Monday, March 27, 2017

Chocolate Chip Scone Loaf

The summer before 6th grade, I moved into a new house.  I pretty much thought my parents were the worst for making me move and change schools.  To make matters worse, they were making move away from my best friend.  The best friend that I went with to the mall and classic skating.  The best friend that did the science fair with me every year and who was my siamese twin for Halloween.  The best friend who wore the other half of the best friend heart that dangled on a chain around my neck.  My parents, like any parents would, told me that I'd make new friends, but I wasn't convinced.

That same summer, before our big move, I went to 5th grade camp with the elementary school I had been attending and a few other schools.  A day into the camp, my best friend went home with a bad case of "homesickness".  I remember going back to my tent feeling sad and alone.  Little did I know that Heavenly Father was watching out for me and that soon I'd be introduced to a group of girls that would become my very best friends.

I remember standing in field with a big group of kids and a girl wondered over to me with a small group of girls standing a few feet behind her.  She asked me if I was the new girl moving into the purple house (yes, our new house was a purple-grey color) and then told me they'd bring me cookies when I moved in.

I'm not sure how out of all those kids, they knew it was me who was moving into their neighborhood, but I remember afterward feeling not so alone.

Those girls did bring me cookies when I moved in and they became my very best friends.... really the best friends anyone could ask for.  We've been through a lot together...A LOT (pretty much everything imaginable) and to this day I love them with all of my heart.

A few weeks ago, one of these best friends was visiting from Florida (the one that told me they'd bring me cookies).  As soon as I found out she was coming, a group text was sent out to all our Utah friends to plan on a girl's brunch at my house while she was here.

We sat around my kitchen table for 4 hours eating, talking, laughing, crying, and eating and laughing some more.  The time apart from each other may be months and in some cases years, but when we get together it's like we were never apart.  After everyone left, I sat in my kitchen with piles of dirty dishes, platters with crumbs of chocolate chip scone loaf and brown butter blueberry muffins, and a heart filled with so much love and gratitude for these amazing women in my life.

Chocolate Chip Scone Loaf

7-8 ounces marzipan, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Homemade ricotta and vanilla bean honey, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the edges on the long sides of the pan.

In a large bowl, toss together the marzipan and powdered sugar to coat. Add the chocolate chips and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and pulse to combine.  Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is the size of peas.  Add this to the bowl with the marzipan and chocolate chips.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and extracts and add to dry ingredients.  Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf and spread it out evenly.  Sprinkle top with 2 teaspoons sugar (I used raw sugar) and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Using the overhanging parchment, remove scone loaf to the rack to cool completely.  Slice with a serrated knife and serve with ricotta and honey.

I've made this without the marzipan and it was still incredibly delicious!

Recipe slightly adapted from Molly on the Range

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Scones with Spiced Pumpkin Glaze

My birthday is coming up here pretty quick and I can hardly believe that another year has come and gone.  This year for my birthday I asked for a plane ticket to Utah for my sister Stephanie who lives in California.  I'm pretty much getting the best birthday gift ever (and all of my sisters and mama are thanking me for the gift I asked for and am getting)!  Her visit will be short (too short), but we are definitely planning on making the most of it and I can hardly wait for her to get here.  I have that tight, excited Christmas feeling inside.

Last night, my thoughts were filled with planning the food we will eat while she is here (she loves food as much as I do).  You'd laugh if you saw all my planning lists.  Dinner menus, breakfast menus, lunch ideas, grocery lists, food preparation lists.  It might all seem a bit crazy, but if I can plan it out (at least the things that I really want to be included) and can prepare the things that can be made ahead of time then I don't have to spend every moment in the kitchen while she's here and we still get to eat really great food.

These pumpkin scones were at the top of one of my lists.  It is October and something pumpkin seemed to be the perfect way to start one of her mornings here.  I've made these scones before (without the chocolate) and I couldn't help but think that a great dark chocolate would be a very welcome addition to these scones.  So, this afternoon I gave them a whirl to make sure they'd turn out the way that I wanted them too and heaven help me...the chocolate was the perfect addition!  I ate one and I seriously couldn't refrain from eating another (and right before dinner too).  The pumpkin. The chocolate.  The glaze.  I was in scone heaven and I know Stephanie will be too!

Pumpkin Chocolate Scones

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg + 1 yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup pure cane sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

Spiced Pumpkin Glaze

1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
dash of cinnamon
dash of fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, cream, and eggs.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Using a pastry cutter, your fingers, or a food processor, cut butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly and there are no pieces of butter bigger than a pea.  Add chopped chocolate and toss to combine.

Make a well in the center of the flour/chocolate mixture and pour in pumpkin mixture.  Using a fork, combine until dough just comes together.  Do not overwork the dough.  Form dough into a 6"ish square and cut into 9 squares (thirds and then thirds again).  Place square scones on prepared baking sheet.  Place in freezer.

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Once oven is preheated, remove scones from the freezer and bake for 15 minutes.

While the scones are baking, make the spiced pumpkin glaze.  In a flat bottomed bowl, whisk together cream, pumpkin, salt, and spices.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk until no lumps remain.  Glaze scones while slightly warm (not hot) and sprinkle with chopped chocolate.

Scone recipe adapted from The Faux Martha

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bleeding Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my very favorite chocolate chip cookies!  I personally think they are the very best, and most delicious when eaten while they are still warm (or reheated in the oven for  few minutes).  I call them bleeding chocolate chip cookies because the proportion of chocolate to dough is amazing, and by using a good quality chocolate that pools when it melts instead of staying in "chip" form, the cookie if warm (as it should be) will "bleed" melty, glorious chocolate when the top of the cookie is gently pressed.  It's pretty much chocolatey amazing-ness!

Bleeding Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (220 grams-I always weigh my flour for this recipe)
8-ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut with a serrated knife into roughly 1/2-inch chunk
Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Heat oven to 360°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butters and sugars with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.  Add the baking soda and kosher salt and beat to combine.  With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. When the flour is halfway absorbed, add the chopped chocolate and mix until the remaining flour is incorporated.

Scoop dough into mounds (I use a big scoop, probably close to 1/4 cup dough).  Space the dough mounds evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with flaky salt.  Bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden brown, but still very gooey and soft inside.  Let the cookies cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring them to a cooking rack.

Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen and originally from Not Without Salt

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Almond-Crisped Peaches

It's peach season and we've been eating fresh peaches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Every year this happens and every year I look forward to it.  Allred Orchard's opens their fruit stand and boxes of Red Haven peaches (the first peach of the season) fill their store front and in turn fill my refrigerator.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved peach cobbler.  I remember my mom making peach cobbler when I was growing up and stealing a bite from the corner of the pan as it emerged from of the oven, bubbling and golden brown.  That bite would be so hot that I'd puff out my cheeks and quickly tilt my head from side to side to keep the burning hot peach from settling on my tongue and burning the daylights out of it. I remember my mom filling bowls with that steaming hot cobbler and topping it with a rather large spoonful of sweetened whipped cream that quickly melted into all the nooks and crannies of the cobbler.  It was so good and so comforting.

These almond-crisped peaches quickly brought back all those peach cobbler memories as I pulled the baking sheet from the oven and couldn't resist immediately topping the corner peach with lightly sweetened whipped cream and taking a bite that made me puff my cheeks and quickly tilt my head from side to side.  Oh man, it was so good and so comforting!

Almond-Crisped Peaches

4 ripe peaches, halved and pits removed
1/3 cup whole almonds
14 cup turbinado (raw) sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place fruit cut side up on baking sheet.  In a food processor, pulse almonds and sugar together until coarsely ground (with a few pebble sized pieces left).  Add cinnamon, salt, and butter, pulsing the food processor until the ingredients are just blended.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon into the center of each peach, then press the mixture flat, as if you were icing the tops of the peaches.  (If there is extra almond mixture just add a little more to the top of each peach.)

Bake for 45 minutes (baking time varies with peach size), or until the top is brown and crisp and you can slice through the peach with ease using a fork or spoon.

Serve warm with a large spoonful of lightly sweetened whipped cream.  (For breakfast the next morning I ate the leftover peaches with lightly sweetened plain yogurt.)

Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kale Chopped Salad + Peaches (and a whole lot of other goodness)

Sisters are the best!  I am one of six girls (+ three brothers) so there definitely isn't a shortage of sisters in my family.  About a month ago I was lucky enough to have my sister Stephanie who lives in California come and visit.  She brought along her two boys while her husband stayed in California to work.  A week before she came I started planning out a few of my favorites (food of course) that I wanted to eat with her while she was here.  Cocoa crispy crunch, chocolate olive oil bread with ricotta & honey, black ice cream with salty sprinkles, homemade frozen yogurt, butter chicken and homemade pita, flatbread pizzas, and a few of my favorite kale salads quickly filled my list.  I was giddy with excitement both to see her and to feed her!

For lunch one afternoon, we filled white salad bowls with lightly dressed chopped kale, red onion, charred corn, fresh peaches, avocado, baby pea sprouts, feta cheese, and sweet and spicy sunflower seeds.  While we were eating, her "mmm's" confirmed that she loved this salad as much as I did.  It's so great having sisters who love and enjoy food as much as I do.

This is more of a list of ingredients that you can use in the amounts you want rather than an exact recipe.  The dressing will make more than enough for a couple of salads.  The dressing is also delicious with this salad. 

Kale Chopped Salad + Peaches

1 bunch lacinato kale, finely chopped
Charred corn, cut from 2 ears of corn
1/4 red onion, thinly shaved
Fresh peaches, diced
Avocado, sliced
Sprouts (broccoli, pea, or micro greens)
Feta Cheese

Sweet & spicy sunflower seeds


4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cream

To make the dressing, place vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.  Whisk in cream and season with salt.

Sweet and Spicy Sunflower Seeds

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and toast sunflower seeds until just fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the salt, cayenne, and brown sugar and toss them around until the sugar is hot enough to stick to the seeds, 8-10 minutes.  Place sunflower seeds on a piece of parchment paper and spread out in a single layer to cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from
Sprouted Kitchen

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Black Ice Cream and Salty Sprinkles

I love ice cream and the thing that makes me REALLY love ice cream is the toppings.  I love toppings!  On a scoop of vanilla my favorite is sliced bananas, hot fudge, roasted almonds, and lots and lots of salty sprinkles.  (Peaches in the summer comes in at a close second, but chocolate will always win first place in my book). 

If I know I'm going Baskin Robins, I'll bring a baggie of salty roasted almonds to put on my ice cream (don't worry, I don't bring hot fudge).  And along these same lines, I also bring a baggie of granola when I'm planning on eating an acai bowl because you can never have enough granola.  I know...I'm a nerd.

I first came across salty sprinkles near my last birthday.  I made myself a banana split for lunch and covered it in salty sprinkles.  (I think it should be a rule that everyone should eat a banana split for lunch on their birthday.) 

Salty sprinkles are a mixture of raw sugar, toasted sesame seeds, and vanilla flaky salt and I promise you they are addicting, like really addicting.  They take a bowl of ice cream to a new level and make ice cream sundaes crazy good!  (I may just start carrying a small container of them with me (along with my baggie of almonds) just in case I stop for ice cream.)

Oh and this black ice cream is amazing!  So, so, so good!  I love it so much that I've made it four times already.  Melissa of the Faux Martha out did herself with this recipe!

Black Ice Cream

3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup black cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (Califia)
14-ounce coconut cream (not coconut milk)
1/4 cup Lyle’s golden syrup

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, black cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and espresso powder until combined.  Slowly pour in the almond milk while whisking to combine.  Add coconut cream and gold syrup to the sauce pan and whisk to combine.

Over medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer.  Allow mixture to simmer for about 3 minutes, whisking continually.  Remove from heat and pour mixture into a high-powered blender.  Blend on high for 30 seconds. 

Let mixture cool to room temp and then refrigerate to cool completely, preferably overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions.  Once churned place ice cream in freezer to completely set up.

Recipe slightly adapted from thefauxmartha

Salty Sprinkles

4 teaspoons flaky vanilla salt (I use seeds from 1 vanilla bean for every 4 teaspoons of Maldon salt and blend together with the tips of my fingers, taking care not to completely crush the flaky salty.)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Combine everything in a small bowl and mix to combine.  Store in a jar.

Recipe from Food 52

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Bread

I first stumbled upon Ashley Rodriquez's olive oil bread recipe last year, early fall.  I've made countless loaves and I have a hard time saying no to a slice (or two, or three).  Each bite of warm bread deserves a small chunk of cold butter in my opinion. 

Not long before Christmas, I made the mistake (the very delicious mistake) of adding chopped bittersweet chocolate to the dough and it was life changing (and belly expanding).  Preston and I ate a slice every morning for a week straight.  We would lightly toast it and then smear homemade ricotta drizzled with vanilla bean honey on each and every bite (the more the better).  Oh my!  It was perfection!  (We even shared a slice with the washing machine repair man who was fixing our washing machine a couple days before Christmas.  Ugh!)

This afternoon I started planning my mama's birthday breakfast because this Thursday is her birthday.  I'm always looking for an excuse to have my family and friends over to share a meal and a birthday is always a good excuse to gather those I love around my kitchen table.  Not long after I started making plans my mama sent a text to me with a birthday request for homemade ricotta cheese and just like that, dark chocolate olive oil bread (along with a side of the requested ricotta cheese) quickly made its way onto her birthday breakfast menu. 

Happy Birthday Mama!  May this coming year be filled with all kinds of wonderful!  I love you with all of my heart!

Homemade Olive Oil Bread

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup great quality extra virgin olive oil
3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, honey, and water.  Stir to combine and let rest for 5 minutes, or until yeast begins to foam.  Add the olive oil, flour, and salt and stir to combine into a shaggy ball.  Place shaggy dough ball on a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute until dough is smooth and a round ball forms.

Brush a little olive oil inside the empty mixing bowl and place dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, place dough on a lightly floured surface and press dough into a rectangle.  Spread half of the chopped chocolate and fold in both sides like you are folding a business letter.  Press gently into a rectangle again and sprinkle with the remaining chopped chocolate.  Fold again as you would a business letter and then tuck sides under, forming dough into a ball.

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush with olive oil and allow to rise again for 30 minutes, lightly draped with plastic wrap to cover.  Just before baking, sprinkle with flake salt.

Bake for 30 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Remove bread from oven and brush loaf of bread with additional olive oil if desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from Live.Love.Lux