chocolate

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

Posted by on May 4, 2022 in biscoff spread, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, bundt, cake, chocolate, yeast bread | 0 comments

This Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche is stunning in appearance and taste, so be warned: there are more pictures than usual for this post, including some process photos.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

When I set out to rewrite the original recipe, featured in the January/February 2019 issue of Bake from Scratch, I knew this bread would be time-consuming. Intimidating, even.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

The braiding process, shown here, had me worried to start, but that turned out to not be so bad after all.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

What ended up being the most tedious aspect was all the necessary dishwashing between the various stages! This recipe would be a great time to have some helpful assistants around.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

The original recipe used special black cocoa paired with peanut butter. I went with normal baking cocoa (Penzey’s), which is less dramatic in color but great with flavor, and my stalwart baking favorite, cookie butter.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

Despite my evangelizing, some people are always meeting cookie butter for the first time. It’s found in jars near the nut butters in stores. Trader Joe’s carries it under the name Speculoos. The other major brand is Biscoff. It tastes like spice cookies pureed in oil, because that’s exactly what it is.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

It’s also incredible to bake with because it can even make cookies taste inherently more cookie-like. Here, when it’s used with chocolate, cocoa, and fresh bread, it’s truly amazing.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

During baking, I found the exposed swirls of cookie butter actually caramelized, creating a wonderful crunch in the same bite as tender enriched bread. That, along with chocolate?

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

Oh wow. Oh wow.

Bready or Not: Braided Cocoa and Cookie Butter Brioche

This braided loaf, baked in a large tube pan, is an absolute show stopper with its swirled layers of cocoa and creamy cookie butter! It’s as delicious as it looks, too. This recipe is fairly straightforward, but be warned, it requires a lot of dishwashing!
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bundt cake, chocolate, cookie butter, yeast bread
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • food scale
  • Rolling Pin
  • uneven spatula
  • bench knife
  • pastry brush

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk (105-110-degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, divided
  • 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar divided
  • 2/3 cup creamy cookie butter
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate melted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, stir together warm milk and yeast, letting it stand about 5 minutes to get foamy.
  • Mix in the eggs, 1 stick melted butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Follow up with the flour, sugar, and salt, beating until combined. Switch to the dough hook and beat for about 4 minutes, until smooth.
  • Use nonstick spray on a large bowl. Lightly flour a flat surface and turn out the dough to form it into a round. Place it in a bowl, rotating it to grease the entire surface. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour, until it doubles in size.
  • Clean everything and return to the stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar with the cookie butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 Tablespoons melted butter, until smooth. Transfer the mixture to another bowl. set aside.
  • Clean the mixer and paddle attachment again. Beat the final stick of softened butter, the melted chocolate, cocoa, remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, and last 1 teaspoon vanilla, until smooth. Set aside.
  • Lightly flour a flat surface again. Punch down the dough and turn it onto the surface. Use a food scale to divide the dough in half. Stash one half back in the bowl for now, covered to prevent drying. Roll the other half into a 20 by 9 rectangle. Use an uneven spatula to spread the cookie butter filling onto the dough, up to 1/2-inch of the edges all the way around. Starting on a long side, tightly roll up the dough, pinching the seam to seal. Set aside with the seam faced down.
  • Roll out the other dough in the same way, this time spreading on the chocolate-cocoa filling. Roll it up as well, placing the two dough rolls side by side. Use a bench knife to cut each roll in half, lengthwise. With the multi-layered middles facing up, twine the strips together.
  • Apply nonstick spray on tube pan. Lift braid into the pan and tug it to form a complete circle, tucking the ends beneath. Cover the bread and let it rise in a warm spot until it’s puffed, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven 350-degrees.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water. Brush the top of the dough, touching the cookie butter strands first, then the chocolate; this will prevent the chocolate from smearing too much.
  • Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, covering the bread with foil halfway through to prevent too much browning. When done, the top should be golden and an instant-read thermometer should be above 190-degrees.
  • Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Turn out onto a plate, then tip it back onto a rack to completely cool, top-up.
  • The bread is best eaten within a day, but it can also be sliced up and frozen in pieces. It'll thaw later and taste beautifully fresh! Eat at room temperature or slightly warmed.

OM NOM NOM!

    Read More

    Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

    Posted by on Apr 6, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, chocolate | 0 comments

    The Triple-Marble Pound Cake is tender, soft, and has three incredible complementary flavors combined in one cake. It’s not hard to make, either, though it does dirty a few extra dishes.

    Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

    Oh yes, and it’s pretty, too. The interior reminds me of a calico cat!

    Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

    Something I really like about this recipe is that it is no-frills. The flavors are all built into the dough itself. There’s no need for frosting or glaze. The end result is a nice, tidy slice. You can throw it in a sandwich bag or some plastic wrap, and this is great as a to-go snack of treat. It might get crushed, but it won’t melt (and that is always a concern in Arizona!).

    Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

    The cake keeps well, too. Store it sealed at room temperature for up to four days. It’s also fantastic to freeze in slices to enjoy later.

    Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

    Greatly modified from Bake from Scratch Sep/Oct 2020.

    Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

    This pound cake is marbled with three colorful flavors: chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. The texture is tender but still durable, making this a great cake to slice and take as a snack on the go!
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: cake, caramel, chocolate, loaf cake
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9×5 loaf pan
    • parchment paper
    • food scale

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 and a half sticks) softened
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 3 large eggs room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt or sour cream
    • 1/4 cup jarred caramel or dulce de leche
    • 1/3 cup dark chocolate melted and cooled slightly
    • 1 Tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder sifted
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 300-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit like a sling inside the pan, extending up both long sides. Apply butter or nonstick spray in the pan, then set the parchment inside and spray it again.
    • Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients in with the wet, adding in the yogurt/sour cream as well.
    • Either by using a food scale or by eyeballing, divide the dough into three roughly equal portions.
    • If the caramel/dulce de leche is stiff, microwave briefly in a microwave-safe bowl to make it looser. Mix that into one portion of dough.
    • Add the cocoa powder with the melted chocolate, and fold that into a second portion of dough until the color is even throughout.
    • To the third portion, mix in the vanilla to completely incorporate.
    • Set a tablespoon with each portion. Scoop vanilla and chocolate to form a checkerboard-like formation in the bottom of the loaf pan. Add scoops of caramel dough sporadically over top. Tap pan to settle the dough. Repeat, mixing up the pattern so that different colors are near each other, tapping the pan on occasion. Once all of the dough is in the pan, use a butter knife to gently swirl for an extra marbling effect on the top. Tap pan again to level and work out bubbles.
    • Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes. Check the middle with a toothpick. If it’s still wet, bake longer, checking every few minutes for doneness. Once it passes the test, let cool on stove top for 10 minutes, then use the parchment sling to lift the loaf onto a rack to cool completely.
    • Cake can be served warm or at room temperature. It will keep for up to 4 days in a sealed container. It can also be frozen in slices for later enjoyment.

    OM NOM NOM!

      Read More

      Bready or Not Original: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      Posted by on Mar 30, 2022 in biscoff spread, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

      These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are a delicious new twist on classic ingredients. They are incredibly thick, chewy, and indulgent, the kind of treat that makes a person want to continue nibbling away.

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      A big part of the deliciousness is the use of cookie butter. This is, essentially, pureed spice cookies with oil to form a peanut butter-like consistency, and they are indeed a perfect substitute for nut butters in most any recipe. The major brands are Biscoff Cookie Butter (carried at many major grocery chains in America) and Speculoos at Trader Joe’s.

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      Cookie butter enhances the inherent cookie dough flavor in any baked cookie/bar recipe. It’s also a delight to eat straight from the jar!

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      Add white chocolate chips and a generous amount of sugar and oats to that, and you really have a great combo.

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      These bars can be a little messy, but that’s okay. Every crumb is delicious!

      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      Modified greatly from Bake from Scratch Magazine Sept/Oct 2018.

      Bready or Not Original: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      These chewy, slightly crumbly bars are packed with cookie butter, oats, and chocolate, the kind of stuff that will delight kids and adults alike!
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: bars, chocolate, cookie butter, oats
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9×13 pan
      • offset spatula

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks room temperature
      • 1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 1 cup creamy cookie butter
      • 2 large eggs room temperature
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats divided
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 8 ounces white chocolate chips divided

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with a long piece of foil. Apple nonstick spray or grease with extra butter.
      • In a big bowl, beat together butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy. Add the cookie butter followed by the eggs and vanilla, scraping the bowl a few times to make sure everything is incorporated.
      • In another bowl, stir together the flour, 2 cups of the oats, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mix. Using an offset spatula, spread half the batter into the prepared pan. Dough will be thick and somewhat sticky. Sprinkle half of the chocolate over the top. Dollop on the rest of the dough, spreading into an even later again. Sprinkle on the rest of the white chocolate chips along with the remaining 1/4 cup of oats.
      • Bake for 27 to 35 minutes. The middle should be set, not jiggly, and pass the toothpick test. Cool completely at room temperature and then the fridge (the bars will be firmer and less messy to slice if they are chilled).
      • Use the foil to lift contents onto a cutting board. Slice into pieces. Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

      OM NOM NOM!

        Read More

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        Posted by on Feb 23, 2022 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cake, chocolate | 0 comments

        This Chocolate Whiskey Cake is dense, moist, and delicious–the perfect cake for chocoholics.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        This is the first entry in a special sequence of deliciousness, too–three weeks in a row with Ireland-inspired recipes. Look for Irish Apple Cake and Irish Coffee Coffee Cake in the coming weeks!

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        This is the kind of cake that doesn’t need frosting; that would actually be overkill. If desired, add a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top, but that’s more about adding some color contrast than flavor.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        So, what IS the flavor here? Chocolate. Coffee. And yes, whiskey–that adds a refreshing waft. I used Green Spot Irish Whiskey, my favorite, and one I’m fortunate enough to find sometimes at Costco around St. Patrick’s Day! Total Wine carries it year-round, too.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        Eat this cake within a day or two, or wrap up pieces and freeze for later! It thaws, no problem at all.

        I modified this a lot from an original take at NYT Cooking.

        Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

        This is a cake for chocoholics! The crumb is moist and dense, with chocolate, coffee, and whiskey melded to endow every bite with deep flavor. Modified from NYT Cooking.
        Course: Dessert
        Cuisine: irish
        Keyword: alcohol, cake, chocolate, coffee, springform pan
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 9-inch springform pan
        • parchment paper
        • food scale

        Ingredients

        • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter
        • 3/4 cup cocoa powder sifted
        • 1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
        • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
        • 1 cup white sugar
        • 156 grams light brown sugar note this is weighed, not packed
        • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
        • 2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
        • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
        • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
        • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
        • 3 large eggs room temperature
        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
        • Confectioners' sugar for serving, optional

        Instructions

        • In a large pot on low heat, warm the butter, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, coffee, and Irish whiskey. Once the butter is melted, stir in the sugars until they are dissolved. Remove from heat to cool, 30 minutes at minimum.
        • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Apply nonstick spray to pan, place parchment inside, then spray again. Dust the interior with the remaining 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder to coat.
        • In a big bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, and cloves. In a different bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir the egg mixture into the butter-cocoa pot. Add the dry ingredients to just combine, then fold in the chopped chocolate.
        • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake cake for 65 to 70 minutes, until the middle just passes the toothpick test. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then release sides of pan to let the cake cool completely.
        • Slice into wedges to serve. Add confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on top, if desired. Keep cake covered at room temperature up to 2 days. Remaining pieces can be sliced and individually wrapped and frozen for later enjoyment.

        OM NOM NOM!

          Read More

          Bready or Not: Brookies

          Posted by on Feb 2, 2022 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Brookies

          No need to deliberate whether to make chocolate chip cookies or brownies–this recipe for Brookies combines these goodies together in a delicious way.

          Bready or Not: Brookies

          This recipe excels at chocolate distribution. It’s not super-chocolaty, but every bite has some brownie and chocolate chips. If you add in cacao nibs, it’s even better; the nibs enhance the other chocolate flavors and adds a pleasant crunch at the same time.

          Bready or Not: Brookies

          On that note, this is a great recipe for people who don’t like nuts. There’s lots of flavor here without them. Could you add nuts? Sure. Is it necessary? Nope.

          Bready or Not: Brookies

          These bars are dense and nicely portable. Wrap them up individually, and they are great for a school lunch, road trip, or picnic. Plus, they freeze well, so you can even save some for later!

          Modified from AllRecipes Magazine August/September 2020.

          Bready or Not: Brookies

          These Brookies combine chocolate chip cookies and brownies in one convenient dish!
          Course: Dessert, Snack
          Cuisine: American
          Keyword: bars, brownies, chocolate
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • 9×13 pan

          Ingredients

          Cookie layer

          • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
          • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
          • 1/4 cup white sugar
          • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
          • 1 large egg room temperature
          • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
          • 1/2 teaspoon salt
          • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
          • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

          Brownie layer

          • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted
          • 1 cup white sugar
          • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          • 2 large eggs
          • 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted
          • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
          • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
          • 1/8 teaspoon salt
          • 1/4 cup cacao nibs optional

          Instructions

          Make cookie layer

          • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.
          • In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and creamy. Add egg, scraping bottom of bowl, then beat another two minutes.
          • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in chocolate chips. Dough will be very thick and sticky. Drop into pan in clumps and press into a level layer, covering the bottom completely.

          Make brownie layer

          • Using the same big bowl (leave it unwashed or wash it, baker’s preference), beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Follow with the egg. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the cacao nibs, if using.
          • Pour over the cookie layer, spreading it into an even layer.
          • Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely–chilling in fridge, if desired–before slicing into bars.
          • Brookies will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 3 days, and can also be frozen for layer enjoyment.

          OM NOM NOM!

            Read More

            Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            Posted by on Jan 5, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, british, chocolate, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            Let’s start the year right with these Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies!

            Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            These things are soft and chewy, the coarse sugar providing a sweet, crunchy crust. Plus, you get chocolate mixed throughout, which provides a lovely contrast to the spicy gingerbread.

            Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            I’ve noticed that it’s a very British thing to do at least part of a gingerbread recipe on the stovetop. It definitely creates a different, richer flavor that the standard American recipe that mixes everything in a bowl.

            Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            You’ll notice this recipe includes a lot of fresh ginger. In the past, I’ve kept ‘fresh’ ginger around by buying a hunk, using a vegetable peeler to take off the outside, then freezing the interior in pieces. You can then grate it straight from the freezer. I think I learned about this technique from a food magazine ages ago.

            Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            The original of this recipe is from a food magazine, too–Bake from Scratch Holiday Cookies 2019, this recipe by Edd Kimber. My version is modified a great deal. I do recommend seeking out this issue, though, as it has a LOT of great recipes.

            Bready or Not: Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

            These cookies have complex ginger and spice flavors, perfect for the holidays and year-round! Note that the preparation is done in stages over a few hours–these aren’t quick fix cookies. Makes about 42 tablespoon-sized cookies.
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: British
            Keyword: chocolate, cookies, gingerbread
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • large saucepan
            • tablespoon scoop
            • parchment paper

            Ingredients

            • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
            • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, softened
            • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
            • 2 large eggs room temperature
            • 4 cups all-purpose flour
            • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger
            • 2 teaspoons baking soda
            • 1 teaspoon baking powder
            • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
            • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
            • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
            • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
            • 10.5 ounces chocolate chips dark, semisweet, or a mix
            • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar

            Instructions

            • In a large saucepan on medium-heat, stir together brown sugar, butter, and molasses until the butter is melted and everything is mixed. Remove from heat to cool for 30 minutes.
            • Whisk eggs into the cooled mixture.
            • In a big bowl, combined flour, fresh ginger, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, and nutmeg. Pour in the sugar from the saucepan, stirring until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.
            • Encase dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
            • Pull out dough to soften slightly, about 10 or 15 minutes. Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
            • Measure out the turbinado sugar into a small bowl. Use a tablespoon scoop to dole our dough, rolling each ball in sugar before setting spaced-out on baking sheet.
            • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies are set. Cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
            • Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies keep for at least 3 days.

            OM NOM NOM!

              Read More