Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm back!

Back from NYC!
It was such an amazing trip, and I had a great time.

But i'm SO ready to get back in the kitchen!
I'll be posting new stuff soon!


Monday, August 11, 2008

New York Citayyyy!

I won't be able to do any TWD posts..even bake for that matter, cause I'm in New York City!!
Vacationnnn baby.
I'm really SO excited to be here though...(it's my first time...i know, crazy, right?!)

Soo i'll be back in a couple weeks, and until then, I wish all you guys Happy Baking!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blueberry Cream Mini Scones

Another blueberry recipe...I just can't get enough blueberries, there's just SO many different things to bake with them!

I bought a mini scone pan at William Sonoma a little while ago, and wanted to use it. And when I saw this recipe at the pastry studio I of course was already in my kitchen getting it out.

The original recipe is just a plain scone, is not made into mini scones, and of course, I added blueberries to it. They came out very very good. Everything you'd expect in a great quality, bakery-type scone.
The recipe also has other additions you could add to the batter such as raisins, or currants etc., but I chose blueberries!

I highly recommend trying these,(even if you dont have a mini scone pan), if you're a scone lover. A really great way to start off your day!

Blueberry Cream Mini Scones
adapted from Pastry Studio

2 cups flour
1 tblsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tblsp. melted butter for brushing tops
sugar for sprinkling tops

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease mini scone pan.

Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in blueberries if using. Add cream, and gently stir with a fork. Stop mixing when it starts to come together and the cream seems fairly absorbed. Be careful not to overmix. The dough will look loose and lumpy and not like a finished dough.

Pour the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Flour your hands a bit, and using a very light touch begin to gather into a 9'' circle. It will come together just enough to look like it might work. Do not handle very much to achieve maximum tenderness!

Carefully place the dough into each scone mold, and gently press down, so it fits evenly. 
Brush the tops with a little melted butter, and a light sprinkle of sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden. Serve immediately with your choice of jam, coffee, or whatever you love to eat your scones with!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blueberry Crumb Bars

We had bought SO many blueberries from the grocery store, and since it's summer, blueberries of course, are at their ripest.

I was looking for a recipe that would use up all these blueberries, when I found this one on Smitten Kitchen. Maybe it was just the beautiful pictures that caught my eye, but something just popped in my head that said "MAKE THESE NOW!"...So of course, I did!

They turned out very, verrrrry yummy!
The short-bread-like layers, sandwiches that sweet, fruity taste of the blueberries, and after it's all baked up, some of those juices from the blueberries start to bubble up, and the end result is just absolutely DELISHHH!
Sooo...Make these now!

Blueberry Crumb Bars
from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cold butter(2 sticks)
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch 

1. preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the berry layer. 

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.**

**these are easiest to cut once chilled, so I stuck them in the fridge after they cooled, then cut them. So much easier. They tasted VERY good cold.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TWD: Black and White Banana Loaf

Coincidentally, I've already made this!
Soo please refer here to see how it came out!!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chewy White Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies

I LOVE chocolate cookies...something about a chewy, rich, ultra-chocolate-y cookie just makes my mouth waterrrrr.
Another big obsession of mine, is white chocolate. 

So when I saw these cookies from Picky Palate I knew I HAD to try them.
They really remind me of an oreo cookie-like flavor, and are a HUGE crowd pleaser, if you ask me.

If you're a chocolate cookie, and white chocolate fan, I strongly recommend trying these out!
Chewy White Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies
from Picky Palate
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup cocoa powder( Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa powder)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease cookie sheet(I used a silpat liner)
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the salt and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until fluffy, but still soft. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Brown Sugar Streusel Baked French Toast

I absolutely LOVE french toast. When I think of the weekends, one thing is always on my mind...a nice big breakfast of either waffles, pancakes, or french toast. And i'm sure you all agree with me!
My mom used to make(and still does) the BEST french toast, usually out of challah...the perfect bread to use for french toast, if you ask me. But she hasn't made some in a very long time.

I, of course was craving french toast this weekend, and just happened to find this recipe from one of my favorite sites, Baking Bites, for make-ahead, BAKED, french toast. BINGO!

It was perfect, the simplest thing to make...all you have to do is put it together the night before, refrigerate it, then when your ready to eat the next morning, pop it in the oven, and your done!

It came out SO good...the streusel topping adds such a great cinnamon-y flavor, and it smells amazing while it bakes! Another thing, Nicole says, is that it bakes up to be slightly crispy, which was a great contrast to the custardy and soft french toast.
I strongly recommend making this sometime, and it's a great dish to have on hand for breakfast or brunch, if you're having company over.

Brown Sugar Streusel Baked French Toast
From Nicole of Baking Bites
12 Slices White bread (approx)
2 cups milk
4 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tblsp. all purpose flour
pinch salt
2 tblsp. butter, melted

Cut crusts off bread, and each piece into triangles. Arrange bread into 3 even layers, (the exact number of slices will vary, depending on the size of bread you start out with) in a lightly greased 8-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Pour over bread, press down to ensure all pieces are thoroughly soaked. Custard should just come to the top of the bread layer. If it covers it more deeply, add additional bread.
In a small bowl, make the streusel. Stir together brown sugar, flour and salt. Pour in butter, and stir with a fork until mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Sprinkle evenly over bread and custard.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. 
Preheat oven to 350F and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until french toast is a golden brown on top. Let the dish stand for a few minutes. The dish will be very soft and  souffle-like, but should not be too runny. The french toast will continue to set and soak up the custard as it cools. Slice and serve warm, with maple syrup.
Serves 6-8