straight out of the oven that they may not survive to see the next day.

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Thursday
Jun132013

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins

Summer is here. The sun is out, shining brightly, heating the earth and the air with a pleasant warmth. The grass is a vivid green, the flowers are in bloom, and the perfumed scent of lilacs floats up in the air and down the paved sidewalks. Children are running and playing, making makeshift soccer goals out of park benches, and young women are sunbathing, soaking up the sun's rays. By all accounts, the weather is lovely—the view outside my window could be an illustration from a children's book.

But for now that's all it is: a view.

Double Chocolate Muffins Double Chocolate Muffins

I have been indoors quite a bit lately, tethered to an electrical outlet, typing away at the computer while writing essays and finishing assignments as I wrap up my degree. As a parade of t-shirts and shorts pass my second-story window, I wear pants and wrap myself in sweatshirts, struggling to keep warm in the air-conditioned building. I feel like I am at the end of two separate extremes, my wishes and duties tugged in opposite directions.

Soon, I tell myself, soon you can take a break and go outside.

Double Chocolate Muffins

I made these muffins last weekend, when the weather was miserable and as cold as my air-conditioned building. It was one of those mornings made for socks and warm breakfasts. Growing up, I was a fan of double chocolate anything but, after eating too many platters of double chocolate chocolate chip pancakes at the local breakfast diner at few years ago, my excitement for the combination has waned. Even so, I felt enough time had passed to give the combination of chocolate and chocolate another chance.

As a self-proclaimed chocolate addict, I could never stray away for too long.

Double Chocolate Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins are defined by a measuring cup full of cocoa powder and a handful of chocolate chips. The muffins have brown sugar for depth of flavor and ground flaxseeds for health. Before baking, the muffin tops are sprinkled with granulated sugar and miniature chocolate chips for a tasty appearance and extra sweetness. The muffins stay surprisingly moist for a couple days and make for a bright breakfast or afternoon snack.

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Thursday
May232013

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I'm not sure if you picked up on this yet, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth. While sugar in all its wonderful forms has—for better or worse—found a permanent place in my diet, my favorite form is through chocolate. Chocolate is a guilty pleasure for me, a crutch after a bad day, a moment of celebration during a long, weekend afternoon. Each day I eat it in one form or another (and it usually weasels its way into my breakfast).

It is not unusual to prepare a bowl of chocolate oatmeal or sprinkle a few miniature chocolate chips over a bowl of blueberry breakfast quinoa.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When Sunday brunch rolled around last weekend, it shocked no one when I reached for the bag of chocolate chips. I can't help but sprinkle a few over my own pancakes when they are cooking on the griddle, even when feeding a table of hungry loved ones. This time, however, I tossed a handful in the batter to share the sweetness with everyone.

In addition to chocolate, I also added another unique ingredient—buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When I spotted a bag of the flour hidden among the shelves at the store, my curiosity got the better of me and I added it to my basket. The name "buckwheat" tricked me into thinking it was simply wheat in another configuration, but after doing a little research I realized how wrong I had been. Buckwheat is not related to wheat at all; in fact, it is a seed more closely related to rhubarb. It is also gluten-free, though I never would have guessed it.

After playing around with it in these pancakes and experiencing the subtle, nutty flavor, I am excited to experiment with it in new forms.

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes are a bit of an unexpected, healthier twist on the classic pancake. The addition of buckwheat flour adds an earthy, nutty flavor that is not unlike the flavor of whole wheat flour. With a few chocolate chips and a heavy swirl of berry syrup, the pancakes will quickly become a breakfast favorite. I also included gluten-free directions for those who are sensitive to traditional wheat below.

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