Sunday, November 25, 2012

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

We had BBQ on turkey day. We have BBQ every weekend now. Steak, hotdogs and grilled salmon. Haha. And these delicious cookies.

All I can really say is try to chill the batter for as long as you can. For the best cookies possible, I make them three days in advance. I put the dough in the freezer for one night and then in the fridge for the second night. I bake them and then allow them to sit in a sealed container for the last night. And viola, it makes the best, chewy, soft, cookie.

And don't over-bake! The edges should look done but they should look underdone in the middle, because they will continue to cook once out of the oven.

You can't get a better compliment than when your brother wants to take all the cookies home. And he does.

Exciting news for my blog! I finally bought a DSLR. Hope my Canon Rebel T4i comes in soon so that my pictures get a nice upgrade! Yay! {shout out to Zignat!}

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

2-¼ cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Oats
1-¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1-¼ cup Dark Brown Sugar
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1  Egg
1  Egg Yolk
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
½ cup Milk Chocolate Chips
½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Toffee Bits
Coarse Sea Salt, For Sprinkling

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips and toffee.

Chill your dough for as long as you can before baking, preferably over night for best results.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once dough is chilled measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Place dough balls on a non-stick or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies 10-13 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven.

Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes.

Best if served a tiny bit warm or entirely cooled the next day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The pineapple upside down cheesecake was really good, so for this week's visit with Yusif and Naven and baby Ibraheem, I made pineapple upside down cake with fresh pineapples.

It was good, but not a humongous difference from canned pineapple. It doesn't melt in your mouth like canned pineapple, but I still like it better because it tastes more organic and lively. 

This cake recipe is better than the last one. I have to say it tastes so much better the next day. The flavors meld together into the cake after a day.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Yield: 10 inch cake or 24 cupcakes

12 slices of fresh pineapple (remember to save juice)
10 maraschino cherries
1 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pineapple juice (blended from fresh pineapple)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup of milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

Making the pineapple topping
1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat
2) Add brown sugar and pineapple juice until it has dissolved, then remove from heat.
3) Mix cinnamon to the sugar mixture

Making the cake
1) Preheat oven 350°F
2) Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl
2) In another bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until pale and light
3) Slowly add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes
4) Add the milk, eggs and vanilla extract and beat for another minute
5) Gently fold through the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides so that nothing is missed.

Assembling Cupcakes
1) For cupcakes: butter the muffin pan or ramekin
2) Scoop 2-3 teaspoons of the sugar mixture into the bottom of the ramekin
3) Place a pineapple slice on top
4) Spoon batter into the ramekin until three-quarters full
5) Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean
6) Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes before serving

Assembling 10-inch Cake
2) Pour half the sugar mixture into the bottom of the pan
3) Place pineapple slices in pan and then the maraschino cherries
4) Spoon batter into pan until three-quarters full, you may have some batter left over
5) Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean
6) Allow cakes to cool for 2 minutes in pan and then flip over onto serving platter
7) Leave pan over cake for a few minutes to allow sugar mixture to drip over the cake
8) Reserved sugar mixture is used to sprinkle over each slice as you serve

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Wait a minute, its not October anymore! Where did the month of pumpkin go!? 

My sister is out of town this week for school so she missed these...

...which means I'm kind of bored these days. So, let me share some text messages.

Me: You dont wana know what i made when yusif and naven came over.... mini pumpkin cheesecakes.

Me: I made half of them with oreo crusts and the other half with a gingersnap cookie crust. Gingersnap was yummier

An oreo crust (seen above) is delicious, but I really liked the gingersnap flavor better! I also tried grinding up the gingersnaps alone and combining with butter. Its still good, but the pecans and graham cracker and brown sugar make the taste buds dance.

The recipe says it makes 12 mini cheesecakes. I had tripled the recipe, thinking I would get 36 but I got 59. So if you make one batch, I'm guessing you'll get about 20.

By the way, found this one off Pinterest again! Mini cheesecakes are great if you are short on time because they bake in less than 20 minutes and cool quickly in the freezer or fridge.

Your cheesecakes may sink or crack alittle, but to help prevent this, open the oven door when the cheesecakes are done baking. Turn the oven off, and let them cool for 15 minutes inside the oven. Then remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
via Life Made Simple
Yield: 20 mini cheesecakes

1 package (8 oz) Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
½ c. pumpkin puree
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. heavy cream
¼ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¹⁄₈ tsp. nutmeg

For the crust:
8 gingersnap cookies
1 graham cracker
1½  tbsp. melted butter
1½ tsp. brown sugar
¼ c. pecans
pinch of salt

For the vanilla bean whipped cream:
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar {I used 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar}
Seeds from ¼ a vanilla bean {I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract but a bean would be yummier}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini cheesecake pan with baking spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind all ingredients for crust, except for the melted butter. The mixture should resemble slightly coarse crumbs. Remove mixture and pour melted butter over. Mix until crumbs are wet. Press into the bottom of each hole. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes or set aside {I did not prebake my crust}.

3. While crust is baking prepare filling beating together cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin puree until smooth. Add spices, vanilla, heavy cream and egg. Mix until just combined.

4. Pour filling over each crust, dividing evenly. Place in oven and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing cheesecakes (yes your cheesecakes will sink a little, this is normal). To reduce cracks, open oven door and turn the oven off. After 15 minutes, remove cheesecake from oven.

5. Remove cheesecakes from pan using a butter knife, and place cheesecakes in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

6. While cheesecakes are cooling, prepare vanilla bean whipped cream by fitting a chilled mixing bowl into your stand mixer. Add heavy cream, sugar and scraped vanilla bean seeds. Using the whisk attachment beat on high for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks begin to form. Return to refrigerator until cheesecakes are ready to be served.

7. To assemble, using a mesh sieve, lightly dust cheesecakes with pumpkin pie spice before or after topping with a swirl of whipped cream. Enjoy!
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