Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blender Cookies

I love my blender. It's black and cute and has sharp blades. And it also moonlights as a food processor.

This came in handy when I re-attempted to make Mr. Boyfriend's almondine cookies (finally!).

Almond cookies are surprisingly easy to make. AND (big AND, hence the caps) the recipe I used had absolutely no fat in it.

Naturally, the absence of oil or butter or anything fatty seemed like a mistake, but I decided to take the recipe for it's word and go for it.

Oh, and I finally remembered to buy the almond extract.

Overall, the output was pretty good. The recipe called for oiling the cookie sheet and placing parchment paper over it, but it made the bottoms of the cookies burn and a little greasy so next time I might skip the oil.

It also seemed as though it was missing some essential spices. Next time I might add some nutmeg or cinnamon. Definitely needs a kick.

And now I bring you PICTURES!

(Egg whites are so easy to turn into this creamy, shiny awesomeness 
with a hand mixer. Why I waited so long to get one is beyond me.)

Icing: Pixies - Debaser

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Accidental Brownie

As a way of expanding my baking knowledge, I asked Mr. Boyfriend what I should attempt next. Without hesitation he said, "Almondine cookies," as these are his absolute favorites. And, so, I set out to find a recipe to emulate.

Since Lazzaroni Amaretti di Sorono have a seriously deep hold on Mr. Boyfriend's psyche, I was definitely in for some hard work. And there was certainly a lot to live up to.

So, after a few days of searching, I settled on a recipe I found on and after a quick trip to Target, voila! I was set. All I needed was the almond extract.

A few days later Mr. Boyfriend and I set out to have a culinary date at my place. He was going to make us some deliciousness for dins and I was in charge of the sweets. Together we ran to the supermarket excited for the evening's fun and purchased everything we needed. And, when we got home I realized the major mistake.

I forgot the almond extract.

Oh, cwap.

What do I have in the cabinet? Cocoa powder, a few squares of baker's chocolate, flour, sugar, baking powder... "I know! I'll make chocolate cookies!" I exclaimed after a few glasses of vino.

(***For reference, here's the original recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Fudge Cookies***)

In my head, I was like, "SCORE! I have almost all the ingredients." Which would have been fine had I had the correct proportions of all the other ingredients. Either way, my tipsy self decided to forage ahead.

So, using the whole recipe with the exception of a few things I began combining and beating and mixing. Here are my revisions:
- 3/4 cup chopped almonds (because I was supposed to make almondine cookies)
- 1/4 bag of semisweet chocolate chips (about 3 oz... instead of 12 oz)
- 4 squares of baking chocolate (about 2 oz... instead of 6 oz)
- 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (because I was short on the other chocolate)- NO COCONUT

Anyone who knows anything about baking knows it's about science and precise measurements. In fact, professional bakers generally measure in weight rather than volume so that they can be as accurate as possible. With that said, it should have been no surprise that the "dough" (if you can call it that) didn't turn out quite right. In fact, it was pretty much, downright wrong.

I called Mr. Boyfriend into the kitchen, poured out my liquidy, chocolatey mix of stuff and asked, "What am I supposed to do?" And with a not-so-rare stroke of genius he said, "Make brownies!"

And, so I did. And they were pretty damn good, though they weren't quite brownies. They were a cross between brownies, fudge, and cake. I suppose you could call it brudgake. Or fraknies. Or accidental brownies.

I liked the latter.

Icing: Collide - Razor Sharp

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Apple A Day

I was feeling pretty creative the other night and had a hankering for some sort of holiday-ish dessert. Something warm and welcoming. Cinnamon and apples. Nom. So, I thought, "Why not create another conglomerate of sugary awesomeness?"
And, after 3 hours of baking, a monster was born.

Part 1: Create an outer shell to house contents of yum.

From the get-go, I knew I wanted to make a cupcake. But how to weave apples and cinnamon in? That would come later. First, the cupcake.

I wanted something light that had a warm flavor, but nothing overpowering. How about vanilla? Sold.

Amy Sedaris's Vanilla Cupcakes

Note: I only made 12 cupcakes in case this was a major disaster. And, really, what single girl needs more than 12 cupcakes at time? I gave away most of them anyway.

These cupcakes ended up being the perfect balance of fluffiness and warmth (I apologize for the overuse of all variations of the word warm.) to house the lovely gooeyness (is that a word?) I was about to impart to the world. Hats off to Amy. I'll have to check out more of her recipes.

Part 2: BRAINS (bwains?)

The brain is the core of any being. The behemoths need brains to move swiftly (or loudly) and be their normal predatory selves. In my extensive experience, monsters don't have super smart brains - at least not those in conventional horror stories. For me, however, a smart monster, while an anomaly, is the monster that wins and I say, screw the hero.


They will be the brains.

Apple Crumble

I halved this recipe too and still had too much. I would suggest quartering it for only 12 cupcakes. If I had made 24, I think half this recipe would have worked out nicely.

I also baked the oatmeal topping separately so that I could just sprinkle it on top of the cupcakes. You probably need about an eighth of the recipe, to be honest.

So, now that I had the outer skin and the core of brainy goodness, I needed something to cover its head. Considering the potential heaviness of the inner core of the cupcake, I knew I'd need the lightest frosting possible. In walked the heavy cream and the whisk. I wish I had a "walked into a bar joke" right now.

(Side note: I just noticed that there are things called "whips" and things called "whisks" and they look the same on the Internets. More on this at a later time.)

Part 3: Where's his hat?!
 Whipped cream frosting was the only answer to this dilemma. It's light and fluffy and has a slight coolness to help balance out the warmth (WARMTH) of the rest of the cupcake. Let me say that making this definitely put me significantly closer to shelling out some dough for a hand mixer. I think I whisked for 20 minutes. Best workout ever if you want strong forearms.

Whipped Cream Frosting

But, wait! Here are all the pieces. How to assemble?

This time in steps! With pictures!

Step 1: Baking! (You know how to do this, right?)

Step 2: Mmmm, cupcakes...


Step 3: Apple Crumble (while the cupcakes cool) -- I almost forgot to mention that I mashed the apple crumble (without the crumble) up with a potato smasher. Didn't want the apples to be too chunky inside the cuppycake.

 Step 4: Surgery!

(Cut out little cores from the cupcakes so you can smoosh some filling in them. Only cut about 3/4 of the way down, you don't want the cupcake to fall apart when the wrapper comes off. *gasp*)


(Replace the core, but cut off a little bit from the bottom since you now have to compensate for filling.)

Step 5: Haberdashery!

 (Whipped cream with vanilla and a little cinnamon)

Step 6: NOM!
 (Sprinkled crumble part of Apple Crumble recipe and a little cinnamon over the cupcakes)

I'm hoping for more Dr. Franky cupcakes in the future. And we'll try to give them clever names like, Cupcake: Redemption or Revenge of the Cupcake.

Icing: Tegan and Sara - Alligator Tears