Tag Archives: chocolate

Stay Awake Peanut Butter Cookies

Baking does a number of things for me: provides me with stress relief, delicious goodies, and a way to stay awake while waiting for people to get off of work….

Started with a basic peanut butter cookie recipe and it somehow turned into so much more.  Shortly after starting, I realized I didn’t have eggs or milk.  So I quickly had to

right out of the oven

throw together a flaxseed “egg” and use some  almond milk from the fridge.  While concocting my make-do substitutions, I saw some espresso powder in the pantry and decided to throw that in as well.  While looking in the pantry, I decided to

throw in not only dark chocolate chips, but also white chocolate and peanut butter chips because more chips are better, right?

So without further adieu…here’s the recipe that my sleep deprived brain adapted.

Stay Awake Peanut Butter Cookies (half recipe–use your best judgement in estimating amounts)

Inspired by a recipe by Smitten Kitchen


-0.625 cups of AP flour (I told you I halved it…)

-0.375 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1/8 tsp salt

-1/4 butter, unsalted

-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

-0.375 cups sugar

-1/4 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 T ground flaxseeds

-1.5 T water

-1/2 T almond milk

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-1.5 T instant espresso powder

-1.5 cups assorted chips–dark chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter

1) Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flaxseeds and water and set aside.

2) Mix butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add sugars and beat until fluffy and light.  Add flaxseed “egg” mixture, vanilla extract and espresso powder.  Mix until combined.

3) Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in chips.

4) Roll rounded teaspoons of dough in sugar and bake for 9 minutes on parchment covered baking sheets.

These turned out quite well.  Going to have to make these again when I’m not as sleepy 🙂


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Chocolate Babka!!



So this bread (yes, believe it or not, it’s bread) probably questions my credentials as an RD…but let me remind you though that I do have a culinary background and my true passion is cooking/baking.  So with that disclaimer taken care of, I’d like to introduce you to one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made…the chocolate babka.

This bread is not for the faint of heart.  It has 5 sticks of butter, 2.25 lbs of semisweet chocolate and more than 3 cups of sugar…but man, is it good!  My first introduction to this bread was at Great Harvest Bread Company and I very much wanted to buy it, but the $8/loaf price tag ward me off. After making this though, I finally understand the high price tag associated with the bread–chocolate and butter ain’t cheap!

My reason for finally buckling down and making this was kind of sad–one of my best friend’s dog of 12 yrs recently passed away and I wanted to make something for her chocoholic family.  The bread ended up being more for a celebration as they got a new puppy the same day I brought it over–he’s a cutey too!

Ok so make sure you have plenty of time to make this bread as the chopping of the chocolate takes quite a bit of time.  If you hand-chop it like me, make sure you grab a pair of latex (or non-latex) gloves to prevent the chocolate from melting on your hand–also get ready for a workout!

I’m not going to post the recipe for this bread because it isn’t mine and I’d like to direct some traffic over to the wonderful site where I found it.  So here’s the recipe and please check out the rest of her recipes–they have been spot on every single time I made one! I did bake the one in the pictures in a bundt pan solely because I ran out of loaf pans–this is why it has the weird shape haha!

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Gluten Free Orgasmic Peanut Butter Cookies

Here’s my latest gluten free creation, inspired by this recipe on a wonderful blog called Cookie Madness.  To be perfectly honest, despite my obsession with peanut butter and sweets, peanut butter cookies are NOT my favorite cookies–in fact, when given the option between peanut butter cookies and any other cookie, I will pick any other cookie.

So why do I hate on peanut butter cookies so much?  In my opinion, most peanut butter cookies that I’ve had are overcooked and crunchy.  I personally like cookies that are undercooked (translation: somewhat raw) and soft.  That and I find peanut butter cookies kind of boring.  At least with butter or sugar cookies, you can decorate them and make them a little more exciting.

After reading the post on Cookie Madness about peanut butter cookies, I thought that I might give it another try, BUT make it gluten free so my brother can enjoy it–and frankly, I’ve been slacking on the gluten free recipe development lately.  So here is my gluten free take on a wonderful recipe…

Gluten Free Orgasmic Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from this recipe on Cookie Madness

Makes about 24 cookies

4 oz unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I’m partial to JIF)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp almond meal/flour

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp white rice flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

3 tbsp potato starch

2 tbsp tapioca starch

1/4 tsp xantham gum

1-1.5 cup chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, frozen (makes it easier to chop)

2.5 oz-3 oz finely shaved semisweet chocolate (eyeball it!)

Reese’s Pieces–as many as your heart desires

1) Mix the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until mixed together–do NOT cream them for a while, it’ll cause your cookies to spread out!  Mix in the vanilla, egg, molasses and heavy whipping cream. Beat in the baking powder and baking soda, making sure it’s thoroughly incorporated.

2) Sift together all of your flours and gums and add to the mixture.  Mix until well incorporated.  Stir in the shaved chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups.

3) Place concoction in the fridge to chill overnight.

4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare some cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.  Make golf-ball sized mounds of cookie dough (or whatever size you want!) and decorate with Reese’s Pieces.  Bake for 13 minutes.  Enjoy!

By the way, I could not come up with a name for this so I borrowed a phrase from one of my dearest college friends which he used to describe some of my food…That being said, I can’t promise mind-blowing pleasure from this cookie, BUT it is very tasty….

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Ice Cream Cake!!

So what does one make with hot fudge sauce other than…an ice cream cake?!?!?!  Ok, so I know it’s not the first thing that comes to your head when you think of hot fudge sauce, but hopefully after reading this post, you’ll think of it right away.

Tommy turned 19 today and had a small party for his friends up at the lake this past weekend.  We needed something for serenading him with and since he isn’t the biggest fan of cakey cakes, after promising him an ice cream cake for years, I FINALLY decided to make him one.  For the record, I had not followed up on my promise because our freezers at home have never been cold enough to freeze my ice cream maker bowl.  This year I could finally make him a cake because my parents finally bought a new fridge/freezer that can be programmed to remain at certain subzero temperatures.

The cake was very Tommy-like–2 peanut butter ice cream with Reese’s peanut butter cups layers sandwiching a brownie layer.  All of this was covered in the hot fudge sauce and had some decorative whipped cream and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.  (All homemade minus the Reese’s peanut butter cups)

The result was quite tasty even though it was not the prettiest cake I’ve ever made–see the melted ice cream on the bottom.  I learned that it is probably not the best idea to make an ice cream cake on a 90 degree summer day in a cabin that does not have central air (for the record we do have some window units).  BUT I also discovered that ice cream might be my cake medium of choice because I can smoosh it into submission!!  My cake was slightly lopsided and I was trying unsuccessfully to saw enough of it off to make it even.  My mom was watching me struggle and told me to just push the ice cream down–and it worked!

While this cake was not gluten free, it can EASILY be made so by making the brownie layer minus the gluten.

Everyone enjoyed the cake and there is still some left up at the house.  I personally cannot wait to dig into again next weekend!

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Hot Fudge Sauce

This is a warning–the food you are seeing in no way healthy or good for you…that being said, it’s extremely delicious and decadent.

Ben & Jerry’s are the ice cream gods (in my eyes).  I’ve been infatuated with their ice cream and history since I was a little kid; so much so that I did a speech on their company in 5th grade (yes, I’ve always been a dork).  During high school, one of my best friends introduced me to the art of ice cream making using a Cuisinart machine and this book.

I was in love.  I immediately went home and bought both the Cuisinart ice cream machine and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.

This is the best ice cream cookbook I have found to this day.  Not only do they include ice cream recipes, but they also include a recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce….oh my gosh it is good.  I highly recommend you make this if you have a few hours to spare and want a delicious homemade ice cream topping.  It is one of the few recipes I will actually follow and not deviate from.

Hot Fudge Sauce

From Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

Rough chop the chocolate (if you want things to move a tad quicker) and combine with the butter on top of a double boiler…Stir until smooth…look at that buttery, chocolately goodness.

.Add the cocoa powder

and whisk until combined.

With a slotted spoon, gradually stir in the sugar.

This mixture should look and feel like wet sand.

Cook and occasionally stir the wet sand mixture over simmering water for 20 min.

Gradually stir in the milk and cream.

Cook and occasionally stir for 1 hr.

Enjoy over ice cream, brownies, etc.

Stay tuned for what I plan to do with this vat of hot fudge….I personally cannot wait…can you?

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Father’s Day Chocolate Stout Cake

It’s been a while since I’ve updated.  I must apologize–I’ve been spending more time with the items below rather than the mixer and the oven.  With a week left until I take the Registration Exam for Dietitians, I’ve been spending many hours at the library cramming my brain full of nutrition knowledge.  And when I’m not studying, I make dinner most nights, but none of the meals have been worthy of a post.

But with Father’s Day coming up, I had to take a break to make something special for my dad.  My dad loves beer, but only good beer.  He also loves chocolate cake–his coworkers buy him a Portillo’s chocolate cake for his birthday every year.  So it was only appropriate that I incorporated both beer and chocolate into the baked good.

The result was a Chocolate Stout Cake.  I used this recipe for the cake (because Hubert Keller is pretty awesome–I mean who wouldn’t trust a chef who made a gourmet macaroni and cheese in a college dorm room?!?).

Each layer of cake was brushed with a chocolate stout simple syrup and then piled with some chocolate whipped cream that had a hint of coffee.  No recipe for either the simple syrup or the whipped cream.  Whipped cream was just whipping cream, cocoa powder, vanilla, powdered sugar, and some coffee syrup.  The entire cake was covered in a bittersweet chocolate ganache (~2 cups heavy whipping cream, 11.5 oz bag of bittersweet chocolate chips, some vanilla).

It’s not a pretty cake because I was impatient with waiting for the ganache to reach the consistency I was looking for–it was a muggy night and there was no room in the fridge to speed along the process.  I tried to pretty it up with the writing (which needs practice) and the royal icing drop flowers I made while at my marketing rotation at Wilton.

Despite its sub-par appearance, it turned out to be fairly tasty.  The cakes had the texture of brownies and all of the elements came together really well.  It is a really rich cake though, and as a result, there is still a significant portion of it in my fridge right now…any takers?

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A Massive Gluten Free Baking Update!

So it’s been awhile since I’ve updated–I’ve got my foodservice management rotation to blame for that one…long days and long drives to get there and back plus mental and emotional draining= Amy does not bake or cook as much as she’d like to.

BUT I have done a bit of gluten free baking lately! Dave came home for his Spring Break 2 weeks ago and then my parents flew him home for Easter which means that I got to play with gluten free baking!

The first time he came home Miles and I decided to make a GF Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie using a Deerfield’s Bakery gf crust. The lemon curd tasted great, but there was not enough cornstarch in it to save this guy…we can just call it some crust with a pool of lemon curd and some pathetic meringue on top. AND the kicker was that the recipe was from Alton Brown?!?!? AB, you’ve let me down… I did not take any pictures of this trainwreck.

The next day was Pie Day and I was determined to not only have a pie for my family, but a gluten free one as well. So I settled for my original plan–a Banana Cream Pie. I followed this recipe http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2006/11/who-needs-gluten-when-there-is-pumpkin.html for the pie crust but omitted the cinnamon. And based the filling off of this recipe http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2008/12/banana-cream-pie-gluten-free-and-dairy.html, but did a few things differently. Dave is not a fan of coconut milk so I used heavy cream and whole milk in place of it. Used vanilla extract instead of the coconut extract. Also put very thinly sliced ripe bananas in the custard part. I did the bananas fosters part, but probably used more bananas and adjusted the brown sugar and rum accordingly. Oh and I piped freshly whipped cream all over the top to make it pretty (because I was dying to use my new piping bag and tip!).

So for Easter, I wanted to make sure that David had plenty of options to chose from. So I made him some gf rolls that he loves (http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/sandwich-bread/) just turning the loaf of bread into rolls that I baked for 20ish minutes after lightly wiping them with some milk (COMPLETELY out of eggs–went through 3 dozen this weekend between my mom and myself!) and sprinkling some kosher salt on top (couldn’t find sesame seeds). These are really good rolls; Dave loves them, but I’m not completely satisfied. Stay tuned (give me at least another month though) to see how I modify them–I’m so excited to start modifying gf recipes! Sadly no picture of the rolls as they disappeared to Ames, Iowa with said brother this morning!

Next on the agenda was a Flourless Chocolate Cake from Gluten Free Mommy (http://glutenfreemommy.com/lighter-than-air-chocolate-cake/). Followed it almost to a tee. Didn’t have 4 cake pans lying around my house so I thought that I would just bake it in 2 pans and then cut each cake in half. I should have known better after how many baking classes??? The cake did not want to cut at all and it ended up being a big mess, but at the time I was cutting them, I really did not care anymore :). I also kind of improvised on the chocolate whipped cream. And David contributed to the chocolate chip design on top, which looks fabulous and very appropriate for the occasion ;).

The best thing that I baked all weekend was Gluten Free Girl’s Cinnamon Rolls (http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2009/12/gluten-free-cinnamon-rolls.html). Before Dave was diagnosed with Celiacs, he and I would always search for the best cinnamon rolls in restaurants and finally gave up and started making our own. Since the change in his eating habits, we haven’t really been able to find anything worth his time until I stumbled across Gluten Free Girl’s recipe. WOW! These are absolutely delicious. Not only did David love them, but my whole family loved them. My grandparents also thought they contained All-Purpose Flour and could not believe they were gluten free.

I didn’t follow her recipe to a tee either (I know, nasty little habit of mine…never satisfied following, always have to make my own print on something). I am a cinnamon roll filling purist and therefore just spread softened butter on the rolled out dough and covered it with an unmeasured amount of brown sugar and cinnamon + some more chunks of butter. Next time, David has requested more filling. Also kind of threw the cream cheese frosting together willy-nilly. Don’t know how much of anything other than the cream cheese went into it. Nonetheless, delicious. Sadly, the cinnamon rolls died tonight after my glass pan fell out of the fridge and shattered all over the floor :(.

So…if you all haven’t noticed, I’ve been baking a lot of gluten free items lately…I know what I want to do when “I grow up” or finish this internship–I want to one day own my own gluten free bakery and talk to the community about the gf diet and such. So starting in May I will start developing my own recipes. I’m super excited and the thought of doing this should hopefully carry through the rest of my internship!

One last note. I show love through baking and cooking. Dave should know how much I love him given the amount of things I’ve made for him in the past few weeks :).

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