Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Choc-at" Makes Everything Better

One of the facts of life is making mistakes. Let me tell you, I make plenty of mistakes. Over the years I've learned how valuable mistakes are. They are the best way to learn. Well, this weekend I learned a lot! Not everything I make comes out perfect, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Cupcake = The BEST Cupcake. Ever. is a great example.

This is another one of those recipes on allrecipes.com that has been daunting me for a while. It looks fabulously delicious (I love cookie dough and cupcakes!), but maybe a little fussy. "Don't over bake!" "Be sure to freeze the cookie dough!" These were some of the warnings in the recipe reviews. Plus, I was worried about the raw egg factor. I'm a little paranoid when it comes to raw eggs and meat. There is NO cross-contamination in my kitchen! I don't know how many times I wash my hands when cooking with meat. I may be bordering on obsessive-compulsive, but I've gotten a lot better, really!

My "choc-at" loving niece.
I figured my sister's birthday was a good time to conquer my fears of this recipe. I love baking for my loved ones and this recipe seemed to fit my sis perfectly. She too loves all things chocolate. Her 2-year-old daughter (my little niece) has inherited this love of chocolate or "choc-at," as she calls it (oh, she's so cute!). Since my niece was eating this recipe, I decided to nix the raw egg. Instead I replaced it with several tablespoons of water, just enough to hold the dough together to roll into balls. OK, so I had that figured out. Now, the rest should be simple, right? Wrong! All that talk about not over baking and it turns out I under baked them. After they cooled they sank in the middle! I thought maybe I could just fill the holes in with frosting, but it turned out there was raw cake batter in the hole. These are cookie dough cupcakes, not cake batter cupcakes! There were about six of them that didn't sink in the middle, so is wasn't a total loss.

Whoopsie!


My husband says I'm a glutton for punishment, but I think I'm just determined. I always have been. He thought I should try a different dessert recipe, but I needed to try these again. I would not accept failure! I made the first (failed) batch on Friday, plenty of time for having them ready on Sunday. But now it was Saturday afternoon! Ack, did I have time and what if they failed again? Maybe I am a glutton for punishment. Well, this time I tried a chocolate cake mix, because "choc-at" makes everything better, just ask my niece. I made sure not to under bake them this time and it worked! Hooray!



What Else I Learned This Weekend

I learned about the most perfect chocolate frosting recipe. I highly recommend Caroline's Chocolate Fudge Frosting from allrecipes.com. My tip is to add an extra 1 oz. square of chocolate. I honestly could not stop licking the bowl, even after eating a huge dinner! I swear I could eat that stuff by the spoonful.


I also learned a great tip for making lemon meringue pie. My parents were coming to visit and they love lemon meringue pie. I usually make the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but decided to try a slightly different recipe this time. Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie is the top-rated one on allrecipes.com, so I decided to give it a whirl. I made the pie up, and then read the reviews. I wished I had read the reviews first because I learned that you should make up the meringue and then put it on the filling while the filling is still piping hot. This helps to cook the meringue. Maybe that would have prevented my meringue from shrinking. Anyways, I will file away this useful tidbit for future reference. I love learning new things!

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