Category Archives: Baked Goods

Blueberry Scones

Summer always makes me happy because it’s berry season. Growing up I loved the favor red so you could always count me in for watermelon, cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Blueberries grew on me because of the deliciousness that are blueberry bagels, muffins, pancakes and scones. Yet when I buy blueberries from the super market, eating them by themselves just doesn’t do it for me. Days pass, and I stress on what to do with them and it inevitably gets tossed into a baked item. The cycle repeats itself every year, and I don’t have any plans to stop it.

Last week I made blueberry muffins in my non-air conditioned kitchen during a heat wave. The kitchen got so hot that the butter in the crumb topping started to melt before I could finish pouring the muffin batter into the cups and sprinkle the topping. That made for ugly muffins, but today the heat wave ended and I’m at it again with blueberry scones.

Double recipe from Cooks.com

Ingredients
4 cups All Purpose Flour
4 tbsp. White Granulated Sugar
5 tbsp. Baking Powder
3/8 tbsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups Butter (Melted)
4 Eggs (Beaten)
1/2 cup Milk (I used skim)
1 1/3 cups Blueberries (I used closer to 2 cups to use up the rest of my blueberries)


Get Ready for a 20 Minute Super Heat Wave

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets with vegetable oil or butter.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. In separate bowl, mix butter, eggs and milk. Pour liquid into dry mixture and stir until everything is combined. Fold in blueberries.

Separate dough/batter into two equal sizes. Dump one pile onto a floured surface and flatten into about a 9 inch disc. Divide into 8 wedges and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with second pile.


Breakfast

Update: I added a dusting of powdered sugar because I can. I also would have liked to add a squirt of lemon juice and some lemon zest.

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short and stout

Chocolate Stout Cake from Bon Appetit

2 cups Guinness
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 cups AP flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring 2 cups of Guinness and 4 sticks of butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. It will smell like heaven, but obviously tastes like crap since there is no sugar in it. I would know since I am a child and cannot possibly pass up licking a chocolatey spoon. Cool slightly and keep the spoon out of your mouth. You will thank me.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes for mini cupcakes (35 minutes if you’re making a full sized cake and somewhere in the middle for the normal sized cupcakes). Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

At this point, you could run to your liquor cabinet and grab that Jameson. All variations of Irish Car Bomb (I know it’s not PC, I apologize) cupcakes have an Irish whiskey ganache. Ganache is a mix of chocolate (my favorite is bittersweet or semisweet), butter, and cream. For this cupcake, you’d want to add enough Jameson to taste. Then scoop out a small portion of the top of your cake and throw in some of your spiked ganache. I didn’t do this step because I hate Jameson.

Now for the frosting! This is my standard cream cheese frosting with a few healthy splashes of Irish cream.  Take two sticks of butter, 8 oz of cream cheese, Bailey’s Irish cream, and powdered sugar. Cream the butter and the cream cheese together with a hand mixer. Add the Irish cream to taste. Begin adding the powdered sugar only a few tablespoons at a time and mix. I’ve noticed doing this makes the frosting much more smooth and less chalky. Keep adding sugar until you’ve reached your desired sweetness.

I’ve been a conventional baker for years now, so it’s really no surprise to me that tasty things are usually not good for you. It takes a lot to phase me in the kitchen, but I was horrified by the amount of butter in these. Staring at the 4 sticks of butter in the stout pool gave me the very same sinking feeling I got after making the Flour sticky buns. Regardless, it didn’t stop me from sneaking one (or two) after lunch. What? They were mini!

the macaron showdown


Pierre Hermé vs. Ladurée

I came to Paris with one mission in mind — the mother of all macaron showdowns. To preface, I’m something of a masochist and average two emotional breakdowns annually over these small confections. Whether it be a puny foot, broken meringue, runny buttercream, or a combination of the three, I find a way to meet my two breakdown quota. If I’m going to Paris, why wouldn’t I want to see the source of both my ecstasy and agony? And so I headed to the St. Germain des Prés area in arrondissement 6.


Asparagus macarons for those brave enough to try… read on!

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Berry Tarts

One and a half weeks into the new apartment, and I thought that it was time to try out the oven and bake. Since it’s berry season, berry tarts seemed to be in order. For my tarts, I used raspberries and blackberries.

Joy of Baking Berry Tarts

I didn’t pay much attention to presentation since it was getting late and the recipe didn’t call for any additional butter or egg wash. Hence a pale looking tart like a swimsuit model in the off season. Still, something to look forward to in the morning.

Get Ready for a Hot Tan.

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Needs a Refund.

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cookie monster

Nutritionists don’t tell you the truth. Forget your omega 3 fatty acids (kidding! put your asparagus stalk pitchforks away!). Sometimes the best brain food is cookies. It worked for Cookie Monster, before they muddled his head with thoughts of “sometimes foods”.

My opinion is if you’re having a hard time focusing on your excel spreadsheets, can’t wrap up those loose ends on your projects, or simply can’t find the right words to say on that paper, you need a good dose of flour, butter, eggs and chocolate. This is the very reason that auditors gain weight during busy season. It’s also twice as likely when I’m on your team. Add stress and deadlines and you get me in the kitchen at 3 a.m. whipping up something positively sinful to bring into work the next day.

I recently started dating someone who’s been writing a book, has a fairly tight deadline, and is a perpetual snacker! Seriously, where there is a need, I will feed! I made some casual inquiries on favorite flavors and voila, these cookies practically made themselves.


nuts (OMEGA 3s!!!!) and chocolate and toffee, oh my!
glob of doughy goodnessmilk and cookies, a match made in heaven

Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1/2 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce toffee (such as Heath), coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee, white chocolate chips, and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets.

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These are ooey gooey and delicious right out of the oven. If you have more self control than I do, I hear they’re pretty good at room temperature. I’ve packed away my cookies for co-workers, friends, and the hard working author for their eating pleasure.

P.S. Nutritionists out there. I love you and have all the respect in the world for you. I am even craving salmon. Oh, and radishes. Can’t forget about the radishes. Perhaps a healthy brain food post will follow sometime this week.

P.P.S. I’m back on my main client and will be working closely with someone with celiacs disease. I feel a challenge a brewin’. I will expound on this later.