Category Archives: Baking

On Without End

S’mores Cookies

smores_cookies

Welcome to a special edition of the Secret Recipe Club featuring Cookies!  All of today’s posts are centered on that class dessert – so if you check out every post you will have over 40 new recipes.  I was so excited to sign up for this challenge, and went to check out my assigned blog as soon as I got the email.  I have been checking out Amy’s Cooking Adventure for a bit of time now, so seeing her name in the email resulted in a rather embarrassing squeal of delight as I knew her blog was stuffed with delicious treats.  There are so many insanely good options on Amy’s blog, and picking one recipe was not an easy task.  Seven cookie recipes made my short list, and looking at back at my full list I must have been on a seasonal kick as almost every one of them features a common seasonal “ingredient”.  Ranging from two chocolate peppermint cookies, to pumpkin latte (!!!) to two s’mores variations – which is what I went with in the end.  Reading her post about the outdoor fire place made me very thankful for our fire pit, and it’s because of our fire pit that we still had many of the ingredients required for this post.   I did have to make a few changes to her recipe as I couldn’t find kosher mini-marshmallows which I know have to exist somewhere outside of the internet.  So I filled a cup with hot water and used my kitchen shears to trim the full size ones in to quarters – dipping the shears in the hot water as needed.

On Without End

Serves: Yields 32 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbles (6 sheets)
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose floor
  • 1 cup crushed Hershey Bars (or milk chocolate chip)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to broil and place a single layer of mini-marshmallows on a cookie sheet and broil for 2 minutes or until the tops of golden. Set aside
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together for 10 minutes, then add in the vanilla extract, salt, and egg - mix well.
  3. IN a small bowl mix together the graham crack crumbs, flour, and baking soda. Quickly mix in to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
  4. After an hour, preheat oven to 375 and stir the chocolate chips in to the dough.
  5. Form a walnut sized ball of dough, and then press a mini-marshmallow in to the middle - wrapping dough around the marshmallow before placing on a cookie sheet lines with parchment.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes, then allow cookies to cool on sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/12/on-without-end.html

So with this post SRC is finished for 2014!  I’ll be back in January posting an “orphan” blog with Group D and starting in February I’ll be posting with my regular group A.  This has been another fantastic year filled with tons of incredible recipes, and I’m thrilled that it ended on such a sweet note.

Treats you Kind

Pumpkin Streusel Muffin

pumpkin_streusel_muffin

The other weekend I hosted a few friends for a boozy brunch – followed by a Hunger Games Marathon.  I needed something that was quick and easy, just in case the boozy part started before the brunch part.  So I checked out a few of my favorite cookbooks in hopes of a spark, and it worked!  While a coffee cake was out of the question, I decided I could easily adapt the recipe to work for over-sized muffin tins – and that they needed a bit of pumpkin.  This is loosely based on the “quick coffee cake” recipe from Joy of Cooking, just without the egg and smaller amounts of milk plus pumpkin and vegan – so might be more accurate to say this is inspired by that recipe but whatever!

Pumpkin Streusel Muffin

Serves: Yields 6 large muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free butter (I used earth balance, as had a guest who can't do soy)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl stir the almond milk and pumpkin puree until creamy.
  3. Quickly add the dry ingredients in to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just mixed. Set Aside
  4. Lightly grease 6 large muffin tins, or use muffin liners. Spook the mixture until cups are 2/3 full.
  5. In a small bowl use two knives, or a pastry cutter, to cut together the streusel ingedients. Once mixture resembles bread crumbs, sprinkle on top of the muffin dough.
  6. Bake for 28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
  7. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes. Then Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/12/treats-you-kind.html

There were enjoyed with some fake bacon, turkey bacon, buttermilk pancakes, and lots of champagne based fruity drinks.  Most likely will go all out next year when the final movie comes out, and might actually do something “on theme” at that point – but there is something to be said about random carbs and champagne.

Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

Serves: Yields around 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar for 10 minutes, until slightly fluffy. Add in the egg, salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 5 minutes before adding in the mashed pumpkin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat until just mixed.
  4. Spoon the dough onto cookie sheets in walnut sized portions. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a golden orange shade.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/gotta-gotta.html

These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

Walk it

Sweet Potato Biscuits

sweet_potato_biscuits

I’ve posted before about how much I love the Farmer’s Market at my office, the market which will be ending for the season in two weeks – eek!  I’ve tried out so many different varieties of tomatoes, apples, and random greens that withdrawal is rather likely at this point.   A few weeks ago, Mark at Chocolates and Tomatoes (yep, still obsessed with the awesomeness of the name) tossed me the LARGEST sweet potato ever.  Not even joking, this beast was the size of my arm from wrist to elbow – total insanity.  He also challenged me to do something different with it, which really got me thinking.  It also had me asking around the office for ideas as I’ve already done a lot with sweet potatoes.  In the end, it was a suggestion from a coworker to do a sweet potato bread that had me thinking about drop biscuits.  Some quick googling gave me great information about all the different types of biscuits and with I decided to go with a quick rise drop biscuit – mostly because rolling dough is just never a good idea for me.

Walk it

Serves: Yields around 12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb sweet potato, quartered and peeled
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil along with the quartered sweet potato. Cook until potato is soft, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 425
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, cut in the sweet potato using two knives. The dough should form pea sized balls.
  4. Form a well in the middle, and pour the milk in to the well quickly mixing in the dry ingredients until just wet.
  5. Drop a walnut sized amount of dough on to cookie sheet and repeat to form 12 biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/walk-it.html

The sweet potato I was gifted actually produced three times what I needed for this recipe, so the rest of the puree was frozen and used to make sweet potato gnocci.   As for the milk in the recipe, if using dairy based be sure to use whole or 2% – while for non-dairy a full fat coconut or almond milk marked “plain” will work the best.  I hesitate to suggest soy milk due the lack of fat, which is the same reason I would avoid a 1% or skim milk.

ABC

Apple Basil Cake

Apple Basil Cake

Welcome to my Secret Recipe Club post for October!  This month I was sent over to LeAndra’s Love and Flour  – a blogger with a taste for the sweeter things in life.  For a hot moment I debated trying one of her many savory treats, but then realized that would be cheating and so I happily went off to explore all the potential treats.  I was immediately drawn to her Apple Basil Cake, featuring seasonal apples and fresh basil it was an easy pick.  Though her cheescake muffins with homemade vanilla wafers deserves an honorable mention as they look insanely delicious and easy – after all she calls them a “cheatcake” which is one of the best nicknames ever.   The only change I made to the recipe was switching the Granny Smiths for Crispins as that’s what my farmer’s market had, which is a taste preference as either apple (or my usual favorite Pink Lady) would be perfect for this cake.

ABC

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp packed basil (used a mix of sweet and Italian)
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups Pink Lady apples, diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and basil in a medium-size bowl and set aside. Beat the oil and sugar together on low speed until mixed.
  3. Increase to medium speed and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 7 minutes.
  4. Return to low speed and slowly add the flour mixture until blended, then fold in the apples.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 10-inch bundt pan and bake for 65-75 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the middle of the ring.

Notes

I've been switching to longer beating times following a recipe of "Mind of the Chef" and so far it seems to result in a lighter batter!

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/abc.html

I brought this cake over to a family lunch gathering where it was a MASSIVE hit with only one slice making it back to our house.  I skipped the glaze for fear of it not traveling well and simply topped it with some powdered sugar as an easy cheat.  The apples were crisp and the basil provided the perfect contrast to the sweetness resulting in perfection.   We served the cake as dessert, but would also make a great treat for a brunch or tea as the sweetness is  (thankfully) not the dominant feature of the cake.  All of the apples came from Pong’s Orchard which is owned and operated by one of the sweetest families ever – I’m going to be beyond sad when our market ends in a few weeks.

I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their apple challenge as a replacement for the mulligatawny soup that I made and never photographed.  This is a cake that deserves to be shared and loved by as many people as possible – but what do you expect when it comes from a blog named LOVE and Flour!