Buttermilk Biscuits

This week is all about the New York Times Cookbook I guess because here I am with another recipe from it. I had been eyeing up this recipe because I freaking love a biscuit for breakfast. Top it with eggs, jam, ham, and bacon, the list is extensive. This recipe is incredibly easy and I feel that they are 2 key things with making biscuits, don’t overwork the dough, and don’t roll it out too thin. I rolled my dough out a little too thin, but you still get the flakes if you accidentally do too.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TSP Baking Powder
  • 4 TBSP Vegetable Shortening [I used unsalted butter]
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk, more if needed. [if you don’t have buttermilk you can do 1 Cup Milk + 1 TBSP White Vinegar]

Let’s Get Bakin’

Heat the oven to 500F

Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dough with 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Add enough buttermilk to produce a soft dough, stir until the mixture forms a ball.

Knead lightly in the bowl until the dough holds together, for about 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll to about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out biscuits with a small biscuit cutter, any round cookie cutter will do.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with whatever toppings you like. I love them with honey right out of the oven.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Chocolate Babka

Holidays are the time that you get to show off your cooking and baking skills. At least that is how it is for me because I am usually cooking for one. I know I am a few weeks late, but I made this chocolate babka for Easter and I have to say it was an absolute hit. This recipe is from the New York Times Cookbook and makes 2 loaves. It is a long process, so I say get started three days before you want the loaf done. I made the fudge filling and chocolate streusel beforehand and it made the process go a lot smoother. As the New York Times said, read this recipe a few times before committing to making it, you’ll need it.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar + a pinch
  • 4 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 TSP Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TSP Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 TSP Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 4 Large Eggs, at room temp, lightly beaten
  • 10 TBSP Unsalted Butter, softened

For the Fudge Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Heavy Crem or Half and Half
  • Salt
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (66-74% cocoa), coarsely chopped
  • 8 TSBP Unsalted Butter, diced and softened
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract

For Chocolate Streusel

  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 4 1/2 TSBP Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/3 Cup Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

For the Syrup:

  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Water

Let’s Get Baking

Let’s start with the dough. Warm the milk in a small saucepan on the stove until it’s lukewarm. Remove from heat, and add in the yeast + pinch of sugar and let bloom for about 5-10 minutes.

Using a mixer with the dough hook [you can also do this by hand it just takes a bit more time] combine flour + 1/3 cup sugar + salt + vanilla + lemon zest + nutmeg and mix. Slowly add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients along with the eggs. Beat until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Add in half of the butter and beat until the dough is smooth, add in the rest of the butter and wait until the dough is smooth and stretchy about 5-7 minutes. Add in 1 TBSP of flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Butter a large bowl and form the dough into a ball. Roll the dough around in the buttered bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover with clean dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours.

Press the dough down and recover, let rise in the friedge over night.

Onto the filling: Combine the sugar + cream + salt in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add in the chocolate + butter + vanilla stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. This can be made up to a week beforehand.

Onto the streusel: stir together flour + sugar + cocoa powder + salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter until it is distributed and the streusel forms large crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. This can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

To make the syrup: combine sugar & water into a small saucepan. Simmer over MED heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Butter 2 9-inch loaf pans and line with parchment paper

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece into a 9×17 inch rectangle. Spread with half the filling all over. Starting with the long side, roll up into a tight roll, transfer to a dish towel, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Do the same with the other piece of dough.

After the 10 minutes, slice the rolls length-wise in half and twist the halves together as you were braiding them. Fold the braid in half and place it in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the other dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in the fridge overnight.

When it’s finally the day to bake remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temp. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Using your hands, clump the streusel together and scatter along the bread. Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean with no dough.

As soon as the bread comes out, pierce it with a knife going all the way down to the bottom of the bread. Pour over the syrup. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before serving.

Serve and share with family and friends.
Baked with Love,

Hannah

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Step-Mom, Cathy, makes the best chocolate chip cookies EVER. I remember learning that her secret ingredient was Captain Morgan and I thought somehow I would get drunk from eating all the cookie dough. The recipe is a simple one, it’s on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip bag [use whatever chocoloate chips you like just don’t use Nestle, Nestle steals resources from indigenous people]. Enjoy these chocolate chips with family and friends and don’t forget to thank Cathy for the secret ingredient. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened (2 Sticks)
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3 TBSP Captain Morgan

Let’s Get Bakin’

Preheat the oven to 375F

Beat the butter + sugar + brown sugar + vanilla in a large bowl until it’s creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well.

Add in the Captain Morgan. In a seperate bowl combine the salt + baking soda + flour. Slowly pour in the flour and mix until well blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

My mom was going away for awhile and gave me this absolutely massive zucchini. I was racking my brain to think of all the possible recipes I could try to use up this monster of a vegetable. I used my hibachi recipe and I still had more to use, then it hit me. ZUCCHINI BREAD. So moist (ew) and delicious, I had to make some. I prefer chocolate zucchini bread, it packs more flavor, at least I think so. The recipe is used from Chocolate Covered Katie, I changed a few things but she gets all the credit, check out her site!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 TBSP Hersey’s Cocoa powder
  • 3/4 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1/4 TSP Salt
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup grated Zucchini
  • 3/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, or Canola/Vegetable
  • 1 TBSP Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Regular Chocolate Chips + extra for on top

Let’s Get Bakin’

Start off with grating the zucchini, it takes the longest. Grate on a cheese grater or food processor, whatever you have.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add in the zucchini + greek yogurt + coconut oil + vanilla + chocolate chips and stir until well combined.

Place the mixture into a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Press additional chocolate chips on top and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the loaf sit in the closed oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for slicing in. It gets even better the next day so if you can resist temptations wait a day before trying.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Homemade Bagels

I’ve said this so many times but it’s so true, bread is so much easier to make at home than people make it out to be. Your simple bagel and white bread is so much closer than the grocery store. Feel free to add cheese on top or do whatever you like, go crazy. These bagels take no time at all to make and you can enjoy them for breakfast or for whatever you please! I used the recipe from Finding Silver Linings!

Ingredients

  • One Packet of Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
  • 3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour + extra for kneading
  • 1 1/2 TSP Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg White for the egg wash

Lets Get Cooking

In a large measuring cup, add 1/2 cup warm water + sugar + yeast. DO NOT STIR. Let this sit for about 5 minutes to least the yeast build. After the five minutes, stir everything until it all dissolves.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour + salt. Make a well in the middle and add in the yeast mixture.

Pour the final 1/3 Cup of warm water into the flour mixture as well. Mix until you have a moist and firm dough. If you need to add water to achieve this add in a little at a time.

Flour a surface and knead the dough for about 7 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Clean the bowl that the dough was mixed in and lightly oil the sides. Add in the kneaded dough and turn it until it is covered in the oil. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour. Punch the dough down and let rest for another 10 min.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and round the pieces making them as smooth as possible. Press your finger into the center of each dough ball and form a ring. Stretch the ring out slightly and place on an oiled cookie sheet, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425F and bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil about 4 bagels at a time for about 2 min each side. Remove from the water and place back on the sheet.

Once all the bagels have been boiled, brush with an egg wash and bake for 20 min.

Once they are golden brown, take them out, & enjoy!

Always Hungry,

Hannah

Sourdough Starter

We all have so much time on our hands that it’s the perfect time to try new things. Sourdough bread has been something that is on my mind, but it always seemed out of reach, the starter, the fermentation process. I did not understand anything about it. I figured now was the perfect time to figure out this whole process. King Arthur Flour has the BEST guide for making your own starter, so that is what I am going to share with you. I think the best possible thing you can have in your kitchen when making a starter is a kitchen scale, this thing saved me! Now you can always get some starter from a friend, or beg a bakery for a bit of theirs, but truly what fun is that. Here is the guide that I used to make my starter and eventually, my own bread. My best advice is be patient, this is going to take some time!

Ingredients

To Begin the starter:

  • 1 Cup/113g whole rye or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Cup/113g cool water

To Feed starter

  • 1 Cup/113g unbleached All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup/113g cool water (if the house is warm) or lukewarm water (if house is cold)

Let’s Get Fermenting

Day 1: start the process by combining the whole wheat flour with cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass is recommended & what I used as well. Be sure that whatever you store it in the starter has room to grow. Stir all the ingredients together and cover. Let the container sit at room temperature/70 degrees for 24 hours.

Day 2: Some bubbling my start appearing on the sides of the container. Now discard about 1/2 cup/4oz of the starter. Add what is left of the starter to 1 cup/113g of unbleached all-purpose and 1/2 cup/113g cool or lukewarm water depending on your house temperature. Mix well & let the mixture rest again for 24 hours.

Day 3: MORE ACTIVITY, there should be some bubbling and it may even start to smell a little bit differently now, THIS IS GOOD! This is soon going to get repetitive, but you are now going to move to 2 feedings in a day. This starter is now your new pet!

Discard all but 1/2 cup/4oz and combine with the 113g unbleached and 113g water. Mix & cover like usual. This time however, you are going to repeat the step in 12 hours.

Day 4: Discard all but 4oz/1/2 cup and combine with 113g of unbleached flour and water. Feed again in 12 hours

Day 5: At this point your starter should have doubled in volume, there will be lots of bubbles, and a very different smell than when you started. Repeat the same steps you completed in Day 4 until the starter has risen enough.

If your starter has risen enough feed it one more time before using what you need to make the bread. One thing I have to say is do not worry about this being perfect. There were times that I forgot to feed the starter twice, or I didn’t do it at the same time. Trust me it all works out, it will just make the process a little longer! Store the starter in its permanent container and place in the fridge. Feed once a week with the 113g flour and water.

I hope this guide is helpful, please check out King Arthur’s guide as well for any extra tips! This process is very rewarding once you realize that you were able to make your own sourdough at home! It’s no easy task & you should be proud!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Macaroons

I have been wanting to make macaroons for a long time. However, people have mentioned to me how difficult they can be to make, so I strayed away. My pinterest feed recently has betrayed me, bringing up all sorts of different macaroon recipes. I decided to finally cave, despite the warnings people gave me, and attempt to make my own macaroons. I went with another internet recipe from Delish. I am so happy with the way they came out. With the success of these and my croissants last Sunday, I think I might just quit my job and open a bakery.

Ingredients

  • Parchment paper
  • 1 3/4 Powdered Sugar, spooned
  • 1 cup Super-fine Almond Flour, spooned
  • 3 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Superfine Sugar
  • 8 Drops Pink Food Coloring

Butter Cream

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 3/4 Cup Powder Sugar, spooned
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Let’s Get Cooking

Set a sieve over a bowl and sift powder sugar + almond flour. Press through until only solids remain.

Separate egg white and add into a mixing bowl. Add cream of tartar + salt to the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until frothy (it starts forming bubbles). Increase the speed to medium high & add the sugar. Beat until egg whites are stiff & glossy about 2-3 minutes.

Beat in the food coloring to make whatever color you desire. I went with pink like the recipe called for because I think they look so cute!

Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites. Fill a pastry bag with the mixture.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe the batter into about 1 inch circles. Mine were not all exactly 1 inch circles so don’t stress about the measurements, I mean really who has time for that.

Tap the baking sheet on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, let sit for 45 minutes.

When your 45 minutes has passed, preheat the oven to 300F. Bake for 13 minutes, and turn the pan halfway through.

While you are waiting for your cookies to cool, make the buttercream!

When I made the buttercream I added a bit more vanilla and powdered sugar to the recipe, so you might have to adjust to your personal taste.

Place butter + powdered sugar + vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until fluffy.

Spread icing on the cookie + top with remaining half.

Once you’re done don’t forget to share your cute & colorful little french cookies with the world. You will feel like a real baking pro after completing this, trust me!

Made with Love,

Hannah

P.S it’s all about how you whip the egg whites

Croissants You Don’t Want To Drop

We have all seen the food videos on Facebook. They always look so delicious, we repost them to our page, but do we ever follow through and make them? This time, after watching a video for Chocolate Croissants, I finally decided to follow the recipe from Tasty. If you decide to follow through after reading and make this recipe, be sure to have a full day open to make them.

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 packet of Dry Instant Yeast
  • 3 TBSP unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/4 cup cold unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 bars sweetened Chocolate

Let’s Get Cooking

Mix together Flour + Water + Milk + Sugar + Salt + Yeast + 3 TBSP Butter in a large bowl. Once the dough starts to mold together, turn it onto a clean counter and lightly knead to form a ball. Refrigerate the dough for an hour.

Cut the cold butter into thirds and place it on parchment paper. Put another piece of paper over the butter and pound out to 1/2 inch. Place the butter sheet into the refrigerator.

Flour the counter and roll out the dough into a square. Put the butter layer on the rolled out dough and fold over the sides of the dough to enclose the butter.

Roll out the dough length wise. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Flour the surface and roll out the dough length wise. Book-fold [ fold the top half to the middle, fold the bottom half over the top fold] the dough and turn clockwise. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Roll the dough and fold 2 more times. After the final turn refrigerate over night.

WHEN IT’S FINALLY THE NEXT MORNING…

Cut the dough in half and roll out the dough, trim off the edges, and cut into rectangles.

Place chocolate on the edge and roll to enclose the chocolate.

Brush the croissants with a beaten egg.

YOU THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO BAKE?! NOT YET

Let the dough proof for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 400F

Brush with egg one more time & finally BAKE for 15 min.

Time to Plate

Now after all this exhausting work (trust me you gotta have some arms to roll out cold butter) your house will now smell like a bakery. Take those bad boys out and enjoy immediately, after taking many pictures to brag to your friends on social media. I genuinely had a good time making these and I will again, just make sure you don’t forget how many turns you completed, like I did.

Please enjoy and don’t get scared while carrying your croissant.

Made with Love,

Hannah