July 29, 2012

Zing! Grapefruit cookies for your mouth.

So just a second ago I picked up a spoon that I thought had Greek yogurt on it and put it in my mouth. Twas not yogurt. It was actually shortening.

For those that aren't aware, shortening is 100% solid fat. So that's cool.

My mother thinks shortening is the devil, so it serves me right. She also thinks generic brand Q-tips are the devil, which is a very valid point.

But what are you supposed to do when the recipe for grapefruit cookies calls for shortening? Certainly not try to adapt it, because that surely involves math in some way. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago in Vegas that I realized the severity of my inability to complete any sort of math. While playing blackjack, I found myself frantically trying to count my cards using both my brain and mostly my fingers underneath the table. When this got tiring, a quick $200 later, I decided to just stare at the dealer who eventually told me what to do. When people at the table got excited that was my cue to be excited as well. Yayyyy we are cheering now! Or the more likely why the eff are they taking my chips away? Ok so maybe gambling isn't my thang.

These cookies are made with real grapefruit, which more than makes up for the fact that they also contain shortening. They are light and summery and just make them god damn it. My roommate says "GOT" damn it because she says it sounds like something an old man would say and she thinks it's funny. I do not disagree with this.

I totes stole this recipe from my baking friend Kerissa. You should probably check out her website because she made the most amazing ombre cake that was featured on Design*Sponge. O snap! I want to make an ombre cake! I also want ombre hair. And I kind of want ombre pants. No I don't.

Grapefruit Icebox Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh red grapefruit juice
1 tbl red grapefruit zest
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbl cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

2 cups confectioners sugar
3-4 tbl red grapefruit juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbl grapefruit zest for sprinkling

1. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and shortening. 
2. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest. 
3. Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and beat until a soft dough forms. 
4. On a piece of parchment paper, form the dough into a log about 14 inches long. Roll up in parchment paper and fashion the log into a rectangle by rotating and pressing the dough to square off the sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. 
5. Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and slice rectangle into ¼ inch thick slices and place on cookie sheets. The end slices are going to be wack, that’s ok, just discard them or make two weird looking cookies. 
6. Bake 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
7. For the glaze - In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together sugar, juice, and vanilla. It should fall from the fork in thick ribbons. If it seems to thin add a little extra sugar. Too thick, add more juice by the teaspoon. Spoon onto cooled cookies and spread a bit. Sprinkle with a little zest. Let set for at least half an hour. If it’s warm in the kitchen, place cookies in the fridge to set. Store in a container until ready to use.

July 6, 2012

That one time I got really drunk on accident

All good intentions I had for myself at the beginning of this week went out the door in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

I think I'm just gonna stay home and watch Girls tonight, I told my roommate.
All right, well I'm gonna head to the bar.
Ok fine FINE I guess I'll go with you.

I'm blaming the severity of my hangover today on the fact that I uttered the statement "I'm not going to drink that much tonight." This all but guarantees a blackout. Or at least the instance of an intense dance party that involves party lasers and lasts until 3am on a work night.

Judge away, my friends. But I'm willing to bet there wasn't a party laser at your 4th of July party, so any immature behavior that occurred was completely warranted. I think we can all agree on that.

The party laser was accompanied by these cheesecake cupcakes, which are far better than any normal cheesecake because 1) small things = better things (that's not what she said) 2) they aren't as hard to make as normal cheesecake, which means you can trick people into thinking you slaved away over them and 3) you can add different toppings to each for the picky people in your life.

I modified a recipe I found on AllRecipes. And of course added some chocolate. I then ate 4 of them.

Here's a fun little Independence Day tip: add raspberries to anything and it is immediately festive. 'MERICA.

Cheesecake Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Graham cracker crust
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbl. sugar
2 tbl. butter, melted

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Chocolate ganache topping
4.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (have fun figuring that one out)
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin pan with FOIL cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with a fork until combined. Measure a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, pressing firmly. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove to cool. Keep the oven on.
3. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the eggs.
4. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the muffin cups, filling each until 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan before removing. Refrigerate.
5. For the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching carefully because the cream will boil out of the pot like whoa. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
6. Spoon the chocolate ganache on top of the cupcakes. Top with a raspberry or strawberry or blueberry or peanut butter. What?