Sunday, April 20, 2014

Raspberry Almond Scones


Gotta love Easter brunch at my sister's house.  I always make scones.  These were a big hit! 

















































































































Raspberry Almond Scones

Yield: 8 scones
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted Land O Lakes® Butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup raspberries

For the Almond Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds, for garnish



directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Quickly cut in the butter, using your hands, two knives, or a pastry blender. Mix until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a feel larger butter lumps. Pour 1 cup of heavy cream and almond extract over the ingredients and stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Don't over mix. Gently fold in sliced almonds and raspberries. The raspberries will get a little smashed, but that is ok. The scones will still be pretty:)

3. Transfer dough to a floured countertop and knead dough by hand just until it forms a ball. Form scones by patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut the scones into even triangles. We got 8 scones.

4. Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush scones lightly with the additional heavy cream. Bake scones for 15-18 minutes, or until scones are light brown. Cool scones on a wire cooling rack.

5. While the scones are cooling, make the almond glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream or milk, and almond extract. Whisk until you reach desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over the scones. Top with additional sliced almonds. Serve!

Scones will keep in an air-tight container for up to 2-3 days, but they really are best eaten the day they are made.

This delicious recipe brought to you by Two Peas & Their Pod
http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/raspberry-almond-scones/

Thank you Two Peas & Their Pod!  Awesome Recipe!
As Always
Enjoy!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cinnamon Chocolate Soufflés


I have been so involved in eating healthy that I have been MIA with the Baked Sunday Mornings group.  I miss my baking but love the rewards that I have from living a healthy and clean eating lifestyle!  I have lost 40 pounds! And I feel amazing!  Yay me! I still have quite a ways to go but I feel that this time I can actually reach my fitness goals.  

While I know that baking will not help me achieve these goals it serves another purpose in my life.  One that I don't want to give up.  I just have to learn not to overdo.  So when I saw that these Cinnamon Chocolate Soufflés were next on the Baked schedule, I thought that I would give it a try.  Hey there isn't any flour involved a small amount of sugar and dark chocolate... good antioxidants...right?  Well anyway, I have never made a soufflé
and I love cinnamon and chocolate together so I thought that 
I would give it a try!


I halved the recipe and baked it for 8 minutes like the recipe said to do...they looked great when they came out of the oven.  I am not sure they were quite done as they were just slightly lava-like in the center when I spooned into it.  They were quite bitter...I think that maybe they needed more sugar? 


Well, it didn't stop me from eating the whole thing.  
Would I make them again?  No.  
Still was nice getting back into the swing of things with all my Baked buddies!

You can see how the others did here.
And get the recipe here.

As Always....
Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Death By Chocolate Cheesecake Cake



Appropriately named, this cake is outrageously decadent!  Not for the faint of heart...you have to be a hard core chocolate lover for this one!  Surprisingly easy to make but takes awhile to get it all put together.  The chocolate cake was extremely dense and rich, if I were to make this again I would use another chocolate cake recipe.  I loved the cheesecake layer and the frosting was delish!  This cake was my Mom's birthday cake.  She is 86 today! 










Death by Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
Adapted from Hot Polka Dot

INGREDIENTS

500 grams Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 vanilla bean
6 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk chocolate chips



DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a 9 inch spring form pan with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and a ring around the edge. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil and place it in a shallow baking pan full of water that reaches halfway up the pan.

Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and vanilla seeds until combined well. Add the cooled white chocolate and mix well. Blend in the 2 eggs one at a time until just barely blended.

Pour it into the prepared pan and bake it for 30 to 45 minutes until the center is almost set but still a little jiggly. Turn the over off and let the cheesecake cool inside for an hour. Bring it out and let it cool to room temperature with an inverted plate on top. Let it set in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Next make the chocolate cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until it's light and fluffy. Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the edge of your knife. Blend in the vanilla then the 4 eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated.

Whisk together the 2 1/2 cups flour, cocoa powder baking powder and salt then add it in thirds alternating between the milk and oil. Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake them for 30 - 40 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let them sit until they're cool enough to touch and flip them out on cooling racks to cool completely. Level off the cooled cake layers with a cake leveler or a long serrated knife.

While the cake cools make the sour cream chocolate frosting. 

To assemble the cake, place one layer of chocolate cake on you cake plate. Follow that with a generous layer of chocolate frosting. Place the set cheesecake on top then another layer of frosting and, finally, the other layer of chocolate cake. Ice the entire cake with the rest of the frosting. Enjoy!





Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Adapted from Deb Perelman's Best Birthday Cake at Smitten Kitchen, original recipe from The Dessert Bible 
Yield: 5 cups of frosting, enough to frost and fill a two layer 9-inch cake/three layer 8-inch cake 

15 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso (optional, but can be used to pick up the flavor of average chocolate)
2 1/4 cups sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the chocolate and espresso powder, if using, in the top of a double-boiler or in a heatproof bowl over just simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted. You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring well, then heating in 15 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and let chocolate cool until tepid. Whisk together the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup and vanilla extract until combined. 

Add the tepid chocolate slowly and stir quickly until the mixture is uniform. Taste for sweetness and if needed, add additional corn syrup in one tablespoon increments until the desired level of sweetness is achieved. Let cool in the refrigerator until the frosting is a spreadable consistency, for about 20-30 minutes. Should the frosting become too thick or stiff, just leave it out on the counter until it softens again before frosting. 


Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mint Chocolate Shamrock Cookies


An easy delicious cookie for St Paddy's Day!




MINT CHOCOLATE SHAMROCK COOKIES
adapted from Landeelu

3/4 C. butter
1 and 1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. water
Melt above ingredients in saucepan over medium heat until melted and then add:
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Stir until completely melted. Cool for 10 minutes then pour into a mixing bowl and beat in
2 eggs
Add:
2 and 1/2 C. flour
1 and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together and chill for 45 minutes. Roll into 1″ balls, flatten slightly and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. When cookies come out of oven,
place an unwrapped Dove Mint & Dark Chocolate Swirl chocolate on each cookie and allow to melt for a few minutes. When melted, pick up the cookie sheet and rap it a couple of times and it spreads out the candy a bit.  Then go through a bag of Mini M&M’s and pick out the green ones to put on top of the chocolate in the shape of a shamrock.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slice and Bake Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies


My youngest granddaughter will be 5 in a few days and since I live so far away I always send them some cookies to enjoy.  I haven't seen this little one for over 4 years she was just a toddler last time I had the opportunity to see her.  She is growing up to be such a lovely little lady.  I hope that she enjoys the cookies her Nana made for her!  


These cookies were very easy to put together and I recommend using the paper towel roll tip.  They smelled heavenly and got a thumbs up from my hubby!

Happy Birthday, Syringa
Love you to the moon and back!!

Until Next Time...
Enjoy!


SLICE-AND-BAKE oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies

Recipe from Averie Cooks

Yield: 14 to 15 medium-large cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2+ hours, for dough chilling

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 CUP (1 STICK) UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
3/4 CUP LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, PACKED
1/4 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR
1 LARGE EGG
2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
1 CUP OLD-FASHIONED WHOLE ROLLED OATS (NOT QUICK COOK OR INSTANT)
3/4 CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1/4 CUP WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR
1/2 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
PINCH SALT, OPTIONAL AND TO TASTE
1/2 CUP RAISINS 
1/2 CUP COMBINED, SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS 

DIRECTIONS:
using a bowl OF A STAND MIXER FITTED WITH THE PADDLE ATTACHMENT (OR MIXING BOWL WITH HAND MIXER), ADD THE BUTTER, SUGARS, AND BEAT ON MEDIUM-HIGH UNTIL LIGHT AND FLUFFY, ABOUT 4 TO 5 MINUTES. STOP, SCRAPE DOWN THE SIDES OF THE BOWL AND ADD THE EGG, VANILLA, AND BEAT UNTIL WELL INCORPORATED, ABOUT 2 MINUTES. STOP, SCRAPE DOWN THE SIDES OF THE BOWL AND ADD THE OATS, BOTH FLOURS, BAKING SODA, OPTIONAL SALT, AND BEAT JUST UNTIL INCORPORATED, ABOUT 1 MINUTE. FOLD IN THE RAISINS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS BY HAND.
TURN DOUGH OUT ONTO A LARGE PIECE OF PLASTIC WRAP AND FORM A LARGE LOG WITH IT, ABOUT 12 TO 14 INCHES IN LENGTH AND ABOUT 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER. SEAL UP THE BUNDLE, ROLL IT BACK AND FORTH A COUPLE TIMES TO SMOOTH IT OUT SO ONE SIDE ISN'T FLAT FROM RESTING ON THE COUNTER, AND PLACE IT IN THE FREEZER TO CHILL FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS, UP TO 2 MONTHS. TIP - VERTICALLY SLICE A CARDBOARD PAPER TOWEL ROLL AND PLACE DOUGH INSIDE THE TUBE TO HELP TO PREVENT IT FROM FLATTENING OR GETTING LOPSIDED IN THE FREEZER UNTIL IT'S SET.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F, LINE A BAKING SHEET WITH A SILPAT NON-STICK BAKING MAT, PARCHMENT, OR SPRAY WITH COOKING SPRAY; SET ASIDE. ALLOW LOG TO COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES TO MAKE SLICING EASIER. WITH A VERY SHARP KNIFE, SLICE LOG INTO 14 TO 15 SLICES 3/4-INCH TO 1-INCH THICK. DO NOT MAKE YOUR SLICES THINNER BECAUSE COOKIES WILL SPREAD AND you want the chewy middle and crisp edges.
PLACE SLICES ON PREPARED BAKING TRAY, SPACED 2 INCHES APART, AND BAKE NO MORE THAN 8 COOKIES PER TRAY BECAUSE THEY SPREAD A BIT MORE THAN THE AVERAGE COOKIE. BAKE FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES, OR UNTIL EDGES ARE SET AND CENTERS ARE JUST BEGINNING TO SET. IT'S OKAY IF TOPS APPEAR GLOSSY AND A BIT UNDER-DONE BECAUSE COOKIES FIRM UP AS THEY COOL. ROTATE TRAYS MIDWAY THROUGH BAKING. ALLOW COOKIES TO COOL ON BAKING SHEETS FOR 5 TO 10 MINUTES BEFORE MOVING TO RACKS TO FINISH COOLING.
COOKIES WILL KEEP IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER FOR UP TO 1 WEEK; HOWEVER, you can bake as many as you want and the UNUSED PORTION OF FROZEN LOG CAN KEPT IN FREEZER FOR 2 TO 3 MONTHS.
KEEP GLUTEN-FREE BY USING CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE OATS AND YOUR FAVORITE GLUTEN-FREE BAKING BLEND IN PLACE OF THE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Nanaimo Bars Revisited


These are delicious no bake bars. They were so good I made them again for some co-workers.  I posted these once before.  
Get the recipe here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Easy Vegan and Gluten-Free Brownies

 


Very chocolatey and surprisingly good!  I will be playing around with some vegan baking recipes.  Here is the first of many!


Easy Vegan Brownies

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup Truvia Baking Blend 
2 large flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed + 6 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 cup almond flour
optional add ins: 1/3 cup walnuts or chocolate chips or a mixture of both!

Instructions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees and spray a 8 standard size with cooking spray or place a paper liner in each.
Prepare flax eggs* in a small bowl and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes
*(grind your flaxseed and slowly add the 6 tablespoons of water whisking with a small whisk until blended)
Place coconut oil in large bowl and melt in microwave.  Then stir in flax eggs, Truvia, vanilla, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine then add almond flour stir until just combined then fold in nuts or chips if using.
Scoop batter in muffin tin filling each until 3/4 full and bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.  Do not bake too long because they will get very crumbly. 
Cool completely on a rack
Store in airtight container or they can be frozen.