Desserts/Pastries · Drinks

Mango Sorbet & Prosecco Cocktails – Happy New Year!!!

Mango Sorbet & Prosecco Floats
I don’t know about you all but 2017 was a freaking doozy and I cannot wait to hit that reset button at midnight for 2018 to come on in!

But before the clock strikes midnight, let me share one last thing with you all. A super quick, super easy but delicious “dessertail“.

What’s a “dessertail”?

It’s a mix between a dessert and a cocktail of course!

Mango Sorbet & Prosecco Floats
Mango Sorbet & Prosescco Cocktails. These beauties are so simple that it’s kind of silly that I’m writing it as a recipe. But let me tell you, it’s the PERFECT thing to serve when you don’t have time to make anything elaborate but still want something a little special.

It’s an easier take on the Itallian sgroppino that slowly blends softened sorbetto and prosecco together. But I find that pouring the prosecco over the sorbet is just as delicious. Heck, I don’t even make my own sorbet and prefer to pick up a pint of one of my faves – Talenti’s Alphonso Mango Sorbetto.

Mango Sorbet & Prosecco Floats
And of course, if you’re not a fan of mangoes, any other flavor sorbet would be just as delicious–or even a combination of them. Raspberry and lemon? Passionfruit and coconut? Options are endless!

With that, let me wish you all a very, very Happy New Year. May 2018 bring you all overwhelming joy, fulfillment and of course, delicious Foodventures!

xoxo ❤
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Mango Sorbet & Prosecco Cocktails

Ingredients:

1 pint mango sorbet
fresh mango slices
1 750mL bottle prosecco

Place two rounded scoops of sorbet in a chilled glass. Add a few slices of mango and slowly pour prosecco over the sorbet. Cheers!

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Desserts/Pastries

World Peace Cookies…Happy Holidays!

World Peace Cookies
It’s been an incredibly busy holiday season so far and things definitely won’t slow down until after the new year. But I couldn’t let Christmas pass without sharing this old favorite….Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies.

World Peace Cookies
Seester P first made these for me years ago and I was immediately in love. They’re a sablé cookie, a French shortbread.

Buttery, chocolatey and just so darn good!

World Peace Cookies
These beauties come together relatively easy so they’ll be fantastic to leave out for the big guy. And trust me, if you do, you’ll definitely be on his rockstar list.

Happy Holidays!!! ❤

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World Peace Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons; 5 1/2 ounces; 155 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
2/3 cup (134 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (142 grams) best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into irregular sized bits

 

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until soft, creamy and homogenous, about 3 minutes. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add all the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to start the blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, turn the mixer to low and beat until the dough forms big, moist curds. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate. This is an unpredictable dough (see above). Sometimes it’s crumbly and sometimes it comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. Happily, no matter what, the cookies are always great.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together, kneading it if necessary to bring it together. Divide the dough in half. Shape the dough into logs that are 11/2 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about the length — get the diameter right, and the length will follow. (If you get a hollow in the logs, just start over.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and freeze them for at least 2 hours or refrigerate them for at least 3 hours.

When you’re ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Working with one log at a time and using a long, sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. (The rounds might crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them. (If you’ve cut both logs, keep one baking sheet in the fridge while you bake the other.)

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes — don’t open the oven, just let them bake. When the timer rings, they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, and that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can munch them, or let them reach room temperature (I think the texture’s more interesting at room temperature).

Bake the remaining dough.

From Dorie Greenspan

Desserts/Pastries

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies

It’s no secret folks…I love cookies.

And it’s during this time of year that I like to try out a few new recipes to add to my Holiday Cookie Platters.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies
The usual suspects are often:

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies
And sometimes I’ll throw in a Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie or a Peppermint Kissed Brownie to stir things up.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies
For this year, I wanted to use dried cranberries and pistachios together to create a festive sweet treat. And why not add white chocolate chips to the party?

It’s all kind of healthy-ish….right? Like trail mix?

Ok….that may be a stretch.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies
I opted to adapt the NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Jacque Torres because I love the textures of the cookie once baked—crisp on the outside and chewy on the interior.

In lieu of the vanilla extract, I used orange extract and fresh orange zest to pair with the flavors.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies
Folks were a fan of them! They’re super chunky and filled with lots of different textures from the nuts, chocolate and berries.

Definitely filled with Holiday goodness.

ps. We’re three days away from Christmas even and I still haven’t finished shopping! EEK!

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White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cookies
Makes approximately 2 dozen

Ingredients:

 

8.5 ounces cake flour
8.5 ounces bread flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
6 ounces light brown sugar
6 ounces granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons orange extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1 heaping cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 heaping cup roasted & unsalted pistachios, chopped

 

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the orange extract and zest. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries and pistachios—mix until just combined. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop mounds of dough the size of large golf balls onto baking sheet and slightly flatten the dough balls. Bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough and enjoy!

Adapted from NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Desserts/Pastries · Sponsored

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake
If you’ve been with me for awhile then you’re probably familiar with my family’s obsession with ALL things matcha green tea flavored. So when it comes to our celebrations, I’m constantly trying to think of different ways to incorporate the finely ground matcha green tea powder in our desserts

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake
We’ve done…..

You’d think we’d be sick of it all by now—but of course, we can’t seem to get enough of it!

There are even some health benefits to matcha — high in antioxidants, can assist with your concentration and help to detox. And if you use it in baked goods like I do, it finishes into a beautiful green hue –perfectly festive for the  holidays.

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake
To close out my year as a Davidson’s Dozen, I thought I would take one of our favorite ingredients and combine it with their Safest Choice® pasteurized eggs. The end resulted in a rich and decadent Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake.

There are several different forms cheesecakes. Some are baked and some are unbaked like my Matcha Green Tea Icebox Cheesecake. There are fruit flavored, chocolate based and some are light and airy whereas others are rich and dense.

I generally prefer a denser texture –more along the lines of a New York style cheesecake –which is how this baked Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake was inspired by.

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake

The crust of the cheesecake started off with chocolate sandwich cookies that I threw into the food processor — cream filling and all. Once the cookies were pulsed into the texture of sand, it’s then mixed with some melted butter and baked off in a springform pan for a few minutes to set.

The filling is a combination of cream cheese, sour cream (for that added bit of tang), sugar, Safest Choice®  Eggs, and a hefty dose of ground matcha green tea. Davidson’s Safest Choice® Pasteurized Eggs are all-natural, hormone and antibiotic free which all leads towards a delicious farm-fresh flavor. They give the cheesecake a smooth and creamy consistency that your loved ones will adore for the holidays.

The cheesecake is then baked in a water bath to provide moisture in the oven so that the top doesn’t crack. After chilling in the fridge overnight, it’s then topped with matcha flavored whipped cream. And I’ve got to admit–it tastes fantastic! Chocolate pairs especially well with matcha — the green tea is slightly bitter and balances the sweetness from the cake.

Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake

If you’d like the recipe for my Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake, click here. And if you need other delicious ideas for your holiday events, visit the recipe center at SafeEggs.com for cocktails, appetizers, entrees and desserts!

Happy Holidays!

Davidsons-Dozen-Blogger-Badge*DISCLOSURE: As a brand ambassador for the Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs, I was compensated for the creation of this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Desserts/Pastries · Ice Cream · Sponsored

Welcome Summer in with Roasted Berries Ice Cream

Roasted Berries Ice Cream

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!!!

And here in San Diego, it came in full force today with a whomping 105 degree weather! Can you imagine what it’ll be like in July?!?

Luckily, I know of very few better ways to beat the heat than with lots and lots of ice cream. So this month I partnered again with our buddies at Safest Choice® Eggs  to whip up an ice cream that was an ode to SummerRoasted Berries.

Berries Ice Cream

Have you ever roasted berries? If not, please do so STAT because it’s a game changer! The berries become so wonderfully intensified in flavor and can be used in so many different ways. Over cakes, with yogurt, on top of meringues and in this case–in ice cream.

I chose strawberries and blackberries this time around but really, you could use any berry that tickles your fancy.

Roasted Berries Ice Cream3

Never attempted homemade ice cream before? No worries! It’s all quite simple and if you’ve got a trusty ice cream machine, it’s a breeze!

Head on over to Safest Choice® Eggs  to read my ice cream post this month and while you’re at it, click here for the recipe.

We’re ready for you Summer!!!

Davidsons-Dozen-Blogger-Badge

 

Desserts/Pastries

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macarons – Happy Macaron Day!

Macarons

It’s a double whammy today!

Not only is it the first day of Spring (yahoooooo!) but it also happens to be MACARON DAY!

Now that is a food holiday I can get behind.

Macarons3

It just so happened that we were celebrating my niece’s very belated birthday last week and I had volunteered to make the cake. A few things about our Maya…..

She loves the chocolate and peanut butter combo –and she ADORES macarons. Smart girl, right?

So I set about finding as many ways to incorporate that flavor combo into the cake as possible–and that included adorning the tops with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macarons.

Over the top?

Hell yes.

Macarons4

I’ve shared a few macaron recipes will you all before — so you know a few things I have to do when baking them:

  • Age the egg whites
  • Double, if not TRIPLE, sift the ground almonds or almond meals
  • Don’t over whip the meringue
  • Gently tap the baking sheets a few times after you pipe the macaron batter to release air bubbles
  • Allow the shells to harden before baking

But even with those steps, I still get flops from time to time. It’s usually because I wasn’t meticulous enough with the meringues, haven’t allowed the shells to harden enough prior to baking (because I’m impatient) and because my oven has hot spots. I swear if I get a new oven, the first thing I’ll ask the salesperson is “Will it bake consistent macarons?!?!?!”.

But that’s a whole other story for another time…..

Macarons2
Once the shells were baked and done, I filled them with the same Peanut Butter Buttercream I used to frost the cake with. It was rich, sticky and SUPER peanut-buttery. PERFECT!

They were a hit with the birthday girl and maybe next time I’ll swap it so that the shells are peanut flavored and will fill them with chocolate ganache. The options are endless!

HAPPY MACARON DAY!
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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macarons
Makes 28-30 macarons

Ingredients:

Macaron Shells:
110 grams double sifted almond meal or blanched almonds
15 grams high quality cocoa powder
170 grams confectioner’s sugar
100 grams egg whites, aged at room temperature for 24-48 hours
40 grams granulated sugar

If using blanched almonds, pulse the almonds in a food processor until it becomes finely ground. Sift it twice before measuring out the 110 grams. In a bowl, sift together the almond meal/ground almonds with cocoa powder and the confectioner’s sugar. Set aside.

In a mixing stand fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until frothy. Slowly add granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are barely formed. Carefully begin incorporating the dry mixture into the meringue, gently folding until all items have been integrated and a smooth batter has been formed.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe small rounds of the mixture onto baking sheets lined with silicon mats. Rounds should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter. Once the baking sheets are filled, carefully tap the sheets on the counter to remove any possible air pockets. Let the macaron shells sit on the counter for 45-60 minutes to harden the outer shell before baking. Humidity will affect how long it takes for the “skin” to form but the shells should not be sticky when you gently touch them.

Bake the shells at 290 degrees F for 18-20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before removing shells from the sheets. Macarons shells can be made up to 24 hours in advance before filling and should be stored in airtight containers.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk
2-3 pinches sea salt

In a large mixer bowl, whip the peanut butter and butter together for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar a few spoonfuls at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and then slowly drizzle in the milk, sea salt and whip until combined.

Using a piping bag filled with the peanut butter buttercream or with a small knife, fill the flat side of a macaron shell and sandwich with another shell. Filled macarons can be kept up to 2 days in airtight containers.

 

Desserts/Pastries

Thin Mints Brownies – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thin Mints Brownies
I know, I know….it’s usually the time of the year where I whip up a few batches of Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream. It’s St.Patrick’s Day after all!

But imagine my predicament last night when it not only hit me that St.Patty’s was a mere hours away but I also didn’t have a drop of stout beer in the house.

Blasphemous!

Thin Mints Brownies
Sure — I could have trekked out to the store to pick up some but there was a crazy, blizzard-snow-storm out!!! Trees were flung out of the ground, pigs were flying and I think I even saw Dorothy’s house spinning out of control in the sky!

Ok, ok….that may not be totally accurate.

It was a beautiful 74 degrees in San Diego.

And I was lazy.

Thin Mints Brownies
But I still wanted to bake something festive to share with the staff for St.Patty’s. And guess what? I may not have had any stout beer but I sure as heck had a TON of Girl Scout Cookies!

Thanks to my cookie-slinging-niece Maya (and a little strong-arming from my seester), I have boxes and boxes of GS Cookies. Enough to last me months and months!

…..more like weeks.

….or days….

Those boxes are getting smaller, right? At least that’s what I tell myself when an entire box magically disappears after a day.

Thin Mints Brownies
With Girl Scout Cookies at my disposal, I toyed around with a few ways I could incorporate them into a festive treat. Previously I’ve used the cookies in:

I even threw some in a birthday cake this past weekend. So it was time that I gave brownies that Girl Scouts touch.

Thin Mints Brownies

I took my go-to brownies recipe and added chocolate chips and chopped up Thin Mints Cookies. To amp up the mint, a dash or two of mint extract was added to the batter for good measure. And since we are celebrating St. Patty’s, it only seemed appropriate to cover the tops with more cookies and sprinkles!

SLAINTE dear friends and I wish you a  fantastically HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

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Thin Mints Brownies
Makes 16 squares

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter
1¼ cups premium chocolate, roughly chopped
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 eggs
¾ cup flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup 60% cacao or semisweet chocolate chips
1¼ cup chopped Thin Mints Cookies, divided
2 tablespoons colorful sprinkles

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal. Cover parchment paper with cooking spray.

In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave until smooth. Do this in 20 second intervals, stirring in between to ensure that you do not scorch the chocolate. Cool the chocolate mixture until room temperature. Stir in the sugars, vanilla extract and mint extract. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until mixture is glossy and smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Stir in the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped Thin Mints Cookies. Spread the brownie batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle the remaining Thin Mints Cookies over the top of the brownie batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Halfway through the baking process, cover the top of the brownies with the sprinkles and rotate the pan. Bake until done. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan and once at room temperature, cut into 16 squares. ENJOY!