fat bottom

fat bottom

Monday, December 29, 2008

a gift of chocolate crackle cookies...

so there has been this recipe circulating around that i've wanted to try ever since i saw the first picture of them... they just looked so delectable and delicious... and i've heard nothing but rave reviews about their taste... so i just had to make them...
when it comes to fresh out of the oven chocolate cookies i'm weak in the knees... unfortunately, these cookies take a little bit of patience... they have to chill for a while before baking, so you can't just mix 'em up, bake and eat... but believe me... they are worth it!! i never had so many requests for more and more of them... luckily i made an entire second batch... he he he...

chocolate crackle cookies recipe
recipe yields about 4 dozen cookies

dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cuo all purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/ tsp salt

wet/fat ingredients:
8 ozs. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 lrg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk

* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup confectioners sugar

1. chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt over a double boiler until smooth, then set aside to cool
2. sift together all dry ingredients
3. in a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy
4. add eggs and vanilla until well combined, then add melted chocolate
5. now, with mixer on low, alternately add the flour and milk until well combined
6. divide the dough into quarters, and wrap each quarter tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours
7. on clean counter top dusted with confectioners sugar, roll the dough into a log measuring 16" long and 1" thick, wrap again firmly in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes atop a cookie sheet
8. preheat oven to 350
9. cut the logs into 1" pieces, toss in the granulated sugar, roll into a ball and then roll around in confectioners sugar until completely covered
10. place the balls about 2" apart on a silicon lined baking sheet, and bake 10-12 minutes (i like them a little underdone, you could bake them 12-15 minutes if you prefer), until the sugar starts to split and crack
11. cool completely on a wire rack
12. eat eat eat eat and eat... they are addicting!!

if you get the chance... make these... they are unbelievable!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

go bananas

so who doesnt love the combination of bananas, peanut butter, honey and chocolate... not too many people i know... its usually a crowd favorite... one of my favorite comfort foods is a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich panini style (yum) with a tall glass of ice cold milk... i'm not a big milk fan, but i usually need to make an exception for this sandwich...

anyways, the hubs was having a holiday work party, and he casually asked me to make some goodies... and when i say "casually" it was more like he had already volunteered me and was just telling me politely... typical man, huh??

luckily for him i was planning on making some sweet treats that day anyways... so i looked in the pantry and saw that i had some bananas that were perfectly ripe... so a decision was made... banana rum cupcakes... topped with peanut butter cream and my favorite chocolate honey drizzle...

i use my families tried and true banana bread recipe, but with the addition of a little extra melted butter thats been browned (thats gives it a nice nutty flavor), and a kick of dark rum... why not... it gives a real moist cake with a sweet banana flavor... and the best part is when its baking, the whole house gets that deliciously intoxicating aroma...

banana cupcakes:

dry ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

wet/fat ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) melted and browned unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups smashed bananas

2 lrg. eggs

2 tsp rum

1. preheat oven to 350 and line 12 cupcake tins

2.in a medium bowl sift together all dry ingredients

3. make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients

4. using a wooden spoon, incorporate together, but do not over mix

5. divide batter evenly among the tins and bake until done, about 17-20 minutes, and cool on wire rack

peanut butter cream:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

4 ozs. cream cheese softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (more to taste if needed)

2 - 3 tbsp heavy cream
blend the peanut butter and cream cheese together until combined, gradually add the confectioners sugar and the heavy cream until desired sweetness and consistency

chocolate honey drizzle:
2 tbsp butter melted
3 tsp cocoa powder
2-3 tsp honey
confectioners sugar to taste

melt the butter and whisk in the cocoa podwer until fully combined and there are no lumps, add in the honey and combine (it should be nice and glossy and a little runny), add confectioners sugar to taste making sure to get out all the lumps

Thursday, December 18, 2008

vanilla, chocolate, and unbaked (eggfree) cookiedough

so i was in the midst of baking some chocolate chip cookies that i had an idea... so i decided to put aside some of the dough before i added the egg... after baking the cookies, i started prepping the kitchen for some cupcake madness... i've always wanted to make chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, but i didn't want to do the usual and place a big chunk of the cookie dough in the center of the cupcake... so i figured i would make a simple vanilla cake, and top it with vanilla bean butter cream with little cookie dough cookies...

i used one of my favorite vanilla cupcake recipes, its simple and always comes out banging... its a nice triple threat of vanilla...

vanilla-vanilla-vanilla butter cake recipe

dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp coarse salt (once again i use my homemade vanilla sea salt)

wet/fat ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tbsp size pieces

1 cup of vanilla sugar*

2 lrg. eggs at room temp

1 tsp. pure madagascar vanilla

1/2 vanilla bean, split

1/2 cup buttermilk

*vanilla sugar - what i do for this is i take empty vanilla bean pods and i place them in mason jars along with some raw sugar... i let them meld together for a while, and then when i'm in need of the sugar, i run it through a food processor until it becomes fine. this is the same as what i do for the vanilla seasalt


1. preheat the oven to 400

2. in a medium bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients

3. beat the butter into the flour a little at a time, until it resembles coarse crumbs

4. beat in the sugar gradually, the mixture will still be crumbly

5. beat the eggs in 1 at a time, combining well after each

6. add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean and buttermilk and beat on medium until just combined, don't over mix

7. place in cupcake tins, and bake 15-17 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, then cool completely on a wire rack

now to frost them...
i make a classic vanilla bean buttercream, i love the little vanilla specks all mixed in the creamy vanilla buttercream... it just looks so freakin yummy... now for the added extra of the cookie dough... originally i was going to break the dough into chunks and fold it into the frosting, but i soon realized that the cookie dough would probably get all backed up in my pastry bag during frosting... so instead i took the dough and shaped them into disks about the size of the tip of my pinky, and then i topped each one with a mini chocolate chip...
voila! mini chocolate chip cookies...

i think the picture just about says it all...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

birthday wishes

just wanted to wish my little sister a very happy birthday today... well she's not so little anymore, she's 23... but she's still a little lady in my eyes...

lucky for me she loves cupcakes (we dont call her meggiecake for nothing!)... so she'll be getting some express mailed to her...

happy birthday chubbles!

love you!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

whoopie- what?! certainly not for the dainty...

so, i was torn today between two recipes i wanted to try out... basically it came down to two things... would i rather nosh on something sweet and chocolaty (whoopie pies) or something buttery and fruity (homemade turnovers)... hmm... decisions decisions decisions... so being that i was in a state of undecided-ness, i called the hubby and asked what he would rather have as a snack (you see usually when i make and bake things, the hubs takes the bulk of them into work with him... cause for one thing i always make way too much, and not to mention, if they're in the house, we'll eat them... all of them! so i'd rather he take them into work to share)

so after explaining to him what a whoopie pie was as best as i could (you see as a kid, my mom never let us eat packaged preservative filled cookies and cakes like little debbies and hostess... we ate homemade and that was it... and now as an adult, i cant bring myself to buy them... even though the occasional hostess cupcake craving will arise, i dont submit!) so as i was saying... after explaining to him the choices, he was all about the whoopie pies, which shocked me cause the hubs is one healthy eater, and usually goes for the lighter fare... but the decision was made... whoopie pies it was!

i opted to use a recipe found on epicurious... i was going to try a recipe found on martha's website... but sometimes i'm not to satisfied with the results... plus, marthas recipe called for shortening, and sadly i was out...

so here we go..

whoopie pie recipe (yields about 8-10)

dry ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

wet/fat ingredients:

1 cup buttermilk, well shaken

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 lrg. egg

1. position oven racks to upper and lower thirds, and preheat oven to 350

2. generously butter 2 baking sheets and set aside

3. whisk together all the dry ingredients

4. stir together the buttermilk and the vanilla in a small bowl and set aside

5. with mixer on med-high, cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy

6. add egg to batter, and mix well

7. turn down mixer to low, and alternately add the flour and buttermilk to batter (starting and ending with the flour)

8. scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary, and mix until smooth

9. scoop 1/4 cup mounds of the batter onto the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart

10. bake for about 10-13 minutes, switching cookie sheet positions on the racks halfway through bake time

11. transfer pies from cookie sheets onto cooling rack and cool completely.

and now to fill em...hmm... would we go for the classic vanilla marshmallow filling... or maybe deviate from the norm and go for a peanutbutter cream, or maybe a chocolate ganache filling... i decided to go with classic filling, but also made a few with a peanutbutter marshmallow filling... the hubs and i are weak in the knees for peanutbutter-chocolate combos... i didnt have any fluff (we never have stuff like fluff)
luckily for us, i had some homemade madagascar vanilla bean marshmallows (recipe courtesy of mister alton brown, love that guy)... so they were going to be melted down... a fine sacrifice to the food gods...

so everything is mixed and ready to go... bake away... 10-13 minutes later...


what are these?

not the most attractive things i have made... but why does dessert and food always have to be good looking... isn't it the taste that matters... well... looks aside, these taste awesome... hubs says they look a little like mounds of (----)... well... i'll let you figure out what he said... but that didnt stop him from stuffing his face... what does that say about him, huh? haha...

and heres some actual size... massive!!

this is no double stuff!!

jack is always a willing guinea pig... but seriuosly how hard is it to not satisfy a three year old...

so, all in all a tasty success... the cake is really good, not too moist, has a nice crumb, and has a good chocolate flavor... so i'm going to work on the appearances of these little suckers... stay tuned for the next installment...