Friday, November 20, 2009

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies Week #8: Tyler's Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cake Slice Bakers: Burnt Sugar Cake

Welcome to the Sugar Fest! I baked all day yesterday. First, I made my very absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie: Tyler's Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies. I first discovered these cookies through Tyler Florence Fridays and made them for the first time in March of this year. Since then I have easily made them a dozen times. I love them, my family loves them, and everyone always asks for the recipe.

There are two important rules to this cookie. First and foremost, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM BIG! The recipe was written to make cookies measuring 1/4 cup. I am all about making smaller cookies to save calories, but you just can't do that to this cookie. When they come out of the oven they are big, but they have slightly crispy edges and extremely chewy centers with big chunks of chocolate. The second rule is that you have to buy good quality chocolate in bar form and cut chunks. Tyler's recipe is written to use dark chocolate, but I buy two 4 oz. bars of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate. I cut them up into big chunks and fold them into the dough. The chunks of chocolate are huge and so yummy to bite into. The recipe can be found here. I have now made 69 Tyler Florence recipes and this is my favorite Tyler recipe! If I only made one cookie, this would be the cookie I would make.

This is also my second post as part of the Cake Slice Bakers. We are baking from Nancie McDermott's book, Southern Cakes, and this month's cake is the Burnt Sugar Cake, pictured above. This cake begins by making a burnt sugar syrup consisting of equal parts sugar and water. One half of the syrup is added to the cake batter and the other half is reserved for the frosting. I had thought this cake would be reminiscent of a caramel cake, but it had a completely different flavor profile. The cake was dense and sweet and the frosting had a sugary kick to it. I enjoyed both the cake and the frosting separately, but together they were a little too sugary for me. I agree with some of the other members in that the frosting was a little gritty or granular due to the fact that there was just so much sugar.

Burnt Sugar Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
  1. Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. It should be the color of tea.
  2. Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.
  3. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and turns a handsome brown syrup.
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using right away.
Burnt Sugar Cake (from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1¾ cups sugar
4 eggs
½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (recipe above)
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans (or bundt pan)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until they are well combined. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the burnt sugar syrup and beat well.
  4. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.
  5. Divide the batter between the cake pans (I baked mine in a bundt pan)and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the center and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan
  6. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Burnt Sugar Frosting

3¾ cups confectioners sugar
½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (above)
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 – 3 tbsp evaporated milk or normal milk
  1. In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.
Notes/Results: I made my cake in a bundt pan, instead of two 9" cake pans. I loaded all the icing on the top of the bundt cake. If you made two 9" cakes, you frost it just like an old fashioned cake. The cake was pretty just with the frosting, but I was afraid it wouldn't photograph well on it's own. I had some salted pecans left over from Tyler's salad recipe so I crushed them up and scattered them over the top. This was my way of creating a sweet and salty combination. It was a nice addition, but in the end the cake was a little too sweet for me.

Have a Great Weekend!!

Check out what all the other cookie monsters made this week by clicking on the links below:

Megan of My Baking Adventures
Barbara of Barbara Bakes
April of Abby Sweets
Megan of Megan's Cookin
Denise of Keeper Worthy Recipes


  1. Oh yeah, I remember Tyler's cookies - that's a great recipe. I'm too busy trying to drive my husband crazy by making different cookies all the time. It's fun!

  2. Those are awesome cookies. Nothing beats a good chocolate chip cookie

  3. those cookies look crazy good! I'm a total sugar hound so I'm sure I'd love the cake as well.

  4. 69 and Tyler in the same sentence...

  5. Hi Kim, Thank you so much for stopping by my place !....Its so nice to meet other die hard JO fans : ) ...

    You are a bakin diva Kim ..simply gorgeous work this is...! I love everything...and those tyler cookies are the ULTIMATE !

  6. Great job on your cake! Can I have one of those cookies? :D

  7. Your cookies look heavenly! All that yummy melty chocolate!

  8. Yum, yum, YUM! These cookies look delish! And I love Tyler Florence, will definitely have to give them a try.

  9. Those cookies look amazing - I would like to have one right now ;)

    The burnt sugar is definitely an interesting flavour isn't it?

  10. I keep seeing Burnt Sugar Cake recipes, it sounds good. They both look Wonderful, great job Kim :)

  11. You had me at the cookie picture, and then you showed that delicious cake!
    How interesting! I have no idea what burnt sugar even tastes like, but i'd love to find out ;)

  12. The cookies look perfect and are just the way I like them. The cake looks yummy too--even if it was too sweet.

  13. I have one question...where can I find a glass large enough for dunking those fantastic cookies?

  14. Those cookies look delicious! I wish I could bake :)

  15. Both the cookies and your cake look great. i love how you baked the cake in some sort of bundt or ring mould.

  16. Wow, you have been baking up a storm! Looks wonderful - put the kettle on, I'll be right over!

  17. I've made that Tyler recipe and it IS fantastic!

  18. well alright, if i must make them huge, then i must! i. love. those. cookies! i'm already a chocolate chip cookie hound, i'll be trying those soon. the cake looks awesome too. i love the idea of burnt sugar frosting, yum!

  19. I've heard only good things about Tyler's cookies. They do look outstanding! The burnt sugar cake looks very good too. I've always wanted to make one.

  20. I have never made a single Tyler cookie recipe but apparently I need to at LEAST make this one. Dark chocolate chunks sound so good to me right now. And I love BIG cookies.

    That cake sounds good. I really like your sweet and salty touch, although I can imagine how one might think that it was too sweet. My love of creme brulee has taught me how much I like burnt sugar.

  21. I agree about the gritiness in the cake frosting...although the taste seemed to mellow a little bit after a few days. I still can't see making it again though.

    Your cookies sound absolutely yummy!

  22. The Burnt Sugar Cake sounds so good! I'm all for burned stuff tasting great!

  23. i love that you baked your cake into a bundt- I think it's the perfect texture for that.


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