Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oatmeal Toffee Bars

I'm not sure what pulled me to this recipe, maybe it was the oatmeal, the versatility of the recipe, I'm not sure, but I am so glad I tried it.  Can I just tell you how super simple this was?  SUPER SIMPLE!  Not only were they easy to whip together, took less than 20 minutes to bake, but they tasted great and were a huge hit.  That is my kind of recipe.  It was so easy, that I decided as soon as I pulled them out of the oven to make another batch and switch things up.  Both the original and altered recipes follow.

Oatmeal Toffee Bars
Recipe from 3B's.. Baseball, Baking & Books.

1/2 cup canola oil (I used vegetable)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 1/2 cup toffee pieces

Mix together the oil, sugars, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt.  Mix for 2-3 minutes or until sugars dissolve.  Add in baking soda and flour.  Mix in oats and then chocolate chips.  The mixture will be THICK, like cookie dough.  Transfer to a greased 9x13 cake pan.  It was easiest to spread this batter with my dampened fingers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Make the above recipe, but omit the chocolate chips and toffee pieces.  Add 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup coconut.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Cake

I really liked this recipe, warm out of the oven with the tangy glaze - a perfect snack at 11 o'clock at night.  This is when I do most of my baking - please don't judge.  My only complaint is that between the glaze and the fresh blueberries it got soggy quick.  So, my suggestion would be, MAKE IT and then eat it the same day or as close thereto as possible.

Recipe from Butter Sugar Flour, who adapted it from Smitten Kitchen.

1 1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 cup blueberries, dried and tossed in 1 tbsp flour

Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl mix eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, extract and zest. Mix on high for 2 minutes.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.  Fold in the blueberries.  Pour batter into prepared 8x8 square pan (or loaf pan) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Once tester comes out clean allow to cool before adding the icing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ice-Cream Cupcakes

I am only adding this because I think sometimes we/I get caught up in the fancy, super hard, new recipe and forget about the easy but still yummy things we can make.  So, here is your reminder ...

1 cake mix any flavor (or from scratch)
1 can frosting (or from scratch, this is a recipe I use minus the mint)
ice-cream cones
cupcake liners

Make cake as directed.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and place an ice-cream cone on top of the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool cupcakes, remove liners, frost and decorate.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Easy Version:
1 chocolate/devils food cake mix
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Home-made Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp peppermint extract

Whisk together/sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Mix in eggs, oil, water, buttermilk and peppermint extract.  Beat with a mixer on low.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill liners 2/3 full with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.

Mint Buttercream
1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
1 tsp peppermint (for light flavor - can add more for a stronger mint)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
6-8 cups powdered sugar
4-5 oz. heavy cream/milk or water (your preference)

Cream butter and shortening until smooth and combined.  Mix in salt and extracts.  Add in powdered sugar a little at a time until all combined.  Add cream until you have your desired consistency.  (For piping you want it stiffer than for frosting a cake.)

For the Mint Shamrocks:
Take a piece of parchment paper and draw several shamrocks.

Melt down regular chocolate or Andes Mints.  Pour the warm chocolate into a disposable piping bag.  Flip the parchment over (writing side down) on a cookie sheet and trace or fill in the shapes.  Make sure the chocolate is a little thick - if you pipe the chocolate too thin, the shapes will break easily.  Once you've finished piping, place the cookie sheet in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.  Once set the shapes should come off the parchment easily.  Don't worry if the first few look bad - just keep trying and they will get better.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
cream cheese frosting

In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, once mixed add sour cream and vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and then add to butter mixture.  Finally, mix in the mashed bananas.  Spread evenly in a greased 10x15 jelly roll pan (I used a 9x13 and baked them longer, more of a cake than a bar).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow bars to cool completely then top with cream cheese frosting or some fresh whip cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Key Lime Bars

These are a mix between lemon bars and a key lime pie.  Super yummy, but a little messy.

Key Lime Bars
*adapted from Bake at 350

2/3 c. brown sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
3 c. sweetened coconut (toasted - next time I will substitute 1 cup of crushed graham crackers with one of the cups of coconut)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (I added more butter)

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. flour
4 eggs
1/2 c. fresh squeezed key lime juice
green food coloring

How to toast coconut:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle coconut on top.  Bake at 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Combine the sugar and butter. Mix in toasted coconut, flour and salt.  I thought this was a little dry so I added more butter and will add less flour next time.  Remove 1 cup of mixture and set aside.  Press remaining mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes.  Let cool.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the flour and then incorporate the eggs, one at a time.  Mix in the lime juice and a couple drops of green food coloring.  Mix until smooth.  Poor onto cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the 1 cup of reserved crust on top.  Bake for 10 more minutes until sides are set and center is slightly wobbly.  Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.  Chill in refrigerator.

Cut and serve.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Coming Soon...

Key Lime Bars

Mrs. Fields CC Cookies


60 Minute Rolls


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