Mocha Chocolate Swirl Cookies


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As you might recall, last December, I made over a dozen different types of cookies and treats for friends and family for my first holiday cookie tin. One of the popular favorites were the mocha chocolate swirl cookies. These are essentially shortbreads individually flavored with coffee and dark chocolate.
20161217_145457They’re buttery and melt in your mouth, as expected of any shortbread. Plus, they’re quite low-maintenance and simple to make. To make that distinctive swirl, the dough needs to be split and flavored separately, then rolled out into a thin rectangle. Next, they should be individually chilled to prevent the butter from melting out of the cookies. Place the layers on top of each other and roll into a tight roll. The dough can either be frozen or chilled before slicing with a serrated knife into round coins.
20161217_150053These shortbread swirl cookies are pretty impressive looking while still being simple to prepare. If you’re looking for a different flavor, go ahead and switch it up with cinnamon and vanilla or green tea and white chocolate. These are the perfect addition to your cookie tin or holiday baking list next year!

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When reposting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright january 2017 ©

Mocha Chocolate Swirl Cookies

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Buttery shortbread flavored with coffee and dark chocolate for a lovely melt-in-your-mouth cookie
>>> Yields 40 cookies

Time:
-Prep: 30 min
-Bake: 10 min

Ingredients:

  • 3 C AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C (16 tbsp) butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

Instructions:

1) Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer for 7-8 minutes until the butter has become a light yellow color and fluffy.
2) Add in vanilla, salt, and egg into the butter and mix until combined.
3) Mix together the flour and baking powder together.
4) Combine the wet and dry and stir until the dough is smooth.
5) Divide into two portions. Add the coffee granules to one and cocoa powder to the other.
6) Roll out each pieces of dough between plastic wrap into a 9 x 14 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
7) Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr and up to 2 days.
8) Place the cocoa dough on top of the coffee dough. Using the rolling pin, lightly press the layers together.
9) After letting the dough slightly soften to a pliable texture, gently roll the dough up into a log shape.
10) Chill the dough for another one hour. Rotate the log every 15 minutes to prevent flat bottoms.
11) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
12) Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices using a serrated knife and place on a parchment lined or well-greased baking sheet.
13) Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops have slightly browned. The cookies should still be relatively soft. If they’ve hardener, then they have overcooked.
10) Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack and let them come to room temperature.
11) Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Happy eats!

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Napoleon (Mille-feuille)


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My mom loves Napoleons because of the light flaky pastry and semi-sweet, cold creamy pudding filling. For those of your unfamiliar, these are a French pastry dessert composed of a sweet pastry cream sandwiched between light, flaky puff pastry, and topped with either powdered sugar or a chocolate icing.

20160911_081937A few months ago, I bought a box of pastry sheets and decided to use it up to free up some space in the freezer. The only other thing I needed was to whip up some of the pastry cream that I made a while back that is perfect for not only Napoleons, but fruit tarts, eclairs, and cream puffs! I made a huge batch of the cream and froze half for another dessert for another day. The cream freezes great–just whisk it up after it thaws completely and it has the same consistency as when it was freshly made!

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20160911_081914This simple recipe for a complicated sounded dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser and is easy for beginners because you don’t need to make your own pastry! Pepperidge Farm brand pastry sheets are so easy to use! Just let them slightly defrost before use and you’re guaranteed for buttery, flaky results. You can layer this flaky dessert with fresh fruits or drizzle in some melted chocolate on top, but since I wanted to go a simple route, I just opted for a vanilla creme.

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright december 2016 ©

Napoleon (Mille-feuille)

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Super easy, yet very satisfying pastries for an easy afternoon treat that’ll impress everyone’s taste-buds!
>>> Yields 6 3-tiered pastries

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 15 min
-Cook: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Pastry Sheets
  • recipe for pastry cream
  • optional: fresh fruits, cut and washed
  • powdered sugar

Instructions:

1) Let the pastry sheets thaw until pliable on a floured baking sheet.
2) Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 equal squares for a total of 18.
3) Prick over the tops of the surface of each square with a fork. (Or you can layer another cookie sheet on top of the pastry if you don’t want it puffed at all) Place in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 425 F.
4) Bake the pastry sheets for 10 minutes. Place a smaller baking sheet on top and bake for an additional 6 minutes for a flattened pastry (optional). Remove the sheet and bake for another 6 minutes until the strips are golden brown.
5) Remove the puff pastry from the oven and let cool completely.
6) Prepare the pastry cream following the recipe on the link. Let it cool in the fridge before assembling the Napoleons.
7) To assemble, place one pastry puff on the bottom, layer pastry cream on top, cover with another puff pastry, layer pastry cream, and then the final layer of puff pastry on top.
8) Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. You can also put fruits in between the layers or drizzle with melted chocolate.

Happy eats!

Cornflake Blueberry Muffins

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20160918_110910My parents bought a huge bag of Kellogs Cornflake Cereal that I need to use up since I definitely wouldn’t be able to finish the 2 lb bag! I’ve been looking up recipes to use up the cereal and decided in a simple muffin recipe with some added crunch on top with cornflakes. These muffins are nice and moist with that interesting texture from the cornflakes. I used honey since it goes well with the toasted corn flavor that you get from the cereal.

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The recipe is very straight forward, as most muffin recipes are! Just don’t let the cornflakes get too mushy by waiting till the end to fold in LIGHTLY the cereal. These smelled SO good coming out of the oven, and the added sweetness from the blueberries made this the perfect alternative to a breakfast pastry! I have some tips below on how to make the best muffins.

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A few things to note:

  • For any add-ins, mix them with the dry ingredient to coat with flour to prevent any sinking while the batter is baking
  • Don’t over-mix the batter! Just combine the wet and dry ingredients until they are mostly incorporated. A few streaks of flour won’t affect your end product and you’ll still have delicious muffins
  • The batter shouldn’t be overly runny. If it is, add in a few tablespoons of flour so that you have a thicker batter.
  • Don’t overfill the muffin wells. Filling them all the way to the top will be a sure fire way of overflow while baking and ending up with a huge mess. Leave about half an inch from the top of space for your muffins to expand while baking.
  • Bake at high heat. This will give you beautifully domed muffin tops. If you prefer flatter muffins, just bake at a lower but longer time (350F for 23-25 minutes)
  • Be careful that you don’t over-bake your muffins or let them brown too much. Since it’s a heat temperature bake, you’ll want to check on the muffins the last 2 minutes of cooking and remove as soon as the skewer comes out clean and the insides are baked.
  • Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors and add-ins. I tend to go a bit crazy every now and then so I don’t get tired of eating the same muffins and it’s a great experimental recipe. Want healthier muffins? Add in dry oats and whole wheat flour. Want chocolate? Fold in some chocolate chips. I love how versatile this recipe is!

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright december 2016 ©

Cornflake Blueberry Muffins

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Slightly sweet blueberry muffins with cornflakes folded in and a crisp cornflake sprinkle on top make these the perfect breakfast treat!
>>> Yields 12 muffins

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1/4 C honey or white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 1 large egg (if using white sugar, use 2 eggs)
  • 3 tbsp oil (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C cornflakes cereal
  • optional: 1/2 C dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, raisins)
  • optional: 1/2 C toasted chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare 12 muffin tins by either greasing the tins or lining with paper liners.
2) Mix together all the dry ingredients in one bowl, including the fruits and nuts.
3) Add in the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the cornflakes.
4) Spoon the batter evenly into the tins. Sprinkle cornflakes on top of the batter.
5) Bake for 15-18 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
6) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Store in freezer for long-term storage or at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Happy eats!

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Cinnamon Crumb Pizza

20160716_114859When I was young, we used to live near a Cici’s Pizza, which my family would frequent thanks to its cheap cost and relatively satisfying food choices (all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, soup, salads, dessert and breadsticks? Count me in!) To be honest, there are just a few items from there that really stood out to me and would be what I would constantly go back and get seconds or thirds of. Their deep-dish barbecue pizza (which was order only), their soft garlic-y breadsticks, and their desserts.

20160716_123410Oh, their desserts. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I would always save room for their sinfully rich chocolate brownies dusted with powdered sugar, their ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls topped with a sweet icing, and a family-favorite apple cinnamon crumb pizza. Looking back now, I realize how sugar-heavy all those desserts were and probably wouldn’t even dream of eating them for fear of developing diabetes on the spot, but those memories are near and dear to my heart and the inspiration behind this recipe.

My brother recently came home to visit and when I asked him if there were any specific foods he’d like me to make, he immediately replied with “Pizza!”. So naturally, I went with my trusty pizza dough recipe and whipped up a barbecue chicken one that my family loves. This time, however, I decided to make some extra dough and make a sweet pizza. Why? Just for the sake of variety and because my family has a secret sweet tooth that always needs addressing 😉

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Normally, my mom dislikes all things cinnamon (I know… the horrors), but she loves the cinnamon apple pizza from Cici’s, so I decided to re-create a lazier version of it by forgoing the apples and just make a sweet cinnamon streusel. The end result of my hodge podge creation was a fan-favorite. The sweet, cinnamon brown sugar spread paired perfectly with the crispy, buttery crumb topping without being sickeningly sweet or overwhelming in taste. My entire family gobbled down both pizzas and declared that the dessert pie was the absolutely perfect new addition to the pizza tradition. Next time, I’ll definitely be making another one of these delicious pizzas and you should too!

Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright november 2016 ©

Cinnamon Crumb Pizza

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Sweet dessert pizza with a buttery topping laced with cinnamon and spice
>>> Yields 1 9-inch round pizza

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe for pizza dough
  • 3/4 C AP flour
  • 3/4 C rolled or quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp each of ground ginger, allspice, and nutmeg
  • optional: 1/2 C powdered sugar + 1 tbsp milk for icing

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Mix all the ingredients except the butter together in a bowl.
3) Add the cubed butter and mix with hands until crumbs form.
4) Sprinkle over prepared and rolled out pizza dough.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown and crust is cooked. For a crisper crust, bake longer.
6) Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving. If desired, drizzle icing over the top of the pizza.

Happy eats!

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Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

 

 

20160821_085157I’m always on the search for the best whole wheat sandwich bread recipe. I have a couple that I’ve tested and love, but I like trying out new recipes and updating old ones with enhanced flavor and soft innards. The ideal sandwich sliced bread should be soft despite using whole wheat so when I ran across a few sites that recommend soaking grains overnight for a softer end result, I decided I needed to try that too.

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For this recipe, I soaked the wheat flour for 18 hours and let it rest overnight in the fridge after the dough was formed. I think this really helped develop the flavor of the bread. I shaped the loaves per my usual routine and ended up with two gigantic loaves! If you want a softer crust, I recommend brushing on egg onto the loaves pre-bake. If you prefer a crisper crust, spray water or brush milk onto the dough before baking and you’ll have a well-developed crust.

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The final result was similar to my sourdough bread in texture. Sort of sponge-y and soft, but with a heartier taste from the oats and wheat flour. I’m pretty satisfied with this end result and it’ll be in rotation with my other recipes. Thoughts on soaking overnight? Not bad, but probably not necessary to have a soft and delicious whole wheat bread, based on my other past recipes. Try out this recipe because it’s a great vegan recipe for an excellent loaf!

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When reposting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright october 2016 ©

Soaked Whole Wheat Bread

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Healthy whole wheat bread with soaked grains–perfect sandwich bread

>>> Yields 2 9×5 loaves

Time:
-Prep: 20 min + proof period
-Bake: 35 min

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 7 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 C old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 3 C room temperature water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or yogurt, kefir, or lemon juice can be subbed)
  • 1/4 C warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

Instructions:

1) Combine the water, flour, and apple cider until well mixed. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours.
2) Add in the 1/4 C water, salt, yeast, and sugar to the dough.
3) Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes in a stand mixer.
4) Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 min to an hour or overnight in the fridge. Remove from fridge and let come to room temperature before proceeding.
4) Punch the dough down and remove from bowl onto a clean surface. If sticky, add some flour. Divide the dough into two balls.
5) Roll the dough out into a large, flat rectangle and roll up into a log that is ~ 8 inches wide and place into a well-greased loaf pan.
6) Repeat for the second half of dough.
7) Let the loaves rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
8) Preheat the oven to 350 F while dough is rising. For a crisp crust, spray the tops of the loaves with water before putting into the oven.
9) Bake the dough for 35 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F and cover the top of the pan with foil if the top is getting too brown.
10) Remove the bread from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before removing from loaf tins. After the loaves have completely cooled, freeze for 20 minutes until semi-hard and then slice the loaves into slices.

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Pecan Pie Cookies

 

20160905_111541Pecan Pie Cookies, which can also be called Pecan Tassies, are classic holiday cookies that are perfect for welcoming Fall. They’re like mini pecan pies. A light, buttery shortbread cookie as a base and topped with a pecan pie-like filling.

20160905_111547My recipe is a bit atypical as it doesn’t use cream cheese dough, which most do. Since I’m not a big fan of cream cheese, I wanted to replace the base with a melt-in-your-mouth, soft dough. The pecan pie topping can be adjusted with sweetness, but be careful not to overfill your cookies or they will spill out! (Not that more filling is a bad thing) I loved making these because it reminded me of making pecan pie, which is one of my family favorites.

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I recommend toasting your nuts before adding to the filling for an enhanced nutty, sweet aroma and if you’d like, you can add some cinnamon or allspice into the filling or dough for more spice. Also, I refrigerated the dough overnight to let the butter flavor really meld and develop into such a delicious, simple cookie!

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright october 2016 ©

Pecan Pie Cookies

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Light, buttery shortbread cookies topped off with a pecan-pie filling that’s bursting with nutty flavors

>>> Yields 30 cookies

Time:
-Prep: 20 min
-Bake: 12 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 C AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • filling: 1/2 C brown sugar + 1/4 C heavy cream + 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp salt + 1 C chopped toasted pecans

Instructions:

1) In a mixer, beat together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and mix until combined.
2) Add in the flour and baking powder and mix until a dough forms.
3) Put the dough into an airtight container and let rest overnight. Let it slightly soften before forming balls the next day.
4) Prepare the filling by mixing together the sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt. Fold in the pecans lightly last.
5) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two sheet pans with parchment or silpat.
6) Shape the dough into ~1 inch balls. Flatten the balls lightly and make an indentation with your thumb to make a small well. Chill the dough in the fridge before filling for best results.
7) Fill the well with the filling. Don’t overfill or it will spill.
8) Bake for 8-12 minutes until they are lightly browned. Remove and let cool from the oven for 2-3 minutes before attempting to lift from the cookie sheets.
9) Let the cookies fully cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.

Happy eats!

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Matcha Layer Cake

20160716_082551Another cake?! Yes! My brother and I both have summer birthdays and when I asked him if he’d like a homemade cake this year, he immediately said “Yes!!!!!” His first choice was a green tea cake with green tea frosting filled with assorted fruits. As you can tell, our family has an affinity for Matcha-flavored cakes apparently. However, I really wanted to make my dear brother a cake he’d enjoy so instead of venturing with other styles, I stuck to a three-layer, simply frosted, no-frills cake.

 

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20160716_082535Instead of making another chiffon-style cake, I opted on a denser, traditional cake base with the addition of premium Matcha powder. For the icing, I went with my new favorite cooked flour frosting recipe. As for the fruit, he had originally wanted an odd variety of berries, mandarin oranges, canned peaches, and other fruit cocktail-like things, but I shot down the canned fruits idea and went for a nice berry assortment of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries–perfect for the summer time. I layered the inside of the three layers with the berries and green tea frosting and covered the whole things in the light luscious icing known as cooked flour frosting.

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The ultimate verdict after cutting into this massive cake? Two thumbs up and a very happy brother! Next time I’ll double the berries and add a smidge less flour since I wanted a moister cake, but all-in-all, I was very happy with how this turned out and the fact that my cake icing technique is getting smoother each turn.

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Copyright october 2016 ©

Matcha Layer Cake

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Delicious Matcha flavored layer cake, perfect for any occasion
>>> Yields 1 3 layered 8-inch cake

Time:
-Prep: 20 min
-Bake: 35 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 C sugar
  • 3 3/4 C AP flour
  • 3 tbsp Matcha powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C whole milk
  • 3/4 C oil
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 C boiling water
  • recipe for cooked flour frosting

Instructions:

1) Line and grease the bottom and sides of three 8-inch cake pans.
2) Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking sugar, matcha powder, and salt together in a bowl.
3) In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
4) Combine the dry and wet ingredients together and stir until no flour pockets remain.
5) Pour in the boiling water to allow for a thin batter to form and mix well.
6) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
7) Evenly divide the batter into the three pans.
8) Bake for 30-35 minutes. Check every few minutes starting from 30 minutes to check if the cake is cooked with a toothpick.
* During this time, make the flour frosting
9) Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
10) Using a knife, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and let the cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
11) Decorate and layer cake with frosting. Slice and serve.

Happy eats!

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