ginger molasses cookies

My first self create recipe consists of delving into no less than 3 recipes involving ginger, molasses, an a mix of the two. My secret? Candied ginger. The extra texture is wonderful, not stringy, and works very well with the mixture of dough and sugar coating. Definitely not to be missed!

instagrammed up!

I have only heard good things thus far about the results. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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chocolate soufflés in mini form

Yes, I am a chocolate addict. Many people claim to be addicts, but do they eat it at least once a day? I don’t think so. It’s gotten to the point where it just gives me that little edge I need during the day. So once again, I was intrigued by a chocolate recipe, and once again, it was by dearest Deb from smitten kitchen. This one called for a chocolate soufflé in cupcake form with dreamy white chocolate mint cream: chocolate soufflé cupcakes with mint cream. I happened to have some leftover Kahlua from the cappuccino cheesecake, so I decided that a touch of that in the white chocolate cream would be just the small kick I wanted.

already deflating! just the way you want a soufflé to look out of the oven
sneak peek!

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cappuccino + cheesecake = heaven

It’s a lovely Friday afternoon in May, the Friday before a three day weekend (YES.), and for some reason, it occurs to me that I want to make something. Something delicious. And celebratory. Because my birthday is this weekend. And for some reason, getting older is still a celebration? Not sure about that one.

Anyway, I headed over to smitten kitchen in order to look for some recipes. And I stumbled upon this lovely recipe: cappuccino cheesecake. Mouthwatering, to say the least. I began looking through the ingredients. The recipe calls for the usual flour, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and chocolate, plus the addition of some liqueur/liquor, rum, coffee beans, and chocolate wafer cookies. Lovely Deb has a good recipe for homemade chocolate wafers, but I decided that I was being ambitious enough with just the cheesecake. This is what I came up with.

cracked edges
the finished cake!

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Historical Lemon Macarons

*NOTE: This originally appeared on March 29, 2010 on a different blog, but I shall put it here as well just for historical reference… and because these images are still pretty funny🙂.

So, I’ve made a few things in my time here at school, and all have them have ranged from being decent to excellent, except this one recipe.  Taken from userealbutter, the recipe is not one for an amateur cook/baker.  Little did Melanie and I know….

The process is pretty simple, which is why we didn’t realize how finicky it could be.  Making lemon curd involves just using lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolk, sugar, and a saucepan.  That part wasn’t bad.  I made the lemon curd ahead of time (quite amazing, if I do say so myself… so full of flavor).  The part that got us was the macarons.

Starting with a not so excellent food processor, we managed to process the almonds into relatively small bits (not fine enough, as we later found out, but they were decently small).  We then zested another lemon to add to the confection, preparing for mixing.

Lemon Zest... Mmmm
lemon zest!

Well, that went over fine. Then there was the egg white mixing with sugar… typical of a meringue type thing.

Whipping Macarons!
look at the whipping go!

It’s this point where we think we may have whipped it too much.  But it was hard to tell because of the granulated almonds.  Their consistency made us think that we needed to mix it more, which probably wasn’t the case (or so we think, but as I said, we’re amateurs at least with macarons…)

Anyway, after that, we had our circles of mixture.  There was SO MUCH SUGAR in that mixture.  I mean… four cups of sugar is a LOT of sugar.

Lemon and Parchment Paper
as close to circular as we could get…

And of course, given that dorm ovens are obviously not the perfect place to be making a baked good, we had some issues with the consistency.  About a third of them burned on the outside, while the inside was still gooey.  They didn’t rise nearly as much as they should have, although the fact that they did was impressive enough for us.  There was one sort of close to okay one, but that was about it…

Mel with Lemon Macaron!
mel with the one almost perfect macaron!

We tried to hide them from everyone, so we began eating them… and let me tell you, two cups of sugar each is NOT the way to go at midnight.  I was up for ages! Anyway… one of our failed experiments, but we’re on the road to getting better all the time!