These are the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes ever. It must be the buttermilk, my new favorite baking ingredient.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3 extra large eggs
1 can (15 ounce) pure pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
Maple Frosting (recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin tons with paper and spray with cooking spray
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice n nutmeg, and ginger in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and combine each one well.
3. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and the pumpkin. In alternate batches, add the pumpkin and buttermilk mixture and the du ingredients to the butter mixture, combining well after each addition. Spoon batter into prepared cups, 3/4 of the way full.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.
Maple Frosting: Beat 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter. Add a large slug or two of Vermont Maple Syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla. Beat until blended. Gradually add 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, beating until creamy and fluffy. Add a tablespoon of milk if you need to soften the Frosting.
5. Put the Frosting into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off and pipe in circles into the cupcakes. Top with sprinkles.
A riff on succotash, this summer salad adds a protein punch with the inclusion of both quinoa and edamame. In other words, this is not your mother’s corn salad. But the fresh summer farm stand flavors are reminiscent of your mother’s corn salad.
For a more flavorful and less bitter quinoa, I cooked it in chicken stock. It really enhanced the flavor.
And I would have made this salad with cilantro rather than flat leaf parsley, but I had flat leaf parsley on hand. I’d also try it with lemon and dill rather than cilantro-lime. Whatever you are in the mood for.
- 1 cup Red Quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 ears fresh corn, boiled 5 minutes
- ¾ cup frozen, shelled edamame, boiled for approximately 6 minutes
- ½ cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- The juice of one lime
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley (or even better, cilantro)
- Simmer the quinoa in the chicken stock for about 15-20 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
- After corn on the cob has cooled, cut kernel from the cob with a sharp knife. Cooling first makes the kernels cut off into larger sheets.
- Boil the edamame according to package instructions, drain, and cool.
- Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Serve immediately, or chill for later..
This rich, chocolate cake is actually derived from a Weight Watchers recipe that takes advantage of low-fat buttermilk, egg whites, and dark chocolate to produce deep flavor with reduced fat. My problem with reduced-guilt dishes like this one is that it’s difficult for me to exert portion control, and the slight decrease in fat and calories is usually overcome by my propensity for eating the whole thing. Oh well. This moist, flavorful cake (without frosting, no less), was a delight.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa - I used Hershey's
- 1.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped - I used Scharffen Berger 70%
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips - I used Nestlé Semi-Sweet Chips
- Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small, heat-proof bowl, mix cocoa and chopped chocolate. Pour boiling water over the cocoa mixture, stirring until chocolate is completely melted.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, egg white, and vanilla extract. Then stir in (slightly cooled) cocoa mixture. Finally, add the flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and carefully lift off the pan. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar (through a fine-mesh sieve).
My Mother’s Day surprise included a new Ninja Blender today, so to break it in, I made my favorite smoothie.
This blender is amazing. We also made a smoothie with extra ice and it came out like gelato. The blades are so powerful that it can pulverize the ice without melting it, and basically make ice cream (or gelato, or sorbet) in one minute.
I also recently discovered White Cranberry-Peach juice, which is to-die-for. I can’t wait to try it with cocktails once summer gets underway. This sweet juice makes any additional sweetener totally unnecessary for the smoothie. You might also like my favorite peach smoothie.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 container peach yogurt
- ½ cup Ocean Spray white cranberry peach juice
- 6-7 ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend on medium speed until smooth.
After completely overdoing it at the office cookie swap in December, I decided to pull myself together and start eating mindfully. I’m feeling a lot better and have even lost 10 lbs without feeling like I’m trying that hard. I’m eating super healthy foods in quantities that my body needs to not feel full. I’ve cut down on caffeine too and rarely have dairy or refined sugar. But I don’t feel deprived. I’m going to see how far this approach can take me.
I’ve turned to Pinterest to find new inspiration for recipes and have started a board called “Getting Healthy in 2014” Come follow along!
While poking around, I found a recipe for Mustard Quinoa, Cranberry & Kale Salad. It had appeared on a blog called Green Kitchen Stories and was part of a post they had done for Bon Appétit magazine that featured vegan recipes for a Christmas dinner.
I decided to adapt the recipe for a dinner party I was planning that was going to be super healthy and have the theme of mustard running through all three courses.
So here is my version. I added shredded Brussels sprouts and punched up the mustard flavor using both Dijon and whole grain mustard.
- 1 cup red quinoa
- Sea salt to taste
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup Maille Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp Maille Old Style whole grain Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 10 oz bag of chopped Lacinato kale
- About ¾ of a 10 oz bag of Trader Joe's shredded Brussels Sprouts
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup roasted, salted pecans
- ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- Bring 2 cups of water or vegetable stock to boil. Add quinoa and simmer on low for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl for cooling.
- In a really large bowl (the largest bowl you have), zest the lemon and squeeze out the lemon juice. Add the oil, vinegar and both mustards. Whisk vigorously until completely emulsified and smooth.
- Add the quinoa to the bowl (when it's cool) and toss to coat.
- Now add the kale, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans, and pomegranate seeds and toss to coat completely. Allow this mixture to sit for several hours (in the fridge would be ideal) to soften the kale leaves and Brussels sprouts.
- Enjoy. Can be stored in a sealed contained and enjoyed the following day as well.
We’re counting down to 2014, and I must say, you’ll be seeing much healthier recipes on the blog in January. After the cookie avalanche, I am ready to turn over a new leaf. Who’s with me?
In the meantime, we’re looking back at the five most popular posts of 2013.
What are your favorite recipes on StreamingGourmet? Please comment below!
Some of my readers may know that I started working at Common Sense Media early this year. Well, last week, I attended the annual holiday cookie swap for the first time, and there was one cookie that completely knocked me out. They were chocolate-pistachio sablés that had these salt crystals on top which made all of flavors jump right off the cookie. I had to find out who had brought these amazing a little treasures and what the recipe was. Well, parenting editor, Caroline Knorr had brought them and she happily agreed to do a guest post here on StreamingGourmet after I approached her about it. Thank, Caroline! – Amy/StreamingGourmet
Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés for the Annual Holiday Cookie Swap
The annual cookie swap at Common Sense Media is a festive — and dare I say — ultra-competitive event. We have so many talented bakers in our office that you really have to be at the top of your game to stand out. When I received my December issue of Bon Appetit, there were cookies on the cover, and I immediately pounced on the holiday baking feature, assuming that anything I chose from that section would attract attention.
I had actually made that issue’s caraway-rosemary shortbread a few times, thinking that I’d make them for the cookie swap, but though I loved them, I really wanted to make something chocolately for the party. I decided upon the chocolate pistachio sables partly because the recipe made A LOT — we have over 50 people in the office and my biggest fear is cookie shortage — and because the assembly was slice-and-bake logs and I thought it would be faster and more fool-proof than cutting shapes or doing drop cookies.
As for ingredients, I used Ghirardelli cocoa and bittersweet baking chocolate. I had to make a few substitutions because my grocery store didn’t have raw pistachios or maldon salt and the clock was ticking. I had to make do with roasted, salted pistachios in the shell and a sea-salt grinder. I was concerned that this combination would ruin the delicate interplay of salty and sweet flavors in the sables, so I compensated by sprinking on some coarse sanding sugar along with the salt.
The process was fairly simple once the logs were rolled. I was only able to chill them for about 3 hours, which was totally fine. I didn’t use a serrated knife, as the recipe specifies, because I discovered a sharp chef’s knife resulted in a cleaner edge. The only issue I ran into was that a few of the cookies were so crumbly when they came out, they fell right off the rack. That may have been due to the fact that I didn’t roll the logs tight enough — and that was because I didn’t want to make them too tough. No worries, though, my family was happy to eat the broken pieces!
On the day of the swap, I was still concerned that the cookies would be too salty for some tastes ( I loved them, though, but I LOVE salt). If you can find raw pistachios or at least unsalted ones, I would recommend using them or do what I did and sprinkle sugar on top along with the salt.
Here is the adapted version.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardellie or Hershey's Special Dark will work)
- ¾ tsp kosher salt (option if using salted, roasted pistachios)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¼ cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. It will take about 4 minutes.
- Gradually add dry ingredients while mixing on low just to combine.
- Add egg white and mix on low to combine as well.
- Fold in chocolate and pistachios with a spoon.
- Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll each piece into an 8”-long log about 1½” in diameter. If it feels crumbly, mush the dough together more firmly. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (The colder your dough, the easier it will be to slice. If you're rushed for time, you can also use the freezer.)
- Preheat to 350°. Working with 1 log of dough at a time and using a serrated knife, cut logs into ¼”-thick rounds and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing ½” apart.
- Sprinkle cookies with sea salt and bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until set around edges and centers look dry, 10–15 minutes.
- Transfer to wire racks and let cool.
Chocolate chip cookies are probably my favorite cookies in the world. On StreamingGourmet, we’ve done Michelle Obama’s award-winning chocolate chip cookies that have three kinds of chips. I’ve also featured Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, as well as peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. You get the picture.
These Chocolate Espresso Brownie Cookies take things to a new level by bringing the fudginess and chocolatiness of brownies, to a cookie – and don’t forget the chips! Since these cookies have a higher ratio of chocolate to flour than average, the batter is not at all firm. You must use parchment paper, and basically spoon drop the batter (which will spread) onto the cookie sheet.
The softness of the cookies does make them more challenging than usual to remove from the pan once cooked, so allow them to cool first before even trying.
It’s all worth it for that melt-in-your-mouth, death-by-chocolate taste.
- 3 oz semi-sweet (62%-70% Scharffen Berger) chocolate, chopped into bits
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Guittard are great)
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a double boiler (I put a pyrex bowl on top of a pan of boiling water), combine the chocolate, half of the chocolate chips and the butter, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and espresso powder on high speed until very thick, about 3 minutes.
- Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl, whisking just until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon until just combined. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
- Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter about 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. The batter will be looser than normal cookie dough batter and will spread a bit. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Refrigerate batter between batches.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are cracked and puffed on top.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before transferring to a platter.
Always in search of the ultimate dark chocolate brownie, I’ve blogged about brownies several times before. I’ve tried the Ghiradelli Classic Brownie Recipe. I’ve swirled chocolate brownies with pumpkin, and I’ve tried the Scharffen Berger Fudgy Brownie recipe. But now I can say, I’ve finally made the brownie recipe I will return to again and again.
The secrets to this recipe?
For one, I’ve doubled the quantity so that you can use a larger pan (and make more at a time). The larger pan slows down the baking rate a bit, and I think helps keep everything moist. Also, this recipe calls one more egg than the average recipe. Eggs make batters more cakey, and normally, I wouldn’t want my chocolate brownie recipe to be too cakey. If it’s cakey, then it’s not fudgy, right? We’ll the balance of chocolate, butter, flour and eggs in this recipe seems to hit it just right. They’re fudgy and dark, but they hold together well.
One of the other secret ingredients in this recipe is the espresso powder. In the same way that vanilla functions, the espresso gives the chocolate flavor additional depth and complexity. It doesn’t make it taste like coffee, it just anchors the chocolate flavor.
Lastly,the chocolate chips give these brownies texture and additional chocolate umph.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder)
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
- 1½ tsp espresso powder
- 9.7 oz Scharffen Berger® 70% bittersweet chocolate baking bar, broken into pieces
- ¼ cup of Guittard® Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1.5 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cup Guittard® Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Spray a 9x13-inch rectangular baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together in a bowl; set aside.
- In a double-boiler (I put a pyrex bowl on top of a saucepan with boiling water, combine the butter, chocolate espresso powder and stir over low heat until all is melted and combined.
- Take the chocolate mixture off the heat and add the sugars, mixing until combined.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly.
- Add vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Gently stir in the chips.
- Pour the batter into the sprayed pan and push the batter into the corners with the back of a spoon.
- Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Now that it almost October, I’m starting to go pumpkin crazy again. This month’s issue of Fine Cooking features Holiday Pumpkin Desserts on the cover, and I was inspired by a Bundt cake featured inside. I adapted this recipe from that one, pumping up the spice a bit and making other little tweaks. The result is a moist flavorful pumpkin cake that was a hit at the church coffee hour this morning. Bundt cakes are so rewarding because they always come out looking great and aren’t that difficult to pull off. Powdered sugar is the perfect finish and a lot easier than frosting!
The filling includes crystallized ginger mixed in with the cream cheese and sour cream. Don’t skip it. It makes it have real zing. To finely chop it, I just dumped it in this MiniPrep:
And to grind the nutmeg, I used a microplane grater, like this one:
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened (1.5 packages of Philadelphia)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (I used a Cuisinart Mini Prep to chop mine)
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. freshl ground nutmeg (I use a microplane grater)
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin purée
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- For the cream cheese filling:
- In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, ginger, and salt on medium speed until well combined.
- Add each egg, one at a time, beating after each addition until mixed thoroughly.
- Chop the crystallized ginger in a Cuisinart MiniPrep. It will glom together because it's sticky, but don't worry. Once added to the cream cheese mixture, it will distribute.
- Add the vanilla and the crystallized ginger to the cream cheese mixture and blend. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a Bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, blend the pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the ⅓ of the dry ingredients, and whisk until well blended. Then add another third and blend and repeat.
- Fill the prepared Bundt pan with about half of the cake batter.
- Stir the filling to distribute the chopped ginger.
- Create a trough in the batter with the back of a large spoon and then try to pour the cream cheese filling into the trough. Don't worry if it spills over.
- Spoon the remaining batter on top and spread to evenly over the top.
- Bake until a sharp knife inserted to the bottom comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
- Cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto a serving plate and remove the cake pan.
- Cool completely.
- You can refrigerate the plastic-wrap covered cake for up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.