*A dense and sinfully rich flourless chocolate cake with a bourbon-spiked drizzle*
Know how to not only avoid holiday weight gain, but actually drop a few pounds?
Decide it’s a good idea to start throwing back shots with your cousins at a large family dinner. Like magic, you’ll be rendered unable to keep anything down for the next 36 hours and subsequently void any and all damage done during the holiday season up to that point.
Once recovered, however, there will be some catching up to do.
Suffice it to say that that is no longer the case.
I don’t know what it is, but somehow the prospect of making a flourless cake seemed super daunting to me. I guess I’ve just had one too many at restaurants that went overboard with chocolate syrup art on the plates? Whatever. That was crazy. This was so easy to make and is infinitely preferable to plain old chocolate cake. Not that I EVER have a problem with chocolate cake. This is just so much more…it’s so rich it’ll give you vertigo. Less sweep-you-off-your-feet, more knock-you-off-your-feet-slam-your-face-in-the-ground. Less shy, wholesome girl next door, more leather clad motorcycle dude named Skyye with a neck tattoo.
This cake doesn’t even need frosting…and coming from me? That’s just heresy.
While prepping my shopping list for this year’s Christmas Cookie Bake-a-thon, I turned to my husband and asked him if he had any requests. He said he didn’t. So, I pressed the point because apparently I had nothing better to do than be overbearing.
“Don’t you have a favorite cookie?”
“But you like cookies.”
“Well, yeah, of course I do.”
“So…I don’t know. What kinds of baked goodies do you remember from when you were a kid?”
“Um. I guess I don’t remember.”
Despite the many places I’ve lived, the many ways I’ve celebrated, and the many different moods of Christmases past, the one thing that has been constant and truly symbolic of the season has been the massive amounts of baked stuff that made its way into my life. Even in my little CHU in the middle of Iraq, I had a box of Christmas cookies.
There’s always a variety, sure, but at home–for better or worse–we kept it simple. My mom made exactly two jumbo batches of cookies: sugar cookie cutouts and…the star of the day…her “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
These cookies are the ones I have come to associate with every happy family Christmas memory I have. Starts with the taste of cookie dough on sticky fingers, then the smell wafting out of the oven, and finally with the sugar coma that inevitably ensues.
So worth it.
These are the only chocolate chip cookies I ever make. But no, there’s no secret family recipe or anything like that–it’s just the one from the Crisco can. We don’t like to overcomplicate things.
Mom swears that the real secret to her cookies is the fact that she uses Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips (the ones in the silver bag) every single time. I won’t argue that. Although it still drives me absolutely nuts that, despite being corrected a hundred times a year, she still calls them, “Gardin-elly.” Mothers…
So, here’s the part where I tell you how I completely sabotaged everything. Obviously, I am now gluten free…so I use gluten free flour in place of all purpose. Thankfully, for things like cookies that don’t need to, well, hold much shape, you can get away with most “all purpose” blends. I have yet to find one that doesn’t work for these, though my go-to is now a blend of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. Anything that’s generally light in flavor is probably all you need. Then, there’s the shortening part. I am a firm believer in using shortening for cookies, as I much prefer the texture over butter-based cookies. Because I like to pretend like I’m a health freak, though, I have come to use organic shortening (I like Spectrum brand butter flavored shortening). Tastes just like Crisco and “organic” means it’s good for you. Fact.
OK, so I guess I’ve just been subbing some ingredients, so maybe I didn’t trash it up completely. BUT. I did add one little thing. Just one thing that made these cookies just a hint more moist, decadent, and rich. Believe it or not, all it took was just 1/4 cup of cream cheese to add such a subtle but noticeable difference. Not so much that it changed the recipe, just enhanced it.
I have an infatuation with British food. I don’t know what it is–maybe it’s the gigantic portions, or the sheer amount of grease and salt? I mean, I love small bites with layers upon layers of complex flavors and textures as much as the next gal, but here’s a national cuisine devoted to battered, breaded, and fried comfort food and an absurd amount of beer.
Enter the Bacon Butty. Also known as a bacon roll, bacon sarnie, and piece n’ bacon, this lovely little creation is, apparently, Britain’s favorite food. How could it not be? It’s bacon, it’s portable, and it’s sooooo much fun to say.
I’ve been on a bacon butty bender. *teehee*
Ok, so I really have mixed feelings about posting this. On the one hand, it’s a bacon sandwich. A roll with bacon and mayo. A “B” without the “L” or the “T”. There’s nothing exotic, no crazy sauces or preparation methods, nothing.
On the other hand, I couldn’t NOT share this because it’s my single greatest edible discovery of the year. (Except I’ve since been told that the Brits also have a “Chip Butty”? Like…and sandwich made of nothing but roll and fries? GET OUT.)
Bacon. On a sandwich. Completely unadulterated. Apparently Wills and Kate even served them at their WEDDING. Fancy!
For the truly authentic experience, I suppose one would need to use proper English bacon, or Irish bacon, which is more a thin slice of pork loin. We Americans, unrefined and common as we are, generally only know streaky bacon–the really fatty bits that come off the pork belly. I won’t get technical, though. I know where my loyalties lie.
Yes, it’s dripping bacon grease. Yes, that is 100% necessary for full enjoyment of this sandwich. No, I am not ashamed.
This is a guest post from Louise at PaleoMagazine.com, and I think you’ll love this recipe. Louise also just released her new cookbook, which comes with some amazing recipes and a bunch of awesome bonuses – click here to check it out!
When we were still living and working in NYC, my husband and I started throwing a lot of dinner parties. It was amazingly fun.
And here’s the best part…
We had the chance to show a lot of people that eating Paleo is not only healthy and nutritious, but also yummy and awesome! I generally try to re-create one or two foods that I think they probably love already in a non-Paleo form.
And really, what’s more traditional and delicious than Apple Pie?
Did you know that Apple Pies originally had no sugar, and the pastry portion wasn’t meant to be eaten? Also, apples aren’t originally native to North America, despite the fact that apple pie is supposedly so “American.”
You can make these tartlets any time of year, but in the US, this type of dessert is most popular around the fall and winter holidays.
We guarantee that if you make these and take them to the office or to a party, nobody will complain about them being Paleo (they likely won’t even notice).
Mix together all the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl using your hands until it becomes doughlike. Don’t worry that the dough won’t stretch or feels a bit crumbly.
Get a small amount of the dough and place into each space in the muffin pan. Using your hands, spread the dough so that it forms a crust (it’ll be a bit thicker than traditional tart crusts).
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and leave to cool when it’s done.
Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add in all the other filling ingredients (apple slices, optional honey, vanilla extract, and spices).
Let the apple slices cook for 20-30 minutes until it’s very soft.
Pour the apple filling into a bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
Spoon the apple filling into each tartlet crust so that it’s level with the top of the crust. Then take 5-6 individual slices of apple for each tartlet and layer them in a cascade on the top covering the filling. Place the last slice facing the other way (see photo).