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Peanut Butter Blondies

Hi guys!

I present to you today: the blondie. For these particular little guys, think as if shortbread and a peanut butter cookie had a love child. This is pretty much what you’d get. They were delightfully crumbly and addicting and were adored by gluten-eating and GF individuals alike. This recipe is very loosely based off of Food52’s with some changes here and there. The almond extract really brings a rich nuttiness to the cookie and the coconut flour soaks up a lot of the moisture, making these more of a shortbread-y texture than your typical blondie. I recommend these for a crowd. Simple and universally yummy.

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2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 c. natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp. almond extract
2 c. coconut flour
A generous pinch of sea salt
3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper. Melt your butter in the microwave–or, as Food52 suggests, if you’re fancy, brown it–and wait for it to cool down. Once it’s no longer hot, whisk the butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add your room temperature eggies one at a time, then your almond extract and peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in your dry ingredients gradually and, once completely combined, add your chocolate. Spread your batter (should be thick, so do not fret!) evenly into the prepared pan with a spatula and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. (Now is the time you can sneak one before you are forced to share them with everyone else.)

This recipe was a hit. I’d absolutely make these again.

In other news…can you believe it’s almost FALL? *Cue excessive canned pumpkin buying/hoarding* I can’t even tell you how excited I am to make soups and stews and curries and everything with more cinnamon in it than should be allowed. You can’t stop me. Yippeeee!

Love,
Emily


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Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Hiiii loves,

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It’s FAAAALL. Well. Kinda. Not quite. It’s technically still summer for the next couple of days. But mentally (and according to these cookies), I am 100% in fall-mode. As a California baby, I’m especially enthusiastic about this season. I really just love being cozy, and fall is arguably the coziest season of all (winter crosses the line from cozy to cold, in my personal opinion). I am all for fall baking/cooking, too. It’s by far my favorite. Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, squash, cinnamon, pumpkin, CINNAMON. You get the picture. These lovely little cookies pretty much incorporate everything I love. Pumpkin, dark chocolate, and cinnamon, all combined in a delectable, chewy little morsel. Mmmmmm these cookies are yum. I can’t wait to eat one for breakfast-dessert when I get home. And probably another for lunch-dessert later.

1/2 c. or 1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate

Start to make the dough by mixing together the sugars and the butter until there aren’t any more lumps. Next, whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips as best you can–the butter will probably make it a little hard for the chocolate chips to stick to the dough since it’s so buttery (yum), but do your best. Stick the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you bake. (Ahem: That’s important! Don’t skip it!) Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease or line your baking sheets and place balls of dough about 1″ apart. (I got about 18 cookies here; you could get more or less depending on how big your cookies are and such.) Squish them a little bit flat–they won’t flatten much at all while baking–and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. They won’t look done, but they are! By “not done”, I mean extremely doughy. I promise they’ll firm up quite a bit as they cool. Let them cool for a while on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.

I brought these to Boston with me for a little weekend trip and they were certainly appreciated. My two lovely boys and I ate 3 a day until they were gone, so they didn’t last long. Not to toot my own horn (okay, maybe a little…I’m proud of these cookies) buuuut I was told by my toughest critic (and others) that these cookies are his favorite thing I have baked to date. Welllll, okay, his favorite thing that he has tried at least. To be honest, that is probably a pretty good indicator of how delicious they are, seeing as he’s tried probably 60% at least of the food I’ve made. I rarely get compliments from this individual, so this is a big deal, guys.

Prepare for more pumpkin. I guarantee you it’s COMING.

Love, Emily

PS: THIS PHOTO IS SO TERRIBLE I AM SORRY I am honestly so embarrassed. It’s heinous. I don’t have my Nikon and it was nighttime when I took this on my phone. I was in a hurry and ate them all before proper photos could be taken sooo this will have to do I suppose. Don’t judge me.


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Dark Chocolate Brownies with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello my friends!

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I’m baaaack in the US and I could not be happier to be reunited with my kitchen. I have been cooking/baking up a storm since I arrived.. Most of my kitchen adventures have been experimental though–some of which have turned out not-so-amazing–which is why this is my first post back. Also I’ve been back for weeks and I haven’t written anything yet ooooops. It’s just so easy to put off sitting down and writing a blog post. But I’ve now made 2 amazing things that I absolutely MUST SHARE; they’re tears-in-my-eyes good (brownies now, blondies to follow). I’m nearly drooling just thinking about them.

Apparently I’ve been on a cookie bar kick, which is odd since I rarely make things like brownies or blondies. These brownies were for Father’s Day (eep that was a long time ago and I’m just writing this now oooooops) which apparently I’ve accidentally made an annual tradition. These were better than last year’s though. Different, for sure, but better. These ones were also flourless (see first ever blog post for other recipe), but these were definitely a little more exciting. I took my dad’s love of the deepest darkest chocolatey thing you could imagine, combined it with his love for coconut and his request for a cheesecake for Father’s Day (after I’d already started making brownies…oopsies sorry!) et voilà, I came up with this lovely little combination of GLUTEN FREE (if you’re into that) dark chocolate brownies with a coconut cream cheese layer and topped off with a semisweet chocolate shell. Shell? Glaze? Top layer? You get the point. There’s chocolate on top. In other words, yum.

I got the idea from this recipe for buckeye brownies, but I left out the peanut buttery layer and added my own twist. These were great. Make ’em.

Brownies :

3 oz. 100% cacao baking chocolate, melted (<3)
1 c. coconut oil, melted
2 1/2 c. coconut sugar
4 eggs
12 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. plus 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. almond meal

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting :

2 c. shredded coconut, processed to coconut butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Chocolate layer :

8 oz. semisweet/dark/whatever chocolate
1/2 tsp. coconut oil, melted

Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350° as per usual.

Combine the melted chocolate, melted coconut oil, and coconut sugar together in a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg. Add the salt and the vanilla and mix again. Sift the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and almond meal together in a small bowl and add to the wet mixture. Once combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle. Set on a cooling rack and step away from the brownies so you can make your next layer. Maybe even stick it in the fridge so you’re not tempted (that’s what I did).

Process the dry, unsweetened coconut in a food processor until the oils are released and it turns into a spreadable consistency. Add your cream cheese and pulse until combined. Spread this “frosting” over the cool-ish (but mostly cool, please!) brownies and prepare for the final step (!!!)

Melt the chocolate for the top layer and add the coconut oil. Pour the chocolate evenly over the top of the coconut frosting layer. Stick it in the fridge until the top layer sets, cut into them, take a bite, die of happiness. Repeat.

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It feels good to be back :’)

Love, Emily

PS: OOH ooh also forgot to mention that yeah, these are brownies, so they’re sugary and rich and the definition of decadent, but all the ingredients are healthy and natural and wonderful in every way. No refined sugars! No flour! Etc! So you can feel a little less guilty eating them. Right? (Hear hear!)


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Dark Chocolate Raspberry Birthday Cake

Hi friends,

Okay hi. I know it’s been a while…I’ve been busy! Kinda. Maybe just lazy. Sooooo anyways  today was my dad’s birthday. As you know from my Father’s Day flourless brownies post, he loves chocolate almost more than life itself. So naturally, I made the darkest chocolate cake I could find with rich chocolate frosting and a raspberry filling. Ummmmm yes. It just as good as it sounds, maybe better. Okay, it took forever. Like, literally hours. (As if I was doing anything else today…lalala) But it was soooo incredibly worth it. I would absolutely make it again. Regardless of the blood, sweat and tears that were involved. Okay maybe not blood. But there was certainly sweat (chopping chocolate is HARD and it was HUMID, okay) and there were almost, kinda tears. Okay so just sweat. My point is, it took a long time and there was a lot of “doing” involved. As in, taking care of three separate recipes. ALL IN ALL this was a lot of work, but I did appreciate the outcome. Heads up: prepare yourself for a lot of cake preparation pictures, I got a little camera happy. I was working on this all day, after all. This cake was my pride and joy!

This chocolate cake is aaabsolutely diviiiine. It is incredibly moist (ew I hate this word, but it is the most applicable…sorry), rich, and all in all, awesome. I found the recipe for the cake itself on food.com (I have no idea, thanks Google) and the recipe for the frosting and the raspberry filling on Smitten Kitchen (shocking, I know). I altered the recipe slightly to make three layers instead of just two, and I halved the frosting recipe so I could use the raspberry deliciousness between the layers and adapted it slightly. Here’s what I did:

Step 1: CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350.

3 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. flour

1 c. baking cocoa

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

3/4 c. vegetable oil

3 tsp. vanilla

1-1 1/2 c. boiling water

First of all, grease and flour three 9″ baking pans. I only had two 9″ ones and two 10″ ones, so I had to wait for the first two to come out and cool before I could do the last one. But that’s beside the point. If you have three, lucky you! In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Afterwards, stir in the boiling water by hand. Since I had to wait for the first two layers to be done before I could even think about the last layer, I had to separate some batter so that I only put boiling water in the portion that I was just about to bake. I eyeballed about a third of it, put it in a separate bowl, and set it aside. After you mix in the water, the batter may seem like it’s a little too thin. It’s not! I promise! I was worried too (I mixed in about 1/2 c. per layer) because it seemed like it was a little too runny, but the cake turned out great, so the boiling water clearly does something right. Bake for 30-35 minutes (32ish was perfect for me) and let the cake cool on a wire rack.

Step 2: RASPBERRY FILLING

18 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed (I used 1 1/2 12 oz. bags and it was the perfect amount)

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

Puree the berries in a blender, food processor, or whatever gadget you happen to have that chops/blends/purees. Strain the puree into a saucepan (to remove as many seeds as possible) and add sugar and cornstarch, heating over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and let it cool.

Step 3: FROSTING (my personal favorite)

1/2 lb. (8 oz.) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used about a cup and a half of chocolate chips, but baking chocolate works great too I’m sure)

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. honey (the recipe called for light corn syrup, this is all I had and it worked beautifully)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Heat cream, sugar, and honey over medium-low heat until it comes to a boil, whisking until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, whisking together until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the pan, stirring until the butter is melted throughout. Transfer the frosting to a separate bowl so it can cool, stirring occasionally. In order to speed up the cooling process (since, of course, I am extremely impatient), I stuck the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes, pulling it out every once in a while to stir. Don’t leave it in there too long or the frosting will harden too much to spread!

Once the layers are out of the oven and cooled, put them on top of one another with half of the raspberry filling spread between each layer.

Cover the whole outside of the cake with the beautiful chocolate frosting (it should be juuust the perfect amount) and there you have it! A beautiful, triple layered masterpiece.

Happy birthday to yooooou, Dad.

Not that I’m superstitious or anything, but frankly I’m a little surprised I made it through this cake-making process on a Friday the 13th without any disasters. Yaaaay

Love, Emily