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fluff fest

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Recipe: cookie butter marshmallow swirl chocolate ice cream

This has been such an excellent winter for us snow-wise. Sandwiched by sunny bluebird days, this last storm dropped nearly a foot in the local mountains on Tuesday. And it was a cold storm which meant nice sugary powder.

untouched snow on the trails

looking across the valley

It’s funny how we use food to describe snow: champagne powder, sugary, mashed potatoes, chocolate chips (technically rocks on snow), buttery, death cookies, corn snow. Recently, when I drop into a big pocket of powder, I’ve been thinking of it as marshmallowy. That jogged my memory of these amazing candy bars that a client (Robin Chocolates) developed last fall: dark chocolate ganache, marshmallow, and cookie butter topped with crisped rice pearls and dipped in dark chocolate. You have to see it to believe it.

insanely good

I had never had cookie butter before until Robin gave me a taste (and then she gave me some of the candy bar to sample). Whoa. Cookie butter, where have you been all my life?! I bought a jar last week for some inspiration, and settled on making an ice cream version of Robin’s candy bar. Damn straight. Are you ready? Start with chocolate ice cream.

egg (yolks), sugar, salt, chocolate, dutch-process cocoa, cream, milk, vanilla

whisk cocoa and cream together

stir chopped chocolate into the heated chocolate cream

stir in more cream

**Jump for more butter**

i’m sending you to hawai’i

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Recipe: passion fruit malasadas

So, I just thought I’d ask… Are you guys tiring of my snow pictures?

more snow and more skiing over the weekend

Because if you are, I get it. See, even though I LOVE skiing and I LOVE the snow and I LOVE the cold, there are times when I think fondly of places that are not cold, snowy, and skiable. I had a typical conversation on The Book of Face a few weeks ago where I declared my love of Colorado winter and my friend Cindi declared her love for tropical beaches. I told her she ought to live in Hawai’i and I sent her a link to my Big Island of Hawai’i write up from a few years ago. I glanced through the post and was reminded of how beautiful the island is.

crazy beautiful waipi’o valley

the ohia flower

green sea turtle snoozing on the beach

And then I saw photos of the (many) malasadas we sampled researched. Oh yeah, I was supposed to learn to make malasadas – those sweet fried doughnuts of Portuguese origin that are now ubiquitous across the islands. My favorites on the Big Island were from Tex Drive In in Honoka’a on the North Coast and I happened upon their recipe online. Awesome!

water, sugar, salt, vanilla, butter, eggs, flour, evaporated milk, quick rising yeast

blend an egg, the sugar, and butter together

add the yeast

and 5 cups of flour

**Jump for more butter**

all the butter to eat you with, my dear

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Recipe: kouign amann

More snow in Nederland over the weekend meant more skiing – because you don’t pass up good snow and low winds around these parts. We did some ski touring Friday and Saturday, then caught lots of turns in 12 inches of fresh powder at our local hill Sunday. Normally we forgo weekend skiing at the resorts, but 12 inches of powder and calm winds is a major green light despite the crowds.

jeremy glides along the trail

new snow

a lone aspen

When I get home after an outdoor activity, I am hungry. That’s mostly because I don’t tend to eat much when I’m hiking, skiing, or whatever it is I’m doing in the backcountry. And I’m definitely hungrier in winter. The cold and wind can really suck the calories right out of you (which I think is great for my ass reduction plan). After our ski tour Saturday, I had an hour or more of prep before dinner would be ready, but we were really hungry right then. So Jeremy and I split a pastry – a kouign amann. It’s not that big, but it’s full of butter and caramelized sugar such that a little goes a long way.

all you need: water, flour, yeast, salt, butter, and sugar

I’ve been obsessed with kouign amann for a couple of years. I first picked one up at the Whole Foods bakery to share with Jeremy. The flaky pastry lures me in EVERY TIME. I took a bite and wondered where this kouign amann had been all my life. It quickly replaced the chocolate croissant as Jeremy’s pastry of choice. Each time I purchased one for him, I would think to myself, “You have got to be able to make this yourself.” Kouign amann is in essence, puff pastry dough made with lots of butter (obviously) and loads of sugar (woohoo!). It’s such a simple list of ingredients and yet the results are the stuff of dreams. The technique doesn’t require skill so much as patience and time – it takes time and makes a lot of layers through a series of folding and flattening and folding and flattening again.

dissolve the yeast in the water

stir in the flour and salt until you form a shaggy dough

knead the dough until smooth

cover and let rise until double in size

**Jump for more butter**