Friday, November 28, 2008
I love German Chocolate cake, so when I saw this recipe for German Chocolate cookies, I knew I had to try it. I needed to make some cookies to thank someone at work for helping me out, so I made these for her.
This recipe called for German’s sweet chocolate (which was named after a man named German, not of German origin). Well, I made these one of those nights when things weren’t quite going right. I had gone to the store to get the chocolate and when I went to melt it, the chocolate completely scorched and burned. I think there was a little water in the glass measuring cup that I used for melting the chocolate, which always causes problems.
I looked in the cupboard and I had some milk chocolate left over from another recipe that I thought would work for a substitute. Well, I burned that too! Yikes, I was running out of ingredients to use as a substitute. I finally used a mix of semi-sweet chips and milk chips, and melted them using a double boiler. The microwave usually works, but it let me down this time.
Well, despite the struggle with the chocolate, the cookies were great. Nice and chewy, with the added bits of pecans and coconut. They came together just as any other drop cookie, but they seemed special because of all the added flavors. I will make these again!
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 4-oz. bar German’s sweet chocolate, melted
1-1/4 cups flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the melted chocolate and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating until combined. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set in the center. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Paula Deen’s Holiday Baking
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I really like ginger cookies, one of my favorites is the triple ginger cookie that I make. I came across this recipe on Bakingblonde’s weblog and thought I would give it a try. The recipe called for some good spices and molasses and also called for cinnamon chips, which seemed interesting.
I love this time of year when the stores carry all of these unusual baking chips. Cinnamon chips are one of those that can usually only be found this time of year. I try to stock up since I know that is my only chance to get these special chips. I thought I had some cinnamon chips, but I guess I had used them up. So I went to the store to find them. Well, I went to all these stores and I wasn’t able to find them! Stores had special displays for holiday baking, but no cinnamon chips. I can’t ever find raspberry chocolate chips either, I wonder if they make those anymore?
Well, my husband and I were out last weekend and hit one more grocery store, and they had the chips! I bought three bags since I didn’t know when I would see them again. It seems a bit too complicated to order them online, but I guess I would do that if I had to.
I like the flavor of these a lot, and they are so soft and chewy. I’m a little surprised that they are as chewy as they are since they use butter rather than shortening. The ginger cookie that I typically make uses shortening, and I’ve always figured that’s why they are so chewy. Maybe adding the molasses makes a difference.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup Cinnamon Chips
1 cup sugar (for rolling dough balls)
In a medium size bowl stir or sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl mix together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix to combine. Slowly add molasses and beat to combine and mixture is creamy. Add the flour mixture slowly and mix until combined. Gently stir in the cinnamon chips.
Chill dough for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking sheet.
Form dough balls and roll in the 1 cup of sugar. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 9-12 minutes until edges are set and light brown. Do not overbake or cookies will be crisp. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and then allow cookies to cool completely on wire rack.
Recipe from Bakingblonde’s Weblog (http://bakingblonde.wordpress.com/)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Vibi from La Casserole Carrée selected this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie. This is a combination of a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie, as a way to answer the question of which traditional Thanksgiving pie should you make! In my family we never had pumpkin pie, so this was not a question growing up. I don’t really remember having pecan pie either. I just don’t remember what we had for dessert. It’s all about the turkey, right?
I’ve made a couple of pumpkin pies, despite the fact that I don’t really like pumpkin pie (pumpkin anything) all that much. I do like pecan pie a lot, and have made many of those, including miniature ones and a really fancy chocolate pecan pie. A couple of years ago my husband decided to make a sweet potato pie. I like sweet potatoes, so I thought I would give this a try. I really liked it so for this pie I decided to substitute sweet potato puree for the pumpkin puree. The only other thing I changed was I used bourbon instead of dark rum.
I’ve made this a couple days in advance of Thanksgiving, and I plan to serve it on Thanksgiving. I hope that it will keep for a couple of days! It came together nicely, but I did have to bake it about 10 minutes longer than the recipe specified. I also didn’t prebake the crust, because I didn’t want to over bake the crust. I think the crust looks perfect so I’m glad that I didn’t prebake. It saved me some time, too.
I’ll update after Thanksgiving to let you know how it tastes. Right now it just looks like a pecan pie!
Friday, November 21, 2008
I had trouble deciding which recipe I would make this week. I had one recipe in mind but I couldn’t find one of the ingredients that I needed, so that one will have to make. My husband and I picked up a couple of items at the grocery store and figured that I would find something.
My husband brought out one of the cookie cookbooks that I have, but not one that I use very often. I’m not sure why I don’t use it more, it has some great cookies in it! My husband picked out three recipes to look at. Unfortunately, one of them needed to refrigerate for several hours, and the other two were bar cookies. I’d made a lot of bar cookies lately, so I wanted something different.
I was thumbing through the book and came across this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand and it was quite different than the cookies that I had made recently. I like cookies that have a good fruit flavor, like this one does. This recipe called for fresh cranberries, but I left those out. I had fresh cranberries, but I didn’t think that it really needed the ½ cup of fresh cranberries. After all, it had 4-1/2 cups of other bits added to it.
The recipe also included a light glaze, but I left that off. My husband kept saying that they didn’t need a glaze and after tasting one of the cookies, I agreed completely. They are a bit of a “homey” looking cookie, but they have great flavor. The butter is a strong flavor and then you can really taste the lemon. The lemon in combination with the cinnamon is excellent.
1-2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons lemon zest
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat until lightened. Add the brown sugar and lemon zest, mix about 2 minutes until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and then stir in the pecans, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until browned around the edges and set in the center. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Another occasion for a celebration cake at work! I’ve picked up a couple of holiday baking magazines this season and Paula Deen’s magazine has some great looking things. There were a number of cakes in the magazine that I was deciding between, and I eventually decided on this gingerbread cake.
So I’m usually a good planner and have the ingredients on hand. My kitchen is fairly well stocked, so some things I just take for granted. Well, I thought I had everything and then realized that I didn’t have enough oil. Fine, I hadn’t really gotten too far so off to the store. I get oil and then proceed to make the cake, but then realize that I didn’t have enough molasses! Off to the store again. Some times when things start like this I think nothing but the worst.
The cake came together nicely. It was originally supposed to be baked in 3 9-inch pans, but I don’t have a third pan so I just made it in two. It had to bake longer than the 20 minutes that the original recipe called for, but that’s ok. This was also supposed to have a cranberry filling, but I wasn’t sure that everyone would like that, so I just made a double recipe of the frosting and used that for the filling. (I’ve given the ingredients for double the frosting here.)
I’m not so great at frosting cakes, but I think I did a good job with this cake. I just need more practice. My cakes always dome a bit on top and then when you put the layers together there are some empty spaces to fill in. This was a bit hit at work and it fed a lot of people. I will make this again, maybe with the cranberry filling. It was honestly so good that I’m not sure I want to change too much!
I cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
3-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons orange zest
9 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
In a large mixer bowl, mix oil, sugar, molasses and eggs. Beat on medium until combined.
In another bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, lemon zest, salt and cloves. Gradually add to the oil mixture, alternatively with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. (Add 1/3 the flour mixture, ½ the buttermilk, 1/3 more flour, ½ the buttermilk and end with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.)
Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the frosting: cream together the cream cheese, butter and orange zest. Gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth. Fill and frost the cake.
Adapted from Paula Deen’s Holiday Baking