Double Chocolate Cookies

I know at the end of my last post that I would be giving you another recipe last week, but I got busy with school, life, and a girls day with the ladies of the Friday Night Dinner crew. I do have a pretty delicious recipe for you all this week though. This is a tried and tested recipe of mine that is one of my favourites to make; it’s made appearances at Friday Night Dinners and occasionally fills care packages we send to my brother and sister while they’re away at university (sorry guys, it’s not in the package you’re getting this week 🙂 ).

Girls Day Cuddle Pile!

Girls Day Cuddle Pile!

February has been a pretty awesome month for me. If you “like” my Facebook page, you’ll now I’ve officially signed the paperwork to be a recipe developer for The Oregonian! I’m so excited about this new venture and I’ve already got some really cool recipes and projects that I’m working on for them. The support and feedback I’ve got from you about this means so much to me so thanks for that 🙂

Earlier this week Taylor and I went back to our high school to visit one of our favourite teachers. It was so good to catch up with him and hear all about the wonderful things going on at SMA. We talked about school, Italy, Greece, what’s going on in all of our lives and so many other things. Walking through the doors of SMA seriously feels like coming home; I couldn’t imagine having gone to another school and consider myself so lucky to be a Blue.

Now for the recipe. These double chocolate cookies are seriously so easy to make and are so, so good. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to eat just one. I use white chocolate chips because I like the contrast between dark batter and light chips, but if you prefer to use regular chocolate chips you totally can. Hope you all enjoy them!

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Double Chocolate Cookies:
Makes 22 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (dark or regular)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Midterms, Apartment-Sitting & Valentine’s Day

Hello!

Things started getting back to normal here in Portland after the crazy snowstorm last week. Most of the schools were still closed on Monday due to icy roads, but of course my school only had a two-hour delay, meaning it was open at 10. It was midterm week, so I kind of understand why they were open, but for most people it was still too dangerous to be out driving. I live on top of a hill and there was lots of ice and snow.

My class is at noon and a little after 10:00 I got an email from my instructor saying,
“Class will be starting on-time today.
If you miss class you must have circumstance preventing you from attending if you
wish to make-up the test.”
I was already not planning on going because (1) I couldn’t get out of my house, and (2) after having knee surgery a little over a month ago, I really didn’t want to risk doing anything to it trying to navigate my way through the street covered with ice and snow. Fortunately for me, this counted as a legitimate excuse for not being there, so I was able to make up the test the following day when I could make it in. I’m pretty sure I killed it.

I’ve also been apartment-sitting for my friend this week while she’s been out of town. She lives downtown so it’s really convenient for me getting to school and I love not having to get in my car whenever I want to go somewhere. I could get used to this downtown-living life (sorry Taylor, you might not be getting your keys back 🙂 ). I literally just sit and stare out of the windows. So lucky to live in such a beautiful city.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day/weekend; I definitely did. There is nothing better than being able to spend time with the person/people you love. I did have to spend part of the weekend writing 20 (!!) recipes for a class project, but I actually had a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to making them and sharing them with you all! I also treated myself to some tea and Jane Austen, two of my favourite things.

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I have a recipe I’m going to share with you later in the week, so stay tuned for that!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting (and a Portland Snowpocalypse!)

The recipe in this post is one my friend Taylor and I developed for The Oregonian as a Valentine’s Day treat. These cupcakes are so decadent and delicious as well as being really easy to make. Cocoa powder and chocolate are combined, lending a rich chocolatey flavour. The cupcake also has a little sour cream in it, which gives the cupcake a beautiful smooth consistency.

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IMG_5969The frosting incorporates blackberry puree, giving it a beautiful pink colour and a flavour that perfectly complements the rich chocolate cupcakes.

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting:
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (regular cocoa powder works too)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Frosting: 

  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over gently simmering water. Heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk the eggs; add sugar, vanilla and salt, stirring to combine. Add chocolate mixture and whisk together.
  5. Sift in 1/2 of the flour mixture and stir together. Whisk in the sour cream, then add remaining flour and whisk again until just combined. Don’t over mix. Divide batter between liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.
  6. While the cupcakes bake and cool, make the frosting. Put the blackberries in a blender or food processor and puree. Strain the berries to separate the seeds.
  7. Beat butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add blackberry puree and 3 cups of the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add more powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
  8. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe on the frosting. Top with a blackberry, if desired.

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IMG_5979This weekend Portland was hit with a pretty big (for the West Coast) snowstorm. Snow started falling Thursday morning and continued through Saturday. I got about 6-7 inches at my house which was then topped off with about a 1/2 inch of ice overnight and this morning.

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I’ve been stuck in my house since the storm starting and to say I have a case of cabin fever would be an understatement! We don’t get a lot of snow here in Portland so when we do everyone freaks out and the city pretty much shuts down. Schools and offices were closed on Friday due to the weather and most people (at least in my neighbourhood) haven’t tried to go out and do things although some kids here did bust out their sleds/snowboards/skis to have some snowy fun.

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IMG_6000I’m really looking forward to all of the snow and ice melting so I can get out and do things. I haven’t spent much time out in the snow because I’m recovering from knee surgery and don’t want any setbacks. My dog has made the most of this weather though 🙂

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While the ice might not be very safe to walk/drive on, it does make for some beautiful pictures. I’ll sign off this post with a few of the icy pictures I took this morning.

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