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Chocolate

Mint Chocolate Chip Marshmallows

Chocolate, Desserts, Holiday

Last week I woke up early and headed to the flower market, which is one of my favorite activities. While it’s always kinda chilly and damp at the flower market, it’s also beautiful and full of life, especially during the holidays.

I decorated the kitchen with a beautiful garland, I bought gorgeous little ceramic houses and mini decorative trees. But, as of like this last weekend, I still had my fall pumpkins at the doorstep. Lol. Life is busy and this season moves so quickly for me!

I’m glad I was able to take some time this weekend and decorate the proper way. I also spent some time eating these marshmallows in a warm cup of cocoa and let me tell you they are SO good.

For this post, I teamed up with KitchenAid® and their Artisan® Stand Mixer, which is one of the tools in my kitchen that I pretty much use every single day. For years, I baked without one and life was so much harder then. Why is a stand-up mixer amazing, you might ask? Here are some things that I love about it:

1. KitchenAid Stand Mixers are really good quality. You will buy them once and they will last you a VERY long time.

2. You can make a wide-range of things in a Stand Mixer. Remember my mashed potatoes? I mix all sorts of things in it. It’s not just for baking.

3. A lot of steps are now hands-free. If you’re creaming butter and sugar together (the first step in a lot of cookies), you can just let it do its thing while you get the rest of the ingredients together. It allows you to multi-task.

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Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate, Desserts, Fall, Thanksgiving

This pie is about survival.

I’m kidding and being very dramatic but no lie, this pie took us about twenty million tries to get right but it survived! Or more like, we survived. It was one of those recipes that went way past my “three-fail rule.” Meaning, if we fail three times when trying a recipe, we abandon it all-together. But that rule went out the window because I liked the idea and flavor so very much.

We finally got it working like a fine-tune machine. At first it was too thin and kinda watery. Then the chocolate swirl wasn’t the right texture. And then we changed the chocolate and that got messed up. There were a lot of variables going on and we kept changing them and we kept getting messed up results. But we finally got it working and it was 100% worth it!

This fine thing is like a pumpkin cheese cake and a pie had a baby…but with chocolate swirled throughout. The bitter chocolate is so welcome within the constructs of creamy cream cheese flavor. It’s so good.

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Masala-Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies + A Question?

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Fall

SUUUP!

I’m in big-time fall mode, cooking up as many things as I can for Thanksgiving. This year I really want to BRING IT. But oddly enough, I’m kind of a classics girl when it comes to Thanksgiving. I want classic Thanksgiving. I want a classic pumpkin pie. I kinda don’t like too many crazy twists.

Are you in the twists, weird interesting Thanksgiving foods?

OR,

Are you a classic Thanksgiving foods human?

Leave a comment below.

If you’re a classics, maybe I’ll do a whole post on making suuuuper fluffy potatoes. Maybe I’ll try and make the BEST classic Thanksgiving stuffing everrrr.

It would actually be fun content to create either way!

OK, let’s talk about these cookies because these scream fall. My friend, Matt, works in one of those hip cool communal workspaces in New York and he texted me a few months ago and was like CHAI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.

Apparently a baker drops off chai chocolate cookies to his workspace and he was obsessed wit them. I though the sound of chai in chocolate chip cookies sounded AMAZING…so here we are.

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Naomi’s Chocolate Pear Tart

Chocolate, Desserts, Holiday, Quick and Easy

One of my favorite food bloggers of all-time has always been Naomi from Baker’s Royale. Her work has always been GOALS. Her photography style is so beautiful and her food styling skills are amazing. She’s super talented.

I was super excited when her book, Bakers Royale, showed up at my door step! When I thumbed through it, my jaw fell when I saw this beautiful chocolate pear tart. It is so easy to throw together and it’s kind of like a brownie meets a tart…but with fruit in the center. I loooooved it.

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Quick and Easy

I spent this past weekend in Seattle, chilling at Create + Cultivate, where I spoke on a panel about food and digital media. It was loads of fun and I met so many cool, interesting, awesome people.

I also spent the weekend biting my finger nails, worried about Florida. It looks awful and I think it’ll take a day or so to really know the extent of the damage. Hoping and praying for everyone’s safety!!


OK, let’s talk about cookies. I love cookies. And recently I shared the Cozy Chocolate Chip Cookies with you and they are pretty much one of the top recipes of 2017 on this lil’ blog.

A lot of people have made them and it makes me so happy. I met someone at the conference and she told me it’s her family’s new go-to cookie recipe and that made me so happy. One of the bonuses that we both agreed on: it doesn’t require to soften any butter so there’s really immediate satisfaction involved.

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One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Fudge-y Simple Frosting

Chocolate, Desserts, Quick and Easy

First things first: did you see the giveaway I’m doing on the ol’ Instagram?! Today is the last day! Enter that shizzz.

I’m currently in that mode where it’s the quiet before the storm. I have a super busy month coming up and I’m diligently trying to get my little duckies in a row so I won’t be crying of stress every single day. I think it’s going a’ight.

I also have a ton of summer stuff I want to make before the end of the season! It’s crazy, we’re nearly to the end of July and then we have August. And once September hits, all anyone wants to talk about are pumpkin spice lattes and apples; I’m just not ready. LIKE, SO FAR FROM READY. I’m still obsessed with stone fruit and tomatoes and cherries.

And if you can believe it, I still haven’t made a pie this season. WHUT!! I’ve been sleepin’.

Josh and I have been cooking nearly every single night, making super quick meals. I can’t wait to share a few that I’ve been making. We eat outside in the backyard, under the little stringy lights and it’s become my favorite time of day.

This sheet cake deserves a place on that backyard table because it’s the perfect summertime dessert for a group. It’s so easy and leisure.

I love me some sheet cakes because they’re so simple. No cake layers, no fancy decorating needed. All you need is a few bowls, an offset spatula and some sprinkles.

This cake is made in one-bowl and is so ridiculously moist, without being dense. You can make this on a Friday and it would be delicious for the entire weekend.

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How to Make a Corgi Cake (and a Pug Cake, Too!)

Adventures, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, DIY

I always feel blessed that I have a career where I get to make things every single day (basically any creative person’s ultimate goal). Sometimes it doesn’t always feel all that romantic, particularly when I’m wiping grease off my kitchens’ walls or washing an absurd amount of dishes, but even in those moments, if I think kinda hard, I’m pretty happy.

Another plus about this creative world called blogging, I get to meet other creative people, too. Last week, I drove like five minutes away to hang out with Alana and make this cake.

She makes the most unreal cakes. A lot of them are just total pieces of art that I would be shy to eat. A bonus, her cakes taste SO good. I was at a friend’s bbq and she brought some corgi cupcakes and they were so fluffy and so soft. I was in love.

SO, we thought it would be fun to make side-by-side dog cakes. I did the corgi, inspired by that feral beast I own, Amelia. And she made a pug cake, inspired by her two baby pugs.

It was also nice to have some emotional guidance and support from her because I had never made a corgi cake before and it definitely required some planning and sketching.

It was also nice to have some emotional guidance and support from her because I had never made a corgi cake before and it definitely required some planning and sketching.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake: To start things off, I made a three-layer (6-inch) chocolate cake. I used my one-bowl chocolate cake recipe because it is SO easy and delicious.

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My Favorite Cozy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Quick and Easy

The vibe of Friday is the best, isn’t it? It’s that feeling of almost being able to hang out and chill TFO.

I don’t have any crazy plans this weekend but it might consist of us taking a trip to the vet because Amelia is favoring/licking her left toe obsessively and she won’t let me look at it. Every time I get close she starts to show her teeth at me like a psycho. So, hopefully it doesn’t cost a million dollars/her toes are a-ok.

Moving onto cookies…

Remember when I did that nerdy post all about chocolate chip cookies? Well, that post was actually SO much fun to execute and write because I learned a whole lot about CC cookies. And I figured out how to get closer to the cookie I had in my dreams/brain.

I really love doing these types of baking experiments because I learn so much. I’m thinking of doing a post on the perfect white cake because while I’ve made a ton of cakes, I’m still searching, still learning what makes a white cake hella special. Let’s learn things together!

Also, before we begin, I’d like to give a special shout-out to my friend and helper, Billy. In case you don’t know, Billy helps me pretty much every week with helping create content for this space and he extra helped with these cookies because he loves nothing more than to talk nerdy about chocolate chip cookies.

Here’s the breakdown of the choices I made (AND WHY!) with these chocolate chip cookies.

I’ll also say that there is no perfect chocolate chip cookie because we’re all after different things. Some people like thin and chewy, some like crispy, some like super soft. Those recipes are good too.

This one is soft in the center that is slightly chewy and a teeny bit crunchy around the edges. They are not cake-y but are a little fluffy.

Ok, here is the breakdown:

MELTED BUTTER:
Most cookie recipes begin with you creaming room temperature butter with sugar(s). But melting the butter vs. using room temperature butter will lead to a chewier cookie. I’m am very down with a chewy cookie so I went the melted butter route.

BAKING POWDER + BAKING SODA:
The baking powder in this recipe gives it a bit of a lift, while the baking soda helps these cookies spread. A lot of recipes you see that only have baking soda are on the thinner side. There is nothing wrong with this but I like a bit of both.

MORE FLOUR:
I added a bit more flour in this recipe to make it a little bit thicker cookie but not too much because I didn’t want it to be dry. I love the thickness of this cookie. It’s not too thin and not too thick/cake-y/dry. It my opinion, this has a super good ratio of butter to flour.

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Cozy Chocolate Chip Cookie Guide

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts

I LUUUV chocolate chip cookies. If there is one cookie that I can eat over and over and over, it’s hands down, the chocolate chip cookie.  

I also believe that chocolate chip cookies are the perfect foray into baking. They are simple in their preparation. They don’t take a million years to make. And the bake time is only 8 to 10 minutes. There’s some very immediate satisfaction! 

SO, I’m so excited to share this experiment where I bake chocolate chip cookies, substitute and change certain elements to the cookies themselves and then eat them ALL and give you my final thoughts. 

As many of you know, I’m a self-taught baker and cook. I often joke and say I’m Google-taught. Seriously, most things I’ve learned about cooking is just from massive amounts of Googling. When I first started cooking and baking, I’d Google everything. And honestly, I still do.

For this post, I’m teaming up with Google Home. The great thing about Google Home is that I can verbally Google all the time (and more!)…without a computer, while my hands are messy and I’m in the middle of baking and cooking. 

There were so many times when I’d have to clean my hands, wipe them dry and then Google measurements, fractional math (not my strong-stuit) but now I get to be just like, “HEY GOOGLE!” 

It’s also perfect for random fun, very random facts that have nothing to do with anything and have no real importance like what Kris Humphries has been up to lately. (Google it though but let me warn you it’s not exciting.)

To start this whole lil’ experiment, I asked Google, “hey google, when were chocolate chips invented?!?!”

You may know this, you may not…but the answer is that chocolate chips were created with the invention of the chocolate chip cookie in 1937 by Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachussets. 

I used the most basic and classic of chocolate chip cookie recipes to use as my “control” cookie. And then changed a whole lot of things with different batches. 

Think of this as the beginning of designing my favorite chocolate chip cookie (final recipe coming soon!). 

And hopefully with these results, it might make you feel confident that you, too, can customize your own. This is how recipe writing starts! IT’S COOL!

Here are my results. 

CONTROL COOKIE: Slightly crispy on its edges and soft in the center. A very quintessential chocolate chip cookie experience. This cookie begins with butter, white sugar and brown sugar all beaten together. 

ALL WHITE SUGAR: These were crispy and lace-y. Definitely thinner and a lot more chewy. And noticeably blonder. Look at the raw cookie dough shot, that one was kinda fascinating to me. 

MELTED BUTTER with WHITE SUGAR + BROWN SUGAR:
A lot of good chocolate chip cookie recipes use melted butter. Why? Well, melted butter usually results in a chewier cookie. A lot of people favor the melted butter route. I personally love melted butter in chocolate chip cookies because I love the texture but the biggest attraction is that I don’t have to have softened butter around and can make cookies on a whim—woohoo!

CREAMED BUTTER WITH 1/4 CUP MORE FLOUR: More flour means a bit thicker cookie. I feel like it almost could’ve even benefited from more flour for a nice chunky cookie. I love all cookies and chubby cookies have a place in my heart, too. Chubby cookies could use some crunch like walnuts or pecans.

MELTED BUTTER WITH 1/4 CUP MORE FLOUR: Melted butter really results in a chewier texture. The flour results in a thicker cookie. I liked this combo a lot.  

CREAMED BUTTER WITH HALF BAKING POWDER + HALF BAKING SODA: The control only has baking soda. Baking soda helps give cookies a nice color and a bit of a lift. Why would we put both in a cookie? Well, a lot of cookie recipes include both so that the cookies have more of a lift, while the soda really helps with that light brown color we love our cookies to have.

MELTED BUTTER WITH HALF BAKING POWDER + HALF BAKING SODA: I’m not gonna lie, this was maybe my favorite combo. I love what melted butter does to CC cookies and I love the combo of half baking powder and half baking soda. I think this is where I’m going to begin with my development and go from here.

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Cadbury Mini Eggs Skillet Cookie

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Holiday, Spring

What do you do for Easter?

Growing up, we never had Easter baskets filled with money and candy. And my mom never coordinated Easter egg hunts. I think Latino humans don’t do that; mainly because Easter is super serious business. There’s no time for mascots and games. He has risen! You know?

Instead we’d have lots of cooking and family over and we’d always, always go to mass. It was the most crowded long mass of the entire year and usually I was dreaming about the free donuts that they’d hand out in the parking lot.

And when we’d get home, I’d happily change out of my often-times-dressy outfit and put on shorts and a t-shirt and start eating. It was always the best day ever and I’m sort of excited about maybe having a bit of an Easter brunch next weekend. We shall see if I can get it together…

What did you all growing up doing (if at all)?

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