Two best friends, baking and blogging across the miles

Monday, February 28, 2011

A is for Apple Muffins!

I found the recipe for these muffins on Finding Joy in My Kitchen. I followed the recipe (except for swirling in some honey when I stirred in the apples)but I'll share it here for convienience sake.

2 tablespoons brown sugar1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dry1 C whole wheat flour 1 C all purpose flour1 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt

3/4 C brown sugar
1 cup apple sauce
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, I used 1 cup of milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar
1 choppped apple, I used gala

Mix wet and dry ingredients in seperate bowls and then combine. Stir in apples.Fill muffin wells and then sprinkle with topping.  Bake at 375F for 23 minutes. I got 18 muffins from this recipe.

The muffins turned out to be smaller than I expected but, I actaully like this size because I can easily eat them for dessert or a small snack.
Lu's Challenge: Your challenge is to make something that starts with the letter B! That could be banana something or other, bread pudding, butterscotch whatchamacallit, butter cookies, breadsticks, blondies, black bean brownies,  brittle, baked alaska, banoffe pie, butter rum thisorthat, baklava, blackberry cobbler, biscotti, black forest triffles, buttermilk vanilla bean cake,  bourbon doused goodness, blueberry thingies or whatever else you think of- just make it start with B! Good luck, and I await my next challenge :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Baking

I've been wanting to make a lemony baked good since Christmas when my mother in law gave me a lemon cake scented candle.
The culprit....uh inspiration

But, with no one to bake for I've had to wait awhile so I could send Mike off to work with cookies in celebration of Valentine's Day. To celebrate I decided on Lemon White Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies and Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies. The lemon cookies satisfy my lemon craving (although I am still trying to talk my husband into letting me get a dwarf lemon tree) and the peanut butter cookies are easy to make and even easier to "valentine up", by making the jam thumbrint into a heart shape.

White Chocolate Butter Cookies- recipe adapted from Piece of Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 large egg yolks
2 cups spooned and leveled all-purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, cornsyrup and lemon juice until creamy.
2. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating between them.
3. Beat in the flour
4. Stir in white chocolate chips.
5. Shape dough into a disc and divide into 4 pieces.
6. Roll each piece into a log, about 2 inches around. Wrap each log and refrigerate overnight, or at least two hours. I let two rolls sit in the fridge overnight and froze the other  two rolls.
7. When you're ready to bake preheat oven to 375. Slice each log into 12 cookies and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Keep the remaining dough cold while the first sheet bakes for about 15 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway throught. Let cool two minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Makes 4 dozen.

Ready for the oven

White chocolate is the my least favorite type of chocolate, and I don't often opt for lemon flavored desserts, but this combination sounded intriguing enough to try. But, I burnt them so I wasn't able to get the full effect of thier goodness. It turned out to be more of a "grilled lemon white chocolate butter cookie". I'd recommend shortening the time to 10-12 minutes or reducing the temp- and make sure to put the cookies on parchment paper!

Peanut Butter Heartprint Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/3 cups sugar or splenda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine with a spoon. Press into small round disks. Use fingers to make heart shaped indentions in the center. Bake 12 minutes at 350F.  Let cool some before moving to wire rack.

I love peanut butter cookies, but I'd never tried the thumbprint kind. The February edition of  Martha Stewart Living suggested that you can make almost any cookie into a thumprint style cookie, and recommended making heartprints for Valentine's day. Some recipes I looked at for thumbrint cookies suggested baking the jam into the cookies and others suggested adding the jam after. But I didn't get to find out which method worked best because in the first batch the thumbprints came out of the dough, so I opted to make them all the same. Oh well, they still tasted fabulous

Did you make any goodies for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 7, 2011

I don't want kids...but I sure do love these Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Babies!

I decided to make these Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Babies at the most ironic time, as the Boyfriend and I recently started a healthy lifestyle kick. Really, trying anything of that sort while still in college in irony enough...Anyhoo, peanut butter is sadly not included on the healthy food list, but these brownie babies were so delicious they lured us back to our days of unhealthy but happy eating (the diet lasted like 2 days so whatever).

My roommate, who also very much enjoys baking, gave me a great tip about measuring peanut butter: spraying the measuring cup with baking spray so that it would be easier to scoop out. Amazing! I don't know why I never thought of it before, and it may seem like common sense but it was still pretty useful. This girl is full of some pretty nifty tips.

My favorite part of the process was mixing the peanut butter and cream cheese. My friends are always commenting that I use cream cheese in a lot of things, but it just makes everything better! I will say that I got a bit lazy at the end, so while the majority of the brownie babies were a spoonful of the peanut butter cream cheese mix into the middle of the brownie batter, the last few were all of it mixed in together. Definitely not as tasty as biting into the filling.

Yummy mixture!

One thing I would leave out in the future is the cool whip topping. It wasn't really necessary and was a little too much sugar for my taste. The cherries were fun to have though. They brownie babies were a hit, and they gave me a reason to use my cute new cupcake liners! I'll definitely try to make them again.

My roomie modeling with the cupcake liners!

-1 pkg. (19 to 21 oz.) brownie mix (13x9-inch pan size)
-1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened-1/3 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1/4 cup peanut butter
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
-20 maraschino cherries

HEAT oven to 350ºF.PREPARE brownie batter as directed on package. Spoon into 20 paper-lined muffin cups.BEAT cream cheese, sugar, egg, peanut butter and vanilla with mixer until blended. Spoon 1 rounded Tbsp. into center of batter in each cup, pressing down slightly into batter. Bake 30 min. or until centers are set. Cool. SERVE topped with COOL WHIP and cherries.