Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Orange Almond Chocolate Cookies

I made these on Sunday afternoon when I didn't have much going on, so my husband and I were the only ones who got to taste these. I wish I was bringing them somewhere because - chocolate and orange? Pretty yummy if you ask me. If you're looking for something different to make, I highly suggest these cookies. I omitted the 1/2 cup of ground almonds, just because I didn't have them on hand. The cookies were still very good but I imagine there would be a stronger almond taste with the ground almonds in addition to the extract (I added a little more extract to try and make up for this).

INGREDIENTS (yields about 24 cookies)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate


Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats. In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest until well mixed but not fluffy. Add the egg yolk, almond extract and orange juice and stir until well combined.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, almonds and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until most of the flour is absorbed. Add the chocolate and mix until well distributed. You may need to mix the final bit by hand with a spatula.

Scoop the cookies out by rounded tablespoons on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes, until the edges are just golden brown. Cool on the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

This just may be the best peanut butter icing. Ever. The chocolate cupcake... eh, I've had (and made) better. I think the Guinness cupcake I made from the Irish Car Bomb cupcake recipe would be excellent with this icing. I might have to try that out sometime...

Adapted from:


CUPCAKE (12 cupcakes)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup (1.5 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If you are using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.) Line standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.
Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.
Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.