Tag Archives: desserts

Mini Cookie Cutters Stole My Heart!

10 May

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a game night where we were instructed that the theme of the night would be “mini”. This of course translated to myself going on a buying binge of everything mini I could find.

Ateco Mini cookie cutters were one of the results of said binge.

I found them at Sur La Table in the cookie cutter section and they were practically singing at me in operatic tones. “Buy us! Buy us!”

It was hopeless to ignore. They had several others but I since none of these seem to be holiday specific I was happy with my purchase. I plan to use some them to make some cookies this week! I’ll post my results when I am done. I do love new things.

The Tiny Cookie Cutters

Tiny cookie cutters!

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Rasberry Chocolate Pudding Cup-Bread Basket Cake Company

4 May

Today was the Sayonara potluck gathering to regrettably wish one of my coworkers good journey in her next endeavors and adventures. I will miss her stories of all her weekend escapes to concerts and food festivals. She always had something unique to share and always brought a wise approach with such youthful vibrancy to any conversation that I was consistently left in amazement of her. I wish her well in her travels.

I think travel is good for the soul! As well as travel, I would include food in things that are good for the soul! The potluck today had some great dishes, but the highlight for me came just as we were sitting down to eat. Our boss walked in and set this big white box down in front of us. It was clear that it had come from a bakery and then I realized that it was a Bread Basket box and I knew what she had bought.  I wish I could remember what she called these treats and I can not seem to find the name for them on their website. They need to be called something like “Nom in the Knees” or “My Rasberry Blackout”.

image

Pictured above is a Pudding Cup from the Bread Basket Cake Company of Camarillo, California. They are a fairly local bakery that make some of the most colorful treats I’ve seen in a long time.

Do not be fooled by all the  perfectly ripe raspberries on the top of each cup! This is not a light dessert. The whip cream is of the highest quality full-fat cream. The vanilla base pudding in the middle is copious amounts of decadency incarnate. If you manage to make it to the bottom of the cup, which is made from white and dark chocolate, a sweet chocolate pudding awaits. I think it might be a chocolate frosting because of the seriousness of the sugar texture. All it is very rich and easily shared, but I challenge you to eat one alone!

I saved mine and ate it later in the evening at home. I think my roommate may have known I was home from the “Dessert Aura” that shined from my insides out to the world.

On the flip side, I am planning to go walking tomorrow evening and for the next three weeks. Calorie overload, but I highly recommend them to anyone coming close or driving through the area. They are located right off the freeway and have very pleasant and agreeable staff! If anyone goes please let me know what you think!

The Simple Simplicity.

3 May

When do plans always fall in line. I don’t usually have it so lucky. I had made plans for a friend to come over and make dinner for her and I was running late! Things that I had going form me were that I can chop food like the wind and that I had not planned on making such complicated dishes. What was on the menu for tonight was:

I honestly have never had so much go wrong with a meal!!!! It ended with a bit of dessert joy in a tart, but the first 3 things posed some problems for me.

The garlic toast was a simple enough deal. I just have never used, or don’t remember using an oven broiler. I forgot my delicously dainty toasts in the oven for one minute too many and I was left with more than a couple burnt edges. The bottoms were ok, but the tops were a bit rough in some places.

The second bit was the Curry Rice! I adore Japanese Curry. My Father, with his great love of curry, was making family dinners for years with it. His style of preparation was to cube everything up including the rue, add it all to the pan with some water and then let it simmer for some time.  It ended up being more like a thick soup. It was tasty and I didn’t know any better so all was copacetic.

From the year 2000 to 2004 I shared a condo with Satoko and Yuri, two of the most wonderful girls I know! We lived together and cooked amazing meals for each other all the time. They, among many dishes, taught me how to make Japanese style curry with a bit more careful attention to the details. Talk about a huge taste and texture difference! I really like eating the red pickled daikon radish with it as well. The sharp contrast in texture is refreshing especially if the curry you are eating is really hot.

The part that messed up on was the rice…..

The most simple of things…rice. The upside is that I am one step ahead if I ever decide to make rice porridge.

The last dish, I got the idea to make while driving home trying to think of a quick dessert. I knew that I wanted to make a tart with some left over pie crust. All I needed were some strawberries and some kind of cream topping. I bought some whipping cream and made a what turned out to be this grossly and excitingly tasty dessert! It made up for all my earlier errors.

The strawberry tartine cooling just out of the oven.

I let the pie cool out of the oven for like 15 minutes. Then served it up with a generous portion of Whipped cream that was prepped in way to make it taste like cheesecake. I will make this all for you some day I promise!

The Strawberry Tartine with Cheesecaked Whipped Cream

Strawberry Tartine with Cheesecaked Whipped Cream

I have posted the recipe on the Food52 website if you would like to make it. I enjoy their blogs immensley and the community of food bloggers they attract.  Please ask me any questions about my recipe. It’s only the second one I’ve ever written and I would appreciate input or feedback. Thank you Sasha for coming over and letting me cook for you! Let’s dine again soon!

Choco chip cookie love!

5 Mar

I love cookies! When it comes to chocolate chip, I know what I am doing. I know how I want them to come out and know how to get there. It is my go to cookie. I can get them done in no time flat and they are sure crowd-pleaser.

With that said, the recipe that I have always followed is on the back of Nestle Toll House Semi-sweet Chocolate chip bag. I find it basic, easy to prep, and delicous. What makes mine wonderful is in the prep, the baking and my attention to the way I want my outcome of the cookie to be.

Pictured below is a big part of that process. What I do after I make my batter and add the chips is I push all the batter up against the sides of bowl and I pop in the fridge, then I start preheating the oven.

The Choco chip Cookies_Secrets

The chocolate chip cookie secrets.

In the time it takes for the oven to preheat the cookie batter have cooled enough and can start being spooned out on to the cookie  sheets. I am pretty specific about the cookie sheets that I use. I don’t like using non-stick cookies sheets. I don’t know the science behind it, but the way they distribute heat makes cookies burn on the bottom. You could reduce your cooking time, but then you might have problems with your centers. I like aluminum Jelly roll pans! They do just the right things to the edges of a cookie. Makes the sugar melt and brown perfectly.

 

The Choco chip Cookies_Baking

When I remove the cookies from the oven I let sit in the pan for about 2 minutes before I try to remove them. It helps the edges get perfect. You will notice above how the cookies are rising very nicely. I have definitely had cookies that didn’t rise well and just spread too far over the pan and created more of disc than a cookie.  When you refrigerate your dough for just a bit it helps the the cookies set up, and controls spread when baking.

The Choco chip cookies_cooling_close-up

Below is a close up of how I like the a perfect chocolate chip cookies  to look. It has brown edges that you can see how the sugar has crisped up well and then the centers of the cookies should be chewy and moist, but not raw. They should have a light golden color to them.

The Chocolate chip cookie cooling

The Chocolate chip cookie cooling

Seems like whenever I bake cookies I learn something. Today I learned a lot of things while cooking these cookies.

1) I’m over only having one cookie sheet.

The Chocolate chip cookies_finished

2) Not sure, but this is the second time, when using Kosher salt, that the cookies came out a bit salty. Think I will stick with good ol’ table salt for these cookies in the future.

In the end the cookies vanished like all the others before them. I am excited to start challenging myself to some other cookies this year, but I am happy that I have the basics of this cookie down at the least.

Desserts are so much fun to make pretty!

19 Feb

I wanted to make a dessert out of some sweet strawberries that just picked up. I was thinking of a whip cream trifle of some kind. Easy towered and fun to put together. The only thing is, It was already taking me forever to get to my friends house because the California rain. I was thinking that she had offered up to make us some pancakes for dinner…….I kindly declined….but at this point I am thinking they would work great if they were made thin enough to layer with strawberries and the whip cream.

It worked perfectly. The pancakes came out a bit thicker than I thought they would so what I did was cut the pancakes up into cubes and placed them in cups. I then layered with whip cream and then sliced strawberries. I sprinkled a little bakers sugar on top of the strawberries. I repeated the process to my artistic satisfaction.

My super friend came up to me and reminded me of her dislike for my beloved berries and then I realized that I should make her a different dessert. I happened to have some super mini peanut butter cups on me (I had them for working on another project) and so I just used them in place of the strawberries.

The peanut butter cups had their own sugar, so I didn’t bother adding and sugar to this. It was sweet enough on it’s own.

The last dessert was almost the same as the first one, but I incorporated more sugar and used a little chocolate powder inside and outside. The strawberries were the stars but I thought that a little choco lacing might be interesting.

It was fun a lot of fun making these! I really got into the placement of every strawberry or peanut butter cup.

Thanks to everyone that shared in my foodventure this weekend. I hope that you all enjoyed!

Peanut Butter Cup Martini…update…

16 Feb

Here is the image of what I started out with on day one.

And now, two weeks of peanutty infusion later and we have this…

The Peanut Infused Rum

The color change is more dramatic in person. The peanut taste is insane! I am currently on the hunt for the right price for some chocolate liqueur. I am trying to avoid paying out the nose for the Godiva brand. I will wait one more week and then I will cave if I don’t find the right price. I will have my Peanut Butter Cup Martini!!!

Valentines Day is cheap way to find Heart Shaped baking tools…

16 Feb

Valentines day cookies are made and done and distributed! Sorry if you were not on the receiving end. I wish I could have made them for everyone!

I have always seen kits for making cookies and I have never really been moved to the point where I would want purchase a cookie kit. I picked the kit that made these cookies up at Cost Plus Worlds Market. Of course they do not look like they do on the front of the box,,,,They look better….in my humble opinion.

I really bought it because the cookie cutter looked like it would work well for other projects that I have in mind down the road.

 

I had these gift bags that were left over from my days living in the land of cute and Engrish. I felt that since I’d been holding on to them going on 4 years now, it might be time to let go and so that the world could enjoy!

For the new experience of cooking with a kit, I left it feeling positive. Yes, I can make a tastier cookie, and yes it’s not as challenging, but it was fun and it did fill the house the smell of chocolate. I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day!