Friday, May 27, 2016

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Brownie or Cookie?

We love chocolate in our house.  Honestly, I am sometimes surprised to see how much my kids like chocolate.  They definitely enjoy it more than I do and I really like chocolate.  This was my first time making brownie cookies and I used Scharffen Berger cocoa powder.  It is my preferred chocolate for baking.  You can really taste the quality of the chocolate in these.  These are perfect cookies because they are chewy and taste like a brownie!

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies
from For the Love of Dessert

1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

In a medium bowl; whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda. In a large bowl cream together the butter and both of the sugars until light and creamy. Add in one egg at a time until well blended followed by 2 tsp. vanilla. Gradually add in the cocoa/flour mixture. Gently mix in the two cups of chocolate chips and spoon out onto prepared pans. Bake in your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will be puffed up a bit but will settle as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Do not over-bake.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Apple Rose Tarts

Beautiful and delicious.

I made these for Thanksgiving...yes Thanksgiving.  I told you that I did not stop baking when I took a break from blogging.  You probably saw these floating around the internet, like I did.  They look so beautiful that I had to make them and they are incredibly easy!  I served them on my dessert table, but I think they would be a really nice addition for a brunch.  If you don't eat them all right away, they re-heat well and are definitely best warmed.

Apple Rose Tarts
recipe from To Simply Inspire

makes 12 tarts

3 apples
2 sheets of puffed pastries, thawed
6 Tablespoons of apricot preserves
4 Tablespoons of water
juice of 1/2 a lemon or 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

Remove puffed pastries from freezer and thaw according to package instructions. Slice the apples in half from top to bottom. Remove the core ends and then scoop out the core in the center. Slice the apples into very thin slices.

Fill a medium sized bowl half full of water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water. Place the sliced apples in the water and microwave for 5 minutes until slightly tender. Drain the apples into a colander.

Mix the apricot preserves and water together in a bowl.

When pastries are thawed, place them flat on a floured surface. Roll the pastries out with a rolling pin to flatten slightly. Cut each pastry into 6 equal slices. One at a time, spoon apricot preserve mixture onto a slice of pastry. Place 7-9 apple slices along one half of the pastry slice with the peel side facing out.  Fold the pastry in half to cover the apples.  Starting on one end, roll the pastry and apples to the other end of the pastry. Place in a greased muffin tin. Continue with the other pieces of pastries until you have 12 apple roses.

Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 40 -45 minutes until pastry is golden brown

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cupcakes with Triple Berry Buttercream

Hello old friend.

It has been way too long since I have blogged. I still work full time as an auditor and my two little ones are as rambunctious as ever.  I have chosen to put this little blog on the back burner, but it has not been forgotten.   I still bake, not as frequently as I once did, but often none the less.  These days I typically have an assistant or two helping out.  I love cooking and baking with my kids and they love it just as much.  My son declares on a daily basis that he is going to be a "cooker" when he grows up. When we go out to eat he asks to see the kitchen to watch the chefs cooking.   My daughter on the other hand may just be assisting so she can taste test, but either way I love these precious moments with my kids.

I made these cupcakes last week as my first attempt at Gluten Free baking.  I assure you this is not going to turn into a gluten free blog, but I thought I would give it a whirl.  These cupcakes were absolutely phenomenal!  A neighbor of mine is complete gluten free and his response was "The cupcakes are AWESOME! I'm not exaggerating when I say they have been the best GF cupcakes I remember having!" So even if you are not eating gluten free, you may want to give they a try. I used coconut flour in the recipe because I like coconut and it not foreign to me.

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cupcakes with Triple Berry Buttercream
cupcake recipe adapted from King Arthur

makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons almond extract
6 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

Whisk egg whites until you have stiff peaks and set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, almond extract, and egg yolks. Add the milk, and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the coconut flour and baking powder. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients, and stir to combine.  Gently fold egg whites into batter, folding in 1/3 of the egg whites at a time.   Evenly divide the batter among the 12 liners, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake the cupcakes on the center rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.  Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn them out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Triple Berry Buttercream
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup triple berry jam
pinch of salt
3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, salt, and vanilla until creamy. Mix in jam. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.