Maple and Oat Scones

This is my new breakfast obsession.

oat-maple-scones-done

I don’t know the last time I found a scone recipe I was so into.  Don’t get me wrong, I love scones, but they’re generally more of just a vehicle for condiments, an excuse to slather on jam or honey.  The scone itself is not so much the point.  But these scones are completely the point.

oat-maple-scones-baked

These are absolutely divine with a tiny bit of honey, but they’re honestly even amazing without anything at all.  There’s butter and maple syrup baked right in, so they really don’t need anything.  And they only took a few minutes to whip up and get in the oven.  Perfect for company, or just for you to devour by yourself with coffee and a blanket on a cold winter morning… [Read more…]

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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…]

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

I think I’ve found my new favorite cupcake recipe.  These are as close to a perfect texture and taste as any cake or cupcake I’ve ever made.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting done

Someone described them as “bomb-ass”, and I’m not going to argue with them.  I mean, it would be rude.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

We wanted to do a special girls’ night for Casey’s birthday a few weeks ago, and I heard through the grapevine that she was obsessed with some Publix lemon raspberry cake, so the flavor palette for her cake was easy enough.  I was super excited, because usually people want chocolate or something super sweet, so the chance to make a fruity dessert was one I wouldn’t pass up.

lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting lemons

And it’s a good thing these were basically perfect, because they were pretty much the only thing that went right that evening.  The restaurant ended up being a nightmare (45 minutes to order, hour and a half for food to come, took two hours to get a second drink order in), so by the time we left our numbers had dwindled by half and it was already quite late.  Thankfully, three of us persevered and went to our friend’s Midtown high rise for wine and cupcakes and a great rooftop view.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting finished

Right call.  The cupcakes are the most insanely moist, dense crumb you can imagine, packed with super tart lemony flavor that never tips over the line into that weird cloying fake lemon flavor that I hate.  Even without the icing they’re perfection.  But the icing is a work of art itself.  Fluffy buttercream taken to the next level with raspberry jam adding some fruity goodness and tanginess to the frosting’s sugar overload.

In other words, you should make these TODAY. [Read more…]

Maple Pudding Cake (Pudding Chômeur)

So somehow I tried out this recipe back in November and then it totally fell into a black hole in my memory and I moved on. Not because it wasn’t awesome, but…Thanksgiving maybe? Early senility? Wine?

Maple Puddings

Anyway, I had been weirdly fascinated by this recipe since finding it on Smitten Kitchen, despite the fact that caramel isn’t generally for me. But I do love pudding, and I do love sweet biscuit dough (which is essentially what this is), so really it should have been a home run.

Maple Pudding closeup

Which, if you can’t tell from the glorious pictures, it was. It’s an odd little dessert, but quite easy and quite unique. I was a little obsessed. It’s strangely similar to a peach cobbler, but…caramel.

Maple Pudding

It was even surprisingly good re-heated the next day—a bit more dense and crystalized, less pudding-y, but still a delight. All-in-all, this is an interesting addition to the dessert arsenal. [Read more…]

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Girls’ night!

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Last month we had an epic girls’ night planned—the last Hunger Games movie, followed by stuffing ourselves to the gills with burgers and fries. As is our tradition, we snuck a bottle of wine into the theater, and I brought these beauties. I’m not really into the kinds of snacks that theaters sell, but a good homemade cookie will do the trick every time!

salted dark chocolate chunk cookies closeup

I was intrigued by Smitten Kitchen’s description of these, and in particular enjoyed her indictment of cookie recipes that insist you chill the dough overnight, because seriously, who plans their cookie cravings that far ahead?! Preach, sister.

salted dark chocolate chunk cookies chopped chocolate

I’ll be honest, these are a bit rich for my blood. I had one, and that was plenty (which, on second thought, is maybe a good thing…). But they are the perfect blend of sweet, rich, gooey, and a little crisp, and they got devoured by my compatriots. They are definitely going into the cookie rotation. [Read more…]

Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)

I’ve been super absent here lately.

It’s mostly because I’ve been working eleventy-billion hours, which means I’ve been exhausted and never home. And the tiny bit of free time that I’m able to grab has been devoted to trip planning for two big upcoming international trips. So suffice to say, I haven’t been cooking much lately, and haven’t had the energy to try new recipes. And the few new recipes I have tried have been kind of meh. And you deserve better than meh.

maple peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie baked

These are definitely not meh. They’re not the most amazingly glorious things you’ve ever put in your mouth, but they are delicious and sweet and pretty darn healthy when it comes down to it. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m always on the lookout for good gluten-free recipes that use normal ingredients.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

They have an interesting texture—the dough acts a lot like no-bake cookie dough, quite sticky. And the baked cookies are crumbly (not dry, just break apart easily), and super chocolate-y, and really quite sweet.

Maple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk

These are made with oat flour, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can use whatever kind of chocolate chips you want, but I tried these huge Ghiradelli dark chocolate discs. SO. MUCH. CHOCOLATE.

maple peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough

Overall these were a great gluten-free addition to my repertoire. They were super easy to throw together, and healthy enough that I didn’t feel guilty sneaking one or two with my coffee the next morning! [Read more…]

Churro Popovers

Oh my word, THESE POPOVERS.

Churro Popovers

These are heaven. They are light, puffy, buttery, cinnamony-sweet heaven. And they’re so fast and easy!

Churro Popovers done

I halved the recipe, since I was only cooking for me (yes, it still made 7 popovers, DON’T JUDGE ME). It’s so insanely fast, you just blend up the ingredients in your blender (or with a whisk) while the oven heats up, and like 20 minutes later you have piping hot popovers. It’s impressive, really. [Read more…]

Chocolate Stout Cake with Ganache…Birthday Celebration Part 2!

Let me start by saying that this cake is way easier than it sounds. There’s something about “ganache” that sounds so fancy and unattainable.

Chocolate Stout Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This was the birthday cake I picked out this year, something kind of fancy but also quite simple—just good chocolate and good beer. (Although I’m sensing a theme of chocolate + alcohol birthday cakes…). This is a Smitten Kitchen recipe and it’s basically perfect. The cake itself has a dense richness, a little bittersweet from the combination of the stout and the darker Dutch-process cocoa. I also went a little scant on the sugar so the sweetness wasn’t overwhelming. I went ahead and frosted mine right away, which made the inside moist and fudgy, which is how I prefer my cake.

Chocolate Stout Cake finished

I’d never made a ganache before and thought it was going to be complicated and temperamental, but it was really quite simple and very fast. You want to use good quality chocolate to get the smoothest, creamiest texture and rich flavor. Overall, I would make this cake again in a heartbeat!

chocolate stout cake jamie bottle

And then there was this gloriousness. That’s right, my co-worker wrapped my birthday wine bottles with the one and only James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. They get me. They really get me.

*sigh*

Chocolate Stout Cake w Chocolate Ganache

Okay, back to the cake… [Read more…]

Smitten Kitchen’s Whole Lemon Tart…Birthday Celebration Part 1

A few years ago I decided that, for my birthday, I’d make myself a dessert that’s just a little fancier than normal. Something I’ve been lusting after but required more time or effort than I’m typically willing to put into things. Since I don’t tend to like store-bought desserts that much, it was a way of making sure I got something I’d really like. And, boy, has it produced good results so far?! Two years ago I made these amazing vanilla almond cupcakes with peach jam filling, and last year I tried out Smitten Kitchen’s red wine chocolate cake.

Whole Lemon Tart

This year, since it’s a “technicolor” birthday (as my co-worker says), I decided that I didn’t have to pick between the two desserts I was eyeing. So this is part one of 30th birthdaypalooza, and Smitten Kitchen has once again done me a solid.

Whole Lemon Tart done

This lemon tart is absolutely jam-packed with flavor. While I love lemon things, I am often turned off by lemon flavor that’s cloying or fake tasting, which is always a danger. But this tart is so bright and fresh and in-your-face with its real lemonness. Lemon-ity?

whole lemon tart lemon slices

What’s also fascinating is that you throw the entire lemon into the filling (not whole, that would be weird…). I don’t know why that makes a huge difference, but it does. And while it looks like there are a million steps in the recipe below, it’s really not that difficult or time consuming. As long as you have time during a couple parts of the day (so you can make the tart crust and let it chill, then freeze a little, then bake), you’re golden. And the butter—oh, the butter! This tart is lemon-y, creamy, tangy, rich, custardy goodness. [Read more…]

Pound Cake with Coffee, Chocolate and Hazelnuts

This is a winter kind of recipe. In fact, I made it this past winter, but I haven’t posted it yet because I was ashamed about how terrible the pictures are. I mean, seriously terrible.

chocolate hazelnut coffee poundcake hazelnuts roasted

But this pound cake is good. It transcends the awfulness of the pictures, and you deserve to know it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Poundcake

Not only is it cake (duh), but it’s got coffee, chocolate, AND hazelnuts. That’s like the Three Amigos of deliciousness. The Three Musketeers (and d’Artagnan) of deliciousness. The Buffy, Willow, and Xander of deliciousness.

This could go on…

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Poundcake finished

With the sifting, making the chocolate hazelnut paste, and then making the batter, it’s slightly more work than a regular pound cake, but not too much. And the rich combination of flavors is totally worth it. [Read more…]

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