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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

27 Apr

I know I make chocolate chip cookies quite often on this blog. It’s just so simple, a crowd pleaser. This one is definitely one of my favorites. The cookies are soft, plump yet airy, just the right amount of sweetness and a little nutty from the ground oatmeal. It’s quite perfect, actually.

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I have been using this “top secret”(but not really) recipe for about 8 years now. It never fails me. Sometimes, I eliminate the nuts, add in some raisins, whatever. They turn out good any way.

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So there is some history to this recipe. These cookies are actually called the Neiman Marcus cookie. There is a whole back story/legend behind this special recipe (fine it here). I won’t get into it. You be the judge. I will just share the recipe.

Again, recipe from here.

Ingredients:

2 cups butter

4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups brown sugar

5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)

24 oz. chocolate chips

1 tsp. salt

1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)

4 eggs

2 tsp. baking powder 3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

2 tsp. vanilla

Direction:

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet..Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

 

Blueberry Crumb Cake

19 Mar

So crumb cakes, eh?

I love crumb cakes. They are light yet scrumptious, fluffy yet buttery. Do you know what I mean?

For some reason, crumb cakes always remind me of summer days down the shore. It makes the best breakfast, summer or winter, paired with coffee or hot tea. Oh, and it’s also a dessert, and snack, I guess.

I found this Ina Garten recipe for blueberry crumb cake. I had to make it. I love the role blueberries play in this delicious good. Sweet yet tart, combined with the heavenly crumbs with a hint of cinnamon. It’s quite perfect.

IMG_6194Ina Garten’s Blueberry Crumb Cake

Ingredients:

For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

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Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

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Irish Soda Bread

14 Mar

In case you care, I am not Irish. However, I decided to channel my inner Irish and made some Irish Soda Bread. Perfect timing for St. Patrick’s Day!

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To be honest, I have only had Irish Soda Bread once; the Shoprite kind. Yup. I know. So truthfully, I really don’t know or remember what it is supposed to taste like. The version of Irish Soda Bread that I made were quite okay in my opinion. The crust was actually the best part- crumbly, light, with a hint of citrus. The inside of the bread was thicker than I typically like, but not too bad. This recipe turned out pretty good in my non-Irish opinion!

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I followed my girl Ina Garten’s recipe for the most part. I did made some alterations based on what I did/did not have. For example, instead of buttermilk, I used half buttermilk, and half sour cream. I replaced orange zest with lemon zest. Lastly, I used dried cranberry (Craisins) instead of dried currants.

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Copied and Adapated from Ina Garten’s Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 cup cold buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup dry cranberries

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

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3. With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, sour cream, egg, and lemon zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the dry cranberries ith 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.

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4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
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5. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

IMG_6181Hope you enjoy this recipe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing

1 Mar

Peanut butter and chocolate are a classic combination. The nuttiness of peanut butter and the richness of chocolate just never go wrong together. I can now hear “We go together like  rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong”, Grease fans, anyone? No? okay.

I made these moist dark chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter icing with a pleasant surprise- mini Reese’s cups on the bottom.

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup flour

2 cup sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup almond milk (can replace with butter milk)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup warm coffee

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tin with cupcake cups. Place one mini Reese’s in each cup.

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2. Combine and mix in all dry ingredients- flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a separate large bowl, with electronic mixer, mix together eggs, almond milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and coffee.

4. Continue using the electronic mixer, mix in dry ingredients to the wet batch until incorporated.

5. Pour and divide batter in cupcake tin. Fill up about 3/4 full.

6. Bake for between 15-18 minutes.

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Peanut Butter Icing

Ingredients:

1 cup confectioner sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup milk or heavy cream

With an electronic mixer, mix together all ingredients until fluffy and smooth.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, ice the frosting on top and decorate with sprinkles as you like.

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Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

17 Feb

So I made chocolate chip cookies, again.

I can’t help it, it’s a classic, you know?

This time, I followed and modified Chef Michael Mina’s recipe that I discovered on Refinery 29. The finishing product was delicious- crunchy, sweet, and fulfilling.

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and diced
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using hand-held electronic mixer or stand-mixer with paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar.

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3. Once the mixture is fluffy (after beating for about 5 minutes), add in eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and continue to mix until combined.

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4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.

5. Turn the mixer on and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the mix.

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6. Once combined, fold in chocolate chips until they are incorporated.

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7. Roll the dough to about a size of a golf ball (2 inches). Put the dough on nonstick baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

8. Bake cookies in the lower rack of the oven for about 15 minutes.

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9. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and serve warm.

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ENJOY!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes

18 Dec

I have been addicted to Pinterest. Not a habit I am proud of as it consumes a lot of my time. The upside of my addiction is that I have discovered a lot of good stuff. Yummy and crafty new projects are awaiting me over my winter break and I am so excited for them!

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I discovered this awesome pumpkin cupcakes recipe through Pinterest, and had to make these treats immediately! I took it to a party and got such positive reviews for them!

Makes about 20 cupckaes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a pan. Low and slow until butter is browned.

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2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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3. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, mix together cooled butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin puree. After the mixture is combined, add in the dry ingredients.

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IMG_59384. Line muffin cups into muffin tins. Pour batter evenly into the tins about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes.

Cinnamon Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and beat in 1 cup of confectioners sugar at a time. Beat in cinnamon and vanilla extract until mixture is smooth.

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Enjoy!

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Nutella Banana Brioche Bread Pudding

5 Dec

photo

This, is the only picture I have.

I am sorry.

I was in such a hurry when I made it that I only took a picture with my phone. On Instagram.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make it though. Because you are going to love this scrumptious dish. For breakfast, for brunch, for dessert. Hell, you can even eat this for lunch and dinner. Make sure you refrain yourself because you might indulge in a lot of pieces. Then you wouldn’t feel too good about it afterwards. I am sorry.

This Nutella banana brioche bread pudding will make you very happy about life. It will make you forget all the sorrow from your past and make you think everything will be a-okay in the future. Cloudy, sweet, creamy, custardy, warm. It’s the best day-after holiday brunch.

I must say, though, that the budget can be a bit high when you add things up. Between the egg challah($6), bottle of hazelnut liqueur($20), cream, whole milk, 8 eggs. You might have to be mentally prepared yourself to spend a bit with this dish. But it will be worth it. You will make your family very happy on Christmas day, indulging this goodness while opening presents in the morning.

So, what more can I say? Just make it. The recipe is here.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian in Germany

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