March 20, 2020

The "Viral" Pasta

Is it too soon to joke about covid19 with the title of this post? In all fairness, Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta did go viral over a month ago on the interwebs, before the current crisis. And yet it's also perfect hunkering down food since it uses pantry staples.

I've been having lots of feelings and thoughts this past week during my self-isolation but I'll spare you most of those details. It's just crazy to think about a week ago I baked and shared those savory hamantaschen with work colleagues and now the thought of doing that is horrifying.
I admire everyone who is partaking in therapeutic baking/cooking. On the other hand, I have found it hard to cook beyond what I need or even bake--two activities that I have always found stress relieving in the past. I know the desire will come back and maybe it will once I can brave the stores again to get my hands on shallots (or red onions can be substituted), a small can of tomato paste and a tin of anchovies to make this wonderfully delicious dish.

I only regret not saving the leftover caramelized onion paste before I went into social hibernation. Big. Mistake.
The Recipe: Alison Roman's Caramelized Shallot Pasta from NY Times Cooking (I couldn't find a link with free access to the recipe so maybe during this hunkering down time, you could subscribe and make other delicious recipes offered through NY Times Cooking). But here is a video of it on YouTube.

***I just wanna give Alison Roman a quick shoutout for not only creating a simple and relatively easy dish to make (minus chopping up all those shallots), but for also making a recipe that uses a whole can of tomato paste. Now we all don't have to wonder how to use up a whole can of tomato paste or even wonder how to store leftover anchovies since this also uses up a whole tin of anchovies! Genius!

March 12, 2020

Savory Hamantaschen

I really looked forward to the Jewish Holiday Purim this year just so I could try my hand at baking another Hamantaschen recipe. Supposedly these triangle-shaped, pouch-like pastries resemble the three-cornered hat worn by the villain Haman, who was defeated, thus saving the lives of the Jewish people. Anyway, whatever the reason, I'm happy that these adorable pastries exist.
Last year I made my first hamantaschen, which were deliciously filled with pastry cream and chocolate chips. Since I'm more of a savory person, I thought I'd try my hand at a non-sweet version. I was thrilled to find this Caramelized Onion and Poppy Seed recipe from NY Times Cooking.

The Recipe: Caramelized Onion and Poppy Seed Hamantaschen from the NY Times Cooking (but googling found this link so you can access it without a subscription). They're like little savory pies, deliciously flavored with caramelized onions, herbs and feta cheese.

February 25, 2020

Paczki Day 2020!

Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone! Like I have for the past 7 years, I celebrated by consuming a Paczki doughnut. I almost wasn't going to eat one this year because I had plans to do the Whole30 again starting last week but then that fell through since I caught a stomach bug. But I'm happy to have kept the tradition alive and even more thrilled to be eating normally again (lots of saltines and chicken soup was eaten for weeks).
This reddit post from a few days ago had me believing one of my favorite bakeries nearby would have paczki today. But upon arrival this morning, I was saddened to hear the paczki were at their other location in the suburbs. Maybe next year I'll get my hands on one cause they looked delicious!

So with little time before work, I had a Plan B prepared and returned to Banksia where I purchased my paczki last year. They didn't have any on display but an employee was kind enough to let me purchase a couple even though I hadn't called ahead to order them.
I totally forgot I ate the custard one last year and was convinced this was my first custard paczki. But like last year, I did think it was a little heavy on the oil flavor but it was delicious nonetheless.

HAPPY PACZKI DAY!

February 4, 2020

Go Chiefs!

Yay Sportsball! (As you can tell, I'm totally a die hard football fan). Regardless of my lack of football enthusiasm, I'm so excited for Kansas City, my [new] home, and the Chiefs for winning the Super Bowl. To celebrate the big game, I decided to make some Chiefs-colored cupcakes.
Raspberry and Lemon Cupcakes were chosen to complement the red and gold Chiefs colors. And to make them extra festive, I tried my best to pipe two-toned frosting with the help of this YouTube video. (Also I could have dyed the cake batter to make a marbled red/yellow cake...there's always next time). 
I had about three beautifully piped cupcakes but the rest fell victim to soft frosting (the food coloring gel changed the consistency of the frosting so adding more powdered sugar will help counter this problem---I just didn't add enough). Regardless, the cupcakes were a festive addition to a very full spread of all the best game day treats. And I'd like to think they helped the Chiefs win...wink wink. 

The Recipe: Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes from Sally's Baking Addiction, which had the right punch of tartness from the lemon cupcake and sweetness from the raspberry frosting. 

Frosting Tips: Use this YouTube tutorial on how to create the perfect two-toned swirl. (I used her second option with a large round piping tip). 

January 29, 2020

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

It's official: I've made my first new chocolate chip cookie recipe of 2020! However, these aren't the classic chocolate chip cookie--they don't have brown sugar or granulated sugar, just powdered sugar, which makes them lighter and more fragile in texture.
Alison Roman's Tiny, Salty, Chocolatey Cookies are like a chewy brownie in cookie form with a salty punch. Chocolate is the star of the show here, which makes these extra delicious since 67% dark chocolate is being used. And with the addition of browned butter, these cookies seem more sophisticated and adult yet completely delicious.

The Recipe: Tiny, Salty, Chocolatey Cookies from Alison Roman of the NY Times. Be sure to let these cookies fully cool since these tend to break if released from the pan too early. 

January 27, 2020

Layered Marzipan Brownies

When I wanted to gift another baked good to a friend, I went in search of a recipe with marzipan since she loves marzipan so much. (She's been gifted this loaf in the past). Googling had me find this recipe for Marzipan Brownies.
These brownies are definitely for an almond lover---there are almonds, almond extract and almond paste (in the marzipan) in this recipe. A triple punch of almonds! The brownies are also beautifully layered with the brownie layer then the marzipan and finally the chocolate glaze on top. My sister thought they were a little reminiscent of Italian Rainbow Cookies

The Recipe: Marzipan Brownies from love & olive oil. I opted to use store-bought marzipan, which made these a little easier to make. I love the soft texture of the marzipan with the fudginess of the brownie layer. So delicious and a beauty too. 


January 24, 2020

All the Orange Flavored Things

I've been baking frequently in the past few weeks, mostly goodies to give as gifts. When I was faced with the birthday of a notoriously picky eater, I panicked thinking maybe I couldn't find something to bake. But then I was reminded that she loves all the orange flavored things and I knew exactly what to bake.
One of my favorite recipes from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book is their Iced Orange Cookies. But since I wasn't sure if the person would enjoy whole wheat flour, I went in search of an all-purpose flour recipe and gladly found this recipe from The Ambitious Kitchen

These cookies are just like the King Arthur ones, just less gritty from using all-purpose flour. They're deliciously soft, tangy and not too sweet. And the cookies were well-received by the recipient! 
The Recipe: Italian Iced Orange Cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. I chose to swap out the cream cheese icing she used and used the icing from the original KAF recipe