Menu Monday - The Debut!

Inspired by my friend Emily, who does awesome contests, and my friend Christina, who is posting weekly craft ideas for mommies with toddlers, I've decided to launch my own helpful/fun posting every Monday, called "Menu Monday."

I love to cook (I especially realized this while packing all my kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, etc. for our move) and I love to share recipes and food prep shortcuts and ideas.

I'm by no means a "chef" or a "professional," but I figure - it's a passion and I can at least share what I've learned along the way from culinary classes, years of Food Network watching and my momma!

This first recipe has become my favorite cookie recipe (aside from my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, which I'm NOT sharing :)) I discovered it last Christmas (06), in the "12 Days of Cookies" newsletter Food Network sends around the holidays.

It's a pretty involved recipe, I'll admit. But, boy is it worth it. It's a super rich, dense cookie (very little flour - as far as cookies are concerned), that will make your hair curl. The richness of the chocolate is balanced by the tartness of the cherries. A perfect flavor combo.

This is probably a recipe you'll want to tackle on the weekends, when your spouse is home to wrangle the kids. But, wait until the kids are in bed to enjoy them :) I prefer them served warm with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk.

Super Gooey Chocolate Drops
from Food Network Kitchens

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's or Scharffen Berger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 ounces (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup dried cherries (optional - but, NOT an option, in my opinion)

Position racks in the lower and upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (If you don't have 3 pans, simply cool the pan between batches.)

Put the butter and the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 75 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir and heat again until melted, up to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)

Stir the light brown and granulated sugars and vanilla into the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat vigorously until thick and glossy.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks and dried cherries, if using.

Drop the batter in heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets--a small ice cream scoop is ideal for this. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart. Bake until the cookies set but are soft and fudgy on the inside, 12 to 15 minutes.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve.

Store cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.

Get printable versions of this recipe from Food Network.


The Liller Family said...

Yummmmm - sounds delicious! Since I never have time to cook - can I test some of yours??? hehehe. Keep'em coming - I always need new recipes!

Hey, if you find out that little pumpkin-to-be is a boy - check out my blog, we're selling Blake's crib, bedding, everything! Sad for me, but will be a great bargain for someone else!

Christina said...

I am so glad you are doing this - I am going to be doing either a snack or a craft item because I am forcing myself to try new healthy food items that the kids will like. I can't wait to see what else you have cooking for us.

emily said...

love it! I will be trying this on one of my ambitious days....