Sunday, August 12, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies

I've been on a chocolate rampage lately, meaning I been eating more than my fair share of chocolate. I am particularly obsessed with chocolate cake and love my Microwave Chocolate Cake recipe. It's been my go-to dessert for weeks! This recipe is so easy and quick to make in addition to being quite conducive to my semi-crazy schedule.

Fortunately, I had time to make something chocolately this weekend, the conventional way. I know I've made brownies from scratch before; however, boxed brownies are so good that I often don't think making brownies from scratch is worth my time. While brownies are fairly a simple dessert, making great brownies can be time consuming. I went on a pursuit to find a simply yet delicious brownie and  found an excellent one on Joy of Baking.

While the recipe itself is great, I believe there are a few keys into making gourmet tasting brownies. First key, use quality chocolate. You wouldn't believe what a different it makes but the higher quality chocolate you use, the higher quality and depth of flavor your brownies will taste. This goes for cocoa as well. Try to use high quality, non-alkaline cocoa. It makes a significant difference. I've researched the art of brownie making and chocolate quality is something I've consistently heard. I always disregarded this tip but when I wasn't getting the taste I was searching for, I had to change something in my practice. Secondly, the addition of coffee adds a depth of flavor to the brownie and accentuates the chocolate flavor. While coffee is an optional ingredient in many recipes, I believe coffee makes a good brownie into a great/gourmet tasting brownie. Lastly, add  chocolate chips! I know brownies are already chocolately but the chips gives texture and reiterates the chocolate goodness that brownies are known for. There's something divine about biting into melted chocolate that can really give brownies a heavenly status.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies


I will never get tired of the chocolate chip cookie. There are many variations and it is crazy how I never get bored of trying a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. How was this recipe inspired? Well, ricotta cheese. First of all, I do not like ricotta cheese. However, I bought some to make stuffed shells for a work potluck because I know people would like it. I don't usually eat what I bring to a potluck...for some reason, it just makes me feel weird, so it wasn't a big to not eat the stuffed shells. However, I had to give it a little taste to make sure I wasn't serving something terrible. Always test your product! To my surprise, the stuffed shells weren't too shabby. I'm not trying to toot my own horn but I learned it's not that I don't like ricotta but it's the amount I often feel there is an excessive amount in what I eat. 

Anyways, the store only sold a huge container of ricotta cheese so I had a LOT of ricotta cheese leftover so I had to do something with it. The first thing that came to my mind was a ricotta pound cake but I didn't want something so heavy and was going to weigh me down...literally. I started searching online to see if there were cookie recipes that ricotta cheese and voila,I found this recipe.

While the cookies do not have a distinct ricotta flavor, the cheese adds a nice texture to the cookies. The cookies turned out to be fluffy, soft, and moist. If you're a fan of the cake-like cookies, this is perfect. The cookies were tasty, not too greasy, and is a great variation of the chocolate chip cookies. Even if you overbake the cookies, the cookies remain moist and soft. No need to worry about the cookies turning hard the next day...if they last until then!

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