Monday, December 16, 2013

Reindeer (Cupcakes) in a Jar

Sometimes I feel like I am a caricature of myself.  I don't even think i'm a real person.  I am that ridiculous. Or awesome.

I decided this Holiday season that what my life was missing was cute holiday antlers.  I spent a whole week running into drug stores and trying on reindeer antlers I could parade around in comfortably and with little to no shame.  It was hard to find a happy medium between too plain and too much Christmas cheer on my head.   But I found some!  Luckily I had a White Elephant party to attend so I didn't have to wear them just around in my room, in my matching reindeer pajamas.  The antlers, along with said reindeer pajamas, were what inspired these cupcakes in the jar first place. Might as well go all out, right?

The cupcakes are gingerbread latte flavored.  Like the Starbucks Holiday drink I binge on every year.  Yes I know, more gingerbread.  Molasses all over the kitchen for the second weekend in a row!  You could use any flavor you'd  like but why not make something seasonal to impress your friends?

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes
Makes 22, Bake for 15 minutes at 350*

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c oil
2/3 unsulphured molasses
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup (hot) strongly brewed coffee

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg together.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugars, oil and molasses together, and add in eggs one by one.
3. Add in the flour mixture and the coffee in alternating additions to the sugar mixture.  Beat until fully incorporated.
5. Scoop batter into lined cupcakes and bake.  
6. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack until completely cool.  

Latte Frosting
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons VERY strongly brewed coffee

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2.  Add 2 tablespoons coffee (or as much as you can before butter and cream cheese starts getting soft).
3. Slowly add in  3 cups powdered sugar by the 1/2 cup full.  
4. Add in remaining coffee.  Add in remaining sugar.

Reindeer Antlers
1 cup melted dark chocolate
1 bag pretzels
Assorted Sprinkles

1. Break your pretzels with your hand or a knife until you get the antler "shape" you would like.
2. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals.
3. Dip pretzel pieces in chocolate, cover completely and place on wax paper.
4. Before the chocolate dries, use sprinkles to decorate.  The sprinkles will adhere on their own if the chocolate is still wet. Make sure the antlers are dry before using.

Jar Assembly

Click here for instructions I used when I made my bunny jars last spring.  Easy peasy, promise.

Admittedly, the antlers were a little tedious to make but only because it is HARD to cut pretzel pieces into the right shape.

The last layer of frosting should be thick so that the chocolate antlers will stay in place.  You can also try making a small hole in the top cake layer with a knife and sticking the end of the antler there to keep it firmly in place.

Once I got to the sprinkle part I was having too much fun.  The possibilities are endless! Mostly I stuck with pretty snowflakes, some holly...

But I couldn't help myself.  Pink heart sprinkles exist for a reason.  I'm sure there are girl reindeer out there, right?

No?  Just me?  Just Anna the girl reindeer being ridiculous?  Yes, I did wear these all night long.  In every single picture.

Happy Holidays everyone!  Shop online, stay out of the mall, go to lots of boozey parties! Enjoy the next two weeks.  I know I will.  It's also my birthday this weekend and in case you are wondering there is no way that I will be baking ANYTHING.  Someone better bring me a cake.


P.S.  You can also stick some (stolen) Starbucks straws in these Gingerbread latte cupcakes if you're feeling lazy.  Still looks fancy pants!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Madeleines

I do this thing every year where I decide to vacation during the month of November.  It's awesome because I get to to escape the city and the mundanes of daily life and sneak away for one last sun kissed tan in before the sun goes away for four months.  It's awful because I come home, catch a cold, have to wear pants because it's dropped 20* and oh look it's December!  I have no idea where November went this year... one minute I was on a boat in the Bahamas, the next I was back in the states, downing Gingerbread lattes, shopping for Christmas mugs at Target and planning fancy holiday outfits.

When it came time to decide what to bring to my friend Rachelle's cookie exchange -- while wearing my favorite hot pink fleece gingerbread pajamas and sipping gingerbread tea out of my gingerbread man mug mind you  --it was no surprise that I went with something gingerbread.  My first thought was my gingerbread chocolate chip cookies.  They're easy to make.  I've made them before.  But that seemed too boring for a cookie exchange.  Then I thought about how easy madeleines are to make and contemplated making some of those instead -they just look fancy.  While debating the hard question of which cookie to bake, I came to the realization that instead of choosing between the two, I could combine the two.  Hashtag Cookie Genius.

Taking a page from the chocolate dipped orange madeleines I made last year, I finished these gingerbread madeleines with a dark chocolate drizzle.    Gingerbread plus dark chocolate is one of my favorite holiday flavor combinations afterall.  Remember the Gingerbread S'mores Cupcakes?  

Gingerbread Madeleines
Adaptation Source.
Makes 34. Bake at 375* for 7-8 minutes.

4 room temp eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp molasses
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
(Optional:  1 cup mini chocolate chips)

1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat eggs on high for about three minutes.
3. Add salt to the eggs, and then the sugar.  Sugar should be added slowly over the course of five minutes by the spoonful.  Eggs will become white and frothy.
4. Add in vanilla and molasses and beat on high speed until fully incorporated.
5. Stop the stand mixer and fold in flour and butter in additions, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix until smooth.
6. Scoop batter into butter and floured madeleine pan and bake for about 7 minutes.
7.  Melt chocolate in microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between.  Scoop melted chocolate into a piping bag and decorate cookies once they are cooled.

Tip:  Madeleines taste best 1-3 days after baking.  This allows the butter flavor to really set in.

Do you know what taste's good with these?  Gingerbread tea.  In a gingerbread mug... lol.  I'm totally that girl.

I apologize for my Gingebread Cheer.  No not really.

Do you know what else you can do to these bad boys?  Add in mini chocolate chips to the batter (about 1 cup) for EXTRA chocolately goodness.  See?

How was the cookie exchange you may ask?  Awesome.  Who doesn't love a giant plate of cookies?

Or 10 plates of them.  Don't worry we did more than just eat our weight in butter and sugar.  We mixed up some royal icing and decorated some sugar cookies too. That counts as activity, right?

I have to bake again this weekend ('tis the season to get fat afterall).  I'll try not to wear my penguin pajamas as I think of a cookie/cupcake because I don't want to find out what penguins taste like.  =/


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice S'mores Cookies

Oh hai guys.  I'm just going to pretend that I have not been neglecting this blog for two months.

And what better way to break the ice than with Fall's It Flavor:  Pumpkin Spice.  

You know you love/hate it.  It's everywhere.  Ice cream, coffees, donuts, trail mix, pancakes, pop tarts, tea... It's out of control.  Sometimes its overly sugary and disgusting, sometimes it's pumpkin spice heaven.  I have had pumpkin pancakes that make it taste like fall exploded in my mouth.  And I have thrown away an entirely full container of TJ's pumpkin spice chai tea latte mix that made my teeth hurt after one sip.  It's a pumpkin spice gamble.  

No gamble here, however.  These Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice S'mores Cookies are not sugary and disgusting despite having so many components.  The pumpkin is subtle, the dark chocolate not too bitter and the oats help to balance out the sweetness of the marshmallow glaze.  Yes you heard right, these cookies will give you the taste of a sweet marshmallow glaze in every bite. 

Oatmeal Raisin S'mores Cookies
Makes 25, bake at 350* for about 12 minutes.

1 c. flour
2 1/2 c. oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. dark chocolate chips 

1. Sift flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and baking soda together in a bowl.
2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, around 5 minutes.  Add in egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth. 
3. On low, slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
4. Turn off stand mixture and fold in oats and chips by hand.
5. Scoop dough onto lined cookie sheets and bake until edges start to slightly brown.  Remove from oven and let cook on a wire rack.  

Marshmallow Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp milk
3 tbsp butter
1 c. mini marshmallows

1. In a saucepan over low medium heat, melt butter completely.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until melted into butter.
3. Add milk and stir, remove from heat.
5. Slowly add powdered sugar and whisk mixture quickly until no lumps remain.
6. Pour over cooled cookies.  

I made these for no other reason than because I still owed people cookies from my AIDS Walk fundraising that I started back in April. Ha.  Hey, when it's hot it makes it really hard to bake.  Alas, it is now late October and the last heat wave from our California Indian Summers seems to have left us for good.  Chilly Fall mornings try to make me put on pants now. I'm resisting the pant wearing part of Fall, but the baking part?  I think it's time to embrace it wholeheartedly. I don't mine wearing aprons (or awesome baking gloves) one bit. 



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

A short, light post today.  Just to prove to you all that I really like peanut butter.

I am not even kidding when I say that some days when I wake up and lie in bed trying to convince myself to get up and start my day, I only get up because I bribe myself with breakfast.  FOOD!  Every single morning I spread peanut butter on top of a toasted whole wheat English muffin and it melts in the nooks and crannies and it is bomb.  Add a cup of coffee and I am one happy girl

That's what I had for brekkie today.  And then followed it up with a bar... or two of these bad boys. Peanut butter (creamy and crunchy), chocolate, cereal, marshmallows, caffeine, carbs?  Those are all my food groups right?  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
10 oz. bag marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 

1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely but do not let boil.
2. Add in marshmallows, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking.
3. Add peanut butter and stir until combined.
4. Remove from heat and immediately add in rice krispy cereal.  
5. Scoop mixture into a 9 x 13 pan lined with wax paper. Pat down with a greased piece of waxed paper until smooth and even. Let set a few minutes. 
7. Melt semi sweet chocolate chips and pour over top of rice krispies.  Let set a few minutes.  
8. Melt peanut butter chips and pipe on as much or little peanut butter on top of the chocolate chip layer as you'd like.  I piped on chevron stripes just because I could.  :)  Let set.  (You can speed up the process by putting these in the fridge for a few minutes.  But be careful, too much time in the fridge and you won't be able to cut through the cereal!   
9.  Enjoy!!!!

I love the layered look of these, don't you? 

Rice krispys treats have become my go to treat for when I am either too lazy or it's too hot to bake.  I made some cookie butter rice krispy treats before, but thought I would try peanut butter out since that had been my original intention month ago.  If you recall, I wanted to do peanut butter but a friend threw cookie butter in instead, giving me a mini heart attack in the process.  So this was my redemption to myself.

Peanut Butter redemption is the best, by the way.

I owe so many people cookies it's ridiculous.  So I shall be back soon.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Thai Tea Cupcakes

I have a real problem on my hands.  It comes in a plastic cup, you push a giant straw through the top, it has tapioca pearls at the bottom, it is filled with iced milk tea and I just can't stop drinking it.  Oh boba, you're exactly the kind of problem I like to have. Luckily all my friends have a similar problem.  Boba parties, yo.

And luckily-not-so-unluckily, Pam decided she wanted  thai tea cupcakes for her birthday dinner this year.  I say luckily because I got to make these bad boys. Iced thai tea is my favorite flavor!  I say unluckily because when a pound bag of thai tea came to my doorstop I literally made my tummy hurt "testing" the flavor.  I drank a lot of cups of tea.   I also felt the need to stop by a local Ice Creamery to try their Thai Tea Iced Cream for dinner.  Twice. After the gym though!  That makes it sound better, right?  Or Worse?  I'm just educating my palette, totally acceptable.

Before I get to the recipe or the flavors though, let's take a second and discuss these liners.  I'm sure you can find them anywhere, but I found them at this adorable cake supply shop in Berkeley where they sell cupcake shaped spatulas, SPRINKLES, cookies, liners and anything else you may need.  It's named Spun Sugar and I want to move in there.  And I mean, orange scalloped liners?  The only thing more appropriate for Pam would have been if they'd been lace, too.

To keep with the orange theme of the liners and the cupcakes themselves I had to make orange flowers to top them off.  They were super simple to make.  Just melt orange candy melts, pipe out some squiggly flowers on some wax paper and add a cluster of white pearl sprinkles in the center.  As long as the candy melt is still soft, they will act as glue.  Pop  in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the drying process.  Way too easy.

Thai Tea Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes, Bake for aprox. 15 minutes. at 350*
Adapted from Bowen Appetit

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup thai iced tea mix
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 tsb vanilla extract

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 block cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar

1. In a small sauce pan/pot combine whole milk and condensed milk along with the thai mixed tea mix.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
2.  Remove from heat and cover with a lid, let seep for 10 minutes.  Pour mixture through a fine sieve and let cool to room temperature. You will only use 1/2 a cup of the thai tea milk mixture.
3. Whisk flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
4. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
5. Add eggs in one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.   Add in vanilla.
6. Alternate add in flour mixture and thai tea milk mixture to the stand mixture, starting and ending with the flour.
7.  Scoop batter into lined cupcake liners and bake until done, around 15 minutes.  Cool fully before frosting.

Thai Tea Frosting
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 block full fat cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 cup thai tea and milk  mixture (see below)

Thai Tea and Milk mixture:
3/4 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbsp  thai iced tea mix

1. Combine the two milks in a small saucepan/pot along with the loose thai tea and stir occastionally until mixture simmers (not boils).  (8-10 minutes. )
3. Remove from heat and cover pot with a lid and let seep and cool for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Strain tea through a small sieve.  (Note: Boiling and straining will reduce the liquid down by almost half.  You should have 1/2 a cup.)  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
5. In a stand mixture, cream butter and cream cheese together until fluffy on medium speed.
6. Slowly add in the Thai Tea and Milk Mixture and continue beating.
7. Add powdered sugar 1/2 a cup at a time and beat.
8. Add vanilla in and beat until fully incorporated.
9. Pipe onto cupcakes.

The frosting came out perfect.  The cupcakes need one additional tweak -- which I have changed here. They should come out perfect... now  ;)  I especially like the color. A light orange color all around, with the smallest little specks from the tea leaves. Coupled with the other orange accents and I made Pam a happy girl.

I'm really proud of how pretty these came out.  I was tempted to have Pam take pictures of them for me instead.  But since it was her birthday and she was busy stuffing herself with pizza, I gave her a pass.

For the record, yes Pam gets her every birthday request granted.  She is spoiled like that.  I have no doubt she is already formulating ideas for what she wants next year.

And to no one's surprise I will leave you now... to go find some boba.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

By the time I post this, I will have made these cookies three, maybe four times.  They're that good.  They're really just like my regular oatmeal raisin cookies but instead of raisins they have cranberries and white chocolate chips.  So that obviously means they are delicious.  Let's be honest though, what cookie is not delicious?

I don't understand people who don't like oatmeal raisin cookies. So naturally, I won't understand anyone who does not like this cookie, either.  Dried fruit DOES have a place in sweet treats.  It's no fatty ice cream cookie sandwich, but it is something important with a rightful place in my internet cook book.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Makes 36, Bake at 350* for around 9 minutes

1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 c unsalted butter, room temp
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c oats
2/3 c dried craisins
1 c white chocolate chips

1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer.
3. Add in vanilla extract and egg and beat until fully incorporated.
4. Add in flour mixture to batter.
5. Fold in oats, then craisins, then the white chocolate chips
5. Scoop out dough balls onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake until edges are brown.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!
6. Let set on cookie sheet for 1-3 minutes and then place on cooling rack.

I made these for a pool party, for a park BBQ and just a few weekends ago I baked some batches as part of a fundraiser/bake sale for the upcoming San Francisco Aids Walk on July 21, 2013.  There's been stacks and stacks of cookies at my house lately.

I've been baking for a few weeks now; a dozen cookies as a thank you to anyone who donates online to a good cause.   If you'd like to donate please feel free to support me by clicking here.  You never know, you may get a delivery of cookies at your door step yourself.   ;)


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Muffins with Cinnamon Oatmeal Walnut Almond Streusel

I feel guilty, opening up this text box and starting a new blog like I haven't been MIA for almost two months.  Life blew up.  Sorry?  It doesn't mean I wasn't baking this whole time.  If you follow me on IG you know I'm in the kitchen almost every weekend.  I just didn't have time to blog about it all.  Work, Life, Sunshine... all that got in the way of me blogging.  Life has finally calmed down now, so I am able to play catch up. Starting with these muffins I made for my mom for Mother's Day... back in May.

I've mentioned before that I hate giving my mom any of my baking because she dislikes sweets and always says the same thing;  "Too much sugar!".  Drives me crazy.  So she got something without any frosting or icing or chocolate.  She got something full of strawberries.

Strawberries make me think of my childhood.  Although I am not from Watsonville, growing up we had family there so I learned to walk in the strawberry fields.  And one of my oldest memories is eating strawberries in the backyard after a summer rain, staring at the resulting rainbow.  Yes, I'm serious that is an actual memory.  I also had a puppy but she must have been elsewhere that day.  In any case, it felt appropriate to make these for my mom. 

Fresh Strawberry Muffins
Makes 15, Bake at 350* for 18 minutes

2 cups+ 2 tbls flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 cup diced, floured, fresh strawberries

1. In one bowl, mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
2. In stand mixer bowl, add wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
3. Add flour mixture to wet mixture, 1/2 c at a time and mix on low until well incorporated.
4. Pour batter into lined muffin tins.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Walnut Almond Streusel:
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted butter

1. Mix together nuts, oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon.
2. Melt butter and pour over mixture. Knead together.  Mixture should be clumpy.
3. Measure out 1 tablespoon of streusel and sprinkle directly on top of batter in muffins tins.
4. Bake in oven for about 18 minutes.

I'm saving this recipe here and in my brain.  I love this streussel topping on most anything but on top of muffins filled with fresh berries?  Yum.   Eat these warm, right out of the oven or warm them in the toaster oven first.  You will be glad you did.

I promise I will be back sooner than 2 months from now.  :)


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cookie Butter Rice Krispy Treats with Butterscotch & Chocolate Chips

"Why can't your feelings taste like rice krispy treats?"

No subtly between friends, right?   So here you go, what my feelings taste like today:  Cookie Butter Rice Krispy Treats, with both butterscotch and chocolate chips.  Add a little extra chocolate on top for some flair, and add some shape for some class.

I'd actually never made rice krispy treats until this past February.  Maybe because it doesn't require an oven?  Maybe because I like to pretend I am super sophisticated and refined and usually rice krispy treats don't sound like they could be either.  I was in charge of treats for a group outing and was too exhausted from life to bake anything so I decided to take a stab at some.  I made the first batch at a friend's house.  I asked if he had peanut butter and he took out a jar of cookie butter instead.  I won't lie; I almost had a heart attack.  I wasn't thrilled at him spooning globs of it into MY treats.  But I allowed it.  And it was a little magical.  Because apparently it is not love (the so-called secret ingredient to all) but cookie butter which makes a good rice krispy treat.

Have you ever had cookie butter?  It is seriously made from COOKIES.  Speculoos cookies.   When I recetly re-made these for the blog, I had to go back 3 times to Trader Joe's because people buy it all up as soon as they restock the jars and then they sell/mail overseas.  I played hooky from work one day and went to TJ's at 10:00AM.  I got the last one on the shelf.  I beat the hoarders!  Hoorah. So I made them as soon as I got home.

As all rice krispy treats are, these are super easy to make but have tons of layers of flavors to them.

Cookie Butter Rice Krispy Treats with Butterscotch & Chocolate Chips

6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cookie butter
10 oz. bag marshmallows
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Optional:  1/4 cup more for drizzling)

1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely but do not let boil.
2. Add in marshmallows, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking.
3. Add cookie butter and stir until combined.
4. Remove from heat and immediately add in rice krispy cereal.
5. Fold in chocolate and butterscotch chips.
6. Scoop mixture into a 9 x 13 pan lined with wax paper. Pat down with a greased piece of waxed paper until smooth and even.
7. Let sit for a few minutes. Then use your choice of cookie cutter to cut out shapes.  (I used a flower.)
8. Drizzle melted chocolate over cut out treat, if desired.
9. The scraps are totally up for grabs.

When you add the chips in, they get a little melty.  It's not too bad with the butterscotch, but a bit messy with the chocolate.  So you may just want to drizzle more chocolate on top.

Now I have half a jar of cookie butter left. I can either make something else with it, or eat it by the spoonful. I haven't decided which of those options I'm going for just yet.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

b.patisserie Review & Brownie Cookies

Hi friends.  Sorry I have been quiet lately.  I have been pretty busy eating pastries and packing on the pounds.  That sentence is hilarious (not hilarious)  because it's 100% true. Yes, I have been baking a lot the last few weeks but I have been eating a lot more baked goods than normal.  A lot. People keep BRINGING me things and I can't say no.  And I really, really, really couldn't say no when my company's president walked through the door with a box of pastries from b. patisserie for me.  Yes, a box for me.  To myself.

b. patisserie is a new bakery that opened in San Francisco a few weeks ago.  The pastry chef is Belinda Leong.  She bakes MAGIC.  There's no way to describe it but magic.  I first had her  infamous kouign amann last fall at an underground food market.  There was frozen custard in the middle of it so it was delicious for sure but the pastry was the star.  I had to find out what it was, who made it and of course how to pronounce this "kouign amann" thing.  Because it really was amazing - life changing and I have honestly stalked her since.  You can read the many good reviews here, here, here... the list goes on.

When I found out she was opening up her own bakery and I would be able to get those bad boys with so much more ease, I was ecstatic.  I told everyone, including my co-workers.  I also whined a little (a lot) about how far and inconvenient it is from work.  (I may work in the city but I only know how to get to the ballpark to see my Giants on MUNI, nowhere else. )  Which is why despite my excitement, I dragged my feet at actually visiting the shop.  I still have to!  I must.  There are too many friends with sweet tooths that I plan to bring here.  The shop has a macaron tree.  A MACARON TREE.  How can I not go?

In any case, I was brought back the delicious kouign amann - think of a croissant but sweeter.  The sugar actually pools inside the middle of the pastry.  It's divine.

And a raspberry grand macaron.  Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.  It's about 3x the size of your average macaron. That's why it's a grand  macaron.

Best macaron I have ever had.  The fresh raspberries totally make the treat.  I wish I had one right now.  So did my little kitchen mascot, Andy. I didnt give him any though.  (Meet Cupcake Andy.  He likes sweets.   He's as big as a grand macaron.)

What does this have to do with cookies you may ask?  Well, while amiss my stalking the poor  pastry chef online I stumbled upon a link to a recipe of hers featured in Food & Wine.  Brownie Cookies!  They're cookies but they taste JUST like brownies.  I printed out the recipe immediately and made no adjustments to the recipe.  I have some tips, of course I have tips, but no adjustments.

THESE ARE SUPER CHOCOLATEY.  You have been warned.  If you don't like chocolate, I can see how they could turn you off.  But if you love chocolate like me, then YUM.  A tall glass of milk next to you is recommended though.  :)

Brownie Cookies

From b. patisserie pastry chef Belinda Leong, as found in Food & Wine
Makes 3 dozen, bake at 350% for 10 minutes.

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips


1.In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth.
2. In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
3. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate.
5. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
6.Stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Scrape batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour.
8. Working in batches, scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
9 .Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.

See below for what the cracks looks like.  This is okay.  It means the delicious is trying to break through!

My tips to you is to melt the chocolate very carefully, make sure that the water does not boil or hit the bottom of the bowl to prevent your chocolate from seizing.  Also, when it says to work in batches that means that the dough is very very melty. There is hardly any flour in these, so keep it in the freezer in between your batches.  Also, bake them exactly as directed.  Lots of cookies will taste okay or even better slightly under cooked but not these.  Make sure the tops are cracking to prevent having raw cookies.

I brought them into work and they were gone by 11:00AM.  They called me a cookie monster.

Do you see the compact chocolaty goodness in there? Yeah, I do too.

So in summary, because Yes I am aware that I ramble, make these cookies if you love chocolate and have a tall glass of milk.  And go to b. patisserie right now.   Just make sure "right now" is before 11:00 AM because they run out of pastries fast.  The first time my co-worker went, it was 1:00 PM and all she could bring me back was their business card.  Don't make the same mistake. Unfortunately, it is not edible so it cannot satisfy your sweet tooth.


Update July 2013:

I went!!! And it was Amazing.  The Macaron tree had changed over to Summer already.

The details are actually pretty amazing on this tree.  I was impressed.

I pined after the pretty yellow chairs.

Stared open mouthed at the stack of FRUIT filled Kouigns.

And then enjoyed a pastry... or two WITH a cup of coffee.   All is well with the world!!!