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Posts Tagged ‘baking’

68 Days of Gourmet: Day 20

The beautiful thing about 68 Days of Gourmet is that my options are wide open. When a food magazine is in publication for 68 years you can be sure that they probably have a recipe for most anything you’re craving.

We picked up a Christmas tree on Sunday. We planned on decorating it Monday and I thought I’d bake some cookies to be festive and go with our eggnog (and because I love any excuse to bake cookies). One of our favorite cookie combinations is Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. I’ve tried several different recipes in the past and decided to try Gourmet’s recipe since I’m in the middle of 68 Days of Gourmet.

This recipe was super simple. The dough was made and ready to go in the oven in less than 10 minutes. The cookies smelled great cooking and were the perfect treat for holiday decorating! These are great and we’ve enjoyed having them around the house this week.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(Recipe source Gourmet, March 1994)
Printable Recipe: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer) cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and then slowly beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips after flour has been incorporated.

Drop dough in rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes (I only baked mind for 9 minutes because we prefer soft and not crisp cookies), or until golden. Cool completely on wire racks.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Yield: 5-6 dozen (Recipe can easily be cut in half)

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rockyroadbrownies

I can’t think of a better way to kick-off 68 Days of Gourmet than with these Rocky Road Brownies. Last week I was really craving a sweet treat for dessert and more specifically, something that would taste great topped with ice cream. I thought brownies would meet my requirements perfectly. I was going to make a basic fudge brownie recipe but then I spotted these Rocky Road Brownies and abandoned my plans for simplicity.

The base layer really is similar to your basic fudge brownie but the topping is what really packs a punch. I personally love marshmallows so these were fabulous to me. Very chocolately and indulgent – especially topped with a scoop of ice cream!

rockyroadbrownie250(2)

Rocky Road Brownies
(Recipe source Gourmet, December 1996)

Ingredients:

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped and divided
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a heavy 1 1/2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt butter, unsweetened chocolate and 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. Stir constantly until smooth. Remove pan from heat and cool mixture for about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and then add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition. The mixture should look glossy and smooth. Add in flour and salt and stir until just combined.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the batter in a separate bowl. Spread remaining batter evenly in pan and bake on middle rack of oven for 20 minutes.

While bottom layer is baking, stir walnuts, marshmallows and remaining 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate into reserved batter. Remove pan from oven and spoon walnut-marshmallow mixture evenly over partially baked layer. Bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until marshmallows are golden. Cool completely in pan on a rack before cutting.

Layer brownies between sheets of wax paper in Tupperware and store at room temperature. They will stay fresh for several days.

Yield: 16 brownies

rockyroadbrownies250

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choccakeandslice

I had a three week break between my temporary job with the American Cancer Society and my new full-time job that I started Monday. I’m not going to lie…I must admit that I enjoyed my brief stint as a housewife. The best perks were having plenty of time to work out (daily run and yoga classes!) and having time to cook and bake to my heart’s content!

Last week I was really craving a chocolate cake. I had a block of cream cheese in the fridge and so I decided a chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting would be perfect. I used my all-time favorite chocolate cake recipe, the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake, and a based the frosting off of a recipe that I found on The Cupcake Project.

It was a delicious combination. The Hershey’s cake is so moist and the chocolate cream cheese was to die for. It was kind of reminiscent of chocolate cheesecake for me. Brandon and I both enjoyed this cake for dessert multiple nights last week and also shared a few slices with family. I will most definitely be using this flavor combination again!

choccake

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe sources Hershey’s and The Cupcake Project)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

FOR THE FROSTING
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch round baking pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about two minutes. Pour in boiling water and continue to mix until incorporated, batter will be thin. Evenly distribute batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Start checking the cakes around 25 minutes as oven temperatures may vary (and no one likes an overdone cake)!

Cool in pans for about 10 minutes then run a knife around the edges and gently remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.

FOR THE FROSTING
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients on medium high speed until light and fluffy.

To frost cake, place first layer down and frost top, leaving about a 1/2 inch border. Place second layer on top and frost top and then sides.

Yield: 8-12 servings

choccakeslice

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strawberryscones2

My grandmother’s birthday was yesterday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEMA!) and I wanted to send her a package with some goodies. She has loved scones ever since I made them for a brunch when I graduated from college. Since strawberries are in season, I decided that fresh strawberry scones would be perfect to send! She received them yesterday and loved them. She said she would share the chocolate biscotti that was also in the package but the scones were all hers!

These are a great breakfast on a spring or summer morning!

Fresh Strawberry Scones
(Recipe source Good Things Catered)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (depends on how ripe your strawberries are)
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I used turbinado sugar for sprinkling)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine egg, yogurt and milk. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.

Cut butter into flour by using a pastry cutter, two knives (or if you’re impatient like me your hands) until all pieces of butter are smaller than pea size. The flour mixture should be coarse looking. Add the strawberries into the flour mixture and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients into the mixture and mix lightly with a fork until dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto well floured work surface and pat into large ball. Cut dough ball in half. Shape half of the dough into a flat disk shape and cut into 8 slices. Repeat with other dough half and place both onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 25 minutes or until slightly browned.

Remove from oven  and let cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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individualcinnroll

I got the urge to make cinnamon rolls last Saturday and I couldn’t stop thinking about them all day. After my 13 mile training run, I certainly felt like I could splurge on cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Sunday.

I think my favorite part about deciding to make something is the search for the perfect recipe. I probably spent an hour browsing cinnamon roll recipes online. I finally decided on a recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles. This is one of the blogs I follow regularly and I love her scientific approach. I knew if Bridget had been trying to perfect her cinnamon roll recipe for years, it must be good.

The dough came together really quickly and was so easy to work with. I put it all together and left it to rise while we went out for sushi. After dinner, Brandon and I had fun rolling them out and putting them together. We couldn’t wait for breakfast the next morning!

Once assembled, we left them to rise overnight in the refrigerator. It was so nice to get up Sunday morning and have breakfast already taken care of. All I had to do was make the glaze.

Next time, I will probably add a little more salt to the dough. For whatever reason, I like well-salted baked goods – especially anything bread-like. I would also add more butter in the cinnamon filling. And last, I think I’d do more of a cream cheese glaze. I added more than the recipe called for but I still would have liked more. It’s all up to your taste!

All in all, the texture of the roll was amazing. This is a really easy dough to work with and a great treat for a weekend morning.

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Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

Ingredients:

DOUGH
½ cup whole milk
7 tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted and left out the 1 1/2 tsp salt, next time I will still add the salt)
½ cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons yeast)
¼ cup (1¾ ounce) sugar
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp salt
4-4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

FILLING
¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) light brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp melted butter (next time I will add a little more butter – maybe 2 or 3 tbsp, to taste)

GLAZE
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted to remove lumps
2-4 ounces cream cheese, softened (to taste)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk, until you reach your desired consistency

Directions:

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter melts. Remove from microwave and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees).

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, egg, and yolks at low speed until well mixed. Add the salt, warm milk mixture, and 2 cups of the flour and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed (adding up to ¼ cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary) until the dough is smooth and freely clears the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a round, place it in a very lightly oiled large bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours. (Especially in the winter, I like to let my dough rise in the oven. I find that the kitchen is a little too cool. I turn the oven to warm for a few seconds, switch it off and then put the bowl of dough in.)

After the dough has doubled in bulk, press it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle, with a long side facing you. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border at the far edges. Roll the dough, beginning with the long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips as you roll. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on it ends if necessary to make a uniform 16-inch cylinder. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the roll in 12 equal pieces and place the rolls cut-side up into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours. (This is where you have the option of letting them rise overnight in the refrigerator.)

When the rolls are almost fully risen, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. (If you left them in the fridge overnight, let them come to room temprature before baking.) Bake the rolls until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 185 to 188 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Glaze the rolls and serve.

cinnamonrollsiced

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