Sincerely Seven: Week 31

It’s Sunday! Another week gone by, and I cannot believe it’s August! I haven’t been home to the East Coast in over 8 months, and I’m kind of bummed about it to be honest. I really want to go home, but I am also very anxious about transmitting anything to my family members. Sigh, maybe one day.

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super yummy zucchini bread, see below for recipe!
  1. Very important: you can look up voting stats about your state including registering deadlines and information on delegates on Vote Save America! Also, sign up to vote by mail if your state allows. Remember, we are less than 100 days away from voting!
  2. For those of you who were (or still are) Meg Cabot fans, she has been posting Corona Princess Diaries on her blog since the pandemic started, writing in present day from Princess Mia’s POV in Genovia. Reading these took me back and I really want to watch the Princess Diaries. Also, just put these into a book, please!
  3. The ever-talented Michelle Obama debuted her new podcast this week and her first guest was her husband, former-President Barack Obama. I love how much these two are starting to step out into the spotlight and I never want it to stop.
  4. This week, I made Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Zucchini bread and it sounds like a lot going on, but it was TASTY. Seriously, wish I could send each of you a piece of this bread.  See pic above and admire the chocolate chunk goodness. Another easy one bowl wonder from Half Baked Harvest!
  5. One of my favorite shows as of late has been The Not Too Late Show with Elmo (I’m very fragile right now). This week, Sara Bareilles sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I really love her voice and rendition of the song, plus Big Bird makes a killer cameo.  The only song I listened to this week that wasn’t on folklore tbh.
  6. We had a 4.3 earthquake here in LA earlier in the week (conveniently, at 4:30 AM). I know it’s not common everywhere, but here’s a great resource of how to prepare for an earthquake/disaster, and what to do if you find yourself in the middle of one.
  7. I found this article from Refinery29 about thrifting during coronavirus; since I’ve been trying to thrift more (versus buying new), I was wondering if it was safe to go to thrift stores. It seems like it’s best to stick to online thrifting. Check out places like Poshmark, TheRealReal, and thredUP. Also interesting is this article about how resale is thriving in the pandemic, which is SO exciting to hear!

Happy AUGUST to everyone! Have a safe week ahead!

Sincerely,

Sara Ann

Sincerely Bakes: Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Do you love cinnamon rolls? Do you love chocolate? Yes? YES? Then you’ll be obsessed with these tasty chocolate cinnamon rolls from Bake From Scratch. The recipe was pretty simple if you’re familiar with yeast doughs; if unfamiliar, it can be daunting, but don’t worry! Yeast can be scary but it’s really not that hard to work with, especially if you give it patience and a lot of love. I watched my dough like a hawk as my mixer kneaded it, and was constantly poking and tearing off pieces to check if the gluten had developed, but I admit that was probably overboard. This dough came together really well on it’s own.  

The best part of these rolls is the filling. A combo of butter, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and sugar, it makes a yummy spread that I wanted to eat on its own. Topped with Mexican cinnamon flavored chocolate makes for the perfect combination. For reference, I got the mexican chocolate at Whole Foods, it wasn’t with the rest of their chocolates, it was over by the wine on a small display. At least, it was in my LA location. 

I’ve made several kinds of doughs, especially for cinnamon rolls, as I feel it part of my destiny to find the best cinnamon roll recipe. Weird, I know, but every recipe is so different and I found a lovely dough in this recipe. It was simple, easy to work with and gave for a great rise and bake.

I took these to work and everyone that had one was like, WHAT are these? It was rave reviews all around. The melty chocolate filling combined with the grainy mexican chocolate bits is a flavor explosion in your mouth. Also, the SMELL right out of the oven was heavenly.

If you want to try making this yourself, please check out Bake From Scratch’s recipe. As a note, I used the cream cheese frosting that can be found in The Jo Baker’s cinnamon roll recipe; I used a different frosting because the one provided by Bake From Scratch seemed like a cream cheese glaze, whereas I wanted a thick cream cheese-buttery frosting. I haven’t tried Jo’s brioche dough rolls, but they’re on my list, especially after how tasty the cream cheese frosting was! 

Would Paul* Shake My Hand: 10/10

Have you made cinnamon rolls before? What’s your favorite thing to bake? 

Sincerely, 

Sara Ann

 

*If you’re all like, ‘Who’s Paul?” then you obviously haven’t spent hours watching the Great British Baking Show, like myself. Paul Hollywood is a judge who gives handshakes to the best bakes of the season, and I judge all my baking based on whether or not he would shake my hand after eating it. Video here for visual understanding of how important his handshakes are to contestants. 

Taylor Swift’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ya’ll, I made these cookies a few weeks back and let me tell you, they are fantastic. I like to call myself a cookie connoisseur and these just blew everything out of the water. I will be making these for the rest of my life, thank you Taylor Swift. The chocolate is so rich and the salt, just ughh, you need to make these for yourself, okay?

cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

340g block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chocolate chunks from a bag found in the baking aisle #lazy)

1  cup walnuts, chopped

Large flake sea salt, for garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

2. .In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and kosher salt.

3. In large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter. Using an electric beater or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until it they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla as well.

4.With a rubber spatula or with the stand mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.

5.spoon the cookie dough by 2 tablespoon-size balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the cookie dough balls 5cm apart on the cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12 to 13 minutes.

6. When the cookies come out of the oven IMMEDIATELY sprinkle each cookie with a few grains of sea salt. This is really important to do while the cookies are hot.

7. Let the cookies cool for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Leave any questions in the comments, and let me know if you make them!