Sunday, June 27, 2010

Killer Compost Cookies

Source: Natalie's Killer Cuisine

Killer Compost Cookies
yield: 36 cookies

2 1/2 cups AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Shortening
1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 cups Add-Ins* (for ex: chocolate chips, nuts, candy, oats, coconut)

preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl combine butter and shortening. Using an electric mixer, beat with the brown sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time.
3. Add your add-ins and mix.
4. Divide into 36 portions. Bake for 13- 15 minutes until just slightly browned, turning the cookie sheet at the halfway point. ( I used a large scoop and could fit 8 cookies on my baking sheet.)

*I used roughly 1/3 cup Coconut, 1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips, 1/3 cup Mini Chocolate Chips, 1/4 cup Pecan Pieces, 1/3 cup Oats and 1/4 cup Crushed Potato Chips.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Source: Ezra Pound Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”

The amount of streusel you see here is actually double the original quantity. It’s a change several people suggested after trying the original, and I can’t argue with genius.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

3. For the Streusel: Place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the nuts, if desired.

4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with half the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

5. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.

6. For the Glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Grammy’s Yum Yums

Source: Natalie's Killer Cuisine

Grammy’s Yum Yums
yield: 12 bars

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Pecans

prepare a 10 x 10 baking pan
preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Mix first three ingredients in a bowl with your hands. Press evenly into prepared pan and reserve 1/2 cup of the dough for topping.
2. Whisk eggs, brown sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and frothy. Should be light in color. Add pecans and stir to mix.
3. Pour mixture over unbaked crust. Sprinkle with remaining crust.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes (30 only if your oven is known to be a slow baker). Cool all the way before cutting into squares.

"The" Cookies

Source: Oui, Chef

"The" Cookies
from a recipe shamelessly coerced from the lovely Wendy Rayfield

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
12 oz. Skor English Toffee Bits, or Heath bar bits
12 oz. white chocolate chips
3 cups roughly chopped walnuts

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of an standing mixer fitting with a paddle attachment, cream the soft butter, the sugars, vanilla, eggs, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. With the mixer on a low-medium speed, mix in the flour, then add the toffee bits, white chocolate chips, and chopped nuts.
3. Drop the batter from a large spoon or small ice cream scoop and flatten with the heal of your hand. Allow room for spreading.
4. Bake for 10 - 12 min. until golden brown, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before moving the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling to room temperature.

makes about 4 dozen

German Chocolate Brownies

Source: The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

German Chocolate Brownies

1 pkg brownie mix (19 – 20 ounce size)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into smaller pieces
4 oz (half of an 8 oz pkg) cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Oven to 350. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package for cake like brownies. Pour batter into greased 9x13 inch pan.

Place butter, and cream cheese in small saucepan and cook on medium heat until cream cheese is completely melted. Don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled, it will come together when you add in the remaining ingredients. Stir in the brown sugar and take the mixture off the heat. Add the coconut and pecans and mix well. Mixture will be thick. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture all over the top brownie batter.

Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes clean. Cool before devouring.

Chocolate Frosting

Source: Our Best Bites

Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Sugar Plum

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1 cup real butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Optional: Additional cocoa powder as needed

Melt your chocolate chips if you haven't already and set aside to cool. You obviously don't want it so cool that it hardens, but you can get it close to room temperature and still have it be soft and stir-able.

In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk; bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil 1-3 minutes or until thickened like a thinned pudding. Remove pan from heat and strain mixture into a small bowl. Cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer.

When chocolate flour mixture is cooled, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture until well combined fluffy, about 1 minute. Finally add in melted chocolate and beat again until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. If desired, add additional cocoa powder to taste, up to 4 tablespoons more. Spread or pipe frosting on to cupcakes or cake.

Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes.

Storage: Store unused frosting in fridge and bring to room temperature before using again. If needed, beat with an electric beater before using.


Source: Just Eat It

(Adapted from Baking Illustrated)

I would bump the total amount of chips to one and a half cups, but that’s just me. I also used dark brown sugar without any detrimental effects.

1 cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces white chocolate chips (1 cup) or chopped bar, or 3 ounces each white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.

Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fudge Revel Bars

Source: Tasty Kitchen

Fudge Revel Bars


1 cup Butter, Plus 1 Tablespoon, Divided
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 whole Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt, Divided
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 1/2 cups Flour
3 cups Quick Oats
1 can (14 Oz. Can) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 package (12 Oz. Package) Milk Chocolate Chips

Cream together 1 cup of butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Add the vanilla. Add 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix. Add oats and mix well. Press 2/3 of the dough into a greased cookie sheet.

Put sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute and stir. Keep cooking at 30-second increments and stirring until melted. Pour over the dough and spread out. Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the fudge.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Almond Joy Ice Cream

Source: Fogg Road Kitchen

Almond Joy Ice Cream

The almond joy candy bar uses milk chocolate (whereas Mounds has dark – or darkish), but I like how the flavor of dark chocolate balances this otherwise sweet ice cream. The recipe calls for part sweetened and part unsweetened shredded coconut, but will be fine if you use all one or the other. Don’t be tempted, however, to substitute whole milk for the light cream, you’ll end up with an icy texture instead of a creamy one.

This ice cream holds beautifully in the freezer. Thanks to its high fat content, it stays smooth and creamy and won’t get icy at all (although I can only guarantee this remains true for 3 days, because we never have any left by day 4).

makes about 6 cups

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped dark chocolate, or dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa is best)
1 cup whole milk
14 ounce can cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups light cream
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Be sure to freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Prep the mix-ins
Heat oven to 350F. Toast chopped almonds and unsweetened coconut in oven until pale golden, between 8 and 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 35 second increments on medium-high until it begins to melt. Stir and continue heating until the chocolate is mostly melted, then stir again until smooth. Pour melted chocolate onto an 18 inch long piece of parchment and spread it to about 1/8 inch thick. Chill until firm, then chop roughly.

Put all mix-ins together in the freezer to stay cool until needed. Mix-ins can be prepped a few days ahead if needed.

Make the ice cream
Combine milk and cream of coconut in blender and mix until smooth. Add light cream and 3/4 cup sweetened coconut. Blend again just until smooth.

Pour mixture into ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. When the mixture is becoming thick and frozen, add the mix-ins and allow the machine to stir them in.

Scrape ice cream into a freezer safe bowl and freeze at least 4 hours, or until fully firmed up.

Dad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Gimme Some Oven

Dad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
(From Ali's dad)


1 cup + 2 Tbsp. butter, slightly softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (mini, regular, or chocolate chunks!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Ali’s Tip:
To avoid having flat cookies (with this or other recipes), be sure that the dough you pop in the oven is pretty chilled. So when you’re mixing these up initially, I’d recommend letting the prepared dough sit in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes before baking your first batch.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crack Bars

Source: The Kitchen Magpie

Crack Bars

1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of butter
1 can of condensed sweetened milk (300ml)
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 cup of toffee bits
1 cup of almonds

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the sugar and flour then cut in the cold butter. Press 2/3 of the mixture into a 9×9 pan saving the rest as topping for later. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cup of toffee bits on top. Then the almonds. Then the chocolate chips.

Then pour the condensed milk over top evenly. Wait a couple minutes for the condensed milk to settle into the grooves between ingredients a bit.

Then take the rest of the crumb mix and sprinkle it over the top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is wonderfully browned and crackly. Let the pan cool completely and when it’s cool, slice it.

Buttermilk Pecan Sticky Bun Coffee Cake

Source: Savour Fare

Buttermilk Pecan Sticky Bun Coffee Cake
Adapted from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham.

For cake:
3/4 cups butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 Tb vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

For frosting:
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup buttermilk,
2/3 c. pecan halves, toasted then chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10X13 baking dish.
Combine the butter, sugar and molasses in a bowl. Beat until fluffy.
Add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and beat until combined.
Add the flours, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling, melt the 1/4 c. butter in a small saucepan, and cook until a deep nutty brown color.
Add sugar, cornstarch and buttermilk, and cook over high heat, 2-3 minutes. Let cool to warm.
Pour the icing over the cake, and sprinkle with pecans.

Toffee Bit Cookies

Source: The Kitchen Magpie

Toffee Bit Cookies

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (softened) butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package of Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the butter and sugars into your mixer and whip them until they are fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and whip them again until they are fluffy. Mix in the flour/baking soda/salt until well combined.
Add in the toffee bits (try not to eat them all before they hit the batter, it’s hard, I know) and combine them.
Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a well greased cookie sheet and pop into that 350 degree oven.

The toffee bits like to stick to the sheets, just warning you.

Bake for 9-11 minutes until they are lightly browned, then let them cool on the sheets. Then you have to take a flipper to get them off if they have stuck to the sheets. They are worth the effort.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust Recipe

Source: Momofuku for 2

Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust Recipe
adapted from Food and Wine
makes one 4.5 inch springform pie

Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust Recipe

1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of kosher salt
generous pinch of cinnamon
1 cup diced white bread crusts

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes; strain into a glass measuring cup. Reserve the browned butter solids for the pie filling.
Pour half of the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and bread, and toss. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.
Pour the remaining butter into a food processor. Add the croutons and pulse to fine crumbs; spoon the crumbs into a 4.5 inch springform and press the crumbs over the bottom and sides; refrigerate the crust until chilled, 15 minutes.

Brown Butter Custard Pie Recipe

1 teaspoons plain powdered gelatin
Reserved browned butter solids from Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust
1/2 cup whole milk
1/6 cup light brown sugar
2 generous pinches of cinnamon
pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream

In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water and let stand until softened, 3 minutes. Microwave at high power for 10 seconds, until melted. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave the reserved brown butter solids with the milk, sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of salt until warm. Whisk in the gelatin and refrigerate until set.

In a bowl, whisk the heavy cream and sour cream to soft peaks. Whisk the custard to loosen it, then fold into the whipped cream. Pour the custard into the Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut the pie into wedges and serve.

Chocolate-Filled Coconut Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

Source: Jane's Sweets & Baking Journal

Chocolate-Filled Coconut Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. milk (I used 2 percent)
1 tsp. almond extract (I used Penzey's brand)
1 cup All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups finely shredded dessicated coconut (this is dry, unsweetened coconut)
2 oz. almond paste, grated (not marzipan)

In a large mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and superfine sugar on low speed until well blended. Add in the egg, milk, and almond extract on low speed until combined.

In a small separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add this into the above mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Continuing to beat on the lowest speed, gradually pour in all of the coconut; mix until combined. Pour in the grated almond paste and mix just until evenly blended.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Chill it in the fridge for about an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using a portion scoop (I used size 40, which holds just about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons), portion the dough evenly onto the parchment, leaving a couple of inches between cookies.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they just begin to turn lightly golden on top. Let them cool on the cookie sheet on a rack for about five minutes before removing them to the rack to finish cooling completely.

If you like, slowly melt about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips/pieces of your choice in the microwave, or in a small bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water on the stove. Use about 2 tsp. melted chocolate to fill a pair of cookies by sandwiching them gently together. Let the filled cookies stand undisturbed so the chocolate can cool and set before serving them. Store the cookies in an airtight container; they'll stay fresh for days if well covered.

S'mores Crème Brûlée

Source: Sugar Plum

S'mores Crème Brûlée

2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place 6 ramekins in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water, until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Heat cream, chocolate and sugar, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, whisking frequently, until chocolate is melted. Whisk yolks and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl until combined. Gradually whisk hot cream into eggs, until combined.

Divide mixture into ramekins. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until custard barely wobbles. Remove from oven, remove ramekins from water and cool five minutes.

Preheat oven broiler. Sprinkle tops of custards evenly with graham cracker crumbs, followed by mini marshmallows. Broil custards a few seconds until marshmallows brown. Cool for 30 minutes before placing in the refrigerator until chilled completely - about 1-2 hours.

Makes 6 servings

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Shorties

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Brown Butter Brown Sugar Shorties
Adapted from Gourmet

If you’re worried you’ll eat the whole batch — and you would be, I think, if you had one in front of you, too — the greatness that is the slice-and-bake cookie is that you can just bake off a few at a time and then hide the rest in the fridge (for a week) or the freezer (for a month) until the craving strikes again.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (preferably dark)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (flaky salt would be great in these)
Demerara sugar (Sugar in the Raw) or sanding sugar for rolling (optional)

Cut butter into four or five pieces and cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it has a nutty fragrance and flecks on bottom of pan turn a light brown, anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes. It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Transfer butter to a bowl and chill until just firm, about 1 hour.

Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, then mix in flour and salt at low speed until just combined. Transfer dough to a sheet of wax paper or parchment and form into a 12-inch log, 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill, wrapped in wax paper, until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Unwrap dough and roll it in coarse sugar, if using, and press the granules in with the paper you’d be using to wrap it. Slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, arranging 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until surface is dry and edges are slightly darker, 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit on sheet for a minute before transferring to a rack to cool. (Cookies will quite fragile at first, but will firm up as they cool.)

Dough keeps, chilled, up to 1 week, or in the freezer, up to one month. Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

Update 12/8/08: I am going to go ahead and put a yellow/yield light on this recipe. Although I have tested it twice, and had dreamy results both times, as have the majority of respondents, enough commenters are speaking of “spreading” or “falling apart” cookies that I want to warn you to approach this recipe more cautiously.

Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon Zest, Garlic & Herb Marinade

Source: Once Upon a Chef

Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon Zest, Garlic & Herb Marinade

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each, or 1 1/2 pounds total)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced (use a garlic press)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (you'll need one lemon)


1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness.

2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag. Add chicken breasts and massage marinade into meat until evenly coated. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (the bowl protects against leakage); let the chicken marinate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

2. Clean grill and preheat to high. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over grates several times until glossy and coated. Place chicken breasts on the grill (make sure they are well-coated with the marinade; the more garlic, lemon zest and herbs on the chicken, the better!). Grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes per side.

Use a fine or Microplane grater to zest the lemon. Simply rub the lemon in one direction against the blades, turning the lemon as you go. Be sure to remove only the yellow part; the white pith underneath is bitter.

S'mores Ice Cream

Source: Spache The Spatula

S'mores Ice Cream
The original recipe stated the yield was 1/2 quart, but I doubled it and nearly overflowed my 2 quart ice cream machine (this is the doubled recipe here, so feel free to halve it if you're worried).

1 package marshmallows (I used the big, Jet-Puffed variety)
2 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 milk chocolate bars, chopped (I used one Ghirardelli bar and one Hershey's with Almonds bar)
5-6 graham crackers, broken into pieces

1. In a large saucepan, heat together the marshmallows, milk, and cream over medium heat until the marshmallows are melted and combined with the milk/cream. The mixture will increase in size due to the expanding marshmallows. Remove from heat and allow to cool for only a minute so it doesn't get too sticky.
2. Transfer to your ice cream maker and churn for 30-40 minutes (yes the mixture will be piping hot when your pour it in). In the last couple of minutes, add in the chocolate pieces. Stir in the graham cracker pieces by hand.
3. Freeze for 4-6 hours ( I found any less produced an odd, gelatinous consistency) and serve!

Gooey Coconut Dream Bars

Source: Martha Stewart

Gooey Coconut Dream Bars
Makes 20 bars.

3 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 crackers)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of oven. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
2. To make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and salt. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into bottom of pan using your fingertips.
3. To make the topping: In another medium bowl, mix together chocolate chips and coconut; sprinkle evenly over crust.
4. Pour condensed milk evenly over coconut and chips, covering the entire surface. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan halfway through baking, making sure the milk does not get too brown or bubble over in the pan, 26 to 32 minutes.
5. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 20 squares. Serve immediately, or wrap each bar tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

S’mores Cheesecake Bars

Source: Annie's Eats

S’mores Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup marshmallow cream
2 tsp. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Milk chocolate chips, melted (optional)

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork until well combined. Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚ F.

To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and marshmallow cream. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes. Blend in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs until incorporated. Stir in the melted chocolate until well blended. Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently.) Remove from the oven.

Evenly top the cheesecake layer with the mini marshmallows. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough so the marshmallows begin to melt into each other. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the tops of the marshmallows. (Alternatively, this can be done underneath the broiler with a very watchful eye.) Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle with melted milk chocolate if desired. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill 2-3 hours before slicing and serving.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Source: The Comfort is Always Here

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

1 cup of whole milk, cold
3/4 cup of sugar
2 cups of heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 Oreo cookies, crumbled

As noted in a previous post, freeze the bowl, as it is very important that it is completely frozen. Begin by adding the milk and sugar to a mixing bowl, and do just that, mix with a whisk until all of the sugar dissolves. Add in the vanilla extract, and the heavy cream. Assemble your ice cream maker, and turn it on, adding in your mixture.

Let the mixer spin for at least 30 minutes. Add in the crumbled Oreo cookies about 25 minutes into mixing. Place the bowl back in the freezer for at least an hour, or in my case, overnight. Scoop and and enjoy.

Roca Cookies

Source: Cookies and Cups

Roca Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 beaten egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups AP flour
8 Hershey's bars, broken into pieces
1/3 cup chopped nuts or toffee bits

Preheat to 350

In mixing bowl cream together butter and both sugars. When combined add the egg yolk and vanilla, mixing on medium until combined and smooth.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time mixing on low in between each cup to combine.
Dough will almost form a stiff ball.

Press dough onto ungreased cookie sheet about 1/4" thick (my friend uses her baking stone and she says it works perfect).

Bake 15-20 minutes until edges are golden and center is almost set, but not quite.
As soon as you remove from the oven spread the broken Hershey pieces and the heat of the cookie will melt them. Spread to cover the entire top of cookie.
Top with your chopped nuts or toffee.
When completely cooled cut into triangle pieces and enjoy!

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies

Source: Spache the Spatula

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter + more to grease pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup homemade toffee bits (recipe below)
(Pecans in original recipe - optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook until it turns golden brown and smells nutty (the butter should foam up and then mostly subside).
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and toffee. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugars and brown butter until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat for around 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and then slice and serve!

Homemade Toffee
this will make more than you need for the above recipe but it is a great topper for ice cream, or if you're like me you'll just munch on it :-D

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan (I used a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture turns a deep golden and the mixture is at about 300 degrees, stirring constantly. If you don't have a candy thermometer just use color to guide you. Basically you cant it a bit darker than this: IMG_2844
3. Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes
4. Using a large knife, break up the toffee into very small pieces. Store in tupperware.

Note: When I first took my toffee off of the heat, the butter seemed to separate from the mixture so I put it back on the heat and whisked it for just a minute of two and it became homogenous.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chewy Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Source: Relish Magazine

Chewy Flourless Chocolate Cookies

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa (made with alkali)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Mix together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add egg whites, stirring with a spoon until mixture forms a dough. (Mixture should be thick enough to form into balls; if not add more powdered sugar and cocoa). Add nuts; mix well.
3. Form dough into 15 balls. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 16 to 19 minutes, until glossy and crackled. Remove from parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 15 cookies.

Recipe by Tamar Haspel, June 2010.

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

Source: Bakin' and Eggs

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies
(Recipe source Cooks Illustrated, May 2000)

Ingredients :

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (either Dutch-processed or natural cocoa works well in this recipe)
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 12-inch pieces of foil lengthwise so that they measure 7 inches wide. Fit one sheet in bottom of greased pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan. Fit the second sheet in pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. The foil overhangs will help you lift the brownies out of the pan.

Place a medium heatproof bowl over a pan of almost-simmering water. Melt chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Alternatively, you can melt chocolates and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on 50 percent power, stopping to stir ever 30 seconds, until mixture is smooth.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture; then stir in flour with wooden spoon until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners and level surface with rubber spatula. Bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.

Completely cool brownies on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. (This is a very crucial step – I know it’s hard but you have to let them completely cool!) Remove brownies from pan using foil handles. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve. (Do not cut brownies until ready to serve; brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Baklava Muffins

Source: Cate's World Kitchen

Baklava Muffins
(adapted from How To Be a Domestic Goddess)
makes 12

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp melted butter

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk

1/4 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Mix the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix the buttermilk, melted butter, and egg together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Mix gently with a fork.

Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners. Fill each 1/3 of the way with batter, top with a spoonful of filling, then top with more batter. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, brush each with about 1 tsp of honey, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Black and White Cheesecake with a touch of coconut

Source: Atlantic Kitchen

Black and White Cheesecake
with a touch of coconut

Cake pan: 40 x 26 cm, minimum depth - 5 cm

400g flour
20 g (3 tablespoons) of cocoa
1 / 8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 g (8 tbsp) unsweetened coconut flakes
100 g sugar
250 g cold butter
2 egg yolks

1 kg quark cheese 20% fat (I've used the German Speisequark)
400 g cream cheese Philadelphia type
50 g unsweetened coconut flakes
315 g (1 1/2 cup) sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
4 egg yolks
100 g butter, melted
40 g (1 pack) vanilla pudding powder (eg. Dr Oetker)
6 egg whites
pinch of salt
70 g sugar

Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder. Add salt, sugar and coconut and cubed cold butter. Rub butter into flour until it get crumbly. Add egg yolks (all egg whites keep for the filling) and knead the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 parts (the part that goes to the bottom should be slightly bigger). Wrap in foil and place in fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Mix cheese with 315 g of sugar, orange peel and coconut. Add one egg yolk while still whisking. Mix in cooled melted butter and pudding powder. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and 70 grams of sugar until very stiff. Stir white eggs gently with a spatula into the cheese mixture.

Grate the bigger part of the dough onto the bottom of the cake pan. Lightly press it with your hands. Pour the cheese filling. On top grate the rest of the dough. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Cool in the oven.

Homemade Steak Rolls

Source: My Kitchen Addiction

Homemade Steak Rolls

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook – Makes about 8 large steak rolls)

1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour
3 1/2 – 4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
Sesame seeds (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the water, orange juice, canola oil, honey, buttermilk, yeast, and salt until the mixture is smooth. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the bread flour, beating to develop the gluten. Gradually add in the whole wheat flour, mixing with the spoon until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes, adding just enough of the whole wheat flour to form a smooth and semi-soft dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rise until it has just about doubled in volume (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).

Lightly grease a baking sheet, or cover with a silicon mat. Set aside.

Punch down the dough and divide it up into 8 equal portions. Shape each roll by flattening the dough into a rectangle and then rolling it into a long, skinny roll. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet and score lengthwise with a sharp knife. Cover with the damp kitchen towel and allow the rolls to rise again for about 1 1/2 hours.

Towards the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the egg with the teaspoon of water to create an egg wash. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Becky Bakes

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 cup Earth Balance (or butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of water
1 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350˚. Put the Earth Balance, sugars and vanilla in a bowl. Using a mixer, beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the water and mix until blended. In a separate bowl mix the flours, salt and baking powder. Turn the speed of your mixer to the lowest setting and add the flour mixture. Mix until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place scoops of cookie dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack.

Cappuccino Brownie Cheesecake

Source: Cherry on a Cake

Cappuccino Brownie Cheesecake

Cappuchino Brownie Bottom :

150 gm butter
125 gm dark semi sweet chocolate
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee granules

1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped

Over a double boiler of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Once melted take it off the heat and add in the eggs, sugar and essence. Mix well. Add the flour, cocoa and coffee granules. Stir with a spatula and fold until just mixed and no flour remains visible. Add the walnuts. Mix them in. Pour into an 8 inch removable bottomed pan that has been buttered and floured. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 150 C for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is quite firm but not too firm.

Note : You will not need the whole batch of brownie mix. Leave about 1/2 to a cupful of mixture behind. You can bake the extra in cupcake cases later.

TIP : When the brownie bottom is done you will notice that the top would have puffed up a little making a very slight dome. Don't worry. Just take it out of the oven and let it cool so that it settles down and the surface will level itself ready for the cheese layer.

The Cheesecake :

500 gm cream cheese
2/3 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs, lightly beaten

Cream cheese in a mixer until smooth. add the sugar, essence and continue to beat until smooth. Add the eggs a little at a time until well mixed. Pour batter over the brownie bottom and bake in 170 C oven for 40 -45 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake feels firm and is a lovely golden brown, amber almost. Turn off the oven an allow to cool in the oven with the oven door slightly ajar so that the cheesecake will not crack.

Note : I allowed the cake to cool a few hours before removing.

TIP : There is no need for a water bath with this recipe. The cheesecake cooks beautifully without it.

TIP : As I did not want the brownie layer to be over baked I padded a baking tray with some newspapers and placed the cake tin on top.The paper gives the brownie some insulation from the heat so that it does not overcook.

Chocolate, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Toasts

Source: Almost Bourdain

Chocolate, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Toasts
(Adapted from Delicious Magazine June 2010 issue)
Serves 4

200 g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 sourdough loaf, cut into eight 1.5 cm-thick slices
40 g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Sea salt flakes (Omit this ingredient if you use Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt)

1. Sandwich the chopped chocolate between the slices of sourdough.

2. Heat 20 g butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based frypan over medium heat. Cook 2 sandwiches for 3 minutes each side or until golden and the chocolate is melting.

3. Wipe the pan clean and repeat with the remaining butter, oil and sandwiches.

4. To serve, drizzle the sandwiches with olive oil and sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt.

Mascarpone Cheesecake Ice Cream

Source: Mini Sam Tan Kitchen

Mascarpone Cheesecake Ice Cream
Makes about 1 pint

Stir together in a bowl until well-combined:
250g mascarpone cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup (about 85g) icing sugar, sifted
Generous sprinkling of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a separate bowl (ensure it is clean and dry), whisk 2 egg whites until stiff and fold into the cheese mix until well-combined. Roughly crush 6 digestives into chunks (or use ginger nuts, shortbread, graham crackers or any other cheesecakey biscuit you like) and stir in.

Freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely firm. Before serving, leave at room temperature for a few minutes (or move it to the refrigerator for 20 mins) to ease scooping.

Caramelized Brown Bread Ice Cream

Source: Mini Sam Tan Kitchen

Caramelized Brown Bread Ice Cream

Crunchy Crumb Mixture:
2 slices brown bread (100% whole grain wheat bread), processed into crumbs
85g brown sugar

Combine sugar with crumbs. Spread thinly on tin foil. Bake 15 mins at moderate heat, stirring constantly with a fork, until caramelized and crunchy.

Ice Cream:
2 egg whites, whisk until stiff
2 egg yolks, combine with 1 tsp vanilla (or 1 tsp dark rum for a more adult version). Fold into egg whites.

Whisk together until floppy (be careful not to overbeat until too stiff):
85g icing sugar, sifted
300ml double cream

Fold together double cream mix, egg white mix and crunchy crumb mix. Pour into container and freeze for at least 4 hours. Move to refrigerator for 20 mins before serving to soften slightly.

Lemonade Cupcakes

Source: The Meaning of Pie

Lemonade Cupcakes

1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
6 teaspoons frozen lemonade concentrate
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the flour and the baking powder and baking soda. In a stand-up mixer at medium high speed mix the butter for about two minutes. Add the sugar and continue to mix for another two minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the lemon zest and then the egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add the lemonade concentrate and the lemon juice and continue to mix. At this point the batter will look a little lumpy and weird. Fear not. Add the sour cream and mix. Lower the speed of the mixer to low and add the milk and flour alternately ending with the flour.

Fill a dozen lined muffin tins approximately 2/3 full. This recipe does not rise too much. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 15 minutes. At 14 minutes, do the toothpick test. This means, poke a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, take them out. If not, give it another minute and check again. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let the tin cool off for a few minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and let them cool completely before icing them.

The icing is the really lemony part of this recipe. Feel free to scale back on the extra lemon juice. But, I really think the extra punch is what makes it different. In a stand up mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add in the lemon zest, lemonade concentrate, and lemon juice. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add in the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. I used all four cups because I wanted a firm enough frosting to pipe. I have made these with as little as 2 1/2 cups for a more glaze-like finish.
Use a spatula, a knife or a piping bag to ice the cupcakes.

Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Glaze

Source: The Runaway Spoon

Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Glaze

For the Cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken

For the Glaze:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.

Sift the flour and baking soda together into a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and the buttermilk alternately, beating well after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated. The batter will be thick, but spread it in the prepared pan and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Glaze:

The cake must be completely cool, or the glaze will slide right off. Place a piece of foil or paper under the cooling rack to catch any drips and make clean-up easier.

Cut the butter into cubes and place in a saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt. After everything melts together, bring to a full, rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it reaches that boil, count to 60 Mississippi, then pull it off the heat. Leave the pan to cool for about 5 minutes, then vigorously beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, but do so slowly and evenly to cover as much surface as possible. Leave the glaze to set, then slice and enjoy. Covered tightly, this cake will last a few days.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vanilla Pound Cake

Source: Itsy Bitsy Foodies

Vanilla Pound Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs

Cream the sugar and the shortening. Add the sour cream, eggs, vanilla and dry ingredients. Pour the smooth batter into a greased and floured bundt pan or a tube pan. (I usually use a tube pan because it has straight edges and a removable bottom so the cake slides out of the pan easily.)

Bake the cake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for fifteen minutes prior to removing it.

To remove the cake, gently slide a sharp knife around all of the edges to loosen it from the pan. Then place a plate over the top of the pan and flip it over to allow the cake to slide out of the pan. Let it cool completely.

If desired, ice with a powdered sugar glaze.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Source: Picky Palate

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons pure vanilla
1/4 cup burnt caramel sauce (you can use any caramel sauce here)
3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
12 oz bag mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped good quality chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla following the caramel sauce until well combined.

2. Place the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl; mix. Slowly add to wet ingredients then the chocolate chips. Save chunks for later.

3. Place 1/4 Cup of cookie dough and place into muffin top cups. Press down then sprinkle with a pinch or two of sea salt then press chocolate chunks over top. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden around edges. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve with milk!!

18 Large cookies

Cheddar Biscuits

Source: Hot Polka Dot

Cheddar Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits.

2 cup flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup salted butter, cold and cubed
2 cup medium cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup milk
2 tbsp salted butter, melted
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Note: I serve these with spaghetti and other pastas, but they would pair nicely with just about any meal that included either garlic or cheese.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper then set it aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Mix in the cheese and green onion. Add half of the milk at first then, after that's mixed in, add a little bit more milk at a time making sure not to make the dough too wet and sticky since you may or may not need all the milk. The consistency should be that of a soft dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it 10 – 12 times until it's smooth and not crumbly. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a rectangular log 9 inches long. With a sharp knife cut 6 squares out of each log of dough and place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet making sure to leave enough room for them to double in size. Bake them for 10 minutes then, just before they're done baking, mix the melted butter and garlic powder and brush it on top of each biscuit. Bake them for 1 – 2 minutes more until they're golden brown. Serve them hot or cooled. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homemade Make-Ahead Yellow Cake Mix

Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Homemade Make-Ahead Yellow Cake Mix

*Note: the recipe calls for cake flour, which I never have on hand so I substituted 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons cornstarch for the three cups of flour called for in the recipe. It worked beautifully.

*Makes enough for two 9-inch layer cakes (bake according to recipe), or one 9X13-inch cake (bake for 30 to 35 minutes), or one 12-cup bundt pan (bake for 40 to 45 minutes), or 24 cupcakes (bake for 18 to 20 minutes)

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Process sugar, flours (or flour and cornstarch if making the substitution for the cake flour), milk powder, baking powder, and salt in a food processor for 15 seconds to combine. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you want this much finer than, say, a pie crust). Freeze the dry mixture in a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 months or use immediately.

To make the cake:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your pan of choice (see the note above the recipe).

With an electric mixer, beat the prepared cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-27 minutes for two 9-inch layer cakes. See the note above the recipe for alternate cooking times with other baking pans. Cool the cake(s) in pan(s) for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Country April/May 2010

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Coconut Tres Leches Cake
Recipe Source: adapted from The Dinner Doctor

Make-ahead Yellow Cake Mix or other preferred cake mix or homemade yellow cake recipe

Milk Syrup:
1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sweetened cream (see instructions below)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
(spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it at 350 degrees until golden brown,
7 minutes, or toast it in a skillet over medium-low heat on the stovetop)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set the baking dish aside. Place the make-ahead cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes (if using another cake mix or recipe, bake according to box or recipe instructions). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until it is lightly golden and is slightly pulling away from the edges, 30-34 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the milk syrup: in a blender, combine the cream of coconut, evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla and process until smooth.

Pierce the cooled cake all over the top with the tines of a fork or a thin wooden skewer. We are talking all over! The more pokes, the more the syrup will soak into the cake. Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon some of the milk syrup over the cake. Let the syrup soak into the cake, then continue spooning the syrup on top until all of it has been used up. When you have finished, not all of the syrup will be completely absorbed and might be pooling on the top but that’s ok because it will absorb as it refrigerates. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until all of the syrup is absorbed, 2 hours. Cut the bananas, if using crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Slice the cake and serve it with sliced bananas, sweetened cream and toasted coconut, if desired.

Sweetened Cream:
Pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a large (preferably chilled) glass bowl and beat it on high speed until thickened 1 ½ minutes. Stop the machine and add ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Makes 2 cups.

Chocolate Crumb Topped Cupcakes

Source: Picky Palate

Chocolate Crumb Topped Cupcakes

1 box devils food cake mix
1 small box chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1/2 Cup water
8 oz sour cream
3/4 Cup of your favorite jam, warmed in microwave until melted (optional)

Beth Royals Crumb Topping
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 Tablespoon pure vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil, water and sour cream until well combined. Will appear to be nice and thick :) Fill 24 muffin cups 1/2 full and bake for 12 minutes.

2. While cupcakes are partially baking, place cold butter cubes, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla into a stand mixer. Beat until combined and crubmly looking. After cupcakes have baked for 12 minutes, remove from oven spoon jam over tops then sprinkle with crumb mixture, pressing down slightly. Bake for another 15 minutes or until toothpick comes clean when poked into centers.

3 Let cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

24 cupcakes

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: Jamie Cooks It Up!

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Buttery, Rich, Super Soft.
Yield: 72 cookies
Recipe from Jill Eskelson

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups flour
2 bags Chocolate Chips

1. Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together for about 3 minutes. You want the mixture to be well incorporated.
2. In a separate medium sized bowl mix the dry ingredients.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients and mix until all the flour is incorporated.
4. Add the chocolate chips and mix.
5. Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. Do not over bake. You'll want to take the cookies out of the oven when they start to crack, then let them stay on the hot cookie sheet to continue cooking for about 5 minutes. (I have a convection oven and bake them at 325 for 6 1/2 minutes.)

Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Muffins

Source: Momma Hen's Kitchen

Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Muffins
adapted from delish

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs margarine, melted
3/4 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, olive oil and margarine until well blended. Fold in bacon and cheese.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix well. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 22 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Let muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen with a knife and place muffins on a wire rack to cool further.

Fudgy Two Bite Toffee Brownies

Source: Feed the Sink

Fudgy Two-Bite Toffee Brownies


1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
5 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
1/3 cup flour
1 cup Skor/Heath Toffee bits


In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and butter together. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light yellow and in the ribbon stage (you know you’ve reached this when you can lift up your whisk and the egg mixture drip down in a steady ribbon rather than in gloopy clumps). Stir in salt and cocoa and mix well to combine.

Stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture and combine well. Sift over flour and fold in until just mixed. Do not overmix, or you will have tough, dry brownies.

Spoon brownie mixture into mini-muffin oiled tins, about 1 tablespoon. Sprinkle the Skor bits on top of the brownie mixture. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. *Please note, my oven runs cool so I would recommend a baking time of 13-15 minutes for ovens that bake properly.

*The brownies may not pass the toothpick test (where it comes out clean), but they will continue to set as they cool. Allow to cool before serving.

Makes 24 two bite brownies

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares

Source: Martha Stewart

Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares

Total: 20 minutes

13 graham crackers
1 bag (8 ounces) toffee bits
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted natural almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place graham crackers in a single layer on sheet, edges touching. Sprinkle toffee bits and almonds over graham crackers.
2. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, 2 minutes. Immediately pour over graham crackers. Bake until sugar topping is bubbling, 12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate and salt over graham crackers. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

Strawberry Cobbler

Source: The Nesting Project

Strawberry Cobbler
(Adapted from

1 qt. fresh strawberries
1/4 lb. butter
1 c. milk
1 c.self rising flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Whipped cream (optional)

Heat oven 400 degrees. Hull the strawberries. Melt butter in an 8x12 inch baking dish in preheated oven about 4 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Add milk, flour, sugar and cinnamon to the baking dish and stir until just mixed. Arrange strawberries, tips pointed up, on top of the batter. Bake cobbler in oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.