Wednesday, April 30, 2008

*Bow Chicka Bow Wow*

Have you ever wondered what would happen if an Oreo and a thin mint had an illicit affair in a dark corner of your kitchen cabinet? Poor thin mint wouldn't stand a chance against Oreo's creamy seductive filling. He would have thin mint melting off her minty chocolate coating in no time, and 10 minutes later you would have these little guys running all over your kitchen. Aren't they the most adorable things you've ever seen?! Mini oreos with minty chocolate coating, just like mama thin mints only better.

Last night I was suddenly attacked with the midnight munchies. So I ran for my cabinet for the perfect treat to satisfy my tormenting taste buds, And I saw them there. Hiding in the corner, the blue bag shining proudly in all of its mini Oreo glory. I hurriedly shoved three in my mouth waiting for sweet satisfaction, instead all I felt was disappointment. My taste buds turned up their snotty little noses at the mini Oreos. Since it was late, and I knew I couldn't bake because I was exhausted, and I've become quite the vixen in the kitchen (Hey I like that, I'm going to Make that my new display name) as of late I decided to come up with a quick fix for the mini oreos. So into the microwave went some chocolate with a bit of mint extract and when it came out I tossed in some mini Oreos scooped them out and let them harden and TADA!

Sweet, sweet victory over the midnight munchies. They were chocolaty, they were minty, and they were perfect. I am thin mint lover, but these truly will make you convert to minty oreo minis. Try them, they will concur your midnight munchies with their gentle minty flavor and smooth chocolate coat. America's favorite cookie gets a make over, and its looking damn sexy.

Minty Oreo Minis
Source: The Kitchen Vixen (That's me people)
25 Oreo Minis
1/2 cup of chocolate (I used merckens)
1/4 tsp of mint extract
white chocolate design (optional)
Source: Cupcake Project
1/4 of white chocolate

Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl at 50% power for about 5 minutes or until melted. Stir in between. Once melted add the mint extract and mix. Drop a few cookies in at a time and scoop them up and place them on foil or wax paper to harden (I put mine in the fridge because time was of the essence). While they are hardening microwave white chocolate using the same directions stated above, but do not add the mint extract (I mean you can if you want to, your kitchen, your rules). Once they have hardened sufficiently put the melted white chocolate in a small sandwich bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners and decorate your cookies.

Stay Sweet;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

PMS Who? Cupcakes

As I was perusing some of the awesome cooking blogs that are out there, I stumbled upon this masterpiece from the cupcake project for these "Better than sex cupcakes", and I swear I heard the angels in heaven sing a chorus as I gazed upon this beauty. I mean chocolate times five! This woman is a genius! I must promptly start petitioning to have a Nobel prize awarded to her for this stunning creation. I'm a hardcore chocoholic, so when I come across a recipe that caters to my addiction I nearly piss my pants with excitement. I changed it up a bit, and used different recipes for everything, but the original concept is pure brilliance. I mean chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate chips, and chocolate mousse filling, frosted with chocolate ganache and chocolate butter cream frosting! As you can see I messed around with them a bit. Some of them have buttercream frosting on top and some of them have chocolate mousse on top. Also some are filled with buttercream instead of chocolate mousse. I know, I know. I can never leave well enough alone. I cant help it. I'm under the delusional impression that I'm creative so bear with me.

OMG! Look at that creamy chocolate mousse filling! How can you see that and not get light headed and filled with goosebumps from the anticipated ecstasy that is sure to follow?! Though I swear they were so good they made my nipples perky after the first bit, they were NOT better than sex (I just want to know what kind of wackass sex you are having if cupcakes are better than it, but that is another story), hence why I changed the name to "PMS Who? Cupcakes". These cupcakes will leave PMS broken and bleeding in a corner crying for its mama. I am not kidding. They are no joke. Make them for your man, he's sure rub them all over your body and give you fabulous loving that is hopefully much better than these cupcakes;)


Stay sweet;)

P.S. My cupcakes were lacking chocolate chips because I forgot to put them in. I was devastated, but they were still yummy, and I plan to make them again very soon.

P.P.S. They were also lacking the ganache that was suppose to frost the top of the cupcakes before the buttercream, but it was late and I was too tired to melt anymore chocolate, but I will make these again and pull out all the stops. I promise.

PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 1- The Ghirardelli Grand Fudge Cupcakes
Makes approx. 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup(s) Unsweetened Cocoa
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup(s) sugar
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cup(s) milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I forgot them, but I beg you in the name of all that is holy DO NOT FORGET THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS)


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and lightly flour baking pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk (starting and ending with the flour mixture), while mixing on low speed. Continue to mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 2 - The Ghirardelli Chocolate Mousse
Source: Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet baking chocolate wrapper (yes ghetto I know, but I'm all about convenience, and when I took off the wrapper it was just there begging to be made) Also I had been trying to find a good mousse recipe, and this one caught my eye because it was one of the few where the eggs aren't completely raw which kind of skeeves me out.

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 bars (6 oz.) Ghirardelli Semi‑Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars, chopped

Beat egg yolks in small bowl on high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar then beat. Heat one cup whipping cream in saucepan over medium heat inst until hot (do not boil). Gradually stir half of the hot cream into egg yolk mixture then combine back into hot cream in saucepan. Cook over low hear about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is blended and thickens. Let cool for 10 minutes, then add chocolate to mixture and stir until thick, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled. Beat remaining 1-1/2 cups whipping cream in chilled medium bowl on high until stiff. Mix 3/4 cups of the whipping cream into chocolate mixture until blended. Fold remaining whipped cream gradually into chocolate mixture until well blended. Fill pastry bag.

Filling cupcakes using the cone method (Do not be impressed I just learned about this literally 3 days ago)

Make a small round incision (about 3/4 of an inch) on the top of the cupcake going down into the cupcake in the shape of a cone (like a mini snow cone). Not too far down or you'll get all the yummy cupcake center out. Cut off the end of the cone so that you only have the top of the cupcake left to cover the hole up with. Pipe in chocolate mousse and cover with the left over top of the cone. Don't worry if it looks all beat up at this point. Once you frost them you can't tell the difference.

PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 3 - The Chocolate Ganache
Source: cupcake project
3.5 oz of Semi-Sweet chocolate broken into small pieces
1/3 C heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just starts to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted and integrated with the cream. While it is still warm, spread a thin layer of it over the cupcakes. It will harden when it cools.

PMS Who? Cupcakes Part 4 - The Chocolate Buttercream
Source: Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa label

6 Tbsp. Butter softened to room temperature

2-2/3 cups Confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa

1/3 cup Milk

1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

In bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. In separate bowl mix sugar with cocoa. Blend sugar mixture with butter alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Blend in vanilla. Fill pastry bag and pipe pretty designs on your cupcakes!


Monday, April 21, 2008

The best of both worlds

Two of my favorite things in the world are chocolate chip cookies and brownies. So I had an epiphany! Wouldnt it be amazing to combine them?! (I'm sure they have been combined before, but dont be such a debbie downer. Let me enjoy my moment.) I mean, how can I go wrong with chocolate chip cookies and brownies, right? So in my attempt to take over the world and have the ground upon which I walk endlessly worshiped, and have you shout my name at this most amazing discovery I began my search for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. You see I already have a brownie recipe that I LOVE. Now because I don't think I have conveyed the love I have for my favorite brownie recipe let me elaborate further. If I were given a choice between never using this recipe again, or eating apple pie (which I hate as we have already established in my introductory post by my loathing of fruity desserts) I would eat apple pie for the rest of my life just to use this recipe one more time. THAT is how much I love this recipe.

I found it online in a search for the recipe for Mrs. fields brownies, and it was love at first bite. I swear its the most magical thing to happen in my mouth in a long time, well technically since last night (I'm talking about the flan, get your mind out of the gutter people). The brownies are fudgey and gooey and an absolute dream come true. Anyway I digress, lets get back to the issue at hand which was finding a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. One that would be as amazing as the brownie recipe. Now this was going to be tricky because my absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies in the world are the pillsbury ones that come in a roll and you bake them on a whim, and they are perfection. Every. Single. time. I briefly considered using them, but that would be cheating my amazing brownie recipe by not pairing it with a home made cookie dough so on I went to search the web. I came across this recipe on for "the best big fat chocolate chip cookie" and with over 2,000 raving reviews I was sold, and the mission for world dominance began.

I have to admit that I was bit skeptical initially because I love the pillsbury ones so much, BUT this was one great cookie recipe (pillsbury it was not, but great none the less). I decided to make it a couple of ways so that I could decide how I liked it best. I made mini chocolate chip cookie brownie cupcakes and chocolate chip cookie brownie bars. Half of the cupcakes had brownie on the bottom and chocolate chip cookie on the top and Some had it the other way around with cookie on the bottom and brownie on the top. Both mini cupcakes were heavenly, but for some odd reason the chocolate chip cookie brownie bars were AMAZING!

I think the mini cupcakes were too small to get the full effect of both flavors since the the top layer was the more dominant flavor. The bars on the other hand...O.M.G. Please dont be deterred by the horrible picture above. I forgot to take a picture of them after they were done and I only remembered after I had already put them inside tupperwear and then proceeded to drop the tupperware on the floor so they survived quite an ordeal to say the least. The layer of cookie (bottom) and brownie (top) complemented each other perfectly. Each layer had its own moment in the spot light as each bite was an even combination of delightful chocolate chip cookieness (yes, I know that is not a real word) and fudgey brownie goodness. I seriously think I have hit the mother load. I highly advise you try this recipe because a life that never knows the beautiful love story of chocolate chip cookie brownies is a life not lived.

Chocolate chip cookie brownie bars (or mini cupcakes which ever you prefer)

Chocolate chip cookie recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg ( I used two eggs because the thought of just yolks in my cookies kinda skeeves me out)
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I only used 1 cup because I don't like a lot of chocolate chips in my cookies, I'm a weirdo, I know).
1/2 cup of nuts if desired

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts by hand using a wooden spoon. Set in refrigerator while you prepare the brownie recipe.

Brownie recipe

6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup salted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine unsweetened baking chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat and stir until smooth.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs until light yellow in color, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and blend on low until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and melted chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture. Blend on low speed until smooth. Add the flour and mix thoroughly by hand.

For mini cupcakes:

Grease mini muffin mold. Measure about 1/2 tablspoon of batter of each. bake at 300 F. for about 15 minutes. Start checking at 10 min since ovens vary. Brownies should be gooey when a toothpick is inserted. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean you've cooked them too long. Cool to room temperature.

For brownie bars:

Grease 9*13 inch baking, mold cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Try to get the cookie layer as even as possible. Pour brownie batter over cookie dough smooth top. Bake until cookie layer is done and brownie is gooey about 20-25 minutes, but start checking at 15 since all ovens vary. Warning over baking will result in rock hard brownies and cookies. Brownies should be gooey when a toothpick is inserted. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean you've cooked them too long. Cool to room temperature.

They are seriously like hot sex on a platter.


Stay sweet;)

Something close to home

As I was mulling over all of my favorite recipes I decided to start with something that is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother's flan (caramel custard for the less exotic). Now I'm sure you've seen and tried flan before (if you haven't I highly suggest you run not walk to your local goya aisle and try this recipe at once, you'll want to have my babies after, I promise), but I guarantee you've never tried anything like this. Its rich creamy smoothness is like a satin dream on your tongue. Its perfect flavor and texture is like a mouth orgasm. I'm not kidding. Now being Hispanic I've tried hundreds of flan recipes in my life, but nothing ever comes close to the ethnic home flavor of my grandma's flan. I knew that my first recipe could only be this.

Now I'm far from a professional photographer so I must warn you more times than not the deliciousness you see on here will probably taste better than it looks, but I promise I will never steer you wrong, and to try my best to spruce up the stars of the show (as seen above). You'll have to forgive me if my pics aren't taken with natural light (whatever that is, but I've seen people say it on other cooking blogs and I wanted to sound like I knew what i was talking about), but quite frankly blogging is time consuming enough. I really can't afford to worry about catching the right lighting for the pic when I barely have time to bake a cookie let alone take a decent photograph of it. Not to mention the fact that I cook mostly by memory so though I wont leave out any ingredients I'm a terrible recipe writer.

If you ever feel that I've missed a step or left out temperature its very possible I did so just post any questions you may have about the recipe and I will answer them as soon as possible. And now without further ado...Zee flan. Savor it, indulge in it, use it in foreplay. I don't care what you do with it as long as you don't deny yourself of this heaven on your lips a moment longer. You and your mouth will thank me, and sing me praises and name your first born after me.

Stay sweet;)

Grandma's Flan
Source: Grandma's heart

1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar

6 eggs
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of Nestle table cream or Media crema (found in the goya aisle at your local supermarket) or 1/4 cup of sour cream if you do not find media crema in your supermarket.
1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Put a metal 8 inch round cake pan (I used a fluted muffin pan, use whatever pan you would like) in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.

Stir the sugar, water together in a small saucepan. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel. Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.

whisk 6 eggs. Add evaporated milk, condensed milk, and table milk and mix on medium until well blended. Using spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up. Put the caramel lined pan into a 9*13 inch baking pan because you have to cook it in a water bath. Pour the custard into the caramel lined pan and slide into the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water from the saucepan into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.) Bake the flan for about 45 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there. A knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack and run a knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, once more, run a knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over and remove the cake pan-the flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.

Prepare taste buds to taste heaven.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I have no idea what I am doing here...

I'm probably the least likely person in the entire world to have a blog. You see, the thing is I'm a techie, and when I'm not at work I make it a point to keep at least 100 feet away from a computer. Not to mention the fact that I'm the busiest person ever. Seriously I'm not exaggerating. I work in NYC, and after work I either have a theology class that I take or go to the gym. Most nights I don't get home until 8:00 PM so I will probably be a terrible blogger, And with that said I beg you to have patience with me or suffer the consequences of never knowing how terrifically fabulous I am. I kid, I kid, slightly. Though I am busy I am also extremely passionate about things that I like so I tend to make room in my busy schedule when it comes to my two obsessions; sweets and shoes, hence my blog title (yeah rocket science I know). Truth be told it is my busy schedule (and passion) that has prompted me to start a cooking blog. I've grown quite tired of wasting time rummaging through recipes on my computer or piles of paper whenever I want to make something so a cooking blog is the perfect way for me to keep all of my delicious creations in one place while drooling over how fantastic they are. Also I'm starting a cake decorating class and I wanted to document my progress. Now don't be led astray by my passion. Just because I'm taking a cake decorating class does not mean I'm a foodie. In fact I'm about as far from a foodie as you can get. In addition my palate is about as gourmet as mac and cheese so if you are looking for new and exciting culinary adventures you have come to the wrong place. Also just because I love dessert does not mean I'll eat anything that is put in front of me as long as its sweet. I'm sort of a dessert snob (not really, but snob sounds much better than "picky eater"). In fact to state sweets are my passion is a bit of a fabrication since it gives the impression that I would devour anything that is put in front of me as long as it's dessert, but in all honestly I would die before I ate anything that has fruit in it in any form (no jelly, sauces or flavors). I make an exception for fresh strawberries. I love fresh strawberries in desserts. So that is about it for today. I'll be back when I start my decorating class or if I happen to concoct anything sweet in my stilettos or just something yummy in general. In the mean time, stay sweet.