Strawberry Mint Scones

We are a week into Spring and although the weather may have not gotten the memo yet, my kitchen sure has! Spring cooking makes me happy!

The slightly warmer weather and sunshine gives me so much inspiration and motivation to bake with light and bright ingredients.

My favorite ingredients around this time are fruit! From citrus fruit to berries, I love to incorporate them in any way I can. And for my first bake of Spring 2019, I chose scones! To tell you the truth, scones always looked very heavy and dense and I have never had the desire to eat one, not until I tried this recipe. With one bite, I was hooked! From the light and buttery dough to the strawberry and mint filling, they scream spring!

This recipe was taken and adapted from one of my absolute favorite magazines, Bake from Scratch where they use basil instead of mint. What's great about this recipe is how versatile it is, so if mint or basil aren't your favorite herbs, you can easily substitute with thyme, or rosemary, or leave it out entirely.

Bake up a batch and enjoy them with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
My Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, grated

  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • 2 large eggs, divided

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • Garnish: sanding sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter, tossing to coat. Cover and freeze for 15 minutes. Stir in strawberries and mint.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring and folding just until moistened. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Using well-floured hands, knead dough 5 to 10 times, about 1 minute. Roll dough to ¾- to 1-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into triangles or use 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Place on prepared pan.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and remaining 1 egg. Brush egg wash onto scones. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.

  5. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

  6. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

    Recipe by Bake from Scratch


Mickey Mouse Vanilla Cupcakes

I made these adorable cupcakes for my friend nephew’s birthday! 

 From the fluffy texture of the cupcake to the cute decorations, this cupcake was a hit! And because the cupcake is not to sweet, this fluffy vanilla frosting is the perfect pairing!

 Vanilla mix, especially boxed ones, are usually overly sweet and full of artificial flavors. I'm not completely against boxed mixes; however, when it comes to baking for someone you love, I think it is essential to go that extra mile and make it from scratch. Not only they will taste good but your loved one will taste the love and care you have put into them.

 To make these Mickey Mouse themed cupcakes, I topped the frosting with two mini Oreos. And to complete Mickey’s outfit, I took a step further and added little yellow buttons (tiny pieces of paper) to the red cupcake liners.

For any other occasion, leave the Oreos out, and you will have the perfect Vanilla frosted cupcake!

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My Portuguese Mother // Vanilla Cupcakes MICKEY MOUSE
My Portuguese Mother // Vanilla Cupcakes MICKEY MOUSE
My Portuguese Mother // Vanilla Cupcakes MICKEY MOUSE

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcake

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsps of baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 to 4 tbsp heavy cream

  • Mini Oreos

Recipe

Vanilla Cupcake

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  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 oil and vanilla. Turning the mixer on low, beat in the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk, and beat again until the mixture is just combined.

  4. Using a small ice cream scoop, fill the liners half full.

  5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool  in the pans on a wire rack.

Vanilla Frosting

  1. In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream, mix until light and fluffy.

  2. Frost the cupcakes. Using Mini Oreos, place two on the frosting, side by side, to make it look like Mickey Mouse ears.


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.

 

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


Buckwheat Waffles

Eating a healthy breakfast doesn't mean you need to limit the good stuff!

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these Buckwheat waffles are rich in flavor, filled with fiber and protein and are gluten free!

Easily frozen, making these waffles ahead for the week can ease your mornings!

Top them off with this deliciously tangy Raspberry Chia Seed Jam, or with yogurt or maple syrup.

 

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, shaken

  • 4 tbsp. melted butter

Recipe

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.

  3. In small bowl, or measuring cup, whisk the egg, buttermilk and melted butter together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.

  4. Oil your waffle iron, pour the mixture into the heated waffle iron, cook the waffles until light and crispy.

  5. Serve with maple syrup, or with a dollop of raspberry chia seed jam.

*Waffles can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely, then transfer them to airtight plastic bag and place them in freezer.  To thaw, preheat a toaster oven, or a traditional oven and heat them until crispy.

 

Coconut Granola

Happy New Year!

Getting back into a routine after the holidays, or in my case after a trip is always difficult. This year, I spent NYE in Portugal, so my new year resolutions got slightly pushed back!

Now that I am officially back and in cooking mode, I am dedicating this month to healthy recipes and whole foods. Being Portuguese, I was raised eating a Mediterranean diet which if you haven’t heard is 2019 diet of the year!

So kicking off, I whipped up this quick granola recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack! This 8 ingredient granola could not be easier to make! Packed with nuts, chia seeds and big chunks of coconut, this recipe is also easily adaptable for your preferred flavors.

Once you try out this recipe and see how easy it is to make, you will never go back to store bought granola again!

 
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granola 3
 

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups of rolled oats

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ½ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

  • 1 ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds

  • ¼ cup pistachios

  • ½  cup coconut oil, melted

  • ½  cup maple syrup, or honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone matt or parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, coconut flakes, chia seeds, almonds, pistachios and mix to combine.

  3. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil and maple syrup until the coconut oil is completely melted and mixture is slightly warm. Whisking frequently, whisk  until the two mixtures are totally combined. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients, gently stir until the entire oat mixture is coated.

  4. Pour the granola onto prepared pan in an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes.

  5. Let the granola cool completely. Break into clumps.

  6. Store the granola in an airtight container or sealed bag, at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

 

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!

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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.

Mint Milano Cookies

 

Growing up in a portuguese household, snacks were mainly bread, yogurt, cheese, or whatever your grandma happened to make that day. How I envied my friends and their pantries filled with all those beautiful colored packs of chips, pop tarts and so many kinds of candy.  

However, there was one kind of cookie that we always add around the house, Milano cookies, my dads favorite!

Thinking back, I was the lucky one compared to my friends. The chocolate sandwich cookie was my go to treat for an after school snack or dessert. Today, Milano’s have come out with a variety of flavors but my ultimate favorite, aside from the original, are the mint Milano’s! Chocolate and mint are just classic flavors, and sandwiched between two sweet and crispy cookies, is the ultimate treat!

This recipe sends me right back to being a kid sitting at my kitchen table…

It's made with a shortbread dough and a chocolate ganache filling to which I added mint extract to. Join me at my kitchen table, and enjoy the nostalgia!

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Ingredients 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ tsp. mint extract

 

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Using an electric mixture, in a medium bowl beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine. With a mixer on low, carefully add the flour and salt and beat until combined.

  4. Transfer dough to a piping bag. Snip a 3/4-inch hole piping bag. Pipe cookies that are 1 1/2 -2 inches long and at least 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, 30 minutes.

  5. Bake until cookies are light golden at edges, about 10-15 minutes.

  6. While the cookies cool, place the chocolate in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds then stir until the cream and chocolate is smooth and all melted. Add the ¼ tsp. of mint extract and stir again.

  7. Once the cookies are cooled, drop a tablespoon of the chocolate in center of an upside-down cookie.

  8. Top the mixture with a cookie and press gently until some of the ganache peeks out through the sides.

 
 

Pear Apple Ginger Pie

Happy Friday!

The weekend is finally here & I couldn’t be happier!

This month has just been flying by, and thank goodness because that means we are one day to closer to my ultimate favorite holiday - Thanksgiving!

From the food to quality family time, there is nothing about this holiday that I don’t like.

I am usually in charge of desserts, and with every year I try to come up with a new, creative and even more delicious dessert than the previous year!

This year I’m already brainstorming on new pie ideas, and decided to try a pear pie instead of the traditional apple pie.

Pears are naturally sweet so with the addition of the crystallized ginger and apples, gives a nice balance to the pie. I use the Granny Smith apples to add some acidity to help cut the sweetness and it also helps the filling hold up with all excess juices. If apples are unavailable , use 8 firm pears. The ginger adds an exciting new flavor combination to the pie and to your thanksgiving dessert table!
No one will be expecting how well they all work together, and it will definitely become a new favorite!

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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

  • 7 large pears (Bosc) , peeled, cored, and sliced

  • 1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, slice

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • Juice from ½ lemon

  • ½ cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped

  • ½ cup  light brown sugar

  • 1 tsp.  cinnamon

  • ½ tsp.  ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 large egg, beaten ( egg wash)

  • 1 ½ tbsp raw sugar, such demerara sugar

Recipe

  1. Pie Crust

    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. (TIP : if butter seems to have melt when finished grating, put the grated butter in the fridge for a few minutes for it to harden again) Working quickly, 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 using 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.


    Pie Filling

    1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced pears and apples in the sugar, cornstarch, lemon, crystalized ginger, salt, ground cinnamon, and ginger together. Set aside.

    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    3. On a lightly floured 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 about a 1-inch overhang.

    4. For the second pie dough, roll out the dough the same way as the first. Cut about six 2 inch-wide strips from your rolled out dough using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

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

    6. Lay half of the strips over the pie, evenly spaced (about 1/4-inch in between), across the pie vertically. Once all the pieces are placed, rotate the pie 90 degrees so that the strips are running horizontally.

    7. Now repeat the same process as you would for a traditional lattice. Tuck your latice and pie dough and crimp as you desire.

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

    9. Bake for 1 hour & 15 -30 mins. Or until the crust is golden brown, and the filling begins to bubble through vents. Allow to cool, serve warm or at room temperature

    NOTES : I added in 2 granny smith apples because I find that the tart flavor of the granny smith helps cut the sugar of the pears. Also, because they are a firm apple and hold up better than using just all pears, and soaks up the excess juice. Use 8 pears if no granny smiths are available. If using other kinds of apples, make sure they are firm apples such as granny smith or gala apples.





Red Velvet Cupcakes

Welcome to Scorpio season everyone!

I was born in November and every year around this time starts the countdown to my birthday! This year i'll be turning 22, so i'll have the excuse to sing Taylor Swift's song “22”, all year long!

But, until  my much awaited birthday, I’m celebrating by making one of my favorite dessert, red velvet cupcakes!

From the cocoa powder, moist cake and the best frosting of all frostings, CREAM CHEESE FROSTING, it's the absolute perfect dessert for any celebration or just for a normal Tuesday!

For the chocolate decorations, I printed out a template, layed parchment paper on top, so I could easily trace it with chocolate. For the actual chocolate, I tempered it using this guide I found from the blog Handle the Heat, and transferred the chocolate to a piping bag. I snipped a small piece of the piping bag so i could create small lines.

It was easy to follow, and easy to do, just be patient and take your time!



 
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all purpose- flour

  • 3/4 cups sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 1/2 tsp. white distilled vinegar

  • 2 tbsp. red food coloring

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cupcake/ muffin pan with cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder.

  3. In an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the food coloring, vanilla , and vinegar.

  4. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the two. Mix well after each addition.

  5. Divide the batter evenly between the lined cupcake tins. Bake around 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Allow to cool.

  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract together. Turn the mixer to low speed,add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

  8. Using an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

    • For the chocolate decoration, I printed out a template and traced the template over parchment paper, then chilled the chocolate until firm. I used this website to help guide me on how to temper chocolate.

      Taken from Hummingbird Bakery cookbook

 

Apple Galette

 

Happy Fall!

Nothing screams Fall more than the smell of a nice apple dessert coming out of the oven! This apple galette is one of my go to recipe because of how delicious and effortless it is to make.

It's one of the simplest desserts to make, thanks to store bought puff pastry! During the holidays, we are all scrambling to make so many dishes that this recipe is a great substitute for when an apple pie is just too much to make!

From the golden pastry crust, to the warm spiced apples in the center, you won’t even think twice about the missing apple pie!

This galette is perfect to make when apples are in season ,but is also great when made with pears, and even stone fruit!

Apple Galette
Apple Galette 2

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 2 - 3 large apples, peeled and sliced

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tbsp. muscovado sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment paper lined sheet pan.

  3. In a medium sized bowl, toss the peeled, cored and sliced apples with lemon juice, flour, sugar, and spices. Toss until all the apples are coated.

  4. To assemble, arrange the apple slices evenly in the middle of the dough, leaving a border.

  5. Fold edges of dough over filling, tucking and overlapping as needed.

  6. Beat the egg, and brush the crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the egg wash.

  7. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

  8. Serve with ice cream