Banana Brownies~

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I made these brownies a few days ago and originally, I meant to just make brownies, but there was this overripe banana beckoning to me from the fridge, so I decided to add that along with some other ingredients.  This resulted in an extremely light yet fudge-y, moist brownie.  My co-workers really enjoyed it and the flavor of the banana paired really well with the chocolate. It’s definitely a keeper of a recipe and I like that it’s easy to throw together!

この前またブラウニーを作って見ました。今回は、ブラウニーにバナナと牛乳を加えて、とてもしっとりしたお菓子が出来上がりました。ぜひ作って見てください!

Ingredients:

-3/4 stick of unsalted butter

-5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

-1/3 cup granulated sugar

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 ripe banana

-1 egg

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 cup AP flour

-1/4 cup milk

材料:

-無塩バター(45 g)

-チョコレート(100 g)

-グラニュー糖 (67 g)

-バニラエッセンス(小さじ 1)

-バナナ(1本)

-卵(1個)

-塩(小さじ1/4)

-強力粉(64 g)

-牛乳(59 ml)

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate over a double broiler until smooth and remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 ºF
  3. Once the chocolate and butter cool, mix in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the egg and mix to combine.
  4. Add the banana and milk and mix until smooth.
  5. Add in the flour and fold until completely incorporated.
  6. Pour batter in a greased loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let the pan cool to room temperature before flipping it to release the cake.
  7. Cut the cake into squares and you’re ready to go!

作り方:

  1. バターとチョコレートを溶かします。
  2. オーブンを160ºC予熱で温めます。
  3. 溶かしたバターとチョコに砂糖、塩、とバニラを加え、よくかき混ぜます。卵を加えてまたよく混ぜます。
  4. バナナと牛乳を加えてよくかき混ぜます。
  5. 強力粉を加えてまた混ぜます。
  6. 生地をクッキングシート又はフォイルを敷いたケーキ型(スクエア型)に流し入れ、30分焼きます。焼き終わったら、型から出して、四角形に切ります。

You could definitely add walnuts or some other nuts into these brownies.  If banana’s aren’t your thing, simply replace the banana with a second egg.  If you’re vegan, simply replace the butter with vegan butter, the egg with another banana and the milk with soy or almond milk!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

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Valentine’s Day Desserts!

Hi Everyone!

I apologize for not posting consistently. I didn’t post anything last week, I don’t know what happened, but I hope posting three times this week somewhat makes up for it!  Ahaha so much for my New Year’s resolution to consistently blog. My excuse is that it’s the week before Valentine’s Day, which is when everyone wants to make chocolate-y desserts for their loved ones.

As you know, Valentine’s Day (Saturday!) is 3 days away, so I thought I would share some easy dessert recipes that sure to surprise and impress.  Now before you all roll your eyes, I know Valentine’s Day is corny as heck because it’s that one day of the year that you’re supposed to bring on the PDA in the form of chocolates, roses and teddy bears.  I know in Japan, Valentine’s Day is the day that girls offer chocolates to boys and confess their feelings, the boys reciprocate on March 14th, White Day.  In the U.S., it’s a little different.  Guys and girls both equally give and receive chocolates, flowers, etc. Though in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is should be everyday because it’s a day that celebrates love. Love for family, friends and significant others.  And let’s be honest, just because you’re super affectionate for one day of the year doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for the rest of the 364 days.  Now, I thought I would list my top five Valentine’s Day treats for you all, so that you have ample time to practice and prepare your sweet treats.  Now I understand that chocolate is very cliched, but I love chocolate, yes I am aware that about 85% of my blog is chocolate. I tried expanding my horizons, it didn’t work. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t like chocolate? Okay, there are probably some people, in which case you should get them that book they really wanted or take them out to the movies or make something that doesn’t include chocolate. But here, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite chocolate recipes that I think are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

今週末はバレンタインデー!バレンタインデーは日本では女性が男性に告白として手ずくりチョコや本命チョコなどをあげる日です。でも、アメリカとヨーロッパではバレンタインデーは男性も女性も、チョコや花ぬいぐるみなど様々な贈り物を、恋人や親しい人に贈ることがある日です。一般的、バレンタインデーは恋人の日ですけど、私はそうとは思っていません。バレンタインデーは私にとって様々な人(友達、家族、恋人)に「大好きだよ」っと伝える日だと思っています。今年は、皆んなのために私の一番大好きなチョコのレシピーを選んでリストしました。大好きな人に手作りのチョコが一番だと思います!

So let’s get started!

Molten Lava Cakes  (フォンダショコラ)

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I really love these cakes and they are so much simpler than they seem.  You can make the batter a few hours ahead of time and, bringing them to room temperature before you pop them in the oven, bake them right after your meal for a delicious dessert.  I like to serve it with some whipped cream and powdered sugar dusted on top, maybe add some berries for a pop of color.  You can garnish them with ice cream, caramel sauce, or eat it plain.  It’s delicious either way.

フォンダショコラ大好きです!ふわっとしたチョコケーキにとろけるチョコの中身。難しく見えるけど本当はとても簡単。ただ焼きすぎないように注意!焼き終わったらお皿に盛り付け、粉砂糖、チョコガナッシュやフルーツでデコレーションしてね!

Sweetheart Cookies(ハートクッキー)

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These are a Valentine’s tradition of sorts for me. I have been making these every year for the past five years? I know it’s not that long of a tradition, but I’ve decided that it’s going to be a Mimi tradition. They’re cute and sweet and perfect for all your loved ones (friends, family, etc.) You can make these with or without the chocolate dipping if you so wish.

私は、毎年このハートのクッキーを作っています。今年で5年目になると思います。このクッキーはとても可愛くて、いつも友達が喜んで食べています!チョコはつけなくていいけど、私はチョコが大好きだからいつもつけています!

Truffles (トリフ)

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Do I even need to explain this one? These are great. You can customize them to fit each recipient’s desires: bourbon-infused, coffee-infused, dusted in cocoa powder or powdered sugar, rolled in chopped nuts or coated in tempered chocolate, use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate…you get the gist. It’s simple, easy and can be prepped a few days before.  Just make sure that you store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

とても簡単なチョコトリフ。生クリームを電子レンジで溶かしてチョコに加える。1分たったらよく混ぜて冷蔵庫に一時間冷やす。チョコが固まったら、チョコを大さじに分けて丸める。丸めたチョコは刻んだナッツやココアパウダーコロコロ転がしまんべんなくトッピングをつけて出来上がり。溶かしたチョコにカルアやリキュールを入れてもとても美味しいよ!

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Chocolate Tarts (チョコタルト)

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Garnish with raspberries, cocoa powder, powdered sugar. These are so delicious and cute that they’re easy to plate and are sure to impress. Even better, you can make these with a microwave.  Make them a few days ahead of time and store in a airtight container for up to a week.  Who can say no to that delicious tartlett? Not me, that’s for sure.

チョコタルトも美味しいよ!サクッとしたタルトきじに生チョコはとてもよく会うよ。盛り付けにラスベリーや手作りホイップクリームが大好き!皆んなも喜んでくれると思うよ!

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Bacon Treats (犬用ベーコンクッキー)

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Okay, this one is not specifically for humans, but for our lovable furry four-legged friends and loves: dogs! Because why not show your pups some love with some home made bacon treats? Be warned, these smell really bacon-y and delicious and may make you want to try one. It will taste like a bland wheat biscuit and not at all like the bacon-y goodness that you were expecting.

大好きな犬に犬用ビスケットを作ってあげると絶対喜んでくれると思うよ!人も食べられるけどちょっと味が薄いからあまり美味しくないけどね(笑)

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Chocolate Sables: Miette style

Hi!

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Wow, how can one epically fail at New Year’s resolutions? I don’t know, but I do know that I promised to make a blog post every week and then last sunday I completely failed.  Okay, to be honest last sunday I had just flown into NYC from Tokyo and I was a little jetlagged, so I guess that’s my excuse, but I also don’t want to let excuses like that crop up willy nilly.  So I rethought my resolution (that’s still do-able right?) and came up with something a little better.  This year, I will try my best to write a blog post as least twice a month and the posts will be uploaded on sundays for consistency.  The reason why I decided to lessen the blog post number is because I want to be able to really think about my posts and post something that is both executed right and photographed appealingly.  I don’t want to scramble to write posts that are sloppy with not that great photos.  Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I want to share this incredible recipe with you.  I got it from the Miette cookbook that my sister’s boyfriend, Scott, got me for christmas.  How did he know that I wanted this cookbook more than anything? I don’t know.  I literally unwrapped it and nearly jumped out of my skin because this cookbook had been on my amazon wishlist for MONTHS and by sheer coincidence, Scott had gotten it for me. Last week, I tried making the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the book. It was DELICIOUS and last night I tried the Chocolate Sables.

I mustache you a question....

I mustache you a question….

They were so delicious and chocolate-y.  The cookies were crisp and studded with little pockets of chocolate.  I shaped them into mustaches, using the mustache cookie cutters that my coworker had gotten me for christmas. Do I get the best christmas presents or what? Anyway, they were absolutely delicious! I thought about adding a Mimi twist to them, but I thought why not try the original recipe first without tweaking anything (with the exception of reducing the sugar a bit) and go with it.  The dough came out really crumbly (is that a word) so I had to add some water to make it come together and to roll it out.  Definitely going to try this recipe again. Chocolate sables are absolutely delicious! I also know that the Bon Appetit sables are to die for as well, so there’s also that recipe that I have to try….whoops getting off track…

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 cup AP flour

-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter)

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup granulated vanilla sugar

-1/4 tsp sea salt

-3/4 tsp vanilla paste

-3 1/2 oz 71% chocolate, chopped very finely (the book says grated, but I used thin chocolate bars so I couldn’t properly grate them)

-1-2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. Stir together the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients and the chopped chocolate and mix until combine.
  4. If the dough remains crumbly and doesn’t come together, add in water 1/4 tsp at a time.
  5. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  6. Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick on a well floured surface (if the dough is too soft, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes). Cut out shapes using a mustache cookie cutter or if you like your cookies simple, into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.
  7. Place them about an inch or two apart on the baking sheet (the cookies don’t spread much) and bake for 10 minutes.  Once the cookies are done, let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

I think next time, I will think about sprinkling a little fleur de sel on top of the cookies before baking so that the salt elevates the flavor of the chocolate or maybe chopping up some nuts and sprinkling them in the dough. Additionally, I thought about rolling out the dough thinner (about 1/3 or an inch or so) and making little cookie sandwiches with almond butter or maybe some homemade caramel.  Of course these cookies are also just as delicious by themselves.  They’re intensely chocolate-y without being overly sweet.

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

 

Chocolate Tartletts

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Okay. So confession time: I made these tarts weeks ago. Like during Thanksgiving break and I didn’t get a chance to post this, so I apologize for that.  I also apologize for being MIA these past few weeks. Work has been pretty crazy since we’re all about to go on vacation.  Also since I’m on this confessional roll, I’ll also confess that these tarts can be made without a oven. What? Yes, you read that right. You can make a chocolate cream pie without an oven. Okay, if you make your own pie crust then you will need a oven to bake it, but if you went with a cookie crust or a store bought pie crust, you can tell your oven to take a break. You don’t even need a stove for that matter. All you will need is a microwave. Isn’t life just lovely? I’ll answer that for you, it is. I love the fact that I have discovered a way to make chocolate cream pie in less than 10 minutes. Let me repeat that, less than 10 minutes. Trust me, your taste buds and stomach will thank you. My thighs on the other hand, are not thanking me at all. But hey, you win some, you lose some or in this case gain some unnecessary pounds. Oh well. I still like chocolate cream pie and to be honest, in the whole scheme of things, we’re all going to end up like wrinkly old prunes in the future anyway, so why not just live in the moment and eat some delicious things? I find that the more you limit your gastric intake, the more cranky and irritable you get. That may just be me, but let’s be honest, everything is good for you in moderation and hey if you really feel guilty you can go hit the gym or go to a spin class.  I think as long as you have that balance, eating whatever you want shouldn’t be a problem. Though I’m no nutritionist, so don’t go overboard or else you are guaranteed to get diabetes and then things will get ugly.

Back to these chocolate tarts. Let’s just leave it at this: less then 10 minutes, delicious, mini tarts! Chocolate! Go bake! Seriously, you probably have the ingredients already.

Ingredients:

-6 pre-baked tart shells
-2/3 cup whole milk
-3 tbsp granulated sugar
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-1 pinch salt
-1/4 tsp vanilla
-1 egg yolk
-2-3 ounces chocolate chips (bittersweet)
Garnish:
-1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. In a microwavable safe bowl, mix together the sugar, milk, cornstarch, salt, vanilla and egg yolk.
  2. Cover in plastic wrap and press down so that the plastic wrap adheres to the surface of the egg mixture.
  3. Microwave in 25 second bursts. Mixing thoroughly between each burst. Repeat until the mixture reaches a custard-y consistency.  I find that about 2 to 3 bursts should do it.
  4. Add in the chocolate and let the heat of the mixture melt the chocolate.
  5. Make the whipped cream.
  6. Fill the tarts and garnish with the whipped cream.

These tarts are best eaten at room temperature.  If you aren’t eating them right away, wait to make whipped cream. I like making whipped cream just before using it, so that it stays fresh.  The tarts will keep in the fridge for about a week, assuming that they last that long!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

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Happy December! Now that Thanksgiving’s over, we can start getting ready for christmas right? Either way, I can’t think of any better way to kick off this holiday season with these chocolate peppermint cookies.  Chocolate and peppermint go so well together and I feel like they truly represent the cold winter months.  The warmth and richness of the chocolate is balanced by the cool kiss of peppermint.  It kind of reminds me of drinking hot chocolate while walking through the snow.  Also the peppermint comes from candy canes. Because to me candy canes = winter holidays.  I used to love trying to lick the candy cane into a nice sharp point without breaking it.  Wait, I still love doing that, I just can’t stand the sugar for very long and end up tossing the rest of the candy cane. Anyway, I’m getting off track. I’ve been really into baking cookies lately and I think it’s because they seem like the baked treat of choice in the winter. Especially with holiday cookie swaps.  I’ve actually never done a cookie swap before and I don’t think I will be participating in one this year, but I’ve decided that this month, I would try and make as many kinds of cookies as I can.  Because along with being a choco-holic, I am a cookie monster.  I’ll probably be making different varieties of these chocolate peppermint cookies, I was originally going to sandwich the two chocolate cookies with some peppermint frosting or whipped cream and then roll the edges in crushed candy canes, but maybe I’ll save that for another time.

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Instead, let’s get started making these delicious cookies!

Ingredients:

Cookies:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 
-1/2 tsp vanilla paste
-2 tbsp granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 cup AP flour
-1 pinch salt
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 candy canes
Garnish:
-1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-2 candy canes 

Directions:

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla and the egg and beat until incorporated.  Stir in the cocoa powder, salt and flour until just combined.  Crush the candy canes until they’re almost powdery, there should be small shards, but the pieces should be no bigger than a pea.  Sprinkle the candy cane powder into the dough and knead until well incorporated.
  2. Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll out the dough until about 1/8 inch thick and cut into rounds. You can also use fluted cookie cutters or basically any cookie cutter of your choice. I found out that this dough retains it’s shape beautifully when baked.
  5. Place the cookies on the tray about an inch apart, these cookies also don’t spread much, hence why they keep their shape.
  6. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes and cool on the trays.
  7. While the cookies are cooling, crush the remaining 2 candy canes. These can be any size you want. I like to crush them by sealing them in a plastic zip top bag and using a rolling pin to crush them.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 15 second bursts until the chocolate is melted. Melting them slowly will temper them, thus allowing the chocolate to set at room temperature.
  9. Spread the melted chocolate over the tops of the cookies and sprinkle with candy cane pieces.  I like to do this over a wire rack fitted inside a rimmed baking sheet for easy clean up.

What’s your favorite holiday cookie? I’d love to swap recipes! 🙂

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Happy (belated) National Chocolate Day!

Okay okay, so National Chocolate Day was yesterday. BUT I think it’s never too late to celebrate!

Here’s a few of my favorite chocolate recipes for you to try 🙂

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Chocolate Truffles

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Chocolate Cream Pie

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Chocolate Cupcakes

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Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

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Chocolate Raspberry Cups

Of course being a chocoholic, I have MANY chocolate recipes that you can check out (though I will probably have to re take many of the photos from my earlier posts…even I cringe looking at them…)

Anyway, I hope you have (had) a wonderful chocolate day! I know I did 🙂

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Kumamushi-san Cookies!

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Kumamushi-san or tardigrade is a water bear. Okay, so she’s not really a bear, she’s a water-dwelling segmented microorganism with eight legs.  She’s possibly the cutest thing in the entire world and she’s also the office mascot at the immigration law firm I intern at.  So I decided to make kumamushi-san cookies and they came out pretty cute! I took a normal slice and bake cookie recipe, added cocoa powder, colored a small portion of the dough black and shaped them into kumamushi-san’s shape! Everyone at the office loved them, so I will for sure be making them more often!

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Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 stick softened butter (1/2 cup)
-1 cup flour
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-2 tsp instant espresso
-1 drop black food coloring

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add in the cocoa powder and the flour and mix to combine.
  2. Roll into a oval log and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Cut off the ends of the log and mix the dough with the espresso powder and the black food coloring.
  4. Slice the rest of the log in 1/4 inch thick slices. You may have to reshape the ovals.
  5. Using your fingers or a chopstick, shape kumamushi-san’s little legs. I found it easy to do by pinching the bottom into little leg shapes.
  6. Once the kumamushi san is shaped, place on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Carefully pinch off a small portion of the black colored dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten it against the kumamushi-san shaped cookie to make the eye.
  8. Repeat until no more dough is left.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes.
Kumamushi-san with her cookies :)

Kumamushi-san with her cookies 🙂

I had a lot of fun doing these kumamushi-san cookies and I’m thinking maybe I’ll try some more fun themed baked goods! Let me know if you have a character-themed baked good that you would like me to do!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi