Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Scones

To say I was not happy about my 30th birthday was the understatement of the century. (Flashback to July, by the way!)

But so is saying I have the best hubby on the planet.

In short, while he shooed me away to a massage, he planned, cooked for, and threw an amazing surprise tea party. And it was no small feat! There were games (Sheryl Jeopardy, which included sound effects, buzzers, Daily Doubles, and Audio Daily Doubles; and pin the cane on Sheryl—not as happy about that one!), prizes from Godiva and Baskin-Robbins (enough for multiples when there were inevitable ties), and my favorite—all the food was labeled like I would have done. :) He even invited out-of-town friends (back in February!), some of whom actually came! The craziest part is that he took off of work the day before to prep it, but in order to not raise any eyebrows, he left the house in his work clothes as usual then spent the entire day at his parents' house making tea sandwiches (chicken salad, egg salad, cucumber mint), picking up an ice cream cake from my favorite ice cream shop at the only far-away store left in our area, and baking scones.

Not just any scones.

He got a recipe from a coworker, baked them on his day off about a week before the party while I was at work, then fed them to me as a test batch, saying his coworker made them. Wow! That coworker could bake!

Yeah, he made them and they were awesome. Here, finally, is the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Scones
makes 16 scones
4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cream of tartar
3/4 c. cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, separated
1 1/2 c. refrigerated hazelnut nondairy creamer*
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Additional sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Cut in butter until crumbly with pasty blender or rub the butter into the flour with your hands. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolk and nondairy creamer together; add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Divide dough in half. Pat each portion into a 7-inch circle; cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet or Silpat.

Beat egg white with a fork; brush over dough. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake at 425 for 15–18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter, clotted cream, or jam.

*Don't like hazelnut? The fun part is swapping out the hazelnut nondairy creamer for other flavors. Get creative!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Passover Apple Cake

I made this cake for my ILs' Seder last year, and other than being too stuffed (matzo! soup! potato kugel!) to really enjoy it, I'll definitely make it again. Next time, I think I'll use some brown sugar and matzo meal for the top "crust" just to finish it off with more of a topping.

Passover Apple Cake
adapted from Jewish Home Cooking
1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 t. ground nutmeg
3/4 t. ground ginger
3 large eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. matzo cake meal
5 medium apples, such as Golden Delicious or Crispin, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Mix together nuts, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat eggs on medium speed until well combined. Beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until mixture is thick and foamy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in matzo cake meal.

Pour half of the batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle over half of the nut mixture, half of the apples, and raisins (if using). Pour over remaining batter and top with remaining apples; sprinkle over remaining nut mixture.

Transfer cake to oven and bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the baking dish very slightly and topping begins to caramelize, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven and let stand for several hours until completely cool, before cutting. Keep cake covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to 2 days, as the flavor improves with age.

Next year, in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Years: Toll House Cookie Pie

Ten years ago tonight, a guy I sort of liked and I went to a local restaurant in our college town to pick up dessert after our Thursday evening commitments. (Ah, college.)

Of course, we go to pick it up and—I was only 19—there was a bouncer at the door. Being one of the few restaurants-turned-night-clubs in our college town, we hadn’t even considered this SNAFU. But I think I batted my eyelashes, we begged explained that we merely wanted to order dessert to go, and scurried through the door. 

Inside was… interesting.

You see, not only had it turned into a night club scene, but Thursday night + bar + college town + Valentine’s Day = ...sorority mixer. Desperate, drunk, dateless women were everywhere. The bar was packed full of college girls who very clearly wanted one last chance to snag a Valentine’s Day date. Somehow, we managed to squeeze our way to the bar and order what I’m certain the bartender was not expecting—one Toll-House cookie pie to go please? (I’m sure more eyelash batting ensued.)

We waited for what seemed like forever—and because the night hadn’t been awkward enough for two people who had only just started to get to know one another, a sorority girl managed to spill the entire contents of her beer on my guy’s pants.

I think we had a good laugh once we escaped. We enjoyed our pie in a to-go box in the safety of his apartment.

The restaurant has since had two name/ownership changes, but it will always be Biltmore to us. We’ve never invested much into Valentine’s Day, but 02/02/2002 was our first kiss (I bet the groundhog didn’t predict that!), and the whole month of February has always held special significance for us. We stopped celebrating our dating anniversary once we got married in 2007, so imagine my shock and excitement to come home from the gym on 02/02/2012 to a homemade Toll House cookie pie—that my husband rushed home from work to bake for me after Googling the recipe. He even added the nuts, which he hates. I think he’s a keeper.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Toll House Cookie Pie
(adapted from this link)
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
2 large eggs
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened (I used salted; if using unsalted, add 1/2 t. salt)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 c. chopped walnuts
Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixing bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in butter (and salt, if needed) and vanilla. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

(Also see one of my very first posts for the very similar Bourbon Walnut Pie.)

**pictures to come later this week... time to start dinner before he gets home!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Five-Layer Bars

Well, hello there.

Long time no type.

It's been so long, even Blogger looks different.

In a rush for a quick dessert suitable for a big game, potluck, or tailgate?

It should come as no surprise by now that I like stuff in my chocolate
Five-Layer* Bars
Adapted from Epicurious
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, melted
2 sleeves graham crackers, crushed
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butterscotch chips

(*other toppings: pretzels, fleur de sel, potato chips, etc.—who's counting?!)
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
2 c. pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and line with parchment paper, allowing enough overhang on the long side to lift the bars from the pan.

Place the melted butter and graham crackers in a bowl and combine well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even layer to form the crust.

Sprinkle the coconut evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and any other desired toppings over the coconut. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the condensed milk layer. Press the layers down lightly. Transfer to the oven and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Set aside to cool completely and cut into 24 pieces. 

Gooey goodness

Related Posts with Thumbnails