Monday, May 25, 2015

Jalapeño Parmesan Sriracha Biscuits

Following the unprecedented run of deliciousness seen from Hummingbird Cupcakes to 3 kinds of Wookie Pies, the blog took a much needed vacation to Hawaii to show off the fantastic swimsuit bod afforded by the aforementioned dessert successes. Now, with a week to recover from too much sun, beautiful sights, and piña coladas, it was time to ease back into the kitchen while working on the more savory side of things with some spicy breakfast biscuits.

Jalapeño Parmesan Sriracha Biscuits
Adapted from All Recipes
Servings: 8-10 biscuits
Time: 30 minutes
By far the classiest thing we've used our wine glasses for

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk
1/4-1/2 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (but you could use cheddar)
1-2 generous squirts of sriracha
Honey butter

At this point, I was already ridiculously excited.
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Cut the shortening in until the mix resembles coarse meal. 
  4. Stir in the milk gradually until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and a workable dough forms. You can add excess flour 1 tbsp at a time if you overdo it on the milk.
  5. Stir in the jalapeños, cheese, and Sriracha.
  6. Knead the dough ~10 times (don't overhandle it) on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Roll or pat the dough out to about 1/2" to 1" thick. Cut with a large cutter or glass dipped in flour.
  8. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges start to brown.
  9. Brush with honey butter then let cool.
Every morning should start like this (and by morning I mean afternoon, because holiday)
These biscuits were everything I was hoping for to kick off my lazy Memorial Day. The jalapeño and Sriracha brought great spice and flavor that went marvelously with our leftover BBQ, while the cheese and honey butter made every bite melt in your mouth smooth. These biscuits had fantastic crispy tops surrounding fluffy perfect insides. My only regret was having to use parmesan instead of cheddar since our fridge was sadly lacking, but it was a small sacrifice to make for not having to change out of my pajama pants and leave the house. Thanks to the success of my first biscuit attempt, I would love to experiment more with culinary variables like butter and buttermilk (really anything with butter in it) in my never-ending quest to build the perfect breakfast.

Delicious BBQ sold separately (courtesy of Smoky Oak Taproom)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May the Fourth be with You: Wookie Pies

A long time ago in a kitchen far far away,

Kid Terry was absolutely obsessed with Star Wars. He desperately wanted to be Luke Skywalker and frequently reenacted the most climactic lightsaber battles when no one else was around. He beat the video games hundreds of times and studied every moment of the original trilogy even more. One day, he got the most exciting (and soon to be disappointing) news of his life. As a hopeful Jedi padawan of only 13, he convinced his mother to brave the barren wasteland and forty year olds making R2D2 noises of Tatooine the line for tickets to Episode 1. While this surely led to him not having a serious girlfriend until college, he was not deterred in achieving his goal of being among the first to see the film and continuing to work on his sweet lightsaber moves.

Now, with a new trilogy set to premiere later this year and surely erase all the bad vibes from the prequels our now much older and far more dashing hero must find a way to make this Star Wars Day epic. Knowing this would require becoming one with the force and channeling the spirits of warriors past Yoda, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader, Terry sought out the help of rebel kitchen alliance leader Kathryn to properly pay tribute to one of the greatest influences of his childhood...

Darth Vader
Adapted from Alton Brown and Sprinkles Cupcakes
Time: 120 minutes (inactive for 60)
Servings: 8-12 wookie pies
Even when finished it still looks like melted chocolate

6 oz. 54% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 oz. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
6 oz. light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
No one ever said the dark side would be this delicious

1/2 cup strawberries, pureed
2 sticks unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Thinly chopped strawberries, optional

All too easy...

  1. Embrace the dark side.
  2. Melt the 54% and unsweetened chocolates together in a medium glass bowl over two 30 second intervals, stirring in between. If additional melting is necessary, heat 10 second at a time until smooth. Set aside and let cool for ~15 minutes.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  4. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  5. Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Add to the creamed mixture on low speed until fully incorporated. 
  6. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. 
  7. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. 
  8. Fold in the 70% chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  9. Make the filling by beating the butter and salt together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time until smooth. Mix in 3 tbsp of pureed strawberries and the vanilla at low speed. Fold in extra strawberries if desired. Be careful not to overdue it on the strawberry puree or you'll get some ugly curdling.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  11. If you're trying to make awesome shapes, roll the chilled dough about 1/4"-1/2" thick. Lightly flour your cookie cutter and carefully press and remove each shape. If not, roll into balls and flatten then lay the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake for 10-14 minutes until the edges are done.
  12. Let set on the baking sheets for 3-5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool.
  13. Assemble whoopie pies with frosting in the middle.

Now presenting- the just as intimidating and slightly melted looking Vader
First up, we had our ultimate bad boy Darth Vader inspired wookie pies that fell into the dark side (of chocolate) and wielded a fierce red strawberry buttercream. The cookies themselves had a fudge-like quality and really brought out the best of dark chocolate, while the sweet filling was bursting with strawberry flavor and countered the darkness magnificently. Of all our efforts, these were the most like a traditional whoopie pie.

I would easily (Darth) Maul someone to get my hands on these.

Adapted from Real House Moms and Alton Brown
Time: 120 minutes (inactive for 60)
Servings: 12-16 Yoda-sized wookie pies
Is it guac or frosting? It's a trap!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour

4 avocados, pitted and peeled
2-3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 lb powdered sugar, sifted
2-4 heaping tbsp cool whip

Eat you, I will.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the egg, vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest.
  5. Slowly add in the flour, one cup at a time, until just incorporated. 
  6. Refrigerate for 60 minutes. 
  7. Make the filling by beating the avocado and lime juice together using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer until it lightens in color (about 2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar gradually and beat until smooth. Adjust the lime juice to your desired level. Mix in cool-whip and set aside in the fridge. 
  8. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4"-1/2" thick and cut out using a floured cookie cutter, or roll into a long tube and cut ~1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. 
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating once halfway through, until the edges just start to brown.
  10. Assemble the wookie pies with avocado frosting in the middle.
  11. Ready for adventure, you must be.

The force is strong with these ones.
Much like Luke deciding to trust a 2 foot tall bald troll doll with grammar issues with his training, our decision to make Yoda themed cookies was a big risk that paid off huge. With a little additional inspiration from the other big day of the week (Cinco de Mayo), Kathryn and I settled on an appropriately colored lime and avocado combo. The lime flavor was strong and paired nicely with the creamy avocado filling for the most unique wookie pie in the galaxy that gives a new hope to the future of desserts.

It's like you're staring straight into the heart of Dagobah.

Adapted from the previously seen Super Bowl Whoopie Pies
Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8-12 wookie pies

1 batch Chocolate Coffee Cookies (with 1 tsp extra ground espresso)
1 batch Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting (with 7 total tbsp espresso and 1 tsp vanilla)

Look at how happy Chewie is! He clearly knows he has a delicious future ahead of him.
  1. Be tired of writing up recipes, and be thankful that you already had this one under your belt.
  2. Don't even bother trying to make awesome shapes with this batter. Also, I highly recommend using silicone mats for these so they maintain some height and don't spread as much.
These aren't the shapes you're looking for...
Seeing as I have been perfecting this recipe since right after the inception of the blog, it should come as no surprise that these were the best of the day. This batter is the most unruly of the bunch, so I was fully expecting bad results with the cookie cutters, but none of that mattered once the powerful coffee aroma filled the air. Just like their imposing wookie namesake, these made their presence known in a big way. In the end, these remained the Empire Strikes Back of whoopie pies.

Frosting fixes everything- ugly cookies, wampa rampages, carbonite imprisonment...
It's important to find excuses to ingest your weight in sugar celebrate all of the important things in life. As part of my new life in a new city, I'm making a point to bake more for all the big occasions like New Year'sEastersix month puppyversaries, and Pi Day (my apologies to Arbor Day-maybe next year). My day of baking Wookie Pies with Kathryn was by far the most ambitious and quite possibly the best. Now, just 7 more months of building up insane amounts of hype in my brain until The Force Awakens. Hopefully, with the help of new baking buddy Kathryn, I just might make it.

Do or do not. There is no try.