Favorite Caramel Corn

December 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Posted in Dessert | 5 Comments
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Every family has their favorite Caramel Corn recipe, and this one is mine.  It was clipped from our local newspaper back when I was a teen and it’s been a family favorite ever since.

Caramel Corn

  • 7 cups popped popcorn (or one microwave popped bag)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Optional Add-Ins:

  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1 Cup peanuts
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Pop the popcorn and pour into a 9×12 glass baking dish and keep warm in the oven.

In a small saucepan, mix the sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Use a candy thermometer and bring the caramel mixture to 250 degrees.

Remove from heat.  Stir in the baking soda and vanilla.  Pour caramel mixture over the warm popcorn and stir.

Bake in 300 degree oven for 5 minutes. Stir and bake for another 5 minutes.

Pour mixture on wax paper and cool completely before mixing in any add-ins.  Store in airtight container.

Thanksgiving Memory Pie

November 25, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Posted in event, Pies | 4 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve decided that the best pumpkin pie is the pie I grew up on, and no matter how good a different pumpkin pie is, it just doesn’t compare with the memories that a Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie brings.  For me, this is the best pumpkin pie.

This year we are going to my parent’s house.  I’ll be bringing some of our holiday favorites…

Mashed Potatoes loaded with roasted garlic, caramelized shallots and sour cream,  simple Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and something new…Ree’s Turnip Gratin …can’t wait.  Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Gingerbread Skillet Cake

November 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Dessert | 5 Comments
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When my friend and blogging mentor (hi Gretchen!) posted her Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread cake, I knew I had to try it in my cast iron skillet.

The cake baked beautifully, the pears were perfectly caramelized, and the gingerbread had the perfect amount of spice…food blogging 101…always trust a food blogger and your cast iron skillet.

The family will love this wonderful fall dessert!

Continue Reading Gingerbread Skillet Cake…

serious cookies

November 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Cookies, Dessert | 8 Comments
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Seriously, go make these cookies, now!

Many thanks to Megan for posting these World Peace cookies.  Megan, they are awesome.  Seriously, I’ve made them twice in the past week…and I want more.

Continue Reading serious cookies…

Tricks and Treats

October 31, 2009 at 10:29 am | Posted in Dessert | 5 Comments
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Happy Halloween!

treats

To celebrate I made these caramel apples and

peanut butter sandwich “cookies”.

The caramel apples were fun to try and tasty to eat.  I decorated with melted chocolate and Reese’s Pieces.

The Peanut Butter Sandwich “Cookies” were inspired by a couple of friends.  These are a great combination of sweet/salty-creamy/crispy!  Thanks M and G!

treats bite

Peanut Butter Sandwich “Cookies”

  • chocolate chips
  • peanut butter
  • Saltines crackers
  • Crisco shortening

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, stir in 1 tsp of shortening (this makes the chocolate smooth and thin).  Spread some peanut butter between two Saltines crackers.  Dip into the melted chocolate.

Technique for dipping sandwich crackers:

  1. Drop cracker into the bowl of melted chocolate.
  2. Using a fork, flip it over until chocolate covers the cracker.
  3. Lift the cracker out of the chocolate with the fork and carefully shake.
  4. Lay on a cooking rack to dry.

Have a safe night everyone!

vanilla bean madeleines

April 25, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Dessert | 9 Comments
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madeline-top-cut-small

I first tried these cookies about 4 years ago.  My kids and I were at Starbucks and I saw this little package containing three cookies.  “Perfect, one for each of us” I thought.  At first bite I became an instant fan of these little buttery cake-like cookies.  They are, simply put, a classic.

We were back at Starbucks again this morning, and we dutifully picked up a package of madeleines.  My daughter reminded me of the madeleine cookie tray that had given to me a couple years ago.  It had been sitting in the back of the baking supply cupboard collecting dust…until today.

madeline-angle-cut

I found this recipe, fabulous!  Now I’m dreaming up different flavored madeleines.  This was my first attempt, vanilla bean, and I couldn’t be happier.

Vanilla Bean Madeleines (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
Pam for baking
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar

Special equipment: A metal madeleine baking pan, regular size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) – you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick – you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume – approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony.  Add the vanilla beans and vanilla (just until mixed).

Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.

Using a small cookie scoop, fill the mold about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake the madeleines for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes about 2 dozen regular madeleines.

madeline-side-up

mochi

March 1, 2009 at 8:25 am | Posted in Dessert | 14 Comments
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In my family, mochi was a very special treat that was always purchased from an asian market or fair.  But last year a girlfriend introduced me to this homemade version.  Still sweet, sticky and chewy bites of golden dough-like cake…without the trip to Japan-town.  These can be made with ingredients easily found at any supermarket and are every bit as wonderful as I remember from my childhood.

mochi-1

Coconut Custard Mochi (Thanks Jenni)

  • 16 oz Mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

In a bowl sift together sweet rice flour and baking powder.  Set aside.

In a large bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and beat well.

Pour coconut milk in a 2 cup measuring cup and add enough water to equal 2 cups.  Pour the coconut milk, evaporated milk, vanilla and dry ingredients into the bowl.  Mix well.

Pour batter into greased and floured 9×13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.

mochi-three

Dedicated to my grandmother.

Christmas Cookies

December 15, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Dessert | 11 Comments
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Just a quick Merry Christmas!  Today we listened to Amy Grant’s A Christmas Album while decorating Christmas cookies.  I’m bringing these to school tomorrow…

christmas-cookies-08

 I’m a teacher of teacher’s now, or so my friend says.  Going back to work full time has left little time for blogging.  But, my blogging friends, know that I still peak into your blogs every now and again.  I feel a bit like this snowman…

christmas-cookies-08-peeking

 

For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you, you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.   And suddenly, there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”          Luke 2:11-14

Continue Reading Christmas Cookies…

Chocolate Stout Cake

September 22, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Dessert | 19 Comments
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Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday Dear Hubby!

Happy Birthday to You!

For my hubby’s birthday this year I made a Chocolate Stout Cake with Guinness.

Yep, it’s a beer cake.

It’s pretty good too.  Not my personal favorite, but fun to try.

And perfect for any beer lover.

Chocolate Stout Cake (make with Guinness)

from Bon Appetit, October 2006

Cake

  • 2 cups Guinness stout
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

Icing

  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped

For Cake

Preheat oven to350 degrees.  Butter and flour three 8 inch cake pans with 2 inch high sides.  (I used three 9 inch cake pans with 1 inch sides)  Line with parchment paper rounds.  Butter rounds.

Bring stout and butter to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to melt butter.  Add cocoa; whisk until mixture is smooth.  Cool slightly.

Beat eggs and sour cream in large mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment.  Add chocolate mixture and beat until just combined.  Sift in flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Beat to blend.  Divide batter among pans.  (I had enough batter left over for and additional 36 mini cupcakes).

Bake cakes until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  About 35-45 minutes.  Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.  Turn out onto rack; remove parchment and cool.

For Icing

Put chopped chocolate into a large bowl.  Heat cream until simmer and pour over the chocolate.  Set sit 3 minutes; whisk until smooth.  Chill until spreadable, stirring often, about 3 hours.

my friend and i

September 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Dessert | 8 Comments

My friend.  She’s the best.  Today I came home to this delightful surprise…

The NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Peanut Shortbread Cookies.

Seriously, how lucky am I?!!!  Did I mention the chocolate peanut shortbread?  Irresistible!

The best part is I know she is praying for me and thinking of me.  Yep, she’s pretty awesome.  And I am pretty lucky.  Thanks M!  Now, how about that recipe?

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