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Archive for November, 2010

“oh no, this is…i think i could eat the whole pan.
it’s all my favorite things rolled up into one”

I was in Half Price Books a few months back when I stumbled upon this recipe. it’s what single handedly sold me the cookbook i was looking through. such a great find as i love pretty much anything that has to do with onion flavored bread. so good. this is making an appearance at thanksgiving this year. sorry tube of crescent rolls.

2 cups all-pupose flour

1/4 cup minced chives or green onions

1/2 cup cheddar cheese (and some extra to sprinkle on top.)

1 T baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 & 1/3 cups  heavy cream

2 T melted butter

position your oven rack to the top 3rd of the oven and preheat to 425.

in a large bowl, mix pretty much everything, flour, onions, cheddar, baking powder, salt and pepper. then gradually stir in the cream as your dough forms a ball.

on your floured work space, start kneading your dough until it is smooth. roll out to about 1/2 in thick and cut out your biscuits and place each biscuit on an ungreased cookie sheet. using the melted butter, brush the tops of each biscuit. bake for 10 minutes.

after 10 minutes, carefully sprinkle biscuits with shredded cheddar and bake for 5 more minutes. if omitting the cheddar topping, bake biscuits for the consecutive 15 minutes. once golden brown, take out of the oven and let cool.

this recipe is sure to get your mouth watering and will definitely make your kitchen smell amazing. please enjoy this simple little recipe.

happy holidays,

b

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“i might need a moment alone with this cupcake”

thanksgiving shout out month continues with the sweet potato, still topped with traditional marshmallows….but swap the casserole for a cupcake!

first of all, thank you daren and granny for passing on this recipe! daren has already won a work contest with this recipe….so i knew it would be a success!

it was a huge hit at the office. one co-worker had eaten three before some had even picked up their first…all the while muttering to himself, “man! this is a good freakin cupcake.” then as another coworker took their first bite he stood right next to her….staring intently….waiting for her reaction and when she wasn’t quick enough to respond he said…”it’s pretty freakin good, huh?!”

just like the cranberries from last weeks post, i also tend to pass on anything sweet potato…but this is definitely an exception. i had two for breakfast myself! usually the process of baking kills my appetite….i’ll eat a sample (usually what i photograph) and am then happy to pass the rest along to my coworkers….hoping they will all be gone by the end of the day. i ate one last night….while i was baking….just to make sure the marshmallow was a good idea. i ate another one after photographing it this morning…..and couldn’t resist snagging another one after setting them out at the office….eek! i really can’t get enough of this cake…the spices are perfect….still lingering on my taste buds as i write. the cake is light and fluffy and…dare i say it?!….moist. this is definitely something you need to bake for yourself immediately.

the original recipe is actually a sheet cake with a cream cheese frosting….but i have been wanting to top a cupcake with a marshmallow ever since darci’s and my NYC bakery adventure when we discovered the s’more cupcake at ChickaLicious…and what makes more sense than sweet potato and marshmallow?!

ingredients:
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons butter extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
marshmallows to top (from wednesday’s post)…you made these already right?! if you didn’t….the lazy way is to substitute with store bought…and i promise not to judge :)

begin by peeling your sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks and boil until tender. drain, mash and set aside.

preheat your oven to 350ºF.

in your stand mixer cream together eggs, sugar and oil. add in butter extract, vanilla extract and mashed potatoes.

sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices…mix until all ingredients are well blended.

line your muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and fill with batter two-thirds of the way (as your cupcakes will rise). bake for 15-20 minutes till your buddies pass the clean toothpick test. remove from oven and let cool.

after oven has cooled down, move oven rack to highest position and set to broil. place marshmallow on top of your cupcake and return to oven. it only takes a couple of minutes for mallows to melt and brown on top so keep a close eye on cupcakes while under broiler. after about 30 seconds, once you see marshmallow are just beginning to melt and spread out, pull out of oven and lightly press marshmallow down and wiggle around in a circular motion with your fingers to help it spread out towards the edges. return to broiler and let sit for about another minute till tops of mallows are golden brown.

that’s it! next step is letting the cool down and then devouring them!

enjoy!

-L

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sneak peek wednesday!

what goes with thanksgiving….and marshmallows?!?! stay tuned to see!

but until then you can get started on your marshmallows…it may be too cold for campfires….but it’s cold enough for hot cocoa!

ingredients:

3 1/2 packages of unflavored gelatin (found with jello mixes at the store)
1 cup of cold water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
about a cup of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
flavoring to taste….up to you – i used vanilla….but almost all of the extracts would be yummy as marshmallows: mint, coffee, almond?!?! go crazy!

start by greasing up a 9 x 13 in. metal pan…bottom and sides and then coating it with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

mix half a cup of your cold water with gelatin in your stand mixer or heat safe bowl and let sit to dissolve.

in a medium sauce pan mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining cold water. time for you to bust out your candy thermometer again! clip thermometer to side of sauce pan and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. once sugar is completely dissolved increase heat to medium and bring to a boil without stirring. once mixture reaches 240°F (soft ball stage) remove from heat and add to water/gelatin mixture. mix on medium to high-speed until mixture has tripled in volume.

in a separate bowl mix egg whites till they form stiff peaks. (let me just say, my hand mixer lost its mixers in the moving catastrophe 2010 so i had to beat those suckers by hand….which gave me a deep appreciation for old school bakers – pre-technology) once you have stiff peaks add in to your fluffy mixture with flavoring and coloring of your choice and mix until just combined.

pour out your sticky fluffy mixture into metal pan and spread to edges – by picking up your pan and shifting it from side to side. your rubber spatula won’t want to help you out much…as the sticky fluffy mixture will stick to everything you touch it to…fingers included.  sift 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar over the top. transfer to fridge to chill for at least 3 hours – 1 day.

once mallows have set, you can remove from pan pretty easily. use a knife to run around the edges of the pan and starting with one corner lift and let the block of mallows drop out of pan on to a cutting board. cut into 1 inch squares…or smaller if you prefer and you’re done! plop into some hot cocoa or invite yourself over to a friend’s house who owns a fire pit and enjoy!

OR stay tuned for friday’s post for an even better idea!

-L

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“oh, yeah”

this month is thanksgiving shout out month so we’re paying respect to traditional thanksgiving sides or desserts. this week is a side spruced up and sugared up…and turned into a dessert….the cranberry. i’m starting to look obsessed…but smitten kitchen is again the blog to thank for this recipe.

cranberries are a side that i pass on when it comes to thanksgiving dinner….however….in the form of a coffee cake…”please pass the cranberries!” i was pleasantly surprised with how tasty this crumbly cake was…just the right amount of bitter to contrast the right amount of sweet-fluffy-crumble….add a little vanilla bean…even better! (unless you’re on a tight budget….then ax the vanilla bean…those little guys are pricey!)

ingredients:
1/2 vanilla bean
2 cups fresh or thawed cranberries
1 3/4 cup sugar – this will be divided read recipe carefully
2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
confectioners sugar for dusting

equipment:
9 in circle cake pan
mixer
food processor
parchment paper

gulp….as i wrote down the ingredients….i got that sinking feeling…that realization that i actually messed up my measurements. sigh. well….i’ll tell you what i did wrong in a second….but let the record show, that even with my goofs….it turned out mighty tasty….so maybe happy accidents?!?!

the “correct” instructions

start by preheating your oven to 375°F. generously butter your cake pan. add parchment paper to the bottom to the pan and butter as well. set aside.

split vanilla bean lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a paring knife. add to food processor with sugar and pulse until vanilla bean seeds are mixed through all of the sugar. transfer to bowl and set mixture aside.

pulse cranberries with half a cup of the sugar/vanilla mixture until cranberries are finely chopped…be careful not to purée this mixture.

sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. beat 1 stick of butter with 1 cup of sugar/vanilla mix (remember to leave 1/4 cup aside for crumble top) beat until fluffy. add in eggs one at a time. at a low-speed alternate mixing in flour and milk until all ingredients are combined.

pour out half the batter into pan and spread evenly. scoop out cranberry mixture onto batter, leaving about a half-inch border. scoop out remaining batter and spread out (carefully) to edges.

mix your remaining sugar/vanilla with tablespoon of butter and flour until mixture has formed small balls, crumble over top of cake.

bake cake for about 40-50 minutes until toothpick can be inserted and come out clean (except for that cranberry filling). the top should begin to brown and the edges will begin to pull away from pan. cool in pan for 30 minutes on top of a wire. remove from pan and cool completely, with crumb side up.

“happy accident” instructions

• forget to set aside that last 1/4 cup of sugar (for crumble top) and add it all to batter. which means ultimately you will need another 1/4 cup for crumble top
• use a whole cup of milk instead of a half cup….i really have no excuse for this mistake….i had the instructions right in front of me and somehow completely misread it. however, other bloggers complained about the batter being a little too thick….and i didn’t have that problem (obviously) so this mistake worked out for me and the cake tasted great.
• i also forgot the confectioners sugar dusting. as i was drifting off to sleep i remembered that i forgot….and almost set a reminder on my phone to do it in the morning….but didn’t….so there you go….if i don’t write it down…it doesn’t happen.

all in all i thought this was a success. as someone who isn’t wild about cranberries….i am very happy with how this treat turned out…and i may have even scooped out all the filling that stayed behind in the pan…with my finger….instead of sending it to the sink….maybe i do like cranberries?!

next time i would probably use the whole vanilla bean as the vanilla wasn’t a prominent taste and a little extra vanilla is usually a good idea. but…vanilla beans are also quite pricey….so maybe i would just add vanilla extract to the batter.

happy turkey month friends! enjoy!

-L

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new friends

lazy bird bakery just made a new friend. check out will’s blog the momentum of failure. he’s doing a photomentary on his glorious tie collection! check him out and scroll down to see a familiar face!
http://themomentumoffailure.com/2010/11/01/100-days-of-ties-day-41-where-the-lands-end/#more-9404

-b

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