Tag Archives: Baking

Blondies

A collection of great blondies recipes. Enjoy!

Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Yield: 16 blondies

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper.
In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup each chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and walnuts.
Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares.
Hazelnut Blondies
Yield: About 2 dozen
Ingredients:
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel, and chopped
1 heaping tablespoon chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella, plus more for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-11-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper. Butter parchment.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
Melt butter. Beat butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined. Stir in hazelnuts and Nutella.
Press dough into pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve with additional Nutella. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days
Raspberry-Almond Blondies
Yield: 9 large or 16 small blondies
Ingredients:
9 tablespoons (1 1/8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sliced almonds, (3 ounces), toasted
1 pint raspberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated. Mix 3/4 cup almonds into batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan; spread with a rubber spatula. Scatter berries and remaining 1/4 cup nuts over batter in pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into blondies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 55 to 60 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into squares.

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Brownies

Here’s a GREAT collection of brownie recipes. Enjoy!!

Double-Chocolate Brownies

The better the quality of chocolate you use, the better the results.

Yield: Makes 9 large or 16 small squares

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Pecan Fudge Brownies
Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Butter paper; set pan aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Place butter and chocolates in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Heat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in sugars, eggs, vanilla, flour mixture, and half of pecans. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift brownie onto a cutting board; cut into 16 squares.
Rocky Road Brownies
Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as cashews, pecans, or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove mixture from heat; stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, then marshmallows and nuts. Bake until chocolate is shiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares.

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Sea Turtles

From Charity Ferreira.

Sea Turtles

Yield: About 24 turtles

Butter, for waxed paper

8 ounces Vanilla-Sea Salt Caramels, or store bought soft caramels (about 24 caramels or 1 ¼ cups)

1 ¼ cups unsalted whole cashews (about 5 ounces), lightly toasted

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Step 1: Line a baking sheet with generously buttered waxed paper. Unwrap the caramels and place them in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir the caramels occasionally until melted and smooth, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cashews.

Step 2: Spoon 1-inch mounds of the caramels mixture onto the waxed paper. If the mixture is stiff, you might have to use your fingers to coax it into clusters. Refrigerate the clusters until the caramel is firm, about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Step 4: Spoon about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate over the top of each “turtle.” Return the “turtles” to the refrigerator to harden the chocolate, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Marbled Peppermint Bark

From Charity Ferreira.

Marbled Peppermint Bark

Miniature candy canes, the ones that come individually wrapped, work best for this recipe. They are easier to crush, and, because they have more colored surface area, they break into nicer-looking pieces than larger candy canes. You can sift the larger pieces through a sieve to remove the fine white dust from the crushing process.

Yield: 1 ¼ pounds of bark

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1 cup finely crushed candy cane pieces

Step 1: Line a jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

Step 2: In another bowl, melt the white chocolate as above.

Step 3: Stir ¾ cup of the candy cane pieces into the dark chocolate. Scrape the mixture onto the pan and spread out with a spatula to about ¼ inch think. Drizzle the white chocolate evenly over the dark chocolate; use the knife to gently swirl the dark and white chocolates together, leaving plenty of distant streaks. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes evenly over the top.

Step 4: Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Gruyere Brioche Bread

From Lou Seibert Pappas.

Gruyere Brioche Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf; serves 8 to 10 people

1 package active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water (105˚ to 115˚F)

Pinch of sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature

1-teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

½ cup warm milk (105˚ to 115˚F)

3-¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1-½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1-tablespoon milk

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add the pinch of sugar, stir to dissolve, and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until creamy. Add the 1-tablespoon sugar, the salt, and the 3 eggs, beating well. Add the milk and the yeast mixture. Gradually add the flour, ½ cup at a time, adding just enough to make a soft dough and beating well after each addition. Beat the dough until smooth, satiny, and elastic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-½ hours. Punch down, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To shape, turn the cold dough out on a lightly floured board and knead a few times to soften slightly. Knead in the cheese. Divide into 3 equal portions and roll each portion into a rope about 16 inches long. Place the 3 ropes parallel on a buttered baking sheet, then form them into a braid, pinching the ends together to seal. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Brush the dough with the egg-milk mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer from the pan to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into slices.

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Honey-Almond Coffee Cake

From Lou Seibert Pappas.

Honey-Almond Coffee Cake

Yield: 1 14-inch cake, 10-12 servings

Cake:

1 package active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water (105˚ to 115˚F)

Pinch of granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup

½ cup milk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt

2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon almond extract

Almond Topping:

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons heavy cream

¾ cup (3 ounces) sliced almonds

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water, sprinkle with the pinch of sugar, and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat until the butter melts. Combine the 1/3 cup sugar and the salt in a large bowl and pour the milk mixture over; let cool to warm, 105˚ to 115˚F. Stir in the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty electric mixer, add 1 cup of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until blended. Beat in the lemon zest and almond extract. Gradually add enough of the remaining 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups flour to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.

Punch down the dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Roll into a 12-inch round. Butter a 14-inch pizza pan. Place the dough on the prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake the bread for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the almond topping: In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, butter, and cream. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the almonds. Spread the topping carefully over the bread. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until nicely browned. Let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold right side up on a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into wedges to serve.

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Holiday Cranberry-Nut Bourbon Cake

From Lou Seibert Pappas.

Holiday Cranberry-Nut Bourbon Cake

Yield: 1 9-inch Bundt or tube cake; serves 12

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

¼ cup canola oil

2-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-cup buttermilk

1-cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup chopped pitted dates or golden raisins

1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped toasted pecans

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup bourbon or Scotch whiskey

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a 9-inch Bundt or tube pan.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, orange zest, and oil with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until blended.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to blend. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk in 2 increments. Mix just until blended. Fold in the cranberries, dates or raisins, and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with very few crumbs.

Place the pan on a wire rack. Combine the orange juice and bourbon or Scotch and pour evenly over the hot cake. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully unmold right side up on a wire rack. Let cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar and cut into slices to serve.

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Dark Chocolate-Espresso Truffles

From Charity Ferreira.

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Truffles

For the best flavor, bring them to room temperature before eating.

Yield: 24 (¾-inch) truffles

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons instant espresso powder

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon Kahlua

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Fluted 1-inch paper candy cups (optional)

Step 1: Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the espresso powder in the cream and bring to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir gently with a flexible spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (If the chocolate does not melt completely, place the bowl over a pan of hot water and stir until smooth.) Stir in the Kahlua. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours.

Step 2: Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Scoop out tablespoon-size portions of the chocolate mixture; place them on the waxed paper. If the mixture is too firm to scoop, let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften.

Step 3: Spread the cocoa on a plate. Dust your hands lightly with cocoa. Shape each scoop of the chocolate mixture into a ball, then roll it in the cocoa to coat. Place the truffles in paper candy cups, if desired. Refrigerate the truffles between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Macadamia Nut Brittle

Another great candy recipe from Charity Ferreira.

Macadamia Nut Brittle

Yield: 2 pounds of brittle

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan

½ tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups sugar

½ cup water

1/3 cup light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups macadamia nuts (about 12 ounces), lightly toasted and roughly chopped

Step 1: Lightly butter a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan. Dissolve the baking soda in the vanilla extract; set aside.

Step 2: In a large pot over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar, water, 6 tablespoons butter, the corn syrup, and salt until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Increase the heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture turns a deep golden brown and measures about 335˚F on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully (the mixture will bubble up) stir in the vanilla mixture and nuts.

Step 3: Immediately pour into the prepared pan. If necessary, use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread the mixture flat. Let stand at room temperature until cool and hard, about 1 hour.

Step 4: Bend the ends of the pan to release the brittle (run a spatula underneath the brittle to help release it, if necessary) and chop or break into chunks. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Another treat from my exploration into combining chocolate, cherries, and cabernet. These cookies or perfectly chewy. They’re great as a dessert with a nice red wine.

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cabernet
10 ounces dark chocolate, broken into chunks
1 cup dried tart cherries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In a bowl of an electric mixer, or with a handheld mixer, combine butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and wine and combine. Slowly in batches add the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and cherries. On a nonstick cookie sheet, place a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops are still soft looking but edges look firm.

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