Put refrigerated pie pastry in pie pan. Flute edges.
Line shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 4 minutes. Remove foil; bake 2 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. *I would have loved to have added pie weights to prevent bubbling, however I did not have this! You can poke tiny holes in the bottom to alleviate some of the bubbling before baking.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Cool to lukewarm (90°), stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture; beat on high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
In another large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.
Pour into crust. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
I know, I am a little behind in posting this delectable Irish treat, but better late than never!
Especially when it comes to this irresistibly rich and perfectly boozy dessert!
My dad brewed his own Irish Stout for St. Patrick’s Day, so of course I wanted to incorporate it in to the traditional family meal of corned beef and cabbage somehow, and what better way than mixed with chocolate in a cake!
It has all of the elements of the Irish Car Bomb beverage:
Irish Stout beer, Jameson Irish whiskey, and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Isn’t the point of St. Patty’s day to get your drink on? This cake is the perfect compliment to whatever you find yourself sipping on.
Irish BOOZE Cake
Irish stout and butter with cocoa.
1 cup stout (such as Guinness, I used my dad’s home brewed Irish Stout)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
Chopped chocolate for the ganache.
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (I used Jameson and at least doubled the recipe- add to taste)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8″ cake pans with parchment circles on bottom. (I also sprayed with nonstick spray)
Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
Add the stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
Divide batter evenly among the two cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake until tester inserted in center come out clean, about 10 minutes longer. Cool completely on rack.
Ready for the oven!
Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.
Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let cool to room temperature and until thickened a bit.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Last week, my theme for my preschool class was “Our Healthy Bodies”. We talked about things that we do to make our bodies healthy, happy, and strong (and also things that make our bodies sad and weak).
On Friday we did a snack craft where we made APPLE SMILES!
I bought a big sack of red apples and encouraged my kiddos to gobble them up!
Apples and beer.
However, even after my 30 students ate their snack, I still had 6 apples left over! These red apples aren’t my preferred choice in apple for snacking consumption, so I decided to bake them in to something more delicious!
Now, I will apologize for my horrible attempt at documenting the ‘recipe’ I created.
Honestly, I sliced the apples, then sprinkled my ingredients over the top without measuring. My recipe below is my best attempt at recreating this dish (with some slight changes) that would create an even better outcome!
It was delicious.
Prep: 20 minutes Bake: 45 minutes
Phew, done peeling and chopping.
6 red apples
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons flour
1 tablespoon butter, sliced thin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 tablespoons whole grain oats
Ready for the oven.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray shallow glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Peel and slice apples.
Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, toss apples in mixture to coat evenly.
Pour apples in to baking dish, cover with slices of butter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
Okay so the other day when I baked Chocolate Cupcakes for my staff, I also baked some Classic White Cupcakes per Wills request. When I asked him what his favorite kind of cake was, he said white. WHITE of all things. I thought HOW BORING.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when it springs back to the touch.
I have not posted in nearly a week, and I am NOT happy with myself about that!
However… I do have good reason: I interviewed for a special education preschool position last Monday, started Thursday, and am still trying to wrap my head around my new students, classroom, curriculum, staff, and school!
I TEACH PRESCHOOL NOW.
Hilarious. We sing a lot of songs. Like A LOT.
I wanted to get back to my baking basics and make something that can show my appreciation to my support staff for being so amazing this week, so I decided to gift them some thank you cupcakes! I really don’t know what I would have done without them.
The cupcakes themselves are dense and intensely rich little nuggets. The consistency is between a brownie and a cake as these babies are moist but heavy. They are also somewhat bitter so the buttercream frosting helps balance the flavor.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then finish with buttercream frosting!
Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Prep: 5 minutes Yield: 2.5 cups
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
It is Polish tradition to indulge in these delectable donuts on the last Tuesday before Ash Wedensday, which is also the last day of Mardi Gras!
SO DEVOUR EVERYTHING! GORGE YOURSELF! EAT LIKE A COW!
Now here I should clear one thing up…
I don’t exactly honor Lent, and I’m not Polish.
I do love honoring other cultures food traditions, obviously.
I found this Pączki recipe on this Eastern European Food site posted by Barbara Rolek. She explains her busia, or grandmother, used to make this Pączki recipe without a filling, and dusted with granulated sugar.
Her recipe is easy to follow, and is typed below.
I did find this dough to be extremely tacky and hard to work with, so where it says ‘lightly floured’ be a little generous. My dough kept sticking to my lightly floured non-stick mats, and to my floured fingers. Hence why some of my pączki are not the prettiest. I also used a 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (aka my English Muffin rings), so my pączki ended up a little larger than her recipe describes. The rises also only took me 2 hours total.
I made most of mine with a Blackberry filling (I let Wills pick it out), and dusted with powdered sugar. I also dusted some in granulated sugar and cinnamon. YUM.
Add yeast to warm milk, stir to dissolve and set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, brandy and salt until well-incorporated.
Still using the paddle attachment, add 4 1/2 cups flour alternately with the milk-yeast mixture and beat for 5 or more minutes by machine and longer by hand until smooth. My grandmother used to beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it blistered. Dough will be very slack. If too soft, add remaining 1/2 cup flour, but no more.
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again (about 30 minutes).
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with 3-inch biscuit cutter. Remove scraps, and re-roll and re-cut. Cover and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer.
Fresh from the fryer!
Heat oil to 350 degrees in large skillet or Dutch oven. Place pączki top-side down (the dry side) in the oil a few at a time and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Flip them over and fry another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot so the exterior doesn’t brown before the interior is done. Test a cool one to make sure it’s cooked through. Adjust cooking time and oil heat accordingly.
Drain pączki on paper towels or brown paper bags, and roll in granulated sugar while still warm. Note: You can poke a hole in the side of the pączki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust filled pączki with granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar or glaze.
Enjoy while still warm!
Pączki don’t keep well, which is the perfect excuse to gorge yourself on them!
She has been a little depressed about this birthday, moping around the house, saying things like “I can’t believe I’m so old”, “it’s all downhill from here”, “look at my grey hairs” etc.
I wanted to surprise her today with a very special cake, one that combines the celebration of her birthday with her love of stout beer. (A love we don’t share)
Mission accomplished. It was almost too obvious, right?
A Chocolate STOUT Cake!
I found this recipe on http://www.epicurious.com that was originally published in Bon Appetit by Barrington Brewery, MA in 2002. I used the Chocolate Bunny Stout from Rhinelander Brewing Co. instead of Guinness! YUM.
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
* I added 1 single-serve pack of Starbucks Via instant coffee
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Butter and beer.
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate (and instant coffee) and whisk until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable, stirring frequently, about 2 hours.
Place 1 cake layer on plate. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake.
The cake looked and smelled beautiful throughout the creating process. However, after reading some of the responses to the original recipe posting, I decided to let the cakes cool almost completely in the pans before transferring them to a wire rack. MY CAKES STILL STUCK! The parchment on the bottom of the cake pans is a MUST! I had a nightmare trying to frost the cakes back together. Also, the three tiered cake was a little tall, when making this recipe again I will either do 2 cakes or a bundt cake.
I found this recipe in the same magazine that gave me my beloved Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake that I posted earlier this week. It was the Better Homes and Gardens Best-Loved Reader Recipes issue (2012). Chocolate Chipper Cookies (p. 144) are the cover star! How could I resist?
This recipe was submitted in 1947 and uses corn syrup instead of sugar. The corn syrup makes these cookies a crisp version of the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.
If you love a crispy crunchy yummy cookie, this is definitely for you! These little gems are just delicious! Oh, and did I mention they’re super easy to make?
Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 15 minutes Yield: 48 cookies
½ cup shortening
¾ cup light-color corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh out of the oven
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, or semisweet chocolate baking pieces
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add corn syrup, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in chocolate and nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are just light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks.
This banana bread was NOT the best ever for a couple of reasons.
The banana bread itself turned out so moist that it was almost mushy.
EDIT-http://www.food.com has this nifty little feature where you can scale down (or up) a recipe. I had scaled the recipe down from 2 loaves of banana bread to 1 loaf. The comment of 1 3/4 cups of bananas in the ingredients list was not scaled down! No wonder it took me so many more bananas than the recipe suggested! Also, no wonder why my bread was mushy! WHOOPS! Live and learn 🙂
The topping directions needed to be more clear. I kept my mixture going on low for some time and it never really reached honey consistency, but without an approximate time that it should be cooking, and without a recommended temperature I was kind of in the dark on what this was supposed to look like.
The topping when dry becomes hard and crumbles when cut.
This recipe was disappointing. My first one that I was not entirely thrilled with! I couldn’t even get a really good picture of the bread after I sliced it because the topping crumbled so bad! It is yummy and tastes like caramel, but looks so unappealing.
Maybe others out there will have better luck with it than I did! Let me know how it turns out if you try it!
Here it is:
Best Ever Banana Bread (kinda)
Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 1 hour
3 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (or 1 3/4 c, the bananas have to be so ripe that they’re nearly black!)**
Ready to go in the oven
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ***
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar. Mash bananas, beat egg and add to the bananas. Add vanilla and buttermilk to banana mixture. Mix well and add to creamed butter and sugar. Sift together flour, soda and salt; add to banana mixture, beat well.
Pour into a greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; bake 45 to 50 minutes (I find this bread needs over an hour) or until bread pulls away from sides of pan; add topping.
To prepare Topping: Melt butter in saucepan; add sugar and milk; cook until syrupy (like honey); remove from heat and add chopped pecans. Pour over bread**** spreading to all the corners and place under broiler until bubbly and brown.
Watch closely (this takes around 1 minute- maybe even less!).
Banana Bread with topping
*To toast pecans, grease a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, or until pecans become aromatic, at 350 degrees
**I actually had to mash 5 bananas to make 1 3/4 cups!
My sister just turned 18 and all she wanted for her birthday was to get her ears double pierced, sushi for dinner, and CUPCAKES for dessert.
I began my search looking for donut cupcakes, only to find that donut cupcakes are not iced! What fun is a cupcake without icing!? (Though donuts + cupcakes = yummm so I will try this at some point) This donut cupcake search led me to search for a cinnamon and sugar cupcake. After scouring the Internet for the perfect cinnamon and sugar cupcake recipe, I landed on this SNICKERDOODLE CUPCAKE recipe from Martha Stewart (http://www.marthastewart.com/316419/snickerdoodle-cupcakes) and it sounded so yummy, I had to give it a whirl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly in lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.
Ingredients for Seven-Minute Frosting
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature
Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (tested by touching bottom of bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.
To finish cupcakes
Spoon Seven-Minute Frosting in to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (Wilton No. 1A), and pipe frosting on to each cupcake. Hold the bag directly over cupcake with tip just above the top and squeeze to create a dome of frosting, release pressure and pull up to form a peak.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the cupcakes and enjoy!
These cupcakes were fun and easy! They were not too sweet, so if you desire a more bold flavor I recommend adding more cinnamon (maybe even a little more sugar). These cupcakes also have a lot of potential for embellishing with a filling (a maple creme would be divine).
I had never made this frosting before and was excited about how it turned out. It made the cupcakes whimsical and fun. The dusting of cinnamon with the large coarse sugar ‘sprinkles’ really made these cupcakes seem festive and special.
These were a big hit, I even fit 18 candles in to one of them so we could sing “Happy Birthday”.