Archive | December, 2013

Espresso Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies

23 Dec

Okay. Did you see the title of this cookie? Espresso – yum. Dark Chocolate – always. Coconut – amazing. Put it all together? AMAZINGLY AMAZING!

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Now, I wondered what espresso powder was, since I don’t remember seeing it in the supermarket. I googled it and found out that Williams Sonoma was the easiest and most reliable place to get it – so I just went there. Boom.

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Look at all those flakes of coconut and chunks of chocolate chips.

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OMG look how amazing these babies look……They taste so delicious – espresso and coconut. Even if you aren’t a coconut fan, these are just spectacular. You have to try them.  And if you ARE a coconut AND a chocolate fan? OMG this could be your version of what heaven tastes like.

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If you are thinking of making chocolate chip cookies with a twist, MAKE THESE NOW!!!!! I made these last Christmas and they were so awesome, I repeated them for this Christmas!  IMG_1359

 

Espresso Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. espresso powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Whisk to blend and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and coconut extracts.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut with a spatula.
  • Use a large dough scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (Note: I tried three different shaping methods for this dough and preferred the cookies made with the dough scoop to the others.)
  • Bake for about 14-16 minutes or until just set, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
  • Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

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Rosemary Olive Wreath

15 Dec

I got this idea from Pinterest last fall. I saw it posted a couple times and decided it would be an awesome appetizer at Christmas dinner last year.

Rosemary Olive Cheese wreath

It was both pretty and delicious! This would make a great and artful appetizer to bring to someone’s house over the holidays if you have such occasion.

And so stinkin’ easy:

  • Purchase the following: Rosemary stalks, assorted olives in red, green, and black (kalamata), cornichons, and mozzarella (or other cheese of your liking)
  • Place stalks of rosemary around the edge of a pretty plate
  • Arrange multi-colored olives and mozzarella around the rosemary wreath

Voila! It will smell wondrous, too.

Rosemary Flatbreads

8 Dec

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My dear friend, Keri Brennan, passed this recipe my way. And it was perfect timing as I was headed to a family dinner and wanted to bring some things. These lil flatbreads would be the perfect thing to bring.

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They require some yeast – but don’t let that keep you from trying. It’s so easy to throw these together.

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You just need a little bit of time to allow the dough to proof and rise.

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You can also toss in any herbs/seasonings you like. They are so versatile!

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They were delicious! I think next time I wouldn’t add as much sea salt to the tops of them – they were a bit salty. But they tasted great and made a great accompaniment to our meal!

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Rosemary Flatbreads

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 F/43 C)
  • 1 teaspoon (2 ¾ gm) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup (¼ oz) fresh rosemary or thyme ( I used minced rosemary)
  • (homemade seasoned salt made by combining dried homegrown herbs with sea salt)

Directions:

Place the water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until a dough forms. Add the minced rosemary.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Use as much flour as necessary so it is not a sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface all over. Cover with saran wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out each piece to approximately 4″x10″ (or however small/large you like) on a lightly floured surface.

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and herbs (or homemade seasoned salt.)

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage and Freezing Instructions/Tips: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Prolong the freshness by freezing for up to 3 months.

Cranberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

1 Dec

I saw this recipe online at foodgawker last fall. It was full-on cranberry season, and I wanted something sweet to make on a Sunday afternoon.

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This was the perfect thing!

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It comes together in a snap. Then bakes up nice and goldenIMG_1315.

You can either do a glaze for this cake (maybe a nice orange-flavored glaze would be nice) or powdered sugar.

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We kept it simple with powdered sugar. Look how nice it looks.

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It was so moist and delicious. I could see this as being a perfect breakfast cake or housewarming cake.

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Cranberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking power and salt and mix well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Fold in the Greek yogurt and about half of the cranberries.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread the remaining cranberries on top of that layer. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 55-65 minutes until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.

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