Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Oatmeal Cookies


Alright.

So I am impatient.

Completely and utterly.


I don’t have patience for bad drivers. Or slow drivers. Or for traffic.

I don’t have patience for idiots. Or annoying customers. Or people who want to waste my time.


I don’t have patience while waiting for buses. Or for photos to upload when I’m blogging. Or for watching commercials.

I don’t have patience for long, drawn-out baking processes. And I don’t have patience for little, fiddly things.


Like making the small figurines, fruits and other finicky things that we had to create in my marzipan class.

I felt like I was back in kindergarten and it was play-doh time.


I got so frustrated making teeny tiny pumpkins, and fiddly flowers, and stupid little bird’s houses, that I was ready to throw my miniature carrots across the room.

Or bang my head against the wall.

Or something.


One of the girls put her hand on my arm, laughed and said gently, “Natasha, maybe cake decorating isn’t for you?”.

No. Cake decorating is definitely not for me. I’d rather sit in traffic, thanks.

But we did have to choose a theme and make a final marzipan piece, and mine was the Cookie Monster (no surprises there).



He was super cute, and the teeny tiny cookies had me craving real-life cookies.

Because I, like the Cookie Monster, love cookies.

So here we are! Cookies for you.


Soft and chewy oatmeal peanut butter cookies, to be exact. With chocolate chips and the peanut butter chips that the awesome Maura sent me from all the way over in Hawaii (go visit her blog. Yum!).

The cookies are really good. And at least something positive came from my marzipan class.

Enjoy!

P.S. You can now follow me on Twitter (not that there’s much to follow yet. But hey, I’ll get there)!


CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES

Adapted from the lovely Averie Cooks.

110g unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a few trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until light and well combined.

Add the peanut butter and mix in until incorporated. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low, add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.

Mix in the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Scoop tablespoons of mixture, roll them into balls and place on the lined trays, allowing room for spreading.

Bake for 10 minutes, until golden around the edges. Makes 24 cookies.

Pumpkin Pie


Travelling is an interesting thing.

I absolutely love it. I love the experiences it brings. The places I get to see. The people I meet along the way.

A few years ago, when I finished high school, I moved overseas for a year. I lived in Poland, and travelled whenever I could.


Then someone, I think it was my dad, suggested I go to New York and visit his second cousin.

I had met him before, a few times when I was very young, and remember him pinching my cheeks and buying me designer Barbies whenever he would come and visit.

Those two things made me love him (the Barbies) and hate him (the cheek pinching) at the same time.


Anyway, a few emails later and what do you know, I had flights booked to visit my dad’s second cousin and his family in Connecticut.

I was so nervous. I mean, I really didn’t know these people. I was going to be staying at their house. What if they didn’t like me?!

But I shouldn’t have worried. They were, and are, the most amazing family I have ever met. I fell in love with them instantly.


They welcomed this young, crazy teenager they didn’t know, who flew in late and without any luggage (it was left behind in Dublin. That was awesome), with open arms and hot soup.

They were kind and warm and caring. They introduced me to my entire extended family. They showed me around Connecticut and around New York. They took me shopping (a lot). And to eat (a lot a lot). And taught me how to carve pumpkins for Halloween.

We drank wine together, and laughed together, and went and saw an off Broadway show together. They drove me up to Canada, and took me to see Niagara Falls.


And one day, as it was the most beautiful fall, we went to an apple farm.

We picked apples. And drank hot apple cider. And bought pies from the farm. It was the first time (believe it or not) that I tried pecan pie. And pumpkin pie. We took home crates of apples, and I baked them into a huge apple pie.

It was the most ridiculous pie fest. We were eating pie for days.


I loved the pumpkin pie. I was fascinated by the fact that pumpkin was being used in a sweet way.

This year, as it is almost Thanksgiving in the States, and Maura was so so kind to send me a few cans of pumpkin puree (more on that and the other amazing goodies she sent me coming soon!), I baked my own pumpkin pie.

It is delicious, with its crumbly, nutty crust and cinnamon spiced filling. And it reminds me of my wonderful family in Connecticut. Happy Thanksgiving!


PUMPKIN PIE

For the almond pie crust

350g plain flour
55g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
60g almond meal
A pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
40ml water, chilled (4 tbsp or so)

Put the flour, sugar, salt, almond meal and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a food processor) and mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolks and the cold water while the mixer is still running. Continue to mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

For the pumpkin filling
Adapted from A Sweet Simple Life.

2 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups condensed milk (395g can)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 16 oz can pumpkin puree

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar. Whisk in the condensed milk, spices, vanilla and salt. Finally, whisk in the pumpkin puree.

To make the pie, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F), place a baking tray in the oven and butter a 9 inch pie dish.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 13 inches in diameter.

Lift it and place it into the pie dish, pressing it gently into the corners and up the sides. Pinch the edges of the dough together with your fingertips to create a fluted border.

Fill the crust with the pumpkin filling.

Place the pie in the oven, on the baking tray, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and line the edges of the crust with foil.

Reduce the oven to 180 C (350 F) and bake for a further 40 – 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean and the pastry is cooked.

Allow to cool before cutting. Serves 10.

Double Chocolate Chip Nutella Stuffed Oreo Crumb Cookie Cups


I haven’t posted in a week.

I feel really bad. But things have just been crazy around here.


What with work, going to my patisserie course, assignments, study for my college exam, friends, family, celebrations, etc, I just haven’t had time to sit down and write a post.

I’m sorry!

But I’m totally about to make it up to you.


So I hope you have some free time today. Because you’re going to want to bake these.

See all of that Nutella oozing out of there?


Yeah.

I’ve been posting all of this healthy (but still delicious!) stuff lately and thought I’d balance things out a little with a hugely indulgent, chocolate Oreo Nutella calorie bomb.

You’re welcome. In advance.


So here we have double chocolate chip cookies. Made with Oreo crumbs. They’re one of my favourite recipes. We’ve put them into cupcake liners. Flattened them out. Thrown in a huge spoonful of Nutella. And topped the whole thing off with another scoop of cookie.


Um… Yum?

Go. Bake. You can thank me later.


DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP NUTELLA STUFFED OREO CRUMB COOKIE CUPS

Cookie dough recipe adapted from Picky Palate.

220g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
14 Oreos
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 jar Nutella, chilled (you won’t need the whole thing)

Preheat the oven to 180 C and line 18 muffin holes with cupcake liners.

Grind up your Oreos into a powder using a blender or food processor. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until well light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Add the flour, cocoa, ground Oreos, baking soda and salt and mix, on a low speed, until combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly dispersed.

Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place them in the base of the cupcake liners. Press them flat so they line the base.

Top each cookie with a heaped teaspoon of Nutella.

Scoop more tablespoon-sized balls of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place over the Nutella.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. Makes 18 stuffed cookie cups.

Healthy Apple, Yogurt and Oat Breakfast Muffins


So I’ve put on a little weight recently.

Just a few kilos.

It’s actually bothering the heck out of me but I’m trying not to freak out about it.


I have no idea how it happened.

It couldn’t possibly be due to all the beer, cider, lychee martinis and white sangria (that stuff is amazing) that I have been drinking now that spring is here.


Or it couldn’t be because of all the Nutella cheesecake I have been loving.

Or because of the crazy amount of jaconde sponge, homemade ice cream and chocolate garnish scraps I have been snacking on in my Present Desserts class at culinary school.


No, no, it couldn’t possibly be because of any of that.


So in all of my weight gain denial, I baked. I diet-baked.

Yep. I made us some diet baked goods. I’ll snack on these instead of on sponge cake scraps from now on, okay?


These muffins are super super moist, especially for healthy muffins. They stay moist for days, and actually taste really good. Not like they’re healthy at all.

I’ve made them about five times already since first making and photographing them. I’ve tried them with mashed banana instead of some of the applesauce and put in frozen blueberries instead of the raisins.

The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!


HEALTHY APPLE, YOGURT AND OAT BREAKFAST MUFFINS
Inspired by Everyday Health.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain yogurt
55g unsalted butter, softened (1/4 cup)
2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup raisins (or blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Stir together the oats and yogurt and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon.

Add the egg and beat to combine. Stir in the applesauce. Mix in the yogurt oat mixture.

Stir in both flours, the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt until just incorporated.

Mix through the apple and raisins gently.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes.

Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Healthy Double Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites


I have an exam on in a week.


My last ever public relations exam for my college degree. My last ever exam for my college degree. Ever. Ever.

And I haven’t even opened a book.

Quite literally.


I set aside today to study. But it was warm and sunny. So I sun-baked. I went for a long walk.

I made lunch. Then I made peanut butter. I turned the peanut butter into these healthy double chocolate chip cookie dough balls.

I took photos of the cookie balls. I went to dinner. I had a few glasses of wine. And now here I am, writing this post.

Amazingly productive day of study, right?


I am the Queen of Procrastination.

If there were a way for me to get paid for procrastinating, I would be a millionaire by now.

Any excuse not to sit down and open that book and read that garbage and take those notes and I’m all over it.


But these cookie dough balls are so awesome, they were completely worth the not studying.

I first made the classic chocolate chip version of these with Erin in Berlin, and fell so in love I baked them at least a dozen times.

Then I dreamed up this double chocolate version. And they’re even better. Even chocolate-ier. And they’re gooey. Kind of like healthy brownie cookies?

Just make them.


HEALTHY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH BALLS

Inspired by Texanerin.

Try and use natural peanut butter or make your own, otherwise the cookies bake up too oily.

1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about a 400g/14oz can)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp natural or homemade peanut butter (165g, 5.8 oz)
1/4 cup honey (80g, 2.8 oz)
4 tsp cocoa
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a tray with baking paper.

Process the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth.

Add the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, cocoa, milk, baking powder and salt and process until very smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the lined tray.

Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 16 cookie balls.

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