brown butter, brown sugar cookies

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

It’s been so long since last we wrote, but these brown butter, brown sugar cookies are worth the wait. This Hungry Texan will occasionally make a quick detour on her bike to work and pop into Bean & Bite on 15th for a “treat yo self” iced coffee. Aside from their smooth and rich iced coffee the second biggest attraction is that they always have bite-sized samples of their sweet treats cut up in plates by the register. On two separate occasions I’ve been lucky enough to sneak a taste of their brown sugar cookies, and after taste number two I vowed to try my hand at recreating them. I took to my mixing bowl and this recipe triumphed. I’m a modest gal, but these are honest to everything the best cookies I’ve ever made.

Just thank me that I’m sharing this recipe as bathing suit season is waning.

Ingredients

Modified from Cook’s Illustrated’s Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter 14tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar (I used a mix of dark & light)
2 cups + 2 tbls flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 overflowing tbl vanilla

+ an additional 1/4 cup of each brown & white sugar for rolling

Start by preheating your oven 350º.

The secret to this recipe’s success is the brown butter – browning your butter gives it a dense, almost nutty flavor, that combined with salt and sugar becomes borderline carmel-ish. Start by melting all but 4 tbls of your butter in a pan at medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter begins to brown. Transfer to a container to cool and add the additional 4 tbls of butter to the warm butter. You may notice sediment-like solids forming in your brown butter, embrace them!

Brown Butter

Let your butter cool for about 15 minutes and then combine your butter and sugars.

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Add your egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.

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In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda, powder). Begin slowly folding the dry into your wet mixture until fully combined.

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Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Combine 1/4 c white sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar in a small bowl with enough surface area for covering your dough balls. Begin scooping and rolling your dough into spheres the size of ping pong balls, roll your ball in sugar so that it’s completely covered.

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Once your sheet is full, bake for 8-12 minutes. You want to take these cookies out on the rarer side as they’ll firm quite a bit as they cool. The center of the cookie tastes like chewy, salted caramel. The cookies are sturdy, stack well, and would be mean bookends to an ice cream sandwich.

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Get baking!

xoxo,
Julia

key lime pie

KeyLimePie

This Hungry Texan celebrated the Fourth of July in the Houston homeland with the Lovett clan. We feasted on a red, white, and boil of tasty crustaceans and satiated our sweet teeth post-Fireworks with this sweet and tangy key lime pie.

When life gives you limes, make key lime pie!


KeyLimeCrust Ingredients

Key lime crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tbl melted butter
2 tbl lime zest

KeyLime Filling

Key lime filling:
4 egg yolks
3 tbl lime zest (from 4 key limes)
1/2 cup lime juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk

This is a one bowl, one whisk pie that requires minimal baking. For your crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, zest and melted butter in a large bowl until it sticks together like wet sand.

MixingCrust

Spray the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with your preferred baking spray and pack your crust into the pie plate until it’s densely and compactly situated. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-minutes or until it’s looking golden and the smells start wafting.

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For your filling, whisk together 4 egg yolks for about two minutes. Add your lime zest and continue whisking until your mixture is a pale green.

Eggs + Lime

Whisk in your lime juice and condensed milk until your filling starts to thicken. Let rest for at least 20-minutes at room temperature, giving the filling adequate time to firm up. Pour filling into the cooled pie crust and return it to your 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the center of your pie is firm.

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Let your pie rest until it reaches room temperature and then place in the fridge to chill (can be made up to a day in advance).

Slice & serve chilled with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lime!

xoxo,

Julia

red velvet cake

CakewithBerries_RedVelvet

Last night the Saucy San Diegan grilled a full aquarium (squid, oysters, swordfish, salmon, cod) in honor of Amy Boo Boo’s birthday celebration, and the Hungry Texans were in charge of apps and zerts. SSD requested red velvet, so red velvet it was! I was a little apprehensive as more often than not I feel like red velvet kind of dry, lackluster cake whose primary purpose is to make copious consumption of cream cheese frosting socially acceptable. That said, I put my biases aside and made a few modifications to a Saveur recipe that turned out super moist, flavorful, and good enough that I went straight for a slice for breakfast this morning.

For the cake:

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

For the icing:

Icing Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

This cake couldn’t be quicker to whip up. Start by preheating your oven to 350. Combine all your dry ingredients – sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer combine – vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar.

Liquid Mixing

Add your food coloring and combine.

Red Batter

Add your dry ingredients to your sanguine red batter.

Wet & Dry

Pour batter into two round parchment-lined and sprayed cake pans.

Finished Batter Batter in Pans

Bake for 25-30 minutes until your cakes pass the toothpick test. Set cakes aside to cool.

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While cakes are cooling, make your icing. In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Gradually add your powdered sugar until the icing reaches the desired flavor and consistency.

Assemble your cake. I achieved the coveted double-flip for this cake – making sure the round part was on top. I recommend, you do your first flip onto a plate, then flip back into your cake pan, and then flip on top of your first layer. Cake flipping is a delicate art, so you do you and figure out what works.

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Ice and decorate as desired.

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Light the candles, slice and serve with ice cream. We served with homemade buttermilk ice cream! Yum!

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Make a wish!

Julia

white chocolate, coconut blondies

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These white chocolate, coconut blondies are a dump everything, mix, and wait dessert. No fuss, no frills. Just a pretty decadent, delicious treat that’s the perfect hybrid between brownie and cookie. The coconut keeps them oh, so moist and the creamy white chocolate’s the perfect companion to the coconut’s chewiness.

This was a Sunday night improvisation a few weeks ago, and I encourage you to do the same. Swap coconut for pecans or white chocolate for dark chocolate or butterscotch chips! Mix in peanut butter instead of coconut oil and add peanut chips. The pantry’s full of possibilities, but this version’s definitely worth a whirl!

Ingredients_blondies

1 cup coconut
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c coconut oil
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips

Start by creaming together butter and coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer.

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Add vanilla.

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Add brown sugar and cream until well combined.

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Add your two eggs.

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Remove your bowl from the stand mixer and fold in flour, salt, baking powder, coconut, and chocolate chips. That’s right. Dump everything in!

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Pour into a greased square pyrex dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the top of your blondies glisten and the middle passes the toothpick test.

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Cut into squares and shower these blondies’ deliciousness upon adoring coworkers.

xo,

Julia

orange ginger carrot cake

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This post is a special one because it just so happens to be my better half’s birthday cake! That’s right, this past Thursday we had a Hungry Texans’ birthday bash for Miss Liz and it was a belly-buster on all fronts. We dined with a wonderful group of friends at one of the most unique restaurants DC has to offer, Thai X-ing, and in the spirit of Thai flavors for dessert too Liz blew out the candles on an orange ginger carrot cake. My dear friend, Jonny, introduced me to this scrumptious cake years ago and before last week I’d recreated it once on my own. Until this week, we’d both stuck to letting the cake’s deliciousness speak for itself and not fussed over presentation – opting to prepare it in the suitable and ever-practical large, rectangular, pyrex; but for such a special occasion I had to prep this cake with a little more pomp. Despite initial hesitations about layering it, it turned out scrumptious! Even the non-dessert lovers at the table sang its praise, huzzah!

Before diving into the goodies, important to note this cake was a co-production with Boston Boy. It would have taken twice as long without him, and for his very first cake he pulled out a showstopper!

thebrowns

thewhites

thebrights

the cake

2 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 pound medium carrots, peeled & shredded

1/2 c brown sugar

4 eggs

1 tbl orange zest

1 1/2 c vegetable oil

~20 ginger candies, crushed or 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced

 icing_ingredients

frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

5 tbl butter

1 tbl orange juice

1 1/4 c powdered sugar

Start by whisking together your whites (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and most of your browns (all of your spices) in a large bowl.

Then, with the grater attachment of your food processor, start shredding your carrots (Be very careful handling these grating discs, Juju ended up with a little boo boo on her thumb. Don’t worry, Mom, no blood – just shaved off a layer of exterior skin). Transfer all shredded carrots into a large bowl.

Then, swap out your grating disc for your blade attachment and get to creaming your sugars. Combine brown & white sugar in a few quick pulses, then add your orange zest. Pulse to combine. Add your four eggs and run until your mixture gets a little frothy. Next, with the food processor running, drizzle in your oil until the mixture is emulsified. Scrape the mixture into the bowl topping your carrots (here’s a vine account of the above…!).

Next, stir in your candied ginger.

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Then, start slowly adding and mixing in your floury, dry mixture. Stir well!

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Mmmmm! Look at that batter, Boston Boy!

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Pour into two parchment lined, circular baking dishes (or your baking dish of choice). I chose 2 pans (sorry, I’m not sorry).

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Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until your cakes pass the toothpick test. Let your cakes cool (I left mine to cool overnight), but let them cool at least an hour or until they have reached room temperature.

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first_layer

The frosting’s simple! In the bowl of a stand mixer with your paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese & butter, add orange juice, and then begin gradually adding powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired taste and consistency!

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Frost your cake however you please!

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fully_iced

I turned this cake from plain white drab to birthday fab with a little died yellow sugar & some food colored frosting. I piped the birthday greeting through a ziploc bag (one of these days this Hungry Texan will get a proper pastry bag).

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Make a wish,

Julia

chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies Hero

You know those weeks where everything goes more wrong than right? Maybe some boo boos happened at work, or you had to walk home in the rain without an umbrella, or you got a flat tire, or you’re running on relatively little sleep, or you flaunted bare legs expecting 60 degree temps when it dropped to the 30s, or you witnessed a borderline-fist-fight on your bus, or left your shampoo and conditioner at the gym and it’s taken you 4 days to replenish so you’ve been washing your hair with hotel samples – just to name a few things that might sour this Hungry Texans’ week. What better way to turn a sour week sweet than a comforting batch of chocolate chip cookies?

I made these cookies attempting to emulate Levain Bakery’s quarter pound cookies (out of this world!). Mine were far shy of a quarter pound (although 2 cookies deep & plenty of cookie dough later, I might be close to a quarter pound consumed). The beauty of these cookies is they combine the best of both worlds – crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. Yum! Yum!

Whip up a batch (this is a half batch) and watch all your sorrows melt away.

Ingredients_ChocChip cookies

1 stick butter
½ c brown sugar
¼ c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ + ⅛ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
¼ + ⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ + ⅛ tsp cornstarch
1 ¾ c flour
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Steps_ChocolateChipCookies with labels

In the bowl of a stand mixer start by creaming together your butter and both sugars. Add your vanilla. Add an egg. Add your dry ingredients. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, remove the paddle attachment, and fold in your chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookies + Fold Chocolate Chips

Start balling your dough (think golf ball size or bigger)– don’t pack them too tight & your dough balls can be a little sloppy — and place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Put your balled dough in the freezer to chill for 10-15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350.

Ball 'em up! Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t be scared to take these guys out while they’re still a little soft. They’ll harden as they cool and taking them out early will help ensure a nice rare center.

Beware of belly aches!

xoxo,

a sugar-rushed Hungry Texan