Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

I was afraid this was going to turn into a Recipe Mishap but luckily, the third time really can be the charm. 

The mint almost spoiled these cookies which is a little nerve-wracking when one of your favorite flavor combos is mint and chocolate. Hello Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches and Thin Mint Doughnuts!

I think peppermint extract does something to egg whites when you try to whip them because with the first two tries, the egg whites refused to get to the soft peak stage. At first I thought that a bit of egg yolk had gotten in the bowl so I tried again after carefully separating the eggs. But, the same thing happened the second time around which was really, really puzzling. 

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Chocolate and Almond Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate and Almond Sandwich Cookies

The original name for these cookies is "Romeo's Sighs and Juliet's Kisses" which if you ask me, is not really indicative of the type of cookies these are so I decided to rename them.

It is so much less romantic than the thought of Romeo's "Sighs" and Juliet's "Kisses" sealed together with a sweet filling. Sadly, even the romantic in me couldn't help but cringe at the name.

But, these are Valentine's Day appropriate so their romantic value is not completely lost by my unwillingness to call them by their original name. 

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Pita Bread with Hummus

Pita Bread with Hummus

It's been a long time since I've made bread

But this began with the hummus. 

Hummus from scratch was one of the first things I made as a sophomore in college as I was exploring what it meant to cook for myself. I made it in the winter, similar to this one, as a healthier snack option than the box of Wheat Thins from Costco that my roommate Mackenzie and I went through within days. If memory serves correctly, I tried to put spinach in that hummus but it did not bode well. It was not smooth, it was not homogenized. I had clearly done something wrong but with no clue as to what that was. Maybe it was the canned chickpeas or my food processor but after that experience, I didn't trust my hummus making skills.

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Egg Tarts

Egg Tarts

Pretty much the best egg tarts I've ever had.

But maybe because they aren't as traditional as the ones you find in a dim sum restaurant or Asian bakeries. Instead of the thick, soft, buttery almost shortbread like crust with a dense eggy filling that sometimes are way to rich for me, these ones have a crisp laminated pastry almost similar to phyllo dough and a light, soft egg custard. 

I was intrigued by Betty's video and post about laminated dough which I then learned was inspired by Mandy's fool-proof technique. I have to say, it's pretty genius. The key to a laminated dough is to have many, many layers of dough-butter-dough-butter and so on. One way to achieve that is to do that layer by layer like making baklava or a crepe cake but if you take advantage of rolling the dough into a tight log, achieving all of those layers is that much easier. 

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Yuzu Meringue Pie

Yuzu Meringue Pie

Per usual, January is dragging her feet and we have been playing this game of tug-o-war where I pull for the days 'til spring to go by faster and she pulls it the other way with days of immense fog and chilling cold.

So, I make pie.

Actually I made this in November, the week before Thanksgiving on a peaceful Sunday afternoon where a friend and I made three of these pies. We juiced a lot of yuzu which yielded so much more juice than the ones from last year and waited forever for the crust to fully bake (it could have used more time, though) and I whisked a triple of the below filling until my shoulder and bicep ached but my stomach rumbled from the tart smell of citrus. 

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Ratatouille

Ratatouille

Like Remy's from the Ratatouille movie.

The first time I made ratatouille was during my sophomore year in college. I was pretty new to cooking at that point and hadn't quite discovered my passion for food. I had a few friends over and they enthusiastically suggested making ratatouille. I don't exactly remember how it tasted but I do recall the joy in putting it together amongst the company of friends. 

The second time I made ratatouille was again with friends where we arranged it in a similar manner as above. However, I've never made it with a mandoline. Obviously, a mandoline christening requires something like ratatouille to be made. I have found that a mandoline works very well for more firm vegetables like zucchini and summer squash. It also works well for peppers but the eggplant was a bit too squishy to yield whole slices all of the time. That was okay because it was all going to be cooked together in the end and the slicing did make the process a lot faster. 

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Nutella Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Nutella Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

And the treats continue...

Last year I expressed how my New Year's Resolutions never revolve around eating healthier because I will always balance out my vegetables with a side of dessert. And that mindset continues with the intention to try out some new things (I'm thinking Kouign-Amann), perfecting something I've tried before (like babka) and continue to bake old favorites.  

But, we will see because more often than not I make things on a whim depending what my kitchen has to offer or which recipe grabs me. 

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