Cookies, Brownies & Bars

Coconut Brown Butter Cookies

Do you notice a Brown Butter trend? I sure do!

Plus, I adore coconuts.

Maybe it’s because I have childhood memories of stopping at the neighbourhood naariyal paani wala for a chilled coconut water in the blistering summer heat, and then asking the naariyal paani wala to scoop out the tender inner flesh of the coconut, to eat as a glutinous snack [and he’s even make a spoon out of the husk, as we watched]. I also distinctly remember my first Thai curry, at the famous and favourite Thai Pavillion. Now given my love for spicy and coconut, Thai curry was a no-brainer instant love affair that just hasn’t ended, and I don’t see it ending, any time soon. But it continued. Coconut macaroons, coconut ice cream, khopra pak, and I finally noticed a strong personal preference developing.

So when I came across this recipe for coconut brown butter cookies from Smitten Kitchen, it because almost impossible to ignore.

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Brown Butter Cinnamon Bun Pie

Yeah, each of those words are poetry.

I mean there’s butter, and then there’s BROWN butter. Two very very amazing but very different beauties. Cinnamon Buns are always a winner. {yeah, i don’t get people who don’t like cinnamon. I’m not judging or anything. I just don’t get it, wierdos.} And there’s the best 3 letter word -P-I-E. How in god’s name could anyone not drool or salivate or just clog an artery after hearing Brown Butter Cinnamon Bun Pie.

I could say it again and again.

And again.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Bun Pie.

So let me just start by saying, this one is easier eaten than made. I mean, I didn’t really have an option, because either I fly to NYC to have a slice, or make some at home. Budget demanded I make it at home. I personally would have preferred the former. Just saying, in case my logic seemed fuzzy. {I’m pretty sure the immigration officer would think I’m on crack (pie) if I shared my rationale for a quick weekend trip to the big apple}

But seriously. I would make this again and again, not because it was easy (it’s really NOT), but purely because the house smelled un-naturally unbelievable. Like WOW. And to be fair, each bite-ful did taste pretty dam awesome. Read more…

Granola Bar Goodness

I am actually a little surprised at myself for not putting up a post using my OCD ingredient of strawberries. Firstly, because despite not posting about it or taking pictures and spamming my instagram feed, I actually did already use strawberries a few times already. The first was in a boozy strawberry jalepeno margarita, followed by this gorgeous Valrhona Bundt cake with the centre piled high with fresh fresh strawberries. After that, there was the baby spinach and roquette salad with fresh strawberries, blushing tomatoes, crumbled goats cheese in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Instead of any of those – we have these super amazing energy filled tasty granola bars.

Now truth be told, I’ve made granola bars before, and absolutely loved them. It is strangely comforting having control over what actually goes into your health bars, instead of the processed and sugar loaded store-bought varieties available out there. The other option is to purchase granola clusters or bars from home bakers at the various pop-ups, farmers markets and food events around town, but I definitely feel that those versions are unregulated and there is actually no real way to verify the ‘healthy’ sticker they come with.

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Chocolate Brownies

In all honesty, the title of the post should actually be “The Best Chocolate Brownies You’ll Ever Make/Taste in Your Life”. But, for the sake of being rather non-dramatic, lets just stick to good old ‘Chocolate Brownies’. When it comes to basic recipes, like a butter cookie or a chocolate cake, having a tried and tested, fool-proof recipe is a must – the same applies to brownies. I have tried several brownie recipes before, ranging from a triple chocolate version, to a fudgy espresso version, and a super easy version – which have all been great products, but have never stood out as a fail safe recipe that I would want to go back to time and again for a batch of brownies.

But this one was is different. It has already managed to call out to me multiple times since the one batch I have baked, so much so that at least a dozen people have been made privy to a conversation surrounding these amazing brownies, at different times and places.

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Espresso Fudge Cream Cheese Brownies

When coffee dreams, it dreams of chocolate.

When I was told the Bourneville had come out with a darker, matured version of their chocolate, with 50% cocoa, there was little resistance from my end to use it for some naughty dark treats! The new (and improved) Bourneville is intense in flavour and heartfelt – every bite hits a new note; sweet and soft – it gently unravels in your mouth.

Think about it – dark dark chocolate, baked into a gooey fudgy brownie base using dark intense cocoa powder, layered with a wobbly vanilla scented cream cheese layer, baked to perfection with a rather large handful of dark chocolate chips. Chocolate heaven! And honestly, it wasn’t even that complicated or tedious.

Layer One: Fudgy Brownie

Layer Two: Cream Cheese goodness

Layer Three: Chocolate Chips

So basically, Layer Two involves mixing together a few things with the help of an electric mixer – super easy! While Layer Three involves measuring out 2/3 cups of chocolate chips. So all you’re REALLY making from scratch is Layer One. But the end product makes it look as though you’ve slaved all day behind the stove, cautiously watching the oven, and delicately creating real life beauty. On a cost-benefit type analysis, the benefit definitely outweighs the cost!

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Mastering the Basics: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a theory. Well, lets be honest – I have many theories, but this particular one that I am sharing with you today revolves around mastering the art of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It involves the perfect base – caramelised brown sugar and butter being optimal, with excellent quality slightly larger than normal semi sweet chocolate chips, so that each bite of the chocolate chip cookie really does melt in your mouth, and each mouthful can wait for the next. Now there are people who prefer certain cookies over the others, but mastering a basic like chocolate chip just opens up horizons of options for the average Jo.

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