17 12 / 2011
Who doesn’t love a sweet and salty treat? I recently had a pretzel topped with a melted rolo and a pecan. It inspired me. Salt, chocolate, and carmel…what an amazing combination.
My baking creativity brought about these caramel brownies. The pretzel crust is made up of ground up pretzels and butter, which I baked to help set. While the crust was cooling I decided to whip up the brownie batter. Unfortunately, the incorporation of the rolos was something I would change (and what I am writing into the recipe). This time just I placed the rolo into the already spread out brownie batter in the pan. However, next time I plan to cut the rolos in half and mix into the brownie prepared mix. Then the carmel bits will be even more distributed.
Take a break from the Christmas rush and have yourself something both sweet & salty!
4 cups pretzel snaps
1 stick butter
1 box brownies (and required ingredients to make batter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make crust, Place pretzel snaps into a food processor and process until into fine bits. Mix with 1 stick melted butter and mix until resembles wet sand. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom of 13x9 pan. Baked until crust is dry and set, 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Prepare brownie batter as directed. Cut rolos in half. Mix rolos into brownie batter and spread evenly in the pan.
Bake as directed, approximately 30 minutes.
Source: Katie Kitchen Original
11 12 / 2011
This holiday season one of my goals was to make Christmas cookie trays to give out to friends, family, and coworkers. Now that Christmas is only two weeks away it seems like a pretty lofty goal. There seems like there is so much to do between now and Christmas. Even if I don’t make my trays I still wanted to take some time to try out some new cookie recipes.
I have been a little obsessed with nutella lately. I blame my husband for suggesting we get some. It is a dangerous ingredient to have in your pantry. Anyways, I came across a peanut butter nutella cookie recipe that I just had to try. I thought it would be a nice addition to any tray and I was right!
What is your favorite holiday/christmas cookie?
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Approx. 1/4 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
Add flour, baking soda and salt. Drizzle Nutella on top of the dough then swirl it through the dough with a butter knife.
Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls by hand. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Using a fork, press down the balls to flatten slightly. Bake until edges are very lightly browned (about 7 to 10 minutes).
Allow to rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.
Source: Delightful Bitefuls
30 11 / 2011
I have never been much of a pumpkin pie fan. Don’t get me wrong I will eat it, especially if it is covered with lots of whipped, but it is definitely not one of my favorites. However, not having pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving seemed like some sort of sacrilege.
Flipping through a magazine one day I came across a pumpkin mousse pie with a chocolate crust topped with whipped cream that I just could not resist. It was even more delicious than I expected and by far the most popular pie at Thanksgiving.
I am always a fan of homemade crusts and this one is no exception. It is simply a mix of chocolate wafers, sugar, and butter. I didn’t promise this was going to be a healthy pie, but who is trying to be healthy on Thanksgiving. The filling is a mousse, which is flavored by pumpkin, maple syrup, and seasonal spices. I made the first two layers the day before and let it sit in the fridge. The whipped cream I made right before serving. It made more than we needed for the pie, but was able to use it for other desserts too. Over the last year I have been making my own whipped cream and it is a million times better than cool whip and pretty darn easy.
With this pie I leave you with one final question: is making pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving a no-no like wearing white after labor day? In my head I always had this idea that Thanksgiving was the cut-off for making pumpkin baked goods. If this is not the case with you here are my other pumpkin recipes from the season:
for the crust:
30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
for the filling:
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
4 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup cold heavy cream
for the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Make crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, process wafers and brown sugar until finely ground. With machine running, slowly add butter and process until mixture resembles wet sand. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is dry and set, 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Make filling: In a clean food processor, process pumpkin puree, cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth, scraping down side as needed. With machine running, add maple syrup in a slow, steady stream. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold pumpkin mixture into whipped cream. Spoon filling into crust and refrigerate until set, 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
Make toppping: In medium bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. With spatula, mound topping over pie and serve immediately.
Source: barely adapted from Everyday Food November 2011
17 11 / 2011
Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Sometimes in my attempt to be an adventurous baker I often forget how much I appreciate simple desserts like these cookies. They are probably one of my favorites! I know you all probably have your own chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I thought I would share this one with you. If you are looking to try a new recipe I promise this one will yield chewy, delicious cookies! I must worn you to please not over bake. From experience I know too much time in the oven can seriously ruin any cookie. Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did!
1 cup (2 sticks butter)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place sugar,brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Add baking soda, salt and flour to the sugar mixture and whisk together until smooth.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8 minutes, remove from the oven then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Source: adapted from How to Simplify
03 11 / 2011
Do you remember the canned pumpkin shortage last year? Maybe my fear of another shortage is what has been making me stock up on canned pumpkin. I also take into consideration there is a limited period of time where you can justify making pumpkin items. Some friends recently sent me a pumpkin macaroni & cheese recipe and a baked pumpkin oatmeal recipe that I will have to give a try.
These pumpkin bars were something I made recently for friends. I thought they were pretty good, but when I first made them I was on the fence about posting about them. However, they were a hit and when some people asked me for the recipe I decided to share the recipe.
I expected these bars to be more like pumpkin blondies, but they ended up being more cakey. This also could be because I substituted a stick of butter for a half a cup of applesauce. After reading some other reviews of the recipe I ended up only using 6 oz of chocolate chips instead of 12oz. I thought this was the perfect amount. I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice so I substituted 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ginger for 1 tablespoon of the it. Please let me know what you all think of these!
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose & 1 cup whole wheat)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter, applesauce, and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35. Cool completely in pan. Cut into squares.
Source: adapted from Martha Stewart
13 10 / 2011
For the last couple of years I have wanted to go apple picking, but somehow the fall gets away from me and I haven’t been able to make it. This year is no exception. I wasn’t able to pick my own apples this year, but that did not keep me from making some of my favorite apple recipes. One of my favorite fall desserts is apple crisp.
This is one of the easiest dessert recipes. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand. The only thing that would make this recipe easier is having an apple corer & cutter. I don’t know anyone who does not love apple crisp, especially if it is served with some vanilla icecream.
This is pretty much a guilt free dessert. Just think it has a serving of fruit for the day. I tried to cut both the sugar & butter of the original recipe. I baked this recipe in an 11 inch oval dish, but I think it would fit nicely in an 8x8 pan. Try to go apple picking this fall for me, but if you can’t just make this apple crisp!
- 6 medium apples (I used McIntosh), peeled, cored & sliced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons of butter
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, and vanilla. Toss to combine.
Layer sliced apples in a 11 inch oval (or approximately the same size) baking pan.
Combine cinnamon, brown sugar, oatmeal in a bowl. Cut in the butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples.
Bake 30 minutes or until topping looks crunchy and apples are tender.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Source: adapted from Simply Recipes
26 9 / 2011
I worked at a summer camp in Pennsylvania one summer with little phone & internet access. The only thing that got me through that summer was getting lots & lots of mail. I love getting mail. Okay, I don’t love getting credit card offers or bills, but I love getting cards, handwritten notes, and gift packages. It is so much better than receiving an email. I also enjoy brightening other people’s days by sending them mail too. My grandma’s birthday was this weekend and I knew I wanted to bake her a treat to send to her. She told me her favorite dessert was anything chocolate and so I decided on these chocolate chocolate chip cookies.
These cookies have the perfect amount of chocolate. They were simple to make and you probably have the ingredients for these cookies in your pantry. The final product ended up being dense & soft at the same time. This recipes make about 3 dozen cookies. I recommend you make some right now and make someone’s day by sending them some in the mail. I can attest to that they ship well.
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another large bowl cream together butter and both sugars, then add in eggs (beat prior to adding), milk and vanilla. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Mix in cocoa and once thoroughly mixed stir in chocolate chips.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake about 10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack.
Source: adapted from Food Network
12 9 / 2011
Before I knew anything about baking my go to dessert was boxed brownies. They were simple and always a hit. Also, who doesn’t love a brownie ice cream sundae? Over the last couple of years I have tried to stay away from boxed baked goods and challenge myself to make the item homemade. I have tried a couple of brownie recipes, but they ended up coming out too cakey and not fudgy enough. Well, I have found a brownie recipe with the perfect combination of cakey and fudgy. These brownies were the perfect consistency. They were moist without being undercooked. They also had great structure and weren’t too crumbly. Try these and your search for the best brownie recipe will end!
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” pan
In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to heat briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
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. Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
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.
Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9” x 13” pan.
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.
Source: King Arthur Flour
06 8 / 2011
One of the reasons I started this blog is to better keep track of my recipes. My recipe box is kind of a mess. It has a couple recipe cards, but is mostly filled with recipes scribbled on pieces of paper, printed emails, magazine pages, and copied pieces of paper. It is not neat or organized. Oh and in the back is where I keep all of our take out menus.
When I want to try a new recipe I look on line, in magazines, or in one of my cookbooks, but its been a while since I reviewed the recipes stashed away in my box. Work has been crazy & I knew I needed to bring the girls at work a treat! I decided to look through my box and was surprised to find the recipe for these delicious bars that an old friend gave me.
I used raspberry jam but I am sure any kind of jelly or jam would do. The recipe called for an 18 oz jar of jelly, but I did not end up using the entire thing. These are somewhat of an oat shortbread bar covered with jelly and topped with the crumbly ingredients that make up the bottom. Although these bars are amazing on there own they are even better warm and with some vanilla ice cream!
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cup oats
1 18 oz jar of jelly (you may not need the entire jar)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom of 13x9 pan.
Cream butter & sugar together. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until crumbly. Mix in the oats.
Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread jelly to cover. Crumble remaining mixture on top of jelly. Bake for 20 minutes until top is golden brown.
16 6 / 2011
During the summer I am always looking for no bake dessert ideas and was excited to try this frozen lemon souffle. I never used to be a big lemon fan, but over the years lemon desserts have been growing on me. Cold lemon desserts like this one I have come to find very refreshing.
I have never made a souffle. Although there are not many ingredients in this dessert I did find it a little bit of a challenge. First of all I am not crafty at all so I had difficulty putting the parchment around the ramekins (in my defense I also think it was the shape of the ramekins). I ended up just putting the souffle in the freezer in a large glass bowl. Secondly I think juicing the lemons would have been much easier with this. I ended up using about 6 small lemons to get the amount of juice I needed. After I made this I learned that lemons at room temperature (or even microwaved for 15 seconds) yield more juice. It also took me forever to get a tablespoon of lemon zest because I was using a tiny little grater instead of this.
Once I had the juice and the zest it got a little easier. I had to be pay close attention to whisking and making sure I did not boil the egg yolk mixture. This mixture took almost an hour to cool. Once the egg whites & heavy cream were mixed in to the egg yolk mixture I poured it in a dish with a cover and placed in the freezer for about 6 hours. I ended up scooping this out into a bowl like ice cream and then topping with raspberries.
I hope my obstacles don’t stop you from trying this refreshing summer dessert!
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup lemon juice
8 large eggs, whites & yolks separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup raspberries (6 oz)
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Wrap outside of a 3 1/2 cup souffle mold or four 6 ounce ramekins with parchment, extending 2 to 3 inches around rim (it should fit snugly). Secure with tape; set aside. Note: I see no problem with using a bigger container like I did and skipping the parchment step.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks, and salt over medium high. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and small bubbles form around the edge of the pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Immediately remove from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour through a line mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on lemon curd.
Place plastic wrap directly against surface of curd and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour (or up to overnight).
In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, 2 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into cooled lemon curd. In the same large bowl, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into lemon curd mixture.
Pour into mold and freeze until firm, 6 hours (or up to overnight). To serve, remove parchment, top with raspberries and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Source: Everyday Food June 2011