Molten Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies so good I’ve made them three times already!

Chocolate chip cookies packed with dark chocolate which melt into the most gorgeous glistening pools of molten chocolate. #chocolate #cookies #recipe

 

These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had. Period. Why you may ask?

  • No fancy ingredients needed, only the basics; butter, sugar, flour, egg

  • No electric mixer required. Just a whisk, saucepan, and some mixing bowls.

  • No chocolate chips. We use bars of dark chocolate chopped into gorgeous shards and chunks; some big, some small. That way your warm cookies have pools of molten chocolate instead of just tiny chocolate bits.

They’re soft and gooey in the middle with a perfectly chewy edge. And my favorite part: they’re packed with dark chocolate which melts into the most gorgeous glistening pools of molten chocolate.

The best thing about using chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips is that your warm cookies have pools of molten chocolate and not just tiny chocolate bits.Chocolate chip cookies packed with dark chocolate which melt into the most gorgeous glistening pools of molten chocolate. #chocolate #cookies #recipe

These cookies can be whipped up quickly, they taste AMAZING, they have the perfect texture, and I don’t see why you shouldn’t make them.

Chocolate chip cookies packed with dark chocolate which melt into the most gorgeous glistening pools of molten chocolate. #chocolate #cookies #recipeChocolate chip cookies packed with dark chocolate which melt into the most gorgeous glistening pools of molten chocolate. #chocolate #cookies #recipe

 

NOTES

  • Use the best dark chocolate you can find. I recommend using either Bournville or Lindt Dark 70%. The slightly bitter edge balances the cookie sweetness perfectly.

  • Chop the dark chocolate roughly. The larger the chunk, the easier it will spread into a molten pool of chocolate.

  • I recommend chilling the dough for at least 20 minutes before baking. Chilling gives the dough time to rest and helps develop the flavor. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much. The colder the dough, the thicker the cookies!

  • Dough can also be chilled overnight. The next morning, allow it to sit at room temperature just long enough so that you can scoop it and bake for an extra 2-3 minutes.

  • These cookies are perfect for when cravings strike. Seal cookie dough balls in a ziplock bag and stash in the freezer for up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra two minutes, no need to thaw.

  • When baking, the cookies tend to expand a lot so be sure to space the cookie dough balls apart.

  • This recipe makes 14 cookies; I have halved the original recipe. But you can easily double the recipe it if you want to make more.

The best thing about using chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips is that your warm cookies have pools of molten chocolate and not just tiny chocolate bits.The best thing about using chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips is that your warm cookies have pools of molten chocolate and not just tiny chocolate bits.

BEST COOKIES EVER

aaand I’m out.

Molten Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Yields: 14 cookies
Ingredients:
·         1/2 cup / 113g unsalted butter chopped
·         1 ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons / 208g all-purpose flour
·         ½ teaspoon baking powder 
·         ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ¾ cup / 160g packed brown sugar 
·         ¼ cup / 50g granulated sugar
·         1 large egg
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         6 ounces / 170g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into large chunks
·         Sea salt for sprinkling, optional
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan over a very low heat, heat the butter until it is just melted.
  3. Chop your chocolate and set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Pour the melted butter into a different large bowl and whisk in the white and brown sugar. It may look very weird and greasy, but keep mixing, it will smooth out after you’ve stirred it for a bit. Add in the egg and vanilla. Whisk till combined.
  6. Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine all together using a spatula. Once blended, add the chopped chocolate and mix until just combined.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes in the fridge – preferably overnight.
  8. Make the dough into golf-ball sized balls (about 3 tablespoons per cookie) and bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating the pan about half way through baking. (Colder dough takes longer to bake.) Cookies should be puffed up and have nice golden edges.
  9. Leave cookies on cookie sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. They will deflate a little. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from Seven Spoons My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O’Brady

 

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Everything you need to know about the Chevening Scholarship

In response to the multitude of questions I’ve gotten on how I received the British Chevening Scholarship, I’ll be explaining the scholarship application process here using my own application as a guideline. I hope this helps and I sincerely hope you apply.

What is Chevening?

Chevening is the UK government’s most prestigious scholarship award coordinated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and managed by the British High Commission across the Commonwealth countries.

The selection criteria for Chevening Scholarships are aimed to identify “high-caliber graduates with the personal, intellectual and interpersonal qualities necessary for leadership.” You will need to be able to demonstrate all of the following mentioned skills at each step of the application:

  • Personal, intellectual and interpersonal qualities necessary for leadership in home country.
  • Motivation to develop career in order to establish a position of leadership within 10 years.
  • A clear post Scholarship plan, outlining career objectives and how to achieve them.
  • Commitment to networking to find global solutions.
  • Commitment to networking within Chevening community, and alumni network in home country.
  • Use studies and experience in UK to benefit themselves, their country and the UK.
  • Able to successfully complete proposed course of study in the UK.

Specific selection criteria varies from country to country.

Selection Criteria for Pakistan

By researching the Chevening alumni and the list of awardees for this year, I have found that the subject areas most favored in Pakistan are:

  • Cultural studies
  • Development
  • Education
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Law; human rights
  • Management
  • Medical sciences; healthcare
  • Science and Technology

Specifically these are the courses that this year’s awardees are studying:

  • Computer Science
  • Conflict Security and Development
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Criminology
  • Development Administration and Planning
  • Development Studies
  • Economics Politics and Public Policy
  • Education
  • Education and International Development
  • Endocrinology
  • Financial Management
  • Gender Studies and Law
  • Global Health
  • Global Political Economy
  • Governance Development and Public Policy
  • Innovation Management
  • International Accounting and Financial Management
  • International Development
  • International Planning and Sustainable Development
  • International Relations and Security
  • LLM
  • LLM Human Rights
  • Media Practice for Development and Social Change
  • Neuroscience
  • Public Administration
  • Public Financial Management
  • Public Policy

As evident, law and development studies are some of the most popular choices.

You must remember that Chevening focuses on developing international relations amongst the Commonwealth countries so your chosen course of study must align with that goal. It can’t be something like a Masters in Fashion Designing or Architecture. Chevening focuses on building future leaders who can come back to their home country and work to bring change and instill development.

So first things first; decide what you would like to study, how your past experience supports that, and how it aligns with your future goals.

WORK EXPERIENCE

This is the part I get the most questions about.

‘Is two years’ work experience mandatory?’

‘I’ll have two years of experience by the March next year, will that be okay?’

‘How did you get the scholarship if you only graduated last year?’

‘Does voluntary work count?’

‘I was a member of the OC teams at my universities MUN and other events, does that count?’

Yes, work experience counts. Yes, minimum of two years’ work experience is mandatory!

There’s a part in the application where you have to enter the exact number of hours you have worked, there’s no skipping that part.

Now the kind of work can vary. It doesn’t have to be two full years at one work place. It can be different kinds of work for different periods of time but they must all join up to make two years’ worth of experience.

According to the Chevening website:

“The types of work experience that are eligible for Chevening can include:

  • Full-time employment
  • Part-time employment
  • Voluntary work
  • Paid or unpaid internships
  • Work experience can be completed before, during, or after graduating from your undergraduate studies.

Employment undertaken as part of your undergraduate or postgraduate course are not eligible.”

While you can’t count work you did at your university (class projects, school events/conferences/MUNs), you can mention them in your essays. For example, I mentioned being the Director of Broadcasting of the Job Fair and being a member of the various MUNs in my leadership and networking essays but I did not count them as my work experience.

Important!

What will make your application stronger is if your work experience and all your extracurriculars support your desired course of study.

It’s true I only graduated last year. It’s true I only worked an ‘office job’ for 3 months after I graduated. So how did I magically get the scholarship despite no work experience? That’s because my intended course of study was ‘entrepreneurship’ and I had two entrepreneurial ventures to back it up. Spatula in my Pocket and Nuts about Donuts may sound like just another Facebook page to some, or just a hobby to others but they are purely entrepreneurial in nature; started by me, run by me. And that’s how I built my application based on two of my own ventures.

You need to realize that if you run a Facebook page too, featuring your photography or your arts and crafts, but you’re applying to study law or environment sustainability you cannot use those pages to support your application. Your work experience must support your study goals.

In the end, what will make your application stronger is when your work experience and all your extracurricular activities support your desired course of study.

 

APPLICATION TIPS

Here are my tips for getting started with your application:

1.Decide on your course of study and then research the heck out of it. All the universities that offer it in the UK, the faculty, the modules, electives, entry requirements… everything.

Find out what matters to you, what you want to do in your life. You need to choose three courses. All three of your courses can be from the same university or you can choose the same course at three different universities.

Also, don’t forget to research the city as much as the university itself. Would you be comfortable living in a big and expensive city like London or do you prefer something smaller like the quaint city of Bournemouth?

I chose University of Manchester as my first choice because:

  1. The Entrepreneurship program here is ranked as number one in the entire UK
  2. Manchester is known as the city of innovation
  3. Manchester is also known as the student city of UK since there are SO many students all from diverse backgrounds
  4. You get the true “international” experience
  5. It is relatively cheaper than other cities like London

2.Gather all your work experience details and extracurricular activities in one word document. This should include everything you have done in your life that matters; any events you may have participated in, any conferences/workshops you may have attended or helped organized during your college years or after. Were you a teacher’s assistant, a class representative (CR), best intern, employee of the month…any of these, just write them down.

3.Start working on your essays as soon as possible. Do not leave them for the week before the deadline. It takes time to perfect them and trust me these essays count ALOT. Write, edit, review, get someone else to review them too.

More information can be found here >> http://www.chevening.org/apply/eligibility-criteria

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Some additional questions:

Can PhD students apply?

PhD students can unfortunately not apply.

The courses you choose must be:

  • Full-time
  • Start in the autumn term (usually September/October)
  • Taught master’s (i.e. not research-focused MRes programmes)
  • Lead to a master’s degree qualification
  • Based in the UK

Courses cannot be:

  • Distance learning
  • Part-time
  • Less than nine months in duration
  • More than 12 months in duration
  • PhD or DPhil are not permitted
  • Taught with more than one month of study outside the UK

Do you need to have a good GPA?

I think Chevening focuses more on the experience and the skills. A good GPA does help but a 4.0 isn’t necessary.

Is the scholarship fully funded?

Yes it is.  It comprises of:

  • Payment of tuition fees (see point 1.2.a in relation to MBA fee caps)
  • Economy travel to and from your country of residence by an approved route for you only
  • An arrival allowance
  • The cost of an entry clearance (visa) application for you only
  • A departure allowance
  • A contribution of up to £75 for TB testing, where this is required
  • A travel top up allowance
  • A monthly personal living allowance (stipend) to cover accommodation and living expenses.

 

Exciting news!

SPATULA IN MY POCKET IS MOVING TO ENGLAND!!!

Specifically…Manchester!

In just 5 days!

And I’m thrilled to finally tell you all about it today!  😄 Seriously, it has been killing me to keep this to myself all this time.  My trustees told me not to say a word till the final award letter was here, and then ‘not till you get the visa’, and THEN ‘not till you book your ticket’!

But I’m happy to say that my plan is now officially a go, and in just five days, I’ll be flying across the ocean to my new life in Manchester.  And I cannot wait to get this adventure started.

 

I’ve been dreaming to study in the UK since I was about six when I first started reading Enid Blyton books and fell in love with girl boarding schools. And then came the Great British Bake-Off and I fell in love with Britain all over again. I dream of visiting the Dominique Ansel Bakery, roaming the streets of the Northern Quater, taking pastry classes at Le Cordon Bleu, and studying in a country where there is so much to explore and do.

And in just a few days, I will be making that dream a reality.

I am going to the University of Manchester to pursue a Masters in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship fully sponsored by the British Chevening Scholarship Program.

DSC04097

Chevening is a UK government international award, which sponsors developing global leaders in obtaining a Masters degree at any British university. This program is financed by Foreign and Commonwealth office and is oriented at future leaders, influencers and decision makers from all over the globe.

After an almost year-long agonizing selection process, I am incredibly honored to be chosen as the youngest Chevening Scholar from Pakistan for the year 2018/2019!

Right now, I think it’s safe to say that I am officially feeling all the feels.

I can’t wait to be swept up in the newness of a brand new place with so much to explore and so many new memories to be made. I am just feeling incredibly excited and lucky that I have the opportunity to take an adventure like this. And more than anything, I am super excited to visit all the donut shops I’ve been stalking on Instagram all these years xD

That said, it’s also sinking in just how much I am going to miss my friends and family here back in Pakistan.  And how much life I am going to miss out on here while I am away.

With each passing day, though, the reality of this amazing adventure ahead is starting to feel more and more real.  And I absolutely can’t wait to get there and get it all started!!!  So thank you in advance for following along on the blog and coming there with me and making this entire journey possible. This scholarship would definitely not have been possible if wasn’t for your love and support that made Spatula in My Pocket what it is today.

I can’t wait to write and share all about my adventures, the wonderful people, places, and food I discover along the way. (Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!)

Love you all and thank you!

DSC03880

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This is the ultimate recipe for the ultimate stack of pancakes, sweetened with bananas, and loaded with melty gooey chocolate chips.

the ultimate recipe for the ultimate stack of pancakes, sweetened with bananas, and loaded with melty gooey chocolate chips.

Confession: Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. 

I’ve had a cup of plain coffee every single morning for as long as I remember.

Don’t get me wrong, I love breakfast food: pancakes, waffles, omelets, scrambled eggs! I’d eat “breakfast food” for 90% of my meals. But I just don’t like eating at breakfast time. 

I’d much rather have an omelet for lunch, granola for snack, and a stack of waffles for dinner.

And these pancakes, these gorgeous banana chocolate chip studded pancakes, I could have at any time of the day.

These are seriously everything!

 

The ultimate recipe for the ultimate stack of pancakes, sweetened with bananas, and loaded with melty gooey chocolate chips. #banana #chocolatechip #pancakes

Extra fluffy, soft, slightly sweet from the bananas, slightly bittersweet from the chocolate, perfectly golden brown.

In short, these pancakes are a blessing from the heavens.

The ultimate recipe for the ultimate stack of pancakes, sweetened with bananas, and loaded with melty gooey chocolate chips. #banana #chocolatechip #pancakes

I, sometimes, intentionally set aside 3-4 bananas and let them ripe just so that I can make these pancakes or my banana chocolate chip bread.

Whoever first thought of pairing up bananas and chocolate chips deserves a wildly prestigious prize in my book.

The ultimate recipe for the ultimate stack of pancakes, sweetened with bananas, and loaded with melty gooey chocolate chips. #banana #chocolatechip #pancakes

Making these pancakes is incredibly simple and if you want your pancakes to be as scrumptious as mine, I suggest you read the following tips along with the written recipe.

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE TIPS:

  • Use slightly over ripe bananas. The riper the bananas, the sweeter they are.

  • DON’T OVERMIX: Mix the batter just until you see no more streaks of flour. It will be slightly lumpy. If you overmix the pancake batter your pancakes will turn out dense.

  • Make sure your frying pan/griddle is hot before adding the pancake batter.

  • Cook on low-medium heat to ensure that the pancake gets cooked in the middle and develops a crisp golden brown “crust” on the top.

If these next two pictures don’t make you seriously consider why you aren’t in your kitchen right this second making these pancakes, I don’t know what will.

DSC03599The ultimate recipe for the ultimate stack of pancakes, sweetened with bananas, and loaded with melty gooey chocolate chips. #banana #chocolatechip #pancakes

This is a recipe you’re going to want to hold onto forever.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 1⁄4 cups milk, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter
1⁄2 cup banana, mashed (3 small)
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, divided
Directions:
1.      Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2.      In another bowl whisk together the milk, oil, banana, egg and vanilla.
3.      Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
4.      Fold in 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
5.      Heat a non-stick frying pan or a griddle, greased lightly with oil on medium heat. Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of batter per pancake on to the pan. Scatter some chocolate chips on top.
6.      When the top looks slightly dry and bubbles have appeared, flip the pancake and cook the other side for another minute or until golden.
7.      Prepare remaining pancake batter as directed greasing pan with more oil if needed.
8.      Stack the pancakes, top them with maple syrup if desired and tuck in.

 

Homemade Churros with Chocolate Sauce

Call me crazy but I find frying things oddly satisfying.

Which might explain why I am able to survive ten hour donut shifts in front of the fryer in this heat o.o

.

.

.

With frying comes sweat and I mean ALOT of sweat. But the end result always makes it worth it.

After you take the first bite of be it a donut or a churro, the sweat and all your fried oil guilt *poof* disappears.

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

Churros are strips of dough deep-fried until they become crunchy, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and served with warm chocolate sauce.

These Spanish/Mexican concoctions are addicting!

You won’t be able to stop at one. Also, they make a great snack to share with friends and family when watching the telly or just hanging out.

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

IMPORTANT

If you do not own a piping bag or a piping tip, that does NOT mean that you can’t make homemade churros.

No piping bag?

No problem. Use a plastic ziplock bag instead (easily available in all superstores, check the foil and cling wrap section)

No piping tip?

No problem. A piping tip isn’t essential, it just gives the churros their signature textured lines. You can just snip off the end of your piping bag or ziplock bag and pipe straight from it.

No thermometer?

No problem. Preheat your oil for minimum 10 minutes on high heat (thats how long it takes it to reach 190 degrees Celsius). Fry on medium heat. And then in between batches crank up the heat again because the drops very quickly as soon as you put the churros in.

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

This churros recipe might be different than anything you’ve ever made.

There will be several points throughout this recipe where you might curse my name, especially when you’ll have to exert every bit of energy you have in mixing the dough and then some when piping them into the hot oil.

You might also curse me when your piping bag bursts open because of the pressure (the dough is That thick) which is why I’m telling you beforehand to scotch tape the piping bag around the piping nozzle/tip two to three times. Just to be safe.

You’ll get through it and I promise you’ll love me when you bite into your first warm delicious churro dripping with dark melty chocolate.

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

This is what you should end up with.

Stodgy, white dough.  

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

You’ll need a large star piping tip and a piping bag, or a big ZipLock bag. And a knife!

You squeeze the dough in the form of strips onto a parchment paper, and slice it off with the knife. Doing this:

  1. makes it much easier to plop them in 3-4 at a time instead of squeezing them straight into the hot oil one by one

  2. that way chances of burning your fingers are less

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

Fry till golden brown. Toss in cinnamon and sugar. 

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

Dip them in chocolate and hallelujah!

Dip em once, dip em twice or maybe even thrice.

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

Now you don’t need to go to Disneyland to eat churros. You can make them at home anytime you want. How cool is that!

Crispy, golden churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar and dunked in a dark chocolate sauce #churros

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, tag a photo #spatulainmypocket on Instagram so I can see it.

Cheers!

 

Churros with Chocolate Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes                      Yields: 10-15 (4 inch) churros, more if you’re making them smaller
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:
For the Churros
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts oil for frying
1/2 cup fine white/castor sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Chocolate Sauce
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) cream
Equipment
 a thermometer; a heavy-duty plastic piping bag or a ziplock bag; a large star piping tip (such as Wilton #2110)*
Directions:
CHURROS
Stir water, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan and put on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add in the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon until it forms a cohesive dough.
Heat oil at 375 degrees F (190 C) for deep-frying.
While waiting for the oil to heat up, line a baking sheet with parchment/wax paper. Fill a piping bag lined with a large open star piping tip, with dough and pipe strips onto the baking sheet. Use a pair of kitchen scissors or a knife to cut off the strips at around 4-6 inches, depending on how long you want your churros to be. I like them small.
Set out a plate lined with paper towels for draining.
When the oil has heated up, drop in churros 4 or 5 at a time. Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature, keeping it as close to 375 as possible (it drops very quickly). Fry until golden, around 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil and set on paper towels to drain.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and toss churros in the mixture.
Serve the churros with the warm chocolate sauce (recipe below).
Best when eaten immediately.
CHOCOLATE SAUCE
Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.
Warm the cream in small saucepan or the microwave for 20 seconds. (Do not let it boil.) Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute then stir to combine.
Notes:
*if you don’t have any of the equipment mentioned, kindly check substitutes mentioned in the post description above

Best All-Cocoa Brownies

I’m baaaack…..

It’s been a long time since I posted anything but I promise that I had good reason – which I’ll get to later.

First can we just stop, wait a minute and admire the gorgeousness that this brownie is!

A Rich, fudgy, ALL cocoa brownie. #chocolate #brownies #fudge #spatulainmypocket

Look at that fudge.

Look at that shine.

Look at the corky piece of walnut peeking through.

Doesn’t it make you want to sink your teeth into it right now? 

A Rich, fudgy, ALL cocoa brownie. #chocolate #brownies #fudge #spatulainmypocket

These brownies have become my go-to brownies because they are THE best. 

They’re extremely dense, fudgy, chewy and have NO chocolate in them. That’s right, not a single square!

I almost wept with joy upon biting into my first, straight from the oven (hence the unruly cuts), square of deep dark chocolate deliciousness. I’m swooning just thinking about them.

A Rich, fudgy, ALL cocoa brownie. #chocolate #brownies #fudge #spatulainmypocket

I found the recipe on kitchn.com and was drawn to its name ‘Pantry Cocoa Brownies’ which is very apt because they really do just call for ingredients that I’m sure all of us have in our kitchens – oil, sugar, eggs, flour, and cocoa.

Nothing extra!

No need to worry about buying copious amounts of dark chocolate or melting pounds of butter or making buttermilk.

A Rich, fudgy, ALL cocoa brownie.  #chocolate #brownies #fudge #spatulainmypocket

These fudgy chocolatey bars of goodness take half an hour to make and another half an hour to bake.

That’s an hour well spent I’d say especially considering you’ll have an entire batch of devilishly good brownies at the end of it.

The smell of chocolate wafting through your entire house is an added plus.

A Rich, fudgy, ALL cocoa brownie. #chocolate #brownies #fudge #spatulainmypocket

There are two things to note about the recipe:

  1. I’ve added half a cup of chopped walnuts, they’re totally optional though. I personally love nutty and crunchy bits in my brownie. The original recipe does not call for any nuts.

  2. The original recipe does however call for powdered sugar instead of normal granulated sugar. If you don’t have powdered sugar on hand, you can grind normal granulated sugar in a blender or food processor. But decrease the amount slightly because as compared to powdered sugar, granulated sugar is heavier in weight.

A Rich, fudgy, ALL cocoa brownie.  #chocolate #brownies #fudge #spatulainmypocket

With that out of the way, make them and let them blow your mind.  

Cheers – Noor

Cocoa Brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                                                   Yields: 9 large or 16 small squares
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Ingredients:
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cups icing sugar*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2.      Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and line I with wax or parchment paper. Set aside.
3.      Place the oil into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 4 to 6 (5-second) bursts until it is warm but not hot. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until completely smooth and combined. Let sit for 4 or 5 minutes so the cocoa can bloom.
4.      In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
5.      In another bowl, place the eggs, powdered sugar, and brown sugar. Using a handheld mixer, beat on medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color. Beat in the vanilla until just combined.
6.      Add 1/2 of the cocoa mixture to the egg mixture and mix at medium-high speed until it is shiny and fully combined, about 2-3 minutes.
7.      Next, add in the flour mixture to the egg and cocoa mixture and mix at low speed until fully combined. Add the remaining cocoa mixture and mix at medium-high speed until the batter is shiny and fully combined, about 1 minute. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
8.      Transfer to the prepared baking pan.
9.      Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You’ll know the brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs attached (it shouldn’t be completely wet) and the brownies pull away from the edges of the pan.
10.   Let them cool (if you can help it ;)) before cutting into squares.
Notes
*If you don’t have icing/powdered sugar on hand, you can grind normal granulated sugar in a blender or food processor. But decrease the amount slightly because as compared to powdered sugar, granulated sugar is heavier in weight.
**Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Recipe source: kitchn

Best Homemade Waffles

Waffles are my favorite food from heaven (after brownies and pizza of course).

Piled high with whipped cream and strawberries or ice cream and Nutella, they are the ultimate, indulgent breakfast/snack/lunch/dinner/midnight meal.

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

I got a waffle maker a few months ago. Since then I have made batches upon batches of waffles in search for the perfect recipe.

For me, a perfect waffle is:

  • soft and fluffy on the inside

  • crispy on the outside

  • golden brown

  • Irresistibly delicious!

After months of researching through different recipes available on the internet; I decided to test the ones that were the most popular worldwide.

One called for melted butter; the other vegetable oil. One involved eggs with the whites whisked till stiff; the other with the eggs mixed right into the batter.

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

I made waffles after waffles and forced my sisters to be the taste testers (a torture to which they happily agreed).

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

One fine Sunday, I found our *all-time favorite, no-fail waffles recipe*.

This recipe will impress waffle newbies and old waffle lovers alike.

This is it.

.

.

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER!

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

These waffles are everything mentioned in the list above and more. They send you into a good food coma so deadly that it should come with a warning.

You will, obviously, need a waffle iron to make these warm, crispy waffles. I recommend you take the plunge and just buy it. It is worth the investment because after making this recipe once, I assure you, you will want to make them every day for breakfast/snack/lunch/dinner/midnight meal.

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

I ordered mine online at Daraz.pk. They had a sale going on and I found mine pretty cheap for Rs.1400/-.

>>Here’s the link to the brand I use<<

It’s small and it’s not fancy, but it’s budget-friendly and it works well.

 

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

After making waffles myself, I can tell with confidence that those sold at astounding prices in restaurants can be absolute crap. They’re often soggy, eggy, and bland. Homemade waffles are way way wayyy better and are really easy to make too. They are the new 2-minute noodles!

This recipe is pretty standard including all your basic kitchen ingredients. Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another. Whisk them together and voila, waffle batter.

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

We love them drenched with maple syrup or smothered with Nutella (heavenly!!).

Buying a waffle maker has to be the best decision I have made yet (other than starting this blog of course).

This is, hands down, the best waffle recipe EVER! #crispy #fluffy #waffles

I hope you enjoy them as much as my sisters and I did. And if you do whip ‘em up please share on Instagram using the hashtag #spatulainmypocket

Much love!

Best homemade Waffles

Serves: 2-4
Ingredients:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornflour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk1
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup/chocolate syrup for serving
Directions:
1.       In a medium bowl; combine the flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
2.      Heat your waffle iron. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with maple syrup or chocolate syrup. Waffles reheat very well in the toaster.
Notes:
1.       DIY buttermilk: 1 Tablespoon vinegar + 1 cup whole milk
2.      Waffles are best served immediately!
Recipe source: Aretha Frankenstein

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Super moist and rich double chocolate zucchini bread that tastes just like chocolate fudge cake only better!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious

Did you grow up eating zucchini bread?

I for one did not and I’m pretty sure none of my fellow Pakistanis did either. I didn’t even know we had zucchini in Pakistan until just recently!

Incase you are as clueless as I am, zucchini is indeed available in Pakistan.

It’s grown all year round, called ‘maaru’ in Urdu, is pale green in color, high in water content and bland in taste which makes it the perfect addition to baked goods.

It was a no-brainer I’d pick ‘Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread’ as my first zucchini recipe because, well:

a. its chocolate

b. its DOUBLE CHOCOLATE

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey  #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious

Just look at it.

.

.

It screams deliciousness!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey  #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a huge fan of fruit and vegetable based baked goods.

^case in point

I don’t know who the crazy genius was behind the idea of incorporating vegetables in baking, but whoever it was, know that I LOVE YOU enormously.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey  #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about putting in a mound of shredded green vegetable in a chocolate bread but the result blew.me.away!

It was deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey  #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious

And the zucchini completely disappeared!

You can’t tell the zucchini is in there unless you’re looking for it. Which is why even my super picky, non-vegetable sisters went for seconds and thirds. We ended up devouring the entire loaf in a matter of minutes. ^.^

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious

This double chocolate zucchini bread is perfect for anytime of the day, in any season and pairs wonderfully with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

I like it best when its fresh out of the oven. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and warmed in the microwave for a few seconds or until all the chocolate bits are melty and gooey…Mmm.

Go buy some zucchinis and make this bread right now!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 1 loaf
Cook Time: 50-60 minutes
Ingredients:
1 cup (125g)  all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (42g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled1
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (225g) packed shredded zucchini
¾ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips, divided
Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2.      Grease a 9×5 or 8×4 loaf pan. Set aside.
3.      In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4.      In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, oil, vanilla extract, and brown sugar until smooth.
5.      Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not over-mix. Stir in the shredded zucchini until just combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
6.      Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips over the top of the bread. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean. All ovens vary so keep an eye out after about 50 minutes. Mine takes 60 minutes to cook perfectly.
7.      Remove the pan from the oven. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove from the pan. Let the bread cool until slightly warm before cutting into slices and serving.
Notes:
1.        I use salted butter. If using unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt by just a smidgen.
2.       Shred the zucchini with the peel on.
3.       Leftover bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Recipe source: Two Peas & Their Pod

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread: deliciously moist, intense and chocolatey  #moist #chocolate #zucchinibread #delicious