Homemade Peanut Butter 2 Ways

 

Recently my amazing friends put on a baby shower for my future little. I wrote down tons of ideas for hostess gifts and buying some trinket wasn’t doing it for me. I wanted them to give something special to show them how grateful I am for the time, effort and money they put into the shower.

After eliminating items on the list, I ended up with homemade jarred peanut butter. I couldn’t stop at 1 flavor so I had to do two: Chocolate Peanut Butter and Vanilla Honey Peanut Butter 🙂

I found the perfect glass jars and printed my own label with these labels.

Now, I had never made peanut butter before but after looking through various recipes, I found that it was pretty easy. I typically like to test a small batch before I make something for multiple people but I didn’t have the time. My first go around had to be it. So I tasted as I made and wrote down every detail to share with you. At this point, I’m not sure I can go back to the store-bought kind!

I love either eating them with a spoon out of the jar for a quick snack or smearing them on cut up apples. It’s seriously the best snack.

 

 

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter
The Foodie Chef Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
6-7 6oz jars filled
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
6-7 6oz jars filled
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put peanuts in a food processor and grind them for about 5 minutes until they're more liquified opposed to a paste.
  2. Add the cocoa, sugar and salt then blend.
  3. Add oil a tablespoon at a time while the machine is running until you get to your desired consistency.
  4. add salt if needed.
Recipe Notes

I used a piping bag to fill the containers. This makes for easy filling. Make sure you clean the containers before filling them!

 

Print Recipe
Vanilla Honey Peanut Butter
The Foodie Chef Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
6-7 6 oz jars filled
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
6-7 6 oz jars filled
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add peanuts to food processor and blend for about 5 minutes until it liquifies
  2. Add oil, honey, vanilla, vanilla paste, and salt. Blend until combined and the desired consistency.
Recipe Notes

I used a piping bag to fill the containers.

 

The Tiny Tea Party

Fruit Name Kabobs TheFoodieChefA few months ago I was approached to cater a kid’s tea party. From the moment I got the call, ideas flooded me with sprinkle everything! I had been eyeing something called Fairy Bread for quite some time and now was my chance to make it. Not to mention these fruit kabobs have been bookmarked in my browser for months now! Creating this menu was so fun and a great chance for colorful creativity.

Jessica, from Paperhearts Photography, took the following photos and hosted the adorable party with a few of her friends. They styled the table perfectly and I seriously wish I could have been a guest when I was 6 years old (or now)!

The menu consisted of name fruit kabobs as place settings, triangle shaped pb&j tea sandwiches, rectangle shaped turkey and cheese tea sandwiches, fairy bread, fairy bites, and vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.

Paperhearts Photography The Foodie Chef PB&J Triangles The Foodie Chef Heart Shaped Fairy Bread The Foodie Chef Fairy Bites The Foodie Chef Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Sprinkles The Foodie Chef

Fairy Marshmallows

TFCMarshmallows4I have to be honest. I was scrolling through instagram (my usual thing) and was really inspired by a picture of rainbow marshmallows. I was busy so I put my phone down and forgot about them. Two days later, I couldn’t stop thinking about these marshmallows and how pretty they were. I searched for an hour on instagram and couldn’t find them. I was going completely crazy. I then started going to feeds where I thought it might be. It was then that I FINALLY found the rainbow marshmallows! Thanks, Naomi from Baker’s Royale. I have followed you for many years now and love love love your work.

These colorful, squishy, pretty and fantastic globs of love are perfect for kids parties, easter, and more! I gave them to my little nieces who gobbled them up with HUGE smiles on their faces. A friend of mine even said they tasted better than the kind you buy at the store, thanks, Jenn! 🙂 Anyway, they’re a must and pretty easy to make. The only drawback are the dishes, womp womp…

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Print Recipe
Fairy Marshmallows
These colorful, squishy, pretty and fantastic globs of love are perfect for kids parties, easter, and more! I gave them to my little nieces who gobbled them up with HUGE smiles on their faces. A friend of mine even said they tasted better than the kind you buy at the store, thanks, Jenn! 🙂 Anyway, they’re a must and pretty easy to make. The only drawback are the dishes, womp womp…
Prep Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
4
Ingredients
Prep Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Lightly cover a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray; line with parchment paper. (This will help keep the parchment paper in place).
  2. Pour 1/2 cup water into a stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin on top. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime, put 1 cup water, sugar, and honey in a small medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves. Once sugar dissolves continue to cook the mixture without stirring until temperature reaches 240 degress F, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and dip the bottom of the saucepan in a metal bowl filled with ice water and allow to cool to 210 degrees F. (this will happen very fast)
  4. Pour slightly cooled syrup mixture into gelatin mixture; beat on low until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy and mixture triples in volume, about 10 minutes. Working quickly, divide mixture into four separate bowls and mix in food color (one color to each bowl). Using a lightly oiled spatula, scrape and layer each color into prepared pan. Using a lightly oiled knife or offset spatula drag and swirl it through the mixture to create a marbled effect. Do not over do. Smooth top surface (surface may not be completely even). Set aside in a cool place, (not the refrigerator) for 8 hours or overnight. Use a lightly oiled serrated knife and slice into 1 inch cubes. Cover cut sides with cornstarch and confectioner sugar mixture. Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Recipe Notes

-Have at least 3 spatulas on hand.

-Spray them with non-stick spray before even thinking about touching the marshmallows.

-When lowering the temperature of the candy mixture, put the sauce pan in a bowl of ice water- this will cool the whole amount faster.

-always. always, always use a candy thermometer and never under or over cook

-I like gel colors, not the liquidy watered down mess from the grocery store.

Gingerbread Cookies

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There’s nothing like the taste of fresh and spicy gingerbread men (and women) during the holiday season. As I was making these little people, I couldn’t help but think of the scene from Shrek. Not the gumdrop buttons! haha

While in pastry school my teacher introduced us to speculoos cookies for the holidays. Now, they’re a huge hit at Trader Joe’s in cookie butter form. Ever since we made them in school, I’ve loved the flavor and try to make them every year. This time, I made them in the form of gingerbread people because, come on, it’s pretty much the same thing.  The only difference is the amount of spices you add. I love the flavor of cardamom so I added the non-traditional spice into my beauties 🙂

I have this new found obsession with cute things and sprinkles so here I am again, adding my special sprinkle mix to the gingerbread ladies. However, I did find in my last 2 batches that the sprinkles melted. I assume the temperature raised slightly more than the first batch. Keep this in mind when baking with sprinkles.

The key to making these cookies is to work fast. After mixing the dough, it’s important to wrap the dough in plastic then chill immediately. This will help the dough not only rest but get less sticky. Once it is chilled, it’s important to spread a good layer of flour on your work surface because it will stick. Also, move the dough clockwise in between each roll (while adding more flour if needed). This will help it to not stick.

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Print Recipe
Gingerbread Cookies
There's nothing like the taste of fresh and spicy gingerbread men (and women) during the holiday season.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until well blended.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla, continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or silpat.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
  5. Cut out cookies with gingerbread man shape. Place cookies about 1 1/2-inches apart on baking sheet. (I put the sheet pan with the cookies on it in the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the butter. Though you’re welcome to skip this step.) With a pastry brush, wipe off excess flour on cookies then add a thin layer of egg wash (lightly beaten egg). Decorate cookies with sprinkles while lightly pushing them into place.
  6. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (7 minutes leads to softer cookies). Let cool on pan and enjoy! The can be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 weeks.

 

Spooky Ghost Meringue Cookies 3 Ways

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Boo! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up, going to costume parties and of course, making spooky treats! This year, I wanted to make something low fat and simple that anyone can do. I thought cute ghost meringue cookies 3 ways would be perfect.

I recall making meringue cookies in pastry school 5 years ago and they came out perfectly. A few years back, I was making some meringue mushrooms for a yule log. After spending time whipping the meringue, piping and anxiously waiting, they cracked and looked completely ugly. Since then, I’ve learned to never bake meringue in a deck oven. You might think, obviously, you would never cook meringue in a deck oven because they are meant bake bread or pizza in high heat. It’s also possible that the oven wasn’t calibrated and it overheated. I have to blame the oven, right? Of course it wasn’t me 😛

This time, I bought a nice little oven thermometer so I am sure that the temperature is accurate. My best advice is to know your oven- they’re all different. This little gadget is perfect to find out the truth in your oven. My next tip is to be extremely patient. If you haven’t noticed in cooking/ baking, patience is key. I remember working at a local restaurant and I was standing over a sauce pan filled with water staring down anxiously waiting for the water to boil. The chef stood over me and told me to stop staring, work on something else and have patience. Sure enough, after a few minutes, the water started to boil. From then on, I take heed in his advice.
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My last tip is that it’s all about the piping pressure. This takes practice and I suggest you test this out with store bought icing. This way, you can hone your practice while spending a small amount. First off, I really like to use disposable piping bags. I dislike the kind you wash because you have to spend time cleaning it. Most of the time it doesn’t even get cleaned thoroughly.

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For the ghosts, I fitted the piping bag with an 807 piping tip. This is to ensure the smoothness of the end product. Once your bag is read to go, fill it halfway with the meringue. With one hand, hold the tip about 1/4″ above the parchment paper. Start squeezing while slowly bringing your hand up and letting go of the pressure so that it tapers off leaving a little whisp. Like I said, it takes practice. You can play with the amount of pressure, when to raise the bag up and when to stop. You can see this in different ghosts, some are more round and some are skinnier.

In the end you get cute spooky ghosts that not only taste delicious but are low fat!

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Print Recipe
Spooky Ghost Meringue Cookies 3 Ways
Cute spooky ghosts that not only taste delicious but are low fat!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 7 hours
Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 7 hours
Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 260 degrees.
  2. Combine egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium high for about 3 minutes until soft peaks are achieved. Slowly add sugar while the whisk is whipping and switch to high for about 2 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. It should be smooth and not gritty.
  3. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Put a tiny dollop of the meringue in each corner fastening the parchment paper to the sheet. Fill a pastry bag halfway fitted with an 807 tip. With patience and ease, pipe little ghosts filling each sheet. Refer to above notes on details of piping.
  4. Once all of the ghosts are piped, carefully drop black nonpariels in place of eyes. You can also use mini chocolate chips or even cover them with orange and black sprinkles.
  5. Bake for 25-30 mintues and then turn off the oven and let them sit overnight (or several hours). Store them in an airtight container and they'll last for several days.
Recipe Notes

My best advice is to know your oven- they're all different.

My next tip is to be extremely patient.

My last tip is that it's all about the piping pressure.  I really like to use disposable piping bags.

 

Apple Honey Cake

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Fall has arrived and I’ve neglected my blog :(. Though I do post often on instagram so you can catch me there. The summer was pretty busy and I got to visit really great places and I’ll share that in another post.

In Houston, one day it’s 100 degrees and humid and the next it’s 84 with clear skies, hello fall! Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long but we do get to take advantage of comforting recipes. Especially for Rosh Hashana where we celebrate a sweet new year with apples and honey. This apple and honey cake is the perfect, almost coffee cake like end to a filling meal.

My mom distributed recipes to most guests to help her prepare for this meal. I got the apple honey cake though I assume it’s because I’m the only one who went to pastry school and I enjoy a good challenge. It’s surprisingly easy to make and it looks gorgeous once you’ve cascaded the apples around the raw dough.

To me, quality ingredients are key. I opted for organic honeycrisp apples and they held their crispness and didn’t get soggy- the best baking apple. I will definitely make this recipe again but I may add a bit more ginger or even cardamom for a kick.

Print Recipe
Apple Honey Cake
adapted from The New York Times recipe
Servings
Ingredients
For the Cake
For the Glaze
Servings
Ingredients
For the Cake
For the Glaze
Instructions
Make the Cake
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, preferably a springform pan.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add honey and whip for 1 minute, until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well incorporated, then whip for 2 minutes. Stir in grated ginger, candied ginger, and lemon zest.
  3. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder and add to bowl, mixing briefly to make a stiff batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. With a paring knife, cut slits in each of the apple quarters on the rounded, outer part of the wedge, slicing partway through at 1/8-inch intervals. Arrange apple quarters slit-side-up over the batter. Sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar.
  5. Place cake pan on a baking sheet and put on middle rack of oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer emerges dry. (It took about 52 minutes for me) If cake is browning too rapidly, tent with foil until done. Cool on a rack, then carefully unmold.
Make the Glaze
  1. Put sugar, honey and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture bubbles, about 2 minutes. Paint surface of cake and apples with warm glaze. Cake will keep for several days, tightly wrapped, at room temperature.

 

Sour Cherry Deep Dish Pie

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It has been years since I’ve made a homemade pie, maybe since pastry school. These days all of my effort is put into savory food and it’s a treat (pun intended 😉 ) to make a dessert every so often. Fresh cherries are in season and this is what I’m bringing to a friend’s July 4th party.

I took a little bit of a shortcut and bought pie dough. Now, I’m all about homemade food but sometimes it’s ok to make an exception when you’re in a pinch. I didn’t have pie weights so I used a nine inch cake pan to help weigh the dough down while cooking. There’s nothing worse than hard dough bubble that cannot be popped only to ruin your entire pie. When I pulled the pan out of the springform pan, I noticed some cracks in the dough. I quickly remembered that my reserved small piece of raw dough could be filled in, *thank you pastry school.

cherries 1
pitting cherriescherries 2

cherries 3

dough

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Print Recipe
Sour Cherry Deep Dish Pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
Egg wash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
Egg wash
Instructions
  1. For the egg wash : whisk together egg and salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Place the pitted cherries in a bowl. Stir in the vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch, and sprinkle the mixture over the cherries.
  4. Toss the sugar and cornstarch mixture with the cherries until they are evenly coated then set aside
  5. Roll the dough out so that it fits in a 9” spring form pan. Reserve the second pie dough for the lattice top. Work fast as the dough is hard to work with when it warms up. If the dough doesn’t fit perfectly, you can piece it together by pressing the edges to meet. Make sure there aren’t any thin spots since the dough is very delicate. Once it’s in the pan, prick all around with a fork. This helps the steam exit causing fewer bubbles. I placed an 8” cake pan inside to weigh it down but if you have pie weights, please use them! Cook for about 5-7 minutes until cooked.
  6. Pour the cherry mixture into the cooked crust. Cover the top of the pie with the chilled, rolled top crust, or cut into strips and make a lattice crust over the top. Crimp the edges and chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425° F. After pie has chilled, brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (optional). Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce the heat to 350° and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
  8. *This recipe is more on the crumble side to please serve with ice cream 🙂
Recipe Notes

Hint – I had a few cracks in my dough so I filled them in with raw dough, works like a charm 🙂

Blueberry Crumb Bars

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On most mornings, I drink my healthy smoothie but sometimes I just want something sweet that resembles a muffin. That’s how I came up with these crumb bars. They’re maybe more like a dessert but sufficient enough for breakfast, in my opinion. They have a great spice blend with a hint of cardamom. I really like this spice. I’m not a huge fan of Indian food but this spice which is prevalent in Indian cooking is one of my favorites. I love to combine it, when fitting, in my baked goods. Give it a chance and I promise you’ll fall in love too 🙂

Blueberry Crumb Bar 1 Blueberry Crumb Bar 4
Print Recipe
Blueberry Crumb Bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine ½ c sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Mix with whisk. Add lemon zest, juice, vanilla, egg, and mix. Once combined, butter with flour mixture with hands until combined. You can use a standing mixer or pastry cutter to get the texture faster. It will be grainy and not full combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix ¼ c sugar and cornstarch. Add blueberries and mix to cover.
  3. In a 13x9 pyrex, cover with cooking spray then add half of the flour mixture and press down. After, add the blueberries and spread evenly. Spread the rest of the flour mixture on top of the blueberries. Bake at 350 convection for about 40 minutes. Let cool before you cut.

Peanut Butter Ganache Cookie Sandwiches

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The other day I got a call to make a yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting. It had been a while since I’ve made chocolate frosting since I’ve been on my whipped cream cheese kick. It’s literally the best thing I’ve tasted and maybe needed a break from it. I messaged a fellow chef/mentor of mine for some advice. He immediately sent me a whipped chocolate ganache recipe from a textbook. The recipe itself is really simple but I imagined it would be something a bit different.

When I learned the ganache technique in school, there was more chocolate to cream ratio resulting in a thicker ganache. (generally a different recipe to make truffles and such) This recipe has more cream than chocolate which makes it more liquidy. Once cooled then whipped, it’s like chocolate whipped cream! It’s oh so good and can be made with milk or dark chocolate.

Ah hem, long story short, I had extra whipped ganache so I bought the packaged peanut butter cookie mix. I know, this is against my values of scratch made food but it was my quickest option!

Peanut Butter Cookie 1
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Once the cookies cooled, I piped the ganache on one side then sandwiched the other over it pressing gently. I put them in the fridge until serving them. They will melt and not hold if left at room temp, just fyi. Now, you can eat them right away, like I did 🙂

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Print Recipe
Peanut Butter Ganache Cookie Sandwiches
Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 7 hours
Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 7 hours
Servings
Instructions
  1. Put chocolate in bowl.
  2. Bring heavy cream to a simmer
  3. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 1 min.
  4. Gently stir to blend, strain and cool.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
  6. Whip ganache in standing mixer to desired peak.

Valentines Sprinkle Popcorn

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My new years resolution was to post more often so here I am. I haven’t made it a priority to make weekly posts but I’m going to try to!

I’ve finally realized what I am, a healthy cook by day with a LARGE sweet tooth by night. I have had such a sweet tooth lately and I came across a recipe for sprinkles covered popcorn. It just looks so pretty and tasty, I had to try it!

A few weeks ago I hosted a little blogger party with Julie, From Prosecco To Plaid and Lindsey from Lindsey Steinberg Events. As we were coming up with the menu, this very popcorn recipe was pinned to our hidden group pinterest page. It looked a little intimidating so we figured we could purchase it at the specialty popcorn shop. As I read the recipe, I realized just how easy it was. There was absolutely no need to purchase when I can make it 🙂

With my pastry background, my first idea is to use quality white chocolate. After all of my training I’ve become such a purist and maybe a little snobby with my ingredients. I’m not super proud of it but secretly I am. When I make cakes I most definitely use the best possible ingredients.

In this instance, I took the easy way out (*ahem*, which is not always the best). If you’ve ever tempered chocolate, you know what I mean. It’s just annoying. I have much respect for chocolatiers and I enjoyed taking a chocolate class but I’m done with the days of tempering chocolate. If I had a tempering machine, that’s another story.

This time I used the infamous white bark coating. I say infamous because it has absolutely no trace of cocoa butter in it which is the main ingredient in real white chocolate. I use this product for complete ease of use. It’s no joke, so easy. All you do is pop a handful in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second increments while stirring in between. By 1 min 30 sec it should be nice and smooth and ready to pour on the popped popcorn!

Be very meticulous and remove all of the unpopped kernels. No one wants to eat those. I suggest laying a silpat in the sheet pan or parchment paper. This will be for a super easy clean up.

I like using nonpareils for sprinkles. But for Valentines day, I use these.

Here are the steps:

Pop popcorn (plain, no salt and no butter) according to directions

Lay parchment or silpat in sheet pan

Empty popped corn onto sheet pan then remove kernels

Heat about 6 white bark coating bars in a microwave safe bowl. Do this in 30 second increments stirring in between. You will know it’s done when it’s smooth and not clumpy.

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*I suggest using food safe gloves on this next step:

Pour the melted coating over the popped corn then mix quickly with hands. Be gentle not to crush the delicate popcorn then press into an even layer.

Once you’re done, sprinkle away! Do this kind of quickly before the coating melts.

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Now, step away and let it cool for at least 20 minutes then enjoy!

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