Category Archives: Recipes

Around the World in… Hot chocolate?


The Fabulous Beekman Boys have caught my eye again on Twitter.  Last week I saw something about roasted cauliflower soup.  OMGosh.  Gotta buy the cookbook just for that.

Today, they’ve written about world travel and warm beverages, to compensate for our chilly weather.  They’ve done their research (and hopefully flown a couple miles to test these out!) and offer us recipes for how to make multi-continent hot chocolate so you can travel the world, right in your mug.

Hot chocolate makes me think of being wee and traveling overseas in Germany and Austria with my parents before I drank coffee.  They’d order me a cup of hot cocoa and would always say “mit schlag”… with whipped cream.  yum.

Maple Pots de Creme


As if we haven’t already eaten our fill this holiday season…. anyone looking for a yummy Christmas addition to the family table might want to give this some consideration…

6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup maple sugar
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon imitation maple extract
Pinch of coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Pinch of coarse kosher salt

Special equipment: 4 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups
print a shopping list for this recipeview wine pairings

For praline:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Scatter almonds on small rimmed baking sheet. Bake almonds until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven. Push almonds together in 4-inch square on sheet and cool.
Stir sugar, 1 tablespoon water, corn syrup, and coarse salt in small heavy saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is dark amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour caramel evenly over almonds, coating completely. Let stand until cold and hard, about 30 minutes. Break praline into pieces or process to coarse crumbs. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

For custard:
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Arrange four 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups in 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan. Whisk yolks, both sugars, extract, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in cream. Divide custard among ramekins. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake custards until center is just set, about 35 minutes. Transfer to work surface; let stand 15 minutes. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 2 hours. Cover; chill overnight.

Sprinkle praline over custards.

(via epicurious)

Do you twist or bite?


Your Oreo, I mean.  Don’t ask too many questions…. I’d just bake these.  And thank you, Vanity Cake, for the hint towards these gems!

For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For garnish:
Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.

(via Annie’s Eats)

Fesenjan-e Bademjan (trust me…)


I’m stuffy & achey as can be today and this old favorite just might save the night!

This eggplant dish with a pomegranate-walnut-honey sauce is absolutely exotic. The walnuts are used as a thickening agent, the pomegranates for sourness and the honey as a sweetener. The result is a delicate sweet-and-sour flavor that is typically Persian and does not disappoint.

Be warned: somewhere along the way, it can develop an almost Pepto Bismol color as the pomegranate juice melts in with the rest of the ingredients.  Rest assured, it turns a nutty, honey brown color before serving.

To remove the bitterness from common Western eggplants, peel and slice them lengthwise into quarters, then cut the quarters into 1-inch lengths. Soak the eggplant pieces in a large container of water with 2 tablespoons of salt. Allow them to soak for 20 minutes, rinse them thoroughly and squeeze out the water with a towel. Asian eggplants, bottled pomegranate juice and pomegranate paste are available at Iranian markets. Serve this eggplant dish with rice or pasta.

5 Asian eggplants (2 lb.), or 2 large common eggplants with bitterness removed

6 Tbs. olive oil 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tsp. ground cumin 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cups chopped cilantro leaves, plus 1 cup leaves for garnish

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 cups (1/2 lb.) toasted walnuts

1/2 cup pomegranate paste diluted with 2 1/2 cups water, or 3 cups pomegranate juice

1 Tbs. honey or brown sugar, as needed

1 cup cilantro leaves for garnish

1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 2 pomegranates) for garnish

Fried eggplant rounds, fried cilantro leaves and fried onion rings for garnish, optional

1. Peel eggplants, and remove stems. Place segments of common eggplants, if using, in salted water to remove bitterness. Rinse Asian eggplants, squeeze out water with towels and slice into 1-inch-thick rounds.

2. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in deep skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, and sauté on all sides about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove eggplants from skillet, drain on paper towels and set aside. Add remaining oil to skillet, and reheat over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Add garlic during last few minutes of browning onions, and continue cooking. Add cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper, turmeric, crushed red pepper, parsley, cilantro and fresh mint, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

3. Grind walnuts in food processor until very fine or sauce will be gritty. Combine walnuts with diluted pomegranate paste and honey, as needed, and stir until sauce is smooth.

4. Pour sauce into skillet. Return eggplants and seasoning to skillet, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer mixture for 30 minutes, or until eggplants are tender, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon. If sauce is too sour, add more honey or brown sugar to taste.

Spoon onto plates or into serving dish, garnish with cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds; add optional garnishes of fried eggplant, cilantro leaves and crispy onion.

Cashew Oat Milk


As I pour Organic Half and Half into my morning coffee, I am wondering how lovely this Cashew Oat Milk with cinnamon and agave would be instead…. Joy the Baker rocks!

1 1/2 cups raw cashews

3 cups of water for soaking

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, ground to a powder

2 cinnamon sticks ground to a powder or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 cups filtered water

2 tablespoons agave

Place raw cashews in a clean bowl and top with 3 cups of water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours. Once soaked, place the cashews in a fine mesh strainer and run the softened cashews under cool water until clean and the water runs clear. Set aside.

In a spice blender (mine is a clean coffee grinder), grind cinnamon sticks, one at a time, to a fine powder. Place in a small bowl and set aside. If you don’t have a spice grinder, measure 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon into a small bowl and set aside.

Grind oats in two batches in the spice grinder until oats turn into a fine powder. Pour into the same bowl as the ground cinnamon. If you don’t have a spice grinder, you can also grind oats in the blender.

Combine oats, cinnamon, cashews, filtered water, and agave in the bowl of a blender. Cover tightly and blend on low speed, increasing to high speed, until smooth.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour half of the cashew mixture into the fine mesh strainer. With a spatula, work the liquid through the strainer. The harder you press the cashew and oat mixture, the more liquid you’ll release, and the more cashew and oat bits you’ll get in your milk. I happen to like this milk to be thick and slightly chunky. Continue to strain the milk until all of the liquid has passed through the strainer. Place cashew and oat meat mixture in a bowl and set aside.

If you’d like a smoother milk, feel free to pass it through the strainer once more.

Store in an airtight container (I used an old one-quart milk jar) and place in the fridge. Shake well before enjoying.  Milk lasts, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

(She also uses the cashew and oat meat as a face scrub for a few days.)

Dip, baby, Dip!


Um, chocolate chip cookie dough… dip?!?  Yes please!  Doesn’t sound like a “Chef in Training” to me 🙂

½ c butter

¼ c brown sugar, slightly packed

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

8 oz. cream cheese , room temperature

½ c confectioners’ sugar

1 c mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar.

Whisk together over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.

Set aside and let cool, if you’re in a hurry stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime cream together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar for 1-2 minutes.  Slowly pour in the butter/sugar mixture.

Beat on medium-high until the mixture is combined and not separated. It may take up to 5 minutes.

Stir in the chocolate chips.  Serve with Graham crackers, vanilla wafers, animal crackers.