Wicked Sailor Brownies

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These are the BEST BROWNIES EVER. They’re crackly, chewy and perfectly fudgy in the middle.  Of course, if I could make them any less sweet I probably would, but because I can’t imagine what omitting the sugar would do to the end result (omitting a flavoring or chocolate type is way easier than omitting a solid, structural ingredient like sugar), I think I’ll leave them be. The recipe is basically a Saveur magazine classic with a few twists and turns, which is pretty typical of me when I think about it. I always start off recipes with the best of intentions and then change so many flavors in the course of baking my goods become entirely different beasts.  In the case of these brownies, originally called “Supernatural Brownies”, I used brown sugar for the whole thing, omitted the vanilla, changed up the flour type (because regular white is too mainstream) and added some booze. The rum is what makes them sailor brownies, but I promise you, they’re just as (and even more so) supernatural than the originals.

Ingredients:

260 grams. unsalted butter
1 heaping cup dark chocolate (60-80% cocoa), cut into small pieces
4 eggs
1 3/4 heaping cups brown sugar
1/4 cup rum
½ tsp. fine salt
1 cup 00 flour

How to:

1. Heat oven to 175 c°. Grease a 9 x 13  pan and line with parchment paper;

2. Make a Bain-Marie (So you’ll need a medium size saucepan, a glass bowl, a wooden spoon, 1 cup of boiling waiter and your butter and chocolate). Add your water to the saucepan and put on high head until water boils. Put chocolate and butter into bowl and put bowl over saucepan, without the saucepan’s bottom actually touching the water. Lower the head to low-medium and stir mixture until completely melted and smooth.) Remove from heat; set aside.

3. Whisk together eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, rum, and salt; whisk some more. Stir in chocolate mixture and flour, slowly, and in separate increments so the egg in the batter doesn’t coagulate (aka, so the egg mixture doesn’t become scrambled eggs) . Pour batter into pan; spread evenly. Bake 30 minutes, let cook and serve.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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When I went to after school care as a little girl I’d often tell people that I hated raisins and that raisins in my chocolate chip cookies were the reason I had trust issues. To be fair, I was a really imaginative child. I think I even had an imaginary friend for a while with whom I ate said cookies and discussed the crispness of tortilla chips and how much I loved the color purple. Really, it was all in my head; a result of infantile peer pressure to like what the ‘normal’ kids liked, who consequently bullied me pretty ‘normally’ during lunch when I’d take out risotto instead of a grilled cheese or a pb&j. I remember them jeering at me, calling me ‘weirdo’ and ‘freak’, picking up my plastic containers and throwing them around. For a while, every lunch hour ended with me in tears, regrettably eating my food next to one of the supervisors.

At one point, I can’t remember when, I just stopped caring. I stopped asking my mom to pack me lunchables and started taking even weirder things to school than seafood and eating them with such nonchalance that my bullies stopped finding me interesting. Sure, I still at the hotdogs and the neon yellow cheddar and the nachos, but i also ate my octopus risotto and chicken heart stew. I stopped pretending that I hated black olives like everyone else and embraced my love of prunes, Brussel spouts and broiled octopus. My ‘denial’ phase? Over. I also broke the news that relish and yellow mustard made me sick. I hated them both. Jiffy peanut butter too. Although I must admit I’m an loyal fan of organic salty peanut butter now. Raisins? better than chocolate chips I proclaimed!  My transformation into ‘weird foreign girl’ was complete. Did I care? not an ounce. And I haven’t started caring since. Uni? bone marrow? Come to me my loves.

This is my favorite Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe. It comes from an incredible chef called David Lebovitz whom I admire for his wit and recipes. I have several of his books and they’re all well written, funny and full of delicious recipes! check his website out here: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/

I stayed true to his recipe for the most part, only adding a little extra fibre with a couple tbsp of chia seeds and adding a tbsp of ginger to the mix. These are truly wonderful cookies, perfect for dunking in coffee or tea and for sandwiching vanilla icecream. I also love to crumble them up in my cereal for an extra decadent breakfast. Holiday-wise, they are a Kahlua or Baileys cocktail’s best friend.

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Ingredients:

1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (200 g) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup (245 g) flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour + 3 tbsp of chia seeds)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I added 1 tbsp of freshly ground ginger too)
1 3/4 cup (175 g) old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 1/2 cups (240 g) raisins

How to:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda. Stir in the oats and raisins.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed, or by hand, gradually add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until completely incorporated.

4. Chill the batter a few hours or overnight, covered. (This step is optional, although recommended by the author.)

5. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

6. Drop the dough in 1/4 cup (50 g) balls evenly spaced on the baking sheet and flatten the tops slightly with your hand.

(I got about 8 cookies per baking sheet.)

7. Midway during baking, rotate the baking sheet and tap the tops of the cookies down somewhat firmly with a spatula to flatten the domes.

8. Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, until they just start to turn brown across the top, but do not overbake.

Sesame lady fingers

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I’ve baked multiple variations of sesame cookies in my life and save a couple that I burned by accident in my hyperactive oven, I’ve loved every batch. Tahini is to me is what peanut butter is to most. I love it. Like, a lot. When I make a lot of hummus and there’s only a bit tahini left in the jar I usually mix in some honey and just eat that with a spoon. Sometimes, usually when I’m home alone or with people who don’t care about things like etiquette and decorum, I use my fingers instead, feeling my way into every nook and cranny of the jar. Which leads me to confess a slightly odd quirk of mine – one that has made my parents shake their heads from the moment I started eating solid foo, namely – if I can use my hands to eat it – I’ll do exactly that. Don’t even ask if I want a fork and knife – I don’t.  Naturally, because of this, my hands are constantly dirty, sticky or oily, leaving tracks wherever they go.  Yes, I’m a slob, a blissfully messy 21 year old slob.

Cookies, gloriously enough, fit into the category of things I can eat with my hands without being judged. This recipe yields by far, the best sesame cookies I’ve ever made or tasted in my life. So good, even the most sophisticated diner I know can’t help but shove them directly into their face, leaving behind buttery golden crumbs as evidence.

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Ingredients:

2 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/4 cup cream

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamom

1 egg, seperated

sesame seeds to coat

egg wash from 1 whole egg to coat

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 178 c. Line large  baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix whole wheat flour with baking powder in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, stir together the oil, cream, brown sugar, spices and egg yolk, leaving the white for later use, until thoroughly combined.
  3. Slowly start stirring flour mixture into wet mixture until it resembles a thick dough. If it isn’t thick enough to be picked up and rolled into a ball, add more flour.
  4. Pick up little balls of the very soft dough, shaping them into lady-fingers with your hands. Depending on the size of your balls, you’ll either end up with 14 or 12 fingers.  Brush them with egg wash from a whole egg, dip them in sesame and lay on sheet with a little distance between each cookie.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or cookies are a little cracked and golden on top.
  6. Cool and serve with coffee or tea.

Almond – Pistachio Macaroons

 

These cookies are amazing.  I came up with them last night and I’ve already proclaimed them my favorite cookie of all time. Which, coming from a girl who could potentially live off of desserts  is really saying something. The almond flour gives them chew and more substance than white flour could ever give (also making them gluten-free!). The pistachios give them a crunchy note and the brown sugar creates a crusty exterior while the inside of these cookies stays moist and fluffy. Seriously addictive.

Makes 12

Ingredients:

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 tsp pistachio extract
1/4 cup butter + 2 tbsp, softened (leave it out for 5 minutes)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped finely

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 c)  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and sugar until the color of the mixture becomes much lighter and doubles in size.
  3. Add in extracts and butter, beating slowly to incorporate
  4. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and add to wet, folding gently to incorporate.
  5. Once incorporated, using a small ice-cream scoop or melon scooper place about 2 tbsp of dough on your baking sheet leaving room for the cookies to spread.
  6. Bake 14-15 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes and then serve with coffee or tea.

ChocoCoco rice bars

 

These bars are what would happen if an almond joy bar had babies with a rice krispie, except they’re so much better for you and don’t even seem like candy! (They’re candy bars, let’s not delude ourselves) but yes, they are healthier and much more filling than their childhood cousins. Memowies.

Ingredients:

1 cup oats, toasted
3 cups brown rice puffs
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut butter (Artisana)
2 tbsp almond butter

How to:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined and pat into an 8 inch pan lined with parchment. Leave aside for ten minutes or so.
  2. Melt 1 cup of chocolate in the microwave on intervals, pour over rice mixture and put entire pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.
    When chocolate is firm, cut into 12 bars. Enjoy!