Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HS Football Dinner and Chocolate Chip Everything!

What do football and chocolate chips have in common?

A few weeks ago, a friend of my mom's asked me to help her out by baking desserts for her sons Football Team Dinner. She's a working mom and sometimes has to resort to bringing Dunkin Doughnut's or store bought cookies, but this week, she wanted the team to have something homemade.

The hardest part about this for me was not all the baking, or finding the time to get it done while doing my homework, studying for the AP history test that I was having the next day or even the Field Hockey game I had the day it was to be delivered. What made me the most nervous, what was I going to make? After all, I go to school with these boys and want them to like it.

I decided on some tried and true recipes that I have made before and they all involved chocolate chips, because who doesn't like that? (And we just got a 72 ounce bag of chips from Costco.)

My favorite cookie: Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
My favorite brownie: Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
My favorite chocolate chip cupcake: Martha Stewart's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

My mother had a shoot scheduled in Dallas with Kevin Garvin, one of the chefs at Neiman Marcus in Dallas for a show she was working on but at the last minute, she couldn't go. Brittney (my older sister) was really disappointed because she was hoping to get the recipe of their famous chocolate chip cookies. She told us that online, people were paying up to $250 for the recipe and she really wanted to know what made it so special. Well, that recipe and tale about the cookie has long been deemed a hoax and one of my mom's producer's at the time,  Donna (she is now the executive producer of my favorite show, The Next Food Network Star, how cool is that) came home from that shoot and gave my mom the Neiman Marcus Cookbook to give to Brittney.  The funny part is that the chef signed the cook book to Donna but my sister and I didn't care, because inside was the recipe to what we think is the best chocolate chip cookie ever and we always think how nice it was that Donna gave us the book which was obviously given to her.   I can't tell you how many batches we have made of these cookies in my house and how many times we have given out the recipe after someone has tasted them.

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
When I need an extra recipe, something that's quick and easy, the Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Recipe is my go to.  If you open the cabinet in my kitchen, there is always a package of Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and a box of Brownies.  The recipe calls for Betty Crocker products for both (obviously) but a few times I used different brands and sometimes they do not work out to well.

For the cookies, the recipe calls for 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix (prepared as instructed) but you can use homemade chocolate chip batter or one time I used a pouch of chocolate chip cookie mix and they were fine.

The brownie ingredients are not as flexible.  The recipe calls for Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix but  one time I bought a box of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix and thought it would substitute fine...

Well I was wrong because they were a disaster in every way.  They either  didn't cook all the way in the center and got stuck or when I cook them longer, the cookie part was too hard, I even tried making these brownies by themselves as instructed on the box and they still stuck in the center to the pan, whats with that?  All of them ended up in the garbage.  Anyway, I won't be using these anymore.

Not to bash Ghirardellli brownie mix, actually I tried the Ghirardelli with Chocolate Syrup mix and these were the best of all three,  moister and way more homemade tasting.

Martha Stewart's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes:
So many times, when I made other chocolate chip cupcake recipes, they tasted more like a muffin then a cupcake. My sister Brittney loves chocolate chip muffins so its never a problem, but the first time I made this recipe, I really wanted to make her a chocolate chip cupcake that tastes like a cupcake. And this recipe is the best I have found and no surprise it's from Martha Stewart.

With love and cupcakes,

The Recipes:
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: (adapted from the Neiman Marcus cookbook)

See below the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe. I almost always double the recipe because it says that it makes 24 cookies, but we make them a bit larger and only get about 18 cookies. Keep in mind you will only be able to fit 5 or 6 cookies on a typical cookie sheet when baking.

  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  2. 1 cup light brown sugar
  3. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
  11. 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (see note)
Note: Instead of 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chips—I use 1 cup semi sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (just a suggestion) and the kids seem to like that better. This time around, I also added 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips to the double batch.

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)
  2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.
  4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Recipe:  ( I don't use the frosting, just serve them plain)
Brownie Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cupcake Recipe (courtesy of Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook)
  1. 3 1/4 Cups plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  2. 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  6. 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  7. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  8. 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  9. 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together 3 1/4 cups cake flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Stir the vanilla into the milk to combine, set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, cream butter until smooth. Adding the sugar in a steady stream, beat until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture and beating until just combined after each.
  3. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, (do not over mix). Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined. Toss chocolate chips with remaining tablespoon cake flour and gently fold into batter.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and the tops are spongy to the touch, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight container.

Chocolate Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes Dark Chocolate Recipe
  1. 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon unsweetend dutch-process cocoa powder
  2. 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon boiling water
  3. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  4. 1/2 cup plus up to 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  6. 12 ounces best quality semi sweet chocolate, melted in double boiler (or heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally with spatula until melted. Let cool completely.
  1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved, set aside. 
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and salt until pale and fluffy. reduce speed to low. 
  3. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in cocoa mixture. 
  4. Add 1 cup of remaining powdered sugar and mix, at low speed at first, until combined. Add additional powdered sugar if you would like the frosting to be stifer. If not using immediately, frosting can be refriderated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.
  5. Pipe onto cupcakes with Wilton tip # 1M, sprinkle tops with non-parells.


  1. Those look super, i hope the boys were happy!

  2. thanks and they were! :)

    with love and cupcakes,

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! Glad I found yours:) Love the cupcakes!



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