Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kneady Sweetie: Morning Buns

Kneady Sweetie: Morning Buns: "I found this recipe from one of my favorite food sites. I have kept these yummy little dough balls in the freezer and pull a few out wheneve..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Creme Brulee

Who doesn't love creme brulee right? So how could you go wrong with a chocolate creme brulee? I stumbled upon this recipe one day as I was searching my favorite food sites for some yummy treat. It really lives up to everything you would expect from the name and so worth every calorie!

Chocolate Creme Brulee

1 1/4  ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 egg yolks
¼ cup + 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
½ cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 300°.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil for a water bath to cook the custards.  In a double boiler over low heat, melt the chocolate.  Or, melt in 20 second pulses in the microwave on low, stirring frequently.  Set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, whisk together by hand the egg yolks and sugar.  Once well incorporated, add the heavy cream.  Pour in the melted chocolate mixture.  Divide the mixture between two 6-ounce ramekins.  Place the ramekins in a small baking dish and add the hot water until it comes up ½ way on the sides of ramekins.  Move the baking dish carefully to the oven and bake about 40-44 minutes, until the custard is set.  The middle will slightly jiggle, but the sides will be set.  Let the custards cool in the water bath completely before removing them.  Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and chill at least 5 hours or until ready to serve (can be made up to 2 days in advance).  Before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over each and brulee with a kitchen torch until the sugar caramelizes and hardens.  Serve immediately.

I forgot to take a picture of the final product before we devoured it, so this is a close to the end as I can get :).

Click here for original recipe (and her pictures are far better than mine)


I have always loved bagels. Bagels to me have always seemed a little challenging. I finally decided to tackle this baking challenge and see what happens. What I found out is that bagels aren't as hard as I always thought they were. Enjoy!

Homemade Bagels 

1/2 cup (2 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cool water
pinch of instant yeast (I used active-dry yeast and it worked great)
4 cups (17 ounces) unbleached bread flour (I used half white and half whole wheat four)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) cool water
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (again, I used active-dry yeast and it worked great)
Water bath
water to fill a 10″-diameter pan about 1″ deep
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)

Asiago Cheese
Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.
Next day, combine the puffy starter with all of the dough ingredients and knead—by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine—to form a stiff but not dry dough. Since we’re using a high-protein bread flour here, you might notice it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or large (at least 8-cup) measuring cup, cover, and set it aside to rise for 1 hour. Gently deflate the dough, and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into 12 pieces. (I divided the dough into 10 pieces since I like my bagels a tad big larger.) Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up very slightly.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water and malt (or sugar) to a very gentle boil in a wide-diameter (about 10″) pan. A 10″ electric frying pan works well here. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 3 ½” across). (Again, mine were a bit larger than this.) Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.

Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like.
To top with cheese, remove them from the oven after about 15 minutes, spray with water, and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven to finish baking. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a rack.
Yield: 1 dozen chewy bagels.

Recipe slightly adapted from here

Chocolate Pudding

For Valentines day this year my husband insisted on making dinner. I talked him into letting me make dessert. Of course since it was Valentines day I had to make something chocolate. I found this delicious recipe from here and let me just tell you it is the BEST chocolate pudding I have ever had! It is silky, smooth, and chocolaty. It is everything chocolate pudding should be!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

*Makes about 4 cups of pudding

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process or regular)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or 6 ounces bar milk chocolate chopped)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt, whisking lightly. Whisk in the milk and cream to the sugar mixture until it is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking or stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is at a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and large bubbles pop at the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin starting to form. Refrigerate the pudding until it is completely cool, at least 4 hours but up to 3 days, if it is stored in an airtight container. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream…or not.

Chocolate Nibs

I went on a chocolate kick recently and found these chocolate nibs. Once I bought them I had no idea what to do with them. I found this recipe online and it was a really yummy little treat. My husband absolutely loved them (he is a huge chocolate lover).

Candied Cocao Nibs
  • 3 ounces cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter, softened
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Place the butter on a dish or slip of parchment near the stove.
2. Place the nibs and the sugar in a small saucepan and heat them over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Soon the sugar will start to stick together and form larger clumps. It is normal for the mixture to give off a little smoke during the cooking process.
3. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar liquefies and there are only a few specks of unincorporated sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter immediately, stirring well.
4. Scrape the candied nibs onto the prepared baking sheet, separating them as much as possible. Allow them to cool at room temperature before breaking them apart by hand. Store in a dry Ziploc bag or airtight container. Do not refrigerate.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Coconut Oil Kettle Corn

I hate to admit this but I spend over an hour this morning reading about the health benefits of coconut oil. Let me tell you its pretty awesome. Now those of you who really know me might know that I don't like coconut. I don't really know what it is about shredded coconut, but I really don't like it. Anything that has coconut in it I shy away from. Spencer bought some coconut oil a while back and has been using it kinda as a lotion at times, and I have used it as an eye makeup remover (works great by the way). I hadn't ever really thought too much about eating it though. Yesterday I had a patient tell me about this green smoothie girl. I decided to look her up today which then somehow took me to coconut oil :).

I have decided that I'm going to start using more coconut oil in my baking. Most of you know that I really really love baking, and trying new recipes! Now when I get an idea in my head I have to do something about I went out and bought some organic virgin unrefined coconut oil (supposedly this is the healthiest kind or something). I found a really yummy kettle corn recipe that I just found here.  I must say it is pretty good! I will keep you all updated as to how this coconut venture goes for me :).

Here is the recipe.

Kettle Corn
Over 3 batches air-popped popcorn in a brown paper bag or very large bowl, pour 1/3 cup agave nectar and 1/3 cup coconut oil. (Liquefy them together by warming double-boiler style submerged in hot tap water, in a heavy bowl or jar. Sprinkle mixture with 2 tsp. Original Himalayan Crystal Salt, and stir or shake well.

Now I didn't know what that type of salt was so I just used sea salt and I worked just fine.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Most of you (all 3 of you that actually read this) know that I LOVE to bake. For me its a fun creative way to get yummy food to eat. Most of the time my creativity is limited to sweet treats. I think it is just because I enjoy eating those the most. I always enjoy trying new dinner recipes, but I dinners aren't nearly as fun for me to make as a yummy dessert. Well a few nights ago I found a recipe that looked so yummy. The first time I ever had gnocchi was at a restaurant called Ottavios in Provo. The restaurant is no longer there but I will always remember their gnocchi. Here is a brief refresher on gnocchi in case you don't know what it is. I had never mad gnocchi before, but I must say the results turned out pretty good. Let me also mention that there is very little about this recipe that is healthy, but I enjoyed all of the calories I got from it! Here is the yummy recipe just in case you want to take the time to make it.

Gnocchi Dough:

2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half white flour)

Mix all the ingredients except flour together. Then, gradually add the flour. You may need less (I actually needed a lot more) depending on how big your eggs are. You want a soft, not too sticky dough. The dough is easier to work with if it's a little chilled, so take about 1/3 of the dough out and put the rest in the fridge until needed.
Roll out dough on a floured surface into a 1/2 inch thick rope. Then cute the rope into 1/2 inch long pieces. Then roll each piece on the back of a fork to give it ridges. That is just to help hold the sauce, so don't worry about perfection. Then line them all up on a pan, keeping them separate. Then place a piece of wax paper over top and begin another layer of gnocchi. Repeat until all of the dough is used. Cover the top with another piece of wax paper and place them in the fridge until ready to be boiled.


1/2 cup butter
2 ounces of prosciutto, chopped
10 torn basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Beat 1/2 cup of cream until whipped, set aside. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add pine nuts and cook until the nuts begin to brown. (While waiting, begin boiling a pot of water for the gnocchi.) Add 1/2 cup cream (not the whipped 1/2 cup of cream, but the other normal 1/2 cup of the cream) to the butter and pine nuts and bring to a light boil. Cook for one minute, then turn the heat down to low. Add basil and prosciutto. Then fold in the whipped cream and the Parmesan.
Add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Once they float, they are done. (It happens quickly.) Remove and mix with sauce. Serve immediately.
*Notes: I didn't have fresh basil or prosciutto so I used dried basil and bacon. I'm sure the recipe is even better with the fresh basil and prosciutto but I still thought it was fantastic without them. Also remember that the sauce will separate upon reheating so enjoy it the first day when it looks all pretty. I took some for leftovers and it still tasted amazing, but didn't look nearly as good. One last change I made was that I didn't have ricotta cheese so I substituted some cottage cheese that needed to be used.
The only thing I didn't like about this recipe was the time it took to roll the gnocchi. It wasn't horrible but it was a slightly tedious process. In the end you do end up with a lot of the gnocchi. I cooked about half of it and froze the other half so I can make this again soon :). My pictures aren't that amazing but feel free to take a peak at the site I found this recipe on to see her pictures.

Here is my dough (yes I mix/knead all my dough in my kitchen aid mixer and LOVE it!!)

I let my dough sit for a little while. It made it much easier to manage.

This is the process that took some time, the rolling out, cutting, and shaping steps in the recipe

MMMM the sauce! I know its so unhealthy but sooo good!

Once you put the gnocchi in the boiling water it really only took a few minutes for them all to be floating

This is the hubby giving his thumbs up in approval of this dish :).