Archive | January, 2013

Chocolate Avocado Loaf

30 Jan

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It’s not very often I have a ripe avocado to spare. Actually I’ve never had an avocado to spare. I buy lots and eat them often but use them in baking? Pffff.

A ripe avocado is a valuable and delicious thing. Come on…avocados in smoothies? Salads? On a sandwich? Taco? Guacamole? With a fried egg? Heaven.

Well I finally sacrificed one and used it to bake…that seems to be the trend these days….

The result was obviously amazing. The bread came out moist and tender. It’s egg free too…in case you were wondering….

If you can find it in your heart to spare one of your own ripe avocados, go ahead…bake this loaf!

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It also can be made into muffins…if you like that kinda thing…

Side note: Photographing chocolate items is harder than it looks! Brown things come out looking….brown. Forgive me for not capturing the deliciousness of this baked item as well as I could have. Please know it is way better in person.

Chocolate Avocado Loaf

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon. vanilla
1 ripe avocado, smashed
1/3 cup yogurt
2/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
In a mixing bowl, cream the oil and sugar until combined. Add the applesauce, vanilla, yogurt and smashed avocado and beat until creamy. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the mixture, slowly beating it in. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Pour into a loaf pan or divide into muffins (makes about 15). Bake at 350F for about an hour or until toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs. If baking muffins, bake at 400F for 15-18 minutes until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

Popcorn Cookies

22 Jan

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I had one of those moments…

The ones where you realize you’re one of billions on this earth.

I learned that my original idea is definitely not original at all (so stop strutting around with that smug look on your face because you’re not a baking genius).

Yeah, one of those moments…

I was walking along one day, and happened to think it would be the weirdest and greatest thing to replace the chocolate in chocolate chip cookies with buttered popcorn. I made a mental note and went about my business as usual.

The other day I borrowed a cookbook from the library and what do you think I saw? Popcorn cookies.

Well I never!

After I got over myself, I decided it was a wonderful thing that someone had already perfected a recipe and here it was right in front of me waiting to be created and consumed.

So they happened. The cookies became a reality.

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Do you know that time in the Simpsons where Homer buys a pack of “Nuts and Gum?” Their slogan is “Together at last.” I think that appropriately describes these cookies: You’d think they’d be weird, but they work and they are addictive and brilliantly delicious.

So I may not be the first to think of these, but hey….there are over 6 billion people in this world…

Buttered Popcorn Cookies
From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:
To make the popcorn: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan until hot. Add the kernels, and cover, shaking the pan to make sure all the kernels are in contact with the bottom of the pan.  As soon as you hear the first few kernels pop, shimmy the pan until all of the kernels pop (5 minutes or so).  Remove from heat, add melted butter and salt, and transfer to bowl.

Dough: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth. Whisk flour and baking soda together.  Stir flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture, until combined.  Fold in popcorn, making sure to get dough well distributed.  It’s okay if the popcorn breaks as you’re mixing, and don’t worry if it seems like there’s too much popcorn for the amount of dough.  It all works out in the end. 

Bake: Roll dough into mounds the size of a golf ball or slightly bigger.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to leave a 2 inch gap between cookies.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.  Let cool for a minute or so on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 24 cookies