Before we moved to Minnesota I spent an agonizing amount of time imagining who my new friends would be. Would I even have new friends? What would they look like? Could they ever compare to and replace the friends I was leaving behind? The answer is yes. And no. Just as I've learned that I love my children fully, equally and differently...I love and adore my new friends fully, equally and differently. These women who invited me to join their lives, their play groups, book clubs and social events have completed my circle here. I adore them, I adore their children, I adore how fully full they've made my life these past six months. Blessed is the word that constantly comes to mind.
And did I mention one of these new friends of mine, Amber, hosted a cookie exchange party? That's a sure way to get to my heart. Nine women means nine different kinds of cookies. Oh, how we've been buzzing around on a sugar high since Saturday night!
I also got to learn how to frost cookies using royal icing, and I am totally hooked. This icing makes gorgeous cookies! Thanks for the intro Dawn!
And I got to try an awesome new cookie recipe to bring to the party. This one will be added into my holiday repertoire from now on. Cherry shortbread dipped in white chocolate. Oh my! Although, the finished product looked a little bit like a Santa with a hat but no facial features, so I can't decide if they are cute or creepy. Thoughts?
Life is good. God is good. My heart is full. I am blessed this holiday season beyond measure.
PRINT THIS RECIPE!
White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread
Adapted from BHG
Makes 30 cookies
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped finely
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1/4" pieces
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Colored sugars or nonpareils for decorating
Preheat oven to 325F.
Spread cherries on a layer of paper towels. Place another paper towel on top and press lightly to absorb excess moisture. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt and mix briefly to combine. Add cold butter and mix on medium-low, or use a pastry blender, until the dough resembles coarse meal. Add cherries, 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chocolate and the almond extract. Knead the mixture with your hands until it comes together and forms a smooth ball.
Form dough into 1 tablespoon balls and then roll in extra sugar to coat. Place on cookie sheet approximately 2" apart. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in the sugar and then flatten each dough ball. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until centers are set, then set on a wire rack to cool.
Once cookies are completely cooled, melt remaining white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl by cooking for 15 second intervals and stirring after each 15 seconds until completely melted. Dip half of each cookie into the white chocolate, then dip in colored sugar or nonpareils for decoration. Lay on parchment paper to dry and harden completely. Then, you should definitely...
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
These cookies, my friends, are my most requested recipe. And, until now, I have selfishly held it very close to me.
I have made these cookies with brown butter and regular melted butter, and both ways are very good.The brown butter adds a depth of flavor to these cookies that makes them irresistible. The melted butter makes them taste almost pastry-like. You can't go wrong either way, but since I am a brown butter fiend, I almost always opt for that.
Also, there are oats in these cookies, but I don't consider them an oatmeal cookie, at least not in the traditional sense. I've added just enough oats to this recipe to give the cookies a chewy texture that is divine. Even if you're not an oatmeal cookie fan, give em a try. I think you just might fall in love.
I always have a bag of these cookies in my freezer. Almost every day, after things start going down hill (because this usually happens at some point every day, right?) I sneak away from the girls into a corner of the kitchen (or bathroom, or basement, or bedroom) and gobble one down. I think of it as my "secret cookie", and always chuckle a bit to myself as I am snarfing it down. And then, my day is instantly better! Well, at least for those 46 seconds I am blissfully alone with crumbs falling down the front of my shirt. Luckily, I've never gotten caught. Please don't tell...?
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (3 oz) old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups (7 1/2 oz) dark chocolate chopped or chips
3/4 cup nuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Melt 10 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. If opting to brown the butter, cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter turns a deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the butter to a heat proof bowl and then add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla to the butter. Whisk, by hand or on medium-low with the whisk attachment to a stand mixer, until fully incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk until fully incorporated. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes and then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times. At this point the mixture will be smooth, thick and glossy.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and oats and stir to combine. Using a rubber spatula, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, or just eyeballing it, drop dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake until cookies are golden brown and puffy and edges have begun to set but middles are still soft, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and if you can stand to wait, allow to cool to room temperature. If not, just go ahead and...
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Its true. I have officially become Foodzilla. I couldn't help it, I just snapped. Why? Someone said they were bringing a store-bought grocery store cake to an event where I was planning all of the food. Uh-uh. That ain't happenin' sister. EVER. Keep that crap as far away from me as you can, or I will go all crazy Kung fu Panda on your ass. Not cool.
I was able to smooth things over after my initial reaction: pure rage. We talked respectfully to each other, she heard my side of the story and promised me "no store-bought grocery store cake".
GAWD! When did I turn into such a food snob?
In all fairness, I was jointly planning this event with someone who knew nothing of my skills in the kitchen, and in the end everyone was pleased. The food was for a good friend's bridal shower and it all went off without a hitch. The favorite of the day? German Chocolate Cheesecake. Uh huh.
|Me and Ashley, the bride-to-be|
It fills me with unreasonable amounts of joy to plan menus, cook for hours and then watch people devour my works of "art". And this time I got to cook and create alongside my best girlfriend, her mom and our three amigos. It was the most fun I've had in the kitchen in a long time. If anyone else wants to get married I'd be happy to throw you a shower...or at least make you a bunch of food!
German Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Midwest Living
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
9 graham cracker sheets
1/2 cup pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
To make the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on high power for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate and if it isn't melted continue to microwave in 20 seconds increments until chocolate is smooth and melted. Set aside to cool.
Add graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground crumbs are formed. Pour crumbs into a medium sized bowl. Add pecans to processor bowl and process until finely chopped (make sure not to over-process or you will end up with pecan butter!) and add to the bowl with the graham cracker crumbs. Add coconut to bowl, stir until well combined and then pour melted butter over the top. Stir with spoon or using your hands until butter is thoroughly incorporated. Press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 375F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, beat well. Add the eggs and cooled chocolate and beat until just combined.
Pour cream cheese mixture on top of the crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the center appears to be almost set when you jiggle it. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
To make the Topping: In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar, cream and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and set aside to cool.
Using a knife, gently trace the inside of the pan to release the cheesecake from the sides, then loosen the side of the springform pan and remove it. Spread the coconut topping over the cheesecake (the cheesecake will still be warm). Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the coconut. Garnish with a few whole pecans if desired.
Put the springform ring back on the cheesecake, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving and then...
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I have a wicked crush on a girl. And my husband is ecstatic about it. (And no...don't even go there.) This is not a crush born of carnal need or lust. It is a crush born of sugar, chocolate and a woman who is so full of baking genius it makes me gush with love. Many of us are familiar with her, and if you are, you probably have a crush too. Christina Tosi is simply amazing.
|Best baking cookbook I have ever laid eyes on.|
These desserts are why my husband is happy about my crush. He isn't jealous and he doesn't feel displaced in the least bit. Desserts have been pouring into this household, and he's never one to complain about having sweets around.
The Grasshopper Pie was the first thing I chose to make when I got my grubby little hands on this book. Regarding the level of difficulty, this was one of Christina's easier recipes. It still took some time, but it was fairly straightforward as far as baking techniques go. I'm not going to lie...this pie was incredibly rich. Like make-your-head-hurt sugary sweet. It was awesome. We figured out that if it is served from the refrigerator rather than at room temperature though, it mellows the sweetness and suddenly it is not just awesome, but swoon-worthy.
PRINT THIS RECIPE!
Milk Bar Grasshopper Pie
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups (90 g) graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup (20g) dried milk powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (55g) heavy cream
4 1/2 ounces 72% chocolate, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1/4 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (110g) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (20g) mini-chocolate chips
1/2 cup (25g) mini-marshmallows
Mint Cheesecake Filling:
2 ounces white chocolate
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 1/2 ounces (75g) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 drops green food coloring
1 ounce white chocolate
2 teaspoons grapeseed or canola oil
scant 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 drop green food coloring
Preheat oven to 350F.
Make the graham cracker crust: Whisk graham cracker crumbs, milk, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to thoroughly combine. Whisk the butter and cream together and add to the dry ingredients. Using your hands, toss all the ingredients together to evenly coat. As you are tossing, it will start clumping together. Press it together with your finger tips and it should hold its shape. If it doesn't, add up to an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter until desired consistency.
Add 1 1/4 cups (110g) of graham cracker crumb mixture to a 10-inch pie pan. Working with your hands press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Set aside.
Make the chocolate filling: Combine butter and chocolate in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.
Combine the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and whip for 3-4 minutes. You will know they are done when they reach the ribbon state, which Christina describes as this: detach the whisk and dunk it into the egg mixture. Wave it back and forth like a pendulum and the mixture should form thick silky ribbons that fall and then disappear into the mixture. Continue whipping mixture until it reaches this state.
Change stand mixer attachment to the paddle. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and paddle briefly on low and then increase the speed to medium for one minute or until the entire mixture is completely brown with no streaks remaining. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add flour, cocoa and salt to the egg and chocolate mixture and paddle on low for 1 minute or until no lumps of dry ingredients remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix for 30-45 seconds or until the cream is fully incorporated and no white streaks remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Remove mixer bowl from mixer and gently fold in 1/4 cup (45g) of remaining graham cracker crust crumbs.
Make the mint cheesecake filling: In a heat proof bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth.
Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on medium-low for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the white chocolate mixture and paddle for 1-2 minutes or until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add peppermint extract, salt and food coloring to the mixer bowl and paddle for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined and the mixture is consistently green.
Assemble the pie: Place the graham cracker pie shell on a baking sheet. Pour the mint cheesecake filling into the pie crust and spread evenly over the bottom. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the mint filling and spread evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the mini-chocolate chips in a bulls eye around the center and then the marshmallows around the outer edge of the pie.
Bake for 25 minutes until the edges are slightly puffy and the center still jiggles just a little bit. The marshmallows will be tanned and the chocolate chips will have just started melting at this point.
Cool the pie completely before adding the mint glaze.
Mint Glaze: In a heat proof bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If mixture is not mostly melted, microwave an additional 20-30 seconds. Use a spatula to stir ingredients together until silky and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract and food coloring until completely homogeneous in color. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
Using a fork, dunk the tines into the mint glaze and dangle the fork over the pie to create crisscrossing lines on the pie. Put the pie in the fridge for 4-6 hours before serving to thoroughly chill (Christina doesn't say to do this, so it is a preference on my part, but we found the pie was significantly less rich and much more delicious eaten this way). Once the pie is thoroughly chilled, cut it into slices and...
|I caught a little pie-snatcher in the act!|
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Second, I have a winner for the OXO salad spinner giveaway I posted last week. The winner was lucky number 5, jwfong, which random.org selected for me. Congratulations! I'll be in touch shortly.
Now, onto the star of the show...chocolate curls (like the ones on top of my cake that made the Top 9, surely it was the curls that got it there).
How-to: Chocolate Curls
3 ounces chocolate (I used bittersweet)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (shortening can be substituted)
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until completely melted and smooth.
Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate on an overturned rimmed baking sheet, until smooth and evenly distributed. Put the entire baking sheet into the freezer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and, using an overturned metal spatula (turner), lightly push the chocolate away from you to form the curls. If the chocolate is too hard, it will not curl and will look like this:
If this is the case, allow to sit at room temperature for 30-60 seconds more and then try again. Repeat until the chocolate is the right temperature and the chocolate curls easily under the spatula, like so:
The chocolate will melt very quickly if touched, so try to to move the chocolate to a ceramic plate or other cool surface using the spatula. Put them in the refrigerator as soon as possible and keep there until you are ready to use them.
Because the chocolate is spread so thinly, you will likely have to return it to the freezer several times during the curling process because it will begin to melt quickly.
When you are ready to use the curls, remove from the fridge and work quickly to decorate your cake/cupcake/etc. touching the curls as little as possible. Once you've gussied up your awesome dessert with these curls, go ahead...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I have been on a roller coaster of emotions these past few weeks. If you've been keeping up with my posts, you know that life has had some ups and downs lately. And these ups and downs have pulled me out of the kitchen and into real life. This weekend I got to spend hours in the kitchen baking and decorating a cake for a friend's birthday and at the end of it I felt revived and renewed. After spending hours on my feet I felt energized and truly alive for the first time in weeks. I feel so fortunate to have something in my life that brings me (and others, for that matter) such joy. I am breathing in gratefulness this week. Life is good. Oh is it good.
And so was this cake. Actually, this cake was beyond good...it skyrocketed right past good, great, excellent and amazing, and fell unscathed into the lap of perfect. This cake was all sorts of intense. Four layers of dark chocolate cake....with layers of bittersweet espresso ganache...and mocha buttercream...topped with toffee and chocolate curls.
I had an obscene amount of fun making this cake. I love being challenged with a new recipe. I love finding recipes with an absurd amount of steps that would have a non-baker running away in terror. I love when the end product looks and tastes as amazing as the amount of time I put into it. Let's just say, this cake fulfilled the baking nerd in me.
I also got to try my hand at making chocolate curls which filled me an irrational amount of giddiness. The tutorial for the chocolate curls can be found here. Such a fun easy way to gussy up a cake.
This was a conglomeration of several recipes. The cake came from my all-time favorite baking book flour by Joanne Chang, the frosting and ganache were adapted from Southern Living and the idea for toffee and chocolate curls came from this little brain of mine. This is definitely a special occasion cake because it takes some time, but believe me, it is worth every second you put into it.
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Dark Chocolate Cake with Mocha Buttercream & Toffee
Dark Chocolate Cake
Note: The cake can be made up to a week ahead of time. Bake, allow to cool and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Remove from the freezer about an hour before you are going to frost it.
1/2 cup (60 grams) dutch-processed cocoa
1 ounce (28 grams) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (225 grams) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup (60 grams) creme fraiche
2 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter, flour and line the bottoms with parchment paper of two 9-inch cake pans.
Combine cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling water on top and whisk until completely smooth. Place in the fridge for 45 minutes, whisking every 15 minutes, until cooled to room temperature.
Combine flour, salt, baking soda and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, and mix until combined. Add the butter and beat on low speed for 30-40 seconds, or until the mixture resembles a dough and is thoroughly combined.
Whisk the creme fraiche, eggs and yolks in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the creme fraiche mixture into the dough until thoroughly combined. Turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then return the mixer speed to low. Slowly pour in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium for 30-40 seconds until the chocolate is completely incorporated and evenly distributed in the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. Once cooled, invert the pan on a flat surface and peel off the parchment paper.
Meanwhile....while you are waiting for your cakes to cool.
Mocha Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso powder and half-and-half. Whisk constantly over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until thickened (it will resemble a pudding). Transfer to a small bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
When the mixture has cooled, beat butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Slowly add the cooled cocoa mixture on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and beat on low for 20 seconds to combine. At this point the mixture should resemble whipped cream (dreamy creamy mocha whipped cream!).
While you're waiting for the buttercream to cool do this...
Dark Chocolate Espresso Ganache
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup hot water
12 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and sugar. Add hot water and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until just boiling, then quickly remove from the heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and whisk until smooth and no chocolate chunks remain. Stir in the butter and 3 tablespoons of the espresso mixture. (The rest of the espresso mixture can be discarded.)
Allow ganache to stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until it is thick enough to spread.
2 Heath bars, coarsley chopped
Simple Syrup - boil 1/2 cup sugar & 1/2 cup water for 2 minutes (the simple syrup isn't completely necessary, but I find it adds a lot of moisture to my cakes and is a simple way to really amp up the cake)
Note on cutting cake layers: There are definitely different camps on this, but I like to freeze my cakes for 20 minutes before cutting them. Because the cake is firmer, I find it easier to work with and much easier to cut into layers.
Cut each cake in half lengthwise so that you have 4 layers. Put your first layer on a cake stand and brush generously with simple syrup. And add enough ganache to thinly cover the top of the cake. Next add 1/3 of the mocha buttercream on top of the ganache and gently spread to cover the top of the cake. Repeat these steps two more times and end with an unfrosted cake layer on top, brushed with simple syrup.
Add several large dollops of the remaining ganache to the top of the cake and spread with an offset spatula on the top and down the sides of the cake. Continue adding small dollops of ganache to the cake until the top and sides are completely covered with ganache.
Now, this next part is up to you and how perfectionistic you are. Smooth the sides of the cake with an offset spatula until desired smoothness is acheived. You can spend a lot of time on this, so get it as smooth as you can tolerate, and then move on. See Exhibit A...not perfect, but it'll do.
|This is Exhibit A.|
Now, toss a bunch of Heath on the top and wherever else you want to put it (try to stop yourself from putting it in your mouth, you'll get plenty of that later!). Decorate with chocolate curls and finally...finally...you get to...
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I'll tell you a secret. I love to bake (that's not the secret). I have always been mortified to try baking anything without a recipe (that is the secret...sorry its not juicier). It has been said that Baking is a Science, and I suck at science, so I have always stuck to the good old tried and trues. Until I got brave over the holidays.
These scones were born from a leftover baked squash I had sitting in my fridge. I couldn't bear to throw it out, because it was so beautiful. And because the meal I used most of it in was mediocre, at best. This squash deserved to star in something yummy and delightful.
I used my blueberry scone recipe as a base. So, while I cannot wholly own this recipe as mine, it is a big step for me to stray at all. I experimented to come up with the perfect mix of flour, squash, spices and chocolate for these scones. I've made the scones with both squash and pumpkin puree and they were equally delicious.
The scones turned out moist and light and fluffy, which was delightful as scones are often exactly the opposite. I may just bake extra squash from now on as an excuse to make these scones.
Squashy White Chocolate Scones
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup(120 grams) squash puree
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. You can use a pastry cutter for this or use two knives and cut into the butter using a cross-way motion until crumbly.
In another bowl, combine the egg yolk, buttermilk and squash puree and gently beat. Add to the flour mixture all at once. Work quickly and use a wooden spoon or your hands to work the mixture into a soft dough. Gently knead in white chocolate chips.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disc shape about 3/4" thick. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on the top and then use a butter knife or pizza cutter to cut into 6 wedges.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown on top and...
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Do you remember these Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies? The ones I raved and raved about that were soooo good, the best peanut butter cookie in the history of the universe, yada-yada-yada? Well, it turns out this it true, but then I decided to make them even better.
I dipped them in bittersweet chocolate.
I dipped them in bittersweet chocolate and they became the most beautiful cookie to ever grace these lips.
I dipped them in bittersweet chocolate and they tasted so good I almost cried.
I dipped them in bittersweet chocolate and fell madly in love for the third time in my life...first Mace, then Anna, then Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookie.
Don't even pretend that you're not going to eat every last one of these when you make them. I was going to give them away for Christmas treats, but I am not sure they'll make it that long. Sorry guys! Merry Christmas anyway?
J/K. I'll at least leave you with the recipe so you can make 'em yourselves. I wouldn't be so mean as to leave you totally hanging, eh?
Bittersweet Chocolate Dipped PB Cookies
1 batch Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies - Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies recipe can be found here
1 pound (16 oz) HIGH QUALITY bittersweet chocolate (please please please use good chocolate, its what brings these cookies from amazing to extraordinary.)
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a microwave proof dish melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring in between. When chocolate is almost completely melted remove from the microwave and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Transfer chocolate to a dish wide enough to fit the peanut butter cookies, but narrow enough to have some depth for dipping. Taking one cookie at a time, dip half of the cookie into the chocolate and then lay carefully on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until the cookie sheets are full. Chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until the chocolate is set completely. These can then be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or a freezer-safe bag in the freezer.
But who are you kidding? If you're anything like me, you're just going to...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I get so spittin' mad when a recipe doesn't work out the way its supposed to. I know I should accept these defeats and try to learn from them. But usually I just throw a temper tantrum and then throw the food in the garbage. I hate wasting food, it makes me crazy. So, when the recipe for these "supposed" chocolate mint cookies, came out tasting like so-so chocolate wafers, said temper tantrum commenced.
But then, out of nowhere, my creative side made an appearance yesterday. And it told me to melt that gorgeous white chocolate I've had hiding in my pantry, add some peppermint extract to it and drizzle it all over those cookies. And, BAM! Before I knew what was happening, these poor excuses of a cookie were transformed into a divine and glorious holiday treat!
|...transformed to a swan!|
You can find the recipe for the cookies here, which I am not going to type out because I didn't change anything from the original except the drizzle. This difference is that they have you melt plain old chocolate and drizzle it on the cookies, which in my opinion is stupid and boring. So skip that last paragraph and do this instead...
Peppermint White Chocolate Drizzle
6-8 oz white chocolate
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
Melt 6 oz white chocolate in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 30 seconds. Continue heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Add the peppermint extract stirring quickly. If the chocolate seizes from the addition of the peppermint extract, add another ounce or two of white chocolate and stir until it is smooth.
Transfer the white chocolate mixture to a ziploc bag and snip a very small corner to squeeze the chocolate through. Drizzle in a back and forth motion over completely cooled cookies. Allow chocolate to harden at room temperature for 1 hour and then...
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I made these brownies the first time for my friend Kate's birthday and have made them several times since. This is my go-to recipe for brownies now 1. because they are the most amazing brownies I have ever tasted in my whole entire life, hands down, no question about it, and 2. because they take about 15 minutes to throw together but taste like I must have slaved away for at least double that.
Maybe I have never told you this about myself, but I am utterly and hopelessly in love with brown butter. Brown butter will make anything taste better. It adds a depth to food that can only be replicated by, well, more brown butter. It is also a very sneaky-sneaky ingredient because people can often taste that there is something unique in what they're tasting, but can never pin point it. That's because most people have never even heard of brown butter. I make a lot of things with brown butter in them and when I giddily reveal my "secret" ingredient, I am often met with a blank stare. Dang. But, then I get to educate people on the wonders and awe of brown butter and that makes me happy. Everyone needs a bit of brown butter in their lives, and especially the tummy part of their lives.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. I don't know what else to tell you about them, except that you should go make them. So, go! Go make them! Then eat 'em and enjoy!
Brown Butter Brownies
Adapted from Bon Appetit
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (heaping) salt
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup nuts, chopped and toasted (My personal favorite is pecans, but walnuts are almost as amazing)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and then line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper, press paper firmly against pan sides and leave a 2-inch overhang. Melt the butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and salt and stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes and then add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating quickly to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended and then beat vigorously for one minute. Stir in nuts and transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Use parchment paper overhang to lift the brownies from the pan. Cut brownies into squares and...