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Entries in recipes (578)

Tuesday
Oct262010

Trick or Sweet: Peanut Butter Cookies on a Stick for Peanut Butter and Co.

CakeSpy Note: You knew I did recipes for Peanut Butter & Co., right? Here's my latest one.

There are probably foods out there that aren’t improved by being served on a stick, but none come to mind at the moment.

But which one is the most fun to serve around Halloween? My vote goes to these peanut butter cookies on a stick. They’re part trick, decorated to look like pumpkins–but they’re even more treat, with a rich, cakey texture and rich, peanut buttery flavor that is far more delicious than any fun-size candy bar could ever hope to be.

For the full entry, visit Peanut Butter & Co.!

Monday
Oct252010

Swiss Miss: Deep-Fried Swiss Rolls on a Stick Recipe

File under "Things you should never do, ever": Deep-frying Swiss Rolls on a Stick.

Oh, who am I kidding--you totally should. Because as I learned when I found myself with a slight excess of fry batter (from when I was deep frying Halloween candy, natch), not only is the deep fried Swiss Roll delicious, and like just about everything, it's even better on a stick.

And now, I'm delighted to share the method by which you can make this magic happen in your very own home.

Oh, and if you enjoy seeing Swiss Rolls being tortured, you might like to revisit the Little Debbie Death Match!

Deep-Fried Swiss Rolls on a Stick

  • 12 Swiss Rolls 
  • 8 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Procedure

 

  1. Begin by freezing your Swiss rolls: insert the sticks, and place them on a plate or cookie sheet. Freeze them for at least 2 hours, until they are solid and frozen throughout.
  2. When you're nearing the end of the chilling period, start heating the oil for frying. Pour vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan until it is three inches deep (the amount of oil you use will depend on the size of your saucepan). Turn the heat to medium-high, and insert a candy/deep fry thermometer. Heat until the oil reaches 375°F.
  3. While you're waiting for the oil to heat up, prepare your frying station and batter. Place 1/2 cup of flour in a bowl and set aside. Place the remaining cup of flour in a small bowl and mix with the baking powder and salt; add the milk, vinegar, and oil, and whisking the wet ingredients into the dry until you have a relatively lump-free, smooth, thick batter.
  4. Remove the frozen rolls from the freezer. It's go time.
  5. Dredge each roll in flour, covering it completely. Happily, it's helpful that they're on a stick so you won't get batter all over your fingers.
  6. Quickly place the battered Swiss Roll into the heated oil, holding the end of the stick and being careful not to drop it and cause oil to splash up (you might want to wear gloves for safety, 'cos hot oil can HURT, but I lived dangerously and to tell the tale). It will fry up quickly. 
  7. Once the treat has reached an appealing golden hue, remove from the hot oil and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Repeat the battering and frying process with the remaining Swiss Rolls. While frying, be sure to monitor the temperature of the oil and adjust your heat up or down accordingly, as the candy will melt if it is too hot, and it will take too long to fry and become greasy if the heat is too low.
  8. Let cool slightly, but serve while still warm.

 

Wednesday
Oct202010

Fry, Baby: Deep-Fried Halloween Candy for Serious Eats

It's a funny thing about Halloween candy: it actually makes you hungrier. At least, that's my theory behind how the same person who can't finish off an entire candy bar can easily put away ten "fun size" candy bars or 30 mellowcreme pumpkins in one sitting.

But there's a way to bring a substantial dimension of deliciousness to your Halloween candy: deep-fry it.

That's right. Batter up your Halloween candy and fry it in hot oil, and you've got yourself little nuggets that are beyond decadent, and bound to satisfy—one or two of these morsels is more than enough.

Note: I tried a variety of Halloween candies in this experiment, including candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Kit-Kats, and Whoppers. The biggest hit by far was the Peanut butter cups.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
Oct102010

Better Together: Beer Cupcakes With Chocolate Covered Potato Chips Recipe from Bredenbeck's Bakery, Philadelphia

Sweet or salty? Why decide, when you can have both--and beer, too--in one deliciously decadent cupcake parcel? Yup, that's right: Beer Cupcakes. Topped with Chocolate Covered Potato Chips. It's a recipe kindly donated by Bredenbeck's of Philadelphia. Awful or awesome? Maybe a little of both, in the best way possible. Make it happen at home thusly:

Beer Cupcakes Topped With Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 1 cup of Guinness® Draught
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Pinch of cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/3 cup Guinness® Draught

Chips:

  • 1⁄2 pound high quality milk chocolate, chopped
  • 4 cups ridged potato chips

Procedure

  1. Make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauce pan over low heat, combine Guinness® and butter, stirring until butter melts. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and brown sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Combine with beer mixture. Sift together flour and baking soda, then fold into batter. Pour into greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.
  2. Make the glaze. With a mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth. Sift confectioner’s sugar into cream cheese, and beat. Add Guinness®, and beat until smooth. Apply to cupcakes using a flat spatula.
  3. Prepare your garnish. Place 3/4 of the chocolate into a heat safe bowl, and place over the top of a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted, then continue to heat the chocolate to 110F degrees, stirring occasionally. As soon as the chocolate reaches this temperature, remove from heat. Stir in remaining chocolate until melted. Using tongs, dip potato chips one at a time into the chocolate. Place on waxed paper to cool. Once cooled, place atop cupcakes. Enjoy!

Of course, if you have no time—or desire—to bake your own Beer Cupcakes, you can stop into Bredenbeck’s Bakery and try their version! They're also busy baking all your favorite fall confections: pumpkin bread, caramel apple cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon whipped cream, carrot cake, s’mores pie and much, much more.

Saturday
Oct092010

Well-Bread: Hot Raisin Bread Recipe from Big Girls, Small Kitchen

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest entry from Cara, a co-author of Big Girls, Small Kitchen, a blog devoted to "quarter-life" cooking (and the home of the Watermelon Ice Cream Cake). Per the writer, "this article is about the fantastic, nostalgic Hot Raisin Bread that my mom always made me for breakfast when I was growing up. And is it sweet? you may ask. Not only is it sweet, but it's topped with the most delicious crust of butter, sugar, and cinnamon."

My Breakfast of Champions

My mom made us breakfast every single day while we were growing up, before we piled into the car and she dropped us off at school on her way to work. When I say I don't understand people who don't eat breakfast, I say this with the perspective of someone who ate scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, corn muffins, and hot raisin bread every morning, not just someone who ate, you know, a bowl of cereal. Later, in middle and high school, we did sometimes eat just cereal or yogurt and fruit, but even then there were occasions when we'd get the full breakfast treatment.

On one of these days late in high school, my mom made hot raisin bread. She took it out of the oven, I cut myself a wedge, and when I drove my fork down through the cinnamon-sugar crust on top into the biscuit-like interior, I remembered why this was always one of my favorites. It's decadent in the way that Frosted Mini Wheats are decadent--a layer of sugar, in this case cinnamon-sugar and butter, bursts in your mouth, distinguishing the relative plainness of the inside. I was a junior or senior, and we had a field hockey game that afternoon against one of our rivals. The tradition was to dress up in funny outfits on game days, and I can only imagine what Phoebe and I and the rest of our teammates were wearing. Whether it was my breakfast or my outfit, I played one of my best games ever as forward, scoring a hat trick. Three goals. These days, that kind of athleticism feels like it belonged to another person completely.

Anyway, some other parent came up to my mom and was like, "What do you feed her for breakfast?!"

And my mom, I think, answered truthfully, "Well, it's this dish called Hot Raisin Bread..."

I wasn't eating my Wheaties. I was eating my mom's home-cooked food and apparently it did me better than any cereal.

When I baked this recently, I ate it as an afternoon snack. The cinnamon-y scent filled my apartment. I cut a wedge, poured some some tea, and waited for something to happen. Sure I wasn't playing hockey, but wouldn't mom's magic breakfast work in my Brooklyn apartment too? I did some work on the book, researched my summer vacation, and kept on waiting. And waiting. I haven't found out yet if the Hat Trick Raisin Bread does anything for no-longer athletic adults, but it definitely still tastes really good.

Hot Raisin Bread
Makes 1 bread, serves 6-8
from Quick Breads by Beatrice Ojakangas

Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted or soft
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)
Procedure
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Combine the flour, powder, salt, raisins, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the oil and milk and mix into a soft dough.
  3. Spread with the butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just golden. Cut into squares and serve hot--this doesn't really weather well, so make it when you plan to eat.
  5. Transfer it to the baking sheet and pat the dough into a rough 8-inch square, about 1/2-inch thick.

Keep up with Cara's baking adventures on Big Girls, Small Kitchen!

Thursday
Oct072010

Hummingbird Chronicles: Lemon Cupcakes Recipe from Hummingbird Bakery

English cupcakes come stateside!CakeSpy Note: This is an ongoing series of entries about (and recipes from!) London's Hummingbird Bakery by Cake Gumshoe Alexandra Levert, who is an assistant director for a French television network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She loves cooking and baking because she finds it comforting and yet challenging at the same time. She tries to combine her love of food and her love of travel as much as life will let her.

 One Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend, who has never been into cupcakes, decided to finally take a look at my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. He started flipping the pages and landed on the lemon cupcakes page. He suddenly got all excited and said he wanted to make them. And right now. I was surprised, yet I wasn’t: he can never say no to a dessert with lemon. Suddenly, I was the one who wasn’t too excited about the idea of making them. Don’t get me wrong, I love lemon, but I always prefer chocolate to fruit in a dessert. This time though, I let him convince me and we went to the grocery store. 

Hummingbird Bakery Lemon Cupcakes

Recipe by Tarek Malouf, from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook 

For the base:

 

  • 120g of plain flour
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 1½  teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest, plus extra to decorate
  • 40g of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 120 ml of whole milk
  • 1 egg 

 

For the lemon frosting:

 

  • 250g of icing sugar (sifted) 
  • 80g of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
  • A few drops of yellow food colouring (optional but pretty!)
  • 25 ml of whole milk 

 

For the cooking process:

 

  • A 12-hole cupcake tray lined with paper cases 

 

So here is what I did:

 

  1. First, I preheated the oven to 325°F or 170°C. 
  2. Second, I sifted the flour and put it in a large bowl with the sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and butter. Then I used a handheld electric whisk, although you can also use a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, to beat the first batch of ingredients together. I beat them on slow speed until I was certain all the components were combined. I gradually poured the milk in and continued beating so that everything was mixed in well. I added the egg to the first mixture and beat it in with the rest for a few minutes until it formed a nice, smooth blend. Now the next part tested my cupcake skills for the first time: spooning the mixture into the paper cases. To do so, I took two spoons: one to pick up a bit of the blend and the other to push it out of the first spoon and into the mold. I repeated that same action until all 12 paper cases were about 2/3 full. The tricky part was to try and keep the tray as clean as possible, by not letting any of the mixture fall anywhere but in the cases. It was harder than it looked, but I did it. One cupcake point for me! 
  3. I put the tray in the oven for 22 minutes, since the recipe said to leave it in for 20 to 25 minutes. What I did was I set my timer for 20 minutes, and then when it rang, I took a fork and inserted it gently into one of the cakes. When I took the fork out, there was a slight trace of cake on it, so I knew I had to leave them in for a few more minutes. So I waited a little bit, checked again and they were fine. I took them out of the oven and let them cool down completely. 
  4. After about 30 minutes, it was time for me to make the icing. First I beat the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and food colouring with the same handheld electric whisk, but this time on medium-slow speed until the ingredients were well combined. Then I turned the whisk down to a slower speed while I poured the milk. After that, I turned it to high speed and beat the mix for about 5 minutes, until the frosting became fluffy enough. As Tarek Malouf said in his book: “The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.” 
  5. Then my now-favourite, yet the riskiest part of the whole process finally arrived: it was time to put the frosting on the cakes. The thing about cupcakes is that they are supposed to look pretty and appetizing, and this was my first time trying to do so. The best advice I can give you is just dig in but do it gently. Take a good amount of the frosting with a spoon, a knife or a small spatula and spread it evenly while rotating the cupcake. This will give you more control over what the end result will be like. And voilà! Your first cupcakes. MY first cupcakes! 

 

So what do they taste like, you ask? Well, the thing about Hummingbird cupcakes is that they are never too sugary, which is good for people who don’t have a sweet tooth. I found the lemon ones very flavorsome, yet quite subtle in taste. Lemon is not something you need a lot of in order to get the full taste experience. And it was the case with these cupcakes. 

Final words: In order to make the recipes with as much precision as possible, I would recommend using a weighing scale in order to measure some of the ingredients. I didn’t have one when I made this recipe, and I found it really affected the texture and consistency of the frosting. It was a bit too liquid, not overly but just enough for it not to stick to the base properly. Remember: You need good tools to make great cupcakes!

Tuesday
Sep282010

Get Figgy: Fig-Panettone Bread Pudding Recipe

Bring us some figgy pudding, and make it tasty! Here's an intriguing recipe for bread pudding with figs and brandy--delicious for the shorter and cooler days that lie ahead. It's a sweet guest contribution from self-proclaimed "fig enthusiast" (no, really) Sherri Lee, from her cookbook Under the Fig Leaf, a culmination taking "her passion for figs and 10 years of cooking experiments into a fig cookbook featuring over 130 recipes from appetizers, beverages and salads to main courses and desserts." Here's the recipe:

Chef Joseph’s Fig-Panettone Bread Pudding

 Ingredients

 

  • 2 cups dried figs, chopped, stems removed
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 Tablespoons butter for greasing baking dish
  • 12 cups Panettone Italian Bread, torn into pieces
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks, reserve whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Soak the chopped figs in the brandy and set aside.
  3. Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish
  4. Place the pieces of panettone in the baking dish and toss them evenly with the figs and brandy.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole eggs with the egg yolks.
  6. Stir in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, cream, milk and sugar.  Beat well.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
  8. Fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture and pour over the panettone and figs.  Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.  Serve warm with a splash of heavy cream.

 

Monday
Sep272010

Bonbon Jovi Truffles: A Sweet Treat for Serious Eats

Bonbon Jovi Truffles: they may be slippery when wet, but they don't give love a bad name.

Starting with a can't-go-wrong combination of smooth peanut butter and chocolate, these truffles get a snappy "pop" from Rice Krispies. Simple and delicious, these truffles are as addictive of a guilty pleasure as a hit single. They'll make your mouth as happy as singing Living on a Prayer at the top of your lungs with the windows down.

Note: I made my toppers using a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to mimic a Bon Jovi band logo, which is an ornate bleeding heart. If you break some hearts while removing them, don't sweat it—just use some confectioners' sugar and water like "glue" to put them back together. Decorate with writing markers or gel icing with the titles of your favorite Bon Jovi hits.

For the full tutorial and post, visit Serious Eats!

Friday
Sep242010

Life's a Witch: Fat Witch Brownies Cookbook, and a Recipe

Fat Witch Brownies is, with capital letters, a Happy Place. My first experience with them was at my first post-college job in NYC, where we purchased these sweet little morsels from their Chelsea Market retail location as client holiday gifts. Well, and a few extras for ourselves, which is how I got hooked on these fudgy, dense little treats. While my true affinity was always for their blondies, when I recently received their cookbook, Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery in the mail, I knew it was the classic brownie that I had to try first. While my brownies came out slightly chewier than the ones I had remembered, they were still plenty dense and delightfully the opposite of virtuous, and when I put them out at my store, they disappeared in record time.

Of course, I can't wait to try some of the other recipes in the book, including the one for my beloved blondies, as well as some new classics--the butterscotch flip (a fancier version of the blondie-brownie), Lemon cheesecake brownies, and cranberry blondes.

Fat Witch Brownies

Ingredients

  • 14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ubleached flour
  • pinch of salt

Procedure

  1. Grease a 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool while you prepare the next step.
  3. Cream the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Measure the flour and salt and then sift together directly into the chocolate mixture. Mix the batter gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
  5. If you wanna, stir in nuts or any extras at this point.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with crumbs but not batter.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12-16 brownies.
Wednesday
Sep222010

Pound It: Pound Cake Recipe, Circa 1824

So, here's the deal. Anyone who has ever had the slightest bit of curiousity about why Pound Cake is referred to as such is probably aware that it is derived from the French "Quatre Quarts"--meaning, literally, four quarts--which refers to the equal weight of the four ingredients (eggs, butter, sugar, flour) which went into early versions of the cake. Apparently, this easy ratio was necessary because"  In the days when many people couldn't read, this simple convention made it simple to remember recipes." (What's cooking America".

But what this brief historical lesson does not tell you, however, is how these early versions tasted.

And so, dear friends, I bravely stocked up my reusable grocery tote (I am in Seattle, after all) with a whole lot of eggs, butter, sugar, and flour, and tried it out for you.

Of course, my first inclination was to try this recipe, found on The Food Timeline:

[1817] A Pound cake, plain.
Beat a pound of butter in an earthen pan till it is like a thick cream, then beat in nine whole eggs till it is quite light. Put in a glass of brandy, a little lemon-peel shred fine; then pork in a pound and a quarter of flour. Put it into your hoop or pan, and bake it for one hour."
---The Female Instructor or Young Woman's Guide to Domestic Happiness, [Thomas Kelly:London] 1817 (p. 462)

But as tempting as it was to figure out how to "pork in" a pound and a quarter of flour, something seemed missing from this recipe: namely, sugar. So instead I opted for a variation on the recipe (also from the Food Timeline):

[1824] Pound cake.
Wash the salt from a pound of butter and rub it till it is soft as cream, have ready a pound of flour sifted, one pound of powdered sugar, and twelve eggs well beaten; put alternately into the butter, sugar, flour, and the froth from the eggs; continuing to beat them together till all the ingredients are in, and the cake quite light; add some grated lemon peel, a nutmeg, and a gill of brandy; butter the pans and bake them. This cake makes an excellent pudding if baked in a large mould, and eaten with sugar and wine. It is also excellent when boiled, and served up with melted butter, sugar, and wine."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 161)

In this version, the proportions were pretty much a pound each, but in the effort to produce the most pure final product, I did not add the peel, nutmeg, or brandy.

So, here's how it all went down.

 

  • First, creaming the butter til it was "like cream"--basically, I beat it (in my very not 1824-esque Kitchen Aid) until it was softer than butter itself, and became an aromatic, beautiful sort of thing that begged to be slathered on bread.
  • In my second stand mixer (because yes, I have two...jealous?), I separately mixed the eggs. What did "well-beaten" mean? I took it to mean "beat into complete submission", so I let them thoroughly froth up by mixing them on medium for about 5 minutes (but to be 100% honest, I didn't really look at the clock).
  • Then, I started to add the rest of the ingredients, bit by bit, to the extremely creamy, dreamy butter.
  • This makes a pretty significant bit of batter, so I divided among a few pans. I baked each cake in a moderate (350-degree) oven until lightly golden on top--about 30-45 minutes depending on the pan size.  

 

But what of the cake that came out of the oven? Amazingly, this cake was far lighter than I would have expected. The crumb was surprisingly delicate, and the texture almost feathery--and yet, and yet, the indescribeably buttery and rich taste allows you to make no mistake, this is a serious cake through and through.

Would I suggest moving back to our pound cake roots? Probably not, because ultimately (for better or worse) I think I do prefer the hefty, dense, sliced loaves of pound cake that are more common these days. But it did make for a sweet experiment, and an even sweeter taste of history.

Want more? You can find a plethora of historic poundcake recipes (and info) on Food Timeline.

 

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