Chocolate chips hit the mark any time of year

Cooking with Cathie

editorial@sierrastar.comMay 27, 2014 

No matter what time of year, and whether or not there is a special occasion, one thing is for sure: most people love chocolate chips! I prefer the milk chocolate or white chocolate ones, but semi-sweet chips have their usefulness too. I wouldn't turn any away. If you love chocolate chips, I hope you have some delicious fun with these recipes. Can't you already smell them fresh from the oven?

Chocolate chip brownies

You can sprinkle these with confectioners' sugar after they are baked, if you wish.

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/21/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. Place butter and chocolate (not the chips) in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not mix too much). Add chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Chocolate chip cake

For the cake:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate drizzle:

  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat milk

  1. To make cake: Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry (this can take up to 5 minutes).
  2. Combine remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another large bowl. Beat in buttermilk, oil, vanilla and a heaping spoonful of whites with mixer on medium speed. Fold in remaining whites and chocolate chips with a whisk. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  3. Bake cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto rack and let cool completely.
  4. To make chocolate drizzle: Combine chocolate chips and milk in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. Let stand for about 45 minutes before slicing. Makes 16 servings.

Yummy truffles

  • 3 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Microwave on 50 percent power for 2 minutes, then remove and stir. Chocolate will be partially melted.
  2. In small saucepan, combine heavy cream and light cream; heat until small bubbles form around edges. Do not let cream mixture boil. Immediately pour over chocolate chips.
  3. Stir until smooth and well blended, then add vanilla Cover and chill in refrigerator until cold and very thick, then beat with electric mixer until light and rather fluffy.
  4. Roll 1 teaspoon candy into a ball and roll immediately into one of the toppings. Toppings: Chocolate or white confectioners' coating, melted, or chocolate sprinkles, or a sifted combination of cocoa powder, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Makes 36 to 40 truffles.

Trail mix

  • Very easy, requires no cooking.
  • 1 can (15-oz.) mixed nuts
  • 2 cups (12-oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package (9-oz.) raisins
  • 1 package (6-oz.) chopped dried pineapple
  • 1 jar (5.8-oz.) sunflower kernels
  • 1 package (5-oz.) dried cranberries

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 10 cups.

English toffee bars

From the folks at Hershey's.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Toffee topping (recipe follows)

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour and brown sugar in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until fine crumbs form (a few large crumbs may remain). Press mixture onto bottom of ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans over crust. Prepare toffee topping; drizzle evenly over pecans and crust.
  2. Bake 20 to 22 minutes in preheated oven or until topping is bubbly and golden; remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle milk chocolate chips evenly over top; press gently onto surface. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

Toffee topping

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  1. In small saucepan, combine butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Continue boiling, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Use immediately.

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