I’m alive!

I’ve been remiss in posting and for that I am truly sorry. The farmers’ market, while amazing, sucks up a lot of time leaving me less than inspired to post but that’s all changing! Stay tuned as I will soon post the easiest, most amazing, snack / dessert you can find.

So delicious, so easy, and only three ingredients.

I’ve tested it out on several friends and the consensus is “OMG”. I’ll be making a fresh batch today and will update shortly thereafter with more to come!

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Chocolate Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

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At the grocery store this weekend and saw unsweetened baking chocolate thinking “there was something I was going to make with that”. Upon returning home I couldn’t for the life of me remember what that was so off to the cookbooks I went. I started with the most natural culprit, Flour and luckily that was the one. I decided that I wanted chocolate with peppermint frosting rather than the ‘magic’ stuff yet sadly my extract had…uh vanished and I was not about to walk back to the store so what else? Peanut butter!

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 Ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped.
  • 1/4 Cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (I had Hershey’s and so it was)
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup milk (I had half and half…)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Extra egg yolk
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • (optional) 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

In a large heat-proof bowl combine chocolate and cocoa. In a small saucepan heat the sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally until the butter melts and the sugar has disolved. Pour this mixture over the chocolate and cocoa, whisk until well combined and smooth.

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Let this cool for a bit then whisk in the egg and yolk, milk, and extract until well combined.

In a bowl stir the dry ingredients together, add these to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.

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Let the batter sit for an hour or cover and refrigerate for up to three days. While the batter is resting line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and heat the over to 350. Divide the batter amongst the cups and if you’re feeling randy top with peanut butter chips.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed with a finger. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.

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For the frosting I turned to my dear friend Ina.

You will need:

  • 1 Cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 Cup heavy cream (I used half and half again)

Add everything to the bowl of a mixer. Start on LOW (or pay the price) only adding speed once the powdered sugar is absorbed in to the rest of the ingredients. Whip on high until frosting is fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.

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Add a generous amount of frosting to the top of each, pretty them up as you see fit. I felt that this whole scenario called for chips and so it was done.

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I’m not normally a cupcake person. It’s usually crappy, dry, cake hidden under a mound of sickly sweet frosting; these babies are dangerous though. I made mine from my copy of the book but the recipe is also here. Enjoy!

Roasted Kale

I know I’m late to the kale party but here I am! I’ve had kale many ways, steamed, massaged (yes, really), even gratin, but this is my favorite method and it just so happens to be super easy. There’s no real measurements here, everything is to taste.

Roasted Kale:

  • 1 Bunch kale: washed, stemmed, and torn in to pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes

Heat oven to 375. Toss everything together on a lined sheet pan:

After five minutes stir kale to redistribute on the pan, tong are super useful here. Give the kale another 5-8 minutes depending on how crisp you want it. I go for about five, the kale comes out tender with super crispy edges and a nice spicy bite.

This preparation is so good that I have sat down to a big plate of roasted kale for dinner with no regrets. What’s your favorite kale recipe?

Compost Cookies

I love cookies and almost none more so than Compost Cookies. These cookies are basically whatever you want them to be. I adapted from this recipe, which is a from the original chef herself Christina Tosi! It’s so versatile and a great starting point for incorporating whatever you have lying around. This is what I started with:

I decided to ditch the Heath in favor of candy coated sunflower seeds though which was a much better  choice. The best thing about these cookies is that they can be whatever you want them to be. A friend was telling me today that he made his with Cap’n Crunch and goldfish crackers! Nearly the whole cupboard is at your disposal really. I also added Tamarisk honey is which I picked up at Follow the Honey in Harvard Square. It’s unlike any honey I’ve ever tasted, smoky, malty, intense so good! I’ve also made these without the honey and they are equally delicious.

The mise for these cookies is pretty intense but well worth it. Make sure to clear plenty of space for everything, there’s a lot of it but it all comes together pretty quick when mixing. Makes 15-20 cookies

  • 2 Sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2/3 Cup packed, light brown sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs corn syrup
  • 1/2 Tbs Tamarisk honey (optional)
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 Cups flour
  • 1/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 Cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 Cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 Cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 Cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 Cup candy-coated sunflower seeds
  • 2 1/2 Tsp ground coffee
  • 2 Cups kettle style potato chips
  • 1 Cup mini pretzels, plus more for topping

In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of a mixer combine the butter, sugars, honey, and corn syrup. Cream together 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla and egg and beat another 7-8 minutes until fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add flour mixture. Mix just until everything comes together. Scrape down the bowl and get ready to add the rest. Still on low speed add coffee, chocolate and butterscotch chips, coconut, sunflower seeds, and oats. Mix just until incorporated. Now add your potato chips and pretzels. I let the mixer go one rotation with these and turn it off, you want large pieces, not dust.

Using a cookie scoop or 1/3 cup measure drop dough on a parchment lined sheet pan. Pat the dough down and if wanted, fancy up the tops a bit with a little of whatever is inside. Why not, right? I would stay away from the potato chips though, they might burn.

Wrap the pan and chill in the fridge overnight. You can get away with an hour or two when needed but if you have the time overnight is best .

To bake heat the oven to 375.

Place the dough on lined pans 4 inches apart from each other. Bake for 18 minutes until edges are lightly browned. The cookies should still look slightly undercooked. Cool cookies completely on the sheets before storing.

The baked cookies freeze beautifully just wrap them well in plastic wrap and then foil and they will be good for a month at least I can’t speak to anything longer than that, I was surprised they lasted that long!

If you make these please let me know what you come up with.

Coming this weekend: compost cookies.

A crap-ton of ingredients and intense mise = the most amazing cookies.

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Stay tuned!

Brazilian cucumber

Holy crap these are amazing! Anyone have any recipe ideas for them? Mind you they may not last that long.

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P.S. I am neither dead not have I disappeared. The farmers’ market season it’s nearly over (for mine at least) and I should have enough time to make yummy food again! Posts to follow.

Hibiscus Lime Popsicles

It’s been so incredibly hot lately that my time in the kitchen has been a mostly unpleasant experience. I did however make these little beauties that made suffering through the high humidity days  a little bit easier. Inspired by the hibiscus tea I get from Clover I added a little spice to the mix and of course lime juice because, why not? They take a little while but are well worth it.

Makes 12 popsicles:

  • 5 Cups water
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 Cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Star anise pods
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Cup fresh lime juice

Bring 4 cups of water and the sugar to boil in a large pot. Once the sugar has disolved and the syrup has come to a boil add your hibiscus, star anise, and cinnamon. Stir well.

Turn the heat off, cover the pot and leave to steep from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how intense you want the flavor and color to be.  Strain the flowers and spices out leaving a shiny purple mass both creepy and beautiful.

To the remaining syrup add your lime juice and the remaining cup of water. Stir well and allow the mix to chill in the fridge for about an hour. Once chilled, stir in lime zest, pour in to popsicle molds and freeze. Preferably overnight but at least three hours.

Unmold and enjoy!

This made enough for two batches in the molds I have. This got me thinking about variety. they would be lovely with fruit frozen inside. Blueberries maybe? Booze perhaps? Possibilities are endless.