Tag Archives: chocolate

Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycat

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Recently I was asked by a friend for recommendations of what to eat in New York, and without hesitation, I told him Levain Bakery. Their cookies are the stuff of dreams and legends. I was so jealous and overwhelmed with an insatiable desire to consume these magical cookies, so I scoured the internet for recipes. I found a bunch of copycat recipes, but it seemed like the biggest difference between these and any other normal cookie recipe were due to the addition of corn starch, using cold butter, their size and refrigerating the dough. I found one that seemed to have most of these factors and used that for my testing. I think these turned out so good! They may not be exactly the same, but they are legit and definitely should be tried and tested by us all. Make sure to eat these fresh out of the oven, because that is when their warm and melty goodness will make your dreams come true!

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon for mixing with chocolate chips and walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

 

In a large bowl, combine 3 ¼ cups flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, white and brown sugars. Mix until well combined and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon flour, tossing to coat. Mix the chocolate chips into the cookie dough with your hands for even distribution.

TwoCarolines_LevainCookies2.JPGLine two baking sheets with baking paper or a Silpat. Divide cookie dough into 10 portions about 4 ounces each (I weighed each and every one. They seem insanely huge, but that’s the idea!). Shape cookies into rough mounds and refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown and just barely cooked in the middle (mine went the full 20 minutes).

Recipe slightly adapted from Citycookin.

Pro-tip: Freeze the dough for another 20 or so minutes after refrigerating for extra gooey on the insides cookies.

-CK 1.0

Chocolate Cream Pie

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chocolate cream pie by twocarolines.com

When I really need a chocolate fix this is my go to pie, it’s pretty easy, super rich and chocolatey, loved by all so it disappears quickly, and versatile so you can easily put your own spin on it.  And as a bonus it’s extra handy when you have a bunch of yolks left over from last weeks white sticky frosting.  It follows my basic cream pie recipe that I use for vanilla cream pie, coconut cream pie, banana cream pie, etc. etc. but I’ve developed my own recipe as the Joy Of Cooking version tries to make this way too complicated.  Once you feel that you have this one down, you can change your flavor in a number of fun ways.  I sometimes use more unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate for an extra rich flavor, but my husband likes his chocolate pie a little less rich so you can use sweeter chocolate to ease up on the richness.  It’s also fun to add the Lindt chile chocolate so you get that little hint of hot after each bite, or go with milk chocolate and make it a sweet smooth and creamy dream.  Another idea is to mix your chocolate with mint chips or just add a half teaspoon of mint extract to make a deep dark chocolate mint pie then crush peppermint Oreos on top of your whip cream.  This recipe will fill a deep dish pie pan, but if you’re using a normal 9 inch that’s fine, it’s always nice to have some extra pudding in a bowl as a reward for your efforts!  I like it best served with whipped cream and shaved chocolate but do whatever you feel good about, you truly can’t go wrong!

Crust: Single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust 

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Crisco shortening

4 tablespoons ice cold water

 

For the filling: 

 

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups whole milk (if you don’t have whole use what you have, or mix lowfat milk with cream)

7 egg yolks (save whites for a fancy frosting or meringue)

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped

4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450. Mix flour and salt together then add shortening.  Combine with a pastry cutter until it looks like coarse crumbs then add water, start with 3 tablespoons, but I usually end up using all 4.  Work with your hands until you form a nice pliable dough.  Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a circle then roll on to your rolling pin and back out into your pie pan.  Make a ridge and crimp however you would like.  I got a little creative with my crimp and punched out circles that I layered around the crust, I honestly don’t like the way it turned out, but it’s fun to try new things.  Poke a million holes with a fork or weigh down with parchment and pie weights or beans.  Bake for about 8 minutes until nicely browned.  Let cool.
  2.  Put sugar, cornstarch and salt into a medium/large heavy saucepan.  I use this all clad one, anything decent sized with a good thick bottom will work.
  3. Gradually whisk in your milk
  4. Vigorously whisk in your egg yolks one at a time until no yellow streaks remain.
  5. Stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from heat once bubbles come up and scrape down the corners of your saucepan then whisk until smooth.
  6. Return to heat and whisking constantly, bring a simmer and cook for 1 minute. (make sure you’re wearing an apron as sometimes the bubbles pop on to you!)
  7. Take off the heat and whisk in your butter, vanilla and chopped chocolate whisking vigorously until smooth.  (I was totally sick and didn’t whisk long enough which is why you can see that my filling isn’t totally smooth, if yours doesn’t look smooth enough you can pour into crust through a sieve).
  8. While your filling is still hot pour into pre-baked crust and put plastic wrap directly over the top.
  9. Chill for a good 4 hours before serving.  This pie keeps nicely in the fridge for a good 5 days or so.

Recipe adapted from Joy Of Cooking chocolate cream pie

 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I think we can all agree the jet lag is kind of the worst. I have moved across the world again—back to the U.S. Needless to say, that is a very tiring and intense thing to do. Thank goodness I came straight into the loving arms of my mother’s comfort food. While I’ve been recovering and dealing with the nightmarish logistics of re-setting up my life, I’ve left 2.0 all by herself out in the blogging wild. She’s been handling it like a champ, which just goes to show just part of the reason why I call her 2.0—she’s the best Caroline around!

It was a close friend’s birthday yesterday, and since I show my affection with baked goods, I made cookies for his gift. My mama and I were looking up recipes and this one stuck out to us. The origins of this recipe are kind of murky, so I have no idea who to credit, but we combined this recipe with another one I had back in the archives. And considering the reaction of the birthday boy, I’d say we found a winner! I want to make these again, this time with macadamia nuts for an even bougie-er cookie.

1 cup butter (room temp.)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups oats
1 3/4 cups coconut
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
(consider macadamia nuts, about 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time; add vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture until just mixed. Lastly, add the oats and chocolate chips (and nuts, if desired).

Scoop on to tray using a 2 oz. cookie scoop and cook, one batch at a time for 12ish minutes. Makes approximately 3-dozen cookies.

-CK1.0

Salted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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When I get stressed out, one thing that always helps calm my mind is baking. This week has been one of those weeks, so I went through what is left of my pantry and whipped up a quick batch with some good ol’ American peanut butter (sent by loving friends—sharing peanut butter truly is caring). I LOVE a peanut butter cookie, but I wanted to doctor up the traditional cookie using oats and adding chocolate (doi). In the name of science, I tested the difference between garnishing with sea salt and keeping the cookie as is. You can see the conclusion above… salt for the win! We Carolines tend to like that sort of thing, now go see for yourself!

Salted Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup oats
1 bar of dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
course or flaked sea salt for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda, and mix for about 30 seconds. Lastly, add the oats and chocolate chunks and mix until combined. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes for better handling. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out the dough, then roll into a ball then mash down a bit with your thumb and make sure the cookies are compact, the dough is delicate so keep pushing it together to keep the form. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Bake for 11-12 minutes—the cookies should still look a little undone in the middle, but golden on the edges. Rest the cookies for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, as noted before, these are delicate and need the time to settle before being moved. Let cookies sit on wire rack at least 5 more minutes before diving in, mouth first.

Betsy’s 1, 2, 3 English Toffee

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You can’t tell me that the holidays are done! It’s not truly over until you are passed out in a sugar induced coma on New Year’s Day. (I know we were healthy yesterday, but that earns us the right to be gluttons for another few days, right?) Well, we here at Two Carolines have got your back. This toffee recipe is super easy and ever since my rad friend Betsy taught my roommates and I this recipe years ago in San Francisco, it’s been my go-to! She was kind enough to offer to share it with all of you, as well! Lucky us, right? So, without further ado, here is Rad Betsy with her perfect 1, 2, 3 Toffee recipe…

I’m so happy to share my family’s homemade english toffee recipe!  For as long as I can remember, this toffee has been a staple of the holiday season in my house.  My grandmother use to make it during the holidays, my mom still makes it during the holidays to gift to friends and neighbors and now I do the same.  It’s always a hit, has a big wow factor and couldn’t be easier to make.

The method we use is the “1, 2, 3 recipe.”
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks salted butter
3 tablespoons water
Put all ingredients in your biggest, heavy-dutiest frying pan on HIGH.  Before you do this make sure you have an 8 or 9 inch metal cake pan right next to you.
Cook on high stirring CONSTANTLY with a wooden spoon.  You’ll watch it change from a melted butter looking mixture to a more creamy looking mixture and before you know it, it’ll start turning light brown.  Literally stir, stir, stir, stir until it’s basically the color of a brown paper bag (that’s how my mom and grandma always described it…no candy thermometers involved!).  While still stirring the boiling hot mixture, pour it into your cake pan and you’re done!  It will literally be just starting to smoke when you quickly dump it carefully into your cake pan.
I usually take my frying pan directly to the sink and turn hot water on it right away and I use my spoon to scrape out any remaining toffee.
Let the toffee cool in the pan for apx. 10-15 minutes or until you can sprinkle chocolate chips on it without them sinking right in (about 10 minutes).  The remaining heat from the toffee will melt them within a couple of minutes.  Once melted, smooth them over the top with the back of a spoon.  Traditionally, I top them with finely chopped walnuts but you can experiment with whatever you like (fleur de sel for your non-nut friends is delicious)!
Once completely cooled and chocolate is set, turn it out on a big sheet of foil.  I then gently bang/tap it into pieces with a mallet or my knife sharpening tool from my knife block…whatever works.
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Added bonus is the nuts that remain on the foil make the BEST ice cream topping.  Nuts with little shards of toffee and chocolate = heaven.
So that’s the official Taylor/Heywood/Santos family recipe!  It can take a tiny bit of practice.  If you cook it too long, you’ll know it b/c it’ll have a slightly bitter taste.  If you cook it too little, it may be a bit chewy.  You’ll get it though!  It’s really quite an easy process.  I have two cake pans and I’ll usually do two batches late in the evening…get them all ready and then in the morning they are perfectly ready to prep and package up for friends and neighbors.
Happy holidays!

Double Dark Chocolate Muffins

IMG_0302Chocolate for breakfast is kind of a thing for us here at the King casa – one of my children would go to school hungry if I didn’t give her something slathered in Nutella every morning.  The only time she’ll make an exception is when there’s a chocolate muffin involved.  This is only one of our favorite chocolate muffin recipes the other I will share with you soon – but let’s be honest and admit that sometimes, we eat an unfrosted cupcake for breakfast and call it a muffin so we can pull it off.  These are so decadent that a swirl of frosting on top would make for an epic cupcake, but because some nights (particularly the ones with newborn babies) require sweet chocolately mornings, I’m going to call these muffins and feel really good about it.

 

Ingredients –

2/3 cup dutch process cocoa (you can totally use normal cocoa, but the dark and decadent factor goes through the roof when you use the good stuff)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon espresso powder (I don’t have any so I don’t use this)

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup butter melted (or you can use 1/3 cup vegetable oil – I like to use coconut oil but those pictured have butter)

course sugar or pearl sugar for topping

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  Line standard muffin pan with cups and grease the bottoms of your cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso (if using) baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl , whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.  Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend; there’s no need to beat these muffins, just mix until combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin.  Sprinkle with raw sugar or pearl sugar.  Note that the cups will be heaped with batter and the muffin will bake into a mushroom shape.
  5. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes – mine are usually done closer to 20, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes take muffins out of the pan and allow them to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before eating.  I individually wrap what we don’t eat the first day or two and put them in the freezer so we can defrost in the morning and eat them for weeks.

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Recipe from King Arthur Flour Chocolate Breakfast Muffins – side note, their website is so awesome and their Instagram feed is beautiful so check it if you’re into food!

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

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IMG_8764It was one of those times when you come across something in a magazine and your mouth starts salivating so much you may or may not have drooled onto the table. This recipe was the catalyst for a whole folder of cut-out “I want to eat that” things. Of course I kept wanting to make it, but then found myself needing to do something faster, or missing one ingredient, and in the end, what I needed to make it happen was another Caroline. When Caroline 1.0 came to visit us in June we started talking about what we wanted to bake together, because the only thing better than one Caroline in the kitchen is two Carolines in a kitchen. Things got delicious fast, and this was our result.

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Cake:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Topping:

2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (8 oz by weight)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch spring form pan. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl stir cream of coconut and vanilla

Beat butter and coconut oil on medium-high until smooth. Slowly add sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scrape down the bowl a few times. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 batches of cream-of-coconut mixture. Beat until just combined.

For the topping – whisk egg whites and salt with a mixer until thick and frothy, about 1 minute. Stir in milk and vanilla. Fold in coconut.

Spread batter in pan. Dollop topping over batter; carefully spread in an even layer. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour (tent with foil if browning too quickly). You may want to make the chocolate sauce now while your cake is baking so it will have time to cool.

Let cake cool completely; remove from pan. Cut into wedges, drizzle with sauce, and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup chopped dark chocolate (you can also use chocolate chips or semi-sweet if you want your sauce sweeter)
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
One 5 ounce can evaporated milk

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until melted and thoroughly combined, about 7-8 minutes. Let the mixture cool for at least 20 minutes before using. Keeps for at least a month in the fridge.IMG_5576

Coconut Crunch Cake: Martha Stewart Living 2015, Chocolate Sauce: adapted from Mrs. Rowe’s little book of Southern Pies