I was flipping through my vast cookbook collection, looking for a new recipe to try. I’m getting pretty bored with my usual lineup so it’s time to get creative. I came across a recipe for chocolate cookies with a touch of cayenne pepper in The Doughmakers Cookbookby Bette Laplante and Diane Cuvelier. Hmm, this should be an interesting new adventure! Charlie is ready for the adventure…here he is wearing his new winter hat:
The recipe only calls for 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper which doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things. I baked a test cookie to see if I wanted to make any changes to the flavoring before I continued. After the first bite I didn’t even taste the pepper. I was about to add more pepper to the batter. How can I call them spicy and not deliver a spicy cookie?! Then I ate the rest of the cookie and there it was. A subtle but detectable hint of heat in the back of my throat. I’m glad I didn’t add more!
An ice cold glass of milk pairs well with these cookies. It helps with the spiciness as well as the rich chocolate explosion. Look how fudgy they come out.
These cookies are chewy, sweet, and chocolaty with a mild kick at the end. They actually remind me of those red hots candies. This recipe is also good for people on a diet because it is hard to eat a lot of them in one sitting! Here is my altered recipe. The original recipe called for butter, but I tweaked it so that it would be dairy free.
When my friend Andrea needed a better recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies, she asked me for mine. I was almost embarrassed to tell her that I had never made them before! The recipe she has is great but it’s messy; the dough is too sticky and is hard to work with. I asked her for the recipe so I could try it for myself. The original recipe comes from Kosher by Design Short on Time cookbook. The recipe is non-dairy and calls for oil instead of butter. I realized that the oil is causing the cookie dough to be too sticky so I replaced the oil with vegetable shortening and was so happy that I did! The dough was perfect, no need to refrigerate it before working with it.
I don’t like recipes that require “thinking ahead”…who has time? This dough gets mixed together and it’s ready to go. Using a cookie scoop, measure out the dough and roll it into a perfect ball. Then roll it in granulated sugar.
Once it is completely coated, roll it in confectioners sugar.
Shake off the excess sugar.
It looks good enough to eat already! Hold yourself back-it’s worth it. Line the cookies up on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes until they are cracked and puffy.
Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet; they are too soft to transfer to a cooling rack. You can also slide the whole sheet of parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before sampling these gems.
Rolling the dough in granulated sugar helps the confectioners sugar stick better and keeps it from melting, giving the cookie this great look. The black and white contrast is gorgeous.
They look so perfect and professional and are so easy to make! Pile them up and serve them to your friends and family.
These cookies freeze really well. I like to eat them straight from the ice box!
Look how fudgy they are. Yum! My son Charlie couldn’t get his tiny hands on a cookie, but he did get a hold of this cute ribbon…
Will you try this recipe? It’s non-dairy, easy and delicious!
When the weather heats up, the last thing I want to do is heat up my oven and bake. How do I satisfy my chocolate fix during the hot and humid New York summer? Chocolate covered strawberries! Just thinking about red, juicy strawberries enrobed in sweet, velvety chocolate makes my mouth water.
I love using long stemmed strawberries but they are not always available. These are just regular strawberries dipped in melted milk chocolate. I melted the chocolate using the double boiler method. If you have never done this, it’s simple! Fill a pot with an inch or so of water and over low heat bring to a simmer. Then place a heatproof bowl on top of the pot. Make sure the bowl is not too small, it shouldn’t fall into the pot, you should be able to remove the bowl easily. The steam that hits the bottom of the bowl will gently melt the chocolate. Be careful because the bowl will get hot. If you want to dress up the classic chocolate dipped strawberry, melt some white chocolate and drizzle it on top once the milk chocolate is set and dry.
Not so confident in your drizzling abilities? Here is my new favorite idea. Crush up some pretzels. First dip the strawberry in chocolate and then immediately in the pretzels. These are ridiculously good! The sweet and salty combination is divine.
If your strawberries are invited to a black tie event you might want to try these. What is cuter than a strawberry in a tiny tuxedo?
These are a little more difficult to do. The best strawberries to use are big and flat. The bigger the better (and easier). First dip the strawberries in melted white chocolate.
They are delicious just like this! They can also be drizzled with milk chocolate or dipped in crushed pretzels. However, if you want them to wear tiny tuxedos, allow them to dry completely. Then tilt the strawberry to one side and dip it in milk chocolate. Then do the same for the other side.
The last step is to add the buttons and bow tie. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a tiny round tip and fill with melted chocolate. Pipe three buttons and two triangles for a bow tie.
I bet you could use an edible food coloring marker to draw on the buttons and bow tie, but I haven’t tried it. Let me know if you try it!