Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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On this day last year: Vegan Italian Vegetable Casserole 

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It is St.Patrick’s day, so I made you green cookies! Huzzah!

I am sorry that technology has not figured out how to share cookies via the Internet, because these cookies are scrumptious, and I would love to share them with you!

However, if you are looking for a way to get festive for St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas next year, look no further! These cookies are soft, moist, and the perfect blend of mint and dark chocolate. Be warned- you are going to want to eat all of the dough before the first batch finishes baking!

I hope you are having a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, and I hope you’ve got your green on!

Lots of love,

A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • About 10 drops of green food coloring
  • 3 ¼ cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chips
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 340˚F and prepare a baking sheet with either a piece of parchment paper or a thin layer of butter or Crisco.
  2. In a large sized bowl or stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar, and beat together. Scrape the sides and continue mixing for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs, yolks, peppermint extract, and food coloring until fully incorporated.
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth and combined, and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spook the cookie dough onto the baking sheet and bake for eight minutes. When you remove the cookies from the oven after eight minutes, they should still be soft, so allow them to sit on the pan for 3-5 minutes, and then remove them to a cooling rack. (Cooking cookies longer than 8 minutes will result in firmer dryer cookies, as opposed to soft cookies.)
  7. Repeat step six and enjoy!

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Notes

  • Yield: About 28 large cookies
  • Source: The Food Charlatan
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious cookie recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below):

 

Flourless Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes

cupcakes

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I like to start and end most things with chocolate. Runs, vacation, every meal of the day, and food blog series, of course!

I started this lavender week with a delicious Lavender Hot Chocolate, and I thought it only appropriate to bookend this week with another scrumptious chocolate treat.

When I found this chocolate lavender recipe I knew I had to try it! Most gluten free recipes use substitute flour, which can be hit or miss. This gluten free recipe however, simply goes without flour.

At first I was skeptical about this- wondering if the cupcakes were going to come out as dry or overly moist, but they were perfect! They baked for exactly as long as instructed, and were a perfect blend of dense and moist.

Whether you are gluten free or not, you will love these chocolate lavender cupcakes! So, from my little rented kitchen to yours, I hope you have enjoyed this lavender week. I have had a blast sharing these scrumptious edible flowers with you 🙂

Come back soon!

Love, Sarah

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Lavender Week

Day One- Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

Day Two- Roasted Yukon Potatoes with Lavender

Day Three- Lemon Lavender Loaf

Day Four- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Lavender

Day Five- Honey Roasted Pears with Lavender

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Violet gel-paste food coloring (or a drop of red and blue food coloring)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and line 2 cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a durable heat-proof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter over a pot of simmering water, stirring consistently until melted together and smooth.
  3. Remove the chocolate and butter from the heat and whisk in the sugar and eggs.
  4. Once combined, stir in the cocoa powder until a thick batter has formed.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins until each liner is 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes are spongy but firm.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the milk and lavender buds to a boil over medium heat, and then immediately remove from heat. Allow the lavender to infuse for ten minutes.
  7. To make the icing, strain the milk to remove the lavender, and discard the used lavender buds. In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar into the milk until smooth (you may want to add more sugar, depending on how firm you want the icing to be). Add food coloring as desired.
  8. Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle a few lavender buds on top for decoration. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to help the icing firm.
  9. Eat and enjoy!

 

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Wall Flower Girl 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious treats from A Rented Kitchen. (Recipe links below):

Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

 

lavender week

 

On this day last year: White Bean Hummus with Lime, Parsley, and Cilantro (2014)

Lav. Hot Cocoa

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One of my very nerdy culinary dreams is to have a beautifully organized and fully stocked spice rack. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. Ever since I started cooking I have drooled over the magnetic spice racks, the ones you label yourself, with all the little bottles. I’m truly revealing my inner organized nerd.

One of the spices I have always wanted to have in my stock, is a little jar of dried lavender buds. Lavender is a very affordable herb, but takes real intentionality to get. You are not likely to find it at your regular grocery store, unless you shop at Whole Foods!

I think part of the reason I wanted a little jar of lavender in my reserve, is due to its’ rarity. I had never tasted anything lavender flavored before! And who doesn’t want to incorporate edible flowers into their meal- helloooo?!

Thus, despite the fact that my little rented kitchen does not have an organized spice rack, yet, I have decided to bust the secrecy of this fragrant herb through a series of lavender food posts.

So, hold onto your apron, because this week is bringing you a series of scrumptious, sweet, and fragrant lavender meals!

On your mark, get set, lavender!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk chocolate (I used chocolate chips!)
  • ¼ teaspoon lavender buds

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon granulated white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form (should take a few minutes!). Refrigerate until read for use.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and lavender buds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to simmer.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the milk and lavender buds to steep for five minutes.
  4. Strain the lavender buds from the milk, and return the milk to the saucepan. Stir in the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.
  5. Whisk milk mixture until frothy, about 20 seconds.
  6. Prepare the whipped cream by beating the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar with a hand mixture in a small bowl, until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready to use, and then add a dollop of whipped cream to each mug, and sprinkle with a few lavender buds! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: a la mode
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious hot chocolate recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe Links found below!)

Homemade Cherry Pie

cherry

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This time last year!: Hershey Kiss Pretzel Bites 

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Some people like to use their words to express love. I fully support that, don’t get me wrong! I come from a family where if you said it in 5 words, when you could have said it in 10, you just weren’t trying hard enough.

However, I have to add, sharing food feels like a pretty natural way to express my love.

For a little Christmas celebration, my boyfriend and I decided to cook a big dinner together. I had planned this far too elaborate (no surprise there), but very yummy meal for our last night in town together. So, he came over, we turned on some tunes, rolled up our sleeves, and started cooking.

In order to get ahead of the curb, and not overwhelm this wonderful guy in my kitchen, I went ahead and prepared a few elements in advance. This pie was one of them.

(You have no idea how much strength it takes to not eat pie when your entire apartment smells like it! Oi.)

We had been cooking just long enough to dirty every dish in my kitchen, and yet have no finished product when I cut my finger open on a butcher knife. Thus, all the food was abandoned for an ER run, and the pie was left untouched.

Fortunately, in between our ER visit and my very early morning flight home the next day, we thought quickly enough to put the pie in a plastic bag in the freezer, and miraculously, it lasted beautifully! When I came back in town after Christmas break, Patrick and I had one week together before classes. More afternoons than not on that cold January week, we would warm up a little slice of cherry pie and top it with a spoonful of ice cream. Reunion never tasted so good.

Just another example of using food to express love 🙂

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Crust Ingredients:

(Note- to simplify your life, feel free to use a prepared pie crust. If you choose to take that route, simply skip to the Pie Directions section below)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup Crisco
  • teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cans tart cherries in water*
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • scant ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Crust Directions:

  • Mix the flour, Crisco, and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the water to the dry ingredient mixture and mix well.
  • Once the dough has formed in the bowl, sprinkle a clean and dry workspace with flour.
  • Place the dough ball on the floured workspace and need for one minute- just to ensure everything is well mixed!
  • Divide the dough into two, and then roll the two halves into balls. Lightly powder all sides, and place one dough ball in the center of your work surface.
  • Sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin and gently roll your dough into a large circle. You want the circle to be big enough to cover the bottom of your pie pan and the sides!
  • Once large enough, place the rolling pin on one end of the dough and loosely wrap the dough around the pin.
  • Quickly move the rolling pin over the pie, laying the dough in the pan as you go.
  • Press the dough into the corners and up the sides.

Pie Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set on the bottom rack (to catch any drips!).
  2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the tart cherries, plus the juice from 1 ½ cans, with the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and almond extract. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low hear for ten minutes, stirring regularly, or until thick and bubbly (should lightly resemble jelly). Remove from heat to cool for five minutes.
  3. Pour the cherry filling into the crust.
  4. Roll out the top pie crust and arrange over the pie. Fold the bottom pie crust over the edge of the top pie crust, and crimp together with a fork.
  5. Brush the pie crust with a beaten egg white and sprinkle sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, and then lower the temperature form 425˚ to 375˚, and add a pie crust shield. (If you do not have a pie crust shield, you can create one using alumninum foil! It will help the center of the pie bake without burning the edges). Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the juice bubbles up thickly.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool/ set for about 3 hours before eating.
  8. Optional: serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Artful Parent
  • Trouble finding tart cherries in water? Try the Oregon Fruit Products, often in the canned fruit isle rather than the baking isle.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious desserts from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below):

Classic Cheesecake with Gluten Free Almond Crust

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            I love cheesecake- who doesn’t really? My mom and I made this cheesecake together for our family’s Thanksgiving. We had gluten free guests over, and thus wanted to find a gluten free dessert that all would like. Therefore, I give you this scrumptious Cheesecake with Gluten Free Almond Crust! It was a hit.

            As my mom and I scuttled around the kitchen that week, preparing our family’s favorite traditional dishes for the holiday, my mom shared with me how she found this recipe. I thought that in return, I would do the same for you.

            When my mom was thirteen year old, her mom was having a birthday. My mom asked her mother what she wanted for a gift, and the only response she got was a “classic, New York style cheesecake.” As my mom looked back on that, she imagines that her mother was kidding, that she never expected her 13 year old to prepare a cheesecake for her. However, that’s exactly what my mom did.

My mom found this recipe in a cookbook, a cookbook the family no longer has. Today, all that is left of this recipe is a very faded index card with my grandmothers slanted cursive handwriting, and my mother’s penciled in notes.

Upon deciding on this recipe, my mother said she biked to the store and bought all the ingredients and a spring form pan. Then, that Sunday, my mom said she went to the early church service and biked herself home, skipping Sunday School and the second worship service, to bake her cheesecake. That was quite the task as the preacher’s daughter! However, by the time her mother cake home, the cheesecake was cooling and ready to be consumed in a birthday celebration.

Apparently, ever since that birthday, whenever anyone in the family wanted a cheesecake, this was the recipe they used. The original version came with a classic Cheesecake crust, which you could still prepare if you have a nut allergy or would simply prefer a flour crust. However, to be gluten friendly, my mom and I tweaked her classic recipe to use the same delicious cake filling, but incorporating a gluten free crust, and it was delicious!

All week my mom and I were sneaking slivers of this delicious cake. Despite the very limited addition of vanilla and lemon, both flavors are prominent and balanced in this recipe- making it a refreshing and delicious dessert option. Hope your family loves it as much as mine has over the years!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups finely ground blanched almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup 

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 5- 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour (gluten free or all-purpose)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 whole eggs + 2 additional egg yolks
  • ¼ cup whipping cream

Crust Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Thoroughly mix all of the crust ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Using your fingers, press the nut mixture onto the bottom of a round spring form pan. (Do not yet cook the sides!)
  4. Bake the crust, without the circular spring-form attachment, for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, cool for 2 minutes, and then attach the sides of the spring-form pan.
  6. Press the nut mixture up the sides of the spring form pan. The crust is now ready to be filled with the cream cheese filling and baked again.

Filling Directions:

  1. Let cream cheese soften 1- 1 ½ hours, or unwrap, and briefly microwave each package.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon peel and continue mixing until blended.
  4. Slowly blend in the sugar, flour, and salt.
  5. One at a time, add the 5 eggs and 2 additional egg yolks to the mix, beating after each just until blended.
  6. Gently stir in the cream.
  7. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake at 450˚F for 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300˚ and bake for an additional 55 minutes.
  8. Allow the cake to cool. After half an hour, loosen the sides with a spatula or knife. Remove the spring form pan after one hour, and allow cake to cool and additional two before cutting.
  9. Optional: Glaze with strawberry or pineapple, or sprinkle with additional lemon zest.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious cakes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below):