Posts Tagged 'church'

Pipe Dream #188: To Appreciate Only – Cinnamon Nutella Biscotti




recognize the full worth of

be grateful for (something)

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There are a few things in life that I have learned to appreciate. For example, I didn’t used to appreciate dressing up for church. Stuffing my feet into those itchy, lacy socks and brushing out my baby snarls? No thanks. Now, it’s fun to have an excuse to dress up on the weekend.

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I didn’t appreciate biscotti before I was addicted to coffee. They are the perfect combo. This isn’t to say that I would take some dried-out crackle cookie over a chewy gooey wonder like this. Or this. Those are more in the adore and cherish category.  Most days, I just appreciate biscotti.

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I recognize the full worth of infusing a chocolate hazelnut cinnamon creation with espresso and then enjoying the contrasting textural change from crackly to melty-in-your-mouth-y that accompany such an event.

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I hope you recognize this too, and make these biscotti immeds. Let me know if you decide to change up the flavors. I think orange zest would be amazing with this too.

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Cinnamon Nutella Biscotti

Adapted from

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
heaping 1/2 cup Nutella
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cinnamon
optional: more chocolate and coconut flakes for decoration
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
In the electric bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until frothy. Add the sugar and continue beating on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the Nutella on low speed, then add the flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts, if using.Divide the dough into 2 logs with well floured hands and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press logs into rectangles approximately 1/2 inch thick. The dough will be pretty wet as you do this, so just plop it on and arrange as best you can.Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes and remove from oven, turning the heat down to 300°F.Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices on their sides on the baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then turn the slices over and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, checking for doneness at 7 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. If desired, melt some chocolate and drizzle it over the cooled biscotti. Alternately, you can dip the ends of the cookies in melted chocolate and then dip in coconut flakes. Store in an airtight container.

Pipe Dream #179: To Forget Your Order and Gleek All Over – Chocolate Clementine Marquise

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If you have ever wanted to eat five truffles, but didn’t because you were embarrassed because clearly everyone else at the table was only going to order one and then nibble on half, this cake is for you.

This situation, which of course has never happened to me, is easily remedied by a cake so chocolately and dense, you might as well just skip your breakfast Nutella in anticipation. I made a similar torte ages and years ago, but it was a flourless version. This cake, while nearly flourless, will not make your GF friends happy, so keep that in mind. It made my dinner party friends happy, in lieu of these chocolate creme pot fails.

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GUYS IT’S CITRUS SEASON TAKE ADVANTAGE. The flavor is delicate and perfect.

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And correct me if I’m wrong, but there is never a season when it is not chocolate season. In my life, at least. And if it’s true in my life, it must be true in yours. Truth is truth, yeah? Yes.

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For decoration, I just cut up some strips of parchment and layered them in a criss-cross pattern to create the diamond effect with powdered sugar you see below. If you wanted to be really cool, you could do this part not on the serving plate, so that your powdered sugar looks clean. Whatever. Rustic elegance?

marquise 2

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Classically bad cutting skills. But who says a cake slice needs to look super sharp to make you gleek? I certainly didn’t. P.S. My mouth waters.

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This one looks a bit better.

My mouth still waters,


Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

Scant 1 cup (200 grams, 7 ounces) white sugar or caster sugar

4 tablespoons (60 mL) fresh clementine (or orange) juice

12 ounces (350 grams) dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 225 grams) unsalted butter, cubed

5 eggs

finely grated rind of two clementines (or oranges)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour

icing sugar and pared strips of clementine (or orange) rind , to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch (23 centimeter) round cake  tin with non-stick spray, and line the base with parchment.

Place 1/2 cup (115 grams, 4 ounces) sugar in a large saucepan. Add the clementine juice, and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the the heat, and stir in the chocolate until melted. Add the butter, cube, by cube, until melted.

Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and very thick. I was kind of weak, so it might be better to do this with an electric mixer. Add the grated clementine rind. Using a metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture lightly and evenly into the egg mixture. Sift the flour over the top, and fold in evenly.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and place the pan into a roasting tin. Transfer the tin to the oven, then pour hot water into the roasting pan sot that it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake, then turn out onto a serving plate and let cool completely. Chill. Before serving, dust with icing sugar, and garnish with strips of clementine rind.

The cookbook says this serves 8, but I would say it serves closer to 12. Real rich.

Pipe Dream #175: To Have a Whole Room Full of Cake Stands, I Guess – Lemon Ricotta Cookies

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This post is mostly about this new cake stand. I got it on clearance at Target. It was an impulse buy.

But on the other hand, it was not an impulse buy, because I would say a pipe dream of mine is to have a whole room full of cake stands, so. Anyway, I’m ridiculously happy with it. Someday I’ll style it better.

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And speaking of clearance, these cookies came about because I had some ricotta cheese to use up. Double frugal. I could have made blintzes or a pastry something savory (meh), but I decided to go cookies because they travel well. And I brought them to church for a potluck that was disguised as a meeting. This close to Valentine’s Day? I’ve practically checked that pipe dream off my list. Hello.

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Other neat ingredients in this recipe:

Organic cane sugar

Organic lemon juice called ‘Italian Volcano,’ which I presume comes from lemons that are grown on an Italian volcano. You just don’t see that every day.

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Nor do you see a random eggplant. I did not realize that was in the picture until just now. Welp. Welcome to real life.

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Because I made an error and added too much butter as I was trying to halve the recipe, I decided to bump up the flour and sugar just a tad. I didn’t add more lemon, so it was good that these had a kickin’ glaze. The glaze is essential. Do not skimp. The cookies are soft and fluffy and not entirely flavorless on their own though. Ricotta will do that for you.

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Cheers to cheery lemon and impulse buys,


Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Adapted from The Church Cook

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons)  butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1 whole egg
7.5 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used organic)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes in an electric mixer. Add the egg, beating on medium speed until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat on medium to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for around 12 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cooled cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread the glaze. Let the glaze harden for about an hour before storing the cookies.

Pipe Dream #173: To Create a V Day Church Potluck – Raspberry Pretzel Salad

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My friends, I give you:

Raspberry Pretzel Salad: The Great One.

It occurreth at every family gathering we ever had, and its praises are sung loudly, with much fuss being made over the sizing of the slices (which don’t make it past four hours because literally everyone takes a second piece). I don’t like to think about what would happen if this didn’t make it next time. Probably everyone would spend the day moaning in agony or something dramatic.

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It’s a good thing my mum doesn’t mind making it. She let me help this time. She got the recipe from a really old church cookbook. I’m sure there are many variations of this around the web, but I’ve never eaten it anywhere else. Then again, it’s been a while since I went to an honest-to-goodness church potluck. I’ll have to bring it back.

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Anyway, it is sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy. You would think it would be nast, but actually, it is light and super delicious. It’s a “salad” that practically counts as a fruit serving. Ahem.

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Most appropriately, Raspberry Pretzel Salad is like Valentine’s Day.

It is red. It recurs with unceasing regularity. It reminds people to declare their love. And it is not always pretty.

Now, we just need a Valentine’s Day church potluck. It would be perfect. I feel like that is the best idea ever maybe. Ok.

Enjoy your day,


Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Adapted from The Faith Family Cookbook

2 1/2 cups broken pretzels

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tub Cool Whip, divided

6 ounces raspberry Jell-O (two 3-ounce packages)

2 cups boiling water

20 ounces frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Mix pretzel sticks, melted butter and powdered sugar in a 9 x 13″ glass baking pan. Bake for 1o minutes. Let cool. You can stick it in the fridge if you want.

Beat cream cheese, egg and powdered sugar until smooth, then fold in 9 ounces of Cool Whip. Spread this on the cooled pretzels and refrigerate. Make sure that all of the pretzels are covered with the cream cheese mixture. It acts as a seal from the Jell-O, so they won’t be soggy.

In a separate bowl, mix the two packs of Jell-O with the boiling water. Add the frozen raspberries, along with all the juice. When this mixture is thickened slightly, pour it over the cream cheese mixture and let it set in the fridge. Before serving, spread the remaining Cool Whip over the raspberry Jell-O.

This dessert is best eaten on the day it is made. If you let it set overnight, the pretzels can get soggy, and the top layer of Cool Whip does its thing.

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