Desserts, Snacks

Vanilla Coconut Popsicles

One of my earliest memories is eating a coconut popsicle. A creamy white pop with little bits of shredded coconut sprinkled throughout. I don’t remember where I was, or who I was with, specifically. And maybe the memory is actually a blur of many popsicles, the result of countless visits to roaming trucks and Central Park kiosks, but I can close my eyes and see my fingers ripping through the flimsy plastic. I know I was three or four, and the moment I unwrapped the pop, it began melting down the stick in the hot Manhattan sun, cream getting dangerously close to my fingers. I’ve had many a coconut “froz fruit” since those first few, and this happens every time. I’m a little more okay with the meltdown now, (I’m fairly sure I was the only kid to really really really hate being sticky) and every time I pass a truck it takes everything in my power not to buy three.

In celebration of summer and Billy’s #popsicleweek (!!) I felt it was high time to take a whack at these in my own kitchen.

All I hoped to achieve with my own version of this popsicle was that slightly chewy consistency that comes from all pre-packaged ice cream truck confections. Let it be known I’m not talking about that taffy-like quality that New England-style ice cream does so well (shoutout to Herrell’s in Northampton, which supplied me with my delightfully chewy birthday ice cream sundaes and homemade chocolate whipped cream from 2011-2015). No, I’m talking about the kind of icy texture that comes only as a result of bumping around in the back of a Mister Softee freezer for months at a time, temperature going up and down by day, even by hour. The treats start to melt, then freeze back up, then melt again. Once they’re unwrapped and bitten, it’s clear the contents aren’t a solid mixture, but a hundred million coconut-flavored snowflakes.

It’s impossible to create the real thing, but I’ve come pretty close. I added a hit of vanilla, which is technically not part of the classic pop, but I think it added a little something special. The recipe is wildly simple too, for more time eating popsicles and less time debating whether this was worth it, and if you should’ve just walked outside to a truck.

A note on the sweetener for this recipe: Anything will do, it simply depends on your preference. If you want to notice the flavor, use honey or maple syrup; if you don’t, use powdered sugar. Completely your call. As for the chocolate, I personally prefer dark chocolate in general, but I’ve found that semisweet makes for that classic, barely cloying magic shell-type coating, which is actually kinda great. Again, the choice is yours.

There can never truly be enough popsicles, so do yourself a favor and head over to the #popsicleweek homepage on Wit & Vinegar for about a million more wildly creative and delicious-sounding frozen treats.

Vanilla Coconut Popsicles

1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
±2 tablespoons desired liquid sweetener (honey, syrup, coconut nectar, etc.) OR 1/4 cup powdered sugar (see note above)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

Optional:
2-6 ounces 80% dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped (you’ll need more for dipping, less for drizzle)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
flakey sea salt

Place all ingredients in the first list except shredded coconut in a blender and blitz for 25-40 seconds, or until well mixed. Add shredded coconut and blend for a few seconds just to incorporate. Pour mixture into a prepared popsicle mold. Freeze for about 4 hours.

If you’re interested in doing a chocolate dip or drizzle: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler, then remove from the heat. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. If dipping: Pour the chocolate into a tall heat-proof jar. Un-mold the pops one at a time, dip, let excess chocolate drip off, then place the pops on the baking sheet and return to the freezer for a few minutes. If drizzling: Working quickly, un-mold all the pops and place then on the baking sheet. Drizzle the chocolate on with a spoon, then return to the freezer for a few minutes.

🔜🔜🔜 #popsicleweek

A post shared by Rebecca Firkser (@ruhbekuhlee) on

 

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Book Review, Desserts

Coconut Orange Cookies

The Whole Coconut Cookbook is a collection of fresh gluten- and dairy-free recipes starring that famous fibrous drupe, the coconut. Nathalie Fraise‘s collection of recipes explores every meal (plus snacks and dessert) injecting each recipe with every iteration of coconut. Some recipes are now-classics you can’t seem to open a brunch menu without, (chia pudding, grain-free granola, nut butters galore) the recipes for which taste good, but weren’t especially stimulating. Others, upon my recitation of their titles aloud, elicited reactions along the lines of “wait, what?” (banana cauliflower Farina.) However, the majority of Fraise’s recipes are new ideas I can’t wait to make and eat (green onion patties with spicy peanut sauce, coconut sesame noodles with bok choy and tamarind dressing. cheesy paprika popcorn, vanilla rosemary crème brûlée helllllo.)

According to the introduction, Fraise grew up in Madagascar. Her regular experience with coconuts involved trucks toting the fruit into the town where she lived, and others (when traveling near the coast,) involved buying them directly from children who’d plucked them from their own trees. It’s safe to assume Fraise knows what she’s talking about. And if you doubt her, just check out the back of the book where she lists pages of resources, recommended brands, and texts she consulted in order to make this collection of recipes so successful. I found all necessary ingredients at Whole Foods.

Before you get cooking from this book, here’s a list of coconut-based items you’re going to need:
– coconut oil
– coconut butter (which is different from coconut oil; it’s simply coconut meat that’s processed into a thick butter)
– a few cans of coconut milk
– coconut flour
– coconut palm sugar
– coconut nectar (thick syrup, technically the raw liquid sap of the coconut blossom)
*Pick up a copy of the book for more useful ingredients and descriptions*

I chose to make Fraise’s coconut orange cookies, which were essentially an almond flour-riff on macaroons. Chewy, moist, and just salty enough for a dessert, plus topped with toasty sesame seeds, these little cookies were a wildly pleasant surprise. They also go very well with white wine, just saying. I think the next time I make them, I may bump up the sesame factor by adding a good dollop of tahini to the batter. If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your dessert table this Passover, I’d highly recommend taking these cookies for a test drive. They’re thickened with arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch, and the combination of coconut and almond flours + alternative coconut-based sugars make for a pretty complex flavor. Check out these articles if you’re nervous about Passover recipes that include baking powder.

Cookies (from The Whole Coconut Cookbook, makes about 2 dozen cookies)

2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut butter
1/3 cup coconut nectar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1 large orange
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, shredded coconut, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, arrowroot, baking soda, and salt.

Combine coconut oil and coconut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Melt gently, then whisk in the coconut nectar, vanilla, and orange zest. Pour into flour mixture and combine.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough (I used my trusty cookie scoop, rolled the cookies into balls with my hands, then flattened them very slightly). Place on the prepared baking sheets, separated by a couple of inches. Do not overcrowd, as they spread while cooking. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (or better yet, roll the whole top of the cookie in seeds). Bake in the middle rack of the oven, until golden brown on top, 7-9 minutes. Make sure the bottoms do not burn.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and allow to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!

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Desserts

Banoffee Pie Parfaits

The turkey has been served. Siblings came back from college in waves; facial piercings dangling, quoting Althusser and complaining about dining hall scrambled eggs. Grandma can’t get over how old everyone looks, and also wants to know who’s engaged yet. Our belts have been thrown into the closet, not to be seen again for several months. It’s officially *that* time of year. Which means all the holiday movies are about to take over our lives. ARE YOU READY? I’m not, really.

Except in the case of one. Love Actually. If you haven’t seen it, you better get yourself a copy or rent it on demand or illegally download it or obtain the movie however you watch movies now, because this is what you should do tonight. It’s one of those movies that focuses around 107890 different storylines so you don’t get too bored/can get up for more pie or eggnog without worrying about missing much. And Love Actually Day (five weeks before Christmas) was officially last Friday, so we’re a little late but that’s okay.

The point of those sentences is the first time I ever heard of Banoffee pie was in Love Actually. Kiera Knightly tries to win Andrew Lincoln’s (who, incidentally, you probably know as that guy from The Walking Dead) friendship with banoffee pie. How freakin’ cute, amirite? I immediately looked up what the heck banoffee pie was, and got very very excited. It’s basically banana cream pie with dulce de leche. How had I not heard of this?!

There is, however, one HUGE error with this otherwise flawlessly written rom-com-feel-good-“Holiday” scene: Kiera says she has terrible taste in pie. Referring to the banoffee pie. What what what are you doing. I made up my mind right then and there to make this pie asap and then promptly forgot until the next time I watched the movie about a year later and yelled at myself for my not having made it yet. And then forgot again. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was looking through my favorite vegan blog‘s archives instead of doing adulty things and I saw a recipe for the pie. And then I was at my friend’s house and she reminded me that Love Actually Day was a week away. It was fate. Spoilers: banoffee pie is fucking incredible and even if you don’t like bananas you will like this pie IT’S THAT GOOD.

Most recipes for this pie have a nut-infused pâte brisée pie crust or crumbled cookie crust, but you can make whatever your heart desires. *I* think the best possible choice is a digestive biscuit crust. Digestive biscuits were v hip and trendy for like a week on the food websites in 2014, but I think they deserve more than 15 minutes of fame. They’re so much more than something to bring out when having a British-theme night or looking for a cookie made with whole wheat flour as an excuse to eat an entire sleeve-ful. They’re also not super sweet, which balances out the very sweet bananas and toffee.

ALSO: do you like to read other things on the internet? You should check out my beautiful friend Kelsey’s blog, Kelsey at the Movies. Kelsey’s a fantastically talented writer and a film scholarship grad student at NYU. Read her stuff!

ALSO ALSO: We’re getting close to my *200th* recipe post up in here! Any requests for what I should make will be appreciated~

Banoffee Pie Parfaits

20 digestive biscuits
5 tablespoons coconut oil, soft but not melted
pinch of salt

2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 bananas

1 cup whipping cream (or 1 batch coconut whipped cream with sweetener left out if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

Make the crust: Butter or oil any kind of pie pan and set aside. It 100% doesn’t matter what you use here, as you will be destroying said crust upon its completion. Place biscuits and salt in a large food processor and pulse until you have fine, flour-like crumbs. Add the coconut oil and pulse until combined. Press into prepared pan and freeze for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, then bake crust for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Make the filling Simmer the sweetened condensed milk in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat until very thick and golden brown, stirring VERY frequently (about 25 minutes.) Do NOT walk away, as there is a strong possibility the milk will begin to burn on the bottom of the pan. If this does begin to happen and the burnt bits are only brown, you’re okay; you’ll just want to pass the milk through a fine mesh sieve when it’s done cooking. If this doesn’t happen, take pride in the fact that you’re better at cooking/have a superior stove than I. Remove from heat, transferring to a heatsafe glass bowl, and stir in the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool completely, then transfer to a jar.

Put it all together: locate four or five glass jars or parfait/sundae glasses. Whip cream, syrup, and vanilla together until peaks form. Remove crust from tart pan and crumble it up completely. Slice bananas thinly. Spoon a thick layer of crust crumbles into the jars, then a layer of toffee, then a layer of bananas. Repeat until you’v filled the jars or used up all your ingredients. Dollop a final smear of whipped cream over the bananas, then top with a sprinkle of crust. Consume immediately if you so choose, but the flavors combine fantastically after sitting in the fridge for a few hours. Dessert will last for a few days in the fridge.

 

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Book Review, Desserts

172

Greek Yogurt Sorbet [from Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner] (GF)

Upon my arrival home from college, I was greeted by a pile of mail. Amid the mountain of credit card offers and magazine subscription renewal queries I found a copy of Janet Fletcher’s Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. !!! Now, this certainly is not a graduation card with a check, nor is it a new pair of shoes, but mannnn was I psyched! Okay, yes, I get just as giddy opening up a new cookbook as I most others do opening up a box a already-made culinary treats, but this book was especially exciting. The only people who truly get how passionately I feel about yogurt are probably my roommates and/or anyone who saw me walking into the theatre building for the past four months. I reallly dig yogurt. Not sure why. It’s kind of a weird substance. But no joke, it made up at least 65% of my diet this last semester of college. Because when one has to get from class on one side of campus at 11:55 to a production meeting on the other side at noon there isn’t really time to sit down and eat -let alone chew- one’s midday meal. It was not at all uncommon for most of the department to see me carrying my standard three tote bags and giant coat and mug of coffee and to-go cup of yogurt on a regular basis. It was a way to live. Not so sure if I can say I miss that…. But I’m getting off topic. You can imagine my joy upon opening Janet’s book for the first time; I’m only bummed I didn’t have it sooner.

The beautifully photographed book is broken down into sections, sweet and savory; including appetizers, meats, soups, veggies, desserts, and drinks– and you thought yogurt was just a breakfast food, huh? Not at all so. There’s even a chapter dedicated completely to DIY yogurt: standard yogurt, Greek yogurt, and yogurt cheese (which is totally a thing- who knew? not I!) Be wary, this does involve buying cultures and creating an incubation situation, but don’t worry, there are extensive instructions and resources detailed in the book. While I have yet to experiment with homemade yogurt myself, since obtaining this book I feel much more comfortable about tackling such a challenge..someday. Maybe. What I’m really looking forward to are the many savory recipes. I didn’t make one for this particular review post, as I was really in the mood for frozen yogurt (and Red Mango is a whole eight minute drive away- the horror!) But I’m really excited about getting into fettuccine with fried onions under a yogurt poppyseed sauce and radish tzatziki with pita chips. Aaaand I’m definitely going to make the warm chickpeas with pine nuts and yogurt sauce as soon as it’s no longer 95 degrees out. In terms of sweets, I’m very intrigued by the Greek yogurt panna cotta- mostly because I’ve never had panna cotta and I am very curious to know if I’d like it. I am, however, certain I’ll love the yogurt pudding with saffron, cardamom, and toasted nuts, so I think that’s going to have to be dessert (or let’s be real, breakfast) very very soon.

In the meantime, let’s have some yogurt sorbet. Which is essentially just frozen yogurt, but has a snazzier name. This was so simple I shouldn’t even include instructions. As long as you have an ice cream maker, you’ll be so set with this. Remember to buy whole-milk plain yogurt, that low-fat/nonfat/1% stuff is fine and good for breakfast if that’s your thang, but for the purposes of this recipe just embrace the added creaminess!

some other things I’m excited about:

Anthony Bourdain did an episode of Parts Unknown in Jersey yessss watch it now. But if you don’t have time/are morally against tv, Eater also put together a comprehensive list of one-liners from the episode, which is almost as good.

Chris Taylor -yes, that Chris Taylor– wrote a cookbook?? and it actually looks really good!

Molly Yeh made cookie salad and that’s all we ever needed, amirite?

It’s over now, but Negroni Week is a really great idea and maybe you should make one yourself and donate your own dollar to a charity of choice!

Amy’s is opening up a DRIVE-THRU.

One of the most original and informative food blog posts I’ve read in a very long while..Josh is making me reevaluate my stance on people who refer to themselves as “bros.”

Who remembers the Rainforest Cafe? Well, the creator of that gem is taking a whack at a Puff the Magic Dragon-themed eatery. I’m just as confused as I am truly jazzed.

Greek Yogurt Sorbet (from Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, serves 6)

4 cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, sieved to remove all lumps
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I scraped in a vanilla bean because I like the speckles)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I used vanilla salt, for funzies)

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill well, then transfer to an ice cream maker (I use this one) and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a lidded storage container (or loaf pan with some plastic wrap) and freeze for at least 1 hour to firm. If it freezes for longer than a few hours and is too hard to scoop, let it sit at room temperature for ten minutes or so and you should be good to go!

Janet recommends serving this with broiled peaches or apricots that have been drizzled in brown sugar and butter, which sounds a m a z i n g, but I went with fresh apricots and mint because it felt a little more summery. I bet it would be out of this world with a berry compote! It also would only help pies, brownies, and other fruit desserts.

NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!


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Desserts

147

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 

+ a fall wish list

I received a very important text from Emily a few weeks ago. She needed pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Well, I’m nothing if not a fan of helping a girl in need of dessert, so obviously I went out and bought a two cans of pumpkin- a batch for her and a batch for me, duh. Spoilers: I didn’t eat the whole second batch myself. I shared some with my roommates in exchange for some cookie-hand modeling (scroll down), and then brought the rest to Vassar to share with my boyfriend. He thinks a serving of cookies = an entire tray, which makes me happy. So anyway, as I walked to the grocery store it dawned on me: I’m wearing a sweater and it might actually be fall right now. So that was weird. And since college for me tends to be a bubble/black hole where all aspects of the real world are only enjoyed through tiny windows (did you know the holiday season actually starts before finals are over?) I made up my mind right then and there to pay more attention to life outside of school. Is anyone else sensing a pattern to my posts lately? If you can guess it I’ll mail you one of these cookies. So, whenever I decide to do something it always starts with a list. I like making lists. And in an effort to actually follow through I’m going to post it on the blog so I have witnesses…even if the only witness is the internet.

This fall I will:

carve pumpkins with my roommates (are they roommates if we don’t share a bedroom? housemates? apartmates?)

make pumpkin spice lattés from scratch in the hopes it gets me to actually like pumpkin spice lattés

drink mulled cider or wine outside while wearing a birkenstocks + socks (fashion show fashion show)

go running/walk at least twice a week in an effort to spend more time outside and less on homework because last year I did the opposite and am fairly certain it led to the solid two months of debilitating migraines

dress up as Betty Draper for Halloween

find someone who has a dress I can borrow in order to be Betty Draper for Halloween (or should I just wear my prom dress from high school…tbt?)

have a Friendsgiving in my apartment before we all leave

try out this vegan pumpkin pie on my relatives and see if they notice

learn to make challah in an effort to somehow stay connected to part of my heritage even though I completely missed Rosh Hashanah

Can I do at least 2/3 of this? We shall see!

Cookies (adapted slightly from Food52)

c whole wheat flour

tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

c unbleached cane sugar

1/2 c vegetable oil

c canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract

large egg

c bittersweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped

coarsely ground pepper (optional, but it shouldn’t be)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, pumpkin, vanilla and egg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined, then stir in the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between the cookies. Sprinkle with pepper if desired (do it do it do it peer pressure do it). Bake for about 12 minutes. They’re always going to be pretty soft, but a minute or two more certainly won’t hurt them if you’re not sure. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about five minutes, then finish cooling completely on cooling wracks.

Also, quick facts about these cookies: 1) the texture is extremely similar to that of a soft and fluffy whoopie pie. Which means you should probably whip up a quick batch of cream cheese frosting and get sandwiching! Or crumble them over vanilla/maple/butter pecan ice cream. OR layer them with whipped cream, pepitas, and crushed gingersnaps to make a trifle! 2) I made my first tray of cookies without the pepper, then I had a moment of inspiration and decided I would just go for it, and they came out INCREDIBLE. Put pepper on all your pumpkin/ginger/snickerdoodle cookies right before you bake them. And while you’re reaching for the condiments put salt on your chocolate chip cookies before you bake those. You won’t be sorry.

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Desserts

112

Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake

This pound cake is out of this world! I’ve found that with many chocolate recipes, the intense cocoa flavor gets lost in the cake as a whole- not so with this recipe. It stays wonderfully chocolatey, with just the right hint of crunchy coconut and sugar on top. Whether you serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert or with fruit in an effort to disguise eating straight-up cake for breakfast, I do not doubt you will walk away in bliss.

 

Cake (from Bon Appetit)

– ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (plus more)

-1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

– ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 tsp. kosher salt

– ¾ tsp. baking powder

– ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature

– 1½ cups plus 1 tbsp. sugar

– 3 eggs

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– ⅔ cup buttermilk

– ¼ cup unsweetened coconut (shredded or flakes)

Preheat oven to 325° and butter an 8×4” loaf pan lined with parchment paper (leave a generous overhang on long sides). Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat coconut oil, ¼ cup butter, and 1½ cups sugar until pale and fluffy (5–7 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, blending between additions. Continue to beat until mixture is very light and doubled in volume  (5–8 minutes). Add vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (don’t over mix!) Scrape batter into the loaf pan and run a spatula through the center, creating a canal. Sprinkle with coconut and remaining 1 tbsp. sugar. Bake until very dark and toasted, when a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (tent with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done), about 70–80 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan 20 minutes before turning out and devouring!

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ninety three

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Picture a perfect brownie. Like, a reallllly perfect brownie. Warm from the oven, fudgy, with a few pieces of chocolate oozing out the moment you take a bite. If you (like myself) thought brownies were the best chocoholic dessert, get ready to be proved wrong. I’ve had crinkle cookies before, and they were fine. Just another chocolate cookie, which is always good, but nothing special. I did some research and found that some recipes for crinkle cookies are all melted chocolate and no cocoa powder. While this makes the cookies extra dense, which seems to be on the right track, the end product doesn’t take on nearly as intense a chocolate flavor as the ones made with cocoa powder, which is in the recipe I’m sharing today. And definitely use Dutch process cocoa, it’s just the best of the best. Get ready, these are serious cookies.

Cookies (from the Williams Sonoma Baking Book)

– 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

– 1/4 cup unsalted butter

– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

– 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa

– 2 tsp. baking powder

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 4 large eggs, at room temperature

– 2 cups granulated sugar

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate mini chocolate chips (or normal sized, chopped)

– 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Place the unsweetened chocolate and butter on top of a double boiler. Heat, stirring often, until both have melted. Set aside to cool slightly. In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until light in color and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture on low speed until blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl.

Form the dough into balls by rolling a rounded tablespoon between your palms into a 1 1/2 inch ball, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place cookies about 3 inches apart from each other on the baking sheets. Bake the cookies (one sheet at at time) until the tops have crinkled and the cookies feel firm when lightly touched- the edges will be set but the centers will be springy, about 13-17 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire wracks. Store in an airtight container if you don’t finish them all in one sitting.

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Breakfasts, Desserts

seventy five

Guest Post: Peach Cobbler Scones

Guess who’s back? Emily’s back! She’s here to share her wondrous looking recipe for Peach Cobbler scones. Because what’s better than peach cobbler? Peach cobbler with more dough and butter. Yes please.

Peach Cobbler Scones

There are few summer treats more perfect than ripe peaches. Each time I’m at a farmer’s market I find myself buying them by the basket full. In my opinion, one of the greatest feelings is biting into a peach and having the juices drip down your face, because that is how you know you just scored a perfect piece of fruit.

Peaches are great in their fresh whole form but something this perfect should not be limited. They are delicious thrown on the grill, baked into a pie, or even used in salsa. Let me tell you though, these scones are the way to go. Guys, seriously, they’re genius.

Scones (Adapted from Joy the Baker)

Biscuit Dough

– 3 cups all-purpose flour

– 3 Tbsp buttermilk powder

– 1/4 cup granulated sugar

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 3/4 tsp salt

– 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

– 1 egg, beaten

– 3/4 cup cold water

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:

– 2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced

– 1/4 cup cream, for brushing

– 2 tbsp sugar combined with 2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 400oF. In a large bowl combine flour, buttermilk powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut in the butter. In another bowl, combine egg, water, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

On a floured surface, knead your dough until it comes together nicely. Roll it out until it is about 1/2 and inch thick (I just used my hands a patted it out). Brush half of the flattened dough with cream and arrange the sliced peaches on the same half. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Fold the plain half of the dough over the peachy half and press it together lightly. Do your best to shape it into more of a rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into eight even pieces.

Place your scones on a parchment lined baking sheet. They will spread a little, so leave some room. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then brush the top of each with buttermilk and sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar.

Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before devouring.


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seventy three

Latticed Peach Raspberry Pie

There are few things I find more satisfying than biting into a really good slice of pie. Tart fruit juice running down your face, flakey crust crumbling under the weight of your fork, it’s the best. Is making the perfect pie filling tricky? Yes. Is making the perfect crust even more so? Yes. But oh man, is it worth it. Here’s a (not very secret) secret: I’m a little bit lazy sometimes, I used to be a semi-homemade kinda pie gal. I’d buy a frozen crust and then make my own filling. A good homemade filling is usually enough to distract one from a mediocre crust, but it doesn’t let you forget. Even though the people eating my halfway homemade pie couldn’t tell, I aways knew. I had to stop. It’s now just worth it to make my own crust. Try this one and I promise you’ll get it. Now, in terms of the filling, there’s absolutely nothing better than fresh summer fruit in a pie, but how does one make a perfect pie in the dead of winter? There aren’t any good peaches in January! Or in November! Or April for that matter! I’ll let you in on another secret for my perfect peach pie all year round: frozen peaches. Now hold on, before you all scream and boo and hiss, frozen fruit has such a bad rap, it really bums me out. But it’s the real deal, and I swear by frozen peaches in pie. Unless of course you happen to grow consistently perfect peaches in your yard or something, then excuuuuuse me. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.

Pie (filling adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook, crust straight from the book, I’m not quite ready to mess around with such a delicate recipe)

Crust (makes a standard “double crust” recipe, so just cut this in half if you’re looking to make an open faced pie)

– 2/3 cup unsalted butter (I like to cut it into small pieces and then stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes)

– 6 tbsp. vegetable shortening (do the same thing as the butter with this ^)

– 2 2/3 cups flour

– 2 tbsp. sugar (optional)

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 8 tbsp. ice water

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Remove the butter and shortening pieces from the freezer and pulse 8-10 times until the mixture forms course crumbs (about the the size of large peas.)  Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time and pulse 10-12 times just until the dough just begins to come together. Transfer the dough to a work surface (I swear by the Silpat).  Split the dough in half and form each half into a 6-inch disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour or up to overnight. Make the filling (see below). Here’s my method for rolling out a perfect pie crust: After the crust has chilled, remove one disk from the freezer and place on a piece of floured waxed paper on top of a work surface. Flour the top of the crust disk. Place another piece of waxed paper on top of that. Moving from the center out, rotating often, roll out your crust to fit a 9-inch baking dish, making sure to lift the waxed paper from the dough and flip it over every few rolls (crust should be about 1/4-1/8″ thick). Place in pie pan. To make the lattice pieces, roll out the second pie crust using the same method described above, but this time try to keep it in a rectangular shape. Cut the crust into ten 3/4″-1″ strips. Place in refrigerator while you assemble the pie.

Filling

– 2 16-oz. bags frozen peaches, fully thawed

– 3 cups fresh raspberries (you can use frozen here too, but keep in mind that the berries get a little too squishy post-baking, so don’t thaw them before baking)

– 2 tbsp. lemon juice

– 2 tbsp. cornstarch

– 2/3 cup granulated sugar

– pinch of salt

– 1 tbsp. flour

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all ingredients except for the flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle the flour onto the base of the pie crust, then pour in the fruit mixture.

Assembly

– one egg

– 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

To make the lattice top: Place five of the strips evenly spaced vertically around the pie. Fold every other strip over itself. Going from the center out, place another strip onto the pie horizontally. Fold the first strips back into their original position over the new horizontal piece. Then fold the strips you didn’t use the first time over themselves and add another horizontal strip. Continue until all strips have been used. Right about now I bet you’re saying “Whaaaaaaaaat???!”, so here’s a handy illustration from Show Me Now, a freaking incredible site/book/app, to help because I was dumb and didn’t photograph my latticing

SMN_NEW_LatticePie6NOV08

Once you’ve latticed the pie to your liking (I tend to redo mine about 57 times), whisk up your egg and brush it onto the crust, then top the whole thing off with a sprinkling of sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for about 25 minutes more, until the crust is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Keep an eye on the edges, they’ll get brown real quick, so get your hands on these bad boys (I have really great 4 inch ones, which work for all sized pies, but I couldn’t find them on the internet, I’M SORRY EVERYONE).

Now enjoy your beautiful pie! It’s almost too pretty to eat!

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Drinks

fifty three

Frozen Hot Chocolate (and Coffee and Mocha)

This is a drink I’m fairly certain most people have made in the summer. Nothing better than a freshly made frappé (I’m convinced no one actually uses this word) on a summer’s day, amiright? Until this summer, I’ve always made frozen hot chocolate the same way: put cooled hot chocolate in the blender with ice. It’s always tasted decent, but never full on chocolatey like I’m looking for. Well, I was watching the Food Network the other night (because, as I’ve said before, it’s one of my favorite pastimes) and Alton Brown did something brilliant. He FROZE the hot chocolate in ice cube trays. The chocolate was the ice. I seriously got way too excited. So that’s what I did. And it works. The secret is to make the hot chocolate quite a bit stronger than you’d prefer, then when blending it with milk the flavors perfectly even out. This is the best way to make use of all that hot chocolate mix that’s been sitting in your cabinet for six months! You know you have some. (When creating the hot chocolate ice cubes, I used full on cocoa powder and sweetened it myself, but if you’re using a pre-mixed powder, just add several tablespoons more than recipe calls for)

After succeeding with the chocolate version, I went on to create two more frozen recipes, for Frozen Coffee and Mocha! Yes. Yum.

Frozen Chocolate (serves about 3-4)

– 8 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (this one is great, so is this; those are Amazon links but you can get them at pretty much any supermarket)

– 4 rounded tbsp. sugar

– 4 cups + another 2 or 3 cups 2% milk (I’ll explain later)

Mix cocoa and sugar together and set aside. Place 4 cups milk in a saucepan, add cocoa mixture and stir until combined (it helps to mix 1/2 of the milk in with the cocoa mixture and then add that to the remaining milk on the stove for less lumps!) Heat on medium low, stirring constantly until steaming. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or so, then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze a few hours or overnight and then place cubes (one tray at a time) in a blender along with the additional 2 or 3 cups of milk and blend until desired consistency! Garnish with a toasted marshmallow and graham cracker!

Frozen Coffee (serves about 3-4)

– 4 cups strong coffee (espresso actually works great)

– 4 rounded tbsp. sugar (optional)

– 4 cups milk

Pour the slightly cooled coffee (with sugar mixed in if using!) into ice cube trays. Freeze a few hours or overnight and then place cubes (one tray at a time) in a blender along with milk and blend until desired consistency! This is the greatest thing to take on a commute into work: no chance of spilling hot coffee all over yourself while on the train or in the car (sadly, both have happened to me. Comes with the territory of being a caffiend I suppose..)

Frozen Mocha (serves about 3-4)

– 8 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

– 4 rounded tbsp. sugar

– 4 cups 2% milk

– 2-3 cups strong coffee or espresso

Follow the Frozen Chocolate recipe. Place chocolate cubes (one tray at a time) in a blender along with the slightly cooled coffee and blend until desired consistency! Garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans!

vsco_3 What’s that black thing in the sugar you ask? Why, vanilla infused sugar of course! Who’s fancy? This girl.

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