Archive for May, 2009

Blondies

May 28, 2009

Blondies 007It seems like I’ve seen one version of Blondies after another lately, and after trying different recipes, one which was a total gooey, icky dud I made this version. As always I learned a few things during my search for a Blondie recipe that I like. I learned that Congo Bars are a variation on Blondies. It seems obvious now, but I hadn’t considered that prior to reading it in Baking Illustrated. Wouldn’t you know that I have a recipe for Congo Bars that people always seem to love, and I could have made those and been done with it? This revelation makes it clear that I haven’t made many Blondies in my life, nor even thought about them much.

The recipe for these Blondies is here, so I won’t retype it. The only change I made was to use 6 oz. of cut up white chocolate in place of the 1/2 c. white chocolate chips.

These tasted best to me once they were completely cool. We really liked these and I will definitely make them again.

Update to yesterdays cookies

May 16, 2009

After these cookies were cooled completely I could taste a hint of the Bailey’s despite the amount of chocolate chips I used. It is a nice hint of background flavor.
Yesterday, I provided an incorrect yield, but it is now correct. Have a great Saturday!

Another chocolate chip cookie!

May 15, 2009
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bailey's Irish Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bailey's Irish Cream

One of my favorite cookies from Anna at Cookie Madness is the Masterpiece White Chocolate Chunk Cookies. There aren’t a lot of recipes that get an “Excellent” rating from me, but that recipe definitely deserves the excellent ranking.

I wasn’t going to blog about this variation but Louise provided a link in the comment section on Cookie Madness that declares May 15 National Chocolate Chip Day. Today I made a half batch of the recipe with a few toasted pecans left over from another baking project and chocolate chips. The dough makes a cookie that is crispy on the edges and chewier in the middle than some recipes. This version could use fewer chocolate chips and more pecans, but they’re a very good chocolate chip cookie. For the record I like Anna’s version with the white chocolate and macadamia nuts better, but these were made spur of the moment, so I used what I had on hand.

I rarely weigh my ingredients because I don’t own a kitchen scale, but today to satisfy my curiosity I measured 1 c. of flour with the dip and sweep method and then weighed it on my husband’s quirky postal scale. I did it several times to see how consistent I am, and one cup weighed 5 oz. Depending on your hand, flour, humidity levels etc., your 1 c. may measure differently than my 1 c., so if your cookies turn out flat or don’t spread enough you may need to make adjustments.

If it weren’t for an email from Anna I wouldn’t have tried this today, so thank you Anna! Now I have cookies to share with my kids when I see them tonight.

This is a half batch, and makes 24-28 cookies.

Update: Once these were completely cooled I could taste a nice hint of Bailey’s in the background so I don’t feel that the amount of chocolate chips is overpowering.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bailey’s Irish Cream

8 oz. regular butter

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

1/2 c. white sugar

1 egg

1/2 t. vanilla

1 T. Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 1/4 c. + 1 T. unbleached all purpose flour

3 T. cornstarch

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

2 T. toasted and chopped pecans (I will use more the next time I make these)

1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and Bailey’s. In a seperate bowl stir together the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes. Allow the cookies to set for a minute or so and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.


One Bowl Cocoa Brownies

May 13, 2009
One Bowl Cocoa Brownies

One Bowl Cocoa Brownies

My husband really likes a brownie every now and then, and who can blame him? It’s good to have a recipe that makes a small batch that will satisfy that craving.  This recipe does that and has two other things going for it. It calls for natural cocoa instead of chocolate which makes it a bit more economical, and it only requires one bowl!

My first taste of these was while they were still warm. They are fine that way, but the texture improves once they’ve cooled completely. I used up the nuts I had on hand and was a little short. You can omit them completely if you prefer. You can also sub Dutch processed cocoa for the natural cocoa. Natural cocoa is much easier to find where I live and it’s much less expensive.

The recipe originally came from here, but since I made some changes to it I’ll type it up the way I made it.

One Bowl Cocoa Brownies

10 T. butter

1 1/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. plus 2 T. natural cocoa powder

1/8 t. salt

1/2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 t. (slightly rounded) espresso powder

2 cold large eggs

1/2 c. all purpose flour

2/3 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven 325 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving ‘handles’ on two sides to facilitate removing the brownies from the pan.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the cocoa, sugar, and salt and reheat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir the mixture and let it cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla and the espresso powder.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Thorougly mixing each one. Stir in the flour until it’s completely mixed in and then beat the mixture for 40 strokes. Stir in the nuts.

Spread the dough evenly in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick. There should be a few moist battery crumbs on the toothpick. Cool the brownies completely on a wire rack. Transfer the brownies to a cutting board and cut into serving size portions.

Carl’s Cinnamon Rolls

May 2, 2009
A few unglazed rolls

A few unglazed rolls

A glazed cinnamon roll

A glazed cinnamon roll

I’ve been making cinnamon rolls with one recipe or another for years. Two years ago I found this recipe on The King Arthur Flour website and I’ve been making this recipe ever since then. They rise without fail, the dough is easy to handle, and they’re so tasty! The only change I make is that I skip the bread dough enhancer. I’ve never used it. I should probably give it a try sometime, but I never do because the rolls are great without it.

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix these. Sometimes I use a regular white sugar and cinnamon filling but today I made them with the light brown sugar filling as called for in the recipe. I also made a simple glaze with powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla from a different cinnamon roll recipe on the KA site. The cream was a luxurious addition, but I had it on hand and it needed to be used up. Usually I make the glaze with powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.

If you check out the recipe on The King Arthur site you’ll see that they use a fancier glaze for the rolls. I’d love to try that sometime but I almost always make these when the kids are around and I think they’d rebel if I messed with tradition and put different flavorings and liqueur in their glaze.

The majority of these rolls were sent out the door piping hot from the oven with my daughter. The glaze went in a ziploc bag. When she gets where she’s going she can clip a corner off the bag and glaze the rolls. I sent along plenty of napkins. It will be interesting to find out if she shares them with her bike racing teammates or if she takes them home and pops the extras in the freezer.

I made the reduced yield recipe which makes 20 good sized rolls.

Here are links to the recipes.

The Dough and Filling
The glaze


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