Showing posts with label Sweet tooth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sweet tooth. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sugar and Spice Sweet Potatoes

Oh. My. Goodness.

Say hello to my newest favorite potatoes.

The spices on these sweet potatoes are so awesome and can be used in so many ways to liven up these beautiful, orange delights.

This is what I did:

1. Combine well the following ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon course ground pepper

2. Boil the sweet potatoes until soft, take off the skins, and then cut them into 3rds or 4ths.

3. Smash them with a potato smasher and and then brush them with melted butter.

4. Sprinkle them with 1/2 of the seasoning.

5. Roast them, or fry them up in a pan with butter or olive oil. Turn them over and sprinkle with the remaining seasoning. Make sure you get a yummy, golden crust on the potato. It's the best part! Serve with fresh cilantro on top.

It is over the top delicious!

The seasoning would be great mixed in with just a regular baked sweet potato with butter.

This recipe was adapted by Melody of Cheat Day Cafe from DLYN. Photos and recipe courtesy Melody. Thanks for sharing!

Monday, July 12, 2010

An Easy Orange Cake for Strawberry Season

Stephanie - sending lots of happy, healing, deliciously sweet and juicy thoughts your way!

Several Amish families moved to our area two years ago, and in my opinion we're all the luckier for it. The Amish neighbors I've met so far have all been very friendly, and they've already brought much to our rural community.

There are three basket makers and a furniture maker. The rough cut siding on our new sheep barn came from the Amish sawmill down the road. One of the families sets up a stand next to their house each summer and sells organic produce from their large garden. They grow wonderful sweet corn, and I think I ended up buying most of their tomato harvest last year.

But best of all? This time of year, three of the Amish families sell strawberries.

Farmgirl Susan's Easy Orange Cake
Makes one 9"x5" loaf

My favorite way to eat strawberries is standing outside next to the berry patch. My second favorite way is alongside a slice of this moist, not overly-sweet cake.

This is the kind of simple recipe I love to have in my collection, and since creating it two years ago, I've turned to it again and again. It mixes up quickly, can be eaten plain or gussied up, and stays moist for several days. It tastes even better the second day.

I first made this cake specifically to go with fresh strawberries, but is also very nice with fresh blueberries. Like most baked goods it freezes beautifully—and can be easily sliced when frozen.

Sadly, commercially grown strawberries are high on the Environmental Working Group's 'Dirty Dozen' list of the most contaminated produce—and they're often beautiful but tasteless. Celebrate the short and sweet strawberry season by seeking out local, organic berries from a farmers' market, a small U-Pick farm, or a generous friend's garden. Their amazing flavor will stay with you all year.

3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons finely chopped or grated organic orange zest (I use a vegetable peeler & a sharp knife)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional syrup:
1/3 cup orange juice (strained if freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 350°.

2. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer (I use a hand held mixer) to cream until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add the eggs, vanilla, yogurt, orange juice, and orange zest and beat 1 minute.

4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.

5. Pour batter into a greased 9" x 5" loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then carefully remove it from the pan.

6. If desired, combine the orange juice and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, then spoon or brush over the cake. Slice and serve (preferably the next day if you can wait that long) plain or piled high with fresh strawberries and whipped cream or ice cream—or both! This cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days or can be frozen.

Susan Thomas shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres at She writes about her organic heirloom garden (which is in desperate need of a new strawberry bed) at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Apple Delight

Today's treat comes from Amy at Super Healthy Kids. She's cooked up a healthy, kid friendly treat with only four ingredients!

Oats and apples! A combination we have used in our house a million different ways and never get sick of it. We love apples because

  • you can literally buy them all year round, although they get super yummy in the fall.
  • They are perfect for taking in your school lunch (have you tried packing a pear in your lunch? Always get’s squishy and bruised by lunch)
  • They are full of vitamins and fiber

And we love oats because they are

  • versatile (hot cereal, cookies, hamburgers, apple crisp… ton’s of uses!)
  • I can get 25lbs for under $10!!

While we experiment a lot with these two ingredients, this dessert has become a family favorite. This “dish” can be whipped up for one, or for the whole family. It’s super fast, and very yummy. We call it, Apple Delight:

Apple Delight

3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

¼ cup dry oats

1/8 cup brown sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

Mix altogether and spoon into muffin cups. (I love the silicone cups) Bake in oven at 350 about 10 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Thank you so much, Amy! Recipe and Photo courtesy SuperHealthyKids.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

Susan Whetzel at She's Becoming DoughMesstic is here today, sharing an amazing recipe for Sea Salt Caramel Brownies.

Or I guess you could call them Fleur de Sel Caramel Brownies, in case you want to serve them at a fancy dinner party. Everyone knows that you can get away with serving anything at a fancy dinner party if you name it something French. Francais. Whatever.


Talk about rich…these are the epitome of rich. Gooey. Salty. Sweet. Chocolate….what’s not to love?

I have been dreaming about making these brownies for weeks…but my problem was not having the right caramel recipe. So, I tweeted, and Jenny (@icywit) hooked me up with the recipe from the Baked Cookbook. Thanks Jenny! Of course, being me, I have to change everything a little bit, so I just added a splash of vanilla – YUM. Everything is better with vanilla.

You could make this caramel and use it with a box mix brownie if you want (I won’t tell) but this brownie recipe is almost as easy as opening the box. If you DO decide to go box method, I would recommend using the “fudgy” version, and using all butter versus oil. I would also reduce the amount of water. There you go. Easy, peasy.


Oh, and get the kiddos in on this one. My Seven, as you can see, had a great time!

Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

Sea Salt Caramel – adapted from Baked Cookbook

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and the salt. Simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved. set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and corn syrup carefully. They will not combine well until the sugar begins to melt. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes. Without a thermometer, just pull the sugar off the heat when it is a medium goldish brown – it will continue to cook in the heat of the pan. Better to pull it too early than too late. Remove from the heat and let cool for one minute.

Add the cream mixture and the vanilla to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temp, then follow the brownie instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate any leftover caramel. it makes a great ice cream topping or tastes great straight out of the jar.


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup Chocolate Syrup
  • half of the above caramel recipe

Preheat oven to 325F.

Melt Chocolate and butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until well combined

Add flour, salt, chocolate syrup and chocolate mixture and blend well.

In a greased 8×8 pan, pour a little over half of the brownie batter and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and pour in the caramel. On top of the caramel, add the rest of your brownie batter. If it doesn’t pour smoothly, just plop it in a swirl it around a little bit. Return to oven and bake for another 18-22 minutes. Brownies will still appear a little shaky, due to the caramel, but they will firm up once cooled. Do not overbake.

Enjoy with a nice glass of milk, or better yet – ice cream!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Amanda from Amanda's Cookin' and Crafts by Amanda created this amazing treat!

Homemade ice cream is really quite easy. It's a little time consuming, yes, but along with the fabulous treat you'll have in your freezer comes the satisfaction of knowing you made it. What's even better than homemade ice cream? Developing your very own ice cream recipe!

The basic recipe for homemade ice cream is pretty simple, in fact, quite basic. You will need some milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar and flavoring. There are plenty of different recipes out there, but the basic recipe remains. There are some that use eggs, not just yolks, and some that use half and half or skim milk, brown sugar, white sugar, and even caster sugar. So after looking at a couple dozen different sources, I went with the basics and created my own brown sugar vanilla bean ice cream.

I've had some Madagascar vanilla beans in my pantry for several months now, just waiting for the right recipe to come along. I've always wanted to make vanilla bean ice cream, and using some brown sugar seemed utterly yummy, so why not combine the two?

The results were delicious!

Amanda's Notes:

1) I'm going to make this again, only this time I will make sure to use a rubber spatula when getting the milk mixture out of the saucepan. Unfortunately, and due to the dark pan, I washed a lot of the vanilla bean seeds down the drain when I rinsed the pan. :( Didn't even realize they were in there.

2) You can add a tablespoon of brandy or even vodka, the alcohol keeps the ice cream from getting rock hard, but you won't notice the taste at all. I forgot to add it in this batch and had to let the ice cream sit on the counter for a bit, or toss it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before I could scoop it.

3) This was a pretty sweet ice cream. I'm guessing you could cut the sugar total down to about 2/3 instead of 3/4 and still have fabulous flavor.

4) My recipe calls for adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract. You don't need it because of the vanilla bean, but I LOVE vanilla, so I upped the flavor using the extract.

I've made several dreamy frozen treats, but some of my favorites include Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream, Cinnamon Ice Cream, and Oreo Ice Cream.

The flavor of this was a little richer than your average vanilla ice cream, due in part to the brown sugar. A light drizzle of caramel sauce was the perfect topping for this sweet treat!

Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
by Amanda Formaro

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Split the vanilla bean down the middle with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Set aside pods and seeds.

Combine the milk and the cream in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring just to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla bean pods and the seeds, then cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar and egg yolks until well mixed, will be light a fluffy.

Remove the cover from the saucepan and return the milk mixture just to a boil. Turn off the heat and slowly drizzle about 1/4 of the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Adding the milk mixture in a very slow drizzle will temper the eggs, slowly bringing them to a warmer temperature without cooking them. You can increase the drizzle to a little faster flow, still continuously whisking until all the milk mixture has been combined with the egg yolk mixture.

Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, be sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan as your stir. Continue cooking until mixture thickens into a custard and coats the back of the spoon. A good test is to run your finger down in a line across the back of the spoon. If the line fills in, it's not thickened enough yet. This can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes depending on the heat of your stove.

When custard is ready, pour it through a sieve into a metal or glass bowl. Remove the pods from the strainer and set aside (to make vanilla sugar!*). Use a rubber spatula to ensure that you scrape out all the vanilla bean seeds from the saucepan. Stir in vanilla extract.

Place bowl of custard into a larger bowl of ice water to help it cool, stirring the custard occasionally. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Once chilled, churn the chilled custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remove ice cream to a covered container and freeze until set.

*For the reserved pods, allow them to dry, then push down into a bowl or jar of white sugar and cover. Makes a lovely vanilla sugar!

Thanks so much to Amanda for sharing! All photos and recipe courtesy Amanda's Cookin'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Berry Tart

I use my great grandmothers tart pans when I make these, the girls and I play oldies and wear pretty aprons. We love making these, buying your berries from the local farmer's market for this is a must! Nothing tastes better than the freshest of berries.

Pastry Part of the Tart:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons shortening, chilled
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

  1. Place flour in a bowl with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter and shortening into pieces, and cut into the flour until crumbly. Mix in vanilla. Add just enough water to form a ball: it should not be sticky. Knead quickly into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
  2. When ready to put together the tart line your pans the best you can pressing the pastry into the bottom and all up the sides. Trim off any overhanging and fill any tears.
  3. Lightly prick the bottom with a fork, put a piece of foil covering all the pastry and fill with dried beans.
  4. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes, then dump out beans, take off foil and cook for 3 more minutes. Let the pastry pan cool before you add in the lemon curd. (recipe below)

Lemon Curd Part of Tart (OR you can chose the Pastry Cream Part, but pick just one!)

  • 8 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Free Range & Organic Eggs, 2 whole, plus 1 yolk
  • 3 Lemons
  • 8 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream

1. Cut your butter into small squares and put it into a saucepan along with the sugar.
2. Grate your lemon zest and juice your lemons and add into saucepan.
3. Add in eggs and extra yolk.
4. Put saucepan over low heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until all the butter has melted and your liquid is very yellow and very runny. Keep it on low heat and keep stirring it until the mixture turns into a thick sauce. It usually takes me 9-11 minutes but be careful so you do not scramble the eggs. You will know it is thick enough when it can coat the back of a spoon and when you give it a good swipe with your finger it leaves a clear line.
5. Stir the cream into your lemon curd and fill the pastry shell up with the mixture.

Pastry Cream Part (OR you can do the Lemon Curd Filling, but pick just one!)

  • 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 Free Range Organic Eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

1. Put your butter over saucepan over low heat and let it melt while stirring. Then add your flour and sugar and eggs while beating so it becomes smooth.
2. Pour in the milk while still stirring until the sauce suddenly gets thick! Turn off the heat and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add in the extract and let it cool.
3. Put into pastry shell and let chill for an hour.

Assembly of Summer Berry Tart

  • Loads of berries, pretty ones (about 2 cups total)
  • Blackberry OR Raspberry Jam (4 Tablespoons)

1. Beautify your tart by assembling the berries quite pretty.
2. Warm the jelly in a saucepan over low heat and then brush over the berries.
3. Then let your tart chill for a bit in the fridge.

Buying Eggs: Be nice to the poor chickens, buy eggs from vendors where they treat the chickens nice. By letting them grow normally, be outside, move around and not shot up with hormones. Then they make nice eggs for you to use in things like this!

Farmers Market: Don't forget the best tasting berries will of course be from a local farmer at your local farmers market!

Recipe and photos courtesy Vanessa Brown of and

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Banana Bread

So my husband is a celebrity dog trainer, I love saying that cause it's true and sounds pretty neat. He also is the world's best banana bread baker. It is true and let me prove it to you with his extra secret Banana Bread recipe. My favorite mornings are when I wake up to the smell of this bread.

Best Banana Bread Recipe

by Ty Brown

Makes ONE loaf (you should probably double or triple it, it goes FAST!)

1/2 cup of oil

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

4 bananas (pureed with a hand immersion blender, you have to be CRAZY NUTS about how perfectly smooth and blended it must be. No lumps, NOT ONE!)

Mix together

2 cups flour

1 T. Baking soda

1 pinch salt

Grease and flour pan. Bake 350 for 25-30 mins.

Recipe and photo courtesy Vanessa Brown of and

Friday, June 18, 2010

Julia Child's Brownies

I can't claim fame for this recipe, it's Julia Child's recipe but ever since I made it for the first time I have never looked back. This is in fact that best brownie recipe known to man.

- 1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs


  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Sift the flour and salt together and set aside.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently and keeping a watchful eye on the pot to make certain the chocolate doesn’t scorch Add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture and stir for half a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Put the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs into a bowl and mix or whisk by hand just to combine.
  • Little by little, pour half of the sugar and eggs into the chocolate mixture, stirring gently but constantly with a rubber spatula so that the eggs don’t set from the heat.
  • Fit the whisk attachment to the mixer and whip the remaining sugar and eggs until they are thick, pale, and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes.
  • Using the rubber spatula, delicately fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture.
  • When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
  • Pour and scrape the batter in to an unbuttered 9-inch square pan.
  • Bake the brownies for 25-28 minutes, during which time they will rise a little and the top will turn dark and dry.
  • Cut into the center at about the 23-minute mark to see how the brownies are progressing: they’ll be perfect if they’re just barely set and still pretty gooey. They’re still awfully good on the other side of set, so don’t worry if you miss the moment on your first try.
  • The brownies will keep, covered, for 2 to 3 days at room temperature and can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature. These never freeze solid, so you might want to think about using them as a mix-in for ice cream.
Tip from Vanessa: I love products that are made under "Fair Trade Regulations"which is an organized social movement that works to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement demands the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. Chocolate & Cocoa are very easily found under fair trade regulations, find a store near you that sells them and pick some up to make these brownies!

Recipe courtesy Vanessa Brown of
Photo courtesy This Week for Dinner and used with permission. Copyright © 2010 This Week for Dinner.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Congo Bars

Birthday Cake? Forget it. Fancy Holiday Dessert? No way. In our house 'Congo Bars' is what everyone can't wait for. Today I will release our super secret Congo Bar family recipe. Must eat with hot cocoa (yes even in the summer) or ice cold milk (yes even in the winter).

Congo Bars

1 3/4 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 cube of margarine

almost 1/3 cup of vegetable oil

2 1/2 tsp of baking powder

3 eggs

1 box (2 and 1/3 cups) of brown sugar

1 package of chocolate chips

Melt margarine and add sugar and oil. Cool a little before adding eggs, one at a time. Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Bake in a 10x15" pan for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


P.S. Here is my question, what is your favorite brand/type of chocolate chips?
Recipe and photos courtesy Vanessa Brown of

Friday, June 11, 2010

Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

1. Melt a cube of butter and pour in cobbler pan.

2. Peel and slice seven fresh peaches and toss with sugar. Let sit.

3. Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. baking powder. Stir in 1 cup half and half (or milk or heck even full cream).

4. Drain the juice from the sliced peaches and pour the peaches over the butter. Toss on a handful of lightly sugared blackberries over the peaches

5. Pour the batter over the peaches. Bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes or till done.

6. Toss a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over the top about half-way through

Shopping In Season Tip: My favorite cookbook, guide to shopping farmer's markets and knowing what is in season is In Season: Cooking with Vegetables and Fruits by Sarah Raven and Dan Barber. It is a beautiful cookbook and a fabulous guide, trust me.

Recipe and photo courtesy Vanessa Brown of

Friday, June 4, 2010

Whole Grain Yogurt Waffles

Whole Grain Yogurt Waffles

Because really what could be better that waking up on the weekend and filling your belly with warm waffles?


3/4 cup of a whole grains mix (If you cannot find this in your local market, it's ok, just substitute it with whole wheat flour)

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup of GROUND Flax Seeds

1 tsp of salt

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/3 cup of brown sugar

4 T. melted butter (cooled a bit after melting)

3 large eggs

1 3/4 cups plain yogurt, click here for homemade recipe.


1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl whisk together butter, eggs and yogurt until smooth. Mix two mixtures together.
2. Cook on the waffle iron and serve with honey or maple syrup.

Getting Kids to Eat Healthy: Kids love choices, my kids aren't always happy to eat all the healthy things I make them BUT when I give them choices it makes a world of difference. Choices of different honey to choose from, letting them pick what kind of berries to top the waffle with or even what plate to eat it on.

Flax Seeds: I felt so silly the day that a nutrition expert told me that all the flax seed I thought I was so lovingly putting in our food was doing no good. Flax seed has to be GROUND to actually be digested, you can buy it ground so now I do!
Recipe and photos courtesy Vanessa Brown and

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Caramel Swirled Brownies

Here and happy to post on Cuisine Nie. Stephanie, I hope you are recovering well from your surgery and feeling good. As usual, best wishes sent your way.

When Jenny from BlogHer asked if I would put together a post for Cuisine Nie, she said Stephanie likes treats. You say treats, I say chocolate. So brownies it is. Chewy, fudgy brownies with caramel swirled in. And in my professional brownie eater’s opinion, these taste best the day after they are made. The chocolate seems to take on a richer chocolate taste and the texture of the brownie gets chewier. More chocolately and even chewier? Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

Caramel Swirled Brownies
Recipe by Whitney Ingram,

25 caramels, unwrapped
¼ cup evaporated milk
1 cup flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, cut into small pieces
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1¼ cup sugar
3 eggs

Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Spray paper and set pan aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine caramels and evaporated milk. Melt caramels, stirring often, until smooth. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside. Stir occasionally while preparing brownies.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove bowl from the saucepan. Whisk in sugar and eggs. With a spatula, stir in flour mixture until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the batter and swirl with a butter knife.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes and remove brownies from the pan using the parchment overhang. Cut into squares.

Yields 9 brownies.

Rookie’s Notes: Sometimes the whole “parchment overhang” thing can be confusing. Here is a picture of what I am talking about.

Doing this makes every brownie look pretty. None of them get sacrificed as the first one out of the pan. If you aren’t concerned about the brownies being pretty, then forget the parchment.

photos courtesy Whitney Ingram Yum!

(have a recipe you'd like to share? email

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jane's peanut butter cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Plum upside down cake

I had plums smiling at me in the kitchen, and a sweet-tooth like crazy.
Here is what I came up with.

  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick, plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 red plums, (about 1 pound), halved and pitted, each cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • Whipped cream, (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 3 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch round cake pan; melt in preheating oven, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle melted butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Arrange overlapping plum wedges in a circle around edge of pan; repeat in center, covering bottom of pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together remaining 6 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and egg. Beat in sour cream until blended. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin-pie spice, and walnuts. Stir flour mixture into sour-cream mixture until just combined (batter will be thick).
  4. Spread batter evenly over plums. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan; invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Homemade Marshmallows

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 4 unflavored gelatin, (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
  2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees; on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
  4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
  5. Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
(i didn't say these puppies were good for you)

Pineapple upside down cake

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • small fresh pineapple, cut into circles.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch square cake pan. Heat in oven until butter melts, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter. Arrange the pineapples on top of sugar mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, cream remaining 8 tablespoons butter with sugar and lemon zest. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, salt, and allspice. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk and starting and ending with the flour.
  4. Pour batter into cake pan, and spread evenly over pineapples. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert cake onto wire rack to cool again slightly before serving.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
2 sticks butter
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar (sometimes I add a bit more)
2-teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1-teaspoon soda
Chocolate chips (i usually use about a bag and a half.... one bag semi-sweet chips and half milk chocolate.
Cream the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well, and then add dry ingredients and mix. Stir in chips and cook for 9-11 minutes at 375