Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

When I first heard that we had to use Shakespearean vocabulary in our blog post, I was lamentable. Ha-ha, get it? I was complaining about using vocab words, but I used one… Never-mind. So anyways, lately I’ve been thinking, how can you eat the cookie dough in ice cream if you can’t eat cookie dough raw? This has been quite a vexation for me, and I can never seem to put my finger on it. So today, I finally came to my senses and decided to Google it. It turns out that you can make cookie-dough without eggs. This intrigued me because I thought that lack of eggs would mar the taste of such a delicious treat. It almost seemed as if it was offering me a challenge. “Can you make cookie dough without eggs Raya? I don’t think you can!” It flouted at me, and you know what? I couldn’t resist the temptation. So I scoured the internet, and when I finally found a recipe that seemed lofty compared to the others, I decided to try it. Thank goodness I read the suggestions below the recipe however, for if I hadn’t the cookie-dough would have been odious. I guess I dodged a bullet on that one! The recipe was surprisingly easy although I had to be careful to keep the kitchen clean for if I hadn’t I would have had to face the wrath of my mother (she is the tyrant of the house, like most mothers are). After I had combined all the ingredients together I put the cookie-dough in the freezer and left it there. During that one hour interlude while the cookie-dough was in the freezer, I managed to finish the remainder of my bothersome homework. When dinner came around, I feigned full so I would have enough room for my chocolate chip cookie-dough ice cream. However I couldn’t have my cookie-dough just yet for it still needed another hour in the fridge. It didn’t help when my sister got home either because she kept beseeching me to give her some. She didn’t have to wait long because soon the cookie dough was done and everybody got some. Thanks for reading and Adieu!

SNICKERDOODLES (Yummmmmmmmmm….)

To put it simply, snickerdoodles are basically my childhood, and I know that many other people can say the same. In fact, it is a very good thing that I made an abnormally large amount of these scrumptious cookies, (I’m plowing through them fast). Actually, these little treats are so delicious, that you wouldn’t expect that they have something called “cream of tartar” in them. Yes, you heard me, cream of tartar. For those of you unfamiliar with certain ingrediants used in baking, then I should probably inform you that cream of tartar isn’t exactly what it sounds like. No, it’s not like “cream of mushroom soup” or any of that stuff that you eat when you have a cold. It’s actually much like baking powder, or in scientific terms, “Potassium bitartrate, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate” and this lovely substance is a byproduct of wine-making. In other words, when you ferment grapes to get wine, what’s leftover is this delightful stuff. Take it from me, don’t let that great little factoid keep you away from snickerdoodles, cause seriously, if you do you’re missing out. Remember how I said that snickerdoodles were my childhood? Well, now it’s time for a little backstory… Ahem…      “Once upon a time, long, long ago. Lived a little girl named Raya, when she was just a child she loved to eat, (pretty much anything for that matter). But what Raya really appreciated,  was the really good food. You know what they say, quality over quantity! Anyways, one of the first ways she learned this valuable lesson was through her mothers cookies. Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies. It was a cookie monster’s heaven. It was in this cozy kitchen where Raya learned the good from the bad, the what-to-do’s and the what-not-to-do’s. And so a cookie chef was born. “

As you can see, I am very good at telling stories in third person. But the point was, baking has always been a big part of my life, and snickerdoodles were a part of that. So it’s always fun to revive those childhood treats, and I bet you wish you could try some, but honestly by the time you can get to these snickerdoodles, they’ll already be in my stomach.

Ingredients

  •                     1 1/2 cups white sugar
  •                     1/2 cup butter, softened
  •                     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •                     2 eggs
  •                     2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •                     1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  •                     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •                     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •                     2 tablespoons white sugar
  •                     2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

            Directions

  1.                     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2.                     Combine 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla and eggs.  Mix well.
  3.                     Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  Blend well.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.  Roll dough in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set.  Immediately remove from cookie sheets.

Sentence Color Key

Green= Simple Sentence

Blue= Compound

Pink=Compound-Complex

Orange=Complex

Reflection of my Writing

Evaluating my writing was a very good way to look back and really reflect on the types of sentences I write normally. I am happy to say that my writing has a pretty large variety of sentence types. Of course it’s not a perfect balance, but it is quite varied. I wrote: 8 simple sentences, 2 compound sentences, 3 compound-complex sentences, and 8 complex sentences.  Looking back at my work, it seems to me that I write a lot of complex sentences. The funny thing is, in this blog, I wrote the same number of complex sentences as I did simple sentences, but the complex sentences stood out more for me, (as they are usually easier for to write in my case). I also tend to write a lot of sentence fragments, because I write like I speak, and that’s a bad habit I need to break. To become a better writer, I need to focus more on how I phrase things so  I don’t end up with as many sentence  fragments.

A Poem

Let us take, some time to think.

Some time to ponder, to feel, to gather and guess

Some time to comprehend what we’ve created

So let me begin, with the apple turnovers, the gooey, melt in your mouth, warmth

Or shall we ponder the origins of Lemon Meringue, the taste, the lemony sweet zest

Though if you prefer we can take a trip to see the glorious gossamer of the cream parfait

If you are picky have no fear, a classic banana split will save you from tears

So come friend, and take a look, the world we’ve created is an endless book

Extending into the horizon beyond, with the smell of sweet dessert you cannot  go wrong

Life is short and time is ticking, so please have a bite, of this sweet succulent dish we call dessert, and I promise

It will bring a a smile to your face

Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse Parfaits with Strawberries

To be quite frank, cooking isn’t always about pleasing your audience. Most of the time, it’s what happens in the kitchen that matters. Whether your a proffesional chef, or some ametuer like me creating random concoctions, it’s usually the behind the scenes that matters. A recipe always tastes better when you know the story behind it, and in my case, there are many stories. Funnily enough they aren’t happy stories either. Rough times come through in your cooking and it makes a difference. Lately I’ve had a firsthand experience and a lucky close up on how the hardships that you experience in life around you can keep growing and piling up around you until you find an outlet for all of the frustration. Luckily these experiences make great stories, that you only enjoy after you look back on the experience. It’s very hard sometimes to keep pushing through but somehow we keep going until we can shine with all our glory. Congratulations, this blog comes with a moral and my moral is a long one. I’m not going to lie to you, life gets really tough sometimes, and whether it’s a bad day or even a bad year, you have to keep remembering that your better than all that “bad” stuff that happens to you and keep on pushing through. When those bad times end, it’s like coming out of a dark tunnel, you shine. And speaking of shining my Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse Parfait with Strawberries is very good at that. Ok well, I thought it was going to be really good but I guess  I had high hopes for a somewhat hopeless case. It was a little disappointing, but you win some you lose some I guess. Even though it didn’t turn out so great, cooking is one of my emotional outlets and whether it’s good or not, heck it doesn’t really matter (at least not at my level). One thing I know, I did wrong was that I didn’t wisk the mousse enough. Instead of turning into creamy fluff, the mousse I made turned into a soupy mess. It wasn’t exactly pleasant and I guess I have a lot to learn. Another slight mistake that may have driven my recipe off course were the small skewed perceptions I had about the measurements. I probably didn’t balance out the amounts of each ingredient so that the recipe would have a smooth balance. So basically, “a slight mistake” doesn’t cover the half of it. I guess that’s okay though, because someone great once told me that “You never actually learn if you don’t make any mistakes.” So a big thank you to that wise person, and I hope this is one of those moments, because this is a learning experience I really need.

Banana Splits

Had a drab, depressing, exsasperating day? Where nothing seems to go right? (Or left, pardon the pun). I’m sure everybody knows these days, where the future looks dim and you need something sweet to brighten up your day. And those are exactly the type of days I’ve been experiencing lately, so I decided I might incorporate a dessert into my blog, that can help people with these bad moods that come around ever-so-often. Well moods like these, I can cure. From the title you probably have already guessed what that cure is, yes, that’s right, it’s a good old fashioned banana split. Even the best chefs have to back track to the old school desserts every once in a while. And this is me backtracking. Banana Splits are not exactly laborious to make, all you need are a few primitive ingrediants that everyone has in their house. And although you would think that the banana would be the most crucial ingrediant, it isn’t (or at least not in my opinion). I would say it’s the rich, savory taste of the vanilla ice cream. I believe that in banana splits, you must use the freshest ingrediants all the time. If you don’t, you can even mess up on a banana split, (yes, it’s possible). There is probably one more rule to remember when making banana splits, use the purest ingrediants. This isn’t the same as using the freshest ingrediants, what I mean is don’t over do it. When you’re making your banana split, don’t try to put different flavors of ice cream all at once, or try to put on as many sprinkles as you can, because this may sound delicious, but quite frankly it taste appalling. So my best advice to you is just keep it simple and classic. (That’s what brings out the true flavors) However, it’s still a great idea to maybe mix and match the recipe a bit, kind of like what I did with my lemon meringue cupcakes. I kept most of the recipe, I just tried baking it in a new way. That is exactly what you should do with recipes that feel like they need to be taken to the next level. So, if you’re feeling grumpy today, make a banana split and just relax for a while. Trust me a little sugar really helps clear away the gloom.

(I highlighted what I thought to be good word choice)

  • ½ cup scoop vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup scoop chocolate ice cream
  • ½ cup scoop strawberry ice cream
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (or Hot Fudge)
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry ice cream topping (or fresh strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons wet walnut ice cream topping
  • whipped cream
  • cherry

Directions:

  1. 1
    Line up ice cream scoops next to each other in an oval deep dish or a banana boat.
  2. 2
    Cut the ends of the banana off (about 1/4 inch) while still in the peel.
  3. 3
    Slice in half longways.
  4. 4
    Pop each half of the banana out of the peel onto each side of the ice cream row, pressing down and in a little so it’ll stay put.
  5. 5
    Top the vanilla ice cream with the pineapple, the chocolate with the chocolate syrup and the strawberry with the strawberry sauce.
  6. 6
    Spoon the wet walnuts over all three scoops of ice cream.
  7. 7
    Top each scoop with some whipped cream and a cherry for each.
  8. 8
    Enjoy!

 

Lime Meringue Cupcakes

The aroma of a sweet lemony mixture wafts from the kitchen. My 4 year old self toddles in to see what’s going on. My mom (who seemed very tall at the time) smiles and crouches down to hand me a piece of still warm pie with white fluffy meringue on top. I clumsily sink my teeth into the powdery yet crunchy goodness. I’m in heaven. And though my mother rarely made these pies, they were so delicious that they managed to become some of my fondest memories. I would pillage houses just to eat a pie like that again. That was my insperation to make these cupcakes. Except I wanted to change things up a bit, add a new flare to an old recipe. Instead of pie, I made cupcakes that took quite while to bake (even though I’m not a very savvy cupcake baker). The problem with these cupcakes is that they are English cupcakes and a lot of the ingredients you can fing in England (like lemon curd) isn’t easily found here, so don’t be nonchalant while baking these cupcakes. So I hadn’t acquitted myself properly to make the recipe. The recipe made 12 cupcakes, which is scanty compared to the amount of work it took to make them. My approach was to make it my self, and make it I did, though it took quite a while and a lot effort (for lime meringue cupcakes ar infamous for how difficult they are to cook). The result was perfect though it took multiple tries, (isn’t that what baking’s about?) I guess I just had to try try again! The process took me a very long time, because the recipe required multiple steps. I felt a sense of pride when I slowly bit into the crispy meringue, soft cupcake, and tangy lemon curd, it makes you feel very proud of yourself. As I should have done before I made the actual recipe, I browsed through other recipes to see if I could make my cupcakes any better, and I found some interesting solutions. Meringue, as you might know, is basically an icing that is crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy inside (you have to make meringue very quickly so the mixture didn’t congeal) . When I baked the meringue on the cupcakes I stuck them in the oven twice (once to actually bake the cupcake, and once to slightly toast the meringue), it turns out you can wave a kitchen torch above the meringue (after you’ve frosted the cupcakes) to toast the meringue. It’s an interesting idea but I thing I liked in better when the whole cupcake was slightly warm. There was one problem with my recipe, my icing was defiant to holding the way I hat spread it on the cupcake. I’m not sure why this happened but it may have to do with the fact that I didn’t use “golden caster sugar” as they had asked, but I guess it made a difference. I wish everybody who is reading this could have just a bite of my cupcakes but the internet just doesn’t work that way. These cupcakes are very sophisticated and great for parties, so try them out sometime! I think after baking these cupcakes, I’ve realized that maybe cupcake baking is one of my assets. I hope you enjoyed it!

Here’s a lemon meringue cupcake recipe (mine was in a cookbook) :

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Lemon Curd
  • Seven-Minute Frosting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  4. To finish, spread 1 tablespoon lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Ateco #828 or Wilton #8B) with frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Hold a small kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over. Serve immediately.

 

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First Post- Apple Turnovers

Apples are great fruits to use when making pastries. They can be crunchy, sweet, moist, or even mixed into a paste. It all depends on how you decide to bake them. In my case, I always make them into sort of a sweet paste when I make apple turnovers because it’s all about the blend between the slightly buttery flaky puff pastry and the sweet gooey mess of apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a boatload of brown sugar. Apple Turnovers like these are always fun and easy to bake. Since I’m not a professional, I always use a simple, but tasty recipe where you simply put the apple mixture into the puff pastry, fold it up, and put it in the oven. It’s quite classic, and it certainly produces delicious results (as I’ve realized today), but next time I hope to try something a little different. I was looking through some other turnover recipes, and I came across one I especially liked. In the new recipe I found, you fry the apple mixture on a skillet with butter until it becomes a thick paste. You then put that mixture into the puff pastry squares so it’s double the flavor (and double the fat). It’s certainly fun to bake these pastries, because you can fold them into the oddest shapes. I spent a lot of time having fun with that. The great thing about apple turnovers is that, not only are they a great dessert, but they make a superb on the go breakfast (that tastes way better than cereal or a granola bar). I plan on eating some of my turnovers for breakfast too. Despite how easy these were to make, there were some difficulties. For instance, it’s very hard to tell if the apple mixture is balanced out with all the  ingredients, this time, I may have overdone it with the sugar. Sometimes it doesn’t look like there is enough, but looks can be deceiving. However, after all this hard work, it’s really rewarding to bite into warm flaky pastry and just enjoy it. After all eating is a very big part of baking, isn’t it?

Here’s the recipe:

apple puff pastry squares

1 package puff pastry
3 granny smith apples sliced thin
2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
lemon zest or orange zest
apricot jam

apple puff pastry squares

roll out the puff pastry into a 12 x 14 inch rectangle. using a 2″ square fluted cutter, cut out squares and place on lined baking sheet.

toss the apples, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and zest. place the apples on the pastry.

apple puff pastry squares

bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

apple puff pastry squares

while still warm brush tops with warmed up apricot jam. let cool on baking rack.
can be served with a bit of creme fraiche on top – yum

Here are the one’s I made: