Archive for ‘Sweet’

February 9, 2011

Gingery Molasses Cookies

These ginger cookies are incredible!!! Yes, I must be in the cookie spirit, because I can’t turn down a good cookie recipe right now. I’m not sure what it is– random cravings, the time of year, butter, sweet, delicious, soft, chewy, warm out of the oven, magnificent. I love cookies lately. And not all, mind you. I’ve still retained my sense of standard and decorum. I don’t jump onto every cookie I see. I consider it carefully before I tell the good ones how much I love them.

These are some mighty good ones. Let me tell you. Actually, allow me to show you. And encourage you to make these right this very moment. Yes. Now.

Gingery Molasses Cookies
Inspired by Rosie at Sweetapolita

2 1/4 c unbleached white-wheat flour
1/2 t ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 large egg
1 pkg crystalized ginger
Demerara sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift all dry ingredients together. Set bowl aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy and much lighter. At least beat for 2 minutes. Add egg, mix; add molasses, mix for another minute.

Blend. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Chop up crystalized ginger.

Add and mix in on low.

Make balls of dough then roll in demerara sugar to completely coat. Place on Silpated cookie sheet.

Lightly flatten cookie. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or as soon as cookies begin to crack. Let cookies cool on sheet then on a cooling rack.

These are incredibly chewy and absolutely perfect.

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January 26, 2011

Homemade Oreos

I mean… Homemade Cream Frosting Sandwiched by Chocolate Wafer Cookies.

These are even better than the original. I think.

Homemade Oreos
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Wafers::
1 1/4 c Whole White Wheat flour
1/2 c Dutch processed cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
1 c granulated sugar
10 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg

Filling::
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c sifted powdered sugar
2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.

Add the butter; cream with an electric mixer. Then, add the egg; mix thoroughly.

It will take a bit of time, but mix, mix, mix, until the dough comes together in a ball.

Put rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet, give them some growing room. And flatten them just a little bit.

Bake for 9 minutes on the middle rack of the oven to cook in batches. Or to cook all cookies at once, rotate halfway through baking.

While baking, cream the butter until whipped. Then slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla while mixing on low. Once incorporated, mix on high for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Find cookies that are nearly the same size and place 1/2 t filling on underside of one cookie, topping with another.

Refrigerate about three days.

January 19, 2011

Simply Great Vanilla Whipping Cream Pound Cake


I was stumped for cakes. We had an important birthday to celebrate, but I came up empty for any and all ideas. Last year for this friend I made a caramel cake. This year, his sister made him a Tres Leches Cake. But I wanted to make him one. Who doesn’t love multiple cakes for a birthday?? Who?

Simply Amazing, Utterly Devine Whipping Cream Pound Cake

3 c cake flour
3 c sugar
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
6 eggs
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 t vanilla
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Sift flour.

 

It’s a mountain. A great and mighty mountain that needs to be set aside for the time being.

In another bowl, put the sugar in then the butter.

Cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Keep going. Even at this stage, it’s not quite done. When very light and very creamy, add one egg at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition.

Mix, egg, mix, egg, mix, egg, mix.

Now, begin to add the flour. Just add 1/4 of the flour. Mix until incorporated.

Then add about 1/3 of whipping cream. Mix until incorporated.

Flour, mix, cream, mix, flour, mix, cream, mix, flour mix.

Now, add the vanilla. Mix.

Prepare a 9″ fluted tube ban with butter and flour. Then add the batter.

Bake for between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool.

Serve by itself or with a simple glaze.

Simple Glaze

1 c powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice
2 T milk

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Add more milk if too thick. Add more powdered sugar if too thin.

I didn’t drizzle over the whole cake. But drizzled over individual slices. You can drizzle or not. It’s your choice. Isn’t it great to have delicious decisions to make?

January 11, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

The snow!!! The majestic snow. The world is icy and bright and fluffy. There was no work and no driving, which made a perfect day for cupcake creating. Today, I made snow day cupcakes. I must say, these are the best cupcakes I have ever made ever. They were perfect.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
Inspired by Amy Wisniewski

1 c A-P flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t fine salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste, or the insides of 1 vanilla bean
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
6 T lowfat vanilla drinkable yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the rack in the middle position.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In order to bring the butter to room temperature, you can put it in the microwave for nine seconds.

Beat on medium-high speed until light for about 3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until combined….

…and vanilla bean paste. Oh, the good stuff.

Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the egg white. Mix until combined.

Add the egg and mix well.

Add the drinkable yogurt in three installments. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides.

Put the beater on low. Add flour mixture in three installments. Mix well and completely incorporate.

Dollop batter into muffin tin (fill about halfway for each).

 

Bake until a fork or toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting

1/4 c granulated sugar
2 T water
1/4 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
6 T (or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 t kosher salt
1 c powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, stir sugar and water together. Boil over medium-high heat.

Cook about 6 minutes until light amber in color. Remove from heat. Slowly add cream and stir with wooden spoon until smooth.

Let the caramel cool for about 25 minutes until it’s cool to the touch. Add vanilla extract. While cooling, mix the rest of the frosting.

Put room temperature butter into mixing bowl with salt.

Beat on medium-high speed when light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar.

Mix on low until completely incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add the beautiful, beautiful caramel.

Mix until combined.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled…

…completely,

(And you can choose how to ensure they are completely cooled. If you have a handy winter wonderland, use that, or just let time do its trick.)

…frost them with the oh so magnificent salted caramel delight. When frosting the cupcakes, watch out. That frosting is sneaky.

Sleeve frosting.

But… delicious. So good. So perfect.

**Please note, these were baked in the new house. I was so excited about these. SO excited that I posted these before the first official recipe in the new house. Please forgive me. But enjoy this. And try to understand how perfect these are:: A cake that can stand up on its own and be absolutely, not-too-sweet delicious and is paired with a perfect match. You cannot get better than fluffy icing that’s strong enough for a muffin but made for a cupcake. Ugh. Scratch that last part and just enjoy!

January 10, 2011

Snickerdoodles

These are some of my favorite cookies. Come to think about it, I have a lot of favorite cookies. Molasses Crinkles, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Ginger Molasses, et cetera and so on.

But THESE. These are cinnamon-sugar good. The consistency of cake and the outer crunch of cinnamon sugar. Oh, man.

Snickerdoodles.

Snickerdoodles
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

2 3/4 c A-P flour
2 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
16 T (or 2 sticks) butter
1 3/4 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 c sugar
2 T ground cinnamon

Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together.

Cream sugar and butter. Beat until fluffy, which will take about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs; beat to combine.

Add the dry ingredients in three installments, beating well each time.

Let the dough chill for at least an hour or overnight.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together cinnamon and sugar.

Roll the dough into balls 1 inch in diameter.

Place cookies on cookie sheet two inches apart, and bake until the tops begin to crack, about 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet.

Let the cookies cool on a rack before enjoying.

 

January 10, 2011

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are incredible. Fudgy, chocolately, good.

My family calls them Doodoo Cookies. And, yes, that’s terrible. But it’s fun, and these are my brother’s favorite.

No Bake! Delicious! Simple!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/2 c (or 1 stick) butter
4 T cocoa
1/2 c crunchy peanut buter
3 c oatmeal
1 t vanilla


Boil sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa together.

Let it boil, rolling, for 1 1/2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, oats, and vanilla.

Drop cookie-sized dollops onto wax paper. And refrigerate until hardened.

January 10, 2011

Review

At the end of the year, a lot happened. A lot.

Successes in baking::

Cookies for Christmas.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Successes in craftery::

Felt Flowers.

I’ve also had some failures::

Ugh. I worked so hard on these!!! I froze the butter, made the dough, formed the dough into a ball, refrigerated it for a long time, formed into crackers, refrigerated it for longer, and finally got to bake them. Then. THEN baked them too long. Ugh. What a mess.

 

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November 28, 2010

Ginger Snap Cupcakes

Inspiration comes in all forms– music, a passing phrase, a “mis”interpreted glance from the corner of your eye, or a tub of delicious, wonderful, incredible cookies.

Ginger snaps. With three forms of ginger– candied, ground, and fresh. And Thanksgiving just passed. And it was an evening for cupcakes.

I made up a recipe from nothing. Oh, how I love doing this. I consulted quite a few sources. However, this recipe– all me and our house’s need for cupcake. And good ol’ ginger snap.

Ginger Snap Cupcakes

For the batter::
2 c cake flour
2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t groung cloves

3/4 c plus a little more milk

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter

3 large eggs, room temperature
2 t vanilla extract

For the frosting::
**Note: There was twice as much frosting as I needed. If you don’t want extra frosting, halve this recipe.

1/4 c brown sugar
1 c powdered sugar
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese
1/4 c butter
2 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

The dry team:: Sift it all together– cake flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves.

Next, cream the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter together.

Cream, cream, cream.

It’ll start to look crumbly. Don’t stop yet.

Then, it’ll look a little smoother. Keep on mixing.

Ahh. Smooth sailing. Now, you’ll mix in one egg at a time. Crack the egg into the bowl, then mix until completely incorporated. Repeat. Repeat.

Now, I have a confession to make. The second egg was twins!!!

I wasn’t sure what to do at first. So, I thought of all the friends I have who are twins. What would they do in a situation like this? As a twin, it is important to be treated as an individual. Instead of counting this egg as one egg, I thought I need to count it as two. What would you have done in this situation?? Did I do the right thing?

As soon as I got past the soul delving, I went on with cooking. We can go on, too.

Add a portion of the dry into the wet ingredients. Mix until completely incorporated.

Add a splash of milk. Mix until completely incorporated.

Repeat.

Keep repeating until dry mix and milk are gone:: dry, mix, milk, mix, dry, mix, milk, mix, dry, mix, milk, mix.

Now dollop batter into prepared muffin tins. Fill 3/4 to the top.

Cook for 20 minutes. But start checking on them at 15 minutes.

While they are baking, make the caramel!!!

For the Caramel Sauce::

4 T butter
1/2 c brown sugar

In a sauce pan, melt butter with heat on medium. Add brown sugar, stir until everything is all mixed up. Allow to cook for two minutes, continuing to stir the whole time. Then, set aside.

Then continue on to the frosting.

Put sugars and cinnamon into mixing bowl.

Add cream cheeses and butter. And cream all together. Oh, yeah. Add vanilla extract, too.

Look! It’s all creamed together. Oh, man. Look at that cinnamon. Place in the refrigerator, covered until you’re ready to use it.

Core out the cupcakes once they get a chance to cool a bit. I just used a knife. I don’t have one of those neato cupcake corers, but I didn’t need one. I just used a knife to core the cupcakes and then added the caramel to the center.

Smush up some ginger snap cookies.

Top with frosting and smushed ginger snaps.

Enjoy!

Make sure you put the frosting away really quickly. Before you discover how delicious the frosting is with ginger snaps. Store it in the refrigerator. And have someone else put it in there so he or she knows where it is but you don’t… just so you don’t eat all of it by yourself.

 

November 14, 2010

Cranberry Blueberry Coffee Cake

I almost didn’t create this post. Almost. I don’t know how I feel about nearly repeats. What do you think? This is a variation of a certain Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake which you might remember. Click here if memory needs jogging (I know my memory and I both need a little bit of that.)

Okay, okay. So that was that. Now, I have autumnized the recipe a bit and made it Thanksgiving-appropriate. Just around the corner; isn’t that crazy?

Cranberries! I added cranberries. And I could eat the whole coffee cake all by myself. But after that I’d probably jog. Probably. Maybe. Or just make this cake again.

Blueberry Cranberry Coffee Cake
Inspired by Atlanta Journal Constitution, June 2010

1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 t ground cinnamon
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 c plus 2 T A-P flour, divided
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 c granulated sugar, and then a bit more for dusting the pan
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
8 oz sour cream
2 t vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine sugar, pecans, and cinnamon, then set aside.

In a second small bowl, combine blueberries and cranberries with 2 T flour.

In the third small bowl, stir the rest of the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Grease and dust (with granulated sugar) a 9-inch fluted or tube pan.

In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add lemon zest, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add half the flour mixture, mix, repeat. Beat until combined. Beat for an additional 30 seconds. Then, fold in the blueberries and cranberries. Gently.

Spread half the batter in the pan. Sprinkle half the brown sugar mixture. Swirl the brown sugar mix with a knife or small spatula. Pour second half then top with the remaining brown sugar mixture.

Cook for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge, carefully separating any renegade blueberries that might have stuck to the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto the serving platter. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. The powdered sugar will cover up any rips or tears and help you embrace mistakes as delicious.

Slice it up to share.

Try not to eat it in one sitting.

October 17, 2010

Cinnamon Craisin-Raisin Bread

Oh, man. I know I said I’d keep the posts contemporary. However, reminiscing about food is so good. And I feel as though it is one of the most inspiring things I could do. It makes me want to make the recipes again AND go on and make more delicious foods!

This is a “Welcome, Fall!!” kind of recipe if EVER there was one. Bread is a tricky food to make. It requires patience and a knowledge of temperatures and an appetite for delicious things. I started out with only one of these but gradually am learning about temperatures and trying to distract myself while my lack of patience for food is tested. Don’t get me wrong. I can be patient: When people are learning new things, I’m a saint; when… when… um. I think that’s where the list ends. Oh, no. I can’t stand traffic, food resting in the refrigerator, or messes just sitting there. I have no patience for any of these things. Hm. Well. Okay. October 17th Resolution:: Patience. Practice it. Grow it. Figure out how to get more. I guess I’ll just have to make a lot of bread this fall to accomplish my new task. Oh, how glorious.

This bread has all the “fixin’s” that just make you want to go “YUM!” then get another serving. Or two. Cinnamon, butter, dried cranberries, and honey. Oh, boy. Here we go.

Cinnamon Craisin-Raisin Bread
Inspired by The Grit Cookbook

1 1/4 c very warm (105 degrees F max, though) water
1 T fast-rising dry yeast
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 c whole wheat flour
6 T butter
1 t + pinch salt
1/4 c honey
1 t + pinch cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c crushed walnuts, optional
3/4 c or 1 c craisins, or dried cranberries (I recommend the bigger amount.)
3/4 or 1/2 c raisins (If you use the bigger amount of craisins, use the smaller amount of raisins.)
2 1/2 c A-P flour

Thoroughly combine water, yeast, sugar, and whole wheat flour in a large bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm place (75 degrees to 80 degrees F) for 20 to 30 minutes.

Melt butter and pour into a small bowl. Add salt, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice, walnuts, and fruit. Allow to cool. Combine butter mixture with yeast mixture and add all-purpose flour. Knead vigorously with mixer or by had on floured surface for 3 to 4 minutes. (Isn’t so much fun to knead by hand? Do I say that just because I don’t have a mixer that’ll knead bread?)

Now that all the ingredients are mixed, form into ball and put it into a greased bowl (Yes, you can use the same bowl from the yeast resting.). Cover bowl loosely with plastic and allow to rise in warm place until nearly doubled in size. Patience…. Patience. Distract yourself.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in (6 c) loaf pan.

Punch down dough and form into loaf, gently tucking dough toward center of bottom and lightly stretching to top to a smooth tightness (Think mushroom cap, but a loafier one.); allow to rise 5 minutes. Place in a prepared loaf pan. Bake on middle oven rack for 35 minutes or until nicely golden browned and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove bread to a wire rack to cool completely.