Tag Archives: baking

Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

If you’re a fan of chocolate and mint, these are the cookies for you. They’re golden and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, and the cool hint of mint balances out the gooey chunks of chocolate. These are perfect for the upcoming holiday season!



½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp pure mint extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup bread flour (highly recommended, as the the higher gluten content is what makes them so chewy!)

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, chopped

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Pumpkin Spice Madeleines Recipe

Soft, warm, and buttery, Madeleines are French tea cakes that are known for their distinct scallop shape. Spice up your madeleines this season with this autumn appropriate variation.


2 whole eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp lemon zest

3 ½ tbsp pumpkin puree

½ cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own with ½ tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground clove)

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

¼ cup butter, melted

3 tsp powdered sugar for dusting


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Trick to Making Great Italian Pizza

Italians take food very seriously. We don’t make jokes about food, we consider it almost a sacred subject. There are some things that you cannot say to an Italian without making him or her explaining how the risotto you have just eaten is not the real one and what the real lasagne should look like. That’s why when an American friend of mine told me that she once “made a pizza” by buying a Pita bread and putting cheese on it, I couldn’t accept the fact the she believed to have made a pizza. I knew I had to do something, and there was only one thing I had to do: to make a Pizza.

Pizza is the most famous Italian food in the world, so famous that it is not even necessarily associated with Italy anymore. But in Italy, it is crystal clear that pizza is our creation, and therefore we feel like the only ones to have the right to talk about it.

In Italy, young people usually go to a pizzeria to eat pizza once a week, as the most normal social event you can imagine. It’s cheap and good, so why not? But a lot of people are able to make their own pizza as well, especially when you realize how easy it is. So, are you ready?

The first thing to do is the pizza dough. Here is what you need:

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A Complete Guide to Getting A Cronut

A brave dessert aficionado’s pursuit of all things fried, glazed, and sugary.

When you first move to New York, your first thought isn’t usually about food. It’s about finding an (reasonably priced) apartment, taking advantage of the cultural meccas, or visiting the famous sights before it becomes socially unacceptable to act like a tourist, and you’re too jaded with the frantic sight-seeing. You scope out a sufficient local café where you can become a regular, and drink black coffee like a grumpy New Yorker.

When I moved to New York, my first thought was, “Where can I find the food?”, and more specifically, “Where are the doughnuts?” I love food in all forms, but I have a special place in my heart for desserts, especially doughnuts. They’re the queen of basic desserts: acceptably eaten at any time of day, easily manipulated to fit any palate or diet (think vegan, paleo, or gluten free), and perfectly portable.

Coming from Massachusetts, I am accustomed to two types of doughnuts.

  1. The slightly stale, typically flavored doughnuts from Dunkin’ Donuts, which you can buy at the chain on every corner (there were seven in my town alone, and several more in the near vicinity).
  2. The quintessential New England doughnut: the apple cider doughnut, best enjoyed hot out of the fryer and coated generously in sugar. This doughnut is a staple of apple picking and pumpkin patches; the constant companion of hayrides and cool fall mornings.

But I expected New York to be different, and I was right. This is the homeland for all foods ordinary and obscure. There’s representation from every culture and country, good, bad, and just plain ridiculous. And of course, in a city well known for it’s cozy cafes and excessive coffee consumption, I knew there would be a strong selection of coffee’s best friend, the doughnut.

I started my NYC doughnut journey with the pinnacle of doughnut bastardization, the cronut. For those of you who live under a rock, let me welcome you to the extreme of an already excessive dessert. French pastry chef Dominique Ansel developed his infamous cronut in 2013, and as the name suggests, it is the lovechild of a croissant and doughnut. But that’s barely scratching the surface.

What makes a cronut different than a simple fried croissant dough is the way the dough is handled. The dough is laminated, which is what causes the flaky croissant layers, and proofed, so the dough rises before it is fried. After the dough is fried in grapeseed oil, the cronut is rolled in flavored sugar, filled with ganache, and topped with a glaze and decoration. It is an extensive, laborious process, with high risk and low reward.

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Sweet Tooth Recipes: Oreo Truffles

I think it’s safe to say that chocolate and cookies always pair well together. In fact, it may not even be worth eating cookies without chocolate in the mix. But cream cheese too? I was hesitant when I heard that these Oreo truffles combined cheese with chocolate – however, I was very pleasantly surprised by the result. This combo cheesecake/cookie is a deliciously rich dessert that is easy to make and great to share with friends.

This is one of those desserts that’s just better made at home…and I’m not sure of any bakery in the city that makes them quite like this. If you are yearning for a chocolate dessert, but don’t have a ton of kitchen skills then try out this simple Oreo truffle recipe.



1 Box of Oreo Cookies

1 8oz package of Cream Cheese

1 package of Semisweet Chocolate Chips

2 tbsp. of Butter



1. In a food processor, or let’s be honest, in a plastic bag using your hands or a rolling pin, crush the Oreos until they form crumbs.

2. Pour crushed Oreos in a bowl and add the Cream Cheese. Using a spoon or fork, combine the cheese and Oreos until they form a dough-like solid texture.

3. Form the Oreo mixture into the small balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in wax or parchment paper. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm.


4. In a separate bowl, combine butter and chocolate chips. Heat in microwave in 30-second intervals until fully melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.

5. Take Oreo balls out of refrigerator. Dip each Oreo ball into the melted chocolate and place back onto parchment paper. Place in freezer for 1 hour.

6. If you wish, you can decorate the Oreo truffles with Oreo crumbs, white chocolate drizzle or anything else your creative mind can think up.

Here’s to the chocohalics. Eat & Enjoy.


“Mozzarella and Eggplant and Potatoes, Oh, My!”: We Will Not Starve this Fall Break


After two months of Ferris and John Jay sketchiness and mediocrity, with the full weight of closed dining halls upon us, my suitemates Rebecca and Trevor, along with myself, set out to solve the issue of our potential starvation. Subsisting on fun-size Snickers, Kit Kats, and Haribo Gummy Bears (full-size and petite) could only last our souls and arteries for so long, and we set out on a three-course meal extravaganza.

Trevor looked for the autumn-inspired appetizer, entrée, and dessert recipes, and after much debate (“BUT THESE DON’T INCLUDE PUMPKIN, UGH, THEY DON’T QUALIFY AS FALL WHAT IS MY LIFE”) settled on garlic-rosemary “Hassleback” potatoes, a casserole-like eggplant-roasted-red-pepper baked spaghetti, and an innovative no-bake Greek yogurt cheesecake. Brimming with anticipation, hunger, and slightly intimidation, the three of us ventured to Garden of Eden (gasp!) to avoid the expensive black hole that is Westside Market (PSA: 10% discount for Columbia students with ID!).

Split three ways, the total cost of our grocery load equaled that of one meal swipe, a fact we found nothing less than remarkable.

IMG_3095 IMG_3096

We set out first to make the crust and filling for our no-bake cheesecake, as that would take the longest and had to be chilled. Crushing the graham crackers was surprisingly easy and quick (and therapeutic!) thanks to a heavy-duty rolling pin and Ziploc baggie. Melted butter made the crust complete, and soon the entirety of the minuscule Hartley kitchen smelled like gingerbread cookies. It took all of our willpower to not eat the crust as-is. I can’t say the same for the filling, an interesting hodgepodge of cream cheese, Chobani, lemon juice, and sugar, a heavenly yet simple combination.

In progress…
Blurrily mixing away!
Tangy, sweet, delightful

After leaving both the crust and filling to chill away in the fridge, we moved promptly on to gingerly slicing away at the Hasselback potatoes. The recipe called for a specific slicing technique, where half-moon chunks of potato would be very thinly sliced, leaving the bottoms intact to hold maximum flavor release from the garlic and rosemary. Five huge Russet potatoes, one tiny, incompetent knife, and many thin slices of garlic and fragrant sprigs of rosemary later…

Cutting this was an ordeal of greatest proportions
Begging to be seasoned
A veritable work of art

Though preparation was long, leaving it to work magic in a 425-degree oven was all that stood between the potatoes and our stomachs.

Next, we moved on to roasting the vegetables for our pasta bake’s sauce and base. By this point, the several passersby who were understandably entranced by the abnormally delicious smells in our suite eyed us with envy as we snickered shamelessly.

Before: prepped for the oven
After: let’s just eat this and die happy
Our appetites were not the least deterred by the unsightly lighting in this kitchen
There are no words for this

After a quick pureé of the roasted tomatoes, peppers, and onions, we added some spaghetti cooked slightly under al dente, and then began assembling the dish, falling into silenced awe between gasps of how good the fresh buffalo mozzarella was (at this point, we were so hungry we resorted to half-laying the mozzarella on the dish itself and half-inhaling it).

Decorative Hartley walls
Gorgeously appropriate Halloween colors
Nothing short of amazing

Eight minutes searing under a 450 degree oven left us with surely one of the world’s greatest pasta dishes.

Gratuitous sprinkling of * real * parmesan cheese (you’re welcome)

Though we were waiting impatiently for our cheesecake to finish chilling (cake for breakfast is always a good idea, even better if it’s cheesecake for breakfast), this was all-in-all, an utterly successful attempt at feeding ourselves like “real adults.” With a little experimenting and a lot of hope and luck, we were able to start off fall break on a comforting and delicious note with these easy yet completely satisfying recipes. Definitely give them all a try and you will surely end up as pleasantly surprised, ecstatic, and full as we did.

Sweet Tooth Recipes: Chocolate Mint Souffle

From a distance, baking a soufflé can seem daunting and overwhelming, but I assure you, it is easier than you think.  While this recipe may take time, patience, and care, it’s well worth the wait when you bite into a warm mint chocolate cloud of happiness.  If you need to take a study break during the crazy final schedule, try out this delicious sweet tooth recipe.



Butter: a pat of butter (about 2 tbsp)

Dark Mint Flavored Chocolate: 90gram bar

Heavy Whipping Cream: 1 tbsp

Eggs: 3

Granulated Sugar: 2 tbsp


  1. Turn up that oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare two soufflé cups by greasing them with butter. (Make sure that they are oven safe)
  3. In a glass bowl, microwave the chocolate and whipping cream at 30 second increments until fully melted. (Be careful here! Burning the chocolate will ruin the entire recipe!)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites from the three eggs and the granulated sugar until they form soft peaks.
  5. After waiting for the melted chocolate to cool down, add the egg yolk remaining from the eggs and whisk away.
  6. Finally, slowly add the peaks of egg white to the chocolate mixture, folding instead of mixing in order to keep it light and fluffy.
  7. Divide the final product into 2 and pour into the greased cups.
  8. Stick the prebaked soufflés into the oven to bake for about 10 minutes or until they have risen.  Be very careful when opening the oven as not to collapse the dessert.
  9. Pair with coffee ice cream or a refreshing iced hot chocolate and enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

It may not feel like spring outside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bake like its almost summer! Last time, we made delicious ice cream cup cakes, and now, I’ve decided to keep with the spring theme and make lemon poppyseed mini muffins.  While you are more than welcome to add decorations, icing, or even lavender, I’ve decided to stick to the basics. When you’re done, pair this dessert with delicious mint lemonade and have a picnic in the park. Enjoy!



Butter: 1/2 cup

Sugar 2/3 cup

Eggs: 2

Flour: 1 1/3 cup

Baking Powder: 1 tsp

Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp

Poppy seeds: 2 tbsp

Lemons: 2 for zesting

Salt: 1/4 tsp

Buttermilk or Plain Yogurt: 1/2 cup

Lemon Juice: 2 tbs

Vanilla: 1 tsp

1. Preheat that oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together butter, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl

3. In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds, and lemon zest

4. Here is where the alternating comes in.  Pour a third of the dry ingredients into the sugar and butter mixture.  Then pour a third of the buttermilk into the same mixture alternating between the two and stirring with each addition.

5. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

6. Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon poppy seed batter

8. Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan and cook for 20-25 minutes.



Sweet Tooth Recipes: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

After a grueling midterms season, you probably need something to cheer you up, and this is definitely it.  And how could this be bad?  It’s a mix of the greatest two things ever created: ice cream and cupcakes.

Side note: this recipe obviously comes from the one and only, Martha Stewart.


For actual cupcakes:

Sugar cones: 12 (but this will depend on how much batter you eat)

Flour: 1 ½ cups

Baking Powder: 1 tsp

Salt: ½ tsp

Unsalted Butter: 1 stick or ½ cup

Sugar: 1 cup

Eggs: 3

Vanilla Extract: 1 ½ tsp

Milk: ¾ cup


For Decorating: (all are optional, all will produce beautiful results)


Gel-paste food coloring

Melted Chocolate

Chopped roasted and salted Nuts

Maraschino Cherries




  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Now this part can be confusing, but bare with me. Take tube pan and take out the inside attachment.  This will basically look like a bowl without the inside.  Cover the top of the bowl with two layers of tinfoil. (See pictures below for clarity)
  3. Poke 12 holes in the tinfoil, put cones in these holes, and set this aside for later.
  4. Making the cupcakes.  Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time.  Then add vanilla.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture
  8. Fill each cone with about 2-3 tablespoons
  9. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes.


For the fun part:

Decorating the Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

While you can technically decorate however you want, here’s how I decorated:

Buttercream frosting from Magnolia’s Cupcakes

Butter: 2 sticks

Confectioners’ Sugar: 6-8 cups

Milk: ½ cup

Vanilla Extract: 2 tsp

Food Coloring


  1. First cream the butter, then add 4 cups of sugar
  2. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth
  3. Gradually add 2-4 more cups as sugar to taste
  4. Add your favorite color
  5. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop a dollop of frosting on to each cupcake
  6. Decorate with sprinkles, cherries, chocolate or gel-paste.

Sweet Tooth Recipes: Pull-Apart Caramel Monkey Bread

Being that it’s midterm season here at Columbia, and everyone wants to curl up in a ball and cry (and watch Netflix), I decided to share a recipe that might add an ounce of excitement to your lives.  This Monkey Bread is an awesome treat, especially after the 15 minutes of studying you did today; so treat yo’self.  It’s super quick and easy to make for you to enjoy alone or with a group of friends (but lets be honest, you’ll want to keep this one for yourself).

The origin of its wacky name is unknown, but Monkey Bread has been in cookbooks since the 1950’s, so you know it’s a classic.  The recipe below is very basic, so feel free to add raisin or pecans as you like.



Granulated Sugar- ¼ cup

Cinnamon- 2 tsp.

Pillsbury Biscuit Dough- 1 can (this is a shortcut instead of making the dough from scratch)

Butter- ¼ cup

Brown Sugar- ½ cup



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Although usually made in a Bundt cake pan, you can use any 8×8 inch pan or medium sized circular pan.  Grease the pan
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon
  4. Pop open that Pillsbury dough can and separate each biscuit into three pieces.  Roll each piece into a small ball
  5. Roll each small dough ball around in the sugar mixture until all sides are evenly coated
  6. Place each dough ball in the pan
  7. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in the microwave for 30 seconds
  8. Pour mixture over the dough balls and place pan in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown
  9. After waiting for the Monkey Bread to cool, pull apart a gooey caramelized ball of heaven and enjoy