Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baker's Edge Signature Cookie Bars

A pan with only edges?! Yes, it exists! My brother got me this for Christmas - it's called the Baker's Edge pan and only makes bars/brownies that have edges so every piece is cooked evenly. I had to try one of their recipes (if I try one of my own I will have to experiment with cooking times...). Since I didn't have all of the ingredients for their brownies, I tried their cookie bars. They were very crispy (maybe I baked them too long despite the instructions?). I noticed the batter was very thick as well. Still very good - my husband said he liked dipping them in a glass of milk ....after they were gone of course, so I didn't get to try this!
Adapted from:

½ cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 ¼ cup Brown Sugar
1 ea Egg
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Instant Coffee
1 cup Chocolate Chips / Candy Pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Beat the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until just combined.
Add the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips or other candy pieces.
3. Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll each into a log. Place each log into a section of the pan and spread evenly (logs should join at pan bends).
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Banana Caramel Cupcakes

So I had an extra banana laying around and if I didn't use it, it would go bad. So what do I do? Look up a banana cupcake recipe and bake with it! (I could've just eaten the banana and saved myself a ton of calories...). These were really good, but didn't exactly taste like cupcakes. They were more dense. I also didn't have cupcake liners, so that's another reason they look weird. Next time I'll pick them up and spend a little more time on the decorative portion - they look a bit sloppy! But I was not bringing them anywhere so that was fine with me. :)

Adapted from:

Yields 24+ cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana

For the caramel:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar

For the frosting:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pieces, at room temperature

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. (I do not have a stand mixer, so I used a hand mixer.) Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in 1 the mashed banana until well combined. With the mixer on low speed alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until just incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the caramel sauce, combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium and continue to boil until the mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking very frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and reaches 160° F on an instant read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to medium low, add in the salt and begin adding the butter one piece at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in ½ cup of the cooled caramel sauce until well blended.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the caramel buttercream, and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce. (If the caramel has cooled too much to be easily drizzled, heat for 10 seconds in the microwave and stir well to thin it a bit.)

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

I stumbled upon a new blog and found some really great recipes! is not just a baking blog, so maybe I'll try some of her non-baking concoctions. (I said maybe.) I have been looking for a brownie recipe that rivals box brownies and this one takes the cake! I feel like a terrible baker since I always loved box brownies as opposed to my homemade ones (with the exception of the mint cookies n' cream brownies I make, they're fabulous but a little too holiday-esque for any other time of year.) These are dense and chewy and very chocolatey! I'm so excited I finally found another brownie recipe I can repeat. Maybe next time with some peanut butter chips??? :)

5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1¼ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour


Place an oven rack in lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. (I just melted together on the stove in a pot.) Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares as desired. Store in an air-tight container.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were so yummy! They were very light and the mix of semisweet and white chocolate chips gave them a great flavor. My husband said they reminded him of Sour Cream Cookies his grandmother used to make when he was younger. I will have to make these again!

Adapted from: "Chocolate Galore" by Caroline Barty

1.5 sticks of butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet chocolate chips)
2 oz white chocolate (I used white chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease baking sheet. Beat butter & sugar until pale & fluffy, then beat in egg & vanilla. Sift the flour & baking powder together & beat into mixture. Add chocolate (chopped or chips) & stir until mixed. Place 5-6 rounded tablespoons of mixture onto baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between as they will double in size. Bake for 12-15 min until golden. Let cool 2-3 min, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Chocolate Rebels

My friend Muffin got me a chocolate baking cookbook for our Secret Santa party and I thought it was about time to try a couple of recipes from it. After making the batter, I tasted it and it seemed to be missing something. I grabbed a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and dumped some into the batter. I think it gave the cookies what I thought was missing! I can't say exactly how much I added, probably about a cup. These were tasty, but the second cookies I made from this book were wonderful...

Adapted from: "Chocolate Galore" by Caroline Barty

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1.5 sticks butter
1 egg beaten
4 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional, the recipe didn't call for it)

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl mix oats, flour, cocoa, sugars & salt. In another bowl mix butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix well. Add chocolate chips if desired. Place tablespoons of cookie mixture at regular intervals but not too close together on a nonstick baking sheet at bake 12-15 min. Turn onto wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Spinach and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Every year we have a Girls' Christmas Brunch and for some reason I always end up making an egg casserole instead of a baked good! This year I tried a different one and it was very tasty and easy. (The other one I used to make was great - but had 12 eggs and lots of bacon - very unhealthy after the holidays!) I used more croutons that called for - 2 cups barely covered the bottom of the pan. However, they do bake into the egg and cheese so it's really your preference how much you want in there.

Adapted from:

8 - large eggs
2 - cups milk
2 - cups Colby shredded cheese
1 - pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (I omitted - I didn't have any and I hate mustard!)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 - cups Seasoned Croutons (I used more than 2 cups, probably close to 3. It just didn't look like enough!)

Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 2-3 cups of croutons in the pan and spread cheese over croutons. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and spices until well blended, then add the spinach until well combined. Pour egg mixture over croutons, cover with foil and put in fridge over night. The next morning, take casserole out of fridge and let sit for 1/2 hour, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place covered casserole in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Any vegetable can be added to casserole or cooked and drained sausage & poured over croutons. Red bell peppers or chopped tomatoes can be added to top halfway through baking to add color.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Peppermint Cookies n' Cream Brownies

You know a recipe is going to be good when there's 3 cups of sugar involved (and subsequently, me shaking after eating 2 of them...). These are the BEST brownies I've ever made. I'm actually a huge box-brownie fan - anything I've tried to make just doesn't measure up to the chewy, fudgy result of a 99 cent box of brownies. This recipe threw that out the window! You could use regular Oreos instead if you don't like mint.

Adapted from:

1 cup butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups roughly chopped peppermint oreo-type cookies (approx 18)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease lightly.In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat. Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Stir in peppermint oreo cookies and pour batter into prepared pan. Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired.Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter.Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift brownies in the foil out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 36 brownies (or 48 bite-sized brownies).