March 2011

Double Chocolate Brownies


Makes 9 large or 16 small squares

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides.

Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted.

Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes.

Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined.

Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes.

Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Just to make it different than normal , I added some orange zest and some white choc chip chunks and so now it tastes like a Terry’s choccie orange.

Espresso Biscuits


Makes 16

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees with two racks spaced evenly apart.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, cocoa, and espresso beans; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, scraping down sides of bowl twice.

Roll 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough between the palms of your hand to form a ball.

Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining batter, spacing cookies two inches apart.

Using a dinner fork, press tines into dough, and gently press into biscuit shape. Bake biscuits just until firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve these dessert biscuits with coffee ice cream.

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Apricots and White Chocolate


Makes about 4 dozen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
7 ounces dried apricots,chopped (1 1/2 cups)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, oatmeal, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Reduce speed to low.

Add salt, vanilla, and eggs, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.

Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just combined.

Stir in chocolate and apricots.

Cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, 14 to 16 minutes.

Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.