Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

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Ingredients 

Mint Gremolata

  • ¾  cup mint, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • salt & pepper

Lamb Chops

  • 4-6 lamb chops

  • Salt & pepper

  • oil

Recipe

Mint Gremolata

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, crush  the mint, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and zest. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should remain course, so if using a blender, pulse it until the mixture is just combined. Set aside.

Lamb Chops

  1. Heat up your grill pan. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the pan, and place chops on grill pan, cooking 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

  2. Once they are done, plate the chops and drizzle the gremolata on top.

Pea & Mint Risotto

Going green in celebration of Earth Day!

This fresh and vibrant green Pea and Mint Risotto is luxurious while still being a light dish. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal, as it is very quick to whip up.

When the warm weather arrives, my backyard gets taken over by mint! All Spring and Summer long I have plenty of mint to cook, bake and make tea with. So this recipe helps utilize my garden’s herbs and celebrate this wonderful day! GO GREEN!


Ingredients 

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1-½ cups uncooked Arborio rice

  • 4 sprigs fresh mint

  • 4 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth

  • ⅓ cup white wine

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the broth and keep warm.

  2. In a large nonstick pot, sauté onion in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

  3. Add the rice, cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.

  4. Stir in heated broth, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the liquid to absorb between each addition.

  5. Meanwhile, in a blender, add the peas with a splash of water and blend into a puree.

  6. Cook until risotto is creamy and almost tender around 20 minutes. Add the sprigs of mint & the pureed peas. Cook until heated through.

  7. Remove the mint sprigs.  Add Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

    Garnish with pea shoots or asparagus for an added bite.




Passion Fruit & Lemon Tart

Easter is fast approaching, so this week I’ll be posting some of my favorite spring-inspired dishes that are perfect for your Easter table.

Starting with my favorite topic, dessert! During the warmer months, I like to use my oven as less as possible. I love doing desserts that are quick to assemble, bright, and that incorporate fruit! One of my go-to recipe is a citrus tart. You do need to use the oven to bake your crust, but it’s only for 15 minutes, and the rest is done over stove top then chilled in the fridge until it’s all set!

Passion fruit and lemon curd tart will be the star of your table this spring. It’s tart and sweet and a perfect finish for after a heavy Easter meal! Use the leftover egg white to make a meringue to decorate the top of the tart!

 
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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 8 oz  graham crackers

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6  tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • ½ cup  fresh passionfruit pulp

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

  • ½ cup of lemon juice

  • Zest of 1 ½ lemons

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Recipe

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse grahams until finely ground. Pour sugar and melted butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

  3. Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil on top of the crust. Pour in pie weights, or dried beans.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes

  5. Carefully remove the parchment/aluminum foil and  the weights, or beans, and allow to cool.

Filling

  1. In a medium-size saucepan, place the sugar and eggs, and whisk until light and pale. Whisk in the zest, and juice of the lemons, and the passion fruit pulp.

  2. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and constantly whisk until mixture has  thickened. Do not boil.

  3. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and whisk in room temperature butter.

  4. Pass the curd through a sieve, making sure  you have a smooth curd. Let cool.

  5. Once the crust and mixture is cooled, about 30 minutes. Pour the curd into the crust and refrigerate until set.

  6. Decorate with prepared meringue. Best served  cool.

Bacalhau à Brás (Cod fish with potatoes and eggs)

Tomorrow is Father’s Day in Portugal! In honor of my Dad, I have made his favorite recipe - Bacalhau à Brás, and one that he cooked often when I was growing up. Every bite brings me back to when I was a kid, seating at the dinner table and telling him that I hated olives! But now this is one of my favorites!

It’s such an easy recipe to do, cod mixed with onions, fries, and eggs. If there is a recipe to make someone fall in love with cod, it has to be this one! 

My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried salt cod

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups)

  • Enough oil to fry potatoes

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 8 large eggs

  • Salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided

  • 18 black or green olives

Recipe

  1. Soak the salted cod in water for 24/36 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times – depending on the thickness of the cod

  2. Heat oil in deep heavy bottom pot

  3. When hot, add potatoes and fry until golden – you want the potatoes light golden not to crispy

  4. Dry on paper towel to get rid of excess oil

  5. Add the cod to a pot of water, bring to a boil.

  6. Lower the temperature and simmer the cod for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove the cod pieces with a skimmer and onto a plate.

  8. Remove the skin from the cod and shred it, making sure to discard all the bones

  9. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes while stirring.

  10. Add the cod, mix and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

  11. Add half of the matchstick chips and mix.

  12. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  13. Add the eggs to the cod mixture and stir until the eggs are half-cooked.

  14. Add half of the matchstick chips, half of parsley and stir one last time.

  15. Remove immediately from heat to avoid overcooking the eggs

  16. Arrange in a dish.

  17. Garnish with leftover parsley and black olives.

Raspberry Macarons

Pucker up, its Valentines day and these Raspberry Macarons are both tart and sweet!

Macarons are a classic French pastry, they are made from almond flour, confectioner sugar, and egg whites.

They are such a treat but usually difficult to make.

However, this recipe is foolproof!

I've made this recipe several times, and each one comes out perfect!

One of the things that I love most about Macarons is how versatile they are.

Because today is Valentines Day, I made a Pink macaron with a delicious cream cheese raspberry filing!

My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Macarons
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Macarons
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Macarons



Ingredients 

 Macarons

  • 3/4 cup almond flour

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • Red food coloring

 Raspberry Filling

  • 1 stick butter, softened

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar

  • ½ fresh raspberries

Recipe

  Macarons

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 F.

  2. Combine almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on clumps.

  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites using a hand-mixer or stand-mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high for 2 more minutes until stiff, glossy peaks form.

  4. Add red food coloring and beat on high for another 30 seconds.

  5. Gently fold in dry ingredients and repeat until the batter falls into ribbons when spatula is lifted.

  6. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip.

  7. Pipe batter into 3/4-inch round circles, 1 inch apart.

  8. Tap the baking sheet firmly against the counter to release any air bubbles. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes until they form a skin.

  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway, until cookies have risen and just set. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Raspberry Filling

  1. Puree the 1/2 cup raspberries in a food process, or blender. If you don't want seeds in your frosting, press the puree through a strainer. ( I left the seeds in)

  2. In an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese until all combined. Turning mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

  3. Add in the pureed raspberries and beat until all combined and smooth.

  4. Transfer the filling into a piping bag with a stared tip.

  5. Pipe a swirl on one half the macarons and sandwich them together.

 

Lemon Pea Risotto

This luxurious risotto is bright and creamy and perfect for when you need a delicious and easy dinner!

The lemon brightens this dish, and the peas add a bite and beautiful color to the risotto. Served as a side or main, this recipe is perfect to show off your skills without much work!

My Portuguese Mother // Lemon Risotto
My Portuguese Mother // Lemon Risotto

Ingredients 

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1-2  tbsp butter

  • 1-½ cups uncooked arborio rice

  • ½ tsp dried thyme

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • 4 - 4 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth

  • ⅓ cup white white

  • Juice of ½ lemon

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

  • 1 -½ tsp grated lemon peel

Recipe

  1. In a  small saucepan, heat the broth and keep warm. In a large nonstick pot, sauté shallots in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

  2. Add the rice, thyme and pepper; cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine and lemon juice. Cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.

  3. Stir in heated broth, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Allow liquid to absorb between each addition.

  4. Cook until risotto is creamy and rice is almost tender, around 20 minutes. Add the peas, cheese and lemon peel. Cook until heated through. Serve immediately.

Brownie Hearts

Who doesn't love a fudgy brownie!?

These fudgy brownies are so quick to make and come out perfect each and every time! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen is my ultimate favorite brownie recipe!

 Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I decided to use a heart cut out for these brownies and packaged them up in a sweet festive box to gift to my loved one(s).

I used a 1 ½-inch heart shaped cutter, but you may use any size you want or just cut them into squares, if you wish.

There is nothing quite like receiving a homemade gift, so whip these up, give them away or keep them for yourself!! Indulge! 

My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
My Portuguese Mother // Brownie Hearts
 

Ingredients 

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 ⅔  cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

  • 1 ⅓  cup all-purpose flour

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9 X 13-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang.

  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, melt chocolate and butter together in 30-second intervals in the microwave until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Stir until smooth.

  3. Stir in sugar, then the eggs. Add the vanilla and salt.

  4. Pour batter into the greased pan, spread into an even layer.

  5. Bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Allow to cool.  Using the parchment paper overhang, remove the brownies out of the pan. Cut out the brownies with 1- 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter or whatever sized heart cookie cutter you have.

    Recipe by Smitten Kitchen

 

Heart Surprise Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is only 5 days away and what a better way to show your sweetheart how much you love them than by making these cute cut out heart cupcakes.

I was inspired by the blog A Cozy Kitchen, which is one of my favorite blogs! Adrianna, not only makes the most delicious meals but also, photographs and presents them beautifully!

When I saw this cut-out heart cupcake, I knew I had to give it a try. I used her method and red velvet cupcake recipe for the cupcake.

I adapted it with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe that is the ultimate go-to cupcake recipe! This vanilla batter creates a fluffy cupcake, that is an excellent pairing with the red velvet heart and of course, my favorite frosting of all time, cream cheese frosting.

The surprise heart will leave your loved ones speechless!

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Ingredients

Inside Heart

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk shaken

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 8 drops food coloring, less if using gel

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Cupcake

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Recipe

Inside Heart

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of a sheet baking tray with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium bow, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

  3. In an electric stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Pour in the buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla.

  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just combined.

  5. Pour the batter into the baking tray and spread the cake batter into an even layer. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

  6. Allow to cool completely. Stamp out hearts using a 1 1/2-inch heart cookie cutter.

Vanilla Cupcake

  1. Preheat to 375 degrees F.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the baking powder, salt and flour. Set aside.

  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Turing the mixer on low, beat in the dry ingredients. Add the milk, and beat again until the mixer is just combined.

  4. Fill each cupcake tin with two tablespoons of batter, about halfway. Carefully, snuggle cut out hearts in the center of each cupcake batter, make sure to face them all the same way.

  5. Transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the white cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans on the wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Carefully, add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat again until all combined.

  2. Before frosting, it's important to give yourself an indicator to know which way to cut the cupcake. I lined them all in the same direction before frosting and then used a my sprinkle on top of the frosting to remind me which way to cut.

  3. Enjoy the surprise !


Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen


Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve! Today we are making Chocolate Crinkle Cookies!

These chewy and crispy cookies are irresistible and should definitely be a part of your Christmas dessert table this year!

I have made different versions of these cookies, from only using cocoa powder or to just using melted chocolate, but I found that both of those methods make the cookies cakey.

I found this recipe from America's Test Kitchens which uses both melted chocolate and cocoa powder.

In addition to those ingredients, unlike most crinkle cookies, these use both baking powder and baking soda which gave the cookies a lift and a good spread, creating a thinner and crispier cookie.

One of my favorite things that I learned from making this cookie was how they use both powdered sugar and granulated sugar for the coating of the cookie. Most crinkle cookies use only powdered sugar, but from my own experience, and from this recipe, I learned that just using powdered sugar does not allow the sugar to adhere to the cookie. When both sugars are used, the granulated sugar creates a crystallized crust allowing the powdered sugar to adhere better and creates a crispier, more attractive crack.

This is my absolute new favorite cookie recipe, and I hope after trying it, it becomes yours too!

 
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½  cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½  tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 ½  cup brown sugar

  • 3 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 4 tbsp, unsalted butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup confectioner’ sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

  3. Combine the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir pieces and return to microwave for another 30-second interval until chocolate is melted, allow to cool.

  4. In an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate to the beaten eggs and sugar mixture, beat until combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients, beat until just combined. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

  6. Place the granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate shallow bowls. Working with a cookie scoop, roll the dough into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to powdered sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets.

  7. Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked have just begun to set but center is still soft, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely.

    Recipe by America’s Test Kitchens

 

Sugar Christmas Funfetti Cookies

Day 3 of Christmas Cookie Countdown and today I'm featuring a simple Sugar Christmas Funfetti Cookies!

This recipe is an easy and very delicious simple sugar cookie recipe that is packed with Christmas sprinkles and white chocolate.

From the chewy center to the crinkled top; they are by far one of my favorite cookie recipes! I usually bake them a little underdone, just until they begin to brown to ensure a chewy center!

What I really love about this recipe is how delicious they are when baked with and or, without sprinkles!

Whatever you prefer, this cookie recipe is a great one to have under your belt!

 
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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ cup christmas sprinkles

  • ½ white chocolate, chopped

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F  degrees. Line sheet pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and egg, beating until incorporated.

  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar, and beat on low speed just until the ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the sprinkles and white chocolate. Beat just until combined.

  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have just begun to crack and the edges are set.

  6. Allow to cool before serving.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Happy day 2 of my Christmas Cookie Countdown! Today I'm featuring my ultimate favorite cookies, Ginger Molasses Cookies!

These cookies are irresistibly delicious, and every time I make them, they are gone in a snap!

Even my mother, who is not a fan of cookies, is obsessed with these!

They are packed with warm flavors and spices. The dough is chilled, rolled in coarse sugar which creates a beautiful crystalized crust and crunch on the outside while still being soft and chewy in the center.

I bang the pan in the middle of the baking process which helps create a crinkle effect to these cookies.

This cookie dough freezes well, so they are great to make ahead for Christmas or any other time of the year!

 
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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • Coarse sugar, such as Turbinado, or Muscovado

Recipe

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the egg and molasses and continue beating until well combined.

  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the  butter mixture and beat until just combined.

  3. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  5. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough and form into a ball.  Roll in coarse sugar. Place on prepared sheet trays leaving at least 2" in between cookies.

  6. Bake for 10 to 12  minutes. Bang the pan half-way through the baking time, or when the cookies have puffed up. ( creates a crinkle effect).

  7. Let cool before serving.

 

Chocolate Tahini Linzer Cookies

My first cookie on my Cookie Countdown to Christmas, are Linzer cookies!

Usually, Linzer cookies are made from a shortbread-like dough and finished with a jam in the center. But instead, this year I saw a recipe on Bon Appetit for Chocolate- Tahini Linzer cookies that I knew immediately I had to try! As mentioned, Linzer cookies usually have a jam filled center but what intrigued me about these Linzer cookies was the tahini chocolate filling!

For those who are unfamiliar with Tahini, it is toasted grounded sesame seeds. Tahini resembles a loose nut butter, it’s rich, nutty and also savory.

Tahini is mostly known for being used with hummus and many other savory middle eastern dishes. But when used in sweet dishes, tahini helps create a nice balance with the sweetness of the dish, and in this case, it helps balance the sugariness of the cookie and the white chocolate filling.

These cookies may seem a little far from the typical Christmas cookies we are used to, but I promise it is worth trying!

 
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Ingredients 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • ¾ tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • White sanding sugar (for sprinkling)

  • ½ cup good quality white chocolate

  • 2 Tbsp. tahini

Recipe

  1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl to combine. Beat granulated sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients. Beat just until dough comes together. Divide in half and pat each into a disk; wrap tightly in plastic. Chill just long enough that dough is rollable and no longer sticky, about 30 minutes.

  2. Working one at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until ⅛" thick. Slide onto baking sheets, still sandwiched between parchment, and chill until very firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Carefully peel away top sheets of parchment from dough and punch out cookies with larger cutters. Punch out centers of half of cookies with smaller cutters. Carefully transfer whole cookies with a spatula to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1" apart. Sprinkle remaining cut-out cookies with sanding sugar, then transfer to another parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies until edges are set, 7–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. Repeat process with scraps (chill dough again before punching out shapes).

  4. Melt chocolate and tahini in a bowl in a microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted (or melt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water; do not let bowl touch water). Stir to combine and season with salt. Spread filling over whole cookies; top with cut-out cookies.

    Recipe by Bon Appétit

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whether you like crispy, chewy, or cakey cookies, one should always have their go-to recipe!

Finding the RIGHT chocolate chip cookie recipe can take many tries, for me, from the time I began to bake about four years ago, I only now have found my perfect cookie recipe!

I used to follow the recipes on the back of the morsels chocolate chip bags, and while they are not bad, they certainly aren’t the best. But again, it all depends upon your taste in cookies!

My favorite type of cookie is crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle. After countless attempts, and many packages of butter later, I think I found the perfect cookie recipe.

It’s a salted browned butter chocolate chip cookie!

The browned butter gives these cookies a nutty and caramel flavor. For the chocolate, I only use 60% cacao. I find the semi-sweet too sweet.

Also, I ALWAYS chop my chocolate, even if they are chips. For this recipe, for example, I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet morsels and chopped them. Chopping the chocolate allows them to melt into the cookie evenly, giving you more chocolate per cookie and you won’t have whole unmelted chips in the cookies (the worst).

After you give these a try, Im sure they will become a go to!

 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1½ cups bittersweet  chocolate, chopped

  • Flaky sea salt

Recipe

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter stirring the pan occasionally, allow the butter to foam, until it browns, about 5 -7 minutes. Pour into a bowl, and allow it to cool.

  2. In an electric mixer, pour the browned butter into the mixer bowl with the two sugars. Beat them together until all combined.

  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Reduce speed, beat in the flour mixture until all combined.

  5. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

  6. Chill for at least a half hour, overnight preferably.

  7. Preheat to 375 degrees.

  8. Using a cookie scoop, scoop them onto a lined baking tray. Bake until edges are golden brown, around 10-12 minutes. 6 minutes in, or until they begin to puff up, bang the cookie tray and again when the cookies are done to create a crinkle effect.

  9. Finish them with flaky sea salt.

 

Cranberry Orange Chocolate Tart

First Monday of December, and I am in full holiday baking mode!

I’m starting the month off with this festive cranberry curd tart, made with chocolate graham crackers and a cranberry curd with orange juice and zest and topped with sugared cranberries!

This showstopper tart is sour and sweet and a great quick dessert to make for any holiday party.

Cranberries tend to be just a Thanksgiving time kind of berries, but since they are so good for you, I am on a mission to try to use them all year round. Thinking about adding them to a nice pork roast or even to a grain bowl If you have any ideas, let me know, and we will try them together!

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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers crumbs

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 oz. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries, plus 4 oz. for topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for topping

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolks

  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest, divided

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

Recipe

Chocolate Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse chocolate grahams until finely ground. Pour sugar and melted butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

  3. Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottoms and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil on top of the crust. Pour in pie weights, or dried beans.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes

  5. Carefully remove the parchment/aluminum foil with the weights, or beans, and allow to cool.

Filling

  1. Bring 6 oz. cranberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat; simmer until cranberries burst and most of the liquid evaporates, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Purée in a blender until very smooth.

  3. Cook cranberry purée, egg, egg yolk, orange zest, orange juice, salt, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. lime zest in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.

  4. Stir with a rubber spatula and scrape down sides of bowl often, until curd thickens and coats spatula, around 10 minutes (might take a few minutes longer). Let cool until just warm.

  5. Using an electric mixer ,or whisk, beat curd.

  6. Add butter a piece at a time and incorporate after each addition until curd looks lighter in color and texture. Pass through a sieve, then scrape into crust and chill until firm, at least two hours 2 hours.

Cranberry Topping

  1. Bring ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add 4 oz. cranberries and cook until barely starting to soften, about 1 minute.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until no longer sticky, 20–30 minutes.

  3. Toss remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp. lime zest in a small bowl. Toss cranberries in lime sugar.

  4. Top tart with cranberries as you like.

Classic Apple Pie

Countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun!

In the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting with all different kind of pies, from pecan, caramel apple pie, pear, and berry pies. But nothing comes close to a classic good Ol’ American apple pie.

While making these pies, I always had a difficult time finding the perfect pie dough recipe. I have tried many different methods and couldn't seem to have an easy time with any, until this one! This is my absolute favorite! I've made it many times, and each time it rolled out and baked beautifully.

When it comes to the filling, you can mix different kinds of apples or use your favorite. I, for the most part, only use granny smith apples because I enjoy their tartness and how it helps balance the sweetness of the brown sugar, spices and the sweet pie dough. Honeycrisp and granny smith are also a delicious combination.

For the top dough, if lattice seems too scary to make, you could leave it plain, cuttings vents on top and add a few decorative dough shapes.

Happy Pie making!

pre-bake apple pie 2
pre-bake apple pie
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Ingredients 

Double Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1  teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter

  • ½  cup very cold water, divided

Filling

  • 6 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks or thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons of flour

  • Juice ½  lemon

  • ½  cup light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 large egg beaten ( egg wash)

  • 1 ½ tbsp of turbano, or any type of course  sugar for topping

Recipe

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter, or cut the cold butter into dice sized pieces. Use your hands to break up the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles the size of peas. Drizzle the ice cold water, a tablespoon at a time and mix suing your hands. Add as much water until the dough comes together. Note: do not pour in the entire water, as you may or may not need to use it all.

  2. Flour your surface area and turn out your dough. Knead your dough for few more times until it all comes to together. Divide your dough in half, flatten into disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour.

Filling

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Core, peel (optional), and slice your apples. In a large bowl, combine apples, and lemon juice and toss. Additionally, add your sugar, cinnamon and flour and toss to fully coat your apples.

Assemble

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, allow the chilled dough to come to room temperature for 5 minutes.

  2. Liberally flour your work surface, roll out your dough, being sure to rotate it every so often to avoid sticking. Roll into a 13-inch round. Carefully transfer it to your pie pan, gently pressing to fit the tin, leaving an overhang.

  3. For the second pie dough, roll out the dough the same way as the first. Cut about seven 1-1 ½ inch-wide strips from your rolled out dough using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

  4. Spoon the filling into the tin over the dough, spreading to make an even layer.

  5. Lay half of the strips over the pie, evenly spaced, across the pie vertically. Once all the pieces are placed, rotate the pie 90 degrees so that the strips are running horizontally.

  6. Now repeat the same process as you would for a traditional lattice. Trim the excess dough, leaving 1 -inch overhang. Tuck your latice and pie dough under and crimp as you desire.

  7. Beat the egg and brush the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle the raw sugar over the top.

  8. Bake about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden.

NOTES: Pie will keep well for 3-4 days at room temperature. For apples, use ones that will hold their shape will baking: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn.