Monday, November 24, 2008

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

I found this tasty little treat on Browneyed Baker . I have been wanting to make a yummy dense crumb cake for awhile. This was delicious. I had it for breakfast 3 days in a row. (nervous giggle) And it was so worth it. The crumb topping really makes it irresistible.
Butter Crumb topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup cake flour
1 stick butter
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1½ eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling on top of the cake
Powdered sugar, for sifting on top of the cake
1) Preheat oven to 375°F.
2) Lightly grease a 9×4 inch loaf pan, and line the inside of the pan with parchment paper or foil, and then great it as well.
To make the topping:
3) Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla extract over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.
Mix the batter:
4) Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.
5) Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
6) Add in the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
7) Add in egg and beat for 45 seconds.
Mix in the vanilla extract.
9) Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
10) Stir in chocolate chips.
11) Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.
12) Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
13) Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
14) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.
15) Let the cake cool completely. Use the parchment or foil to lift the cake out of the pan, then sift some powered sugar on top of the cake. Serve.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brownie Peanut Butter Cups

I found these little treasures on Bake or Break. At first I thought they were a little too heavy on the peanut butter... but then I kept going back for more and more bites and tastes. They are addicting. I think when I make them next time, I will use less peanut butter, but that's just because peanut butter is not a favorite in this house.
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips plus about 1/3 cup more for garnishing
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus about 1/3 cup more for garnishing
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray or grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar, butter, and water. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter is melted. Stir in 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted. Stir in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour and baking soda, stirring until blended. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then, stir in 1/2 cup each peanut butter chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spoon batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into muffin cups.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly wet. Place pan on wire rack. Centers of brownies will fall upon cooling. If not, tap centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole.

Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, then stir. While brownies are still hot, spoon about a tablespoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Cool completely in pan.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tomato Gorgonzola Soup

The one thing I love about fall is that the cold, crisp air just begs for soup. Not only is soup comforting, warm, and delicious, it makes your house smell heavenly. Whenever I make soup, my husband always thinks that I have slaved away in the kitchen all day because of the aroma's coming from the soup pan. Little does he know that I pulled it all together an hour before he walks through the door. But let's keep that a secret. I'll take those bonus points. ;)
This soup was fairly simple to make, but huge on flavor. I served it in bread bowls which turned out to be perfect for dipping. At our house we love to dip stuff in our soup.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 large red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice or V8 vegetable juice. (I used V8)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the cheeses, cream, and milk; heat mixture until cheeses melt and the mixture is simmering. Make sure the mixture does not come to a full boil. Keep the heat on medium.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes (including their liquid), tomato juice, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Continue to simmer mixture for 15 to 20 minutes while stirring constantly. Do not boil.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Candy Corn Bark

Okay, this is the last of my fun Halloween recipes. I saw this on All Recipes and it looked scrumptious. Warning: It is very sweet, but if you're a sweet tooth like me, it's perfect to munch on. ;)

  • 16 Halloween-colored oreos, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups broken small pretzels
  • 1/3 cup raisins or craisens
  • 1 1/2 pounds white chocolate, broken into squares
  • 2 cups candy corn
  • orange and brown sprinkles

  1. Spread the cookies, pretzels and raisins evenly onto a lightly greased small baking sheet. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. White chocolate burns easily.
  2. Drizzle chocolate with a spoon over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coat evenly. Top with candy corn and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Spiderweb and Snake Pizzas

This was supposed to be posted before Halloween, but you can make these anytime for a super fun kid lunch. I actually really enjoyed them too. They were yummy, easy, and fun. I saw the snakes in a magazine and the spiderwebs on Gourmet Mom on the Go. They are easily adaptable to make however your family likes.

Snake Pizza's
6 bagels
Pizza Sauce
Olives for eyes
red pepper or licorice string for tongue

Split the bagels in half, and then slice them in two. Spread pizza sauce on them and sprinkle with cheese. Add pepperoni for decoration.
Bake at 350 deggrees for 15 - 20 minutes. Add olives and pepper garnish after removing from oven. Enjoy!

Spiderweb Pizza's
4 Pita Pockets
Pizza Sauce
6 string cheese
Black Olives

Spread pita's with pizza sauce. Peel string cheese and make into a web design. You can add the olives before or after cooking. I added them after.
Cook pizza at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice olives and arrange to look like a spider. Enjoy!!!

Black Cat Cookies

Okay, I was planning on putting up the rest of my fun Halloween treats before Halloween, but it got crazy busy around here. So keep these in mind for next year or make them for a fun day with the kids. I made these cute cookies to take around to some neighbors and all the kids loved them. They are really cute all lined up. They are easy to make and fun to eat.

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
48 pieces candy corn
24 skittles or other round candy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch top of cookie to form ears. For whiskers, press a fork twice into each cookie. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove from the oven; immediately press on candy corn for eyes and skittles for noses. Remove to wire racks to cool.