Must Try Sweet Treats: Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies; Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes!

We have done a lot of baking this week, from whole wheat challah bread to yeasted cinnamon-raisin loaves. Three items we made really stood out for their perfect texture and mouth-watering flavors: double chocolate brownie cookies (I dare you not to eat one warm and oozing from the oven!), vanilla cupcakes with strawberry icing and light double-chocolate muffins.

The vanilla cupcakes are adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.

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Snu Magoo loves chocolate, but she is also a sucker for anything with berries and vanilla – hence the strawberry icing.

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You could absolutely eat these as is!

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Or, spread them with your favorite icing, like a strawberry buttercream.

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I am not the world’s best “ice-er”…

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… but I do have a great talent for licking pastry spreaders, spoons, spatulas – anywhere icing or batter remnants exist.

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Snu Magoo really wanted sprinkles on her cupcakes!

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A homemade marshmallow is never a bad topping idea, either!

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My pal Liz at Food For Fun is to thank for the scrumptious, cocoa dusted pillows of pure bliss.

DSC_3144Decorate these however you choose!

DSC_3126Obviously, chocolate is always a favorite in our house. Littlest Guy is a big chocolate monster, like his Ima.

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These muffins are soft, rich and brimming with chocolate.

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The muffins are filled with chopped dark chocolate and laced with salted almonds; never a problem here!

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Yes, we are Jewish. Why the holiday snowman wrappers? They were a gift from a friend. I never let good food or bakeware go to waste. Plus, an icy snowman in April is a perfect vision in the New Mexico desert.

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You could pour the batter into mini-loaf pans – or use muffin liners for a portable, chocolatey snack.

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The un-iced muffins – both chocolate and vanilla – freeze incredibly well in gallon freezer bags. If they last that long! Speaking of icing, the chocolate muffins would be fantastic with a chocolate cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese frosting. We didn’t make it past the bake and eat portions for this batch.

Hubby came home after a few straight days at the hospital and promptly fell asleep. Physician residents in his program don’t get days off after call, so it’s sleep and back to the grind for him. Or, as it has been lately, off to another fellowship interview and then back to the hospital.

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Since he’s flying to University of Michigan for a week-long surgical course – something involving “fixing people’s broken faces,” as Snu Magoo patiently explains to her non-medical literate Ima.

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In the end, I was super quiet and got the kiddes to bed in hush-hush mode, and Abba was able to nap from 7-9 PM. Usually he is home at 9 PM, on a good day. Then, we had Shabbat dinner and hit the hay.

Ahh, sleep.

But, how to pass the time during his nap? Well, that’s easy.

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Reading? A great BBC show? Nope. Tonight, I made the dough for brownie cookies. They call for twelve ounces of fabulous chocolate total – and I chopped sixteen ounces; extra for muah. Making cooking dough, listening to Bach while eating fantastic cheese and chopped chocolate quickly resulted in a perfect evening.

Did I mention the quietly, soundly sleeping children?

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The next morning, instead of waiting for the banana bread to emerge from the oven, we noshed on the oozing, gooey and chocolate-rich cookies. Best breakfast ever, along with a vanilla almond milk latte (I’m a bit of a “lac-tard”… or use the term lactose-intolerant, as folks like my hubby would).

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It is essential to eat these cookies warm… not that you will be able to wait until they cool.

You won’t.

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The hubby was magnanimous to take a bit and allow me to photograph the silky-smooth milk and dark chocolate – before devouring.

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Again, cooling racks are superperfilous, but I attempted to follow the recipe for photographic purposes. If you have a few friends over, the cookie will be gone from the baking tray in five minutes flat.

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Cooling, Schmooling!

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Of course, if you are just one person or two people (as I often am when the hubby’s at work/travelling and one of the kids is at school), you may want to freeze some of the cookies in a gallon-sized, plastic freezer bag.

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Then, you can eat a cookie-a-day for twenty-seven days. Haven’t you heard of the cookie diet?

It’s awesome and really works. 🙂

DSC_3282 Try one of these three recipes and challah back. Noms!

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Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies 

Adapted from a Food and Wine Magazine recipe. Makes 27 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces 62% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 ounces 60-70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces European milk chocolate or additional milk-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • Parchment paper

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the eight ounces chopped, dark chocolate and the butter. Stir until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • In another large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs with the sugar. Beat at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in the vanilla and salt.
  • Use a rubber spatula to fold in the melted chocolate. Next, fold in the flour and baking powder.
  •  Toss the six ounces chopped milk and dark chocolate with the flour.
  • Stir in the six ounces chopped milk and dark chocolate into the batter.
  • Scrape the batter into a shallow baking dish. Cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour. Then, place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Working in batches, use a melon ball-er to scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave two-inches between cookies.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top. Air on the side of under-baking. The cookies will continue to cook as they cool.
  •  Allow the cookies cool on the baking sheets for five minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • The cookies will remain fresh in an airtight container for a week. Or, freeze the cookies in a large, gallon freezer bag to enjoy for up to six months.

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Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. Makes eleven cupcakes.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg (choose your favorite warm spice)
  • 6 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 plus two tablespoons low-fat milk or almond milk
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 cups vanilla buttercream icing or any icing of your choice
  • 1/4 cup good quality strawberry preserves (optional)
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Sprinkles and homemade marshmallows, for decorating (optional)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350•F. Line cupcake pan with eleven liners; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, your warm spice of choice, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together oil, orange juice, milk and sugar.
  • Add the eggs to the large bowl, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Whisk in the vanilla.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches. Mix just until combined.
  • Divide batter evenly among liners. Fill each liner three-quarters of the way full.
  • During baking, rotate the pan once if needed.
  • Bake for fifteen to 20 minutes or done. The muffin tops will spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
  •  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cupcakes from pan, and let them cool completely on wire rack.
  • Mix the almond extract and strawberry preserves into the buttercream icing, if desired. Use as little or much preserves as you want, provided the preserves are very thick.
  • Ice the cupcakes when completely cool and decorate with sprinkles and homemade marshmallows.

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Light Double Chocolate Muffins

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose or white-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup best quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cup warm, unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (1, 8-ounce container)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 1 1/2 cups (chopped) 60 – 70% dark chocolate, sea salt and almond bars, divided
  • Canola Oil cooking spray 

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  •  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine the flour and all of the ingredients through salt in a large bowl.
  • Stir well with a whisk. Stir in 1 cup of the chopped, dark chocolate. Make sure the chocolate pieces are well-coated in the flour mixture.
  • Make a well in center of mixture. Combine the almond milk and the wet ingredients, through eggs, in the well. Stir the liquid mixture well with a whisk.
  • With a rubber spatula, mix the dry and wet ingredients together just until combined.
  • Place 22 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups. Coat the liners with cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups with a standard ice-cream scoop.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chopped, dark chocolate evenly over batter in the muffin cups.
  • Bake at 350°F for eighteen to 22 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in pans. Then, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Facts for Light Double Chocolate Muffins
Serving Size 81 g, one large muffin
Calories 199, Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value
Total Fat 5.5g, 9%
Saturated Fat 3.1g, 16%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 22mg, 7%
Sodium 42mg, 2%
Potassium 106mg, 3%
Total Carbohydrates 36.1g, 12%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g, 7%
Sugars 19.2g
Protein 3.7g
Vitamin A 3% • Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 6% • Iron 9%

©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.

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78 thoughts on “Must Try Sweet Treats: Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies; Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes!

  1. wow–you have been a busy baking bee! LOVE that you shared the marshmallow and note. Thank you 🙂 Everything you make has me swooning. You are an amazing mamma, wife, and woman, Shanna! Keep on keepin’ on and rest when you can.

  2. These all look amazing! It looks like your and your family ate quite well this week. I went on a field trip yesterday to the strawberry patch and had a blast. We made a strawberry pie for dinner with friends tonight. We all love strawberries so it was quite popular, especially with the chocolate crust and cream cheese layer. My kiddos would definitely love the cupcakes with strawberry frosting, so up their alley! Thanks for sharing.

  3. You have been a busy baking mom this week. They all look delicious. I also love anything strawberry so that might be the one I like to try first with the strawberry frosting. “Lac..tard” is so funny I have not heard of that expression before but I am a little lac..tard too. You children are adorable. enjoy them as this time goes by so fast. Have a super weekend. BAM

  4. OMG, Shanna, you can’t keep baking in threes, my friend; I get so anxious!!! Everything looks so delicious and yummy… That must have been a complete success (you just have to look at Snu Magoo’s beaming eyes and mischievous yet adorable smile…

  5. Cupcakes = happiness! But since I am not a cakey person I am going for the chocolate cookie recipe and I will challah back. They look so nice and chewy and moist, mmmm!

  6. Shanna, these all look AMAZING! Those cupcakes are professional-looking and Liz’s baking recipes are always good. Your chocolate baked goods are making me swoon. Yum! Everything looks so moist. Your kids are a lucky bunch! (and beautiful too) 🙂

  7. I totally want to be on the cookie diet — but only if it involves those particular cookies! They look so rich, decadent and just oozing with chocolate. I’m jealous I don’t have one to go with my coffee this morning.

  8. Everything looks wonderful! You are the baking queen! I really wondered about those chocolate cookies when I saw the recipe on Food and Wine. Thank you so much for making the ultimate sacrifice (hahaha) and actually making them, so now I know that they are as delicious as they look. And those muffins. Sigh. Love the cookie diet–I’m pretty sure I’ve been on it. 🙂
    Also, I think your daughter’s description of your husband’s job is perfect!

  9. “Try one of these three recipes and challah back” – you are so funny! I read the first line and was waiting for the whole wheat challah, but I was too enthralled by that gooey decadent chocolate brownie cookie and forgot all about the challah. These will happen soon, very soon. I like your household diet and the kiddos obviously do, too! 🙂

  10. It seems that you had a lot of fun baking brownies and cupcakes… but I’m sure your kids had more fun eating them! lovely post Shanna, your kids are really cute! they are even lucky having a special mum like you!

  11. Something tells me that I would be doomed to long and arduous dietary penance if I were to make either of these recipes, because I’d be unable to resist eating every single crumb immediately. I also sense, of course, that the penance might be well worth it for either of these recipes. What to do, what to do!!!
    🙂
    xoxo

  12. oooh..Snu Magoo, I’m just like you! So sweet post Shanna … but … where do you find all this time for baking??? I envy you …really… Shanna, you have to make some videos about your sweet helpers 😉 ahah ..it’ll be really funny… Xoxo Cris

  13. Wow…you always amaze me with your baking skills. Love all this chocolate goodness. Ahhh, and the vanilla cupcakes, my favorite. Had to “follow” you again! What’s going on with my wordpress? All of the sudden I am noticing I am not following my favorite blogs. ??

  14. A three-fer! You’re spoiling us, Shanna. All three treats look delicious but those brownies are truly something else. Put them in the freezer? Are you kidding me? I’d have to let them cool before freezing and they’d never make it. Then again, it sure would be fun trying. 🙂

  15. As I’ve never made cookies (apart from crackle) I wouldn’t really have much of an idea how these would taste. I’ve read that the batter can be left overnight, and even better the following day. Hmm, or is that for brownies?! I don’t remember.

      1. Shanna random question, can you freeze bread? As in bred rolls? Thought about making a huge batch for Pops before I head out to Asia so he doesn’t just eat pre-bought junk, but wasnt’ sure if the bread would still be good if it was frozen. I figured a little toaster oven action might be helpful. What do you think?

      2. Vera, We freeze bread, rolls, muffins, etc. etc. Just wrap well in plastic wrap and/or place is a good quality freezer bag. Remove any air, as well. Freezing bread is a must in our house. 🙂 I also like to freeze some breads in individual slices, providing they are well-wrapped and sealed from the cold to prevent freezer burn. xx Shanna

      3. thank you! we’ll be going to Asia and hope to help dad out by baking and freezing bread so he doesn’t eat junk too much. 😉 xox*

  16. These all look delicious, Shanna and my eldest son agreed. Your children are so blessed to have a great baker mom like you. 🙂 I bet your house smelled delicious while baking these goodies. Superlicious! 🙂

  17. Woow Shanna! You are indeed a super mom of a beautiful daughter. All the dishes look great. At the moment i really feel like having that delicious chocolate cupcake. Yumm! 🙂

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