Today, after reading Emily's latest post at Visions of Sugar Plum all she did was say "Levain Cookie" and I was having a major craving for one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies! I kept thinking, "Dang, I'll have to make some of those copycat cookies (<-favorite recipe from Lisa Michele) that I love so much. Then all the sudden I remembered, I can't believe I forgot!, I had two actual Levain cookies in the freezer! And I began singing, "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog..." (Sam's favorite thing right now is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and he LOVES that song!) When we went to Indiana the beginning of August, Kevin had a little business trip to New York City. He bought me two cookies and when we got home, I wrapped them up and stuck them in the freezer. BINGO! So thank you for the little reminder Emily (who, by the way, has posted some GREAT looking chocolate chip cookies that I know I'll have to try soon!) While the cookies were thawing on the counter, I caught this guy trying to steal one.
"Excuse me, Mister, but that's MY cookie!" I quickly (so as not to get bit) snatched it back just before he got it down. Whew. And do you see how big that cookie is--it barely fits in his mouth! (hehe, I kill me.)
It was almost as if I was there in NYC. (Okay, I wish, but it's the next best thing!)
The other cookie. This double chocolate one is for some-really-strange-for-me reason almost too much for me. By far--the chocolate chip walnut is the best! But one of the times I was in NYC last year, I also tried the chocolate peanut butter chip cookie and it's great! (Note--Kevin, on next trip to NYC, I'll take all ccw's please! ;)
I recently made this decadent Chocolate Zucchini Cake that originated from a King Arthur recipe. Then I got to wondering if I could make it a little healthier and have it still be really good. So I did.
This cake is so super moist and perfectly chocolaty! It's even better after being chilled in the refrigerator and the next day! There is a slight flavor from the whole wheat flour, but it's good, almost a little nuttiness. Since I was making it with some healthier changes, I also used less ganache on the top, but it's still plenty!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake, Healthier Version, adapted by Katrina, original recipe from The King Arthur Flour Company
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil (or canola)
3/4 cup natural cane juice sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/8 ounces Dutch-process cocoa
1 cup zucchini, finely grated (middle/seeds removed)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chips, melted (I used 60% cacao Ghirardelli chips)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the egg. Scrape sides of bowl.
Stir in the buttermilk alternately with the flour. Then add the cocoa. Mix until well combined. Fold in the zucchini.
Pour and spread the batter evenly in the baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took 32 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan using the foil edges.
Prepare the ganache by heating the cream to a simmer. (I actually used the microwave and it worked great, just do it in 10-20 second intervals and stir in between.) Pour the cream into a bowl with the chocolate chips. Let sit a minute or two. Stir the melted chocolate and cream until combined and smooth. Spread over cake evenly with an offset spatula. See how long you can wait before cutting slices of the cake and eating it. (The ganache hardens as it sits, but doggonit it's good right away! ;)
I decided to do this after talking to one of Kevin's sisters (Nutrition Momma--check out her blog and super cute kids!). She told me she made the chocolate zucchini cake and I was quite surprised because she doesn't often eat goodies like that and after she told me of a few of her changes, I decided to give it a try. This is a super delicious treat! Thanks, N. M.!
Taylor's turn for some pictures from Indiana.
This one cracks me up looking at Taylor. He could not be more thrilled with Tanner's bunny ears, never mind Sam's complete glee!
Taylor was not tall enough for a lot of the rides at Holiday World, but he also would not want to go on many of them even if he could. While waiting for the others to finish a ride, Taylor was caught riding one all on his own. ;)
After finding out the camera was on him---
I did get Taylor to ride this Eagles ride with me (I don't remember the real names of any of the rides.) He thought it was pretty fun and cool to control which direction the eagle flew by pulling on it.
Whenever he'd pull it one direction and we'd go "flying", I'd holler like I was really scared. He got a kick out of that.
Besides the fact that I was quite squished in this thing, the ride was pretty fun and perfect for Taylor's age. He went on one other ride, the turkey--something--this one---
I went on this one with Taylor and he screamed scared to death and cried the whole time. (It really wasn't that bad.) I loved watching the boys have so much fun doing things they'd never done before.