Thursday, February 14, 2019

Chewy Milk Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies

I could bake with peanut butter 8 times out of 10 if it wouldn't be so redundant, and if I didn't know so many people with peanut allergies (*sigh*).

9 times out of 10, I would and I DO bake with chocolate, but I'm sure you figured that out by now...

These cookies are just so right because they have the great qualities of a traditional chocolate chip cookie; that is, chewy inside with crisp edges. And then they have the big peanut butter flavour paired with caramel-like brown sugar... it's everything.

These wouldn't be as awesome as they are without chocolate. Duh. So, in we go with chunks! Now, typically I always opt for dark chocolate to balance the sweetness of cookie dough, and I usually go for bittersweet 70% to boot! But for these, I actually prefer milk chocolate. I really like how the creamy dairy flavour of milk chocolate plays off of the savoury salty nuttiness of peanut butter.

Of course, the choice of inclusions is totally in your hands, but this is how I like them.
Pecans, cranberries, roasted peanuts or tart cherries with dark chocolate would also be wildly delicious!

I hope you add this to your weekend bake list! Let me know how much you love them!

Chewy Milk Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 18-20 cookies

½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (110g) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup (120ml) regular or natural smooth unsweetened peanut butter 
1 tbsp (15ml) agave or brown rice syrup
1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups (200g) milk chocolate chunks
flaked sea salt for sprinkling

Beat the butter with brown sugar and maple sugar for 1-2 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl if using an electric hand mixer) until smooth and evenly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well incorporated and the mixture looks creamy. Mix in peanut butter. Add agave or brown rice syrup and mix until well combined and smooth.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly. Add this all at once to the bowl with the butter/sugar mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the milk chocolate chunks and fold them in using a spatula. The dough will be soft and a bit sticky. Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Flatten dough balls with the palm of your hand and bake for 11-13 minutes until golden around the edges. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cookies cool for a minute before transferring them individually to the rack to continue cooling. 

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Cookbook Announcement!

Scientifically Sweet CHOCOLATE

My latest publication is a continuation of the theme of my first book, "Scientifically Sweet" with exciting information about the science of baking, including scientific facts and tips revealed throughout the recipes.

The main feature of this new book, however, is that it is 100% CHOCOLATE! 

There are 107 decadent and chocolatey recipes that are absolutely irresistible, including TONS of cookies, brownies, bars, squares, cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts, pastries, truffles, fudge, caramels, breads, loaves, muffins and scones!

Head to my Instagram feed to watch my stories that go through all the delicious recipes and offer a sneak peak!

It comes just in time for Christmas so that you can make the ULTIMATE cookie tray, and impress and indulge all of the chocolate-lovers in your life.

Click here to order today :)

Happy Baking and Happy Holidays!

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Monday, July 30, 2018

Mocha Swirl Coffee Cake

Sometimes a simple soft cake will do.

No frosting, no sprinkles, no layers - just one lovely cake for coffee.

This recipe was developed just for that. It's not too sweet but full of the flavours that you want in the morning: chocolate and coffee.

The crumb is soft and it's not too rich.

It really is a breakfast cake.

To elevate this to a dessert affair, whip up a quick ganache and serve it on the side or spread it over top, letting it drip down the sides.

So what about the science?

What makes this cake so soft? All the eggs!

If we dissect this recipe, you'll see that this cake is a hybrid sponge cake/butter cake.

It is fairly lean with a high egg-to-butter ratio, making it a sponge cake.

But then it has a higher sugar content compared to traditional sponges, and more like the sugar quantity for butter cake recipes.

Here's the twist: we use quite a bit of liquid in the form of half & half cream.

How is this twisted?
a) this amount of liquid is typical of butter cakes - not sponge cake
b) it's CREAM! (not milk) As you could imagine, it makes the crumb very tender.

This is such an unusual cake in terms of its technique, but it comes together quick with excellent results. You will swoon over its softness. I hope you give it a try!

Mocha Swirl Coffee Coffee Cake
makes 8-10 servings

For the cake:
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (75g) packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups (250g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup (170ml) plus 1 tbsp (15ml) 10% cream 
2 tbsp (12g) cocoa powder 

For the sauce:
½ oz (70g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp (45ml) 10% cream
1 tsp honey
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line the base of an 8-inch springform pan with removable bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Beat eggs with coffee and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until very pale, thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. It will triple in volume and fall back onto itself in ribbons when it is whipped enough. 

Combine melted cooled butter and vanilla and add to eggs in a steady stream while beating.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and to egg mixture in 3 parts while mixing on low speed and alternating with 2 additions of 3/4 cup of cream. You should have a fluffy, thick but pourable batter. 

Remove one cup of batter and transfer to a small bowl. Sift in cocoa powder and add 1 tablespoon of cream and stir until evenly blended. 

Pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan and then dollop the chocolaty batter over top. Swirl it in with a knife and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a heatproof bowl and microwave on high in 20 second bursts until cream is bubbling. Then stir gently in a spiral motion until thick, smooth and glossy.

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