Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

IMG_2035 (2)

Possibly the best cookies I’ve ever made ever. Also I am in love with this new brown butter fad. TRY THESE IMMEDIATELY!!

A dear friend suggested this recipe to me. Actually, she recommended the caramel snickerdoodles but seeing as I had no sea salt caramel, I went with the original recipe. Brown Butter Snickerdoodles!

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T (or is it tea? …never really understood that saying…) besides one minor adjustment. I didn’t (and still don’t -hey no throwing things!) have any cream of tartar. So I did a bit of googling and decided to go in between the two main substitution measurements I found. I used 2 tsp baking powder and left out any additional salt – and they came out beautifully even so.

IMG_2037 (3)

They even stayed soft for the next day (there was one left for my dad and I for the next night’s breakfast dessert.) But even holding out on the last two was a test of will!

They are rich and have a very deep and complex flavor for cookies. I have never tasted anything so subtle and varied in my favorite baking form! The brown butter really made all the difference. It brought out this sweet, salty, nutty, toasted flavor that I have yet to encounter anywhere else.

And for those of you who are trying to brown butter for the first time, here’s a secret. You’ll KNOW when it’s started to brown. Just be patient and wait for the butter to form tiny solid specks at the bottom – that’s the browned fat content! And once it starts to darken, take it off the heat IMMEDIATELY.

I have to admit, I did take it off a tad bit prematurely. I can’t even imagine how rich the taste will be when I properly brown the butter!

Anyways, stop what you are dong right now and go make these. No excuses. You’ll thank me later.

Advertisements

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Image

I was inspired to make these sumptuous and overly decadent delights by the amazing stop motion video by Sorted and co. Click on this link and watch for yourself. That is the VERY definition of Food Porn. Tell me you didn’t start moaning over the richness of it all.

I dare you.

Needless to say I was so hot and bothered over these cookies I rushed out to the store to pick up the candies and nutella (the only ingredients I didn’t have on hand.)

I got home, washed my hands and commenced assembly immediately.

Only to discover that the ingredient amounts are listed in grams. Oops. Forgot about that whole conversion bit.

I did some quick google searching for the ingredient conversions (it’s important to keep in mind that grams are a WEIGHT measurement and cups are a VOLUME measurement. So it’s no easy formula.)

This is my interpretation:

INGREDIENTS

  • butter (110g) ~ 1 stick
  • light brown sugar (350g) ~ 1 3/4 cups
  • cocoa powder (55g) ~ heaping 1/3 cup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • plain flour (260g) ~ according to calculations 2 1/2 cups, see the explication below for further details.
  • milk or dark chocolate chips (100g) ~ I didn’t look this one up, just add as much as you want! (~1-2 cups)
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 8 tbsp nutella
  • 16 caramel-filled chocolates

RECIPE

line a baking tray with parchment paper.
preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (that’s 350 F for us Americans).
melt the butter in a medium heated pan.
take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar and eggs.
add the cocoa, salt and baking powder and stir until well combined.
add the flour and stir until no floury patches are left.
stir in the chocolate chips.
take 1 heaped tbsp of dough, use your finger make a large indentation the centre of the dough; fill the indentation with a small blob of nutella (like 1/2 tsp ish), and top it up with the caramel-filled chocolate.
top with a flattened tablespoon of dough, and seal the edges.
sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 8-10 minutes

~~~~

So. All was going well despite the frantic search to convert the measurements until I got to the flour. I put in about 1.5 cups fluffed flour (as in I spooned, stirred and fluffed the flour before scooping into the measuring cup) and stirred thoroughly. Only to find the dough was more of a batter. So I added some more. And some more. At this point I was just pouring it out of my almost empty bag so I have no idea how much extra I added. But I kept at it until the batter was DOUGH consistency and would hold a cookie shape.

Unfortunately by this time the chocolate chips had melted.

And I think I added a LITTLE too much flour.

But I was happy just to be able to scoop a blob out and push my finger into the middle! So I wasn’t going to complain.

I filled with Nutella and plopped a Ghiradelli salt caramel chocolate square on top (my cookies were quite a bit bigger than those in the stop motion version.)

Image

I then covered them up using almost all of the dough and popped them in the oven for 10 minutes. I let them cool a bit and broke one open. Before I get into the explicit and mature description I will warn you that they will appear to be undercooked. But do NOT cook for longer than TEN MINUTES. Otherwise they get a bit too crunchy and hard. Unless you are into that kind of thing. No judgement.

Image

I’m not actually sure I can do justice to that picture. It was warm. Gooey Molten Ambrosia. . Rich. Decadent. Satisfying. Overwhelming. Lightly crispy. Creamy. Dense. You know the words ( I really need to get some new vocabulary for cookies. But, I mean, what other trigger words do you need besides dense, chewy and rich?) Sproing! My mouth is salivating.

These are dangerously rich and thoroughly crave-quenching. Bake at your own risk (and glorious tastebud overload!)

 

Conversions found through these lovely links!

http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/sugar_amounts.html

http://www.pastryscoop.com/category/look-it-up/flour/

Banana Scones

Image

Star Scones!

Whilst browsing through my many food blogs I came upon this delectable dish with perfect timing, for beside me was an ever-ripening bunch of bananas that needed to be used up!

From Flavorthemoments.com came this simple banana breakfast pastry. (I didn’t make the glaze because I wasn’t feeling the sweet factor. And I was lazy. XP )

The making was simple enough and definitely took me less than the predicted half hour prep time. I halved the recipe, not having many people to help me eat the finished product, which made the prepping even quicker.

Image

I quickly mashed up the banana, added a splash of almond milk (just to thin it out since I was already at the 1 cup mark) and mixed in the greek yogurt. Then I mixed the dry ingredients, cut in the butter and combined with the ‘naners.

I’m not sure how you’d be able to spread out the dough and cut out rounds because it was just a little too sticky for easy handling. As it was, I got messy enough just partitioning the dough into my adorable (and thoroughly greased and floured) star tins.

IMG_1910 (2)

Popped them in the oven and after the 16 minutes they were perfect!

I let them cool and in the morning enjoyed a lovely (and rather healthy!) breakfast with a fruit smoothie. It still wasn’t very scone-like (maybe because I only used white all purpose flour?). It was more akin to a dense (almost tough, but not in a bad way!) muffin. Anyway it was really good and still moist.

I’m going to make these again and play around with some additional fillings (chocolate or cinnamon chips, anyone?) and maybe adding a bit more flour to see if that makes it more crumbly and scone-ish.

MBA — Blueberry Buckle

image

So there is a pretty background to make up for the awful excuse of a plate. But I was crunched for time having baked this 6 hours before leaving on a road trip. Yay hotels!

Well, this is a blueberry buckle. Never heard of a “buckle”? Neither have I. In fact, I’m still not sure what it is! I would initially describe it as a cobbler and a muffin’s love child.

A quick google search confirms this. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia: “ A buckle is made with yellow batter (like cake batter), with the filling mixed in with the batter.”

If you are still confused, the closest thing I can adequately compare it to is a bread pudding  It is very dense and VERY moist. It’s almost squishy (which I find very intriguing since it wasn’t a very liquid batter, at all.)

But most importantly it’s very DELICIOUS. The recipe I used (from the ever scientific Alton Brown) called for a streusal type topping – I know not if that is the norm or unique to this recipe.

The recipe was quite simple, quick and seemingly fool proof. The only thing I did different from the recipe (and only due to the late hour of the night and my early start) was to leave the buckle in the oven (turned off, of course!) over night till I woke up in the morning.

And it came out perfectly.