Wednesday, November 13, 2013

brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Look at these chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven. So innocent looking, right?
There's nothing about these cookies that could possibly reinforce your trust issues.


They're chocolate chip cookies. They look so inviting and comforting sitting next to a tall glass of cold milk.  They're a little large and lumpy... but a homemade chocolate chip cookie is a homemade chocolate chip cookie. The largeness/lumpiness just enhances their whole "homemade" vibe.  Right? 


WRONG!  These seemingly innocent cookies were all large and lumpy because they were hiding a full on double-fudge brownie on the inside!  You sneaky cookie you!


Let me tell you how these stealthy cookies came about.  I was experimenting with a new brownie recipe, and I screwed up... they tasted pretty good but they were unbelievably skinny, and no one likes skinny brownies.


I was about to chuck messed up batch in the trashcan when I felt a bout of sympathy for those brownies.  It wasn't their fault that they were too little to cut it in the harsh world of thick cut, chocolate chunk brownies.  They hadn't done anything wrong... it was my duty to save them.


So with a little help from some homemade cookie dough, those sorry little brownies were saved.  I wrapped each one in a big layer of soft cookie dough, and they were transformed into these huge, amazing mounds of bake-sale-worthy-goodness.

With love,
Erica



Ingredients
1 pan of baked brownies (either homemade or from a mix)
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips

Cut your brownies into 10, 1 inch squares.  Enjoy the leftovers for yourself ;)

To make the chocolate chip cookie dough, beat butter and sugar with a mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and add to the butter mixture until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Scoop out 1/2 cups of the cookie dough (I told you these are HUGE!).  Place the dough onto the baking sheet. You can only fit six cookies on a standard sized baking sheet -- so you will have to make several batches.

Make an indention in each mound of cookie dough and place a cut brownie in the center. Press the brownie down and work the remaining dough around the brownie. Shape the dough into a ball.

Once all your cookies are "stuffed" with a brownie, bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator until time to bake the second batch. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

nutella twists

"I realized this week that I just cannot do it all, so I will choose to do what I can, fabulously." 
-- Clinton Kelly 


In school, I've heard a lot of pep-talks.  From teachers, coaches, mentors, etc.  They all go along the lines of "work hard," "always do your best," "never give up."

spread

I am a firm believer in all of these things, and I take pride in doing my best and really putting my heart into things that I care about.   However, I've realized is that no matter how hard I work, it is physically impossible to do it all.   And that's OK.


Moderation is a tough concept to grapple with, especially for a young person like me.  I want to learn things, I want to be able to do things, and I want to understand things.  And I'm impatient.

slice
In Japanese, there's this word, tekitou.  In English, it translates to "halfhearted."  However, to me, the word means quite the opposite. "Halfhearted" has such a negative connotation.  To me, tekitou means doing the things that I love and care about wholeheartedly, and in regard to living a balanced life (and not driving myself totally crazy), not sweating the little details in all of the other things I have to do, and remembering that not everything has to be picture perfect.

twist

So onto the recipe, there's nothing quite like homemade pastry.  But ask anyone who has rolled out their own puff pastry -- it's an ordeal and a half.   Ain't nobody got time for that.

Sometime's it's OK to cut a few corners.  Especially in the baking world.  Like for instance, (this is for all of you food bloggers and avid bakers out there), how many times have you actually taken butter out of the fridge an hour before baking to let it "soften to room temperature?  I've never done this (except for the one time I simply forgot to put it back in the fridge after buttering my toast).  I always just give the stick a 30 second zap in the microwave.  Tekitou. 




I'm always in the mood for some buttery, flaky, Nutella-swirled goodness.  And although I am often in the mood to play with dough as well, my schedule doesn't always allow for making homemade puff pastry.


Here's a quick-and-dirty little recipe for beautiful, Nutella twist pastries.  They look like I slaved for hours over them -- rolling and folding puff pastry.  They taste all insane, buttery and chocolatey, and take minutes to twist together.  Win win win.  I finished my math homework, and got to make these awesome little twists of goodness.  Tekitou.


powdered sugar always classes things up

How were you tekitou today?

With love, Erica 


Ingredients 
1 box frozen puff pastry (thawed)
Nutella
1 egg
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll out your defrosted puff pastry into a 2mm thick long, rectangular shape.  Spread a thin, even layer of Nutella onto the pastry.  Roll the puff pastry up jelly-roll style from the long end.

Using a sharp knife, slice the roll in half vertically, exposing all of those layers of Nutella.  Cut each half into fourths.

Hold one piece of puff pastry from both ends and start twisting it, turning each hand in opposite directions until you have a tall spiral shape. Hold one end of the strip in place with a finger, and roll the rest of the spiral around it until you get a small spiral. Tuck in the last end underneath the pastry, making sure you do so tightly so it won't uncurl during the baking process.

Repeat with the other sheet of puff pastry.  Place each spiral about 3 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.

Lightly brush each pastry with beaten egg.   Bake in the preheated oven for 14-18 minutes, or, until the puff pastry has turned into a golden brown.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.