Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baking Fun: Mississippi Mud Cake and Banana-Walnut Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

So my baking ventures for the week include and oldie, but goodie that I'm sure you all have made before and a twist on some classic baked goods. The Mississippi Mud Cake is always a crowd pleaser and is more like an incredibly gooey brownie than a cake. The second recipe is more of a combination of banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. Hope you enjoy!!!

Mississippi Mud Cake (From Southern Living)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter
1 (4 oz) semisweet chocolate bar, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 (10.5 oz) package miniature marshmallows
Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until toasted. Microwave 1 cup butter and semisweet chocolate in a large microwave-safe glass bowl on high 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Whisk sugar and next 5 ingredients into chocolate mixture. Pour batter into a greased 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle evenly with marshmallows, bake 8-10 minutes more or until golden brown. Drizzle warm cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkle evenly toasted pecans.

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 (16-oz) package powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until slightly thickend; remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed with an electric mixture until smooth.

Banana-Walnut Chocolate-Chunk Cookies (From Martha Stewart's Cookies)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup mashed, ripe banana
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 oz semisweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together both flours, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Beat together butter and both sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts. Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop (I used a 1/2 tablespoon) drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating about halfway through, until golden-brown and just set, 12-13 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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