Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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The Gourmet Girl

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Créme Brûlée Cookies

Are all sticking to your New Years Resolutions?

I have to admit, I have never really been into making New Years resolutions. It is actually kind of odd, since I am always planning and setting goals for myself. I literally have next five years of my life planned out already. For some reason, yearly resolutions have never drawn me. Maybe it's because I am already consistently setting goals. Either way, I think it can't hurt to set some goals. Really, what is wrong with being more ambitious? We just cannot let ourselves become discouraged if we do not meet those goals. We just have to keep working at them, until we are able to achieve them.

Do you love Créme Brûlée? If you do, I have found the next best thing: Créme Brûlée cookies. These cookies have all the flavor of creme brûlée without all of the work. These are best when made.  with a kitchen torch, but you can just broil them in the oven after you top them with the sugar. In my opinion, they are not overly sweet (although I do have a serious sweet tooth), which makes them a great option for people who do not like cloyingly sweet desserts. I hope you try out these decadent little cookies, and let me know what you think!

Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home

You will need:

6 Tbsp. butter softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Plus  (or vanilla extract)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 small package of cook n' serve vanilla pudding (prepared)

super fine (bakers sugar) for brûléeing cookies

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter 
and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Beat in egg, oil, and vanilla plus or extract.    
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking 
powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  
Press a deep indentation in center of each
 with the end of a wooden spoon handle.
Freeze cookies for 10 minutes before baking. 
Place cookies 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined 
baking sheets, and bake 8-10 minutes or until edges 
are light brown. 
While the cookies are baking, prepare the pudding according
 to the directions on the box. Add additional Vanilla plus 
or vanilla bean paste (if desired). 
Indent the center of the baked cookies with the bottom of a round
 measuring spoon. (This will create a larger vessel for the pudding.
 Fill each cookie with about  a teaspoon of cooled pudding. 
Top the pudding with a thin layer of super fine sugar. 
Brûlée the sugar with a kitchen torch. The sugar
 should turn a dark golden brown. The cookies will dark
 around the edges. Don’t worry, that is supposed to happen.  
Allow the shell  (on top of the cookie) to cool before serving.
Bon Appétit! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gingerbread Petit Fours

This has been a whirlwind year! The Holidays are already here again. I have only one semester of fashion school left. It feels like yesterday, I was just starting at Parsons! I have learned more about the fashion industry, than I thought I ever could. I am hoping to do an internship during my final semester. Nothing gives you more experience than an internship at a high fashion firm. 

In the spirit of Christmas, I felt like featuring gingerbread this month. For those of you who are not familiar with gingerbread; it is a spice bread that originated in Germany. It is very popular around Christmas time. I thought turning this cake into petit fours, would a fun twist on tradition. I filled the layers with a cream cheese filling, which accents the gingerbread flavor beautifully. There are definitely some steps required to make these delicate little cakes, but they are so worth it! I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season, and a blessed New Year!

For Gingerbread loaf cake: 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 Recipe adapted from:Whole and Heavenly Oven

Cream cheese Filling:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Recipe from: Blogging Babies and The Bayou

Poured Fondant:

1 cup white confectionery coating or white chocolate chips
4 cups confectioner's sugar 
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring (if desired)

Recipe from:King Arthur Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9x5
 inch loaf pan. 
Cream together butter, honey, molasses, milk, vanilla extract, 
and egg together until well blended.   
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, 
baking powder, ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
Add dry ingredients to wet mixture in three additions. 
Mix until smooth. 
Pour into pan, and smooth top with a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes,
 or until a toothpick comes out clean, when inserted into the middle of the loaf.
Meanwhile, prepare the cream chees filling by combining: 
softened cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, 
and vanilla. 
Set aside.

Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Allow to cool completely.

Make several thick slices, and use cutter to cut out cake squares. 
Slice each square evenly, in half.
Add cream cheese filling to each layer. 
Prepare the poured fondant by melting the candy coating.
In a separate bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar,
 hot water, and corn syrup. 
Add candy coating & vanilla, and stir until smooth.
Add food coloring if desired.
Place each cake on a fork, and spoon poured fondant all over. 
Try to completely cover the cake in one spoonful, as multiple
 layers tend to look awkward. 
Place enrobed cake on wire rack, Top with decoration if desired. 
Allow fondant to dry completely before serving. (You will most 
likely need to use a knife to cut the cakes off of the rack)  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Maple Bacon Scones

It has been so cold this past week! Today, is the first day it has been above freezing. Whenever it is this cold outside, I instantly crave comfort food. I have been so busy with school projects, and applying for internships, that I have barely had time to breathe, let alone bake.

 I was really dying for some scones the other day, so I made these. They are so good, and a very creative take on the typical scone. They are a sweet and savory scone. The bacon is obviously salty, whereas the maple glaze is very sweet. Together, they taste like an all American brunch. I hope you like them as much as I did. They would make a perfect brunch treat for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Scone Recipe adapted from:
Glaze Recipe adapted

For Scones:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2  to 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 1 cups diced cooked bacon
For Glaze: 

2 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp. maple flavoring
6 tbsp. heavy cream (more if needed) 

Combine dry ingredients

Add butter, a couple pats at a time. Use a pastry blender to blend
 the ingredients together. Blend until it becomes a crumbly mixture.
    In a separate bowl, mix egg, milk, and maple flavor. 
    Add to dry mixture. (You may need to add additional heavy
    cream if the mixture is too crumbly)
    Add bacon and stir until everything is combined.
Shape into scones. This can be done by rolling out the dough, and
slicing into triangles, or shaping a scone pan (which I did). Freeze for
thirty minutes, until firm.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and place scones on a baking sheet,
or scone pan (available on
Brush to the tops of scones with heavy cream. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together: confectioner's sugar, butter,
maple flavoring, and heavy cream. Add more heavy cream to reach
 desired consistency. It should be thick, yet pourable. 
Allow scones to slightly cool before glazing them.

Drizzle a nice amount of glaze over each scone.
Serve and enjoy!