Thursday, October 29, 2009

flourless fudge cookies

i saw a post about cookies like these on thekitchn last week and not even a few hours later my friend julia sent me the same link. we discussed it and decided they needed to be made, so i found this recipe from the king arthur flour site that someone had recommended. this is one of the most unique recipes i've made and it seems sort of unnatural considering how little ingredients it has, and with no egg yolks or flour, it's practically good for you (yes, i think you should forget about the 2+ cups of powdered sugar it has in it and concentrate on no flour, butter or egg yolks! egg whites have protien people! and cocoa has flavonoids, right?)

anywho, my friends said they are divine (very rich so i can only eat a bite here and there, but for dark chocolate lovers, this is your scene.)

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but good
1 cup cocoa powder, dutch-process (european-style) preferred
3 large egg whites (i had to add an extra because my batter was too thick)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

preheat the oven to 350°F. lightly grease two baking sheets. or line with parchment, and grease the parchment (or use a silpat but if you do, make sure to cool the cookies completely before trying to remove them). stir together all of the ingredients till smooth. scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir again till smooth. drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in balls about the size of ping pong balls, about 1 1/2"; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. bake the cookies for 8 minutes; they should spread, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops (they get more crackly when you remove them from the oven, so don't wait for them to be perfectly crackly while in the oven). remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan.

Friday, October 23, 2009

guest posting: pumpkin pancakes

check out my latest post on pumpkin pancakes and cinnamon syrup. the love affair with pumpkin continues...

Monday, October 19, 2009

pumpkin cake with apple crisp topping

i've been thinking for a while now that apples and pumpkin should make friends. they use the same spices and they are both fall friendly. so i decided i needed this. pumpkin cake, caramelized apples, and a crispy topping. so that's what i did.

here is the cake recipe:
2 cups flour
2 tsps ground cinnamon
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground giner
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 15 oz. can pumpkin

grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan. whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, and ginger together in a medium bowl.

in a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together with an electric mixer on medium high speed until thick & fluffy, about 5 minutes. reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the pumpkin puree until combined, about 1 minute. slowly beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.

give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and gently tap the pan on the work surface to settle the batter. bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes. (bake at 350°)

but i baked it for about 20 minutes, then added caramelized apples. for this, i sliced up two golden delicious apples, and sauteed them in about a tablespoon of butter and added cinnamon and cloves and dark brown sugar to taste.

and to top it off, i made the crisp topping from this recipe (but halved it, as shown below).
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 c. butter
2 t. cinnamon

then i baked it another 15 minutes. until a knife inserted in the center came out clean. and voila! you have yourself a fall dessert with two of my favorite ingredients.

Monday, October 12, 2009

chocolate chip gingerbread cookies

i've made these before but i had to post again because i love them sooooo much. this is absolutely one of my favorite cookies of all time. and it's a martha stewart favorite as well. so, you really can't go wrong. again, my changes were just using regular semi-sweet chocolate chips and only cooking them for 10 minutes, so they have a more truffle-like consistency. so do yourself a favor and make these for yourself!

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate (i just used chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar

in a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. in another bowl, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. add brown sugar; beat until combined. add molasses; beat until combined.

in a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

heat oven to 325 degrees. roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. refrigerate 20 minutes. roll in granulated sugar. bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes (i do 8 to 10). let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

pumpkin bread pudding with cinnamon caramel sauce

i love fall. i love boots and scarves and cardigans and changing leaves. i love thinking about apple cider, molasses infused treats and most of all—PUMPKIN. i keep thinking of new recipes to try which involve pumpkin. in fact, during the spring and summer i have to restrain myself from busting out my pumpkin and whipping up a pie or cookies using this marvelous ingredient. but, i have to stand by my principles, using/wearing/eating/listening to things that are seasonally appropriate. so, finally i've been able to experiment and i'm quite pleased with my first endeavor. i'm pretty sure i've mentioned how much i love bread pudding a few times on this blog and combining these two loves is a match made in fall heaven. i made my mom's recipe for pumpkin bread and combined it with an altered version of the recipe she sent me for a bread pudding from this bed and breakfast in mendocino, ca. dreamy. dream-fest. dream come true. so yeah, i like pumpkin and stuff...

8 large eggs

3 ½ cups milk

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups whipping cream

1 t. vanilla extract

1 1-lb loaf pumpkin bread

butter a 3 quart baking dish. whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. add milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla. whisk to blend well. stir in bread. pour mixture into prepared baking dish, push down the bread crumbs, making sure they have all been coated by mixture. cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours. cook for 1 hour, 45 minutes, or until it is set – 350 degrees (i had to up the tempurature to 375 degrees for the last 40 minutes). before serving, dribble some cinnamon caramel sauce over the top and serve with freshly whipped cream.

cinnamon caramel sauce

1 cup (packed ) golden brown sugar

1 cube butter

½ cup whipping cream

¾ t. cinnamon

stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. add cream and cinnamon and bring to simmer. simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 5 minutes. serve warm.