Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preserve Crumb Bars

So I had this lovely jar of homemade preserves (go me) in the fridge that required some more use. I mean this stuff was awesome on all sorts of bread, biscuits and toast and...well for some reason that's all I could think to do with it. Luckily I wonder around blog land a lot, and came upon a recipe that would allow me to use these delicious homemade preserves before I sat down with a spoon.

Preserve Crumb Bars
via Effort to Deliciousness

1 1/2 stick of butter (or 12T if that helps you any)
1 c pecans, chopped and TOASTED
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 cup preserves (I used the homemade plum raspberry preserves)

Oven to 350.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and continue on.
In you mixer bowl, mix flour, oats, sugars, salt and baking soda. Pour in melted butter, and mix until combined. It’ll look dry and chunky. Don’t worry, it forms nice when pressed into your parchment lined 8x8. Transfer 2/3 of the dough into the pan and press firmly and evenly. Spoon on 1c of preserves and top with remaining dough. Press again (lightly). Bake 45 minutes (rotating 1/2 way of course) and cool on a wire rack before slicing and storing in an airtight container for 1 week.

Easy Peasy.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SMS: Plum Raspberry Preserves

Whew! SMS, I'm back! I feel like I'm starting to get things rolling again! I'm glad I went in this week and decided to give canning a try. I've never canned anything before and to be honest I thought that it'd be a hard, tedious task. I was wrong! The amount I made wasn't at all tedious. It seemed to be just right. I was just starting to get bored peeling plums when I finished up! The possibilities are endless for the preserves! Be sure to visit our host this week and nab the recipe: Effort to Deliciousness thanks for a great pick Margot!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I have had one of those weeks. I've spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen only to have my brain spend said amount of time OUT of the kitchen. I have no clue what my deal is. I was talking with some of the soccer mom's over practice, and we've decided that once you have a kid you start to lose some of 'it'. Then when you have another child, you lose the majority of 'it'. It being whatever you covet most. In my case my body had gone south and my brain followed suit (just at a slower process). I'm working on getting said body back, but my brain doesn't seem to be following suit as well.

On to baking.

I recently joined up with Taste And Create, lets face it, anything to get out there a bit more is great. The deal with Taste and Create is pretty simple. You sign up by a set date, then you're paired up with another blog. You create something from the new blog and well, blog about it. I was paired up with: Not So Unique Ideas. From her blog I was inspired by the Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter frosting. I didn't use her cupcake recipe as I had one that my girlfriend gave me MONTHS ago and I've been meaning to get on it, but before I goofed on the frosting, it was divine. Nothing like peanut butter!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting Printable
Adapted from: via Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Sky High Cakes
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups strong coffee
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tablespoon espresso powder (optional)

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two regular-sized muffin trays or line with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the sour cream and oil. Stir until combined.
- Slowly add the coffee and stir to combine. Blend in the vanilla and vinegar.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix until completely combined.
- Pour into prepared muffin tins. Fill each tin about 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
(via Not So Unique Ideas originated from Barefoot Contessa)

* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 cup creamy peanut butter
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Baked Doughnuts

Apparently I'm on a doughnut kick. See my doughnut muffin post for the many reason's why doughnuts rule. These are MORE along the lines of what I was looking for in a doughnut. They are not however THE doughnut. I'm sure I'm not going to be able to grasp THE doughnut without breaking out the pan and oil to fry. I have made delish yeast fried doughnuts and now that I'm thinking of them...I might have to embark on that journey again soon. It's a crazy mess, utterly fantastic, and so worth it. That being said after last Sunday's obsession I had with eating so much my stomach hurt, I should rethink yeast doughnuts until I can drop off the 4lbs I put on.

Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Alton Brown

Baked Doughnuts:
* 3/4 cup AP flour
* 1/4 cup cake flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons buttermilk
* 2 large eggs
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Gotta love the simplicity. Super easy.
Oven to 375.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Wisk the wet ingredients together until foamy.
Dump wet into dry and mix just until combined.
Spray a 6 spot doughnut plan or a 12 mini spot doughnut pan liberally with cooking spray. Fill the forms 1/2 way full.
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until tops are dark golden brown and springs back when lightly touched.
Remove from oven and then the pan and let cool on rack until ready to glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
* 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've heard a lot lately in blog land of Browned Butter. I'll admit curiosity had gotten the best of me and I'm glad it did. Taking the extra step of browning the butter seemed to really give these cookies a delicious caramelly (yes I might have just made that up) undertone. The addition of the TOASTED (I'm a firm believer that toasting nuts is a must) pecans and the gooey chocolate chips...they made for some good cookies! My waistline was relived when my husband took them into work and come back with an empty container.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Printable Recipe
(Adapted from Family Friends and Food via Cooks Illustrated)

1 3/4c all-purpose flour
1/2t baking soda
14T unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2c granulated sugar
3/4c packed dark brown sugar
1t salt
2t vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans ,toasted!

Oven to 375. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Heat 10 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1-3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, put in your mixer. Add the remaining butter and keep stirring until the new butter is melted.

Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and mix until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. (I did do this as stated, gave me time to clean up the mess between whisking) Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts , stir once more to make sure no flour pockets remain.

Drop by cookie scoop full onto a baking sheet.

Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Doughnut Muffins

I LOVE doughnuts. Really love them. I'm one of those weird ones (or so I hear) that likes the doughnut after it's been cooled off. I don't like them fresh from the fryer. Give me a cooled doughnut anytime. And let me be to enjoy the treat.

I have a favorite doughnut shop. In Kansas City it's any LaMars. Oh delish. They have the best german chocolate knot ever! And their glazed yeast, knocks krispy crap out of the water. In Iowa where my husband is from, there's a doughnut shop not terribly far from where my Mother in Law lives, every time we'd come in the morning there would be my pull apart cinnamon nut bread. (it has the doughnut glaze on it, so I'm using it) Their doughnut holes rocked as well! My sister in law was smart enough to get her own bag of those! I've yet to find a doughnut place here in Ohio, so I substituted. Loosely. These were good, however they are not to be mistaken for doughnuts. Just really good, tasty muffins.

Doughnut Muffins Printable Recipe

(I got it from How to Simplify, who in turn got it from King Arthur Flour)
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup brown sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste (I used 3/4t)
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 2/3 cups flour
*1c powdered sugar
*1/2t vanilla
*1-2t milk till good dipping consistency

1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.

3) Add the eggs, beating to combine.

4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.

5) Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

6) Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.

7) Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

8) Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them.

9) After cooled, mix your glaze and dip. Double dip, triple dip if you must. It's one of my favorite parts.

Yield: 12 muffins (on the dot- no left over batter)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Pioneer Woman- and her awesomeness.

So, out of all blog land, I have a favorite.

The Pioneer Woman- Ree Drummond. That woman is fantastically amazing. Not only do her recipes inspire me to get my butt moving towards the kitchen, she doesn't stop there. Take a minute and read about the rest of her life! She's got it going on! I'm not going to divulge how, if she weren't so many miles away, I'd worship the ground she walked on, or that I'd happily do her dishes after a cooking stint, just to eat her meals. I just won't reveal myself like that. So, after oogling some of her most famous recipes I made 2, in one day.

Sadly, I forgot to photo of the Cinnamon Rolls before they walked their way out the door to Kevin and Chrissy's tummy, my husbands job, or my neighbors front door! I managed to wrangle a pan for the house- and my husband happily declared they still taste awesome on day two.

Then, there's the chocolate sheet cake. Which after describing what it was to my sister in law (Chrissy) she declared it Texas Sheet Cake and that we HAD to make it. So of course, I did. It'd been on my list for almost 2 years. Let me tell you, I'm sad and happy I waited that long to make it. First off, it's astounding. And if I'd have known it was that good so long ago, I'd be 20 lbs heavier. I can't sing high enough praises of the awesome simplicity that turns out so delectable. I ate way more than I should and promptly sent a large portion home with Chrissy- while keeping a more respectable size here for me. Confession, I ate some for breakfast, and predict the rest will be gone before dinner. I have to make it hold until dinner- having it gone before lunch would show NO willpower.

Now that I sound like a cyber stalker- I'm going to post you the recipe and highly encourage you to read Ree everyday like your life depends on it.

Chocolate Sheet Cake -The Pioneer Woman- Ree Drummond

2c flour
2c sugar
1/4t salt
4 HEAPING T cocoa powder(I used double dutch- awesome!)
2 sticks of butter
1c boiling water
1/2c buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1t baking soda

1/2c chopped pecans
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 HEAPING T cocoa powder (double dutch again)
6T milk
1t vanilla
1lb (minus 1/2c- it works) powdered sugar

Oven to 350. I spray the 1/2 sheet pan with pam- just cause.
In saucepan, melt butter, add cocoa stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and stir to combine. When butter and cocoa are melted together- pour over top of the flour mixture. Stir a bit to cool. Then gather up your eggs- beat them, and add them to 1/2c buttermilk. Toss in your baking soda and vanilla. Add to the butter/flour mixture you've already go going. Stir to combine and pour that lusciousness into your sheet pan. Bake for 20minutes.

While your cake baking whip up the icing. Simple. Melt butter and cocoa together in saucepan. Turn off once it's combined, pour into your mixing bowl and let hang for a minute. Gather up your powdered sugar and milk and vanilla. Start the mixer and slowly add the powdered sugar, dump in the milk and vanilla, continue to to mix until combined. This is tasty business.

Once your cake is done, pull it out of the oven, give your icing another stir and pour on top. Spread around if you must. If you have any sorts of willpower- wait until not scalding to eat it. It's delicious.

Then go over to the Pioneer Woman's website and profess your love for her as well.

Don't judge this recipe by this photo- I'm in need of a way better camera and some schooling on how to photo food better. I'm working on it.