The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hey everyone! I’m really excited to share my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. This past week, I was really trying to get my body back on track… it seems I have gained a few lbs since starting this blog journey, lol. So I kind of wanted to cleanse my body of the sweets for a bit.

But then, thanks to social media, I saw Jessie James Decker posting about her chocolate chip cookies, and I thought to myself “screw the diet, I’m making cookies tomorrow.”

I had two cookies, they were my dinner since I decided to have a cheat day. Let me just tell you about these cookies. They are crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. And whatever you do, do not deviate from this recipe lol. I do it all the time, even when I think I have nailed a recipe down. But this right here, is PERFECT.

This is my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It has a little more flour than your typical recipe, because I like my cookies to rise up a bit and have a lot of texture. Don’t ever skip out on the butter!! I use brown sugar only, not a combination of brown/granulated…. and finally, I could never determine if I preferred baking soda or baking powder best in recipe testing, so I incorporate both.

This cookie is so good, sometimes I make it without the chocolate chips. I will add below a couple points in nailing this recipe consistently every time.

  • Use real butter always unsalted at room temp
  • Use quality vanilla extract
  • Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking
  • Scoop 3 TBS of dough when forming cookies
  • Do not press them down on the sheet
  • Baking time will always vary depending on your oven. I do not let the cookies come out slightly undercooked, I don’t like them to look pale in color. I let them become brown all over. Cooking time for me is perfect right at 19 minutes.

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Ingredients:

- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 10-12 ounces of semi sweet 
  chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter with the sugar until well combined. Add in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract. Next, incorporate the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar slowly.

Careful not to over mix the dough. Once the flour mixture is well incorporated, with your hands mix in the chocolate chips.

Stick the dough into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Once chilled, form 3 tbs worth of dough into balls and place on a large cookie sheet 3 inches apart.

Baking time can vary between 15-20 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven when they are brown all over. Let stand on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooking rack till they cool completely.

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Cinnamon Pop Tarts

I’m back!!! For anyone who noticed, lol. I haven’t written in over a week! Which seems like so long… it was a very emotionally exhausting week for us. My mother in law had a knee replacement surgery on Tuesday and had unexpected complications the following day.

Thankfully, everything turned out okay and as of today, she is safely back home!! Whew. Also this week I interviewed to go back to work in real estate! I’m excited to get back into it. I hadn’t worked since January!! I miss being an agent and I’m ready to get back into the swing of things- in that department!!

So as we are getting back into the routine of things, I told Luke this evening that I needed to write. I’d been working on a pop tart post for a while….. and now, I’m soooo excited to share!

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These little treats were so good! So flaky, cinnamon-y, sweet, mmmmmm! I told my husband I didn’t think they were going to be good (I usually need 3-4 rounds of testing before writing) and really thought I wouldn’t be able to share tonight, buttttt I was wrong!! These were a hit! Hubby loved them, I loved them & of course even GM loved them too. I can’t wait to eat the rest of them tomorrow for breakfast.

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So I know how using a measuring ruler assists with evenly cutting dough, so that each pastry looks uniform. However, that’s not really my style lol. Sometimes I just like things to look rustic and authentic and to me, that’s what being home made is all about!! I just eye balled cutting the two layers of dough and just hoped my little pop tarts would fit evenly on top of one another lol. They weren’t too bad!

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Ingredients:

For the dough

- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tbs sugar
- 16 ounces unsalted butter 
  (cold)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbs milk

For the filling

- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbs cinnamon
- 4 tsp flour
- 1 egg beaten

For the icing

- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbs milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

To start the dough, add the flour, sugar, salt into a bowl and whisk together. Cut the butter into small pats and incorporate with hands. It should be very lumpy, but try to get all the loose flower integrated into the lumps. Next add the egg and milk, then incorporate as much of the butter into the dough as possible. Try to get an even dough consistency without lumps. There will be some, but that’s okay, kneed it as much as possible. Then cut the dough into two even pieces then individually wrap in cling wrap then place into the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Liberally flour a clean surface to roll the dough onto. Form each dough into a large rectangle about 9 x 12 inches and about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Flour as much of the rolling pin, and top of the dough as needed if it begins to stick and becomes hard to work with. Cut the dough into thirds both length wise and width wise. Trim off the excess dough and set aside.

Repeat this method with the second dough. Trim off the excess dough and incorporate the extra dough to try and form another 1-2 rectangles. In total I was able to make 9 pastries.

Lay the first layer of pastries on your baking sheet. Beat one egg into a small bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, flour)  and stir together to incorporate. Take a cooking brush and lightly coat each pastry on the baking sheet with some of the egg wash. Then take about a tablespoon of filling and add on top of the first layer. Once all the pastries have the filling, take the second Layer of dough and place atop each of the pastries.

With your finger tips gently press the seems of each layer of dough to seal  together. Take the edge of a fork and press into the outer edges. Next, take the cooking brush and lightly coat with more egg wash. Take a tooth pick and poke about 6-9 holes in each pastry to allow them to breathe while they bake.

Stick your baking sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Then pop into the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the pastries turn golden brown on top. Allow to cool on a baking sheet.

While the pastries cool, in a small bowl add the powdered sugar, Brown sugar, cinnamon and milk. If the consistency is too runny add a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time. Till it’s thick icing consistency. Layer each pastry with the icing and let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate Cookies

Few things are better in life than chocolate. When I am sad, Chocolate makes it better. When it’s my birthday, I want a chocolate cake! When I’m in the mood to eat candy, I will only want dark chocolate. Chocolate is my go to!! I have made so many different variations of cookies and if you’d ask me what my favorite cookie of all time might be, I’d say probably chocolate chip lol. Chocolate is reliable. It’s never bad! Never, ever!!

Today’s cookies are pure chocolatey goodness. I ate two, but wanted so many more than that. At first bite they give you a crunchy outside and as you eat more, you get a warm, gooey, beautiful, fudgey- chocolate on the inside. Heaven!!

I dream about these kinds of cookies. I made them at my moms house tonight and left them behind because I knew if they were in my home tomorrow, I’d probably eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sigh….

A few notes to consider if you decide to follow my recipe. The batter is similar to chocolate brownies, in that it is a very runny batter. Do not make these cookies if you are in a hurry because they will need to set in the freezer for at least an hour before they head into your oven to bake.

I melted my dark chocolate down with butter in a double broiler, I didn’t use any cocoa powder. That makes for a better chocolatey taste and texture, in my opinion!

Please make sure that your eggs are room temperature before working on this. It allows the eggs to evenly disperse into the batter and will give you a more light and airy texture of a cookie.

The consistency of the batter once all is combined, is too runny to be able to scoop. I suggest freezing in a shallow dish, for about an hour or so. Basically, the batter just needs to thicken up so that it can be scoopable and formed into a ball. The end result of this recipe, I am very pleased with! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! Thank you for reading.

Ingredients:

- 10 ounces dark semi sweet chocolate chips 
- 2 tablets of Abuelita's hot chocolate (6 ounces) 
- half stick of unsalted butter 
- 4 eggs at room temperature 
- 1 1/2 cup of sugar 
- 1 1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla 
- 1/2 tsp salt 
- 1/2 cup flour 
- 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a double broiler, combine your butter, the dark chocolate chips and the abuelitas tablets over a simmering boil. Stir the chocolate with the butter until it has melted then remove off heat and set aside.

In a medium to large bowl, add the room temperature eggs and sugar together. Beat with a mixture for about 5 minutes or until the eggs and sugar are creamy and well combined.

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Quickly mix together then set aside.

Take the bowl of the chocolate and begin folding it into the eggs and sugar with a spatula. Continue folding and incorporating until the mixture is completely Brown in color and you can no longer see the yellow.

Next, fold in your flour mixture. Keep folding until all the flour has disappeared and you are left with a soft light chocolate batter. Now pour your chocolate into a shallow dish, cover it, then allow to set in the freezer for at least one hour.

After the chocolate has set, scoop 2tbs worth of dough and form into ball shapes. Set on baking sheets two inches apart and bake anywhere between 12-15 minutes or until the outer edges are hardened and the tops of the cookies have cracked.

Allow to completely cool on cooling racks. Pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy!!

Strawberry & Cream Scones

Okay y’all, let it be known that I absolutely love scones!! I’m so excited to share this post because these little treats are freaking delicious and they don’t really take a lot of effort!

So today my sister in law and my baby nephew were going to come spend the afternoon with GM and I. I told her I was going to bake something for her and asked her if she was a fan of scones! She said she had never had them before. I figured I’d make them anyway and just hope she would like them!!

I’m a big coffee drinker, so eating scones with a cup of coffee makes for the PERFECT breakfast, for me anyway!! They are typically not too sweet, but my SIL is not a coffee drinker, so I decided these would have to be a tad sweeter than normal because she wasn’t going to be enjoying them with a cup of coffee! So I added a sugary glaze over the top of these that did just the trick! OMG y’all, I’m obsessed with this recipe. I want it printed out on my fridge and I want someone to make these for me, fresh every morning.

I still had some leftover strawberries my grandfather had planted and for this recipe, I only used about a cup of fresh berries, which was perfect! When you take a bite of the crumbly bread, you get pops of fresh strawberry and the sweet glazed icing really just tied it all in together for me! Between my SIL, husband, granny and myself, these little babies were knocked out pretty quick. Seriously they are so good!

No lie, it probably took me 10 minutes to prep these! They were in the oven for about 20 minutes or so, so overall almost 30 minutes of time spent. Not bad, not bad! I want to make blueberry ones next, maybe with a lemon sugar glaze? Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.

Don’t be intimidated by making these! I would say its totally level “easy” in the baking department. Any non baker can pull these together!

I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Ingredients:

For the bread

- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda 
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (very cold)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup strawberries

For the egg wash

- 1 egg beaten 
- 1 tsp heavy cream

For the glaze

- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- splash of vanilla
- pinch of salt

Instructions:

Bring your oven to 400 degrees. In the time it takes you to do the next steps, take your stick of butter and put it in the freezer to get it really cold. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper then set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. Now it’s time to take the butter out of the freezer and cube into small pieces. Once the butter has been cut, place it into the bowl of dry ingredients and use your fingers to combine it. It will be very crumbly/floury and look like a mess. If it’s messy, don’t panic, you’re doing it right.

Take your bowl of wet ingredients and add into the bowl of dry ingredients/butter. Use fingers to combine the dough together, it should still be lumpy. Take your cut up strawberries and fold into the doughy mixture!

On a clean work surface, cover with a large amount of flour, so you can knead your dough without it sticking. Before kneading, this is what your dough mixture will look like. Reference photo below.

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Now, you will use both of your hands to form the dough into the work surface to incorporate the ingredients and to shape the dough into a circle with about an 8-9 inch diameter. See photo below for reference.

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I continuously added flour as I was shaping my dough, because it was getting a little sticky. If that happens, just toss a little flour over the sticky spots and it will help you form the shape. Once your dough is in a circle, slice in 8 even pieces and place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Take your egg and cream, beat together in a small bowl, and coat a small amount over each pastry. (I used a cooking brush my husband uses to coat BBQ sauce on his food with.) Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a beautiful golden brown color is on top of the scones.

While the scones cool, in a medium bowl combine the cream, powdered sugar, salt and  vanilla. If the mixture is too runny, add a bit more of sugar, if it is too thick, you can thin it down with more cream. Lightly drizzle the pastries with the glaze. Let stand for a few minutes and they are ready to serve! Thank you for reading!

Poteet Strawberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Drizzle

I had asked some of my friends on social media the other day what kind of recipes they would like me to share on the blog and cheesecake was one of the few requested! I’m not much of a cheesecake fan myself, and I’ve actually never made one, so I was nervous and excited to try and pull this off.

Also a couple days ago, my aunt had come by with a pint of fresh “Poteet” strawberries that my grandpa had planted. I knew I was going to top them onto the cheesecake. I think I was more excited to eat the strawberries than the cheesecake honestly lol. If you’ve never had Poteet strawberries you are missing out. They are so sweet and juicy!!! In a couple of weeks, the city of Poteet throws a large festival called the Strawberry Festival, and it’s kind of a big deal around here. The food is the best part, you can find strawberry nachos, strawberry funnel cakes, margaritas, ice cream, wine, etc. just to name a few!

They don’t only have strawberry food items though, there’s also a lot of really really really good Mexican food, fried foods, turkey legs… omg I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

So like I said I knew I was going to top the cheesecake with these strawberries, but I didn’t know how. I was torn between making a sauce to go over it, like a classic strawberry cheesecake or by topping the fresh berries over the cake and drizzling chocolate over them. I went ahead and let my friends on Instagram decide. Thank you to everyone who voted and helped me decide which way it was going to go!

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8E94A169-6EF2-4700-A069-D4829D1F085D.jpegFor the crust:

- 1 to 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

For the cake:

- 4 eight oz packages of cream cheese (full fat)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- lemon juice from half of a lemon
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the topping

- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbs heavy cream

Instructions:

Set your oven to 350 degrees then start assembling the pie crust. Take a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and coat the inside with butter. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker cookies till you make about 1 1/2 cup of crumbs. In a small-medium bowl mix in cookie crumbs with cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and combine with fingers. You should be able to form a soft clump if you squeeze the mixture with your hands. If your crumbs are too crumbly and won’t stick, add tad of water to the mixture until it starts to hold.

Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Take two fingers and pinch the crumbs down to the bottom of the pan until the crumbs form an even crust. Now take two pieces of foil and cover the bottom of the springform pan forming the foil up around the edges of the bowl, like pictured below, this is because later when we bake the cake, we submerge the pan in a water bath, and the foil is to protect from water seeping into the pan while it cooks. You will need a large baking dish that the springform pan can fit inside.

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Cook the crust in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, take a medium size bowl and begin whipping the cream cheese in a mixer. Once the cream cheese is creamy in consistency, add the vanilla and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture. Next, add your eggs and egg yolk, one by one making sure that each egg is thoroughly integrated into the cream cheese mixture.

Now take the mixture and pour evenly into the pan. Take your springform pan and set into the baking dish. Next you will take a few cups of boiling water and pour into the large pan, about an inch of the way up to the springform pan. This method somewhat steams the cake while it bakes. Now, carefully place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about an hour (could go up to one half hour depending on your oven). I had to go an extra twenty minutes or so, giving the total baking time about 80 minutes.

You’ll know when the cake is done because the outer 2-3 inches of the cake will puff up and be firm. The inside circle of the cake will slightly wiggle like jello if you gently shake the pan, that is normal.

When your cake is done, turn off the heat and crack open the oven door slightly, and allow the cake to cool up to one hour in the oven.

After one hour, take a slender knife and make sure the outside of the cake isn’t sticking to the pan. That can cause the top layer of the cake to crackle. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Once the cake is completely cool, refrigerate for several hours.

Once cake has chilled in fridge at least 3-4 hours, it is ready to serve.

Before serving, cup up the pint of strawberries into slices. Arrange berries over the top of the cake. In a small microwavable bowl, heat the chocolate chips and cream. Drizzle chocolate all over the top of the berries. Slice your cake and it is ready to serve!

“Mexican Chocolate” Dobos Torte

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Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

This was a fun one to make! It was different, but I enjoyed the process of pulling it all together.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is my all time favorite chef to watch on television. She’s such a boss lady and I love it. I always see her post pictures of this cake on her social media and knew I’d one day have to make it.

So basically, I learned that this cake is her adaptation of a Dobos Torte. Dobos in Hungarian means “like a drum” but the cake is actually named after Hungarian pastry chef Joseph Dobos.

The concept is that the cake should have hot caramel poured over the top, right off of the stove so that it goops over the cake and hardens as it cools. After the caramel becomes hard, it’s suppose to crackle once you cut Into it! It does get kind of messy!! I had to knock it with the back of my knife to loosen it up before cutting into it.

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Anyway, as I was crafting this recipe together, I thought “what if I put a Mexican chocolate spin on this?!” The idea of that being paired with the hard caramel just sounded like music to my ears! Like I’ve mentioned before I always keep my Mexican vanilla stocked in the pantry, and by incorporating that with some cinnamon, mmmmm it would taste just like abuelitas hot chocolate! Never had that? Click here and thank me later.

My husband Luke said he enjoyed the cake and frosting, but he’d rather have the caramel not be hard. I told him that was the whole concept of this recipe, but he wasn’t really interested, lol. Now that I’ve made this, I feel inspired to make an entirely different Mexican chocolate cake. Possibly with the same frosting but with moist dark chocolate cake? Would anyone be interested in that? Hmmm, maybe I could do that and possibly have it served with a soft caramel vs. the hard crackly kind. Let me know if that sounds good!!

I ended up burning myself while tempering with the hot caramel. Please be careful if you make caramel. The sugar has to get very very hot to melt down and to become amber in color. After my sugar was dark in color, I let it rest for a few minutes, then I poured it into a bowl to cool more. I let it rest for a couple more minutes, and it was still scorching hot when I touched it!! Ugh, I burned my left pointer finger and my lip lol. 😭

So there you have it. Here is my “Mexican chocolate” version of the Dobos Torte. Hope you enjoy

Also, stay tuned for another dessert entry tomorrow. My aunt came by with some home grown “Poteet” strawberries that my grandfather planted. I can’t wait to use them!!

Ingredients:

For the cake

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 cups of sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp Mexican vanilla 
- 2 tsp cinnamon

 

For the frosting:

- 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Mexican Vanilla

For the caramel topping:

- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp light corn syrup

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9 inch cake pans, then lightly dust with flour. To prepare the cake batter, sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in one medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, begin beating the butter until creamy with mixer. Then add the sugar and continue mixing until fluffy. Next, add in the eggs slowly as you continue mixing. Then you will add the vanilla into the batter. Take the flour mixture from the separate bowl and slowly blend the dry into the wet ingredients. Careful not to over mix.

Take 1 1/2 cup of batter into each of the cake pans. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick is inserted into the center that comes out clean. Anywhere between 15-25 minutes. Remove from the oven when they are done and set on baking rack to cool. Once cooled, flip cakes over onto parchment paper. Clean off the pans, re-grease and flour them, then pour the remaining batter evenly into the pans. You can use this method to achieve having four layers, or you can carefully slice your two large cakes in half horizontally. I lost my knife that allows me to be able to do that, so I had to bake my four layers separately in my two baking pans, lol.

Clean the paddles for your mixer as you will need to use them for your chocolate frosting.

For the frosting, in a medium bowl, add the chocolate with heavy cream and simmer over a double broiler. (this is when you use a pot filled 1/4 of the way up with water and boil over medium high heat, then you set your bowl over the pot and allow the contents to cook slowly without having them submerged into the water or in the pan.) When your water is rapidly boiling, you may want to reduce heat down some, place the bowl over the pot and stir your chocolate around until it melts. When the chocolate is melted, set aside and allow to completely cool.

Take the cooled chocolate and cream in the 2 sticks of butter with mixer. Once well combined, add in the 2 cups of confectioners sugar 1/2 of a cup at a time. Then finally add cinnamon and vanilla.

Time to stack your cakes. Begin by placing first layer on your cake stand. Add about 1/2 cup of frosting to the top of layer and spread evenly over, continue by adding the second layer of cake to the top of the chocolate and repeat method of adding another 1/2 cup of frosting to the top, spreading around evenly. Continue till the last layer of cake is added. Frost the top of the cake and all around the sides.

To make the caramel, heat the sugar with the corn syrup in a large pan over low heat. Allow the sugar to melt down, stirring often so it doesn’t stick and burn. Whisk around the entire pan making sure the sugar is cooking evenly throughout. Continue to cook the sugar until smooth and it has turned to the brown caramel color.

Take the skillet and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. I poured my caramel into a second bowl, and it didn’t really help the cooling process and just made me have another dish to wash. So i’d suggest pouring the caramel onto the cake straight from the skillet. Allow to goop over the tops and side of cake. Try to make the caramel a thin layer all over.

If the caramel becomes cool or hard, warm it gently over low heat to loosen it again. Let the caramel cool and completely harden on top of the cake before serving.

Thank you for reading!!