I spent several hours this weekend making these truffle cookies. Saturday night making the dough balls while watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sunday morning dancing in my kitchen listening to Christmas music. Maybe I’m a bit slow getting back to baking which is why it took me so long, but I didn’t mind. It felt calming and creative to work with my hands again. Others noticed and asked me “What’s the occasion?” “Who are you making these for?” “Oh, you’re giving these away as gifts?”
Nope. Just baking. Or non-baking really with this recipe. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard questions like those. I used to bake cakes just to see how many layers I could stack. Or because I was craving fudge frosting. That has certainly been rare recently.
I knew in my own time I would get back to this place. It’s funny, this recipe was actually posted on my blog two years ago but I never made them. They were a fabulous guest post by a blogger friend. I was sad to realize she no longer posts and has left twitter…even sadder that I didn’t notice.
But it’s the end of December so it’s time to celebrate. So cheers to finding a piece of you that you felt like you’ve forgotten. Cheers to all the bloggers, the creators, who have inspired me for over five years. Cheers to the holidays and celebrating all things sweet and joyful. Cheers to making cookie dough covered in chocolate and dusted in gold.
Cookie Dough Truffles
- 1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips for dough
- 2 cups any chocolate for melting (I used a combo of milk and dark)
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with an electric mixer) cream together butter and sugars on low speed until fluffy. Add in milk and vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate flour, salt, and baking soda until fully combined. Add in chocolate chips.
- Cover dough and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Once dough is firm, form 1″ balls and place on a wax/parchment paper lined baking sheet. (I used a 1″ ice cream scooper at this step so all the truffles would be close in size. A tablespoon would work fine too). Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- In a glass or microwave safe bowl, melt any dipping chocolate (or extra chocolate chips) according to package directions.
- Using a spoon, dip frozen dough balls into chocolate and roll until fully covered. Place dipped truffles on a lined baking sheet to cool.
- Sprinkle with toppings like nuts, colored sprinkles, shredded coconut, crumbled oreo
This might just be my new favorite summer dessert. For many reasons. Fresh strawberries and beautiful sage from the farmer’s market. A combination of sweet almond and zesty orange cookies as a base. Mascarpone cheese (’nuff said). Fluffy whipped heavy cream. And no oven required.
How can something be so good when there’s no chocolate in it?
The no baking part is especially wonderful. It’s not even that hot outside yet, but I prefer to not crank my oven up high in the summer. This tart just highlights the best of the best. My first pick of strawberries of the season and quality mascarpone cheese. I’ve been really into berry + herb combinations recently. Blueberry basil, raspberry mint, strawberry sage. Fantastic on a tart or in your cocktail. I think I’ll spend all summer exploring these combos. Adding gin, heavy cream, honey, prosecco as I’d like.
Now on to this perfect tart…
Strawberry Sage Mascarpone Tart
For the filling:
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoon sugar
- 8oz cups mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 pound strawberries, sliced thinly
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
For the crumb base:
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 10 oz almond and orange cookies
- Make the base: Melt butter. Crush cookies to a crumble in a food processor. Mix the crumbs with butter. Spoon the crumbs into a round tart pan with a removable bottom. Smooth into the corners and up the pan sides. Refrigerate until set.
- Make the filling: Separate the egg, putting the yolk in a bowl with the sugar and beating for a few seconds until mixed. Beat in mascarpone and vanilla extract. With a clean whisk, beat heavy cream until it’s whipped, and then fold it into the creamed mascarpone.
- Assemble: Spoon mascarpone filling into the cookie crust, spreading it to the edges. Arrange sliced strawberries and fresh chopped sage on top of the mascarpone. Keep cold until serving.
This post is for my family. Mostly for my older brother who loves every banana. And is graciously letting me film My Family Recipe Rocks with Joey Fatone at his apartment.
It’s a week away and I’m a bit stressed out about it, honestly. Forget the whole spending a day with Joey thing (just trying not to think about that.) But I have a cook some complicated recipes on camera, which is new to me.
So I’m practicing a lot beforehand. Testing out the recipes, talking to my mom and aunts and uncles about how they make them. While I have so many nerves, I’m feeling more and more connected to the food I’m cooking. They’re recipes that mean something to me and my family. They so many memories attached to them. This is another reason this show means so much to me. It’s not just about Joey or making my tween dreams come true. This show is about everything that means something to me. Food and family and passions.
This banana cupcake recipe is like everything else I’m preparing for the show. Simple, sweet, and full of flavor memories. These might just be the cupcakes I bake for Joey next week!
One-Bowl Banana Cupcakes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with 24 paper cups.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly incorporate the eggs, oil, bananas, milk, and vanilla.
- Pour evenly into cupcake tins and bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans half-way through, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on to a wire rack completely before frosting.
Dulce De Leche Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Add in dulce de leche and vanilla.
- Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar until sweetened to your liking. Frost cupcakes.
April 1st is probably my least favorite day on the internet. Why did anyone ever think pranks were fun? Like running marathons and tequila shots. Just don’t get it. But April 1st is also the beginning of my birthday week and the start of my favorite month. Things happen in April. Trees bloom and ramps grow and people get happier because they’re walking around drinking lemonade and eating fro-yo in the sunshine and how could that not make you happy?
On the note of happiness and birthdays, it’s not surprising I want celebrate with something chocolate and fudgy. While I prefer cake, these Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios would absolutely do the trick. Use whatever is your favorite brownie recipe, then add this salted fudge frosting – kicks them up a notch to be birthday-worthy. Chopped pistachios bring in one of my favorite spring flavors (and colors).
Don’t be gullible…April rules. Just add chocolate.
Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Salted Fudge Frosting and Pistachios
- 6 oz dark chocolate chips
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips divided in half
- 8 oz butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt dark chocolate, half of the semi-sweet chocolate, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs. Mix in cooled chocolate. Slowly incorporate the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
- Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
Salted Fudge Frosting
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg with 1 1/2 cups sugar on low speed, add the cocoa into egg mixture. Add remaining 1 cup sugar, vanilla, butter and sea salt and beat to combine. Spread onto cooled brownies. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Kicking off the week with something sweet. I sure need it. I’m having one of those moments/days/feels like a lifetime of stress and I just want to crawl into a big fluffy cocoon and never come out. Ok, it’s not that bad, but I’ve definitely been having moments. When even the idea of making a cake sounds stressful and I actually contemplated using a box mix. That’s when I know something is off.
Anyway, you take it one ingredient and one step at a time. You may not think you have time for it but it helps slow you down. And watching the mixer gradually turn liquid cream into frosting is one of the best sights ever…it’s worth slowing down for.
I’ll get back to feeling like I’m on top of things. I can’t not get there. In the meantime, you just have to try to not get so down on yourself. Focus at what’s hand. Surround yourself with only supportive people. (I’m lucky to have many.) Don’t sacrifice things that make you happy for time or punishment…you just might find that those are the things, like cake and cream or a Justin Timberlake concert, that can pull you out and get you back to your stride.
Dulce De Leche Cake
Start with a basic white cake – like Martha Stewart’s. Frost layers with dulce de leche – like La Salamandra. Top with this dulce de leche whipped cream.
Cinnamon Dulce De Leche Whipped Cream
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche
In a mixer using a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until whipped. Slowly beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Gently fold in the dulce de leche.