Monday, August 01, 2011

Cookie Carnival—Double Chocolate Cookies with Vanilla Chips and Macadamia Nuts

Cookie Carnival--Double Chocolate Cookies 7-25-11

It’s Cookie Carnival time!  The cookies I decided to make for July (we always have two to choose from) were the Double-Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Taste of Home by Cindi Paulson.  Since the cookies had espresso in them and I don’t use coffee in baking, I changed a few things, but the basics of the cookie dough were just as written and I added vanilla chips and macadamia nuts to half the dough and tried something fun with the other half and added a little balsamic syrup!

Double-Chocolate Cookies with Vanilla Chips and Macadamia Nuts, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Taste of Home

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cups (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate or vanilla chips*
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped*
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons of balsamic syrup (or vinegar)*
  • *With half the cookie dough I used the chips and nuts and only put the balsamic syrup in the other half with some added semi sweet chocolate chips (probably about 6 ounces-which is 1 cup)

In a small saucepan, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup chocolate chips and butter,  stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; set aside to cool.  In a medium bowl, beat sugar and eggs for 3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture. Stir in vanilla chips and nuts.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and tops are cracked. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Cookie Carnival--TOH Chocolate/Balsamic (instead of espresso) Cookies 7-25-11

Both were good and I liked the subtle fruity flavor with the added balsamic syrup.  The balsamic syrup was super easy to make.  I’d made some the day before for a caprese panini I saw Shelby at The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch (love her and her blog!) that was delicious.  I made mine with some whole wheat pita.  Layered in the pita was some fresh mozzerella cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil and drizzled with some balsamic syrup.  I could eat that sammie everyday!  Just for fun, I thought I’d see if I could make some balsamic syrup.  I put about 1/3 cup of vinegar in a small glass microwave safe dish and cooked it in 30 second intervals.  After only about 2 minutes in the microwave, it was a great syrupy consistency and reduced nicely!  Can’t wait to make more!


The other day I also made a “pizza” with the pita bread with mozzarella cheese, sliced fresh peach, basil and balsamic syrup and then grilled in the oven on broil for a few minutes.  That idea was inspired by Maria at Two Peas and Their Pod.  Also very good!


Back to the cookies!  I knew I’d heard of chocolate paired with balsamic vinegar, so I decided to just give it a try.  I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the syrup to half the cookie dough.  I almost wished there would have been a little bit more of the balsamic flavor, but I was too afraid to really overwhelm the cookies.  I’m sure I’ll try chocolate with balsamic again. 

Of the two ways I made the cookies, the ones with the vanilla chips (white chocolate would be even better, I just had some of those vanilla chips to use up) and macadamia nuts were better.  I loved the nuts in the chocolate cookie.  I added one cup of vanilla chips and half a cup of nuts to half the cookie dough.  They would have been fine with a little less chips, but tasted great!

Even though I left the espresso out of these Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies, turns out they are a great base for a nice brownie-like chocolate cookie with all kinds of acceptable mix-ins!

Cookie Carnival

What a fun summer we’re having with so much company coming all the time that we love to have stay with us, we’ve named our house the Smith Hotel.  (Anyone is welcome anytime, we’ll leave the light on for ya!)  My parents just left this morning after spending the weekend with us as one of my niece’s got married on Saturday.  Such great times!

185252_1912498687851_1103400660_31666103_4114561_n Wedding photo courtesy of my sister-in-law, Heidi.  (She took some fabulous pictures!)


Here’s my parents with me and the kids just this morning before they left to head back to Idaho.  And if I learned anything from this picture, it’s that my boys all really need haircuts!  (Actually, we already knew that and that’s on the list of things to do this week.)

And finally, just have to throw in these great action shots of my dad taking Parker on in a game of tetherball out on the driveway before they left.


Nice shot, Dad.  Wait……


Um, yeah, Dad, you’re not supposed to get all tied up in the rope.  Just sayin’.  Love my parents!  Great times!  (Sorry you have to see the neighbors property in the background.)


Lisa Ernst said...

Yummy! I saw the photo of your chocolate cookies on Facebook, and had to get right to your blog to take a closer look. The cookies have that great crackle top brownie look to them. I've never thought of adding balsamic vinager to chocolate but might just give it a try. I think I would love these cookies with add ins or without. Probably my fave -- chocolate chips and nuts!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! That dessert is inspired!!

Maria said...

Love the cookies and glad you tried my peach creation:)

Lisa~~ said...

The cookies look wonderful and I love the addition of balsamic.

Cook Lisa Cook

Lisa said...

That balsamic syrup idea sounds awesome. You're inspiring me to try this recipe once I have the time.

Baking Ribbons said...

I love the shiny crackly top to the cookies. Do the cookies have the texture of a brownie? I might be afraid to try the balsamic syrup in a cookie-but if you say it tastes okay, then it tastes okay! My husband made a balsamic syrup about a month ago. He just reduced balsamic vinegar by cooking it down and then drizzled it over grilled watermellon.

Natalie said...

I just found you via Stumble Upon and those cookies look amazing!!!

P.S. I see you're in Utah...I'm originally from there! :)

Shelby said...

I'm going to have to give these a try! I still have Maria's pizza on my list. The last peaches I bought were not too good. I hate when that happens. :(

Cheesecake Delivery said...

thanks for the tips!

Lauren's Latest said...

And now I'm craving cookies!

Tessa said...

I am realizing that I really do like balsamic vinegar in sweet things. That sounds like a great adaptation!

Megan's Cookin' said...

Love the idea of balsamic in those cookies! I also enjoyed the pics of the family. I think it's fun to get to see the family life behind the food. :)