Tomorrow is my cousins birthday, so happy birthday Delilah! Naturally, as the baker of the household, I was assigned the cake-making. I had a blast, as you can see. She almost always asks for chocolate, but being myself, I didn't want to be as unoriginal as a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. As yummy as that is, it gets boring year after year. So, since I know she loves raspberries, I made raspberry chocolate layer cake! It is a classic chocolate cake recipe with raspberry jam on each cake layer, then chocolate ganache. You have to refrigerate half the ganache to let it firm up, then the other half you pour over the cake and then freeze the whole cake so that firms up, so that's the main reason it takes so long. Other than that, it's surprisingly easy for such a decadent and impressive-looking cake. My ganache didn't even firm up very well and it still worked fine, so don't fret if it's still runny after an hour in the refrigerator. I then decorated the top with raspberries and powdered sugar, plus a couple mint leaves in the very middle, as shown below. You can cover the whole cake with raspberries if you'd like, but I thought that would be a bit too much, so I liked this design instead. Enjoy!
I was flipping through the "yeast breads" section of my King Arthur Flour Cookbook and saw two recipes that stood out: Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Easy Cinnamon Bread. I had a snow day today, so of course I skipped the easy option and went with the Cinnamon Swirl Bread, which was a great choice. First of all, it was still relatively easy, just a bit more work (but fun work!), and the final product was just beautiful! Of course, it was also absolutely delicious! My one comment would be that if you want to make this a little less sweet and more like the loaf you can find in stores, then you can skip the streusel and just do the egg wash (that will give it that nice golden crust), and that should still work fine. But, man oh man is that streusel good!
Another snow day. And, not even that, I'm writing this up at night and they even closed schools for tomorrow, too! We've gotten nearly 5 feet of snow (if not more) over the past 17 days!! That's crazy! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a snow enthusiast, I'm loving this. I am in no way complaining about my sixth snow day as a senior in high school who DOES NOT HAVE TO MAKE THESE DAYS UP! So pumped, I'm actually loving this.
Anyways, let's talk cupcakes. Cupcakes are just about the best thing to make on a snow day. They are a lot of fund and somewhat time consuming so you have something to do, but not so crazy that they talk all day. Plus, I'm always looking for a new kind of cupcake to make for the house, and I love almond! So, I stumbled upon these and just had to make them. Then, I jazzed up the frosting a little bit. My excuse was Valentine's Day, but let's be honest, it was a snow day and I was just having fun with it, which I definitely did!
"That is the best pie I've ever made," were my exact words after taking my first bite of this pie. When you think of pie, you probably think of apple, pumpkin, pecan, and that's really it. Those get enough attention, but what about blueberry or cherry or strawberry rhubarb? I didn't feel like pitting three dozen cherries, and I didn't know where to find rhubarb at this time of the year, so I went with blueberry pie. Technically those aren't in season either but they're one of those fruits you can find all year long because they're just delish. So, I took a stab at my first blueberry pie, and it was a great first try, because it was simply divine. The crust is a foolproof recipe I got from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts when I took a class there. I have in the instructions to double the recipe for the pie dough, but just know that you will probably have extras, or if you don't, use a lot of blueberries!
All of these brown sugar cookie recipes have made me slowly use less and less granulated sugar. Brown sugar has so much more flavor and yields a much chewier cookie, a texture I always prefer. Granulated sugar is better at giving crunch. These cookies are perfectly soft and chewy, and stay that way for days. Plus, they use just a splash of maple extract, which gives the best combination. The molasses content of the brown sugar mixed with the maple flavor go really well together, and these cookies are just addicting. Also, make sure you chill the dough! You will not get the same results without chilling it. I chilled my dough overnight and then left it out for about 10 minutes so it would be easier to scoop.
Nutella is just the best. In case you're unfamiliar with this small jar of heaven (which I'm sorry if you are not I must assume you are crazy), it is a chocolate hazelnut spread predominately sold in Europe, but luckily for us Americans has also migrated to stores in the US. It is heaven, but I've found something even more heavenly than this heaven. What's even better than Nutella, you may ask? Brownies made with Nutella. OK, that's kind of cheating, but still, it really is. These brownies are so fudgy and delicious, and you can taste the subtle undertone of Nutella that just makes you want to stuff the whole pan in your face. Unfortunately, these aren't for me, they're actually going to my sister. I made her these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies the other day, but before we could send them to her my dog got to them. Ohhh martha. When my mom broke the news to me, I just said, "Well, I guess I just have to make more cookies, what a shame". Get it? It's ironic, because I love making cookies, so it's not a shame? I'm hilarious, I know.
Also, after learning this from a blog I follow on my facebook page, tomorrow is national Nutella day! I did not plan this, I promise, but even more reason to go make these delicious brownies!
I know, more chocolate chip cookies. But, there are just so many different recipes and techniques out there worth trying, and sharing with all of you! These I thought were especially unique. They have a very different, yet wonderful taste to them by using molasses. They also have a great texture to them, which is due to the technique of browning butter. I described in the recipe how to do this, which is actually relatively easy. Just don't be skimpy with the amount of heat you give to the butter. I mean, don't burn it, but it shouldn't be simmering either, it'll need a good amount of heat to get it to brown. And when it does, you will be able to tell. It's this beautiful amber color with brown buts around the side. I also used pecans in the cookies, but you don't have to. However, if you omit the pecans, as I wrote below, you should probably add another ½ cup of chocolate chips to make up for that. Enjoy another great chocolate chip cookie recipe!
My name is Katherine and I love, love, love to bake! You can find all my baking adventures on this blog, plus you can follow me on Social Media by clicking below!