Tag Archives: dessert

All Butter Flaky Pie Crust

I was in a pie mood.  Do you ever get in that mood?  So what needed to be done was to make a pie crust.  I don’t like using shortening in baking, and avoid it whenever possible, so the recipe that follows is now my tried and true recipe for pie crust that takes about 5 minutes of active work to pull together.  Some people are nervous about making any form of pastry dough, including pie crusts, but this doubt is completely unfounded because it really is such a simple thing to perfect.  I usually make double the amount the recipe specifies, which is enough for either a double crusted pie (think most apple or berry pies) or a single crusted pie(pumpkin, chocolate,etc.) with a crust leftover, stored in the freezer for whenever my next pie craving strikes.  I have a feeling it won’t be too long a respite… I made a fantastic chocolate pudding pie with this crust,  and the remaining pie crust seems destined to be used in a pie recipe that makes me drool everytime I look at it..coming soon!

Basic Pie Dough

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, click the link for some useful tips and tricks on pie crust making (originally from Williams Sonoma)
Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust*
Ingredients:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp (226g). cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. very cold water (I usually put a few pieces of ice in the water to keep it cold, and add this slowly.  When doubling the recipe I found 5 tbsp to be sufficient, you want to stop adding water just when the dough comes together)

Directions:
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix briefly to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest butter pieces are not much bigger than peas.  Mix in the cold water on low speed just until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  (This dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)  Remove from the refrigerator.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Use as directed in whatever pie recipe you desire. 

See that marbling and white flecks? Those are the intact butter pieces that will give the crust its flaky texture. This is why we don’t want to overmix!

*Double the recipe for a double crust pie, then divide the ball of dough into two equal sized portions (weighing gives the most accurate results).  Freeze one crust if you will not be using immediately, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

A pie recipe using this pie crust coming very soon!

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Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

I posted a recipe a few days ago, Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two, which proved to be very popular.  Continuing with the idea, I made these cupcakes for my fiancee and I.  Again, the idea was to make a single portion each of a dessert, with minimal time, work, and effort. For those of you who aren’t cookie people (are there really any of you out there?) you can still get your baking for two fix with these cupcakes.  And, as most vanilla cupcakes are, these are super adaptable.  Throw in some chocolate chips, lemon zest and lemon extract, cinnamon and spices, and/or anything else you can think of.  The cake batter itself came out dense, kind of like pound cake consistency.  I might try these again with cake flour to give them a fluffier and lighter feel.  The frosting I used was simply delectable, and is basically my version of a scaled down recipe for Joy the Baker’s best chocolate buttercream frosting.  With all that hard math done for you, you have no excuses to make these immediately-here’s betting you already have all of the ingredients!  And if you are really lazy, just frost these with some nutella. Yum!

Vanilla Cupcakes for Two (Adapted from How Sweet Eats)

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 C). Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk (Don’t overstir!). Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake  for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: (adapted from Brett Bara and Joy the Baker-cookbook link above)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon  cocoa powder

2 teaspoons ovaltine powder( gives a great malted taste, if you don’t have this sub an extra 2 tsp cocoa powder)

2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon milk

dash of salt

Melt the butter in a small bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the butter and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until frosting is partially set. Whisk again then allow to rest at room temperature until cupcakes are cool enough to frost. (Start making the frosting as soon as the cupcakes go in the oven, so that it will be set and ready to go once the cupcakes are cool.)

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Chocolate Chip Cookies for two (or one!)

I am a self confessed cookie monster.  The dessert I’d most consistently choose over other desserts is a warm chocolate chip cookie with a chewy gooey center and crispy toffee edges.  In fact, whenever I make cookie dough, I always form the dough and bake only what I’m going to eat at that specific time, so that I always have my cookies warm.  I’ll put the extra dough in the fridge, then bake some more cookies whenever the urge strikes me.  Once a day, twice a day…the worst test of willpower you could ever give me.  Which is why the concept of this recipe is genius to me- the best way to portion control?  Only make a tiny amount of dessert.  This is usually hard to do, and even those who are baking for only one or two need to make an entire batch of cookie dough, a dozen cupcakes, etc.  This recipe combines just enough ingredients to make exactly four cookies.  Genius!  All in one bowl, greatly saving on messy items and time.  It seriously took two minutes for the dough to come together.  My next post will be on cupcakes for two, another life changing.  Enjoy these cookies knowing that you don’t really have the option to binge, and customize them however you want (with m&ms, white chocolate chips,butterscotch chips, nuts, etc.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two (or One) adapted from Bakergirl

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour

1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a 1/4 teaspoon measure)

A pinch of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

2 tablespoons shortening (feel free to substitute butter)

2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used light brown, but will use dark brown next time for a more pronounced flavor)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar (1/2-3/4 tablespoon would have been sufficient)

1 tablespoon beaten egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. (170 C)
Mix together the shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the tablespoon of beaten egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll dough into four cookie balls and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly with your hand.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

How cute is this tiny ball of cookie dough?

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

If I’m going to imagine my ultimate dessert, it wil probably be something rich and chocolatey, gooey and warm. Or maybe my all time favorite, chocolate chip cookies with smooth chewy toffee centers and crispy edges. But every once in a while, I’ll feel like a really simple, plain coffee cake. The type with buttery white cake swirled with cinnamon and toped with a nutty crispy streusel. I’ve tried several recipes, all delicious, but this one by Ina Garten baked in a bundt cake pan made for an ideal dessert to take to a friends house that was met with rave reviews. The texture of the cake is made super light and fluffy by using cake flour instead of all purpose, and the streusel baked in the center gave a nice edge over coffee cakes that are only topped with streusel. I had cake flour with me, from the states (I haven’t yet found in Bahrain) but there is a really easy substitute that I’ll list below. Take this with you next time you are invited anywhere, and you’ll be invited back really soon!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) *
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

*Click this link for a step by step tutorial on how to subsitute normal flour for cake flour.  It’s really easy, doesn’t really need a tutorial but this really helps illustrate it.

For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional (I love nuts in baking, so I added the walnuts.  Pecans would be great too!)

* For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup

* I actually made the glaze, using real maple syrup no less, tasted it, and immediately decided not to use it.  I felt the cake would be more than sweet enough, and I didn’t regret my decision.  If you feel like you’d like the glaze on your cake by all means go ahead!

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, and if using the glaze drizzle it on top when the cake is completely cool.

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Super Easy- No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes

Today is Friday, and do you know what that means? Friday is nutella cookie day at sugar daddies bakery. I know sounds good right? Well I wouldn’t know, you see hubby refused to take me since I’ve had cupcakes practically every day this week and he’s taken it upon himself to make sure I don’t develop diabetes. So in order to satisfy my nutella craving, I invited my friends over and told him I had to whip something up to serve them. These individual no-bake nutella cheescakes are so yummy and come together in less than 10 mins. You probably have all the ingredients on hand, so make these now and thank me later !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 12 Oreo cookies
  • 2 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 200 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup nutella
  • 3  tablespoons plus 1 cup heavy cream

Place the cookies in blender and pulse until they form crumbs. add the butter and the milk. Divide cookie crumbs between 4 serving cups

Whip together cream cheese, nutella, and 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Spoon over cookie crumbs.

Whip the remaining1 cup of heavy cream into soft peaks, spoon over the nutella mixture.

Enjoy!

-M

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Honey Chamomile Cupcakes

 

This recipe forever won a way into my heart.  You are going to love me for sharing this with you.  It’s one of my favorite cupcake recipes , and the combination of ingredients is so delicate, unexpected and pleasing.  Don’t be nervous about the tea! It gives such a mild enhancement to the flavor even unadventurous people will like this.  I got this recipe from the Joy the Baker cookbook, the source of many excellent recipes, and I highly advise you try these for any gathering, bridal shower, tea party, breakfast or brunch you have.  In short, try these whenever and wherever and you’ll find them to be a crowd pleaser.  They come together in no time which is such a plus for a dessert.  I made them after my morrocan tagine and curried couscous dinner, and the exotic flavor in the cupcake really worked well with the above.   The cupcakes are infused with delicate chamomile flavor which pairs perfectly with the honey icing on top.  I’d love to experiment with other tea flavors too! They look so pretty, and they taste even better then they look. For maximum effect serve with tea…we had authentic morrocan tea with these…Enjoy!

Honey Chamomile Cupcakes adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook

For the Cupcakes:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons dried chamomile (tea bags)

1/2 cup milk (low fat works fine)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar, taste and add extra 1/2 cup if desired

1 tablespoon honey

about 5 tablespoons heavy cream

pinch of salt

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with paper or foil liners and set aside.

To make the cakes:  in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pinch of salt, and chamomile leaves.  Mix on medium speed until the mixture is slightly coarse and sandy.  This takes about 5 minutes.

While the mixture beats, in a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla extract.

Pour half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture.  Beat until just incorporated.  Pour in the remaining milk mixture, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for 1 minutes, until well blended.

Divide the batter between the prepared cups.  There isn’t a lot of batter so you’ll only fill the cups up half way.  You’ll also need to scrape the bowl for remaining batter.  This recipe doesn’t waste a drop.

Bake the cupcakes for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool completely before frosting.

To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, honey, cream, and salt.  Whisk until smooth.  Use a butter knife to generously spread the frosting atop the cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with just a bit of chamomile tea leaves and arrange on a pretty plate.  Cakes will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to three days.

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I needed to make something for a friends house, it needed to be awesome, and I needed to have the ingredients beause I was too lazy to go to the supermarket.  Voila! I was led to this recipe which is definitely going to be repeated many times.  What’s great about them is that they are really easy, don’t take much time at all, but look like they are hard to make and take forever! Now, you need to make these because:

1. They are chocolate cookies stuffed with a creamy peanut butter mixture.

2. You probably already have the ingredients, and they are super easy.

3. THEY ARE CHOCOLATE COOKIES STUFFED WITH PEANUT BUTTER!

Now, let’s get started!

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cookies:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)

½ cup light brown sugar (I didn’t have so I used dark brown)

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar (Recipe called for 3/4 cup, but I didn’t want it to be too sweet)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

4. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar for the filling until smooth.  Taste sweetness, and add more if you want.  I like adding less because then the peanut butter flavor really shines through, with a touch of saltiness that adds a lot to the cookie.

5. In a small bowl, put some extra granulated sugar for rolling the cookies.

6. Use a medium cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) of cookie dough and flatten it with your hands. Take about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling (or a small cookie scoop) and place it in the center of the chocolate dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter center, pressing to seal.  I don’t have cookie scoops so used a tablespoon and a teaspoon.  Add a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter, I didn’t add enough and had a little filling left over. Roll the cookie into a ball and roll in the sugar. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

7. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

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