Pao de Queijo

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For International Women’s Day I decided to make something international. You can thank Brazil for these savory treats.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups tapioca flour
2/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Put the tapioca flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Combine the milk, oil, salt and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil while whisking. Remove from the heat and pour over the tapioca flour in the mixing bowl. Begin to mix, first starting on low, then gradually increasing the speed to high as the mixture begins to thicken and turn smooth. (The mixture will look almost like glue.) While still beating, add the egg and beat until incorporated. Then add the cheeses, a small handful at a time, beating, until incorporated. (The mixture will by sticky and slightly stiff.)

Use a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoons and scoop the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1inch between them. Moisten the palm of your hand with water and pat each scoop into a slightly rounded mound.

Bake until they become puffed up, golden on top, deeply golden on the bottom and feel relatively light when picked up and dropped on the baking sheet, rotating about halfway through baking, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool for at least a few minutes then eat warm or at room temperature.

I got the recipe from Food Network.

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Adhemas’ Tres Leches

I have been working with Adhemas for a year and the is one of the best designers I have ever seen.  I had to make him a cake worthy of his design skills.

INGREDIENTS

Butter for the pan
2 ¼ cups/287 grams all-purpose flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/227 grams granulated sugar
½ cup plus 1 cup whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Cinnamon for dusting (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch pan lightly, leaving a 1/4-inch border that remains ungreased. Do not butter the sides of the pan; you want the cake to “climb” up the sides of the pan as it bakes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup/101 grams of the sugar until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in 1/2 cup of the milk, lower the speed and then mix in the flour mixture just until combined.

In another large bowl, with clean beaters, whip the egg whites until foamy and the yellowish color has disappeared, about 1 minute. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons/126 grams sugar while beating. Continue to beat the mixture until you have shiny, medium-stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Stir a big scoop of the egg white mixture into the batter to loosen it, then, using a spatula, gently fold the remaining whites into the batter without deflating them.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla. Using a skewer or a toothpick, poke holes about 1/2 inch apart all over the cake. Cut the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the cake, about a cup at a time, allowing 5 to 10 minutes for it to soak in before adding more.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours).

To serve, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar to soft peaks. Top the cake with the whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

National Pound Cake Day Cake

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I had to make up for missing National Pound Cake Day!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs + 6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 350F and generously grease and flour a 10″ tube pan. Shake out excess flour and set aside.

Place your butter in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it is creamy and smooth.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the ingredients are well combined and light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes).

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine your eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt.
Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs until egg yolks are broken up and salt and vanilla are incorporated.

With mixer on low speed, slowly pour egg mixture into your batter, allowing it to gradually become incorporated.  Break it up into 6 parts. Once all of the egg mixture is incorporated, pause to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 1-2 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time, add flour to the batter until all has been added.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl and stir again on medium speed until well-combined and beat for another minute.

Spread batter evenly into prepared tube pan, use a spatula to smooth the surface of the batter.

Transfer to oven and bake for an hour and ten to an hour and fifteen  minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or ideally with a few moist crumbs (do NOT over-bake this cake or it will be dry).

Allow cake to cool for at least 20 minutes then run a knife around the sides of the tube pan and the center.

Carefully invert pound cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
Decorate however you like.
I got the recipe here.

Coffee Doughnuts

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Two of these with a cup of coffee–easiest way to make any police officer happy.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons espresso powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup coffee

Topping:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons espresso powder

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, vegetable oil, espresso powder and sugars until smooth.

Add the eggs, beating to combine.

Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.

Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. The batter will be fairly thick; when you draw your spatula through the batter, it will leave a furrow.

Spoon the batter into the lightly greased doughnut pans, filling the wells to about 1/4″ shy of the rim.

Bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.

Topping:

Add the powdered and espresso powder to a plastic bag and shake.  Drop in one warm doughnut at a time and coat.

I worked with this recipe.  

Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

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Check out the book here. I got the recipe here.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks; 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups (297 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces averaging ½ inch with some smaller and some larger

DIRECTIONS

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 Baking Sheets with aluminum foil, dull side up. (I used parchment paper, because I was desperate to make these and was out of foil. I found the results were excellent, but I would suggest doing it on foil, as Sarah suggests.) This helps create the crinkles in the cookies.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a Beater Blade, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter.

Scoop the dough into 3½-ounce (100g) balls (a heaping ⅓ cup each). Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. After you put the first baking sheet in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.

This step is essential for getting the crinkles on the edge.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down (this will feel wrong, but trust me). After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

Valentine’s Day Cookies

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Finally a Royal Icing you want to eat!

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

Royal Icing
510 g powdered sugar, divided
2 1/2 ounces egg whites (1/4 cup; 70g), from 2 large eggs
2 teaspoons rum or water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons heavy cream (more for thinning royal icing, if desired)
Gel paste food coloring, optional

DIRECTIONS

Cookies
Preheat oven to 350° F. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes. Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.

DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).

Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing
Measure 450g of powdered sugar and place in the bowl of a stand mixer, then add egg whites, rum, vanilla, salt, and cream of tartar. Stir with a flexible spatula to form a smooth paste, then set over a gently simmering water bath in a 3-quart sauce pan and stir until paste is hot to the touch, or about 150°F. Transfer to stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add remaining 60g of powdered sugar and mix at low speed to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat until thick and frosting-like, about 20 seconds or until the mixing bowl feels cool to the touch.

To thin the icing, reduce speed to low, add cream, and continue mixing until smooth. Remove bowl from mixer and lift paddle attachment, moving it in a figure 8 pattern as icing streams back into bowl. If the figure 8 disappears in exactly 8 seconds, the icing is ready to use as a cookie glaze. If it melts away faster, thicken by adding a spoonful of powdered sugar. If it takes longer than 8 seconds to disappear, thin by adding a few drops of cream. Repeat this test, making adjustments as you go, until the figure 8 takes exactly 8 seconds to disappear.

To Color the Icing, if Desired: Divide icing among several small bowls, one for each color you’d like to prepare. Cover each with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface. Working with one bowl at a time, stir in a few drops of gel paste. When your desired color has been achieved, immediately transfer to a disposable pastry bag. Frost as desired.

Cookies frosted with royal icing can be stored up to 1 week at room temperature; in a pinch, their shelf life can be extended to about 10 days with refrigeration.

 

 

Hot Chocolate Brownies

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Cayenne gives this brownie a spicy kick for Valentine’s Day.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cayenne

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8×12 or 9×13 (for thinner brownies) pan and line with parchment paper.

Melt butter and chocolate over the stove, whisk to combine and let cool a bit. In a separate bowl add sugars and eggs and whisk for about two minutes.  Add vanilla. Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, cayenne, and salt over the mixture and fold in until combined.  Don’t over mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  After about 15 minutes lift parchment from pan and let cool before cutting into squares.

Damn Good Blueberry Pie

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There are many recipes for blueberry pie.  Why not try them all?

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup crisco
6-7 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Filling:
4 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed, drained
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Flour (for dusting)
1 large egg

DIRECTIONS

Crust:

Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl Repeat, using 1 tablespoon water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Divide in half. Form each into a ball. Cover each ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making pie filling.

Filling:

Toss blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and ¾ cup raw sugar in a large bowl. Let sit 30 minutes to soften berries and extract juices.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Roll out bottom crust and then fill with blueberries. Roll out top and cover making sure edges are crimped. Bake pie 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375°. Continue to bake, checking at the 60- and 75-minute mark and loosely tenting with foil if browning too quickly, until crust is deep golden brown and juices are thick and vigorously bubbling.  Could take up to 90 minutes.  If you let it rest of 20 minutes the filling will be runny but if you let it cool for 4 hours, it will set nicely.  Either way it is delicious.

 

Nancy’s German Chocolate Cake

Nancy loves German Chocolate Cake and it is her birthday!

INGREDIENTS

Cake:
1 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pans
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk

Filling:
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Frosting:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans with oil and dust with flour. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Microwave the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl on high power for 45 seconds; remove and stir. Microwave again at high power in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted completely; set aside.

Beat the granulated sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two, starting and ending with the flour, until just incorporated. Add half the milk, and mix until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk, making sure not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, run a thin spatula around the edges and then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (They will have a sugary “crust” on the top. This is from the melted chocolate and is not a problem. It will soften once the cake is assembled or if the layers are baked the day before.)

For the filling: While the cakes cool, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Finely chop. Whisk together the milk and egg yolks in a medium saucepan until smooth. Add the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes. (It will be similar to the thickness of eggnog.) Pour the mixture into a large bowl. (Don’t worry if it seems thin. The coconut and nuts will bind it.) Stir in the coconut and pecans; set aside to cool.

For the frosting: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat 1 cup of the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming but not boiling, and pour over the chocolate. Let stand a few minutes, and then whisk until smooth; let stand at room temperature (or put in the refrigerator if your kitchen is hot) until thick but not set, 20 minutes to 1 hour. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cream to the chocolate mixture, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 1 minute (do not overbeat, or it will become hard and grainy). The frosting should hold medium peaks and will continue to firm up a bit as it stands. Spoon about 1 cup frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

To assemble: Put one cake layer right-side up on a serving plate, and top with half the filling. Top with the second cake layer and the remaining filling, spreading it to about 1/2 inch from the edge. Frost the sides, and decorate around the top edge of the cake with the frosting in the pastry bag.

Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight. Unwrap and serve.

Angie & Izzy’s Wedding Cake

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INGREDIENTS

Cake
450g cake flour
2 cup whole milk at room temperature
12 large egg whites at room temperature
4 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
700g granulated sugar
8 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
3 sticks 338g unsalted butter softened but still cool, cut into cubes

Italian Buttercream
800g granulated sugar
1 cup water
16 egg whites
2 pounds butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Cake
Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans. (Use butter and flour, line with parchment).  Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into a medium bowl and stir with a fork until blended.

Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. (just to sift and incorporate ingredients) Add butter, cut into cubes and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
Pour batter evenly between two prepared cake pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs and has no wet batter clinging to it, about 27 to 30 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan about 5 minutes then carefully flip onto a cooling rack to room temperature.

 

Buttercream

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil. While your sugar mixture is heating, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  When your sugar reaches about 230 degrees on the candy thermometer, begin to whip eggswhites at medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not over beat!

Once your sugar reaches 240 degrees, remove it from heat immediately, and with the mixer running, add it to your egg whites in a stream and beat on high speed. Continue to whip your meringue until no heat remains in the bowl. You can place your hands along the sides of the bowl to check – it should feel like it’s at room temperature. Now, with the mixer still running, add your butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; then, beat in vanilla. If your buttercream appears curdled, keep beating until smooth.  Makes appx. 6 cups.