Saturday, January 28, 2017

Recipe Success

I've been killing it on the recipe front lately. Maybe I'm making good choices with my recipe curation or just lucky, but either way, I'm on a roll. And what kind of person would I be if I didn't let that good fortune trickle down to you? So here are my top picks from January--the key here is to follow the recipes as closely as you can, especially when it comes to cooling and chilling times!

Martha Stewart's Chocolate-Flecked Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Oh my goodness, this cake is delicious. The cake itself is very rich, moist, and dense so this one is not for anyone looking for something light. The frosting is a real keeper--though next time I'll reduce the amount of sour cream and replace it with whipped cream. The frosting was a bit too tangy for my personal tastes. I tried this recipe out because I was looking for a good birthday cake. I ended up going another direction for that, but this is a fucking fantastic cake recipe! Tip: cutting the two layers into four is easier than it seems. Choose a long knife, take your time, and slowly rotate the cake as you cut through the layers!

The Great American Baking Show Turkey and Spices Hand Pies with Cheddar Cheese Crust

My boyfriend and I really got into the Great British Baking Show and its sister show across the pond, the Great American Baking Show. Basically, we love Mary Berry, the adorable British lady judge on both shows.

The American version of the show did an episode centered around hand-held pies (think of them as homemade and infinitely superior Hot Pockets). Two of the recipes were standouts to me--but I liked the crust of one and the filling of the other! So I decided to mix and match! Enjoy and if you decide to give these a try, make sure you keep all the ingredients and short crust dough as cold as possible throughout the process. You can also make the turkey filling in advance as it will warm up in the pies when you bake them in the oven! Genius.

Amanda's Turkey and Spices Filling

Stephanie's Cheddar Cheese Short Crust

Tip: to get them to brown beautifully, use the egg wash in the recipe. Also sealing them with milk around the edges keeps them from leaking out their filling while baking!

Cook's Country Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

You guys, I might have saved the best for last with this one. I'm always trying out new chocolate chip cookies recipes because I always want to find the BEST possible one. This might be it. Its' not often you find cookies that bake up just like you do in the recipe book pictures, but came out damn near perfect! The recipe is pretty fool-proof and you don't need a mixer since they use melted butter. I mixed them by hand and they looked amazing.

Here's the recipe (reproduced from the Food For a Year blog)


2 1/8 cups bleached all-purpose flour (10 2/3 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), 7 ounces
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet) -- I used See's semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

3. Form 1-2 tablespoons of dough into ball and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

4. Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). (Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time.) Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

Happy Baking!