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Brownies

26 Sep

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like taking a bite into a home-made brownie. The guilty indulgence after the first bite, it’s so good that it’s almost sinful.  You finish the first brownie and deep down you know that you really shouldn’t have a second piece, but you reach for another anyway making a promise to yourself that tomorrow you will run an extra mile (but of course you don’t, who are we kidding?).

Brownies, like the Chocolate Chip Cookie is a staple in North American households.  It never disappoints, only comforts.  It’s versatile batter, you can add nuts, peanutbutter, cream cheese or like I did, dulce de leche.  Why not make something that is tooth achingly good event better?

I had a small container of dulce de leche in the fridge that I didn’t know what to do with and a craving for brownies, put them together and you have one kick-ass brownie.  Want to make this brownie even more kick-ass, accompany it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I prefer downing my brownie with a cold class of milk.

For the brownies I used my go to recipe.  In fact, it’s the only recipe I have ever used, the Fry’s Cocoa recipe found on the back of the can.

 

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The Chocolate Chip Cookie

19 Sep

 

Well I think I have finally found my favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  This cookie is everything a Chocolate Chip Cookie should be; moist, chocolaty, melt in your mouth goodness.  The best part, this cookie is so dunkable.  Yes people, dunkability is very high on my list of what makes a good cookie.

I can’t begin tell you how many recipes I’ve tried, and yes, I have tried the infamous Neiman Marcus $250.00 cookie recipe as well.  You’ll notice I’ve never blogged about any of these cookies, because frankly they were not blog worthy until now. When I set out to make this particular Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I didn’t take any pictures of the process, I really wasn’t holding out much hope.  But I was wrong, with a little tweaking of the temperature this was the best cookie out there.

Where did I get the recipe you ask? I came across it quite by accident.  The other night I was making streusel cupcakes and it called for golden-yellow sugar (no pictures of that cupcake either, it was way too dark to take a decent picture).  As I was measuring out the sugar I noticed the recipe in the back and thought to give it a try.  I tried it the next night.  I was not impressed with the first batch that came out of the oven, they looked too overdone and the chocolate chips we barely visible.  I lowered the oven temperature and kept a close eye on the next batch.  I was happy with how the second batch turned out, but the true test was in the taste and oh yes the “dunkability” factor.  Once they cooled I poured myself a glass of cold milk and I took a dunk, and then a taste and then another dunk and taste and without even realizing it I had dunked and “tasted” four cookies. I was in love; my journey for the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ended that night.  Now I would like to share it with you my friends.  Even if you do have a go to Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, I beg you try this one…just once, that’s all it will take.

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Cannoli

29 Nov

Last month I finally got the courage to join The Daring Kitchen. The main reason why I hadn’t joined before was simple…I was scared of the commitment…kind of like a relationship. Well I’m glad I did, my first challenge was a dessert dear and close to my native land, Cannoli.
The irony is that I actually bought the Cannoli forms a few months back and they just sat in my cupboard unopened. So if this challenge had not come along they may have very well sat there much longer.

The challenge for November was brought to us by Lisa Michele from, Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. The recipe was a combination from various cookbooks; Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
I followed the dough recipe as was written. We had the option of using white wine, Marsala or grape juice….trying to keep the recipe as authentic as possible I went with the Marsala. The dough itself was very simple to make. I made it the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. At first I was a bit put off by the amount of Marsala in the dough, but once fried it turned out just fine.


The dough was simple to work with; I used a pasta machine to roll out the dough…it cut down on the elbow grease and the time significantly.
For the filling I went with a Ricotta sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla. I also made Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Crème Patisserie, which by the way is out of this world! Again to save some time I made the fillings the day before.
Ok, so far so good. I got up on Saturday morning and started rolling out my dough and heating up the oil ready to fry. I really despise frying and not for the reasons you may think, I despise it because it just stinks up the house…and did it ever. The stench stuck around for days, and I swear when I walk into my house I can still smell it!

Nevertheless, the end result was just unbelievably delicious. My husband devoured the Cannoli and actually said, “I don’t think I could ever eat another bakery Cannoli after having these”…I would say that’s a success because my husband takes his Cannoli very seriously.
Would I ever make these again? Sure I will, but it will have to be warm enough to fry outside..and considering it’s almost December in Toronto I probably wont be making these for at least another 6 months.
So if you love Cannoli, I urge you, I beg you to try to make them at home, you will not regret it.

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Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

12 Nov

Peanut Butter, oatmeal, chocolate, these are just a few of my favourite things.  Mix them all together and you get a, “Oh my God, this is so good” cookie.  That’s what we have here, thanks again to Dorie Greenspan.  I’ve been searching and searching looking for a peanut butter oatmeal cookie, when all along I just had to crack open Dorie’s book, Baking: From my Home to Yours.  And truly, this cookies taste like home. (Just a side note, don’t you just find it hilarious how we all refer to Dorie Greenspan as just “Dorie”, like she’s our pal..it just rolls off the tongue)

I was inspired to make this cookies after a conversation at work with the ladies…and the occasional male who happened to drop into the lunch room.  We were arranging our Christmas dinner potluck when someone suggested that we do a cookie exchange too.  Needless to say I was all for that.  After dinner that night I started pouring through my collection of baking books and came across this recipe and thought to myself, “why not make these now?”

 

The recipe calls for nutmeg and cinnamon which I omitted.  My husband isn’t a big fan of either unless they’re in an apple pie or coffee cake.  He practically spit out the cinnamon chocolate cake I made a few weeks back…as you can tell it didn’t make the blog.  This cookie is packed full of flavours, and next time I’m considering adding some shredded coconut to the recipe.  Coconut + anything = goodness (in my books).

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