Thursday, June 30, 2011

nom nom nom

If you like bacon and you like chocolate chip cookies, you are guaranteed to like love these.

If you don't like bacon and you don't like chocolate chip cookies, we clearly can't be friends.  (Some exceptions may apply)

A number of people around the interwebs have made these, or variations on these.  I know the whole bacon things is "over", but can we ever truly get over something so delicious?  No, no we cannot.

I've been dreaming of these ever since I made them and ate them.  You know when you immediately want to make something again that it was good.

Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Candied Bacon
8 strips of bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Spread bacon on a tinfoil-lined (very important if you ever want to use your pan again/ don't want to scrub until your hands are raw) baking sheet.
2. Sprinkle on brown sugar and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 18-25 minutes or until crispy, flipping after 10 minutes.
3.  Once cooled, cut into little bits.

For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs.
3. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
4. Fold in chocolate chips and bacon.
5. Place balls of dough (whatever size you like) on cookie sheet with enough space to spread.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes watching carefully.  Remove when edges begin to golden.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

wheat germ shortbread

I had decided that I wanted to make a shortbread for Margot's shower.  What I really wanted to make was THESE.  But, I felt like I should try something new.  So, I racked my brain for something similar and came up with wheat germ.  This recipe is so easy, which was also a selling point.

Wheat Germ Shortbread

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1. Beat together bitter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add vanilla and beat in.
3. Beat in flour and wheat germ until just combined.
4. Roll dough in sugar and form a log.  Throw it in the fridge for a few hours or the freezer for about 20 minutes.
5.  Cut cookies about 1 cm in thickness and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom.

Monday, June 27, 2011

pecan pie

I spent the week before the shower baking like a mad woman to get ready.  It's rather surprising that I've never made a pecan pie before.  It's one of my very favourite desserts and conveniently, one of Margot's favourites too.  Warmed up and topped with ice cream, doesn't get much better than that.

I wasn't totally happy with the pie because I cut a corner and used a pre-made crust,  but now that I know how easy it is, I will have to make some pie dough and try this out for realzies (it's a word, I swear). 

Classic Pecan Pie

1 crust
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare crust according to recipe (I prefer Dorie Greenspan's recipe).
2. Beat together all ingredients except the pecans, pour into crust and place pecans on top.  Make it pretty!
3. Bake for about 45 minutes with the edges covered to prevent burning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

guest post

I'm guest posting again today at Newfoundlander at Heart!

Go on over to get the recipe for this delicious cake.  Yum!

Friday, June 24, 2011

lime and toasted coconut corona blondies

I'm not going to lie to you, dear readers.  Partially because I lack the ability to lie (literally, I have to walk away from people so they don't see my face), and also because it's wrong to lie to your trusting friends and family,especially about baked goods. All that to say, I wasn't totally happy with these.  I think it's mostly my fault.  I used fresh, fizzy beer.  Just like the recipe said.  But, they came out far too cakey for me.  The original recipe pictures don't look cakey at all.   

As for taste....awesome!  That is if you like a cool corona with lime on a hot summer day, which obviously you do.  That being said, I did prefer them cold.  It just works better.  Trust me, I wouldn't lie to you ; ).

Lime and Toasted Coconut Corona Blondies
slightly adapted from scarletta bakes

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. white sugar, granulated
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. Corona beer
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. lime zest
1/2 cup toasted coconut
cooking spray

1. Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan liberally with cooking spray and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
3. Beat in the flour and salt alternating with the beer, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once a uniform batter has formed, fold in the zest.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. Cool, cut and enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

birthday fun cupcakes!

Oy, I've been a bad blogger lately.  Hopefully that will change this week as I have a ton of baking to do for Margot's wedding shower next weekend.

I made these quick cupcakes for my friend Meaghan's bday on Friday.  As soon as I saw the recipe linked to by Jessica of How Sweet it Is, I knew I had to make that frosting!!  I was happy to discover Confessions of a Cookbook Queen as well because she has tons of scrumptious looking stuff on her blog too!

How awesome is this new plate?  The best kind of bike...the one with cupcake wheels.

And one last awesome thing...this button that my Mom's friend (and my new Uncle) made for me.  : )

I hope that's not too much awesomeness for you to handle in one day.

Cream Cheese Cake Batter Frosting
by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

1 stick salted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup white cake mix

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and extract(s) on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cake mix and beat on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. If frosting is too thick, mix in a bit of heavy cream or milk until desired consistency is reached.

Note: I made this using unsalted butter and only used 2 cups of powdered sugar.  I think the salt would have been nice though.

Friday, June 3, 2011

banana chocolate biscotti

I had saved this recipe last year when I was going through a bit of a biscotti phase (yeah, I go through baked good phases...I'm cool like that).  I hadn't made these crunchy treats in a while and decided to make some for a book club tea on Sunday. 

These turned out perfectly.  They cut beautifully, they taste delicious and the texture is exactly what I look for in biscotti. 

I love how long biscotti lasts, allowing me to use my beloved Liberty of London cookie jar, which quite frankly, never stays full for very long.
I kept a bunch sans chocolate for the cookie jar and they're delicious as well. 

Banana Chocolate Biscotti
from A Whisk and a Prayer

4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white or milk chocolate chips, melted

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
2.  In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffly.  Add eggs, banana, and vanilla and beat to combine.
3.  Add dry ingredients and beat until it just comes together.
4.  On a parchment lined cookie sheet form two logs (approximately 3x12), smoothing with a fondant smoother and bake for 25 minutes.
5.  Remove from oven and spritz lightly with water to soften outer edge.  Cut biscotti to desired size.  I like mine quite thin.  Lay pieces on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, flipping them half way.  When golden brown, they are done.  Remove and let cool.
6.  Once cool, dip in or drizzle with chocolate, allow to harden and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

fennel black tea cupcakes

We've been having a mini heat wave here. I've been avoiding my oven for the last few days, but luckily, I had a good baking weekend and thus, lots to share!

Sometimes experiments in baking don't go exactly as planned.  Sometimes this is a very bad thing (errrmmm..."healthy zucchini muffin pucks" anyone?) and other times, they end in a surprisingly delicious treat.  Thankfully, this is one of the latter instances.  These cupcakes are so yummy!  Neither the tea or the fennel came out very distinctly, but they still had a lovely lightly sweet and fragrant taste. 

I took them to a friend's house and they were all gone within minutes of being offered up.  I wasn't sure how people would feel about fennel so only topped a few with fennel seeds, but the flavours popped more on those ones and the people that did have them enjoyed them.

Give them a try!  I'd love to hear people's thoughts.

Fennel-Black Tea Cupcakes

for the cupcakes
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp finely crushed fennel seeds
3/4 cup strongly brewed black tea (I used orange pekoe)

for the frosting
1 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp crushed fennel seed
1/4 cup strongly brewed black tea

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and fennel seeds and set aside.
2. Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat until combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients and tea slowly, alternating between the two.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool.
5.  Make frosting by beating cream cheese and butter together, slowly adding icing sugar, fennel seed, vanilla and tea.  Frosting will be fairly runny.  You could also use licorice liquer to get more of the licorice flavour, but I didn't have any in the house.
6. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!