Archive for the ‘Yummy for the Tummy’ Category

To Die For Recipe: Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake Muffins

March 17, 2009

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Once upon a time, Cookie and Cupcake got married. After several hot and heavy months of nuptial bliss, they welcomed a baby into their family. This baby was sweet as could be, with a temperament that combined the best of both her parents; a towering dome of chocolaty goodness rested atop her moist and chewy foundation. But Cookie and Cupcake–having grown up under the weight of their own unhealthy reputations–wanted for their child a life free of junk food stigma. So they named their baby ‘Muffin’.

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In other words, if you like cookies and you like cupcakes but you don’t like guilt, drop everything and bake up a batch of these lovelies. Take a big ‘ol bite of crumbly chocolate chip and walnut streusel and congratulate yourself on choosing a ‘muffin’ over the many less virtuous options before you. Because you really can have your cake and eat it too.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake Muffins
Recipe courtesy of ChocolateChocolate by Lisa Yockelson

Streusel Topping

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Chocolate Chip Muffin Batter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup table cream (I used half and half)
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for streusel topping and set aside. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In yet a third bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla, beat to combine, then stir in chocolate. In small amounts at a time, alternately add flour mixture and milk to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring well after each addition. Batter will be pretty thick. Scoop batter into muffin tins lined with muffin papers and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Makes about 24 gorgeous little ‘muffins’.

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Crazy Easy German Chocolate Cake and Our Giveaway Winners!

February 19, 2009

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Well we have the results of our ‘Baked: New Frontiers in Bakinggiveaway: Melanie from You Are My Fave will be receiving a copy of this incredible cookbook and Rachel from Heart of Light is the lucky winner of the fancy pants muffin papers! Both lovely ladies have awesome blogs that I encourage you to check out. And before I part with my copy of the cookbook, I leave you with the recipe for the cake that I made for a co-worker’s wife on Valentine’s Day (long story, don’t ask; suffice to say that I’ll take any excuse to bake a cake).

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The great thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. Often with cakes I get one of two things: scrumptious cake that melts in your mouth but is too delicate to work with, or sturdy cake that holds up well but tastes like sawdust. This cake gives you the best of both worlds. A rich crumb offered deep chocolate flavour, and a firm but fudgy texture allowed me to manhandle the layers into the two-tiered creation you see here. Top it with your favourite ganache, throw on some fresh flowers, and get ready to beat your adoring fans away with a stick!

German Chocolate Cake
Recipe courtesy of ‘Baked: New Frontiers in Baking‘ by Matt Lewis

2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used all-purpose with good results)
3/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 1 /4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the paper. Dust the pans with cocoa powder and shake out excess. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine coffee and buttermilk. Using an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla and beat. Mix in flour mixture, alternating with coffee/buttermilk mixture, in three additions, beating after each. Fold in melted chocolate. Divide batter into prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, and remove when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack, then invert pans to remove cake and let cool completely. Frost/devour as you desire!

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins and a Giveaway!

February 16, 2009

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Well the long weekend is over and it’s back to the grindstone. However I’m still basking in the warm glow of three whole days with nothing to do but hang out with my sweetie! These muffins are a great example of why I love a long weekend; when else can you laze in bed before heading to the kitchen to whip up something hot and tasty for breakfast? So in honour of long weekends, I’m giving away a copy of the cookbook that this recipe came from. It’s called ‘Baked: New Frontiers in Baking‘, and it’s an amazing collection of decadent recipes from the Brooklyn bakery of the same name. All you have to do is tell me your favourite breakfast to enjoy on a lounge-about morning! I’ll randomly draw a name on Thursday and announce the winner Friday.

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Of course you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without the recipe for these beautiful muffins, did you? As sweet treats go, these verge closer to cupcake territory but don’t let that stop you from eating them for breakfast! Moist and heady with fragrant banana, they hide gooey pockets of melted chocolate and boast a perfect—not too light, not too dense—texture. I had never used the fancy baking papers pictured here in the photo, so I picked some up on a whim and I’m never going back! They are foolproof, and you don’t loose half your muffin to the accordion folds of a typical baking cup. In fact I love them so much, I’ll pick a second name and give away a stash of ’em!

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe Courtesy of ‘Baked: New Frontiers in Baking‘ by Matt Lewis

1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I used about a tablespoon ’cause I love me some coffee!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (next time I would use less, and I’d use bittersweet chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either line a muffin tin with papers, spray with non-stick cooking spray, or if using fancy pants papers as above, just set them on a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, stir together bananas, sugars, butter, milk and egg. In another bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stirring until barely combined. Gently fold in chips–don’t overwork the batter!–and then fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies from Absolutely Not Martha

February 11, 2009

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I’m not much of a Valentine’s Day gal. For one thing, gift-giving is not my sweetie’s forte. And frankly, let’s face it: Valentine’s Day will never be as fun as it was when you were nine and got to make a Valentine mailbox out of a paper bag and sparkly stickers. My one concession to the holiday is molding my usual baked treats into vague heart shapes.

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Lumpiness aside, these cookies are awesome! The recipe comes to us via Jackie at Absolutely Not Martha. True to Jackie’s credo, they are gluten free and proud of it! They contain no butter or flour, relying instead on a gooey meringue for their chewy texture. The cookies develop craggy, molten crevices of chocolate as they bake; the result is like the love child of a marshmallow and a brownie, which sounds to me like the happiest Valentine’s Day of all!

Find the recipe here, and be sure to check in with Jackie at Absolutely Not Martha for more fab gluten free eats and a luscious style fix to boot! Now I’m off to eat some more of these to console myself with the news that Shabby Chic has filed for bankruptcy and Craft Magazine is going out of print…

Chocolate Mousse on a Diet and The Best Holiday Ever!

February 5, 2009

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Apparently today is National Chocolate Fondue Day. Like I need an excuse to grab some luscious strawberries or plump marshmallows and dip them in gooey chocolate goodness! To that end, run—don’t walk—over to Bloomacious, where I’ve shared my recipe for the most decadent chocolate mousse in the world. The best part? It has approximately half the calories of regular chocolate mousse, but you would never know to taste it!

And while you’re there, be sure to explore the fabulous fashion, beauty and interiors finds that have made Bloomacious one of my fave daily reads!

Absolutely Loving: Paulette Macaroons

February 1, 2009

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Admit it: you were heartbroken when the Concord stopped flying, because you knew it meant no more impromptu flights to Paris for macarons from Ladurée. Rest assured that your macaron deprivation has come to an end! Paulette has secreted a bona fide French pastry master into their Beverly Hills bakery, where he toils day and night for those of us who crave such sweet, featherlight goodness but hate the customs lines at Charles de Gaul. And get this: Paulette will ship these freshly baked lovelies straight to your door. Place your order now, and you could munch on one for breakfast tomorrow morning!
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Seriously, though. Today after brunch my friend Josephine (of Red Thread fame) introduced me to the joys of Paulette macarons. In addition to a Beverly Hills location, they have a shop in San Francisco, where waiting to greet you upon arrival are row after row of softly hued confections in flavours such as salted caramel, jasmine tea, and Sicilian pistachio. Once you make your selection, they stack them single file in a sleek box that would look just as beautiful storing pencils on your desk as it does holding cookies in your cupboard. If you’re in L.A. or SF, you’ve got to get to Paulette. And if not, well thank goodness for FedEx!

Absolutely Loving: Paulette Macaroons

February 1, 2009

12.jpg

Admit it: you were heartbroken when the Concord stopped flying, because you knew it meant no more impromptu flights to Paris for macarons from Ladurée. Rest assured that your macaron deprivation has come to an end! Paulette has secreted a bona fide French pastry master into their Beverly Hills bakery, where he toils day and night for those of us who crave such sweet, featherlight goodness but hate the customs lines at Charles de Gaul. And get this: Paulette will ship these freshly baked lovelies straight to your door. Place your order now, and you could munch on one for breakfast tomorrow morning!
4.jpg
Seriously, though. Today after brunch my friend Josephine (of Red Thread fame) introduced me to the joys of Paulette macarons. In addition to a Beverly Hills location, they have a shop in San Francisco, where waiting to greet you upon arrival are row after row of softly hued confections in flavours such as salted caramel, jasmine tea, and Sicilian pistachio. Once you make your selection, they stack them single file in a sleek box that would look just as beautiful storing pencils on your desk as it does holding cookies in your cupboard. If you’re in L.A. or SF, you’ve got to get to Paulette. And if not, well thank goodness for FedEx!

To Die for Recipe: Monster Cookies

January 20, 2009

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I hate to make decisions. When asked to choose between multiple options, I usually just take it all. My indecision generally leads to trouble; is a triple decker ice cream cone really in my best interest? Do I need ballet flats in every color under the sun? For those of you who are like me when it comes to making choices, I come bearing glad tidings: with these monster cookies, you can have it all. They are an oatmeal cookie, a peanut butter cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie all in one grand package—with an M&M candy bonus to boot!

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I was drawn to this recipe not only because it sounded amazing, but because it had a very unique ratio of ingredients. It contains only half a cup of flour but over five cups of oats–if you do much baking you know how weird that is–and it calls for a full tablespoon of baking soda! My first thought was, 'Surely that's a typo!' But these are gorgeous: super moist, with warm but not overwhelming peanut butter flavour and great oaty chew. The bigger you make them, the better. They're called Monster Cookies after all!

Monster Cookies
Recipe courtesy of 'Baked: New Frontiers in Baking' by Matt Lewis

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups creamy peanut butter (NOT the natural kind!)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's

In a large bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter until smooth and pale. Add sugars and mix until just incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and peanut butter and mix until smooth but do not overmix. Stir in oat mixture in three additions, then fold in chocolate chips and candies. Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop generously sized balls (about 3-4 tablespoons worth) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just barely browned, then remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Enjoy!

5 3/4 cups rolled oats

To Die for Recipe: Monster Cookies

January 20, 2009

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I hate to make decisions. When asked to choose between multiple options, I usually just take it all. My indecision generally leads to trouble; is a triple decker ice cream cone really in my best interest? Do I need ballet flats in every color under the sun? For those of you who are like me when it comes to making choices, I come bearing glad tidings: with these monster cookies, you can have it all. They are an oatmeal cookie, a peanut butter cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie all in one grand package—with an M&M candy bonus to boot!

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I was drawn to this recipe not only because it sounded amazing, but because it had a very unique ratio of ingredients. It contains only half a cup of flour but over five cups of oats–if you do much baking you know how weird that is–and it calls for a full tablespoon of baking soda! My first thought was, 'Surely that's a typo!' But these are gorgeous: super moist, with warm but not overwhelming peanut butter flavour and great oaty chew. The bigger you make them, the better. They're called Monster Cookies after all!

Monster Cookies
Recipe courtesy of 'Baked: New Frontiers in Baking' by Matt Lewis

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups creamy peanut butter (NOT the natural kind!)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's

In a large bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter until smooth and pale. Add sugars and mix until just incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and peanut butter and mix until smooth but do not overmix. Stir in oat mixture in three additions, then fold in chocolate chips and candies. Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop generously sized balls (about 3-4 tablespoons worth) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just barely browned, then remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Enjoy!

5 3/4 cups rolled oats

To Die for Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Macaroons from Domino Magazine

January 18, 2009

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Oh. My. Goodness. You have not lived until you have tasted a warm macaroon fresh from the oven. I know this because until Friday, I had not lived. Can you believe I had made it through over twenty years of cookie baking obsession and had never made coconut macaroons? I think this oversight was the result of 1) my mother’s hatred of the macaroon—the result of many a 1960’s bake sale disaster wreaked by her mother—and 2) my own childhood encounters with countless dull, dense hockey pucks masquerading as macaroons. But I know now that those impostors of snacktimes past were not macaroons. These are macaroons, and what’s more, they are absolute heaven; angels floating on clouds while fluttering their feathered wings are jealous of these cookies.

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I happened across this recipe when Domino posted it to their Twitter stream. These cookies are ridiculously easy to make—they require barely any ingredients and can be mixed, scooped, baked and dipped in under an hour. They’re also amazing without the chocolate coating—the little nuggets of coconutty goodness simply melt on your tongue. I even shared the batch with my husband’s colleagues after realizing how dangerous it would be to keep them in the house, and the cookies were declared ‘the best macaroons ever’. I won’t post the recipe because you can click through and get it here. But let me say one final word: if you only make one batch of cookies this year, let it be these.

P.S. Speaking of Twitter, come say hi to me!