Almond Magic Cake

It’s been a long time since I’ve been so obsessed with a recipe.  I pinned it years ago, and somehow forgot about it, though the idea was fascinating.  Then over winter break this year I stumbled back across it and knew I had to give it a try.

Almond Magic Cake | Finding Time for Cooking

I did make one major change to the recipe.  The original is for a vanilla cake, but my M.O. in life is, why make something vanilla when it can be almond instead??  I mean, seriously.  This cake is really easy to throw together, and yields the most amazing, creamy, custardy, flan-y cake.  I ended up making it again a few days later, in a gluten-free version (to be posted here later once I’ve perfected it).  Give this a try, you won’t be disappointed! [Read more…]


Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Banana Bread

Most normal people would look at a recipe for double chocolate banana bread and think, “hey, that sounds pretty amazing!”

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Banana Bread done

But as we all know, I’m not normal.  So my first thought was, “You know what would make this so much better? Peanut butter chips!”

(weirdly, this is a fairly normal question/answer I have with myself…)

double chocolate peanut butter chip banana bread chips

Healthy?  Nah.  But amazing?  You betcha.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Banana Bread slice

This is super moist, almost fudgy, and the peanut butter chips take this to a whole new level.  It’s not unhealthy (in fact, most of it’s not bad for you at all), but the peanut butter chips take this over the edge into dessert territory and up the calories and sugar quite a bit.  Totally worth it in my world, though.   [Read more…]

Dark Chocolate Puppy Chow with Sea Salt

In general, puppy chow is at the top of the list of “foods I’m never, ever allowed to have in my house”.  Because I will eat it ALL—I love it.  But I think this specific recipe may literally be my favorite food in the world.  It is that good.  Life-changing, even.

Dark Chocolate Puppy Chow with Sea Salt

When I first saw this recipe on Food 52, I was obsessed, and couldn’t wait to try it out. The dark chocolate twist was right up my alley (I’m definitely dark vs. milk), and I knew the sea salt would add a perfect balance to what can sometimes be an overly sweet snack. I also made a few changes based on my own preferences…I decreased the amount of powdered sugar and increased the peanut butter (and the chocolate chips, a little) to tailor it to my exact tastes.

Dark Chocolate Puppy Chow with Sea Salt done

And I done good. Now *this* is what I call a Sunday night…

Dark Chocolate Puppy Chow with Sea Salt finished

I took this into work (okay fine, what I hadn’t already eaten the night before) and we devoured it in no time flat.  [Read more…]

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Peach season!!!!

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I feel like that should have been all-caps. Because, not only is it peach season, but my VERY. FIRST. PEACH. was perfectly ripe. That has never happened in the history of ever. Farmers market FTW!

fresh peach coconut milk ice cream peaches

When I snagged these beauties last weekend and they were perfectly ripe and criminally juicy, I knew I had to do something amazing with them immediately. And it was balls-hot (the hyphen is important for adhering to AP style…) so ice cream was the logical conclusion.

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream closeup

This is my no-fail coconut milk ice cream. I’ve made it in many different flavors, including my absolute favorite in the world, peanut butter and honey with sea salt, as well as a slight variation of peanut butter and strawberry jam. It’s easy, adaptable, healthy, only as sweet as you want it to be, and naturally dairy-free. And did I mention easy? As long as you have a little frozen yogurt maker you’re golden. Otherwise I’d try stirring it every so often in the freezer and you’ll probably still get good results. [Read more…]

Smitten Kitchen’s Purple Plum Torte

Smitten Kitchen, man, she never lets me down. Plums have never been high on my list of fruits—they look cool but are fairly bland tasting. But cut them in half, sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar, and bake them into a fluffy cake batter, and these babies soften into sweet, juicy gems.

Plum Torte from smitten kitchen

Plum Torte finished

One of the shocking things was how easy this recipe was. No complicated instructions or finicky ingredients, just mix up a very simple batter, place the plums cut-side down, and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. It only took maybe 15 minutes total to assemble, then into the oven it goes!

Plum Torte piece

If you can stand it, wait to eat the cake until the next day, which allows the juices to seep into the surrounding cake and meld everything into the most amazing texture and flavor.

Plum Torte closeup

This recipe was so good that I now want to try making it with ALL THE FRUITS! [Read more…]

Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers

As someone who loves all things gluten-y (I did grow up on a wheat farm, after all), the whole idea of gluten-free makes me sad.

But the reality of gluten-free baking makes me even sadder. And it’s a reality for lots of people. I never really thought about it much until recently, when I had a friend who had realized he had a pretty decent level of gluten-intolerance and so he and his wife have gone gluten-free. This guy used to devour all my cookies, load up on waffles, and eat my leftover pasta, so this is a majorly big deal. So I’ve tried to start playing around with alternative, gluten-free dessert recipes…and have discovered that it’s really hard!

Chocolate Financier Heart

See, the thing about most gluten-free recipes that I’ve found is that—in addition to their strange and interesting flour alternatives—they often call for some weird ingredients to use as a binding agent, since that’s normally where the gluten comes in. But as much as I love cooking with real ingredients and whole foods, I just shrink back from recipes that include xantham gum and other things that don’t sound like they’re that natural. So, other than puddings and custards, the pickings are slim.

Then I found this gem of a recipe…

chocolate financier inside

I wasn’t even looking for a gluten-free recipe when I found it. I was (as I tend to do) going down a rabbit hole on Smitten Kitchen’s site and hopping from link to link. I was browsing the red wine chocolate cake when I found these. They’re called financiers (pronounced all fancy and French like “fee-nahn-see-ay”), and they’re made with almond flour. I don’t know the full history, but they probably weren’t even meant to be gluten-free initially—just delicious. In fact, the traditional ones aren’t even chocolate as far as I know.

Chocolate Financiers

I whipped these suckers up in five minutes flat, and so they were done in about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. The almond flour gives them an interesting consistency, somewhere between a brownie and a cookie. Kind of fudgy. All delicious. And the Dutch dark cocoa powder adds a super special flavor, as does the hint of almond extract in there. If you don’t have almond flour, you can get it at Trader Joe’s, probably in the health section of your grocery store, and most certainly online (Amazon Prime is your friend!). You will wow people with these, and they are a super speedy crowd pleaser to have in your dessert arsenal! [Read more…]

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