grain free cranberry almond biscotti

Grain-Free Almond Cranberry Biscotti

Happy New Year, Satiation Seekers! I know, I know, it’s been a few days since I’ve last posted. With the new year has come, well, my return to work. The time I had to craft recipes has fallen by the wayside this week and I jumped back into my office chair and surrounded myself with computer screens shimmering with tons to pertinent data on shiny new Excel sheets.

However, to tide you over until I get my first Seek Satiation-centric recipe of 2017, let me direct you over to my newest post over at Yoga by Candace! For January, I whipped up a wonderful Almond Cranberry Biscotti that is grain-free! Admittedly, I’ve never used almond flour before and wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out, but I found some generic almond flour biscotti recipe, handwritten, on a piece of paper inside of one of my cookbooks. Who knows where it came from, but I sure was tickled that I came across it!

Head over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipe!

grain free cranberry almond biscotti

If I luck out on this already very busy weekend and find some time to make and photograph a recipe tomorrow, I’ll get a post up by Wednesday. If not, expect a new selection of Seek Satiation recipes to be posted starting next Saturday, January 14th. 😀

grain free cranberry almond biscotti

rosemary chocolate bark

Rosemary Chocolate Bark

OKAY. Fourth chocolate recipe in a row! I’m even going to stop myself. Believe it or not, and much to my father’s chagrin, I’m not a huge sweets person. I’m not a huge chocolate fan, despite this blog’s seeming evidence to the contrary. If given the choice, I’d take a family-sized bag of Utz potato chips and a lifetime supply of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese over a chocolate bar or a donut. Still, every December, a switch flips inside of me, and I become ravenous when it comes to sweets!

Luckily, as I type this, I’m eating a very Instagramable bowl of diced sweet potato, avocado drizzled with EVOO and garlic powder, and a 7 minute-boiled egg that is exhibiting mass amounts of #yolkporn.

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I can still keep myself balanced. Ha!

Yesterday, I met up with my friend Nicole; she’s a former co-worker that trudged deep through the silos and warehouses of infection control data along side with me…though she eventually left me to take a job at the city’s DOH. (RUDE.) After we had a lovely Sunday afternoon slurping Xiao Long Bao in St. Mark’s Place and drinking Thai iced bubble tea out of a plastic lightbulb at Spot Dessert Bar, we decided to take a spin through the Union Square Holiday Market before heading off on our respective ways. I have a love / hate relationship with NYC’s multiple holiday markets. The feeling of Christmas joy is almost tangible, but I’m also gripping my bottle of Xanax in my purse as I weave through the tight crowds. At one point, I had to pull over into a booth before I got too irritated, and I spotted some wonderful looking chocolate bars. As I know I’ve mentioned, I love something slightly spiced mixed with my chocolate, such as cinnamon or a mild curry. (SO good.) Before pulling back out to deal with the crowds again, a rosemary chocolate bar caught my eye. WOW! For the past 24 hours, I have been thinking about how I wish I bought it.

rosemary chocolate bark

Then I realized…hey! I could make it!

rosemary chocolate bark

If you know how to make a basic chocolate bark recipe, you can go innumerable directions with it.

rosemary chocolate bark

I’m glad I’m on vacation from work until January 3rd. It’s so nice to have time to develop recipes and do my photography during the week…while using precious natural light. Haaa.

rosemary chocolate bark

Rosemary Chocolate Bark
(Makes roughly 12 pieces, depending on how you choose to break it up!)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips; aim for 40% – 60% cacao.
– 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped and divided into two 1 tablespoon portions
– 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, divided into two 1/2 teaspoon portions
– 1 cup water

Before We Get Started…

– Do not substitute milk chocolate or unsweetened chocolate in this recipe.

– To make this recipe 100% vegan-friendly, make sure to use dairy-free chocolate.

– I have not done this recipe with dried rosemary, so I can not speak to if it will work.

– If you do not have a double-boiler to melt your chocolate, the glass bowl – over – the – saucepan method always works! Please follow this video from Real Simple for instructions.

Directions:

1.) Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet and set aside.

2a.) If using a double-boiler to melt the chocolate, add water to the lower portion and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Place top portion of double-boiler into place. Add chocolate to top portion and slowly melt. Once chocolate has melted, stir in 1 tablespoon of rosemary and one 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine.

OR

2b.) If using a medium saucepan and heatproof bowl (Please see Before We Get Started…), add water to sauce pan and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Place heatproof bowl on top of saucepan, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add chocolate to bowl and slowly melt. Once chocolate has melted, stir in 1 tablespoon of rosemary and one 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir well to combine.

3.) Pour chocolate mixture onto parchment paper and spread until even. Sprinkle chocolate with remaining rosemary and salt.

4.) Set chocolate mixture into refrigerator for one hour to cool. Remove and break into pieces.

dark chocolate butterscotch cookies

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

Oh, dear. It seems like I’ve gone off on a bit of a chocolate tangent on these past few posts, eh? And I thought I was going cranberry crazy by having two cranberry recipes on a row. I’m about to get chocolate wasted with my third chocolate-based recipe in a row! Eh. ‘Tis the season, am I right? (All in moderation, of course. I’m typing this up as I’m eating a kale salad with vegetables, EVOO, garlic powder, and vinegar. Total guilt avoided. Ha!)

One of my coworkers, Jean-Marie, is my department’s Queen of Baking! No birthday is complete without some of her chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and her scones with currants are so incredibly authentic! With a little jam and clotted cream, I feel like I’m in a London tea house rather than a windowless 5th floor office on the Upper East Side. Don’t get me started on her Banoffee Pie! Her food has even inspired a hashtag between a few other coworkers and myself: #dammitjeanmarie ! Why? Because on those days when we say, “I’m having oatmeal for breakfast and going to Sweetgreen for lunch!”, J-M will casually drop a plate of scones by the microwave. DAMMIT, JEAN-MARIE!

ue The other day, she made these dreamy Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies. Their color alone indicated to me that they would be rich, but it was quite the opposite! The cookie had a cakier and more crumbly texture than I was expecting, and the cookie’s flavor was not dissimilar to that of an Oreo, likely due to the addition of black cocoa. It wasn’t too sweet, which worked well because the butterscotch can be such a dominant sweet flavor. The black cocoa counters this beautifully. I had to ask for the recipe, and I had to make it right away. She even gave me black cocoa to use! Honestly, without it, I doubt they’d be as delicious.

dark chocolate butterscotch cookies

Dammit, Jean-Marie! These are great!

dark chocolate butterscotch cookies

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies
(Makes 12 – 15 cookies)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
– 2 tablespoons black cocoa, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
– 1 large egg, room temperature
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup butterscotch chips

Before We Get Started…

– The original recipe calls for light brown sugar, but I used dark. I could tell no discernible difference, so use whichever brown sugar you have available.

Directions:

1.) In a medium bowl, whisk flour, both cocoas, baking soda, and salt until combined.

2.) In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes light. Reduce speed of beaters and slowly add egg and vanilla. Continue to beat until combined.

3.) Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix together. Add butterscotch chips and mix until chips have uniformly spread throughout the dough. Place dough in refrigerator for at least one hour, but up to overnight.

4.) Prior to baking, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and set aside.

5.) Portion dough into 12 – 15 cookies, roughly the size of a large golf ball, and place onto baking sheet(s). Flatten very slightly, but make sure they maintain an overall round-ish shape. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes; cookies may look a bit undercooked, but they will firm up once they cool!

6.) Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheet(s) for 5 minutes before removing and placed on a wire rack to finish cooling.

– – – –

NOTE: Because I want some credit, please know that because my Kitchen Aid Mixer is currently packed away in the back of my closet and my hand mixer is non-functional, I creamed my butter and sugar with a fork AND combined the dough by hand. YES. My hand looks vile. Ha! Digging black dough out from under my fingernails was worth the creation of these amazing morsels.

dark chocolate butterscotch cookies

Chocolate Donuts with Ginger Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Donuts with Ginger Chocolate Glaze

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am in a mad and passionate love affair with my donut pan. The past two months of my life have been nothing but bliss because of it.

Also, I went up a pants size.

The two may or may not be correlated. I need to draw up more statistical data regarding that.

Chocolate Donuts with Ginger Chocolate Glaze

All praise to my roommate Sally for inspiring this idea. I’ve been toying around with a chocolate donut recipe for quite some time; I found a recipe for chocolate baked donuts from Crazy for Crust a few weeks ago, and it’s PERFECT. I have not used another recipe since I found this one. It’s my go to. I can’t praise it enough! In fact, I’m trying to pare down this paragraph before I go off on a celebratory tangent regarding this recipe. (tl; dr: use this recipe!) I was shooting ideas off of Sally one evening while trying to conjure up a holiday-esque chocolate recipe, and I obviously needed an additional taste tester. She’s not a fan of any sort of mint, so scratch a chocolate / mint combo. (My fave! What a travesty, Sally!) We started discussing chocolate with spices, which is usually a winner. (You saw my previous recipe, right?) She came across an awesome recipe on Google for ginger and chocolate donuts; I was thinking that she was referring to something more along the lines of gingerbread…until she showed me a photo of candied ginger dotting the tops of thickly glazed donuts.

My heart started to race in anticipation!

Chocolate Donuts with Ginger Chocolate Glaze

This recipe will take a little bit of time between the baking, the cooling, the glazing, and the careful application of candied ginger (plus, those little suckers LOVE to stick to your knife as you’re cutting them!), but the end result is worth it.

Chocolate Donuts with Ginger Chocolate Glaze

Side note: After I made the first batch, I left some for Sally to have. When I saw one was missing from the six I had made, I assumed she took one. I took the rest down out of the apartment, only to have Sally ask me where the donuts were. Turns out that I totally forgot that the beau and I split one the night before. OOPS. Well, roommates have done worse things… 😉

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Chocolate Donuts with Ginger Chocolate Glaze
(Donut recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust’s Baked Chocolate Donuts)
(Glaze recipe adapted from Heart of a Baker’s Chocolate Glaze)
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

Donuts:

– 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1 large egg or flaxseed “egg” (Please see Before We Get Started…)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:

– 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
– 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/2 cup candied ginger, diced (equates to roughly 2 large pieces of candied ginger)

Before We Get Started…

– A few times, I have attempted the flaxseed “egg” for a vegan dessert and bread recipes. (Flaxseed “egg”, in my experiences, is equivocal to 1 tablespoon of flexseed meal combined with 3 tablespoons water.) I have not tried it with this specific recipe, but if you are feeling adventurous and want to keep this recipe vegan-friendly, give it a spin. Please leave me a comment if you have success!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir / fold to combine.

3.) Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized seal-top plastic bag; if using plastic bag, cut off small corner to pipe out mixture. Evenly pipe mixture into cavities of donut pan.

4.) Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes; carefully remove donuts from pan and allow to continue cooling on cooling rack.

5.) As donuts cool, dice candied ginger and set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate and milk. Melt chocolate for 30 seconds, remove, stir, and melt for another 30 seconds until almost fully melted. Stir chocolate and milk to combine until smooth. Add cinnamon, ground ginger, and confectioners’ sugar. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet or other easily washable surface; though this glaze isn’t as runny as others, there still may be some drip-off. Gently dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, carefully turn over, and placed the unglazed side on the wire rack. Repeat until all donuts are glazed. Carefully top wet glaze with ginger pieces. Set donuts aside until glaze has set.

milk chocolate cake caramel

Milk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Caramel Frosting

Let us throw back to last weekend, once again, as I was home in Connecticut to celebrate Father’s Day with the world’s most chocolate-loving pa. How could I not make a chocolate cake for my father, a man that I have seen making pudding or brownie at midnight simply to satisfy cravings over the years?

I love this cake because it has a unique texture. There are so many words I could use, but these are the ones I choose: Light. Dense. Spongy. Airy. Rich. Brownie-like. Am I aware none of these terms line up well? Most certainly. Still, they all make sense. The majority of the chocolate used in this recipe is straight-up milk chocolate, with a much more limited amount of cocoa, which adds to the richness. The addition of buttermilk gives this cake some extra spring in its step.

milk chocolate cake caramel

I did take this recipe from Epicurious and adapted it slightly, as I was lazy and opted for milk chocolate chips over milk chocolate bars I could shave. My cake was sans chocolate shavings for the topping, but I don’t believe my parents were upset. They sure ate it as though they enjoyed it. Though, I do not exactly agree with Epicurious referring to this as a “one-bowl” recipe. I definitely used three bowls in total, plus a saucepan. Then again, I’m Type A and had to sift my flour and other dry ingredients together prior to adding it to the chocolate, unlike in the original recipe in which Epicurious indicates to sift the dry ingredients straight into the chocolate mix. I’m just not that rebellious. #sorrynotsorry

milk chocolate cake caramel

milk chocolate cake caramel

Milk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Caramel Frosting
(Adapted from Epicurious’ recipe for One-Bowl Milk Choclate Cake with Chocolate-Caramel Frosting)
(Makes 15 pieces)

Ingredients:

Cake:
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup cocoa
– 6 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped, or 6 ounces high-quality milk chocolate chips
– 3 large eggs
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 2 &1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:
– 9 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped, or 9 ounces high-quality milk chocolate chips
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 cup heavy cream
– 1/2 cup store-bought caramel sauce

Before We Get Started…

– If you do not feel like buying buttermilk, combine 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Stir mixture and allow to sit for 10 – 15 minutes or until small curds are visible.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 13×9″,  tapping out any excess. Set aside.

2.) Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate and cocoa; whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and cool for five minutes.

3.) Whisk eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk sugar into egg mixture until combined. Stream in buttermilk while whisking, then stream in chocolate mixture while whisking until smooth.

4.) In a late bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry mixture into chocolate mixture, whisking until batter is thoroughly combined.

5.) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pan and place on to a wire rack; allow cake to cool completely.

6. For the frosting, add 9 ounces milk chocolate to a large bowl; add salt and vanilla and set aside. In a small saucepan, cook heavy cream over medium heat until barely simmering; bubbles should just start breaking the surface. Pour cream over chocolate and allow to sit for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add caramel and whisk until combined. Place frosting in refrigerator for 1 hour.

7.) Remove frosting from refrigerator and stir. Spread frosting on in an even layer; if desired, drizzle with additional caramel sauce.

8.) Slice and serve!