Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Favorite Brownie Recipe

I've been an avid fan of the baked brownie recipe for quite some time now.  I like the idea of a brownie with copious amounts of melted chocolate involved.  I have even become a bit snobbish, looking down on lowly brownie recipes who's chocolate flavor is supplied by cocoa powder alone.  So when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit this month, I was intrigued.  Mostly because there is only 1/3 of a cup of flour, which has to be a good thing in a brownie recipe.  

I like fudgy brownies.  In fact, I frequently ask myself why I bother to bake them in the first place, since the batter is so darned delicious.  (Usually, I decide that the baked form is more easy to transport and distribute.   Usually.)  I have been known to leave a 1/2 inch edge of crusty discards all along the outside of the brownie pan.  Despite--or maybe because of-- the lack of melted chocolate in this recipe, they were incredibly fudgy.  Now if you're one of those people who likes edge-brownies, I don't really know what to say.  But you can come eat my garbage if you like.  

Cocoa Brownies
adapted from Bon Apetit
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • dash (<1 cayenne="cayenne" li="li" optional="optional" pepper="pepper" tsp="tsp">

  1. Prehear oven to 325.  Line an 8x8-inch pan with tin foil and grease it.  
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Let cool.  Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, and pour the butter in, whisking as you go.  Whisk in vanilla and beat in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in flour and cayenne until just combines
  3. Bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached (I don't bake it this long. . .), 25-30 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely.  

I swear licking the bowl isn't the only reason I make brownies.

In other news, we had an epic date night at Zoo Lights

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Hi friends!  Matt and I got married a week ago in Boulder, CO.  We made some yummy granola for favors (ha. . . Boulder) and I thought I'd share the recipe.  The wedding was awesome.  We self-officiated at the top of Flagstaff Mountain in the presence of close family.  You can see some pictures here:

from Epicurious

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruit

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit. Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight.

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    A Romanian Pastry

    I work with the coolest people. One of them is a Romanian mother of two, with whom I joke that we'll open a pastry shop together when academia doesn't work out. She makes an array of delicious desserts on a semi-regular basis (though I'm not sure where she finds the time), including a many-layered dobosh torte, walnut bars, and these. Matt has always been partial to anything resembling a linzer torte, so I asked for the recipe. We're planning to have a baking session sometime where I can learn all her secrets. She's also on my committee, which is awesome.

    • 2 2/3 c. flour
    • 2 sticks butter
    • 1 1/3 cup sugar
    • zest and juice of one lemon
    • 4 yolks
    • 2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    1. Combine the flour and sugar and zest in a both. Cut in the butter until the mixture is like coarse sand. Stir in the yolks and lemon juice until the dough just holds together. It should be dry, but should hold together when pressed.
    2. Divide dough into 2/3 and 1/3 and form into discs. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour.
    3. For the filling, bring the raspberries and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and jam-like. Remove from heat.
    4. Preheat the oven to 350F
    5. When the dough is chilled, take out the 2/3 piece and roll it out to fit a 13"x9" pan. You may have to let it warm up a little before it is rollable. Butter the bottom of the pan and place the dough in it.
    6. Spread the raspberry filling over the dough, and stick it back in the fridge.
    7. Take out the remaining 1/3 of the dough. Roll it to about 10"x5" and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips. Take the pan back out of the fridge and layer the dough strips in a lattice pattern. You don't have to weave them. The angle and frequency of the lattice strips will depend on how you rolled and cut the top dough.
    8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is slightly browned and the jam is bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
    Making the lattice top

    Saturday, March 31, 2012

    Pumpkin Cookies

    Summer arrived in Colorado about a month and a half ago. I was home in Minnesota last weekend, and the trees were budding. This place is crazy. Matt and I have been doing wedding preparation type things. And Ultimate season is starting, which means I get to wear my garish homemade pink tractor skirt (and yes, this fabric is available at JoAnn's)! And that I can bake for frisbee friends.

    Today's special is pumpkin cookies (more like pumpkin muffin tops, really).

    Soft Pumpkin Cookies
    from AllRecipes


    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup oil
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cups confectioners sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1-2 tablespoons milk
    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with partchment paper or silpat. (Or not, if you're ill-equipped).
    2. Mix together oil, egg, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin until well-blended
    3. Add flour, leavening, spices, and salt in a pile on top and mix them together a bit before stirring into the wet ingredients.
    4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookies sheets (supposedly makes 36, my batch made 22 because I got overexcited about large cookies). Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are slightly browned. Cool completely.
    5. In the meantime, make the icing. Combine all ingredients but the milk, and add enough milk to make it drizzly. When cookies are totally cool, drizzle the icing over them.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Berry Cake

    One of Matt's most endearing qualities is his tendency to get fixated on things. We've been talking about doing cake tastings for our weddings, with a particular mind to our favorite Whole Food's cake, Berry Chantilly Cream. Then our friend Erin texts us a picture of a white berry cake that she made. And we're fixated. We originally thought we'd make a king cake for Carnivale/Mardi Gras. Then we remembered that king cakes aren't really that tasty. So the berry cream fixation came back up.

    We've been working our way through tasty recipes in our new Cook's Illustrated Cookbook (amazing!) And it turns out there is a strawberry cream cake recipe! Score.

    In other news, I bought some excellent knobs from Anthropologie on discount. I frequently wander the store looking at the bizarre collection of knobs, knick-knacks, and dishware. So a sale rack was hard to resist. I thought I'd make a rack to hang my numerous necklaces on so that I could use the top of my dresses for something other than a pile of necklaces. And I finally got around to it. I got a foot of baseboard for a buck at Home Depot and sanded it to make it look weathered. You know, cause that's in.

    Strawberry Cream Cake
    from Cook's Illustrated
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 5 large eggs (2 whole and 3 separated), room temp
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 2 Tbsp water
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • pinch cream of tartar
    1. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan, line with a parchment paper cut to fit the bottom and grease the parchment. Reserve 3 Tbsp sugar. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks, butter, water, and vanilla until smooth.
    2. Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy on medium-low. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites until soft and billowy. Add the reserved 3 Tbsp sugar and whip until soft peaks form (about 1-2 minutes). Stir one third of the whites into the batter, and gently fold in the rest.
    3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes, then invert and let cool completely out of pan, about 2 hours.
    • 2 pounds strawberries (or other berries)
    • 4-6 Tbsp sugar (depends on sweetness of berries)
    • 2 Tbsp kirsch
    • 8 oz. cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled.
    1. For the filling, halve 24 of the strawberries for garnish and mix the remainder in a bowl with 4-6 Tbsp sugar. Let sit one hour. Strain juices and reserve. Pulse the berries briefly in blender or food processor. Simmer reserved juices and kirsch over medium-high until reduced to 3 Tbsps (3-5 minutes). Pour reduced syrup over berries, add salt and toss.
    2. For the whipped cream frosting, whip cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Ad heavy cream slowly while mixing and ship on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
    3. To assemble, cut the cake horizontally into three layers.
    4. Place one layer on a plate, place a ring of 20 strawberry halves around the outside (tops out) and fill with half of the filling. Frost is 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat with the second layer. After placing the third layer, frost the remaining cream on top and garnish with remaining berry halves.
    By the way, the frosting is the best ever.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    More chocolate please

    I've been doing a lot of crafting in the last few months. I never really got into knitting (too ADD?), but when a friend recently showed me how to wire wrap my own earrings, I went a little nuts. And once I had an absurd amount of dangly earrings, I needed a better place to store them than on the bathroom counter. Here's my solution. Fine black plastic mesh in a picture frame. I feel so clever. Now I have to stop making earrings. I am also planning to make a wedding quilt in lieu of a guestbook. Not that I've ever made anything using a sewing machine unless I was supervised by a pro seamstress. We'll see how that goes in a few months.

    I'm always looking for a cookie/brownie that maximizes chocolate per bite while not getting dry or otherwise unpleasant. I've had this recipe on my "to bake" list for a couple of months now. Not sure how I only just made them. Yes, they do take the equivalent of two normal-sized bags (24 oz.) of chocolate chips per batch. I didn't try the recipe that calls for 42 oz. Patience, grasshopper.

    Chocolate Chubbie's
    adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery

    • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (or 9 oz. bittersweet + 3 oz. unsweetened)
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 3 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 12 oz. (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
    • 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (or with half pecans)
    1. Position racks in center and top third of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
    2. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Put the butter in a metal bowl and melt over the water. Add 12 oz. of chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes to cool.
    3. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a little bowl.
    4. Whip the eggs with your fancy mixer or whisk until foamy. Add sugar and vanilla and whip for 3 more minutes until very thick and pale yellow. Beat in the lukewarm chocolate mixture. Gradually stir in the flour mixture by hand. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips and nuts. Dough will be softer than most cookie dough.
    5. Scoop batter by 2 Tbsp-fulls onto pans, placing them 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake, switching positions halfway through, for 17-20 minutes, until the edges are set. Don't overbake them (though the batch I overbaked was delicious once you gummed them a bit. . .). Cool completely before storing.

    Oops. The cookie that broke obviously needs to be culled from the pack.

    Sunday, January 29, 2012


    Hi there,

    I wanted to let you all know that I'm not renewing my domain, but this blog will still be accessible at And I now have yet another blog. Matt and I are getting married this summer, and we started a blog about our wedding plans, which we hope to continue after we're married to keep everyone up to date on our lives. It's at Haggerling. I will still post recipes to this blog.

    We had an amusing experience at Whole Foods yesterday. Boulder is funny. We were getting a sample of bread, and the lady behind us said "Does this have yeast in it?" Matt and I both looked at her like she was crazy. The woman giving samples checked the ingredients: wheat flour, salt, sourdough starter. . . No yeast. Matt felt the need to clarify that sourdough starter has yeast, and that is indeed why the bread is not a brick. The woman who asked felt the need to inform us that people have been using sourdough starters for centuries and seemed satisfied that there was no yeast in the bread. Really?