Craving Cure: Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Crème Fraîch Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

These cookies may just be the perfect solution to a chocolate craving. They’re rich but still light, i.e., you won’t feel guilty when you go back for seconds—or thirds. No judgement here! When I developed the recipe I decided to I incorporated a bit of crème fraîche that I had taking up space in my fridge. After all, tangy crème fraîche usually takes other foods I add it to up a level (remember my favorite onion dip?). The result was  a moist cookie that was full of chocolaty goodness but wasn’t dense or overloaded like so many are. I’ve made several batches and fall for them more and more each time. See for yourself.

Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
  • 2/4 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips 

1. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, crème fraîche, sugar and brown sugar. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix to combine.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, mixing until completely combined each time. Add the vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in heaping tablespoonfuls.  Space cookies at least 2.5-inches apart. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until almost set in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

SWWU TIp 1: Of course these cookies are delicious when you eat them right out of the oven, but I found the flavor to be at its peak a day later. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. They won’t last that long though.

SWWU Tip 2: These cookies are very moist and fragile when they come out of the oven. Make sure you let them set a bit on the warm pan as directed, then use your thinnest spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling. They will firm up as they sit.
Crème Fraîch Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Like what you see? Check out what’s inspiring us on Pinterest, follow us on Twitter @SWWUblog and like us on Facebook for bonus photos and content.
Advertisements

Your New Favorite French Toast

Stuffed French toast is always one of our go-to breakfasts when we are hosting overnight guests. It’s something everyone loves and it feels a bit more special than a plate of eggs and toast. Instead of our usual cream cheese filling, we recently added a tangy twist with some creamy goat cheese.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Paired with a few strips of farm-fresh bacon, this breakfast turned out to be quite a tasty treat. It was pretty quick and easy to put together, too. To make the decadent filling, we simply combined softened goat cheese with a bit of honey and some strawberry preserves we made at a class we took earlier this summer at The Brooklyn Kitchen.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Filling for Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Goat Cheese Filling for Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Use the recipe below as a guide, adjusting flavors and amounts to your preferences. We cut our toast thin, but if you added a layer of fresh-cut fruit this could definitely stand up to a thicker bread. Swapping blueberry, raspberry or other jellies, james or preserves would also allow you to add a different spin to this dish. Play around and have fun. You’ll be glad you did!

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Makes 8 sandwiches

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 4-ounce packages goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 16 pieces challah bread, cut about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (check out our recipe for homemade extract)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

2. In another small bowl, combine the goat cheese, preserves and honey. Mix until well combined and set aside.

3. Place the challah pieces in open pairs (like you would to make a sandwich) on a work surface. Make sure the bread pieces will line up when closed together. Smear a bit of the goat cheese filling on each piece and top with remaining bread to make a sandwich.

4. In a medium dish, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla extract together. Place this bowl near your stove if you can and heat a large skillet over medium. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet and let it melt. PIck up one of your french toast sandwiches and dip it into the egg mixture, making sure to coat all sides. Add to the pan then sprinkle a bit of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of each. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until brown, flip and cook 2 to 4 minutes more until brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining french toast sandwiches. (*You may need to make additional egg mixture if your bread is soaking up a lot.) Serve immediately with maple syrup on the side.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

SWWU Tip: Making enough for a crowd? Keep prepared french toast in an oven heated to 200°F until you’re ready to serve them.

Like what you see? Follow us on twitter @SWWUblog and like us on Facebook for bonus photos and content.

Tipsy Blondies

As you may have guessed from the lack of posts, Brian and I have been super busy for the past two weeks. Don’t worry, we’re still here. We enjoyed a beautiful weekend up at the farm for the 4th of July and have been working on a few side projects back at home. Luckily, this means we’ve got lots of new things to share with you over the next few weeks.

Yesterday we hosted a casual potluck picnic in Prospect Park. We grilled and shared lots of yummy bites with some friends we haven’t seen in quite some time. When planning the menu, I knew I wanted foods that were easy to transport and wouldn’t be too heavy eat on a hot, hot day. For dessert, I almost turned to my go-to s’mores brownies (stay tuned for that recipe soon) but decided instead to go with blondies. I have to admit, I’ve always had an unwarranted aversion to blondies. Boy, have I been missing out!

Rum and Toasted Coconut Blondies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Rum and Toasted Coconut Blondies by somethingwewhippedup.com

I jazzed up the classic by adding toasted coconut flakes and a bit of rum. And not to toot my own horn, but these blondies were pretty darn good. They may even be my new favorite.

Rum and Toasted Coconut Blondies

Makes about 24 pieces

  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes (such as Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut flakes in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, grease a 9-by-13 baking dish. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely between each, then add the vanilla extract and rum and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients, in two batches, mixing completely after each. Gently fold in the toasted coconut, chocolate chunks and mini chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then cut into squares.

SWWU Tip: You can definitely play around with this recipe a bit: Don’t like coconut? Use nuts instead. Don’t want to add any booze? Reduce the flour by 1/3 a cup and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon.

Like what you see? Follow us on twitter @SWWUblog and like us on Facebook for bonus photos and content.

Completely Stuffed – The BEST At-Home Brunch

In addition to pancakes, one of our go-to breakfasts (especially when we’re serving guests) is a version of our stuffed french toast.

Peach-Bourbon Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Peach-Bourbon Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

We’ve got a good system down now and it’s a breakfast we can bring together pretty quickly. We often change up the filling to go with the season: fresh blueberries, strawberries or apples all work well. The recipe below uses a peach filling with a bourbon cream cheese frosting. The combination is quite decadent! In fact, it seems like a dish you might need to go to a fancy brunch spot to enjoy. But guess what, it’s super easy to make right in your own home. Here’s how:

Peach-Bourbon Stuffed French Toast

Makes 8 pieces

  • 4 peaches, diced
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract (check out our recipe for homemade extract), divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest, divided
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 16 pieces of thick-cut (about 3/4-inch each) challah
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • butter, as needed

1. Add the peaches, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon each vanilla extract and orange zest to a medium pot and toss to combine. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and let cook down while you’re prepping the rest of the breakfast.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, bourbon and the remaining vanilla extract and orange zest. Whisk until smooth, then taste and adjust flavors as needed. Set aside.

3. Place the challah pieces in open pairs (like you would to make a sandwich) on a work surface. Make sure the bread pieces will line up when closed together (see below). Smear a bit of the cream cheese frosting on each piece and top half of them with a generous portion of the peach filling. Top with remaining bread to make a sandwich.

4. In a medium dish, whisk the eggs, milk and remaining ground cinnamon together. Place this bowl near your stove if you can and heat a large skillet over medium. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet and let it melt. PIck up one of your french toast sandwiches and dip it into the egg mixture, making sure to coat all sides. Add to the pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until brown, flip and cook until brown. Repeat with remaining french toast sandwiches. (*You may need to make additional egg mixture if your bread is soaking up a lot.)

5. Divide stuffed french toast among four plates and top each with a dusting of powdered sugar. Serve immediately with additional maple syrup and apple topping on the side if desired.

Prep for Stuffed French Toast (note there are apples in that pot, not peaches) by somethingwewhippedup.com

Prep for Stuffed French Toast (note there are apples in that pot, not peaches) by somethingwewhippedup.com

SWWU Tip 1: Making enough for a crowd? Keep prepared french toast in an oven heated to 200°F until you’re ready to serve them.

SWWU Tip 2: Extra bourbon cream cheese frosting can be stored covered in the fridge for up to a month. 

Like what you see? Follow us on twitter @SWWUblog and like us on Facebook for bonus photos and content.

Sugar Rush

My morning coffee—and many other treats—will never be the same, thanks to the vanilla sugar we recently made. Recycling the beans used for our delicious homemade vanilla extract, we made two batches of the sweetener. One was made with standard granulated sugar and the other was made with raw sugar. I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other, but I expect each one to carve out its own place in our kitchen. So far, the raw version has worked well to top muffins and french toast, while the granulated sugar works best when incorporated into baking recipes (like these brownies). Both give coffee and iced coffee a nice hint of flavor and I can’t wait to jazz up my summertime sweet tea (stay tuned) with a few spoonfuls.

Vanilla Sugar by somethingwewhippedup.com

Vanilla Sugar by somethingwewhippedup.com

Vanilla Sugar

Makes 1 cup

  • 1 cup sugar (granulated or raw)
  • glass jar
  • 3 vanilla beans (used is fine), split down the middle

1. Pour sugar into the glass jar. Trim the vanilla beans down to 2- to 3-inch segments so they’ll be completely covered by sugar once placed in the jar. Add to the jar, secure the lid tightly and shake until well combined. Set aside and shake the jar every few days. The flavor should develop within a week and will get stronger and stronger every day. I was happiest with ours after two weeks.

SWWU Tip 1: If you’ll be using previously used beans for this, be sure to let them sit out on the counter for a few hours to dry out. They shouldn’t be wet when placed in the sugar.

SWWU Tip 2: Using fresh pods for this? Split each down the middle, remove the seeds and add everything to the jar. Mix to combine. 

SWWU Tip 3: This can be a never-ending jar of sweetener. As the level gets lower, just add more sugar to the jar. If you notice the flavor isn’t as strong, swap in some new vanilla beans.

Like what you see? Follow us on twitter @SWWUblog and like us on Facebook for bonus photos and content.