Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grown Up Rice Krispie Treats

Rice krispie treats are pretty awesome, however, the grown up version is even awesome-er.  What exactly makes this typical kid treat grown up?  The flavor of course.  Made with browned butter and vanilla bean, the usual rice krispie is taken from good to amazing.

Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Rice Krispie Treats

I discovered the recipe after scrolling through Zoe Francois's blog, Zoe Bakes (from what I gather, Zoe is an exceptional baker, and so far, I've bookmarked about 10 of her recipes.)  I decided to try out the Browned Butter and Vanilla Bean Rice Krispies first.  It had been quit awhile since I made rice krispies so once I laid eyes on the recipe, I was automatically in the mood.

Vanilla Bean Seeds Scattered Throughout

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wish List Item #1: Pintucked Doily Treat Pedestal by BHLDN

I have fallen in love...

With a cake stand.  Its not just any cake stand, mind you, its the most perfect one I have ever laid eyes on!  And low-and-behold, I want it. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

Making brown butter for the first time ever was majorly exciting!

I realized I've been missing out after having browned butter for this batch of cookies.  Now, I always want to brown my butter when I bake.  Seriously, its that good!  And easy!  And it sounds sophisticated, don't you think?  'I made brown butter cake' as opposed to 'I made cake.'  Yup, definitely sophisticated.

If you haven't tried out this technique, give it a shot.  Its so well worth it.  And, if you are a seasoned brown butter-er, then maybe you can share some of your awesome brown butter recipes!  I always like new recipes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Breakfast and Belgium Waffles... Sigh

Before becoming gluten-free (over three years ago) I had a major craving for a Belgium Waffle, but I never got the chance to have one.  I knew I should have had all the waffles I could handle, however, I never got around to it.  I sincerely regretted that for a long time....

Well, I finally made it!!!!!  Pamela's Baking Mix, thank you for satisfying my 3+ year craving for a Belgium Waffle.  And thank you Nutella, for, well... being Nutella.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nutella, Oatmeal, and Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)

For the last couple days I have had this need to bake, as in if I didn’t get around to baking I was going to be a not so happy person.  So yesterday at work I decided to go home and make me some Nutella cookies.  It’s not easy to go home after a long day of work and cook, let along bake, I’m sure many can relate to this, however, I had some baking energy in reserve from who knows where ready to be put in good use.
I checked that I had everything I needed (its especially not fun to realize that you don’t have all necessary ingredients after getting all psyched to bake- major buzz kill), got home, and became a baking machine.  I also made a baked gluten-free macaroni and cheese casserole with whatever cheese I could find- Mozzarella, Cheddar, Mexican cheese mix, and Gouda.  Since I was in the kitchen, I might as well make some dinner, right?

Well, let me tell you, when I pulled that first batch out of the oven, my whole house filled with the aroma of fresh baked Nutella cookies, which of course got me wondering if anyone was genius enough to make a Nutella scented candle, but that is besides the point.  The point is, my house smelled of Nutella!  Fantastic, really.

I adjusted the original recipe and added gluten-free oatmeal (by the way, I looooove oatmeal).  Outcome- thin, light and Nutella-y!  They can also be made with regular flour, and if you don’t want the oatmeal, then you can omit it.  AND, if the Nutella in the batter isn’t enough, you can always spread Nutella in between two cookies and make a Nutella cookie sandwich.  Brialliant.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend in the Kitchen and Nutella Crack Pie

Nutella Crack Pie

There are times when I spend the entire weekend in the kitchen.  First there is breakfast, then lunch, followed by dinner and some dessert.  Of course, there are also the dishes from said meals to be factored in as well.  I don’t mind it too much, especially if there is some Nutella good-ness waiting for me when I finally get to sit and relax at the end of the day.
This time around, that Nutella good-ness turned out to be a Nutella Crack Pie.  Everything was perfect.  Honestly, this is by far the BEST dessert I have tried in a long time.  No joke.
If you love Nutella, then this is a MUST try.  It is simple and can be made gluten free, which, being gluten-free and all, is the best part… aside from the Nutella that is!

Nutella Crack Pie (adapted form ShowFoodChef)
Oat Cookie Pie Crust (gluten-free):
9 Tbsp butter, room temp
6 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp rolled oats such as ( for gluten free, use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
1/2 cup flour mix ( for gluten-free use a flour mix such as Pamela’s Baking Mix)
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1- Preheat oven to 350F, line a large baking pan with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick spray.
2- In a mixer, beat together 6 Tbsp of the butter, 4 Tbsp of the brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp of sugar until light a fluffy.
3- Add the egg and continue to beat in thoroughly.
4- Add the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat until well blended.
5- Spread oat mixture out onto a parchment lined baking sheet (don’t worry about how it looks) and cook for 15-18 minutes until done. Remove and cool cookie completely.
6- When the cookie is cool, break into crumbs and add to a large bowl along with 3 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp brown sugar.  Rub together with fingers until crumb mixture is moist enough to hold together in a clump when squeezed in your hand.
7- Spread mixture out into a lined baking tart pan (or two, depending on size) and using fingers press crumbs onto the bottom and sides to form a pie shell (use the flat bottom of a cup to help press in.)
Nutella Crack Pie Filling:
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
8 egg whites
powdered sugar for garnish
1- Preheat oven to 350F.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugars and salt.
2- Whisk in Nutella, cream and vanilla on low speed
3- Whisk in egg whites on low speed and combine well (this will appear to be very loose).
4- Divide filling into pie shells, and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325F and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes until center is not too jiggly.
5- Cool on a rack then refrigerate for a couple hours. Served best when chilled.
*Note:  If you have extra Nutella filling and don’t have enough of the cookie crust mixture, you can always make an extra crust using Nilla Wafers, or a gluten-free substitute.  Just crush about 2 cups worth, add 3 tbsp of butter, combine, and pat into pie pan.

An Intro

I’ve loved cooking since…. forever.  Not just cooking, but cooking for friends, family, coworkers and even strangers.  To watch others enjoy, and sometimes devour, what my hands have made, is what makes that labor-intensive, all day kitchen experience, absolutely worth it.  Seriously.

That being said, I also love to eat food.  Really good food. Like ‘Omgosh, this is amaaaazing’ food.  Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Spanish, Mexican, Italian, French, Cuban, Peruvian, North African, Thai, you name it.  Growing up in Southern California, I’m fortunate to have about every type of cuisine available to me along with all sorts of grocery stores that carry nearly everything I may need.

So, here is where it gets complicated.  I’m gluten-free. Yes, I know, what a pity, right?  Well, not really.  I mean, yes, those brick heavy breads and crumbly, super grainy cookies are what most stores carry, and they taste like cardboard, but honestly, being gluten-free is not so bad.  How so?  Well, I just started to cook. Whatever I made when I was indulging in gluten, I made with substitutes.  And you know what, it was good. Like really good.  Like ‘Omgosh, this is amaaaaazing’ good!

The recipes I’ll be posting will usually be a gluten and non-gluten version.  I wouldn’t want all you gluten capable people to have to spend more than necessary on a gluten-free flour blend (they can be pricey). So, here begins my first ever blogging experience.  Recipe and photos to follow- Nutella Crack Pie!