Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

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We all have our favorite holidays, and mine is not the most common one haha. 4TH OF July is one, if not my favorite holiday. I guess it has to do with the appreciation I have for this wonderful country, and how lucky and blessed we truly are. Also the family tradition and festivities growing up were always going to the park behind my high school with the WHOLE family. We would lay on a blanket while eating a bucket of KFC and CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, listen to live music, play cards all day with my cousins, and then finally watch the 30 minute firework show!!! Then the best part would be us doing “legal” fireworks as a family in the drive way after the show that was in town. Sometimes I wish I could take a time capsule back to these moments.

History Lesson

Fourth of July is also known as Americas Independence Day! Our Independence Day is a Federal holiday that was established 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. It was a day, and written document declaring the original 13 colonies would break off from the British empire, and start a new nation. FUN FACT: The actual separation from the British Empire took place on July 2nd. It needed congressman’s approval (John Adams, & Thomas Jefferson..etc), and it was approved on July 4th!! America is a place founded for opportunity, and to be free in many forms that other countries aren’t blessed with. America is a melting pot of immigrants from all countries, we must love and respect what we have. My father said, “Freedom with intellectuality is okay babe, freedom with stupid is scary..”-Michael Pietrantonio (My daddy).

Lets get to baking shall we… Fun fact* – If the chocolate chip cookie recipe your using has baking powder its a no go!!! In my experience over the years the best are with out baking powder for the right texture!!! My niece Caramia is always my baking partner. She loves to help people, and she loves to cook/bake! Plus its a good way to get the kids more involved, and away from the technology! Its always a plus to teach them fundamentals on how to cook/bake! She tells me she wants to be a chef like me, so we are training her early ahah.

          Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield:12-14 Cookies
Bake: 350° F 10-14 min (golden on the outside, light in the center)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Honey 
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup Chocolate Chunks
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
2. Cream the butter,and sugars together (brown sugar and granulated  sugar).
3. Add the egg, honey, and vanilla and cream together.
4. Scrap the bowl down. Scale all dry ingredients in a bowl with out the chocolate chunks : Flour, salt, and baking soda. 
5. Add the dry to the wet butter mixture. Mix just until incorporated
6. Add the chocolate chunks. and mix until just incorporated!
7. Place bowl of cookie dough in the cooler for 10-15 minutes.
8. Spray or line a sheet pan with grease, aluminum, or parchment 
paper. 
9. Make hockey puck rounds with the cookie dough. The size is between a golf ball and tennis ball.
9. Bake for 10-14 min on the middle rack. I like to rotate the pan in the middle of baking also. The  cookie should be golden brown on  the outside, and lighter in the center. Don’t be scared that it is raw in the center. The cookie carries over, and bakes for 
another 3-4 minutes when its comes out of the oven and its cooling
down.
10. Enjoy your warm goowwwwyyyy cookies with a glass of milk :]!!

*(you may alter this cookie recipe to the filling of your choice and 
it will still work. Example: Oatmeal, white chocolate, nuts..etc.. if you have questions of a cookie idea, or measurements you know where 
to find me :])

    Happy 4th of July Everyone! Stay happy, blessed, and safe!

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Vanilla Cake / Unicorn Cake

THIS IS HAPPENING!!

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For my friend Cashs birthday, we thought to do a unicorn themed birthday cake. I know unicorns have become a fad really; but honestly, I love horses, and the fact that unicorns are mystical creatures. It has beauty in a sense from the creature that is it, and the fact that it is a rare being. That is why I like when people compare us to unicorns!!! It is apparently rare to be an independent classy broad, with religious morals, and to not drink or do drugs in this day and age….so heres a shout out to all my UNICORNS!! This is my form of a mystical creature, but honestly we don’t have to fit into that category or mold, everyone is special and unique in their own way!!! AND I AM NOT JUST SAYING THAT, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT!

Just chant to yourself….. 

In my experience as a pastry chef, the hardest recipe to master was the vanilla cake. I’M NOT JOKING!! It is so hard to find a delicious moist simple vanilla cake. A lot of household bakers resort to box cakes; which are GREAT options, anything home baked is better then bought in my book. I understand the convenience of them, especially if you want to spend more time on the decorating part. Plus they have good flavor, texture, and they are affordable. Lets be honest cooking/baking is a lot of work and money. For me, I love making everything from scratch, and giving them as favors, and gifts! I’m a simple girl, who appreciates the simple things in life. Yes a vanilla cake can be simple, but I want it in its best form! Vanilla is always a good base to pair, and add additional complimenting flavors to as well. Cash is from Jamaica, so I feel it is only right to soak the cake with rum, and she likes it haha…

Vanilla Cake

Yield: 2- 8 inch rounds
BAKE TEMPERATURE: 350° F 30-45 minutes

CAKE INGREDIENTS:
3 Cups Vegetable Oil
6 Cups Sugar
12 Eggs
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
6 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 Tbs Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM RECIPE:
4 Cups Vegetable Shortening
2 Tbs Water
2 Tbs Egg White Meringue Powder
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
12-16 Cups Powder Sugar
4-6 Tbs Milk

Utensils:
-Wooden dowel stick
-2 toothpicks 
-2 box of Wilton white fondant
-Gold luster dust
-Paint brush
-Edible marker pen
-Food coloring (your favorite rainbow shades)
-Star tip
-Piping bag
-8 inch cake board
-Offset spatula 

*** Fondant, food colorings, luster dust, cake board, piping bags,   edible marker, dowels, star tips, and paint brushes can all be        purchases at Michaels arts and crafts store. (Dowel and paint brush might be cheaper at Home Depot!)

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease two 8 inch round cake pans.
  2. Mix the oil, and sugar together.
  3. Add the eggs one at the time, and whisk together with vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth (flour, baking powder, and salt).
  5. Fill the cake pans 3/4 of the way, and bake at 350 °F for 30- 45 min. Test with a tooth pic after 25 minutes.
  6. Let the cakes cool down for 1 hour before removing them from the pan.

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Icing Directions:

  1. Cream the shortening, water, and vanilla extract together.
  2. Scrape your bowl down and add meringue powder. Cream well.
  3. Add 12 cups of powder sugar, and 3 Tbs of milk.
  4. The consistency should be a stiff paste like buttercream.
  5. The consistency can fluctuate to your preference with the extra sugar, and milk.
  6. After the cake is frosted, reserve the excess frosting for the rosettes, and dividing them into different colors.

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Decorating Directions:

 

NO MATTER YOUNG OR OLD THIS IS THE PERFECT CAKE TO BRING TO ANY EVENT! It will bring smiles, which is always the goal in my book! Like I said I always try to put thought, and love in my gifts, so what better way then to make a cake 🙂 Making gifts from scratch take time, and money too, and it’ll put a smile on their face, in their stomach, and in their heart !! If you have any questions or inquiries please let me know! Happy birthday Cash! <3333

Italian Lemon Cookies

Happy Mothers Day

SHOUT OUT TO ALL MOMMAS!!

First and foremost Happy Mothers Day to all mommas, especially MINE! I love you very much, and appreciate all the loving things you have done for me, all the loving words you have said to me, all the loving devotion you put in me, and all the loving faith and support you have for me! I know its not only my momma, I’m sure we all feel this way, and I would like to take this well deserved time to acknowledge, and appreciate all the sacrifices they do for us!!

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My Momma ❤
Everyone has that specific dish, and/or specific dessert your momma makes that is soooo good, and they bring it to every dinner/event they attend! For my momma it is either her tiramisu, or her LEMON COOKIES!  I promise to post her tiramisu one day as well, so just keep up with me on my blog! These lemon cookies were actually from my Nonna- Lina. I watched her, and made these with her practically my whole childhood. Once again, she never really measures or writes recipes that are fully accurate. Italians will understand hah..but nonetheless this is the recipe we bake today! If your Italian, then you know exactly what cookie I am talking about. They are on every dinner table with coffee after every meal!! Or they are being shipped to every person in the whole family for Christmas, with an assortment of different Italian Cookies. These are the family favorite though.

Not only are they good as the after dinner coffee/tea cookie, they are great to bring as a gift, or to a dinner party. My momma has fun, and tries to be cute and festive with them. If there is a holiday, or theme dinner party, she will color the icing with the appropriate color scheme. For example before my baby cousin Gianna was born, we had a pumpkin gender reveal party. It was a girl!!

ITALIAN LEMON COOKIES

YIELD:20-25 Cookies 
BAKE TEMP: 350°F 10-12 Minutes
INGREDIENTS:
Cookie Dough:
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Crisco Shortening
3 Eggs
2 Tsp Lemon Extract
1 Lemon Zest
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt

Icing:
3 Cups Powder Sugar
1 Lemon Juiced and Zested
1 1/2 Tsp Lemon Extract
1-2 Tsp Milk

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Cream shortening, sugar, and zest together.

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Scrape sides of the bowl, and add/mix in the eggs, lemon juice, and extract.

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Add the flour, salt, and baking powder.

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DO NOT OVER MIX! Just mix until incorporated.

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Grab a pinch of dough at a time and roll into logs, and then tie into a KNOT. ** Putting a touch of oil on the board, and your hands prevents the dough from sticking.

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These cookies do not spread very much, so pack them in!!

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Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 10- 12 minutes! You want them soft, DO NOT OVER BAKE!

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ICING: Mix all ingredients to an Elmers glue consistency. You want it pasty, but not liquidy.

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After the cookies have cooled down for 30 minutes. Dunk the tops in the lemon icing.

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After going through all the cookies, repeat the process a second time for a thicker coating.

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After all the cookies are glazed place in the cooler for 20 minutes so the coating can get hard, and you can store them!!!

Once again HAPPY MOTHERS DAY (DOG MOMS TOO!!), and happy Sunday!! See you next week! Let me know what you think!!! Thank you, and come bake with me!! They need a Happy Dog Parents Day or Happy AUNTS/UNCLES DAY haha.

Coconut Samoa Cake

 

This week I was craving coconut! Summer is here soon, and I am back home in south Florida….so why not? I was craving coconut, with a hint of chocolate. I did not want a full on German chocolate cake. So I thought to myself what If I inverted it? Then I remembered the best Girl Scout cookies growing up!! The chocolate coconut Samoas cookies, from the girl scouts!! I transformed the Samoas into my version of a Samoa bundt cake.

             Why does it have a hole in it?

Bundt cakes do not conform to any single recipe really, they are just considered that from their shape. The name derived from Europe. It came from a brioche/cake hybrid baked in a ring shape called Gugelhupf. It was used mostly for religious holidays amongst the Jewish community.


CoconutMilkDiptychPeople tend to skew from healthy hacks and habits because of price, and convenience. For this cake there is coconut milk in it. You can use the canned coconut milk if you would like, and just skip ahead to the recipe!!!! If you are a health nut; and love and appreciate organic tricks, please make it from scratch!! I always make extra to reserve for my shake in the mornings! Buy 1 bag of UNSWEETENED COCONUT FLAKES. Coconuts are a delicious and nutritious source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. They have tons of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of electrolytes. So the fresher the better!

                                   Coconut Milk:

  • 4 Cups warm water, 2 cups unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Blend and strain

                     Coconut Cake & Topping!!

Usually coconut cake tends to be a little dry and dense because, the coconut flakes absorb a lot of moisture, but NOT this one! It is very rich, moist, light, and is great with a cup of milk, coffee, or my favorite tea! This recipe is so simple to make, it didn’t even need a video tutorial! I thought I should switch things up a bit as well! You may use just a whisk and bowl for this recipe, or a mixer of your choice.

  Recipe    
 Yield: 1 bundt 
                     
 Cake Ingredients:
 2 Cups Sugar
 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour 
 1 Cup Vegetable Oil                   
 1 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk  
 2 Tbs Baking Powder
 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
 1 Tsp Salt
 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
 4 Eggs

 Topping Ingredients:
 1 Tbs Butter
 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
 3/4 Cup Sugar
 2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
 1 Cup Coconut Flakes
 1/4 Cup White Chocolate Chips
 1/4 Cup Pecans
 1 Tbs Honey or Corn syrup
 1 Tsp Cornstarch

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a Bundt pan, and put aside.
  3. Whisk the coconut milk, oil, and sugar until its incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, and vanilla extract until incorporated.
  5. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, and whisk together until incorporated (Flour, salt, coconut flakes, and baking powder).
  6. Pour batter in the greased pan, and bake for 30-45 minutes. Place the cake on the middle rack! (Set a timer at 25 minutes, and check every 5 minutes after. It took my oven 35 minutes which is the average time). Check with a tooth pick, if it comes out dry its done! 
  7. Let the cake rest for 20 minutes before trying to remove from the cake pan (go around the edges with the back end of the knife to make sure the cake doesn’t rip, and stick to the pan!)

Topping Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil, butter, honey, sugar, cocoa powder in a sauté pan.
  2. Add the pecans, coconut flakes, and white chocolate chips until incorporated.
  3. Drizzle the cornstarch, and mix together until thick!
  4. Place the filling in the fridge for 20 minutes, until cooled down.
  5. Place the Coconut topping around the bundt cake like a ring on the top.
  6. ENJOY!!!!!!!!! EMAIL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR ALTERATIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY!! IM HERE TO HELP!