Brownie Hearts

Who doesn't love a fudgy brownie!?

These fudgy brownies are so quick to make and come out perfect each and every time! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen is my ultimate favorite brownie recipe!

 Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I decided to use a heart cut out for these brownies and packaged them up in a sweet festive box to gift to my loved one(s).

I used a 1 ½-inch heart shaped cutter, but you may use any size you want or just cut them into squares, if you wish.

There is nothing quite like receiving a homemade gift, so whip these up, give them away or keep them for yourself!! Indulge! 

My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
 

Ingredients 

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 ⅔  cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

  • 1 ⅓  cup all-purpose flour

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9 X 13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang.

  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, melt chocolate and butter together in 30-second intervals in the microwave until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Stir until smooth.

  3. Stir in sugar, then the eggs. Add the vanilla and salt.

  4. Pour batter into the greased pan, spread into an even layer.

  5. Bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Allow to cool.  Using the parchment paper overhang, remove the brownies out of the pan. Cut out the brownies with 1- 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter or whatever sized heart cookie cutter you have.

    Recipe by Smitten Kitchen

 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve! Today we are making Chocolate Crinkle Cookies!

These chewy and crispy cookies are irresistible and should definitely be a part of your Christmas dessert table this year!

I have made different versions of these cookies, from only using cocoa powder or to just using melted chocolate, but I found that both of those methods make the cookies cakey.

I found this recipe from America's Test Kitchens which uses both melted chocolate and cocoa powder.

In addition to those ingredients, unlike most crinkle cookies, these use both baking powder and baking soda which gave the cookies a lift and a good spread, creating a thinner and crispier cookie.

One of my favorite things that I learned from making this cookie was how they use both powdered sugar and granulated sugar for the coating of the cookie. Most crinkle cookies use only powdered sugar, but from my own experience, and from this recipe, I learned that just using powdered sugar does not allow the sugar to adhere to the cookie. When both sugars are used, the granulated sugar creates a crystallized crust allowing the powdered sugar to adhere better and creates a crispier, more attractive crack.

This is my absolute new favorite cookie recipe, and I hope after trying it, it becomes yours too!

 
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½  cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½  tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 ½  cup brown sugar

  • 3 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 4 tbsp, unsalted butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup confectioner’ sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

  3. Combine the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir pieces and return to microwave for another 30-second interval until chocolate is melted, allow to cool.

  4. In an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate to the beaten eggs and sugar mixture, beat until combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients, beat until just combined. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

  6. Place the granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate shallow bowls. Working with a cookie scoop, roll the dough into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to powdered sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets.

  7. Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked have just begun to set but center is still soft, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely.

    Recipe by America’s Test Kitchens

 

Chocolate Tahini Linzer Cookies

My first cookie on my Cookie Countdown to Christmas, are Linzer cookies!

Usually, Linzer cookies are made from a shortbread-like dough and finished with a jam in the center. But instead, this year I saw a recipe on Bon Appetit for Chocolate- Tahini Linzer cookies that I knew immediately I had to try! As mentioned, Linzer cookies usually have a jam filled center but what intrigued me about these Linzer cookies was the tahini chocolate filling!

For those who are unfamiliar with Tahini, it is toasted grounded sesame seeds. Tahini resembles a loose nut butter, it’s rich, nutty and also savory.

Tahini is mostly known for being used with hummus and many other savory middle eastern dishes. But when used in sweet dishes, tahini helps create a nice balance with the sweetness of the dish, and in this case, it helps balance the sugariness of the cookie and the white chocolate filling.

These cookies may seem a little far from the typical Christmas cookies we are used to, but I promise it is worth trying!

 
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Ingredients 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • ¾ tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • White sanding sugar (for sprinkling)

  • ½ cup good quality white chocolate

  • 2 Tbsp. tahini

Recipe

  1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl to combine. Beat granulated sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients. Beat just until dough comes together. Divide in half and pat each into a disk; wrap tightly in plastic. Chill just long enough that dough is rollable and no longer sticky, about 30 minutes.

  2. Working one at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until ⅛" thick. Slide onto baking sheets, still sandwiched between parchment, and chill until very firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Carefully peel away top sheets of parchment from dough and punch out cookies with larger cutters. Punch out centers of half of cookies with smaller cutters. Carefully transfer whole cookies with a spatula to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1" apart. Sprinkle remaining cut-out cookies with sanding sugar, then transfer to another parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies until edges are set, 7–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. Repeat process with scraps (chill dough again before punching out shapes).

  4. Melt chocolate and tahini in a bowl in a microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted (or melt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water; do not let bowl touch water). Stir to combine and season with salt. Spread filling over whole cookies; top with cut-out cookies.

    Recipe by Bon Appétit

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whether you like crispy, chewy, or cakey cookies, one should always have their go-to recipe!

Finding the RIGHT chocolate chip cookie recipe can take many tries, for me, from the time I began to bake about four years ago, I only now have found my perfect cookie recipe!

I used to follow the recipes on the back of the morsels chocolate chip bags, and while they are not bad, they certainly aren’t the best. But again, it all depends upon your taste in cookies!

My favorite type of cookie is crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle. After countless attempts, and many packages of butter later, I think I found the perfect cookie recipe.

It’s a salted browned butter chocolate chip cookie!

The browned butter gives these cookies a nutty and caramel flavor. For the chocolate, I only use 60% cacao. I find the semi-sweet too sweet.

Also, I ALWAYS chop my chocolate, even if they are chips. For this recipe, for example, I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet morsels and chopped them. Chopping the chocolate allows them to melt into the cookie evenly, giving you more chocolate per cookie and you won’t have whole unmelted chips in the cookies (the worst).

After you give these a try, Im sure they will become a go to!

 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1½ cups bittersweet  chocolate, chopped

  • Flaky sea salt

Recipe

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter stirring the pan occasionally, allow the butter to foam, until it browns, about 5 -7 minutes. Pour into a bowl, and allow it to cool.

  2. In an electric mixer, pour the browned butter into the mixer bowl with the two sugars. Beat them together until all combined.

  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Reduce speed, beat in the flour mixture until all combined.

  5. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

  6. Chill for at least a half hour, overnight preferably.

  7. Preheat to 375 degrees.

  8. Using a cookie scoop, scoop them onto a lined baking tray. Bake until edges are golden brown, around 10-12 minutes. 6 minutes in, or until they begin to puff up, bang the cookie tray and again when the cookies are done to create a crinkle effect.

  9. Finish them with flaky sea salt.

 

Mint Milano Cookies

 

Growing up in a portuguese household, snacks were mainly bread, yogurt, cheese, or whatever your grandma happened to make that day. How I envied my friends and their pantries filled with all those beautiful colored packs of chips, pop tarts and so many kinds of candy.  

However, there was one kind of cookie that we always add around the house, Milano cookies, my dads favorite!

Thinking back, I was the lucky one compared to my friends. The chocolate sandwich cookie was my go to treat for an after school snack or dessert. Today, Milano’s have come out with a variety of flavors but my ultimate favorite, aside from the original, are the mint Milano’s! Chocolate and mint are just classic flavors, and sandwiched between two sweet and crispy cookies, is the ultimate treat!

This recipe sends me right back to being a kid sitting at my kitchen table…

It's made with a shortbread dough and a chocolate ganache filling to which I added mint extract to. Join me at my kitchen table, and enjoy the nostalgia!

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Ingredients 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ tsp. mint extract

 

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Using an electric mixture, in a medium bowl beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine. With a mixer on low, carefully add the flour and salt and beat until combined.

  4. Transfer dough to a piping bag. Snip a 3/4-inch hole piping bag. Pipe cookies that are 1 1/2 -2 inches long and at least 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, 30 minutes.

  5. Bake until cookies are light golden at edges, about 10-15 minutes.

  6. While the cookies cool, place the chocolate in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds then stir until the cream and chocolate is smooth and all melted. Add the ¼ tsp. of mint extract and stir again.

  7. Once the cookies are cooled, drop a tablespoon of the chocolate in center of an upside-down cookie.

  8. Top the mixture with a cookie and press gently until some of the ganache peeks out through the sides.