Monthly Archives: September 2011

Cheesecake Brownies

Wow, I am only 3 days into the new term and I am already exhausted! Hopefully I just need a few days to get used to my new schedule, and it won’t be like this for the next 12 weeks. I think the worst part is that every day I spend a couple hours in class, then walk over to work for a few hours, then walk back to campus for another class, it just seems like it never ends. At least my classes seem to be fun(ish). I guess I will be getting to know Excel very well. I’m taking Crime Analysis, which apparently is not as exciting as it sounds! It basically means I get to sort through crime data in Excel, which while not hard, will certainly be tedious. Oh well, I’m sure you aren’t here to listen to me complain, so now on to these delightful brownies!

These brownies are probably one of the best desserts that have come out of my kitchen lately. I love cheesecake, and I love chocolate, so it makes perfect sense that together they would be amazing. The tang from the cheesecake swirl helps to offset some of the sweetness of the brownie, which made it even easier to eat a ton!

This recipe is extremely forgiving. I learned that the hard way. I decided to double this recipe to take some in to work, and apparently wasn’t paying very much attention. Not only did I leave out half of the eggs, I completely forgot to put them in until I had added in the dry ingredients. It all worked out in the end though. I was really relieved that they did, I was worried that I had wasted all of those ingredients.  The instruction bellow reflect the correct amount of eggs, and the correct order J.

I definitely plan to make these again this weekend to help recover from my first week back in class!!!

Cheesecake Brownies

Brown Eyed Baker

For the Brownies:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Place two strips of foil in the pan, creating a few inches of overhang on either side. Butter the foil; set aside.

Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Melt in a double boiler or microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract; allow the mixture to cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated.

Make the cream cheese filling by beating the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk together in a small bowl until evenly blended.

Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan, spreading it in an even layer. Drop half the cream cheese mixture, by spoonfuls, over the batter. Repeat, layering the remaining brownie batter and cream cheese filling. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the brownie batter and cream cheese filling, creating a marbled effect.

Bake until the edges of the brownies have puffed slightly, the center feels not quite firm when touched lightly, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out with several moist, fudgy crumbs adhering to it, 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool the brownies in a pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil handles. Place the brownies on a wire rack; allow them to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours. Cut into squares and serve. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

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I am so excited!

I am so excited to say: I am the proud new owner of this beauty!

 

 

KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

A Kitchenaid Professional 600 series 6-Quart stand mixer.

 

This is not my first mixer, but my previous one had an unfortunate accident. SOMEONE who will remain nameless (my boyfriend), put the flat beater through the dishwasher a while back. That caused the finish to come off and for it to constantly produce a strange black residue. It has been a huge pain to make everything with the whisk. It is not fun to make cookies that way!

So needless to say, I have been in the market for a new mixer for a while now. I wasn’t planning on one of the big ones, just an upgrade from a 4.5 to a 5 quart. But I looked on a whim, and noticed that while most of the colors were around $400, some were super low. So just as a heads up to anyone who has been wanting an upgrade, check out amazon http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KP26M1XOB-Professional-6-Quart-Stand/dp/B000P9GWFS/ref=pd_ybh_4?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=16XRWGQ8RH2TCAGXCN22. The color I got was only $260! It was brand new, sold by amazon, the only difference I could find was that it was possibly a less desirous color? I am beyond excited for this!

Coffee Cake

I have tried a lot of coffee cake recipes in the last few years, and the one I keep coming back to is a Bisquick recipe. This is odd for me; I really don’t like boxed mixes of anything. I find cake mixes to have an artificial and overly sweet flavor, frosting out of a can is even worse, and I really don’t even use pancake type mixes either. But there is just something about this coffee cake that is just perfect. Maybe it’s that it is the coffee cake I grew up on. Every Sunday morning my dad would make breakfast for the family. It might be cinnamon rolls, waffles, pancakes, but often, it was this coffee cake.

Maybe it is just nostalgia, but this coffee cake has is all. A moist fluffy cake, a buttery sweet topping, and the edges that get chewy where the sugary topping starts to caramelize. This works great in almost any size and shape vessel. Baking it in muffin tins makes for a great grab and go breakfast in the morning. I don’t really know where this recipe came from. It might be straight off the box, or have been changed over the years.

 

Coffee Cake

Cake

2 cups Original Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk or water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

 

Topping

2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter (firm)

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 9-inch round pan. Make Cinnamon Streusel; reserve.

For Streusel: Mix all ingredients in small bowl until crumbly.

Stir remaining ingredients until blended. Mix in a 1/4 of the Streusel topping and spread in pan. Cover with Cinnamon Streusel. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

 

 

 

Ideas?

We are having our annual bake sale at work in about a week and a half. The money will go towards helping the hungry in Oregon. I have decided to do a variety of individual sized loaves; banana, chocolate chip, pumpkin, lemon, and blueberry. I am also considering truffles in a few flavors. I’d love some additional ideas for what to bring! It needs to be easy to transport, since I will be in class before I walk over to work with the goodies.  Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

I really do love brown butter. I have a habit of substituting it for plain butter any time I can get away with it! I especially love it when paired with brown sugar. Enter these blondies. A regular blondie is good, with their warm caramel-y notes, but the addition of brown butter really take them over the top.  These smelled so good while baking, and when I took them to work today, you could smell them from about 20 feet in either direction! It didn’t take long for these to completely disappear. I based this loosely off of a recipe from allrecipes. I substituted the brown butter for regular, omitted the nuts, and mixed the chocolate chips into the batter. If you do like nuts, walnuts or pecans would work well here. These bake up with a thin crisp outer layer, a moist butter interior, and melty pockets of chocolate throughout.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 egg

1 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, continue cooking until is turns gold brown. Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and mix well. Cool slightly.

Add egg (beaten) and vanilla. Blend well. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing well. Add the chocolate chips.

Spread in 9×13 pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

Peach Crisp

In Oregon we are still lucky enough to be getting local peaches. Just yesterday I finally made it through the last of the 110(!!!) pounds of peaches that we got in the last few weeks. The first round was turned into a variety of jams, the last 50 pounds was cut up and frozen for use over the winter months. I held back a few from the freezer, and made this peach crisp/crumble with them.

If you are still able to get fresh peaches, you should make this crisp! Even if all you can get are frozen peaches, they will still work out fine. I plan to make this again a few times this winter with the peaches we froze to help us relive the feeling of late August and early September here in the Northwest!

Peach Crisp

Filling:

5 cups peeled, sliced peaches

½-3/4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet your peaches are

2 tsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

1 cup AP Flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¾ cup rolled oats

2/3 cup butter, firm

Preheat oven to 350.

Toss the peaches, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl to evenly coat. Place in an 8×8 baking dish.

Mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until you can form loose crumbs. Place crumbs on the peach mixture, covering completely. Bake for 30-35 minute until crumb layer is golden brown.

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Around my house we have a tradition called “cookie Wednesday.” Because I babysat my nephew, my sister would come over to pick him up, and always expect cookies. Due to changes in schedule cookie Wednesday has now changed to “cookie-whatever-day-she-happens-to-be-here. I pretty much expect to make some kind of cookie if she is over. This actually works out well for me because it forces me to try cookie recipes I have had in my “to make” folder for a while. These cookies are a cookie Wednesday experiment.

These cookies are the best of both worlds. They have the deep chocolate flavor of a brownie with the texture of a chewy cookie. These are best eaten the day you make them, preferably straight out of the oven. I froze half of the batch, and they bake up just fine from the freezer, just add a few more minutes to the cooking time.

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
2 tablespoons butter
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375º.  Line cookie sheets with parchment.

With a stand mixer beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and espresso till thick, about 5 minutes.

While eggs are beating, melt bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with butter in the microwave, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals till smooth. This can also be done on a double boiler over medium low heat.  Set aside to cool.

Add flour, baking powder and salt to egg mixture.  Fold in gently.  Fold in melted chocolate.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Allow batter to rest 5-10 minutes to thicken.  Scoop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. ( If freezing any cookies, stop at this point and freeze until solid. Remove from parchment and put into freezer safe zip top bags.) Bake about 8 minutes…cookies will still look glossy in the centers when done.  Cool completely on cookie sheets.

Makes 1 1 /2 dozen.

Hello!

Hello and welcome! As you can probably see, this is a brand new blog. I love cooking, and especially baking. I have been thinking for a while now about starting my own blog, and have finally decided to take the plunge. While this might not be the best timing, considering college classes start up again in a week, I am really looking forward to having someone to talk about my kitchen adventures with. Most of these recipes will be baking related, but as I have recently started experimenting with canning and preserving, I may share some of my recipes and experiences with jams, pickles, etc. There may be some savory/healthy/main dish type things to share here as well. Please try to stick with me as I learn about this new world (for me) of blogging, and please, if you have any tips/tricks/comments/criticism to share with me, don’t be shy!