chocolate chip

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake

I woke up early last Saturday morning and made a trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients I needed for a hazelnut chocolate chip cake. I then left the store with everything except one main ingredient – hazelnut flavor extract. I decided to scour a few other stores for the hazelnut flavor, and four stores later I found a bottle. This cake better be good.

Fortunately, the finished product was quite worth the slight inconvenience of shopping multiple stores. The cake was flavorful, moist, and overall delicious. I dusted the cake with confectioners’ sugar but also enjoyed a slice drizzled with a simple chocolate ganache made from equal parts chocolate and cream.

Strangely, I forgot all about the hazelnut flavor. I could taste the vanilla from the pudding mix and the chocolate, but not the hazelnut. So maybe you don’t need it after all. With main ingredients items likely found in the pantry – yellow cake mix, pudding mix, and chocolate chips – you can likely bake your own hazelnut chocolate chip cake this afternoon. With or without the hazelnut flavor. Enjoy!

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut flavor
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Optional Ingredients
  • confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder for finishing
  • chocolate sauce for serving
Instructions
  1. Use a mixer on low speed to beat all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips until just moistened.
  2. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two minutes.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cake to cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. When cool, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder or serve with chocolate sauce if desired.
Notes
If using yellow cake mix with pudding already in the mix, omit the vanilla instant pudding mix from the list of ingredients.
 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

A three year, ten month old mind develops blurry memories.  My memories of 1982 BS are nothing by sunshine and rainbows. My memories of 1982 AS are a bit different.

On October 21, 1982, I listened to my mom tell me the plans we had to make cookies that afternoon were off.  The next thing I remember is going to the hospital to visit Mom and her new daughter my sister.

1982 Before Sister: sunshine and rainbows.  1982 After Sister: not so much. (Shame on all of you who thought BS stood for something naughty.  Let this be a lesson that I’m not above resorting to gimmicks to get you to read.)

The first time I met her, I brought my sister a stuffed frog that Mom helped me pick out.  It had a squeaker inside it, and I squeezed that frog with all my might, but it refused to squeak!  That mute frog frustrated me enough to create a memory I can still readily recall.

I think it’s safe to say not all days were sunshine and rainbows for my sister when I was around. As we grew, our parents bought us matching toy chests.  My sister and I would play store by placing the items we wanted to “sell” across the tops of our toy chests.  If she didn’t want to buy anything from my “store”, I would make her sit in a toy chest. With the lid closed. And then I would sit on the lid.

Poor Laura. It couldn’t have been easy being a younger sister with only a nut like me to play store with.

The summer she was 10 and I was 14, I had knee surgery.  We were both home from school, and she took care of me while Mom and Dad were at work.  Since I couldn’t move about all that well, she gave me a bell to ring in case I needed something. When she left the room, I would listen to her climb to the top of the stairs, and then I would ring the bell “to make sure it worked.”

It got to the point where our parents made me live above the garage to keep from picking on her.

I’m kidding.  My bedroom was located above the garage, but the garage was attached to the rest of the house, and the room finished like any other. The lack of a heated room below and the wind blowing from the west into the outer wall created a very cool room in the winter.  The temperature required I keep more blankets than average on my bed.

As I crawled into bed one night, my sister jumped out from within the pile of blankets. I don’t know that I ever fully recovered from the shock.

She paid me back in similar fashion, i.e.) scaring me half to death, many times. I startle easily, but she can surprise me to the point I scream. I’m not a dramatic person, but a scream comes out of me like a reflex when she startles me.

I had to be reminded of the specific type of cookie, pumpkin cut-outs, Mom and I were supposed to make on the day my sister joined us. Though I have a pumpkin cookie cutter, I opted to make the best pumpkin cookies in the world for a post in honor of the best sister in the world.  (If you like the pumpkin seen in the photos, my sister Laura sells them here.)

My sister gave me the recipe for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a few years ago after her mother-in-law shared the recipe with her. They are incredibly easy to make and taste delicious with or without the frosting pictured here.  If you want to make a pumpkin cookie, please make these.  I make them a few times each fall, and I am always so pleased when I do.

Have a great weekend everyone, and Happy Birthday Laura!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 - 12 ounce bag chocolate chips
  • Frosting
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed.
  3. Mix in the pumpkin and egg.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and continue to mix until well combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto greased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.
  8. Frost when cool if desired. To make the frosting, cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and beat at high speed two to three minutes until the frosting is light and smooth.
Notes
Optional spices to add to the batter include ½ teaspoon ginger or ¼ teaspoon clove and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. I have also baked the cookies with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and achieved equally delicious results.

Blue Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Corn needs a catchy tag line, don’t you think?  Eggs are incredible and edible. Everyone knows beef is what’s for dinner.  And of course milk does a body good.  But what about corn?

I like to eat the sweet corn that has both yellow and white kernels speckled along the cob.  Multi-colored Indian corn will be popping up as fall decoration any day.  Speaking of popping, the first time I saw an ear of popcorn was at my Grandma M’s house.  The tiny ear was only about five inches long, and it amazed me to watch a little heat transform those hard, yellow kernels into soft, white puffs.  The first time I encountered a tiny pickled ear of corn at a salad bar, I tried to eat it just like a regular ear of corn on the cob.

One year when I was a kid, I pulled my red Radio Flyer wagon into the fields that surrounded my home and filled the wagon with ears of corn the combine missed. I think I earned a nickel or dime per ear, maybe more.  I remember those fall days as clear as yesterday; the sun’s heat still warm on my skin in the afternoon, a cricket’s chirp here and there punctured the silence, specks of dust looked like gold glitter as they floated through a ray of sun.

What’s all this talk about corn have to do with chocolate chip cookies?  According to the bakers at Bob’s Red Mill, quite a lot.   I found a recipe for blue cornmeal chocolate chip cookies when I made blue corn chips last month, and I knew it was just a matter of time before I tried this odd concoction myself.

I had high expectations for novelty and low expectations for taste, so I was pleasantly surprised with how nice these cookies tasted. They are hearty and the cornmeal lends a definite crunch, but I liked them.

I was less thrilled with their looks.  The cookies did not look blue as much as they looked pale.  In need of a tan but with the bake time at its max, I topped the cookies with melted chocolate chips.   Delicious!  Pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy!

 

Blue Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup blue cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Combine the blue cornmeal, flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes until lightly browned along the edges.
Notes
The cookie dough will be very thick.