Sometimes you just want a cookie. A scrumptious, chewy, chunky hunk of love to nibble on with your tea or coffee, or to savour with hot cocoa before bed.
Sometimes, you just want a piece(or, let's be honest, pieces) of chocolate. A silky, melt-in-your-mouth, decadent hunk of love to nibble on when you need that hit, or to savour after a meal.
Sometimes, gosh darn it, you want both. At the SAME TIME.
This cookie is two hunks of love delivered to you in one beautiful chunky, chewy package.
Oats, a pinch of cinnamon, and milk chocolate go into this cozy cookie which is topped off with that lovely triangle of swiss goodness studded with nougat and almonds.
Now you just have to decide, do you pick off the Toblerone and eat it first? Or do you eat the cookie surrounding it, saving Toblerone Island for last? Or do you just munch all the way through in a linear fashion? You may want to try all three methods to find the one that suits you best ;)
Chunky Milk Chocolate TOblerone Cookies
Recipe adapted from Trey Winkle of R Bar & Grill
It is about time for some serious dark chocolate business around here.
***RANT WARNING***I have posted a shocking amount (okay, 2) of recipes including white chocolate already... shocking because for a long time I have turned my nose up to white chocolate. I think I have done so because white chocolate is a lie in that it is not technically even chocolate. I have (sometimes too passionately) argued this scientific fact with friends. It does not contain any cocoa solids, only the fat that is pressed out of cocoa nibs to make REAL chocolate. However I suppose you do need to use cocoa beans in order to procure white chocolate, and perhaps if we just consider white chocolate a thing on it's own and not compare it to the wonderful deep dark real-deal chocolate, it is okay, and okay to enjoy.
There, I had to get that off my chest, and I feel better.
But back to my roots and the soul of my very being, which I'm pretty sure is made of dark chocolate. I am a proud chocoholic, lover of all things bittersweet and a true believer that the darker the chocolate, the better.
Join me, if you will, on the dark side.
These cookies invited one of dark chocolate's best friends over for a play-date and they got up to NO GOOD. Luckily for us it's the delicious kind of no good. That's right, peanut butter. When peanut butter and chocolate get together to play, it's hard for it not to be a good day.
Cookies filled with cocoa AND dark chocolate chunks, peanuts AND swirled with peanut butter... HELLO!
These cookies will be as good as the ingredients you use to make them. For me that means using the good dark dark chocolate, salted peanuts, and all-natural peanut butter. Amen.
Prep your milk glasses for dunkin', folks.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe from Mast Brothers Chocolate
I work at a cafe. But it is no ordinary cafe.
I'm not sure I have ever seen a cafe that is quite like Higher Ground. It is big, but never seems to be big enough for the constant line up to the door, constant crowd of people waiting for their drinks, constant running of food from the kitchen, bran muffins always disappearing within the first hours of business... If you mention Higher Ground to any Calgarian, 90% of them will know about it, and 80% of them will have gone on a first date, or had a meeting with someone there.
Like most people, I spend most of my waking hours at work. This might sound awful, but it is quite the contrary. I love my job. It is just so darn fun. Here's why.
This, my friends, is Higher Ground. This might also explain why we (the staff) are so silly and giggly all the time.
The reason for my rant is this: like I said, we get silly sometimes. This helps the day go by pleasantly. We dance in the kitchen. We tell ridiculous stories. We joke, we invent things. We ask each other questions like, "If you were a cookie, what would you be?" Okay that's actually just me who asks that. But it's something I'd like to know! It really tells a lot about a person.
Sometimes, if my brain needs to think about cookies (which is most of the time) and there is no one around to ask, I'll make up cookies. One of my favourite pass times if I'm doing a repetitive job such as polishing glasses and cutlery, or hand-tying tea bags, is to dream up fantastic (sometimes themed) cookies.
Working at Higher Ground with its GIANT menu gives one lots of inspiration to work from. We have a whole menu dedicated to Specialty Coffee and Tea drinks. FUN! Drinks that make us, us... and not just any other cafe. They have pretty fun names too, like the SNOW DRAGON and BANANA MAGIC to name a couple.
I could seriously go on and on talking about working at Higher Ground, or HG LYFE as I fondly refer to it.
But, I am here today to talk about a certain Tea Misto called the WHITE CHOCOLATE CHAI.
It is steeped chai tea, mixed with white chocolate syrup and steamed milk.
It also rhymes with whoopie pie.
And if you make a funny voice, and over enunciate each word, "White Chocolate Chai Whoopie Pie" becomes a hilarious thing. A thing that once I invented it in my head, I knew I had to bring it to life!! My co-workers would agree.
I do think that white chocolate and chai actually make a fantastic combo. So here is the White Chocolate Chai Whoopie Pie:
A chai-spiced, soft, cakey cookie, hugging a sweet, creamy buttercream filling enriched with white chocolate.
We don't sell these at Higher Ground, it is just something I invented, inspired from Higher Ground. I brought these into work the other day to share with my friends/co-workers. If anything, it was just an excuse to make everyone hear me say "White Chocolate Chai Whoopie Pie" over and over. The good news is they had rave reviews! One girl even confessed that she just wanted to mix them into milk and eat it like cereal. I like her.
Make these, then go to HG to get it's matching Tea Misto, and you'll be living the dream. While you're at it, get a ginger cream to take home. I made those ;)
White Chocolate Chai Whoopie Pies
Fun Fact: these cookies are also great just on their own without the frosting if you so desire. Alternatively, the frosting would taste delicious on cupcakes too.
For the Cookies:
Spread the frosting on the flat side of a cooled cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Pour yourself a mug of tea and enjoy.
Time to channel my inner Italian Grandmother.
(There is a part of me that wishes I could channel my inner Italian Sexy Woman, however the odds are far more likely that it is "Grandma Status" that I will successfully relate to. One can dream.)
However "Grandma Status" to me often means cookies, so really I see nothing wrong here.
I am lucky to say that I have had the opportunity to visit the beautiful delicious county that is Italy. It was more than fantastic. I could go on and on about the lemon trees, the old buildings, the gelato, the accents and beautiful people of any and all ages... but for now I just really want to talk about cookies. Is that okay?
If you have also been to Italy you would remember how these simple almond biscotti cookies are EVERYWHERE. Grocery stores, gift shops, corner stores, cafes, at restaurants, etc etc. They are everywhere! And yes I totally fell in love with them. I should have eaten more I really should have. Crisp, hard and crunchy, they are not what I normally strive for in the cookie game. However these are an exception. And exceptionally delicious to dip into your cappuccino while you sit outside, sheltered under the awning of a tiny cafe in the Cinque Terre waiting for the rain to pass. Wow can I go back?
These also remind me of a certain fancy pants dinner that I had in Italy with my friends. It was a four or five course meal, in a lovely restaurant overlooking the Tuscan country side juuuust outside of Florence. #treatyoself. There was a serious amount of wine (red and white, all at once) and a serious amount of laughter and flirting with the waiter coming from our table. (Sorry to that poor man.) The food was probably some of the best I've ever tasted. Pasta Putanesca that made my tastebuds sing in ways they never had before. I couldn't wait for dessert, typical me. When all they brought out was a basket of biscotti, I thought it was a cop out. What? This is it? But then I ate like 10 of them and took it all back. SO DANG GOOD. I knew I needed to recreate them at home.
These, my friends, are it! A biscotti any Nona would be proud of.
Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious
Forever I shall remain a fan of the humble chocolate chip cookie. And forever I will be trying all of the variations on said cookie. The chocolate chip cookie: a simple phenomena, yet there are a zillion different variations out there, and everyone claiming that THIS is the BEST, or their ULTIMATE FAVOURITE SUPREME DREAM cookie. Well I apologize, but I love them all. Whenever I see a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies, no matter how awesome the ones I have made previously were, I want to try this new recipe. I want them ALL!
And so when I found a recipe for "Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies" which claimed that the use of whole wheat flour had not a thing to do with healthiness, but all the things to do with depth of flavour, I was sold. Think about a slice of bread. There is white bread, which holds a certain nostalgia and blank canvas for other ingredients. However there is also multigrain bread which, in most cases, can add a lot of flavour. Don't think about trying to be healthy, think about flavour.
Anyways these cookies are not shy on butter and sugar, so yeah healthy is not the point here. Not the point guys. But it does make me feel better about wanting to eat cookies for breakfast... (a thing that I do quite frequently)
As I was daydreaming about how whole wheat flour could change the chocolate chip cookie game, I thought, why not double-deepen the flavour by also using brown butter too? Nutty browned butter + whole wheat flavour ... must equal greatness. Am I right? We have already learned about my love of brown butter in the last post. You knew this was going to happen.
Because of the brown butter and the fact that you must chill the dough overnight, these cookies require a small amount of planning ahead. But they are oh so worth it! Also, if one does not plan for anything else, one must always plan for cookies ;)
Whole Wheat Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from Jessica Fechtor
found in her amazing book, Stir
Happy baking :)
How does one start? The beginning? Probably, I guess.
An ode to a special lady.
My love of cookies and baking began in the kitchen of my mothers mother, whom I call Gran. My fondest memories of her take place with her old sunbeam mixer, flour, sugar, and softened butter. We would bake these cookies together, with warm afternoon light spilling in through her kitchen window. It is probably the most meaningful thing a grandmother could ever do. The cookies of course were delicious, but I never knew back then how meaningful that time spent with Gran would be to me later on. The cookies, simply put, are the humble beginning to my love of baking, and the foundation of my passion for homemade, fresh from the oven goodness.
Seems like a pretty good place to start to me!
I re-discovered her recipe in her old red recipe-card tin. I love seeing her familiar, shaky (but sure) handwriting. When I make these, I am instantly transported back to her kitchen and happy memories of my childhood.
ALSO, they are called Ginger Sparklers and is that not the cutest name for a cookie? They are rolled in granulated sugar before they are baked, which gives them their signature sparkly glam to live up to the name.
Recipe from Anne Marie Barclay (AKA Gran)