Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mayan Chocolate Cookies

This recipe totally intrigued me, especially since I love chili infused chocolate bars (Lindt has a good one.) These cookies were reminiscent of the chocolate crinkles we always make at Christmas time, both in basic taste and appearance, minus the powdered sugar coating. They weren't as impressive as I had hoped, sort of lacking that wow factor. But, since I enjoy crinkles, I also enjoyed these and they did have a nice little kick in them, though because of that they weren't the kind of cookies I can eat dozens of at a time. The recipe makes a lot, so make sure you have someone to treat them to.

Also, liking my cookies to be more fudgy and flat rather than cake like and puffy, I substituted the shortening with butter, making it a total 2 1/2 sticks butter, rather than one. They turned out well this way and I'd say it was a successful switch, but that's just due to preference. I also omitted the black pepper.

Mayan Chocolate Cookies
Under the Highchair

makes 5 dozen


½ cup granulated sugar 125 mL

1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL


¾ cup vegetable shortening 175 mL

½ cup unsalted butter, softened 125 mL

¾ cup granulated sugar 175 mL

¾ cup brown sugar, packed 175 mL

2 large eggs 2

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 5 mL

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 425 mL

1 ¼ cups cocoa powder 300 mL

1 tbsp ground cinnamon 15 mL

2 tsp baking soda 10 mL

¼ tsp salt 1 mL

¼ tsp ground black pepper 1 mL

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper 1

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 250 mL

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping.

Beat shortening, butter, sugars
and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll in 1” (2.5 cm) balls, don’t flatten. Roll into cinnamon and sugar topping. Place on prepared cookie sheets, about 2” (5 cm) apart.
Bake 7-10 minutes. Cookies should still be soft in center. Let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Remove, cool on wire rack.

Sour Cream Banana Bread

  • I had such success with this recipe and baking experience. First off, parchment paper. Why have I never used this product before!? Cookies, cakes, brownies, bread- I am never going back. Nothing sticks, you take it off, throw it away and are left with a clean baking dish and beautifully presentable baked good. I am totally converted and suggest you all join. I attribute the fact that, for the first time ever, I was able to get banana bread that wasn't at all overcooked on the sides, to the parchment paper. This banana bread was perfect. So moist on the inside, had a great flavor where the banana was significantly present and though so tasty drenched in margarine, didn't need it in the slightest. I've made several banana bread recipes in the past that haven't been the one. I chose this one because it had such high ratings and I needed to use up some sour cream. Great choice and I think it will be my go to banana bread recipe from now on.

  • Sour Cream Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana, I used 3 nice, dark ones
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (omit if you don't like nuts)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Grease loaf pan or not if using parchment paper.

Cream margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients, then bananas then nuts and sour cream.

Mix well.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. (my oven required 10 extra minutes)

Del Taco's Secret Sauce Chicken Soft Tacos

I was in the mood for some Del Taco chicken soft tacos. Mmmm, Ghetto good. Alas, we do not have a Del Taco in Midland. Actually, I don't think they are in Texas at all. So I hopped online and googled up their secret sauce.

Del Taco Secret Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon buttermilk or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Mix together and there ya go. Next time I may do 1/8 cup sour cream and 1/8 cup mayo. Just because I'm having an aversion to the taste of mayonnaise lately. (no, not prego.)

Prepare chicken using a package of chicken taco seasoning, according to directions.

Fill flour tortillas with sauce, chicken, tomato, shredded lettuce and cheese.