Articles

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bread and Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins

Last year I hinted at a future incarnation of my Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake Bread and I am nothing if not a keeper of promises. Though, this is probably not a promise you all remembered from one little post in November 2014, but just in case one of you did remember and has spent the last 12 months anxiously awaiting that new, equally delicious version of that loaf cake I have now kept my promise!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins

That previous pumpkin bread recipe was so perfect that it would’ve been borderline sacrilegious to alter it too much. With a thick, rich pumpkin flavor countered by creamy, tangy cheesecake layer, this bread was an instant favorite for the fall holiday season. And what is the one additional flavor that makes everything better? Yep. Chocolate!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

What do you mean you’ve already had your fill of pumpkin?! It’s only been a month and a half of the annual pumpkin spice takeover! We are only halfway done! Trust me, in a few weeks when all the pumpkin yumminess is gone and replaced with gingerbread and eggnog everything, you’ll be glad you took as full advantage of pumpkin season as possible. (Unless you are like me and never get tired of pumpkin/pumpkin spice everything; if that is you I’m going to let you know that pumpkin baked goodies freeze very very well 😉 .)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Congratulations Kershaw Cupcakes GO BLUE!

Sometimes, I am a walking, talking stereotype. (1) I love Disney (2) I’m in LA pursuing acting (3) I am a proud Dodger fan (4) Clayton Kershaw is my absolute favorite player. Can you blame me? I mean he is only one of the best pitchers to come out of baseball since…ever. And he comes across as such a genuine and humble person and having personally known my fair share of professional baseball players/athletes in general, I appreciate the rarity of someone like that.

IMG_7603_FotorThis past Sunday was the last game of the regular season and my mom and I sat in her car listening to the radio (damn you Time Warner) just to hear Kershaw break 300 strikeouts. 300 STRIKEOUTS! For you non-baseball fans, that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment. Needless to say we were super excited for him. And the Dodgers in general.

And hence we have these Congratulations Kershaw! baseball cupcakes. I really will take any excuse to bake! This post is all about the story behind the cupcakes–which you just read–and showing a fun way to decorate cupcakes. The recipe is just my basic but delicious vanilla cupcake with basic but delicious vanilla frosting. It’s so easy! Just spread a smooth layer of frosting over the cupcakes and pipe red lines to match the laces on a baseball. I used leftover red frosting in a tube with a Wilton 3 tip.

While I made and photographed these on Sunday, all ready to share them with you because no one should have to wait for cupcakes, my camera decided to take a vacation and I had to borrow my friend’s computer to get this picture to you. Just in time for post-season to start tomorrow! Let’s go Dodgers, let’s go!

And a personal note to Kershaw: Thanks for so much entertainment this season and all the rest :)

Strawberry Sconecakes

This has been a disappointing year in the strawberry department for me. I’ve had the raved about Harry’s Berries….once.  See, this is my second strawberry season out of my parents’ house and I weirdly haven’t seen my parents all that much this past month. Typically during strawberry season, visits to parents=raiding the refrigerator for Harry’s Berries. No visits–no strawberries.

Strawberry Sconecakes

Strawberry Sconecakes

Hopefully you are not having a similarly barren strawberry season because some of the best desserts have my favorite fruit! Nothing can’t be improved with a side of strawberries, or with incorporated strawberries, or built around strawberries, or ohmygod I need strawberries. Sorry. Back on topic.

Chocolate Dipped Thumbprint Cookies

I seem to be in a “Let’s half dip everything in chocolate!” mood lately. Is there some Freudian explanation for that? Some hidden meaning behind wanting my cookies to all take a dunk in melted cocoa? Is it a sign of something? Like when women get pregnant and they know before the tests confirm it because they have these weird cravings for pickles and ice cream (I am definitely not pregnant by the way, for anyone who just freaked out there for a second). What does this dipping in chocolate obsession mean??

Chocolate Dipped Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Thumbprint Cookies

Oh I know! (1) That I have a borderline pathological need to make recipes more delicious by making them more complicated or adding extra steps (2) Everything looks cuter when half of it is covered in chocolate. Phew! Glad we figured that out.

Toffee and Candied Pecan Snickerdoodles

They say that, in general life, necessity is the mother of all invention. In baking, leftovers are the mother of all invention. I can’t count how many recipes I’ve come up with that came out of having extras of an ingredient I used for a different recipe and compulsively needed to use up. It’s like with all the random specialty or seasonal ingredients I’ll buy: for the intended recipe I may only need 1/2 cup but I have to put the remainder to use! Hence three different pomegranate scones, lemon thyme basil scones, and cinnamon chip scones/cinnamon chip pumpkin bread, just to name a few. Once inspiration for those leftovers hits, I often have to run to the grocery store to buy a different specialty ingredient for that recipe and then end up with leftovers of the new ingredients. And thus the leftovers dilemma continues. It’s a vicious cycle my friends.

Toffee and Candied Pecan Snickerdoodles

Toffee and Candied Pecan Snickerdoodles

Combine that with my other compulsive baking need to find some twist on a recipe or figure out some way to make it a little more complicated, and you end up with Toffee and Candied Pecan Snickerdoodles before I even get around to making a solid basic snickerdoodle cookie. Oops. I blame Thanksgiving and salad.

Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel Cookies

Both of my parents learned very important lessons while I was making these cookies. Let’s start with my mother.

Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel Cookies

Before commencing the annual Cookie Baking Extravaganza this year, my mom and I sat down together and planned out which cookies we wanted to make. Some were old standby classics. Others were brand new recipes that we had never tried before. We prioritized, scheduled, and planned the cookie baking. We also broke that plan the very first day. But the conflicting importance of scheduling and abandoning the schedule is not the lesson learned. It’s the just long, unnecessary backstory to why we were making Pinwheel Cookies. These were Mom’s first pick for new recipes.

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Scones

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Scones

Feeling a little inundated with cookies right about now? Between Christmas parties, office afternoon teas (is it just my dad’s office that does that?), your holiday traditions, and yes I’ll admit to some blame myself, you have been surrounded by cookies for weeks now! Cookies are delicious and traditional for this time of year, but I totally understand needing a moment to step away from the cookie sheets. I won’t judge. In fact, I’ll join you! I’ll join anything to have another batch of these pomegranate dark chocolate scones.

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Scones

Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Scones

I mentioned EONS ago that I wanted to try these Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Scones with fresh pomegranate arils instead of the pomegranate flavored fruit jelly covered in dark chocolate. 

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

You know what we’ve had a dearth of on this blog lately? Chocolate. Sure we throw various chocolate chips into our scones and cookies. Heck sometimes we even melt some down and spread it all over our cookies. But true, unadulterated chocolate? Definitely lacking.

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

The holidays aren’t just about all things cinnamon, eggnog, peppermint, pumpkin, white, and cranberry. They are about thinking about the people in your life and what you can do to make them feel special. Isn’t that what presents are? Our acknowledgment that the receiver was in our hearts and minds and that we want to give them something specific to their unique tastes? Well, the same goes with Holiday Cookies. I may love peppermint and cranberry anything, but my mom craves anything eggnog. My brother just asks after pumpkin pie. No cookies, just pumpkin pie. And my aunt? She looooooooooves anything chocolate! See? Everyone has different tastes in their sweet treats, and making a type of cookie specifically with them in mind is a great way to show people how much you love and understand them.

And the best excuse to make a million batches of cookies EVER. Come on, we can’t always be selfless.

Hershey’s has introduced this new line of chocolate chips called Morsels. They are slightly bigger than regular semisweet chocolate chips, but they are filled with deliciousness! So far I’ve found peanut butter, mint, raspberry, and caramel and I snatched up a few bags immediately before I even thought of what to make with them. I have a habit of doing that. My original idea was to just swap out regular chocolate chips in my family chocolate chip cookie recipe with the Morsels because anything in my mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is a winner. But with mint? Why not appeal to a new audience with the richest, most fudge, brownie like chocolate cookies chipped with Mint Morsels?

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

You’re welcome! And simultaneously, I’m sorry. You’ll need to make quite a few trips to these baking aisle once everyone gets ahold of these Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies. I mean, they taste like a soft, thick Thin Mint! And who doesn’t love Thin Mints? Or brownies? Everyone does, so everyone will love these cookies. The mint is present, but neither too overwhelming of the chocolate nor too overwhelmed by the chocolate. Let me know if you get that one 😉 I also made these with the peanut butter Morsels and those were a hit too! Chocoholics unite!

Don’t be scared off by the heavy and sticky cookie dough. How else are you going to get thick and fudgy cookies? Just chill the dough for a little while to reduce the stickiness before dropping them on the cookie sheet and you’ll be reaching for that necessary glass of milk in no time.

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Morsel Cookies

chocolate chocolate morsel cookies

ingredients

  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp lowfat milk
  • 1 package Hershey Morsels (1 batch with mint, 1 batch with peanut butter)

 directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, soda, and salt.

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars on medium, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. Make sure you are always scraping down the sides as needed.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed. Once combined, add the milk. Fold in the Morsels. Dough will be heavy and sticky. Chill if necessary.

Drop cookies on sheet in 1 ½ tbsp dough balls 3 inches apart. Bake for 10-13 minutes, less time for gooier cookies. Remove to a wire rack to cool immediately.

    %d bloggers like this: