Archive for the ‘Valentine’s Day’ Category

Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies

February 11, 2009

I recently got together with some long-time friends for a mid-winter women’s getaway. We came prepared with the essentials: lots of wine, other libations, and enough food to sustain us for days in case we were snowed in. Of course we didn’t need to bring any food with us as we were eating all of our meals out, but as women always do we came prepared and ready to nourish! One of the goodies I tucked away in my bag was a tin of homemade chocolate cookies. They were opened and passed around before we even got to our destination. Friends, laughter and chocolate—three keys to the perfect getaway!

With Valentine’s Day coming up, these cookies would make a great treat for anyone you love. They’re like bite-size brownies: shiny and crackly on top with a soft fudgy center.

Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Print This Recipe

I first tasted these cookies last year while in New Orleans for a food conference. They were the winner of the Louisiana Cookin’ magazine’s Reader Recipe Contest. I’ve changed the name of these cookies and adapted the recipe slightly. If you’re like me and really love dark chocolate, I suggest using 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut up, in place of the semisweet chocolate chips. Whenever I use chocolate I always splurge and buy the best chocolate available. It does make a difference.

1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips (8 oz.)
4 tablespoons butter, cut up
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12 oz.) pkg. bittersweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine the semisweet chocolate chips and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring every 20 seconds until the chips are almost melted. Stir until smooth. Cool until warm, not hot. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in another small bowl.

Beat the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the melted chocolate. Beat in the flour mixture just until blended. Stir in the bittersweet chocolate chips. (Batter will be soft, but if excessively soft refrigerate until firm enough to scoop.)

Drop by 1½ tablespoons (a tiny ice cream scoop works perfect) onto baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 9 minutes or until the tops are shiny and cracked and the centers are soft. Place the cookie sheet with cookies on a cooling rack and let sit for 3 minutes to allow the cookies to firm slightly. Remove the cookies to the cooling rack and cool completely.

4 dozen cookies

Valentine’s Day Treat

February 10, 2009

This year my girls received an early Valentine’s Day gift: a parcel of fresh green grass. Yes, it’s still the middle of winter here in the Icebox Capital but my girls are walking barefoot through the grass! I was fortunate enough to receive the grass after we used it in a photo shoot for Cooking Pleasures magazine. The chicks are as thrilled with their present as I would be if I received a large box of Jacques Torres chocolates.

Fresh Grass under a Snow-Covered Canopy

The grass is actually wheatgrass, the early growth of wheat plants, not sod. However, it turns out wheatgrass is extremely beneficial for chickens as well as people. Interestingly, scientist Charles Schnabel experimented with wheatgrass in 1931 while looking for a way to bring sick chickens back to health. His experiments showed that wheatgrass not only improved the health of the hens, it also increased their egg production. He was so enamored with the benefits of wheatgrass that he began expounding its virtues for humans and animals alike. Today wheatgrass is available in dried, powdered and tablet forms or you can order up a yummy wheatgrass shake in any respectable health food store. Fresh wheatgrass is available in many co-ops and health food stores or you can grow your own with self-starter kits.

Barefoot Through the Grass

I’m sure my chicks don’t really care about the health benefits of their grass. I think what they really love is dreaming about summer and pretending they are running barefoot through the park.

For the Valentine Treat I would rather receive watch for my next post, Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies.