Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

Image

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies
From Smitten Kitchen

This makes a fudgy, dense, rich, and super-chocolately brownie. Plus, it’s very easy to make!

Makes about: 30 brownies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes

ingredients
1 ¼ cup unsalted butter
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1 cup flour

equipment
9×13 pan, lined with parchment paper

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Melt butter in microwave or on low heat.
3. Mix in sugar
4. Stir in salt and vanilla
5. Beat in eggs until combined.
6. Stir in cocoa. Don’t stir to fast, or it will come flying out.
7. Mix in flour until just combined.
8. Pour into prepared pan.
9. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until knife in the center comes out clean.

Rich Cocoa Brownies

Rich Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Allrecipes

These brownies taste like a rich chocolate cake and are super easy to make. They’re a good choice when you don’t have much time for baking. They also last well in the mail.

Makes about: 30 brownies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup butter (or oil)
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder

equipment
9×13 pan

directions
1. Preheat oven at 350F.
2. Melt butter in microwave or on low heat.
3. Mix in sugar and eggs. Beat until smooth.
4. Mix in vanilla, salt, and baking powder.
5. Mix in cocoa powder. Be careful—the powder may fly out if you mix too fast!
6. Mix in flour.
7. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until tester in the center comes out clean.

speed tips
• Brownies taste better with butter, but you can substitute half of the fat with vegetable oil to make it a bit healthier (if brownies can be healthy at all) but to preserve the flavor of butter.

 

Heart Brownies

DSC_0006

Heart Brownies
From Smitten Kitchen

To make these brownies, you make two batches of different colored brownies, and exchange the centers. A smaller cookie cutter is always better, but I wasn’t able to find one—hence, the huge brownies! The first time I made these, I mistakenly purchased milk chocolate chips instead of white ones, but it still worked out. They worked out better the second time with white chocolate chips and a smaller cookie cutter.

Makes about: 12 huge brownies (4’’ by 3’’)
Prep time: 20 minutes (mix time); 30 minutes (freezing time); 20 minutes (assembly)
Bake time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Dark brownies
6 oz chocolate (milk, or semisweet)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup flour

Light Brownies
6 oz chocolate (white or milk)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup flour

special equipment
Heart (or other shaped) cookie cutters
9×13 baking pans, lined with parchment paper.

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Melt chocolate and butter together on low heat until fully combined. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
3. Mix in sugar, vanilla, and salt.
4. Beat in eggs.
5. Mix in flour.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.
7. Repeat for the other color of brownies. Make sure to use the same size (or the same pan).
8. Freeze completed brownies (no cutting!) for about 30 minutes, or until firm and solid. This makes them easier to cut. Freezing is key!
9. Once brownies are firm, cut into squares or rectangles that are larger than the diameter of your cutter. One easy way to do it is to place your cookie cutter on the brownie, and to cut the edges of the polygon so that there is enough margin such that the base brownie will not crumble.
10. Once you’ve cut the brownies into squares, press the cookie cutter gently into the center of the brownie. If you rush, you risk breaking the brownie.
11. Cut out all the hearts from the brownies, then swap them.
12. Note that the centers are not physically stuck to the outside part of the cookie, but they will generally stay, since the holes are the same size and the brownie is a bit sticky.

Second Round:
DSC_0007

DSC_0010

DSC_0013

First Round
Image

Image

Soft Molasses Cookies

Image

Soft Molasses Cookies
From Smitten Kitchen

Deliciously soft molasses cookies are the result of this recipe!

Makes about: 30-40 cookies (depending on size!)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time:

Ingredients
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
Granulated sugar (for topping)

special equipment
Nothing special. You’ll need to use your freezer.

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Beat butter until smooth.
3. Beat in granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add in molasses and stir well.
4. Beat in egg.
5. Add baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Mix well.
6. Mix in flour.
7. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for ~1 hour (or freeze) until dough is firm. This makes it easier to handle and prevents too much spreading.
8. When the dough is ready, form balls using the dough. Roll balls in granulated sugar.
9. Place on prepared sheet and bake 10-15 minutes. At 10 minutes, cookies will be softer; at 15 minutes, they will be crispier. Space the balls ~1 inch apart so that they do not spread into each other.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Image

Oatmeal Fudge Bars
Adapted from Allrecipes

This recipe is very easy to make, and yields an oatmeal cookie base topped with a sweet and creamy chocolate fudge.

Makes about: 30 bar cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes

ingredients
cookie base and topping
2 cups brown sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
3 cups oats

filling
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp salt

equipment
9×13 pan, lined with parchment paper

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Beat butter until smooth.
3. Add in brown sugar. Stir until smooth.
4. Add in vanilla and eggs. Combine thoroughly.
5. Stir in flour and oats.
6. Press 2/3 of dough mixture into prepared pan
7. To make filling: Melt the chocolate chips, condensed milk, butter, and salt together on low heat. Stir until everything is melted.
8. Pour filling on the dough mixture.
9. Sprinkle the last 1/3 of dough mixture on top of the filling.
10. Bake 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. It will be much less sticky when it’s cool.

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

Image

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
From Smitten Kitchen

These cookies are made in the same way as gingerbread men, but they are chocolate instead! The cookies don’t spread, so it’s great for achieving the desired shape of cookie (in this case, cats).

Makes about: 20 cookies (depends on size)
Prep time: 10mins(mixing)+1 hour (freezing)+20 mins (cutting)
Bake time: 8-11 minutes/batch

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 ½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

special equipment
Cookie cutters
Rolling pin

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cream butter until smooth.
3. Stir in sugar.
4. Beat in eggs.
5. Mix in, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.
6. Stir in flour.
7. Divide dough into half and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for ~1 hour (freezer works faster), until dough is firm. When the dough is too soft, you cannot roll it out.
8. Roll out dough to about ~1/4 inch thick. To roll, you can flour a flat surface and roll out the dough. Or, for easy clean-up, you can roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. This keeps everything very clean (fewer things to clean!)
9. Using the desired cookie cutter, press into the dough and make desired shapes.
10. Bake cookies for 8-11 minutes in the oven, until crisp. Let cool before frosting.
11. Enjoy!

Spicy Gingerbread Roll-Out Cookies

Image

Spicy Gingerbread Roll-Out Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Rich, spicy, and great for rolling into a variety of shapes, including cats! You can also build a variety of novelty shapes with the dough, which doesn’t spread during baking. The cookies are strong enough to make a gingerbread house too.

Makes about: 50 cookies (depends on size—but makes quite a bit!)
Prep time: 10 minutes (mix); 1 hour (fridge); 30+ minutes (cutting shapes)
Bake time: 12-14 minutes per batch

Ingredients
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp finely ground pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses

special equipment
Cookie cutters
Rolling pin

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cream butter until smooth.
3. Stir in brown sugar and molasses. Stir until smooth.
4. Beat in eggs.
5. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt. Stir until fully combined.
6. Stir in flour, cup by cup. If dough becomes too dry, stop adding flour.
7. Divide dough into thirds and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for ~1 hour (freezer works faster), until dough is firm. When the dough is too soft, you cannot roll it out.
8. Roll out dough to about ~1/4 inch thick. To roll, you can flour a flat surface and roll out the dough. Or, for easy clean-up, you can roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. This keeps everything very clean (fewer things to clean!)
9. Using the desired cookie cutter, press into the dough and make desired shapes.
10. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes in the oven, until crisp. Let cool before frosting.
11. Enjoy!

ImageImage

Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Chips

Image

Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Rich, peanut butter chocolate chip bar cookies—perfect for the peanut lover!

Makes about: 24
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40-45 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 cup peanut butter
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ tsp salt

equipment
9×13 pan lined with parchment paper

directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cream butter until smooth (using a fork, hand mixer, or your hands).
3. Stir in peanut butter. Mix until smooth.
4. Mix in sugar.
5. Beat in eggs.
6. Add vanilla.
7. Stir in flour and salt.
8. Mix in chocolate chips.
9. Scrape into prepared pan and make sure it’s evenly distributed.
10. Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Image

Rainbow cupcakes

Image

Rainbow Cupcakes
Adapted from Joy of Baking. Frosting from C&H Sugar.

Cute and colorful cupcakes!

Makes about: 12
Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
cupcakes
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, room temperature (or vegetable oil)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk
food coloring

frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup softened butter
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla

special equipment
muffin pan with liners or just well greased

directions
1. Preheat oven until 350F.
2. Beat butter till smooth. Add in sugar and beat until smooth.
3. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
4. Beat in milk until combined.
5. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and mix until just combined.
6. Divide batter into the number of colors you which to have. If you have 5 colors, then get five bowls.
7. Drop food coloring in each bowl and mix. Do so until the batter reaches the desired shade.
8. Scoop batter by the spoonful into prepared muffin pan, color-by-color.
9. Bake 18-20 minutes until knife or toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
10. To make frosting: beat milk and softened butter until smooth. Add vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
11. To frost cupcakes: using a knife, spread frosting on the tops of the cupcakes.

Quick tips
• Fewer colors will probably turn out better. They also look good unfrosted 🙂
• Some colors don’t turn out that well in baked goods (e.g. purple).

Image