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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

growin’ old yo

EFF. It took me >10 tries to log into my wordpress acount because I absolutely can not remember my username/password combo (despite the fact that there I have pretty much the same username and pw for everything).

I spent the night before Halloween day decorating sugar cookies with my roomies. Everything made from scratch…except for the food coloring! Be forewarned, though, that royal icing by itself is ridiculously disgusting, but it complements cookies very well.

Sugar cookie recipe from allrecipes.com, with a delicious orange topped icing! It turned out amazingly well for my first delve into royal icing (albeit I wish it tasted a little less like cornstarch and plastic).

We tried to lick our black icing. (Which never got black enough)

Decorating in our tiny tiny kitchen.

A bat in progress! My apartment is an amazing artist.

My first creation is so beautiful and fugly.

Delighted.

Finished products!

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There is only a week left before school begins again, and I have not had the full experience of relaxing and lounging around the house as of yet. I have had, however, my first opportunity to try a Cheesecake factory…cheesecake monstrosity.

Known as the Kahlua Coffee Cocoa Cheesecake, this is a googled-imaged fantasy turned reality:

1 slice of Kahlua Coffee Cocoa Cheesecake, for me.

It was amazing, truly, but a tad bit too sweet. What bothers me the most about cheesecake factory is how the calorie count is posted on their menu. I find it 110% too difficult to really enjoy my cheesecake if I have to see the numbers screaming along the display case and the menu. Aiyaya.

Last year, in August and October, I also fell to the calorie-counting craze, and never realized that I was entering the most searingly painful depths of hell. It seemed to grab me out of thin air, and I was choking and struggling to get back up from that fear of eating and living normal. Two months later, my mom slapped the senses in me when she gave the most pitiful, worried, miserable looks I had ever seen. Ya that was enough.

I like to cook good food, bake good food, look at good food, and eat good food. I will honor that mantra, and revive myself from those short two months that still haunt me today. I hope to inspire and be inspired, and to teach and learn about how wonderful the world of food really is.

So what better way to start off the day, then to share one of my favorite recipes? I thought I hated, abhored, despised, condemned, etc., meringues until I made these. Actually, I only like the ones I make, oh ho!

Espresso Chip Meringues

*courtesy of my love, Giada de Laurentiis!*

Ingredients:
Directions:
*just blend up regular granulated sugar–voila!
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt until frothy, about 1 minute. With the machine on medium-high speed, gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and espresso powder. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds stiff peaks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely while still in the oven, about 2 hours.

I do however, recommend shortening the baking time a little bit, maybe 5 minutes for each side (before/after rotating pan). I don’t know if that’s my oven problem though. Good job Giada, these are a  new found favorite.

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