Maui Girl Cooks

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti


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“These are decadent!”  a comment from one of my coworkers

It’s been a long day, so this will be a quick post.  I took these cookies to work today, & they were a hit.  These cookies are great if  you…

… are craving cookies.

… are craving chocolate or mocha.

… need a quick dessert to take to a potluck.

… want to surprise your friend with cookies.

… you had a light dinner and feel like a little dessert.

… you get the idea!

Close up of cookies

Mocha Truffle Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips {I use Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet}
3 tsp instant coffee {I use 2 packets Starbucks Via}
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 tbsp plus 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup Heath Bits ‘o Brickle Toffee Bits
Maldon salt {optional, but a delicious addition}

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt butter & chocolate chips; stir until smooth, and then stir in coffee and stir until dissolved; let cool for 5 minutes.  Add sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture and mix well.  Stir in toffee bits. 

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart {I prefer to weigh my cookie balls, making them 1 1/4 ounces each.} onto a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray, or lined with parchment or Silpat.  Sprinkle a pinch {2-3 flakes per cookie} of Maldon salt flakes on top of cookies.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are set.  Cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 24.

Notes:
~ To melt butter and chocolate chips, I microwave on 50% power for 1 minute, stir and then do another minute at 50% power.  Microwaves vary, so your timing may be different.
~ Add chopped nuts if you like.
~ You can adjust the coffee up or down to your taste.
~ Don’t overbake!  I take the cookies out of the oven when the edges are set {slightly firm}.  The middle will be soft {that’s where the “truffle” part comes in}.
~ You can freeze the cookies.  They are particularly delicious if you take them out of the freezer and wait for a couple of minutes before eating.  Their texture is dense, fudgy and GOOD!

Cookie close up

Bon appetit!

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Nut Lovers Bars with Dark Chocolate & Coconut

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“There’s a rule in baking.  When you smell it, it’s done.  I don’t know about the science here.  But it’s a good indicator.  If you’re in the other room enjoying the nice smells of your cookies, you better get up and take them out!  ”   Frank Mentesana {Once Upon a Tart}

Nut Lovers Bars with Dark Chocolate & Coconut

My Nut Lovers Bars with Dark Chocolate and Coconut are great because. . .

  • they all bake at the same time.   No rotating of cookie sheets or baking multiple batches.
  • they are a layered cookie, and go together quickly.
  • several of the ingredients are heart healthy and/or what some consider superfoods {walnuts, almonds, pecans, dark chocolate and coconut.
  • they are deliciously crunchy, chewy & tasty at the same time.
  • they are visually beautiful!  The nuts sport a lacquered look when they come out of the oven.  Add a little pearl dust and they are even prettier!
  • people like it when you bring them to potlucks.

Seriously, if you like nuts and chocolate, you should bake these cookies.  They are gorgeous, scrumptious & easy to make.  What more could one want in a cookie?  The ingredients play nicely together so that even those who do not like coconut enjoy them.

Nut Lovers Bars with Dark Chocolate & Coconut

½ cup butter
1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs {about 8 whole sheets}
2 cups chocolate chips {I use Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet}
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut {flaked or shredded}
About 3 cups nuts {I use walnuts, pecans & almonds.  I break the walnuts & pecans, and cut the almonds into thirds.}
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the butter in a 13”x9” pan and let it melt while the oven is preheating.  Mix graham cracker crumbs with the butter and press evenly in the pan.  It looks like you don’t have enough to go around the whole pan, but you do.  It isn’t a thick layer.

Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips, coconut & nuts.  Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over everything.  I drizzle it going one direction and then drizzle it going the other direction until it’s all out of the can and onto the cookies.

Bake cookies for about 30” or until nuts are golden brown.  You want the cookies to have some golden color before you take them out; the toasty nuts is part of what makes them so delicious.  I like to brush them with edible pearl dust, but if you don’t have any handy, they will be just as good.

Closeup of Nut Lovers Bars with Dark Chocolate & Coconut

Around the Web. . .

This is totally cute!  Check out this video of Seattle chef Jesse Smith making naan bread with his adorable little girl Avalon.

Spilled Milk {a podcast about food-recipes, info with some humor thrown in}

Bon appetit!


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Silky Chocolate Pudding for Grownups

This is a silky chocolate pudding for adults; it’s not the super sweet pudding from your childhood.  It’s delicious, especially on the day you make it.

3 c milk
3 T cornstarch
3 T cocoa powder {I use Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder}
1/8 tsp salt
2 T sugar
Espresso powder to taste {I use about 1 tsp}, optional
1 tsp vanilla
1 T butter
In a medium size mixing bowl {I sometimes use an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup, because the handle allows for greater ease in getting the pudding out of the microwave for stirring; the mixing bowl gets hot!}, stir together cornstarch, cocoa, salt & sugar together.  Whisk in enough milk to make a thick, smooth paste; this will help to break up any lumps.  Whisk in the remaining milk.  Microwave the pudding on high for 3 minutes, whisk vigorously & repeat until pudding thickens. The last time you may only need to microwave it for 1-2 minutes. The pudding will thicken as it cools, so don’t cook it so long that you end up with rubber pudding.  Whisk in vanilla & butter.  Cool to room temperature & eat, or chill.

Notes:
~You can also cook the pudding on the stove.
~I happen to love “pudding skin” but if it’s not your cup of tea, press a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the hot pudding.