Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

November 18, 2011

I made chocolate chili cupcakes last night because I had some leftover chocolate ganache (#firstworld problems, am I right?) and this was the result. Not bad. There’s a nice spicy finish that you don’t notice until you’re just finishing it up, but it’s definitely there. Ancho chiles will give you some more depth of flavor, but if you don’t have it, just heap on a little bit more of cayenne pepper and you’re all set.


Topped with chocolate ganache, a dusting of cinnamon, and a Hot Tamale.

Want the recipe? It’s below the cut.



Lemon Lavender Poundcake

June 30, 2010

If you know me you know that I’m obsessed with lavender. I love the flowers, the scent, I even love it in my food. So when given the opportunity I try every recipe I can that says, “add culinary lavender.” For those of you think lavender makes everything taste like soap? Well, I say this to you: Haters to the left!

Go overboard and serve this with lemonade infused with lavender syrup.

For this recipe though, you can skip the lavender if you so choose, but a hint of it really gives the lemon poundcake an extra something. It’s lemon and dense and moist and sweet, a nice summer treat to be served with coffee or tea, or a big cold glass of lemonade.


Whoopie Pies

February 26, 2010

Are whoopie pies the new cupcake? Is the cupcake soo the “aughts” and the whoopie pie the “it dessert” just waiting in the wings to break out in the teens?

The Baltimore Sun thinks, maybe so.

It was a funny coincidence then that I read this article about a week after I had made a batch of whoopie pies for my birthday. Apparently my subconscious is more on-trend that I am.

Whenever my birthday rolls around I get it in my head to make treats for my classmates/friends/coworkers. Since I’ve been binge baking since Thanksgiving, though, when February rolled around I  was running out of novel ideas for treats. What’s a girl to do? I had just baked a batch of red velvet cupcakes. A platter of lemon bars. More blueberry panna cotta than is probably wise.

Whoopie pies with a cream cheese frosting instead of the usual marshmallow fluff.

When I was in elementary school my favorite treat to bring in back then were these mini “hamburger” cookies. The “meat” patty would be a thin mint, and the bun would consist of two vanilla wafers. I’d “glue” the cookies together with red, green, and yellow frosting for the ketchup, lettuce, and mustard respectively, and to literally top it off, I’d smear a little corn syrup on the top wafer and sprinkle on sesame seeds.

And while the child in me still loves the little burger cookies, because they are so cute, I’m 29 years old now. I’m barreling toward my thirties. Sometimes my knee I hurt in rec soccer in college feels funny when it rains. All this said, I need something that’s a little more adult that still appeals to the kid in me. Like whoopie pies. But let’s do this right. Let’s get rid of the shrink wrap, the preservatives. Let’s make these suckers from scratch. Impress your friends. Take a bite. Savor. Let your eyeballs roll into the back of your head. Feel the surge of pleasure tingle all the way down to your toes.


Apple Crumble with Oatmeal Struesel

January 6, 2010

I sometimes make new year’s resolutions, but if I do it’s not so much that I break them so much as forget them. Hey, life gets busy when you’re blogging about food and getting all googily-eyed over the copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking that your dapper and charming boyfriend got you for Christmas. But I view resolutions in the way I view diets—they’re ephemeral and not always effective, especially when compared to lifestyle changes, and usually in this case, lifestyle changes that are steps and not drastic 180s into world where—gasp!—you might cut out say, desserts!

Because you shouldn’t deprive yourself, especially of dessert, because you’ll just drive yourself mad. What you can do, though, is attempt to make “healthier” versions of desserts and eat them only in moderation (especially after the cookie-binge that is December).

Serve with a little vanilla ice cream in a wine glass, and you’re party-ready.

So to start the new year, here is my attempt at a health(ier) dessert. While it’s not prime apple season anymore (should I make another resolution—erm—lifesetyle change, to actually post these recipes when they’re in peak season and when I say I will? I’ll make a mental note).

Restaurant Review: Bastille

December 1, 2009

I chose Bastille in Alexandria for DC’s restaurant week purely because it was walkable from Braddock Rd Metro and it had 4 “$” signs. If only all shots in the dark were this much of a success! I would go back any day of the year, Restaurant Week or no. If that’s not high praise, I don’t know what is.


These hush puppies make for an upscale finger food!

These beignets make for an upscale snack!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

November 23, 2009

Every October and November I’m moved to make baked goods out of pumpkin. But hey, cold weather makes me want to bake more in general (I made an apple pie this evening, and tomorrow even more pies will be made because Tuesday at work? Is a pie party. Yes, a party with just pies. I’m making a raspberry tart with chocolate ganache and a tomato and corn pie). But back to the pumpkin . . .

Ooey, gooey, cheesey, easy(ish), peasy.

This year I made some pumpkin butterscotch bars with oatmeal topping and my annual pumpkin roll. But after that I wanted something different. After some browsing I saw pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin brownies, but where were the pumpkin cheesecake brownies? Apparently, in my head. So I played around and came up with this recipe.



October 14, 2009

Some people love brownies, but I love blondies.

A feast for the eyes and tastebuds.

A feast for the eyes and tastebuds.

And the love grows infinite when you discover that they’re also insanely easy to make. Hit by a craving while I’m–I don’t know, carving a chicken, washing dishes, wrassling my cats–I can whip up a batch in two shakes of a rack of lamb’s tail and about 30 minutes later there’s a warm batch of gooey goodness on my counter, which I always intend to share but never really get to because theyr’e so good they’re seemingly gone before the pan even cools.


Restaurant Review: 1789

September 3, 2009

I first went to 1789 when my now husband proposed. It was a magical evening. The fireplace was roaring in the main room. Love was in the air. The food was *amazing*. You can imagine why we decided to come back.

It’s a cozy restaurant that’s good for birthdays and other celebrations.  As adventurous as we are most of the time, we’ve been three times and gotten the same entree three times. Both of us. Normally, I’d say, “BOOOORRRRING.” But their lamb is that good.

We went to 1789 for their “sizzling summer special,” a $40, 3-course dinner (lamb and steak are an extra $8). We invited another couple to join us, and of course they were sharers. Nothing is worse than going to a good restaurant and people won’t share. We even got a small taste of another dinner! One of them ordered something different.

After we ordered, we got an amuse bouche. Delicious! The bite had a sort of a ceviche of rockfish with herbs on a mini tomato on a slice of French bread.

The right amount of citrus and oil in the amuse bouche make a tasty snack.

The right amount of citrus and oil in the amuse bouche make a tasty snack.


Pumpkin Roll

October 24, 2008

Fall brings to mind changing leaves, the beginning of school, the sight of men with deer on the brain and an orange onesie on their back…and of course it also brings to mind a harvest of gourds, including that October beast of goodness, the pumpkin. Everyone is making something pumpkiny, and while I attempt to replicate a recipe for pumpkin custard with huckleberries that I had the pleasure to eat this weekend at the Blue Duck Tavern in Washington D.C., I instead offer up this humble, though scrumptious, dessert: The pumpkin roll.

Do the pumpkin roll...

Do the pumpkin roll...

The recipe is pretty easy and requires many basics you’ll find in your own kitchen pantry (perhaps save the can of pureed pumpkin). I went ahead and bought a big ol’ can of the puree, but came home to a recipe that didn’t ask for a whole lot of it. Not wanting to waste good pumpkin, I ended up making four of these in a week and a half. They were all gobbled up, so I’d like to think it was pretty good.