7 Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

14 Mar

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I did something bad. Twice. And I have plans to do it thrice.

No regrets. (ok…a little but only for dietary reasons)

I made this cake.

The first time was completely and utterly valid; a birthday cake for a good friend.

The result was basically crack on a pretty stand.

Naturally, I had to make it again. The reason was because I didn’t get the chance to take pictures…and without pictures I’m sure nobody would believe a word I say about this cake. So it happened. More unconventionally delicious calories for all!

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So what is this cake all about? It’s a layer of chocolate chip cookies.

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Topped with mascarpone cream. Multiplied by 7.

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You let it sit overnight to get nice and soft and comfortable with each other, and then you can slice and serve. Deadly goodness, and easily attainable at that. This is a bad bad bad (but really really good) creation and you should make it. Just make sure there are lots of people to share it with or you will hate yourself.

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This creation was courtesy of Martha Stewart. She’s so crafty.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

vanilla

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

4 cups chocolate chips

Cream butter until soft. Add sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs and vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients and then slowly add to the butter mixture and stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop into 1 inch balls (approximately) I found the smaller the better for cookie size when it comes to building the cake.

Bake at 350F until golden brown.

Mascarpone Cream

3 cups cold heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey (optional) You can also use vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings, for garnish
Whisk 3 cups cream and the mascarpone in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whiskey.
Whisk until medium-stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use (or up to 3 hours).
Arrange cookies in a circle (with cookies touching) on a cake stand or a plate. Place 2 cookies in center or what I did was break some cookies into smaller pieces to fill the holes. Spread 1 cup cream mixture evenly over cookies, leaving a slight border. Repeat to form 7 more layers, ending with cookies (you’ll have a few cookies left over depending on the size of your plate). Refrigerate, lightly draped with plastic wrap, overnight.
Garnish with a dollop of leftover cream and chocolate shavings.
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Matcha Cupcakes with Cocoa Icing

11 Mar

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I don’t even know how these happened.

One minute I’m unwinding after a day at work, and the next, I’m standing in front of my pantry, grabbing cupcake accoutrements, preheating the oven, and getting out mixing bowls.

Midnight rolled around and there was an iced cupcake on a plate in front of me.

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Seriously. I don’t know.

The cool part was that it was a darned good cupcake, and I now have a way to get rid of the giant bag of unwanted matcha tea I have in my cupboard.

I’m a healthy person, but holy hell I hate drinking matcha. Baked goods with matcha on the other hand…yes. Please. Baked goods with matcha and chocolate? Heck yes.

Thanks to David’s Tea I found this recipe and have had it on my mind for a while. Making them was a good idea. Even if it was a little too late.

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The icing is a very simple cocoa frosting. The reason the frosting on mine is so dark is because I used my black onyx cocoa powder…it’s like powdered oreos and probably the greatest thing, but regular cocoa powder would be just as divine.

Cream cheese frosting works too! Double the matcha kick by adding it to a buttercream why don’t you?

Best served at midnight.

Matcha Cupcakes

adapted from David’s Tea website

1 tbsp matcha
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2-3/4 cups flour
1- 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter on high until soft for about 30 seconds.
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
Add eggs one at a time, mixing in between each.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and matcha together.
Add in alternately with the milk and vanilla until combined.

The recipe makes just over 12 cupcakes depending on how full they are. I made 14 when I filled them 2/3 full.

Bake @350F for 20-25min….yada yada yada…

Cocoa Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Coconut Milk Scones

4 Mar

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I’d like to apologize to anyone who has come in contact with me since my return from Jamaica. I know I’ve been grumpy and bitter. And bitchy. And mopey. Mainly I’ve been a big ol’ sad sack; sitting on the couch, thinking about the unrealistic option of going back to Jamaica forever.

Reality freakin’ blows, people. Jamaica was the most magical experience I’ve had in a long time and it was over too soon. It’s no wonder their slogan is: “Jamaica- Once you go, you know.”

Oh….I know alright.

Coming back to my life here in Canada, with snow, and chores, and responsibilities is such a slap in the face after the warm, laid back personality of Jamaica.

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This recipe is me, grasping at any possible connection to the feeling I had there. Coconut milk scones.

I used my favourite cream scone recipe and substituted coconut milk for the cream, extra virgin coconut oil for some of the butter, and threw in some toasted coconut flakes for good measure. They’re pretty stellar.

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If you need me I’ll be eating coconut scones all day on the couch, staring at the wrist band from my resort that I still haven’t taken off and telling myself that it’s “no problem,” just like everyone in Jamaica assured me on a regular basis.

Ya Man’

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Coconut Milk Scones

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

40g unsalted butter (cold)

40g extra virgin coconut oil (cold)

1 egg

a splash of vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

Mix the dry ingredients together, and rub in the butter and coconut oil until the mixture has no more clumps in it; you want a very fine crumb. Try grating the butter in first, it’s easier to break it down.

Beat the eggs then mix with the vanilla and coconut milk, and pour into the dry mixture. The key is not to work the gluten in this dough. Break it up as if you were still just rubbing the butter into the flour, until there is no more loose flour. If you need to add a small splash of water, you can do so. Press together to form a solid dough ball. Knead it twice to bring together, then roll it out into a rectangle. You want about 1/2 inch thickness.

Pour a splash of coconut milk on the top and a sprinkle of sugar and spread it around.

Cut into strips, then squares, then triangles or you can cut into circles like I did for these.

Bake at 400F until they are light golden brown just around the edges.

Cranberry Apple Pie

6 Feb

 

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I would like to confess that sometimes, I lie.

If you’d like to tell me you are 100% honest I’d like to call bullshit on that, please and thank you.

However, I can’t say I’m the best liar…most of the time my face is a dead giveaway…or the guilt I feel leads to me confessing; but I still try.

I began to lie in this blog post and gush about how easy it was to put this together and hide all the shame that happened behind the scenes.

I could not follow through. I’ll just tell you the facts…SONY DSC

The apples I was planning on using froze while sitting in our sunroom.

The butter I measured out fell on the floor. (No, I did NOT call upon the 5 second rule and save it).

There was a flour explosion.

The crust was being a tool bag and refused to stay in one piece.

Fuck lattices.

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What I can say though, is that the outcome (even appearance-wise) surprised the heck out of me! It was a lovely slice of pie. Flaky crust and delicious filling.

So there, kitchen gods, you can try to smite me but I’ll always persevere.

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Here’s the recipe. I hope the kitchen gods bless you with the tastiest of pies.

 

Cranberry-Apple Pie

compliments of Martha Stewart

Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

Filling:

6 apples

1-2 cups cranberries, thawed or fresh

2/3 cup sugar

a dash of vanilla and cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

Toss together.

Take the first round of dough and roll out to make the base. Pour the filling into the base, and then cover with the second round that has been rolled out and cut into strips for a lattice top, or left whole. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400F for 40 minutes to an hour until filling is bubbling and pastry is a healthy golden brown.

 

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

Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Icing

22 Nov

I could lie right now and try selling you on these doughnuts by talking about how they’re baked doughnuts.

I won’t.

They’re baked…that is a cold hard fact.

The fact that they’re baked, however, should not completely cancel out any guilt or shame post consumption.

It’s the icing.

There’s some hardcore icing on these guys…

Browned butter: have you ever smelled anything better than that? It makes me want to live in it. Bathe in it.

Hey, it could be worse. They COULD also be deep fried.

There’s also a healthy dose of grated milk chocolate on top.

I ate one and my head exploded. Ok that’s a lie. The truth is I ate one and my mind was blown.

These are so good.

These are addictive.

These are dangerous.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe.

You’ll thank me. Or hate me. But you can’t lie and tell me they’re not mind bogglingly good.

If you don’t have a doughnut pan, these will easily work in muffin tins! You’re welcome.

Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Icing.

adapted from Shutterbean

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3ish bananas)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla and the oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon the batter about three-quarters full into two greased doughnut pans. Bake at 350F until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out dry, 14 to 16 minutes; let cool completely on a rack.

Brown Butter Icing

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
2 cups icing sugar
4 to 5 teaspoons boiling hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the butter is lightly browned (you will see little flecks of brown throughout the melted butter when it is properly browned). Remove it from the stove and pour it into a bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add 3 teaspoons of the water and the vanilla. Whisk in more powdered sugar a little at a time until it thick but still pourable (add a teaspoon or two of additional water, if needed). Place paper towels under the cooling rack and proceed to dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze. Let the excess drip off and place back on the cooling rack. Be sure to grate milk chocolate on top for good measure