December’s cookbook of the month is a classic – Joy of Cooking. Originally written and self-published by Irma Rombauer in 1936, this quintessentially American cookbook has sold more than 18 MILLION copies. We don’t own it, but I knew someone in my family did, so we borrowed a copy of the 1997 edition from my aunt. I’ve never cooked out of it before… It’s quite the behemoth! The tiny font and the lack of pictures makes it hard to approach, but the sheer number of recipes in here is amazing. I’ve decided that the best way to cook through JoC is to pick an ingredient you want/need to cook with and see what recipes in the book use that ingredient. Chances are, there will be several! That’s exactly what I did here. We had leftover roast pumpkin from our Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, so I decided to let that be my guiding ingredient for my first JoC foray.
The biggest modification I made to the book recipe is the addition of the chocolate chips. Selim thinks everything is better with chocolate chips, so we had to add some. It turned out well. It’s a perfect use of leftovers and a quick pathway to an easy treat!
Pumpkin Chip Bread
(Adapted from Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition)
- 1 1/2 cup AP flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 small baking pumpkin (or 1 cup pumpkin puree)
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place halves facedown on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the flesh is tender and skin easily peels back.
- Decrease oven heat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- Sift together the first 8 dry ingredients (flour though baking powder).
- In a different bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla.
- In a third bowl, cream the butter with the sugars. Now beat in the two eggs. Follow that with 1 cup of pumpkin.
- Now add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating each, while beating on low speed.
- Once well-combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for ~1 hour, until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
In our last post, we mentioned how we started participating in the Kitchn’s Cookbook Club. Our first recipe was an amazing success, so we’re dipping our toes into a dessert today! This recipe is originally published as a cake, but we decided to make cupcakes instead. (Samin encourages that in the recipe, so don’t worry, we’re not improvising too much!)
The cake portion turned out well – nice and chocolately with a good texture and moistness. We really liked the combination of the chocolate cake with the rosewater icing. We personally love rosewater, but it can definitely be a polarizing ingredient. Using 3/4 tsp of rosewater in this recipe gave it a discernible rosewater flavor, but isn’t overwhelming. If you’re a rosewater novice, maybe start with a little less. Another update: I still don’t know how to ice cupcakes. I tried. Sorry. At least they taste good.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Rose Cream
(Adapted from Salt Fat Acid Heat)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 neutral oil
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 eggs, room temperature & whisked
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp rosewater
- Optional: a drop or two of red food coloring, to give you pink icing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in top third of oven. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the cupcakes: cocoa powder, sugar, salt, flour, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the wet ingredients: vanilla, oil, boiling water, and eggs.
- With mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Mix until the thin batter comes together.
- Divide the batter into the cupcake molds, filling roughly 2/3s full.
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream frosting. Refrigerate the mixing bowl and whisk attachment for at least 20 minutes.
- Then start by whipping the cream and rosewater together over medium-high speed until beginning to thicken. Then slowly add the powdered sugar with the machine still running. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes with the cream frosting, either by spreading with a knife or by piping on top.
Makes ~18 cupcakes
It’s that time of the month again… end of the month treats! If it weren’t for end of the month/end of a rotation treats, this blog would pretty much never have any dessert or baked goods on it. [Check out some of our previous end of the month treats, like… Strawberry Streusel Bars, Mint Chocolate Bars, or Sweet & Salty Snack Mix!]
We don’t eat candy a whole lot, but Reese’s Pieces are pretty high up on my list of favorites! I love anything that’s peanut butter and chocolate. Which makes it all the more shocking that I’ve had this recipe saved for awhile and haven’t made it until today. This no-bake dessert is really quite simple to put together. Two tips though, so you can improve from our learning experience. They should be kept refrigerated until before serving – while still delicious, when they’re room temperature, these bars will fall apart in your hands a bit. (Not going to lie, they’re amazing when gooey like this, but kind of hard to serve in public. If you’re sitting on your couch, doing some solo Netflix watching, shoveling treats in your mouth, by all means let them get warm and gooey!) And secondly, don’t refrigerate overnight/for an extended period of time before you cut them. We did this and the chocolate layer is hard to cut – hence our non-uniform pieces you see in the pictures. Should’ve thought of that… but they were delicious despite their appearance! Like we always say… this is real-life blog 🤷
Reese’s Pieces Bars
(Adapted slightly from this recipe)
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup Reese’s Pieces, divided
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil.
- In a large bowl, blend the first 6 ingredients – butter through 1 cup of peanut butter. Mix until smooth.
- Gentrly, stir in 1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces. Press into the baking dish evenly. Refrigerate while making the top layer.
- For the top chocolate layer, combine remaining peanut butter with the chocolate chips. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler (or very slowly in the microwave), stirring frequently until well-combined.
- Pour chocolate over top the bottom layer. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces to finish!
- Refrigerate for ~1 hour or until set. Slice to desired size. Keep refrigerated until serving.
We may have mentioned it once or twice, or a million times, but Selim definitely has the sweet tooth in this family. I could eat chips & dip for the rest of my life, but Selim could easily subsist on sweets, especially chocolate! We like to joke that he has a separate dessert stomach. It’s amazing – he can be stuffed after a dinner out or something big that we cooked at home, and then not five minutes later, he’s asking for the dessert menu or if we have any chocolate hidden in the house.
So when I decided to attempt rugelach for our Hanukkah dinner this year, I browsed a lot of recipes. I personally was enticed by the many recipes with nuts and cinnamon sugar, but I knew I had to make chocolate for Selim. I decided to stick with the more American preparation, that generally includes cream cheese in the dough, as opposed to a more yeasty Israeli preparation.
(Adapted from the following sites- here & here & here!)
- 4oz butter, softened
- 4oz regular cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cups flour (+ additional for dusting)
- 4oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg
- Allow the butter and cream cheese to sit out so they soften.
- Combine the butter, cream cheese, regular sugar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer. Cream all of these ingredients together.
- Slowly add the flour in while the mixer is running.
- Once well-combined, turn out onto a floured counter and knead into a ball. Divide the ball into two equal pieces and flatten slightly into round discs.
- Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tbsp brown sugar with the cocoa powder and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk together an egg with the remaining 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- After the dough has chilled, remove each disc, one at a time from the refrigerator to work on.
- Roll out into a large circle. Sprinkle with the sugar-spice mixture, leaving a slight edge. (Remember to only use 1/2 of the mixture – or make more, whatever…!)
- Now top with chopped chocolate.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough like a pizza, into 8 pieces. Roll each one up, starting with the wider edge.
- Place the rolled up rugelach on a lined cookie sheet. Brush with cinnamon egg wash.
- Repeat steps 9 through 13 with each piece of dough. Keep dough refrigerated until using/ready to bake.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- After removing from the oven, let cool on a wire rack.
Want to know a secret? I actually don’t prefer chocolate chip waffles. I know this is blasphemy to the American public in general, and my husband in particular, but I really just like a plain ol’ waffle. But today is Selim’s birthday, so breakfast is to his preference, not mine. And let me tell you, that man loves chocolate! He doesn’t just want a handful of chocolate chips in his waffle, he wants several in in every bite, plus more sprinkled on top! So that’s exactly what I made for him this morning.
I used the basic waffle recipe from our bible of cookbooks, The Cook’s Book, and stuffed the batter with chocolate chips. The result was delicious and overloaded with gooey chocolate! If you love chocolate even half as much as my husband does, give these waffles a try.
Oh, and… HAPPY BIRTHDAY SELIM!!! 😘🎂🎉💘🎈🥂💕
Chocolate Chip Waffles
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups milk
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Optional toppings: fruit, syrup, honey, whipped cream, more chocolate chips!
- In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla to the batter, stir up until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Add the chocolate chips, stirring just once or twice so the chocolate chips are well-dispersed.
- Using a ladle, scoop batter into your waffle maker and bake per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Number of waffles depends upon the size of your waffle maker – ours made 4 large ones.
It’s that time of the month again where we make treats for the staff of the hospital before we move on to our next rotation next month. I think the fact that we like to make these treats for our teachers of the month may be solely responsible for ensuring that we actually make and share dessert recipes on here. (Desserts = my Achilles heel, I’m sure I’ve mentioned that once or twice…) But with this motivation, we’ve cooked up a few pretty delicious recipes to share, like the Strawberry Streusel Bars or the Mint Chocolate Bars.
We went a little different direction this month. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop thinking about making a snack mix. Obviously, this recipe could be modified a million different ways. We made it the way we did because we felt it struck a good balance between the sweet and the salty! These proportions make a rather large amount of mix – we were trying to make enough to send to two separate groups of people. But it would be a good amount for a large Halloween party, or could easily be pared down.
Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
- 16 cups kettle corn (yield from two large popping bags for me)
- 4 cups mini pretzels
- 2 cups honey roasted peanuts
- 1 1/2 cups Reese’s Pieces
- 1 1/2 cups M&Ms
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp butter
- Melt chocolate chips with the butter in a double boiler (or in the microwave on a lower heat setting).
- Pop the popcorn and combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips and butter, in a large bowl.
- Attempt to stir up, though this is a bit difficult. Spread the mix out on wax-paper lined cookie sheets.
- Drizzle the mix with the melted chocolate.
- Allow to sit out until the chocolate hardens. Alternatively, refrigerate for ~10-15 minutes.
I had a great month of May in terms of a rotation I was doing for school. I loved it and learned so much! On my last day, I wanted to bring a little treat for the staff who taught me and worked with me for the past few weeks. I couldn’t decide what to make, but ruled out cookies because the hospital frequently provides trays of cookies that are pretty darn good. And I’m generally exhausted during the middle of the week, so I wanted to make something pretty simple. I came up with the idea for these, essentially extrapolating from a thought of Rice Krispy Treats! These are so easy to make and are delicious!! You can’t go wrong. You could easily throw these together for some sort of last minute get-together or other situation.
(Also. I forgot to take pictures. So all you get is a quick shot of the 2 bites I saved for Selim.)
Mint Chocolate Bars
- 1 standard sized box of Mint Oreos
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 bag of large marshmallows (5 cups)
- 20 pieces Andes candy, chopped
- Place the Oreos in a large plastic bag and smash with a mallet. Don’t smash them too finely.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
- Once butter is melted, add the marshmallows and cover. Keep on low heat.
- Remove the lid every 3-4 minutes and stir. The marshmallows will melt and eventually combine with the butter.
- Once the butter and marshmallows are melted and combined, pour in the crushed Oreos. Working quickly, stir to coat the cookies in the marshmallow/butter. Remove from heat.
- Lastly, add the chopped Andes candy. They will quickly begin to melt. Stir ASAP to get the candy spread throughout.
- Scoop the mixture into a glass baking dish (8×8). Spread out evenly.
- Allow to cool entirely. Once cooled, slice with a sharp knife.
- Try not to eat them all before you share with friends!
Makes ~25-30 bars, obviously depending on how large you cut them.