FUDGY BROWNIES

I often struggle with brownies; there’s a fine line between gooey and under-baked and amazingly fudgy yet cooked through. I strongly dislike cakey brownies, so over-baking is even worse. That’s why I LOVE this recipe. These brownies have the perfect texture – fudgy, dense and moist with a flaky crust – and amazing flavor – chocolately with a slight hint of caramel. I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes one 9 x 13-inch baking pan

2 sticks unsalted butter, coarsely diced

8 ounces dark chocolate, cut or broken into chunks

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking pan with parchment paper and butter or grease paper. Set pan aside.

In a double boiler (or a homemade version with a heatproof bowl sitting on top of a saucepan), combine unsalted butter with chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 eggs. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and kosher sea salt. Whisk until fully incorporated. The mixture should be a golden tan color. Whisk in the chocolate mixture (from the second step).

Once the mixture is a uniform dark brown, use a rubber spatula to fold in 1 cup flour. Be careful not to overmix during this part! Simply fold in until the flour is incorporated. It’s okay to have one or two small flour streaks left in the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan, using the rubber spatula to spread evenly. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, before cutting and serving.

As seen on Hummingbird High

TAHINI EGG SALAD + KALAMATA/SULTANA TAPENADE

It seems my best most creative lunches have been realized due to a fridge full of nothing to eat. I can liken it to an episode of Project Runway [minus the sequins, drama, and Tim Gunn]: make a ball gown with this egg, days old bread, and a slew of condiments. I have made tahini egg salad many times in the past with hummus, minus the yolk, and it is quite delicious. The olive/sultana tapenade is super easy to make either in the food processor or on a cutting board in a pinch.

{ Bon Appétiting, Katie }

Serves 1

1 hard boiled egg

1 TBS Tahini

1 TBS hummus

lemon juice

chopped parsley

pepper

dash of cayenne (optional)

1. To hard boil the egg, place in cold water in a pot with 1 TBS vingar and bring to a boil.

2. When the pot begins to boil remove from the heat and cover, setting a timer for 10 minutes. Prepare a bowl with water and ice.

3. After 10 minutes, remove the egg and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. 

4. Chop the egg and combine with all other ingredients.

KALAMATA/SULTANA TAPENADE

On a cutting board, finely mince ~6 olives and a small handful of golden raisins. Drizzle a small amount of olive on the mixture and spread on a half of bread. Easily doubled/tripled for a party and served slices of pita

CARDAMOM DATE SCONES

The only way to combat the seasonal blues associated with early sunsets and frigid winds, aside from excessive sweater layering, is treat therapy of course. I made these warm, spiced scones to entice myself out of bed one cold morning. Made vegan with coconut butter and almond milk, they are not too dense or too sweet, and perfect with some jam and a morning coffee.

{ Bon Appétiting, Katie }

Makes 8 scones

1 2/3 c whole wheat flour [I used part rye flour]

1/3 c old fashion rolled oats

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cardamom [or 5 pods ground with mortar and pestle]

1/4 tsp salt

5 TBS coconut oil [butter works too]

2 TBS honey

1/2 c almond milk 

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 TBS honey

Pre heat oven to 400º F

1. Start by combining almond milk, vinegar, and honey. The vinegar will help thicken the milk, the honey will well…sweeten it. 

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt and combine with oats in a medium sized bowl. Work the coconut oil into the dry mixture with your hands until it has the consistency of bread crumbs. Stir in the honey with a fork. 

3. Creating a well, pour half the almond milk and incorporate with the dry mixture using your hands. Avoid over mixing, the dough should not be sticky. Add more milk only if it seems dry.

4. Using your hands, flatten and shape the dough on a floured surface to 1” thickness and cut into triangles. My scone shaping strategy was to shape into a square, cut into four smaller squares, and then diagonally into triangles.

 5. Place scones on an oiled baking sheet and brush with the remaining almond milk. Bake for 15 mins until the bottoms are brown and the kitchen is filled with the smells cardamom and deliciousness.

ROASTED GARLIC-TOMATO SOUP [VEGAN]

I absolutely love tomato soup but have always been hesitant to make it for fear that I’ll mess it up… That is until now; there’s no way to botch this simple – and healthy! – recipe. The roasted garlic and tomatoes give the soup an extra creamy texture and flavor without any cream or roux. You’ll definitely need to double (or triple) the recipe so you can enjoy it for days.

PS. I’m proud to say this is my first successful soup recipe. And I did it on the first try!

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes about 2 large meal servings or 4 small appetizer servings

9 medium plum tomatoes, halved and seeded (if desired)

½ garlic bulb, halved

2 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

½ cup carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 tbsp butter

1 cup vegetable stock

5 leaves fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice tomatoes in half, through the middle and opposite from the stem, and remove the seeds. Arrange tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet lined with foil. Chop garlic bulb in half through the middle between the shoot and root (so it holds its halved cloves) and add them to the baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Place in oven to roast for 40 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and shriveled.

When everything is done roasting, quickly remove tomato skins and remove garlic cloves from the head and set aside until ready to use.

While tomatoes and garlic are roasting, coarsely chop onions, carrots and celery.*

Melt butter in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions, carrots and celery and sauté until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the already roasted tomatoes and garlic. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add chopped basil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Let soup sit for a few minutes to cool off. Then transfer contents of soup to a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary, and puree until smooth.

Salt to taste, garnish with fresh basil, and serve with a fresh French baguette!

*If you want to use an immersion blender, I suggest chopping the onion, carrot, and celery using a mini food processor or chopper.

a culinary collective