Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

This is the second part of the two oatmeal cookie recipes I posted today, the first one was the more creative one and involves chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, which you can find here. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks because of a number of reasons, so I’m back with two cookie recipes variations of the same basic recipe. I split the recipe in half at some point to make the two different batches of cookies, but what you will see is the entire recipe for a batch of roughly 24-30 cookies.

The basic recipe was taken from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, which had a version with cranberries and white chocolate. (Sweet Pea’s recipe was adapted from a Bon Apetitrecipe, so we’re essentially playing the telephone game using recipes) This is the more straight forward recipe, though I tried to turn it on it’s head just a little bit by adding peanut butter, even though I’m not sure I could taste it that much.

In any case, I’ll get on with the recipe.

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

Makes about two dozen cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 of a teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 of a stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of rolled oats or old-fashioned oats (I chose the former)
  • 1/3 of a cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 of a cup of white chocolate chips
  • Optional 1/2 cup of additional chocolate chips of your choice
  • Optional 1/2 cup of peanut butter

1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Ready two cookie sheets.

2. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix up well.

4. Add oatmeal to creamed butter. Add flour mixture in two parts and mix well.IMG_0338

5. Add white chocolate chips and pecans along with optional chocolate chips. Mix it all up.

6. Scoop or spoon dough onto cookie sheets a couple of inches apart. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes each.

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7. Let cool for about five minutes and remove from cookie sheet to cool further. Enjoy with your favorite beverage that goes along with cookies, I’m a fan of the milk. (I heard The Milk is on tour right now opening for Pearl Jam…What?)Oatmeal Pecan Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

To be honest, I couldn’t really taste the peanut butter, but I know it was in there. Not sure if it was needed or not. I need to have another cookie or two before I decide. Winking smile  I was also out of plain chocolate chips to throw into the mixture because I got one cookie that didn’t have any white chocolate chips at all which I found oddly random.

So, there you have a couple of options for oatmeal cookies. Let me know which one you enjoyed more. As always thanks for reading and share this with your friends. Do what you gotta do to come back with the whole following deal, bookmark, subscribe to the email, blah, blah, blah. See you next time.

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White Chocolate and Green Tea Cake

I’ve been eyeing a couple of chocolate and green tea cakes for a while waiting for the perfect time to bake one up. I thought today would be that day, but I then came up with the ‘novel’ idea of making a white chocolate and green tea cake. When I popped that into a search engine I came up with quite a few hits, so I’m not as innovative as I thought, but I still had a little bit of trouble finding exactly what I wanted to do, so after a lot of searching I went in between two very nice recipes to make a great cake.

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My intentions were to make this a marble cake, but after making my batter I quickly realized I didn’t do it right, but I did what I could and it’s delicious either, so whatever. Here are the two recipes that I used for inspiration, one actually is a white chocolate and green tea cake with proper measurements using weight, which I could not follow for two reasons: 1. I don’t have a scale, so that’s probably an automatic disqualification. 2. It’s baked as a loaf style cake and I wanted a bundt, which needed to be bigger. That recipe is here on: LaTartineGourmand

The second recipe is of a simple white chocolate bundt cake found on Jenny’s Cookbook. Essentially what I did was make the white chocolate cake and then at the end work in the final couple of steps from the white chocolate green tea cake.

By the way, here’s the green tea powder I used, I got it from an Asian store in the Bay Area, it’s quite expensive otherwise. They’re in individual packets listed at a weight of 2 grams each, which I believe is roughly half a teaspoon.IMG_0317

So, here’s how it went down.

White Chocolate Green Tea Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup of flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of hot milk
  • 4 ounces white chocolate chopped or white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
  • 4 grams green tea powder, two packs of powder in my case (About one teaspoon, I should’ve checked this in a measuring spoon, I will and get back to edit this)
  • Extra white chocolate for topping if desired

1. Grease and flour bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place white chocolate in a small bowl. Pour hot milk over until chocolate is melted and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside for cooling.

3. Cream butter and sugar. Like so:

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4. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix. Add vanilla and melted white chocolate.

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5. Add flour and yogurt, alternating, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined.

6. In clean mixing bowl whip two remaining egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Fold into white chocolate batter 1/3 of mixture at a time. Note: This will require a second mixing bowl.

7. Pour 2/3 of your batter into bundt pan.

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8. Take green tea powder and mix into remaining batter. Pour remainder over first batter. Snake a knife through for a marble look or give it a little more stirring to mix it up some.

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9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Until knife or cake tester comes out clean.

10. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Use knife to loosen edges prior to flipping over to cool completely.

11. Melt more white chocolate over the top and enjoy. Mine is rather messy, I tried to spread it on and made it look ugly, I needed more chocolate and for it to be more viscous. Or is that less viscous? I don’t know, it needed to be a smidge thinner to pour over the cake easily. You could also use powdered sugar, I suppose.

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Cut yourself a slice of that cake and once you get a taste you will find yourself in a state of nirvana. The white chocolate and green tea flavors go so well together you’ll wonder why you’d probably never seen them together before. Wonder no more. Plus, it looks so cool with, in my case a thin white chocolate layer with a nice green center. Yum.

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I hope you enjoy this one, make it look prettier than mine, but share it. Steal it and share it. This is a cake that I will definitely be making again, I love the green tea flavoring and in this cake it’s perfect. I hope you feel the same way.

Thanks for reading and come back for more another day. Get the updates via email or bookmark the page and come back. I try to update weekly if not more frequently. Until next time.

Pumpkin and Pecan Cupcakes With Brown Butter Icing

While at work yesterday, someone suddenly got a craving for Sprinkles cupcakes and made the mistake of bringing it up to everyone. That’s when I knew what I’d be up to today…cupcakes! I remembered that I had just picked up a can of pumpkin, which I had intended to use in a pumpkin shake (I’ll probably be posting about that very soon), which would make for great cupcakes. I had also recently made a trip to Costco, where I nabbed a rather large bag of pecan halves, so I’ve got everything I need to make a delicious cupcake. Plus, there’s a little bonus if you want something extra in the form of white chocolate chips.

Before I get into the recipe I would like to cover one educational thing because I was asked this over the weekend by the cupcake hungry coworker, but on Saturday. The topic is pumpkin, she asked me what the difference was between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already spiced and is almost ready to go for a pie, whereas pumpkin puree is nothing but pumpkin. The labels are a little tricky because they may both say 100% pumpkin, but if in doubt look at the ingredients and you’ll see for pumpkin puree there is just one, I’ll let you guess at what that lone ingredient may be. With pumpkin pie filling you’ll see a longer list of ingredients. Now you know.

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Now on to the thing you care about a recipe for delicious pumpkin cupcakes with pecans and/or white chocolate chips with brown butter icing. The two recipes were adapted/lifted from Brown Eyed Baker (the cupcakes) and Martha Stewart (the icing). Here’s what you need:

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pecans

Makes approximately 32 cupcakes

  • 4 cups of cake flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of pecan pieces
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips (optional)

**Note that in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer everything goes nearly to the top of the beater blade. Not sure if mine is 4.5 quarts or 5 quarts, but be wary if using something smaller if something smaller exists.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins.

2. Sift your flour and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

3. Cream together brown sugar and butter until fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time and beat thoroughly into mixture. IMG_0273

5. Add flour in three parts, alternating with 1/2 of buttermilk. Mix well.

6. Add pumpkin. Mix well. IMG_0274

7. Add pecans and/or chocolate/white chocolate chips. Mix.

What I did was make half of my batter with only pecans and with the remaining batter I added the chocolate chips, both chocolate and white chocolate.

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8. Fill liners about 3/4 to the top. I used my Oxo Medium sized cookie scoop; two scoops was perfect and made for some very uniform cupcakes.

9. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating two tins midway through baking.

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Get up close and personal with this pumpkin and pecan cupcake.

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Want to top it with something a little different? How about this very simple brown butter icing?:

Brown Butter Icing

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

1. Grab a small saucepan and toss in your butter. Heat on medium high heat until you get a nutty brown color. The whole process takes about ten minutes or so. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

2. Add sugar, vanilla and one tablespoon of milk, stir until smooth. If your icing is too think add in remainder of milk a little bit at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. Allow five minutes to cool

I think mine was a little too runny, but I spooned it over my cupcakes anyway. Or at least over a good portion of them. The recipe may not cover all 32 of your cupcakes, but there’s always a few people who prefer them un-iced, de-iced, without icing.

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I picked this recipe mainly because of the sheer amount of cupcakes it yielded. Many of the other recipes would only net me a dozen cupcakes, which wasn’t going to cut it for me. I’ve got to share these with friends and family. For the record, they were well received. I hope you dig these. Let me know if you do. I like the comments, they’re so few and far between.

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Okay, normally I write something about what I learned, but I don’t really have much to share this time. They’re cupcakes and they came out well, with the exception of the brown butter icing, which wasn’t bad, just a little runnier than I hoped. I probably could have fixed it with more powdered sugar, but there’s enough sugar in these bad boys, right? Do we really need more? I says no. Anyway, let me know what you think of these and how you might improve on them or make them differently. Until next time.

–B.

Triple Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies

I think we’re friends now, right? I’ll be honest with you, so let me tell you what happens when you decide at 10:30 PM to start to bake something and you’re out of certain ingredients, but you’ve also been awake since 7 AM and didn’t get to bed until 3:30 AM, so essentially you’re running on the fumes of about four hours of sleep, you just go with what you got. This time I had some leftover stuff from any one of my last recipes, I don’t how it happens, but I always get left with an odd amount of stuff like chocolate chips. It’s like when you have one hot dog bun left, but for some reason two hot dogs. Who ate a dog with no bun? Wasn’t me.

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Anyway, I thought I’d bring another cookie over the edge this time with some of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans. This one is going to be a sugar high the likes of which you may not return. Couple that with chocolate chips and I’ve probably piqued your interest, but nay, that’s not enough, so I’m throwing in white chocolate chips just because I can. I hope you’re ready to pull an all-nighter.

I started here:

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Inside you get a lot of these:

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They’re more than just curiously strong. They’re really strong and have a bitter aftertaste, so I tried to counteract that flavor with sweet chocolate. I started with my base chocolate chip cookie recipe by Dora on AllRecipes.com.

Triple Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies

Makes ~ 40 medium sized cookies

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans crushed/chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream your butter and sugars together.

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3. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract.

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4. Add flour, one cup at a time.

5. Dissolve baking soda in hot water, then add to mixture. Add in salt.

6. Add chocolate chips. Add espresso beans. Mix.

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7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

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8. Allow cookies to cool and enjoy with cold milk.

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The chocolate covered espresso beans are crazy. They’re good, but the after taste just doesn’t do it for me. I think crushing them makes them a little bit more palatable, and placed amongst the mixed chocolate chips they’re good. If you like espresso (you could also just sub in just plain ol’ chocolate covered coffee beans) these cookies are for you.

What I learned from this recipe:

My pictures suck, some have flash, some don’t, they’re all differently. I’m sorry. The lighting in my kitchen sucks. I’ve got canister lighting installed in the ceiling and despite have seven lights on at times they don’t seem to light anything nicely. Plus because they’re directional and overhead they always create shadows, which , I’ve mostly taken care of, but only because I turn to weird angles. I wish I could say I was getting better at it. I’m not.

Also, I don’t really like espresso. It’s a little too much for me. I don’t like foods heavy on aftertaste. Onions, seafood, and now espresso. I’m not a big coffee drinker, so I’ll stick to the occasional latte or mocha, but mostly I like an iced coffee. Maybe these things on ice cream? Next time around.

Speaking of next time…until we meet again. Enjoy and if you like this concoction share it. Thanks for reading and come back soon. Like the post, follow the blog, subscribe via email, do one or all, or none. You have free will to do whatever you so choose. Take advantage of that, start by baking some cookies. Power of suggestion. Ok, it’s 2 AM, I’ve got espresso cookies in me and I’m not going to sleep any time soon…Gotta go or this will go on forever.

Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

The heat and work had me a little spent this past Monday, so I wasn’t terribly in the mood to make something, but I decided to press on anyway, for you.

As an aside, I found it to be a huge win when I didn’t have to turn on the air conditioning because it didn’t enter the triple digits. I’m not a fan of heat, I prefer a more moderate climate. Anyway, after searching for some time for a simple recipe, I finally found one that I could make with relative ease, then I decided to try and flip it and twist it.

This cake goes by a couple different names from what I could gather: Magic Tunnel cake or Tunnel of Fudge cake, either way it’s sort of like a lava cake made in a bundt pan. You get cake and tucked in the middle of the slice is a little bit of underbaked gooey goodness. Apparently the history goes far back to a Pillsbury baking competition way back before time was even measured, or maybe it was the 1960’s. Either or. Feel free to look that up, but that’s a brief history of it made even briefer.

I wouldn’t call this a resounding success, but it wasn’t a miserable failure, either. It was good, could’ve used a minute or two less in the oven because the outer edges burned just a touch, but I followed the recipe, so I’ll blame it on any of a number of factors, which I’ll get to at the end. First, I’m going to need to apologize because the site I got this recipe from has entirely disappeared from my computer. Checked the history like five times already, everything from Monday is there and everything after Monday is there, save for this site. I’ve been searching for about two hours now. It’s been fruitless. If I ever find it, I’ll definitely link to it, but until then I’ll go with what I remember. I altered the recipe and did make a little note to myself with the changes and what I would do the next time. Here we go, all apologies to the original creator:

Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

For Dark Chocolate Portion:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For White Chocolate Portion:

  • 3-4 ounces white chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli white chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

(If you want to make a single flavor cake, just add up the ingredients and pick a chocolate. In other words 1.5 cups butter, 1.25 cups sugar, 1.25 cups flour, roughly 8 ounces chocolate, etc.)

For the remainder

  • Cocoa powder to dust bundt cake pan
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting cake afterwards (optional)
  • Pecans or walnuts (optional)

Dark Chocolate portion:

So, here’s what to do for the dark chocolate portion, beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar is no longer visible and crystalized. Meanwhile you can butter the pan and dust it with some cocoa powder. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler if you have one, I used a saucepan inside a larger pot of heated water. Melt and stir until smooth, though, I reckon a little lumpy wouldn’t be horrible for texture, that is. Let your chocolate cool a bit then add slowly to the egg mixture, so as not to make chocolate scrambled eggs. Once that is mixed, sift a cup of flour and add to chocolate mixture. Mix it up, if you want to add nuts this is probably the time to do so. Pour the mixture into your bundt cake pan. It may look something like this:

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White Chocolate portion:

You’re essentially repeating the same steps for the white chocolate that you did above, but it’ll be on a smaller scale. I’m not sure if the proportions shake out, but it’s all cake and it’s all going down the same face hole, so that’s just how I figured it out.

Beat egg and sugar until you’ve knocked the crystal out. Melt butter and white chocolate. (Not having the foresight of making this visually appealing for the blog I didn’t even bother to clean the saucepan, so my white chocolate isn’t white, it’s just lighter brown. I guess it didn’t matter to me since it was all cake, but it should have because the contrast would’ve made this look a lot prettier. Don’t make my mistake if you’re going for something aesthetically pleasant. I also didn’t clean out my mixing bowl, so the same thing happened twice. Still, there’s contrast with the two chocolate mixtures as you can see in the picture below.

Let your white chocolate cool some. Add your flour to the egg and sugar mixture. Add your vanilla and slowly add in cooled down white chocolate. Now add to bundt pan. I laid it on top, trying to keep it in the center of the mixture (see photo below), hoping that would make it look cool once baked, which it sort of did as you’ll see further down the line.

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The original recipe called for baking at 425 degrees for exactly 20 minutes. Now, my cake came out a tad burnt and I’m not sure if that’s because I can’t trust my oven temperature because I didn’t do what I normally do, which is set my timer for a minute or two short of what is recommended then hover over it in order to prevent mishaps such as this, or if it’s because this was the first time using the pan. Then again it’s also possible that the temperature was too high all together because most other recipes I’ve seen have it bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Maybe I’ll try again another day down the road. Either way this is what it looked like coming out of the oven. You can see the burned edges in the lower left corner. Oh, and the toothpick/cake tester thing won’t work as the cake should be gooey, you’re just going to have to monitor your time carefully.

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Flipped it over onto a plate and you can see that it’s just a touch overdone on top, but that didn’t seem to affect the taste of it too badly. Also, of note I don’t have nice plates like other people do. I’m sorry. I guess that’s something I’ll have to work on in the future for the sake of food photography (phoodtography? foodtography?)

At this point you can go ahead and dust it with confectioner’s sugar if you like. If you’re not counting calories maybe a chocolate glaze on top would be awesome? I ran out of powdered sugar, so I just sprinkled some of my left over cinnamon sugar from my last cupcake recipe on top. IMG_0058

Cut yourself a little slice of cake and you may see something like this: IMG_0059

That’s a nice firm cake ‘crust’, undercooked cake in the center, and what’s that at the bottom of the slice? Gooey white chocolate (I know, it’s brown, whatever, I already admitted my shortcomings) and that’s all good. Serve it with some vanilla ice cream or whatever floats your raft. Enjoy. Oh, and if it’s cooled off, throw it in the micro for about ten seconds and enjoy it warm.

What I learned this time around:

  • Bookmark a site when you find a recipe you like, so that it doesn’t disappear into the either forevermore, so that you can give credit where credit is due. (I’m really truly sorry to the original creator)
  • Clean out your bowl and/or pot when making something like this that you’re going to use for photographic evidence. It’ll make it look a whole lot better, since that is what you’re going for. *facepalm*
  • Always set your timer to the minimum time required or even sooner just in case something like this happens.
  • Consider getting an oven thermometer to ensure your ovens accuracy.

If you give this a shot, let me know how it goes. Share a picture, I’d like to see what my cake should have looked like. Smile Until next time. Thanks for looking, liking, sharing, doing what you do. I appreciate it immensely.