Now that it’s Fall, I’m back in the baking mood, mostly baking with pumpkin. But two sad, black bananas on the counter prompted this recipe today. It’s delicious and moist! Especially when still warm from the oven.
Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Add the two ripe bananas and beat until frothy. Add the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated, but don't over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
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.
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.
Enjoy rich, flavorful chocolate cake without the guilt.
Recipe type: Dessert
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.
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.
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.
My kids (8 and 5) absolutely adore pizza. Not broccoli pizza. But pizza with cheese, a little red sauce (not too much) and shredded grilled chicken. This pizza dough works like a charm. The rye flour gives it a rich, nutty flavor that I absolutely love. Using the Reinhart method of slow rising in the fridge and minimal kneading means I can make it in the morning while we’re all getting ready for the day, have rise in the fridge while we’re at work and school and then voila: it’s ready to go when we return home.
The dough does need to sit out for an hour after being refrigerated, but if you pop it out of the fridge as soon as you walk in the door, it’s about ready to go when the oven is preheated and the fixin’s are ready.
Dark Rye deepens the flavor of this pizza crust. Sweet and nutty, this dough satisfies adults and children alike!
Author: Amy Wilson/StreamingGourmet
Recipe type: Bread
2 cups dark rye flour
2 cups Animo Caputo "00" flour
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
1¾ - 2 cups of warm water
Combine all ingredients with the mixing paddles of your stand-up mixer. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Swap in dough-hook and need on a medium setting for 5 minutes. The dough will still be rather sticky.
Separate dough into two pieces and place each in an oiled freezer bag. Place the bags in the refrigerator (or in the freezer if you don't intend to use them with 48 hours). When you are ready to use the dough, remove it from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before it's time to bake it. The dough needs to come to room temperature (in the bag so that it doesn't dry out).
Roll the dough out into a large circle on a pizza pan that has been sprayed with a little nonstick cooking spray. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 450˚F for about 5 minutes. Then add the sauce and toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so.
Fall is my favorite time of year and these cupcakes are just what I need to get in the mood. The shadows are lengthening and out here in San Francisco, the air is more humid than usual and it’s warmer. When I lived on the East Coast, the arrival of Fall was all about feeling a cold nip in the air. Here in San Francisco where the summers are freezing, it’s quite the opposite. The weather heats up as the leaves are turning brown.
Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line cupcake tray (24) with paper liners.
In a standing mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on high speed until fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix at a medium speed until well blended.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to wet, alternating with the milk, until all are incorporated. Add pumpkin puree and mix well.
Fill cupcakes two-thirds full and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let stand for a couple of minutes. Then remove from muffin tin and let cool completely.
To make the frosting:
Let the cream cheese and butter soften before creaming them together on high speed with a mixer. Cream in the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth and light. Chill in the fridge overnight (or at least for a few hours) to let it set.
Spread on cupcakes and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon.
I’ve been making Nestle® Toll House® Cookies for Christmas for 35 years. I’m almost 42, so you do the math. We always sprinkled colored sugar on top. There is no way I know how to improve on the Toll House recipe, except perhaps to add an extra dash of the vanilla extract. And of course, the quality of the chips matters. You can step up to Ghirardelli, or dare I say, Sharffen Berger, but when it comes down to it, Nestlé Semi Sweet Baking Chips really do the trick, and I bought a HUGE bag of them at Costco at the beginning of December, so we’re sticking to the old favorite.
What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie?
Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies for Christmas
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Sometimes you just want the brownie you grew up with – but made with really good chocolate. December 8 is National Brownie Day, so why not celebrate by going out and purchasing a Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and turning it into an 8×8″ pan of awesomeness? These classic brownies have Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips in them too.
I live near San Francisco, so I learned, shortly after moving here 13 years ago, that it’s pronounced with a gggg as in good. Not a g is in geez. It’s Good Ghirardelli. Now you can be in the know too!
I’m going to be selling them at the Church Christmas Bakesale tomorrow! Nothing like a little chocolate for Christmas. Happy Holidays!
4 oz. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar (1 bar)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1" pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.
In October 2012, Family Circle Magazine conducted its 6th cookie bakeoff between candidates for first lady. As in most years, the winner of the cookie contest also won the White House. It was close. Michelle only won by 287 votes. Luckily, her husband’s margin was wider.
For the contest, Michelle Obama submitted a recipe authored by Eleanor ‘Mama Kaye’ Wilson, the godmother of her two children. Interestingly, this recipe has an extra stick of crisco as compared to the traditional Nestle Tollhouse recipe. An extra stick! Michelle has set aside her usual approach to food with this indulgent cookie. But hey, that’s fine once in a while, right?
The best part about these cookies, is the subtle hint of mint chocolate brought in by the crushed Andes Creme De Menthe Thins. Since I couldn’t include the nuts in this recipe (I work at a nut-free school), I increased the overall chip content leaning in favor of the semi-sweet chips and playing down the other two slightly. It was great.
Make these for your next Holiday Cookie Party. Just sprinkle some red and green sprinkles on top and you’ll be in business.
Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen cookies Prep: 15 minutes Bake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsaltedbutter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1. Heat oven to 375°.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
6. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.