October 1, 2008

Moved to a New Site!!!

YAY, I have created a new site and moved to www.bakingchamber.com

Please go and check it out and feel free to leave any comments or questions!

Jennifer Chambers

September 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Crunch Balls

These little treats are so easy to make and taste like a crunchy peanut butter cup. They have a good combination of a chewy, crunchy, chocolaty, peanut buttery texture. They're a good quick treat to make for parties or just nice little treats to have around the house to snack on. This recipe makes 24 balls but you can change the proportions easily and can also change the type of chocolate for your preference.

Peanut Butter Crunch Balls

4 Tbsp butter
2 Cups mini marshmallows
2 Tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
2 Cups rice krispie cereal
1 Cup peanut butter chips
300grams (or about 2 Cups) milk chocolate

1) Line and grease a cookie sheet and set aside
2) Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat until melted
3) Once melted add marshmallows and peanut butter and continue melting stirring constantly
4) Once mixture is melted remove from heat and add rice krispies and stir until completely mixed
5) Add chips and stir until completely mixed again, then using a greased Tbsp measure, form balls and let cool on greased cookie sheet
6) Once balls have hardened, melt chocolate in microwave stirring every 10sec.
7) Roll each ball in chocolate and place back on cookie sheet to cool and hardened (you can store the balls in the fridge to speed up the process) then enjoy!

September 24, 2008

Rocky Road Bars

Once again I used another recipe from my Joy of Cookie: All About Cookies cookbook and was not disappointed. These bars were delicious but kinda of turned out more like a chewy brownie rather than a rocky road bar. The three types of chocolate and the marshmallows mixed in make these bars very chocolaty, chewy, and sticky (which is never a bad thing). I kind of wish the marshmallows on top didn't melt down as much for appearance purposes but they still tasted great. I've posted the recipe below which originally has nuts but I made mine without just for allergy reasons at work.

Rocky Road Bars

4 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups sugar
4 Large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
1 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Cup mini marshmallows
1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line and grease a 13*9in pan
2) In microwave melt unsweetened chocolate, stirring occasionally
3) Set chocolate aside to cool to room temp, meanwhile beat butter and sugar until smooth
4) Beat in eggs and vanilla to butter mixture
5) Fold in cooled chocolate mixture into butter mixture with a wooden spoon
6) Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt and stir in with wooden spoon
7) In separate bowl mix together nuts, marshmallows, and chocolate chips
8) Stir in all but 1 cup of marshmallow mixture into butter mixture until well combined
9) Pour batter into prepared pan and pour remaining marshmallow mixture evenly on top
10) Bake for 30min or until top is lightly firm when tapped and toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly wet
11) Let cool completely in pan on wire rack then enjoy!

Blackberry Plum Crumb Bars

Once I saw the delicious picture for this recipe, http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2008/09/17/blackberry-crumb-bars/, I just knew I had to make them too. I did not have any fresh blackberries on hand but my boyfriends mom just gave me some homemade blackberry plum jam that I thought would work just as good. These bars are honestly one of my (and my co-workers) favorite recipes that I have made so far. The bottom layer has a nice and light white cake texture, the jam layer works perfectly with bringing out the sweetness in the bars, and the top layer has the best crunch and flavor which ties everything together. I would make these again in a heart beat and maybe even try different jams or fresh fruit next time too ! I followed the recipe exactly except for replacing the berries with jam (I used about 1/2 Cup of jam spread evenly over the cake layer) but you can find the original recipe here, http://www.bakeorbreak.com/recipes/2008/09/17/blackberry-crumb-bars/ and try them for yourselves!

September 22, 2008

Butterscotch Blondies

I haven't made a good blondie for a while so I found this recipe, http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/007188blondies.php, and remembered that I had butterscotch chips in my cupboard. I changed the recipe slightly by using light brown sugar, instead of dark brown sugar, and added en extra egg yolk for tenderness to my blondies. They turned out soft and chewy just like a fudgey brownie with a great caramelized taste form the brown sugar and butterscotch chips. This blondie recipe might actually be my favorite that I have made so far especially because its so easy and fast to clean up and make since you only use one bowl. I've posted my adapted version of the recipe below but you can easily substitute the butterscotch chips for milk chocolate, white chocolate, or even peanut butter chips.

Butterscotch Blondies

1/2 Cup butter (melted)
1 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Large egg
1 Large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup butterscotch chips

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line and grease an 8in pan
2) In large bowl, beat together melted butter and sugar with a wooden spoon
3) In separate bowl lightly beat eggs then add them and vanilla to butter mixture
4) Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to butter mixture
5) Fold in chips and pour batter into greased pan evenly
6) Bake for 30min when top is golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean
7) Cool in pan on wire rack completely then enjoy!

September 20, 2008

Blackberry Jam Brownies

I brought these brownies to work yesterday and they were devoured in less than 10min (I think that's a record for my co-workers). I was kinda of hesitant to add jam to my brownies but the sweetness from the jam enhanced the richness from the unsweetened chocolate and they turned out great. The brownies were fudgey and chewy with a great fruit and chocolate flavor combination. I got the idea from my Joy of Cooking: All About Cookies cookbook and started searching for similar recipes and found this recipe, http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/brownie-recipes/choc-raspberry-brownies.htm. I would definitely make these again but maybe trying different flavors of jam like raspberry or strawberry. Below is my altered half version of the razzle dazzle recipe (http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/recipes/index.htm) but by following the baking instructions from my JoC cookbook.

Blackberry Jam Brownies

1/2 Cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 Cup sugar
2 Large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5/8 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 Cup blackberry jam (or jam of your choice)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8in pan with tinfoil and grease
2) Melt butter and chocolate in small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly
3) Once melted, remove from heat and whisk until smooth and let cool to room temperature
4) Meanwhile, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until well combined
5) Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg mixture and fold in
6) Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt to chocolate egg mixture and stir until just combined
7) Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into greased pan
8) Evenly drop jam by teaspoon over batter and use a knife to swirl jam into batter about 1/2in deep (making a nice swirl pattern)
9) Bake for 40min or until toothpick in center comes out clean but still moist at bottom
10) Let cool completely in pan on wire rack then set in fridge for about 1 hour to make cutting easier and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chubbies

This is one of my favorite recipes (mainly because of their name) from my Joy of Cooking: All About Cookies cookbook. They're sweet little peanut butter shortbread "chubbies" that are just so cute and and delicious! Their texture is definitely like a shortbread, very tender and crumbly, but they're flavor is more like a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie. They're easy to make and melt in your mouth perfectly.

Peanut Butter Chubbies

1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 1/2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
11 ounces of chopped peanut butter cups
(optional: 2/3 Cups finely chopped unsalted peanuts)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease two cookie sheets (or one very large cookie sheet)
2) Stir together flour and salt in bowl, then add in butter, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat on low speed until mixture just begins to hold together
3) Add peanut butter cups (and peanuts) and beat until well blended
4) Form dough into 1in. balls and place on cookie sheet 1 1/4in. apart
5) Bake for 15-18min (mine took 18min) just until "chubbies" are lightly tinged brown (rotate cookie sheet halfway through for even browning
6) Cool "chubbies" on cookie sheet until completely cooled and firm (cookies will be too crumbly to move before completely cooled) and enjoy!

September 17, 2008

Almond Pretzels

I found this recipe in my Joy of Cooking: All About Cookies cookbook and have been meaning to make these pretzels ever since I bought it. In the book they call this recipe mandelbrezeln, which from what I could find means a German almond cookie. I made both the traditional sugar coated pretzels and the ones dipped in chocolate for those chocoholics at work. They turned out well, the texture was lighter and flakier than a regular pretzel and the flavor had a nice and sweet almond taste. I would make them again and maybe coat them with white chocolate or caramel sauce for a different flavor. I've posted the recipe below so you can also enjoy these sweet dessert pretzels for yourself.

Almond Pretzels

1 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 blanched almonds, coarsely ground
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (cold, cut into small pieces)
1 Large egg (lightly beaten)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
(For sugar pretzels):
1 Large egg, beaten
1/2 cup coarse sugar crystals
(For chocolate pretzels):
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or use semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate

1) In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, and salt then stir in ground almonds
2) Add butter, egg, and lemon zest to flour mixture and mix by hand until dough forms
3) Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap and store in fridge for 1 1/2 hours
4) Preheat oven to 375F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
5) Roll chilled dough into logs 1in. in diameter (keep other dough in fridge while doing this) and cut dough into 24 pieces
6) Roll each piece into 6in. long ropes and shape to form pretzels
7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 with other chilled dough and place pretzels on cookie sheet
8) Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (If making chocolate pretzels omit this step)
9) Bake for 12-15min until golden and remove pretzels to racks to cool
10) Melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave stirring often, then add bittersweet chocolate stirring until melted in (Only follow this step for chocolate coated pretzels)
11) Dip each pretzel into chocolate mixture face down, just coating the top of the pretzels and let stand on parchment paper until chocolate is set (Only follow this step for chocolate coated pretzels) then enjoy!

Blueberry Oat Muffins

I've made these muffins before from my BHG cookbook and they turned out great. I decided to make them again but using jumbo size muffin tins and adding fresh blueberries for color and flavor. I also reduced the amount of oat bran in them because I remember last time I made them they were slightly on the dry side. I also used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and added a 1tsp of vanilla just for a little more flavor. I couldn't find the recipe online so I've posted my altered version below (for jumbo size muffins and also regular size muffins) for you to enjoy.

Blueberry Oat Muffins

1 Cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 Cup applesauce
1/2 Cup milk (1% or skim)
1/4 Cup honey
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 Cups fresh blueberries

1) Preheat oven to 350F (or 400F if using normal size muffin tins) and grease muffin tins with cooking spray
2) In a large bowl combine oat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; then form a well in the middle and set bowl aside
3) In a medium bowl beat egg, then combine applesauce, milk, honey, oil, and vanilla until mixed
4) Pour egg mixture into center of flour well and mix until just combined (batter should be lumpy), then fold in blueberries
5) Pour batter equally into muffin tins and bake for 30min (bake for 16-18min if using regular size muffin tins) until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean
6) Cool pan on rack for 5min then remove from muffin tins and enjoy!

(I like to keep my muffins in an air tight ziplock bag in the freezer, then just heat them up for a quick breakfast in the morning)

September 16, 2008

Fudge Day

I've been meaning to go and buy a candy thermometer lately so I cant try a bunch of recipes I've found but just haven't got around to it. So, in the meantime I found a quick and easy simple fudge recipe from my Better Homes and Garden cookbook that I thought I would try. I made two different versions (I posted both versions below) because I couldn't make up my mind which type I would prefer. I made chocolate fudge first, following the recipe in the BHG cookbook, then second I made a cookies and cream fudge based on this recipe, http://www.recipezaar.com/16311, but still semi-followed the BHG recipe. Although the cookies and cream recipe produced more fudge, both fudge recipes turned out good. They were sweet, chewy, and not too soft but I still can't decide which type of fudge I prefer because their both so addicting.

Chocolate Fudge

1 1/2 Cups sugar
2/3 Cups evaporated milk
1/2 Cup butter
2 Cups mini marshmallows
2 Ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cookies and Cream Fudge

2 1/2 Cups sugar
3/4 Cups butter
2/3 Cups evaporated milk
2 Cups white chocolate chips
2 Cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup crushed Oreo's

(Follow these instructions for both fudge recipes)
1) Line an 8in square pan with foil and spray with Pam
2) In a large greased saucepan melt sugar, butter, and milk over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally
3) Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and stir mixture constantly for 5min
4) Remove mixture from heat and stir in chocolate, marshmallows, and vanilla until combined
5) Continue stirring for 1 min (then add Oreo's for cookies and cream fudge)
6) Pour evenly into greased pan, then cover and chill in fridge for 3-4 hours
7) One hardened cut into pieces and enjoy! (can be stored in fridge for up to 1 month)

September 15, 2008

Nutella Biscotti

I first started making biscotti when I found this recipe, http://www.recipezaar.com/90003, which I fell in love with. The person who posted this recipe mentioned she had found in the Cooking Light November 2000 issue, so I decided to look it up and found this recipe, http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=394637, which is very similar. This recipe produced such a perfect crunchy/slightly chewy texture with a great flavor that I use it as a base every time I make a different variation of biscotti. I've used this recipe to make almond biscotti, butterscotch biscotti, chocolate biscotti and even tried the sinckerdoodle biscotti version as well. Recently I fell upon this recipe, http://bakingbites.com/2005/06/nutella-biscotti/, and decided it has been too long since I last made biscotti. I decided to stick to my base recipe and added the variations needed to produce a similar biscotti that I found on bakingbites. The biscotti turned out perfect yet again, they had a great chocolate flavor, although I didn't taste much of the nutella flavor but I would defiantly make them again.

Nutella Biscotti

2 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Cocoa powder
1/2 Cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Large eggs
1/2 Cup Nutella

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper
2) In medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and chips, then set aside
3) In a large bowl mix together with wooden spoon oil, vanilla, eggs, and Nutella until combined
4) Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until combined (mixture won't completely combine in bowl and will look dry and crumbly)
5) Pour mixture onto floured surface and knead 7 or 8 times until mixture comes together
6) Divide dough in half and shape into flat, round logs 8in long and 1in thick
7) Place logs on cookie sheet and bake for 35min, then remove from pan and cool on wire racks for 10min
8) Then cut logs diagonally into 1/2in slices and lay them flat down on cut edge and place on cookie sheet again
9) Bake for 10min then flip and bake for another 10min
10) Let cool on rack (will appear soft but will harden as they cool), then enjoy!

September 14, 2008

Cinnamon Flop Cake

I found this recipe for cinnamon flop cake (which is also called cinnamon brunch cake) on RecipeZaar at http://www.recipezaar.com/77397. I was drawn to it because of all the rave reviews and easyness of it, so I decided to make it. I admit the cake was super fast and easy to make but it just didn't have quite the texture I was hoping for (Maybe I mixed it too much, or not enough, or didn't add enough toppings?). It was a bit on the dry side and it wasn't as fluffy as I would have preferred for a light brunch cake, but it still had a really nice cinnamon and brown sugar flavor combination. The only changes I made to it was to add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to help the cake flavor complement the topping flavor. I'm still puzzled why it is called a "flop" cake (maybe because you just "flop" all the ingredients together into one bowl?) but try it for yourselves and see if you like it!

Brown Sugar Sponge Cake

I got the original recipe for this quick and easy cake from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but I decided to use brown sugar instead of white and added 1tsp of vanilla to it to give it more sweetness. The best description for this cake would be from my friend who described it as a thick and sweet pancake. I found the texture to be a bit more dense and not as fluffy as I would have preferred (maybe because I used brown sugar instead of white) but it still had good flavor. Because of its pancake appeal, it would also taste good serving it with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Brown Sugar Sponge Cake

1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 Cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup milk
2 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs confectioners sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350F; grease and flour an 8in square baking pan
2) Sift together flour and baking powder in a small mixing bowl and set aside
3) In large mixing bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer on high for about 4min or until thick
4) Once thick, gradually add sugar while mixing at medium speed for 5min or until light and fluffy
5) Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat on low until just combined
6) In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter on low heat until butter melts, then beat into sugar mixture until all combined
7) Pour in pan and bake for 25min (mine took 27min) or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
8) Cool in pan on wire rack (about 30min)
9) Once cooled, remove from pan and sprinkle with sifted confectioners sugar and enjoy!

September 12, 2008

Gayle Hubbard's Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that has been past down from my mom's good friend Gayle Hubbard. Gayle used to babysit for me when I was younger and I would always look forward to when she would make these delicious golden cookies. I've tried many other chocolate chip recipes but both me and my mom agree that this recipe just doesn't compare to any other. These cookies have the best texture; soft and chewy on the inside, while crisp and sugary on the outside with the perfect amount of chocolate flavor. Once you try this recipe you'll find it hard to make any other chocolate chip cookie.

Gayle's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup Crisco shortening
1/2 Cup golden brown sugar
3/4 Cup white sugar
2 Large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 Cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 Cup chopped pecans*

*If you don't want to use nuts just use another 1/2 Cup of chocolate chips instead

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
2) In a large bowl, beat together very well shortening and sugars with an electric hand beater
3) Add eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture and beat well
4) In separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, and salt
5) In two additions add flour mixture to egg mixture using a wooden spoon
6) Fold in chocolate chips and nuts
7) Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets and bake for 12-13min
8) Cool on pan for a little bit then transfer cookies to cooling rack and enjoy!

Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

This is hands-down my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. It is thick and chewy with just the right amount of sugar and spice! These cookies are just so simple and delicious, you can find the recipe at http://quakeroats.com/qfb_Recipes/recipe.cfm?recipeid=454, which is the original oatmeal cookie recipe that used to be on the back of the Quaker Oats package. I like to add 1 Cup of plump raisins to the recipe to make it a more classic oatmeal cookie but you could also add nuts or chocolate to make them even better too. I also roll my dough into balls using a tablespoon measure and only cook them for 10min so that they are extra chewy and thick.

September 11, 2008

Outrageous Brownies (Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

I've been on the search for a while trying to find a good fudgey brownie. Everywhere I looked I kept hearing raves about the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies by Ina Garten (http://www.barefootcontessa.com/), so I knew I just had to try them. I did a half version of the recipe and had to change a few ingredients around because while I was making them, I didn't even realize that I was missing so many of the ingredients. So instead I used shortening to replace the butter, used half white sugar and half brown sugar, and used a little less coffee powder than it called for. I don't know where my head was this day but I also forgot to rap the pan half way through during the baking like the original recipe suggests to allow air to escape. The brownies turned out awesome, they were fudgey, chewy, rich, and dense, just what I was looking for. I had to bake mine a bit longer than what the recipe called for but they were worth the wait. I have posted my adapted half version bellow but you can find the original recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/outrageous-brownies-recipe3/index.html. Next time I'm going to try and make this recipe again but follow it exactly and see how different the brownies compare to one another (I hope I'm not as forgetful that day).

Outrageous Brownies (Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup and 6 Ounces of semisweet chocolate chips (divided)
3 Ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 Large eggs
1 Tbs instant coffee powder
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 Cup lightly packed brown sugar
2/3 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup and 1/8 Cup flour (divided)
1/2 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
(optional: 1 Cup chopped walnuts)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour an 8in. pan
2) Melt shortening, 1 Cup chips, and unsweetened chocolate in a double broiler, then cool slightly
3) Meanwhile mix eggs, coffee, vanilla, and both sugars in large mixing bowl with a hand whisk
4) Mix together chocolate mixture and sugar mixture then cool until room temperature (about 30min)
5) In separate bowl stir together 1/2 Cup flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to chocolate mixture
6) In separate bowl toss remaining chocolate chips (6 Ounces), flour (1/8 Cup), and nuts (if desired) and add to mixture
7) Pour batter into pan and bake for 40-50min (mine took 50), or until toothpick comes out clean
8) Cool in pan, refrigerate well, cut into bars and enjoy!

September 10, 2008

Banana Day

I had so many frozen banana's in my freezer that it was getting a little too ridiculous so I decided to finally use them once and for all and have a banana day! I made a Toffee Banana Bread and Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, both using the same recipe but with different moderation's. I got the original recipe from http://www.bhg.com/recipe/breads/banana-bread/, which was different than the recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The recipe called for two 8in loaf pans but I only had one, so I used the remaining batter to make my muffins and cooked both recipes in the oven at the same time. I find that the riper (blacker) the banana's you use, the better banana flavor you will get in your baking.

For the Toffee Banana Bread, I poured 1 Cup of the batter into my greased 8*4*2in loaf pan, then added about 1/2 Cup of toffee bits evenly over the batter. Then I poured another 1 Cup of batter on top of toffee bits, then added 1/4 Cup of toffee bits and 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts on top of that. I baked the loaf for 40min at 350F (along side with the muffins).

For the Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, I folded in 1/3 Cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining batter left over from the loaf. Then filled my lined muffin tins using a 1/4 Cup measure as a guide. I baked the muffins for 30min at 350F (along side with the loaf).

Sticky Applesauce Brownies

To sum it up, this low fat brownie recipe is a ooey, gooey, sticky, chocolaty treat. I found the original recipe at http://www.recipezaar.com/116119, but I changed it a bit from the original mainly because I didn't have enough cocoa powder in my cupboard. To compensate for the lack of cocoa powder, I added 1/4 tsp of Cinnamon and 1 Cup of semisweet chocolate chips, and I also used one egg rather than two egg whites. Make sure you allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting into them, otherwise it's too sticky too handle.

Sticky Applesauce Brownies

1/4 Cup cocoa
1 Cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 Cinnamon
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 3/4 Cups white sugar
1 egg
3/4 Cup applesauce
1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8in pan with parchment paper and grease
2) Sift and mix together cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt, and Cinnamon, then set aside
3) In separate mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar
4) Add egg, applesauce and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well
5) Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture and stir with wooden spoon until just incorporated (Do Not over mix)
6) Fold in chocolate chips and pour into greased pan
7) Bake for 40-50min (mine took 47min), take out when toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean
8) Cool completely then cute and enjoy!

September 8, 2008

One Bite Butter Balls

These cookies are a cross between a shortbread cookie and a soft chocolate chip cookie. There a must-eat-one-bite-treat that have a soft buttery texture to them. I prefer to use miniature chocolate chips for this recipe because there cuter and easier to handle but you can substitute them for other chips or nuts as well.

One Bite Butter Balls

1/2 Cup butter (softened)
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
2 Tbs white sugar (or just enough to coat outside of balls)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
2) In mixing bowl cream butter for 1min
3) Add sugar and vanilla, and beat well until light and fluffy
4) Add flour and stir with wooden spoon until well combined
5) Add chips (or other alternative of choice)
6) Form dough using 1Tbs utensil and roll into balls, then roll in sugar
7) Bake for 20min, then cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Chocolate Guiness Layer Cake

This is one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes. It is made with Guinness beer (learn more about this beer at http://www.guinness.com/), which gives the cake a nice rich, dense, chocolate taste. I made it for my girlfriends birthday in the summer and it seemed to be very popular. There are many different versions of this cake but you can find the recipe that I used at http://www.cookiemadness.net/?p=1388, which is my favorite version of this cake. I decorated my cake with little toffee bits which gave it a more sweet taste to go along with the frosting.

Chocolate Brittle

My friend likes to call this recipe "Moose Poo", but I thought chocolate brittle sounded a bit more appealing. This recipe is my homemade version of Clodhoppers (http://www.clodhoppers.tv/). I used to make them using Golden Grahams Cereal, but I decided to make them from scratch which I think taste even better!

Chocolate Brittle

1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup sugar (either white granulated sugar or light brown sugar both work, but I prefer to use the white sugar for taste preference)
20-30 Graham crackers (amount depends on size of cookie sheet)
Approx. 400g of your favorite chocolate bar (I like to use either Cadbury's milk chocolate bar, Hershey's cookies and cream bar, or Lindt's dark chocolate bar)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2) Melt butter and sugar over medium heat stirring occasionally and bring to a boil
3) Arrange graham crackers to fit evenly on cookie sheet
4) Pour butter mixture over graham crackers and spread to cover all graham crackers evenly
5) Place in oven for 8min then cool completely on a wire rack
6) Once cooled, break sugar coated graham crackers into bite size pieces
7) Melt chocolate in large pot over low heat stirring frequently
8) Once melted, add graham bits to melted chocolate and stir to cover each piece equally
9) Pour chocolate covered grahams back onto lined cookie sheet and spread evenly
10) Place in fridge to cool, once cooled break into pieces again and enjoy!

September 6, 2008

OREO® Layer Cake

I love Oreo's and I love cake! So why not combine the two...? This cake is like two big and soft Oreo's staked on top of each other! It's fun to make and delicious to eat!

OREO® Layer Cake

1 Box of chocolate cake mix
(follow instructions on the back of the box to see what other ingredients will be needed, my box called for eggs, oil and water)
1 Box of M.Christie® chocolate wafer cookies
3 Cups whipping cream
4 Tbs confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Follow instructions given on box to preheat oven and line two 8 or 9in round baking pans
2) Place a large bowl and electric beaters in fridge to chill for later to make whipping cream
3) Prepare and bake cakes following the instructions given on the box
4) Once baked (when toothpicks inserted come out clean), cool on racks for 10min then remove from pans and cool completely
5) Meanwhile, prepare whipping cream by pouring cream into chilled bowl and beat with an electric beater until soft peaks form
6) Slowly add sugar and vanilla and beat until desired consistency
7) Gently slice off top of one cake so that you have a flat surface to work with*
8) Evenly layer flattened cake with a whipped cream layer
9) Evenly place chocolate wafers on top of whipped cream layer
10) Gently and evenly add another layer of whipped cream on top of the wafer layer
11) Repeat steps 7-10 and add one cake on top of the other
12) Use remaining whipped cream to cover all sides of cake, then decorate cake with remaining chocolate wafers to your desire
13) Store in fridge for a few hours to allow the wafers to soak up the whipped cream and become a soft cookie
14) Remove from fridge, cut, and enjoy!

*I haven't decided what to do with the left over round tops of the cakes yet, but I guess you could make a mini OREO® layer cake as well!

September 4, 2008

Cookie Layer Bars

This is a simple, easy, and fun recipe that is both chewy like a brownie and crunchy like a cookie. It is my version of a 7 Layer Cookie and a Magic bar combined.

Cookie Layer Bar

1/2 Cup melted butter
1 Box of chocolate wafer cookies
1 Cup chocolate chips
1 Cup butterscotch chips
30-40 graham crackers
1 Can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk
(optional: 1/4 Cup crushed almonds)

1) Preheat over to 350F and line a 13*9in baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil
2) Melt butter over stove and pour into pan
3) Place chocolate wafer cookies evenly over butter and press down flat into butter (I use a potato masher to help crush and flatten cookies to form a good crust)
4) sprinkle both chips over chocolate wafer layer
5) Evenly place graham crackers over chip layer and press down flat (I used a potato masher for this step as well)
6) Evenly pour condensed milk over graham cracker layer
7) Sprinkle crushed graham crackers over condensed milk (or sprinkle crushed almonds over condensed milk)
8) Bake in pan for 25-30min or until lightly brown color on top (don't over bake or the bottom layer will burn)
9) Cool in pan and then chill in fridge completely
10) Cut into bars and enjoy!

Vanilla Lager Cake

I remembered making this chocolate Guinness cake a while back and how it was so moist, dense, and delicious that I wanted to try making another type of cake using another type of beer I had in my fridge. I discovered this vanilla cake recipe that was simply enough and I decided to change it a bit so I could add my beer without it being to overpowering. The first batch I made I used Kokanee Gold, which is an amber lager that has a hint of caramel taste to it. The second batch I made I used Granville Island Honey Lager because I wanted to try it again with a different sweetness. Both cakes turned out awesome and were moist with a delicious unique flavor to them. I think lager beers work best because they are much lighter and more refreshing than ales or stouts.

Vanilla Lager Cake

1 Cup butter
1 Can (355ml) Lager beer
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cups sour cream
2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

2 Cups whipping cream
3 Tbs confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(optional: remaining can of beer, approx.2-3Tbs)
(optional: 1 Cup crushed walnuts)

1) In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; once almost melted add beer and bring to a slight simmer stirring occasionally
2) Once simmered, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly
3) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F, grease and lightly flour two 9in. pans
4) In a small bowl beat eggs, once beaten add sour cream and beat until smooth
5) Stir together all ingredients (including egg mixture and beer mixture) in one large bowl until smooth
6) Pour batter equally into pans and bake in oven for 20-24min (mine took 22min)
7) Remove from oven and cool on wire racks for 10min, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on wire racks

8) Meanwhile; to make frosting, pour whipping cream into a large chilled bowl (pre-chill bowl and beaters beforehand while making the cake)
9) Beat cream on high with electric beaters until it forms soft peaks
10) Gradually add remaining ingredients to whipped cream and beat until desired thickness and store in fridge until cake is cooled
11) Once cake is cooled, ice cake and garnish with walnuts (or with garnish of choice)

August 28, 2008

Rise and Shine Muffins

I found this recipe online at one of my favorite sites but tweaked it a bit to add more flavor and texture to my liking because I love the combination of cinnamon and fruit. (you can find the original recipe called Low-Fat Bran-Pineapple Muffins at http://www.cookiemadness.net/) Although these muffins are geared towards the more healthy side, they still have a good chewy texture that aren't too dry.

Rise and Shine Muffins

1 1/4 Cups almond milk (or skim milk for a different taste)
1 1/2 Cups wheat bran
1/2 Cups packed brown sugar
1 8oz Can of crushed pineapples (undrained)
1 Cup shredded carrot
1/2 Cups raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 Cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

1) Combine milk, wheat bran, brown sugar, carrots, pineapples, raisins, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 15min
2) Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and mix well
3) Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tins with paper line and spray with Pam*
4) After 15min beat eggs into milk mixture with a wooden mixing spoon
5) Then add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir until just incorporated
6) Divide batter evenly into muffin tins and bake for 18-20min (muffins should appear golden on top and toothpick comes out clean)
7) Cool muffins on rack until cool and remove from tin ( I store my muffins in the freezer and microwave them in the mornings for breakfast)

*If you have empty muffin tins because of not enough batter, fill remaining tins with water so all of the muffins will cook evenly

Healthy Oat Granola Bars

I've been on the hunt to find a healthy granola bar that tastes great as well, so I created this recipe from a bunch of other granola bar recipes that I have collected over the past. I was looking for something that had little sugar, tasted great but was also health conscious as well. I think it has a good chewy consistency and a good nutty to chocolaty ratio. I wrapped them up individually and took them on our camping trip and everyone enjoyed them.

Healthy Oat Granola Bars

1 1/2 Cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 1/2 Cups of oats
1/4 Cup oat bran
1/4 Cup chopped almonds
1/2 Cup honey
1/2 Cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Cup mini chocolate chips

1) Line and grease an 8in. baking pan
2) Combine cereal, oats, oat bran, and almonds in a large mixing bowl
3) Meanwhile, bring honey to a boil over medium heat while continually stirring
4) Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla and stir until well combined
5) Pour honey mixture over cereal mixture and mix until everything is evenly coated
6) Stir in mini chocolate chips
7) Transfer to baking sheet and press down into pan (I use a potato masher to press ingredients firmly into the pan)
8) Chill in fridge until hard and then cut into bars and enjoy!