Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread CookiesThis is from Martha Stewart’s Cookies and the recipe is available on her website.  I was a little disappointed in these cookies. This is the picture on the cover of the book and I have been wanting to make them since I bought the book.  They were chewy, but I wanted them to be thicker, these were very thin and spread out.  I think they spread out more than they should have.  I was also perplexed by adding the boiling water to the baking soda.  I am really not sure what purpose this served.   My cookies also didn’t crack like the picture.  They did have a very nice spice and ginger flavor.   I’ll have to try this again with a few tweaks.

More Cookies for Operation Baking GALS

Chocolate Malted Whopper DropsI sent more cookies for Operation Baking GALS this month for Team We’ll Eat Everything! hosted by Lauren of I’ll Eat You.    I made the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops this time.  I hope the soldiers like malt flavor because it is the dominating flavor in this cookie.  I’m okay with chocolate taking the subordinate role in these cookies because the two flavors mesh together so well.   These were fabulous cookies with great flavor and texture and I almost wish I had saved some more for myself.   Oh well, I can make more easily enough, but I don’t really need to eat 34 cookies myself, so I’ll wait until I have another occasion to make them.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
I’ve always been a fan of malted milkshakes so when I saw a recipe incorporating malt powder and whoppers in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, I knew it was only a matter of time before I made it.  The Tuesdays with Dorie group recently made this recipe, the choice of Rachel at Confessions of a Tangerine Tart where you can also find the full recipe.  I wanted to use Carnation Malted Milk Powder (not the chocolate one) and I had to go to several stores to find it.   I cut the Whoppers in half and this was just about the right size for the cookies.   These were soft, chewy cookies with nice malt flavor and I would certainly make them again.   I only saved myself four cookies and it was definitely not enough.  My only slight quibble cookie was that these tasted a little odd hot from the oven, they had to be eaten cooled off.

As an aside, I was recently dismayed to learn that Whoppers have been re-formulation and no longer contain chocolate. Although they appear to have a chocolate coating, they contain cocoa and vegetable oil, not chocolate made with cocoa butter.   I’m glad that bloggers are writing about this issue and making suggestions for contacting Hershey’s.   At least the FDA didn’t cave in to pressure and allow chocolate to contain vegetable oil.

Updated:  Apparently Whoppers never had a chocolate coating, although I do found several websites that describe them as “chocolate” and that was certainly my impression.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp.
2/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups (6 ounces) chocolate-covered malted milk balls, coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1 cup store-bought chococlate chips or chunks

GETTING READY: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Sift together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned in the mixture looks curdled – it will even out when the dry ingredients are added. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear in the the batter. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough – and that’s fine. With the mixer on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chopped chocolate.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on to the sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between spoonfuls. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes. When done, the cookies will be puffed and set slightly but soft to the touch. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to the racks to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Sprinkles!

Eaten Sprinkles CupcakeA Sprinkles Cupcakes opened in Palo Alto last week.   I went on Wednesday, the 2nd day the shop was open, at 5:30pm.  I waited in line for 25 minutes outside the store and it took approximately 35 minutes total until I was holding cupcakes in my hands.  Since I waited so long I splurged and purchased four of them. At $3.25 each, they were not cheap. Overall I liked the cupcakes, but they were not my favorite. The cake was moist and had the appropriate texture and the frosting was acceptable, but nothing special. What I didn’t like was the cake-to-frosting ratio. I think this is a consequence of the fact that the cupcakes are mushroom shaped with a pronounced “muffin-top” that is much wider than the main cupcake.   Since the whole top is frosted there is too much frosting for the actual amount of cake. My other complaint is that none of the flavors were interesting, they were all fairly generic. And while I am happy to eat a vanilla cupcake, I might be happier with something more exotic. I did eat all the cupcakes within two days and they were certainly very tasty but I haven’t been back since. I am certain I will eat there again while shopping in the area, but I feel I can make equivalent or better cupcakes.3 Sprinkles Cupcakes

KitchenAid Mixer Extra

SideSwipeA while ago I purchsed a SideSwipe blade.  I aboslutely loved it and it made the KitchenAid mixer much more efficient and easier to use since I didn’t have to stop to scrape the sides or bottom.   I purchased it in January of this year and two weeks ago one of the silicone “fans” tore and separated from the main structure.  This rendered it useless.  I am quite sad about it since it really did improve a device that already functioned well.  I am going to try to glue it back together (I “borrowed” some silicone glue from work) and I also purchased a competitor’s design, the Beater Blade Plus.  I’m not sure it’s worth the $30 every 8 months or so if it continues to break at the same interval.