Saturday, December 29, 2012

Peppermint Oreos

Hello there! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas :)
These cookies are a holiday version of my beloved homemade oreos. Just because Christmas is over doesn't mean you can't enjoy peppermint!
They're great if you're looking to make something easy that will wow the masses at your New Year's Eve gathering.
Homemade Oreos with Peppermint Creme Filling
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: ~20 sandwich cookies
Flour- 1 1/4 c
Unsweetened Dutch process cocoa- 1/2 c
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Sugar- 1 to 1 1/2 c (use less if you don't want the cookies to be super sweet)
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c plus 2 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks), room temperature
1 large egg
{Creme filling}
Unsalted butter- 1/4 c (1/2 stick)
Vegetable shortening (Crisco)- 1/4 c
Sifted powdered sugar- 2 c
Peppermint extract- 2 tsp
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flourcocoabaking sodabaking powdersalt and sugar. Process/beat, make sure it's combined well!
3. With the mixer running, add the butter, then the egg. Continue beating/processing until the dough forms a mass.
4. Take rounded teaspoons of the batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, approx. 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, lightly press the dough to flatten.
5. Bake for 8-9 minutes (8 if you want them a little soft/chewy), rotating pans once for evenness. Set on baking rack to cool completely.
6. {For the creme filling} Beat butter and shortening in a mixing bowl until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, then add peppermint. Turn mixer on high and beat for 2 minutes.
7. Place creme filling in a pastry bag fitted with a jumbo pastry tip. Pipe onto half of the cooled cookies, then sandwich them with their matches. Serve with a glass of milk!!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Hot Cocoa

I don't think I've ever gone this long without a post... To be fair, though, I don't remember the last time I was as busy as I've been the last two weeks. I think it was in high school.
Finals are over, Christmas break has started, and- wait. Christmas eve is a week away?! WHAT?! I'm usually pretty on top of Christmas shopping, but this year, nada. I'm in for a crazy week.
In the meantime, I'll drink this hot cocoa. I made two batches of it and put some in a few mason jars for my friends at school. It's delicious!
If the holidays are as stressful for you as I'm pretty sure they'll be for me, you might want to try a fun concoction Chris and I came up with last night. You take his drink, "the Girl Scout," and mix it with this hot cocoa. o.m.g.
Homemade Hot Cocoa
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: ~5 medium-sized mason jars
Nonfat dry milk powder- 3 c
Powdered sugar- 2 c
Cocoa powder- 1 1/2 c (Dutch-processed is best)
White chocolate chips- 1 3/4 c
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Boozy twist (aka The Girl Scout)
Creme de menthe
Creme de cacao
Godiva chocolate liquor
1. Grind white chocolate chips in a food processor until smooth.
2. Pour chips into a large bowl, and add milk powder, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir together.
3. If using a big food processor, whack all the ingredients together. If using a small one, do it in batches. Grind until smooth, and sift (DO NOT SKIP THE SIFTING!) back into large bowl. Divide into mason jars, if you wish.
4. To make the hot cocoa, stir 1/3 c of the mix into 1 c of hot milk.
5. For the Boozy twist, stir in 2 tsp creme de menthe, 2 tsp creme de cacao, and 1 tsp chocolate liquor. Ratio is totally changeable depending on your preference.
Don't forget the whipped cream and/or marshmallows!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf

The end of the semester approaches...
And with it comes chaos. Lots and lots of chaos.
But last week came with this chocolate chip pumpkin loaf! My momma made it for me. It makes two loaves, and is best served a la mode :)
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf
Yield: 2 loaves
Flour- 3 c
Sugar- 3 c
Baking soda- 2 tsp
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Ground clove- 1 tsp
Ground allspice- 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon- 1 tsp
Canola oil- 1 c
4 eggs
Water- 2/3 c
Canned pumpkin- 2 c
Semi sweet chocolate chips- one 12 oz package
1. Mix together all ingredients except pumpkin and chocolate chips. Blend well.
2. Add pumpkin to the mixture, then chocolate chips.
3. Divide mixture between two greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pans.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Week + Wisdom Teeth

Happy almost Thanksgiving!
I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday, all four of them. I'm still pretty loopy, and this post may reflect that :P

I made these brownies two weeks ago, for Chris's last football game. We've decided to start eating healthier, so these were our last hurrah- he requested "quadruple bypass brownies," and these were the most fattening I could think of.

These are my favorite brownies plus peanut butter yumness. If you're looking to mix it up this Thanksgiving, bring these to the table! I'm willing to bet you already have most of the ingredients in your house. I doubled the recipe and made a variety of sizes- one 9" round cake pan, a dozen mini cupcakes and a dozen regular cupcakes. Whenever I double recipes, I still make them in separate batches. Bad experiences... But it's your call! 
Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups- 4-6 (up to you)
Unsalted butter- 1 1/4 c (2 1/2 sticks)
Sugar- 2 1/2 c
Unsweetened cocoa powder- 1 1/2 c + 4 tbsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Large eggs- 4, cold
Flour- 1 c
{Peanut Butter Frosting- adapted from}
Butter- 1/2 c (1 stick)
Creamy peanut butter- 1 c
Powdered sugar- 2 c
Cream- 1/3 c
1. Chop peanut butter cups into small pieces and stick in freezer (~10-15 minutes).
2. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (on medium heat) and stir until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot.
3. Remove bowl from saucepan and let cool for ~5 minutes. 
4. Stir in vanilla with a spoon or spatula; add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. At this point it should look shiny and thick. 
5. Stir in flour until completely blended, then stir vigorously, ~40 strokes.
6. Prep baking pans. If using a cake pan, line with aluminum foil. If using cupcake tins, line with paper cupcake liners (give 'em a quick hit of Pam to make it easier to peel after baking).
7. Baking pans: spread batter evenly and press chopped up peanut butter cups into the middle. Cupcake tins: spoon batter 1/2 full of each tin, then press peanut butter cups in the middle, then cover with additional batter.
8. Bake at 325 degrees F for ~20 minutes (pan) or ~15 minutes (tins). 
{Peanut Butter Frosting}
9. Cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed in an electric mixing bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar, then cream, until you reach the desired consistency. I wanted mine to be thin so as not to overpower the brownies. 
Enjoy, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Glazed Apple Cider Donuts

These donuts are wonderful!
I can't even put words together to describe their amazingness.

This is not a quick recipe. You'll need to block out at least 2 hours to do 'em right, and trust me, you want to do 'em right.

Make these this weekend. Enjoy a couple, then get them the heck out of your kitchen, because you will want to eat ALL of them. Not that this comes from experience or anything...

Apple Cider Donuts
Slightly adapted from The Washington Post via Ambrosia Baking
Yield: ~2 dozen donuts + donut holes
Apple cider- 1 c + 2 tbsp, separated
All-purpose flour- 3 1/2, plus extra for the work surface
Baking powder- 2 tsp
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Ground nutmeg- 1/8 tsp
Unsalted butter- 4 tbsp, room temp
Granulated sugar- 1 c
Large eggs- 2, room temp
Buttermilk- 1/2 c
Powdered sugar- 1 c
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Pour 1 c apple cider into a small saucepan, and cook over medium or medium-low heat until it is reduced to about 1/4 c, ~20-30 minutes. Take off the heat and stick in the fridge to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, and whisk together. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
4. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the reduced apple cider and buttermilk, mixing only until just combined.
5. Add the flour mixture to the batter, and continue to mix just until combined- be careful not to overbeat!
6. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and sprinkle with flour. Scoop the dough onto the sheet, and sprinkle with more flour; flatten with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Stick the sheet in the freezer until it has hardened slightly, ~20-30 minutes.
7. Pull dough out of the freezer, and cut the donuts using a donut cutter. Place on another baking sheet lined with wax paper, and stick in the fridge for another 20 minutes.
8. Add vegetable oil to a deep-sided pan- the oil should reach about 3 inches high. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F (use a candy thermometer). Have a plate or two ready lined with paper towels.
9. While the oil is heating, make the apple cider glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp apple cider until smooth. A little extra apple cider might be necessary; you don't want this glaze to be too thick.
10. When the oil is heated, carefully add two or three donuts to the pot (depending on the size of the pot). The fry time will vary, I had them in the pot for 1 1/2 minutes on average. Don't let them get darker than golden brown. Remove from oil and put on paper towel-lined plate to drain. Dip warm donuts in the glaze, and serve immediately.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Healthy Food

I cannot take pictures of the food I'm writing about because I'm currently stuffing my face with it.
I'm deviating from my typical sugar-and-butter-fest to tell you about something healthy. That's right, healthy.

It's called Crispy Autumn Kale Salad, and it's from my favorite food blog, How Sweet It Is.

Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, get the hankies ready. Your baby officially loves salad.

After 21 years of HATING vegetables, I have finally found a salad that I find delightful. And a green leafy vegetable I actually get along with!

As the great Ron Swanson once said about salad, "as I am not a rabbit, no I will not have any."
I'm pretty sure even Ron Swanson would love this salad
Seriously, don't ask questions, just go get the ingredients for this salad.
Crispy Autumn Kale Salad
1 large bunch of kale, torn from stems and torn into pieces
Olive oil- 2 tsp
Fresh apple cider- 2 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Pepper- 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg- 1/4 tsp
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 honeycrisp apple, peeled and diced
Cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
Pine nuts- 1/4 c
Goat cheese- 2 oz, crumbled
Pomegranate arils- 1/4 c (Note: don't handle a pomegranate while wearing anything but dark clothes)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place kale in a large bowl and massage with olive oil, apple cider, 1/8 tsp salt, nutmeg and pepper, for 1-2 minutes.
2. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Toss well and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly crispy but not golden.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and the fat is rendered (~2 minutes), then remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel.
4. Add shallot, garlic, sweet potatoes and apples to the skillet, and toss with cinnamon and remaining salt and nutmeg. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
5. In a small saucepan, add pine nuts and toast over low heat for 5-6 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
6. Combine kale with apples and sweet potatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese and pomegranate arils.
7. Stuff your face.

We'll go back to the super-bad-for-you-and-your-heart recipes tomorrow :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Hello friends!
I hope everyone who was in Hurricane Sandy's path is okay. We got a little rain and wind in the Shenandoah Valley, nothing major. My thoughts are with all of you who were affected.
Sorry I've been MIA. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are reeeaaalllyyy intense and stressful. Oy vey. I'm locking myself in my apartment for the next 48 hours. Meep.
I made this delicious cheesecake last weekend. There are several steps, but it's fairly easy. And it's amazing!
It's the perfect way to continue my apple kick. I'm making apple cider donuts tomorrow. Yum.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Crust, cheesecake, apples, streusel courtesy of Closet Cooking; Caramel sauce courtesy of Southern Living via Dough Puncher
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c (1 stick), room temp
Brown sugar- 1/4 c, tightly packed
Salt- 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
Sugar- 1/4 c
Cream cheese- 8 oz
1 large egg
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
*2 Granny Smith apples- peeled, cored, cut into bite sized pieces
Sugar- 1 tbsp
Cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg- 1/8 tsp
{Streusel Topping}
Unsalted butter- 6 tbsp, room temp
Flour- 1/2 c
Old-fashioned oats- 1/2 c
Brown sugar- 1/2 c, tightly packed
Cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
{Caramel Sauce}
Brown sugar- 1 c, tightly packed
Butter- 1/2 c
Whipping cream or evaporated milk- 1/4 c
Honey or maple syrup- 1/4 c
1. Combine butter, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon and rub together until crumbly.
2. Press the mixture into the bottom of an **8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown, then set aside and let cool.
4. Beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
5. Beat in the egg followed by the vanilla.
6. Pour mixture into the baking dish on top of the crust.
7. Mix the apples, cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle on top of the cream cheese layer.
{Streusel Topping}
8. Combine butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon and rolled oats and rub together until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the apples.
9. Bake at 350 degrees F until the cheesecake has set, about 25-35 minutes. Let cool.
{Caramel Sauce}
10. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
11. Spread caramel sauce over cheesecake.
*I only had Fuji apples, so I reduced the amount of sugar in the apple mixture to just 1 tbsp.
**I used a 9x13 pan and it worked fine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homemade oreos

Let's play truth or dare, shall we?
Truth: I am a lifelong Oreo lover.
The Dare? To make some by myself. From scratch. Omg.
Challenge ACCEPTED!
I made these for one of my oldest friends, Sydney. It was her birthday on Friday, and I wanted to send her something special. We don't get to see each other super often, but every time we do, it's like no time has passed :)
This is us in 5th grade :) That's me on the right. You can tell it was the '90s... look at that bandana!
Happy Birthday, Syd! <3
Homemade Oreos with Creme Filling
Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
Yield: ~20 sandwich cookies
Flour- 1 1/4 c
Unsweetened Dutch process cocoa- 1/2 c
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Sugar- 1 to 1 1/2 c (use less if you don't want the cookies to be super sweet)
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c plus 2 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks), room temperature
1 large egg
{Creme filling}
Unsalted butter- 1/4 c (1/2 stick)
Vegetable shortening (Crisco)- 1/4 c
Sifted powdered sugar- 2 c
Vanilla extract- 2 tsp
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Process/beat, make sure it's combined well!
3. With the mixer running, add the butter, then the egg. Continue beating/processing until the dough forms a mass.
4. Take rounded teaspoons of the batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, approx. 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, lightly press the dough to flatten.
5. Bake for 8-9 minutes (8 if you want them a little soft/chewy), rotating pans once for evenness. Set on baking rack to cool completely.
6. {For the creme filling} Beat butter and shortening in a mixing bowl until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, then add vanilla. Turn mixer on high and beat for 2 minutes.
7. Place creme filling in a pastry bag fitted with a jumbo pastry tip. Pipe onto half of the cooled cookies, then sandwich them with their matches. Serve with a glass of milk!!!

I used Marshmallow Buttercream for one batch, then the Creme Filling for the other. Critics are pretty evenly split on which they prefer. I think they're both incredible! Just make sure you serve them with milk!

This is the process of me dunking and eating one cookie. I've eaten several since, but shhhh! That's our little secret :)

CRAP! The cookie fell! STAY CALM!
Phew! Balance! Then consumption. NOM TIME!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple Cider Margaritas

It's FALL! And you know what that means... APPLE TIME!
You may recall how I went a little crazy over apples last year... (Apple PieCinnamon Apple Pie CupcakesApple Cider Pancakes, then later, Apple Donut Muffins).
See, I can't eat apples. Not unless they've been heated, cooked, baked, etc. It's the same way with me and bananas and carrots. It's weird, but that's why I love cooking and baking with apples so much- they're so delicious, and it's the only way I can eat them!

I made those apple donut muffins again recently:

And I also made these Apple Cider Margaritas:
Recipe courtesy of my most favoritest blog ever, How Sweet It Is.
Some of my friends tease me because I need to use a measuring cup to make drinks. The thing is, I didn't start drinking until I turned 21. No, really. I only drink occasionally now that I am 21; there's none of that college binge-drinking happening here.
So, unlike many of my fellow young adults, I'm a little bit behind as far as mixing drinks goes. Which is okay with me, because it gives me an excuse to try delicious recipes like these!
Seriously, you gotta try these.
Apple Cider Margaritas
(I multiplied the original recipe by 4, I think it's easier to make them all at once)
Sweet apple cider- 20 oz
Gold tequila- 4 oz
Grand marnier- 4 oz
Orange segments and apple slices
Cinnamon sugar + cinnamon sticks, for garnish
1. Spoon some cinnamon sugar onto a small plate. Run an orange slice around the rims of the margarita glasses, then press against the sugar to coat the rims. Add a couple ice cubes to each glass, as well as one cinnamon stick and one apple slice.
2. In a large pitcher, stir sweet apple cider, tequila, and grand marnier. Add a couple of orange slices, and stir. Pour into glasses, and use cinnamon sticks to swirl. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Caramel Brownies

I know I've been AWOL/MIA recently. The truth is, this week's been kinda crazy.
I had my first job interview this morning. *screams*
I've had interviews for internships, and one when I sold Cutco (yes, I did the "knife thing," and I did quite well). But this was my first "real" job interview. My mom is an incredible businesswoman, so we spent an hour last night preparing. I was pretty nervous. Sugar always helps me, even if it makes me a little jittery. Focusing on sugar instead of anxiety is wayyyy better in my book :)
Chris loves caramel, so when I saw these on Annie's Eats, I knew I had to make them. They're delicious by themselves, even better with milk, and out of this world incredible with ice cream.
I've been a bit discouraged by previous attempts to make caramel, so I bought some caramel sauce from Whole Foods over the summer, and I used that instead. I'm posting Annie's recipe for her caramel sauce, in case you don't have access to a Whole Foods, or in case you want to DIY :)

Caramel Brownies
Courtesy of Annie's Eats
Yield: One 9x13 pan of brownies
Note: this is not a quick recipe, it takes at least an hour to do it right.
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks)
Bittersweet chocolate- 12 oz, coarsely chopped
Sugar- 1 1/2 c
Eggs- 4, large
Vanilla extract- 1 tbsp
All-purpose flour- 1 1/4 c
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Pecans- 1 1/2 c, coarsely chopped (optional)
Semisweet chocolate chips- 1 c
(Caramel filling)
Caramel candies- 14 oz, unwrapped
Heavy cream- 1/3 c
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if it takes forever to heat up). Line 9x13" baking pan with foil and grease foil well with butter or cooking spray.
2. Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until it's completely melted and smooth. (You could also microwave it, but I don't like risking it with chocolate.)
3. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Whisk in flour and salt until just combined.
4. Spread half of the brownie batter inn the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, if using chopped pecans, add them to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 
6. Make the caramel filling. Combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir until smooth. Stir in half of the pecans, and spread immediately over the bottom brownie layer. 
7. Pour the remaining brownie batter on top (make sure you do it as evenly as possible, or spreading it will be a nightmare), and sprinkle chocolate chips and remaining pecans on top. Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool for at least half an hour. Slice and serve. They also taste amazing refrigerated!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Grasshopper Tart

This is a big week for my London mates. One birthday Monday, one Tuesday. We all gathered Tuesday night to celebrate, so I made two treats. The first is this Grasshopper Tart.

Grasshopper Tart
Slightly adapted from Diamonds for Dessert
Chocolate cookies- 32 (pairs), with the icing scraped out
Unsalted butter- 5 tbsp, melted and cooled
Egg yolks- 3
Sugar- 1/3 c
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Heavy cream- 1 3/4 c, divided
Gelatin- 2 1/2 tsp
Creme de menthe- 1/4 c
Creme de cacao- 2 tbsp
Green food coloring (optional)
Mini chocolate chips- 1 c
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray the bottom of an 11-inch tart pan (with a removable bottom) with nonstick spray.
2. Melt butter in microwave and set in fridge to cool for ~5 minutes. Crush the cookies, preferably in a food processor. Stir crumbs and butter together, and press into tart pan. Make sure you press up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. In a small saucepan, add 1/2 c of the cream. Sprinkle gelatin on top, and let it sit for 5 minutes. While waiting, whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a heatproof bowl until pale yellow. Set aside.
4. Take the saucepan and cook over low heat until all the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is almost simmering (steam will begin rising), about two minutes. Take off the heat.
5. Whisk a few tablespoons of the hot cream mix into the egg yolk mix. Once incorporated, pour and whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and place over low heat. Continuously stir for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture can coat the back of a spoon. Take off the heat.
6. Pour into a large heatproof bowl (I used the same one I mixed the eggs in), and stir in creme de menthe and creme de cacao, as well as green food coloring (if your creme de menthe isn't already green). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in fridge until thickened but not totally set, about 20-30 minutes.
7. While you're waiting, beat remaining 1 1/4 c whipped cream in the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, until there are soft peaks.
8. Take mint filling out of fridge and stir in the whipped cream in two batches, then fold in 1/2 c of the mini chocolate chips. Dollop filling onto the cooled tart crust and smooth it out. Sprinkle remaining chips on top, and chill for 6 hours, until set.

Photo courtesy of my friend Amanda :)


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chocolate Tarts

It's been a long week. I'm seriously wiped. Most college kids head out on Saturday nights to get into all sorts of trouble. Me? I'm watching an SVU marathon, editing pictures of food, and studying for an exam. I am a wild party girl.
You know what my parents are doing tonight? They're at the beach. It's their new thing, they wait til I go back to school in the fall, then they go on vacation. That's right, Mom and Dad, you just got called out on my food blog :P
I shared my baking list with you for the school year earlier, and I've checked a couple items off: vanilla macaronsCat's handbag cake (sculpted cake), and now, chocolate tarts.
The recipe called for a 9-inch tart pan, but mine is 11" and I wasn't sure what it would do to the crust (it was my first tart after all!). I had two tartlett pans, so I made six baby tarts. It was quite delicious. I gave this one to my friend Kelsey for her birthday (shout-out!), one to Chris, and two to my roommates. Where did those other two tartletts go? I wouldn't know anything about that!

I made the strawberry milk whipped cream that was suggested, and it was delicious, but I think I like the regular whipped cream a little more with this. All up to personal preference, I recommend you buy some Nestle Strawberry Milk Powder anyway, just cuz it's yummy :)
Dark Chocolate Tart with Whipped Cream
Courtesy of Dough Puncher
Yield: One 9" tart, or six baby tarts
Graham crackers- 9
Sugar- 1/4 c
Unsalted butter- 5 tbsp, melted
Bittersweet chocolate- 8 oz, chopped
Whipping cream- 1 1/4 c
Eggs- 2
Vanilla- 1 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
(Strawberry Whipped Cream)
Whipping cream- 1 c
Nestle strawberry milk powder- 2-3 tbsp (depending on desired strength)
1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if your oven takes fifty years to heat up like mine, do this before you start the crust). Use a food processor to grind graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add butter and sugar and grind until combined.
2. Press crust into tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes (do not adjust even if you make baby tarts). Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
3. Make the filling: Place chopped up chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat 1 1/4 c whipping cream over medium heat until it boils. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes before whisking to combine.
4. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture until combined. Pour into crust and bake 18-25 minutes (12-15 if they're baby tarts), until edges are set and center wiggles a little. Let cool, refrigerate overnight, or at least a few hours.
5. To make the whipped cream, stir strawberry milk powder into whipping cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high until it reaches a consistency like shaving cream. Spread or pipe onto cooled chocolate tart, and finish off with rainbow sprinkles.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Donuts, Part 2

So there's this blog that I'm obsessed with. More like I'm kind of obsessed with the author. Not in a stalker kind of way, in a I-totally-want-to-be-her-when-I-grow-up way.
Jessica at How Sweet It Is rocks. She posts almost every day, she cooks and bakes and comes up with so many awesome recipes! I get almost all of my dinner recipes from her. Here's a list of the ones I've used:
Crunchy Oven-Fried Cheese Ravioli
Creamy Caprese Pasta
Grilled Tomato Basil Chicken
Crunchy Chicken Fingers
Clams Casino Pizza
Crispy Shrimp Tacos
Hot Blueberry Cheddar Dip with Toasty Bread
Hot Fudge Root Beer Float Cupcakes (the first recipe I ever used from HSII), totally changed my life

And now, Glazed Blueberry Cake Donuts.
These donuts are amazing. I'm 100% positive I'll have a sugar crash in about an hour, but they're so worth it.
I put most of these donuts in my apartment's lobby, but there are three sitting here taunting me. They're for my roommates, and my resistance is weakening by the moment. In other words, if you're reading this, roommates, come back and save me from myself!!!
Glazed Blueberry Cake Donuts
Courtesy of How Sweet It Is
All-purpose flour- 2 1/4 c, plus more for surface
Granulated sugar- 1/3 c
Baking powder- 1 tbsp
Cinnamon- 1 tsp
Nutmeg- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter- 4 tbsp, melted
Lowfat milk- 1/2 c
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Vanilla extract- 2 tsp
Fresh blueberries- 1 1/2 c (make sure you remove all the stems first!)
Oil for frying
1. In a small bowl, combine egg, milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter, quickly stirring to disperse it and form small crumbs.
3. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Before it completely comes together, add the blueberries, mashing some as you go along, and bring the dough together with your hands.
4. Form dough into a large ball, and roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut donuts using a donut cutter or biscuit cutter (use a small lid or frosting coupler to cut out the center). Make sure you've cut ALL your donuts before you start heating the oil.
5. Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer, bringing it to 375 degrees. While you're waiting, prepare the Glaze...
{2 c powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp water
1 drop of vanilla extract
Whisk until smooth, if it's too thin add more sugar, if it's too thick add more water.}
6. Fry donuts 1-2 at a time, for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side. Check first donut by cutting into the center to make sure the dough is cooked through. Dunk entire donut in glaze while still hot, and let sit to cool before serving.
If you don't have a donut cutter, here's one from Williams-Sonoma: 
ENJOY!!! And maybe eat some scrambled eggs, to get some protein and prevent a total sugar meltdown. I'm just looking out for your well-being :)

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