Blue Cheese, Walnut & Grape Muffins

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/4 finely chopped walnuts + extra for topping
12 grapes cut into small pieces
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients–milk, butter, eggs.  Take a fork or wire whisk and blend the two briefly–do not overmix. Fold in the nuts and grapes. 

Fill the cups of the muffin pan two-thirds to three-quarters full. Sprinkle nuts on top

Bake the muffins for 10 minutes and then lower over to 350 F and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and as soon as you can handle them turn them out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

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Chocolate Covered Flap Jacks

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 1/3 cups oats
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium-sized pot, melt butter with brown sugar, and honey. After it boils simmer for 30 seconds.  Take it off the heat and mix in oats. Spread in pan in an even layer and baked bars for 25 minutes, until deeply golden at edges.

If you’d like to add chocolate, let them rest in their pan on a cooling rack for 3 to 4 minutes before sprinkling the chips all over, then waiting 5 minutes before spreading them in a single layer.

I worked with this recipe.

Bakery Style Corn Muffins

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Give someone the gift of waking up to a fresh hot corn muffin.

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cups flour
2/3 cups corn meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup melted and cooled butter

DIRECTIONS

Whisk together dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another.  Combine until just mixed and refrigerate for approx. an hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray or grease muffin tin.  Scoop mixture into muffin cups and bake for 10 minutes at 425.  Do not open oven door.  After 10 minutes, lower temperature to 375 F and bake for another 10 minutes.

Brown Butter Bars

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Baker By Nature does a great job with this stuff.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and spray parchment lightly with non-stick spray, set aside.

Melt butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Continue cooking butter, stirring frequently, until it’s a light amber color and smells slightly nutty. Remove from heat at once and cool for a few minutes before whisking in the brown sugar; beat until well combined. Add in the egg, beating until combined. Gently stir in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, being sure not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until the edges are firm and golden and the center is just slightly wobbly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Apple & Sour Cream Bundt

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So many fall goodies in one bundt pan.

INGREDIENTS

Apple Nut Mixture:

2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cake batter:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter,softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs room temperature
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons milk

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325°F; grease a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Prepare apple-nut filling by cooking all ingredients, except nuts, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until apples are tender. This will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in nuts. Set aside.

Combine sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until each addition is just incorporated into the batter, don’t over beat. Fold in apple mixture.

Spread batter in the baking pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turnout onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Whisk together ingredients for glaze and drizzle on top.

 

 

Campfire Pie

Imagine a buttery graham cracker crust, decadent chocolate pudding, and fluffy marshmallow frosting and you’ll never need to pretend you like camping again.

INGREDIENTS

Crust
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker cookies
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 stick melted butter

Pudding
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks (save the whites for the frosting)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Frosting
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS

Crust
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes. Cool. 

Pudding
Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.

Pour the pudding into cooled pie crust.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set.

Frosting
Add the egg whites, granulated sugar, cream of tarter, and salt to a heat-safe bowl of an stand mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water.

Heat the mixture, whisking constantly until the egg whites are warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and transfer to your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 7-9 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last 10 seconds of mixing.

Pipe onto pie immediately.

Orange & Chocolate Muffins

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Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice + 1 teaspoon for glaze
Zest of one orange
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup melted browned butter, cooled
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

DIRECTIONS
Melt butter and put aside. In a large bowl sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, orange zest, and salt.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, milk, vanilla, sour cream and orange juice.

Pour the wet ingredients, including melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. The batter will be lumpy. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over-mix or the muffins will become tough. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners or spray with nonstick spray.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups using small ice cream scoop.

Bake at 425 F for about 10 minutes, lower oven to 350 and bake for additional 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Whisk together powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of orange juice and drizzle over muffins.

Michael’s 50th Cake

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When you husband turns 50 you celebrate with a chocolate cake fit for a King.  Thanks to Baker by Nature for the recipe. Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream and a salted caramel fudge sauce.

INGREDIENTS

Hot Fudge Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Cake:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup chocolate chips

Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter very soft
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce (see below for recipe)

Garnish:
1 cup hot fudge sauce sauce (see below for recipe)
4 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, shaved
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS 

Hot Fudge Sauce

Whisk together the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, gently tilting the pan side-to-side to help the ingredients cook evenly and avoid burning, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sugar turns a deep golden brown/copper color. Once the caramel reaches this color, remove from heat and immediately add in the heavy cream. Be very careful during this step – the caramel will hiss and bubble up aggressively!

Add in the chopped chocolate and stir smooth. Finally, stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Vigorously whisk the mixture smooth and set aside to cool. Store covered, for up to one week, in the fridge.

Cake

Preheat oven to 350°(F). Cut out three 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line your cake pans with. Spray each pan generously – sides and bottom – with nonstick cooking spray, then place the parchment paper cut out in the bottom of the pans and spray again. It’s important to make sure every bit of pan and paper are sprayed so your cakes don’t get stuck. Set pans aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, combine both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Use your hands to break up any large clumps, if needed. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, egg yolks, milk, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract; mix until completely combined. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on low until just incorporated. Pour in hot water and continue mixing until completely combined; about 1 minute. The batter will quite thin. Quickly fold in mini chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pans and transferring to a cooling rack. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Frosting

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric beater, cream the softened butter on medium-speed until completely smooth; about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and sift the powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed and mix until the sugar/cocoa have been absorbed by the butter; about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium; add in vanilla extract, salt, heavy cream and hot fudge; beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting appears a little too thin, add a little more confectioners’ sugar; If your frosting needs to be thinner, add additional heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Assembly

Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the raised top of each cake, making each one an even, level surface. Transfer 1 layer to a large plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top, then add a 1/2 cup of hot fudge sauce; top with another cake layer, and repeat, thinly spread it with a layer of frosting, then adding a 1/2 cup of hot fudge sauce. Top with the final cake layer and place cake in the fridge to set for 1 hour. Once set, finishing frosting the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the sides and top with chocolate shavings, then gently press the mini chocolate chips around the sides and on the top. Slice and serve, or keep refrigerated for about a week.

Peach Bars

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We spent the weekend and Georgia and I had one thing on my mind.

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

For the Filling:

1 half-pint peach jam

For the Crumb Topping:

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
pinch salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350º F. Mix together butter, flour, and confectioner’s sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan, a pie plate, tart pan, or other pan for your baking.
Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
Spread peach jelly evenly all over the crust. Combine flour, sugar, and butter in a medium bowl with a pastry blender or fork. Stir in oats, nuts, and salt. Spread crumb topping evenly over filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting, about 45 minutes to an hour. Cut into squares and serve.
I worked with this recipe.

Buttered Sour Cream Cake

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Butter makes most stuff better.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter
3 cups sugar + extra for pan
6 large eggs, room temperature
8 ounces sour cream room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch bundt pan or tube pan with butter and sugar. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating each one in before adding the next then stir in the sour cream.

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl then add to batter 1/2 cup at a time until combined. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 325 degrees for 80 to 85 minutes. I always like to start testing at 75 minutes. Carefully insert a long wooden pick into center of cake. Cake is done when dry crumbs or no crumbs stick to the pick.
Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 1 to 20 minutes before inverting on a tray to cool completely. Ice as desired.
I worked with this recipe.