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hint o’ (pepper)mint…

Once again the recipe I was going to make got thwarted by lack of ingredients. I wanted to make the “Bomb” cupcakes today, but was lacking both the Guinness and Bailey’s needed to make them. (gosh I should really start drinking more)

I searched my baking cupboard for something different, and saw a bottle of peppermint extract.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream!!!

The cake is not overly sweet and makes for the perfect companion to the sweet minty frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients- makes 12 standard

1 1/2 cups   flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans

Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl until well blended. (yes they are that easy and quick!)

Bake for 20 – 25 mins, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Cool on wire rack. Frost with peppermint buttercream.

Peppermint Buttercream

Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

5 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

With electric mixer (use paddle attachment), whip butter until creamy, add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix until smooth then add the rest of the powdered sugar, and 1 TBS of milk, mix until smooth, add extract and remaining TBS of milk (if needed) continue to mix until desired consistency.



 
3 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 11 Apr 2011 15:04:27 +000004Monday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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let’s bake something…

…..(my baking adventure with a 4 year old foodie)

This afternoon my little chef in the making wanted to bake “something”. I asked him what he wanted to make.

“Brownies”.

Isaac loves to bake and cook. And at 4 years old knows more culinary terms than some adults I know. He is not just satisfied with stirring when he is assisting me, he has to be an active participant in all aspects of whatever it is that we are creating.  I knew a boxed mix  would just not cut it. The last time we made those, he deemed them “boring” because there was “not enough stuff to add”.  Hmmm….an easy recipe that wont take forever and not make a giant mess. (I have things to do today) I knew just what to do. I searched the shelf of my  beloved Bon Appetit magazines.

I found a recipe I had not tried yet. It seemed easy enough and would not take THAT long. (and it didn’t, after I rescued the magazine from behind the couch, it slipped off the top. I almost had a panic attack. My couch weighs a million and three pounds. I may be many things, but super woman is not one of them. Thankfully the ends of the couch recline, and I was able to shimmy my arm just far enough to reach the mag. Crisis diverted)

I had my assistant go wash his hands, while I preheated the oven and gathered our ingredients. While he was washing up, he “accidentally” spilled all the hand soap down the drain and all over the counter. (at this point we are already running about 30 mins behind MY schedule).  I head to the bathroom to clean up soap (I know seems redundant doesn’t it) and then I smell something burning. Hmmm that is weird, I have not even put anything in there yet. I open the oven to investigate said smell. And what do I find? A sheet pan with remnants of chicken from last night. (ugh I should have known) You see, my husband has a horrible habit of leaving things in the oven when he is done with them. (does anyone else have this problem) I often turn on the oven only to be met with a awful charred smell moments later. SO ANNOYING.(but to give him credit, he usually cleans the kitchen every night after dinner, even though he almost always forgets that small detail).

Ok…back to the recipe.

We finally got our brownies underway.

COCOA BROWNIES with BROWNED BUTTER

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue.  Alice Medrich who is a chocolate expert (what a wonderful thing to be an expert at!) created this recipe. I left out the nuts called for in this recipe. If you prefer nuts the original recipe calls for 1 cup of walnut pieces.

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces (I actually did not do this, I put them in the pan as is, minus wrapper of course)

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons water

2 large eggs

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (make sure there is nothing in the oven). Line 8×8 baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2 inch overhang. (give or take. I think i had way more then 2 inches of overhang). Coat foil with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 mins.

waiting patiently for butter to brown

FINALLY

browned butter

Remove from heat, pour into medium bowl. Immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and salt. Stir to blend.

Let cool 5 minutes. Add eggs to mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny:

add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes (honestly we did not count how many strokes we made)

Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. (a few moist crumbs attached) about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut and devour!

These are amazing. My new favorite brownie.  Even though it took longer then I wanted, so worth it! I got to spend quality time with one of my guys, and he had a blast. Nothing boring about these brownies!!!

And there is definitely NOTHING boring about this guy!!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 08 Apr 2011 15:33:53 +000033Friday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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