I'm reaching that stage in my life when everyone I know (okay....really just everyone The.Boy. knows) is either getting married or having babies.
This summer, to be precise. All within three months of each other. Two, in fact, in one weekend. One of which I may or may not have offered to bake the wedding cake for (though thank the lord the bride decided to go with someone more professional/less emotionally involved...I would have done it but that would have been one insane weekend).
And while I'm definitely excited for all the real life bridal showers that are to come, I'm so happy to kick off this year of "I do's" with a virtual shower for one of my favorite bloggers - Christina of Dessert For Two!
I first met Christina in November of 2011 at the Foodbuzz Festival and she is one of the most down-to-earth, sweetest bloggers I have ever met.
(Plus, she's getting married in cowboy boots. How rockstar is that?)
I am so incredibly happy for Christina and wish her and the future Mr. DessertForTwo all the love in the world. She so very much deserves it.
To celebrate, I made her these brown butter snickerdoodles, which are revelatory. As if snickerdoodles weren't pretty darn amazing to begin with, you add to them the nutty addictive flavor of browned butter, and they turn into something truly divine.
Want to see what everyone else brought to the party? Check out these delicious treats!
Strawberry Macarons from Krissy
White Wedding Cake Cupcakes from Julie
Mini “I Do”-nuts from Tara
Moon Pie Cake from Madison
Whiskey Walnut Blondies from Jenna
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Joanne
Lemon Cupcakes with Sweet Tea Frosting from Kristan
Chocolate Covered Cheerios from Shelly
Mini Coconut Cream Pies from Megan
Sweet and Salty Party Cookies from Lauren
And because I always feel like I should come to a party with both a sweet and a savory option, I'm also bringing along this pumpkin with tomato sauce, cocoa, and pepitas.
I'm pretty much a sucker for any savory dish that incorporates chocolate and cinnamon (i.e. mole`) and while I was under the impression that my taste buds were just weird that way, even The.Boy. liked this so I think it's definitely party-worthy.
And seriously...who doesn't want to eat chocolate for dinner? And have it count as health food?
So again, I just want to give a major CONGRATULATIONS to Christina!! I heart you. Big time.
This is also, *tear*, the TWELFTH week of the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash that Heather and I have been hosting!! These twelve weeks absolutely flew by for me and I'm kinda already counting down the days until next year's twelve weeks. But not to fear, there will still be winter squash featured around these parts until I become overrun with rhubarb and asparagus in the spring. If you've cooked anything with winter squash this week, then feel free to link up!!
Pumpkin with Tomato Sauce, Cocoa and Pepitas
Serves 4-6, adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 lb pumpkin or 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, chpped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 serrano chili, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine, veggie broth, or water
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450. Toss the pumpkin/squash cubes with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until squash is fork-tender.
- Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep Dutch oven or other pot with a tight-fitting lid and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chile. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Pour in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid boil off for a few minutes and thicken, then stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat a bit so it bubbles along. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Return the pumpkin to the pot and let the mixture come back to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sauce has thickened even more and the pumpkin is tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, toast 1 cup pumpkin seeds, tossing until golden.
- Stir the pumpkin seeds into the squash/tomato sauce along with the cocoa powder and ground cinnamon. Add in the sugar and chipotle chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro. I served this over a bed of quinoa!
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
Makes about 2 dozen, adapted from Baked Elements
- 8 oz unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp whole milk
- 1 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat swirling the pan occasionally, until the foam subsides and the butter turns nut brown, 8-10 minutes. Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter on medium-low speed to release the heat and bring it to room temperature, about 5-7 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1 tsp of hte cinnamon and the salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk lightly.
- Once the butter is cooled, turn off the mixer. Add 1 cup of the sugar to the mix and the brown sugar, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for a few seconds. Turn the mixer to low and stream in the egg mixture. Continue beating on medium speed until thoroughly combined, 30-45 seconds.
- Add the flour mixture in three parts, beating after each addition for 10-15 seconds or until just barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gather the dough into a mound in the middle. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a wide-mouthed bowl, stir together the remaining 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cinnamon.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the dough into 2-tbsp balls and roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until teh cookies are cracked and the fissures are set.
- Set the pans on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.