01000110 01110010 01110101 01101001 01110100 00100000 01001101 01100101 01110010 01101001 01101110 01100111 01110101 01100101 00100000 01000100 01101111 01101110 01110101 01110100 01110011
Is a donut still a donut if the hole doesn’t go all the way through? This recipe is telling me “yes.”
01010000 01100101 01100001 01101110 01110101 01110100 00100000 01000010 01110101 01110100 01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01001001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01000011 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101101
“…You make me so hungry, Robot, I get so hungry, I get so hungry I could die…”
01010000 01110010 01100101 01110100 01111010 01100101 01101100 00100000 01000010 01110101 01110100 01110100 01100101 01110010 01100011 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101101
Chocolate has always been famously paired with peanut butter, but I’ve seen a recent shift in the food scene to pair chocolate with pretzel (or chocolate paired with both peanut butter AND pretzel at the same time, but that’s too much to compute).
01000011 01100001 01110011 01101000 01100101 01110111 00100000 01000011 01100001 01110010 01100001 01101101 01100101 01101100 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101111 01101011 01101001 01100101 01110011
I moved to a new city a few months ago and I’m overwhelmed with food.
I moved from Springfield, Missouri, which is a decently sized little city. We had four grocery stores options in the whole town. Now that I live in Columbus, Ohio, I have six grocery options on my street alone.
Six! On one road! Where am I supposed to shop? I’ve been shopping at each store bit by bit – flour here, sugar there, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream pints from over there, etc…
One of those stores is Trader Joe’s, which I have waxed poetically on before. Trader Joe’s is a super fun pit stop for candy or cookies, but it’s too expensive for us to viably shop there for all of our groceries. But hey, I’m not complaining about their cookies or candies. You’ve had cookie butter before, right? You haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen a robot piling a cart high with cookie butter in Trader Joe’s. I like to give the locals a little something to look forward to in their menial grocery shopping. I’m a super nice robot like that.
However, it is a bit disappointing to admit that I did come across a Trader Joe’s cookie failure. It might not be a failure to you if you prefer crunchy cookies. We don’t.
We (and by we I mean the humans I bake for, OBVIOUSLY) are soft, chewy cookie fans. As in, if it isn’t chewy, it’s not a cookie. It’s like a cookie-wannabe. The Cousin Oliver of cookies, if you will.
So Trader Joe’s offers these tiny crunchy cashew caramel cookies. The flavor was great but it was like eating rocks (only a slight exaggeration). But don’t worry, I’ve fixed that problem in this recipe. These cookies are delightfully soft (but not fall-apart-in-your-hands-soft, if you know what I mean) and chewy, and the kick of salt from the cashews pairs with the caramel bits like – well, like salt and caramel.
And that flavor combination is just as popular in Ohio as it in Missouri. You humans are all the same.
Chewy Cashew Caramel Cookies
makes 3 dozen
slightly adapted from Oh My Sugar High
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cashews, halves and pieces, salted
1 cup caramel bits
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat!).
2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing until just combined. Gently stir in cashews and caramel bits.
4. Roll the dough into rough balls, approximately 2 tablespoons-worth. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just turning golden brown. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
01000011 01101000 01100101 01110010 01110010 01111001 00100000 01000011 01101000 01101111 01100011 01101111 01101100 01100001 01110100 01100101 01110011
You’re going to think this is totally crazy, and judging by what countless people have told me over the years: you’re right.
My favorite part about chocolate candies is the fruit flavoring on the inside. Scandal!
I remember visiting Las Vegas as a wee little robot and touring Ethel M Chocolates. I gave all of my attention to the orange chocolates, and would immediately discard the chocolate and focus on the cream center.
Come at me, human! I was young and my computer brain was still booting up. But you can relate just a little bit, right? Those cream centers are good, and you know it.
It’s time to give those cream centers a bigger starring role. Enter: buttercream.
I think I can buttercream all the things. Give me any ingredient, any flavor, and I’ll turn it into a buttercream. Do you want to go out for a fancy steak dinner but can’t afford it? Let me make you some steak and loaded baked potato buttercream.
I’m mostly joking.
The secret to a buttercream that tastes exactly like the cream centers in chocolates isn’t much of a secret; it’s using actual cream centers. I used Chocoley’s Maraschino Cherry Cream Center and it turned out divine, like eating a cherry chocolate but much, much bigger.
I’ll end this post with a confession. I made this buttercream a week before I piped it onto the cupcakes. A week! I didn’t even know buttercream could last that long. I stored it on my kitchen counter in a plastic container. And the crazy thing is that it tasted even better a week later. The flavors developed and married and great little party together. So if you think you might be pressed for time, don’t hesitate to make the buttercream ahead! Just make sure to store it in a sealed container in a dry place.
As for the cupcakes, choose your favorite recipe. I used a devil’s food cake mix, but feel free to try anything you like!
Cherry Chocolates Cupcakes
12 chocolate cupcakes, baked and cooled
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Chocoley Maraschino Cherry Cream Center
Chocoley Drizzle & Design Chocolate in Dark Chocolate
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add salt and vanilla extract. Stir in Maraschino Cherry Cream Center until completely incorporated into the buttercream. Using this frosting heavily (like in the photos) you’ll be able to frost 12 cupcakes.
2. Following the instructions on the package, melt the Drizzle & Design Chocolate. I squeezed the chocolate directly on the top of the frosting and let the chocolate flow down to create a covered effect, but you can also create swirls or stripes for a more delicate look.