Saturday, September 12, 2015

Blueberry Muffins


There are a few things that most people know about me: I love my boys more than anything in the world, there is no food better than mashed potatoes, red wine is a gift from above and.....I do NOT like the heat!  This past week we had 4 days straight with temps over 100 degrees (most of them 107).  This may not sound so bad to most of you but I don't have A/C....and I'm a baker!  There is not much that I will ever complain about, and never publicly, but I do not mind being a baby and telling you all that I have been whining for days about being hot!  I'm sure you can all understand how delighted I was this morning when I awoke to 63 degrees outside and a forecast of temps in the 80's at the highest.  Let's hope they are right in that forecast because I immediately turned on the oven and started baking!

My oldest LOVES blueberry muffins and he bought blueberries the other day in the hopes that I would possibly bake some for him.  I pretty much laughed at the request but with the lower temps this morning I decided to be a sweet mama and surprise him.

These are very simple blueberry muffins and super easy to make!  The muffin is tender and moist, there are blueberries in every bite but not so many that you don't taste the muffin itself, and it is not too sweet!  Plus, just look how pretty they are!!!

I'm off to enjoy the cool morning air before it gets warm again and I have to become a grumpy hermit!  Happy Saturday!




Blueberry Muffins 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk butter, eggs and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl and add to the wet ingredients (do not over stir); fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake until muffins are golden brown and a tester comes out clean, around 20 minutes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Truffle Brownies


I guess I disappeared again....sorry it's been so long!  I graduated from college in May, moved and had a couple of vacations, so I've not been able to really focus on the blog.  I'm hoping all of that will change and I can get my creative juices flowing again!

I was asked by a client to make something fun for an event and I knew the guest of honor at that event loves chocolate....enter Truffle Brownies.  I'm not quite sure what I was expecting since I already make the best brownies in the world (triple chocolate espresso brownies) but these far surpassed my expectations.  I assume the guests at the party agreed since the brownies disappeared after dinner.  Also, there were comments that these were the best brownies ever and that they are not like any other brownie....and they aren't.  They are rich and creamy and sinful!  

Gotta give props to Bon Appetit for this awesome recipe.  I didn't add the nuts but did add chocolate chips to the batter before baking.  With that exception, I followed the recipe exactly.  I will tell you that the key to these brownies is in the quality of the chocolate.  I used a pretty good bittersweet chocolate for both the brownie and the ganache and I think it makes all the difference!



Truffle Brownies via Bon Appetit 

Ingredients:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divide (half for melting, half for ganache)
11 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips (to add to batter)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preparation:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang. Spray foil with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate and butter in double boiler over simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from over water and cool chocolate mixture until lukewarm, 5 to 10 minutes.

Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, then add 1 cup dark chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 26 to 28 minutes. Transfer pan to cooling rack and let brownies cool completely.

To make the ganache, bring cream to a simmer in small saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 6 ounces chocolate and let stand 5 minutes to soften, then whisk until melted and smooth. Allow ganache to cool and thicken a bit before pouring over brownie in pan and spread to cover completely. Let stand at cool room temperature until topping is set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.

Using the foil as an aid, lift brownie sheet from pan. Fold down foil edges. Using large sharp knife, cut brownie sheet into 25 squares, wiping knife with hot moist cloth after each cut. Arrange brownies on platter and serve.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)


Over the years I've gotten requests from clients for gluten free baked goods.  I always feel really bad that I have to answer no but the truth is, I don't like to sell anything that I feel isn't my best.  All of those rice flours, quinoa flours, and oat flours scare me because I don't know if I can make them taste as good the wheat flour.

Well, I'm tired of being scared so I've decided to try out some gluten free recipes and see how I do.  Ok, ok , ok.....these cookies don't have any type of flour in them at all but I'm starting with the known before I move into the unknown!  Baby steps people!  I did my gluten free research and found a few recipes without any flour and decided to start with those.  So far I've made these cookies and a flourless chocolate cake (to die for).  Next I'll buy some rice flour and start playing around with new recipes.  I think everyone deserves the right to eat my delicious baked treats, so I better start making them accessible to everyone!

My son's reaction when he tasted them..."I don't know what the big deal is Mom, they taste like really good Peanut Butter Cookies....not like you left out the flour".  Honestly, that's what I thought too!  The only problem with them is that I kept telling myself they were healthier without the flour and couldn't stop myself from eating a bunch of them!  Good luck!  :)

Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten free) adapted from Real Simple

2 cups peanut butter (not the all-natural variety) 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
(can add a handful of chocolate chips, toffee bits, or peanut butter chips for fun)

Directions:
Heat oven to 350° F.

Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.

Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. With a fork, press the dough, making a crisscross pattern on top of each cookie.

Bake until the edges are set, approximately 10 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe shared on:
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop