Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mini Texas Sheet Cake

Mini Texas Sheet Cake

You know that feeling you get 
when you are craving something sweet and chocolaty  
like...Texas Sheet Cake....
and nothing else will do?
I was having that craving
 but only one or two other members of our family like it. 
If you’re familiar with Texas Sheet Cake you know it’s a good size cake.
 Probably why it's named after the state of Texas.
So I thought why don't we take our recipe and cut it in half. 
Using a quarter size sheet pan,
which is about 9.1”x 12.5” x 1.1” I cut our favorite recipe in half.
You know it’s a favorite recipe when the cookbook’s pages 
 are splattered in chocolate 
so you KNOW which page to turn to. 
It turned out great and was just the right size.

Now when I get a craving for something sweet and chocolate
 I don't have to give half of it away to the neighbors.
I don't think they were complaining though.

Mini Texas Sheet Cake
Print

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cake
Bring the 1/2 cup butter, 2 Tbsp cocoa, and 1/2 cup water to a boil and let cool.

Mix together the first six ingredients.

Add the butter, cocoa, and water mixture when cooled.

Mix well and pour into a greased quarter size sheet pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Icing
Bring 1 Tbsp cocoa, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp milk to a boil.
Mix with the powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts (if desired).
Beat well.
Pour over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. 
We have been known to double the icing recipe for a thick chocolate icing. 

Enjoy!


Saturday, October 6, 2018

S'more Whoopie Pies

S'more Whoopie Pies

Where there's a fire,
there's a marshmallow roasting.
But what about when there is no fire?
Well, sometimes we roast marshmallows
over charcoal after grilling dinner
or over the burner of the stove
(but only when we are really desperate).
And sometimes we make these:
s'more whoopie pies!

 Whoopie pies are really just like
cupcake sandwiches.
You can take any kind of cake,
add any type of soft filling,
and voila--whoopie pie.
You may remember our classic


 For these, you'll need graham flour,
which is kinda hard to find.
We tried to substitute buckwheat flour
and it was okay in a pinch.
(Notice some of the cakes in the pics have a darker color?
That's the buckwheat flour.)
But if you really want to evoke that classic s'more flavor,
find the graham flour. It's worth it.
We  order ours on Amazon.


The cake tastes like a cake version of a graham cracker.
The ganache is, well, ganache...so yum!
And the filling is like the center of a
 gooey, melty, roasted marshmallow.


Pro-tips (well, semi-pro anyway): 
1. Use a piping bag to get the fluffy, delicious filling on to your cakes.
2. Make sure you let the ganache cool completely
and firm up enough to spread on the "lid" or you'll get this mess.


Some of us prefer semi-sweet chocolate for the ganache,
and some prefer milk chocolate.

These are great cold from the refrigerator,
but the marshmallow filling is best room temperature!


 S'more Whoopie Pies

Cake:
1 1/2 cups graham flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°
and line baking sheet with parchment.

Combine flours, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together
butter, shortening, and brown sugar.
Add the eggs and buttermilk, beating until combined.

In a measuring cup, combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar.
Pour the milk mixture and flour mixture into the batter
and beat on low speed until just combined.
Add the vanilla then beat 2 minutes on medium speed.

Using a cookie scoop, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto
parchment-lined baking sheet.
Repeat, spacing them out about two inches apart.

Bake about 8-10 minutes, or until the cakes turn light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet
for at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Marshmallow Filling:
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1 1/4 cups shortening
 1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Milk, as needed

Beat together marshmallow creme and shortening
for about 3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and vanilla,
beating until combined.
Increase speed to medium and beat 3 more minutes until fluffy.
If it is too stiff or thick, add a little drizzle of milk.

Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl or large measuring cup.

Heat cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat
just until it bubbles. (Or, if you want to be lazy like us,
microwave it until it is very hot!)

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit about 10 minutes.
Stir until smooth then let cool on the counter or in the fridge.


Enjoy!


Original recipe found in Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread



This morning at 7 o'clock it was in the 40’s. Brrrr!
A thick slice of toasted English Muffin bread
slathered with butter and strawberry jam
would have tasted delicious.
Add a mug of hot caramel apple cider.
Yum, yum, yum!


 

If you love 
 a toasted English muffin
and the soft inside chewiness,
and all the nooks and crannies
for the butter and jam to hide in,
then you will love this bread.
We first noticed the recipe on a bag of King Arthur’s flour.
English muffins in bread form?? What??
So glad we tried it!




It’s even delicious as a sandwich,
especially a grilled sandwich for lunch.
Probably really good with sausage and egg on it
for a breakfast sandwich.
Mmm! I think I’ll go make some now.
Super quick and easy.





English Muffin Bread
Print Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable 
cornmeal to dust pan

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, 
and instant yeast in a large bowl.

Put the milk, water, and oil in a bowl 
and heat to 120°-130°F in the microwave.

Add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Beat at high speed for 1 minute.
  The dough will be very soft.

Grease a loaf pan
and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
Put the dough in the loaf pan and try to get it level.

Cover the pan and let the dough rise until its just above the rim of the pan.
Let it rise to about 1/4" above the pan.
This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid 
to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn't very cold.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
It takes about 45 - 60 minutes to rise. 

Remove the cover and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes,
until its golden brown.

Wait 5 minutes after taking the bread out,
turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Let the bread cool completely before slicing.


Enjoy!





Saturday, September 8, 2018

"Twix" Bars

"Twix" Bars

Cookie.
Caramel.
Chocolate.
Three of our favorite foods.
Especially when you put them all together.


We love "copycat" recipes,
especially when we think they are better than the original!

Don't get us wrong, Twix bars are great.
(Especially the dark chocolate ones!)
But these are better
and only a little more difficult
than unwrapping a candy bar.


Start by baking a shortbread cookie base.
By the way,
have we shared this binder clip trick with you before?
They are perfect for holding parchment paper in place.


Then, add a quick and easy caramel.
The hardest part is constantly stirring it.
And don't worry if it gets dark flecks in it...
ours did and it still tastes great.


Finish by topping it with chocolate.
We used semi-sweet here,
but use whatever type of chocolate you like.
Use milk chocolate for a more traditional "Twix" bar.
We prefer the darker chocolates though.



Next time, we think we will sprinkle a little sea salt on top!
And make a double batch.
Because these disappeared quick!


"Twix" Bars

Shortbread:
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups flour

Caramel:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate Topping:
2 cups chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shortbread:
Mix together sugar and flour by hand.
Cut in the 2/3 cup butter with a fork or knife 
(or however you like to cut in butter) until it is evenly crumbly.
Press into the bottom of a 9x9" pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool.

Caramel:
Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk
in a sauce pan over medium heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Once it boils, continue stirring for five more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir for 2-3 more minutes.
Pour the caramel mixture over the cooled shortbread.
Let cool (in the fridge to speed the process up).

Chocolate Topping:
Microwave chocolate chips and vegetable oil for 1 minute.
Remove and stir.
Continue to microwave the chocolate mixture in 15-30 second intervals,
stirring between each one until it is completely smooth.
Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer and let cool until firm.

Enjoy!


Check out the original recipe on Six Sisters' Stuff.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

It is the end of summer. Gardens are overflowing with zucchini. 
Farmers markets, roadside stands, friends and neighbors giving it away! 
We will take it!!


A few facts:
Low in saturated fat
Low in cholesterol & sodium
Good source of Thiamin, Niacin, and Dietary Fiber

But most importantly...it tastes great when baked in loaf form 
with sugar, cinnamon, and crunchy nuts.

Our friend Dianna came over a few weeks ago for dinner
 and brought us a loaf of this zucchini bread.
It was delicious.
 Moist, sweet, cinnamony (is that a word?), 
with crunchy nuts throughout. 
A few days later I asked for the recipe.
She took a picture of her recipe card and said 
"It's a good recipe. As you can see from the stains it has been used a lot."
That's the best kind of recipe.
Recipe cards handwritten and worn from use.
Cookbook pages that are dog eared,
splattered with chocolate stains, and notes in the margins.

Zucchini Bread
Print Recipe

2 eggs, well beaten
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (we used canola)
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini 
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup nuts (was 1/2 cup but we doubled it)

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix the eggs, vanilla, and sugar together. 
Add the oil, zucchini, flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Mix well.
Finally mix in your choice of nuts.
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.
Bake for about 1 hour at 325 degrees. 
Let cool a little bit in the pan then remove and cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy!


Original recipe.
Thanks Dianna


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Homemade Brioche Buns

Brioche Buns

Saturday afternoon,
Italian beef in the slow cooker,
and nothing but sliced white bread!
No rolls...
No crusty French bread...
No buttery buns..
No chance I'm leaving the house
to go to the grocery store!
I've got some time and some yeast,
so...
now I need to find the right recipe.

I found this one at
www.theclevercarrot.com
(I loved the name of the blog, so I was sure it had to be good. 
Check it out yourself for more good recipes like this one!)
and it did not disappoint!

Mixed it up.
Let it rise.
(On top of the warm oven because I didn't want to wait that long.)
Shaped it into rolls.
Rise again.
Next bake and O.M.G.
Opened the oven to such a beautiful sight!

They tasted as good as they looked, too!
A little more dense than your average hamburger bun,
but perfect for soaking up the juices of Italian beef.
Seriously thinking about never buying store bought buns again.

I used all purpose flour instead of bread flour 
(because, again, not wanting to run to the store) 
so I will plan ahead next time and try it with bread flour. 



Brioche Buns
Print Recipe
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2½ tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
(I used all A-P and they were still great!)
1½ teaspoons salt
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.

Whisk together the warm water,milk, yeast and sugar and set aside.
Beat 1 egg.
With the paddle attachment,
mix the flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix in the butter until it is the size of crumbs.
Add in yeast mixture and beaten egg.
Mix on medium until a dough forms, about 5-8 minutes.
It will be sticky, but if it's too sticky, add bit more flour.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and shape the dough into a ball. 
Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel
 and let the dough rise until it has doubled is size, 1- 3 hours
Put parchment paper on a baking sheet. 
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
Flatten each piece, then pinch the edges together
and twist at the bottom to form in to a smooth ball.
Place on the baking sheet, pinched side down
a few inches inches apart. 
 Cover and rest for 1-2 hours, or until puffy and slightly risen.
To make the egg wash, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water. 
When the buns are finished with the 2nd rise, gently brush each one with egg wash.
Preheat your oven to 400 
and place a skillet or baking dish on the oven floor or bottom rack.
Before putting the dough in, add about ½ cup of water to the pan (to create steam). 
This will help keep the bread nice and moist.
 Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Game Day Favorites

Game Day Favorites

Whether you're a football fan, 
the half time show fan, 
the commercials fan, 
or a food fan, 
these are some great recipes to "fan" over!

To some of us, the joy of a great football game is what it's all about.
To others, we enjoy the camaraderie of getting together with friends 
and family to watch the big game,
to talk, laugh, and to just have fun.
And what goes better with that than some great food.
Delicious dips, appetizers, and yummy pizza.
Here are a few of our favorite game day party recipes.
Enjoy!

Yummy homemade pizza
Make it with your favorite toppings.


Make it a healthy snack with our Avocado/Tomato/Mozzarella Salad.

Pile on the veggies with this great appetizer.
Veggie Pizza!

Yummy BLT dip hits the spot.

Whatever your reason, is we hope you enjoy our favorites!


Mini Texas Sheet Cake

Mini Texas Sheet Cake You know that feeling you get  when you are craving something sweet and chocolaty   like...Texas Sheet Cake...