This recipe is similar to the big, 6-ounce Levain-style cookies, but there are distinct differences. My recipe calls for ruby chocolate, the cookies are slightly smaller at four ounces, and I used three different types of sugar to enhance these distinctive cookies’ flavor. I also used a good amount of Neilsen Massey’s pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract. I had a difficult time refraining from eating the batter because it was so tasty!
Below is a photo of my newest addition: a Kitchen Aid 5-quart stand mixer with a white bowl. I also have the original shiny bowl. Two bowls are better than one, especially when making cupcakes and frosting. Even better, I invested in a flex-edge beater attachment which thoroughly creams the sugar and butter in seconds. I only had to scrape the bowl once. If you have a 4.5 or 5-quart Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I highly recommend this helpful, time-saving attachment. Kitchen Aid flex edge beater attachment link: https://amzn.to/3K99aGl
1 cup butter, cold, cut into cubes 2 large eggs, cold 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons corn starch 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 10 ounces chocolate chips 3.2 ounces chopped ruby chocolate bar OR ruby chocolate callets 1/2 cup chopped walnuts [optional]
Hand or stand mixer Mixing bowl Sifter Measuring cups/spoons Whisk Spatula Cookie/ice cream scoop Large baking sheet[s] Baking/cooling rack Parchment paper/Silpat Kitchen scale
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, and sugar until it’s well-combined, which will be a paste-like texture. You can also use a hand mixer or mix with a whisk or wooden spoon.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Blend well.
Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended.
Mix in the chocolate chips, ruby chocolate chunks [or chips], and walnuts.
Form into balls approximately 4 ounces [120 grams]. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Refrigerate for one hour.
The cookies should be at least 3 inches apart. Bake on center rack for about 11-12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
This recipe made a dozen  4-ounce cookies.
Store cookies in an airtight container.
If serving the next day, bake in oven/toaster oven for about 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees.
You can also heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Chilling the dough in the refrigerator before baking helps to keep the cookies higher so they won’t spread a lot. You want dry dough. Mix minimally but mix enough to ensure that everything’s well incorporated.
Adding nuts makes cookies healthier, more rustic looking, and helps hold the shape better. If you don’t like walnuts, substitute pecans, macadamia, cashews, etc. Or don’t use any at all.
These No Bake Cookies contain Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa powder, a very fine chocolate that I’d bought a few months ago and just got around to testing. Even though these are what I refer to as ‘stovetop cookies’ as no oven is used, the rich flavor of this brand of chocolate stands out.
According to the company: “Our gourmet baking cocoa is Dutch-processed for rich flavor and appearance. Our cocoa contains one of the highest levels of cocoa butter on the market, ensuring superior chocolate flavor. From rich hot cocoa to fudgey brownies, Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa makes a difference you can taste.”
I also used a salted peanut butter so that no extra salt needs to be added.
This recipe is so easy to make, any time of the year. If you don’t want to turn your oven on this summer, and crave homemade cookies, I definitely recommend making these!
In a large saucepan, add butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder. Mix until well combined. Boil for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
Add vanilla extract and mix. Add peanut butter and oats and mix until well combined.
Use either a spoon or a cookie scoop, drop cookies on parchment or wax paper.
Let cool for several hours. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They probably won’t last that long.
Yield: makes about 25 cookies.
I provide links to items on Amazon that I’ve bought and used or have used in the past. For butter, I recommend Kerrygold, Plugra, Vital Farms or President. Perhaps there’s a dairy in your area and that would be the best for you. As always, the better the ingredients, the better the cookies!
Want gluten-free cookies? Make sure your oats are labeled as gluten-free.
If you want these to be vegan-friendly, use coconut oil or vegan butter.
Allergic to peanut butter? Substitute almond butter or sunflower butter.
Includes 3 full-length dessert cookbooks and more than 50 recipes.
Learn how to make many different desserts, no matter what your level of baking experience.
It’s easier than ever to bake decadent chocolate cupcakes and brownies. Get helpful tips about decorating and coloring cupcakes, recommended equipment, and loads of resources. Original and tested step-by-step recipes include Blueberry Brownies, Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes, Blue Velvet Cupcakes, Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes, and many more tantalizing treats.
The book was written by someone who went from baking box mix brownies and cupcakes to discovering the joy of baking from scratch. With a photograph of each finished treat, the reader will be inspired to try baking these delicious recipes.
Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide contains 50+ color photos.
Bake beautiful and delicious French macarons in your own kitchen. This collection of tried-and-tested recipes allows bakers to create these tasty and colorful confections.
The author details what equipment and ingredients you need, offers numerous helpful tips, resources, and shares more than 30 recipes for you to whip up an array of elegant French delicacies.
Full of inspiring color photos, Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide, offers everything you need to bake stunning macarons that will impress anyone who tastes them.
Some of the flavors include Cinnamon Caramel, Tangy Orange, Key Lime, and Acai macarons.
Ruby Chocolate: A Beginner’s Guide includes ten original and tested recipes using authentic ruby chocolate. From healthy granola bars to tasty ruby chocolate chip cookies to decadent fudge, chocolate lovers will be inspired to create their own desserts. The reader also receives gift packaging ideas, and many resources.
This Spicy Cinnamon + Chile Brownies recipe is suitable for any occasion. For those of you who love sweet and spicy desserts, this is the recipe for you.
5 ounces dark chocolate with chili, finely chopped
4.5 ounces butter, room temperature
1 – 2 teaspoons chile powder
1 – 2 teaspoons cayenne powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
Oven temperature: 350 Fahrenheit/177 Celsius
Grease your pan with either cooking spray or butter. Melt butter and chocolate in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pan. Temperature should be medium low heat. When melted, add the chile, cinnamon, and salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool down for several minutes. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugar until combined. Add the first egg, mix in well, then add the second egg and mix well, and add the third egg, mixing well. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Add vanilla. With a spatula, gently fold in the premixed and sifted cocoa powder and flour. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Rotate midway through baking. Brownies will be done when they start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with some wet crumbs. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Let the brownies cool completely. Cut into squares. You can serve as is or sprinkle brownies with powdered sugar.
TIP: Sift the flour and cocoa powder together first. Presifted flour also makes your brownies a bit smoother and easier to mix.
This recipe is from the book BAKING CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES AND BROWNIES: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE. Available in eBook and paperback formats.
Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide
by Lisa Maliga, copyright 2017=2019
My second cookbook has just been released after months of testing various chocolate cupcake and brownie recipes. It was so much fun baking these sweet treats and learning more cupcake decorating techniques. For example, I tried the swirl method and was able to come up with this:
I’ve also learned how to make my own sparkling sugar and the various ways to core cupcakes. So, if you love chocolate goodness, keep on reading!
Chapter 1 ~ About the Ingredients
Your cupcakes and brownies can look and taste better than any found in a bakery. What you put into your batch of cupcakes is up to you and your budget. Are fresh eggs and butter available to you? I’ve been able to use farm fresh eggs in many of my batches of cupcakes and brownies. Those hens are free ranging and while kept in a coop at night, during the day they amble around several acres of pasture and eat natural food from the ground as well as organic chicken feed.
Use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator for your first batches of brownies and/or cupcakes. Don’t invest a lot of money in ingredients or equipment if you only plan to make the occasional dessert. But once you make brownies and cupcakes from scratch, get creative and try new brands of chocolate, butter, or any of the other ingredients to learn if you can taste a difference. Oftentimes you’ll find some sweet [I couldn’t resist that pun] deals on the ingredients at your grocery store so you’ll spend less money on finding out what you like to add to your chocolaty desserts. Baking isn’t just science–it’s also art.
As the recipes in this book are all about using the most natural ingredients, as well as the best tasting, virgin coconut oil is recommended. This tropical oil is easier to use in oil form rather than solid. Coconut oil is coconut butter at temperatures below 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the weather, I can let it sit in the sun to melt or if it’s hot enough then measuring it is always easier. Virgin coconut oil gives cupcakes natural moisture and you won’t taste the extra coconut.
Making a pound cake from scratch is the most advanced baking I’ve ever done. This dessert contains the most basic ingredients found in your pantry and fridge: eggs, butter, flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking powder. As long as you have a hand or stand mixer and measure your ingredients correctly, it’s not difficult to mix and bake.
Macarons also require few ingredients: two types of sugar, egg whites, almond flour, and color. That’s it as far as the cookies, a/k/a shells go. The fillings can be diverse: readymade jams or jellies, caramel, Nutella, butterscotch, lemon or lime curd, etc. You can make your own whether it’s buttercream, chocolate ganache, or a jam/fruit spread.
I’d tasted macarons a few times and loved them. They were decadently sweet and rich. From an Etsy store, I ordered an array of pastel colored macarons that were photographed for the cover of my novella, Sweet Dreams.
I needed a picture for the cover of my forthcoming sweet romance/cozy mystery, Macarons of Love, #4 in the Yolanda’s Yummery series. So I bought macarons in various colors and flavors. Average price: $2.25 each. I took 300+ pictures and they were good, not great. I cherished each macaron and decided that having these delicacies handy whenever I wanted them was a very appealing idea. Even if they didn’t turn out looking great, I’d get a better education about the art of baking macarons and would understand my characters even more. I had most of the ingredients and equipment, I reasoned. Well, not almond flour, but sugar was in the cupboard and fresh eggs in the fridge. I’d watched more than a dozen how-to videos on YouTube. I read numerous blogs, many of them showing step-by-step directions. Some bakers claimed they were easy to make; other bloggers despaired of ever being able to create them. One confessed that several batches never even made it to the oven.
I spent $12 for one pound of almond flour! This is one of the reasons why macarons aren’t cheap. I also learned that almond meal, almond powder, and almond flour are the same thing. Only when making macarons, you needed to sift or sieve it. The more you sift, the finer it gets, the better lookin’ those macarons.
Macarons weren’t spooned onto a baking sheet—they were piped on. Piped with one of those piping or pastry bags? I thought that was for decorating cakes or cupcakes. My experience with a piping bag? Zip. I couldn’t just neatly spoon them on? Nope.
Separating eggs and whipping the whites into a meringue didn’t seem too difficult to someone who’s whipped thousands of gallons of shea butter. But there’s a difference between the two ingredients: shea butter can’t be overwhipped, egg whites can. I also had a major oopsie that first day after picking up the egg and instead of separating it the entire egg splatted into the bowl. Great, I’d have to wait another 24 hours so the egg would be aged enough for high quality macarons. At least that’s what many of the bakers suggested.
Since I knew my piping skills were nonexistent, I had some foresight: I made a template the size of the baking sheet and had 1.5” circles neatly spaced on the back of the paper that was adhered to the baking sheets.
I put the required amount of almond flour [Bob’s Red Mill] through a small sieve. Correction: I attempted to sieve the flour. Thirty minutes later, I’d managed to get about 1/8 of a cup from sieve to mixing bowl. I grumbled about how time consuming it was, recalling people on videos doing it in seconds. I tried smacking the sieve and just spilled more flour. The spatula didn’t work. My fist, wanting to punch it through… nope, that sieve was too small.
I interrupted my macaron making “festivities” and drove to the store to buy a larger sieve. Finally, the almond flour was able to make it through the larger size mesh, as did the powdered sugar.
Meanwhile, I had no difficulty whipping the egg whites, granulated sugar, and adding the magenta gel color.
Folding the flour and sugar meant the dry ingredients had to be sifted again. Good thing I didn’t have to use that mini sieve. The egg whites would’ve deflated or whatever happens to old egg whites. Macaronnage is the term for gently folding the dry ingredients into the egg whites which results in a batter that’s not too stiff and not too runny. There are ways of determining when it’s done such as counting the number of strokes to testing the batter to see how it falls from the spatula—the term molten lava is frequently used. Well, I guessed it was like molten lava because my arm was starting to feel like it with all that mixing, um, folding.
Before I encountered my first run-in with the pastry bag with the plastic nozzle that I’d hopefully inserted correctly, I had to get the pink batter from bowl to bag. Those baking experts showed how easy it was—the same people who could probably pipe blindfolded—insert piping bag in a glass, fold the top over like a cuff, and make sure the nozzle was pointing up rather than down. Also, twist the bottom of the bag a few times so the batter won’t escape. Okay…
Theoretically, easy. I plopped the pastry bag into the glass and added the first scoop of batter with my spatula…but I’d forgotten to make the cuff so the batter got stuck on top and some of it fell on the counter. Way to go, wasting batter and making a mess. Eventually, I got most of it into the bag and the batter started escaping from the bottom, too. I’d be lucky if I managed to make one macaron shell!
I won’t describe the horror of piping except that part of my face was pink from batter oozing out the top as I tensely gripped it. Some dropped onto my hand. Good thing it wasn’t red! Each of the discs was a different size with only a few of them being round. Getting the batter onto the parchment paper was a messy feat but in the end I managed to get 24 various sized discs onto each tray.
I baked each tray separately and used the bottom oven rack after reading and watching the tales of staying away from the middle rack.
The result can be seen to your left.
Itsy bitsy feet on some, a single mega cracked shell, but the taste of the shell was sweet. I added jam rather than attempt to do a buttercream filling which would need to be piped—I really didn’t fancy that word!
This is an easy cake to bake. As I wanted it to be as rich as what my mom made, I used imported GMO-free butter, pure cane sugar, and eggs that come from chickens that are free to roam around outdoors. Using the best available ingredients will make a difference in how this scrumptious pound cake smells when baking and when removed from the oven.
Naturally, the taste will be better than any frozen pound cake which has preservatives, water, skim milk, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and artificial coloring!
8 ounces salted butter Kerrygold or President [or other organic non-GMO butter] softened to room temperature
1 cup pure cane sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs free range or pasture-raised
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oven Temperature: 300 Degrees Fahrenheit
Grease a loaf pan [9″ by 5″] lightly with butter.
Beat the butter for about a minute until you have a creamy texture.
Add the sugar. Beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes. Make sure they’re combined and whip a lot of air into the mixture to make the batter fluffy.
Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix for about 5 minutes.
Add lemon and vanilla extract.
In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
Add flour mixture to your mixing bowl.
Mix until the flour is incorporated and forms a stiff batter. Don’t overmix.
Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan. With a spatula, smooth the dough down so that the surface is relatively flat and fills the pan.
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
You’ll know it’s done when: top is golden and edges are starting to brown. The crust will be fairly firm and the center may have a crack or two.
Let it rest in the pan for about 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and carefully turn it out of the pan. Place it right-side up on a rack to cool.