top chef dessert cc cookies by eric

These cookies have been making the rounds in the food blogging world. It was my turn. I love that each time someone makes them they add in something new. That's the best part of baking--being creative.
Clearly I can see why the judges on Top Chef Desserts loved them. They are good, very tasty with a distinct butter and chocolate flavor (duh). And what makes them good is the high quality chocolate. I'm certain Eric used semi-sweet chips, but I of course wanted to take a different route and wanted to use up the multiple bars of chocolate collecting dust in my cupboard. I used a nice trio of chocolate: semi-sweet, milk, and bittersweet. And to be honest, it really was a nice combo when baked. On the show, when Eric made them they weren't as thin. They were a lot thicker, but I'm kind of glad they turned out thin because I've been looking for a thin cc cookie recipe. So I don't know what happened to make them so thin, but I'm sure it was because I let them sit overnight and/or baking powder was supposed to be used.
Regardless, this is a good accident; if you truly dig thin cc cookies then this is your recipe. I don't think I've ever had cookies so thin before. That second photo of the cookies is almost like a work of art--how thin they are you know?
Who am I kidding, I'm the only one that saw them as a work of art, a thing of beauty, no one else did, they saw them as 'must devour now'. And POOF, just like that, these cookies were gone in half a day people, half a day.

Top Chef Desserts CC Cookies by Eric
Print Recipe
Cook Notes:
I used a combo of 3 diff types of chocolate in this; feel free to use semi sweet as Eric did in the recipe. These cookies spread out when baking, so leave at least 3 - 4 inches for cookies to spread. I did make these and leave them to sit in the fridge overnight (in case someone asks). You really need to let these cool and harden ON the cookie sheet pan as these are extremely fragile when hot. I added in an extra egg yolk for richness, you don't have to. Place the cookie dough as balls on the sheet--do not flatten! Please note my changes in orange below.
340 grams butter (3 sticks) (12 oz)
200 grams sugar (7.14 oz)
400 grams light brown sugar (I used 1 cup packed)
21 ounces flour (I sifted)
1 TB baking soda (this maybe be powder in order to get them thin; check out bravotv.com)
1 TB salt
2 eggs and 2 yolks (I used 3 yolks)
21 ounces high quality chocolate chips (semi sweet) (I used an even combo of semi & bitter)

Melt butter, cool slightly.
Paddle sugars with melted butter.
Whisk together dry ingredients.
Add eggs slowly.
Add flour, mix, add chips.
Bake at 350 for 14 min or until golden brown. (I baked them on parchment paper).


pumpkin and vanilla oreo ice cream

pumpkin ice cream 3
Are you tired of pumpkin yet? Can I squeeze in one more recipe? I have to be honest, back in early October I was so not into pumpkin at all. Then I made that fabulous pumpkin cheesecake with nutella ganache and there in started the pumpkin cravings. So I guess I'm way behind all of the other food bloggers who are already onto egg nog, peppermint and mocha. Mocha eh? Hmm what can be made with mocha that is seasonal? Has to be a mocha-peppermint cheesecake in there somewhere right? Gosh what a fabulous idea. I'm on it people!
pumpkin ice cream 5
This ice cream came about from J.P. Licks infamous ice cream joint in Jamaica Plain, MA. They had made a pumpkin ice cream with oreos. There is a video of the place J.P. Licks here wandering foodie. They don't mention what flavor Oreo they use, but to be honest I just thought the chocolate Oreo's would be a little overpowering in the gentle pumpkin flavored ice cream, so that's what made me choose its vanilla twin. This ice cream is very rich, hence a custard-like taste. Using the 5 egg yolks create this nice custardy taste. You could easily serve this for a thanksgiving dessert, with or without the hot fudge sauce on it.
Notes: I hate storing ice cream in plastic in the freezer. I much prefer glass has a better flavor, but that's just me. Should you not want to use the Oreo's you could easily use mini chocolate chips or even white chips. Experiment is key here and have fun.
pumpkin ice cream 4

pumpkin & vanilla oreo ice cream
print recipe

1 ½ cups half-and-half
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup buttermilk
5 regular egg yolks
4 ounces sugar
1 ts pure good quality vanilla extract
½ ts cinnamon
3 dashes of pumpkin spice
2 good pinches of sea salt
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 – 2 cups of crushed vanilla Oreo’s (depends on how much cookie you want in ice cream)
A candy thermometer

In a pot, over medium heat mix the half-and-half, heavy cream and buttermilk. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Add in the sugar and whisk well to combine thoroughly. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about ½ of the cream mixture has been added. Once added then pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Keep stirring, not whisking. You want to cook this until you have a temperature of 170 -175 degrees F. Also the mixture should, by now be thicker and will coat the back of a spatula and/or spoon nicely. Recipe by dawn finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com Add this point add in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and dashes of pumpkin spice. You may or may not need more pumpkin spice—go ahead and taste test and see if you like it.
Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes uncovered.
Place the mixture into the refrigerator and cover tightly. Store in fridge for at least 5 to 8 hours (I’ve done this overnight and it’s fine). When you are ready to pour mixture into ice cream maker get your pumpkin and crushed cookies ready. Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. At the last 5 minutes of churning I add in the pumpkin puree and crushed cookies.
Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
Should make little over a quart.


ham and egg cups

I get emails requesting more recipes on making easy, fast, yet tasty meals and desserts. Good idea, right? Here is one such very easy and very versatile meal that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why is this versatile? Well if you deconstruct it, you will see that you can add in, and/or replace new ingredients each and every time you make this.
For example, you can add in hash browns (precooked of course), you could use crumbled sausage, you could use brie cheese, you could add in sliced apples with the brie cheese with the ham (with or without the egg). See? The list is endless and fun. So your kids could get involved too. I'm sure your kids would love to have the opportunity to make their own ham & cheese cup? Might also be a great way to get them to eat their fruits and veggies?

ham & egg cups
Print Recipe

Notes: I used giant muffin tins. I’m sure regular size would work too, just reduce cooking time. You can’t see in the photo, but there is a bottom layer of sourdough bread. It might be fun to use pre-cooked hash browns as the bottom too. Just make sure the pre-cooked hash browns are at room temp or warmed up before placing in muffin tins.
Best advice: play with the ingredients; this is a very versatile dish that can easily be used to swap in new ideas.
Yummy Ideas: brie, ham & apples; salsa, egg & cheese; sweet potato hash, sausage, & egg; pizza style eggs; french toast & bacon; mini omelets inside the ham...oh the endless possibilities.

Toasted sourdough bread, cut into circles to fit into bottom of muffin tins
10-15 medium sliced, slices of ham (don’t use really thin, they will burn)
6 large eggs, room temp (they cook faster if room temp)
Salt & pepper
freshly chopped parsley or tarragon, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray. Place the ham in the muffin tins and flute out the edges, then place the cut out sourdough toasted circles in each muffin tin. (if you want to add in precooked hash brown chunks this is where you add them in in place of the bread).
Carefully crack each egg into the muffin egg, making sure not to break the yolk. Immediately bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the egg is done to your likeness. (Remember I used giant muffin tins; if using regular size muffin tins reduce cooking time a bit).


homemade pumpkin pop tarts w/ buttermilk glaze

"crack tarts" that's really what these should be called as they are hard to put down and walk away from. These were just lovely to make. They lasted a mere day in the house--record breaking. I will admit they were time consuming, but oh so worth the effort. In reality what perfect tasting pastry isn't very time consuming? The expressions on people's faces when they bit into them for the first time--oh how I wish I could just bottle that up. My favorite part? Those crispy, buttery, sugary edges! Whoa Nelly those are addicting. One could easily just make "edges", sell them and make millions. You know?

I have to say I am not good at measuring out the dough into rectangles. You need a ruler and stuff for that. Did I follow it? Of course not! I had to go my own dysfunctional way. But they still came out mighty fine. Other notes: of course I did some changes, you'll see them in colored parenthesis. The original recipe comes from King Arthur, I think. Always keep that dough nice and cold.

homemade pumpkin pop tarts w buttermilk glaze

homemade pumpkin pop tarts w buttermilk glaze

Pumpkin pie pop tarts with buttermilk glaze
Adapted from joy the baker & king arthur flour
print recipe

For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes (I used a cheese grater)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg, beaten (for brushing the dough)

For the Filling:
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg (plus 1 large egg yolk)
(1 ts cornstarch)
1/8 ts ground cloves (I omitted)
1/4 ts ground ginger (I omitted)
1/2 ts cinnamon (I used 1 full teaspoon)
(Dash or 2 of pumpkin pie seasoning)
1/4 ts salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Buttermilk Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 (plus or minus depending on thick or thin you want glaze) cup buttermilk
Dash or 3 of cinnamon
Dash or 2 of sea salt

For the crust:
I like to use a cheese grater on my butter, keep it in the freezer until ready to use. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together. In a food processor, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add in the cold butter, pulse until you have nice crumbles. Pulse in the beaten egg with milk until just mixed—no overmixing! Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and knead the dough on the floured counter for a few turns until it really starts to come together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling:
In a bowl mix all of the ingredients, well. Store in fridge till ready to use.

This next part is where you need to pay attention; I was horrible at this. Get your baking pans ready (2 – 3 pans) by lining with parchment paper, set aside. On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3x5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. The dough should be slightly larger than 9x12-inches. Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a rectangle that is 9-inches tall and 12-inches long. Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares. Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way.

Brush one set of 9 squares with beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each brushed dough square. Top with a piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart. Recipe from dawn finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com Place the pan in the fridge to let it get firm again; you don’t want to bake these with warm dough, they won’t crisp up. Keep in fridge at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the tops and edges are nice and golden brown. Cool tarts on wire racks. You can let them cool before glazing or not, I didn’t wait. But if you glaze them straight away, you do need to let the glaze harden before serving.

For the buttermilk glaze:
Make sure to sift the powdered sugar, you don’t want any lumps in the glaze. Mix all the glaze ingredients really well and apply with a spoon over the racks. Let glaze dry on the tarts before devouring.


halloween candy bundt cake

This isn't the fanciest of posts, but the photo was kind of wild and funky--the colors and all. I had crazy amounts of halloween candy leftover! Not knowing how much to get this year because we are living in a new area, I, of course over-bought AND OVER ATE. I tweeted that I was finished polishing off the peanut M&M's and was going to move onto the Twix.
I did not have dinner Halloween night but am certain I ate a few cups of candy. I had to take probiotics yogurt an hour after. LOL
As of today, the halloween candy, just like Elvis has left the building.

A good friend of mine Scary Mommy said on twitter yesterday: "&#$%@ Halloween Candy!" I couldn't agree more, and I am so glad it's all gone. Now we have to deal with the eating festivities of thanksgiving and christmas. One down, two to go....

If you have leftover candy and want to make a fun bundt cake then head over to Cathy of Noble Pig for the recipe.
I added on a white chocolate ganache to the top of mine.


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