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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.

In this recipe, in particular, it allows you to actually pour the hot syrup into the mixer as it’s going. You don’t need a friend or partner. The mixer is your friend.

This marshmallow is magical. The cocoa nibs really give nice texture to these marshmallows and the peppermint extract is just enough of that peppermint-y flavor—it’s not too overpowering. They’re fluffy and delicious and perfect for that cup of hot cocoa that you’ve been craving all season.

Mint Chocolate Chip Marshmallows

Yield: 12 two-inch marshmallows

Ingredients

    Powdered sugar mixture: 
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Marshmallows:
  • 3/4 cup cold water, divided
  • 3 envelopes of gelatin (7 1/2 teaspoons) 
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Blue and Yellow Food Coloring 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs, chopped reserving a tablespoon to sprinkle over the top
  • Special equipment:
  • Silicon spatula
  • Candy thermometer or digital thermometer
  • KitchenAid® Artisan® Stand Mixer with the whisk attachment

Directions

    Some prep work:
  1. Before you begin, let's do some prep. Start by sifting together powdered sugar, corn starch onto a large plate. Next, grease a 10" x 8" (this size can vary) casserole dish or pan with vegetable 
  2. oil.
  3. Add a teaspoon of the powdered sugar mixture to the casserole dish and shake it around until the bottom of the edges are dusted. Set aside.
  4. To make the marshmallows: 
  5. To the bowl of your KitchenAid® Artisan® Stand Mixer, add the water and sprinkle the gelatin on top; allow to sit for 10 minutes. Attach the bowl to the stand-up mixer and add the whisk attachment. 
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, with a candy thermometer attached to its side, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to moderately high heat and bring the mixture to a hard boil and cook for 1 minute, until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F.
  7. Lower the whisk attachment and turn it on low. Carefully add the boiling liquid to the gelatin mixture. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 5 minutes, until the mixture has grown in volume. Stop the mixer and add 12 to 15 drops of each food coloring—this will make the perfect shad of “mint green."
  8.  
  9. Beat again for an additional 3 minutes, until doubled in volume and until it holds stiff peaks. Add the peppermint extract and vanilla extract. Beat for an additional minute or so until the both of them are incorporated. Fold in the cocoa nibs.  
  10. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish or baking pan, smoothing out the top until it's evenly disbursed (it'll be sticky!). Sprinkle the remaining cocoa nibs on top. Lightly cover with plastic wrap. 
  11. Allow it to firm up on the kitchen counter for about 3 to 4 hours. Take a knife and run it around the edges of the casserole dish or pan and invert the marshmallow sheet onto a large cutting board, smacking the bottom of it, if needed. You also may need to use your fingers to loosen the marshmallow sheet from the casserole dish and gently glide it onto the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the marshmallows into 2 or 3-inch squares. Store the marshmallows in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
http://www.acozykitchen.com/mint-chocolate-chip-marshmallows/

(This post is sponsored by KitchenAid®. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)

Horchata Una Leche (Like Tres Leches but Different!)

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday

Hiiiii!

Now that work has started to slow down and I can concentrate on being festive AF, I have decided to list some of my favorite Christmas/Holiday movies. And then maybe you can tell me your favorites because for the next couple of weeks I am preparing myself to just chill and watch movies. And maybe bake a few things, sparingly.

1. Little Women – Winona Ryder at her best. Kirsten Dunst SO YOUNG. Annie McDowell love her!
2. It’s a Wonderful Life – I maybe know every word to this movie. Take a wild guess who currently reminds me of Mr. Potter? Lol.
3. Elf – I mean, it’s just a classic.
4. Home Alone – I still kinda almost cry at the end when he sees the old man in church.
5. Love Actually – Hugh Grant at his best—I miss him, wish he was still acting.

Am I missing any? I feel like I must be. Oh I was going to put The Christmas Story on there but honestly that movie always creeped me out. The dad and his creepy-ass obsession with the leg lamp; the mom washing out the kid’s mouth out with soap; and them having a depressing Christmas. That movie is a bummer. Maybe it’s more honest than most Christmas movies but I need some magic.

Anywayyyzzz, welcome to the post where I’m reorganizing the beloved “tres leches cake.” I like to think that maybe I simplified it with uno leche. Lol. The only leche that’s in this cake is the horchata. In case you are unfamiliar with horchata, I will break it down for you in a list (because I love lists):

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Brown Butter Pecan Snacking Sheet Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday, The Holidays

As of yesterday, I’m almost (not yet tho!) done with work for the year. I cannot even tell you how happy this makes me. I’m celebrating by creating more stuff for this blog and I know that’s technically work but when it comes to holiday stuff, it feels more like fun. I really want to make a yule log with my friend Hourie. We made one years ago and it was SO fun and it ended up being beautiful.

I’m also obsessed with The Big Family Cooking Showdown on Netflix because it’s like The Great British Baking Show but with family drama–how fun! I’m also super excited to sit in bed tomorrow and watch The Crown!!

Okay let’s talk about this cake. I think it’s safe to say that 2017 was the year that I fell in love with the art of “the sheet cake.”

I first made this strawberry-rhubarb version. Then I moved on to this chocolate one (which btw would be perfect for the holidays, too). And then, in October, there was a pumpkin sheet cake with brown butter frosting. It immediately became the most popular recipe this year!! Crazy!

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Chewy Pistachio Oat Lace Cookies

Cookies, Desserts, Holiday, Quick and Easy

Leading up to Thanksgiving, your girl was exhausted. I’m so glad I took last Saturday to chill out and rest. There was a whole day where all I did was hide under a fluffy blanket and read articles online. I drank iced tea and did absolutely nothing and it was amazing! Highly recommend.

I know the holiday season can be wild and crazy. It tends to be whirlwind, as we drive quickly toward the end of the year. I try and savor it as much as I can. One thing I obviously love doing is BAKING!

YASSS! This holiday season, I have so many delicious recipes that I want to share with you all.

I’m also super excited to share recipes that are wide-ranging: ones that are easy to throw together; a few that are more like “baking projects”; and a couple dishes that are things you can make during the weeknight for dinzzz.

Monday I posted a weeknight recipe. Today (and yesterday) is all about a quick-baking recipe. These cookies are super simple—no mixer or fancy equipment required. These cookies travel well and are so delicious.

ALSO I made a baking playlist because it is cooking/baking season and we need music!

This is not your traditional Christmas music playlist, no. Sorry (tho I did include a few Christmas songs in it because why not!).

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Pie de Limón Cookie Bars

Desserts, Holiday, The Holidays, Winter

Holiday season, what is up?!?!

If I’m keeping it super real, I’ve secretly been tired of pumpkin, autumn leaves and anything Thanksgiving related for like a month haha. I think that’s the peril of my job: I celebrate the actual holiday way before it even arrives. I’m so glad to be freed into the land of Santa, red and snowflakes. Let’s do this!

Most years I’m not invited to THAT many holiday parties; I’m not throwing myself a pity party because I honestly love nothing more than to stay home with Amelia and watch movies, but this year I’m already on the books for four! I feel incredibly popular and special. A special thank you to my friends!

I’ve been jotting down ideas for items that we can bake and bring to our friends. Here is what I’d like from them:

1. Make ahead.
2. Easily transportable.
3. Drama-free baking.

For this post, I teamed up with Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk. This is a recipe for their UnCookie Exchange, a celebration of unfussy recipes and get-togethers. I’m for all of that!

These Pie de Limón Cookie Bars are super easy to throw together. You essentially make a cookie crust and bake it for about 10 minutes and while it’s baking, you make the filling. Everything in a bowl and mixed up—that’s it. Not too many ingredients either.

This dessert uses no sugar in the actual filling—just sweetened condensed milk!

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15 Cozy Things to Make in December

Adventures, Holiday

Hi hi! It’s (nearly) December so let’s get VERY COZY.

I have a long list of things to make, including an iteration of marshmallows that I’m incredibly excited about!

But first, I wanted to give you a gracious list of things to eat and make in the month of December.

1. Horchata Cake – If you wanna feel festive AF, make this cake. I made the mini gingerbread houses (here’s a link to the cookie cutter) too but I know that places like World Market and Williams-Sonoma sell them already baked and assembled so you don’t even need to make them!

2. Fluffy Cornbread Topped Veggie Chili – I know I posted this last week but this recipe is seriously SO good. It’s also vegetarian, which I’m very into.

3. Cranberry Chestnut Cake – I love this cake frosting so much. I’m contemplating putting it on a bunch of other thing too. The sliced cranberries and rosemary leaves are festive without being too kitchy (I think).

4. Vegetarian Sweet Potato, Poblano and Black Bean Enchiladas – We can’t survive off of cookies alone this month. I like these enchiladas because they’re cozy yet not super heavy. They’re also a great weeknight meal because they aren’t super labor-intensive.

5. Brown Butter Orange Madeleines – I love the flavor combination of brown butter and orange zest. Nutty and citrus-y SO GOOD. Madelines require a pan, yes, but other than the pan, they’re so simple.

6. Cozy Chocolate Chip Cookies – These should be made bcuz SANTA. And then there are the sisters of Miss Basic Chocolate Chip: Miss Masala-Chai and Miss Espresso. Both have a bit of attitude and we love them for it!

7. Classed-Up Double Decker Tacos – If you have a bunch of people coming over and want to feed them something that will be fun, affordable and easy to throw together, make these! I like to set out all the things: the meat, hard shell tacos, beans, etc. and let people assemble their own.

8. Vegan Nut Butter Coconut Chocolate Tart – This is vegan! And it’s SO good. The crust is nice and chewy and the filling is fluffy and rich. If you need a delicious vegan dessert to feed your friends/take to a party, this is a great option.

9. Marbled Tahini Chocolate Cups – These are beautiful and really easy to throw together. I love the tahini in these guys and, of course, if you wanted to swap that out with almond butter or peanut butter, you could do that too.

10. Milk Tea Flan with Boba – I haven’t always been a flan fan. It took me years to warm up to it but once I did, I went on the hunt for a base recipe that was silky smooth. This one is just that AND it has the flavor of milk tea. Boba on top are added for more cuteness.

11. Miso White Chocolate Cookies – These are some great chewy cookies. The miso adds some a lovely savory element and the white chocolate is delicious and pretty.

12. Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns – I love the flavor combination of chocolate and caraway. It works so well in this bun—so chocolatey and delicious.

13. Chai Tiramisu – I’m sure you’ve seen this recipe before because it’s one of my most popular and for good reason! It’s SO delicious and a lovely riff on the classic.

14. Coconut Pistachio Butter – This is a good gift item. I could eat this on bread every single morning.

15. Wild Mushroom Spaghetti with Orange and Brown Butter and Sage – This is another example of how brown butter and orange are a lovely flavor combination. It’s a vegetarian dinner recipe that comes together in about 20 to 30 minutes.

(One-Bowl) Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Cookies, Desserts, Fall, Holiday

I like to consider myself a fairly interesting person but when fall arrives I’m as basic as they come! I want to go apple picking, wear flannel, drink lattes with pumpkin flavors in them. And I wanna bake everything I can.

But real life quickly sets in and all my fall-aspirations and goals usually fall by the wayside and I do about one fourth of the activities I actually intend on doing. This fall I’m trying to make things very easy on myself.

For this post, I teamed up with Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk because I looooove their product. I also use sweetened condensed milk A LOT and theirs has such good flavor and texture.

Let’s talk about sweetened condensed milk for a quick second:

Sweetened condensed milk is milk which has water removed and replaced with sugar. Basically it’s milk and sugar—simple!

To make fall baking a bit easier on myself, last week I made two batches of dulce de leche and I have it in the fridge just chilling, ready for all sorts of recipes that I can’t wait to use to add it to.

The first up are these cookie bars that take ONE BOWL. I feel like one bowl things are the saving grace of baking because it means less dishes and less mess and just the sound of it is encouraging.

Also cookie bars are my new found love. There’s no scooping out cookie dough nor is there rolling out dough and stamping it out with a cookie cutter. It’s simply spread in an even layer in a 9×13 pan and baked—that’s it! Also, there are no batches of cookies that need to be baked up. In about 25 minutes, you’ll have all the bars you’ll need.

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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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Big-Ass Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake with Chamomile Whipped Cream

Biscuits, Breakfast, Desserts, Holiday, Spring

I love strawberry shortcake, biscuit-style.

When I was doing some brain-storming a few weeks ago, I turned to Billy and said, “What if I made a big-ass biscuit and layered it with strawberries and sweet, softly whipped cream?!” He nodded YAS.

And here we are. You might be mentally preparing for Mother’s Day brunch. It’s actually one of my favorite times of the year because brunching is in high gear. And we’re not all sweating yet.

I made these gigantic ol’ biscuits in two 8-inch cake pans to “guide” the size of the biscuit but really you can do it on a baking sheet.

I love the debate of egg vs. no egg in biscuits. I nerded out on that Food52 article and was VERY flattered they used my biscuit recipe as an example.

I’ve been really itching to try a shortening + no egg biscuit. But for this one, it definitely needed an egg so that it had a better structure. Because it’s so big, it needs some help in that department.

ALSO, the trick to assembling this is to really let the biscuit cool completely so you can slice it and move it around.

A bread knife really helps with slicing this biscuit.

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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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