Chocolate is always in order on a cold winter day when the seasonal blues are hitting you hard. I think I’ve reached the shade of “Azure”. How about you?

So here I am, in the middle of a remarkably crummy week and so I decided to get my baking on. Yay for exchange student orientation to give me a reason to bake AND the ability to get said baking out of the house! Woohoo!

I’ve been itching to try some new recipes because I’ve been reading more Hannah Swensen novels. I love all her cookies! So my plan was to make Red Velvet Cookies. Can you say, “YUM”???? Oh baby. But then I got fubarred because due to certain people who remain nameless, I have no sour cream. All is saved, I have to go to the grocery store anyway. So I will put it on the list and hopefully still be able to make these cookies later!

However, I need to make a treat BEFORE I go run errands. So I decided to go with Plan 2. How’s this for sinful: Cocoa Fudge Cake. I know. Red Velvet Cookies wasn’t enough! Right? Yeah, let’s give the pack of teens a SUGAR HIGH! WOOT!

Once I twittered/facebooked the news of the cookie dough therapy… I mean cookie baking for the exchange kids (Please people, remember the OFFICIAL story here… it’s all for the kids!) I started getting requests for the recipe. I love that you guys don’t even care to know how they turn out! You aren’t even going to wait for me to make them and tell you how they taste. Nope! You want the recipe!

Hope they taste good and there’s not going to be a frantic twitter later along the lines of “GAG! Cookie FAIL!” (Yeah right. As if. Not possible!!!!)

So here goes. As stolen straight from Carrot Cake Murder by JoAnne Fluke for my baking pleasure and your reading enjoyment:

Cocoa Fudge Cake:
Preheat Oven to 350

You need a 9×13 cake pan. Yay! (I had to remove all my fudge!)

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound)
1 cup water
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk (oops we were out of cow milk. Praise the Lord for Soy Milk!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten

Mix sugar and flour together in a bowl
In a saucepan bring to boil over medium heat the butter, water, and cocoa powder.
Pour the cocoa mixture over the sugar and flour and mix it all up together.
(Don’t worry about washing the pan out yet.)
Whisk the milk, vanilla, extract, soda, and eggs together in a small bowl.
Add that mixture to the rest and stir till it’s a yummy cake batter.

Pour batter into your 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

*Oz’s note. Crawl into the mixing bowl and start licking. MMMM chocolatey goodness. MMMMM. *

Oh crud. I got chocolate on my keyboard! Yikes! Good thing I’m pretty darn sure the Macalyn likes Chocolate too. 🙂

About 5 minutes before the cake is done take that dirty sauce pan and start cooking some more to make frosting. I sure hope you didn’t try licking that thing and burn your tongue! Unsweetened cocoa is probably not worth the taste bud welts!

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
1 pound of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the butter, cocoa, milk in medium sized saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring consistantly.

Remove pan from the hat and add the vanilla. Stir in sugar a half cup at a time. You want it to be thick, but pourable. (Pourable? Is that a word? Well she used it in this book, so THERE!)

Pour the frosting on the hot cake and spread it out quickly with a spatula.

OK, I feel like being lazy. I have loads of frosting in my cupboard. So I think I’ll bail on the homemade. But it sounds good! I decided I’m running out of time.

Red Velvet Cake Cookies

(For those who don’t know, Red Velvet Cake is super yummy. It’s just a chocolate cake that’s been dyed red. If you get real creative you can make this in the shape of an animal or a heart and it looks like it’s bleeding. Great for horror events! Or doctors! HEHE Just trying to give you weirdo ideas for more fun. Something’s gotta end up on cakewrecks, right?)

Preheat oven to 375

2 one ounce squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temp
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour (pack it on down into that cup. I know, not the norm, right?)
1 cup (6 ounces) semi sweet choco chips (Yay that’s a whole half a bag for snacking on! Um… did I say that out loud?)

Unwrap the chocolate squares and break them apart. Put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for 90 seconds on high. Stir them until they are smooth. Let them cool and turn to your dough.

Combine butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
Add baking soda, salt and mix.
Add egg and mix.
Add food colouring and mix.
Make sure you scrape your bowl and add in your melted chocolate and mix some more.
Add in one coup of flour and mix.
Add in sour cream and mix.
Add in remaining cup of flour and mix.
Mix in those chocolate chips (and grab a handful for munching!).
Teaspoon cookies onto your baking stone.
Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

Once they are cool you can frost them with cream cheese frosting. I’m not a fan, but maybe you are. Go for it. 🙂

So there you have it. YUM! What? You aren’t back from licking that bowl yet? Hey! I’m trying to blog over here! This is all about ME! Not you and your chocolate fix!

The last thing I wanna say is if you aren’t reading Joanne Fluke’s books, you are missing out. Half the fun of these recipes are finding out their stories. She always incorporates the recipes into the mystery. They are light and fluffy. No time to read. Great for a cold Friday when there’s snow on the ground. Go. Get them. Bake treats. Eat and read. You won’t be sorry!

–Lady O