Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins

I did it! Something healthy(ish). Yes, I've done it before, but I have this sense of satisfaction when every once in a while I sneak in a healthy one amongst the others. My boys really enjoyed the muffins and I loved that they made a quick part of breakfast! I think the possibilities are endless with these- just sub in a fruit for the strawberries, add a bit more oomph with some nuts if you're feeling it.

Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins
(with wheat germ)
Adapted from :The Other Side of 50
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped strawberries
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin papers in 12-cup muffin tray.

Whisk together the flours, sugar and baking soda. Stir in the chopped strawberries.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream, butter and extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until all is incorporated.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups.

Add the brown sugar/ oatmeal mixture to the top of the muffins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove pan from oven and transfer muffins to cooling rack to cool completely.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SMS: Toasted Almond Lemon Bars

Yeah!! I'm so very excited to be HOSTING this week's Sweet Melissa Sunday! I chose to go with Toasted Almond Lemon Bars because frankly they sounded awesome and I love lemon.

In my borrowed kitchen I was lucky to find a food processor (thank heavens!) and 90% of the necessary equipment to make this magic happen. I'm guilty of not reading the recipe all the way through, so I didn't notice that I needed to weigh down the crust while baking...my host doesn't bake often, so she had no pie weights, I didn't want to use her rice up (but that's an option) and she had no dried beans. So a run down the road (we're rural here) and $7 later for a soup mix that contained beans we were back in business. Well, almost in business, still no almond extract..sigh, I know, some people aren't big bakers. Oh man-she made a killer burger for dinner last night, so juicy, good flavor...back to subject at hand...Toasted Almond Lemon Bars.

I found they were easy to put together and had a good flavor to them. Other than hand squeezing 8 lemons to get my 3/4c of juice it was a walk in the park. The lemon filling set up nicely, I didn't even break out my kitchen aid to get it done. I did get a review that said they were too sweet. Maybe the almond would have cut the sweet some? I'll have to redo.

Toasted Almond Lemon Bars
Sweet Melissa Baking Book

2c flour
3/4c powdered sugar
1/2c sliced blanched almonds- toasted
1/2t salt
20T (2 1/2 sticks) COLD unsalted butter cut into 1/4inch hunks

Lemon Filling:
4 large eggs
1 3/4c sugar
1/2t almond extract
1/2c flour
3/4c FRESH lemon juice (about 7-8 lemons)

1/4ish cup of powdered sugar for sprinkling...

Oven to 350- line a 9x13 sling style with parchment paper.

In a food processor combine the almonds, flour, powdered sugar, salt. Pulse till combined and almonds are finely chopped. Add in butter until a dough forms a ball..pulsing while adding the butter. Press into 9x13 parchment lined pan..make sure you go up the sides 1 1/4inches..and evenly. This is the base that a liquid will be in so don't get sloppy. Place a sheet of parchment paper or foil on top and weigh down with pie weights or beans or rice in the center. Bake until edges are golden brown- 25-30 minutes. Carefully REMOVE the pie weights and liner and bake for an additional 15-20minutes until the entire crust is a golden brown.

Make the filling. There's nothing finesse about it, mix it all up until nice and combined. Start with the eggs and sugar..then add the rest. (don't add the powdered sugar- that's for the top when done)

Pour the filling into the crust. REDUCE oven to 325. Bake for 30 minutes until firm. Wire rack (pan and all-don't remove the sling yet) to cool.

When cool, remove the sling from the pan and slice into bars. They cut nice and evenly for me- I suppose they will for you too! Use a small sifter (or a fancy sugar shaker that my borrowed kitchen had!) and shake on that powdered sugar till pretty.

Store in airtight container for 2 days. Or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 days. If you wanna go longer- plastic wrap, then foil and freezer for 3 weeks. DO NOT unwrap before dethawed.

Be sure to stop by my fellow (and awesome)bakers to check out their Toasted Almond Lemon Bars and how they turned out for them!

Thanks for letting me host ladies!

Oh, and if you're not a follower of my blog- sign up, a sneak preview, I'm hosting my first giveaway soon!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Butterscotch Blondies

I made these by request. You know I've been working in a borrowed kitchen, and my kitchen's owner asked for some butterscotch blondies. I used the base recipe from the Cinnamon Blondies and took out majority spices and added in butterscotch chips. Next time I'll deviate further, I'm thinking buttered rum flavoring? Or a glaze, but then that might not make them blondies? Irregardless, she ate a few and HAD to give them away before they ruined her girly figure.

Butterscotch Blondies (adapted from Sugarlaws)
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 12oz bag butterscotch chips

1. Oven to 350. Line a 9x13 with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

3. In your hand dandy mixing bowl mix up the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla.

4. Slowly add the dry to the wet. Mix until incorporated.

5. (here is where you can add extras- think cinnamon chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts would rock here too) I figure about a cup.

6. Spread into prepared pan - smoothing with a spatula or do like I did and spray your hands with some Pam and pat it down.

7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until an almost clean toothpick. Cool completely before trying to cut. Makes approx 30 bars.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

SMS: Chocolate Walnut Brownies

Sweet Melissa Sunday's again! This week, I'm super proud as I managed to complete the assigned recipe!

They were good. They weren't however 'the brownie'. I felt they needed MORE chocolate! Addition of some double dutch and espresso powder would probably be awesome!

Check out this week's host: Tiffany @ A Spoonful and A Heap

Thanks for hosting!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Praline Pecan Brownies

I'm still forever busy. We found a house last weekend after almost 35 hours of driving (thanks for coming Darci!)so I'm able to breathe a minute now that we've got that big task done. Our move date has gone back a bit so that means that I'm displaced from my own kitchen for a while longer...I can't tell you guys how excited I am to get to baking in my own kitchen!

So-my cheater recipe.

Praline Pecan Brownies (adapted from
Paula Deen)

1 package chewy brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Oven to 350.

Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions. Pour batter into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the pecans and sugar and cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Drizzle the caramel mixture over brownie batter and bake until a toothpick can be inserted and withdrawn cleanly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

So I've been slacking. Scratch that, not slacking, BUSY! I'm still in my borrowed kitchen where one of my hosts thinks good frosting comes from a can. Yes, I shudder at the thought as well. So, my husband was home to see his boys this weekend over the holiday and I made these cupcakes for him. And for the blog, since I just haven't posted much lately. Since said husband was home I was preoccupied and didn't add the baking powder. I sprinkled some in the remainder batter and I don't think it did a difference. We decided they tasted like angel food cake, with a pound cake texture with a lemon lovely hint. Went over pretty well, next time though, I think I'll change it up a bit.

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes
(adapted from: My Baking Addiction)
I so stole her presentation, simple and cute.

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Oven to 350.

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
4. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
Cool on wire rack.

Raspberry Buttercream
1/4c (ISH) raspberry juice (I used frozen raspberries, and squished them)
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening*
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of raspberry extract*
1 1/2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
2-4 tablespoons very cold milk (add until you reach desired consistency)

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add extracts and raspberry puree and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

SMS: North Fork Peach Raspberry Pie

That time again- and I am SO happy that I pre-baked this week's SMS. My husband is home for the weekend and I so wouldn't have had time to make it.

Irregardless. It was good.

Check out this week's host Rebecca @ Beurrista