dark chocolate + butterscotch chip cookies [tracey’s culinary adventures]

Who doesn’t love a warm, chewy chocolate chip cookie with a tall glass of cold milk? There’s something so simple, so childlike and comforting about milk and cookies. And sometimes–most of the time–dining hall cookies just don’t cut it.

So I took matters into my own hands last week and turned to my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

Honestly, I was going to go for just plain chocolate chips, but I had none left. But this ended up working in my favor because butterscotch and dark chocolate how could you go wrong

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I’ve been using this recipe for a while now. It’s my favorite for two reasons: 1) brown butter. ‘Nuff said. 2) Everything is whisked by hand, so there’s no need for a stand mixer or a handheld blender or really anything more than a stovetop, a heatproof bowl, and a whisk. It’s extremely conducive to dorm baking.

You might think the instructions are strange at first–whisk, wait, whisk, wait, etc.–but don’t skip any steps, because it will make a difference in the final product. It’s not a difficult recipe; it’s just precise. And it’s definitely worth being a little patient. 🙂

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The only change I made was replacing the 1 1/4 cups of semisweet chocolate chips with 1/2 cup dark morsels and 1/2 cup butterscotch chips. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate, the nutty toffee hints from the browned butter, and the creamy sweetness of butterscotch all combined in a chewy, buttery explosion of flavor. The only reason I still have a couple left? They’re too good to finish.

Seriously, I can’t rave about this recipe enough. (In case you couldn’t tell.)

Way more than the butterscotch or dark chocolate, it’s the brown butter in the base that makes these cookies so delicious–and so different from most other chocolate chip cookies. I’m sure you could throw just about anything into this dough, and it would taste fantastic.

A last note on the baking: err on the side of taking the cookies out too early if you really want them to be chewy. They won’t get hard even after about 13 minutes, but they won’t be quite as soft as they could be. And if you want them thicker than the ones I made, after you portion the dough into balls, freeze it for a couple hours before baking. It works wonders.

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That’s it for today! I think I’m gonna go find myself some milk and eat what’s left of these. 😉

Have a great week!

s’more poke cake [confessions of a cookbook queen]

Last night, I was joined by the lovely Gabby Costa in my somewhat janky house kitchen, where we attempted to recreate these beautiful squares of marshmallow-and-graham-cracker-goodness.

Let me tell you: it got messy.

But I mean in the best of ways–the kind that includes fluff stuck to fingers and far more Aaron Carter than is probably acceptable anymore.

And on the topic of fluff, can we address how terrifying the stuff is? It sticks to anything and everything except what it needs to, its shelf life is alarmingly long, and somehow, it is still delicious. Seriously, there’s something wrong with this picture.

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Nothing wrong with this picture, though. All those golden, perfectly toasted marshmallows topping a fudgy chocolate cake made even more gooey with smooth chocolate pudding.

Oh yes. That’s quite the cake.

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So this particular recipe was actually chosen by Gabby. I was instantly sold when I saw that there was chocolate pudding involved. Spouts of pudding? Inside my cake? Yes, please!

Unfortunately, as you can see from my photo (especially compared to the ones on the original recipe), the pudding never quite made it into the cake. Despite borderline destroying the cake with holes, we couldn’t get much of the pudding to actually sink into the cake. This brings up two issues:
+ Make big holes for your pudding! Either use a wooden spoon with a thicker handle, or just push the handle around to make the holes bigger. Otherwise, the pudding won’t actually fill your cake.
+ 3.4 ounces of instant pudding is a lot. Like a lot. Like way more than you actually need for this cake.

And you know what else is a lot? 13 ounces of marshmallow fluff. I ended up using just over one 7.5-oz jar of fluff, and if you look, it was enough to coat the 9×13 cake with a good, thick layer of marshmallow. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with 13 ounces of the monstrously sticky stuff, and just use less.

Lucky for us, we were baking in a dorm, and we had no trouble getting rid of things like extra chocolate pudding and fluff.

Other adjustments: I dropped the sugar from the graham cracker crust–the cake is sweet enough–and increased the baking time of the actual cake from 20 minutes to ~30, because mine was still jiggling after only 20. You want it to be just baked, so that it can still sit in the oven for a little while after the pudding and marshmallows are added.

The final product was gooey, got all over our hands/faces/clothes, and went perfectly with a tall glass of milk. The only way I could cut through it so neatly was with a heated knife (which Gabby thought of; thanks, girl!). But they really did taste like s’mores fresh off a campfire, with the golden-crusted marshmallows and everything. All in all: would definitely bake again. 😉

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That’s all for today, folks! Don’t forget to keep placing those cupcake orders! Remember that Relay for Life will be getting 50% of the proceeds from orders placed between now and May 17th 🙂
And in the meantime, enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine!