Meringue Ghosts [Halloween Special]

“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

It’s finally Hallow’s eve!

This post is quite accidental to be honest. I hadn’t planned on doing a Halloween special this year what with being swamped with college stuff, cake orders, and buddy nonsense.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

I had an ignored Chocolate Cake lying in my fridge; plain top, frosted with chocolate buttercream, and chocolate drips on the sides. If you have ever tried my classic chocolate cake, you’d know that you end up with one lone egg white because the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

And that one egg white is the reason why we have a Halloween post this year!  😀 It’s nothing like last year’s grand spectacle where we murdered a Red Velvet Cake and loved every minute of it. :3 But its awesome nonetheless!!

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

That one egg white has been used to make ghosts to adorn the cake with. Cute little meringue blobs together with their chocolate ball eyes made for adorable ghost toppers. The whole idea came out exactly as I had pictured.

The meringue ghosts were super easy to make; just three ingredients, four if you want to stretch it. The only thing I’d impress upon is ‘patience’. Patience when:

-beating the meringue to make it stiff and glossy, takes 3-5 minutes.

-baking the meringue till it easily peels off the parchment paper, round 60-90 minutes

-letting the meringues dry, round 2-3 hours

Other than that, they’re a breeze to make. This recipe only makes 10-12 meringue ghosts, just enough to top a cake with. But you can easily double the recipe to make more. Just remember the meringue code; for each egg white, use 1/4 cup caster sugar.

That is, if you’re using:

  • 1 egg white: ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 egg whites: ½ cup sugar

  • 3 egg whites: ¾ cup sugar

  • 4 egg whites: 1 cup sugar

And so on…

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

Do give these tiny ghost buddies a try. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

Happy Halloween!

Meringue Ghosts

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                        Yields: 10-12 cookies
Cook Time: 60-90 minutes
Ingredients:
·         1 large egg white
·         Pinch of cream of tartar, optional
·         1/4 cup caster sugar
·         1/4 tsp vanilla extract
·         Mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 105°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg white, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed until frothy.
  3. Gradually add in sugar and increase mixer to medium-high speed. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; about 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe a blob on blob of meringue onto prepared baking sheet (three blobs in total). Add mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 1.5 hours or until the meringues are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue ghosts to continuing drying in the oven for a few hours.
  6. Ghosts will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

Peach Crumble Pie

Pie makes everything better.

That’s what I snapped last week when I was baking this peach pie. The therapeutic value of making a pie really is just bazoom!

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

Last week wasn’t a particularly good week (refer to last post).

What kept me from going over the edge was baking. And cooking. All day long. I would start my day with pancakes, moving onto pasta, naans, pizza, and ending with iced tea.

But nothing could beat the making of this pie. It was so SO relaxing and stress relieving.  Even if it was just for a few minutes, I stopped worrying about everything else and just enjoyed the feel of the cold butter in my hands, and the wonderful aroma of the juicy peaches and the cinnamon.

Thank you Sally for this wonderful recipe!

I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without making an actual pie (these tiny things don’t count).

 

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

 

This pie involves a flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble.

It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

If that doesn’t scream summer to you, I don’t know what will.

 

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

I’ve used the same pie crust I used for the Apple Hand Pies. It’s buttery, flaky, and everything a good crust should be.

*As mentioned, the vegetable shortening in the recipe is Crisco and it’s easily available in every big supermarket.

 

A few pointers before we head straight to the recipe:

  • Use very very cold butter and shortening. Cold fat when melts in the oven causes the pastry to puff up creating little air pockets which makes the end result so tender and flaky.

  • Be gentle with the pie crust. Unlike pizza dough, it doesn’t require kneading. Just mix till it comes together.

  • Use fresh peaches that aren’t too ripe nor too hard.

  • Walnuts are optional in the crumble but highly recommended.

  • Ice cream is NOT optional >> You must serve this pie with vanilla ice cream.

A slice of fresh homemade peach pie and a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream, it might just be a slice of heaven!

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

And there you go. Peach Crumble Pie.

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

I did it. I made a pie from scratch!

Peach Crumble Pie

Yields: 1 pie
Ingredients:
FOR THE PIE CRUST
1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon (45g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled
¼ cup ice water
FOR THE FILLING
6-8 medium sized peaches, cut into chunks
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
FOR THE CRUMBLE:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 (75g) cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly roasted *optional
Directions:
For the Pie Crust
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Using two forks, or with the help of your fingertips, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs, some bigger bits of butter are perfectly fine.
Drizzle in the icy cold water little by little, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the dough begins to form large clumps, do not add more water.
Flour a work surface and transfer dough on it. Using floured hands, fold dough into itself till it comes together, and the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form a ball. Flatten it and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours
For the Filling
Peel the peaches and chop them into 2 inch chunks.
In a large bowl, combine together the peach chunks, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
For the Crumble
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Stir in the butter and chopped walnuts. Mixture will be thick. Set aside.
Assembling
On a floured work surface, roll out one of the chilled dough until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough onto a greased 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Cut off any excess dough from the edges. Prick the base using a fork.
Spoon the peach filling onto the crust, leaving any liquid behind in the bowl.  Sprinkle over the peaches the prepared crumble topping.
Bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on your oven, till golden brown and bubbly.
Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up and the sugars and juices to settle.
Serve with vanilla ice cream. Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Notes:
I use and recommend Crisco as the vegetable shortening. It is easily available in all large superstores.
Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Baked pie can be frozen for upto 3 months.
Recipe source: Sally’s baking addiction

Peach Crumble Pie. A flaky crust filled with juicy peaches and topped with a walnut cinnamon crumble. It’s sweet. It’s juicy. It’s delicious.

Creamiest Chocolate Pudding

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”

–Pablo Picasso

Have you ever wanted something so bad you think you’d die if you don’t have it? And when you think you’ve finally gotten it, its snatched away from you?

If yes, then this chocolate pudding is especially for you.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; it provides comfort like no other.

 

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Chocolate pudding is just one of those things that never fails to bring a smile on your face or warmth to your toes.

Its rich, its creamy, and it is so so SO easy to make even my fogged up brain can whip it up. Just needs a little bit of patience and whole lot of whisking!

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

To start, combine sugar, cocoa, salt and cornflour.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Whisk in 2/3 cup milk and an egg.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Heat the rest of the milk to a scalding temperature.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Then whisk in the egg cocoa mixture and cook over high heat until the pudding thickens into a luscious, silky consistency.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Then remove the pudding from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Pour the chocolate pudding into a big bowl to chill. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding, so a skin doesn’t form.

Eat it warm, eat it cold; chocolate pudding provides comfort like no other.

Then, chill the pudding for an hour or two in the refrigerator or eat it warm. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pudding

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 4 servings
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Ingredients:
·         1/2 cup sugar
·         1/3 cup cocoa powder
·         1/4 cup cornflour (cornstartch)
·         1/4 tsp salt
·         2 2/3 cups  milk
·         1 large egg
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornflour, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the egg and 2/3 cup of milk. Gradually add milk mixture over the cocoa mixture and whisk to dissolve well. Set aside.
In a sauce pan bring the rest of the milk (2 cups) to a boil.
Remove from heat and gradually add the egg mixture over the hot milk whisking the whole time. Place it back over the heat and cook whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes on medium heat.
Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour the pudding into 4 individual or one big bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding so a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate for an hour or two until chilled or serve warm drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Notes:
Good quality cocoa powder is paramount to this recipe otherwise you’ll end with a Milo like tasting bland pudding. For intense chocolate flavor, add in a couple tablespoons of melted dark chocolate.
Recipe source: Home Cooking Adventure

Eat it warm, eat it cold; this Chocolate Pudding provides comfort like no other.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Fudgy red velvet brownies swirled with cream cheese!

Red Velvet + Brownies + Cheesecake! Can it really get any better?

Despite all the negative connotations surrounding V-Day here in Pakistan, I love Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s is responsible for providing endless amounts of cake, strawberries, and chocolate! And that’s why I love it.

Red Velvet + Brownies + Cheesecake! Can it really get any better?

All the amazing recipes popping up on the internet.

Everyone striving to put forward the most creatively bizarre chocolate concoctions, and the best version of Red Velvet out there.

All the pretty pink treats and the beautifully captioned pictures all over Instagram.

Baskets of fresh strawberries being sold round the streets and the markets.

Rows and rows of dark chocolate truffles in the supermarkets.

And all the heart shaped cakes and customized cupcakes on sale at the bakeries.

Red Velvet + Brownies + Cheesecake! Can it really get any better?

This brings me to my favorite recipe which highlights the Valentine train of thought and combines classic Red Velvet with…BROWNIES. Plus Cheesecake! Can it really get any better?

Red Velvet + Brownies + Cheesecake

Red Velvet + Brownies + Cheesecake! Can it really get any better?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Yields: 16 brownies
Ingredients:
RED VELVET BROWNIES
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp liquid or gel red food coloring
  • 3/4 tsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
CHEESECAKE SWIRL
  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 180C degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
For the brownie layer:
In a bowl, beat the 2 eggs together. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted. Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar.
Whisk in the eggs, then fold in the flour until completely incorporated. Do not overmix. Pour the brownie batter into prepared baking pan, leaving about 3-4 Tablespoons for the top.
For the cheesecake swirl: 
Beat the softened cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until completely smooth – about 1 minute. Dollop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter. Cover with the last few tablespoons of brownie batter. Glide a knife through the layers, creating a swirl pattern.
Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Red Velvet + Brownies + Cheesecake! Can it really get any better?

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

A fancy shmancy dessert, worthy of consumption only for the above-average chocolate fanatic.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Hi everybody, I’m baaaaack! NIMUN was awesome, thanks for asking!

No, but really, I had a great time.

For all of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, NIMUN is an international model UN held at my college last week. I was part of the OC and stayed on campus the entire last week, and had the time.of.my.life! And thus had been MIA. Also, because, finals. Eh. Let’s not talk about them.

Let’s, instead, talk about the gorgeousness I’m sharing with you today! Yes people>>> it’s none other than a SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE GANACHE COOKIE TART.

There, the whole dessert, each of its beautiful bold layers perfectly inundated, by the name.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganachethis Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart is sure to grab your attention! Heck anyone’s attention! Perfect for the coming Valentine’s Day. Jussayin’ 😉

aamaz-2A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

This tart is not your average chocolate dessert. It’s a fancy shmancy dessert, so rich; so indulgent; so very scrumptious, you’ll be coming back for more and more, knowing the disastrous effects its having on your waistline; totally shamrockin’ your “new-fit-me” New Year resolution.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

 

 

This extra decadent tart has three parts to it; the crust, caramel, and chocolate ganache, but they’re all very easy.

It’s the long never-ending wait in between the making of each layer that kills you! Other than that, it is one simple dessert to make; the varying texture of each layer creates magic in your mouth. This takes more time to prepare, but itisworth it!

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

We begin at the base of this delicious dessert: the dark chocolate cookie crust!

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

You start off by creaming together your butter, icing sugar, egg yolks and vanilla.

Then fold in the flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix till it all just comes together and forms a big clump. Now plop this crumbly mix into a lightly greased tart shell.

The loose bottom tart shell is the way to go but I couldn’t get hold of it. The silicone kind worked wonders, the tart easily slides from it and was much cheaper too.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Press the dough evenly with your fingers.

Let it chill in the fridge for about 15 to 30 mins, to prevent the sides from slumping.

Then bake it, and allow to cool.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Next you’re going to be making a caramel sauce by cooking together water and sugar. Once amber, add in; cream, salt, and butter.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

The caramel sauce is really easy and only takes a few minutes on the stove-top.

My only piece of advice here is to stay close while the caramel is cooking. Caramel starts out slow but when it reaches a certain level, it happens fast, and if you walk away to check your Snapchat or charge your phone, you may very well return to a pot full of burnt ingredients. And that would be a downright shame and you’ll have to start all over again.

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

This caramel guysss!

I’ve made caramel before but nothing like this. It was beyond my imagination.

Reminiscent of a molten éclair candy. My sisters swooned over it. Everyone was going vavavoom over it.

Chewy and gooey and oh so melt-in-your mouth good.

You’ll find yourself sneaking it in your mouth again and again. But don’t eat all of it, ok? We need some for our tart ala magnifique!

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Next up is your basic Ganache, made juuust pourable.

To do this you’ll simply place the chocolate in a bowl, pour warmed cream over top, and stir like crazy!

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Pour over the caramel, and allow to set.

Then top with an extra chocolate drizzle, just because…why not?

And then sprinkle with sea salt (I might have overdone it a teeny bit), and then dig in!

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate TartThat first bite though.

Rich, fudgy, and utterly decadent.

The caramel settles just the slightest bit and makes a small layer of fudge-like goodness on the bottom.

Then you have the chocolate that melts slowly in your mouth as you chew.

And the slight tinge of saltiness from the sea salt. *swoooon*

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

 

A dark chocolate all-butter cookie crust, lush salted caramel, and an incredibly decadent chocolate ganache –Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Now get thee into the kitchen and make this. Then pour yourself a tall glass of cold milk, or green tea, and enjoy bite after decadent bite.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache Tart with Cookie Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                                                        Yields: 8-10 servings
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients:
FOR THE COOKIE CRUST:
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp butter (125 g), at room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL:
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) cream1
  • 5 tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter2
  • 1 tsp salt
   FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
  • 4 oz (120 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped3
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) cream
     Coarse sea salt, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease lightly a 9 inch tart pan.
  2. For the crust, whisk to combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg yolks and vanilla, and mix until combined. Little by little, add the dry ingredients until incorporated. The dough may look crumbly, but it should come together easily when you pinch the dough between two fingers.
  3. Press the dough out into your prepared tart pan. Prick all over with a fork, and pop into the fridge for 15-30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool completely.
  4. For the caramel, place the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until sugar dissolves and gets a dark amber color. DO NOT stir.4
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream. It will bubble up.
  6. Cook for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until smooth. Remove from heat and add butter and salt. Stir well until smooth.
  7. Let the caramel cool slightly before pouring over the chilled cookie crust. Refrigerate for about 4-5 hours, or preferably overnight.
  8. For the chocolate ganache, Heat the cream in a small saucepan. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth.
  9. Pour the chocolate ganache over the caramel. Spread it evenly and refrigerate for another 2-3 hours before serving. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.
Notes:
1.       I used Olpers Milk Cream.
2.       I used salted butter, both for the crust and the caramel, and hence reduced the salt amount to ½ tsp in the caramel.
3.       Milk, semi-sweet chocolate, or a combination can be used too. I used Lindt 90% Cocoa which proved to be a bit too dark.
4.       DO NOT STIR when the sugar and water are cooking, otherwise the mix will clump up. Mix only after adding the cream.

 

Adapted from: Home Cooking Adventure

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Small Batch Chocolate Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Holidays, folks! Finally we are getting proper winter feeling. Can you believe it’s almost end of December and not finger-freezing cold yet?

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Here I have for you the perfect holiday recipe. Have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (sneak in a few snacks too, if you can). I know would, if those pesky things called adipocytes (fat cells) didn’t exist.

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

I don’t know how many of you worship at the shrine of pastry heaven called Cinnabon like me (don’t tell my mother I said that) but cinnamon rolls are one of the scrumptious essentials of life.

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

MY rolls are, however your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

The gooey center. My favorite bit.

My three favourite Cs: Cinnamon, Coffee, Chocolate.

They’re soft and gooey, with a caramelized bottom, and melty chocolate chips in between. The light mocha touch enhances the chocolate flavor ever so slightly. And the mocha glaze does not take the glory away from the cinnamon sugar, just makes it even better (yes, its possible my friend).

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

This recipe makes a smaller number of rolls than the usual recipes. It is perfect for when you have the cravings and want to bake your own but don’t want to end up with trays and trays of rolls that you then stuff into your freezer (although you are secretly happy).

This recipe makes six large cinnamon rolls or 9 small ones. Super easy to make. They literally take 2 hours to go from your thoughts to the oven to your belly (I timed).

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Knead the dough using a stand mixer or by hand. Plop it in a well-oiled bowl. Allow to rest in a warm place (the microwave, or near a window with the sun shining in), roll it, and fill with the most amazingly sinful filling ever (butter+cinnamon+sugar+cocoa powder+chocolatechips+instant coffee), roll them, slice them, arrange them on a greased dish, let them rest again, bake, glaze, and devour. Voila!

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

For the extra special Christmas morning (for those celebrating), make these tonight and place covered, unbaked rolls in the fridge. You can then just bake them tomorrow and win the hearts and tummies of your family!

Happy holidays, again!

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Chocolate Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

Yields: 9 small rolls
Ingredients:
Dough
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
Filling
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3/4 teaspoon cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk; enough to make a pourable glaze
Directions:
In a small saucepan combine milk, butter, and sugar. Stir continually until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted completely. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool till it comes to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the; 1 ½ cup flour, salt, egg yolk, and yeast. Add in the prepared milk and butter mixture. Mix. Bring the dough together into a ball and knead a few turns with your hands. Add more flour, a few tablespoons at a time if the dough feels to wet. Knead well for 3-4 minutes till the dough feels compact and is no longer sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a roughly 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
Spread with about 4 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Generously sprinkle over the melted butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roll starting at the longer edge into a tight coil.
Slice into 6 large pieces or smaller ones.
Use remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan or any other baking dish. Place rolls in the pan leaving about 1/2 inch of room between them. Cover the rolls and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
While the rolls rise, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and doubled in size.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly.
In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, coffee powder, and cream or milk. Drizzle over warm rolls.
Enjoy.
Recipe source: Joy the Baker

Your standard cinnamon rolls amped up a notch with the glorious addition of coffee and chocolate.

Apple Hand Pies

*This post was intended for the week after exams. But then Karachi happened…

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

The air may not be as crisp and the leaves may not be as brown as the rest of the world, but that does not mean that us Pakistanis don’t love fall. And now that winter is almost here, it’s the perfect time to put to use all those pie recipes safely hidden away in your recipe box. What could be better than gooey flaky just-out-of-the-oven apple pies on these cold dreary days.

The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

 

I whipped these up in fifteen minutes flat after coming home from a relax- after-Exam-From-Hell hike in the Margalla Hills. The weather was beautiful and my legs were dead.

off to the hills!water-3

And so these mini apple pies were the perfect pick-me-up, although I do prefer chocolate but these were next to best.

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

These beautiful little treats are the perfect thing to make this fall cum winter. To impress your guests with at your next tea party. And with Christmas just around the corner, they can make for a perfect gift for your friends and family, just fill em in a cute lil box, tie a ribbon around it and voila….DIY Christmas gifts in a jiffy. Who wouldn’t love a box of lil apple pies?

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

Don’t let the pie crust scare you. I will do a detailed post on it later. It’s very easy. Just follow all the steps and you’ll get perfect results every single time. This was my first try at pie crust and it turned out beyond my expectations.

Mini apple pies. The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

The flaky buttery crust filled with a cinnamon scented apple filling should definitely be on your to-bake list this winter!

>>Oh and in case you guys missed my post on Instagram, Spatula in My Pocket is now on Snapchat! {Add me at: noora559} I’m trying to make a habit of sharing more and on a regular basis but, boy, cooking and taking pictures at the same time is hard  o.o<<

Apple Hand Pies

Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time                                               Yields: 8-10 hand pies
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Ingredients:
FOR THE CRUST
1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon (45g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled
¼ cup ice water
FOR THE FILLING
2 cups small diced and peeled apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
FOR TOPPING
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
Granulated sugar, optional
Directions:
For the Crust
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, or two forks, or with the help of our fingertips, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits of butter are totally fine)
Drizzle in the icy cold water little by little, stirring with a wooden spoon in between. When the dough begins to form large clumps, do not add more water.
Flour a work surface and transfer dough on it. Using floured hands, fold dough into itself till it comes together, and the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form a ball. Flatten it and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours
For the Filling
In a small bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Assemble the Pies
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before rolling, for about 15 minutes. Then, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, roll into a square about 1/8 inch thick and 14×14 inch sides.
Using a cookie cutter or a cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Reroll dough as needed.
Place six of the circles on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon apple filling in the center, leaving space around the border. Place second dough circle on top of each filled circle. Use a fork to crimp the edges together to seal each pie.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water.
Brush the top of each pie with the prepared egg wash. Using a sharp knife, cut two to three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let pies rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
I use and recommend Crisco as the vegetable shortening. It is easily available in all large superstores.
Cubed apples should be very very tiny so as to make sure they cook inside the oven.
The sugar in the filling can be replaced with brown sugar for a more caramel-like flavor.

 

 

Small Batch Brownies

What does your parents being away all weekend mean? It means a kitchen all to yourself! It means partyyy! And party means brownies.

Small batch of brownies not meant for sharing!

Brownies solve everything! They even make your headaches and cold go away. I swear they do.

There I was lying sick in bed, craving warm gooey brownies but did not have the energy nor the people to make a whole batch of brownies for. With just me and my sister and brother home, it seemed like the perfect time to try this handy dandy recipe for a small batch of brownies I had bookmarked ages ago.

Small batch of brownies not meant for sharing! 

Small batch of brownies not meant for sharing!

The left side is obviously intended for me.

Small batch of brownies not meant for sharing!

           

The original recipe yields 3 to 4 brownies. I cut them into 8 tiny squares just so I could savor one bit at a time. These brownies are just as fudgy and dense as the normal kind. And they are so easy to make too. Just one bowl, and only a handful of ingredients, all of which you probably already have on hand.

And the best part? The recipe calls for only half a stick of butter! Awesome for if, like me, you are always running out of butter.

Small batch of brownies not meant for sharing!

Small batch of brownies not meant for sharing!

Small Batch Brownies

Prep Time: 5 minutes                                                                        Yields: 4 large or 8 small squares
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Ingredients:
1/4 cup (57g) butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
3 Tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted
¼ teaspoon instant coffee powder
Directions:
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
Butter an 8×4 inch loaf pan*. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Heat butter in the microwave, for around 25-30 seconds, or until melted. Mix in sugar and cocoa powder. Cool slightly. Then mix in the egg. Add in the vanilla, coffee powder, and the flour; mix until just combined.
Pour into prepared loaf pan. Spread into an even layer. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
*using a pan any bigger than a loaf pan will yield in thinner brownies.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Small Batch Brownies for when you're craving warm gooey brownies but do not have the energy nor the people to make a whole batch of brownies for.