Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

Trader Joe’s Mini Sheet Cake

Trader_Joe_s_Sheet_Cakes

I blame my current obsession with Trader Joe’s Mini Sheet Cakes on my friend Quyen. She posted an enticing Instagram of the product a month and a half ago, and ever since then, I’ve consumed a cake a week. While that might sound like an exaggeration, I assure you that it isn’t—my appetite for super-moist cake iced thick with super-sweet frosting knows no bounds.

Trader Joe's Mini Sheet Cake

The cakes come in two flavors: Dark Chocolate Ganache with a “smooth ganache cream cheese frosting” and Chantilly Cream Vanilla Bean with a “smooth vanilla bean buttercream frosting.” Both taste equally fetching and are irresistibly priced at $3.99.

Trader Joe's Mini Sheet Cake

The chocolaty creation, with its tender base and rich topping, tastes like it was baked in Duncan Hines’ or Betty Crocker’s kitchen, in the best possible way, of course. The ratio of cake to frosting, practically one to one, is just about perfect for someone who appreciates her sweets very, very sweet.

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Christina Tosi’s Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

“This cookie is the reason I learned to bake,” writes pastry superstar Christina Tosi in her latest book, Milk Bar Life. If you’ve ever tasted any of her daring and delicious Momofuku Milk Bar creations (See: Crack Pie! Confetti Cookies! Salty Cucumber Soft Serve!), then you’ll understand that this is a very bold statement.

While The Astronomer and June were on a long walk last weekend, I dusted off my Kitchen Aid and got to baking these life-altering cookies. Aside from having to bring the butter to room temperature, this recipe is as low maintenance (and fast!) as they come. Butter and two kinds of sugar are creamed until fluffy, eggs and vanilla are added in, then finally, the “dry” ingredients are incorporated just so.

Following 10 minutes in the oven, Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies baked up crispy along the edges and moist throughout. The combination of rolled oats and sweetened shredded coconut brought a double punch of flavor and texture, while a good hit of salt kept all sweetness in check.

While these cookies are certainly solid as is, the batter is an excellent base for a more complex cookie. Classic oatmeal cookie add-ins like dried fruit, chocolate chips, and nuts would work great here, or more Tosi-esque ingredients like popcorn, potato chips, and pretzels. Go crazy because Christina Tosi would definitely approve.

  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Milk Life | Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.

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National Doughnut Day 2015: The 10 Best Doughnuts Ever

Doughnut Vault - Chicago

In recognition of National Doughnut Day, the only food holiday worth a hoot, I’ve rounded up my all-time favorite deep-fried delights! From filled Bismarcks to glazed rings and craggly old fashioneds, I’m forever on the hunt for doughnut perfection. Here are the very best specimens from my never-ending quest:

Dough - Brooklyn

Passion Fruit Bismarck from Dough in Brooklyn, NY

Mr. Churro - Los Angeles

Dulce de Leche Churro from Mr. Churro in Los Angeles, CA

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Nancy’s Fancy Coconut Stracciatella

Nancy's Fancy Gelato & Sorbetto Artiginale

Inspired by the desserts served at her fantastic collection of restaurants (see: Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Mozza 2-Go, Chi Spacca), Chef Nancy Silverton recently introduced a line of artisanal gelati and sorbetti called Nancy’s Fancy.

These premium pints, which are sold exclusively at Gelson’s (for now) and priced at $10.99 a pop, include flavors like Butterscotch Budino (scotch-laced “pudding” with salted caramel swirls), Roasted Banana with Bourbon & Pecan Praline, and Frutti di Bosco (Greek yogurt with mixed berries). While I was pretty certain I would fall hardest for the Budino, one spoonful of the Stracciatella and…swoon.

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