Monday, May 12, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies for Mother's Day!

Pre-Oven
The Grand Finale!


So, obviously this isn't being updated regularly.   Life has been pretty crazy lately (in the best possible way) and so my baking blogging has taken an extended vacation.  I still have a lot of baking love in my heart, so forgive the absence and enjoy this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies! 

One of my mother's favorite actresses of all time is Audrey Hepburn, (and she passed on that love/admiration of said actress to me).  In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share a recipe inspired by a movie starring my mom's fave: My Fair Lady.  This particular film is very important to me because it's one of two movies that I have the earliest memory of watching, (the other being Reservoir Dogs when my older brother babysat me, but...that's another story ;0) ). In the beginning of My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) sings that all she wants is "lots of chocolates for me to eat" in a room somewhere among lots of other things that happen to rhyme perfectly in an opening number.  Naturally I went and found something that would honor Ms. Doolittle's wishes.  

There's definitely lots of chocolate goodness in this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies.  I adapted the recipe from the lovely Christina of Sweet Pea's kitchen.  I made some minor adjustments to her formula, but either one you choose to follow should be yummy!  Credit for the original recipe goes to her and it can be found here:  

http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2013/04/chocolate-chip-cookie-brownies/

My adaptation of her decadent work can be found below: 

Ingredients

Brownie Layer:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 oz of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract (this can be found at Trader Joe's.  Plain vanilla extract should be fine, too)! 
  • 1 large egg 
  Cookie Layer:
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease the pan with either butter or baking spray. 

For the Brownie Layer: 

(1)  Heat the unsalted butter and chocolate until melted.   I used my microwave, although you can opt for the stovetop by melting the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over simmering water.   The microwave is just as good, though, (and maybe faster)!

(2) Use an electric mixer to blend the butter/chocolate mixture with the cocoa powder and sugar.  

(3) Add the egg and the vanilla.  Whisk until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

(4) Add the flour and mix until completely blended.  Make sure to scrape around the edges of the bowl to mix thoroughly!

Cover this bowl with saran wrap or aluminum foil and set aside. 


For the Cookie Layer: 

(1) Heat butter in microwave in another bowl.  Use electric mixer to blend the butter with both kinds of sugar until fluffy.

(2) Blend in the egg and then the vanilla extract.

(3) Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.   Blend thoroughly with mixer. 

(4) Finally, add the cinnamon and fold in the chocolate chips.

(5) Pour the brownie batter into the pan and smooth it out with a spatula.

(6) Use a teaspoon (and your hands) to roll clump-sized amounts of the cookie dough on top of the brownie batter.  

(7) Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cookie layer is golden brown and a fork stuck in the middle of the brownies comes out clean.

(8) Let the brownies cool before serving them with a tall glass of milk! <3


Happy  Baking!

Love Always,
Rukh xoxo

The beautiful Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady


Friday, December 27, 2013

The Real Red Velvet Cake, (oh hey, what's up)?!

Red (Wine) Velvet Cake...enough frosting?
So, I've been pretty terrible about keeping up with this in 2013: I got super busy with a bunch of funny things, but that's no excuse! One of my many resolutions for 2014 is to post at least once a month. To make up for my absence, I present you with a twist on an old favorite of mine: red velvet cake made with red wine. Wine? Yup, you read that correctly. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! I found this recipe on a favorite blog and made some adjustments. 


Here ya go (and happy baking)! 


Love Always,
Rukh

P.S. I usually connect each post with a favorite film. Since it's a few days before the New Year, here's are a few of my faves from 2013 (in no particular order) *drumroll please*:

The Way Way Back, Much Ado About Nothing, 12 Years a Slave, The Spectacular Now, Dallas Buyers Club, Mud, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Her, The Conjuring, Blue Jasmine, August: Osage County, The Beyonce Visual Album, (yes, I put it on here, deal with it) ;0)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa powder
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can  Pillsbury vanilla frosting (optional)
 Directions

(1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
(2) Cream the butter with both the sugars in a large bowl.
(3) Add the egg and egg yolk. Blend with electric mixer until fluffy.
(4) Add the red wine and vanilla extract.
(5) In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together, (baking powder/soda, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon).
(6) Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. The cocoa powder may make the batter a bit clumpy, but it should turn out just fine ;0).
(7) Spray a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray and pour the batter into the pan.
(8) Bake for 25-35 minutes, (when it's done, you should be able to stick a fork in the middle and have it come out clean). 
(9) Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. 
(10) Once the cake has cooled, flip it onto a large plate.  Spread the vanilla frosting evenly if you choose to use it.
(11) Enjoy! 


HAPPY 2014! XOXO

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, (Beast It)!!!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, (how's that for alliteration)?

Hey, lovelies! I found this fabulous recipe courtesy Two Peas & Their Pod:

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/chocolate-chip-coffee-cake/

The recipe is super simple, (I only made one adjustment: adding a little extra vanilla extract of course).  I use Trader Joe's Vanilla Bourbon Extract and always enjoy the extra kick it gives!  Here's what you need, (all credit goes to Two Peas & Their Pod, no copyright infringement intended):

Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For cinnamon swirl:
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Directions:

(1) Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.

(2) Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until completely blended.  At this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9 x 9 square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Use baking spray as needed.

(3) Add in sour cream and vanilla extract.

(4) Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into separate bowl.  Add dry ingredients to batter and blend.

(5) In a small cup, mix ingredients for the cinnamon swirl (cinnamon, brown sugar, granulated sugar). 

(6) Spread 1/2 of batter for cake on the pan.  Then, sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon swirl mixture and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips over this layer.  Cover this with the remaining batter from the bowl and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon swirl mixture/chocolate chips on the top of the cake.

(7) Place in oven for 40 minutes, or until fork stuck into the center of the pan comes out clean.

I paired this amazing cake with a viewing of one of my favorite films, Beasts of the Southern Wild.  If you want a little whimsy with your dessert, I suggest you take a peek at this beautiful film.  Here's the official website, courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures. Again, no copyright infringement intended!





Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cupcakes and The Sapphires!

The Sapphires soundtrack is an excellent baking companion! 
So, I just saw a super sweet movie called The Sapphires! It's based on the true story of a group of talented, inspiring Australian Aboriginal girls that end up entertaining troops during the Vietnam War.  The soundtrack is absolutely amazing and also happens to be the perfect companion to a cupcake-baking session!  For these particular cupcakes, I used the following recipe from the fantastic Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, with some minor adjustments.

  • I made half the recipe and opted for cupcakes instead of layer cake, decreasing the baking time to 20 minutes. 
  • I added chocolate chips and cinnamon to the cake batter for kicks, (and also because I feel that the cinnamon complements the cocoa flavor quite well when combined). 
  • I also used a blend of semi-sweet chocolate chips/dark chocolate chips for the instant fudge frosting mentioned in the link above.
Now treat yourself to a sampling of The Sapphires, (I love that this became a Salt N' Pepa/En Vogue collaboration):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JDiR4WBYrY

No copyright infringement intended. The recipe is all Deb Perelman and The Sapphires is all Hopscotch Films! ;)


Happy Baking and music-listening, everyone!



Love Always,
Rukh

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

80's Movie Marathon and Vegan Oreo Truffles!

Oreo Truffles. I can't believe these are vegan!

It's been quite a while, but I've returned with a fantastic, vegan-friendly recipe! My lovely and coincidentally vegan friend, Emily, introduced me to it. This recipe is very simple, (and pairs well with a marathon of 80's movies when you're not feeling so well). These movies could include, (but are not limited to) the likes of St. Elmo's FireSay Anything..., and The Breakfast Club. Without further ado, here's this easy and yummy recipe. The non-vegan version would require regular cream cheese, but I'm sure would taste just as fabulous!

Ingredients

1 package of Oreos
4 oz. of vegan cream cheese
1 package of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, (I recommend the Trader Joe's kind)
2 tablespoons of almond milk (optional)

Directions

(1) Crush the Oreos in a large bowl and blend them with the cream cheese.

(2) Melt the chocolate chips in a separate bowl, (I used the microwave, but you could use the double-boiler method if you're feeling fancy). NOTE: I also added a couple of tablespoons of almond milk per Emily's advice, though this is completely optional.

(3) Roll the Oreo/cream cheese mixture into tablespoonful sized balls and dip them in the melted chocolate. Place these on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

(4) Stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving cold. Voila! Oreo Truffles!

Happy baking, (and happy travels to my dear friend Emily who leaves for Taiwan today)!

Love Always,
Rukh

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Love Actually is All Around

Cream Cheese Brownies


"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there..."

It's been a rough couple of days for everyone, so I thought it might be nice to share these words of hope and wisdom from one of my favorite holiday movies of all time, Love Actually. Just the other night, I was baking some cream cheese brownies with a dear friend of mine, thinking of how lucky we were to just be laughing, baking, and enjoying life's simple pleasures for a couple of hours. If you're reading this, I hope you take a moment to tell someone you love how much they mean to you. Happy Holidays and may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows!

Here's the original recipe for the brownies. All credit goes to Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. She's a genius!



For those innocent sweethearts gone too soon: 

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, Your Long Journey


Love Always,
Rukh

Monday, October 29, 2012

American Horror Story Pumpkin Blondies!!!

Pumpkin Blondies with Chocolate Chips & Caramel
Hello lovelies!  I've returned with a simple and positively decadent recipe in honor of our favorite terrifying television show, American Horror Story.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, (and those of you able /willing to stomach being thoroughly creeped out by an hour of TV a week), American Horror Story is an horror anthology series conceived by none other than Glee maestro, Ryan Murphy.  Each season features a new "horror story" and a different cast, (although some fierce favorites stick around from season 1 to play new characters...Diva Lange and Evan Peters among other talented folk, I'm lookin' at ya)!  WARNING: If you decide to watch this show, please know that it's incredibly disturbing and scary for someone like me.  After each episode, I watch five minutes of Parks & Rec or some other funny business to shake off the creepiness.

Also, despite all the disturbing plots, the show's incredibly addictive!  Mr. Murphy assembles a top-notch cast, (with a whole lot of theatre veterans, hollaaaa), who always meet the challenge of making this crazy material both believable and compelling. So, if you find yourself watching mini-marathons of the first and second seasons, don't say I didn't warn you!  Now, without further ado, I give you Pumpkin Blondies. A sweet co-worker of mine recommended the recipe off this website:


http://www.laurenslatest.com/ooey-gooey-caramel-pumpkin-blondies-with-chocolate-and-walnuts/

I take zero credit for this recipe...it's all goes to the baking diva that runs that site.  The only adjustment I made was in the type of vanilla extract I used: Trader Joe's has this amazing vanilla bourbon extract.  Maybe it's the Louisville, Kentucky girl in me, but I think it's phenomenal!

The official website for American Horror Story, courtesy FX networks: