A Cookie for a Crowd

A Cookie for a Crowd - An oversized chocolate chip cookie by somethingwewhippedup.com

A Cookie for a Crowd – An oversized chocolate chip cookie by somethingwewhippedup.com

This past Saturday our home smelled like chocolate chip cookies ALL DAY LONG! Doesn’t sound so bad, right? It all started when I promised a friend that I would make a batch of our Chocolate-Covered Cookie Dough Bites for a bridal shower she was throwing. Not a problem! Sure, the treats are a bit time consuming to make, but they’re delicious and well worth the work. The trick was making them AND whipping up another dessert for a Super Bowl party that we’d be attending on Sunday. I already had all of the ingredients for the cookie dough out—butter, flour, etc.—so I thought, why not just make another chocolate chip dessert? I started out with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe but then got a crazy idea when it came time to plop the dough onto the cookie sheet: Why not cover the entire sheet with dough! I did, and the end result was magical.
A Cookie for a Crowd - An oversized chocolate chip cookie cut up for serving (somethingwewhippedup.com)

A Cookie for a Crowd – An oversized chocolate chip cookie cut up for serving (somethingwewhippedup.com)

The dough filled an entire quarter sheet pan (roughly 13 x 18 inches) and tasted way better than those cookie cakes you can usually find at your local mall. After all, this one was homemade! We ended up cutting the oversized treat into individual servings before transporting it to the party, but it would have been equally as great to present it as one GIANT cookie. Heck, throw some candles in and it would make an excellent birthday “cake” for someone looking for something a bit different.
A Cookie for a Crowd - An closer look of the gooey chocolate chip cookie  (somethingwewhippedup.com)

A Cookie for a Crowd – An closer look of the gooey chocolate chip cookie (somethingwewhippedup.com)

Oversized Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes about 30 pieces

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3.5-ounce sea salt dark chocolate bar (such as Lindt), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine after each one. Mix in the vanilla extract.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, mixing until completely combined each time. Fold in the chocolate pieces and both types of chocolate chips. Spread dough in an even layer on prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cookie is golden brown and set. Remove from oven, let cool in pan on a rack.

Make sure you spread the  dough in an even layer, covering the entire pan (somethingwewhippedup.com)

Make sure you spread the dough in an even layer, covering the entire pan (somethingwewhippedup.com)

SWWU Tip 1: You’re going to have to stretch the batter out pretty thin to cover the entire pan. Don’t worry, it will puff up when you bake it. Just make sure the entire pan is covered and  don’t leave any holes behind.

SWWU Tip 2: Don’t have multiple types of chocolate and chocolate chips on hand? No worries, you can use any combo to dress up this dessert. 

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A Delicious Way to Use Up All of Your Zucchini

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, chances are, you’re swimming in zucchini right now. Brian and I haven’t been to the farm in a few weeks, so we’ve been stocking up on the summer staple at our local farmers’ market. Remembering how much we enjoyed the carrot fritters we made earlier this year, we set out to do something similar with the zucchini we had hanging around. We wanted to try a version that was baked, not fried, so we wouldn’t feel as guilty when I went back for seconds.

Baked Crispy Zucchini Cakes by somethingwewhippedup.com

Baked Crispy Zucchini Cakes by somethingwewhippedup.com

We’re quite pleased with how these baked crispy zucchini cakes turned out. They work just as well as a dinner or lunch side dish as they do a quick grab-and-go breakfast option. Heating them up on a rack in the oven after they bake is essential in making them crisp up on all sides. So be sure you don’t skip that step if you make some for yourself. These cakes are quite good on their own, but we especially enjoyed them when we paired a few with a bit of our homemade caramelized onion dip.

Baked Crispy Zucchini Cakes

Makes about 12

  • 2 eggs
  • 5 to 6 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed and drained (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Add the eggs to an extra-large bowl and beat until scrambled. Add the zucchini, carrot, onion, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Add the flour and toss to coat, making sure no lumps of flour are left behind.

2. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a scoop (about 1/4 cup) of the zucchini mixture into each well, filling to the top. Press down gently to make the top flat. Give the top of each cake a light coating of cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top of each cake is browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from muffin tin. Reduce oven heat to 300°F.

3. Transfer the cakes to a baking sheet (preferably one lined with racks) and warm in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp on all sides.

SWWU Tip: If you have one, use a food processor to shred the zucchini, carrot and onion and save yourself a bit of time. Take a few minutes to transfer the vegetables to a towel in batches, about 1 cup each, and squeeze out the excess liquid before combining with the other ingredients.

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Better Than Boxed: Homemade Onion Dip

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is enjoying some ridged potato chips with a creamy onion dip. This doesn’t sound so bad, except for the fact that my preferred dip is one that you make by mixing sour cream with a packet of dried onion soup by Lipton. It’s a classic taste that still makes me just as happy as it did when I was a little kid enjoying some at a party, though it’s not something I’ll make a regular part of my diet anytime soon. The reason: That tiny packet hanging out in the back of my pantry has 14 different ingredients in it. No thanks! I set out to try to replicate the flavor and ended up with a slightly more sophisticated twist that I now like even more than the original.

Better Than Boxed: Homemade Caramelized Onion Dip by somethingwewhippedup.com

Better Than Boxed: Homemade Caramelized Onion Dip by somethingwewhippedup.com

Replacing the sour cream with tangy crème fraîche definitely elevated this dip from something I would serve to friends watching a football game, to something I’d put out at an afternoon garden party (though it would be a welcome addition to both). This weekend we enjoyed the dip with crispy zucchini cakes (stay tuned for that recipe soon) as well as a few potato chips. Let’s just say, we don’t have too much left…

Homemade Caramelized Onion Dip

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin strips 
  • 1 8-ounce container crème fraîche
  • kosher salt

1. Heat a large pan over medium-low. Add the butter and let melt. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until caramelized. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Transfer crème fraîche to a small bowl. Roughly chop onions and add to bowl. Mix until well combined and add salt to taste. Let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

SWWU Tip 1: Want an even more sophisticated flavor? Used caramelized shallots instead. 

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Happy Hour Must-Have: Strawberry Gin and Tonic

The strawberries at our local farmers’ market are looking great and tasting sweet. You may remember that we whipped up a pretty (and delicious) all-natural strawberry simple syrup recently and I’ve enjoyed mixing it into fizzy drinks like soda water and champagne. But my favorite use (so far) has been using it as a way to jazz up a classic gin and tonic, my usual drink of choice.

Strawberry Gin and Tonic by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Gin and Tonic by somethingwewhippedup.com

The strawberry syrup adds a subtle fruity flavor and transforms the cocktail into a festive-looking pink sipper. I think I may have to go have another!

Strawberry Gin and Tonic

Makes 1 drink

  • ice
  • 3 ounces gin (I prefer Pylmouth)
  • 1 ounce all-natural strawberry simple syrup (get our recipe here)
  • tonic
  • 1 strawberry with a small, 1-inch slit cut into the bottom

1. Fill a glass with ice. Pour in the gin and strawberry simple syrup, then top with tonic water. Gently stir until combined. Taste and adjust flavors if necessary. Garnish glass with the strawberry.

SWWU Tip: Make your ice cubes out of tonic water for an extra special treat.

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Get Your Goat (Cheese) Brownies

I like to over prepare and Brian likes to get things just right, which I (of course) view was under preparing. These differences are most obvious when we’re getting ready to host a party. Brian will carefully calculate just how many appetizers each person is likely to eat, and I’ll worry that they’ll be so tasty that our gusts double their normal intake leaving someone else to go hungry. In the end, it’s usually a 50-50 split on who was right. We’ll both be glad that I insisted on extra booze, but I’ll also learn that there are only so many desserts someone can eat in one night. Our last party left us with a bit of extra goat cheese (I’ll admit, this one is on me) and I needed a way to use it up. I’m a big fan of cheesecake brownies and thought swapping out the cream cheese for something a bit tangy was worth a try. Luckily, my instincts were right on this one. I think we may just have to over prepare for our next party too!

Raspberry Goat Cheese Brownies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Raspberry Goat Cheese Brownies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Raspberry Goat Cheese Brownies

Makes a 13×9″ dish

  • Crisco or cooking spracy
  • 2 1/2 pints raspberries (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 3.5-ounce bars 70% chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 3.5-ounce bar 90% chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 5 eggs, divided
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 13 ovenproof dish with Crisco or cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the raspberries and bourbon. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in both types of chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the milk; let cool 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

5. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, add 2 cups of sugar and 4 of the eggs, one at a time, mixing between additions. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Gently fold half of the raspberries into the brownie batter and pour into the prepared dish.

6. In another medium bowl (or in a stand mixer), combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, vanilla and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and egg; cream ingredients together until fluffy. Gently fold in the remaining raspberries and their juices. Drop the cheesecake batter by spoonfuls all over the top of the brownie batter. Use a skewer to swirl the two batters together. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.

SWWU Tip 1: Brownies will last covered with an air-tight lid on the countertop for up to 5 days, refrigerate to store them longer.

SWWU Tip 2: Want to skip the bourbon? Sub in an equal amount of rum or toss berries with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of confectioners’ sugar.

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