Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread (Cheat)

Guys I’m dying and my mouth is in food heaven. This shortbread oh em geee.

  

I’ll probably regret eating 4 of these decadent shortbread cookies later on when I’m having roast duck for dinner, but I couldn’t help it! There is just layer upon layer of flavor and texture and I can’t stop eating them.

When these first came out of the oven, I had to will every atom in me not to grab the whole chunk of shortbread and eat it straight away. It smelled so amazing. Then, I had to torture myself with letting the damn thing cool (not before eating a few crumbs first, of course).

Of course, I couldn’t help but eat a cookie as I was dipping the others in chocolate. The shortbread itself was soo amaaziinnggg. It was perfectly buttery and flaky and left behind a gentle saltiness that made me swoon. Not to mention, the salt brought out the undeniable flavor of pistachio. The pistachio itself offered a delicate crunch that differed in texture from the shortbread. I was blown away.

Then, I ate the shortbread dipped in chocolate, and my world changed again. The chocolate paired so beautifully with the shortbread and the pistachio and the saltiness and it was so decadent and delicious and perfect and I honestly have no words. My babbling is a lame attempt at conveying to you exactly how foodgasm these shortbread cookies are.

You’d think, “it’s just shortbread”, but no, these are the ultimate shortbread. Better than any shortbread you’ve ever had before. I can guarantee.

By the way, in the unlikely event that you were wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a month – I’ve been busy stressing out about my final IB exams in May, so I haven’t really had the chance to bake much, not to mention take photos/edit photos/write posts. Anyways, after my exams end, hopefully I’ll find the time then to bake up a storm in my kitchen to make up for all the time lost. In the meantime, wish me luck and enjoy these shortbread cookies xx

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/8 cup (25g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (140g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (50g) finely chopped toasted pistachios
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Beat in both sugars until smooth.
  3. Gradually mix in the vanilla, salt, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is fully combined and forms a crumbly dough
  4. Mix in 2/3 of the chopped pistachios
  5. Line an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and press the dough tightly into the pan
  6. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes until lightly browned
  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the cake pan. Cut the shortbread into wedges while it’s still warm. Allow the shortbread to cool completely before dipping into chocolate.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring in between intervals until it’s completely melted
  9. Dip the shortbread into the chocolate and sprinkle with remaining pistachio and sea salt. Enjoy!
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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Cheat)

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I’ve always been a huge fan of anything involving brown butter. Remember this brown butter banana bread recipe? AKA my faavorite banana bread recipe of all time? Ever since I stumbled upon that recipe, I’ve just loved using brown butter in baked goods. It takes the flavour to a whole new level, building so much depth in the flavours and complexion. Plus, you can’t deny that it’s kinda fun to melt all that butter down and watch it foam and go brown.

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These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are just so heavenly. I made them for a bake sale and they sold out ridiculously quick! Almost every person who walked by inquired about the price of the cookies, and some of them even asked us to reserve cookies for them. One person said that he came by after seeing everyone else with the chocolate chip cookies. Not to mention, so many people came back to compliment me on how delicious the cookies were.

Needless to say, this is a recipe that I will be using for many bake sales to come. This one’s a keeper!

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I honestly don’t think these photos do the cookies justice. They’re suuper rich and gooey and full of chocolate and mocha chips, not to mention the nutty, caramel-y goodness of the brown butter! If that’s not a foodgasm, I don’t know what is.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Makes 24-26 cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (345g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup mocha chocolate chips

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Make the brown butter by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. After a few minutes, the butter will begin to foam, darken to a brown color, and give off a nutty aroma. At this point, remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the brown butter into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 5-10 minutes, until cool to touch
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the brown butter and sugars together until well combined
  4. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and greek yogurt until well combined
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Chill the dough for 2-3 hours in the fridge, or up to 12-24 hours*
  8. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  9. Allow the dough to thaw for about 20 minutes before rolling into balls and placing them on a baking sheet 2 inches apart
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes

*Alternatively, freeze the cookie dough after you’ve rolled them into balls. When baking them, simply add a minute or two to baking time

 

 

Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Cheat)

I don’t bake with fruit much, but bananas are an exception.

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Banana bread and banana cakes – I could never get enough.

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I had such a difficult time letting the cake cool enough to be frosted. As soon as I took the beautifully baked cake out of my oven, the entire kitchen was filled with the aroma of banana cake. It might not sound that appealing, but trust me, it took so much mental effort to not eat the entire cake right there and then. It smelled that good. It was honestly driving me crazy, and I went on this rampage around the house, desperately trying to find something to satisfy my cravings so that I wouldn’t eat the cake before frosting it. I was so keen on eating banana cake that I didn’t even want chocolate truffles, and let me tell you – I never turn down chocolate truffles…well, until now.

Finally, I had no other choice but to eat something completely different. I microwaved a plate of homemade dumplings leftover from yesterday, covered them in vinegar (I love vinegar), and ran away from the banana-scented kitchen. At last, my taste buds had calmed down and I could focus on other things again as my banana cake cooled in the kitchen.

Soon enough, my cravings started up again and I figured it was time to frost the cake up and start eating.

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I think I knew how good this cake was going to be, but nevertheless, tasting it for the first time blew me away. The banana cake is everything you’d want a cake to be. It had a crumb similar to banana bread, only fluffier. The flavour of banana was definitely there, and it paired so beautifully with the cream cheese frosting. I mean, the cake itself was amazing, but the cake and the frosting go together like peanut butter and jelly. It was a perfect combination of flavours and I’m so in love.

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Oh, and in case you were wondering, the cake was gone within two days. It was that good.

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Best Banana Cake

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, room temperature

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In another bowl, use an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat until creamed together
  4. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, before adding in the mashed bananas
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, 1/3 of a time and alternating with the buttermilk (Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stir in 1/3 of the buttermilk, and repeat with the remaining). Do not over mix
  6. Spread the batter into a greased and/or lined 9×13 inch baking pan and bake for around 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting
  7. For the frosting, using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes
  8. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving
  9. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days

Fluffy Blueberry Muffins – SORTED (Cheat)

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I know that I ramble about SORTED Food a lot, but I usually ramble about how they’ve changed my life by igniting the side of me that loved baking. Now, I’m gonna continue rambling, but this time, about how insanely amazing their recipes are. In particular – this recipe: “American Blueberry Muffins“.

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Firstly, you’re probably wondering why I decided to rename the recipe, changing “American” to “fluffy”. Well, here’s why: they’re fluffy as hell.

I don’t think I need to say more to that.

In all seriousness though, these muffins are so damn fluffy and so damn delicious and I found my new favorite muffin recipe. Mind you, I make muffins all the time, but these muffins are so good. They rise mile-high and have a soft, delicate crumb with a textured top layer. Not to mention, they’re filled with juicy blueberries that break open so that you get blueberry in every bite.

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I’ve never really used vanilla sugar much. I just use vanilla extract. This time, I decided to just go with the recipe and use vanilla sugar and it was so worth it. When my mom first tried it, she commented about how it was a vanilla blueberry muffin, and when I tried it out myself, I was in awe – the vanilla flavor was there. Not just a barely-noticeable sweet flavor, but vanilla.

But – on that note. I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying vanilla sugar, cause let’s be honest – that stuff is expensive. So what do you do? Why, you make your own, of course.

Last year when I went to Bali, I stocked up on vanilla pods because they’re really cheap there. I used the seeds and pod to make creme brulée, and then dried out the pod. I placed the pod into a jar and filled it with sugar and left it on my counter. Now, a few months later, the sugar has absorbed all that wonderful flavor of vanilla. Not only does it smell amazing, but it seriously heightens your baked goods! Vanilla sugar is my new favorite thing.

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These muffins are little bundles of heaven, I tell you. Little bundles of heaven…

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Fluffy Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from SORTED Food

Makes 10-12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 200g vanilla caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon demerara (raw) or brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and prepare a muffin tray
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract
  4. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold gently until just combined. Do not over mix. The batter should be slightly thick and sticky
  5. Fold in about 3/4 of the blueberries
  6. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling them 3/4 of the way up. Top with the rest of the blueberries and sprinkle with demerara/brown sugar
  7. Place into oven and immediately turn heat down to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean

Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Cheat)

HELLO FRIENDS IT’S BEEN TOO LONG.

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In case you were wondering – it’s cause I was dying in exams. I’ve been gone for like a little over two weeks. One week was dedicated to studying, the other was dedicated to dying taking the finals.

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I’ve gotten some grades back, and I’m happy to say that I didn’t do too badly on them, except for Chemistry, of course, but luckily my other Chem grades saved me from this reaaallly really bad final exam grade.

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So I know that I just posted an ice cream recipe, but:

  1. It’s ice cream season. C’mon – there’s no denying that. The weather is H-O-T and we all need ice cream
  2. I owe a lot to ice cream for getting me through the difficult time of exams

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Oh, side note – to anyone still struggling to get through finals, I wish you all the best (of luck) and I wish that you have ice cream to help you get through it.

Anyways, with that aside, let’s talk about this seeriously amaaazing ice cream recipe. It’s honestly one of my favorites. I literally could not stop eating the ice cream batter. I probably ate like a third of the batter before forcing myself to put it in the freezer and let it be ice cream.

It’s got this wonderful, rich, and tangy flavor of cream cheese, which pairs beautifully with the sweet blueberry sauce. Speaking of which – blueberries are in season! Yay!!

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Anyways, I kid you not, this will be one of the best ice creams you’d have ever made. Please make it now and continue making it until summer is over 🙌.

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Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

For the ice cream

  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the blueberry sauce

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 heaping cup crumbled Graham Crackers or digestive biscuits

Method

  1. For the ice cream, in a food processor, blend together the cream cheese, milk, whipping cream, brown sugar, and salt until smooth
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (about 30 to 45 minutes).
  3. While the ice cream is churning, make the blueberry sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water, salt, and lemon juice together over medium-low heat. Stir until the berries burst and the juices thicken (about 5 minutes)
  4. Transfer the sauce into a small bowl and place in fridge until the ice cream finishes churning
  5. When the ice cream has finished churning, spoon it into a freezer safe container and swirl in the blueberry sauce and crackers/biscuits
  6. Place in freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Allow to thaw before serving

Chai Spice Banana Bread (Cheat)

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Banana bread is such an amazing thing. It’s one of those things that almost every baker goes back to, no matter how many times they’ve made them. I mean, there are plenty of recipes that I’ll make once, take photos of, eat, and fall in love with, but I just won’t make them again. Banana bread? I make whenever I have loads of ripe bananas, which is pretty much every other week.

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Now, if you’re not a huge banana bread person, or you want a perfect standard banana bread recipe, go check out my all-time favorite banana bread recipe. If you’re looking for a vegan, gluten-free, and healthy banana bread recipe, head over to check out this banana bread recipe.

And if you’re looking for a spiced banana bread recipe full of warm, comforting flavors, perfect for the season of giving, then stay right here! This banana recipe is moist, with a delicate yet firm crumb. It won’t fall apart when you slice it, but it’s so wonderfully soft and full of one of the best spices ever – chai spice. This is literally the perfect banana bread for wintertime or whenever you need a little extra flavor in your banana bread!

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Chai Spice Banana bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 1 1/2 cups mashed or 450g)
  • 1/3 cup (85g) natural yoghurt
  • 5 tablespoons (71g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (105g) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*

*Or sub for 1 1/2 teaspoons pre-made chai spice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius of 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ripe bananas, yoghurt, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined
  3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together both sugars, the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and fold until just combined. Do not over mix
  5. Transfer the mixture into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, and bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before removing from pan and allowing to cool completely

White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies (Cheat)

I need to make cookies more often.

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I’ve always loved oatmeal cookies, but the addition of fresh, plump blueberries and sweet, smooth white chocolate take these cookies to a whole new level of yum.

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These cookies are crispy on the edges, yet still soft and chewy in the center. I didn’t chill my cookie dough before baking it, so they turned out to be a little flat, which personally, I don’t mind. If you want them to be more puffy and cakey, then I’d recommend chilling them for an hour or two before baking.

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White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Broma Bakery

Makes 14-16 large cookies

Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional, omit for a crunchier cookie)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a medium mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. With the wet ingredients mixing on low speed, slowly incorporate in the dry ingredients until almost combined. Fold in oats and white chocolate chips with a spatula until fully combined, and finally carefully fold in the blueberries, making sure not to break them
  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet (or just roll them into balls using your hands), leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. If you want a more puffy and cakey cookie, chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours before baking (I didn’t)
  5. Bake cookies for 19 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Allow to cool on cooling rack before serving