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Entries in recipes (582)

Monday
May242010

Sweet Banana Manna: Banana Cream Pie in a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Crust for Serious Eats

Please, please stop using banana bread as the final resting place for your ripe bananas. Because there's a much sweeter option: namely, banana cream pie. In a chocolate peanut butter cookie crust.

This concoction combines the classic idea of combining rich, creamy banana pudding with cookies, but in a far more decadent way. Rather than the classic Nilla wafer pairing, this pie capitalizes on the fact that both peanut butter and chocolate taste excellent with bananas—and brings all these harmonious flavors together, in one delicious place.

When topped with a healthy dollop of whipped cream, this is not merely the stuff that dreams are made of, but the stuff of waking fantasy as well.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Thursday
May202010

Muffin Top: A Massive Banana Skillet Muffin

I have a deep distrust of muffins.

They strike me as a baked good that really wants to be cake, but for some reason feels the need to masquerade under the cover of vague healthiness (the one exception to this, of course, being the doughnut muffin).

However, this all changed for me when I received a totally sweet sample from Katom--a 9-inch pre-seasoned skillet. I love this thing. First off, it's adorable--it's like a baby skillet! But even so, it has a satisfying heft--there's no doubt about it, this baby could be used as a weapon. If you chose to, that is.

But I chose to use it as a weapon of deliciousness, using it to bake one massive banana muffin.

Starting with the banana muffin recipe from the Cupcake Cafe Cookbook , I simply baked the whole batch as one mass in the skillet, and it came out beautifully. It baked perfectly in the skillet, moist and lightly crumbly on the edges, with a wide expanse of craggy crust on top. When cut in thick wedges and served with a healthy smear of lightly melted butter and brown sugar, it is delicious, and so much better than a muffin. In fact, I wouldn't even blame you if you wanted to top it with a smear of cream cheese or peanut butter buttercream frosting.

Ready for this tastiness in your own home? Here's the recipe.

Banana Muffins, Baked in a Skillet

Adapted from Cupcake Cafe Cookbook

You'll need: a skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups very ripe, mashed bananas

Procedure

  1. Grease your skillet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the walnuts.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix the banana into the egg mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients until just blended. Fill your skillet with the mixture, it should be about 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes; they are done when a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Tuesday
May182010

Sweet Obsession: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Inspired by David Lebovitz

Being a good baker is one thing, but being a baker worthy of stalking is completely another.

I'm talking, of course, about David Lebovitz, who introduces the recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies in his new book, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes, in this way:

Shortly after my first book came out, my phone rang one night a little after 10:30 p.m. A reader had tracked me down to let me know, with urgency, that she loved these cookies, but that they took 10 minutes to bake in her oven instead of the 9 minutes indicated in the recipe.

When in doubt, err on the side of underbaking so your peanut butter cookies remain moist. Take them out when they are still a bit soft, as they'll continue to firm up a bit after cooling. This time, I've given a bit more latitude to the timing so as to avoid any late-night baking-related emergency phone calls.

Though he never quite says it, the message is pretty clear: this baking rock star has serious stalkers--er, groupies.

But were these cookies really stalker-worthy? I had to see for myself.

I've only made one change from the recipe as printed in the book: instead of using regular creamy peanut butter, I've used Peanut Butter and Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams, figuring that if anything, chocolate will make the recipe even better.

The result? A cookie that is very much the dictionary definition of what a peanut butter cookie should be: moist at the center, lightly crumbly just around the edges, with every bite rich in peanut buttery (accent on the butter) goodness.

These cookies will disappear quickly. Worthy of the worship? Well, let's just say you're gonna need the sugar-and-protein burst of energy to stand outside of Mr. Lebovitz's Parisian pad, clutching boombox a la Lloyd Dobler. Just remember whose idea it was to add the chocolate, sweeties.

Peanut Butter Cookies Worth Stalking

Adapted from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, or to take my variation, 1 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Procedure

 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. It will be a thick, solid mass of dough.
  3. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours, but up to overnight.
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Break off pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls (the recipe calls for rolling them in granulated sugar, but I didn't do that. They were fine without this step, in my opinion, especially considering the added sweetness from the chocolate peanut butter).
  7.  Place on prepared (parchment-lined) baking sheets. Leave 3 inches between cookies. Lightly flatten and make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie using the tines of a fork (a spork doesn't work--no follow up questions).
  8. Bake, rotating the sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are dull and lightly browned around the edges but still lightly glossy/undercooked-looking in the middle (as they cool on the sheet they'll finish up). The bake time will be between 9-10 minutes.
  9. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheet (they will crumble if you try to remove them right away) and then transfer to a wire rack using a spatula. These cookies will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container, if they last that long.

Want more? You can buy the most excellent book here , or for more recipes and "An American in Paris" type lore, visit David's website and follow him on Twitter!

Monday
May172010

Going Blonde: Blondie-Topped Brownies for Serious Eats

Blondies or brownies?

It's a delicious dilemma: they're both bar cookie classics, one rich in brown sugar, the other redolent of chocolate.

But why should you have to decide? Because they taste so much better when baked together, in layers.

How'd I do it? Well, since brownies generally have a longer bake time, I started out my pan with a batch of brownie batter which I put in the oven for 20 minutes while I put together the blondie batter. Since the half-baked brownies would have gotten messy had I spread the blondie batter on top, I simply spooned the batter as gently as I could right on top and put it back in the oven for about 25 more minutes; the oven's heat did a nice job of spreading the batter for a tasty two-layered treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
May122010

Bananarama: The Banana Jumbo Cookie

It's no secret that Betty Crocker's Cooky Book is like, my favorite cookbook ever.But one of the most interesting sections? The one called "Heritage Cookies", which is introduced thusly:

Recipes we know and use today came from 'round the wrold to the thirteen isolated colonies of America. Plain and hearty cookies were the gustatory pleasure of our pioneers...though our tastes may now be trained...to select a fancy frosted cooky...these cookies of our forefathers have won an enduring place in our hearts.

The recipe for the Banana Jumbo comes from this section of the book. And though these humble cookies are flavorful on their own, I had happened to receive a sample of Sassy Sauces in the mail around the same time I made these, and I learned that they are even better with a thick dollop of milk chocolate caramel sauce. And I totally don't consider this disrespecting the original recipe, 'cos you know what? Bet our forefathers would have used the chocolate sauce too, had it been at their disposal.

Banana Jumbos

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

Ingredients

 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large, or 3 small, mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 Procedure 

  1. Make the cookies. Mix butter, sugar, and eggs thoroughly. 
  2. Stir in the bananas, milk, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, soda, and salt; stir in, bit by bit, until the mixture is fully combined.  
  4. Let the dough chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F. 
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, drop rounds of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies as they will spread a bit. 
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Let cool completely on a wire sheet. Now, they are delicious as-is, but as I found out, they're even better when drizzled with some sort of glaze or frosting. 
Wednesday
May122010

Being Green: Vegan Green Granny Smith Cupcakes Recipe

Just take a look at this Vegan Green Granny Smith Cupcake. Doesn't it look just heavenly?

Unfortunately, an evil cupcake-poacher ate this before I could sample it, but I was assured it was an intensely delicious experience, and happily, the recipe was shared.

If you'd like to taste the magic for yourself, here's the recipe:

Vegan Green Granny Smith Cupcakes

Adapted from Sinfully Sweet Confections

Makes about 30 cupcakes

Ingredients for cakes

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 ounces plain soy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Ingredients for Brown Sugar Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice (sugar)
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Peel and chop apples coarsely.
  3. In a electric mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment mix together the canola oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, soy yogurt, vanilla extract, baking soda.
  4. Add flour and sugar; and mix on slow.
  5. In a slow steady stream add apple juice and continue to mix on slow.
  6. Fold in apples, oats, and pecan pieces. Pour into cupcake cups and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Make the frosting. In an electric mixing bowl fitted with a paddle cream together cream cheese and margarine until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar 2 cups at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides. Add vanilla, and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Gently fold in chopped pecans.
  8. Make the streusel topping. Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a medium size bowl add flour, sugar, and margarine. Mix together with a fork to create crumbs. Add pecans and toss. Spread out evenly onto cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Bake until golden brown. Once cooled toss and break up crumbs, use as topping for cream cheese frosting.

 

Monday
May102010

Taste the Magic: Magic Cookie Bar Pie for Serious Eats

Magic Cookie Bars are, as their name might imply, no ordinary treat. Starting with layer upon layer of unrelentingly rich layers of buttery graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips, and nuts, they get even better from a rich smothering in sweetened condensed milk.

With all that awesome, some might argue that a small serving is best. But I disagree, and to prove it, I've created it in a deliciously thick pie form.

Inspired by the construction of the delicious BakedBar from Baked in Brooklyn, I made my pie with a coconut-graham cracker crust which then got filled with the sweetened condensed milk slurry--the resulting confection attained a crust that was crispy, but the inside remains pleasingly gooey, making for a dessert that will likely displease your dentist, but will definitely make your mouth happy.

For more, plus a recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
May052010

Baked Bliss: Chocolate Mudslide Cookies from The Newlywed Kitchen

I'm not a newlywed, but I sure do like to eat like one.

That is, ever since I discovered the Chocolate Mudslide Cookie recipe in the newly released book The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking Together by CakeSpy buddy Lorna Yee, Ali Basye, and photographed by Kathryn Barnard.

Now, I hear rumors that the savory recipes are good, and I can attest that the stories which accompany the recipes are sweet and engaging.

But what made me fall in love, so to speak, was the aforementioned Chocolate Mudslide Cookie. Comprised basically of chocolate on chocolate, with a little flour and butter thrown in, these cookies seemed not only easy to make, but sort of like a one-way ticket to pleasuretown.

Happily, the recipe lived up to all expectations, yielding a soft, rich, cookie which is absolutely redolent with chocolate and which is very nearly perfect. But I've found one way to make it even better: save a tiny bit of that warm chocolate mixture from step 2 (or better yet, make a little extra) and sandwich two of the cookies together with that. Now that's what I call sweet wedded bliss.

Chocolate Mudslide Cookies

Lightly adapted from The Newlywed Kitchen

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

 

(Note: Original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped. I have nothing against walnuts but realized that I had none once I'd already started baking, and went without. They tasted fine!)

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chopped chocolate with the sugar and butter. Microwave in 20 second intervals, until about 80 percent of the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture, and the rest should melt from the heat of the melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature while you do the following steps.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. Slowly pour the microwaved mixture into the eggs in three additions, stirring between each addition. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate batter until combined, then stir in the walnuts (if you're using them) and chocolate chips.
  5. On two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, drop heaping tablespoons of the cookie dough, leaving room for the cookies to spread (about 8 cookies per sheet). Use only the middle or upper rack for these cookies, as they may burn on the lower rack.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. They will be slightly soft when they come out of the oven, but will become more firm as they cool. If they last that long.

 P.S. Interested in more of Lorna's recipes? Well, here's a little heads up: save the date for June 6, when we'll be having a Red Velvet Cake tasting at CakeSpy Shop! More details to come!

Monday
May032010

Crumb With a Side of Cake: Behemoth Crumb Cake for Serious Eats

When it comes to crumb, I have a theory: if some is good, more is better.

This theory was proven when I discovered something called the Colossal Crumb Cake at New Jersey's Ocean Grove Bake Shoppe. Their version had a ratio of roughly 9 parts crumb to 1 part cake, and it was just as amazing as it sounds (theirs is the one pictured above).

Could it be possible to recreate this magic at home? Well, I certainly wanted to try. Starting with a recipe from Arthur Schwartz, a.k.a. The Food Maven, I tried to make it even better by halving the cake part and tripling the crumb part. The result? A hulking behemoth of crumb, anchored by a little sliver of cake.

For more, plus a recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Apr262010

Sweet Combo: Chocolate-Filled Pretzel Nuggets for Serious Eats on National Pretzel Day

Guess what? Today is National Pretzel Day. But how to celebrate?

On the one hand the answer is painfully obvious--eat pretzels. But what kind of pretzels? After all, there are so many options: hard or soft, knotted or in stick form? Smothered in mustard or covered in chocolate?

Well, here's a suggestion for those who like plenty of sweet with their salty: chocolate-filled pretzel nuggets. These pillow-like nuggets are sort of like Combos meet chocolate covered pretzel--that is to say, the pinnacle of sweet and salty pretzel perfection.

For more, plus the full recipe, visit Serious Eats!

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