Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bacon and Broccoli Salad

Source: HEB Cooking Connection

Bacon and Broccoli Salad
(exact recipe not pictured)

1 large head of fresh broccoli
4 slices bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup roasted sunflower kernels

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Canyon Foods Bacon Vinaigrette

Cut stems from broccoli; toss or save for other use. Place broccoli florets in a large bowl. Toss broccoli with bacon, onion, cheese and sunflower kernels.

Combine mayo and vinaigrette in separate bowl. Toss salad with dressing. Chill and serve.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Butterscotch-Pecan Biscuits

Source: Omnomicon Makes

Butterscotch-Pecan Biscuits
adapted from Worcester County Homemakers Cook Book (1961, Home Department Advisory Council, Worcester County Extension Service, Worcester, Mass.)

1 stick butter, sliced into 2 tsp (2/3 tbsp) bits
2 cups flour (248g)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 c cold chopped butter (5 1/3 tbsp)
3/4 c milk
1/2 c packed brown sugar (50g)
36 whole pecan halves (1 c)

Drop 2 tsp butter in each cup of a muffin pan and put into oven as it preheats to 425o. Keep checking as you work on the biscuits, and pull out as soon as it is *just* barely melted; do not let it bubble.

Pulse flour, baking powder and salt in food processor real quick in lieu of the traditional sifting. If traditional, poor, cheap or have a tiny kitchen, sift into bowl. Cut/pulse in the 1/3 c butter, and once you have coarse pebbles, add milk, work into a ball, and turn onto a floured board. Knead 10-12 times, roll out and cut 12 circles-cum-biscuits (see wine glass notes above).

Your butter should be melted by now, so measure 2 tsp brown sugar into each cup and stir with a chopstick. Plop a biscuit atop each cup, bake 15 minutes.

Flip onto a cutting board covered with parchment immediately upon removal from the oven. Let cool and just try to resist.

Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

Source: Bakers Royale

Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

Magnolia’s Chocolate Cupcake
Makes 2 dozens
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12 cup muffin pans.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (*see note)
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 5–10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm 5–10 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.
6. Bake for 20–25 minutes.. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before filling with caramel.

Caramel Sauce (to fill cupcake hole)
5 tablespoons water
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Increase heat to high. Now and then, using the handle give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. Do not stir the mixture directly. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute.
3. After approximately 3 minutes you will see a light shade of amber.
4. Another 30-90 seconds and the mixture will turn a dark shade of amber.
5. Once the mixture is a dark amber, turn off the heat and add the cream. Whisk to combine, do not worry about the bubbles as they will subside upon cooling. Set aside.

Caramel Buttercream
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp dark rum
1. Add water and sugar into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Use a wet brush to remove any crystals that form on the side.
2. Increase heat to high. Now and then, using the handle give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. Do not stir the mixture directly. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute.
3. After approximately 3 minutes you will see a light shade of amber.
4. Another 30-90 seconds and the mixture will turn a dark shade of amber.
5. Once the mixture is a dark amber, turn off the heat and add the cream and milk. Whisk to combine, do not worry about the bubbles as they will subside upon. Set aside and let cool .
For a step-by-step picture of this portions see previous post Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cups.
6. Whisk egg yolks, two remaining tablespoons of sugar, and salt. Slowly add hot caramel while whisking mixture.
7. Pour combined mixture back into saucepan over medium low heat, stirring continuously until mixture coats the back of the spoon.
8. Remove from heat. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the stand-mixer bowl. Beat the mixture with the wire whip at medium speed until it is light and cool. Make sure the mixture at this point is completely cool before adding the butter.9. Replace wire whip with the paddle attachment. Gradually add 2 tablespoons at a time, beat in the softened butter at medium speed. When all of the butter has been incorporated, beat the buttercream on high until mixture is light and fluffy (approximately 1 minute). Reduce the speed and beat in the vanilla and rum. Increase the speed once again and beat the buttercream for another minute, until it’s light and creamy.
Adapted from

Brown Sugar Pecans
1 cup pecans
6 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 salt
1. Line bake sheet with foil.
2. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat, add brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir for one minute and remove form heat.
3. Continue stirring until brown sugar dissolves.
4. Toss pecans in mixture and spread over baking sheet, making sure to break up any clumps that may have formed.
5. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes, stirring half way through.

1. Cut hole in top of cupcake and fill with caramel sauce.
2. Trim hole cut out into a flat disc and place on top of caramel.
3. Using a close star tip pipe top of cupcake.
4. Drizzle chocolate sauce and caramel sauce.
5. Sprinkle brown sugar pecans on top.

Gooey Brownies

Source: The Urban Spork

Gooey Brownies
Makes 24 large brownies

Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 1

In a large saucepan, combine and melt the following ingredients over low heat while stirring. When melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly

16 oz. of good semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
14 oz. can condensed milk

Step 2

1/2 pound of butter (2 sticks)
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

Melt butter and then stir in sugar until well combined. Add to the chocolate mixture from Step 1.

Step 3

2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coffee extract (optional, but highly recommended)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Fold 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts into the mixture (optional).

Turn mixture into lightly oiled 13x9x2 inch baking pan and cook for 30-35 minutes. A cake tester will NOT come out clean!

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Source: Smells Like Home

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Cheesecake Ice Cream
source: David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop, page 62
Printer-Friendly Version

8 ounces cream cheese
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Strawberry Sauce (Swirl) (recipe follows)

Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and add to a blender/food processor. Zest the lemon into the food processor, and then add the sour cream, half-and-half, sugar and salt. Puree until smooth.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker. Before transferring the frozen mixture to the freezer, place one half of the mixture in your ice cream container. Dollop 3-4 tablespoons onto the mixture and swirl around with a sharp knife. Spoon remaining ice cream mixture into the container and repeat the swirling process. Freeze ice cream to your desired hardness level.

Strawberry Sauce (Swirl)
source: adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop, page 182

2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, heat the strawberries and sugar until the strawberries begin to release their juices and start to breakdown. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water and lemon juice until lump free, then stir the slurry into the strawberries.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a small bowl. Chill thoroughly before swirling into ice cream mixture.

Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys
Adapted generously from Gourmet

Makes 6 muffin-sized desserts

3/4 stick salted or unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar**
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs, or make your own, below*)
1 1/2 to 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced (I forgot to jot down the weight, but it was less than a half pound of whole berries)
Softly whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low. The butter will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is less than a minute. Remove from heat.

Lightly butter muffin cups with some of brown butter, then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Roll bread slices with a rolling pin to flatten. Brush both sides with additional brown butter, then gently fit into muffin cups.

Stir together brown sugar, zest, salt and panko, then add strawberries and toss to coat. Stir in remaining brown butter. Heap strawberry mixture into cups, pressing gently.

Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until strawberries are very tender, about 10 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* Make your own panko: Sure, it’s not exactly the same thing but I’m convinced that you can make very panko-like crumbs if you do the following — Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear one to two slices of soft, crustless white bread into 1-inch pieces and pulse them in the food processor until coarsely ground. This will make a generous half cup. Transfer crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Use.

**Sweetness: [Updated 5/28/10] I “tested” this recipe with local, early-season not overly sweet strawberries. However, the ones you have may be sweeter. If you think your strawberries are on the sweeter side, you might want to dial the brown sugar back by one or even two tablespoons (the two tablespoon level, especially, if you like barely-sweet desserts). Hope that helps!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars

Source: Kitchen Runaway

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars


1 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 C Quick Cooking Oats
1 1/4 C Light Brown Sugar
1 C Regular Butter, melted
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 19oz of Butterscotch Caramel topping (if you can’t find butterscotch topping – regular caramel topping is fine too. I find the 16oz jar of caramel topping works well too (mixed with 5 Tbs. of flour).
6 Tbs Flour
1/4 tsp Coarse Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 350º, grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray (make sure you get the sides too)

Combine flour, oats, sugar, butter, cinnamon and baking soda in a large mixing bowl

Press half of the flour and mixture into the baking dish, bake for 10 mins.

Pour caramel topping into a medium size bowl and stir in the 6 Tbs. of flour.

Pull baking dish from oven, sprinkle chocolate chips over warm crust, pour thicken caramel evenly over the chocolate chips (You can use an offset spatula to help spread the caramel) Sprinkle the coarse salt over the caramel topping.

Crumble the rest of the crust mixture evenly over the caramel topping. You can gently pat the crumbly crust – but do not press down. Bake for an another 20 minutes.

Let cool completely and then cut into bars. If you wish – you can sprinkle an additional tiny pinch of coarse salt on top of the crust before it cools completely.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Source: What Megan's Making

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
adapted from Food Network Magazine, as seen on Bake at 350
(printable recipe)

1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Place paper liners in muffin tin for about 20 cupcakes.

Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs into the chocolate with a mixer, then stir in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (~1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes will sink in the middle slightly. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

To Assemble
Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It's OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache. (I thought this part would be complicated and I was worried, but it was fine. I had Mike test one of the cupcakes to make sure I had the right amount of filling in it.)

Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Soccatunia - Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

Source: Today's Nest

Soccatunia - Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons brown sugar - packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons milk
A few drops of orange oil (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease and flour a bundt pan.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar. Set aside. We’ll call this dry ingredients #1.
4. In a separate bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons of dry ingredients #1.
5. Mix together well. Set aside. We’ll call this dry ingredients #2.
6. Place dry ingredients #1 in your mixer bowl and add softened butter, vanilla, eggs, milk, and sour cream.
7. Mix on medium speed until batter is smooth and silky (about 30-45 seconds).
8. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
9. Evenly sprinkle the dry ingredients #2 over the batter in the bundt pan. Insert the butter knife in various places to give the cake a marbled effect.
10. Pour the remaining batter into the bundt pan. Place on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven.
11. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until it pass the clean toothpick test.
12. Allow cake to cool in pan for 30 minutes.
13. Invert cake onto a plate or cake stand. Remove bundt pan.
14. Allow to cool completely before applying glaze.

1. Stir together the ingredients until smooth and well blended.
2. Allow mixture to set for 3-5 minutes before drizzling over cake.
3. Drizzle on top of the cake.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Homemade Pretzel Twix

Source: Chocolate and Carrots

Homemade Pretzel Twix

Pretzel Layer

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups crushed pretzel goldfish
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg

How-To (Pretzel Layer)

1. In a bowl and with a hand mixer, beat the butter, pretzel and powdered sugar together.
2. Once combined, add the flour and egg and beat again.
3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes until the dough hardens a little bit.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°.
5. Taking your greased 8″X8″ pan, press the dough evenly on the bottom.
6. Using a fork, poke small holes all along the top of the dough.
7. Bake for 30 minutes.

Caramel Layer

12-14 ounce bag of Kraft caramels

How-To (Caramel Layer)

1. Melt 40-50 caramels.
2. Pour the melted caramel on top of the pretzel layer.
3. Put in the refrigerator and let it chill for about 30 minutes.
4. Slice the bars. Method: Using a sharp knife, sprayed with Pam, score the bars. Then, using the tip of your knife, poke holes (almost like a dotted line) down the scored line. Then, just cut on the dotted line!

Chocolate Coating

12 ounce bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Set out a sheet of parchment paper under a cooling rack that you will set the chocolates on.
2. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate.
3. Using a spoon cover the tops and let the chocolate drip down the sides.
4. Since the pretzel crust is so crumbly, once the tops of the bars are covered, dip each bar in the chocolate (Using two forks take the chocolate covered bar out and place on the cooking rack or on parchment paper.) and let it harden.

Servings: 18 bars

Mound/Almond Joy Cupcakes

Source: Naturally Ella

Mound/Almond Joy Cupcakes
By: erin

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 cup Shredded Coconut sweetened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Sweet and condensed milk

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350˚

In a small bowl, sift dry ingredients for cupcakes and set aside.

In a medium bowl (or a bowl of a stand mixer) combine butter and sugar, beat until light and fluffy- about 3 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla, continue to beat until incorporated. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down sides and repeat. Add remaining flour and mix until batter is combined- don't over mix.

Divide batter into 12 cupcakes and bake for 16-18 minutes or until cupcake springs back when pressed. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.

In another bowl, combine the powdered sugar and coconut. Warm condensed milk and pour over coconut, stir to combine. While cupcakes are still slightly warm, cut an "X" in the top of each cupcake, place half of the filling in a pastry bag, and squeeze about a scant tablespoon of each cupcake. Smear remaining filling on top of each cupcake that covers the entire surface. If you are making "Almond Joy" cupcakes, place an almond of top of the filling.

In a heat proof bowl combine chocolate and heavy cream. Place over a pot of boiling water and continue to stir until chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Take each cupcake and dip into the ganache, covering the coconut filling. Once each cupcake has been covered once, go back and dip the cupcakes in the ganache for a second time.

Top with toasted coconut if desired.

Burnt Butter Toffee Bars

Source: Distracted Homemaker

Burnt Butter Toffee Bars

2 Cups Butter
2 Pkgs. Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 (14 ounce) cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 TBSP Light Corn Syrup
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
8 ounces dark chocolate
4 ounces milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs. Melt 2 cups of butter in a pot on the stove top and cook until an amber/light brown color. Remove one cup of the burnt butter and stir into cookie crumbs. Press into a 9×13 non-stick pan and bake for 10 minutes or until medium brown. Let cool while making the toffee layer.

In pot with remaining cup of burnt butter put brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. If you are using a glass or metal pan that is not non-stick, take your finger and dip it into some butter and run it around the inside edge of the cooled pan. This will grease the edges so your bars don’t stick to the sides of the pan. Pour toffee onto cooled shortbread crust.

When toffee layer is completely set (you will know this because it will not stick to your finger if you touch the top of the toffee) melt both kinds of chocolate together in a microwave safe bowl and stir to combine. When completely melted, spread on top of bars and let cool in fridge or at room temperature until chocolate has set and become firm. Cut into squares and eat the sticky goodness. Oh and by the way, it is okay to lick your fingers!

Tips and Tricks

* Chill these just a bit in the fridge before cutting and use a super sharp knife. You may need to clean the knife between cuts to avoid the toffee sticking to the blade.
* Making my own chocolate mixture of 66% dark and 33% milk always seems to make every recipe better. It is kind of like getting the dark chocolate flavor with the bitter edge knocked of by the touch of milk chocolate. I use it for dipping, topping bars and decorating holiday treats.

Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Source: Confessions of a Tart

Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Dorie Greenspan's Baking

The Swirl
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips)
1/3 cup plump moist raisins (optional - ?)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg, a pinch
salt, a pinch

The Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 orange, zest of
8 ounces butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
powdered sugar, for dusting

Position oven rack in center; preheat oven to 350°; butter a 9- to 10-inch Bundt pan, dust the interior with flour and tap out the excess; do not place the Bundt pan on a baking sheet.

Make the swirl: add all the ingredients to a bowl; stir to mix.

Make the cake: whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Working in the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add in the butter; with the paddle or whisk attachment beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.

Add in eggs one at a time, beat for 1 minute after each egg goes inches. Beat in the vanilla; decrease mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream. Still on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix only until they disappear into the batter.

Give the batter a last stir or two with a rubber spatula, then scoop about 1/3 of the batter into the Bundt pan. Evenly sprinkle on half of the swirl mixture, then spoon in the rest of the batter. Make a shallow indentation with the back of a spoon in the center of the ring of batter and fill it with the remaining swirl mixture, then cover the mixture lightly with the batter on the sides of the indentation—the batter probably won’t cover the mixture completely and that is fine.

Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean.

Transfer pan to a rack and let the cake rest for 10 minutes before unmolding it onto the rack to cool to room temperature. Just before serving, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fudge Brownies with Salted Caramel topping

Source: Natalie's Killer Cuisine

Fudge Brownies with Salted Caramel topping
yield: 24 brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
2 cups Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 Eggs
1 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups AP Flour
2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Hersheys Special Dark)

preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare 9×13 pan

1. Melt butter in a sauce pot. Add sugar and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until sugar has melted slightly and liquid is silky.
2. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Use a spatula to scrape all butter into bowl.
3. Add eggs one at a time, stirring between each one. Add cocoa powder and stir until fully combined.
4. Add baking powder, salt and flour. Stir until just combined, though make sure there are no lumps or ‘pockets’ full of flour in the batter. Add the chocolate chips.
5. Pour into a prepared 9×13 pan and use the back of a spoon to spread out evenly. Bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool at least one hour before cutting.

Salted Caramel Topping
yield: 1 cup topping

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Whole Milk
2 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
Salt, for topping

1. In a sauce pot, combine butter and brown sugar and turn heat to medium heat until comes to a slow boil. Add milk and bring back to boil.
2. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Use a wooden spoon to stir until powdered sugar is fully combined and mixture is creamy. If the mixture has some clumps, then strain before using.
3. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before pouring (all) of the mixture on top of the brownies. Sprinkle immediately with sea salt or kosher salt. Let set up, around 10 minutes, before cutting into squares.

Old Fashioned Lemon Bars

Source: Culinary Travels

Old Fashioned Lemon Bars

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon icing sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Drop lemon oil (optional)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180C or the equivalent.
2. In a medium bowl stir together 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup icing sugar. Cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal and work it with your fingertips till it holds together. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 8 inch (square or round) pan.
3. Bake about 15 minutes, until light golden brown. remove, but leave the oven on.
4. Meanwhile, in a meduim bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, beat at a high speed for 10 minutes, until smooth and slightly thickened.
5. On a sheet of waxed paper combine the remaining 2 tablespoons flour with the baking powder and salt, gradually beat into the egg mixture, beating just until smooth.
6. Pour over the baked layer and bake about 20 minutes longer, until set and lightly browned. Cool in the pan on a rack. Sift the remaining icing sugar over the top and cut into bars or in pie shaped pieces

Killer Brownies

Source: Sweet and Savory Tooth

Killer Brownies

1 package dark chocolate brownie mix
2/3 cup pretzels, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s 72% dark chocolate)
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Sprinkle with pretzels and peanuts and semisweet chocolate chips. Bake 4 to 6 minutes longer, or until chocolate is melted. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate, peanut butter, butter and salt. Cook and stire until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in the cereal and vanilla. Carefully spread over the brownies. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Burnt Butter and Pecan Cupcakes

Source: The Island of Dr. Gateau

Burnt Butter and Pecan Cupcakes

220g unsalted butter
80g finely chopped pecans
335g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
400g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbs white vinegar

Start at least an hour or two ahead of when you’d usually start as the burnt butter takes up a bit of extra time.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until liquid. Stir the butter frequently with a wooden spoon. After a while it will start to foam quite a lot. Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the saucepan. The butter will start to turn a dark golden brown, although you’ll have to keep pushing the foam out of the way to see it. When it smells nutty and kind of caramel-y, pour it into a bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes, then put it in the fridge to solidify. Once it has solidified, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature to soften.

While you’re waiting for the butter to solidify then soften, heat the oven to 180°C. Toast the chopped pecans on a baking tray for 5 minutes, then allow to cool.

Cream the burnt butter and sugar together in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until fluffy and light (about 5-10 minutes). Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each one. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Add the salt and lukewarm water and mix well.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the toasted pecans and stir through. Add about 1/3 of this into the other mixture and start beating, then slowly add about 1/3 of the buttermilk while the mixer is running. Add the next third of the dry ingredients and beat, followed by the next third of the buttermilk as before, and then repeat for the last time. Once the mixture is well combined, get a small bowl and put the bicarbonate of soda in it, then add the vinegar and whisk with a fork to make sure any lumps dissolve. Add this into the cake mixture and beat on medium speed for about 10 seconds.

Spoon the mixture into miniature cupcake papers lining the holes of a miniature cupcake pan, then bake for 8-10 minutes. Put a cake tester or skewer into one of the cakes to check if it’s done — the skewer should come out clean. If you’re making normal sized cupcakes, they take about 13-15 minutes. Once out of the oven, leave the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes (they’re very delicate when still hot) then carefully remove them onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Pretzel icing
100g pretzels (the hard, crunchy sort)
500g cream cheese, softened
100g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk

Process the pretzels in a food processor until they’re a mixture of coarse pretzel dust with a few small fragments of pretzel. Set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Scrape the sides of the bowl down once or twice. Add the sugar and beat until well combined, then the vanilla and beat again, then the pretzel dust/fragments and beat again. The mixture will be very thick, so add the milk a quarter cup at a time, beating for a couple of minutes after each addition, to thin the icing out a bit and make it smooth.

Ice your cakes, decorate with pretzels if you wish, and you’re done.

Pecan Pie Bars

Source: My Story

Pecan Pie Bars
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

1 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold)

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 jellyroll pan with aluminum foil.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to flour mixture.

Toss and use a pastry blender to cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles crumbs the size of peas.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into a smooth crust. Poke several holes in the crust with tines of a fork. Bake about 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.

Chop up your pecans into small pieces.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.

Add in the chopped pecans. Incorporate the pecans into the wet mixture.
Pour filling into the pre-baked crust. Return to oven to bake for about 20 minutes until filling is set.
Cool on a wire rack until completely cool.

Use foil to lift bars out of pan and cut into squares.

Garlic Naan

Source: Joelen's Culinary Adventures

Garlic Naan
recipe adapted from The Fresh Loaf

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 packet yeast (or, if from bulk, 2 teaspoons yeast)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast with the flour, salt, and sugar. (If you are using active dry yeast, follow the instructions on the packet to activate it before combining with the rest of the ingredients.) Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon until you form a ball. Add water if needed to get all the flour mixed into the ball of dough.

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough at low speed for approximately 10 minutes. After kneading, place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough inside the bowl around to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until it doubles in size (roughly 1 1/2 hours - 2 hours).

When the doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface. Set a ball of dough on the floured surface. Flour the top of the dough, as well as your rolling pin or hands. Stretch and flatten the dough with your rolling pin/hands and roll out the dough to a 1/8 - 1/4 inch thickness. If the dough is too touch to stretch, cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the garlic oil. Return to the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes, enough to warm the garlic oil.

Black Bottom Pecan Praline Bars

Source: Technicolor Kitchen

Black Bottom Pecan Praline Bars

Brownie layer:
56g (2oz) unsweetened chocolate – I used dark (70% cocoa solids)
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (112g) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cold large egg
1/4 cup (35g) all purpose flour

Praline layer:
1/4 cup (35g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (70g) packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (140g) pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 22cm (9in) square pan* and line the bottom and sides with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter foil as well.
Start with the brownie layer: place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt with a wooden spoon (I prefer to use a silicon spatula). Add the egg. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth, glossy, and beginning to come away from the sides of the bowl, 1-2 minutes. Spread the brownie batter in a thin even layer in the bottom of the lined pan. Set aside.
Now, the praline layer: mix the flour and baking soda together thoroughly and set aside.
Combine the melted butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla, then the flour mixture, and finally the nuts. Drop spoonfuls all over the top of the brownie batter (they will spread and cover the brownies entirely during baking).
Bake until the edges of the topping are well browned and cracked, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 25 bars.

* I used a 20cm (8in) square pan

Turtle Cookie Bars

Source: Sprinkled with Flour

Turtle Cookie Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup pecan halves
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and butter. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. In a small bowl, mix the pecan halves and salt together. Layer the pecan halves over the crust.

In a medium pan, cook the butter and brown sugar over medium high heat, until boiling. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Pour the mixture evenly over the pecans.

Place the pan in a 350F oven, and cook for 15 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the pecans. Allow the chips to soften for a few minutes, then gently swirl the chocolate over the pecans. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans, and let cool for two hours. Cut into bars, serve, and enjoy!

Texan-Sized Almond Crunch Cookies

Source: Bakergirl

Texan-Sized Almond Crunch Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups almonds, chopped
2 cups toffee brickle chips
Extra granulated sugar for rolling in

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream together the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, softened butter, and oil. Add vanilla and eggs. Blend in the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix in the almonds and the toffee pieces.

Shape dough into balls and roll in sugar. Real Texas-sized cookies are made using a large tablespoon-size ball. I made mine a little smaller. Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar and make fancy criss-cross on the top. Place on a greased baking sheet, being sure to leave plenty of room between cookies (about five inches).

Bake for 12-18 minutes (16 minutes was perfect for the size I made), until golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Smoked Salmon Croquettes

Source: Kayotic Kitchen

Smoked Salmon Croquettes


2 cups mashed potatoes
9 oz (smoked) salmon
1/2 cup green peas
2 scallions
lemon juice
flat-leaf parsley
fresh dill
2 eggs

Optional: Old Bay & Lawry’s lemon pepper


The leftover salmon. It was so divine. Don’t tell anyone, but you can also do this with canned salmon.

I removed the skin and used a fork to make the pieces smaller. Transfer it to a big bowl.

And add your mashed potatoes.

I used 1/2 cup frozen peas for this. Well, I defrosted them first.

Finely mince two scallions and add them to the bowl.

You can never go wrong with fresh herbs. Flat-leaf parsley and dill. Chop a good handful of both but don’t go overboard on the dill, it’s powerful stuff.

Add the minced herbs to the bowl, squeeze in some lemon juice (a tbsp or two), and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Want to get real fancy? Grate some of the lemon zest as well, that’s where all the flavor is.

This is completely optional but to me seafood needs a little old bay. Half a tsp or so. For those of you who can’t buy this, here’s my Old Bay copycat version.

Mix it up, cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for about an hour or so. Letting it firm up will help you shape the balls. Or triangles. Whatever rocks your boat.

Fast forward.

Lightly beat two eggs.

And put your breadcrumbs in a bowl. I like to season mine with a touch of Lawry’s lemon pepper—my one true addiction.

Grab a full dinner spoon of the filling and roll it in your hands.

Then dump the ball in the egg, shake off the excess egg and roll it around in the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process until you have two egg / breadcrumb coatings.

Put the croquettes back into the fridge for at least an hour.

Pour 1 liter/quart of oil (canola or even sunflower oil will do) into a pot, stick a candy/oil thermometer in there and wait ‘til the temperature is at 375F (180C). I used my stir-fry pan with thermo spot because A) I’m lazy and B) Ii couldn’t find my candy thermometer anywhere. Probably in the sand box, along with my cute, colorful silicone baking cups.

Carefully put the croquettes into the hot oil and fry them until crispy and brown, this will take 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan, that will make the temperature drop and it’ll become a greasy, soggy mess. Let them drain on a paper towel and serve them with lemon mayonnaise.

I know they don’t look it, but they were the most flavorful, crispy little bites I’ve had in a long time. They work as appetizer, party food, lunch or even dinner when you serve it with a salad on the side. Fun little bites.

Vanilla and macadamia crumble mini cheesecakes

Source: Technicolor Kitchen

Vanilla and macadamia crumble mini cheesecakes

370g ricotta
300g cream cheese
1 1/3 cups (267g) caster sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

125g digestive/shortbread cookies
½ cup (50g) almond meal (ground almonds)
45g unsalted butter, melted

Crumble topping:
100g digestive/shortbread cookies
½ cup (70g) unsalted macadamias
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
50g unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 140°C/285°F.
Make the base: process cookies in a food processor until crushed. Add the almond meal and butter and process until combined. Grease a round 22cm springform pan and line the base with baking paper. Press the crumb mix over the base and refrigerate (I left it in the fridge overnight).
Place the ricotta and cream cheese, in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and process until combined and smooth. Pour the mixture over the base and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set.
In the meantime, make the crumble topping: place the cookies, macadamias, vanilla, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until roughly chopped.
After baking the cheesecake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, top it with the crumble mixture and bake for a further 10 minutes or until top is golden. Allow to cool in the pan, then serve.

Serves 8-10 – I halved the recipe above, used 1/3 cup (80ml) capacity mini pans (with removable bottoms) and got 9 mini cheesecakes (baked for 25 minutes, pans only buttered, I did not line the bases with paper)

Peanut Butter Granola Bites

Source: Lisa is Hungry

Peanut Butter Granola Bites
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 24 balls

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup cold cereal like Rice Krispies
1 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)


In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the maple syrup or honey, peanut butter and butter. Heat until the butter is melted and the peanut butter is loosened.

Combine cereal, oats and coconut in a medium bowl. Pour the warm peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and fold tom combine. Stir until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the peanut butter mixture. Allow the mixture to cool a bit for easier scooping. Mix in chocolate chips if desired.

Using a small scoop, scoop mixture onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Press balls together with clean and damp fingers if they break apart a bit. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to harden and set. Place balls in cupcake liners and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Triple Layer Bars

Source: Tomayto Tomaaahto

Triple Layer Bars


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (digestives work great if you're not in the US)
7 oz (about 2 cups) flaked/shredded coconut
14 oz (395 g) sweetened condensed milk
12 oz (about 2 cups) dark (semi-sweet) chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter


1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C.
2. In a rectangular oven-proof dish (about 9x13 inches - mine was smaller which made the bars taller) melt the butter in the oven.
3. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the melted butter.
4. Top with coconut, spreading evenly, then pour on the sweetened condensed milk.
5. Bake 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
6. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips with peanut butter, stirring constantly until smooth.
7. Spread over coconut layer and smooth with spatula or knife.
8. Cool for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (a couple of hours).
9. Carefully de-mold and cut into whatever shapes you choose. 2-inch squares work well, but diamonds, triangles or even circles would be nice too.

Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies

Source: daily doses of sugar

Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange extract (I made my own lemon extract by simmering 1/4 cup of lemon juice to one tbsp. I accidentally added the whole tbsp in.. the cookies still turned out ok)
1 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest (I left this out)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed with the paddle until well mixed. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until light, about 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Batter may look broken and curdled. Beat in the extracts and zest.

Decrease the speed to low and beat in the flour. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the dough a few good turns with your spatula to bring it all together.

Arrange rounded teaspoons of the dough on a pan lined with parchment paper. Space the balls about 2-inches apart. After all the cookies have been placed on the pan, flour a fork and press a crisscross design into the top of each mound of dough. Bake the cookies until they spread and become golden, about 20 minutes. Slide the parchment paper off the pan to cool completely.

Keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a plastic container with a tight lid.

Snickers Cupcakes

Source: Homemade by Holman

Snickers Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners. Recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Combine sugar through salt in a large boil. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on low until just incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat two minutes. Stir in boiling water, the batter will be thin. Transfer batter to prepared pans, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way full, approximately 1/4 cup of batter. Bake approximately 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans about five minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cool, use a paring knife to cut a small cone shape out of the top of each cupcake. Add caramel sauce as desired. You can cut the point off the cone and add it back to the cupcake if desired.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb powdered sugar
8 mini Snickers bar for garnish

Beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add caramel sauce, heavy cream and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated to reach the right consistency. Increase speed to medium-high and whip about one minute until light and fluffy. Fill a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes or frost as desired.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

Source: Pioneer Woman

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

1 1/3 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
1 cup Oats
1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cups Lemon Juice
Zest Of 1 Lemon


Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.

Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch pan.

Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.

Serve cool.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Source: Chocolate & Carrots

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
adapted from Notecook


2/3 cup fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Smart Balance creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 cups Kellogg’s Rice Krispies
3 tablespoons Smart Balance creamy peanut butter (icing)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (icing)

1. Put Rice Krispies in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Grease a 9X9 inch pan.
3. Bring sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar to a boil over medium/high heat, stirring constantly.
4. After the ingredients are blended together smoothly and starting to boil, pour over the Rice Krispies and stir together.
5. Spread the mixture evenly in the greased pan and let cool in the refrigerator.
6. To prepare the icing, over low heat, stir the chocolate and peanut butter until smooth.
7. Pour the icing over the treats, spread evenly, and put it back in the fridge.
8. Cut into squares after the icing has had time to set.
9. Enjoy and share with your neighbors!

Praline Pecan Brownies

Source: Indecisive Baker

Praline Pecan Brownies
(adapted from Paula Deen)

1 package chewy brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Oven to 350.

Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions. Pour batter into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the pecans and sugar and cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Drizzle the caramel mixture over brownie batter and bake until a toothpick can be inserted and withdrawn cleanly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie

Source: The Hungry Engineer

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Recipe Source

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark, your call)
3/4 cup oil (I usually use canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces by weight) all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (rounded) coarse kosher salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips (our preferred chips are Ghirardelli 60% cacao)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Combine the sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix till thoroughly combined.

In a separate smaller bowl, toss together the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt, stirring to evenly distribute the salt and baking powder.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, and then fold in the chocolate chips.

With a #40 purple disher, portion cookie dough out on two parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheets, twelve cookies to a sheet. Bake in the top and bottom thirds of the oven for nine to twelve minutes, allowing the edges to brown slightly and tops to firm up. Rotate the sheets top to bottom and back to front about halfway through baking.

Cool in the pan for a minute or two, then move to a rack to cool completely.

Moist Yellow Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting

Source: Cooking Weekends

Moist Yellow Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting

The cupcakes do seem moister to me, and they aren't as oily as those at Whole Foods - however, they also don't keep for a week and are best eaten within a day or two.


1 cup unsalted butter, (half of this amount will be used in the frosting)
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12 muffin tin with baking papers.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook until lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Pour 1/2 cup butter into a bowl, reserving the other half for the frosting. Add the canola oil, sugar and buttermilk, then whisk them until well combined. Whisk in one egg at a time.

Whisk in the vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the flours until they are well combined.

Spoon/pour the batter, dividing equally among the 12 lined baking cups. Bake for about 13-16 minutes or until done. Be careful not to over-bake them; I began to watch them closely after 13 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool.

1/2 cup browned butter, (the reserved amount from earlier)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 - 2 1/2 cups icing sugar

Beat the butter, sour cream, vanilla extract and 2 cups icing sugar, together in a bowl. Keep adding more icing sugar until the frosting has the right consistency. Decorate the cooled cupcakes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake
adapted slightly from Kraft

1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt and adding spinach to the boiling water the last minute.

Cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 min. Stir in spaghetti sauce, garlic, and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer on low heat 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in Neufchatel.

Drain pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole or 8-inch square baking dish.

Bake 20 min.; top with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Source: And Now for Something Completely Delicious

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
From Betty Crocker Cookbook

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening, butter, and sugars on medium high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add the white chocolate chips and the macadamia nut cookies.

Spoon by the tablespoon onto the sheet pan lined with parchment paper, with about 2 inch spacing. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

Source: It Pleases Us

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
From David Lebovitz

For the caramel praline (mix-in)
100g caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the ice cream custard
500ml milk, divided into two
300g caster sugar
60g butter
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
250ml heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel praline

Spread the sugar in an even layer in a heavy duty saucepan;
Line a baking tray with baking paper or brush with unflavored oil (ie. grape-seed oil, vegetable oil etc).
Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt and continue stirring until the sugar is liquified and completely melted. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the caramel starts smoking and smells like it’s about to burn.
Quickly sprinkle in the salt, swirl for a second, then pour the caramel onto the tray. Lift the tray and twirl so that the caramel forms a very thin layer. Set aside to harden and cool.

For the caramel custard

First, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes, adding a little water and sitting a smaller metal bowl into the larger one. Pour half the milk (250ml) into the metal bowl and rest a strainer over the top.
Make another caramel with the 300g sugar (as per above).
Once caramel is finished, remove from the hear, stir in the butter and salt, then whisk in the cream. Stir in the other 250ml of milk.
Whisk the yolks in a small bowl, then add a little of the warm caramel mixture. Stir the mix constantly, then scrape the yolks back into the saucepan. Cook the custard over the heat until the mixture thickens (about 71-77C on a thermometer).
Pour the custard into the metal bowl through the strainer, into the chilled milk. Add vanilla, then stir until the mixture cools. Chill the mixture in the fridge overnight.
Churn the mixture in your ice-cream maker. Crumble the praline into bits and crumble into the ice-cream. Freeze until firm (or as firm as it will be, this ice-cream is pretty soft).

Ann's Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Source: Andrea's Recipes

Ann's Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

3 pounds (1.362 kilos) pork shoulder or picnic roast, trimmed and cubed
2 medium onions, chopped
3 green peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup (55 g) brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
6 ounces (170 g) tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


1. In the large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the pork cubes until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, reserving the pan drippings. Add the chopped onion and green peppers, and sauté until the onions glisten. Transfer the onions, peppers, and the drippings to the slow cooker.

2. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, chili powder, mustard, salt, and Worcestershire sauce to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or set it on Auto for 6 to 7 hours.

Herbed Meatball Hoagies

Source: Nutrition to Kitchen

Herbed Meatball Hoagies
makes 12 large meatballs, or 24 smaller meatballs

4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh ginger
4 stalks of green onions (scallions)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lb ground turkey, lean (I think I used about 1.25 lbs and it still worked out fine)
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
3/4 canned crushed tomatoes, with juice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp sugar (optional, if you need to balance out the acidity in the tomato sauce)
whole-wheat hoagie rolls
Fresh cilantro, optional
Shredded cheese, optional


1. Finely chop garlic, ginger, scallions, and cilantro. It’s quickest if you do this in a food processor. Divide the mixture in two.

2. In 2-cup capacity measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup of the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and half of the garlic/ginger mixture. Measure out scant 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and form into meatballs, makes about 12 large meatballs. For smaller meatballs, measure 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture to form 24 smaller meatballs.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add 6 of the meatballs and brown both sides, about 3-4 minutes each side. Repeat with the remaining meatballs, adding another tablespoon oil if necessary. Remove the meatballs from the pan (meatballs do not have to be cooked all the way through yet – you’ll return them to the pan real soon to complete the cooking process).

4. Add the remaining garlic/ginger mixture to the pan, and saute for about 1-2 minutes until green onions are wilted and starting to turn golden brown. Pour the chicken broth/tomato juice mixture into the pan. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture up to a boil, then add the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat down to low and allow the meatballs to simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth with cornstarch until you form a slurry and no lumps remain. Uncover the meatball mixture, and move the meatballs out of the center. Add the cornstarch slurry to the center of the pan, swirling sauce evenly around the pan until the mixture slightly thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and add 1/4 tsp sugar to balance out the acidity if needed.

6. Heat the whole-wheat hoagie rolls in the oven at 300°F for about 5-6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Fill each hoagie bun with either 2-3 large meatballs, or 4-5 smaller ones, along with a couple tablespoons of the tomato sauce. Top with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro and a tablespoon of shredded cheese (optional); serve hot.

Coconut Cream Pie

Source: Phoebe Bites

Coconut Cream Pie
Adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2002


1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
9 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
4 Tbsp. Ice water, plus a few 1 or 2 teaspoons more if needed


1/2 cup Granulated sugar
2 large Eggs
1 large Egg yolk
3 Tbsp. All purpose flour
1 cup Whole milk
1/2 cup Coconut milk
1 1/2 cups Sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp Vanilla extract


2/3 cup Sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted in a pan
1 1/2 cups Whipping cream, chilled
2 Tbsp Granulated sugar

For crust:
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Process just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Dump dough onto a piece of plastic and use the sides of the plastic to gather dough into ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill 1 hour.

Roll out dough on a floured surface to a 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter ceramic/glass/metal pie dish. Trim the dough so there’s about 1/2 inch of dough hanging over the side. Fold overhang under. Crimp edges by making a V with the index finger and thumb of one hand and pushing into the V with the index finger of the other hand. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Bake until golden and set, about 10 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Cooled and wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature.)

For filling:
Whisk sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and flour in medium bowl. Bring milk, coconut milk and flaked coconut to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. (It is easier for me to use a ladle to slowly drizzle in the milk mixture instead of pouring it straight from the pot.) Return the egg and milk mixture to the same saucepan; cook until pastry cream thickens and boils, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla extract. Transfer pastry cream to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent formation of skin. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Transfer filling to crust. Cover; chill for at least six hours.

For topping:
Using electric mixer, beat cream and sugar until peaks form. Spread whipped cream all over the top of the filling. Sprinkle evenly with toasted coconut.

Corn and Cheese Fried Wonton

Source: Phoebe Bites

Corn and Cheese Fried Wonton

1 cup Corn, thawed if using frozen corn
1 cup Ricotta
1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh Basil, chopped
1 large Egg
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 pkg Wonton wrapper, about 60 wrappers
Canola oil, for frying

Mix the corn, ricotta, mozzarella, parsley, basil, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Spoon a tablespoon of corn and cheese filling onto the center of a wonton wrapper. Wet a pastry brush or your index finger with water and run it along the sides of the wrapper. Put another sheet of wrapper on top, squeezing out any air in the center and sealing the edges. Repeat until you’ve used up the filling and wrappers.

Pour oil in a deep skillet and heat until it is about 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, wait until the oil starts rippling and carefully drop in a small piece of wonton wrapper. If the wrapper bubbles and rises to the top immediately, the oil is ready.

Add a a few wontons to the hot oil. The number you fry in each batch depends on the size of your skillet. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the skillet, which will lower the temperature of the oil. Fry until the wontons are crispy and golden brown, turning them a few times, so they brown evenly. Turn the stove down if the grease is splattering and getting too hot. The wontons should take about five minutes to cook.