Sunday, December 8, 2013
Have you ever seen Leigh's blog, Chit Chat Chomp? It's got such a warm, homey, comforting feeling to it. Looking at the pictures of all the delicious things she makes, you just can't help but sigh in contentment and happiness. I definitely had fun looking through her recipes.
I just love the holiday season. The pretty lights, the cheerful music, and, of course, the treats with their seasonal spicy flavors. That's why I picked her Crunchy Ginger Slice for this month's SRC. They are perfect for this time of year - minimal ingredients, super quick and easy to throw together for any party, and the gingery flavor just has Christmas written all over it.
The only change I made was to increase the amount of ginger powder in the cookie base. Also, since I didn't have any golden syrup, I substituted with a 50/50 mixture of light and dark corn syrups. I think the icing was the best part of these cookies. I don't even know how to describe it. It's like a ginger candy/caramel that's sweet and sticky, but melts in your mouth. Simply lovely. I dressed up the finished bars with some Christmas-y sprinkles and now they're all ready to share with my friends.
Thanks Leigh for a sweet holiday treat!
Crunchy Ginger Slice (adapted from Chit Chat Chomp)
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. butter, cut in small pieces
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. dark corn syrup
2 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
3/4 c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the flour, ginger powder, and baking powder and mix until well combined. Press the mixture into a parchment paper-lined 8x8 pan and bake for 35 min., or until golden and firm to the touch. Set aside.
To make the icing: Place the butter, corn syrups, and ginger powder in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2-3 min., or until butter is melted. Add the powdered sugar and whisk to combine. Pour icing over the cookie base. Chill for 1 hour or until set.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Wendy's blog, The Weekend Gourmet. I had a lot of fun browsing through her recipes and, although I saw some tasty-looking pasta recipes, I kept finding myself drawn back again and again to her Peppermint Bliss Bark. Who can blame me? One look at hers and you'll see it's stunning. Not to mention, it's HER original recipe (genius). So, I bring you Christmas in November.
This bark is so quick and easy to make. No cooking, no baking, and very little prep time. I think I whipped up the whole thing in less than an hour. In fact, the most time-consuming part of it was crushing the peppermint candies. Seriously, I do not know why someone has not thought to sell peppermint candies already crushed. Bakers all over the world would be grateful. I made short work of it though by putting them in a ziplock bag, putting it onto a paper bag in my driveway, and pounding on it with the end of a small dumbbell. Whatever works, right?
I did make a couple changes to the recipe. First, I tempered my chocolate so that I wouldn't have to worry about keeping the bark in the fridge to prevent it from melting. Then, instead of using mini Oreos, I crushed up some regular sized ones since that's what I had. Otherwise, it was Wendy's way all the way.
Let me tell you, this bark is perfect for the holidays. It's not only beautiful but absolutely delicious. There's a little crunch from the cookies, a little chew from the marshmallows, and a lot of chocolatey-minty goodness in every bite. I loved that the peppermint flavor wasn't too overpowering and that the bark itself wasn't overly sweet like other storebought ones. I've never made chocolate bark before, but you can bet it's going to be a new holiday tradition from now on.
BTW: I took some of this to work and it disappeared fast! They loved it!
Thank you Wendy for giving me a great idea for Christmas. Loved the bark!
Peppermint Bliss Bark (adapted from The Weekend Gourmet)
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. mini marshmallows
1 c. crushed Oreos
1 c. crushed peppermint candies
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
Melt 1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave. Remove from the microwave and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips until completely melted. Add mini marshmallows, Oreos, and 1/2 cup peppermint pieces. Stir gently to combine.
Spread the mixture evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Melt the white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup peppermint pieces. Place in the fridge to help it harden quicker. Once it's hardened, it can be stored outside of the fridge.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
For this month's SRC, I was assigned to Ewa's blog, Delishhh, which is the perfect word for it since everything she makes is sensational. I especially loved looking at her Swedish recipes and still want to try making her Semla one day. But, for now, I decided to make her blueberry muffins.
Not too long ago, I tried a different blueberry muffin recipe from another site and was extremely disappointed with how they came out. Those muffins were way too dense.
Ewa's muffins, on the other hand, were sweet, fluffy, and bursting with juiciness from the blueberries in every bite. They were delicious right out of the oven and just as delicious when they cooled. I would definitely make these again, and again, and again. Right now though, I'm off to go get some butter so that I can go and eat up the rest of the muffins in my kitchen.
Thanks Ewa. Your muffins made for one yummy Sunday morning.
Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Delishhh)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (I omitted this)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1¼ cups sour cream, plain yogurt or ricotta (I used 1 c. fat-free Greek yogurt + 1/4 c. water)
1½ cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen blueberries)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl untill combined. Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream/yogurt or ricotta in 2 additions, whisking just to combine, and then add the lemon zest.
Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream, yogurt or ricotta mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Do not overmix.
Using a large spoon or a cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, divide the batter amount the muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.