Friday, March 29, 2013

Fudgey Cakey Brownies

Finding a perfect brownie recipe is like trying to find a needle in a haystack at times. Especially if you are like me and like a brownie that is both fudgey and cakey. This recipe is one where I had all the ingredients on hand for my on the whim, let's make brownies today. And it didn't disappoint! The top of the brownies have the crusty top while the rest has this perfect combination of cake and fudge-like texture. It is delicious and I do hope you give it a try. :)
See that fudgey cakey goodness. :)

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted 
  • 2 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  •  2 cups chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  • Crack the four eggs into a bowl and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking and espresso powders, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth..
  • In a medium-size microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in thirty second increments. 
  • Add the sugar to the butter mixture. Continue to heat the butter/sugar combination just until the mixture is hot (110-120 degrees) but not bubbling. It'll be shiny when you stir it. Doing this will ensure that you will have a shiny crust on top of your brownies.
  • Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. 
  • Add the flour to the mixture and stir until smooth. 
  • Add chocolate chips and stir in to the batter. If you want the chips to remain intact, let the batter cool for a few minutes before adding the chocolate chips. 
  • Transfer the batter into the lightly greased pan. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes clean. 
  • Let cool and then cut into squares to enjoy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

Remember this box? I remember this box fondly, as my mom and I used to make these muffins when I was little. It was a staple on our Sunday night dinners.

The blueberries in the jiffy mix left a lot to desire and I can tell you that these muffins do NOT. The fresh blueberries make these muffins. They are juicy and tender and the pockets of blueberries are plentiful throughout the batter. The batter is very thick and you should be careful not to overmix - lumpy and thick batter is what you are aiming for here. I thought about adding sugar on top of the muffins before putting them in the oven but I'm glad I didn't. They are the perfect amount of sweetness already.

Blueberry Muffins
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg  
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Fill a 12 cake muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until it is light-colored, about 20 seconds or so.
  • Add in the sugar and whisk until the mixture becomes thick, this should take about 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the melted and cooled butter in 3 additions, whisking after each addition.
  • Add the sour cream in a couple of additions, mixing just to combine.
  • Add the blueberries to the dry ingredients and toss to combine. This prevents the batter from turning purple. 
  •  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed. 
  • The batter will be very thick and flour might not be completely incorporated but that's okay. Make sure you do not overmix.
  • Using a large cookie scoop sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray, divide the batter among the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean.
  • Immediately remove the muffins from the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Serve immediately or at room temperature.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

English Royalty Chocolate Chip Scones

One of my resolutions this year is to try new things with my food. My husband doesn't always agree with my resolution, especially regarding dinner but I can experiment with breakfast and desserts! 

I was looking over our dinner calendar and realized that we recycle meals about every two weeks. Hmm, is it like that for most couples/families? I added one new recipe to our dinner menu this month and hopefully with these scones, I can add a new breakfast item besides eggs and cereal. Geez for a food blogger, I am in a routine rut. :) I hope in the next coming weeks I can share more of my attempted new foods. Well first, there is this guy I need to convince...

These scones are sweet and flaky and I can see using the base recipe and adding cheddar, chive, and milk to make a savory version. Wonder what the husband would think of that? ;) 

Of course I need to get better at dividing the dough but hey, for a first time I don't think I did too bad. :)

Chocolate Chip Scones
Recipe Adapted from All Recipes
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 9 tablespoons orange juice

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with either parchment paper, silpat, or spray with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Mix in the orange juice to form a dough.
  • Turn the dough out on a floured surface.
  • Roll or pat out the dough to about a 9 inch circle. 
  • Cut the dough into 9 -12 slices, separating the dough a little bit as you cut.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Move to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy, I know I did!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Puppy Chow Popcorn

If you guys know me at all, you know I love a good chocolate and peanut butter combo. It's my ALL-time favorite sweet combo and luckily my husband doesn't mind when I make chocolate and peanut butter stuff most of the time. :)

And one of my all-time favorite snacks as a child was puppy chow. My sitter used to make it all the time and I begged my mother to make it at home. I could eat the whole container and that's probably why I only make it for special occasions now much to the chagrin (or relief) of a couple of friends my husband works with. This has popcorn in it so that makes it healthier, right? ;)

This is so easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand and it came together within minutes.

Puppy Chow Popcorn
Recipe Adapted from My Happy Place

  • 12 cups of air popped popcorn (no butter)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • Place popped popcorn in a large bowl
  • Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl in increments of 15 seconds until completely melted.
  • Pour chocolate/peanut butter mixture over popcorn and stir until the popcorn is coated with the chocolate/peanut butter.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the popcorn in 1/2 cup increments and stir until the popcorn is coated. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ah-mazing Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh, chocolate chip cookies what a difficult cookie to master. I can never seem to make the right cookies I'm in the mood for. Some people like thin cookies, some people like thick and chewy. What camp do you fall into? I'm a solidly in the camp of thick and chewy cookies where the cookie puffs up and barely spreads during baking. And these cookies fit the bill perfectly. They are small enough where I don't feel too guilty eating one but delicious enough where it isn't out of the question that I ate the entire plateful. 

I have been wanting to make some cookies since our weather turned cold (which was about 2 weeks ago). Chocolate chip cookies just seem like the perfect snack for a cold winter day.

Please make these now. You won't regret it, I promise. They are so good.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe by Apple a Day

  • 1 and 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3/4 c. of brown sugar 
  • 1/4 c. of granulated sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract 
  • 2 c. of all purpose flour 
  • 2 tsp. of cornstarch 
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt 
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Add egg and vanilla extract and stir until blended.
  • Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Using a standard size cookie scoop, drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown. Do not bake any longer than 10 minutes. 
  • Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Enjoy! And try not to eat a plateful. ;) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apple Butter Apple Pie

This pie is my second attempt at an apple pie and my first at making a lattice top. Surprisingly, the lattice top wasn't too hard. I liken it to making the basketweave design on cakes. And it just looks so pretty! Well, prettier than my usual pies look. And the sides aren't burnt! Thanks to a well-timed pie shield buy at our last minute shopping adventure before Christmas.

I made this for our Christmas dinner with friends here in town and it was wonderful! We even got comments that we could be invited back next year just to have this pie come back. :) I think that's a good sign.

Apple Butter Apple Pie
Recipe adapted from Smithfield Recipes

1 box of refrigerated pie crust or your own recipe. (I was lazy this year and used the premade crusts.)

  • 7 Gala Apples
  • 2 tablespoons 7Up or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Egg Wash
1 egg, beaten with a little bit of milk


For Crust:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll out one premade crust and place in an ungreased pie pan. 
  • Using the other crust, cut the pie crust into 1" strips (they don't have to be perfectly even) and set aside until the fruit mixture is ready.
For Filling:
  • Peel and slice all the apples. Toss the apples in some 7 Up to prevent the apples from browning. I got a tip this year to do this versus lemon juice because the lemon juice makes the apples too tart for me. But you could most certainly use lemon juice.
  • Add the apple butter to the apples and stir to combine.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the apples and stir thoroughly. 
  • Spoon the fruit into the pie shell. It will be a tall mound.
  • Place the butter on top of the apples, making sure to place them all around the pie.
  • A great tutorial on making a lattice top is here
  • If you want to make a regular top, place the second dough on top of the apples and crimp the sides. Use the extra dough to make designs on top of the pie if desired. Add slits to allow the stem to escape.
  • Brush the pie with the egg wash mixture. 
  • Set the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until it has browned and the fruit is bubbling around the edges (another 30-35 minutes). 
  • Cool 30 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!


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