Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

My boyfriend and I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. He’s fantastic at the “real food” thing and figuring out which spices and seasonings work well together, all the while not measuring a thing. On the other hand, I’m such a measurement stickler. I will try and help him make dinner sometimes and he’ll tell me to “throw in a dash of garlic powder” and I will immediately ask well how much is a dash? A teaspoon? A tablespoon? When you’ve spent years learning that if you put in 1/4 instead of 1/2 of a tsp of baking powder, your dessert will turn out completely wrong, a “dash” is not exactly a part of your vocabulary.

So over the past year or two I’ve been watching him, and I think I’m starting to get a little bit better, but I’m still a sucker for my measuring cups and instructions. :)

This past weekend we invited a group of friends over and had a fried chicken dinner party. He made the chicken, and I focused on dessert (brownies and ice cream) and cornbread. Lastly, we had each friend bring a side that went along with the chicken, so we ended up with garlic mashed potatoes, charred brussels sprout, swiss chard, and a salad. I think the key to a successful dinner party, when you have a kitchen as small as ours, is to assign an easy dish for each of your guests to bring, that way the kitchen doesn’t explode with dishes and ingredients. Whenever we try and do it all ourselves, we spend half of the time in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning. This way, we can actually enjoy some time with everyone.

I made these super flavorful jalapeño cornbread muffins from The Novice Chef’s blog, that I had been eyeing for a while. I personally am not big into spicy food, purely because my face and mouth get so hot even with such a small amount of spice, but I decided to give these guys a shot.

Throwing together the ingredients was so simple, and I had everything around the house except for the jalapeño and the green onions. I also am a huge fan of dishes that only require 2 dishes, I mean that is just a success in itself.

 

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I used half of a diced up jalapeño in my version, instead of the full that the original recipe called for, just because I didn’t want it to be too spicy. I garnished half of them with a slice of jalapeño, and the other half I left as is.
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I use an ice cream scooper any time that I make muffins or cupcakes because it portions out the perfect amount of batter for each tin. Instead of using muffin liners (which are wasteful and unnecessary in this case) I just sprayed the pan with cooking spray.

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Since I made these guys a few hours before eating, I popped them in the oven on a baking sheet with the other items that were warming up at about 400˚F for a few minutes right before serving.

This cornbread has so much flavor in it, unlike so many of the store bought boxes. Don’t get me wrong though, sometimes that box of Jiffy is what you crave. But these muffins truly are delicious, and the perfect paring with fried chicken.

 

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The chicken was too good to resist for even just a moment :)

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Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fine ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup whole kernel corn
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, 1 chopped and 1 sliced **(Depending on how much heat you want, alter the amount of chopped jalapeño you add into the batter)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin with either butter or spray, and set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, egg and milk. Slowly add in the dry mixture to wet mixture, scrapping down to the bottom as needed. Careful not to over mix.
  4. Gently stir in shredded cheese, corn, green onions and the chopped jalapeño. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and top each muffin with a jalapeño slice.
  5. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean.
  6. Serve warm with a slab of butter, or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Notes

Recipe from The Novice Chef Blog

 

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Updated: THE Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Many moons ago I made this Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe that I had seen so many bloggers and articles raving about. It was consistently called the “best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever have”. I mean, that is a serious thing to say, but it is true, so I felt it was my duty to share these again with you.

Since that post a year and a half ago (woah, let’s not talk about that), I have made this recipe more times than I can count. If we’re being honest, at least once a month and I’m not sick of them.

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One of the great things about the recipe is that it makes a lot of dough. For the best results, you’re supposed to let the dough sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours to let the flavors meld. Truthfully speaking, you can bake them straight out of the mixer and they’re pretty darn tasty, but I really shouldn’t tell you this because there definitely is a flavor difference in those 24 hours.

Typically, I will bake a dozen right away, because honestly who can wait? Then I let the rest hang out in the fridge or freezer until Iget a text from my mother saying she’s run out of her secret frozen stock of this cookie dough, and off they go.

The key to the perfect chocolate chip cookies…here it goes…is not using chocolate chips.

Oh, and that sea salt….mmm salt.

To get the gooey, melty, smooth chocolate inside your cookies, you must use a bar of chocolate. Chocolate chips have stabilizers in it that are there to keep it’s perfect little chip shape. So they may be good for some cookies, but if you want a cookie like the one below…buy a big Pound Plus bar of chocolate from Trader Joe’s and get to chopping.


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Updated: THE Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

51

24 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

40 minutes

Yield: About 40 cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 pounds dark chocolate, cut into chunks (The best deal is to go to Trader Joe’s and get the Pound Plus bar. It’s about $5 and great chocolate!)
  • sea salt or fleur de sel

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together your butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla and mix.
  3. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, until just moistened. Fold in your chocolate until evenly added throughout the dough.
  4. EITHER Press plastic wrap against the dough, making sure it is completely covered, OR scoop into balls. Refrigerate over night (DONT SKIP THIS!) (preferably for at least 24 hours, or as long as 72 hours)
  5. When you are ready to bake, bring the dough to room temperature so that you can scoop it out, and preheat your oven to 350º F. Line baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Scoop your dough out onto the sheets (I use a medium sized ice cream scoop. It is inbetween a melon baller and a regular ice cream scoop.) Do not press the dough down. Bake 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies, or 18-20 minutes for larger cookies. (Mine took about 11-13 minutes). As soon as cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle with sea salt or fleur de sel.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on your baking sheet, then move them to another surface to cool completely.

Notes

Recipe from the NY Times by Chef Jacques Torres

Happy Holiday’s!

Madeline

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes Dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache

Everyone has their own opinions on where is the best place to get a great cupcake here in LA. Some people say Sprinkles, others say Magnolia, maybe Susie Cakes, I could keep listing them but you won’t believe where I’ve found a great cupcake. Recently, I caved when I walked past the dessert section of Trader Joe’s and snuck a 4 pack of these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Filling into the cart. Normally, I do not participate in store bought cookies, cakes, or any dessert for that matter. I know that I will generally still uphold this rule, but I now have a MAJOR exception for these cupcakes.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes

Trader Joe’s made the best cupcake that I have had in months. I KNOW. It’s absolutely absurd. Totally insane. You’re probably asking yourself how many drinks I had before tasting this cupcake, but no alcohol was involved.

The problem with so many cupcake shops is that the cake is boring and the frosting is overly sweet to try and balance it out.

These cupcakes are the perfect balance of a great cake and instead of a sugary frosting, it has a dark chocolate ganache instead which is so rich and delicious. Oh, and don’t forget this peanut butter filling which is basically slightly sweetened peanut butter, A.K.A Heaven.

Like the rest of the desserts I see in stores, I said to myself “I have to remake this”, and oh did I.

TNB Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes

There are no more words. This is THE cupcake.

TNB Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled CupcakesI know…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes with a Dark Chocolate Ganache

2 hours

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Carefully spoon the cupcake batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until creamy. Sift the confectioners' sugar into the bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spoon all but 3 tablespoons of the peanut butter filling into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip. Holding a cupcake in your hand, plunge the tip into the top of the cake, pushing it about 3/4 inch deep. Gently squeeze the pastry bag to fill the cupcake, withdrawing it slowly as you squeeze; you will feel the cupcake expand slightly as you fill it. Scrape any filling from the top of the cupcake and repeat until all of the cupcakes are filled.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Off the heat, add the semisweet chocolate to the cream and let stand for 1 minute, then whisk the melted chocolate into the cream until smooth. Let the chocolate icing stand until slightly cooled and thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the icing, letting the excess drip back into the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to racks and let stand for 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the cupcakes again and transfer them to racks. Spoon the remaining 3 tablespoons of peanut butter filling into the pastry bag and pipe tiny stars on the tops of the cupcakes.

Notes

Recipe from Food and Wine magazine

 

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Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Alright. I’ve been holding out on you. By you, I am referring to the 5 people that have forgotten that they are still subscribed to this blog. I know, I’m an awful food blogger. Honestly, I have no idea how Annie from Annie’s Eats manages to have a career, two kids, a seemingly perfect marriage AND a ridiculously adorable and scrumptious food blog.

And then there is me. Yeah, sure I have two jobs and I’m in school full time but for some reason I keep putting this thing I truly do love doing on the back burner.

So the quarter has ended for me today, which means no more excuses, for the next two weeks.

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I made this beautiful, oreo filled, creamy Cookies and Creams Ice Cream. If you’ve been around since the beginning, you know how weirdly obsessed I am with Oreo’s. They’re processed cookies?! Why do I love them so much!? I don’t even know, just don’t come between us.

IMG_8933Super easy. Damn delicious. Regardless of my toxic addiction, this ice cream is one to add to the books.

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Tip: When mixing in the chopped/smashed Oreo’s, add them in after you transfer the ice cream into your container. This way prevents this awful scratching noise of the cookies in your ice cream maker.

Tip 2: Put the finished ice cream in the freezer for about two hours to let it set up a bit. When it comes straight out of the ice cream machine it is too soft to form a scoop. So unless you like your ice cream soupy, freeze it up.

Since this past week in LA has been beautifully warm, you should get on this recipe ASAP. You won’t be disappointed, I assure you.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Yield: About 1 Quart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • About 15-20 Oreos, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just before a boil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Slowly add the warm milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
  2. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the liquid through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until completely chilled. (You can use an ice bath before putting into fridge to try and speed up the process)
  3. Once the mixture is chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions (Usually 20-25 minutes). Once the mixture is softly frozen, transfer half of it to a storage container. Add half of the chopped Oreo pieces and fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining ice cream and Oreo pieces to the container, and fold once more until the mixture is evenly combined. Freeze until completely hardened.

Notes

Craving brought to you by my stomach. Recipe from Annie's Eats

 

I love you. Enjoy.

 

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every one loves chocolate chip cookies. It’s a fact.

For many years I was like the majority of the world and only knew chocolate chip cookies according to Nestle Tollhouse’s recipe. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I crave that flash back to my childhood, but they’re really just not the best cookie out there.

When you turn to the internet, or if you’re cool to your cookbooks, you’ll find a thousand different variations on the same cookie. Honestly, it’s a little overwhelming.

Last year I found my favorite chocolate chip cookies which is different from that classic childhood cookie. These are rich with flavor, melty chocolate chunks inside, and fleur de sel on top. The luxury chocolate chip cookie. But these guys take some time to make, and sometimes you just need cookies – now.

So I tested out a soft and chewy classic chocolate chip recipe brought to you by none other than Martha herself. These cookies took 15 minutes, at the most, to whip together, and then another 9 in the oven.

Twenty-four minutes to homemade chocolate chip cookies. Why would you ever by the store bought stuff?

I know it’s crazy, but I got this awesome paddle attachment at Christmas from the man but I this is the first time using it. It’s fantastic! No more scrapping down the sides of the bowl every 30 seconds. What a nice little perk.

Delicious.

Fresh out of the oven…

It’s good to be back in the baking game.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

15 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

24 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Notes

From Martha Stewart

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Exploring L.A.: The Sycamore Kitchen

Oh hi there. I’m alive and well! I truly hope you are too, and that you haven’t forgotten about this silly little blog. School and work have been consuming the bulk of my time, but when I do have a tiny little break, I have managed to bake a few things here and there.

Since I’m not able to bake as much as I use to, which really is starting to take a toll on my sanity, I unfortunately can’t share with you anything new today…but I can share with some photos of a delicious little place I went to for lunch today with the man.

Today we hit up The Sycamore Kitchen over on La Brea, between Beverly and 3rd.

I’m going to have to go back for that Salted Caramel Pecan Roll..oh my.

Roasted turkey, cherry mostarda, camembert, arugula, mayo, country bread
&
Heirloom tomato salad, sherry vinaigrette, burrata
&
House made potato chips

Chocolate Chip Rye Cookie…the chocolate just oozed everywhere. It was glorious.

If you are ever in the area, I suggest checking this place out, if not to only grab a cappuccino (which is muy bueno by the way) and a little sweet treat. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but they serve lunch until 5PM!

Until next time,

Madeline

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Chewy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

In my mind, it is still July. So it came as a huge surprise the other day when there was a whole section in the grocery store dedicated to Halloween candy. I tried to resist, I really did… but I was sucked in and ended up buying a bunch of peanut butter cups.

As I unwrapped 16 individually wrapped peanut butter cups, my inner environmentalist was crying a little bit. So. Much. Trash!  I try to justify all of that waste by the fact that I buy my flour and sugars in bulk…and that these cookies are pretty delicious.

Peanut butter cookies are already pretty addictive on their own, but adding in the peanut butter cups adds a new texture and makes this a total game changer.

I packed some of these up in a little zip lock bag and headed off to the first UCLA home game of the season against Nebraska! After being raised a Trojan fan all my life, that was my first day where I rooted for UCLA, intentionally. Sorry Dad!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (about six 1.6-ounce packages)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter cups by hand.
  2. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Notes

Recipe seen in Taste of Home magazine

 

Sidenote: I’m all moved into my new place and bought some butter and eggs, stay tuned for some interesting posts on baking in a tiny kitchen :)

Love,

M

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Homemade Caramels

I’m a baker. I’m good with an oven and combinations of sugar, flour and butter.

You may not remember, but the purpose of this blog was to challenge myself in trying new recipes more regularly. So far, I think I’ve done a pretty amazing job at that. I’ve made countless different types of cupcakes and cookies. I’ve made things I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about, Chocolate Espresso French Macaroons, ah hem. Along the way I have found recipes that I have loved and hated, but I generally always had a finished product that resembled what the recipe described – until I tried to make candy.

I attempted making caramels around the same time last year and it would never turn out as it should.  I would be left with a puddle of delicious caramel sauce, which was still eaten of course, but it was not the form of sugar that I was looking for.

I ended up going with it and making caramel sauce as little presents for some relatives back in Minnesota and some lucky friends, but in the back of my head I couldn’t help but feel a little defeated by this silly caramel recipe! I mean really, it’s just boiling sugar and water, what could I possibly be doing so wrong?

After giving myself a good six month break from the candy making idea, I revisited the stove with a brand new candy thermometer, a new recipe, and a positive attitude.

So I am here happily reporting my success in making caramels, in little chewy candyform.

Step 1: Stir together water, sugar and corn syrup with heat resistant spatula

Step 2: Boil sugar mixture. Don’t stir with any utensils! Just let it do it’s thing! Step 3: Carefully pour cream into sugar and stir. It will bubble up like crazy, don’t worry!

Step 4: Let it boil until the mixture comes to the soft ball stage, or about 247 degrees F.

Step 5: Immediately pour into prepared pan and let it set! After about 2 hours of setting, you’ll be able to cut the caramels up into squares and then wrap them up in wax paper.

In the end, this really was not all that difficult to make. I think it may have been an issue with my candy thermometer, or maybe I just wasn’t “ready” for candy making. Whatever the reason was, I’m confident in that you will be able to make this recipe just as easily as I did.

Homemade Caramels

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 40 candies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel (or sea salt)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar has disolved, do not stir! Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.
  4. Carefully stir in cream mixture (caution: mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

Notes

Recipe from Epicurious

Enjoy!

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Salted Pretzel Slim Peanut Butter Bites

Sometimes I am genuinely worried that I have a sugar addiction. I think that is a thing, right? But if it is a thing, I really just don’t want to know.

I try and not let myself think about this for too long of a period of time because then I start thinking crazy things like “hey, maybe you should start making sauteed vegetables as a late night snack instead of 8 oreos”…..sigh…

During an average day, I must consume a ridiculous amount of sugar because when I eat healthy for a day I get these crazy sugar cravings. And when I say crazy…I’m talking wait until everyone is sleeping and take 6 cupcakes into my room, close the door and devour.

But that’s normal!

And if you’re normal addicted to sugar like me, then you’ll enjoy these little pretzel bites. They’re the perfect grab-and-run-away salty sugar fix.

Oh, and better yet, you don’t have to turn the oven on! I don’t know about you guys, but it’s been 95+ degrees for the past 2 weeks, hitting up to 106 a few days. So the thought of turning the oven on has been a little horrifying.

Salted Pretzel Slim Peanut Butter Bites

20 minutes

About 24 bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 48 Pretzel Crisps Pretzels (Find at Trader Joes or the Grocery Store by the Pretzels)
  • 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • fluer de sal, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar -till well combined using a hand mixer.
  2. Roll peanut butter mixture in 1 inch balls and smash in-between two pretzels.
  3. In a medium bowl, microwave semi-sweet chocolate in 15 second increments, until melted.
  4. Line a cookie sheet or just the countertops with wax paper and dip half of pretzel sandwiches in melted chocolate and set on wax paper. Sprinkle with fluer de sal and let chocolate harden. (If your kitchen is as hot as mine, pop them in the fridge for a bit to help the chocolate set)
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from The Novice Chef Blog

 

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Chocolate Chip Scones

I’m just going to say it. I’m usually not a fan of scones. I think that there are a million better options for breakfast or a snack with your mid-day coffee than a scone. Blueberry Muffin – yes. Coffee cake – yes. Little Madeline Cookies – yes. Chocolate croissant – yes x10.

So it was a huge surprise to me this past week when I woke up one morning and was craving a scone. I thought that I was going a little crazy, to be honest. So I looked through my cookbooks to find something to bake for a breakfast/coffee snack to try and fulfill this strange desire for scones.

I ended up flagging a few pages including coffee cake, muffins, pancakes and the like, but I kept coming back to this chocolate chip scone recipe. There wasn’t even a picture in the book for it but I just had to make it, and if you know me at all…cookbooks with missing pictures is a big no-no.

As I was mixing together all of the ingredients, I was mentally preparing myself to not be satisfied by what I was making. I kept thinking hey, you don’t like scones – you’re probably not going to like these. But hey – my oven was working (it’s been on and off not working for the past few weeks – torture) so I knew I needed to take advantage of this opportunity to bake.

I decided to make mine a little bigger and cut it into 8 pieces, instead of 12.

But the stars must be aligned in favor of scones this month because these were goooood. So good that I am now kind of inspired to start making more scones…

What usually what bugged me about scones, aside from them just not being very alluring to begin with, is that they are generally dry and crumbly. These came out nothing like the scones that I have been eating (or not eating for that matter) at coffee shops. The best part is that these literally taste exactly like chocolate chip pancakes without the fork, knife, and messy syrup. (Now that I just wrote that, why on earth did I not put syrup on these guys! Guess I really do have to make them again)

I’m not saying that I’m going to go to Starbucks and order a scone any time soon, but I might consider baking my own and bringing it with to get coffee with friends. Now that, is a great idea.

Chocolate Chip Scones

30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 heaping cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar (large crystal sugar)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fited with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low until the butter is broken up into pebble sized pieces, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chocolate chips. With the mixer on low, add 1 cup of cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the mixture in the bowl to bring the dough completely together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a 7inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 wedges, like pieces of a pie.
  4. Place the cut pieces into the freezer for 15 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour. (If you can fit your baking sheet in your freezer/fridge, put it on there. If not, chill them on whatever will fit in your fridge)
  5. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 375ºF
  6. Brush the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle with your raw sugar. Bake the scones, rotating the sheet once, until they are golden on the edges and slightly firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Scones are best served the day they're made, but they will keep for about 3 days. Pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to rewarm them.

Notes

Recipe from The Craft of Baking

Enjoy!

 

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