Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Double Chocolate Orange Cookies and Caramelized Banana Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt



I've made you the best chocolate cookie ever!

I know that's a big statement, but I fully stand behind it.  To this point in my life, I haven't been that big a fan of chocolate cookies.  I'm sure that makes me sound like a freak, but the reason is pretty simple.  People overbake chocolate cookies because they can't tell from their appearance if they're done or not, since most recipes say to bake until golden brown.  And chocolate cookies are already brown - well, black, actually.  And even when they're not overbaked, for whatever reason, they tend to be a little more dry than say a soft chocolate chip cookie.

But not these.  These are without a doubt the softest, most delicious, most luscious chocolate cookies I've ever made AND tasted.

And I think I can say without a doubt that I'll never make another chocolate cookie other than these.  Because when you find something this amazing, there's no reason to keep looking.





Over the weekend, I was reading February's issue of Food and Wine, and there was a feature on healthy chocolate desserts by Joy the Baker.  A recipe for chocolate waffle cookies caught my eye, because making a cookie in a waffle maker just sounded like a lot of fun, and Jamie's been asking me to make cookies for him.  Her recipe called for pepper, which sounded interesting, but I just added a pinch of salt instead since I love salt with chocolate.  Then I added a few spices, nutmeg and orange zest, and bittersweet chocolate chunks.  In my recipe below, I included chopped candied orange peel in the ingredient list - although I didn't have any when I made these, I'll be including it in them next time, because I think it would make the cookies even more incredible.

I "baked" a few in our waffle iron like her recipe said to, and they were amazingly good - basically like little soft and cakey chocolate waffles.  A waffle iron was such a cute and clever idea, but I also wanted to make them into traditional cookies and see how those turned out.  So I scooped the rest of the dough into mounds on a Silpat and chilled them for 30 minutes in the freezer.  And when I took the cookies out of the oven, I knew I had made the last chocolate cookie recipe I would ever make.

Gooey, soft, luscious chocolate deliciousness in a cookie.

And how amazing would these chocolate waffles be for a special Valentine's breakfast?





The cookie recipe only makes 20 cookies, but for people who have little self-control, that's a good thing, right?  Because you just might eat all of them.

Another recipe of Joy's featured in the magazine was her Chocolate Frozen Yogurt with Caramelized Bananas.  Since we got the ice cream maker attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas, I've made one thing so far - eggnog ice cream.

I've been looking for a healthy ice cream recipe, and this looked like it might be it, since it's made with 2% milk and nonfat Greek yogurt.  The frozen yogurt was smooth and creamy and delicious, and since the yogurt is so thick, it doesn't taste like a low-fat dessert.  It just tastes yummy.

Jamie wasn't that crazy about the tangy-ness of the yogurt in an ice cream (sort of like when I made avocado hummus, and he was disappointed that it tasted more like hummus than guacamole).  I, however, loved the tang of it.  I thought it went really well with the banana and chocolate.  Being a chocolate person, though, I did want a little more chocolate in it.  So I've adjusted the recipe with more cocoa powder, as well as chocolate chunks.  Because as I was eating a scoop of the frozen yogurt with one of the chocolate cookies, I thought how amazing the frozen yogurt would be with chunks of the cookie mixed in.

And for next summer, this frozen yogurt would make wonderful popsicles for an easy and healthy treat, with a few fresh sliced bananas frozen in the popsicle molds with the yogurt for a pretty presentation.

Please check out Joy's original recipes in Food and Wine as well as her amazing blog.  Thank you, Joy, for your inspiring recipes!







Double Chocolate Orange Cookies
printable recipe
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried candied orange peel, chopped (optional)

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Scrape the bowl down and beat in the egg, egg white, and vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and orange zest.  Add by spoonfuls to the mixing bowl, mixing on low until moistened.  Beat in the buttermilk, then stir in the chocolate and candied orange peel.  Batter will be thick.

Place rounded spoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat.  Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the chilled cookies for 9 minutes - they will appear underdone, but will finish setting up out of the oven.  Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For waffle cookies, or chocolate waffles, scoop 2-3 tablespoons into each grid of your preheated, greased waffle iron.  Close the iron and "bake" the cookies for about 2 minutes.  They will be very soft - carefully remove from the waffle iron with a fork and dust with powdered sugar.

Yields about 20 cookies.

Try other various with white chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried cherries or cranberries, etc...

Adapted from Cocoa-Pepper Waffle Cookies by Joy the Baker, via Food and Wine, February 2012.


Caramelized Banana Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt
printable recipe

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large or 3 medium bananas, peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup soft chocolate cookies or brownies, chopped into chunks

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Place the banana slices in the pan in a single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar.   Cook the bananas for 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from the heat and add the rum, swirling it around.  Scrape the bananas and rum into a food processor.  Add the chopped bittersweet chocolate and 3 tablespoons milk.  Puree until smooth.  Spread mixture on a baking sheet and freeze until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, vanilla and yogurt.  Whisk in the chilled banana puree.

Freeze mixture according to your ice cream maker's instructions (using a Kitchen aid ice cream maker, pour mixture into the pre-frozen mixing bowl and churn for 20-30 minutes.  Stir in the chopped cookies or brownies.  Place in a container and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.

Yields about 1 quart.

Adapted from Chocolate Frozen Yogurt with Caramelized Bananas by Joy the Baker, via Food and Wine, February 2012.