Donna's Daily Dish
Inspiring people to create every day recipes
Oh my, my kitchen smelled heavenly as these cookies baked. Once they were done, I removed them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. I had to patiently wait so that I could delicately cut a cookie for sampling. It was delicious, not too sweet, the crumb slightly crisp, but not hard. The flavor of the chocolate did not overwhelm the cookie, it was perfect.
My choice for celebrating were Red Velvet Cupcakes. I believe this recipe originally appeared on the Food Network in its very early days on the show “Cooking Live with Sara Moulton.” The date printed on my recipe is March 29, 2009 and is from Cakeman Raven Confectionery in New York City. It takes approximately one hour from start to finish for this cake, but I’m sure you’ll find it time well spent for something different.
For the recipe you’ll need vegetable oil, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, fine salt, cocoa powder, buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring (I used LorAnn Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion). The cake is enrobed with a cream cheese frosting made with said cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter and vanilla.
This is not a chocolate cake, there’s just a hint of cocoa in the batter. It’s light, fluffy and has a tender, moist crumb. I didn’t find the cake to be overly sweet and, as I made cupcakes instead of cake, I frosted the tops with enough frosting to last through every bite. There were no complaints around the table from those who had a cupcake, especially my granddaughters, who enjoyed them.
One last note, a few weeks ago, my husband and I had a weekend getaway to visit a friend of his in Florida. One afternoon, he took us to Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach. We had a delightful time taking in the town. We made a stop at “The Spice & Tea Exchange of Fernandina Beach.” This delightful shop carries an array of spices and spice blends, teas, sweeteners, salts and accessories for tea, kitchen and candles.
This was the perfect place for me as I was on the hunt for green peppercorns for a recipe I’m creating (more of that in a later post). Not only did they have green ones, but pink, smoked black, Szechuan and white to name a few. I also picked up Italian Street Fair Spice Blend that I used on top of pizza and on grilled chicken for a salad. Another fun one I purchased was “Baker’s Secret Spice Blend” that contained cocoa nibs, vanilla turbinado sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I can’t wait to try this on pancakes or sugar cookies. They mail order plus they have retail stores across the country, check them out!
Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
From Ashley Rodriguez’s Not Without Salt (site) and Date Night In (book)
Yield: 18 to 24 cookies
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw; you can use more brown or white if you don’t have this, but the subtle crunch it adds is delightful)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (or, technically, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish
Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.
Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon (I used a #40 scoop) mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet out of the for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.
Extra dough — I know, what’s that?! — can be formed into scoops and frozen on a sheet until solid, then transferred to a freezer bag. I’ve baked this right from the freezer; they need, at most, 1 minute more baking time. You could also form them into a 2-inch log, freeze it, and slice and bake the cookies off as desired. The only difference I’ve noted between the cookies baked right away and those baked a day or more later is that the older cookie dough is less puffy when baked.
Southern Red Velvet Cake
Food Network, Recipe Courtesy of Cakeman Raven
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Yield: approximately 6 to 8 servings
Vegetable oil for the pans
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crushed pecans, for garnish
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Yield: enough to frost a 3-layer (9-inch) cake
There is a video on the webpage on how to prepare this cake.
I prepared half recipe for the cake and make one dozen cupcakes. I did the same with the cream cheese frosting, made half and it was sufficient to frost the cupcakes.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.