Posts Tagged ‘buttery’

Blueberry Buckle

August 10, 2011

Blueberry Buckle

Today, Wednesday August 10, 2011 there will be a guest post by me on Cookie Madness.

For the story and the recipe, click on the link.  And check out the previous post here at Basically Baked for a peach and mixed berry crisp that was one of the contenders for my guest post at Cookie Madness.

Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars

March 7, 2011

Apricot Orange Shortbread Bars

If I could only have one cookie for the rest of my life this might be the one. Statements like that are so melodramatic but it manages to convey how much I love these bars. Prior to eating one of these I might have told you I don’t like apricots. Ha! That’s obviously not true! I would have said yes, I like shortbread, and I adore anything almond. What I’ve learned is that the three together are a heavenly combination.

I used to use only Hero brand apricot preserves for these, but I’ve discovered that there is something different about those preserves and they aren’t as good as they used to be. My recommendation for preserves is to choose a brand with the least number of ingredients on the label, and more fruit than sugar if possible. These bars were made with Bonne Maman French preserves. Next fall when the apricots are plentiful I’m hoping I can find the time to make my own. The Bonne Maman preserves are wonderful, but as much as I like them I’d like to figure out a less expensive alternative.

This recipe can be found at Epicurious.

Basically Blissful

December 31, 2010

Basically Blissful Cranberry Bars

A few years ago Cranberry Bliss bars were being discussed on various blogs. I was intrigued, but not enough to make a special trip to try one at my local Starbucks. Since I don’t drink coffee I rarely go to Starbucks. When I meet friends for “coffee” they usually prefer our local coffee shop and so here we are several years later and I still haven’t had one. Recently I found myself at a Starbucks and I was pleasantly surprised to find out they still make these bars and I had to have one. I can certainly understand why people wait all year long for these seasonal treats to make an appearance! I ate mine very slowly and thoughtfully hoping I’d be able to make them myself.

Mine are a little thicker than Starbucks’ but that’s okay with me. If I make them again I will put some oil or shortening in with the white chocolate chips so that when I cut the bars the white chocolate won’t shatter. We loved these bars. My husband thinks they’re “awesome”. I can’t remember the adjectives my daughter used, but she made it clear she liked them a lot.

Basically Blissful Cranberry Bars

1 1/2 cups ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
1 bag white chocolate chips (divided use)
1 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (divided use)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined.

Fold in the diced ginger, half of the white chocolate chips, and 1/2 c. dried cranberries, and turn the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, for 22 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely. Frost with the frosting, sprinkle with more chopped cranberries and drizzle with melted white chocolate as indicated below.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese softened
2.5 T. butter softened
1 1/2 t. orange juice
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 c. + 2 T. powdered sugar

Beat together the first three ingredients until very smooth. Stir in the zest and powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Spread on top of the bars. Sprinkle the remaining cranberries evenly on top of the bars.

Using 50% power melt the remaining chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave at 1 minute intervals. Stir after every minute until completely melted and then drizzle over the cranberries

Cut the bars into large squares, and then cut once diagonally to make triangles.

Snickerdoodles

August 5, 2009

It’s a funny name, but a good basic cookie that I haven’t made in the past 25 years. Once I started making Mrs. Field’s Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cookies there really wasn’t a need for another cinnamon, sugar cookie in the repertoire.  But, the slight twang from the cream of tartar and the crispiness of a snickerdoodle are unique so I decided to revisit them and I’m not sorry I did.

It took me two attempts to make these cookies so that I was happy with them. My first batch tasted great and had crispy edges but once they were completely cooled the crispy edges disappeared. I baked those on my air bake cookie sheets. In case you’re wondering I bake almost all of my cookies on air bake cookie sheets. While these had good flavor I was disappointed in the texture once completely cooled and might not have made them for another 25 years, except that I got a request for “something tasty”, and since I had all of the ingredients for these I decided to try again.

This time I used my flat cookie sheets and made sure to bake them completely. Success!! This time they are crispy with a nice chew and they retained their crispiness and chewiness even after storage in Tupperware.

Another difference between my first attempt and the second is that I didn’t chill the dough the dough the first time, but I did the second time. The last dozen were chilled for about 36 hours and they were the best of all.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the following:

1/4 cup (48 grams) shortening

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (170 grams)

1 1/2 c. (300 grams) sugar

Add the following to the creamed mixture and combine completely:

2 large eggs

Sift together: (you don’t really have to sift this, but do be sure to rid the cream of tartar of any lumps)

2 1/4 c. flour (318 grams)

2 t. cream of tartar

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

Combine the creamed ingredients and the dry ingredients. Divide the dough equally into three portions, wrap in waxed paper and thoroughly chill the dough.

When the dough is thoroughly chilled divide each third into 12 pieces of dough and form into balls.

Topping:

Stir together 3 Tablespoons sugar and  1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon.

Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar topping and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. The cookies should puff up and then deflate while in the oven. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 36 cookies

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.

Baking Powder Biscuits

January 11, 2009
Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits

Does that picture make you want to eat a biscuit? I sometimes hesitate to post about a recipe because I have to take the picture at night with the artificial light in my kitchen. Food photography after dark is challenging and not always appetizing so if you have an opinon or suggestion regarding the photo, I’d love to read your feedback.

The biscuits were made with buttermilk, butter, all purpose flour and an egg! For many years I’ve made buttermilk biscuits with shortening and no egg, so these were different in a good way. The flavor was far better and the texture and moisture content were better as well. They are the best biscuits I’ve ever made, and they smelled terrific. My husband and son both gave them thumbs up.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 c. all purpose flour

2 t. sugar

1/4 t. salt

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

5 T. cold butter

1 egg

2/3 c. buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl lightly whisk the buttermilk and egg. Cut the cold butter into smaller pieces. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have little clumps about the size of peas. Stir in the buttermilk and egg mixture just until everything in the bowl is evenly moistened. Lightly flour your countertop and hands and pat the dough to an even 1 1/2 thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter and place on ungreased baking sheet. Pat the dough back together and continue cutting. Brush the biscuit tops with buttermilk and dust with flour if desired.

Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.

Makes 10-12 biscuits.


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