June 20, 2019

THE Coffee Cake

Since my sistas and I love baking, we often find ourselves telling each other about great recipes we've recently tried. I can't remember which sista initially sung the praises of Bravetart's Coffee Cake but I do know that two sistas couldn't stop talking about how good it was.
I'm glad I remembered to finally make this coffee cake when I was in search of a baking project to bring treats to work earlier this week. It is as good as my sistas say it is: fluffy, moist, flavorful and a good alternative to when I don't want to get out my bundt pan and make my other favorite coffee cake recipe from King Arthur Flour.

The Recipe: Easy One-Bowl Coffee Cake from Bravetart. This recipe works well if you want to decrease the amount of sugar to have a less sweet cake. I lowered it by a 1/4 cup (or about 2 ounces).

June 8, 2019

Chocolate Chip Test No. 10-Whole Grain Cookies

To be honest, the idea of chocolate chip cookies made with whole grains doesn't sound that appetizing. But after stumbling across this instagram post of a mouth-watering cookie made with spelt, I thought I could be persuaded otherwise.
I turned to my friend with the grain mill to grind some spelt for me (also the one who helped me procure some rye flour for these brownies). Googling has showed me that you can purchase spelt flour from King Arthur Flour or other health stores online. But you can find spelt in its whole grain form in health food stores. (I've never actually consumed spelt in its whole grain form).

The Recipe: Spelt Dark Chocolate Cookies from Butter and Brioche
Recipe Highlights: 
  • requires a food scale since all her measurements are in grams
  • no need to wait for butter to come to room temp--this uses melted butter
  • uses equal amounts of all purpose and spelt flour
  • requires chill time of 30-60 mins for dough before baking
  • rippled edges are created by dropping the pan on the cooking rack in the oven just before the cookies are done baking. (done 3 times)
Overall: I could barely tell that these cookies were made with whole grains. There might have been the tiniest hint of a grittiness in the texture but the flavor was that of a non-whole grain cookie. I particularly loved the strong vanilla flavor in these cookies. Soft and totally delicious! 🍪🍪🍪🍪

June 2, 2019

Boozy Brunch Dip

Since I don't own a dining table (yet?), I have yet to host a real grown-up dinner party. And being in a festive mood, I thought the next best thing would be to throw a boozy brunch over Memorial Day.
I asked my sistas for advice on the menu. Twin Sista was especially helpful when I asked if I needed to make a salad and she suggested crudite and dip. OF COURSE---every party needs a good dip. Luckily I had recently bookmarked a delicious looking dip that would be perfect for the brunch.
The Recipe: Everything Seasoning and Caramelized Onion Dip from Spoon Fork Bacon--an elevated onion dip made delicious with my favorite seasoning: Everything Bagel Seasoning. Serve with bagel/pita chips and your favorite veggies. I doubled the recipe to feed a crowd of 8.
Also on the boozy brunch menu:

May 24, 2019

Chocolate Chip Cookie Test No. 9-The Softball-Sized One

Does anyone remember the Food Network show from the mid 2000s Throwdown with Bobby Flay? I loved watching that show because it showcased the best places to get certain types of food. The chocolate chip cookie episode featured these softball-sized, mouthwatering cookies from Levain Bakery in New York City. Since watching that episode, I try to grab a Levain cookie every time I'm in NYC.
These cookies are 6 ounces of cookie packed with chocolate chips and walnuts and are best when a little warm and gooey on the inside. Since I haven't been to NYC in 3 years, I jumped at the chance to bake this copycat recipe from Bravetart.
From my somewhat foggy memory, the copycat cookie is just as delicious as the real Levain one--a little gooey, filled with melted chocolate and perfectly thick and tasty. While I'm not usually a nuts-in-my-cookie type of person, the walnuts add a nice textural crunch in the midst of the super-thick cookie.
The Recipe:  Super-Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies from Serious Eats. Make sure you have a good cooking thermometer since taking the temperature helps determine the doneness of the cookie.

May 14, 2019

Damn Good Cupcake

Sometimes you stumble upon a cupcake completely unexpectedly. Last weekend, I had no plans to patronize any bakeries but when I was out on a chilly, rainy morning at the Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair, I came face to face with the CoffeeCakeKC food truck. I've actually seen it out and about on the streets of KC a few times (particularly as I walked up this steep hill from the parking garage to work a few times--and I remember thinking as it drove passed me, "wait....stop.....cupcake....!!!").
So as a little morning pick-me-up at the craft fair, I purchased a red velvet cupcake from their three available flavors. The cupcake was $3. The cupcakes are actually from The Kansas City Baking Company, which sells their goods wholesale across the city.
The little cake was perfectly moist, fluffy and flavorful. It really tasted like cocoa and had a nice punch of vanilla and tang from the cream cheese frosting (I've had many a bad red velvet cupcake in my lifetime so this was very enjoyable). I gobbled it up immediately even though I wasn't that hungry---a tell tale sign that a cupcake is just damn good. Simple yet delicious!

Located across Kansas City

May 6, 2019

Baking with Rye

I was intrigued a couple months ago when I saw a recipe in the New York Times for a brownie baked with rye flour. As the owner of the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book for about a decade, I had always avoided making any recipes that called for more unconventional flours since I didn't know where to easily purchase them. But now that I have a friend in KC that grinds his own flour, I can easily get my hands on some different flour varieties. (but you can also purchase rye flour on amazon or at your local Whole Foods).

So why rye flour, you may ask?

Don't have a really good answer except that I was up for a new adventure and this could open the door to other baked goodies made with rye, spelt, buckwheat and other whole grain flours. Plus whole grains mean these goodies are healthier, right?!?!? 🙃.
The Recipe: Violet Bakery Rye Brownies. These are definitely more of a grown-up brownie since they are made with bittersweet chocolate and the rye flour lends an earthy flavor to the brownies that gives it an extra something special but doesn't distract from the goodness of these fudgy brownies. Just keep an eye and a nose out while baking. Mine baked much quicker (around 17 minutes) than the 25 minutes suggested in the recipe.

April 28, 2019

Black Bottom Cupcakes

It's been a little quiet in my tiny corner of the internet lately because I was battling a cold that still doesn't feel quite gone (and it's been like three weeks...halp!). But as soon as the real bad part of the cold went away, I felt determined to bake for the little Game of Thrones premiere party I threw a few weeks ago (and I needed to use up a block of cream cheese that was going to expire soon).
Usually when I'm in search of a recipe with cream cheese, the recipes call for only using part of the 8oz package and then I'm left with a half-used block of cream cheese and not sure how else to use it  up. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found this recipe for Black-Bottom Cupcakes that used the entire 8oz package of cream cheese.

Cupcakes with no frosting? Sign me up since I'm a tad bit on the lazy side these days but still want to bake cupcakes and other tasty treats. These were basically cheesecake brownies in cupcake form. Tomato, tamato---whatever you wanna call them, they're delicious!

The Recipe: Black-Bottom Cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen--springy, moist and packed with a cheesecake punch.