Photo Credit: Food and Wine

I’ve come to realize that not all posts need to be recipes that I have personally tried… they can be recipes that I want to try, restaurants that I want to go to etc. It can even be exciting food news that I just can’t wait to share!

So here is a recipe that I came across today, from Food and Wine Magazine. Doesn’t it look like the ultimate dessert, like the ultimate whoopie pie? I also like that even though it seems like a fancy dessert, almost all the ingredients are ones that you normally have in your kitchen.

They’re also a lesson in delayed gratification, because apparently they need to chill for 6 hours before you can eat them! So they would be  a great dessert for a party, where you can make them earlier in the day and just let them chill until it’s time to eat.


Chocolate Cookies

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Chocolate Pastry Cream

1 cup half-and-half

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. MAKE THE COOKIES In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar at low speed until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the cocoa powder and salt. Add the flour and beat just until combined. Form the cookie dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°. On a lightly floured board, roll out each disk of chilled cookie dough to a 10 1/2-inch round, a scant 1/4-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out as many rounds as you can; transfer the rounds to a large rimmed baking sheet. Gather the dough scraps, chill briefly and reroll. (You should have 32 to 34 rounds.) Bake the chocolate cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are just set. Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer the chocolate cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CHOCOLATE PASTRY CREAM Set a fine sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer and keep warm. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, flour and salt until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolks, then pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the melted bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream. Refrigerate the chocolate pastry cream for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
  4. MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream with confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla until firm.
  5. Transfer 3/4 cup of the whipped cream to a small bowl. Beat in 3 tablespoons of the chocolate pastry cream until a light-chocolate cream forms.
  6. ASSEMBLE THE COOKIE TOWERS Arrange 30 cookies on a work surface. Fill 3 pastry bags fitted with large plain tips with the chocolate pastry cream, the light-chocolate cream and the whipped cream. Pipe the chocolate pastry cream onto 12 cookies. Pipe the light-chocolate cream onto 6 cookies. Pipe the whipped cream onto the remaining 12 cookies. Stack the towers: Start with a chocolate pastry cream—topped cookie, then a light-chocolate cream—topped cookie, followed by a whipped cream—topped cookie, another chocolate pastry cream—topped cookie and ending with a whipped cream—topped cookie. Pipe a small dollop of any remaining chocolate pastry cream onto the top of each tower. Transfer the cookie towers to a serving platter and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.


mmm bacon.

Sometimes you just feel like quiche. The weather’s getting colder and I end up craving comfort food all the time. So I went to Dominick’s and got all the ingredients to make a quiche… but I decided to buy pie crust instead of making it, considering I’ve never made it before. Sometime I will though.

This was actually a lot easier to do than I thought it would be! So you can do it too. (more…)

Yeah we really need to invest in some soup crocks..

I know everyone, it’s been awhile. I’ve been working a lot, and then there’s school of course. It’s been one of the first times in my life I haven’t been able to eat regular meals and it’s been tough trying to work out a schedule.

I had some time this afternoon, and a Friday night off of work for once, so I decided to cook tonight. The past few days have finally felt like fall, so I really wanted to make soup. In the two years I’ve known Dani I still haven’t made french onion soup for her, so tonight’s the night.  (more…)

I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since my last post! Things have been pretty crazy and busy, I’ve been doing an internship and a summer class, and we just moved to a new apartment! So I haven’t done much cooking lately… And the cooking my roommates and I have been doing has been pretty simple or a lot of the same recipes we always use. As for eating out, I have been doing a lot of that… but I keep forgetting to take pictures, whoops.

So I realized I should probably start another blog that will be easier to keep up with: Know-It-All Ash! My friends always call me a know-it-all so I might as well live up to it. I’ll be writing about news stories, politics, tv, books and all kinds of things, so come check it out!

I’ll be updating College Girl Cooks occasionally too, once I get back into a normal schedule.

Yummy and low-fat muffins!

I’m always looking for something quick and healthy to eat for breakfast on the go, and I found this recipe in Everyday Food. I made them yesterday and they were easy and delicious! However shredding the carrots took a little longer than I expected.. and turned my hands orange. Oh well, it was worth it.

Healthy Morning Muffin Recipe
Makes 12
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins (I used 1/3 cup and it was perfect)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I added these for more omega-3s)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt until there are no lumps.
3. Stir in oats, raisins and walnuts. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots, and banana and stir until blended.
4. Divide the batter as evenly as you can between the 12 muffins.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes (mine took about 25 minutes).


Crowds line up at Chef Ludo Lefebvre's food truck at the LA Street Food Fest

Food trucks are heavily restricted in Chicago, which is surprising considering places like LA and my hometown of Minneapolis have food trucks. Here you can have a food truck, but you can’t cook or do any food prep on board. The food has to be prepared and packaged in a licensed kitchen and then brought on the truck.

I’ve grown to love food trucks after going to a great taco truck in New Orleans with my friend Jamie, where I had the best chicken in red sauce taco ever.

The shrimp boil fresh out of the pot

So I am just a little bit obsessed with food– I watch too much Food Network and I have subscriptions to Food Network magazine, Everyday Food, and occasionally Every Day with Rachael Ray. My roommates are the same way, so we’re always on the lookout for new recipes to try out.

This recipe for a shrimp boil from Food Network Magazine sounded amazing.. and it tasted amazing too! It was so easy to make for a weeknight dinner. (more…)