Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2011

Contains Nuts

Peanut butter and chocolate are close contenders in my world of sweet treats. There are times where I can get such a craving for peanut butter that a spoon is the only thing I need to cure all foreseeable troubles.  But then there are those times where a nice little serving of creamy, dreamy chocolate is just the thing to make me swoon.  Though I have to say (I’m sorry, dear chocolate) peanut butter usually pulls ahead in my book.  These blondies feature my wonderful weakness and they are wonderfully wicked.

Peanut Butter Blondies

Ingredients
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray an 8-inch square baking pan.

Stir together butter and peanut butter until well blended.

Stir in brown sugars.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Add to peanut butter mixture; beat until blended.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35-45 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool completely.

Adapted from yumsugar.

Read Full Post »

I admit that I’m way behind on my posts.  There are things that I’ve been making that Lee tells me DEFINITELY need to go on the blog but then I go and forget to take a picture of them.  Not cool.

I did, however, make sure to take some pictures of a more recent baked construct for one of my best friends (in the whole wide world).  Mostly I remembered because there were plenty of sparkly things on it that kept catching my eye.

I think that maybe he liked his cake, don’t you?  Even though it turned out a little lopsided because I didn’t use 10″ pans like a good girl but instead overfilled my 9″ cake pans.  Whatever.  It was still absolutely heavenly.

Bestie Birthday Cake

1/2 cup good quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease 2 10″ round cake pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Avocado Buttercream

4 ounces of avocado meat, about 1 small to medium, very ripe avocado
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel and pit the soft avocado.  If the avocado has brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop the meat into the bowl.

Place the avocado meat into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment.  Add lemon juice and whisk the avocado on medium speed, until slightly lightened in color and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat.  Add vanilla extract until combined.  If not using right away, store in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3 sticks of softened, unsalted butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add powdered sugar until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla and milk and mix.  If mixture is too dense, add more milk to receive desired consistency.

To Assemble Cake:

Spread avocado buttercream between cake layers.  Spread vanilla buttercream frosting up and over top and sides of cake. Cover and chill. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate cake recipe found from Slow Like Honey.

Avocado buttercream recipe found from Joy the Baker.

Inspiration for cake decoration from Sprinkle Bakes.

Read Full Post »

There are those weekends where I want to feel a real comfort, a comfort of memories and smells.  Those are the weekends where I break from bagels and cream cheese for breakfast and make some lovin’ from the oven.

I really love making coffee cakes because they’re relatively easy and don’t require any elaborate presentation.  They’re hearty and rustic and wonderfully satisfying.  The recipe below isn’t one of my FAVORITES but I’m certainly glad that I tried it.  I hope you do, too!

Coffee Coffee Cake

Streusel
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon fine instant espresso powder
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cake
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon fine instant espresso powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9” springform pan.

For the streusel, combine all the ingredients and set aside.

For the cake, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add vanilla and mix. Scrape down the bowl. Add eggs and yolk one at a time and continue to beat until mixture is light and creamy. Lower the speed and add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with yogurt in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Spread half the cake batter evenly in the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle with about 2/3 of streusel mixture, leaving a clean 1/2” border of cake batter around the edges. Top with remaining batter, smoothing it out to the edges. Finish with the remaining streusel, pressing gently into the surface.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 34 – 38 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from pastry studio.

Read Full Post »