TWD: Not quite 15 Minute Magic Chocolate Amaretti Torte



Today’s recipe from the TWD group was for a 15 minute “Magic” Chocolate Amaretti Torte.  I believe torte is a fancy way of saying brownie like.  I believe that the magic must have been the Amaretti cookies that everyone had such a hard time of finding.  Myself?  Did not find them and since one person admitted to using Nilla Wafers, I can admit to using some European Almond Cookie that I found in the European portion of my grocery store.  A step up from Nilla Wafers, but I am sure they weren’t the Amaretti cookies that some people paid $7 for. 


Dorie uses a food processor to make this recipe, which is an awesome idea.  If you have a big food processor.  I have a mini food processor that I love for quick chopping vegetables and for making bread crumbs.  But for this recipe?  It was too small.  I did use it to chop up my cookies and slivered almonds and then seperately to combine the eggs, sugar and butter.  It ended up leaking out the top of my little machine and I decided that a bowl and spatula would work just perfect for the final mixing.  Mine ended up taking longer to bake than Dorie suggested but I believe that is because I put the baking dish on an airbake pan rather than just a regular cookie sheet.  The torte I ended up with was also much flatter than others that I have seen too.  hmmm.  Did I screw something up?

Overall, the recipe was fairly simple and it was an interesting idea to use an almond flavored cookie and ground almonds as your flour.  But to me this recipe has the look of something rather fancy while not really being anything more than a mildly almond flavored brownie.  Perhaps if I had used the $7 cookies to make the recipe it would have had a stronger almond flavor but somehow the mix of chocolate and almond doesn’t seem all that appealing to me.  The ground nuts added an interesting texture to the recipe.  Think about when you eat nuts of any sort and after you are finished how there is always just a bit in your teeth, not so much stuck in between teeth but mashed into the grooves on the top of your teeth.  Wow.  I just made that sound fantastic didn’t I?

You can find the recipe here.


Chocolate Chip Blondies



I have been on the search for that elusive recipe.  That recipe that is relatively easy, highly adaptable and tasty.  I may have found it.  I may not have.  This recipe is my second from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my Home to Yours.  But in reality, the flavor that she was going for isn’t how I made it.  Dorie envisioned a peanutty delight.  I?  Envisioned a big ass chocolate chip cookie.   

Interestingly, the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  I tried it once with the cinnamon and found that it overpowered the entire chocolate experience.  Perhaps if the recipe was prepared as originally created, the cinnamon would not be so strong. 

I have made this recipe 3 times.  Once using a 9 inch round (seen below) and twice using an 8 inch round (seen above) .  I wanted something to make this blondie seem special.   I ended up adding another layer of swirl on the edges of the one below to pretty it up a bit. 

DSCN2414 by you.

The only trick with changing the baking pan is the baking time.  I have not quite figured it out yet.  I prefer my blondie to have that ooey gooey factor that I like.   My suggestion is to watch them carefully starting at 40 minutes and even if the center does sink in, they still taste fabulous.  If you are planning on eating these at home straight out of the pan, don’t bother with lining the pan with foil.  If you want to remove the blondie from the pan and cut into slices, line with foil.   
The best part of the recipe is that ability to adapt it.  You could easily increase the peanut butter aspect by adding peanuts instead of chocolate chips like Dorie suggested or you could do half and half.  There is also the option of using any type of chip that suits your fancy, toffee chips, white chocolate and macadamia nuts or even all peanut butter chips.  There is a small amount of peanut butter in the recipe that is mildly noticable.  If you are a peanut butter lover like me, reduce the butter and increase the peanut butter in the recipe. 

The swirl and writing was created by mixing chocolate chips with peanut butter in a small dish and melting for 25 second increments then stiring until the chocolate was entirely melted.  It usually takes about a minute and a half total.  If you don’t have any fancy icing bags, just use a plastic baggie with a tiny snip in the bottom corner cut off.  It works just as well!

This recipe is best served warm with some ice cream on top.  Mmmm.  But then what chocolatey buttery confection isn’t?

Chocolate Chip

Blondies adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours.

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
5 tbsp butter (room temp)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 – 2 cups chocolate chips (I like to use a mix of regular sized and mini chips.  If you have any of the Reese’s peanut butter chips, throw some of them in too)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, butter the foil and place on a cookie sheet.
3.  Whisk flour, baking powerder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
4.  In a seperate large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter together on medium speed until smooth.
5.  Add both sugars abd beat for one to two minutes until well incorporated. 
6. Add eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg goes in. Beat in vanilla extract. 
7. Reduce mixer to low and add dry ingredients.  Mixture will be thick. 
8.  Add chocolate chips and stir into dough.  Do not overmix.
9. Scrape into pan. 
10.  Bake blondies for 40-50 minutes or until they turn a deep honey brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool. If the edges are browning too fast, fold foil down to cover edges.
11.  When completely cool, carefully lift the blondies out of the pan using the foil as handles.  The foil should peel away easily.  Cut into bars.