Thursday, July 3, 2014

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies

These soft, but crispy on the outside cookies with a creamy peanut butter filling are just delightful.  If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you'll absolutely LOVE these.

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus 1/3 cup for dipping)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg 
1 to 4 Tablespoons milk, if needed                                    
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
Prepare dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat together sugars, butter, and peanut butter until very light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beating to combine.
Stir in dry ingredients, blending well.
If dough is too dry add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth and well mixed.  The dough should be very thick, but moist enough to form into a smooth ball.
Prepare filling: In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Scoop out 1 scant Tablespoon full and with floured hands, roll the filling into 24 one-inch balls. Set aside.
Shape cookies: Scoop out about 2 Tablespoons of the dough, roll it into a ball with your hands, then flatten it out into a circle. Place one of the peanut butter balls into the middle of the circle of dough. Bring the dough up and over the filling, pressing it closed.  Roll the cookie in the palms of your hands into a smooth ball. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar into a small bowl.
Roll each cookie in granulated sugar and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and use it to flatten each cookie slightly. (I just flatten them a little with the palm of my hand.)
Bake cookies for 7 to 11 minutes, until they're set.  Press your finger into the top of the cookie slightly.  Your finger should not leave an indentation if the cookie is done. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack.
                                                                      Thanks, Jessica, for the great picture.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Chocolate Fudge Delight Cupcakes

These cupcakes are rich and fudgy. The frosting is so rich and delightful.  They make a great presentation and are worthy of any occasion. They are best kept in the refrigerator, but let warm up a bit before serving.
Start by doctoring a cake mix to add some depth of flavor and great texture.  The frosting takes a bit of extra work, but is absolutely well worth it.  They are great as regular size cupcakes or as mini cupcakes.  I made these for a baby shower and received plenty of compliments.  I hope you enjoy them.

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix (If you can't find chocolate fudge use devil's food.)
1/2 box instant chocolate pudding mix (directly from the box)
1/2 cup sour cream
4 egg whites (or use 3 whole eggs)
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together cake mix, chocolate pudding mix, sour cream, egg whites, water, and oil until combined.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.   Scoop into paper lined cupcake pans, filling each 2/3 full.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (Or use bittersweet chocolate chips.)
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped (Or use 1/2 package chocolate chips.)
2 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Microwave bittersweet and semi sweet chocolate in a microwavable bowl uncovered for 30 seconds; stir.  Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate can be stirred smooth.  Set aside to cool.

In bowl of electric mixer beat butter until fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, cocoa, and vanilla.  Beat until well combined and fluffy.  Add melted chocolate and beat until well mixed and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spoon frosting into a large pastry bag fitted with a large flower tip.  Pipe frosting onto tops of cupcakes. 

Garnish as desired.  I drizzled with hot fudge topping; topped with chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate curls. 

Store in refrigerator.
Makes 24 to 30 regular size cupcakes.