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From the category archives:

Dessert

Remember how I got that large box of all different kinds of flours (you can see a photo of them in this post)? There was one flour in the bunch that I have been particularly excited to try: teff. I didn’t know anything about it but it is super dark brown and probably the prettiest flour in the bunch. Which I realize is a shallow way to judge flours… but… it’s just flour guys. Calm down.

Surfing around the internet I learned that teff flour is originally (and mostly grown) in Ethiopia. Although they are growing it in the US now too, mostly Idaho it seems. It’s gluten-free and super nutritious. I’m excited to try a traditional type recipe with it sometime but I also read that it can easily be used in most non-yeasted baking recipes by replacing up to 1/4 of the regular flour with teff flour. And so I made chocolate cookies. Because teff is dark brown and I thought it might make the cookies super dark brown. And I was right. Science.

I cooked a number of things yesterday as I was home all day for the first time in forever. And I must say that this was one of my favorite concoctions. But its double chocolate, so what’s not to love? These are best fresh out of the oven. If you save them for the next day I highly recommend popping one in the microwave for a few seconds so the chocolate chips get all gooey again.

Unless you’re afraid of microwaves. I am too. Sometimes. So, it’s cool.

Double Chocolate Cookies, makes 14-15 cookies

Needed: 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup teff flour, 4 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 6 tablespoons softened butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips and a few walnuts for garnish.

In a bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the peanut butter and milk. Combine with the flour mixture until a thick dough forms. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a prepared baking sheet and garnish each with a walnut half. I think they sort of look like tiny brains. Which is weird now that I’m typing it. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes.

Enjoy! xo. Emma

11 comments

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

by Emma on May 11, 2012

in Dessert

Weird fact about my life: I have made cream cheese frosting every week for over a year now. Well over 52 times I’ve made the same cream cheese frosting recipe.

No, I’m not just a crazy cream cheese lady. I own a small catering business and we serve Red Velvet cupcakes at our local shop every weekend.

Every now and again, you just want to change it up. Not because you’re dissatisfied with a classic but rather… I dunno… variety is the spice of life? Trying new things is good for your soul. Adventure is out there. Hit me baby one more time.

Ok. That got weird. Sorry about that.

Cutting to the chase: this is not my usual cream cheese frosting. This is a little, teeny tiny bit more fancy; because you use real vanilla beans instead of extract. Why is that more fancy? Because vanilla beans are expensive dude. And expensive=fancy. Duh.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting, makes enough to frost two dozen.

Needed: 1/4 cup (half a stick) softened butter, two 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese, 3 1/2 cups powered sugar and 1 vanilla bean.

In the bowl of a mixer cream together the butter and cream cheese. Split your vanilla bean down the center and using the tip of your knife scrap out all the beans (this will look more like a paste, but they are actually tons of tiny little flecks). Mix together the vanilla beans and cream cheese. Now begin adding your powder sugar, one cup at a time, mixing in between. Scrap down the sides of your bowl as needed. The best way to ensure you don’t get any lumps in your frosting is to sift the powder sugar before adding it (or whisk it in a bowl) breaking up all the lumps. But hey, if you don’t do this and get a few lumps, no biggie.

Have an awesome weekend everyone! I’m leaving for a little vacation tomorrow; going to Hawaii for the first time. Wish me luck, as this pale gal tends to burn. ;) xo. Emma

27 comments

Upside Down Coconut Cream Pies

by Emma on May 7, 2012

in Dessert

My mom asked me to make a coconut cream pie for a birthday party this past weekend. I adore trying new things and I love experimenting in the kitchen; but I do get just a touch nervous to make new dishes for the first time that I then will be serving to a big group of people. What if it doesn’t work? What if it tastes awful? Or worse, what if it tastes awful but no one tells me….

My family is absolutely full of good sports so I generally don’t worry too much about subjecting them to my cooking adventures. My parents are probably two of the most positive and supportive people I know—I hope to be that kind of parent someday too (assuming I take the plunge into parenthood someday).

So I looked up a recipe to try and made it. I add my own twist to the presentation. I had a little more filling than I needed, as I was using a store-bought crust (I was super busy that day—get off my back) and I think it was a touch smaller than homemade pie pans. So I filled a few shot glasses with the extra filling, chilled them and topped them with crumbled graham crackers and sweetened coconut flakes.

To me, these ended up being even better than the pie. Because of the size the filling takes hardly anytime to set and I love mini desserts! You could also top these with a little whipped cream if you feel like it. Anyway, random but fun serving idea for cream pies this summer. I will probably have to try this will a chocolate cream pie soon. :) xo. Emma

23 comments

Peach Cobbler Muffins

by Emma on May 3, 2012

in Breakfast,Dessert

Warning: the following story is about crumb topping. And it goes no where. Read at your own risk.

When I was in high school we had this group called DECA; I wasn’t a member and to be honest I can’t remember what that stands for. But they had something to do with business… and they sold Otis Spunkmeyer products. Mostly cookies, but a lot of crumb topping muffins too. My friend Kyle got the blueberry muffins all the time. And I learned two things from Kyle while we were in high school together: 1. If the muffin doesn’t have crumb topping don’t even bother eating it, it’s not worth it. 2. When you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have to put peanut butter on both slices and then jelly in the middle. Otherwise by lunch time you will have that weird side were the jelly has seeped in to the bread; in a bad way.

For the most part, I think Kyle was right about both of these observations. Now, I’m not saying I would turn down a muffin just because it doesn’t have a crumb topping… but I am saying that if it does have a crumb topping then I am exponentially more like to eat it. If then. It’s a logic horse shoe thing (if you get that then you may have wasted as much time in college as me).

In high school I had no idea what crumb topping was, or how to make it for that matter. I was baking challenged. Way too busy wearing Air Walks and participating in student government (yeah, I’ve been cool for a long time). But now I totally get it: crumb topping is another way to add more butter and sugar to any muffin recipe. Genius!

Peach Cobbler Muffins, makes 12, adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook (if you haven’t checked out Joy’s cookbook yet you totally should)

For the muffins: 1 1/2 cups flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and  1 1/2 cup diced peach slices (I used frozen, then thawed ).

In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl cream together the softened butter, egg, yolk, milk and extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then stir in the peach slices. Spoon batter into a prepared baking pan.

For the crumb topping: 4 tablespoons cold butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together using your clean hands until its… crumbly. Sprinkle over the muffin batter before baking. Bake at 350 F for 16-18 minutes.

24 comments