Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins

The past few months I have been on a serious breakfast food kick. Cereal and toast just are not cutting it for me anymore. When I wake up, all I think about is bacon, eggs, waffles, and of course, blueberry muffins…well honestly I’m mostly thinking about bacon – but aren’t we all?

As much as I love my carbs covered in sugary warm syrup, there is something so comforting about a warm blueberry muffin right out of the oven. Not to say that blueberry muffins are healthy by any means, but you get what I’m saying. I’ve made my fair share of blueberry muffins over the past few years and each recipe is a little different than the last, but I think I’ve finally found my favorite one.

The best part about this recipe is that it requires minimal effort! Confession – I’m a little zombie like in the morning. I don’t want to speak, I just want my espresso and a delicious breakfast pastry and until that happens I just don’t want to tell you how I slept or what my plans are for the day. I love you, I’m sorry, just give me a muffin. So when I can wake up and just whip up some muffins quickly in silence, there just are no words for that. No words at all.

If you have not tried baking/cooking with brown butter yet, you just really don’t know what you are missing. Honestly, it may sound weird and unnecessary but I assure you it is life changing and completely necessary. Something as simple as a blueberry muffin can be totally transformed into utter greatness by essentially cooking butter until the milk solids start to get toasted or burned a little bit. Normally burning in the kitchen is a huge no-no but I give you permission to burn two things in the kitchen – marshmallows and butter for browned butter purposes.

In this recipe the browned butter adds just another layer of flavor in what is already a great muffin to begin with. Add in some fresh blueberries and a streusel topping and you’ll be struggling to eat cereal from a box for breakfast too.

 

 

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Birthday Celebration}

While the majority of you were off celebrating your fathers last weekend, I was having a birthday! [woohoo] Every few years my birthday and Father’s Day overlap and cause funny little arguments within my family. Silly little competitions such as where we are going for dinner and if it should be called Father’s Day dinner or Madeline’s Birthday dinner. This year, I kind of won and got to choose the place and the title, but I won’t go rubbing it in anyone’s face.

I like to say that my dad wouldn’t be celebrating Father’s day without my birthday, which would be true…if I wasn’t the youngest of three kids.

Remember when Kinects were cool? It was clearly a while ago since my autocorrect is telling me that i’m spelling “kilt” wrong. Also, why am I wearing the same shorts as my brother and a collared shirt? I look like a boy, good job little Madeline.

Every time I thought about my birthday this year, I kept thinking about what kind of cake I wanted. When I was a kid, all I wanted was Baskin Robbins ice cream cake. A mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. Or better yet, Dairy Queen! They had this ice cream cake that had little chocolate cookie crumbs sandwiched in between a layer of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Sadly, the Dairy Queen’s around here are long gone, I’ll just have to save that for my trip to Minnesota next week!

This year I wanted to make something new and a little more challenging then usual. Challenging was definitely right. The exterior of the cake looked pretty mouthwatering but the inside, oh the inside was a mess. Luckily, I’m a firm believer in taste over presentation so things turned out okay.

That beautiful chocolate cake was ideally supposed to have three thin layers of cake, separated by a chocolate mousse, and then topped with a chocolate ganache. Unfortunately, I found out that I’m apparently not so hot at cutting multiple layers of a cake out of one 9 inch cake. The bottom layer turned out perfectly, but the next two fell apart a little bit…next time I think I’ll make just two layers of cake so that they are thicker and easier to cut/handle, instead of trying to make tiny 1 inch layers.

Regardless of my mini failure at perfection, I still think this cake warrants being shared so I share with you the recipe in hopes that you’ll give it a shot and come back and tell me how you kicked that recipes butt. This cake was the perfect summertime celebration cake. As much as I love a good chocolate cake covered in a chocolate buttercream, when it is as hot as it is in the valley, you need something cool.

Note: The recipe said that this cake serves 8 people, which was very frightening. Seven of us ate about 1/3 of it. So if you plan on making this, invite over lots of people! Or eat it all yourself, no judgement.

 

 

 

 

I hope that you all had a lovely time with your family, appreciating how great it is to have people who support you and your crazy ideas.

Happy Father’s Day. Happy Birthday.

Happy Happy Happy!

 

 

Fair warning, I spread out making this cake over two days so that I wasn’t spending hours in the kitchen.

This entry was posted in cake.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies {The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies…Ever}

The apartment searching has officially started, and I am starting to realize that Thursday Night Baking is going to be experience some serious lifestyle changes coming up in September. I have been so spoiled by having the kitchen to myself with tons of cabinet and counter space, a nice oven with a window, gas stove top…sighhhh I’m sorry that I have not appreciated you fully you lovely kitchen, you. ::bows down to oven::

I say this because the kitchen in the apartment that my friends and I are currently looking at is well…not ideal to say the least  better than the place that we almost got when I stated writing this post! High fives all around for gas stove top! Even though the kitchen space will be reduced to about an 1/8th of what I’m working in now, I won’t be letting that slow me down! I will be that chick who brings chocolate chip cookies to Mad Men themed parties…wait…seriously, let’s do that?

Sidenote: One of my roomies has a blog! Her name is Victoria and she is pretty awesome. Check it out! She’s a vegetarian and a pretty mean cook. Our apartment is going to be the place to be for food. We’ll be taking reservations in the Fall – book your calendars.

On that note of bringing cookies places, I went to E3 (a fabulously nerdtastic video game expo at the LA Convention Center) this past week and brought these addictive chocolate chip cookies to share with my coworkers and some lucky friends.

 I made these cookies a few months back, but for some reason I never shared them with you. I’m so sorry, that’s was incredibly selfish of me because these are THE best chocolate chip cookie i’ve ever made or had. I can assure you that I am not the only one that fell in love with these cookies, I have references!!

You’ll never want to use that boring old Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe ever again.  There are a few things that go into making these so epically mouth watering.

First: Bread flour! You’re probably all confused by that, but trust me my loves, trust me. The bread flour is what makes these guys chewy on the inside but still having that little crunch when you bite into it.

Second: Sea salt! Or if you’re fancy, fleur de sel. I think I’m addicted to putting salt on desserts. That too sounds kind of weird, but the salt really does bring out the flavor in so many desserts, especially these cookies.

Third: You’re going to read this recipe and see that I’m going to ask you to refrigerate the dough overnight. You’re going to read that, and then instnatly say “ummm, not happening”. FIGHT THAT URGE! The reason it took me so long to make these cookies was because I too read that refrigerate line and gave up too early. When you let the dough set in the refrigerator overnight (or even up to 36 hours some people say!) all of the flavors marry together and make for this special toffee flavor when you bake up these cookies.

Enjoy,

Madeline

Lime Meltaways

I’ve been listening to a lot of hip hop recently…more specifically a lot of Outkast. It’s just so good, I can’t stop and I have no intention on doing so either, so let’ embrace it together.

I’ve never claimed to be perfect on here, and I never will, because I am so far from. But we’re all a little flawed, right? That’s what makes us who we are. How did I get the way that I am? By dancing around the kitchen to hip hop/rap from 1996 and misreading recipes because I’m too busy jamming.

I’m not complaining though. I’d much rather be a good baker in general and just have a tendency to get a little distracted then be super focused on my recipe and still turn out hockey pucks of dirt. Am I right?

So about once a month I mess up pretty badly in the kitchen, and my first shot at this one was my free pass for the month. I may have put in a whole extra stick of butter into the recipe…whoops!

But rest assured, when you actually make the recipe with the proper ingredients it is not only incredibly easy to make, but they are light and simply addictive.

They’re called meltaways because they do pretty much melt away in your mouth. Writing that reminded me of when I teach the little munchkins about bean clams…”Why do you think they’re called bean clams?” “Because they’re shaped like a bean!” “Yeah! See guys, science is easy!”….yeah that happens.

The lime pefectly blends into the slightly sweet buttery cookie. You wont be screaming, oh woah did you taste that lime! But you will be saying, oh my these are lovely.

They’re not like most cookies, where you feel like you ate a meal after three or four cookies (everyone eats 3-4 cookies when they eat cookies right…?). I could eat 10 of these cookies and would be ready for just about 10 more.

The’re the perfect little cookie to share with friends over lunch on the beach…which is exactly what I did with them! Don’t forget to put sunscreen on so your face isn’t red the next day. Don’t be like me. Having a face that looks like you’re always blushing is not cute, it’s awkward.