Easter and more chocolate eggs!

So, for Easter, Rob and I were going to his parents house in Ventura. I thought, it’d be cool to recreate my Persian New Year Chocolate Eggs for Easter! After all, the original Martha Stewart idea was, in fact,  for Easter.

They turned out really festive!

So I did the same thing as last. I made little holes on one end of the eggs and emptied the contents. Then I boiled the empty shells for 10 minutes and I was ready to dye! I wanted more Easter colors so I got out all my food colorings and had a party!

They turned really cute and pastel and stripey!

I used my handy dandy styrofoam and pin egg dryer [didn’t take any photos of it this time, but it’s the ame one I used in the Persian New Year’s post]. I let the egg shells dry for  two-three days and then when they were completely dry inside I filled them with dark chocolate candy coating and emptied them again so that just the sides were covered in the chocolate coating.

Then while they were setting, I made some ganache.

Now mix the chocolate and cream together!

Now, fill the eggs with ganache!

They were a big hit! Now, how about let’s serve one up!

Bang it on a hard, flat surface! Then start picking away at the crack that will form.

Now we have the entire chocolate de-shelled.

And for the best part, take a big bite into the chocolate egg!

They were absolutely delicious!

For full directions go ahead and check out my earlier post. I hope you guys enjoyed!

Happy Chocolate-ing!

-Me

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Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

One of my favorite cookies is oatmeal cookies. Whether they have chocolate chips in them, raisins or cranberries! I happened to find a bag of cranberries laying unused at home and thought, how opportune!

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment paper!

Cream the butter, sugar and salt. Then  beat in the eggs!

Now mix in the oatmeal!

Then mix the cranberries [or whatever you’d like to be in them] in! Spoon balls of the dough on your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let the Cookies cool for 10 minutes before eating.

CRANBERRY OATMEAL COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using a spatula, cream together butter, sugar, and salt. Add egg, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water; mix until well combined.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. Fold into the butter mixture until well combined. Add cranberries and stir until well combined.
  4. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, scoop out cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Transfer baking sheets to oven, and bake until edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
They’re really simple to make and even more delicious!

Before I leave you guys, I just wanted to share something I think is really cool. Since we’re on the post about one of my favorite types of cookies, I thought it would be appropriate to share a photo of one of my favorite cupcakes [red velvet cupcakes!] made by Grace.
Look how cute!!!! I intro’d you guys to Grace in a previous post about Chocolate Crinkles. Here she has made mini red velvet cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and then rolled in crushed pecans. She’s one of the most talented little bakers I know! Grace, I’m really impressed! I hope you make me these next time I come up!
Alright, as always, happy baking!
-Me


Gallery

Another Trip Through Berkeley

This gallery contains 83 photos.

So my third trip to Berkeley this year, I decided to be a bit more comprehensive and document the trip in detail. That’s why I made this post gallery style so it wouldn’t take up the ENTIRE page. Heh. So … Continue reading

Sweet Adeline Bakeshop

Okay, so first off, yes, it’s been a long while since I’ve updated. For shame, Melody! I know! I know! But I am going to remedy the situation. Not to worry, I have been documenting my baking life since the last time I updated so we have a lot to catch up on! Which means, lots of fun posts coming up!

So per one of my readers’ requests, I checked out Sweet Adeline Bakeshop when I was in Berkeley next. And may I say, it was absolutely amazing!

The display inside was absolutely scrumptious!

The staff was really friendly and patient (I took a really long time deciding what I wanted because I was so overwhelmed with all the choices!). Plus, there was ample room to sit, which I find very important in bakeshops.

I was very tempted in taking this entire cake with me.

But, for the sake of sugar death, I opted to go with this delicious vegan oatmeal cookie and a cup of joe.

The cookie was perfect and their coffee was very good, as well. Thanks for the suggestion! I definitely recommend this place if you’re ever up in Berkeley.

Happy Baking!

Mel

A Sweet Design Bakery — Granada Hills, CA

I was SO excited to find out that there was finally a bakery near my parents house in Granada Hills called A Sweet Design. As a child I would long for a nearby bakery I could ride my bike to and buy a delicious treat at. Alas, I now live in Los Angeles, but whenever I visit my parents I can trek down to this lovely cupcakes shop and buy a treat!

I followed the signs along the side of the building. I thought they were cute.

The building was very beautiful, bright vines covered its facade and they had changed the awnings to a colorful pink.

I walked inside and was greeted with this pretty vitrine.

I saw these and immediately knew what I wanted.

But, it was still a difficult decision because of these guys:

The bakery also does custom cakes. There were lots of people there doing consultations with the cake designers when I stopped in. I walked out happily with my butterscotch cupcake.

I took it home with me and immediately dug in:

The cake was deliciously moist and had little pieces of butterscotch hidden in the batter. It was amazing. I will definitely be coming back to this place 🙂

Have a great Wednesday!

-Me

Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches

Okay, the last thing I made for Persian New Year was Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches:

Chop up 1/2 of your favorite chocolate bar. Now put all the ingredients except chocolate into a standard mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Pour in the chocolate and fold.

Place into a piping bag and pipe onto a prepared baking sheet, bake for 8-10 minutes:


Take them out and let them cool.

Make some whipped cream and melt some chocolate. Now slather on some metled chocolate on the bottoms of the meringues and let them set. Then sandwich them with whipped cream in between. Delicious!

 

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE SANDWICHES

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1/2 a chocolate bar, chopped

DIRECTIONS

1. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until sugar dissolves and soft peaks form. Gradually increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Fold in chocolate

 

TO ASSEMBLE

1. Make meringues

2. Dip ends in melted chocolate and let set

3. Make whipped cream

4. Sandwich the meringues.

5. Enjoy!

 

Happy Baking!

-Me


 

Mini Raspberry Eclaires

Yet another dessert I made for Persian New Year was Mini Raspberry Eclaires:

They were very easy to make! Preheat oven to 425. Then you need to make your Pate a Choux. Pate a Choux is a very light pastry dough used in many delicious french pastries. A chef by the name of Panterelli invented the dough in 1540. Make your dough.

Place it in a piping bag.

Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper and pipe on desired size dough.

Place in oven for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 25-30 more minutes until the edges of the dough are golden.

Slice the eclaires open to let out steam.

Normally, eclaires have pastry cream in them, but I thought, since there were so many desserts that evening, I would fill it with whipped cream. It gave the eclaires a much lighter taste. Make your whipped cream.

Fill the eclaires with the cream.

Neatly place your raspberries inside:

Melt some chocolate and paint the tops with it:

Let the chocolate set and enjoy!

PATE A CHOUX

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs (1 liquid cup)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine 1 cup water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Stir in flour. When flour is combined, return to heat. This mixture is called a panade. Dry the panade by stirring constantly for 4 minutes. It is dry when it pulls away from the sides and a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed, until slightly cooled, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, on medium speed, letting each one incorporate completely before adding the next. Add final egg a little at a time until the batter is smooth and shiny.

WHIPPED CREAM

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Beat ingredients together until whipped cream comes to your desired consistency.

MINI RASPBERRY ECLAIRES

INGREDIENTS

  • Pate a Choux
  • Whipped Cream
  • Raspberries
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.with a rack in the center. Line two unrimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats (French nonstick baking mats).
  2. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch (Ateco No. 806) tip with pate a choux batter; pipe out oblong shapes, about 3 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide, onto prepared baking sheets at 2-inch intervals. Gently run a fork dipped in water along each top, making straight lines to ensure even rising.
  3. Cover one baking sheet with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator. Transfer the second sheet to the oven. Bake 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Turn off oven; prop door open slightly to let steam escape. Allow eclairs to dry in oven until centers are damp but no wet dough remain.
  4. Split the eclaires open.
  5. Fill with whipped cream
  6. Place raspberries inside
  7. Melt chocolate
  8. Spread chocolate onto the eclaires
  9. Let chocolate set
  10. Enjoy!

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

Happy Baking!

-Me