guest post: my name is yeh sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting

guest post by @yehmolly sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting

Guys, I'm off to India for my big family reunion. I plan to eat a lot, enjoy the beach and celebrate Christmas and my cousins' weddings. Our bags have been packed and we're off on our some 22 hour long flight. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and while I'm away I have a couple of posts lined up by some of my amazing friends who were pretty awesome to share the talents here. 

guest post by @yehmolly sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting
guest post by @yehmolly sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting

Today's guest post is from one of my favorite bloggers, Molly of My Name is Yeh. Molly is a talented baker and a wonderful photographer, you should check out her site if you haven't already! Her writing and attitude is filled with an infectious and positive energy that makes you want to visit her farm and cook, laugh and eat with her all day long. Here's the genius behind these delightful cupcakes, Molly Yeh!

guest post by @yehmolly sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting
guest post by @yehmolly sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting

When Nik asked me to do this guest post, I knew I didn't need to look very far for inspiration! He has a bagillion recipes that I've been wanting to make (those breakfast samosas!!! that semolina halva!!!). I love the flavors that make reoccurring appearances on this beautiful space, a lot of them happen to be flavors that I often use too. I'm no stranger to putting tahini in my cakes, but tahini and shredded coconut in a cake?? That sounded marvelous and like something I needed to try immediately. To add some holiday flair, I filled them with raspberry preserves, topped them with my tahini frosting, and of course, sprinkles of all sorts!! The result was so tasty that I immediately delivered them to my friends so that I wouldn't eat them all by myself."

Note: Molly used my recipe for the tahini inspired version`of the Goan coconut baath cake. She replaced the semolina with the same amount of all purpose flour (by weight) and baked the cupcakes for approximately 18-22 minutes. 

guest post by @yehmolly sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting

sesame cupcakes with tahini frosting

yields: enough frosting for approximately 20 cupcakes

ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup tahini

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

a pinch of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

sesame seeds, sprinkles, coconut, fresh raspberries, etc. for decorating

1. To make the frosting, beat together the butter, tahini, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

2. Once the cupcakes are cool, use an apple corer to remove the centers. Fill with raspberry preserves and then top with frosting and any decorations you'd like. 

coconut toffee

coconut toffee | A Brown Table

If anything can move fast, it has got to be time. I certainly have a hard time keeping up with it and now that it's almost mid-December here I am writing my final recipe for the year (there'll be one more post this week from me sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes). We're taking a long and much needed trip to visit my family in India. A big family reunion and a fun wedding, it is going to be fun time. While, I'm away a couple of my wonderful blogger friends are going to take over and share their delicious food with you. So stay tuned for those exciting posts in the upcoming weeks to follow. I'll be sharing photographs from my India trip on Instagram , so do stop by.

I'm excited to go back to Bombay (Mumbai) and Goa. This is also M's first time, so we have to do a few touristy things on this trip, sadly no trips to Agra to see the Taj Mahal this time but we have plans to see a ton of other fun places and eat a whole lot of food. We also have a wedding, my not-so-baby cousin has decided to celebrate her wedding in Goa so this is also going to be one big party! Needless to say, since we're celebrating Christmas with my family, I may have sent a few "subtle" hints to relevant family members on what I would like to eat when I arrive. Most of the dishes I've requested are traditional recipes served at Christmas though I'd be happy to eat other items they are willing to prepare. I'm not one to refuse a kind offer, especially the food-related kind!

coconut toffee | A Brown Tablecoconut toffee | A Brown Table

It would only be fitting that I share this coconut toffee recipe with you since I'll be in Goa in a few weeks.  Goan food uses a lot of coconuts, coconut trees in Goa are as abundant as lemon and orange trees in the San Francisco Bay Area, they're everywhere. This is one of my favorite desserts that my mom's side of the family makes often at Christmas. They are sweet and decadent and a little bite goes a long way. 

coconut toffee | A Brown Table
coconut toffee | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips while preparing this little treat at home;

  • Use fresh coconut if possible, if you can't find it you can use dried but in either case always use unsweetened shredded. 
  • I use pure unbleached cane sugar in this recipe, I find raw brown sugar to overwhelm the delicate taste of coconut. 
  • Stirring to prevent burning is critical in this recipe as is reaching the soft-ball temperature of 240F. At this point the mixture solidifies correctly to form one little delicious candy. 
coconut toffee | A Brown Table

coconut toffee 

yields: approximately 54 pieces (each 1.5 X 1 inch in size)

ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter + a little extra for greasing the pan

2 cups (14 ounces) packed unsweetened fresh coconut grated/shredded (or 11 ounces dry coconut grated/shredded)

1 cup 2% milk

2 cups (14 ounces) sugar

1/4 teaspoon green cardamom, freshly ground (optional)

2 tablespoons almond flour

1 tablespoon rose water (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1. Line 9X9 square baking pan with 12X9 rectangle of parchment paper and then grease it with the extra butter.

2. Place the 4 tablespoons of butter, coconut, milk and sugar in a thick bottomed saucepan. Heat on a medium-high flame and bring to boil. Stir occasionally with a silicone spatula until the sugar completely dissolves. If you decide to add the cardamom, add it now, otherwise move to step 3.  

3. Continue to heat the contents of the pan with constant stirring. Keep heating and stirring until the temperature reaches 240F, the mixture will begin to brown and the sugars will caramelize a little (it is important to stir as you proceed to prevent burning), quickly fold in the almond flour. Cook for one additional minute with constant stirring. The mixture will be relatively liquid free and will start to come off from the sides of the pan in a ball (just like preparing marzipan at home). Remove from stove and fold the rose water in to the mixture. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to the greased baking pan. Using an offset spatula or butterknife spread and smoothen the coconut mixture to cover the entire surface of the pan evenly. Allow the coconut toffee to cool completely.

4.  Remove the cooled coconut toffee from the pan by releasing it from the sides of the pan with a sharp paring knife. Lift the coconut toffee out using the parchment paper. Cut into 1.5X1 inch rectangles or 1 X 1 inch squares (or any size you like). Serve the toffee at room temperature. Store the extra in an airtight container at room temperature.

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Christmas and cookies go hand-in-hand. Every year, I might skip making a few holiday desserts but never the cookies. The cookies will be made and be on the table every year. That is one holiday tradition I've grown up with and I hold on to very dearly. Considering how strongly I feel about Christmas cookies, I was super excited when the supper talented trio of Erica, Karen and Todd behind Honestly Yum asked me to join them along with a bunch of other bloggers in their holiday cookie swap. 

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Christmas cutout cookies are one of my favorite holiday cookies. It also gives me an excuse to get a few new cookie cutters each year that can be added to my little collection. Seriously, one can never have too many cookie cutters! 

These cookies are whole grain based made from buckwheat and oat flours which are coincidentally also gluten-free, so if you're sensitive to gluten you might want to try this recipe out. You can frost these cookies but I've done a double white and dark chocolate drizzle that goes really well with the taste of these two flours in the cookie. Plus drizzling chocolate makes one happy and sweet messy situation. 

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Tablebuckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these cookies,

  • Chill the dough as often as you can, as soon as you feel it is too soft chill it down.
  • If the cutout cookies get too a bit difficult to manage if the dough softens too much, chill it. This will harden the dough and allow you to peel the cutout cookies easily.
  • I've tempered the chocolate to keep it solid at room temperature. But I recommend storing the cookies in a cool and air tight dry container. 
buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies | A Brown Table

Check out the holiday round up of these delicious cookies by these awesome bloggers participating in this virtual cookie swap by hosted by Honestly Yum! I want to taste and eat each and everyone of them!

buckwheat and oat flour christmas cutout cookies

yields: approximately 3 dozen 2 inch cookies (amount will vary by the size of the cookie cutter used)

ingredients 

5 ounces buckwheat flour + a little extra for dusting

5 ounces oat flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces fine grain light brown sugar

9 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature

2 teaspoons plain full-fat cream cheese 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the buckwheat and oat flours along with the salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Dry whisk to evenly mix using the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes on medium-low speed. 

2. While the mixer is set at medium-low speed add half of the butter and mix for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed to medium-high and add the rest of the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix for about 2 minutes until completely combined. Transfer the dough to a clean sheet of parchment paper and shape it into a disc using clean hands. Wrap the disc with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before baking.

3. Before rolling out the dough to prepare the cookies,  line two cookie/baking sheets with parchment paper and keep aside. Divide the cookie dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one part time and keep the rest refrigerated until ready to use. Using a rolling pin, roll out the cookie dough between on a clean surface lightly dusting the dough with a scant amount of buckwheat flour. You can also roll out the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper and use a little amount of buckwheat flour to dust (I've done it both ways and I prefer the parchment paper method, handling the cookies is much easier). The rolled out dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookie shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. Transfer the cutouts onto the prepare baking sheet leaving about 1 inch space between them and freeze to chill for 30 minutes. While the cookies are chilling, place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300F.  Return the left over cookie dough to the rest of the dough and prepare the rest of the cookies in the same manner. Bake the chilled cutout cookies in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking. The cookies are done when their edges start to turn lightly golden brown. Remove the baking sheet with the baked cookies from the oven and allow to cool for about 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

dark and white chocolate cookie drizzle

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard 75% dark cacao)

a candy thermometer

1. Spread the cooled cookies out on a large sheet of parchment paper (It is preferable to work in a  cool place away from a heat source which will allow the chocolate to solidify after it is drizzled onto the cookies).

2. Place 3/4 of the white chocolate chips into a small heat-proof mixing bowl. Place the bowl in a saucepan containing water that is barely simmering on a stove. Stir the chips until they melt and the temperature reaches 110F. Immediately switch the stove off and remove the bowl from the saucepan. Stir in the rest of the white chocolate chips and mix until combined. Using a fork drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and allow the chocolate to solidify before drizzling with the dark chocolate. 

3. Repeat the same steps to prepare the dark chocolate. Drizzle the dark chocolate over the cookies and allow to solidify at room temperature. Transfer and store the cookies in airtight container. 

Tip: You can drizzle both of the melted chocolates in the same or different directions to create fun patterns.