I love to bake in the kitchen! One of my favorite recipes are these chocolate sugar cookies with Chocolate icing on them. They are oh so full of chocolate decadence and they have the consistency of brownies. They are just delightful for your or as a gift for anyone. I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
3 C Granulated White Sugar
1.5 C Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 C Dark Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder (optional but it does enhance the chocolate flavor)
1 1/3 C Black Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon baking Powder* ( I leave this out so that my cookies don't spread)
6-7 C Flour (depending upon how much moisture you have in your home0
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Bean Paste * (optional, but Vanilla bean paste always adds great flavor)
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and corn syrup to the mixer and mix on low speed until it is fully blended. In a separate bowl, sift togther all of the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture one cup at a time with your mixer on low until all of the ingredients are incorporated. This dough many not pull away from the sides when it is mixed. It will be a stickier dough. When it is fully mixed, separate it into 3 separate mounds. Roll each ball to about 3/8" thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Wrap them into plastic, or leave the parchment between the layers and you can stack them in the fridge or freeze until you want to use them. You will want to chill these flats at least 1 hour before baking. Because this is a softer dough, chilling will help in cutting out the shapes and enable them to keep their shape as you transfer them onto a baking sheet. Be sure to use either parchment or a silicone Silpat mat on your baking sheet to keep your cookies from burning. Bake at 375 degrees for 14 minutes (depending upon your oven and the size of your cookies). These turn out to be a softer cookie and have a deep fudgy, brownie taste. Ice with chocolate froting or leave plain, your choice.
I made some Challah bread for the first time about a month ago. It turned out to be one of my favorite white bread recipes! I enjoy making homemade bread where you know the ingredients that go into each loaf and the smell of freshly made bread is intoxicating! I share this recipe in the hopes that you will try it and enjoy it as I do.
One of the things that I suggest is to weight your ingredients to get a more uniform loaf. I have posted not only the weight but the imperial units as well. You can use whichever you prefer.
Yields: 2 loaves Challah Bread
600 g (2.5 C) warm water - about 105-110 degrees F
20 g (2 T) Active dry yeast
170 g (1/2 C) honey
4 large eggs
120 g (1/2 C) Oilve Oil
1360-1500 g (11-12 C) flour
16 g (1 T) salt
Cinnamon-sugar mixture added to dough for a touch of added flavor (*optional)
1 beaten egg for egg wash
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and honey. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Add the eggs and oil to the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour, salt an dcinnamon sugar mixture while mixing. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 mniutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise utnil doubled in size, about 1.5-2 hours. Punch down the dough, divide into 3 strands and shape in braide loafs. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (or you can braid this and place it into a bread pan). Brush the loaf with the beaten egg, cover and let rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the bread for 30 minutes until golden brown in color. Allow it to cool and enjoy with fresh butter and honey.