Hot Cocoa Christmas Cookies

IMG_20181219_123956 (1).jpgThese will be your new favorites. I have tried a lot of new Christmas cookie recipes over the past two years and I was already starting from a very solid foundation (the Devine family takes Christmas cookies very seriously- there is even a recipe book (limited edition print)). And while I love trying new recipes, nothing ever seemed to top our family favs. Until these. They are everything I never knew I needed and I can say with almost 100% certainty that they are the best thing I have ever made.

The cookies are fudgey and the tops look almost like the top of a macaron and the frosting is sweet with a blast of mint at the end of the bite. I can’t say enough good things about them and they aren’t tricky at all to make!

Makes about 20 sandwich cookies.

HOT CHOCOLATE COOKIES

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 large candy canes, crushed

PEPPERMINT WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 oz of white chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of finely crushed peppermint candies (I put mine in the food processor so they were super fine)
  • 1 tablespoon milk

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat butter over very low heat. Add chocolate, and melt together, stirring frequently to prevent chocolate from scorching. Cook until mixture is warm to the touch but not hot. Add in cocoa, and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until very light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add oil and vanilla, beating until just combined. Add warm chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, beating until combined. Using a spatula, finish stirring batter. Let stand until batter firms to the consistency of a thick brownie batter, about 5 min. Drop batter by heaping 2 tablespoonfuls at least 2 inches apart onto prepared pan.
  6. Bake one batch at  time, until puffed and cracked an edges are set, 8 to 12 minutes (mine took 9 1/2 min).
  7. While the cookies are baking, whip up your frosting! All ingredients can go straight into the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy on low speed for about 2 minutes.
  8. Group cookies in pairs of almost equal sizes (if you’re like me your cookies won’t all be the same exact size!) and spoon frosting onto flat side of one of the pairs. Gently press together and then roll the edges in crushed candy canes.

These are best right out of the oven or still warm, but I froze mine and defrosted a few at a time throughout the holiday season and they still tasted amazing.

YOU ARE WELCOME. Happy Holidays all!

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Adapted from Sarah Kieffer’s recipe in Bake from Scratch Magazine – I substituted my own frosting recipe instead of the suggested mint meringue filling.

 

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Lucky Irish Coffee & Chocolate Stout Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting

Flourless Chocolate CakeI love St. Patrick’s Day (I’m Irish). And I love St. Joseph’s Day (I’m Italian). I love celebrating these “holidays” with food, and since I’ve been in DC, I haven’t found zeppoles. I know. Which means that I need to go all out for the Irish in me. All out.

Guinness Beef Stew with whipped potatoes, chocolate stout cake and Irish coffee. It was delicious. Thanks to my wonderful french oven, the stew couldn’t have been easier. I used this recipe, and added an extra cup of chicken stock and celery, no potatoes. Instead, serve the stew in a bowl over a heaping pile of steaming whipped potatoes. Next time I’m in the mood for stew, I’m without doubt using this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. Delicious.

I wasn’t planning on making dessert, but then I spent more time on Pinterest. I also randomly had mascarpone cheese in the back of my fridge. It was too perfect for St Patrick’s Day and I’m so glad I found this recipe by The Beeroness. It’s flourless, and comes out like a big brownie. Serve with Irish Coffee. Next time, I might use less frosting, but that’s just me. I prefer a lot of cake to a little frosting… sorry cupcake.

Devine Irish Coffee

  • One shot Bailey’s
  • One shot Kahula
  • One shot Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Brewed coffee or espresso

Pour the shots into your mug (you can use half a shot of whiskey if you’re not in the mood to get frisky) and fill the rest of the cup with coffee. Serve as is or with homemade whipped cream.

Irish coffee Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Stout Cake with Orange Mascarpone Frosting

For The Cake
    • ½ cup butter, chopped
    • 7 weight ounces 60% chocolate, chopped
    • 1/3 cup stout (I used Guinness)
    • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
    • 3 whole eggs plus 2 yolks
    • ¾ cup cocoa powder
    • 2 tbs cornstarch
For the Frosting
  • 3 tbs butter, softened
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • In the top of a double boiler over a simmering water add the chocolate and the butter. Stir until the butter is almost melted, turn off heat and continue to stir until butter is melted. Remove the top of the double boiler off the heat and stir in the beer. Whisk in the sugar. Check to make sure the chocolate is room temperature or below, then whisk in the eggs and the yolks. Sprinkle the cocoa powder and the cornstarch over the chocolate, gently stir until combined.
  • Place a round of parchment paper inside a 10 inch spring form pan, rub the inside of the pan and the parchment paper with butter.
  • Pour the batter inside the prepared pan, smooth out into an even layer.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top looks dry and the top is slightly springy, don’t over bake of cake will be dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes. Transfer to a cake pan, refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.
  • In a bowl, add the butter and the mascarpone, beat until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and zest, mix until well combined. Frost the cake with the frosting, chill until ready to serve.

Chocolate Stout Cake

I’m lucky to have such fine friends to celebrate with – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

August 16 – Hello little Mouse, what are you doing?

Chocolate covered strawberries

That’s the first line in one of my favorite childhood books, The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear.  I bought strawberries earlier this week, and I realized the reason they were on sale was because they were SUPER ripe and needed to be eaten right away. I don’t have an issue with chowing down on strawberries, but a whole container in one day is a bit excessive. My solution: bring out the chocolate! We’ve had a massive chocolate Easter bunny sitting in the freezer, since well, Easter, and I decided it was time he was put to good use. I slammed him against the counter and plopped all the broken pieces into a make-shift double broiler, melted him down and covered these Red Ripe Strawberries with lot’s of milk chocolate. They were of course, eaten by the end of the day, thanks to Madison and Allison’s help. =)

This reminds me of a brief obsession I had back in high school  – strawberries covered in melted Hershey’s cookie and cream bars. I think Sarah introduced me to these and then I couldn’t get enough of them.  I don’t even like the bars, but melted on a strawberry – you need to try it!

-V

PS It’s funny that my train of thought led me to Sarah, because today is her birthday! Happy Birthday Miss Davies! =)