Tag Archives: treat

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Samoa Macaroons, Recipe

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I had big plans for today: up early, nice run around Fresh Pond, errands, lunching, some cooking… But then last night I decided that dancing was in order and ended up heading to TT the Bears for Heroes – their awesome 80s dance night. Needless to say I didn’t get out of bed at 7am as anticipated and instead snoozed until about noon. When I did finally get up the last thing I wanted to do was go for a run or be productive in any way. After a few hours of mind-numbing TV I scavenged through my cabinets and found the ingredients to make Salted Caramel and Chocolate Macaroons. Thank god as this is just what I needed to get through the day.

These are quick, easy, and delicious. They taste like Samoas / Caramel Delites without the shortbread cookie. As Depeche Mode said, I just can’t get enough.macaroon

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Samoa Macaroons

from The Craving Chronicles
Makes about 24 cookies

Egg whites vary in size, so if you find your cookie mixture too runny and your cookies are forming puddles around the bottom as they bake, don’t be afraid to add a little bit more coconut and/or flour to firm things up. Keeping the mix cool will help prevent that too. The coconut oil is optional but helps to thin the chocolate some for easier dipping and drizzling.

Ingredients

4 large egg whites
12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut, divided
7 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt

6 – 8 ounces dark (at least 60%) chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Directions

Whisk egg whites in a large bowl. Add half of coconut and flour, stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Set aside remaining coconut.

In a 4-quart or larger saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramel reaches a rich coppery color. (Caramel may looks separated with a layer of butter on top. Don’t panic.) Remove from heat. Carefully add reserved coconut and salt (Caution: may spatter!), and stir to combine. Cool about 5 minutes.

Add about 1/4 cup of the caramel mixture to the egg white mixture at a time, stirring vigorously to combine and prevent cooking the eggs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Mixture should be wet but not too loose or runny.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment or Silpats. Scoop cookies between 1 1/2 and 2 tablespoon size, and place about 1-inch apart on baking sheet. (Return any remaining mixture to the fridge until read to bake.) Bake at 350°F for 12-14 mins, or until bottoms are golden brown. Cool about 2 minutes on the pan, then move to wire racks to cool completely.

Place chocolate and (optional) coconut oil in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals on High until chocolate starts to melt. Continue heating in 15 second intervals, stirring well between each, until melted and smooth. Dip cookie bottoms in chocolate and set on wax paper. Drizzle remaining chocolate over top. Allow chocolate to harden at room temperature, or pop cookies in the fridge to speed the process up.

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Homemade Oreos, Recipe

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Find me a man who doesn’t like Oreos and I will show you a man lacking a soul. Everyone loves Oreos. If you don’t, you should. Don’t be soulless.

A couple of weeks ago we hosted a company wide lunch for a colleague of mine who was leaving our Cambridge office to work remotely from her hometown in California. She makes up 50% of the most rocking kick ass events team out there so I wanted to be able to bring a little something homemade to the party. Cake wouldn’t work as that’s impossible to carry on the subway. Same with cupcakes. I threw around a bunch of other ideas – truffles, macarons, shortbread… but then I saw these homemade Oreos and had to try them. I doubled the batch to have enough for all 40+ people and had just enough leftover for a couple coworkers who missed the party the next day (as well as breakfast for myself). They are as close as one can come to an Oreo being homemade. The difference I would assume to be in the ingredients – you can pronounce all of mine.

I’ve posted the recipe for you below so go grab a glass of cold milk and start dunking.

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Homemade Oreos
From Smitten Kitchen

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.

In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

Nutella Mousse, Recipe

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Happy 100th post, Five Spoons! A big thanks to everyone who has been so supportive over these last few months, I am having a blast with this little project and hope you are all enjoying my recipes and reviews.

What better way to celebrate 100 posts than with nutella, right? I made this mousse a few days ago when an old friend was in town visiting. It was a nice light finish to our roast beef and leek and potato puree dinner. I love this recipe as you have to make it in advance. Its also is, obviously, served chilled so you don’t have to spend any time fussing in the kitchen when you should be enjoying yourself with your guests. The mousse was really light and fluffy and not overly nutella-y (although that’s never a bad thing). The oreo crunch at the bottom gave it nice texture as well. Definitely an easy recipe I’ll be keeping on file to make again and again.

Nutella Mousse
Adapted from Wishful Chef

2 Oreo cookies, without cream center
1/8 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup cream, whipped
ground cookies and almonds for garnish

Grind slivered almonds in a food processor until almost like powder and reserve. Do the same for the chocolate cookies. Place cookie crumbs on the bottom of 2 small glasses or bowls. Save a little extra of the ground almonds and cookies for garnish at the end. In a small bowl, whip the cream until you get soft peaks. Mix both the ground almonds and Nutella, then whip the whipped cream and almond Nutella mixture together until smooth and well blended. Place mixture on top of cookie crumbs and sprinkle some crumbs on top. Chill in fridge until ready to eat.

Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Praline Topped Brownies, Recipe

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I was making dinner for a friend this past Sunday and wanted, naturally, to include dessert but had a hell of a time trying to decide what to make. I didn’t want something too fussy that I would have to make during the evening as I wanted to enjoy being able to hang out. I didn’t want something common like a chocolate chip cookie as I wanted it to feel a little more special. I didn’t want something bulky or untransportable as I wanted to be able to get rid of the leftovers. Brownies! Yes. But not your everyday run of the mill brownies, they needed to have something special to them. Something to make them feel like dessert and not something you just add to your order at your local coffee shop. I think I got it… Praline Topped Brownies.

I made a note about the frosting below for you but, basically, the frosting will look very different whether or not you have patience. Either is totally fine and equally delicious, it’s just what you prefer esthetically. I think I prefer the cooled version myself although I have little patience when assembling desserts as I just want to eat them as quickly as possible.

The brownie recipe alone was actually really good (I ate three before I even made the frosting – not particularly proud of that). They were very chocolately and chewy and soft in the middle, just the way I like them. We enjoyed one after dinner and, turns out, they make a great mid-morning snack as well. They also transported well so that I could rid of my house of them as not to eat any more.

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Adapted from You Made That (modified from Delish.com)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
1/4 cups light brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Praline Topping
5 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract + 2 T water
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13- by 9-inch metal bakingpan with foil; grease or spray foil with cooking spray.

In heavy 2 quart saucepan over low heat, melt margarine or butter and chocolates, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat.

Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and beat in sugars, then eggs, until well blended. Stir in vanilla, salt, then flour just until blended. Gently stir in chocolate chips until just blended. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake brownies 35 min. (toothpick inserted in brownies will not come out clean). Cool brownies in pan on wire rack. If not using brownies within 1 day, cover cooled brownies with foil and refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

20120310-113814.jpgIn 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, heat butter and brown sugar, until mixture melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. With wire whisk, beat in vanilla and water, then confectioners’ sugar, until mixture is smooth.

*Side Note: You Have two options here, both equally delicious. Option 1) Glaze your brownies as the frosting is still warm and let it drip down the sides or Option 2) Wait, somewhat patiently, for your frosting to cool to room temperature and then frost your brownies creating more of a traditional cake look / feel. Personally, I did one (I impatiently wanted one stat) and the the other which I think is the way to go.

With metal spatula, spread frosting on cooled brownies; sprinkle with pecans. To cut brownies lift the foil out of pan and cut even squares.