This July we had the incredible experience of a seven day trip to Iceland. I have had Iceland on my bucket list for years, and all I can say is, if you’ve been considering going: DO IT. You won’t regret the decision. Continue reading
Well, search no further. This is, literally, the best cookie I’ve ever tasted or made (of the chocolate chip variety). And good news to all you gluten-avoiders: it’s got no flour in it!
“Oh, geez.” you may say, “Another one of these silly ‘healthy’ desserts. Desserts aren’t supposed to be healthy. Stop trying!”
Well, I promise you, that’s usually what I say. Don’t mess with a good thing and all that. I mean, if I’m going to ingest sugar, it had better be as tasty as it possibly can be. HOWEVER, in this situation, it works excellently. The recipe replaces wheat with almond flour, and the absence of gluten makes for an extraordinarily tender cookie. These are more on the crunchy side of the spectrum, but they are by no means hard. They’re a little like shortbread – melt in your mouth.
Seriously, you have to try these – if you’re not converted – well, I don’t know what to say… Recipe
Thanksgiving time is pie time. No question about it. This year we had a bit of a pie disaster. My sister has been experimenting with Einkorn flour, which is actually quite good. HOWEVER, we had no experience with working with it in pie dough – which is a finicky process. The result was – less than ideal. The first blind baked crust stuck like mad to the parchment paper. The second one basically collapsed. It was getting late on Wednesday and there was no pumpkin pie, never mind apple pie! My dad and I hopped in the car and made a run to the King Arthur Store in Norwich. There we found a bag of their Perfect Pastry Blend flour, which, of course, has a recipe for pie crust on the back.
When in doubt, turn to the experts.
As promised, it was perfect. So I thought, why not share it. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who always struggles to find the crust recipe I want. Next time, I’ll just have to leave a little more time for experimenting with the Einkorn flour.
The only change I made was to add a little sugar – I think when making a sweet pie you need that touch to balance the flavors. I also didn’t use the optional buttermilk powder they called for – I’m honestly not sure what the point of it is, so I haven’t put it in here. But at the bottom of this post, you’ll find a link the the original recipe. Continue reading
Brownies. Everyone needs a good brownie recipe. It’s pretty much a necessity of life. I’m here to tell you that you need look no further! This is it. The one, the best, the only brownie recipe you ever need. It’s that good. I swear. And it’s really pretty easy to whip together. Just make sure you have enough chocolate!
The low baking temperature creates a really nice texture, and there’s room for playing with flavors. I’m partial to coffee and rum myself – because, why not? However, there are so many options! I’ve done coffee and cinnamon (clearly, I’m partial to coffee and chocolate), which was excellent. You can also boil down 1/2c stout to 1/4c and add that – I haven’t done this yet, because I don’t often have a stout just sitting around waiting to be used. It sounds excellent though. You could do lavender. Hazelnut. Plain, obviously.
Enough of the variations, you say, get on to the recipe! Ok, ok. I got carried away. Here it is: recipe
Last but certainly not least in this series: the apple tart. For this tart, a loose bottom pan is also ideal, but not necessary. However, don’t use a deep one like I did – it takes forever to cook! A 9-12″ shallow tart pan should be good.
You’ll want the same Pâte Brisée recipe from the Quiche. However, since this is a sweet tart, I like to up the sugar just a touch (maybe a scant tablespoon). Whether or not you do that is totally up to you. Now for the filling: Read More:
A chocolate milkshake. One of the joys of childhood. What better way to update it as you mature than to add rum? It’s a dessert and a digestif all blended into one. Yum. In fact, it was so tasty that I didn’t even wait to take a picture of it. All gone! And what could be easier? Start with your favorite chocolate ice cream (ok, ok, it doesn’t have to be chocolate), add as much or as little milk as you like (it all depends on how thin you like your shake – I’m a thick shake girl). Throw it all in a blender with 1-2oz of rum and, voila! A grown-up milkshake! Enjoy.
Another fun thing to do when you’re home alone is to bake – and then bring things into work so that you don’t eat it all yourself, and so your coworkers like you. 🙂 I’m particularly partial to cupcakes myself – chocolate please! Usually I just make my favorite chocolate cake from Gourmet, Dec ’87. After all, that’s the year and month I was born – it must be made for me, right? But, this time I decided to switch things up a bit. I’ve never made a chiffon cake before ’cause I’ve always heard they were more finicky. Maybe they are, but I had good luck with this recipe, and now, in my opinion, chiffon is the way to go for cupcakes. Light, fluffy, moist. But they have a firm enough texture that they don’t fall apart when you take a bite. Perfection. I even ate one without any frosting and it was good! But then, to top it all off – to guild the lily as the saying goes – I decided to fill them with pastry cream and smother the top in chocolate-coffee ganache. What?!
You know how American buttercream frosting is always really sweet (4 cups of sugar?!) and no matter how long you heat and stir it, it never seems to get smooth? You know how those nice bakeries always have really smooth, buttery buttercream? Well, as usual, the French have the culinary answer. Read More
The school my mom works at has a couple of fig trees, so, of course, we picked a bunch of figs. They were delicious. Nothing beats fruit picked ripe and eaten fresh from the tree. You can keep your flavorless, California fruit that was picked green and shipped across the country. Anywho, we had so many that we couldn’t eat them all right away, so I made a tart. The recipe was partly inspired by the most recent issue of Fine Cooking and partly by some research I did. We are a low-grain family so we really don’t eat much flour and my first thought was that I would make an almond flour crust. Unfortunately I forgot to set the timer on the blind-bake and – well – it was a disaster. Back to the beginning. This time with a classic short-crust. Melt in your mouth.
Lots. Of. Butter.
If you are one of those people who thinks butter is bad for you, this recipe probably isn’t for you. I suppose you can substitute a different type of crust, but I guarantee it won’t be as good. I say: eat more (good) fat. But, do as you will with the crust – here’s what I did: