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Entries in recipes (578)

Monday
Apr122010

Mixing it Up: Inside Out Peanut Butter Cups for Serious Eats

Chocolate peanut butter cups are undoubtedly one of the finer things in life.

But I have my reservations about the construction: the chocolate gets your hands messy and there never seems to be enough peanut butter.

So what would happen if you turned a peanut butter cup inside-out? To find out, I started by using a peanut butter bar cookie crust recipe for the outer shell, then filled them with a peanut butter fudge mixture, thus increasing the peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio dramatically.

While the crumbly nature of the crust doesn't make them much neater to eat, taste-wise, it's a whole new ballgame. It's like the fudgy center is getting a big peanut butter bear hug from the cookie coating. And it's delicious.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Apr072010

I'd Crumble For You: Blackout Crumb Bars Recipe

So. There may be something that makes me happier than a good bar cookie, but just at the moment, nothing is coming to mind.

That having been said, let's discuss the Blackout Crumb Bar, a recipe I discovered on the inside label of Love N Bake's "Chocolate Schmear" filling. 

But first things first. What is this chocolate schmear business? I came into this bounty not long ago when aforementioned company sent me a sample. It comes in a can sort of like almond paste that you'll find in the grocery store baking aisle--only it's chocolate. It's got this incredibly thick texture, and in the name of science I felt it necessary to take a spoonful before baking with it (it tastes good on its own. Whew!).

But it has found its perfect vehicle with the Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bar. Kind of like a cross between crumb cake and fudge bar cookies, these babies are dense, chocolate, crumbly and buttery--that is to say, pretty delicious. And while it's a slight stretch, I still think these bars are a very appropriate way to celebrate National Coffee Cake Day.

Chocolate Blackout Crumb Bars

Adapted from Love N Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (original recipe calls for just 1/4 teaspoon but I like salt)
  • 1 can (minus a spoonful or two) Love'n Bake Chocolate "Schmear" Filling

 Procedure

Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Reserve ½ cup of the crumb mixture. With floured hands press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven until edges are golden brown, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Spread the baked crust with the "Schmear" Chocolate Filling. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the chocolate. Continue baking the pastry until the crumbs have browned approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack then cut into bars.

Monday
Apr052010

Sweet Seconds: Leftover Easter Candy Cookies for Serious Eats

In my mind, Easter candy falls into one of two categories. There are the show pieces—the chocolate bunny, Cadbury Creme eggs, and those addictive Reese's peanut butter eggs, for instance—which tend to disappear rapidly. And then there's the filler—the jelly beans, the Peeps, and those little malted eggs, which look pretty in the basket but aren't consumed quite as quickly.

But I feel for the filler, really I do, and so I tried my hand at designing a desirable delivery vehicle for these assorted pastel leftovers: the Leftover Easter Candy Cookie. I started out with a basic drop cookie recipe and added in a cup of assorted leftovers, including Easter corn, jelly beans, cut-up Peeps, and malted egg candies.

To read the full entry and find the recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Mar312010

Out Like a Lamington: A Sweet Recipe from Joy of Baking

You know what they say about March: in like a Lion, out like a Lamington. At least, that's what I say. OK, technically I've never said that before today.

Nonetheless, I couldn't imagine a sweeter way to say "smell ya later" to March than with these traditional Australian treats, named after Lord Lamington (Governor of Queensland from 1896 - 1901) comprised of dense cake absolutely coated in rich fudge coating and feathered with sweet coconut on top of everything.

My suggestion? Make some today. No fooling, it's a sweet way to end one month and go into another--and nobody would call an April that began with a leftover Lamington breakfast "the cruelest month".

This recipe is lightly adapted from the one on Joy of Baking.

Lamingtons

For the cakes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk (I used cream) 

For the chocolate Frosting:

  • 4 cups (1 pound) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk

For the coating: 

  • 2 cups shredded coconut

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place oven rack to middle position. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan and set to the side.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set to the side.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy--2 or 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and milk in alternating increments, beginning and ending with flour.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of cake and invert, lifting off pan. Once the cake is cool, cut it into 16 2-inch squares. Wrap the cake (as one unit is fine) in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or even overnight--this makes it much easier to coat with chocolate later on.
  7. Make the chocolate frosting. Place the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk in a double boiler. Heat on low, stirring the mixture until it becomes smooth and of pouring consistency.
  8. Assemble your Lamingtons. Make a production line; put the 16 squares of cakes on a wire rack that is placed over a baking sheet (to catch the dripping chocolate).  Have the coconut ready on a large plate and the chocolate frosting. Ladle the chocolate frosting over each square of cake, making sure you cover all sides. (It is best to do a few squares at a time.)  With a small offset spatula or knife transfer the chocolate covered cake to the plate of coconut and roll the cake in the coconut, covering all sides.  Gently transfer the lamington to a clean wire rack to set.  Repeat with the rest of the cake squares.  Once the Lamingtons have set, store in an airtight container for several days.

 

Note: Also, Joy of Baking has a helpful tip: When you ladle the frosting over the cake, some of the frosting will drip onto the pan. Pour this frosting back in your bowl and reuse (strain if necessary).  If the icing becomes too thick to pour, simply place the frosting back over the saucepan of simmering water and reheat until it is of pouring consistency. (You may have to do this a few times as the frosting has a tendency to thicken over time.  Add a little more milk to frosting if necessary to get pouring consistency.)

 

Tuesday
Mar302010

Sticky Business: Sandra Lee Pillsbury Sticky Buns Recipe

Some people may rankle at the idea of using pre-packaged cinnamon rolls, but not me. I have some fond memories of them from growing up, and choose to take the "just don't read the ingredients or nutritional info" point of view.

But if you do need a way to justify them, fancying them up a bit can't work.

So I have to admit I was intrigued when I heard of the recipes for Pillsbury that Sandra Lee had created starting with their sweet rolls (you know, the ones in the tube that pop open) and adding a few simple ingredients to make them unique--it kind of seemed like Pillsbury's answer to The Cake Mix Doctor. And when they sent me a coupon for some free Pillsbury products so I could test 'em out, I figured: why not?

So I tested out the Apple Walnut Sticky Buns recipe...only, because I had neither apples nor walnuts, mine substituted blueberries and almonds. It worked out fine in terms of quantities and very nicely in terms of flavor, too.

And you know what? Even that small bit of baking really did make the store-bought rolls better and a bit more grandiose than simply poppin' and baking. Not a bad option for a quick brunch side or impromptu sweet breakfast.
Adapted from Sandra Lee's Apple Walnut Sticky Buns from Pillsbury.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2-1 cup blueberries (or, per the original recipe, 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds (or, per the original recipe, walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 8 regular muffin cups with softened butter.
  2. In bowl, mix blueberries and almonds (or apples/walnuts) and brown sugar; divide evenly among muffin cups. Separate cinnamon rolls; reserve icing.
  3. Place 1 cinnamon roll in each cup. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  4. Cool 5 minutes. Place cookie sheet upside down over muffin pan; turn over. Remove pan.
  5. Remove lid from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 5 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over warm buns. Serve warm.

Monday
Mar292010

Sweet Sandwich: Peeps Fluffernutter for Serious Eats

Oh, don't act surprised. It was really only a matter of time before Peeps, those pillowy pastel harbingers of spring, met the classic marshmallowy sandwich called Fluffernutter.

What may surprise and delight you, however, is that in my version, the peanut butter-and-Peeps mixture is sandwiched between two hefty slices of pound cake rather than white bread, to form a delectably decadent dessert sandwich.

The pound cake works beautifully on several levels—the sweetness works harmoniously with the Peeps, and the rich butteriness is perfect with the peanut butter. In fact, I'd like to humbly submit that it just may be the perfect lunchtime followup to a breakfast of Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict.

Sunday
Mar282010

King Corn: Cornmeal Blueberry Cookie Bars

So, when I first encountered a review copy of the book Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, I have to confess, I had my doubts. The concept--a book of recipes for baked goods (both sweet and savory) using whole grain flours sounded vaguely...virtuous.

But once assured that they still did include plenty of sugar and butter, I figured it was worth a try.

And after looking through the book (and lovingly, at some of the pictures), I decided to try the cornmeal blueberry cookies. Why? Well, for one thing, I like cookies, and I like corn muffins, and these kind of sounded somewhere in between. Plus, I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand.

Well, I veered a little from the original recipe: for one thing, I used frozen instead of dried blueberries, dehydrating them by baking them at 200 degrees farenheit for a few hours to dry them out; and second, instead of cookies I made my batch as bars, using an 8x8-inch pyrex baking sheet. Because I had dehydrated the berries and they weren't completely dried, I placed them on top of the batter rather than mixing it in; however, even with these changes, the yield was a very dense and pleasing bar, like cornbread meets sugar cookie, with a nice tart edge from the berries.

Here's the recipe.

Cornmeal Blueberry Cookie Bars

Adapted from Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

Dry mix:

  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used Secret Stash Sea Salt's Pistachio cherry)

Wet Mix:

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried blueberries (I had frozen; I baked them for a couple of hours at 200 degrees to dehydrate them)

Finish:

1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)

Procedure

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Rub your baking pan with butter.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to low speed and mix until the butter and sugar are combined, then increase the speed to medium and cream for 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low speed until the flour is just barely combined, about 20-30 seconds (it's very pretty to watch). Scrabe down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the milk (and if you're using dried, add the blueberries now). Slowly mix until the dough is evenly combined.
  5. Spoon your batter (it will be thick) into your prepared pan, spreading with a spatula to even out the top. Sprinkle the dehydrated blueberries and finishing sugar on top. (or, if you want to make cookies, pour the sugar into a bowl scoop mounds of dough, each about 3 tablespoons in size, form into balls, and set on a plate; dip each ball into the sugar, coating it lightly; arrange the balls on baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between them--balls that don't fit on the first baking sheet can be dipped in the sugar and chilled til ready to bake).
  6. Bake the bars for somewhere between 20-30 (possibly a few more) minutes depending on your pan size (more minutes for a taller pan, less for a shallower pan); (20-22 for cookies), rotating the sheet at about 10 minutes. The bars will puff up and crack at the top and are ready to come out when the sugar crustis golden brown and the cracks still faintly yellow.
  7. These bars / cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or the same day. But, if you must, they'll keep in an airtight container (at room temperature) for up to 3 days.
Monday
Mar222010

Spring in Your Step: Springtime Cutout Sandwich Cookies for Serious Eats

In case you couldn't tell by the proliferance of Cadbury Creme Eggs, Peeps, and pastel-hued jelly beans in grocery stores, Easter is coming.

Now, it's not to say that I don't enjoy these adorable seasonal sweets, but when push comes to shove, I simply prefer baked goods. So, in an effort to get a piece of that pastel-hued cuteness while also enjoying a delicious, buttery, and substantial sugary treat, I've created these Springtime Cutout Sandwich Cookies.

These were made using an adorable Springtime Linzer Cookie kit I found at Cookies, a thimble-sized shop chock full of all manner of cookie cutters in Seattle, but I veered a bit from the traditional Linzer cookie construction. These sweet sandwiches start with a buttery sugar cookie cutout recipe, filled with lemon curd for a sweet and rich zing, and topped with pastel sugar for a sweet springtime palette.

For the full writeup and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
Mar142010

Tartelets of the Table: Chocolate Tartelet Recipe from Alabama Studio Style

When I received a sample copy of Alabama Studio Style: More Projects, Recipes, & Stories Celebrating Sustainable Fashion & Living in the mail, I was initially perplexed--although it is beautiful, it seemed like it was a book of sewing and home projects.

But then I found it: the recipes. Scattered throughout the creative sewing and home projects are several delicious recipes--most notably this one, for chocolate tartelets. Filled with creamy chocolate that falls somewhere between custard and ganache, these are an extremely delicious dessert, and they've definitely made me curious about some of the other recipes in the book, including coconut cupcakes. And there is a DIY project for homemade cake plates...

Chocolate Tartelets

Adapted from Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin

You'll need: one pie crust, separated into 12 3-inch tartlet servings (use your favorite recipe for a 9-inch pie)

Note: a similar full size pie recipe is on the Alabama Studio Style site!

For the filling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

For the meringue

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Filling procedure

In the top of a double boiler, combine 1 cup sugar and the flour. Add buttermilk and simmer over boiling water for about 15 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat. Beat the egg yolks, and then add them to the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa with enough boiling water to form a paste, and then whisk this paste into the double boiler mixture. Return to heat and simmer over boiling water until thick. Remove from heat, and add butter and vanilla. Cool, then transfer to prebaked pastry tartlet shells.

Meringue topping procedure

While filling is cooling, preheat oven to 325, and prepare meringue as follows: in a medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until mixture stands in a peak. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until stiff and glossy. Gently fold in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Spread on top of prepared tartlets and bake until lightly browned, about 5-10 minutes.

Tuesday
Mar092010

Big Funfetti: Funfetti Cake Mix Cookie Sandwiches for Serious Eats 

Cookie sandwiches involve so much awesome. In one single unit, you to get two cookies and delicious filling, and you get to eat them all at once.

But there's always room for more awesome at the cookie sandwich party, as I learned when I prepared a batch of sweet sandwiches using Betty Crocker's Cooky Book and the finest of cake mixes—the kind with a built-in rainbow. What better pick-me-up for dull winter days than a double dose of dense, moist, lightly tangy, cakey cookies sandwiched with rich, sweet, buttery frosting?

Here's the recipe, but you can also find it (and more) over at Serious Eats!

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients

For the cake mix cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package funfetti or rainbow chip cake mix

For for the filling (optional):

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, depending on your desired consistency

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Note: the original cookie recipe called for 8 to 10 minutes at 375°F, but I found that baking slightly longer at 350°F worked better for my cookies.
  2. Cream the butter and cream cheese. Blend in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add cake mix in two parts, mixing well (it will be a super thick batter—if it is too stiff, add a small quantity of heavy cream to the batter and mix well).
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, drop balls of cookie dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between the cookies.
  5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool cookies for at least 15 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack; the cookies are very delicate when they first come out of the oven and they will break if you try to transfer them too soon.
  6. Once completely cool, add a generous dollop of frosting to the bottom of half the cookies, and then sandwich the rest of the cookies on top to form something that vaguely resembles a whoopie pie, but tastes like something else entirely.
  7. If you want the filling, go ahead and prepare it by mixing the butter until fluffy in your electric mixer; add the vanilla and then the confectioners' sugar, bit by bit, until it has reached your desired consistency. Thin with cream or milk if desired, and adding a few drops of pink food coloring never hurts.

 

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