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

 

 

Matcha Cream Puffs (Cheat)

Now, if any of you have seen my baking bucket list, you would probably call me out or being a liar or just a huge procrastinator due to all the things I’ve crossed off the list, yet with only 1 recipe of the 10 being posted (not including this one). The truth? I’m a huge procrastinator – at least when it comes to posting recipes.

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Number 8 on that list (I’m not following order) are cream puffs (or profiteroles)/eclairs. Beside it says August 6, 2015. If you look at the date today, it says January 9, 2016. So yes, it’s been 5 months now, but the recipe is finally here!

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The pastry cream in this recipe isn’t quite like the ones you see for traditional French eclairs or anything. Firstly, you’ll notice an absence of egg yolks, which is often used as a thickening agent. In this recipe, the thickening agents include a bit of gelatin, cornstarch, and whipped cream, resulting in a lighter cream as opposed to the denser, traditional pastry cream. Thus, I do recommend filling it as in the photo below as opposed to cutting them in half and filling them as the photo below the photo below.

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I probably should’ve made a classic eclair or cream puff to start off with, but it’s always more interesting to bring in an extra flavor, no? Ironically, I made classic eclairs a couple days ago (who knows when that recipe’ll be published?), and I have to admit, this recipe is quite different from that one. Most importantly, none of the eclairs exploded like the way one of these matcha cream puffs did, but that’s just because I overfilled it. It was my first time filling cream puffs, okay? Jeez, give me a break. Anyways, these cream puffs seem to feel lighter. The pastry cream flavor isn’t as evident, allowing the faint flavor of matcha to shine through. Also, I dusted these with powdered sugar as opposed to dipping them in chocolate, which paired beautifully with the matcha. All in all – this one’s a keeper.

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Matcha Cream Puffs

Ingredients

For the Choux Pastry

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 large eggs
  • Egg wash: 1 yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or cream

Matcha Pastry Cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups full-fat milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar, for finishing

Method

  1. *For the choux pastry, preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar over medium heat until just boiling. Add in the flour and baking powder and beat together with a wooden spoon over the heat until the mixture resembles a dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the saucepan. This should take a 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or into a bowl using an electric mixer. Start the electric mixer and beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined. The dough should be smoother and less doughy.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet, pipe mounds about 2 inches in diameter. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool.
  5. *For the matcha pastry cream, in a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften
  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add in the eggs and whisk until smooth.
  7. In a large saucepan, heat the milk, butter, and salt until almost boiling. Whisk in matcha powder
  8. Pour about 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined. Add the rest of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling.
  9. Pour the mixture onto a plate or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold
  10. When the mixture has cooled, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, and gently fold the cream into the matcha mixture. Transfer the matcha pastry cream into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
  11. To assemble, pipe the matcha pastry cream into the choux pastry and dust with powdered sugar.

*You can make either the matcha pastry cream or the choux pastry first. Both of them need to be cooled, though the pastry cream may take longer to cool. Also, separately, they can be prepared a few days in advance (without the heavy cream, for the matcha pastry cream). Filled, it’s best to eat them the day of, or within 3 days. Keep refrigerated.

Vanilla Pots De Creme (Cheat)

There’s five days until Christmas, and I haven’t posted a single Christmas recipe – and I still am not.

Vanilla Pots De Creme

Vanilla Pots De Creme

For those who don’t know – pots de creme is a French custard-like dessert, commonly flavored with chocolate as chocolate pots de creme. Personally, I think I’d prefer vanilla, as it carries a subtle, sweet, yet decadent flavor without being too rich.

Vanilla Pots De Creme

No, I have nothing against Christmas recipes. In fact, I have a few dozen gingerbread recipes bookmarked, yet I haven’t had the chance to make any of them due to the masses of assignments and tests that the IB has thrown at me for the past few weeks. In a way, that load of work and stress reflects the load of stress that comes with Christmas planning for many people as they try to ice their sugar cookies and gingerbread men and cry over collapsing gingerbread houses. Thus, I’ve proposed a solution – vanilla pots de creme.

Vanilla Pots De Creme

Vanilla Pots De Creme

Vanilla Pots De Creme

Vanilla Pots De Creme

This recipe could save you loads of stress if you’re planning any sort of huge holiday party. You can easily make them a day or two ahead and keep them in the fridge. Then, when it’s dessert time, just throw on some berries and a sprig of mint and you’re good to go!

Plus, they’re quite easy to make, look hella impressive, and taste hella amazing.

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Vanilla Pots De Creme

Vanilla Pots De Creme

Makes 4-10, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml cream (I used light cream with 35% fat)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • 65g granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • Toppings (fresh fruit, mint) (optional)

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, and vanilla extract together over medium heat. If using the vanilla bean, cut it open and use a knife to transfer the seeds into the milk mixture, and then add in the whole bean in to soak as well
  2. Add in the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking gently. When the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat and set aside with a lid on it.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, gently beat the egg yolks. Do not whip – You want to avoid getting air into any of the mixtures
  4. Remove the vanilla bean from the saucepan, and place the saucepan over low-medium heat Add in the egg yolks, stirring as your pour. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until it boils
  5. Transfer the mixture into a bowl through a sieve and allow to cool before covering the bowl in plastic warp and refrigerating for 2 hours
  6. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius of 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  7. Remove mixture from fridge and transfer into ramekins or cups of choice (I used glass ramekins and shot glasses). If there are any bubbles on the surface, use a spoon to remove them
  8. Bake them in a water bath* for 50 minutes. They should be rather thick, but will still tremble when shaken
  9. Remove from oven and transfer to fridge for at least 5 hours before adding toppings and serving. They’ll last in the fridge for up to 3 days

*There are many ways to make a water bath. You can fill a baking sheet with water and place the ramekins/cups into it, or you can fill a non-leakable baking tin with water and place them in that as well. Just make sure that none of the water gets into the actual mixture. Do not omit the water bath, as the pots de creme won’t cook properly