Category Archives: dessert

Homemade Marshmallows

Another sweet treat I pumped out over the holiday was a crap ton of marshmallows. A friend of mine has made marshmallows before and I’ve always wanted to make them, I just never put the effort and time towards it. I finally mustard up the courage to make the marshmallows. I was armed with two recipes. They were both fairly similar, just two very minor differences. The first recipe I used was from How Sweet Eats. She made bourbon marshmallows a while back and of COURSE I had to get on that train. The second recipe was from Alton Brown. Traditional homemade marshmallows.

Both required gelatin, white sugar, corn syrup, ice cold water, confectioners sugar and patience.  How Sweet’s halved the water quantity, making it half water and half bourbon.  She also used egg whites.

The above picture was gelatin and melted sugars doing their thing.

This is where the two recipes differ. How Sweets says to add whipped egg whites into this. This is also where I made a HUGE, MESSY MISTAKE.  I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly. I had to remove the soft marshmallow blob from the mixing bowl and whisk, whip up my egg whites and combine everything. Don’t do this. Please. The mallow started to harden and it was a mess. I got it everywhere. It was a PITA to clean up surfaces I couldn’t soak in a sink full of hot water. Also, whipping the egg whites back into this mess was also painful to watch. If you choose How Sweets recipe, arm yourself with a second mixing bowl or whip your whites before the mallow. Learn from my mistakes.

Alton doesn’t use egg whites. Point for Alton, one bowl mess! He uses the same amount of ingredients as How Sweets, so you can easily sub in your bourbon.

Once your mallow is whipped to perfection, dump it into a well greased and dusted pan to set for at least three hours. I let mine sit overnight.

Once the pan of marshmallows has firmed up, transfer it to a cutting board and cut into whatever size marshmallows you desire. Dust all freshly cut sides of the marshmallows with confectioners sugar so they don’t stick to everything. Also dust your knife/kitchen shears to make it easy. I went with a smaller size to go along with a homemade hot chocolate mix.

The egg whites in How Sweet’s recipe made the marshmallows lighter and airy, but it wasn’t a needed step. It caused more of a messy headache than anything. I wish I took a photo of the mess but I’m pretty sure I got marshmallow goo all over my phone and didn’t want to get more on it. They still tasted delish, but you can achieve a great marshmallow with Alton’s recipe. I’m giving Alton the win on this round.

I got great reviews on the marshmallows. They didn’t melt too fast into coffee or hot chocolate, leaving you with a nice treat at the end of your drink. Yay!


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Gingerbread Biscotti

The holidays came and went. More like flew by! I made a MESS in the kitchen over the holidays. The best mess had to be gingerbread biscotti from Smitten Kitchen. The smell of baking biscotti swirling through the house made me smile. It smelled warm, inviting and freaking delicious. I’ve never made biscotti before. The thought of baking something twice made it seem hard and labor intensive. How wrong I was!

The ingredient list was not a million miles long and was fairly reasonable. I had all of the spices in the pantry, and everything else was a staple. I’m serious. I bet $5 you can make biscotti now. It’s that simple!

The “forming logs” part was a bit tricky for me, I admit. Only because I had no idea what I was doing. Also, I may have accidentally left out one cup of flour to the batter and had no idea how logs could be form with that mushy mess.  Luckily, I realized my mistake and added the cup back in.  Saved!

Egg wash was next for the logs and into the oven they went for about 25 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack for another 20-25 minutes and cut into slices on an angle. Dip the biscotti in a cinnamon/sugar mixture and back in the oven they go, about 12-14 minutes per side. I let my baking time go a little longer than SK’s. I might have crammed too many on my baking sheet, and also, no oven is the same. Adjust the second bake to your liking! Once the second bake is done, transfer to a wire rack and cool.

I wish smell-o-vision was a thing. They smelled amazing and tasted great (or at least I thought they did!). Not too dry, but not soft. I am no longer afraid of biscotti and can’t WAIT to make more.

I mean, c’mon. YUM!

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Palets de Dames, Lille Style

A new cookbook from Dorie Greenspan has helped get the blogging lava flowing for me again.  Not posting since February? Yes. I’ll admit, life got in the way.  A trip to Europe happened (which warranted a blog post that didn’t happen), moving twice happened.  So, you know, life.  I didn’t stop cooking all together, but I wasn’t terribly adventurous. Still, a simple meal is something to rant and rave about.

So how about these cookies?

Baking Chez Moi released Tuesday, October 28. This is such a gorgeous book and I know it will produce gorgeous and tasty things.  The French Friday’s with Dorie group is still in full swing – finding duck and kumquats for this week didn’t happen so I might do a make up – but with the new book, Tuesday’s with Dorie is back.  The first recipe up is Palets de Dames, a butter cookie, best with tea or coffee.


I made the dough and thought there wouldn’t be enough.  As she states in her recipe, you’re to only use about two teaspoons of dough for each cookie.  After some batter loss and cookies that were sized too big,  i ended up pumping out 32. Not bad for a yield of 40.

PaletesDeDames3I let the dough chill overnight and the batter still baked up well.  I set my convection oven at 400F and the cookies were perfect at 7 minutes.  The icing was not as pretty as the book but I thought it looked OK for a first timer.

Paletes De DamesThese were perfect with my morning coffee.  Yum!

It feels good to be back (again!)


Filed under dessert, TwD

Apple Turnovers

So over the weekend I made the compote de pommes as part of French Fridays with Dorie.  The bonne idee for the compote was to use it in some turnovers/hand pies.  What a bonne idee it was.  And so stinking EASY. The compote was super easy to begin with and why not make two things out of one recipe?  Consider me sold.

Thaw the puff pastry, roll it out and cut some circles.

Stuff this with some compote, close it, crimp it and add a little egg wash for shine.

Let it do it’s thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes and boom.  Turnovers/handpies.

So simple! The puff pastry had a lightness to it but still buttery and delicious.  The apple filling is simple and tasty.  Personally, I enjoyed this turnover cold.  There’s something about cold applesauce and that buttery crust that makes me happy.  Now, what else can I stuff in these?!

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Macarons Take 2 …

Hm… this was suppose to go up a few weeks ago as a follow up to my first macaron post.  Time flies when you’re busy! It’s been a while, I’ve kind of lost my cooking/blogging grove, but I think I found it (again) after a needed break. I can’t apologize because I did enjoy my time away from the stress of blogging that I put on myself.  This should be fun! And it is fun again.  It was like I had a really long day at work and the thought of cooking gave me a massive headache.  But I’m over that now.  So, back to this post that was suppose to be up last month … 🙂

I got back on the macaron band wagon, even after my first failed attempt.  My friend Julia made a batch perfectly and I was determined to conquer the elusive macaron.  She shared the recipe she used  with me – from The Food Network.  This one was very, very similar to the one I used.  I went with aged egg whites this time and made sure it was NOT a humid evening. I also whipped the batter a little more to get more air into it so it had more oomph, if you will.

Another tip.  Use parchment paper.  Do not make the mistake I did and use wax.  It’s not going to work.  Why do I even bother with wax paper?  Seriously.  I should toss it and just stick with parchment from now on.

I piped and let them dry out for about a half hour.

Looks pretty, right? Yeah.  I had a slight debacle with these.  The cat and dog decided to play a game of chase and ran into the kitchen while they were drying.  Let’s just say it’s not easy cleaning macaron goop off a cat.  Put these somehwere where no one/thing can flip them over.  Good thing I had a few extra pans of macarons.

After the drying time, I followed the baking directions and let them do their thing.  I admit, I was nervous.  I screwed up the first batch so it’s possible I could screw these ones up, too. And I was also coming off my anger from the macaron covered cat mess.  What else could go wrong, right?

The stars must have aligned that night.  THEY TURNED OUT!!!!!!!

Look at the feet!

I screamed with joy and excitement and forgot about the cat-dog mess from earlier.  It worked! My little macarons turned out the way they were suppose to! I mean, HOW CUTE?!

I slapped some butter cream onto a macaron and sandwiched two together.  I’m still in awe that I made these.  I. Made. Those. 😀 You really should try your hand at macarons.  They’re challenging and easy at the same time and the excitement is just overwhelming.

I need to make more now …

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Macarons Take 1 …

Macarons.  They look so cute, don’t they?  They’re so delicate and yet I want to smash them all in my mouth.  Don’t you?  But why pay $3 for one macaroon when I can try to make it myself?  Mission accepted.  But boy … what a mission.

My first attempt followed the Jeni’s Ice Cream recipe for her ice cream sandwiches.  After extensive research (which apparently wasn’t extensive enough) I thought I was good to go.  I got all of my things and even had a helping hand, Erika, for this macaron production.

First mistake.  It was humid in the house.  There is no AC in our house.  Not only was that the first mistake but I’m pretty sure it was the biggest mistake.  Don’t make macarons on a humid day.  I also think I didn’t whip the egg whites long enough. Speaking of egg whites.  Some recipes called for aged egg whites. Aged egg whites?  What?  Yeah.  You keep your egg whites in the ‘fridge for a few days.  Boom.  Aged.  However, I read that you don’t really need aged egg whites.  This first try was with straight from the egg egg whites, not aged.  Perhaps what was my second mistake?

Looks good so far …

You let them dry for at least a half hour before you toss them in the oven to bake. While they were drying and things, Erika and I made a butter cream to fill them with.  That was done correctly and was delicious.

So after the drying and baking this is what the first batch turned out like …

They look like pancake sandwiches.  Horrible! NOTHING like a macaron! They had a nice favor but they were awfully chewy.  I was so sad.  I laughed because this would happen to me.  But I didn’t let this keep me back from trying again … to be continued … (also, recipes will be on the part 2 post – the GOOD recipe! So I guess I gave away the happy ending … 🙂  )

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Long and Slow Apples – FFwD

So I’m on to my second French Friday with Dorie post! this one is called long and slow apples. You cook them long… and slow.

I was skeptical about one part of the recipe, like most FFwD’ers. You slice the apples thin (check), make a sugar mixture and melted butter for layering in between the apple slices (check). You then wrap the ramekins in plastic wrap and foil.  Wait. Plastic wrap?! Yeah. That’s what I, along with a bunch of other FFwD’er’s, said. Some went for it, I did not since I didn’t have any plastic wrap. Even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I would have probably ended up with a melted mess and ruin my new ramekins. Which, side note, have little hearts on the side of them. Cute!


So anyway, back to dem apples.

Apples sliced, and between each layer is melted butter and the sugary mix.  I honestly had no idea what I was doing. There was no photo in the cookbook and I kind of just went with it.  After this, I wrapped it with some foil, made some vents, and placed a mug on top to weigh it down.  Had i known exactly why, I would have stacked MORE apples on top and make a tower of apples.  They cooked WAY DOWN.

See?! Now, this thing was DELICIOUS. The apples were oh so tender, the butter and sugar was DIVINE, and I ate it warm. You could serve it cold, but it’s winter. Warm desserts for me! The only thing that went wrong in this instance was a lack of more apple slices. I wasn’t going to bother taking a picture of a half-inch pile of apples. Also, I ate them before I could do it anyway. 🙂


Filed under dessert, FFWD