Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cinnamon Leaves

Source: Foy Update

Cinnamon Leaves
(This recipe was adapted from Joy the Baker)

For the Dough:

2 3/4 cups plus all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast and salt) together in a large bowl, reserve one cup of the flour. On the stove or in the microwave, heat the milk, water, and butter until the butter is liquid. Allow the mixture to cool until it is still warm, but you can touch it with out burning yourself. Beat the two eggs together in a small bowl. Then add the butter mixture and eggs to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to combine. The dough will take a while to mix. Once everything is a very sticky dough, kneed in the remaining one cup of flour- about five minutes of kneading should do it.

Place the dough in a greased a bowl, rise with a clean towel over top until double. I like to warm my oven for a five minutes then turn it off and let the dough rise inside the slightly warm oven. It should take about an hour. Bread will rise really fast at about 90 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a clean surface to 12 by 20 inch rectangle. Now your ready to add the filling. Brush the melted butter over the surface of the rolled out dough. Then mix the cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg together and sprinkle it over top. It will seem like a lot, just trust me on this part.

Then cut the dough into six strips. Stack the six strips on top of each other. Cut those strips into three or four stacks of squares. Put the stacks of squares into the greased 9x5 loaf pan.

Allow to rise a second time until double (about 15-30 minutes).

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Check to make sure the loaf is done before you tip it out by using a butter knife to press down on the top, if it springs back it is done. If it doesn't the dough isn't quite baked, put it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Use the butter knife to loosen the edges then invert the bread onto a plate. The syrup that was made from all the sugar, is really hot and will run down the edges. Let the bread set for five minutes before you dig in so you don't burn your mouth. And don't forget to pour yourself a cup of coffee or a class of milk. Enjoy.

Oreo Cupcakes

Source: Bakergirl

Oreo Cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Oreo cookies, finely crushed
15 Oreos for the top of each cupcake

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Twist Oreos in half and set aside the extra cookies for later. Place the side with cream filling in the bottom of each cupcake liner, cream-side facing up.
Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and pour the hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the cookie crumbs with a spatula.

Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe on top of the cupcakes. Garnish with Oreo cookies.

Makes 15 cupcakes.

Coconut Pecan “Why Not” Pie with Walnuts and Toffee

Source: 17 and Baking

Coconut Pecan “Why Not” Pie with Walnuts and Toffee
Makes a 9″ pie

1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons ice water

2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate toffee bits

Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon

To make the crust, stir the flour and sugar together in the bowl of a mixer. Use the paddle to beat the butter in, cutting it until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs (you can also do this in a food processor or by hand with a pastry blender or fork.) Dribble in the water while stirring the mixture until the dough clumps. Gently knead a few times until the dough forms a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough out into a circle and press into a 9″ glass pie pan. Freeze for half an hour.

To make the filling, lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter, which should be cooled to room temperature. Mix in the sugar, flour, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix the pecans, walnuts, coconut and toffee bits together in a large bowl, then combine with the egg mixture. Pour into the unbaked 9” pie crust and top with pretty pecan halves. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 55 minutes, or until crust is golden and top has gently cracked. Cool to room temperature.

To make the bourbon whipped cream, whip the heavy cream by hand or with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the bourbon with a heavy spatula. Refrigerate until using and dollop on the slices of pie.

Pepperoni Pizza Pot Pie

Source: Babble's Family Kitchen

Pepperoni Pizza Pot Pie

1 large package pepperoni
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
28 ounces pizza sauce
1 ball store-bought pizza dough

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a 2-quart baking dish layer the pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella until it reaches near the top. Roll the crust into a circle that is 1 inch wider than the diameter of the baking dish and drape it over the pot. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is browned and the inside is bubbly.

Chicken Tikka Masala


Chicken Tikka Masala
From the episode: Indian Favorites, Simplified
America's Test Kitchen by Cook's Illustrated

Serves 4 to 6

This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala. The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.


1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

No-Butter Chicken

Source: Kayotic Kitchen

No-Butter Chicken


2 chicken breasts
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
2 red onions
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cumin seeds (Too much for me. I’ll opt for 1 tsp)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 cup water (or chicken stock)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp high-heat cooking oil


The chicken, I decided to cut mine in small pieces but looking back bigger pieces would’ve looked prettier somehow. Finely mince the red onions. Peel and grate the ginger. Heat the oil and cook the onion and ginger for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the cumin seeds. The original recipe says 1 tbsp but in my humble opinion that was way too much. I wouldn’t take it past 1 tsp the next time.

Add the chili flakes, garam masala, turmeric and salt. I think a pinch of cinnamon might work really well, too. Never be afraid to use spices and try unconventional flavors.

And spoon in the tomato paste. Cook the whole shebang for 2 more minutes. The scent that will rise now is like crack to a foodie.

Add the chicken pieces, stir to coat them all with the mixture. Add a nice bit of freshly cracked black pepper for a little extra zing and cook the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the sugar and pour in the yoghurt. Stir to blend the yoghurt with the spices.
Pour in the water (or chicken stock) and bring it to a boil.

Let the chicken cook for 10 to 15 minutes over high heat without the lid on. We want the sauce to really cook down.
Right before it’s done you might want to check the seasoning, I added a little more salt.

Serve over basmati or white rice.

It could use a little lime, perhaps some coriander if you like it, but this is really great food!
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (I used dark cocoa)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Soft caramel, rolled into little balls (I used Peter’s caramel)
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF; line 2 baking sheets with baking paper, lightly coated with cooking spray. I used Silpats! Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sift together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars (mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Wrap the chocolate dough around the caramel balls. Place balls on cookie sheets and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

Source: How Sweet It Is

One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two
serves 2

1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla (yes, a full teaspoon – they are super vanilla-y!)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.

In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired. I used some leftover white chocolate frosting.

Twice-baked potatoes with pesto

Source: In Erika's Kitchen

Twice-baked potatoes with pesto
by Erika Kerekes

Easy twice-baked potatoes with pesto - a perfect green snack for St. Patrick's Day. Use tiny new potatoes for bite-sized finger food.

12 baby potatoes
3 Tbsp pesto sauce (prepared or homemade)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 Tbsp butter salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the potatoes well and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes about 40 minutes, until they are soft enough that the tip of a knife slides in easily. Let the potatoes cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. Leave the oven on.

Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of each potato lengthwise. Discard the top slices. With a small spoon and working very carefully, scoop out the insides of each potato, leaving about a quarter-inch layer of potato flesh all around. Be careful not to pierce the skin - you need the potato shells intact. Put the potato flesh into a small mixing bowl.

Mash the potatoes with the tines of a fork, then stir in the pesto, cheese and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper (be more generous with the salt than you think you need to be). Using the same small spoon with which you scooped out the potatoes, fill the potato shells with the filling, mounding it above the opening.

Return the potatoes to the baking sheet and put it back in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are sizzling and browned on top. Serve immediately.

Cream-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes With Strawberry Buttercream

Source: Confessions of a Tart

Cream-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes With Strawberry Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes
(Makes 24 cupcakes) [made about 27 for me, but I didn't overfill]
(Martha Stewart)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Pastry Cream (recipe below)
Strawberry Buttercream (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in 3 batches of flour mixture, alternating with 2 batches of milk. Raise speed to medium-high; mix until thoroughly blended, 10 to 20 seconds.

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with batter. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool in tin on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tin and decorate.

If filling with cream, use a small spoon or the tip of a knife to make a small hole in the center of each cupcake, going about half way through the cupcake. Fill the hole with cream and then pipe buttercream on top.


Strawberry Buttercream
2 sticks (16 tbsp) of butter, room temperature
1 cup strawberries, pureed (I measured out the strawberries first and then pureed them)
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter in the mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. On slow speed, gradually add about 2 cups of powdered sugar and turn back up to high for a few minutes to really incorporate the sugar. Turn to slow speed again and fold in the strawberries. Add more sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Once all the sugar is incorporated, turn to medium-high for a few minutes to mix well.


Pastry Cream
(Tartine - awesome, awesome book)

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour the milk into a heavy saucepan. Add the salt, place over medium-high heat, and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth (don't let the eggs and sugar stand together for too long or else the sugar will cook the eggs *so I've heard*).

When the milk is ready, slowly drizzle about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes. The mixture must come just to the boiling point (slow bubbles, not boiling vigorously, or you will curdle the eggs, yuk). Remove from heat and immediately pour through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut the butter into 1 tbsp pieces and whisk into pastry cream 1 tbsp at a time until smooth.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming and put in the refrigerator to cool.

Dark Chocolate Caramel Nutella Twix Bars

Source: Savory Sweet Life

Dark Chocolate Caramel Nutella Twix Bars
Makes 12 bars


24 – square caramel candies, cut in half
24 – 4 inch pretzel sticks
1/3 cup Nutella
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or your favorite type of chocolate
optional: sea salt


Place caramel halves on a plate in a single layer. Microwave the caramels for 8 seconds, just until they are pliable but still firm. With two pretzels side by side in the palm on the hand, line four caramel halves along the pretzel from one end to another. Gently pushed the caramels down using a thumb and index finger to bind the caramel to the pretzels. Repeat this with all the pretzels and caramels. Spoon the Nutella into a sandwich bag and cut the tip off. Pipe a pea sized bead of Nutella on the non caramel side of the pretzels. Carefully spread the Nutella across the top surface with the back side of a utensil handle. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe container and microwave for 1 minute and stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave for an additional 30 seconds to get the chocolate smooth. Place the pretzel (Nutella side up) on a fork and carefully dip the pretzels in the chocolate rocking the pretzels side to side to get the pretzel bars completely coated. Lift the bar from the chocolate and allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Place bars on plate or board lined with parchment paper. Place the board in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or the freezer for 10 minutes accelerator the chocolate to harden and set up.

If you prefer a more salted chocolate caramel candy bar, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt along the top of each chocolate bar after dipping them in chocolate and before placing them in the refrigerator to set.

Toasted Coconut, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Toasted Coconut, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 large egg
1 cup Heath toffee bits
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange coconut in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until coconut is lightly toasted, stirring once. Set coconut aside to cool.

2. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add brown sugar and butter. Beat at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about two minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, coconut extract, and egg. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in toasted coconut, toffee bits, and chocolate chips.

4. Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown around the edges. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks.

Note-if you can’t find Heath Toffee Bits you can chop up Heath or Skor candy bars.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Corned Beef Hash

Source: Renee Julia

Corned Beef Hash

1 lb of thick-cut corned beef
1 bag of southern-style hash browns or Potatoes O’Brien (or 2lbs of cooked diced potatoes)
1 small onion finely diced
3 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter and onion in a large frying pan on medium-low heat. Add diced onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Mix in the diced corned beef and potatoes. Increase the heat to medium, stirring gently until the mixture is evenly spread flat throughout the frying pan. Allow the bottom to brown to a nice, golden crust, and then use a spatula to flip. Repeat the same steps until all of the hash has a nice golden crust. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Remove pan from heat and serve immediately. It’s perfect with eggs on top!

‘Super Evil’ Bacon Meatballs

Source: Evil Shenanigans

‘Super Evil’ Bacon Meatballs
Serves 8-10

1 pound hardwood smoked bacon
12 ounces ground beef, 80/20 preferred
8 ounces ground pork
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon, or more to taste, crushed red pepper
1 egg

Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and place into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the bacon until it is evenly ground and no large chunks of bacon remain.

In a large bowl combine the bacon with the remaining ingredients. Mix gently until evenly combined. Scoop the meatballs into 1 1/2-inch balls, making sure not to compress the balls while shaping. Place on a parchment lined pan and chill, uncovered, for at least two hours.

Heat the oven to 400F. Once the meatballs are chilled heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and brown thoroughly on all sides. Transfer to a baking sheet until the rest of the meatballs are browned.

Bake the meatballs until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160 F, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

*To make these meatballs a sub you will need the following:

For the sauce I used the sauce recipe found here with 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel, 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme added.

For the rolls melt 2 teaspoons of butter per roll with 1/2 clove fresh minced garlic. Brush the butter on each half of the roll and toast until golden.

I added a little shredded mozzarella cheese, too. Enjoy!

Sweet, Smokey, and Spicy Pizza on a Bock Beer Crust

Source: Evil Shenanigans

Sweet, Smokey, and Spicy Pizza on a Bock Beer Crust
Yield 4 medium or 2 large pizzas

For the Bock Beer Crust:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons instant yeast)
1 1/2 cups Shiner Bock, or any bock, beer
1/4 cup water
Olive oil for brushing

For the herb sprinkle:
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dry thyme

For the cheese blend:
2 – 6 ounce Fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
1 cup smoked young cacioavallo, or smoked provolone, grated
1 cup fontina fontal, grated
1/2 cup grana padano stravecchio, or Parmesan

For the toppings:
2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup caramelized onions
4 strips Candied Bacon, cut into 1″ pieces (recipe follows)
3 ounces hard Spanish chorizo, sliced thin
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced and browned
4 – 1/2″ slices of fresh pineapple, grilled and cut into 1″ pieces
Fresh basil for garnish

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the hook attachment, combine the flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl proof the yeast, if using active dry, in 1/2 cup of beer. Once foamy, about ten minutes, add it to the dry mixture along with the remaining cup of beer and the olive oil.

Mix on low speed for three minutes. The dough should be fairly sticky but form a smooth ball. If the dough seems dry add the water one tablespoon at a time until no dry flour remains. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and form it into a smooth ball. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 500 F with a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven for thirty minutes before you are ready to bake.

Once fermented turn the dough out on a lightly floured cutting board. Gently press the dough to degas then divide into four equal pieces. Round the pieces and let rest, covered, for ten minutes. (You can place any dough you don’t need in a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months at this time.)

Once rested form the pizza crust to your desired size and thickness by picking up the dough and gently stretching in a circle. Transfer the dough round on a semolina dusted square of parchment on a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with the herb mixture.

Bake for two minutes, then remove the crust from the oven, discard the parchment.

Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of tomato sauce evenly over the pizza, then spread 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions over the sauce. Add 4 or 5 slices of the fresh mozzarella, 1/4 cup each browned mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grilled pineapple chunks. Next add 1/4 cup each of the smoked young cacioavallo and fontina fontal. Add 5 or 6 pieces each of the chorizo and candied bacon. Finish with freshly grated grana padano stravecchio.

Bake the pizza for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is crust is brown. Garnish with fresh torn basil, if desired.


Simple Tomato Sauce
Yield 2 cups
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 – 28 ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 large red onion, peeled and cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced fine
Salt to taste

In a medium pot over medium heat melt the butter until it foams. Add the tomatoes, garlic and onion and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove and discard the onion and simmer, stirring often, for another hour. Taste the sauce and season with salt as desired.


Candied Bacon
Yield 6 strips

6 strips thick cut, smoked bacon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder

Heat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire cooling rack on top. In a small bowl mix the spices with the brown sugar. Place the bacon strips on the wire rack about an inch apart. Top each slice of bacon with the spice mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is bubbling. Cool on the rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Cupcake Crumble in a Jar

Source: Babble's Family Kitchen

Cupcake Crumble in a Jar

Here is what you will need:

* 2 or more leftover cupcakes – pop off the frosted flat tops (set aside) and crumble up the cake bottoms
* whip up your favorite vanilla or chocolate (or both) pudding
* a clean medium sized glass jar with lid – not too tall (I used a short and stout roasted red pepper jar)
* optional additional crumble ingredients (fudge sauce, nuts, marshmallow creme, canned fruit, berries and more)

How To:

Now you start layering.
First add some pudding.
Then the cupcake crumbled bits.
Then another layer of pudding.
Then one of the frosted cupcake flat tops.
Then more pudding.
More crumbles.
(Add additional ingredients along the way if you’d like)
Last layer is one of the frosted cupcake flat tops.
Close the jar lid and chill in the fridge for a while before serving. This way the pudding will help moisten the crumbles.
Serve by spooning into dessert cups.

Pizza Dip

Source: Closet Cooking

Pizza Dip

A layered, hot cheesy dip with all of the great pizza flavors including pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives and green peppers.

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
2 tablespoons green pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons black olives, sliced


Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the cheese has melted, bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Mexican Brownie-Bottom Cheesecake

Source: Buns in My Oven

Mexican Brownie-Bottom Cheesecake

For the crust:

1/2 c butter, cut into pieces
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch of salt
1/2 c semisweet or milk chocolate chips (optional)

For the filling:

3-8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/2 c sour cream
3 eggs
More cayenne pepper for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray.

To prepare the crust, melt the butter over med-low heat. When butter is melted, reduce heat to low and add chocolate, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add vanilla. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt, and stir vigorously for 30 seconds until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the center is barely set. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store at room temperature until filling is ready.

Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F or preheat again, if necessary.

To prepare the filling, mix cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla with mixer until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in sour cream. Add eggs, mixing on low speed just until blended. Pour over brownie crust.

Place springform pan on a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven. Pour about 3/4-inch of water into the baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until center is almost set. The very center of the cheesecake should jiggle slightly, but the outer 3 inches or so should be firm. Turn oven off and crack oven door. Leave cheesecake to cool until it’s OK to pick up without hot pads. Transfer to the counter-top until cooled to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake. Remove outer rim of pan, slice, and serve with a dusting of cayenne, if desired. Makes about 12 servings.

1. You can use a 10-15 ounce package of brownie mix instead of making the brownies from scratch. Just add the cinnamon and cayenne to the dry ingredients and bake in the springform pan as directed on the package.

Sources: Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and a Pillsbury Annual Recipe cookbook.

Sarah's Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Girl Who Bakes

Sarah's Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

yields 4 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. cream sugars and butter in the stand of a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. add egg and vanilla and mix until evenly combined.
3. add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to mixing bowl and combine.
4. add chocolate chips and stir by hand until evenly distributed.
5. drop cookies six to a sheet and baking for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown, rotating halfway through.
6. let cookies rest for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet before carefully transferring to wire rack.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cumin and Charred Corn Guacamole

Source: What's Gaby Cooking?

Cumin and Charred Corn Guacamole

3 Hass avocados
1 Lemon, juiced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
sea salt and pepper to taste

1 ear of corn, cleaned and grilled
1 tsp olive oil


Brush the cleaned ear of corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place onto a heated BBQ and let sit for a 3 minutes or so on each side until slightly blackened. Remove from grill and let cool. Once cool, cut the kernels off and set aside.

Combine the avocado flesh, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mash together with a fork. Add the charred corn and combine.

Chocolate Chip Caramel Oat Squares

Source: Music City Foodie

Chocolate Chip Caramel Oat Squares

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in oats and salt. Reserve 1/2 cup dough for topping. In ungreased 9-inch square pan, press remaining dough mixture evenly in bottom of pan.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until dough puffs and appears dry.
In small bowl, mix caramel topping, flour and vanilla until well blended. Sprinkle walnuts and chocolate chips evenly over crust.
Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture. Crumble remaining 1/2 cup dough mixture over caramel. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars. Cool completely before cutting.

Lasagna Soup

Source: A Farmgirl's Dabbles

Lasagna Soup

for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Servings: 8

Honey Rolls

Source: The Pastry Affair

Honey Rolls
Adapted from A Cookie A Day

Yields 12 rolls

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup barely warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra if necessary
1/4 cup honey + 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the honey, salt and egg. Stir until blended. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together. It will be sticky! On a lightly floured surface knead the dough until soft and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. Do not add too much flour! The dough will become more workable the longer you knead.

Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and 1 tablespoon honey. Brush over the rolls. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Samoa Popsicles

Source: My Baking Addiction

Samoa Popsicles
yield | 6 popsicles

1 cup pre-made coconut pudding (vanilla will work too)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 Samoa cookies, finely chopped
Magic Shell
1/2 cup toasted coconut

In a medium bowl, combine pudding, milk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth.

Assemble the pops
1. Insert sticks into the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. Pour 1 ounce of pudding base into each cavity and allow to freeze completely.
2. Pour 2 teaspoons of finely chopped Samoa Cookies directly onto the frozen layer. Use handle of fork to gently pack the cookies into the frozen layer. Pour another layer of the base to the fill line. Let freeze completely, then remove the pops with the Super Tool. Repeat with remaining pops.
3. Working over a bowl, drizzle the Magic Shell over the frozen pops and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

I have not tested this recipe in a traditional popsicle mold.
If you don’t have Somoa Girl Scout cookies, you can use the Keebler version called Coconut Dreams.

Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs

Source: What's Cooking, Chicago?

Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs
recipe adapted from Paula Deen

Mini Meatballs:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten

2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti pasta
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack

For the meatballs:
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 36-48 mini meatballs; set aside.

Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then transfer the ground beef to a crockpot. Add the mini meatballs, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares before serving.

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread

Source: Picky Palate

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup quartered pepperoni slices, about 32 slices
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray small bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into the bowl of a stand or electric mixer, mix to combine. Slowly add in eggs, oil, buttermilk, Parmesan, Mozzarella and pepperoni until just combined. Pour half of batter into prepared bread pan that measures 9x5x2 3/4-inches. Top evenly with marinara sauce then pour remaining batter over sauce. Top with Italian seasoning and additional Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. Slice and serve warm or room temperature.

Makes 8 servings