Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to Baking: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coconut Chocolate Cupcakes

Perhaps due to the cooling temperature, I've started heating it up in the kitchen in the past couple weeks. In case the east coast gloom is getting to you too, I am posting some yummy treat recipes today. Disclaimer: they are not my own-- I stole both, but added my own touch :)

First up: my personal favorite cookie of all time: oatmeal chocolate chip. You don't have to look far to find this recipe, in fact, it's probably in your cabinet already. The recipe on the underside of the Quaker Oats top, is by far my favorite cookie, as long as you substitute raisins with chocolate chips. These cookies are so chewy and delish you won't miss the chewy raisins, I promise. They are also excellent with butterscotch chips. Warning: There is a reason they are called Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies-- you'll want to consume these sans restrictive waistband...Enjoy!
The second recipe is a bit more involved. For Lara's birthday I mixed up something that combined her two favorite sweets: coconut and chocolate. I started with Martha's recipe for coconut cupcakes and then topped with this rich chocolate frosting.

I will admit that Martha's cupcakes are a bit laborious, but let me tell you, they are worth the extra beating, mixing and washing because they are just that light and fluffy. After trying various cupcake recipes, I think I've dialed in on her secret: what Martha makes you do that others don't is beat a separate batch of egg whites which you fold into the batter after the rest of the ingredients are mixed. This is quite a PITA, and it makes your beautiful shiny batter look gross, but after my testing, I have determined this extra step helps keep the cupcakes moist and light. YUM....and if you think you've made a mess, just imagine my dishwasher-less kitchen ;)

This frosting is a cinch (who uses that word?) to make and it's chocastically rich-- heavy on the milk chocolate flavor, which I much prefer to buttercream. It's basically the closest thing I've ever made to that awesome Duncan Hines frosting you grew up with. And, it stores easily too and is delicious by the spoonful (which probably explains why I haven't lost a pound despite the fact I'm logging 30+ miles a week for marathon training).

To top the cupcakes off (and remind coconut-haters to back away) I covered the top of some of them with coconut flakes.

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