Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Of course I couldn’t just bake the brownies the way he told me to.  I had to make one or two small changes.  I added 1 tsp espresso powder to deepen the flavor and when I sprayed the pan instead of flouring it, I dusted it with ground hazelnuts.  I also added a handful of chopped hazelnuts to the top for decoration and crunch.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar (he said to sift it, I didn’t)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (ditto)
  • 8 ounces melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa (again he said to sift and I didn’t)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pam for pan
  • Ground hazelnuts for pan
  • Handful chopped hazelnuts for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Spray or butter an 8 x 8 pan and dust with ground hazelnuts.
  • Beat eggs with mixer until light and fluffy.  Add white and brown sugars.  Mix well.
  • Add remaining ingredients except chopped hazelnuts.  Mix to combine
  • Pour batter into the pan.  Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.  They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean or the house smells so good you can’t stand to not have them be done soon enough!
  • Allow to cool on a rack before cutting or transferring to a platter.

** After cooling and tasting these I am not sure they are my favorite.  They are a bit cakey for me.  I prefer my brownies denser and fudgier BUT the idea of using the ground hazelnuts in place of flour or sugar for the pan is a brilliant one if I do say so myself.

 

adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe which can be found here.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The mornings are getting cooler and the air is smelling crisp!  Definitely one of my favorite times of the year.  The days are still warm enough for short sleeves and you can sleep with the windows open to catch the cool breeze.  Perfect sleeping weather.  Also perfect apple picking weather.  That’s what we did today.  The family headed up to Maskar’s Orchard in Warwick, NY.  Jeff and I both went there as kids and as adults we try to go there every year.  They grow a mess of different apples. Today we got: Macintosh, Empire, Cortland and Granny Smith.  What does one do with 25 pounds of apples?  Bake of course!  Applesauce will be made later but tonight I baked Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes and an Apple Cake to take with us to my parents house tomorrow for our Rosh Hashanah celebration.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes (from Martha Stewart)

Hannah (11)  picked out the recipe and helped me bake them.  She did a great job!  Martha’s recipe calls for making marzipan apples and a cream cheese frosting.  I will probably make the cream cheese frosting tomorrow but not the marzipan apples.  Who has time for that?

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups coarsely shredded apples, such as Macintosh (about 1 3/4 pounds)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low; mix in apples.
  6. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until just combined.
  7. Fill lined cups halfway with batter; bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool on a wire rack.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Apple Cake

My Dad asked for something gooey along with the cupcakes.  I thought about an apple cake and figured that I could make my standard caramel sauce to go with it.  I searched Pinterest (love that site!) and came up with this.  The only thing I changed from the original here was that we didn’t have any dark rum so instead I used 2 tsp of almond extract.  Haven’t sliced into it yet so I can’t report on how it is, but it looks fabulous!

 

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large apples
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 Tb (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
 Instructions
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8″ springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  3. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove cores. Cut the apples into chunks or slices, as preferred.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy.
  5. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla.
  6. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half of the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.
  7. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.
  8. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
 Notes
The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature. However long you keep the cake, it’s best not to cover it — it’s too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Quick Baking Tip

From Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.
Use Simple Syrup (1 cup sugar and 1 cup water boiled together until the sugar is dissolved) as a coating on a cake before frosting. Will help to keep the cake moist and to add flavor. Probably helps seal in crumbs much as a crumb coating of frosting would. Can also be used to salvage a dry cake. What a great idea! The author suggests flavoring the simple syrup with 1 tsp of vanilla or kahlua, grand marnier, whatever your fancy is.

Read Full Post »

Banana Muffins

Way back before we had kids, I used to bake muffins on the weekends and freeze them.  Then during the week, we could just grab one and either nuke it or let it defrost and eat it later on that morning for breakfast.  Once the kids came along that stopped.  Got the urge to do it again this weekend.   As a rule on Sundays we plan out dinners for the upcoming week but this week we decided to start planning lunches and breakfasts too.  We happened to have some bananas on the counter so banana muffins seemed a good place to start.

I searched online a bit and found a ton of recipes.  Honestly a lot of them looked the same.  I cobbled this together from a few that I saw.  This one of food.com was closest to what I ended up with.  Instead of using all white sugar like she did, I used a combination of white and brown sugar.  Also upped the vanilla and since I had four bananas that were going brown I used four instead of her recommended three.  Next time I would probably up the honey too and add nuts.  Hannah suggested pecans.  She’s my budding foodie.

Banana Muffins

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2   teaspoon salt
  • 1  1/2  cups flour
  • 1/3  cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4  ripe bananas
  • 1/2  teaspoon honey
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Directions

  • Sift the flour into a large-medium mixing bowl
  • Add baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix well and set aside.
  • In  a separate bowl, mix the melted butter with the sugars until light and creamy.
  • Mash the bananas and stir them in.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla and honey.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  Just mix to make sure that everything is combined.
  • Pour batter into a lined muffin tin, filling 3/4 of the way.  I found using a 1/4 cup measuring cup works well.
  • Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!  They freeze very well.

Next weekend I want to try carrot cake muffins.

Read Full Post »