Tag Archives: chocolate chips

## Chocolate orange almond cake (gluten-free)

19 Jul

A few weeks ago I met a friend at one of his favorite new coffee shops in Philadelphia, Frieda’s, which is maybe called FRIEDA for generations and has a very cool mission of essentially being a cool hip young coffee shop that welcomes old people.  I spent three hours there working on math and eating breakfast and having an incredible chocolate cake that had this beautiful aromatic orange flavor and big chunks of orange in it.

We spent a long time raving over this amazing cake, and the chef/co-owner walked over and chatted with us (he’s on a first-name basis with my friend, who goes there all the time) and told me the recipe orally.  Oral recipes include things like “add some cocoa powder” and “top with chocolate ganache,” so this was an adventure!  I also busted out the digital scale for this, but then measured stuff out for all y’all in the recipe at the bottom.

Spouse bought me the new bag of flour. Why settle for just dia-monds when you can have ALL-monds?

The cake has very few ingredients, though I forgot to add the cocoa powder above.  First you boil the oranges for 2 hours as you’re a very patient person.  Just kidding!  I covered these in water, considered putting a plate on top but didn’t, and microwaved them for 15 minutes.

When it comes to American playwrights, do you prefer Williams, or Inge?

Boiling the oranges pulls out the bitterness from the pith (the white part), which is great for what happens next.  But while the oranges are microwaving, you might as well measure out your ingredients and mix them: sift together the almond flour and baking powder and cocoa powder.  I don’t have a sifter so I use a whisk, but sifter would be better for end-result cake texture.  Whisk up the eggs to get some air in there, then whisk in the sugar.

My action shot was too exciting for this!

I was too eggs-ited!

You can also, if you want, skip all of those steps and dump everything in the food processor after you blend up the oranges!  CAREFULLY pull the oranges out of the hot microwave water and CAREFULLY cut them in quarters.  They’ll be soft but not falling apart, but the juice inside might be HOT.  It helps to buy seedless oranges for this part, because you don’t have to fish them out.  Then throw ’em in the food processor or the blender!

Orange puree!  If you’ve got a big food processor you can throw in all the other ingredients now and pulse it all together.  If you don’t, mix the puree with the eggs and sugar, then mix in the dry ingredients.  It’ll be lumpy because of the almond meal.

We’ve been really into The Great British Bake-Off lately, and my spouse thought he’d try to make a Mokatine despite the fact that he never bakes… in fact this was the first thing I’ve EVER seen him bake.  Anyway, we ran out of parchment paper so I told him to “butter and flour” the pan.  He did not know what I was talking about, so here are pictures:

He’s a stick-ler for details and wanted to know “how much butter”.  I said “enough?”

Using your fingers or a paper towel or a stick like I did, rub butter all over a pan until the whole pane has a thin layer of butter on it.  Then spoon a few (2-3) tablespoons of flour into the pan and shake it around, rolling on each edge, until it’s evenly covered in flour.  Dump out any remaining flour.

Who needs flowers when you can have flour? (but darling if you’re reading this I still like flowers)

Note that I didn’t do a great job above: you can see where the flour didn’t stick to a part I didn’t butter enough.  That’s exactly where the cake stuck to the pan later.  SO BE THOROUGH with your buttering and flouring.  Or, yknow, keep parchment paper in stock so there’s no flour on your gluten free cake…

Bake!  Let cool completely before frosting (but don’t leave it out too long for fear of losing moisture).  Frosting is MAGICAL GANACHE.

Did you know about ganache??? Somehow I had not made ganache before, despite having a baking blog for almost four years… it’s SO EASY and SO MAGICAL.  I’m into caps today.  You just pour hot cream onto chopped chocolate, and stir it until it’s frosting!  I am lazy so I used chocolate chips, which have extra stuff on them to keep them in their shape, so my ganache wasn’t perfectly smooth.  But still, it’s so delicious and wonderful (ganache is the center of truffles!  I didn’t know!)

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All of the photos were in different shots so I couldn’t gif it for you.  It starts out looking like failed hot cocoa when you pour the hot cream on the chocolate and wait for a minute, then like good hot cocoa as you stir it, and then shiny dark melted goodness, and before you know it (after a few minutes of cooling) you have frosting!  Then you can just spread that thick delicious stuff all over the cooled cake, and serve!  We actually don’t like chocolate very much and I made this for a friend’s chocolate-themed birthday party.  I will definitely make this cake again, sans cocoa powder (it’s SO orange-y and SO almond-y and SO easy).

Chocolate orange almond cake (adapted from David Hong at Frieda’s)

For cake:

2 oranges

300 g (3 c) almond flour

200 g (1 c) sugar

6 eggs

1 TB baking powder

1/3 c-1/2 c cocoa powder (I did 1 c and it was too cocoa powdery; 3/4 c is the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe, I think 1/2 c would be great)

For ganache:

1 c heavy whipping cream

1 c good chocolate, chopped, or fancy chocolate chips

1. Put oranges in a bowl, fill with water so oranges float, and microwave for 15 minutes.  Every five minutes, rotate the oranges so that a different side is floating out of the water.  Or put a small plate on the oranges to keep them submerged.
2. Meanwhile, sift together the almond flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder, or whisk them well.
3. Vigorously whisk the eggs until frothy, then whisk in the sugar until light and fluffy and pale.
4. Carefully chop the hot, soft oranges into quarters, then puree in a food processor or blender.  Preheat oven to 375.
5. Whisk orange puree with the eggs and sugar.
6. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and mix well.
7. Butter and flour a springform pan or line with parchment paper.  Should work on any pan; I just used a springform.
8. Fill the pan, bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (up to an hour).  Let cool completely before frosting.
9. Heat up the cream over medium heat in a small saucepan.  It doesn’t need to boil, but should be pretty hot (if you aren’t sure, take it almost to boiling).
10. Put the chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over.  Let sit for a minute, then start stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk.  Keep stirring until it turns into ganache.

## Basic, soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies

17 May

I haven’t been feeling very inspired baking-wise lately, so I was happy that a friend brought over some frozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls before we left Chicago.  They were so tasty that she emailed me the recipe.  She then emailed me a few more times about said cookies vs. another recipe, and sent me the delightful line: “And now I’ve sent you too many emails but cookies: serious business”

What if the general of the Confederate States of America actually transmogrified and moved to Scotland? So everyone’s been saying the Loch Ness monster, or Nessy, but really she’s a he and is a Ness Lee monster?

I baked a half batch of these a few weeks ago and dutifully melted the butter, which really does turn the cookies from a normal soft cookie to a delightful chewy cookie.  But I was lazy this time and wanted to finish off my Earth Balance (from when I had a potentially vegan person over and made some awesome vegan mac and cheese) so that’s what I did, and ended up with a basic, solid chocolate chip cookie.  This blog is usually pretty adventurous, but everyone needs a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe!

First, cream the butter with the sugar.  I love how much brown sugar is in this recipe.

I’ve worked out a code to transmit messages via rolls and dairy products. But you can trust me with your secrets; I won’t butter a word.

Make no mixtake- I’ll make puns no matter who reads this

Finally you add the dry ingredients.  Since I use salted butter I rarely add salt to cookies, but I am incorrect and you should add salt.  It really brings out flavor!  I’m just lazy (also note that I didn’t use one egg + one egg yolk, because why would I separate out one egg?)

Mix that up, and stir in the chocolate chips.

I also bought parchment paper the other day because I am not good with silpats despite my professed love for them.  I made cookies on them about a year ago that tasted like dishwashing liquid because I was putting the silpats in the dishwasher.  Parchment paper is so easy! (But so wasteful.  But so easy!  Dang it I feel bad enough for switching from cloth to disposable diapers when we moved.  Now I feel guilty about parchment paper.)

To freeze cookies, just scoop them out into balls on a baking sheet and shove the whole thing in the freezer til they’re hard.  Then dole them out into freezer bags, and label them.  Bake for about 2 minutes longer than normal.

If Tom Petty was a ball of chocolate chip cookie dough: “Cause I’m freeeeeeeze, freeze fallin”

Puns were worse than usual this time around.  But the cookies were still good!

2 c flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c + 2 TB butter (1 stick + 2 TB)

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c white sugar

1 TB vanilla

2 eggs

2 c chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars.  Preheat oven to 325.  Prepare a baking sheet (parchment paper or silpat or nothing).

Add in the vanilla and eggs and cream.  Add the flour, and sprinkle with baking soda (this is because you are lazy like me and didn’t sift them together earlier).  Mix.  Add the chocolate chips and stir.

Drop by tablespoons onto your cookie sheet (I fit a dozen per sheet).  Bake for ten minutes, or until the edges just start to look toasty.

1 May

Much thanks to the social media folks at MoMath for tweeting/facebooking my last combinatorics post!  Welcome any new math-loving readers!  You will probably not be interested in this post, but there’s a chance you might be!

My in-laws got me a BEAUTIFUL red KitchenAid stand mixer for the wedding and I LOVE it.  It also matches our new food processor (loaned for at least the next three years to me by my incredible maid of honor/wedding photographer), which I also LOVE.  Since getting the stand mixer, I’ve gotten into the habit of breakfast baking if I’m up at least an hour before I need to get out the door.  That is, I put ingredients in the mixer and turn it on, then start making breakfast, and do both simultaneously.  I can eat my hot meal (hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, lots of fun lately) while the cookies bake, then clean up both afterwards before heading off to the office.

Not a very loquacious bunch here- all I heard was a couple of “Can Is Terse”.

First, you cream the butter and sugars.  I’ve been buying pounds of butter and freezing them, and have spent a bit of time experimenting with the best way to get them to soften.  Of course the best is to put them out a day before you want to use them, but who plans to bake?  After a lot of microwaving on random powers and at various times, I’ve decided that easiest is best here: 30 seconds on high.  You might still have some frozen chunks, but if you’ve got the stand mixer that doesn’t really matter.

Also, this recipe (link below) is SUPER METICULOUS.  I am not super meticulous and it still turned out delicious!  For instance, 1/4 c packed brown sugar is like, a heap over 1/4 c *not* packed brown sugar, right?

He eats a lot of fruit, but my husband doesn’t pack the sugar down. Oh well, at least we don’t have ghosts running around our house trying to kill us. (This is a long reference to Pac-Man if you didn’t get it).

Also, learning to use the stand mixer was not the fastest!  I ended up googling how to take the beater off because I didn’t know we had a manual (we’re still organizing the kitchen…)

It’s clear what the nemesis’ attachment of choice would be. And baking Peter Pan would pick the left attachment: Dreams come true, if only we WHISK hard enough. That leaves the standard beater attachment- I say Tinkerbell, because in her jealousy she whispers to the mermaids “beat her!”

Okay enough with the jokes.  Toss in an egg and vanilla, beat again, then toss in the dry ingredients.

No more puns? Yeah right, Yen. Even under eggstreme conditions I can’t avoid them.

What sort of conditions? Things I can’t handle?

Even under dough-ress the puns would sneak out

The key to these cookies is SALT.  I normally don’t add salt to my baked goods (I use salted butter and have never noticed a huge difference), but the SALT makes these cookies incredible.  I used leftover vanilla salt from the wedding favors, though coarse sea salt would also work.

Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes while you eat breakfast!

Doughn’t forget that you’re not supposed to eat raw dough (I always taste it though)

So, as promised, here’s the link to the “Best EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I warn you: the recipe is VERY METICULOUS.  She uses timing.  I assure you, you don’t have to leave the cookies on the sheet for exactly 2 minutes, then remove and let cool on paper for 3 minutes.  They’re still delicious.

Here’s another glamour shot, this time on one of our new cutting boards.  Really I’m just trying to show off all our new kitchen equipment in this post.

## HEALTHIEST vegan chocolate chip cranberry cookies

30 Jun

I was feeling sort of heavy and rained on yesterday (we had a DELICIOUS apple fritter from glazed and infused at lunch) and I felt like a) baking (b/c of rain) and b) something healthy (because of heavy).  So I wrangled up my ingredients and took an extremely loose interpretation of a recipe I found on the internet for these incredible cookies.  I love them, partly because there’s only 1/4 c of brown sugar in them.  I think you could sub anything for the flour, especially coconut flour (use 1 c instead of 1.5) or whole wheat + oat bran.

If I dance around and put everything on the counter in a rhythm, it’s like everything is going to the kitchen sync

So what did I do for “healthy” cookies?  I threw in an avocado and a banana instead of butter/oil and more sugar.

First, your flax gel- as usual, 1 TB ground flaxseed to 2 TB water, let set.

I’m imagining a vegan cooking show counterpart to the star of Argo, Ben Afflax

Most cookie recipes start with creaming the butter and sugar together.  So for us, we’re going to use a fork and mash the avocado and banana together, and add a little bit of brown sugar (really not that necessary, could sub half as much maple syrup or honey).

This is Avocado-ive of earlier scenes involving mashing things

You want to mash until there’s no big chunks: some little chunks are fine.  Don’t forget your splash of vanilla.  You can wait a few more minutes and do the dry before mixing in the flax gel, or just do it now.  No big deal!

For the dry, whisk together your oats, flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice (yum!).  I never include salt in cookies, oh well.  Often recipes say sift together, I don’t have a sifter, but for anyone who does, you just mix the other things and then stir in the oats.

All you need is positivity…I am such a spice girl

Then mix those dry ingredients in with your wet.

ACTION SHOT! My brother’s giving me a camera for my birthday because I’m so frustrated with this phone.

Since ‘one banana’ and ‘half a large avocado’ are variable measures, this batter will be somewhere between perfect and very very wet.  So just add in more flour a tablespoon at a time until it feels like wet cookie batter (I ended up using just under a cup and a quarter).  Then put in all your goodies: I did more cranberries, fewer chocolate chips because I ran out, and a bunch of walnuts.

These goodies are driving me up the wall/nuts!

These babies don’t spread out much so you can easily fit a dozen tablespoon scoops of cookie on a sheet.  Partway through cooking (or before you put em in the oven) use a fork to flatten them a bit.

Speaking of would-be celebrity chef names, how great would Cookeane be? I guess maybe they exist, just somewhere only they know

You can’t really tell when they’re done- just until it smells really good in your kitchen!  I took about 13 minutes and checked at 9.

Vegan cranberry chocolate chip cookies (adapted very loosely from this recipe on allrecipes)

Ingredients:

1 medium banana

1 large avocado (you won’t use all of it)

3 TB ground flaxseed, divided

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c flour (or any substitute)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 c oats

1/2 c dried cranberries

1/2 c chocolate chips

1/2 c walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix 1 TB flaxseed with 2 TB warm water, set aside.

Mash entire banana with slices of avocado until you have about 1 cup (I used 3/4 of a medium avocado).

Mix in the brown sugar, flaxseed mix, and vanilla.

Separately, mix 1 c flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and oats.

Add wet ingredients to dry, mix.  If too wet (likely) add flour 1 TB at a time until it seems like wet cookie dough (but not pancake batter/muffin batter).

Mix in chocolate chips, cranberries, walnuts, whatever else you want (sunflower seeds?)

Drop by tablespoonfuls on cookie sheet, slightly flatten with a fork, and bake for 9-14 minutes or until it smells good and edges are lightly browned.

## On failure, also coconut chocolate chip cookies

2 May

Lately I’ve been thinking about failure a lot.  I have my prelims coming up in a few weeks, and I’ve been anxious and fretful about failing them.  Nothing bad really happens if I fail them.  I’ll just have to study for them again, though that’s annoying- weeks spent trying to remember/relearn all the math I’m expected to know for a three hour exam (or two).  The harder thing, harder than restudying and relearning (which is sort of fun), would be knowing that I failed.  That there was an expectation for me, a line to cross to prove that I’ll be an okay mathematician, and I fell short of it.  That I should have been able to do something, but I didn’t because I’m not quite good enough.

This is pretty terrifying and terrible and there’s all sorts of stuff written out there about math anxiety.  But here’s the thing: math is always like this.  There’s always a quiz, or a homework problem, or a few minutes in a lecture, or a paper that you feel like you just don’t and can’t understand.  Part of what’s so beautiful about math is that it’s really hard.  And part of throwing yourself into your work (baking or math or whatever you do) is letting go of the fear that you won’t be good enough, that it’s too hard, that you aren’t up to the challenge.

I bring this up because I made these coconut chocolate chip cookies just now and they’re almost inedible.  Food blogs and TV shows always have pictures of gorgeous food but most food doesn’t look like that.  In fact, if you bake cookies often, I bet you have had this happen:

Flat-tastic

The cookies are flat, there’s big holes where the unincorporated baking soda lifted out of the cookie, there’s not enough flour to hold them together, and the edges taste like scrambled eggs (it’s gross).  I bet one of these things has happened to you before, or you don’t bake, or you are lying, or you are my friend Edward.

But I did everything right!  Not really: I added coffee, and I didn’t incorporate my baking powder.  Up to the very end the cookies looked like they’d be okay:

Nut another pun… these drive me coconuts!

Gotta put this dough in the oven before i eat it all

And then they come out and they’re awful.

I failed at these cookies.  I fail at math sometimes.  I am not a failure of a person, and while I enjoy baking and math, being great at either of them does not define me as a person.  In fact, being infallible at both of them would define me as a not-person and you should check me for robot parts.  Speaking of segues, an old friend of mine has a wonderful post about failure, and here’s a quote from it:

“There’s a simple reason why tackling a hard problem can lead to depressive symptoms: you’re necessarily wrong 99% of the time.”

A few days ago a great blog post showed up on slate about being bad at math [disclaimer: this guy was at school with me.  Again this disclaimer makes no sense/is irrelevant because I didn’t know him].  A great quote from it:

“Mathematical failure – much like romantic failure – leaves us raw and vulnerable. It demands excuses.”

The humidity was off, my oven doesn’t work well, the baking soda is old: excuses in baking, perhaps, sound more rational when written than excuses in math (this is too hard, I hate math, I’m too stupid for this).  But they’re still excuses, which are what we make when we fail.

I’m human, I make mistakes, I fail sometimes.  I make excuses.  But I try to learn from my mistakes, and I’m going to make cookies again, and I’m going to keep doing math, and I’m going to fail again (hopefully not in a few weeks).  And this is all okay.  This is life!  This is why this blog is about baking and math!

Recipe (follow it but don’t do the step that I point out) [taken from taste of home]:

Sift:

1 c flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream:

1 stick butter

3/4 c white sugar

Then beat in:

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

DO NOT ADD 1 TB COFFEE

Mix your dry and wet ingredients.  This delicious stuff is batter starter.  Add anything to it, but I added:

1 c chocolate chips

1/2 c shredded coconut

1/2 c walnuts

Drop by tablespoons onto your silpat or parchment paper or greased baking sheet, and bake at 375 (NOT 350) for 10 minutes.

## Pudding it all together…

22 Apr

I’ve been traveling for the past several weekends, and this most recent weekend I ran my first-ever conference!  Which means that I haven’t been too consistent on this blog; I apologize for that.  I need to start making backup posts and posting them during the busy weeks.

It also means that I have very few ingredients at home.  You might’ve noticed we’ve been baking egg-free for the past several weeks.  I LOVE eggs.  And not just because they’re eggstremely amenable to puns (well, not eggsactly).  When I went to the store last week, I basically only got eggs and zucchini.  And hence last week’s baking adventure: rice pudding! (Also roasted veggies).

The “in” crowd can be very finicky (no one likes that second egg, but don’t tell her that. She’s getting kicked out later. We just needed an eggstra for the shoot.)

It’s very nice having a rice cooker to make your rice.  Every rice pudding recipe I’ve seen uses precooked rice, rather than cooking the rice directly in the custard.  I think this dessert is for leftover rice, just like bread pudding is for leftover bread, but sometimes you just make some rice/bread for the pudding because it’s delicious.

I wish it was this easy to turn anyone… I meant thing on.

This was my first time baking rice pudding rather than making it on the stove.  I did it just for you guys!

First step: butter your pan.  I’ve done this with paper towels and a pat of butter or oil, and I’ve also done it with my hand.  The paper towels absorb too much fat, while I don’t like the oil on my hands (wash them beforehand if you do this of course.  Or just generally, wash your hands before cooking.)  So I’ve started using a piece of parchment paper instead.  See picture.

She’s got beautiful surfaces, but her size leaves something to be desired. Just kidding this pan is perfect.

I wonder if the BEATles did a lot of baking

Then add your sugar, splash of vanilla, spices, and melted butter, and mix well

The seven deadly cinnamons: cassia, Vietnamese, Ceylan, and Indonesion. Okay there’s four I lied. So sue me, mon.

Geez milk is such a drama queen. She’s always milking pictures for all she’s worth. I guess she can’t help it…

Check out the fork while my baker revolves it, rice rice baby vanilla. I’ve done this one before but guys I LOVE THIS SONG

Personally I think rice pudding is best with cinnamon and raisins but guess what I didn’t have raisins so it’s banana chocolate chip rice pudding!

If Orange County were in the tropics would they call them the Santa Banana winds?

Now throw your whole mix (it should be like very thin oatmeal, thinner than you’d like to eat) into you buttered dish, and bake for an episode of TNG, or about 45 minutes.

“Did you mean launch?”
“That’s what I said, sir.”

The custard should be set but still soft.  I actually overbaked mine because I forgot about it.  Yours should not be as brown as below.  And to be honest, I think you should do yours on the stove rather than the oven.

Rice pudding recipe (taken from my head):

Beat:

1 egg

1/4 c white sugar

1 TB melted butter

1-2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to your taste

Mix in:

1 c milk

1.5 c cooked rice

Throw the whole thing in a small buttered pan for 45 mins at 350 or until set.  You can then stir in some more milk (up to 1 c) for creaminess, OR

Throw the whole thing on the stovetop and simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Have another 1 c of milk to stir in a few tablespoons at a time until it hits the milky creamy consistency you want.

## Upside down banana cake: no pictures =(

10 Apr

I wrote this post right after spring break and I still didn’t have a camera phone, so I borrowed the iPhone of my roommate’s friend who was staying with us, and took pictures with her phone.  Then I kept pestering her to send me those pictures because she left before I downloaded them, and they are gone I guess.  So no photos, but the recipe is pretty great so I thought I’d share it anyway.

Wrapping up spring break.  Yesterday I got home after being away for 12 days and I was exhausted, so I spent the day making a Pseudo-Seder feast (used wheat thins for matzoh, spaghetti squash for kugel, and this AWESOME VEGETARIAN CHOPPED LIVER made of onions, hard-boiled eggs, and walnuts) and wrapped it up with this beautiful upside down banana cake.

It’s much like the chocolate chip banana loaf I made a few weeks ago.  My roommates liked this cake better, I liked the loaf better, who’s to say?

The upside down part is the best: melt some butter and brown sugar in your cake pan directly on the stove.  I was freaking out about putting Pyrex on top of my gas burners but it worked so yay!  Then slice up a banana or two and arrange them artfully on the caramel-y layer.  It’s okay if there’s patches in the butter-brown sugar bit, they’ll melt away as the cake bakes.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice on those cut up bananas.

Next, put together your dough.  As per usual, you’ll whisk together your dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

Melt a bit of butter (I love the microwave), then mash or blend two bananas.  I didn’t have any frozen ones this time so I used fresh, slightly ripe ones.  It’s far better with overripe bananas: more banana taste and more moisture.  Stir in a splash of vanilla, two eggs, and some greek yogurt.

And throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips.

Then pour the whole batter over the topping, and chuck it in the oven.

Yum!

Melt:

1/3 c brown sugar with

2 TB butter

in your cake pan directly on the stove

Then top it beautifully with:

3 sliced bananas

and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Set aside

Whisk together:

1.5 c flour

1 tsp each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon

3/4 c sugar

Then beat together:

2 TB melted butter

2 eggs

2 mashed bananas

1/2 c yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

Mix these wet ingredients with your dry, then sprinkle in

1 c chocolate chips

and put it in your prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so.

2 Mar

I’m no stranger to banana “bread,” especially chocolate chip banana bread, so I decided to finally throw up my hands and accept that this is actually cake.  Bready cake, and not quite as sweet as cake in a box cake (or cake pops cake), but still sweet chocolatey goodness anyway.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but my smart phone got jacked while I was in Haifa so these pictures sort of suck.  They’re all taken from my netbook.

Anyways!  A non-eventful not-that-productive week at school means some cheer-me-up baking time!  Whenever we buy bananas and some of them get too ripe, we throw ’em in the freezer.  I used to use plastic baggies and cut them up before so I could just take some banana chunks for smoothies etc., but then I’d have these frozen, sometimes punctured plastic baggies when bananas already have their own packaging!

These bananas are bananas, b a n a n a s.  Gwen Stefani sure called it.

So I throw these frozen bananas into a big juice glass of water and let them sit for a few minutes.  Then the peels come right off and your bananas are ready to be mushed!  With an egg, a bit less than 1/4 c milk, 1 tsp vanilla., and 1 c of melted butter (I used the microwave for 30 seconds).

Mush, whisk, mush! These puns sleigh me.

As usual, you’ve got the dry ingredients in a bigger bowl: whisk together 1.5 c flour, 1.5 tsp baking soda, and 1 c sugar.  Then mix those wet ingredients into your dry.

Big bowl: Chinese and Th-oh wait. I meant Big Bowl: wet and dry ingredients

Mix in a cup of chocolate chips, then throw this guy in the oven in a greased pan for 40 minutes at 350.  Before you eat all the delicious batter (the batter is SO GOOD).

Did you guys know ‘doughhead’ is an idiom for someone who acts without thinking? I tried looking up idioms with ‘dough’ and that came up. Weird.

Meanwhile you can enjoy your eggplant sandwich and an episode of “Glee.”  Then your oven timer goes off and yum!

Yo ho ho and a plate of crumbs

Recipe, adapted from this one on allrecipes:

Preheat oven to 350

Mix in a big bowl:

1.5 c flour

1.5 tsp baking soda

1 c white sugar

(1/4 tsp salt)

Melt:

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Mash in:

2 bananas (if frozen, use a bit less milk)

And whisk in:

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c milk (I use soy, which means use a little less sugar)

Mix dry ingredients with wet, then fold in

1 c chocolate chips

Bake in a greased 8×8 or whatever size pan for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

## Scintillating scones

11 Dec

So it’s finals week, which means I have two take home finals due this week and have to proctor and grade an exam later.  And of course, that means that while I’m working on my take home real analysis final and wondering why $\int_{[a,b]} f dm\geq 0$ for every rational $a implies that $f(x)\geq 0$ a.e.  (Don’t tell me!  Or at least not til after Wednesday, and hopefully I’ll have figured it out by then), I’m also daydreaming about what I can bake tonight as a treat for myself.  (I don’t know exactly how to use parenthetical sentences; like where does the question mark go here?)  I still had chocolate chips leftover from my pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago, and some OJ because I love me some orange juice in the mornings.

I wanted to make orange juice-chocolate chip cookies, but a quick google search convinced me that scones were the way to go.  I’ve probably memorized about three baking recipes: the shortbread was one; this is the second; there’s probably a third somewhere in my head (I get lost up there sometimes).  (That’s when I use a lot of parentheses.)  (Or when I’ve been thinking about math all day.)

One HUGE TIP to making scones: USE A FOOD PROCESSOR.  It makes scones take absolutely no time.  Also, chill your butter!  Keeps the dough together without getting too sticky.

Me being myself, I followed neither of these pieces of advice nor my recipe too closely this time.

First, whisk together:

2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c sugar

Golly gee whisk, Batman! Whisks are so effective!

I’ve always had trouble with my dry ingredients and having bites of baking soda and/or salt in my baked goods.  And then I discovered whisks!  Whisk are so great!  Though this would have been even easier with a food processor.

As a present to myself, I bought a grater from K-Mart!  I was hoping for a microplane but neither the grocery store nor k-mart had it and I was over it by then.  I also bought an orange (the only part of this recipe that I didn’t already have in my pantry) for zesting.  Those of you who read the fruitcake post know what a big deal this grater is.

Life is so much greater with the right tools.

Toss in the zest of an orange or two to that flour bowl.

Then cut in a stick of butter using two knives (or your food processor or your pastry cutter).  I’ve never understood what this direction means in recipes.  Cutting butter into flour seems to work just as well with a knife and fork, or even one knife.  It’s also sort of sadly ineffectual.  I was going to put in a picture but it just looks sad.

Next, and here’s the key, mix in

1/4-1/2 cup of sour cream (I use yogurt)

1 egg

whatever else you want to throw in there

I added about 1/4 cup of OJ, squeezing in those oranges I zested and adding some breakfast goodness.  This is also a good time for dried cranberries or chocolate chips or walnuts.

Hey, leggo my egg yo-gurt! And mix in there.

Don’t mix it too much, just mix so everything is sticking together.  Then plop thoat sucker down on a silpat on a baking sheet, split it into two balls and pat ’em down, and use your buttered knife to score them into quarters or sixths or eighths.  I got to about this point when I remembered my chocolate chips because I’m a doofus, and so I just smashed a handful of them down into one of my lumps.

Wheel of fortune! Every spin is a good one.

So, once you’ve got your sixths or eighths or quarters, sprinkle them with some granulated sugar and toss the cookie sheet into a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Then you can cut along your score marks and get cute little scones.

Nothin left, nothin left for me to do. You’re the scone that I want! Ooh ooh ooh honey!