Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


The delicious union of chocolate and peanut butter is, dare I say, "Two great tastes that taste great together." I made my own version and topped them with a pinch of fleur de sel, which enhances the peanutty goodness packed inside these little cups. A combination of milk and dark Callebaut chocolate enrobe these peanut butter gems to give this sweet, childhood favorite a grown up flavor.

Mmmm...Meringues


Meringues, they are light, chewy and melt in your mouth. These mushroom-shaped meringues are a delight! I piped the meringue into two shapes - button tops and stems and then baked them to perfection; almost like a marshmallow but with a crispy outer shell. After the meringues were cooled, I dipped the button tops into a chocolate-orange champagne ganache and attached the stems, followed by a dusting of cocoa. Mmmm, meringues.

My First Attempt At Pan Dulce


Pan Dulce is a Mexican morning sweet bread with a wonderful taste and texture. My mom makes this treat around Easter time and it's one of my favorites. I always eat the topping off of the bread first before enjoying the second half.

The bread is slightly sweet and the topping is a crunchy, cookie-like confection. Usually shaped into a seashell pattern, I used cookie cutters to make the untraditional toppers for my first attempt at pan dulce. I will definitely try this again, next time with cocoa topping instead of pink-vanilla.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Great American Bake Sale


What a treat it was to meet and chat with Food Network star and pastry chef, Anne Thornton from the show Dessert First today at Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale®. Anne is just as lovely in person as she is on TV!

Read more about Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale:
Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale®, presented by Domino® Sugar, C&H® Sugar and Duncan Hines®, is a national effort that encourages Americans to host bake sales in their communities to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.

Since 2003, more than 1.7 million people have participated in Great American Bake Sale, raising more than $6 million to make sure no child in America grows up hungry. Great American Bake Sale is supported by official bakeware Chicago Metallic, national television partner Food Network, national magazine partner Family Circle® and Solo, an offical ingredient of the Great American Bake Sale.


Register at www.GreatAmericanBakeSale.org

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies



My hazelnut chocolate chunk cookies are full of flavor and have a very nice texture in each bite. I use hazelnut flour which gives this classic cookie recipe new dimension. The faint spice from the cinnamon enhances the hazelnuts and the flavors from the milk and dark chocolate chunks. Light and crispy, these cookies are delicious right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk, or can be enjoyed later with a hot cup of tea.

You'll need the following ingredients to make these yummy cookies:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

11/2 C of hazelnut flour (I purchased my bag at Whole Foods)
1/2 C of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
2/3 C of unsalted butter or shortening (I use a mix of both - equal parts)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 3oz bars of chocolate chopped (one milk, one dark)

Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter/shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla together with electric mixer until smooth. With a wooden spoon add dry ingredients into batter, 1/3 at a time; stir well before introducing more of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Once the cookie dough is well blended, add in the chocolate chunks and stir until evenly distributed in the cookie dough.

Scoop cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop onto the cookie sheet. I prefer to use a silpat on my cookie sheets or parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes and enjoy!