Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Source: Bakers Royale

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

1 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line 8×8 pan with parchment.
3. Cream butter until smooth.
4. Slowly add sugars and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
5. Gently fold flour into mixture until incorporated.
6. Flatten dough into parchment lined 8×8 pan. Using a fork pierce holes into dough. Place pan in fridge to chill for an hour prior to baking.
7. Bake 8-12 minutes.
8. Return pan with baked shortbread layer to fridge for one hour before adding caramel mixture.
*Note: This portion can be made two days in advance

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine brown sugar and condensed milk for 60-90 minutes or until mixture has thicken and turned into a caramel color. Make sure to keep your eye on the mixture and whisk often.
2. Pour caramel on top of shortbread. Place pan in the freezer for an hour.
3. Remove from freezer and rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before pouring chocolate on top.

1 1/2 cup chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream

1. Place heat proof bowl with chocolate and heavy cream in a skillet or sauté pan over barely simmering water.
2. Pour chocolate on top of caramel.
3. Score chocolate once cooled but not set for easy cutting.

A few notes:
1. Carefully and slowly cook your caramel mixture or it will quickly go from creamy to scorched.
2. Score your bars when the chocolate has cooled but not set. This will keep the chocolate from cracking when you cut it.
3. Make sure to wipe your knife clean between cuts to give each bar nice smooth edges.
4. These are sticky, so I like to store mine between parchment paper in the fridge. If you do this, remove the bars from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
5. For best results rest each layer as instructed in the recipe.

Black Tie Cupcakes

Source: Form V Artisian

Black Tie Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in sugar until all dry ingredients are blended. Add eggs, vegetable oil, corn syrup and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-low for about 30 seconds (batter will be dry and appear crumbly). Slowly add boiling water and beat on medium-high until batter is smooth, about 1 minute.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling them about halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick and Easy Breadsticks

Source: Jamie Cooks It Up!

Quick and Easy Breadsticks

Yield: 36 small breadsticks
Time: 45 minutes start to finish
Recipe from my cousin Pam Corry

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 t salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
1/4 cups butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
Johnny's Garlic Seasoning

1. Mix the water, sugar and yeast together in a measuring cup or in the bottom of your mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

2. Add the salt and the flour, one cup at a time, until it is well incorporated. Mix on high for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

3. Melt the butter and pour half of it into a jelly roll pan (large cookie sheet).

4. Place the dough in the center of the pan. Let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes. Letting the dough rest makes it MUCH easier to shape.

5. Spread the dough out flat onto the pan until it reaches all of the edges. Doing all of the spreading and cutting of these bread sticks, in the pan makes cleaning up your counter so much easier!

6. Pour the other half of the butter onto the dough. Spread it around with your hands. Sprinkle the Johnny's Garlic Seasoning all over the dough, and then the Parmesan cheese.

7. With a pizza cutter cut the dough into three rows lengthwise, and then into about 12 little height wise rows.

8. Put the pan into a 170 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes. The breadsticks should rise about 1 inch.

9. Turn you oven up to 350 and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

10. When they come out of the oven let them sit and rest again for about 5 minutes. Then redefine your cutting lines with the pizza cutter.

11. I use a pair of cooking scissors to cut the edges where the pizza cutter can't reach.

**Johnny's Garlic Spread seasoning is one in a million. I buy it at Costco, and keep several in my long term food storage. It's really great to have on hand. ENJOY!

Chocolate Caramel Slice

Source: Lisa is Hungry

Chocolate Caramel Slice
Makes 1 13x9 pan


1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
1 1/3 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup butter, melted

1.1 oz (30 g) butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
395g (1 can) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup (175 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 square cake pan and line the base and sides of the pan with baking paper.
2. Prepare the base. Combine brown sugar, coconut, and flour together in a large bowl until well combined. Add butter and mix until well combined. Firmly press mixture into prepared pan using the back of a spoon. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly risen. Set base aside to cool for about 10-20 minutes (while making caramel). Leave oven on.
3. Prepare the caramel. Place butter and golden syrup in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When butter has melted, add condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat for about 9-12 minutes, until caramel thickens.
4. Gently spread caramel evenly over base. Return to oven for a further 10-12 minutes (a 1/2cm border of lightly browned caramel should form around the edges of the slice). Set the pan aside to cool to room temperature
5. Melt the chocolate chips using a microwave or double boiler and spread it over the caramel. Put it in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes or until the chocolate has just set up.
6. Take the slice out of the pan and cut into pieces. Store the slice in the fridge.

This recipe was adapted from The original recipe can be found here.

Caffeinated Triple Bypass Brownies

Source: The Cooking Photographer

Caffeinated Triple Bypass Brownies

1 box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix or Chocolate Supreme Brownie Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely ground caramel flavored coffee
1 (11 ounce) bag Kraft Caramel Bits, or about 3/4 of a bag of Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup half & half
12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
1 cup mini pretzels, slightly broken
1 cup salted peanuts (lightly salted if you have them), roughly chopped

1. Line an 8”x 8” or 9”x 9” pan with foil all the way to the top and brush with oil. Make the brownies according to package directions adding the ground coffee to the batter. Cool completely.

2. Melt the caramels with the half and half in a large bowl in the microwave on high heat. Stir every thirty seconds until melted. Pour over cooled brownies. Let cool until set.

3. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a large bowl in the microwave on high heat. Stir every thirty seconds until melted. Mix in the pretzels and peanuts. Spread over brownies. Cool and serve.

Notes: Brownies can be sliced and stored in the freezer.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

Source: Framed

Black Bottom Coconut Bars
from Bake or Break

1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more more pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut – reserve 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang. Butter bottom and sides of foil.

Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in microwave. Whisk in sugar and salt. Whisk in egg, then sugar and flour. Mix until smooth. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. The sides should be beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool.

Whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour and coconut.

Drop mounds of topping onto chocolate base. Spread and press into base with moistened fingers. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely in pan. Then, remove from pan using aluminum foil overhang. Peel off foil and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Makes 24 bars.

Blackberry Cobbler

Source: Buns in My Oven

Blackberry Cobbler

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
9 tablespoons cold butter
1/3 cup boiling water

For the filling:

2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the dough, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Pour in the boiling water and stir together well so that all of the dough is wet. Set aside.

For the berries, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, berries, and sugar. Mix together well. Transfer berries to a 10 inch cast iron pan.

Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Drop spoonfuls of dough over the berry mixture and place the cast iron pan on a foil lined cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the berries are thick and bubbly.

(If you don’t have a cast iron pan, bring to a boil in a sauce pan and bake in a 9×9 baking dish.)

Triple Threat Brownies

Source: Buns in My Oven

Triple Threat Brownies

For the brownie base:

1 box brownie mix OR favorite recipe brownies (9×13 pan size)

Mix brownies according to package directions or your favorite recipe. Bake and allow to cool completely.

For the cream cheese frosting:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until fully mixed. Spread on top of cooled brownies and sprinkle with nuts.

For the chocolate peanut butter rice krispies topping:

1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
3 cups rice krispies cereal

In a large pan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter over low heat. Continue stirring until the chocolate and peanut butter are melted. Stir in cereal, making sure to coat all the cereal in the peanut butter chocolate mixture.

Spread the cereal mixture on top of the brownies and frosting and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Keep covered and store in the refrigerator.

Quick Cinnamon Brioche Rolls

Source: Always Leave Room for Dessert

Quick Cinnamon Brioche Rolls
(adapted form Cook's Illustrated)
makes 12 rolls

2 1/2 tsp (1 envelope) dry active yeast
1/2 Cup (120ml) whole milk, warmed to approximately 110˚F
2 1/4 Cups (320g) all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp (45g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs

1/2 Cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 Cup (100g) dark brown sugar
1 tsp (5g) cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
1 Cup (75g) walnuts

Begin by making the sponge: in a small bowl, whisk together the yeast and the milk, then stir in 1 Cup (142g) of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a draft-free area.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine butter, sugar and salt until well blended and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the workbowl and process again for several seconds until well blended. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled at this point. Add the remaining 1 1/4 Cups (178g) of flour and process in 1-second pulses until thoroughly combined. Finally, add in the sponge, and pulse again until a smooth dough forms. Then process continuously for 15 seconds. The dough will be quite sticky at this point.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead until smooth and elastic. Form into a smooth, round ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a slightly damp towel and let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a small bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, spices, salt and vanilla, and whisk until fluffy. In a saute pan over medium heat, toast the walnuts, being careful not to let them burn. The nuts are done when they are fragrant and lightly toasted. Immediately remove the nuts from the pan, onto a chopping board and allow them to cool slightly. Finely chop the walnuts, and set aside. Generously butter a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto generously floured surface. Gently knead the dough and roll it out into a large rectangle, roughly 12 inches x 18 inches. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about 1 inch of dough along the top, so the roll can be sealed. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the butter spread and gently press the nuts into the mixture. Gently roll up the dough until you are close to the clean edge of the dough. Using your fingers and cold water and wet the clean edge of the dough, then finish rolling up the dough, and pinch along the seam to create a seal. Using very gentle pressure and a serrated knife, cut the dough log in half, and then cut each half into half again. Finally, cut each section into three rolls, and place each pice, cut side up, into the buttered baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a lightly damp towel and allow to rise for about 45-60 minutes.

Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 180˚F when inserted into the center of the pan. Turn pan upside down onto a service plate and immediately remove the baking pan. Allow the rolls to cool for 5-10 minutes before devouring.

Skillet Tacos

Source: Real Mom Kitchen

Skillet Tacos

1 pound ground beef
1 small red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
10 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1-inch pieces (I use my pizza cutter to do this)
1 bottle (8 ounces) taco sauce (I used mild)
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
2. Rinse frozen corn in a colander with warm water and drain.
3. Add the drained corn, taco sauce, and 1 cup cheese to meat until well mixed.
4. Mix in tortilla pieces and heat through.
5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serves 5-6

Heath Bar Chocolate & Toffee Coffee Cake Muffins

Source: Cookin' Canuck

Heath Bar Chocolate & Toffee Coffee Cake Muffins
Adapted from

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup Heath or Skor bar bits (or any other crumbled chocolate and toffee candy bar)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain (2% or whole) yogurt

In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces and cut into the brown sugar mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers. When the mixture resembles coarse meal, stir in Heath or Skor bar bits.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl, and blend with a mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.

Coat 1 1/2 muffin tins (18 cups) with cooking spray. Fill each cup one-third full with batter. Using half of the Heath bar mixture, generously top the batter. Fill with the rest of the batter and top with the remaining streusel.

Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve.

Makes 18 muffins.


Source: How Sweet It Is

From The Little Teochew
largely adapted from Cherry on a Cake

8oz plain flour
1 1/2 oz castor sugar
2 tsp dried yeast (I used the same amount of instant yeast)
1 egg, beaten
1 oz butter
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp boiling water
Oil for frying

1. Measure the milk into a measuring jug and then add the boiling water, a teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast. Stir it and leave the jug in a warm place for about 10 minutes till the yeast mixture froths. Put the rest of the sugar, the salt and the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Then pour in the beaten egg and frothy yeast mixture and stir and mix to a smooth dough. If it seems a little dry add a teaspoon or so of warm water.

2. Turn the dough out onto a board and knead for about 10 minutes by which time it should feel springy and show slight blisters just under the surface. Return it to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise until double in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.

3. When it has risen tip it out onto a board and punch it down to disperse large air bubbles. Divide the dough into 24 equal parts and shape into balls.

4. Once shaped, deep fry in oil until they turn golden brown (about 2 minutes). Do no overcrowd the wok.

5. Drain on kitchen paper before tossing them in a bowl of castor sugar. Or you could use cinnamon or vanilla sugar too. Poke a lolly stick into each ball and out come your Doughnut Pops!


1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

Cheesecake Cookies

Source: Buns in my Oven

Cheesecake Cookies
Recipe adapted from Chickens in the Road

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons lemon zest (omit or reduce this if you don’t like lemon)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (omit or reduce this if you don’t like lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional

In a large bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add in the lemon zest and juice if you are using. Mix in vanilla. Stir in the flour until well combined and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes so that it is easier to handle.

Mix together the pecans, graham cracker crumbs, and cinnamon to make the crust. Pour half of the crust mixture onto a large sheet of wax or parchment paper. Form a log with half of the cookie dough and roll it in the crust mixture. Place log of dough on a new sheet of parchment paper and wrap the ends up. Repeat with the remaining dough and place both dough logs in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Slice dough into half inch thick rounds and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. The bottoms should be only lightly browned. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hot Corn Dip

Source: Buns in my Oven

Hot Corn Dip

1-2 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh or canned corn
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup yellow onion
1/4 cup bell pepper (or not)
1/4 cup green onions
1 jalapeno, diced (I only used 1/2 a jalapeno. I’m a wimp.)
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-2 handfuls monterey jack cheese
1-2 handfuls cheddar
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt butter in pan.

Add corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, until corn starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Melt butter in pan and add onions and bell pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, until onions are soft.

Add in the jalapeno, green onions, and garlic. Cook another two minutes, until softened.

Dump jalapeno and onion mixture into the bowl of corn. Add in 1-2 handfuls of monterey jack cheese, mayo, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.

Spread in a baking dish and cover the top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until warmed through and the top has browned.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Chocolate Cobbler

Source: Buns in my Oven

Chocolate Cobbler

For the cobbler:

6 tbsp. butter
1 cup self rising flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. instant coffee
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put 6 tbsp. butter in an 8×8 baking dish and allow to melt in the oven.

Mix together dry ingredients. Pour in milk and vanilla.

When butter has melted, pour the chocolate mixture on top of the butter. Try to pour it as evenly across the dish as you can, because you won’t be able to spread it once it’s in the dish.

For the topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups hot water

Mix together the dry ingredients. Sprinkle over the top of the chocolate cobbler.

Slowly, slowly, slowly pour the hot water over the entire thing.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top has hardened up, but the cobbler is still a bit jiggly in the middle.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Cinder Lynn’s Potato, Bacon, Cheese Croquettes

Source: Buns in my Oven

Cinder Lynn’s Potato, Bacon, Cheese Croquettes

6 Idaho Potatoes
3 Eggs, divided
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Milk
15 slices (about 3/4 pound) of bacon
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
vegetable oil for frying
bread crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes until fork tender. Peel potatoes if you didn’t do this before boiling.

Mash potatoes, butter, and one beaten egg together until they are the consistency of thick mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper the potatoes.

Stir in cheese and bacon and mix well.

Spread potato mixture on to a plate and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and shape potatoes in to small-ish, golf ball sized balls.

Pour flour (seasoned with salt and pepper, optional) into a shallow dish. Beat 2 eggs and 2 tbsp. milk in another shallow dish and add bread crumbs to a third shallow dish.

Roll balls through the flour to coat. Then roll the balls through the eggs and then through the bread crumbs.

Return coated potato balls to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to a few hours.

Heat a large, deep skillet with vegetable oil to 350 degrees.

Add potato balls, a few at a time so as not to over crowd the pan, in to the oil and fry for 4-5 minutes turning the balls about half way through.

Not Yo’ Mama’s Deviled Eggs

Source: Buns in my Oven

Not Yo’ Mama’s Deviled Eggs

5 eggs
1/2 cup Mayo
1 Tbsp. Mustard
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
Tabasco, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Boil eggs about 15 minutes. Cover pan and allow to sit in hot water for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together mayo, mustard, vinegar, tabasco and salt and pepper. Cook and crumble bacon. When the eggs are done, peel them and slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk into a small bowl and put whites on a plate. Using a fork, mash the yolks and one of the whites. Pour the mayo mixture in with the egg yolks and stir together. Add in the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. Combine and then scoop in to egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy.

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Source: Sprinkle Bakes

Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 15 Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

Candied Salted Caramel Rounds (optional)

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
2-4 tablespoons of large-crystal sugar

Lay out a large piece of parchment on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large tub (or your sink) partially full of ice water.

Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil. Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice as the syrup caramelizes so it will color evenly; do not stir. When the caramel is deep amber, plunge the base of the pan into ice water for about 2 seconds to stop further cooking.

Working quickly, dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle. Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times. When caramel has hardened (it will still be sticky) sprinkle on the large-crystal sugar. Remove from paper and adorn cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: Grin and Bake It

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa & CHOW)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup freshly brewed, caramel flavored hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.

Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in mixer and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into cupcake liners, fill a little less than 2/3 full.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat (pic #1). Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes (pic #2). The key is not to stir it.

Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla (start with a few spoonfuls), stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth (pic. # 3). Set aside until cool to the touch.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar. Mix until well combined (pic. #4). Turn off the mixer, and slowly add caramel. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.

Refrigerate if not using immediately. *

*If you refrigerate the frosting, be sure to whip it up with your mixer before spreading.

**To frost cupcakes with the swirl (1M tip), you will need more frosting than the recipe makes, double it.

Scalloped Corn

Source: Buns in my Oven

Scalloped Corn
Adapted from The Homesteading Housewife

2 (15 oz.) cans corn, drained
1 (15 oz.) can creamed corn
diced bell pepper (optional)
diced onion (optional)
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sour cream (light sour cream is fine)
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir together. Pour into an 8×8 or 9×9 dish and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the center is set and a knife inserted in the middle comes out nearly clean.

Chocolate Chip Surprise Muffins

Source: Buns in my Oven

Chocolate Chip Surprise Muffins

1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the milk, oil, and egg. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips just until the flour is moistened and everything is combined.

In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and milk.

Add a tablespoon of batter to each muffin cup. Place one teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each muffin and then cover with another tablespoon or so of batter.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from muffin tin immediately and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

S’mores Cupcakes

Source: Buns in my Oven

S’mores Cupcakes

2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, honey, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Mix in egg yolks.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking powder. Add to butter/sugar mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Gently stir in egg whites until well blended.

Spoon batter into paper lined baking cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes and then cool completely.

With a knife, cut a circle in the tops of the cupcakes and scoop out the insides and set aside. Pipe in marshmallow cream and cover with the reserved cupcake top.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp heavy cream, half and half, or milk

Beat all ingredients together until fluffy and smooth. Pipe or spread on cupcakes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes

Source: The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

Amy Sedaris' Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups of sugar
Beat well, then add:
Add 2 large eggs
2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups of milk

Beat well, fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I 18, so don't worry if you don't get 24 either.

Lisa's Chocolate Mocha Icing
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

Whisk together the sugar and cocoa. Add coffee and whisk until smooth.

Spread over cooled cupcakes.

This icing hardens up fast, so make sure your cupcakes are cooled and ready when you make it.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars

Source: Kitchen Runway

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars

1 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 C Quick Cooking Oats
1 1/4 C Light Brown Sugar
1 C Regular Butter, melted
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 19oz of Butterscotch Caramel topping (if you can't find butterscotch topping - regular caramel topping is fine too. If you use a smaller jar - just adjust the amount of flour you mix into the topping)
6 Tbs Flour
1/4 tsp Coarse Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 350º, grease a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray (make sure you get the sides too)

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

Press 1/2 of the flour and mixture into the baking dish, bake for 10 mins

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

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

Crumble the rest of the crust mixture evenly over the caramel topping. Do not press down. Bake for an another 20 minutes.

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

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Source: Real Mom Kitchen

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

Combine the first five ingredients; rub over chicken. Coat grill rack with cooking spray for grills or brush with olive oil before starting the grill. Grill chicken, covered, for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Yield: 5 servings.

Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake

Source: Willow Bird Baking

Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, adapted from Annies’ Eats’ Cappucino Fudge Cheesecake with eggless cookie dough by Family Fun
Yields: one 9-inch cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:
32 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt

Ganache Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I combined both)

Filling Ingredients:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional, maybe?)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 large eggs

Topping Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookie Dough Layer Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 to 6 tablespoons water (I used 4)

To make the crust, butter a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). I did this using a smooth glass to press crumbs into place.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 1.5-2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the coffee dissolves. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.

Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Enclose the bottom of the springform pan in tightly wrapped foil and place it in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water about halfway up the cheesecake pan, careful not to let the moisture touch the cheesecake. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)

To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely. Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes. Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.

To make cookie dough layer, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, salt, vanilla and chips. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached a cookie dough consistency. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Spoon the cookie dough into the pan and flatten to an even layer. Freeze the cookie dough layer until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).

To finish, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Turn cookie dough out of cake pan and place layer on top of cheesecake, pressing it gently into place. Place the reserved ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and use to garnish the top of the cake as desired. Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.

Parmesan & Thyme Crackers

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Parmesan & Thyme Crackers
(From Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)

Yield: 24 crackers

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the Parmesan, thyme, salt, and pepper and combine. With the mixer still on low, add the flour and combine until the mixture is in large crumbles, about 1 minute. If the dough is too dry, add 1 teaspoon water.

2. Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 9-inch log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the log into 3/8-inch-thick rounds with a small, sharp knife and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 22 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking, until very lightly browned. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grilled Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce

Source: the Bitten Word

Grilled Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce
Southern Living (May 2010)

1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
10 chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)*
White Barbecue Sauce

1. Combine first 7 ingredients. Rinse chicken, and pat dry; rub mixture evenly over chicken. Place chicken in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 4 hours. Remove chicken from bag, discarding bag.

2. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 180°. Serve with White Barbecue Sauce.

White Barbecue Sauce

Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons horseradish

1. Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Rosemary and Garlic Butter Rolls

Source: Kayotic Kitchen

Rosemary and Garlic Butter Rolls


2 tsp instant yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast)
1 stick butter (soft)
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 rosemary sprig
2 garlic cloves
coarse sea salt


First, mix 2/3 stick of butter with 1 cup of milk.
Lightly beat a large room-temperature egg.
Keep 3 cups of flour nearby.

Technically I wouldn’t have to add instant yeast to water. I could just mix it in with the flour. However, I’m a beast of habit and this is what works for me. Dump 2 tsp instant yeast (or 2 + 1/4 tsp active dry yeast) in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of warm water. Not hot, just warm. Stir and let the yeast sit there for 5 minutes.

I’m using the stand mixer, but you can also do this by hand. You’ll need stamina. And a pair of hands that don’t tire easily because you’ll be kneading for 10 minutes straight to get the best, fluffiest dough. If you have a hand mixer with dough hooks, use it until the dough forms to a ball and then work the dough with your hands.

Pop the milk and butter mix in the microwave for a minute at full power. It doesn’t have to be hot, just luke-warm. Transfer the yeast water to your mixer bowl. Add 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, pour in the egg and add 1 cup of flour.

Now pour in the milk with butter. The butter will have melted a bit.

Mix until the flour is incorporated before adding another cup of flour. Repeat this process until all the flour is incorporated. As soon as the wet and dry ingredients are combined, turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes before starting the kneading process. Unless you’re doing this by hand, then you start kneading straight away and only use extra flour if the dough starts sticking to your hands. The dough will look really sticky at first, but that will resolve itself during kneading as the gluten are developed.

I let the machine knead for 6 to 7 minutes, by the end of which the dough will have formed into a ball. If your dough looks impossibly sticky in the final few minutes, add a tbsp flour at a time. But remember, it should still be sticky to the touch! Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

If you used active dry yeast you now transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, apply some oil to the top of the dough to prevent it from drying out and instead of the 10 minutes I’m giving it now, let it rise for about an hour, until it doubled in size. Proceed with the recipe as listed below after the first rise.

Lightly butter a baking tray. Or cast iron skillet if you want to get all fashionably old-fashioned.

After 10 minutes transfer the dough to a lightly floured cutting board. It should be a really supple and slightly sticky dough.

Flatten it with your hand and using a sharp knife divide the dough into 9 pieces. Or 12, if you want them smaller.

Instead of rolling the dough in your hand, you simply fold the sides to the bottom and shape them in the palm of your hand. Transfer them to the baking tray but give them a little room to rise. Cover them with a towel and let them rise for an hour to an hour and a half. Until they doubled in size.

That gives us time to do the compound butter. I love rosemary but don’t like it all burnt and crunchy on top of my rolls. So I put the flavor inside the butter, that way the flavor gets everywhere.

Let’s get all medieval and break out the mortar and pestle. Provided you have one.

In order to get the flavor inside the butter, you have to release some of the oils. Strip the rosemary sprig and add 2 garlic cloves. Now smash the whole shebang, reallly bruise the rosemary. Add the remaining 1/3 stick of butter and lightly mix it. Leave it be for an hour or so, while the dough rises.

Nuke the flavored butter, this will intensify the flavor and will make it easier to brush on top of the rolls. Give it 30 seconds at full power.

Brush it all over the dough and don’t be shy, they’re not called butter rolls for nothing! I don’t mind a few lonesome rosemary leaves here and there, as long as it’s not too much.

Last but not least, sprinkle a generous amount of coarse sea salt all over them yummy rolls.

Bake them in a preheated oven at 350F (175C) for 20 minutes. Until all puffy and golden brown.

The best dinner rolls are not sweet: they’re pillow light, soft, puffy, savory and buttery, all things good. And these rolls are. Oh boy, they are!

Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa

Source: Pocket Daydreams

Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa

1-2 fresh jalapeño chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1-15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes in juice (Hunts makes them)
1/4 cup (loosely packed) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt to taste (~1/2 tsp)

1. Snip the stems off the jalapeños and roast the chiles and garlic in a pan over medium heat. Keep turning them so that they turn brown and splotchy. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes for the chiles and 10 minutes for the garlic.

2. When the chiles cool down, remove what’s left of the stem and rough chop the chiles. For the garlic, remove the shell and scoop out the soft garlic. Put the chiles and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. I don’t have a food processor so I just put it in a mug and used my hand blender. It still worked.

3. Add the diced tomatoes into the food processor and pulse so that it’s a coarse puree. If you’re using a hand blender like I did, just put it into a bowl and it works the same. You might want to do this over a sink in case you make a mess.

4. Pour into serving dish and stir in the lime juice and cilantro.

5. Salt to taste. Don’t forget that your chips might be salted already. And get good quality chips!

Blackberry Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Blackberry Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Classic White Layer Cake
Yields 24 cupcakes

3 6oz packs blackberries
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 recipe Blackberry Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two muffin pans with liners.

Puree blackberries in a food processor or blender. Scrape into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. With a rubber spatula, work the blackberries through the sieve, leaving seeds behind. Remove 1/4 cup of puree for the frosting. Your mileage may vary but you should have ~2/3 cup of blackberry puree leftover.

In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 30 more seconds. Fill cupcake liners ~3/4 full.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake in each pan comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pans and then transfer to a covered plate.

Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks butter unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp meringue powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup blackberry puree

Cream butter and extracts until smooth. Mix in confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder, and salt and beat 2-3 minutes on high. Add blackberry puree and beat for an additional minute. Adjust consistency, if desired, with additional confectioner’s sugar or water.

Strawberry Cake

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Katie’s Strawberry Cake

3/4 cup strawberry puree, room temperature (follows)
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 inch pans: line outside with heavy duty foil (I used Bake Even strips) and spray inside with baking spray with flour.

In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary). Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Source: Good Things Catered, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Classic White Layer Cake
Yields: 2 8-inch layers

Strawberry puree
24oz frozen organic strawberries, thawed*

Thaw frozen strawberries in whatever form (sliced, whole, etc) and in whatever container/bag you have them in. Pour into a fine strainer placed over a bowl and let sit. Lightly toss the strawberries occasionally to remove any pockets of excess liquid. Reserve the liquid for another use or discard. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.

* You most certainly can use non-organic and you can use fresh strawberries if you don’t have a stash of frozen strawberries in your freezer. Just hull, slice and toss with a teaspoon or two of sugar and cover. Let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, or until nice and juicy. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.

Use leftover puree to fill the cake or fold into the frosting, if desired. It’s also fabulous spooned over ice cream… and eaten straight with a spoon.

Yields: Approx 1 1/4 cup strawberry puree

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Buttery Garlic Pasta

Source: Cooking by the seat of my pants!

Buttery Garlic Pasta

1 pound pasta. (I prefer gemelli for this dish)
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water generously then add the pasta. Stir once to loosen the noodles. Cook until al dente (about 9 minutes for gemelli). Drain and set aside

Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic. Melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat, swirling often to combine. Add garlic to the butter and olive oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic just begins to brown. Add paprika, salt, pepper and stir
to combine.

Add the pasta to the skillet, toss to coat all noodles evenly and test for seasoning. (you will probably need more salt.)

Serve immediately.


Each time I make this I tweak something just a little. I prefer the garlic crisped as it takes on a slightly nutty and bitter flavor that cuts the richness of the butter well.

Browning the butter adds depth but the added nuttiness almost demands the addition of an acid to the dish; something I’m striving not to use here… The aim of this dish is perfection in simplicity.

Cinnamon Muffins

Source: Taste and Tell

Cinnamon Muffins
adapted from Ravishing Relative Recipes

Makes 12+ muffins

4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
cinnamon sugar - for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare muffin tins.

Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix only until moistened. Fill muffin cups and top with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

Source: Tartelette

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes twelve 3-inch square sandwiches

- you can use 2 cups all purpose flour instead of all the combined gluten free flours (sweet rice through cornstarch)
- for the dotted look on the sandwiches, I used one of the tools comprised in this set that I received as a gift years ago.

For the cookies:
4 tablespoons (55gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons coconut oil (55gr), at room temperature
1 cup sucanat (organic cane sugar) muscovado or brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup superfine or regular sweet rice flour
1/2 cup superfine or regular brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup cornstarch (use tapioca flour if allergic to corn)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Prepare the cookies:
In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butterm coconut oil and muscovado sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Lower the speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, all the flours, baking powder, and salt. Still with the mixer on low speed, at the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Gather the dough into a ball and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
On a lightly floured surface or a Silpat, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Use your preferred cookie cutter to cut out as many pieces as you can. Gather and re-roll the scraps if necessary. Make patters on cookie with a fork or other tool (see notes) if desired. Place on lined baking sheet and bake 8 - 10 minutes. Cool completely before sandwiching them with ice cream.

For the vanilla ice cream:
1 cups (250ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) whole coconut milk
1/2 cup (125gr) mild honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split open and scraped - seeds set aside

Prepare the ice cream:
In a large saucepan set over medium low heat, bring the cream, milk, coconut milk, honey and vanilla bean seeds to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Process the mixture into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's intructions.
Once the ice cream has reached soft serve consistency, pour about half into a 9x9 freeze proof dish lined with plastic wrap (try to get about 1 to 1.5 inch thickness for the ice cream to sandwich later on) and the other half into a freezable container. Freeze until firm.
No ice cream maker? No problem! Pour the cream into a freeze proof container and freeze for a couple of hours. Take it out and whip it with an electric mixer or immersion blender, freeze it again, whip it that four or five times. The mixture won't be quite the same but pretty darn close.

With the same cookie cutter, cut through the ice cream that was poured into the 9x9 inch pan and sandwich in between two cookies. Keep frozen. The cookies will keep well wrapped in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Source: Susi's Kochen Und Backen Adventures

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake
adapted from Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes
1 shake

Nonstick cooking spray
9 large marshmallows
1/4 cup whole milk (I used 1 % and it tasted fine)
11 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups packed) vanilla ice cream
Additional toasted marshmallows, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Arrange the marshmallows flat on the baking sheet and place under the broiler until the tops are a deep golden brown color, about 40 seconds. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the marshmallows over, and broil until they are deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Combine the marshmallows and milk in a blender and blend for 5 seconds. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds. Serve immediately.

Parmesan Roasted Potato Wedges

Source: Meg Kat Photography & Art

Parmesan Roasted Potato Wedges

3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into small wedges
3 TBS olive oil
1/3 C parmesan cheese (fresh is great, but expensive, so I use “shaker parm”)
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Wash and dry the potatoes then cut each potato in half length wise, then cut each half into 4 or 5 wedges, then cut those wedges in half.

In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, garlic salt, and paprika and set aside. Next, toss the potatoes and oil together in a mixing bowl then add the bowl of cheese and seasonings and stir to coat. Dump onto a cookie sheet and arrange in a single layer.

Bake for about 25 minutes then remove from oven and turn over all the potatoes. It takes a few minutes but it is SO worth the time.

Put them back in the oven for another 10 or 15 minutes until they’re sufficiently crispy and divine.

Mad Hatter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Une Gamine dans la Cuisine

Mad Hatter Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from recipes by Alice Medrich, Thomas Keller, and Cook's Illustrated)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces about the size of a tablespoon.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar, lump free
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups of bittersweet chocolate chips
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium and whisk constantly. The butter will foam up and then subside. Use you sense of smell. Once it takes on a nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Whisk vigorously until well blended. Let the mixture rest of 3 minutes. Whisk again and let it rest again for another 3 minutes. Repeat this process once more (total of 3 times.) Mix in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Let the mixture and the pan cool. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover well and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, preferably 48.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator to soften. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. Bake for about 8 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top. Remove from the oven and let cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer them to rack to cool (they are amazing right out of the oven too.)

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cocoa Coco Cupcakes

Source: Honest Fare

Cocoa Coco Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of sweetened desiccated coconut

For the frosting:

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5 tablespoons butter
1 c. confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons milk
4 oz. heavy whipping cream


For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and cream till light and fluffy again. Scrape sides for even mixing.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each to ensure mixing. Scrape down the sides.
3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in one bowl. In another add 1 cup of a well shaken can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating with the wet and dry mixtures, ending with the dry. Stop mixing once just as the ingredients become incorporated. Don’t overbeat.
4. Dice up desiccated coconut into shorter pieces. Fold coconut into batter.
5. Scoop batter into cupcake papers three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness. If the toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean, then they’re ready (don’t over bake). Allow the cupcakes to cool for a minute or two in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

1. Make sure butter and milk are room temp! Cream butter in mixing bowl. Add cocoa and sugar, alternating with milk and beat until spreadable consistency. In separate vessel, blend/mix whipping cream until thick. Fold desired amount of whipped cream (I did about 2 ounces.) into frosting.
2. Spread across cupcakes and top with coconut!


Source: Indecisive Baker

King Arthur Flour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa (the double dutch!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Parchment paper a 9x13 pan.

2. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

3. While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.

4. Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.

5. Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips. ( let it cool- it makes presentation even better! )

6. Spoon the batter into a parchment lined (sides and bottom!) 9" x 13" pan.

7. Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

Parker House Rolls

Source: One Perfect Bite

Parker House Rolls
from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar, divided use
1/2 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups scalded milk, cooled to room temperature
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter, divided use
6 cups all-purpose flour

1) Combine yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and water in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Let sit until frothy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, reserved 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter to yeast. Add 1-1/2 cups flour and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. With mixer at low speed, add 4 cups of flour, a cup at a time, beating until a soft dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let double in volume, about 1 hour.
2) Punch down dough and turn onto a lightly floured board. Let rest for 5 minutes. Roll dough into a sheet 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Crease each round in the middle with the back of a knife. Brush exposed surfaces with reserved butter. Fold dough over and press lightly to seal. Place rolls 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Cover lightly and allow to rise again until nearly double in volume,
about 35 minutes.
3) Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake until rolls are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Yield: 36 rolls.

Leche Frita- Fried Milk

Source: Gourmet Worrier

Leche Frita- Fried Milk
Adapted from The Food of Spain 2008

250mls full fat organic milk
250mls of heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 strip of orange zest
1 strip of lemon zest
140g unsalted butter
250g plain organic flour
140g golden caster sugar
4 organic eggs, separated
120g fine dry breadcrumbs
Grapeseed oil, to shallow fry
Cinnamon sugar, for dusting

1. Grease a 27 x 17cm rectangle tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Then put the milk, cinnamon stick, citrus zest and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and set aside to allow the milk to infuse.

2. Melt the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat, then stir in 185g of the flour. The mixture will form a loose clump around your spoon. Reduce the heat to low and then stir in the sugar. Gradually add the strained milk into the saucepan, stirring constantly.

3. Mix for about 10 minutes or until a smooth mass forms and leaves the side of the saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Spread the custard mixture in the tin, ensuring that the surface is smooth. Refrigerate for an hour and allow to set.

5. Lightly whisk the egg whites together. Lift the set custard from the tin and carefully cut into 5cm squares. Dip the squares in the remaining flour and coat all the sides before dipping them into the egg whites and then the breadcrumbs.

6. Pour the oil in a frying pan to the depth of 1cm and heat. Add a few squares at a time and cook for about a minute per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and generously dust with the cinnamon sugar while still hot. Serve immediately and enjoy!