avocado chocolate chip pound cake

I’m currently studying for my U.S. History exam, and to be honest, it’s a lot of mindless memorization.  The kind of memorization that makes my brain mushy and eyes dizzy.

The one thing that keeps the subject mildly interesting are the diary excerpts that sometimes show up in the DBQ section (document-based essay section).  I recently read an excerpt from a diary of a Lowell factory girl talking about how awful the other girls at the factory were, and how terrible the conditions were in the summer — this humanized the dates and numbers behind the Industrial Revolution; suddenly, history got a lot more interesting.  It’s literally reading someone else’s diary, but in a socially acceptable way.

In this digital age, I’m not penning my thoughts with a quill on parchment, or even scribbling in a fancy-pants moleskine notebook.  But the thought of a diary fascinates me.

In a way, my diary is the Notes section on my iPhone. It’s a lot less romantic than a diary, but just as raw.

I used to get super paranoid when my friends would look at pictures on my phone, for fear that they might stumble across my notes page.  I’m less paranoid now because A) my notes are hidden deep in the depths of my app folders where no one can find them and B) even if you read my notes you wouldn’t be able to figure them out.

To get totally crazy here are the first few notes in my phone, and what (I think) they mean.

“Plan:” (followed by no plan to do anything) ~ classic.

“Gm cherry get cash not target demographic” ~ this was probably written at a dark moment while studying for some test.  I wish I could tell you what this means, but I have no idea. Sounds interesting.

“Bunky” ~ an old man who takes drop-in advanced adult ballet with me.  He wears loafers instead of ballet shoes and, thus can’t point his feet.  He has a faded tattoo that spells “bunky” on one of his arms.

“Write about how good it feels to get your scalp massaged at Hair Cuttery” ~ self-explanatory

These bits of jibberish are pretty important to me.  I am always paranoid about forgetting things — so when some stroke of so-called brilliance hits me, I have to write it down or else I will forget it immediately. Sometimes, I’ll write down something like “avocados are the butter of the Earth.”  Some of these snippets end up being stories I tell to you all, some of them end up being baked into pound cake, most of them remain in the gigabytes of my phone collecting cyber-dust.

Nonetheless, these shards and memories are the good stuff, like the artichoke hearts of life. When I’m rolled over in bed at 2 a.m. furiously typing a note to myself, you best believe it’s important.

With love,
Erica

Avocado Pound Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line and grease a 9-inch loaf pan.

  2. In a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, avocado and sugar together. 

  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth, add vanilla extract and beat once more.

  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. 

  5. Stir into avocado mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into loaf pan. 

  6. Bake 65 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, slice, and enjoy!

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Look at these chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven. So innocent looking, right?
There’s nothing about these cookies that could possibly reinforce your trust issues.

They’re chocolate chip cookies. They look so inviting and comforting sitting next to a tall glass of cold milk.  They’re a little large and lumpy… but a homemade chocolate chip cookie is a homemade chocolate chip cookie. The largeness/lumpiness just enhances their whole “homemade” vibe.  Right? 

WRONG!  These seemingly innocent cookies were all large and lumpy because they were hiding a full on double-fudge brownie on the inside!  You sneaky cookie you!

Let me tell you how these stealthy cookies came about.  I was experimenting with a new brownie recipe, and I screwed up… they tasted pretty good but they were unbelievably skinny, and no one likes skinny brownies.

I was about to chuck messed up batch in the trashcan when I felt a bout of sympathy for those brownies.  It wasn’t their fault that they were too little to cut it in the harsh world of thick cut, chocolate chunk brownies.  They hadn’t done anything wrong… it was my duty to save them.

So with a little help from some homemade cookie dough, those sorry little brownies were saved.  I wrapped each one in a big layer of soft cookie dough, and they were transformed into these huge, amazing mounds of bake-sale-worthy-goodness.

With love,
Erica


Ingredients
1 pan of baked brownies (either homemade or from a mix)
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips

Cut your brownies into 10, 1 inch squares.  Enjoy the leftovers for yourself 😉

To make the chocolate chip cookie dough, beat butter and sugar with a mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and add to the butter mixture until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Scoop out 1/2 cups of the cookie dough (I told you these are HUGE!).  Place the dough onto the baking sheet. You can only fit six cookies on a standard sized baking sheet — so you will have to make several batches.

Make an indention in each mound of cookie dough and
place a cut brownie in the center. Press the brownie down
and work the remaining dough around the brownie. Shape the dough into a ball.

Once all your cookies are “stuffed” with a brownie, bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Return the remaining dough
to the refrigerator until time to bake the second batch. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

oatmeal dark chocolate chip pancakes

Last Friday was the Sadie Hawkins dance at school.
Scratch that.
Last Friday was the “Girls Ask Boys Winter Formal.” Apparently “Sadie Hawkins” isn’t politically correct enough for my school.  I’m technically on Spirit Committee… I should know these things.

My friend Veda and I had a track meet before during the dance. 
When my coach told me I had to sprint 400 meters, I though he was kidding.
He wasn’t kidding.
I gagged a bit just thinking about it.  Then after it was over, I gagged all over the place.  Yeah, I’m a real superstar on the track team. 😉
But at least I bring brownies.

When I finally got back home, it was already nine, and the last thing I wanted to do was get dressed. But I did.
I put on my dress, slopped on some red lipstick, hoop earrings, and heels.  Then I smooped my hair into a bun because I couldn’t even think of touching a flat iron (smooped isn’t a word, but “twirled” is way too elegant of a word to describe what I did to my poor hair).  In the end, it was half decent. Sort of like iCarly meets flamenco dancer. 

By the time we got to the dance, there were only 30 minutes left.  Everyone was already talking about who should have the after party.  Suddenly, I got a second wind.  Kind of like how I have a second stomach for dessert (no matter how stuffed I am), I have a reserve of energy for a good party (no matter how insanely tired I am).

But, as last minute plans usually go, no one ended up having one.

And you know what?  I was secretly happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party as much as the next person (I’m a high school girl, I’m normal I swear…), but by then all I wanted to do was put on my Pink sweatpants (the ones with strawberries on the butt), lie on my bed with a huge bottle of Blue Powerade Zero, and play “never have I ever” with my friend Veda (even though we know everything that we’ve “never” done, it’s fun anyways).

I dropped off to bed around 1:30.  It was a long day.

In the morning, I woke up refreshed and with a serious chocolate craving. 
And these pancakes happened.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1
egg
a hand full dark chocolate chips

 
Place flour,
oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, vanilla, oil
and egg in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Heat a
lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop
the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each
pancake. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

recipe showdown: reader’s chocolate chip cookies

I haven’t done a recipe showdown in a while, but one of the most interesting parts of Recipe Showdown is receiving your recipes.  Every time I conduct a recipe showdown, I encourage readers like you to challenge the winner with your own, amazing recipe.  Sure enough, I received a lot of feedback on my Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Showdown.  Christi from Burlap and Basil and Little B from Little B Cooks both submitted their own sublime chocolate chip cookie recipes.

My original plan was to first compare Burlap and Basil and Little B’s recipes, and then compare the winner of that showdown to the reigning champion (Jacques Torres).  However, a problem arose… the results were split 50-50 even.

I started out with my family — my mom liked Little B’s, my dad preferred Burlap and Basil.  I then moved onto friends and neighbors.  Again, split down the middle.
So ultimately, the scientific method will force me to make each of these again, and then compare them to the reigning champion. But hey, more cookies were never a bad thing (especially in the name of science).

With love,
Erica

Little B Cooks
Burlap and Basil
Description
“A softer cookie, with a delicious
richness.” These cookies have an unconventional ingredient – vanilla pudding
mix! Little B said that she compared Torres’ recipe with her own and everyone
preferred hers.
It’s the cookie that brings best
friends knocking on your door at 10:30 pm.” She told me in the comments that
all of her friends preferred this over Jacques Torres, the reigning champion.
Tasters’ notes
Good
Not as flavorful
“mmmmmmmmm!”
bland
tollhouse-y
more to appreciate
think
meaty
blondie-like
so soft
slightly airy like a cupcake but with the distinct crumble of a cookie.
The flavor was great as well: sweet but not cloying, with a great distribution of chocolate chips.
More interesting
More flavor
Better texture
More chewy crust
Simple
Crunchy edges
standard
Its texture won me over
crisp exterior and the chewy middle.
chocolate galore! Yum!

oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies

What’s better than a cookie?
A cookie-stuffed cookie.
Last spring, my friend Erin urgently posted this recipe on my Facebook wall.
After seeing her post, I had to make these cookies.  I remember rushing to the store and baking these after school that very day.

I made a batch of these bad-boys using Picky Palate’s recipe and brought them to school the next day.  Everyone in my school had seen the post on Facebook, and was eager to snag one of these.  As I walked into the building, lugging my backpack, trying to balance my thermos of coffee in one hand and my container full of cookies in the other, I could feel the eyes of 400 hungry high-schoolers on my back. Lets just say that I have never seen cookies disappear so fast.  The moment I peeled the top off of my Tupperware container, they were gone.

Since that day, I have received countless requests for these cookies. These cookies have made appearances at everything from the Freestyle Rap Club bake sale to my Monday morning advisory meetings.  To keep up with all of the orders — I have made some changes to the recipe so that I can whip these up at a moments notice. (You never know when you’re gonna need a dozen, ginormous, Oreo-stuffed cookies). I have learned that almost any type of chocolate chip cookie dough will work. I’ve used my own frozen chocolate chip cookie dough, and have even used store-bought dough in a pinch!

With love,
Erica

Ingredients

Double Stuf Oreos
Your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (or pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an
Oreo Cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo
Cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo
Cookie is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment lined
baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to
your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling
rack. Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy!