Entries Tagged 'Sweets' ↓

Molasses Spice Cookies

Confession time:
I didn’t “make up” the original recipe for these cookies, but because I simply cannot cook anything as written these change up each and every time I bake them. They are consistently great no matter what I’ve tweaked because of mood, ingredient availability, inspiration, general laziness… So I’m posting it in here.

Also because Heather asked for the recipe :)

This is what I put in the last batch, I’ll put some options & hints the end.

But first a cookie secret:
Like many cookies, these get better if you make the dough overnight-36 hours ahead of time. There now my secret is out, I make the dough, saran wrap the bowl & leave it in the fridge til I have time to bake. The sugars & spices marry together with the butter = magic.

Makes about 3 dozen

Prep

375° & rack in middle position

(2) cookie sheets w/parchment paper

1/2 C mix of ginger sugar, turbinado & superfine sugars in a flat bowl for rolling

 

Ingredients

2-1/4 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp chinese 5 spice

1/4 tsp cardamon

3/4 C softened butter (1-1/2 sticks)

1/3 C sugar

1/3 C dark brown sugar (packed)

1 large egg yolk

1-1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla

1/2 C dark molasses

 

Whisk the flour, soda, salt, pepper & spices and set aside.

Beat butter and sugars on med speed until light & fluffy, about 5 min. Beat in vanilla & yolk until combined, beat in molasses, about 30 sec each addition, scraping bowl & beaters as needed.

Add flour mixture and beat on low until combined, about another 30 seconds, it will be a soft & sticky dough. At this point I scrape the dough into a lump in the bowl, cover & put in fridge til later. That’s not necessary, you can go straight to baking at this point.

Wet hands with cold water and roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll balls in the sugar mixture to coat. Place about 2″ apart on the parchment, these will spread out.

Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time until edges are set but the centers are still soft & underdone 10-12 min. Don’t overcook!!! Let them set on sheet another 10 min. they will flatten, crack and wrinkle with a crispy outside & chewy middle. Transfer to rack to cool if you can wait, or eat warm.

Variations

Rolling sugar:
I’ve used regular ol’ granulated, superfine, turbinado, demerara, ginger sugar or orange sugar.

Spices:
I’ve used fresh grated ginger or orange zest in the dough sugar. Also varied spices and amounts. Include? curry powder, nutmeg, chai spice, chili powder, pumpkin spice, different types of vanilla, and substituted rum for part of vanilla.

Frosting:
Glaze cooled cookies with rum & powdered sugar.

Do not use margarine instead of butter. It won’t work.

 

Banana Blueberry Apple Coffee Cake

I have been making a bunch of crumbles and quick breads to use up some of the “on their way out” fruits that we have now that I am trying to up my fruit and veggie intake. Can’t seem to get through them fast enough and I figure this coffee cake has at least 1 tasty serving in it (along with the butter and sugar).

Made Up Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350° and butter 8 x8 casserole or other pan.

Bowl 1:

  • 2 apples, diced fairly small
  • handful frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1/2 sweet lime (or lemon juice to prevent browning)
  • grate of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sweet lime zest

Bowl 2:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 TBsp oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract

Bowl 3:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1  tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • sprinkle salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle nutmeg

Bowl 4 (topping):

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • sprinkle each: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • small handful honey nut o’s cereal – pulverized
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter

Gently mix bowl one and set aside.
Beat bowl 2 until creamy
Stir together ingredients in bowl 3, add bowl 1 and bowl 2 and mix. Will be fairly stiff batter/dough.

Dump into pan and smooth out.

Crumble cold butter with dry ingredients in bowl 4 to make topping and sprinkle evenly over dough.

Bake about 30 minutes or until skewer in center comes out clean.

Let cool slightly before eating so as not to burn your tongue.

Now *That’s* what we’re talking about! T-day cranberry style

photo courtesy cc license Andrew YeeI stumbled across this made-up-food style non-recipe on Wonkette (careful, it’s an irreverent & sometimes potty mouth blog) that has all the hallmarks of Made Up Food – unpretentious, simple, easy and what sounds like gourmet level delicious. So – check out the full post or get the highlights in the heavily excerpted portion below.

There are many recipes you can find “on the Internet” for fresh cranberry sauce, but you don’t need to do that anymore. Just send this one to your xBox or whatever and be DONE, done with the search for the ideal cranberry relish recipe.

THE THINGS YOU NEED:
When you’re at the store, get two sacks of fresh cranberries from the produce section. They are like, a pound each. This will be plenty for eight or so people. Did your relatives refuse to use any kind of birth control, producing a larger family of say, 16 people? Just double the recipe, meaning buy two of whatever, and use twice as much, in the recipe. And “double the recipe” does not mean set the oven to 700 degrees instead of 350. Jesus.

If for some reason you don’t have some basic cane sugar and a decent bottle of bourbon at home, purchase these things in whatever respectable quantity, so next time (Friday morning) you’ll have this stuff handy.
Oranges. Buy some of them.

NOW: Either right now or tomorrow or 30 minutes before carving time — IT DOES NOT MATTER — you wash the cranberries. (The thing that looks like a ’50s space helmet, it is called the colander, fill it with the cranberries and put it under the cold faucet).

Dump said berries in the Pyrex baking dish, like the one people might use for lasagna or baked manicotti. (This is a good time to remove whatever weird stuff the Stephen King characters who pick cranberries might’ve dropped in the bucket: loose teeth, etc.) Get the cheese grater and just grate on some sad-but-firm orange, right on the peel, so that the little bits of orange peel fall down upon the lonely berries. It is fine if some bigger chunks — like, half-inch-long shreds, but no bigger than that — fall down there, too. It adds “color” … orange color, in fact. Do this until you’re tired of doing it, at which point there’s probably about three teaspoons’ worth of orange “zest” in the pyrex, with the cranberries. Don’t pick it out and measure it or anything, just show some confidence. For once.

Cut open that poor orange you’ve just Gitmo’d, and squeeze the juice into your cranberry business. Do not drop the orange seeds in there, come on.

Now drizzle a couple-five shots of bourbon on the berries. And sprinkle about half a cup of granulated cane sugar over all that. (Generally, cranberry relish recipes call for some insane amount of sugar, like three cups. Do not ruin everything, okay? Using not-so-much sugar produces a tart but still sweet-enough relish that is to be served with savory dishes like turkey and dressing, right? If you want to put this on a peanut butter sandwich, by all means use fifteen cups of sugar and chase it with an “energy drink” or whatever. Let freedom reign.)

Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the oven. Doesn’t really matter, whatever the oven is set to, which is going to be in the 300-425 range for your general Thanksgiving dishes crowding the oven. You also don’t need to be a dick and start yelling about how somebody needs to move the mac-and-cheese or the brussels sprouts under the broiler (and you SHOULD have simple cut-in-half olive-oil-brushed brussels sprouts under the broiler!) because you must get in your cranberry relish. Anytime is fine, and plus who will be impressed if you keep talking about it, beforehand? They might notice how easy it is to make, and then who are you? You are basically Lou Dobbs. So go outside and yell at a Mexican.

Come back inside, and please wash your hands if you were smoking out there, and see what is going on. Are people tense? It is probably time to open a bottle of wine, go ahead and pass around maybe a Petite Syrah, something that will go with maybe some pita chips or apple slices, whatever, try to get people to relax. It is okay to have “Irish Coffees,” too, because it’s daytime.

When the cranberry business is bubbly and the berries have this nice soft-but-firm kind of thing going on, take out the pyrex and let it cool somewhere out of the way. If there’s room in the fridge, you can just put the tray in there once it’s cool to the touch. But there’s no room, jesus just look at all the food in there, plus there are about a million beers for tomorrow, so just scrape it all into something pretty, some kind of thing you might put chutney in, or whatever (ask mom).

Serve and watch how people say, “OMG I only ever had it from a can,” etc.

Read more at Wonkette: How To Make Wonkette’s Actual Awesome Real Cranberry Business

(photo from Flickr creative commons courtesy halfchinese – with Andrew Yee’s own yummy recipe there too)

Made Up Bacon

Here’s an recipe my friend Jan emailed to me -

Hi,
My friend Sandie gets to go to Bacon parties. She always brings this kick ass desert.

praline bacon.
sorta something like this.
Bacon on cookie sheet, bake for 10 to 15 minutes, I think about 350 degrees.
Drain. You are pulling bacon out before it is crispy.
In food processor, blend brown sugar and pecans and chili powder. Sometimes I leave out the chili powder.
Put on bacon and bake some more until crisp.

yum, yum
Jan

I haven’t tried it but the concept sounds delicious. I have to say it sounds a good bit better than Rachel Ray’s Late Night Bacon – which is really just bacon in the microwave, but still worth checking out for the witty comments.

Lemon Ginger Carrot Cornbread

lemon ginger carrot cornbreadSummer has come to our little corner of the woods, but no summer break in the craziness. So when I felt the need for fresh baked goods I had to fall back on good old “just add water” Marie Callender’s Cornbread mix. As a way to sneak some additional veggies into our diet I decided that grated carrots would be a good addition. And since I was getting creative anyhow, I decided to add some grated lemon peel and powdered ginger too. After smelling it in the oven, I was really glad I did. Jim was late for work but stuck around long enough to try some and declare it delicious enough to blog about – so here it is. Just follow the recipe on the package for an 8 x 8 pan and cut the water back to just over a cup for about 1/2 cup of grated carrots and add the rest to taste.

Experimental Snack a Success!

From my friend Jan:

A small dab of goat cheese on a small square of dark chocolate, washed down with a glass of blueberry juice 

her verdict: Yum Yum!

A Chocolate Burrito, you say? ¡Si!

Señors and señoritas, I give you the chocolate burrito!My wife, daughter of a hippie family that made their own tofu, has always turned up her nose at my suburban Wonder-Bread-eating culinary youth (well, we did eventually start eating Roman Meal, which I suppose is a little better), but despite my love for her, I have no shame about my eating education. We did, after all, eat a lot of healthy, diverse food–we just ate a lot of sloppy joes, tuna noodle casserole, and grilled cheese sandwiches, too.

With this exposition in mind, let me present a scenario: It’s 1984. Your mom or dad has just made a chocolate cake (Betty Crocker, out of the box) and finished frosting it using the frosting-in-a-can. But, of course, there’s frosting left over, and nothing goes to waste in this house. So it goes into the fridge, awaiting a later fate. A few days later, burritos are made–lovely, shreds of beef, jack cheese, refritos, and lots of green chiles, of course. There are flour tortillas left over. Into the fridge they go. Now, there they are on the same shelf…perhaps it was only a matter of time before the invention of…

The chocolate burrito.

“Eeewwwww!”, you say. But, as with so many amazing experiences in life, first impressions can be deceiving. So take a walk down the dark side of the dessert (or in my case, breakfast, or coffee-break, or lunch) street, and make a chocolate burrito.

The process couldn’t be simpler: Get your flour tortilla, left over from the other night’s south-of-the-border fest. Please don’t use a corn tortilla, ok? That’s just sick. Lay it on a clean, flat work surface (or in the palm of your hand if you’re in a hurry). Get out that half-empty can of chocolate frosting. Any brand will do, but I prefer Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker, something in the milk chocolate to chocolate fudge spectrum. It might help to thrown the can in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up–you don’t want to break the flaky four tortilla as you spread the frosting. Slide your knife around the inside surface of the frosting container, scooping up a tablespoon or two of dark, sweet goodness. Spread it onto the tortilla. Repeat. Ideally, you want a coating of frosting that is thin, but thick enough to cover the ridges and valleys of the tortilla itself. A coating about as thick as the tortilla itself usually works well, but it all depends on how sweet your tooth is.

Then,roll it up. If you are working with a smaller tortilla–say, soft-taco-sized, you end up with a roll about an inch in diameter, sort of like a taquito. If you are using a full-size burrito holder, you’ll end up with something approximating, well, a burrito. If you’ve used the perfect amount of frosting, you get a nice alternation of frosting/tortilla/frosting/tortilla, spiraling all the way out into your sweaty, anticipatory hand.

Serve with a glass of ice-cold whole milk. Because this isn’t health food you’re eating. You might want to make a second one in advance…you know, just in case. Despite my now much healthier eating habits, I have a soft spot in my heart for the chocolate burrito, and to my wife’s chagrin, I plan on imparting this affection on to my little girls as well. As for my wife: well, I have yet to catch her in the act of making one of these, but there are times when I swear there is less frosting in the can than there was earlier, and all of the tortillas seem to have mysteriously disappeared….