Flourless brownies

Adapted from Unicorns in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Coat an 8×8 baking pan with non stick spray and line with a parchment paper.
  2. Place butter, sugar and chocolate in a pan over medium heat until all melted. Let cool for a minute.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time using an electric mixer (this is important). Beat very well after each addition.
  4. Add in vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix well.
  5. Transfer the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Pound the pan on the counter twice.
  6. Bake in the heated oven for 25 minutes until the top is crackled.

Tips: It’s best to melt the butter, sugars and chocolate in a sauce pan over medium heat and NOT to use a microwave. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed. Since this flourless brownie recipe has no leavening agent such as baking powder, over-mixing won’t cause a problem. Don’t over bake the brownies. We did not have nonstick spray — just the parchment paper. These kind of tasted like flourless chocolate cake — so really, no one could be disappointed. Mookie the cat got chastised for walking across the counter to inspect the mixing bowl (it was too far from his usual perch on the high chair by the bar counter).

~Jessica

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (130 g) flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3.5 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 bag Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt) together. Just the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt– you’ll add the oats later.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients (butter, sugars, eggs, molasses, vanilla) together.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Add the oats and chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Chill the cookie dough. We did way more than 45 minutes in the refrigerator, which helps prevent the cookies from overspreading.
  6. Scoop cookie dough balls. About 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie– yes, these are LARGE!
  7. Bake at 350°F for 13-14 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are set and the centers still look soft.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Enjoy!

These were so good — just the right amount of chewy, and really awesome texture from the extra oats. I’ve long been an oatmeal raisin fan, but I was open to Jesse’s chocolate substitution, and they were quite the hit with his apartment. He skipped the molasses and used less sugar. Everyone was a fan of the bittersweet 60% cacao baking chips.

~Jessica

Cardamom walnut cookies

Adapted from epicurious + recommended by a friend

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. For the 2 coatings: Mix 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom in large bowl. Mix 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and powdered sugar in medium bowl. Set mixtures aside.
  2. Combine remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom, butter, vanilla extract, lemon peel and salt in another large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour and chopped nuts. Beat until smooth dough forms, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Gather dough into ball and wrap in plastic; chill 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Using hands and generous 1 tablespoon dough for each cookie, roll dough into forty-eight 3/4-inch balls; transfer to baking sheets. Bake cookies until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on sheets.
  4. Add 12 warm cookies to large bowl of granulated sugar and cardamom and toss gently to coat. Repeat with 12 more cookies. Let remaining 24 cookies cool completely on sheet. Sift powdered sugar and cardamom mixture over. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container.)

~Jessica

P.S. You might note these were not dusted in any sugar or extra cardamom — my uncle is pre-diabetic, and I wanted to reduce some sugar content!

Chia seed pudding

IMG_2677Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond coconut milk
1 cup plain Greek/organic whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped and sugared
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:
Mix almond milk, yogurt, honey, vanilla, pinch of salt, and chia seeds together. Let sit 30 minutes before covering. Refrigerate overnight. Toss the berries in a wee bit of sugar and the almonds together. Serve pudding topped with the sweet nut-berries.

IMG_2679

I prefer using the metric system on this blog but I was terrible the first time I tried to “eye” the amount for all the ingredients, so I’ll leave them be. I don’t really like vanilla-flavored nut milk, so I was glad this worked out fine as long as I substituted honey for the maple syrup, which made it rather too liquid and not as viscous as a pudding out to be. I didn’t have sliced almonds so I chopped them myself before toasting them in the pan for a few minutes, until they had that nice warm toasty smell. Amber had a sizeable bag of chia seeds in the fridge, and she was just eating them raw before — hence, this for breakfast.

~Jessica