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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Persimmon Bread






When life hands you yummy persimmons from your aunt's yard, you make persimmon bread! I used the following recipe and it turned out to be a nice fall treat.

Ingredients:

2 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup flour, and 1/2 cup wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup persimmon pulp
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins



Mix the ingredients and cook for 75 mins at 325 degrees, and you should come out with a nice loaf:




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies

Super easy. Take a basic sugar cookie recipe (like the one from the last post), grind up some candy canes in the food processor, mix in some chocolate chips, and bake for about 10 mins at 375 degrees. Perfect Christmas treat!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sorta Like Trail Mix cookie

Now, you may be asking yourself: "Does Shirin have a life? Why so much baking?" The answer: Sometimes. And this week I had a lot to bake for! Plus, I just like experimenting and sharing through this blog.

One of the things I am baking for is a Google SF cookie contest which my friend at work asked me to participate in. (Part of a fundraiser for Family Giving Tree .)I'm generally not very competitive at all, but I still hope I win! hehe

In my quest for excellence I came up with what I call a Sorta Like Trail Mix Cookie. A variation of the unhealthy kind with chocolate in it, in cookie form. Even better! I took the simple sugar cookie recipe below and added some dried cranberries, milk chocolate chips, and cinnamon & sugar almonds from my man Trader Joe. If you ever need to go on a hike, I suggest these cookies. Here is how you make em:

Preheat oven to 375

Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened (I used 1 stick of butter and 1 stick of margarine. The margarine makes them come out softer.)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • As much cranberry, chocolate, and almonds as your heart desires!
Roll them up into little balls, bake for 8-10 mins, and voila! Tasty snack size cookie.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies


I got this recipe from my friend Maryam. She claims not to eat sugar anymore, but I don't know how that is possible with roommates who bake cookies like these! I have never met this roommate of hers, but these vegan cookies were divine...even for a meat eater like me. Try em for yourself and see!

Preheat the oven to 350

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup baker's cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I had to use mint chips because I was out of chocolate chips, doh! But they still taste good).
How to make them:
  • Cream all the wet ingredients together
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until it becomes doughy
  • Blend in the chocolate chips until, and I quote the words of Maryam's roomie, "it be ridiculous"!
  • Form dough into balls about an inch in diameter
Bake for about 9 minutes and gobble them up. If the cookies come out soft and gooey, don't worry, they are meant to be that way!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies


Tis the season for pumpkin! I had some leftover pumpkin and decided to see what I could do with it in cookie form. I came up with the following variation of a shortbread cookie.

Prep time: 30 mins or less
Bake time: 8-10 mins

Makes about 3o lil cookie balls.

Preheat oven to 350.

Topping:
I ground up some walnut, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.




Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup & 3 tbs canned pumpkin
  • Mix in some cinnamon and nutmeg for good measure. These are what will make them taste more like pumpkin pie ;)


Mix up the ingredients, flour up your hands, and roll up the dough into bite size balls. Stick them in the oven for 8-10mins. If they come out to soft leave them in a couple more mins but keep in mind they'll harden as they cool and you want them a little soft and warm out of the oven so that the above nut 'n sugar topping sticks!



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons


I made these for last night's holy day celebration of The Day of The Covenant, and they were a
big hit. I still have not figured out why my cookies come out flat (tips appreciated...I'm still Googling for answers!) but at least they taste good. Here's how to make them:

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and then mix the following ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 cup fine macaroon coconut (if you use bigger coconut shavings they will just come out chunkier)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled
Directions:
  • Beat eggs whites and salt until they are almost stiff.
  • Add the sugar slowly, until the egg whites stand in peaks.
  • Add Almond extract.
  • Fold in the coconut.
  • Stir in the melted chocolate.
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Cook for 12-15mins, depending on how chewy or crispy you want them.
Eat up!






















Monday, November 23, 2009

Not So Krispy Mint-Chocolate Chip Rice Krispy Treats

I plan to keep myself honest with this blog, and share my baking boo-boos too. I'm still learning!
I had a few hours to myself Sunday and decided I would try something new. So I went for some chocolate ganache, and added some chopped up Andes mint chocolates to make it a little different. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with the ganache and thought I could try pouring them on some rice krispy treats I made. It did not turn out as planned...everything tasted like I wanted it to, but the "krispy" treats turned out soggy! But I learned that ganache doesn't work on rice krispy treats (I think I may have just poured too much), and it is really best to use melted chocolate alone. I did however learn how to make a nice mint-chocolaty fudge...with some rice krispy cereal ;)

If you want to go for the ganache though, it is super easy and tasty (best part is licking the spoon haha...oh why not, clean out the bowl too.) I made the ganache seen below as follows. I say go for it, just use it on something more solid.

Ganache Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces chocolate
  • 3/4 cup cream or milk
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup-1 cup chopped Andes candies (depends how minty you want it!)
Directions:
  • Place the chopped chocolate (Andes optional) in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.
  • Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  • Stir with a whisk until smooth.
If you happen to have rice krispy treats too, you could always dip them in the ganache. Mmmm.







Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mexican hot chocolate shortbread cookies

This is just a variation of shortbread I tested out. People at work ate them and seemed to like them. I think they could use more of the chocolate and less of the butter (I rarely say that), but here you go:

Prep: 15 mins (+30mins to chill dough)
Cook: 12 mins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 grated block of Ibarra Mexican hot chocolate (I'm sure you could use some baker's cocoa, sugar, and cinnamon as a substitute too).
*For something totally different, replace the chocolate with Earl Grey tea. I got the idea from the Food Network :)

Prepping and baking:
  • Place the dough on some plastic wrap and roll it up into a log.
  • Wrap the dough up tightly in the plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30mins.
  • After it is chilled, slice the dough into disks about 1/3-inch thick.
  • Place on lined/greased baking sheet and bake 10-12mins.
Serve to your friends with some tea and you are good to go!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A healthy fruit pie...and it's yummy!


Well my friends, I think it is about time I start blogging my baking experiences. I'm hoping I can use this blog as a space to share recipes I've tried and altered, and receive new ideas from my friends who also like to bake!

Last night I cooked this pie below. I'll admit, I did not have high hopes for this one. I tore it out of a health and fitness magazine which raved about "low calories" and "low sugar" baking recipes. Now, to me, this just doesn't sound right. Dessert is supposed to be bad for you! (Right?) But alas, this one proved me wrong. It was so easy to make, and my friends loved it! And sure, okay, you don't have to feel guilty eating it either :)

Here's how it is made:

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dough
  • 1cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp sugar
  • 5tbs butter
  • 3tbs cream cheese
  • 2tbs very cold water
  • 2tsp lemon juice
Roll it up into a ball, flatten it, and cover it up in plastic wrap to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Filling

  • Fruit (I chose Apples, pears, and blueberries).
  • 3tbs of flour
  • 1tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp salt
*I added apple-cinnamon spice I had lying around, and some brown sugar!

Bake it

Add filling to dough (which by now you should have taken out of the fridge, rolled out with a floured rolling pin, and placed onto a 9inch glass pie pan) and bake at 375 for 50 mins.

If you wanna make it extra snazzy, brush the crust with egg whites and sprinkle it with some sugar before placing it in the oven...mmm...sugar.