Category Archives: baking

earthquake cookies

earthquake cookies

These cookies are chewy and amazingly delicious. The granulated sugar absorbs moisture from the dough, which turns into syrup while baking, and creates fissures that look like faults, hence the name ‘earthquake’ cookies or chocolate crinkle cookies. A friend calls them the ‘chocogasm’ cookie. Whatever you call them, they will be gone really quickly.


  • 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s or Droste are recommended)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (Hershey’s unsweetened baking bar is recommended)
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) powdered sugar


  1. Adjust over rack to middle position and heat oven to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. (I measure into a fine sieve then whisk it through the sifter.)
  3. Whisk eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  4. Combine chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with saran wrap, and microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  5. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined.
  6. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain.
  7. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  8. Place granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate shallow dishes. Scoop dough with a 2 TBSP (#30) measuring scoop, dropping dough into granulated sugar. Coat the ball with granulated sugar, then move to powdered sugar and coat evenly. place on cookie sheet and space evenly. (11 balls will bit on one sheet.)
  9. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (they will look underdone/ raw in the cracks), approximately 12 minutes. Rotate sheets about halfway through baking. Let cool completely on sheet before serving.

Makes: 22 cookies.
Source: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Nov/Dec 2014 issue

baked garlic lime rockfish


  • 2 fillets of rock fish (use any fish you want)
  • celery salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • one green onion, sliced, both green and white parts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and pat fish dry. Sprinkle well with salt, pepper and paprika. You should be able to see the seasonings on the fish. Place in oven-proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with green onion and garlic. Bake for 30 minutes or until fish flakes at the touch of a fork.

nutritional information: Not available
yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 filet)
time: about 35 minutes

45-minute cinnamon rolls

These rolls take less than an hour to make and are far tastier than cinnamon rolls from a can.  The milk in the dough makes them pillowy soft and the oven-proofing step saves a lot of time over traditional (overnight) cinnamon roll recipes.

Serves: 9



  • 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and ¼ teaspoons)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg


  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk or coffee
    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and turn off after 10 minutes or just before placing rolls in oven.
    2. Make dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside. In a small microwavable bowl or mixing cup, heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted (about 30-45 seconds or until mixture is 120°F – 130°F).  Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and knead with hand or stand mixer for 3-4 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky. Place in a lightly greased bowl and let rest, covered, for about 5 minutes.
    3. Make filling and prep the rolls: Put parchment paper into a 9×13 pan, then lightly grease it.

      After the dough has rested for 5 minutes, lightly flour the rolling pin and surface, then roll it out in a 15×9 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly. Using a 12-inch strand of unflavored dental floss, slide the floss under the roll, bring the two ends together and cross them to cut the roll into 9 or 12 evenly sized pieces.  Place the pieces into your pan and lightly cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

    4. Proof the rolls: Ensure that the oven is turned off and place the cinnamon buns in the oven to rise for 20 minutes.
    5. Make the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons milk together until smooth and lump free.
    6. Cook the rolls: Keep the buns in the oven (REMOVE THE FOIL OR PLASTIC) and turn on the oven to 375F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

Adapted from


decadent brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.
Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.
Spread into prepared pan (batter will be very thick and sticky) and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean.
The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.
Cool on a wire rack.

H/t to Cass, via

salted caramel apple pie bars


shortbread crust

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour

apple filling

2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)*
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup (70g) light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
homemade salted caramel sauce


Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.

Make the apple filling:Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

Make the streusel:Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two knives (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350F degrees. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Once cut, pour salted caramel sauce on top. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm or cold. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen up to 3 months – thaw overnight in the fridge, then drizzle with salted caramel before serving.

nutritional information: not available.

yield: 12-15 servings (serving size: 1 bar)
time: 3 1/2 hours (30 minutes prep)

creamy corn empanadas


1/2 onion, diced
1 TBSP butter
2 pinches kosher salt
2 cups frozen organic corn
1 TBSP sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 TBSP yellow cornmeal
1 TBSP corn flour or all-purpose flour (to thicken it so that it doesn’t ooze out)
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh ground black pepper
1 egg yolk for painting
Empanada wrappers– the kind for baking, not frying (La Saltena is best)


In a saucepan over medium heat, sweat the onion in butter and salt until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and cook over medium high for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the corn with the sugar and turmeric and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cornmeal and flour on the corn, using a whisk to combine well. Add the heavy cream and cook until the corn has softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Let filling cool, then follow these instructions:

Line 1 cookie sheet with parchment paper (in case of blowouts). Fill wrappers, fluting the edges or using a fork to seal them well. Paint with a beaten egg yolk (for color). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

nutritional information: not available
yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 empanada)
time: 45 min
source: Alton Brown’s Better Than Grannie’s Creamed Corn recipe (for filling)

turkey empanadas


1 lb ground turkey (you can substitute ground beef, chicken, etc.)
Olive oil, about 1-2 tbsp
3 slices onion, diced
10 red pepper strips, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced/crushed
10-12 small green olives, pitted, chopped
Adobo to taste (I probably used about 2-3 tbsp) Uruguayan adobo is a mixture of oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and other herbs.
Salt/pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 egg yolk for painting
Empanada wrappers– the kind for baking, not frying (La Saltena is best)


Toss ground turkey into hot pan (non-stick is best, medium to medium-high heat), breaking it up and stirring as it cooks. When it’s almost done (mine was mostly cooked except for spots that missed the pan), remove from burner. Strain to get rid of fat and juices. Set aside.

Put pan back on heat, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped onion and red pepper (I like to add onion a couple of minutes earlier, but I don’t know that it makes a difference). Sauté until soft and beginning to brown, add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute. When garlic becomes fragrant, toss ground meat back in the pan. Cook, stirring until meat is done cooking and everything is nicely mixed. Season with adobo, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool.

Once lukewarm, toss in beaten egg and olives. Mix well.

Place empanada shells on flat working surface. Take a little handful of filling (practice makes perfect as to how much). Squeeze to drain remaining juices, then place on one half of shell, leaving about 1/2 inch border around edge. Moisten all around edge with water, then fold shell over filling. Seal well (I use the tines of a fork to press edge all the way around, which is quick, effective, and festive). Place on baking sheet (no need to grease). Repeat as many times as necessary.

Paint tops of empanadas with egg yolk. Place in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. When empanadas are golden and beginning to flake, remove. Let cool. Enjoy carefully, as insides will be significantly hotter than outsides.

nutritional information: not available
yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 empanada)
time: 45 min
source: n/a