Yogurt and chocolate chips muffins: an easy snack butter free.

You know me well and you know how much I love cooking and baking so in these days of forced self isolation (because of COVID Pandemic) I am trying new recipes, that possibly could involve also my daughters in the kitchen, and that would satisfy our sweet tooth without being too caloric.

I found this Yogurt and Chocolate Chips muffins’ recipe at the Italian blog Spadellandia.it  and get temped by it because it uses Yogurt as fat component for the muffins. So – with my girls – we tried it, modified it a little according to our tastes, and we loved it! What we liked about these Yogurt and chocolate chips muffins is that they contain yogurt instead of butter, some flour is substitute with starch to make it lighter, and because you basically mix all the ingredients together, bake it, and enjoy it! We love having them with our morning latte, or for a yummy and low fat snack.

The batter makes 6 big muffins, or 12 medium muffins  or 24 mini muffins, we tried all the  options and we preferred the last one the most, so we could eat “more” with less sense of guilt.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (8 oz. or 160 gr.) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 100 gr.) potatoes or corn starch

1/3 cup (80 gr.) semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup (250 gr.) plain yogurt or vanilla yogurt

3/4 cup (6 oz. or 180 gr.) granulated sugar

1 tbs. lemon extract OR 1 tbs. vanilla extract

3 tsp. (16 gr.) sifted baking powder

1/2 cup (4 oz. or 80 ml.) vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

a pinch of sea salt  

DIRECTIONS

In a big bowl sift the flour, starch and baking powder so your batter will not have any lumps. In a separate bowl mix eggs, sugar, sea salt and whisk it well by hand. Then add the lemon or vanilla flavoring and the oil, mixing well.

Warm up the oven at 360 F (180 C.).   Pour the liquid ingredients in the bowl with the flours (or vice versa), add also the chocolate chip and mix the ingredients well enough to get an even batter, but not too much otherwise your muffins will become gummy.

Pour the batter in the muffins pan and bake for about 20 minutes.

Take it out of the oven, let it cool off and enjoy!!!!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT! 

TIPS:

If you are having a party or you need a big batch of muffins, don’t be afraid and just double the ingredients. I’ve tried that and it turned out great.

– Use the lemon or vanilla flavoring only if you truly love their aftertaste: their flavors will come trough very strong.

– These muffins are absolutely heaven when fresh baked. If stored in a sealed container they will last up to a week but their consistency will get drier.

-If you like “cookies” more than “muffins” don’t miss these  scrumptious “Yogurt and Chocolate chips soft cookies” ready in 30 minutes or less.

– For another low fat recipe, with no butter at all, check out my “pears and ricotta coffee cake“.

I really hope you will like this recipe!

Please, Keep me posted if you’ll try it and don’t be shy to share your thoughts with me!

We need social interactions more than ever!

Love,

Silvia

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more! 

Molten Chocolate lava mini cakes: perfect for Valentine’s Day breakfast!

Calling all the Valentine’s Day lovers!!!! Valentine’s at my house is more a celebration for the kids than for my husband and I, so I am planning to prepare these super easy Molten Chocolate Lava mini cakes for breakfast on Valentine’s Day… ready in 15 minutes, they are perfect for a sweet themed breakfast, and I know for sure It will make my family very happy!

Before to start listing ingredients and sharing directions keep in mind that: 1) you will have to put in the freezer the Nutella at least three hours ahead of time, so if you are planning to make these for breakfast, go ahead and set it the night before.     2) You will need a 6 Cavity Silicone Heart Mold for shaping your mini cakes. Even a regular 6 cavity muffin mold will work, only you will not have the “heart” shapes.

INGREDIENTS FOR 6 HEARTS

2 eggs – 2 uova

5 0z.  Nutella -150 gr. nutella

1.5 oz. all purpose flour – 40 gr. farina

3.5 oz. granulated sugar – 100 gr. zucchero

1 stick unsalted butter – 100 gr. burro

4.4. oz. good quality dark chocolate – 130 gr. dark cioccolato fondente

dark cocoa for dusting – cacao amaro quanto basta

optional: whipping cream for decorating

The night before (or at least three hours before baking the hearts)

Scoop six equal servings of Nutella in six holes of a plastic ice cube tray. If you don’t own it, go to your closest Dollar Tree store to get one.

15 Minutes before servings your molten lava mini cakes.

Butter the silicon hearts mold, and evenly dust it with dark cocoa. Double boil the butter and dark chocolate (previously chopped in tiny pieces) until melted.

Take the melted mix away from the heat, add the sugar and hand-whip. Then add one egg at a time and keep whipping. Finally, add sifted flour and stir.

Preheat the oven at 410 F (200 C.). Once the flour is evenly incorporated to the batter, scoop one tbs. of batter to each heart. Take away the Nutella from the freezer and place each single frozen block of Nutella in each heart. Cover the nutella with the remaining batter.

Bake only 10 minutes. Once baked, place each heart in a nice plate, decorate with whipping cream, and enjoy still warm! The molten nutella inside the heart will make the trick!

YUM!!! So delicious!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS:

– My family and I are addicted to these cakes, so I’ve made those multiple times. I tried substituting the butter with Coconut oil! I loved it, but some of my family members disagreed. If you’d like the idea of using oil instead of butter, follow the same direction and ingredients but use 2.2 oz of coconut oil instead of butter.

– Leftovers are still good but Nutella will harden.

– If you love NUTELLA don’t miss my favorite “only three ingredients” NUTELLA BITES or the more caloric “NUTELLA SEMIFREDDO” .

– For more Valentines’s Day recipes, check out:

HEART SHAPED bacon and puff pastry;

HEART SHAPED butter cookies:

HEART SHAPED chocolate crispy rice bars;

EASY, FAST, AFFORDABLE VALENTINES’ HOME MADE DINNER

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more! 

Roasted almonds Croccante: share with your friends the Christmas Italian tradition

single servings croccante

almonds croccanteGreetings everyone!

Christmas is almost here and my kitchen is so busy and messy with me preparing all small edible gifts for family and friends (and having all the baking done to make my home bakery’s customers happy)!  As you probably already know in this season I like baking plenty of Italian Cantucci Biscotti and Baci di Dama, but those require quite a bit of time in the oven. The treat I am writing about today is traditional during Christmas period in the South of Italy (Calabria), it’s very fast to prepare and with just three ingredients: oven baked almonds, honey (good quality one) and granulated sugar.  The result is a super crunchy caramel bar, sweet but not too much, and absolutely addictive: once you start eating it you can’t help but keep eating until you’ve eaten whole thing!

I have to tell you that I brought these “Croccante” mini bars to my local Freight House Farmers Market in the past weeks and they sold very very good! One of the reason, besides the fact that it’s delicious, it’s probably  because this treat is EGGS FREE, LACTOSE FREE and GLUTEN FREE. single servings croccante

This recipe requires 10 minutes max, plus the time to bake the almonds if they are not already baked. With these quantities you will obtain about 12 pieces about 3oz. (or 100) big.

Be aware that to prepare the Croccante you will need a food thermometer.

INGREDIENTS

1.10 lb. (500 gr.) oven baked peeled almond

7 oz. (200 gr.) granulated sugar

5 oz. (150 gr.) best quality honey (I used organic clover honey)

DIRECTIONS

If your almonds are not already baked, bake it at 360 F. for about 10 minutes and let it cooling off.

Cover your working surface with parchment.

In a big non-stick pan bring honey and sugar to boil and keep stirring until the mix reaches 338 F. (170 C.). Keeping the temperature controlled will avoid the caramel to burn and taste bitter.

At this point, take away the caramel from the heat, add the almonds, mix quickly the ingredients and  pour the mix on the parchment paper (or on a marble surface). With a wet rolling pin flat the mix as thin as possible. Let it cool off and cut in bars as big as you wish.

The cutting phase will be easier if you’ll use a sharp knife, slightly wet with water.

LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!!!!!

TIPS: – When still hot the mixture can be shaped in different shapes, like a star, or a Christmas Tree, or whatever you may like.

– Be very careful while you are handling the hot mixture because it will be very hot and the chances to get burned are very high (especially if you are not an expert). The first time I prepared Croccante I burned all my left fingertips plus my lips because I was so an anxious to eat the Croccante that I put the hot ladle in my mouth! Vey bad idea! But it was soo good!!!

– Cutting the Croccante is not necessary unless you wish to make single servings.single servings croccante

– Best way to store the Croccante is inside a tin, in a cool and dry room. It will last for days.

– As cute edible Christmas gift, you can cut the Croccante, wrap it in parchment and tie it with kitchen wire.

I really hope you enjoyed my recipe this week, I promise, you will fall in love with this easy treat!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

MUCH LOVE,

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

TV INTERVIEW and 5 Traditional Italian desserts recipes with apples

Hello folks!

I’ve been so busy with my new adventure (selling Home made Italian desserts at the local Farmers Market) that I’ve skipped a couple of weeks of recipes posting… MY APOLOGIES! But  if by the way  you would like to learn more about my booth at the Freight House Farmers Market in Davenport, take a look to this brief interview on WHBF-TV . I was so nervous, but I had the chance to talk about my beloved Italy, and our amazing food tradition!

Now that you know why I’ve been “absent” (and maybe why It may happen again LOL), I would like to share with you and article I wrote for the Quadcities Mom’s blog last week. All recipes are mine, and it fits perfectly the season!!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading!

“We have all waited for Fall all year long: best season of the year, beautiful color, perfect weather, Halloween, pumpkins everywhere (even in your latte 😉 and, last but not least, THE YEARLY FALL TRIP TO THE APPLE ORCHARD.

And, as every year, you have planned everything: a) studied the weather forecast for the whole month of October; b) picked the perfect day and time for taking the kids; c) psychologically prepared your husband that is going to be fun (even for him 😉 ); d) and last, you’ve sworn to yourself to not get distracted by the excitement of the day and BUY TOO MANY APPLES!!!!!  Who would have imagined or thought that such a small bag could contain twenty pounds of apples? And how could you have said no when the kids asked to pick their own apples in their own bags? Simply IMPOSSIBLE!!!

NOW you are thinking to yourself “What the heck am I going to do with all these apples“?

Ha, I got you!  Sharing with family and friends is really a good idea but for once, why not keep the Apple Orchard experience lasting more than one day, maybe an whole month, by preparing (alone or with the help of your family members) a new Italian recipe a week which includes apples?

Today, I would like to share 5 Traditional Italian recipes for you: easy, most of them fast, with simple ingredients and especially perfect to use up all those overflowing bags of apples!

APPLE CRUMBLE PIE1) Italian Style Apple crumble pie, a classic! If you like the combo “apples and raisins” you cannot miss this treat. It’s one of my favorite because almost any kind of apples could be used (but not the green ones please!). It’s very easy to make and the kids will enjoy the kneading part, mom will have to take care of the peeling and cutting, but in 60-75 minutes you’ll be done! Let it cool off for a few hours (or even refrigerate it) and enjoy… Wow! I may be biased, but I think Italian Style is the best apple crumble ever.

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2) Golden Apple Muffins: the kid’s favorite! This recipe has belonged to my Italian family for generations and I am so happy I can share it with you! The exciting part is that nowadays we can prepare the muffins batter in the food processor, and it takes in bake only 20 minutes: you will never buy baked muffin mix ever again! Before starting, though, make sure to have some Golden Delicious at hand.

***   ***   ***

 

3) fluffy Italian apple coffee cake: like a cuddle for the palate! If you feel the urge to use 2 lbs. of apples in just one cake, this is the recipe you were looking for! Jonathan and Jonagold are the kind of apples that will give the cake the perfect touch. Super soft, not too sweet, absolutely appealing, this apple coffee cake won’t let you down. If you decide to side it by a warm custard and sprinkle it with sliced almond, OMG, it will be like heaven!

***   ***   ***

 

4) Apple, raisins and pine nuts pastry pie: unconventional! If you like the popular “strudel loaf”(typical dessert in the South Tirol) and looking for a recipe that will require a couple of pound of sweets apples (Gala apples, JonathanL, Golden Delicious), you can’t go wrong with this pastry pie. This recipe is another of my mom’s classics: a buttery dough filled with a mix of apples, raisins and pine-nuts. Peeling and cutting the apples, soaking the raisins in advance may sounds a little tiring but I am totally sure it won’t disappoint you!

***   ***   ***

5) Steamed apples and vanilla ice-cream: so classy! This recipe looks like a super sophisticated show stopping dessert super sophisticated, but is basically just steamed apples, served still hot with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a dust of cinnamon…. maybe too simple to appeal the children, but absolutely phenomenal for adults! Trust me! Keep it as a secret recipe for a fancy dinner or for a warm treat on a fall rainy day… you’ll love it! Golden delicious would be my first choice for this recipe, but I would say that any kind of apples would do a nice job here :-)”.

***   ***   ***

 

There is more……

 

…. Out of the original article, I would like to add that, my list of Italian “apples themed” desserts is not completed yet…. in case you’ve missed it, indeed,  check out also the recipe I posted a few weeks ago for these scenic and scrumptious “puff pastry apple cinnamon roses“:  super easy, for a yummy and cute fall breakfast!

 

 

 

And more…….

 

What do you think of this article?

Do you like the idea of me as a writer rather than just a food blogger?

I don’t know…. but it sure is fun, and I truly believe I’ll do it again 😉

I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

Puff pastry and apples roses: what a cute and yummy recipe!

Ciao a tutti! I felt so guilty last week when I published that (apparently) complicated and extra wordy post about macarons that today I decided to share with you a recipe that is easy and fast but not traditionally Italian.  Besides, it’s super popular and mostly absolutely appropriate for this period of the year where we are about to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall.    I am talking about these super cute roses made with puff pastry and apples, that I’ve wanted to try in a long time and that only yesterday I decided to experiment. There are tons of tutorial and recipes on Pinterest I’ve read as inspiration, and I came out with my own, which I am sharing with you in few minutes.

These absolutely adorable and tasty roses can be prepared with any kind of apples but those with red skin would work better as for the esthetic effect. For 6 pieces you will need only a bunch of

INGREDIENTS

1 puff pastry sheet

2 apples

1 lemon juice

2 tbs. water

cinnamon to taste

apricot preserve

They are so easy to prepare that you will want to give it a try asap!

DIRECTIONS

If you are using frozen puff pastry, make sure to take it out of the freezer and store in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before.

Wash the apples, take away the stem and core, and cut in very thin slices (thin because otherwise it will be impossible to shape them).

Place the apple slices in a bowl with 2 tbs. of sugar (even the brown one works very well), the lemon juice and a couple of tbs. of water and microwave for about 2 minutes.  Once microwaved, drain the apples in a strainer to get rid off all the extra juice.

Take the puff pastry out of the refrigerator, roll it out on a parchment paper sheet and cut it in six stripes about 2″ wide (5 cm.). Microwave for about 1 minute a bowl of apricot preserve.

At this point,  brush one puff pastry stipe with  the melted apricot preserve and arrange the apples on one side of the stripe, making sure each apple slices overlaps the other. Dust with cinnamon to taste (optional). Fold the stripe to “wrap” the apples. Roll up the stripe to shape it as a rose, making sure to let it a bit loose so it will have room enough to raise once in the oven.

Arrange the rose in a oven sheet lined with parchment paper.  Repeat for each puff pastry stripe left. Dust with sugar.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 400 F (200 C.) in the oven middle rack.

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy still warm…. YUMMMMMMMM! So delicious!!!

LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips: – These roses are delicious even the day after, but be careful: if you microwave to get them warm again the puff pastry will get chewy and lose its crispiness.

– My daughters had lot of fun helping me preparing these roses: they had no issues at arraging the apples and rolling the pastry.

– My family is not very fond of cinnamon, so I made only two out of six roses with cinnamon: I tell you, those with the spice were ten times better!

– Usually puff pastry sheets are sold in couples, so when you approach this recipe, be sure to have four apples instead of only two.

– Since Fall is approaching and you may be considering to pick up apples at an apple orchard soon, save this other apple desserts recipes… they may come handy soon:

 Tell me the truth, this is not the first time you have seen these apple roses around…

Tell me the truth, have you ever given this recipe a try?

I am very curious to know your thought about this recipe, and eventually your opinion about it!

I really hope you liked my recipe this week, and if you did, please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

 

Macarons for beginners: the ultimate foolproof recipe

Hello there! Lately I’ve often started my posts apologizing to my readers for not being persistent in posting, and this week (beside the first apology) I also have to apologize for posting about a dessert which is not Italian at all, but that recently got so popular (and so delicious) that I couldn’t help but learn how to prepare it.   Actually this is not the first time I share an “International recipe”.. do you remember the “Lapponian salad“? or the “Jalapenos popper deep“?  and my “cheesecake“? and the “cornflakes and raisins cookies“?

Anyway, I’ve learnt making macarons by experimenting recipes I found online, and the best one, and simplest and most effective is the one shared by Simona Mirto in the Italian website tavolartegusto.it : if you fluently speak Italian I warmly suggest you to follow her recipe, which is very detailed and well explained.. for the English version keep reading and be ready to feel like a French chef!

Just before starting, I have a few ESSENTIAL suggestions:

  1. Macarons require patient, calmness and precision. If you are mostly for quick result with minor effort, it may be not the most appropriate recipe to try;
  2. Macarons are about exact proportions between ingredients, so this time I cannot convert the ingredients in cups and teaspoons because they are too much approximate: get a kitchen scale before starting!
  3. Even if this recipe works (I promise), it may take you a few attempts before getting the right result because you will need to figure out which is the best time and temperature to bake the macarons in your own oven.
  4. Sorry if I am not posting the pictures step by step, but if you need a “visual” guide for the method, just visit www.tavolartegusto.it/ricetta/macarons-ricetta-e-guida-passo-passo/ and you will find a question to all your answers!
  5. The egg whites should be a few days “old” and must be at room temperature for at least a couple of hours before starting;
  6. Even though most macarons recipes use cream of tartar as main ingredient to make the batter a little more stable, I don’t use it because in my opinion it slightly alters the consistency of the macarons’ shells.
  7. Macarons could be made in different colors and different fillings. My family likes any colors but is particularly picky about the filling: the only one allowed is the white chocolate ganache, and this is the filling type I would prepare if I’d be you!
  8. Macarons don’t require a lot of time to be prepared but, especially on humid day, the “croutage” may take up to an hour or so and  as I previous said (see #1), when you prepare macarons pick a day you’ll have enough time for  your cooking project !

 INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 30 COMPLETED MACARONS

100 gr. eggs white

150 gr. finely grounded almond flour

200 gr. powdered sugar

25 gr. granulated sugar

food coloring (optional)

FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

150  gr. good quality white chocolate

100 gr. whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

Before starting: using a food processor, grind the almond flour and the powdered sugar together. The secret is activating the food processor just for few seconds, to mix evenly the two ingredients and make the flour even thinner than before. Just few seconds are enough. If you mix the flour too much it may “sweat” and later, it may ruin  the consistency of the batter.   I CONFESS: the first time I tried making macarons I skipped this step. Result: the batter was too thick and crumbly and it didn’t rise while cooking!     And HOLD ON!!!! You are not done yet with the “preparing phase“: it’s now time to sift the flour and sugar with a thin strainer, making sure to get rid off any possible little crumble or lump.

Preparing the macarons batter: At this point you can start whipping the egg whites in a standing mixer, adding the granulated sugar a little bit a time, let’s say in at least three rounds.   Once the whites are firm, stiff and fluffy, sift half of the sugar/flour into the whites and start stirring with a spatula, very gently, from the bottom to the top. Once the dry ingredients are well incorporated it is time to add the food coloring (PS. you can also make white macarons and avoid any food coloring). The food coloring that worked the best for me is the powdered ones, but also the gel ones are fine. Avoid those liquid because they would alter the consistency of the batter. Stir always gently from the bottom to the top to avoid the batter becoming too watery.   Now you can add the remaining flour/sugar mix (always sifting) and keep mixing until you get a perfect and even batter. Just so you can  understand when to stop stirring, the batter should be soft enough to fall from the spatula like a satin tape. If it takes too much for the batter to fall from the spatula it means it is too thick and you have to keep stirring.   When the batter looks ready, keep it aside  for a few minutes. It’s time to prepare your baking dish!

I know on the market they sell silicon baking sheets that are already marked with the macarons’ shape. I don’t own one, so with a pencil I draw 4 cm (1.5″) sized circles making sure each one diverts from another for about 2 cm (0.8″) .   Once done, I flip the parchment upside down (so the grey of the pencil doesn’t stain the macarons’ shells) and line my baking sheets.

Now that the baking sheets are ready, move the batter into a Sac a’ Poche with a 1 cm round decorating tip.  Fill each circle of your baking sheet with the batter making sure to stay a little far from the edges because the batter will loose up a bit.  Keep doing it until all the batter is gone.

THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT: the macaroons need to “dry” enough so when you touch them your finger doesn’t stick to it (c.d. croutage).  In a dry sunny day the “croutage” would take about 30 minutes. During humid days it may take even an hour or more. But do not worry, your macarons will not get ruined if you wait too much to bake them, but they for sure not turn out if you don’t wait enough time! So take your time and wait before starting baking!

FINALLY! IT”S TIME FOR BAKING!

After the “drying time” (or coutage) the surface of your macarons should be hard enough that if you touch them, your fingers don’t stick to them…         Pre-Heat your oven at 290 F. and let your macarons bake around 14 minutes. Beware: cooking time changes from recipe to recipe and sometimes it depends on the “color” you pick. Avoiding the cream of tartar extends the baking time  so – with my oven, and my recipe – the macarons starts forming their famous “collar” around minute #8th and are ready to be taken out of the oven at minute #14th.

Once baked let your macarons cooling off before taking it away from the baking sheet and remember to use a knife blade to help you during the process. Be careful: the macarons are very delicate and if you don’t use gentleness you may crush the macarons’ shells.

THE FILLING

While your Macarons cool off, you can prepare the white chocolate ganache (which will be one of my next posts).  For the best result put your ganache in a cake decorator or a sack a posh, fill half of your macarons shells (handling those with gentleness) and cover those with the other halves. YOU ARE DONE!!!

I Know, it sounds (and it probably is) a time consuming job, but when you’ll see your macarons’ shells forming their famous “collar” while cooking you will feel the power of the success!!! And when you’ll enjoy these little bites of deliciousness, you could not ever live without 😉

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Curiosities: – Macaroon and Macaron are two completely diffent kids of French cookies. Both are delicious but are entirely different from each other: a macaroon is coconut based whereas macaron is meringue based.  Macarons range in color and flavors while macaroons are limited in variety. SO when you talk about Macaron, watch out for your spelling!!!

– Macarons are gluten free gourmet cookies so they can come very handy whenever you have guests that are on a gluten free regimen but still like to enjoy delicious treats!

Have you ever made Macarons? What’s your favorite recipe? Did you find any of my suggestions helpful? Do you have any secret tricks to prepare perfect Macarons?   What’s your favorite Macarons filling?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment! I love exchanging recipes and tips with you!

I really hope you liked my recipe this week, and if you did, please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my (almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

 

 

 

Soft chocolate chips and yogurt cookies: ready in only 30 minutes

In the past days here in Midwest we experienced a “Polar Vortex”: the temperature dropped down to 33 F below  zero making the coldest temperature of all the time as far back as record goes in our area.  This cold was been  “life threatening” and of course all the schools and many public places were closed. So, what could a mom do (besides getting crazy 😉 ), locked indoor with four little girls for four days in a row with  her husband out of town? Besides the cuddling, reading, crafting and TV watching, of course, WE BAKED!

Before to start baking, if  I am going to do it with my daughters (8, 6, 4 yo and 9 months) – I get sure I pick a recipe that: 1) it’s easy; 2) it’s quite fast to be made; 3) it’s the less messy as possible; 4) it’s a “kid friendly treat”.    And here we go, by surfing on INSTAGRAM (ps. if you are curious to have a look to my Instagram page click here) I found this delicious recipe posted by BARBIEMAGICACUOCA, and I tell you, it’s really worth a try!

This chocolate chips cookies are made with plain greek yogurt, vegetable oil instead of butter, and don’t require any kind of complicate procedure: you just toss all the ingredients together, make small balls by hand, and bake for 20 minutes! The results are 25 beautiful cookies, soft on the inside and crunchy outside, that would create addictions! And, if they will make it to the day after, they will loose their softness but still be delicious and perfect for breakfast.   My girls loved making these cookies  with me, and, besides the weighting of the ingredients, they could follow the recipe totally by themselves (of course with my 8 year old leading the team!).

INGREDIENTS FOR about 25 COOKIES

1/2 cup (100 gr.) Greek Yogurt

1 egg

1/4 cup (50 ml.) vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

2/3 (80 gr.) cup brown sugar

1 tbs. honey

1 tbs. vanilla extract

12 oz. or 1 1/2 cup (250 gr.) all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. (16 g.) baking powder

2/3 cup (80  gr.) semisweet chocolate chips

powdered sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl mix together egg, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar, oil and honey until you get a smooth and liquid batter. In the original recipe they suggested to use vegetable oil. I used the coconut one and it worked perfectly.

Then, add the flour sifted with the baking powder a little bit at a time. You will obtain a soft and crumble dough, easy to shape just by hand. It should not be sticky, in case, add a bit of extra flour.

Preheat the oven at 360 F. (180 C.). Add to the dough the chocolate chips and kneed for a minute to spread evenly the chocolate chips to the dough.  First make one big ball, and then (with the use of a scale if necessary) make 0.9 oz. (25/30 gr.) sized balls and place them in an oven sheet lined with parchment. Keep them quite far from each other because they will raise a bit.

Bake for 20 minutes in the middle rack.

If you like, dust the cookies with powdered sugar. Enjoy the cookies still warm… you will not be able to stop eating until they are all gone!!!!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – these cookies could last up to two days if properly stored in a cookie jar (good luck with that! In my house they lasted maybe 8 hours!);

– I would keep these recipe at hand whenever you have kids over for playdates, to surprise them with something really fast and easy to make at the moment.

I really hope you will like this recipe as much as we did, and, would you like to share your favorite chocolate chip cookies with me?

What is the recipe you like to prepare with the help of your kiddos?

I would love to experiment more recipes like this!

And don’t forget to subscribe if you would like to receive my weekly recipe for free directly at your email address! Have a great week end!

Silvia

 

Apple, raisins and pine nuts pastry pie: a classic dough with a peculiar filling!


This is the third week in a row that I’ve been publishing a “sweet recipe” which probably depends on the arrival of fall that with be beauty of its color brings also  (at least for me) the needs of comfort food and the cravings for treats. This apple pastry pie is another of my mom’s classic! A buttery dough filled with a mix of apple, raisins and pine nuts, a mix that will surprise the most for its particular flavor and texture.   My favorite part of this filling is that the raisins are softened by soaking them in water at least half an hour before to make the pie,  and the combo with the apples turns out delicious! The crust will be quite soft as well, thank to a bit of baking powder added to the batter.. Let’s see if you will like it as much as I do!

 

 

INGREDIENTS for a 14″ by 10″ grass pan

For the filling

1 cup raisins

2 lb. golden delicious (or other sweet kind of apples)

1 lemon juice

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 tbs. peach preserve

For the dough

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 yolks

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. almond flavoring

optional: powdered sugar for decorating

DIRECTIONS

Half an hour before making the pie: Remove the butter from the refrigerator to soften and put the raisins in warm water to soak. Peel the apples, cut into thin little pieces, and sprinkle with the lemon juice to prevent browning and brighten the flavor.  Set aside.

Start making the dough by mixing butter and sugar first, then the eggs and the yolks one at a time, and the almond flavoring. Stir with a fork and don’t pay too much attention if the batter looks crumble.

Finally add the flour sifted with the baking soda and once the dough stays in a ball shape, let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Grease the baking pan and sprinkle with flour (this will make it easier to take the pie out once is baked).

Finish to  prepare the apple mix, by adding the raisins (previously drench in a colander), the pine nuts and the apricot preserve.

Warning: this mix is absolutely delicious even if eaten as it is!  😉
Take the dough out of the fridge, take 2/3 of it and roll it out on floured board. Spread the dough into the baking sheet, making sure to cover at least for an inch the edges. Apply some holes with the tips of the fork and fill with the apple mix. Use the remaining dough to décor the top of the pie.

Bake for about 40 minutes at 365 F. (180 C.) in the middle rack. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the pie will get too dry.
Let the pie cool off. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – This pie is delicious at room temperature but my family and I prefer it refrigerated.
– This kind of crust and filling could last up to a week if refrigerated.
– I’ve always baked this pie in a glass pan, but I believe it would turn out perfect even if using a metal one, just maybe check the baking time that could change.
– Since with this doses you get a pretty big pie, it could be a nice treat to bring to a party or a social tea party in the afternoon. I brought it to a “breakfast at the bus stop” in my neighborhood few days ago and it was a hit!
– The crust of this pie is soft but solid so it could be served even in a napkin in case you are out of plates. Lol.

I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

        IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

Easter butter cookies with vegan lemon cream… aren’t these super cute?

I’d venture to guess that anyone who is passionate about cooking, and is also comfortable using technology, has at least once in their life browsed PINTEREST for new cooking ideas, suggestions, or recipes.   And any of these cooks would have to admit that, on occasion, some attempts to recreate a Pinterest recipe at home have ended in epic failure. On the web you can find thousands of these laughable fails. The Huffingtonpost even dedicated a slideshow to the subject! Well, this tempting super cute recipe recently caught my attention; I thought it looked perfect for Easter! So last Saturday I tried it out, and while making it, I thought it was going down on the “Pinterest Failures” list. But instead, it turned out perfect- super cute, sweet and delicious! So, if you want to surprise your kids with a new Easter treat, or you’ll have the time to make it a family project, I highly recommend trying this delicious cookie recipe! And just to clarify, I wasn’t looking particularly for a vegan recipe; this one I tried just happens to use a lemon cream that’s delicious AND vegan. As for the ingredients, you probably already have all of them in your pantry. But be sure you have at least three big juicy lemons, an egg shaped cookie cutter, and some yellow food coloring dye or some turmeric powder to die the cream.

INGREDIENTS for 10 big cookies or 20 small ones

For the dough

1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour (200 gr.)

3/4 cup powdered sugar (100 gr.)

9 tbs. cool unsalted butter  (130 gr.)

1 egg yolk

1 lemon zest

1 tbs. lemon juice

plus: powdered sugar to dust the cookies

For the vegan lemon cream

5 oz. water (120 ml.)

10 tsp. lemon juice or 50 ml. (the juice of about two lemons)

1 oz. sugar (45 gr. granulated sugar)

2 Tbsp. corn starch (20 gr.)

1 lemon zest

turmeric powder or yellow food dye

DIRECTIONS:

Make sure to zest 2 of the 3 lemons before juicing them, keeping the zest in two separate piles, since you will need the zest of one lemon for the cookie dough, and the zest of one lemon for the cream.

Now, on to the cookie dough. In a bowl, mix the flour, the powdered sugar, the cool butter cut in cubes, the egg yolk, and the lemon zest and hand-knead for a few minutes until you get a smooth and homogeneous ball of dough. This was the FIRST moment I thought I messed up the recipe: the dough seemed to stay crumbly forever and I was tempted to add an egg. But I kept kneading, and at some point I got the smooth and homogeneous ball the recipe talked about.     Cover the ball with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Sorry I forgot to take the pictures of these phases, but in case you are in doubt, you can take a look to my favorite butter cookie recipe to get an idea about what the ball should look like). While the dough rests, prepare the lemon cream.  In a small pot, mix the sugar and the corn starch.  In another container, mix the water, the lemon juice and the lemon zest.

Add the mix of water and lemon to the sugar/corn starch, quickly adding a drop of yellow food dye, and whisking quickly to avoid chunks forming. Cook at medium heat until it gets dense.

At first the cream may look watery, but once it cools off it will have the perfect consistency to fill the cookies.  

Going back to the dough: take it out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface, and using the egg shaped cookie cutter make twenty “eggs.” Set ten of them aside; these will be the “base” of the eggs. Then, by using a round shape cookie cutter, cut a circle in the other ten (I used the neck of a baby bottle).  These will be the “cover.” This was the SECOND TIME I thought the recipe would fail: even though I let the dough chill in the refrigerator for the appropriate time, it wasn’t easy to roll out and kept breaking, so it took me a while before I was able to shape twenty cookies. (Honestly, if you want an easier butter cookie dough, use my favorite one by clicking this link).

Next, arrange the cookies in your oven sheet (better if covered with parchment) and even if the original recipe says to  cook for 15 minutes at 360 F. (180 C.), I’ve noticed that my cookies where going to get burnt so I took them out after 11 minutes. This was the THIRD TIME I thought the recipe had failed: some of the cookies looked overcooked and too dark for my taste.  Anyway, they ended up tasting good, and the powdered sugar helped me disguise any imperfections! (However, next time I will definitely use a slightly lower temperature for not more that 12 minutes.) Let the cookies cool off. Dust those with the hole with powdered sugar, spread the lemon cream on the  bases, and close with the holed half.

YOU ARE DONE AND YOUR EGG-SHAPED EASTER EGGS ARE READY!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – These butter cookies have a quite intense taste of lemon. I personally loved it, but they may not be a favorite for anyone who doesn’t really love lemon.

– Usually butter cookies keep their crispy texture even a few days after they have been made, but in this case the “vegan lemon cream” is practically made with water, so after a day, the butter pastry tends to get kind of soggy. Anyway, even the day after they are delicious!

– If you prefer to use a “non vegan cream”, feel free to fill the cookies with custard: you won’t even need the yellow edible dye or the turmeric.


I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
share it, like it, leave a comment, subscribe to  receive every week one new recipe for free,

and help support my blog!

Much thanks,

Silvia