minty milano cookies

Minty Milano Cookies

i woke up super early saturday morning,
mainly in part in preparation of Daylight Savings Time
but also because i was playing catch up.
the weeks have been quick to pass,
soon the tulips will make an appearance,
if they haven’t already,
and spring will be here.
march is a good month,
a month i overlooked in favor
of warmer times.
but now i see that it’s worthy,
if not for the noted arrival of printemps
then for the special marked day of dw’s birthday.
as per usual i combined his favorite flavors:
chocolate + mint.
eventually i would like to make them
vegan,
or at the very least dairy free.
for now though,
he has been enjoying them happily,
well worth the early rising.

happy birthday sweet dw,
i love you dearly.

Minty Milano Cookies

minty milano cookies
adapted from pure wow
makes 20-22 cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 egg whites, at room temp
1½ cups AP flour
a generous pinch of salt

minty chocolate ganache
1 cup chocolate (chips or chopped)
scant ½ cup lactose free half/half
3-4 tsp peppermint extract, to taste
up to 5 TBL powdered sugar, possibly optional

preheat the oven to 350°F. prepare parchment paper that fits 2 cookies sheets. fold in half ONCE, long-wise. with the parchment paper still folded over, fold again and then again, and then again. open paper and you should have 14 rectangles. use those folded lines as a guide when piping the cookies, so you’ll end up with 7 cookies/row. alternatively, you could trace the general shape of the cookies in pencil, flipping the paper over so that you’re not piping the batter pencil side up.

in a kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter with powdered sugar until fluffy. add in the vanilla and mix.

in a small bowl, have your egg whites on the ready. gradually add them in and fully mix until incorporated. add in the flour and mix through.

transfer batter to piping bag, snipping the bottom. pipe the batter along the folded lines of the parchment paper (or trace along with pen/pencil lines) into an oval shape and somewhat filling it, you’re aiming for about 1½ inches long, leaving about 2 inches between as the cookies do spread. they do not need to perfect. i sorta followed this video tutorial.

bake for 9-12 minutes, the edges will start to brown and crisp up. remove from oven and cool completely.

to make ganache, in a small saucepan heat up the half/half gently. in a small bowl have the chocolate chips ready. gently pour the hot half/half into the bowl and ignore for about a minute. with a spoon or spatula carefully mix the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated and shiny. add in the peppermint extract, amount to taste. remember if you add more liquid the ganache will be runny, so either add in powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) or add in less half/half, you’re aiming for a thick consistency.

assemble cookies by smearing about a tablespoons worth of the minty chocolate onto center of upside down cookie. sandwich with another cookie, and press gently until filling runs just to the edge.

cookies will keep at room temp in airtight container for 2-3 days.

BAM!

Minty Milano Cookies

previous dw chocolate + mint confections:
peppermint kisses – 2015 (not officially blogged  but use this recipe for reference)
coconut peppermint patties – 2014
homemade thin mints – 2013
mint chocolate cake – 2012

NY Style Cheesecake

NY Style Cheesecake

because a birthday should always be celebrated
happy birthday, ridiculous nuria,
who always manages to make me
laugh
swear
blush
you are exactly the annoying
kid sister i always imagined
other people having
but never thought i’d hafta experience.

NY Style Cheesecake

new york style cheesecake
adapted from america’s test kitchen family baking cookbook

crust:
8 graham crackers, crumbled
6 TBL butter, melted and cooled
3 TBL sugar

filling:
2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup kefir yogurt (or plain yogurt, or sour cream)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
6 large eggs

preheat oven to 325°

in a food processor, blitz the crackers until they’re fine crumbles. pour in the melted butter and sugar and pulse until incorporated. dump the mixture into a 9″ springfoam pan. press the crumbs into an even layer. bake crust about 10-15 minutes, i aimed for the middle and took it out at 12:30, because i’m obnoxious. remove from oven, allow to cool, about 30 minutes.

increase oven heat to 500°.

put a pot or a kettle of water to boil. (optional)

meanwhile, make the filling. in a mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth, constantly scraping down the side of the bowl and beaters.

mix in the yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice and vanilla. add in the yolks and the eggs, 2 at a time until well incorporated.

very carefully pour the mix into the pan.

in the oven, at the bottom level, pour the hot water into the pan. (optional step)

bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes.

without opening the oven door, lower the heat to 200° and continue to bake for 1 1/2 hours.

don’t open the oven door, turn off the oven and ignore the cheesecake until cooled, about 2-3 hours.

when you’re feeling brave, take out the cheesecake and carefully run a knife around the edge.

chill in fridge, ideally overnight.

serve as is or if you’re felling fancy, drizzle a bit of chocolate ganache.

BAM!

NY Style Cheesecake

previous nuria bday concoctions:
vegan pb cups
the angry birds project
suisse mocha cheesecake
coffee cheesecake

2 years ago: ultimate white cake
1 year ago: overnight steel cut oats

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Coffee Ice Cream – gluten free + vegan

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Coffee Ice Cream

it’s still heavily february,
i mean,
it registers as 22F
right now,
which means ice cream is
the very last thing on one’s mind,
i know.
but when one celebrates
Ice Cream for Breakfast Day,
a day that falls
smack dab in the middle of winter,
well,
it’s gotta be something
special.
i’ve never been a fan of
raw batter or cookie dough.
i have to wrestle
the whisk
out of dw’s hands
and immediately dunking it
into soapy water,
lest he licks it clean.
but the cookie dough used
in this recipe is eggless,
and because i don’t know
how i feel about raw flour,
i used almond meal instead.
the coffee base is strong,
not one that i could consume
much of at night,
so, for breakfast it is!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Coffee Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Coffee Ice Cream – gluten free + vegan + raw
makes about 2 pints

raw cookie dough:
makes about 18 small balls

2 TBL creamy peanut butter
1 TBL coconut oil, softened but not melted
1 TBL maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
small pinch salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

in a bowl add all the ingredients, and using your hands mix everything together. form small balls and try now to eat them all.
can be stored in fridge, covered, for up to a week.

coffee coconut ice cream:
2 cups of strong ass black coffee
2 cans of full fat coconut milk
drizzle of maple syrup, sweetened according to taste

in a vitamix add in the two cans of coconut milk with the 2 cups of black coffee. drizzle in the maple syrup (i would say maybe 1/2 – 1 cup) and blitz until fully frothy and mixed.

ice cream:
churn the coffee + coconut milk mixture in the ice cream maker, according to machine instructions.

after reaching desired soft serve consistency, transfer half the ice cream into container. add in about half the cookie dough balls. pour in the rest of the ice cream and then add in the remaining cookie dough balls. if you want, mix it around but be gentle and quick. put in freezer to firm up.

BAM!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Coffee Ice Cream

1 year ago: savory sticky rice – gluten free
2 years ago: lychee jelly hearts – vegan and gluten free
other ice cream treats

red wine poached pears

Red Wine Poached Pears

i have this habit of buying
hard pears
i’m hit or miss with apples
my bananas are always purchased green
i have excellent radar with avocados,
choosing the ones that will soften
within days,
but peaches and pears are always
unequivocally un-ripe.
i don’t know man.
it’s just how i like
mah peaches and pears.

unfortunately,
dw be like, what?
so i further puzzled him
by poaching them in wine,
because as a teetotaler
he wasn’t gonna partake,
which worked to my advantage,
because it was more for me.

Red Wine Poached Pears

red wine poached pears
i made three but depending on how big your saucepan is, up to five would be fine

*note: these are not scientific amounts, it was what was on hand at the time.

3-5 pears, peeled
3/4 bottle of red wine, i used a chianti. the other 1/4 had been consumed the evening before.
2-3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup

use medium sized saucepan, one that can house 3-5 pears comfortably and when the liquid is poured in, the majority of the pears are submerged.

in the saucepan, add all the ingredients, except the pears. stir the wine until the maple syrup is fully mixed in. then gently add in the pears.

heat the mixture on medium, reaching a gentle simmer. poach the pears for up to an hour, turning them periodically. you’re aiming for even color and flavor distribution.

remove the pears, allow to cool.

at this point, you can chuck the wine, or cool it and make sangria. i reduced it down to make a simple sauce, but the pears were fine without.

serve when cool, as is, or with a side of whipped cream and drizzle of the wine mixture.

BAM!

pears

1 year ago: CMP – chocolate, marshmallow & peanuts ice cream
2 years ago: pull apart bread – two flavors
another poached pear recipe: spice poached pears

spiced mexican cookies – dairy free

Mexican Wedding Cookies

4 days into 2016
no complaints

when i look back on the past year
i remember a burning city —
no.
an angry country,
one that is still simmering.
in our little corner of the world
we are watching with ever shifty eyes
and forced discernment.

in the coming months
there’s going to be a shift.
i don’t say that to be ominous,
but it would be dishonest to say i was hopeful.
instead i will say:
have cookies,
specifically,
Mexican Wedding Cookies.
take that d.trump.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

spiced mexican wedding cookies
generously adapted from the kitchn
Makes 2 1/2 dozen

1 cup scant coconut oil, still solid at room temp
1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup ground cashews

preheat oven 350F.

in a mixer, cream the coconut oil with 1 cup of powdered sugar until well blended and smooth. beat in the egg. add in the flour and spices. turn off mixer. with a spatula mix in the ground cashews.

cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge, about 10 minutes.

line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

remove dough from fridge and form bite sized balls. i used a regular teaspoon. work quickly, coconut oil has a low melt temp, your body temp can easily melt it.

place the balls on prepared baking sheet about an inch or two apart. bake for 15 minutes.

allow to cool just until you’re able to handle them and using a mesh sieve, dust the tops with powdered sugar, amount at your discretion.

cookies kept for up to a week, covered at room temp, on the counter.

BAM!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

1 year ago: carne rustida de navidad
2 years ago: diy toy kitchen