I feel like I’m going cross-eyed with how busy I’ve been. Have I mentioned how much I hate being busy? Ok, I did go out to dinner last night and that was fun even though it added to my overstuffed schedule it was an enjoyable break from the craziness and drunkenness of the last week. I got to see blog-a-phobe KT and fellow TWD-er Beth (if CB would just move her butt to MA I would have seen her too). Then today at work my boss was whining that in the last week since I got my new work comp I haven’t been able to get 2 weeks of work re-input in addition to my regular workload. Ya, that’s 3 weeks worth of work in one week. I’m sick of him whining so I had to bring work home tonight and waste 3 hours re-doing work I’ve already done. Damn you Quickbooks and your stupid backup failure the day before my comp died and fried my poor hard drive.
In the middle of doing work I took a break to do the one thing that relaxes me most. I baked! Well, that’s kinda a lie. Sleeping relaxes me more, but we’re talking about non sleep related things. In case you’re wondering what my #3 most relaxing thing is, I’ll tell you. It’s chopping veggies. Oh I love it, I could do it all day. I’m tired and rambling can you tell?
On to the torte goodness … I love pureeing Oreos. I did it with the TWD marshmallows and they’re just so much fun and the powder is so yummy. You know you tasted it too. I was a little worried that my oreo crust needed more butter, but as always Dorie knows best and after it baked it was perfect. Then came the PB moose (hehe Moose is the best way to spell it who cares if it’s wrong). I’ll be honest here, Dorie didn’t know best. I tasted the mousse before adding the cream and I liked it better. I’m all about the PB. I skipped the ganache because my buddy Beth mentioned last night that she thought it was too much. I think I would have to agree more chocolate would have been good for G and bad for me. Since I’m the baker what I say goes.
My only real complaint is the waiting time. Of course I fixed that by cooling all the steps in the freezer, which went just fine until the very end when I went to release my springform pan. The PB filling was a wee bit frozen to the sides so there was a bit of split-age on one part (you can see it in the picture). I’m a thinker though so I fixed that lickity split. I just got a warm cloth and rubbed it around the edge of the pan. Volia! Perfect loosening.
It was BGEX time again and as usual I couldn’t decide what to make. Then, out of nowhere, in the middle of Target, it came to me. Ok, not really, but I saw these adorable oven safe dishes that I NEEDED to buy and if I was going to buy them I needed to use them. Since I had ice cream in the freezer, brownies seemed like the perfect treat.
After deciding on brownies I needed to find a recipe. I’m usually a boxed brownie girl. I just like them. There are only a few things that are better in boxes and brownies are usually one of them. But my aunt had just told me how much she loved the ATK Classic Brownie recipe so I figured I would give them a shot.
Boy oh boy were they good. I don’t think I’ll be baking boxed brownies anymore. And apparently Kristi’s hubby agreed because he pretty much ate them all in one sitting :P
I made most of the batch in a regular brownie pan, but I did make two (one for me and one for Greg) in my new dishes. Sooo cute.
Classic Brownies (adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Classic Brownie Recipe)
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in double broiler. Stir until melted.
Once melted, remove from heat and wisk in sugar
Wisk eggs into chocolate mixture one at a time
Add vanilla to chocolate mixture
Fold in flour mixture (1/3 of flour at a time)
Pour into greased pan and bake at 325 degrees for approx 30 mins
The first snow of the year + Ice Cream = perfect combination. Right?
Ok, not in most people’s minds, but I’m not most people and when I stumbled upon the Ice Cream Party being hosted by Ice Cream Ireland in an effort to get bloggers to taste test their recipes for a cookbook they’re putting together I couldn’t resist. Who cares if there are light flurries falling from the sky.
A lot of people rave about The Perfect Scoop being THE ice cream book, but to be honest, only a few recipes left me drooling. Most left me feeling meh. If Ice Cream Ireland’s blog is any indicator of what the cookbook will be like then I’m in heaven. Take a look at their blog and if you’re not wiping the drool off your chin recipe after recipe … your crazy.
This was the perfect excuse to take my ice cream maker of out and make a delicious treat, the only problem was deciding which one to make. In the end I settled on the Raspberry Lime Sorbet, but I did have Greg get me everything I would need for the Cookies Ice Cream so, even though I may not make it in time for the round up, it will be made in the very near future and I will be visiting their blog on a regular basis when I’m in the mood to make myself a nice cool treat.
This recipe was great for a number of reasons. First and foremost it tasted AMAZING, it was perfect in every way. You’ll notice that as of right now there isn’t much of a picture of the final product. Ummm I kinda sorta couldn’t keep it on the spoon long enough to take a good picture and any attempt at plating it so it looked good was out of the question. I even dripped a little on my Canon 30D aka nice, expensive camera that doesn’t like ice cream quite as much as I do. I’ll be taking more pictures later, but my eating frenzy left it needing to be put in the freezer before it melted away. Since I plan on gobbling up every last drop I couldn’t risk letting it melt. So, you’ll just have to wait until later for a pretty picture of the final product.
The second and almost as important reason it was great is that it was really easy. Sure, there are a few steps, but a mere 4 ingredients and a short amount of time later you will be left with the most delicious treat ever. Not including the waiting/cooling time this recipe probably takes about 10-15 minutes of your time.
And, since reasons always need to come in sets of three. I present to you reason number three why this is a recipe everyone who likes raspberries and limes will love. It’s a guilt free dessert!! Yes, that’s right, I was able to enjoy my feeding frenzy without an ounce of guilt. With only 1 cup of sugar and the rest being made up of fresh fruit you really can’t do much better than this when you want a tasty treat to calm you sweet tooth.
On a sale of 1-5 I give this recipe a 10.
Raspberry Lime Sorbet
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
8 oz Fresh, Ripe Raspberries
Zest the 4 limes and add to a pan with the cup of sugar
Boil water and add 1 cup of boiling water to the sugar and lime zest mixture. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and let sit for 30 minutes.
Strain the lime zest and put it back in the pan. Add the raspberries and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and wisk until the raspberries are broken up. Put in the refridgerator to cool. Once cool add the lime juice.
At this point I decided to put it all through the seive to get rid of the raspberry seeds and any tiny bits of the lime pulp.
Toss it in your ice cream maker and let it do it’s job.
Picture note: Of course my fav pic is when I wasn’t paying attention and took a pic of the side of the cake that I mangled the bottom of, but come on how cute is the cat peeking over the cake ready to pounce?
I liked this cake, but I still like chocolate cake from a box better. The What’s Cooking? board raves about it, but it just wasn’t my fav. I guess it’s one of those things where if you grow up on cake from a box sometimes you’ll always love cake from a box. Mmmm Betty Crocker
Stolen from Hershey’s (of course)
Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING(recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
I first saw these about a month ago on the Baking Bits blog and I planned on making them when we opened up our hot chocolate we got on our honeymoon. Well with the fair starting this weekend I knew it was prime time to make some marshmallows and hot chocolate even if it is still 80 degrees most of the time. These made a TON of marshmallows. The other guesses are around 36, but I cut the main square into 36 and then cut each of those 36 in half and the marshmallows were still pretty big. I plan on leaving some of them out and throwing the rest in the freezer so I have yummy marshmallows all winter long yum.
Recipe from Baking Bits
.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.
Picture and recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride
I love these cupcakes!! I did go a tiny bit overboard with the amount of lime I put in the frosting and the frosting ended up being a little more than I could handle, but it was all my fault for not following the recipe, which for some reason I can never seem to do. In my defense I love lime and I always use more than the amount listed and usually it works of wonderfully, this just happens to be one of those recipes where no matter how much you love limes you shouldn’t add extra.
9 oz Margarita mix (such as Mrs. T’s or Bacardi)
3 oz tequila (Sauza Conmemorativo is a house-fave)
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
White cake mix (yes, the boxed stuff)
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 recipe Lime Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
Mix together the margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass or spouted bowl. You will use 1 1/4 cup of this in the cupcake mix. Pour the remainder over ice and enjoy the mini-rita while you’re baking.
In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest, and 1 1/4 cup of the margarita mixture. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for two minutes (the batter will still be a bit lumpy).
Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the icing and ice the cupcakes.
Lime Buttercream Icing
3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
green food color (a small amount of the gel will not throw off the consistency of the icing)
Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and lime juice to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes.
Add the sugar and a couple drops of the food coloring to a food processor. Process until the sugar turns green. Spread the sugar onto a plate and let dry for 15 minutes. Sprinkle onto freshly-iced cupcakes and enjoy!
So, Oreos are just about my favorite food on the planet. I could eat them all day and I still would not be sick of them. Stolen from here, but it appears she stole the recipe from someone else first
Retro Desserts, Wayne Brachman
Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies
For the chocolate wafers:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 to 1½ cups sugar*
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
¼ cup (½ stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.
* Let’s talk about the sugar for a minute, shall we? This is a sweet cookie. A good, sweet cookie. Yet, if you think of an actual Oreos, the wafers are fairly un-sweet and actually on the slightly salty side, which contrasts with the super-sweetness of the filling bringing harmony, happiness, yada yada. If you want your cookie closer to that original, you can take out a full half-cup of the sugar. I usually do. If you want to make the cookie by itself (as I did a while back for ice cream sandwiches), go ahead and use the full amount.