Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fruit pizza

Who said that pizza has to be savory? This fruit pizza is reminiscent of a dessert variety from Pie Works. My roommate used to bring one back to share with us after she returned from work. It's got a sugar cookie base, soft cream cheese frosting and fresh sliced fruit!

My college roommate used to work at a pizza place called Pie Works. Every once in a while, she would bring us an amazing fruit pizza after she got off work. My suite mates and I would chow down on this in record time... at 10pm or later since that is when my roommate got back to the room.

I remember how soft and creamy the frosting was, and I savored every bite of the fresh fruit that was on top. I've looked for the recipe to no avail and somehow gave up a few years ago. For whatever reason, this fruit pizza entered my memories again and I knew it was about time that I resurrected this memory and made it myself.

The fruit pizza here starts with a sugar cookie base, but I think the one from Pie Works actually used a real pizza dough (my memory is a bit fuzzy here). Either way, what makes the fruit pizza amazing is the cream cheese frosting. Because frosting!

I am happy to have found a recipe that works and even happier to have relived part of my college days. Although I am sad that all of the Pie Works stores have closed, it's cool to have a little bit of them still live on through this fruit pizza!

Fruit pizza
Cookie crust
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
Fruit toppings
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Sliced peaches
  • Sliced kiwis
Make the cookie crust: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Get out a pizza stone and set aside (If you don't own one, use a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat).

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients.

Roll the dough onto your baking stone into a circle. You may need to dust the top of the dough with some flour so it doesn't stick on your rolling pin. Make sure the dough is at least 1/4" thick.

Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until it starts to turn light golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream together the cream cheese with the butter on medium speed until well blended, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time until smooth.

Assemble the pizza: Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled cookie crust. Layer on the fruit in whatever pattern desired. Slice and serve.

Leftovers should be stored, covered, and will keep for about 3 days.

Yield: About 8-10 servings, depending upon how large you cut your slices

Source: Jo Cooks

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Chocolate fudge cookies

Soft and chewy chocolate fudge cookies from country star Trisha Yearwood! These are bursting with chocolate chips in every bite and go great in lunch boxes!

Were you all affected by Hurricane Florence? We were very fortunate that we only got a little bit of drizzle on the day it hit landfall. As a precaution, all area schools were closed in anticipation of torrential flooding (which has devastated this area in the past). Surprisingly enough, we even got some sunshine.

Knowing that Addie would be home with us on this day, I wanted to bake something for us all to enjoy but didn't want to take too much time in the kitchen. On rainy days, all I want is chocolate, so I thought a chocolate cookie could be the perfect dessert for us.

I found this recipe and halved it since I didn't want or need 3 dozen cookies. Even so, I got almost 2 dozen cookies out of this batch of dough. Don't worry, I happily gave some away to friends so we didn't eat it all ourselves.

The cookies were soft and chewy and had wonderful bursts of chocolate chips. I ran out of white chocolate chips but know that they would have been a fantastic addition to these cookies. I bet butterscotch would have been great too.

These are the perfect cookies to put into a kid's (or adult's) lunchbox and are just big enough to satisfy any chocolate craving. Of course, I'm not judging if you eat 2 or 3 at a time, because I have definitely been known to do that when nobody is looking.

Hope you all stayed safe during the storm and that your loved ones are OK.

Chocolate fudge cookies
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips of choice (can do a mix of semi-sweet, dark, or white chocolates)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until everything just comes together. Add in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix.

Using a medium sized cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop out the dough and place them on your prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each mound of dough.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 12 minutes, making sure to rotate the pans halfway through. The cookies may look a bit underdone after 12 minutes and that's OK - they will continue to bake as they cool.

Allow the cookies to cool completely before serving. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature and they will keep for several days. They can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: About 20 cookies

Source: Trisha Yearwood, via Food Network

Friday, September 14, 2018

Skating Fridays


One of my all-time favorite movies is The Cutting Edge. When it debuted, I went to see it in the theaters - twice. It's a fun story about how a washed-up hockey player transforms into a pairs skater. His pairs partner is a spoiled little rich girl, so it's amusing watching the interaction between the two throughout the film.

If you're familiar with the movie, you know that the most memorable line is, "Toe pick!" The hockey player, having never skated in figure skates before, trips on his toe picks during practices. His pairs partner keeps exclaiming, "toe pick" after each and every fall, and she gets a kick out of teasing him.

As for me? Well, I fall every time I practice, but it's usually on an edge. This time, however, the toe picks of doom got me good.

Don't worry, I'm OK. I found it pretty hilarious that I had a slow and dramatic fall out of this salchow attempt. I'm always laughing at myself and try not to take things too seriously so it's fun to share these bloopers with you all.

Toe pick!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Nutella brownies

Gooey fudge-like brownies are jam packed with chocolate chips and Nutella - these are going to be your new favorite brownies!

My family and I had just gotten back from visiting family in the Midwest, and I was tired. Our flights were delayed due to weather, and we didn't get home until close to midnight. This was one of the rare times when all three of us slept in and didn't wake up until about 8:30am.

It was also my husband and my 13th wedding anniversary. Since we didn't have too much time that day to make something elaborate, I decided on Nutella brownies. Addie mentioned that she really liked the Nutella brownies from a local dessert restaurant, so I tried to recreate some at home.

While I normally like doing something Hawaii-related for our anniversary (since that is where we went on our honeymoon, 1-year anniversary and our baby moon), I figured that we'd already gone to Hawaii for Spring Break this year... so chocolate was the next best option. I purposely underbaked these slightly so they would be nice and gooey. Plus I added some additional Nutella on top for an extra punch of flavor.

These brownies really hit the spot. My husband grilled steaks for us and we also had fresh sweet corn. It was nice to eat at home after being gone for several days. All in all, we had a wonderful, uneventful anniversary. Just the way I like it!

Nutella brownies
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • Additional Nutella for swirling, optional
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line a standard 8"x8" baking pan and set aside.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter completely. Add the sugar and mix constantly until most of the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow the sugar mixture to boil. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the Nutella and mix well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, add the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Then pour in the Nutella mixture and mix on medium speed until well blended. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the flour and mix until everything just comes together.

Turn the mixer off and fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan and be sure to smooth the top.

Add dollops of additional Nutella and swirl with a knife. Bake in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little bit of batter.

Allow the brownies to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They will keep for several days.

Yield: About 16 brownies

Source: Barely adapted from Buns in My Oven

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Momofuku Milk Bar blueberry and cream cookies

Christina Tosi does it again with these amazing blueberry and cream cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar. Each bite is bursting with dried blueberries and melted white chocolate. You can't eat just one!

Last month, I had the good fortune of traveling to New York City to surprise a friend for a milestone birthday (we are all 21, in case you are wondering... ha!). Her husband had planned this trip for a good 6 months, and three of us were flying up to see her.

My friends and I secured an AirBNB nearby and decided that we would celebrate early by taking a stroll to the Momofuku Milk Bar in town since the one friend with us was also having her milestone birthday (she and the other birthday girl are 1 day apart). Unfortunately, the one friend was unable to make the trip at the last minute, so the two of us went on our own.

We walked about a mile and finally made it to the Milk Bar. Much to our disappointment, they did not sell slices of their epic cakes (they did, however, have whole cakes for $49 each). Since an entire cake would likely not make the 1 mile trek back to our AirBNB, we decided to sample a few other treats instead.

One of the items that I bought was a blueberry and cream cookie. Amazingly, I had enough self-control to eat it at home and share it with my family (but not after I had already eaten a slice of the Crack Pie).

All of us at home loved this cookie so much that we knew I had to recreate it at home. Thankfully, my brother had gifted me a copy of the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and the recipe was in there. I decided to make this for an upcoming football tailgate party for all to enjoy.

The cookies are huge and burst with blueberries and white chocolate chips. They have a very complex flavor profile and are hard to stop eating. They were a hit at the tailgate, which made my day. Unfortunately, the game got cancelled due to severe thunderstorms, but at least we had cookies!

Momofuku Milk Bar blueberry and cream cookies
Milk crumb
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter melted
  • 1/4 cup milk powder
  • 3 ounces white chocolate, melted
Cookie base
  • 2 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dried blueberries
Make the milk crumb: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup of milk powder, flour, corn starch, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and fold with a spatula until small pea-sized crumbs start to form.

Spread the clusters onto your prepared baking sheet and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. Break up any large clusters into smaller ones. Allow the clusters to cool completely.

Transfer the clusters back into a bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk powder and toss to coat. Then pour the melted white chocolate over the clusters and toss. Allow the crumb to solidify and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Make the cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter, sugars and corn syrup together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs and continue to beat on medium speed until the batter looks pale and the sugars have dissolved, about 10 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated. Add the milk crumb and mix until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and fold in the dried blueberries by hand (batter will be sticky).

Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, drop the dough onto baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (these cookie dough balls can be made up to 2 days in advance).

When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Place 6 cookie dough mounds on each baking sheet, making sure to leave at least 4 inches in between each cookie since they will spread.

Bake two sheets at a time in your preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Then rotate the pans and bake another 10-11 minutes or until the cookies are golden. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be made up to 3 days ahead and should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: About 36 cookies

Source: Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi

Friday, September 7, 2018

Skating Fridays

Another Double Salchow

I am sad to say that I haven't landed another clean double salchow since the one video I showed you all recently. It's been over a month, and despite my best efforts, nothing was working.

Until now.

I was traveling to the Midwest to visit family and decided to take my skates with me. I found a rink and skated during public. I attempted several double salchows and after I landed one of them, it felt "right." I checked the video, and I am just a hair short of a 1/4 revolution under-rotated, and depending upon who my technical panel is, they could call this IJS clean... or not. My jump coach confirmed that I was 1/4 turn short.

I know that my free leg slightly two-footed the landing, but I am just thrilled that I know that this jump is totally possible. I just need to learn to stay in a little longer and keep my body and legs tight together.

Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks! Don't ever let anybody else tell you otherwise!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Chocolate chip snickerdoodle hummus

Looking for a healthy-dish appetizer to bring to a party? Make this chocolate chip snickerdoodle hummus! You can dip fruit, crackers and vanilla wafers into it - or just eat it with a spoon!

A few of my college friends and I traveled to New York City to surprise another friend who was celebrating a milestone birthday. Her husband had been planning this event for months, and the time had finally come.

Since I normally do my baking on the weekends, I knew that I would miss an opportunity to create some desserts for my family. I didn't want to leave them with empty stomachs so wanted to give them something to snack on during my absence.

I came up with the idea for another dessert hummus since 1) it is super easy and only requires a few minutes in the kitchen, and 2) we are hummus fiends. Plus, because the hummus is made from chickpeas, that means it's healthy, right?

The hummus could not have been easier to make. Just throw everything together in the food processor (or high speed blender), add in chocolate chips if desired, and eat.

Chocolate chip snickerdoodle hummus
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3-4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients together except the chocolate chips. Add more milk if needed to get a smooth consistency. Once the hummus is to your desired consistency, fold in the chocolate chips. 

Serve with fruit, graham crackers, vanilla wafer or with a spoon. Store dip in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days.

Yield: About 12-16 servings

Source: An Eva Bakes original


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