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Archive for November, 2009

If you are into chocolate I have something for you!

Chocolate Cookies – they are wonderful and really full of chocolate!

They are almost more chocolaty than chocolate itself.

Can you imagine?

~~~

To prepare these heavenly Chocolate Cookies you need:

8 ounces (240 grams) chopped semi-sweet chocolate; this amount will be melted

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter

2/3 cup (86 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ounces (150 grams) chopped semi-sweet chocolate

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Chop the chocolate into chunks.

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer mix the sugar…

5. … the eggs and the vanilla extract until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).

6. While the mixer is doing its job we can melt the chocolate with butter (not all the chocolate, just the first 8 ounces).

You can do this in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water or in a microwave oven.

Delicious!

I had hard time trying to resist this.

7. Now reduce the speed of the electric mixer to low and add the melted chocolate mixture.

8. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Mix in the flour mixture until just combined.

9. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

You can set some chunks aside to place on top of the cookies.

10. Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto the baking sheet.

11.  Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes.

Yummy!

This lovely recipe was adapted from marthastewart.com and makes about 12 (3-inch) cookies.

Enjoy dearest friends!

(If you’d like to see more of my posts click this.)


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Look!

Someone new has arrived!

The long awaited and expected friend…

He wasn’t even patient enough to wait until the lights were adjusted properly.

He was so eager to make his first photo shoot and let you see him that he’d literally jumped in front of my camera.

Though he got shy from time to time he was mostly very brave!

We’d finally settled with this pose.

He’s wearing his scarf and the Finnish-style cap in a very fancy manner here.

I love him so much but he still keeps his name a secret…

What do you think his name could be?


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I have experimented a bit today …

The inspiration to make these cookies comes from Martha’s Chocolate Pretzels but I have changed her recipe quite a lot.

These pretzels taste like coffee, chocolate and cinnamon all together.

Quite pleasing combination, hm?

~~~

To make these lovely pretzels you need:

1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa

4 teaspoons instant coffee

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

10 tablespoons boiling water

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cup (220 grams) all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top

~~~

1. In a small bowl, mix together the instant coffee, cocoa and cinnamon.

(OK, you are right, there’s no cinnamon in the bowl. My brain just doesn’t work so well in the morning and I tend to forget things. I added the cinnamon as the last step.)

2. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Put the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.

Mix until creamy.

Then add the egg, vanilla extract and salt and mix again.

4. Add the cocoa-coffee-cinnamon mixture and beat slightly.

5. Gradually add flour, and mix until a smooth dough forms.

6. Turn out on a lightly floured counter and form a ball.

Wrap in foil and refrigerate for about one hour.

7. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

9. Shape the dough into a log and cut it into 18 equal pieces.

Form a small ball from each piece.

Shape the balls into 12-inch-long (30 cm) ropes.

10. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape (I recommend doing this on the baking sheet because it might get a bit awkward to transfer them onto the sheet).

11. Some granulated sugar on top. Here we go…

Bake for 10 minutes.

12. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

If you’d like your cookies a bit more festive you can sprinkle them with some confectioner’s sugar.

These cute and delicious pretzels can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.


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easy-november-sunday

Oh, how I love the Sundays where there’s basically nothing important to do and you can go anywhere you want and have as much fun as you can.

Today was one of such days.

With a flask of hot coffee, we set off for a trip somewhere, didn’t know where ourselves.

The weather was beautiful, very lovely for November.

I managed to take FOUR pictures. Usually, I make a few hundreds on a day like this (yeah, hundreds, I am a maniac).

The reason of my modest camera use today was very prosaic – I had let my camera ON for the whole night before. Accidents happen (and in my world tragically often).

Nevertheless, I finally managed to find out how to make darkened edges on a picture.

I am so glad…

And now I am going to show you something secret, so don’t tell anyone…

This is the original picture (or the SOOC – Straight out of Camera picture):

easy-sunday-morning-SOOC

Don’t be looking at this for too long please, it might be detrimental to your eyesight!

easy-november-sunday

Dear GIMP, thank you, you’ve saved my life again!

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st-martins-cake

This is a delicious cake to welcome the winter season with!

The texture of the dough works perfectly with the freshness of the jam filling and the richness of the buttery chocolate frosting.

You will be amazed by its wonderful taste!

~~~

To make the cake you need:

2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tablespoons (85 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

5 ounces (150 grams) semi-sweet chocolate

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons cocoa

For the filling you need:

1 1/2 cups (375 grams) jam (raspberry or strawberry or forest fruit)

For the frosting you need:

6 ounces (180 grams) semi-sweet chocolate

6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsweetened butter

1 cup (115 grams) confectioner’s (or powdered) sugar, sifted

7 teaspoons milk

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

2. Grease and flour your 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan.

st-martins-cake-flour-baking-powder-cocoa

3. Now we mix our dry ingredients – the flour, cocoa and baking powder.

Set the bowl aside.

st-martins-cake-whipping-sugar-and-butter

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes).

5. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract.

st-martins-cake-melting-chocolate

6. Place a small bowl over a pan with simmering water and melt the chocolate.

st-martins-cake-adding-melt-chocolate-to-batter

7. Add the melted chocolate to the batter and beat shortly.

8. Add the flour mixture and beat again.

st-martins-cake-whipped-egg-whites

9. Whip the egg whites and add them to the batter.

st-martins-cake-folding-batter-with-whipped-egg-whites

10. Add the whipped egg whites and fold until smooth.

st-martins-cake-filled-spring-form-pan

11. Fill the spring form pan with the batter and spread it evenly.

Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes.

st-martins-cake-cut-in-two-halves

12. When baked, remove from the oven and let cool.

When the cake’s cooled, remove it from the pan and cut into two halves.

st-martins-cake-spreading-jam

13. Spread one half of the jam over the bottom layer of the cake.

Place the second layer on top of the first and cover the whole cake with the rest of the jam.

st-martins-cake-melting-butter-and-chocolate-for-frosting

14. Now we are going to prepare the chocolate frosting.

Melt the butter and chocolate over simmering water.

st-martins-cake-adding-sugar-to-melted-butter-and-chocolate-for-frosting

15. When nicely melted, add the sifted sugar and the milk and whisk together.

16. Spread the frosting over the whole cake.

You can also sprinkle a little cocoa over the top.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Enjoy!


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My Mom Is Gorgeous!

mom's-new-painting-II

This is my Mom’s new oil painting.

I have said it many times before –  my Mom is just gorgeous!

She is the kindest person in the whole wide world and she has always been my greatest inspiration.

I love you Mom!


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snickerdoodles-display-II

These cookies are traditional and time has proven that they are really, really good.

They have great buttery sweet flavor and are covered in spicy cinnamon.

When you bite into one you will find the edges are wonderfully crisp yet inside they are soft and chewy.

Mmmmm, absolutely moreish!

~~~

To prepare the lovely Snickerdoodles you need:

1 1/3 cup (180 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (110 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Coating you need:

1/5 cup (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

snickerdoodles-flour-mixture-and-electric-mixer-with-flour-and-butter

3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 3 minutes).

5. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and beat well.

6. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

snickerdoodles-cutting-dough

7. Shape the dough into a log and cut it into equal pieces.

8. Form a small ball from each piece.

A ball of about 1-inch (2,5 cm) in diameter will make a 2-inches (5 cm) cookie after baking.

snickerdoodles-mixing-sugar-with-cinnamon

9. And now we are going to prepare the coating.

This couldn’t be easier, we just mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

snickerdoodles-rolling-in-cinnamon-sugar

10. Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar.

snickerdoodle-on-sheet-before-flattening

11. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

snickerdoodles-flattening-II

12. Flatten each cookie gently using the bottom of a glass.

snickerdoodle-display-I

13. Bake for 8 minutes.

Replace from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for about 5 more minutes to cool!

Enjoy!

You can store these cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about two weeks.

This recipe makes about 40 (2-inches/5 cm diameter) cookies.

If you’d like to see more of my posts, click THIS.


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