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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chewy, Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Oops, I did it again. The Britney-loving ten year old in me giggled as soon as I typed that. Just when I thought I got the hang of this posting regularly thing, life sneaks up on me and smacks me right in the face. The retail nightmare that is the Holidays isn't much help either, but with a little push from a couple of friends and my wonderful boyfriend -there hopefully won't be anymore excuses.

I feel like it was just yesterday I was up in the snowy north, hopping out of the shop on a late night to find Bryce standing next to our car with an unfamiliar object tied to the roof. It was our very first Christmas tree! There was a sheet of white snow covering the entire parking lot and the three layers of clothing I had on did not stand a chance against the blistering wind. It was all very magical until we got home and realized Mushroom kept trying to pee on the tree thinking he had suddenly teleported outside. Now we're suddenly saying the "C" word again and i've traded my legwarmers and boots for a light cardigan and flip flops. Oh, how i missed you Florida. And even though you are more my type, I do have a special place in my heart for my winter wonderland experience and all the people that I got to share such wonderful moments with.

Anyways.
I'm back with a vengeance, a thick chewy chocolatey vengeance. And yes, I'm talking about Chocolate Chip cookies. I refuse to let this place go on any longer without such a classic never-fail recipe and to make it even better, I will do this the step by step method. Which is kind of unnecessary on such a simple recipe. I really just needed another excuse to take more pictures. Haha.

Chewy, Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies
(click here for Printable Version)
From Allrecipes
About 20 servings


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips



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First, I bring out Mixy as well as all my ingredients.

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Looks like someone was just as excited about baking as I was.

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In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

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Set aside.

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Melt your butter and make sure your eggs are out.

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In a separate bowl(or mixer bowl) cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

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Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.

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Should look like this.

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Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Don't over mix.

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Fold in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

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Put in fridge for about 30 minutes.

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In the meantime, I like to do the not so fun part and wash everything. I am slightly OCD.
By the time I'm done with this, I preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and line my cookie sheets with parchment paper.

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Take dough out of the refrigerator and drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

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Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

And Ta-Dah!

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Love,
Kitty

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)

Flan de Coco


Ever since I can remember I have been indulging in this decadent combination of milk and eggs (and sugar) known as Flan. Or well, a type of quiche without the crust and very sweet. At seven years old I used to walk home from school in my little town of Puerto Padre, Cuba and waiting for me would be this heavenly dessert, usually gifted to my mother from a neighbor since oddly enough my mom has never been a fan or either baking or cooking. My brother and I would sit in front of our 100 year old boxy television both fork in hand and pretty much finish the whole darn thing before the first cartoon was over.

I hadn't really looked into the history of Flan until i became more involved with the preparation of food. Before then, I just assumed it was a Cuban thing. I know, ignorance is bliss. I would have loved for us to be responsible for this epic discovery. But apparently it's a Roman/Greek thing. If you're a nerd, like me, you can go here and read more about the History of Flan.

Now I know you want to dive head first into your kitchen and go make this, so here's the recipe.

Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)
(click here for Printable Version)
Adapted from Allrecipes
About 10 servings

1 cup white sugar
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid oz) can of coconut milk
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut


1.Preheat oven to 350°

2.In a small saucepan, evenly spread 1 cup white of sugar and melt over medium heat. Cook gently without stirring but occasionally shaking and swirling the pan around. Continue cooking the sugar until it turns into a thick golden brown syrupy consistency. Working swiftly, pour the liquid caramel into a large baking dish or 10 medium size ramekins. Tilt the baking dish or ramekins to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside to cool and harden for about 10 minutes.

3.In the bowl of your mixer, beat the eggs first then add the condensed milk, coconut milk, milk, vanilla extract and coconut. Blend for 3 minutes until smooth. Pour into your caramel covered baking dish or ramekins.

4.Arrange the baking dish or ramekins, not touching, in a large, deep baking pan. Pull out the oven rack, put the baking pan on it, and pour boiling water to a depth of about 1 inch into the pan to create a water bath. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes until set. When done, carefully remove the water bath from the oven, and then carefully remove the custard or custards from the water bath and set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, gently run a knife around the edges of the dish to separate the flan from the sides and invert onto a serving plate.

Enjoy!
Kitty

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chocolate-Almond Mousse Neapolitans

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You know it's not good when I'm working 5 days in a row and the first thing I think of is, I'm not going to be able to update my blog. No wonder I try to keep my fiance from reading this most of the time. But he knows I was bummed about not spending time with him as well.

Even though I wasn't able to get my baking on until today, I was working on this post while I sat in our little lunch area at work munching down on my sandwich and a chocolate covered pretzel. I picked up the first magazine from a stack on the table and browsed through the pages until this wonderful treat came up. I just knew I had to make it. I love the rustic look to it as well as the different textures incorporated between the flaky pie crust, the crunchy almonds, and the airy quality to the mousse. It is so light you can probably do some serious damage in one seating. These would also score rave reviews if you're entertaining.


Chocolate-Almond Mousse Neapolitans
(click here for Printable Version)
6 Servings
From Everyday with RR Magazine

One 15-ounce package piecrust
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 cups heavy cream
5 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400° and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Unroll piecrust on a work surface and roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Save remaining pieces for another use.

2. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out 18 rounds, rerolling the scraps as needed to cut out additional rounds. Set the rounds on prepared cookie sheets and prick them with a fork. Bake until they are golden, which should take 8-10 minutes. Let them cool.

3. Place the chopped chocolate in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool to lukewarm. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the rounds with the melted chocolate. Leave the remaining melted chocolate sit at room temperature. Sprinkle 12 of the chocolate-covered rounds with toasted almonds each to taste.

4. In a bowl, combine 1 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat mixture until a soft peak forms. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the remaining melted chocolate. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.

5.Spoon a small dollop of the chocolate whipped cream onto the middle of each of 6 chocolate-almond-glazed rounds. Top with another chocolate-almond-glazed round, another dollop of chocolate whipped cream and a third chocolate-almond-glazed round.

6.Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Top each stack of 3 with whipped cream. Grate chocolate over it and top with toasted sliced almonds. Eat and enjoy!

Notes

1. I decided to make bite-size rounds using a 1 inch cookie cutter, which made more than twice the amount of Neapolitans and I still had some chocolate and whipped cream mixture left. It's up to you what size you want them to be but keep in mind you'll need to make a lot more rounds to use up all the mixture.
2. Remember when placing the filling in between the rounds to not go heavy-handed on the Chocolate Mousse otherwise it will overflow and become a mess.
3. Just like any recipe, you can make alterations to it to suit your taste. You can choose to not add the almonds to each round and just use them as garnish, or to omit the almonds all together. You can use even use Nutella to brush the rounds. The possibilities are endless.


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Until next time,
Kitty

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Birth of the 1,434,564,645 Food Blogger!


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Tiramisu Ice Cream with Baked Coconut Flats from Jersey Girl Homemade


Hello world! 
My name is Kitty and truthfully I have been meaning to start this project forever, and by forever I mean six months ago. I am one of the many that have caught the foodie fever and am absolutely loving it. I have always had an insatiable desire for desserts but it wasn't until about two years ago that I got involved in the process of making these wonderful treats. Before that my idea of baking consisted of taking the cookies out of the brown paper bag from Starbucks and shoving them in my mouth, something of which i am not very proud to admit. Now I won't bore you with my entire life story, which i'll probably end up throwing in the 'About Me' section, but if I didn't bring myself to write this post then this Blog would have gone untouched for another year or so. And I really want to share my passion for both Baking and Photography with whoever is willing to read and look at my pictures. :)

Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for you guys today. Instead I'll share some photos that resulted from previous confectionery adventures and get my bottom in the kitchen working on a much better post for you next time! And I promise, it won't take six months.



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    This is actually my take on Sweetapolita's (who, by the way, is one of my biggest bakercrush) Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze. Go HERE for the recipe.



My First Cake

                  
And not that I'm insanely proud of it, but this was my very first homemade cake.



                  Before I go, I introduce to you to what makes it all possible. The love of my life.
Mixy


I call her Mixy.



Love, Peace, and Dessert
Kitty