Posts Tagged ‘baking’
While we were visiting our friends last week, I thumbed through their cookbooks one evening. Just something I do. Some people like reading fiction, non-fiction, I peruse cookbooks. So I stumbled upon a cookie recipe that reminded me of monster cookies, or everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies. What caught my attention was the crispy rice cereal (okay, Rice Krispies, everyone!). I thought the texture might be a weird, interesting contrast. I also thought, will all the rice get crunched up and smooshed into dust? They did not… the cereal added a fun crunch and for my kid and me who have nut allergies, it’s a welcome change!
I checked out a few recipes and found that three cups of flour would make the batter very crumbly and dry, so I took out a cup. Original recipes did not include chocolate chips either. In this batch we made it festive and added spring colored M&M’s. I also used butter instead of shortening, and omitted one cup of shredded coconut. Please feel free to put it back in, I just didn’t want my son’s friends complaining. Next time around I’ll add it.
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, softened at room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats, not instant
1-3/4 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup M&Ms or chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut (Optional, and if you add this, decrease the chocolate chips by 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Add oatmeal, cereal, and chocolate chips (and/or coconut). Mix well. Drop by tablespoons on slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
This might be my quickest dessert offering next to Crazy Cake. I made this all the time with my mom, and eventually it was my responsibility to bake this for the big family dinners. This cheesecake cuts into squares and travels well which means… easy to bring to potluck meals! (I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve actually baked this. Maybe 15 years??)
Here’s the breakdown.
2 packages of refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
Juice and zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
Egg white (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Open one package of crescent rolls, unroll dough leaving it in its rectangular shape. Place the dough on the bottom of baking pan and pat in place, stretching out gently to make into the bottom crust. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Use a hand or stand mixer to blend the ingredients until smooth, then beat on high for two minutes. Spread this mixture on the crust.
Open the remaining package of dough, and in the same manner as the bottom crust, place the dough on top of the cheesecake mixture. At this point, you could beat an egg white and brush on top of the dough. Bake 20-30 minutes, until top is golden brown, and toothpick placed in center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the cheesecake before serving.
This yields (24) 2″ squares.
Over the holidays there was a lot, A LOT, of baking and cooking over here – family here from out of town, friends coming over, gifting. Well, breakfast around here can get monotonous so I tried this one morning for my peeps. A recipe from Costco inspired me. Easy prep and yummy! I think it’d be a delicious brunch item… but I’d double the recipe if you have a bunch of adults around the table.
Ham and Egg Cups (serves 6)
12 slices of ham (medium thickness)
1/2 cup softened or whipped cream cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. dried basil or parsley
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (optional, my kids don’t like tomatoes so much)
Preheat oven to 400 deg. Prep 12-cup regular muffin pan with spray/oil/butter. Place each slice of ham in each cup forming to fit. It’s okay if the ham sticks out. Smear some cream cheese in the ham cups, evenly dividing among the cups.
Now prep the eggs… I say 4 to 6 eggs because you might want your cup more egg-y. I cracked 4 eggs in a glass measuring cup, whisked and then added enough milk to make just about 2 cups of liquid. I brought out our immersion blender and whipped it all frothy. Add the salt and herbs. Pour mixture evenly into the ham cups. Top with cheese (and tomato).
Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Check center with a toothpick. Should come out clean. Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes. Serve hot, warm.
When my husband works late, or is out with the guys, my daughter will ask if I can make this for dinner. Like it’s her “mom-kids night” favorite? It’s cute to hear her say, “Ooh, chicken braid…” This time she helped put it together. Easy, so easy to make when you have some leftover chicken and broccoli. You could even use a bag of frozen broccoli (it comes in 12 oz. bag – perfect amount). Just thaw in the microwave. Just know, it’s not an original recipe but one that’s been changed to satisfy my family. I’m sure you can find countless recipes online, but here’s mine – a simple meal, easy brunch pot-luck dish… or even an appetizer. Use up leftover chicken, leftover broccoli… I bet it’d be tasty with an Italian spin of spinach and mozzarella! Let me know if you try it out!
Chicken Broccoli Braid (inspired by original Pampered Chef recipe)
Minutes to Prepare: 20
Minutes to Cook: 20-25
Number of Servings: 8-10
½ cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, four cheese blend, mild cheddar)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dry oregano (Could use dill but my hubby doesn’t like dill too much)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or chopped (I had a bit less, 1-1/2 cup seemed to be okay)
1-1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 packages (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium to large mixing bowl, add cheese, mayonnaise, herbs and salt. Mix well. Incorporate chicken, broccoli and garlic to mixture. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the dough. Unroll crescent rolls – do not separate. Place both packages of rolls on a large cookie sheet side by side. Press seams together to form one long sheet of dough. Along outer side of dough, along each of two opposite sides, cut 1-inch strips from center toward end. Add filling down the center of between the strips. Don’t worry if it looks like a mountain…
Braid construction: Lift strips of dough, one at a time, at slight angle. Strips will meet in the center across chicken mixture. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends up to seal at end of braid. Brush with egg wash. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Who knew that it’s been over a month since the last post? No one but my family and a few close friends read this blog anyway… so, it’s okay, right? No, no. I know friends out there are reading. I’m sorry I’ve been away. I always seem to let too much time pass between posts in the summer months. With the kids and husband home, every day is an adventure – except when outside feels like a sauna and we hunker down in our basement and play video games and ping pong. (Not very into the pool scene. I don’t buy pool passes. No chance to break even.)
Since I last posted…
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to cook with some Irish beer. I really wanted to try making something with a stout other than Guinness, and ended up with Murphy’s Irish Stout based on a recommendation from our local liquor store. It’s dark, smooth, coffee-ish, sweeter than Guinness (if you’re into sweet). Made me want to eat some chocolate… seemed like dessert was in order!
Here’s my take on an Irish stout coffee cake – it’s dense and moist, not like a birthday cake. The recipe below is exactly what you see in the picture. My daughter helped mix the gooey batter. She had some choice words about what it looked like. You can only imagine what a ten-year old might say. My finished cake lacked a little sweetness, but there was good malty flavor. I’m probably going to make it again next weekend, and will add 1/2 cup of sugar and a streusel topping. I think a little crunch on top would add some nice texture and sweetness. I’ll let you know how that goes.
The stout cake definitely went well with my morning coffee (good morning to you too), and it goes well with after-dinner coffee or drinks too. Well, it’s not that light so maybe hold off a little while after dinner. And, the Bailey’s Irish Cream icing – yum. When it came time to taste, my trusty assistant had a couple bites – no icing – and was done. Note: The cake may not be for the younger palate.
If you bake this, I’d love to hear how it turns out!
Irish Stout Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chips and Bailey’s Icing
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
1-1/2 c. stout beer, Murphy’s or Guinness
1 cup rolled oats, not quick cooking
2-1/4 cup sifted white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chocolate chips
For Bailey’s Icing
4 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1 to 2 tsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick spray or butter and flour, set pan aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, turn off heat and slowly pour the stout beer in the butter, whisking gently until the beer and butter are combined. It will foam slightly. Next, add the oatmeal and stir. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the cake batter.
In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. In another bowl (medium size), mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Add beaten eggs to sugar and salt. Take the stout and butter mixture from earlier and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Stir well. Now combine the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until dry ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be thick. Lastly, fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. (Tip: Lightly coat chocolate chips with your flour mixture (ahead of time) before adding to the batter. This helps the chips stay suspended in the batter when baking. They won’t fall to the bottom of the cake.)
Pour batter into your prepped springform pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, until cake springs back upon a light touch, or toothpick check in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely. Dust with confectioners/powdered sugar and drizzle Bailey’s icing (optional).
For the icing: Combine sugar and 1 tsp. Irish cream. Add more liquor, 1/2 tsp. at a time, until consistency is like thick syrup and can easily be drizzled with a spoon or fork.
Another recipe you might like: Irish Soda Bread