Tuesday, September 30, 2014

this is where i wish to be.
although...those pastries were mediocre at best.

Friday, September 5, 2014

things + a banana coconut bundt

OH I KNOW, i could write a blog post.

you know something, keeping up a blog on the reg is tres difficile.

i wish i had the gusto to post every 3 days.
alas, the time, the energy, where has it gone!? life is so weird.

to be perfectly honest, this year has felt extra weird. i've had to take deeper breaths more often, a lot of the time i don't sleep, i've eaten a lot of jammy toast and edamame.

and in the past 1 month, i've traveled to 3 other places in the world.
i was in the caribbean, then big sur/pacific grove, then seattle. with about 5 days in between each one.

(not to sound like an asshole. usually my life is as exciting as a paper clip.)

i took a bunch of pictures, as one does in cool places, and the idea of starting to tackle my lightroom photo library is entirely overwhelming.
but i'm starting. i'm going to guess it'll be a slow process as i try to balance all the other dumb life things.

one of the last things i baked was a banana coconut bundt with an oddball baking process. it bakes at 275 degrees for almost 2 hours, then you throw it in the freezer immediately to cool. want the recipe? have a great day.

Banana Coconut Bundt
adapted from this recipe via my baking addiction

1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups ap flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup dried shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, up to you)

preheat the oven to 275 degreesF. thoroughly grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. 
in a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with the lemon juice; set aside
in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. 
in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time. 
add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing until combined. stir in banana mixture and then the coconut. 
pour batter into greased pan and bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 
remove from oven and place the pan directly into the freezer for about an hour. remove cake from freezer to a cooling rack. when ready to serve, invert and dust with confectioner's sugar or whatever glaze you prefer. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

fresh fruit + cookie

put fresh fruit in your cookies! really! seriously! yes! do it

plum in a white chocolate cookie
blueberries in ginger molasses cookies
strawberries in a brown butter chocolate chip cookie

the fruit brings a new element to your typical cookie, and i love it the most. i feel like fireworks of electrical sparks and crumbs just went off in my brain - fresh fruit + cookie, why on earth do i not do this more!? or ever really? (other than these)

i hope my boss lady and her neighbors were as fond of them as i am.

Friday, July 18, 2014

pecan sables with strawberry jam

not many words as i am scrambling to pack for this vacation.

how do you like that, i haven't posted in weeks and i come back with a 'not many words blah' deal. i'm sorry. not that i know who the balls i'm apologizing to, this is my space really. i rule the space. i rule!

so, moral of the post story is, not many words, because i rule, some pictures of pecan sables with strawberry jam, and fine i'll give you the recipe too.

and i surely wouldn't give you the recipe of something that wasn't worth making. so, make this weekend! while i'm sipping a mojito and surrounded by water and re-bonding with this boyfriend of mine who is wonderful but the day-to-day things can get pretty boring with routines and work and take-out. (#amiright?) so, rekindling vibes if you will.

rekindling boyfriend vibes and mojitos. woowoo!

peace out beans and rice. eat an el pollo loco BRC for me.

Pecan Sables with Strawberry Jam
adapted from this recipe on food 52

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, room temp
2 cups flour
3/4 cups pecans
1/2 cup jam of choice (i used strawberry)

heat oven to 350 degreesF. line a baking sheet with parchment and lay pecans on top. bake for 10 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. turn off oven and allow them to cool. once cool, use a food processor or mortar and pestle to crush them into crumbly bits. 
fit stand mixer with paddle attachment. put butter in bowl and beat on medium speed until the butter is whipped, about 1 minute. add all 3 sugars, the salt, and nutmeg. continue mixing until everything looks creamy and incorporated. turn mixer on low speed and add the vanilla, then the yolks, one at a time. turn off mixer and add the flour. start the mixer on lowest setting so flour doesn't fly everywhere. mix until the flour is just combined, then fold in the pecan crumbles and mix again until just combined. 
scoop out the dough and lay it on plastic wrap, roll into a log (depending on your size preference, can be a shorter thick log (lolz) for larger cookies, or long thin logs for little rounds of cookies. i went with the bigger circles. let chill for no less than 2 hours (can leave in fridge for a couple days, or in freezer for a couple months)
when logs are chilled, heat oven to 350 degreesF. line 2 baking sheets with parchment. cut log into 1/3-1/2 inch slices. lay each cookie on baking sheet with a little space in between them. 
scoop about 1/4 cup jam into a baggie. seal top and snip a bottom corner to make a makeshift pastry bag. dollop a small circle of jam into the center of each cookie. 
move sheets to oven and bake sables about 20 minutes, or until the edges turn golden. Let them cool 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. these cookies taste better a few hours after cooling.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

i never said anything about copenhagen.
but damn.
look at that picturesque business.

i wanted to write 'damn, look at dat picturesque shit'
..but then i thought of my mom reading it and stopped.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

peach shortcake. maple bacon scone

hay! there's peaches and bacon happening

truth be told, i'm so completely over/never really was into the bacon-in-everything trend.

is it cool and funky that there's bacon in this dessert? sure.
does the addition of bacon really enhance the dish and make it better than it was without it? probably not.

i've felt strongly enough about the bacon-in-dessert deal that i almost feel the need to defend myself here.

that said, A. it was father's day and B. a bacon biscuit is different. the bacon is a focal point.
it's savory and a little smokey and sweet. and it's so tasty that you would of course want to eat it all the time... savory or sweet, it doesn't matter, you want that biscuit.

so that's when it became shortcake.
and let me tell you, this shortcake was workin' it. workin' it real good.

sweet peaches and fresh cream and a warm maple bacon biscuit...i realize this is kind of a how-can-you-go-wrong situation..

- unless your biscuits are dry and dense because you didn't cut in the butter properly. So..

Maple Bacon Biscuit/Scone
adapted from Zoe Nathan

1 lb bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup, divided
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
fleur de sel

cook bacon in a pan til cooked, but not super crispy. pour through strainer and reserve the bacon fat. scatter the bacon pieces on paper towels to absorb more of the fat. whisk the dries in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  scatter butter pieces over the dries and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork, (or do it on a cutting board/flat surface with a bench  scraper.) once it's shaggy and the clumps are about the size of peas, stir in the bacon. then 1/4 cup + 2tbsp maple syrup, then the buttermilk . stir/fold until it just comes together into a shaggy biscuit dough. don't overwork! 
press out to 1 1/2 inch thickness, cut using 2 inch round or square biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter) and freeze until thoroughly chilled, 10 minutes. 
preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. take your bowl of reserved bacon fat and generously brush tops of each biscuit with the fat.  sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake til they just begin to brown, about 25 minutes. remove from oven and quickly drizzle 1 tsp maple syrup on each biscuit, brush over so the syrup is distributed over the surface, and place back in the oven for 3 minutes. 
let cool. 

Peach Shortcake:

slice some peaches and/or nectarines. toss them in a bowl with a tbsp or two of sugar and a tiny squeeze of lemon
whip 1 cup of heavy cream with 1/4 - 1/3 cup powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) and 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract - whip til soft peaks, i prefer really soft, loose cream. 

to assemble: slice a still-warm biscuit in half, it should almost split apart "on the biscuit grain"-if you will - 
place the biscuit bottom on a plate. top with a big dollop of cream, a handful of peaches and cap it off with the top biscuit. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

a rainbow of things

i did this once before and it was fun. i think i'm in love with color flow.