Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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double chocolate chunk cookies by twocarolines.com

These came about when I wanted to bring a treat to my daughter’s soccer practice, but needed to mindful of a nut allergy and the fact that 7 year olds are kind of lame sometimes about awesome stuff like coconut and oatmeal.  These cookies were a huge hit with the Huntington Beach “Kickers” and it’s no wonder with their perfectly chewy texture, and loads of rich chocolate flavor.  I am continuing to fuel the team with baked sweets because it’s working, we are UNDEFEATED!  And I’m sure double chocolate chunk cookies have a lot to do with that, because practice etc. really pales in comparrison to the power of an epic dessert.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (you can also use natural Hershey’s or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate or dark/semi-sweet, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks.  Chunks are delicious and add to the texture, but chocolate chips will work great too
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

  3. Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, you still want them looking shiny and undone in the middle, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Torte

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Flourless Chocolate Walnut Torte by twocarolines

We first posted this Flourless Chocolate Walnut Torte at the end of the year in December when the few of you who followed twocarolines.com were about to start your diet.  This is the dessert I dream of when I want the most rich, decadent, mind blowing chocolate treat imaginable.  It’s one of my favorites because it has an impressive presence and taste, but it’s super easy and I always have chocolate, eggs, and walnuts around so it’s become my go to when I don’t have loads of time, but I still want to blow doors with deliciousness.  What really sends it over the top is a tiny little half teaspoon of coarse salt.  If you don’t have any, it’s easy to find at your local grocer and it really pops vs. table salt. How rad are you if instead of the quickest decent dessert on the planet, brownies, you show up with this gorgeous show stopper?  Trust me when I say we just cured you of your most urgent chocolate craving.

For the torte:
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped (I do about 7 oz bitter and the rest semi-sweet)
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2/3 cup ground toasted walnuts

For the chocolate topping:
3-4 ounces chopped chocolate (I use the same mix of semi and bittersweet)
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/3 cup or so of toasted walnuts chopped

  1. First toast your walnuts.  I just spread them on a cookie sheet and throw them in while I’m pre-heating my oven, usually takes about 6 minutes for them to be slightly browned and fragrant.  Take them out to cool down while you chop chocolate and prepare your other ingredients – keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.  If you don’t want to toast them, it will still work out, but it does add a noticeable flavor dimension I really enjoy.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray (I use trader joes coconut oil spray) a 9 inch round cake pan.  Line bottom with parchment and spray that too.
  3. Melt your 10 ounces chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the oil.  I use a large pyrex and melt it on defrost in my microwave.  You can also melt at full power in 20 second increments (if you go longer you will burn your chocolate), or over a double boiler on a stove.
  4. Once melted and smooth whisk in sugar, then eggs one at a time.  Whisk in cocoa, vanilla, and salt.
  5. To grind your walnuts, I find a food processor works best, but I’m sure you could do this in a fancy blender too.  Fold ground walnuts into your chocolate mixture and spread batter into pan.
  6. Bake until set, about 30-35 minutes.  Let cool at least most the way – try and give it a good hour or two, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and remove from pan.
  7. Make the topping: Melt chocolate and coconut oil in the same manner as step 3.  Spread over the top of your cake.  Sprinkle with your chopped walnuts and serve.

Do not refrigerate, this cake keeps very well at room temperature for a number of days.  Also, keep your servings small as this is really rich in the most delightful way.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Flourless Chocolate Torte 2015

 

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Oreo Buttercream frosting

My youngest recently turned 1 year old, and like his sisters before him, we celebrate this milestone with the introduction to cake!  We’ve never really gone the smash cake route, but I know they are all the rage so we decided to see what all the fun was about.  Of course it would be a tragedy to make a super delicious cake and have it all get smashed into nothingness before any of rest of us got to have any, so we ended up making multiple cakes just to ensure our own consumption requirement.  This recipe will make two 6″ layer cakes, or one 9 inch layer cake.  You could also use this to make about 28 cupcakes, but if you do that, double the frosting so you’ll have enough to pile it on.  I used some left over cream cheese frosting to pipe my little #1.  The recipe for that frosting can be found in a number of places on the blog with a search.  The oreo buttercream was 100% my daughters idea and it was really delicious and easy to use because nobody cares if you pull up cake crumbs while frosting if your cake is full of cookie crumbs to began with.  We all loved it and I’m sure you will too!


Chocolate Cake:
1 box pillsbury devils food cake mix
1 3.4 oz box jello instant chocolate pudding (not the fat/sugar free)
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs lightly beaten (room temp works best)
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

Oreo Buttercream: 
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 12 oreos, divided

 

  1.  For the cake.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray then cut parchment circles for four 6″ cake pans, or use two, wash then repeat.  You can also bake this cake in two 9 inch pans or 28-30 cupcakes.  Whichever method you use, please check for doneness instead of bake times as bake times will vary quite a bit depending on what pan you use.
  2. Lightly mix together the cake mix and pudding mix then in a separate bowl mix your eggs water, oil (or butter) and vanilla well until all the eggs are incorporated.  Add the wet mixture into the cake mix making sure to mix it thoroughly for a few minutes, and then add the sour cream blending until no white streaks remain.  Last add the chocolate chips and just fold them in with a spatula so they are evenly distributed.  The batter is quite thick, but it bakes up really nice so don’t get scared.  Spread batter into your pans and even out the tops.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (bake times vary for 9″ pans, bundts, cupcakes etc. so check doneness with a toothpick before taking out).  Once done let cool in pans for 5 minutes then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely while you prepare your frosting.
  4. For the frosting: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter until fluffy and creamy. Mix in vanilla, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and milk. In your food processor, finely crush 8 oreos. Stir oreo crumbs into frosting.  If you want your frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick, add milk just a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
  5. Once your cakes have cooled cut off the domes on top for a nice looking cake and start with one layer, cut side down on a plate or a cake board.  Put a generous amount of frosting on top and spread an even layer to the edges then put your next layer on top of that cut side down and use as much frosting as you need to cover your entire cake top and sides.  I like to use an off-set frosting spatula, but you could use a knife too.  To make the swirl I just used my spatula starting from the outside and turned my cake in a circle moving towards the middle.  To make the #1 I used some leftover cream cheese frosting, or you could use the vanilla buttercream from our quintessential cupcake recipe, just half it and save some for your next cake.  I piped it on with a star tip which is very easy and turns out looking clean and nice.  I also used some little crystal sprinkles around the edge just for fun.

Cake recipe adapted from “A Gathering of Friends” cookbook. Oreo Buttercream adapted from Creme de la Crumb blog.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Raspberries and chocolate are totally MFEO, and this dark chocolatey tart is the most simple, elegant, and in all ways delicious way to eat them.  I was inspired when I found beautiful golden raspberries and my local market, I wanted to show them off and this super easy tart was the perfect dessert to compliment them.  I’m sure you could also use strawberries, blueberries or whatever fresh fruit you’re in the mood for.  By the way, I really think the coarse salt makes a difference and it’s easy to find, just a small amount can make a dark chocolate dessert really POP off your palette!

36 chocolate wafer cookies (about 8 ounces or one box of the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus a pinch
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped or chips (you can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips, or whatever chocolate your prefer)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a food processor, combine the cookies, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Process until very fine crumbs form.  Add butter and pulse until mixture comes together.  Press crumbs firmly into a 9 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until crust is dry and set, about 20 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine chocolate and a pinch of salt.  In a small saucepan, bring cream to a bare simmer on medium high heat.  Immediately pour cream over chocolate and let stand 1 minute, add vanilla.   Stir gently until chocolate melts and mixture is completely smooth.  pour chocolate into cooled tart shell and refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.  To serve, remove tart from pan and put raspberries or whatever fruit you’re using on top.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Gooey Chocolate Lava Cake

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Gooey Chocolate Lava Cake by twocarolines.com

I needed a cake to top off our Memorial Day feast, something with plenty of chocolate, because it had been too many days since I’d made a chocolate dessert, something elegant, because for a Holiday meal I like to go all out, and something easy, because I was also making roasted cauliflower, fried potatoes, cornbread, fruit salad, slow cooked baked beans and a beef brisket smoked from 8 a.m. to 5:30!  This cake not only checked all the boxes, but it turned out so insanely delicious that I’m going to have to add it to my frequent chocolate rotation.  It has a brownie quality to it, with the almost batter like texture on top, but it still feels like cake because of the more substantial cake layer around the bottom.  Don’t get me wrong, these layers are not distinct, they melt into each other in a chocolate flavor and texture experience that will seriously send you spinning.  IT’S SO GOOD!  And just wait until you see how easy it is to make!

2 sticks butter melted (half for bottom layer and half for top)
1 package chocolate cake mix (I used the pillsbury devils food cake mix)
3 eggs (1 for the bottom layer and two for the top)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
16 ounces confectioners sugar (3 and a heavy half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

  1.  Heat oven to 350 and prepare a 9×3 inch round cake pan.  Just spray with cooking spray and if you want to be extra careful put a parchment round in the bottom.  My normal cake pans were not 3 inches high so I used my springform pan and wrapped it once with foil so no butter would leak out.  It worked great!  You can also use a 9X13 but in that case bake time would be really decreased and I think it would be difficult to get the bottom layer spread out all the way – an 8×8 might have high enough walls, whatever you use, pay more attention to doneness than bake time.
  2. Combine the cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter until blended.  It’s very thick.  Press this layer into the bottom of the pan as evenly as you can.
  3. In a stand mixer on medium speed beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the remaining two eggs powdered sugar, and the cocoa powder.  Lower the speed of your mixer and add the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter and vanilla then beat until smooth.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the bottom layer (This is optional, but I thought they created a nice kind of glue for the two layers and I used bittersweet just to be extra fancy) then pour the cream cheese batter over the top.
  5. Bake 40-50 minutes – in my foil wrapped spring form pan it took about 55.  It’s done when the sides are set, but the center still jiggles – like jello, not like liquid.  If you’re using a different pan than I did check at 30 minutes and every 5 after that.  Serve slightly warm or room temperature.  Its fantastic on it’s own but great with vanilla ice cream or dusted with powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from “I am baker.net” Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Brownie Pie

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Chocolate Brownie pie by twocarolines.com

Give us ALL the chocolate pies!  It’s a recurring theme, there’s German chocolate, chocolate chess, chocolate cinnamon mousse, chocolate cream and actually about 5 more chocolate pies, so did we really need another one…..YES!!  Introducing this beautifully smooth, super chocolatey, fudge-like, chewy chocolate brownie pie.  This one came my way from a fellow baker and friend named Kristin, not our sister Kristin, but same name (possible two Kristin’s blog in the future??).  It’s nice when your rep for chocolate pie making is so renowned that amazing recipes like this come to you without having to search and find them.  This pie is a cinch to make and you can really change up the flavor by using milk chocolate for a lighter sweeter pie.  We prefer the dark stuff, but suit yourself – either way I know you’ll love it!

 

1  9″ unbaked traditional pie crust – we recommend you use ours!
1 cup chocolate pieces (you can use chocolate chips, milk, semi, or chopped up dark chocolate – whatever you’re in the mood for)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup sugar (reduce if using milk chocolate)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Combine chocolate pieces, evaporated milk and butter in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until mixture is creamy and smooth.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and gradually stir in the chocolate mixture.
  3. Pour (through a fine sieve if you want to avoid any lumps) into prepared pie shell.  Bake at 375 for about 35-40 minutes or until firm around edges and barely jiggly in the center.
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Chocolate Brownie pie by twocarolines

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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chocolate dipped coconut macaroons by twocarolines.com

It’s possible there are an uneven number of coconut recipes on twocarolines.com – not sorry about that.  What makes these incredibly delicious cookies unique is that they don’t have any flour, I could FINALLY bring sweets to my gluten free neighbor!  And they are perfect for my passover peeps!  These elegant chocolate dipped coconut macaroons are so incredible tasting and they truly could not be easier to make – which is nice because I made about 100 of them on Friday as presentation desserts for an event – and if you must know, the recipients LOVED them!

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (1 bag)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
gold sprinkles (optional)

  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  3. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  4. Drop batter onto your parchment lined sheet pans using a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons.  Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and let cool.
  5. Put chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over (but not in) a pot of simmering water and let your chocolate melt so it’s all smooth.  Dip cookies halfway into your chocolate and place back on the parchment.  They will cool at room temperature eventually, but I put them in the fridge where they get firm fast and they last at least a week.

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Coconut Macaroons