brownie cookies

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

happy thanksgiving week, friends.
i am grateful for you all.

we’re unplugging for about 2 weeks –
traveling
eating
family-ing
movie-ing

speaking of which,
we saw loving recently.
not so long ago,
dw + i would not have been able to marry.
i am thankful for this couple.

this bears repeating,
i am thankful for you all.
be safe.

brownie cookies
adapted from mel’s kitchen who adapted it from urban bakes

note: i made these full on dairy doom since they are being shipped out to a sweet family who don’t have dietary restrictions. when i make these again, i will either use softened coconut oil or with lactose-free butter.
note*: i ended up with 39 cookies

brownie cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz brown sugar
5 oz sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 1/4 oz white whole wheat flour
1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

chocolate chip cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz sugar
5 oz brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
10 3/4 oz whilte whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
super generous handfuls of chocolate chips

for both sets of cookies, making each separately but using the same method:

in a bowl add the dry ingredients, whisk them together. set aside.

in mixing bowl, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown brown sugar until creamy and smooth. add in the egg and egg yolk, and vanilla; beat until well incorporated. add in the dry ingredients until just combined and no dry streaks are left (and the chips are evenly mixed).

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

roll out the dough, aim for teaspoon sized balls. we weighed out the brownie dough at 1/2 oz and chocolate chip dough at just a smidge heavier.

smush two differing balls together. sometimes i rolled them together and other times i pressed them and formed a fat disk. the cookies spread so don’t go too crazy flattening them.

bake for 7 minutes.

cool completely.

BAM!

Brownie Cookie

3 years ago: mango pomegranate guacamole
2 years ago: garlic panna cott + curried root vegetable soup
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

curried broccoli & cheese soup

Curried Broccoli & Cheese Soup

it’s been an emotional week –
i would be remiss to not mention
the historic shit show that is happening
in American politics right now.
i’ve cried more in the last 6 days than i care to admit
i’ve broken up with people on facebook
i spent the first 24 hours gathering grace,
the next 24 hours cowering,
and now i’m ready to tread out to the deep end.

as the late rufus scrimgeour said:
These are dark times, there is no denying.
Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.
But I say this to our citizenry:
We, ever your servants,
will continue to defend your liberty
and repel the forces that seek to take it from you!
Your Ministry remains, strong.
(Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling)

stretch in the direction of kindness,
forgiveness, emotional bravery.
be a warrior for love.
(dear sugar, Cheryl Strayed)

Curried Broccoli & Cheese Soup

curried broccoli & cheese soup
serves 2 for a week of lunches

note: the curry flavor is subtle, green curry can be spicy and the coconut milk and cheese tempers it, leaving a rather pleasant heat. you can up the amount if you want, i found that 2 TBL was enough.

healthy splash of olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup spelt flour
2 cups veggie stock
1 can of full fat coconut milk
2 TBL green curry paste, i’ve been using this brand and it’s spicy AF, i like this brand too.
4 cups broccoli florets + stems
2 large carrots, match-sticked
salt/pepper to taste
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese, we use cabot extra sharp cus it clear states that it’s lactose free

in a pot, heat up about 1-2 TBL of olive oil. saute the onions until translucent, with generous pinch of salt/pepper. at this point, you can remove the onions or you can be lazy like me and just push them to the side of the pan. drizzle in a healthy glug of more olive oil, about 3-4 TBL worth and then sprinkle in the spelt flour. you’re aiming to make a roux, so make sure that all the flour is incorporated in the fat. if you aren’t diligent about whisking/stirring it, it’ll get brown, which is fine but the color of your soup will be darker, the taste will be fine though. either way, make sure you fully incorporate the flour with the oil and it’s thick/pasty. add in the stock and coconut milk, as well as the green curry paste. whisk to incorporate the roux and the curry paste together. bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium and add in the broccoli, carrots and garlic. simmer til the vegs are tender, anywhere from 15-20 minutes. the soup will be thick, it can be thinned with a bit of water/stock if necessary. add in the grated cheese and stir through.

ladle into bowls and top with extra cheese if you’re feeling fancy.

BAM!

Curried Broccoli & Cheese Soup

3 years ago: blueberry jam danishes
2 years ago: chickpea & sausage stew (using the same props!)(my style has not changed much)
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

vegan mapo tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu

every four years,
i’m surprised when election time arrives,
the level of vitriol increasing incrementally,
this latest season reaching obscene heights.
i became a citizen just in time
to vote in a historical president,
and it seems like we’re on the cusp of
voting in another historical president.
(at the time i wrote this post,
we did not know who the new president would be.)
mayhap with the passing of this season
things will settle,
be less contentious,
our facebook feed will go back to
cat postings
and finally,
i’ll catch up on the Brange drama;
though i wonder in the aftermath
of such hate,
and the tacit permission to be so unkind,
i wonder what the consequences will look like?

growing up tofu was consumed fairly often,
it’s nutritious and cheap.
lentils is a relatively new addition to my repertoire,
it’s also nutritious and cheap.
combining the two,
a western ingredient in an asian dish,
seems about right in this climate.

if only we could be so kind
in the blending of our cultures.

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu
drawn from these sources: lady&pups, lucky peach, and burp! appetite.

note: you won’t use all the chili bean paste oil, it can be stored in fridge for a long time, used to top other dishes, like ramen or dandan noodles.
it’s spicy AF, dw was like, WHY IS THIS DISH SO ANGRY?!
note**: i’ve made this a few times, with/out the chili oil, with meat or with lentils, it changes depending on what we have in the pantry. what is the always the same is the tofu, i’m a firm tofu lover, the silken/soft stuff makes me mad. another thing, i always use the french lentils because they hold their shape better.

chili bean paste oil
1 cup of grapeseed oil
1 – 2 TBL of douban paste, i use lee kum brand
2 TBL chili pepper flakes

combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat at medium. with a spoon break the paste as best you can and fry for about 5 minutes, until the flakes turn brown. take off heat and cool completely. strain into a clean jar/container. keep in fridge until use.

the main event
1 package of firm tofu, wrapped in kitchen towel & pressed down with something heavy to draw out excess water
1/2 cup of lentils, i used black/french, cooked (cooked in water for about 30 minutes)
splash of oil
a knob of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced/minced dried wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water
2 TBL of douban paste, i use lee kum brand
splash of chinese shao-xing wine, rice wine is fine
splash of dark soy sauce
1 tsp of ground sichuan peppercorn, i use penzeys
1 – 2 cups of veg stock
1 TBL cornstarch + 2 TBL cold water

after tofu’s been pressed of excess liquid, cube it and set aside.

heat up a large skillet with some oil and the ginger and garlic, take care to not burn. add in the lentils, along with the mushroom and douban paste. stir it through so that the lentils are fully mixed with the paste. add in the shao-xing wine, dark sauce and ground peppercorn. cook it through for a minute or so and then add the stock and tofu cubes. lower the heat and allow to simmer until reduced by half. (i like my chinese dishes liquidy cus i enjoy pouring the sauce over rice). add in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. gently mix everything and the liquid is fully thickened, and transfer to serving bowl.

top with a tablespoon or so of the chili oil, heated in a small pan. serve with hot rice.

BAM!

Vegan Mapo Tofu

3 years ago: chicken pho
2 years ago: za’atar socca + middle eastern smashed avocado
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

apple almond tart

Apple Almond Tart

hello november:
it being that season,
we’re busy.
sweet dw is sick,
but well on the mend.
i am of the mind that,
yes, he does need to slow down,
be gentle with himself,
nurture his immune system now
as we begin the long haul of cooler temps,
but we have plans!
museum meet ups
potlucks
voting
comedy shows
cookie baking
travel
that’s just for this month.

Apple Almond Tart

to kick off dw’s favorite season
i made a tart.
it took me all day saturday to make,
i’d never make it on
the Great British Bake Off.
a little goes a looong way with almond extract,
and hard effort pays off.
stay well, friends.

Apple Almond Tart

apple almond tart
inspiration drawn from: insideChic, wild wild whisk, and Tom Kerridge.
serves 8

*note: i cheated and used a pie crust bag. i still cried. pie crust is something that i loathe making, AND YET I STILL MAKE THEM. if dw hadn’t been sick i would’ve had him do this entire step, he’s the pie man in this relationship.

Almond Tart Crust
64 g sliced almonds
25 g sugar
132 g sprouted spelt flour
super healthy pinch of salt
1 stick of lactose free butter, cut into cubes, very cold
1 large egg yolk (keep the egg white for the almond paste)
2 TBL ice-cold vodka

in food processor, pulse almonds with sugar until the nuts are fine. add in the flour & salt and pulse quickly to combine. throw in the cold butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk + vodka, and then add to the processor to pulse just until the entire thing comes together. transfer mixture onto a plastic wrap, gently mush together and shape into a disc. wrap in the plastic wrap and fridge for about an hour.

lightly flour pie crust bag. unwrap dough and place into the pie bag. roll out until it reaches the edge. if you need to cus the crust got all soft on you, put the crust still in the pie bag into the fridge to firm up. try not to cry, carefully transfer the dough onto 11″ fluted tart pan with removable bottom. gently press dough into the bottom and up the sides. trim any excess dough. prick bottom of tart shell with fork. fridge for 30 minutes.

preheat the oven to 375F.

top the pan with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights. bake for 13 minutes. remove from oven, carefully lift parchment paper with dried beans out and continue baking for another 7 minutes. remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely before filling etc.

lower heat to 335F.

Almond Paste/Frangipane
1 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp almond extract
healthy pinch of salt

in bowl add all the ingredients and mix until combined. cover and fridge until ready to use.

Apple Topping
enough apples, cored & sliced thin via mandolin, to cover tart
powdered sugar sifted over top
coco whip, optional, to serve

while the crust is cooling from the blind bake and the almond paste is hanging out in the fridge, carefully core apples and slice. if you do this step earlier, keep the slices in some lemon water to prevent discoloration, but be sure to dab dry before put on tart.

when ready, carefully spread the almond paste onto pre-baked crust. it doesn’t have to be perfect, just spread as evenly as you can to cover the bottom of the tart.

layer the slices however you want to onto the tart.

bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

remove from oven and allow to cool.

serve topped with coco whip.

BAM!

Apple Almond Tart

3 years ago: calamansi olive oil bread
2 years ago: apparently i was reading
1 year ago: i only did one thing last year, a most worthwhile thing, vegan carrot wedding cake

sephardic challah with whole spices

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

even though i have a netflix list
of shows/movies queued up
i spend an inordinate amount of time
rifling through the various offerings.
same with HBO Go, Amazon
and don’t get me started on my
to-read books pile.
maybe it’s a fear of missing out,
or that non-committal habit of
having something already but
still seeking something better,
i don’t know,
i just know that when i finally do
settle on something,
my mind is pretty made up,
even if i took 30 minutes to get to that conclusion.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

in the case of this challah,
i’ve been on an on/off again search
for the ultimate recipe.
i’ve pinned plenty of options,
with private promises of attempting them
and then perfecting them.
i took a baking break during the warmer months,
and when i went looking at my
queued list,
none grabbed my attention.
back to the drawing board.
it took awhile,
but this came along
and i knew i had to make it,
mind made up.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

sephardic challah with whole spices
adapted from the NY Times
makes 2 loaves

*note: my oven must run hot, or it’s the convection thing, but the loaves became dark around the 10-15 min mark so i would tent with foil for remaining bake time.
*note: toasting and then grinding them would be an excellent way to impart the spices without having to bite into them whole. i don’t mind the whole spices but that’s just me.

scant cup of raisins, soaked in warm water, drained well
4 TBL sesame seeds, divided
1 TBL caraway seeds
1 TBL coriander seeds
1 TBL cumin seeds
1 TBL black sesame seeds
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
5 cups/600 grams bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 TBL cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp/30 grams olive oil, more for rising bowl
75 grams honey (to taste, i was aiming for 50 grams and got a little heavy handed)
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup warm water, more as needed
1/2 TBL kosher salt
2 egg yolks + 1 TBL water for glaze/brush

in a pan, toast 1 TBL of sesame, caraway, coriander, cumin and black sesame seeds over medium heat until toasty-smelling. set aside and cool.
in a small bowl, combine yeast with 2 TBL warm water and ignore while it blooms. if it doesn’t, chuck it and get new yeast.

using stand mixer with dough hook, combine the flour with cinnamon, olive oil, honey, eggs and warm water. mix until a soft dough forms. on this particular day, the weather was kinda dry so i did add about 1-2 TBL of water to the dough to make it softer/pliable.

add in the salt and toasted seeds until the dough is smooth. it’s going to take awhile, about 5-10 minutes. original recipe says to add mix in the raisins then. what i did was i poured the dough onto the lightly dusted counter and gently kneaded the raisins in. it was a smidge sticky but you know, deal with it. transfer to large oiled bow. cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.

line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. set aside.

turn dough onto lightly dusted counter and press down gently to deflate. divide dough in two and rest for 5 minutes.

roll each piece of dough into 18″ long rope and rest for another 5 minutes. then go back and roll into 32″ rope.

take one of the ropes from one end form the dough into a coil, tucking the end under.

repeat for the other rope.

transfer coils onto prepared cookie sheets and cover with large bowl. ignore for 1 hour, until the loaves have doubled in size.

about 30 minutes in, preheat oven to 400F.

whisk the egg yolks with 1 TBL of water. brush the egg wash over the loaves and let stand uncovered while oven warms.

brush with egg wash again and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.

if you’re able, bake both loaves side by side, for 30 minutes. i baked them one by one.

transfer loaves to rack and cool before serving/slicing.

can be consumed as is, but i liked it best when slathered with veg butter and drizzled with a bit of honey.

BAM!

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

3 years ago: butternut squash & pearl barley risotto, lactose free
2 years ago: inside out peanut butter cups – vegan, gluten free
1 year ago: i didn’t do shit last year