Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hold onto your hats these are sinfully delish! - Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting



If you want something that is sinfully decadent and easy peasy to make here you go.....


Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting
(recipe was discovered on the lovely Joy the Baker's blog)

Ingredients:

10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 5 cubes

2 cups dark brown sugar (I'm sure "light" would be fine if that's all you have on hand)

1 cup smooth peanut butter (Joy suggests the "natural" PB is best...I only had store-brand on hand)

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13 pan, line with parchment paper if you have it on hand, then grease the parchment paper.  Joy says, "if you don't have parchment paper, these blondies will be just fine."


2. In medium to large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar together until the butter is just melted.....




.....set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then add peanut butter.  Stir until incorporated.  Allow to cool another 5 minutes and then whisk in eggs and vanilla extract. It is important for the butter, sugar and peanut butter mixture to be cool enough so that the eggs do not cook once introduced to the mixture.





3. Whisk together salt, flour and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients.  Stir just until incorporated.  It's a lovely thick but smooth batter....





.....pour into prepared pan and smooth out. Bake for 20-25 minutes. or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean.  Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.  While allowing to cool to room temperature make the Milk Chocolate Frosting.

Milk Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbsp milk

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted (*I melted mine in the microwave in a glass Pyrex measuring cup for 45 seconds, stirred and then another 30 seconds)

Directions:



1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, cocoa powder and salt. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar followed by 1 tablespoon milk.  Beat well.



2. Add in another cup of powdered sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons of milk. 

3. *Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler (see note above). Add melted chocolate once slightly cooled to the butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, milk mixture....



 ....beat to incorporate.  If you need to make the frosting thicker at this point add in the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. 

4. Frost blondies with happiness! 




 I actually lifted the whole slab of brownies out of the pan with the parchment paper, frosted the whole surface then cut into small squares.....



....and then placed the little treasures on a platter for serving....




Yum!

Happy Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting Baking!



This recipe has been linked to...










Friday, June 25, 2010

Spaghetti Pie




My mouth waters just looking at this picture....crazy I know!  BUT I just lovvvvvve this recipe for Spaghetti Pie.  Unfortunately, I fell in love with it so fast I can't even remember where I found the recipe.  I have seen a bunch of different versions out there in "blog land"/on-line recipes.  Some versions use lots of veggies (like peppers and mushrooms), other versions use cottage cheese (I used ricotta cheese) and then some versions only use 2 eggs ( I used 3)...but no matter what, you can adapt your recipe for this yummy dish to what ever your palate desires.  Veggies vs. no veggies, cottage cheese vs. ricotta cheese, more eggs vs. less eggs...it's all in what YOU want to create for a Spaghetti Pie.

Say hello to the ingredients that I used to make my S.P. - spaghetti noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parm cheese, can o mushrooms (didn't have any fresh ones), 1 medium chopped onion, spaghetti sauce, garlic salt, parsley (fresh or dried is just fine), butter,  ground beef (ground chicken or turkey is yummy too) and lastly eggs.




Spaghetti Pie

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 6oz. package of spaghetti

1 jar of spaghetti sauce

1 can of mushrooms, drained (fresh is even better)

1 small container of ricotta cheese

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

3 eggs

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp parsley, dried or fresh

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 stick of butter, melted

8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook noodles al dante according to package directions and set aside.

2. Saute chopped onions until tender.  Add in ground beef  and cook until nice and brown.  Drain as much fat as possible from the beef/onion mixture....




.....and set aside.

3. Combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic salt and parsley in a large bowl....





...and mix well.

4. Add in the cooked pasta and toss to combine....




  Next gently pour in the 1/2 stick of melted butter (don't stress....it's only a 1/2 of a stick!) and toss to combine....






5. Pour pasta/cheese/egg mixture into a 9x13 lightly greased pan....





6.  Next layer the browned ground beef and onions on top of the pasta layer.....






.......and then the drained mushrooms and spaghetti sauce.....





.....and then the mozzarella cheese....





7. Place in a oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until pie is bubbly hot and lightly browned on top....



Cool for a couple minutes and then serve.  Yummy happiness from here on out! ;-)





Happy Spaghetti Pie Baking!



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pinkalicious Princess Cupcakes with Pink Marshmellow Fluff Icing



                                       

I made these cupcakes for Jolie's 4th Birthday party (with family and a few close friends)....not only were they a HUGE hit to the Birthday Girl but also for the adults.  They came out moist, delicate and yummy!  I was even able to make them pretty with the pink icing and pink sprinkles on top (although I'm looking for more practice and advise as to how to perfect the skill of decorating cupcakes using frosting in a pastry bag with a tip....please send your words of wisdom my way if you have any tips!).






The recipe for the cupcakes and frosting comes directly from a little gem of a cook-book called, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey - Treats for Kids.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cook-book.  It has fabulously scrumptious recipes (can you tell from the title?!?) that are easy to follow and most often are accompanied by a beautiful picture or two.  Go ahead take my advice and treat yourself to this cook-book....you won't regret it! ;-)

Here are the "members"/ingredients that make up the cupcakes... 


....Cake Flour (love this stuff!), Baking Powder, Sugar, Salt, Unsalted Butter, Whole Milk,  Egg Whites, Vanilla Extract and lastly, Pink or Red Food Coloring (I used Pink Gel Food Coloring but will next time use Red Food Coloring because I don't think the Pink Gel gave me enough color).

Pinkalicious Princess Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups Cake Flour

1 tbsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter - at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup Whole Milk - at room temperature

4 LARGE Egg Whites - at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pink Gel Food Coloring or liquid Red Food Coloring

Directions for Cupcakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with eighteen paper liners - I used PINK paper liners to go along with the whole "pink" theme. ;-)

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt - put into a large bowl.  Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and beat together on low speed.....



 While you are beating the flour mixture with the butter pieces slowly add in the milk....a little at a time....



  Continue beating the batter for 2 minutes.


3. Slowly add in the egg whites.....




 and vanilla extract into the batter.  Beat on high speed for about 1-2 minutes...scraping the bowl occasionally.  While beating the batter add in food coloring to achieve your desired shade of pink....

 





4. Fill the lined muffin cups about 2/3's of the way full.  I found that by using 1 heaping scoop of batter from an ice scoop perfectly filled my cupcake liners.





5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.  Cool cupcakes while you make the frosting.


Pink Marshmallow Fluff Icing

*Double this recipe if you wish...I only made a 1/2 of the original  recipe and was easily able to frost all 18 cupcakes with frosting left over....these are the ingredients and amounts that I made for this recipe amount...

Ingredients:

1 jar (7.5 oz) of Marshmallow Fluff

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter - at room temperature, each stick cut into 4 pieces

3 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt

Pink Gel Food Coloring (this worked great to tink the frosting a light pink color)

Directions:

1. Spoon Fluff into a large bowl and beat on medium speed.  Add in the butter pieces one at a time, beating well between each addition.  When the butter is completely incorporated, and the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the 3 cups of SIFTED pwdered sugar, the vanilla extract and the salt.

2. Add in food coloring as you are beating the icing, 1-2 drop at a time, until your desired level of "pinkness" is achieved. Decorate your (completely cooled) cupcakes with either a knife or a pastry bag and tip of your choice.  If you don't use the frosting immediately, cover and refrigerate.  When ready to use bring to room temp before using.


Here are some pic's of Jolie blowing out her 4 candles on her Pinkalicious Princess Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Fluff Icing.....notice the pretty tarts in the background?  My mommy made those.  She is the Queen of Tarts I tell ya! 



And....there she goes!


Jolie is pretty proud of herself...wouldn't you say?!?



Make yourself (and others) some Pinkalicious Princess Cupcakes with Pink Marshmallow Fluff Icing....you won't regret it! And plus it's so much fun to say such a title of a cupcake fast!

Happy Baking!





Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's like a warm hug....Oatmeal Cake



Do you ever feel like you just need a hug?  You know the kind of  hug that will make you feel better inside and out?  Well, lately the weather here in Southern NH has been cloudy, almost dreary with rain sprinkles (sometimes even a down pour of showers).  Such weather starts to really effect me when it goes on for more than 3-4 days.  All I want is to be hugged....a nice warm cozy hug to make the "drabby weather" feeling go away!  I have also discovered a recipe that gives me the same cozy, warm and happy feeling.....an Oatmeal Cake.  This cake is delish!  And FULL of flavor and texture with a sweet frosting on top to give it the all around happiness that if offers to those that eat it.  

So far, everyone I've shared this cake with I've been able to give them a nice BIG ol'smile of happiness once they bite into this cake.  It's like a warm happy hug in one single bite.  

The recipe comes from one of my newest cook-book finds.....Southern Cakes - Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations by Nancie McDermott.  It is a gem of a cook-book!

Oatmeal Cake
(recipe from Southern Cakes)

Ingredients:

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (NOT quick-cooking)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 6 pieces

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg (I used cinnamon instead...of course you could use both if you wish too)

1 cup sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten well

1 tsp vanilla extract

Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

*1 cup chopped pecans (if need be you can go without)

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease either two round 9" pans or one 9x13 pan.

2. In a medium bowl combine the oatmeal, butter and boiling water.....




 Stir to mix them together a bit.....



...... Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

3. In another medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg (or cinnamon or both) and stir with a fork to mix everything together well.....



4. In a large bowl combine both kinds of sugar with the eggs and vanilla - beat with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes until thick and light colored.



5. Gently stir in the flour mixture in two batches into the egg/sugar mixture - beating just long enough each time to make the flour disappear.  Mix in the oatmeal mixture - stirring and folding to combine everything into a nubby but well-mixed batter.

6. Pour batter into pan(s).....




...and bake for 25-30 minutes - I made my cake in a 9x13 pan and it took 35 minutes to fully bake.  Cake will be golden brown and spring back when lightly touched in the center.  It will also just begin to pull away from sides of cake pan showing that it is done.  Cool.  If you have used round cake pans, carefully remove from pans after 10 minutes of cooling.

7. Frosting time!  Start off with putting butter, evaporated milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat.....






 Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.  After the mixture comes to a gentle boil remove from heat.

8. Stir in vanilla extract, pecans and coconut....




*I did not use pecans the first time I made the frosting for this cake....I just used the coconut and it was still VERY yummy with a good consistency.

9. Beat frosting well with a wooden spoon or a whisk until you have a thickened, cooled frosting.  Spread between layers and then on top of cake or spread over top of 9x13 cake....





Serve warm with a cup of tea = warm hug = happiness!!

Happy Oatmeal Cake Baking!

This post has been linked to...

Tuesday's at the Table

Delicious Dishes

And Baby Makes Five

Friday, June 11, 2010

JUMBO Streusel-Topped Raspberry Muffins (on a Fruity Friday!)


  Picking berries - any kind....strawberries, blueberries and yes, even raspberries (even though I associate them with getting stung by bees as a young child...go figure!) is one of my most favorite favorite things to do in life.  So with the NH season of berry picking quickly upon us I am getting seriously excited! Seriously excited!

In the meantime, as I patiently wait for FRESH berries picked by my own hands I will share with you a delightful recipe for JUMBO Streusel-Topped Raspberry Muffins using frozen raspberries (of course FRESH are just as good too).

JUMBO Streusel-Topped Raspberry Muffins
(recipe has been adapted from the cookbook,  Made Simple Baking)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cup flour, divided

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (more if you wish a stronger lemon taste)

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp milk

1/3 cup butter, melted (5 1/3 Tbsp of butter)

1 egg, beaten

2 cups FRESH or frozen raspberries (DO NOT THAW)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line your JUMBO muffin tins. 



 "JUMBO" muffin liners do exsist as seen from this previous post of mine.

2. Make Streusel-Topping by combining 1/4 cup flour and brown sugar in a bowl.  Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

3. Reserve 1/4 cup flour from the remaining 2 cups of flour. Combine the remaining 1 3/4 cup flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and lemon peel in a medium bowl.

4. Combine milk, melted butter and egg in a small bowl.



5. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture; stir just until almost combined.  Toss raspberries with reserved flour just to coat....



....and then ever so gently fold berries into muffin batter....



6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin - filling 3/4's full.  Sprinkle with Streusel-Topping...



....and then bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 2 minutes; remove to cool further out of pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.



* If you wish drizzle with a little glaze of confectionary sugar, vanilla extract and milk....yummy!



OR even better, have a birthday party for a  favorite stuffed animal!  Just pop in some candles into the muffins and viola you have the perfect bday treat for ALL!



Happy JUMBO Streusel-Topped Raspberry Muffin Baking!


This recipe has been linked to....



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