Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chocolate Sea Salt Muffins

For pretty much every holiday, friends and family members buy me baking supplies. Cupcake liners, baking pans, and exotic ingredients. This Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law got me some dulce sal gema. Basically, it's sea salt and raw cane sugar. It comes from Hawaii.

I've been trying to find an opportunity to use it, and I thought it would taste great sprinkled atop dark chocolate muffins. I used dutch process cocoa powder to make the muffins darker than regular chocolate.  This recipe is tweaked from Call Me Cupcake

Chocolate Sea Salt Muffins

300 g (2 1/2 cups) flour
80 g (2/3 cup) dutch process cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
250 g (1 1/4 cups) sugar
100 g (7 tbsp) butter, melted
250 mL (1 cup) buttermilk
2 eggs
100 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 12 papers.

2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, buttermilk, and eggs. Beat until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

4. Add dark chocolate and mix. Scoop into muffin cups and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 18-21 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cosmic Brownies

When I was in elementary school, one of my favorite things to eat was Zebra Cakes. They're one of life's greatest pleasures, provided for us by Little Debbie. I remember I ate them like most people eat Oreos-- I'd split them in half horizontally and lick the filling out. Yum!

My husband's favorite Little Debbie snack has always been Cosmic Brownies.

When I was trying to decide what to bake a few weeks ago, my husband saw the recipes I was looking at and insisted that I make the cosmic brownies. I didn't have the delicious "chocolate chip candy" (chocolate chips dipped in like an M&M coating), so naturally I had to make an order at Amazon. (Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch 5.25 oz.)

The best part about these is that they taste unbelievably fresh (as opposed to Little Debbie snacks which have been sitting on a shelf for who-knows-how-long)! No preservatives means they don't have the unmistakable chemicaly flavor. Recipe adapted from Life Made Simple Bakes

Cosmic Brownies

Yields: 16 brownies 

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk (I used whole milk)
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Ganache Topping
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but you can use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or whatever kind you like best)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Candy-coated chocolate chips-- Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch 5.25 oz.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line a 9x13" pan with a piece of parchment paper and lightly grease. 

2. In a stand mixer, combine melted butter, sugars, and vanilla. Beat on high for 4 minutes. Add eggs and beat again. 

3. Combine dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt). Alternating with the milk, add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat until just combined. 

4. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for 18-24 minutes. Let brownies cool in the pan. 

5. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue in 30 second increments until completely smooth. Spread evenly on cooled brownies and top with sprinkles (Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch 5.25 oz.)

Saturday, February 7, 2015


I've long been afraid to attempt to make croissants. They seem unattainable... the layers, the flakiness, the golden color... Impossible, right? I tried to make croissants once before, and they didn't turn out as I wanted them to. These, however, turned out exactly how I wanted them to.

The best croissants I've ever had were at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. They're unbelievably delicious. These croissants (not to toot my own horn) actually taste almost exactly the same as Tartine's croissants to me.

I've been on a "baking high" all day. It's something I can only get from a successful attempt at a difficult and new recipe. Won't you join me in this baking high? These croissants take under 24 hours to make, which is wonderful, considering most recipes take 3 days. I adapted this recipe from Jellybean Journals.


Yields: 16 croissants

3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups milk (room temperature)
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 package)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)

Egg wash
1 egg
1 tbsp cream or milk

1. Combine all of the dry dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir with a whisk. Add the wet ingredients. Mix with the dough hook for 3 minutes. Take the dough out and knead by hand for 30 seconds to smooth out the dough.

2. Let the dough rise in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. I let mine rise in a room temperature oven.

3. Unwrap the butter and put into a quart ziplock or plastic wrap. Beat the butter until it's an 8x8" square. Put it back into the fridge until the dough is risen.

4. Watch this video 2:11-3:30. This is how you laminate the dough. (This means you put the butter and "turn" the dough several times).

5. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

6. Divide the dough in half. Keep the second half wrapped in the fridge until you're ready to use it. Roll out half of the dough until it's 8" by 20". Cut it into 8 triangles. (You can watch the video to see how he cut his dough). I rolled each of my triangles out a little more before rolling them up.

7. Place on a silpat (or parchment)-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Mix the egg and cream together and brush on the croissants. Let rise for 1-2 hours.

8. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until desired golden color.

***Croissants can be frozen and heated up in a 350 degrees fahrenheit oven for 8 minutes.

Bon app├ętit!