Spicy Peanut Brittle

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My nephew: I could go for some peanut brittle.

Me: Hold my beer.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dry roasted peanuts
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS

Use butter to grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Also grease the spatula. Combine peanuts and cayenne, in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan. Use medium heat to melt and boil until melted sugar turns light brown. It turns quickly so keep watching. Stir in peanut mixture,  butter and vanilla.

Carefully stir in baking soda. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and, working as quickly as you can with spatula, spread it out into a thin layer. Let cool at room temperature until completely hardened, 20 to 30 minutes, then break into pieces.

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Lemon Zested Brioche with Berry Jam

Not sure which came first, the brioche or the jam.

Brioche
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon cold water

Jam
2 cups of mixed berries
1 cup of sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Directions

For Jam: Place the berries if a blender or food processor until pulse until smooth. Pour into a medium, heavy pot and stir in sugar and lemon juice.  Bring to a slow boil and let it cook for about 20 minutes until it starts to thicken.  Pour into jar, cover and refrigerate when cool.

Brioche: in a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Make a well in center of the bowl and mix in the eggs and yeast mixture. Beat well until the dough has pulled together, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.

Flatten the dough and spread it with one third of the butter. Knead this well. Repeat this twice to incorporate the remaining butter. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes between additions of butter. This process may take 20 minutes or so. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. It needs time to chill in order to become more workable.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease brioche tins. Beat the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water to make a glaze.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, form into balls and place into prepared pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 60 minutes.

Brush with the egg wash. Bake in preheated oven until a deep golden brown. Start checking the loaves for doneness after 10 minutes. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes before moving them to wire racks to cool completely.

Brown Butter & Lemon Quick Bread with Salted Honey Butter

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INGREDIENTS

Quick Bread:
2
eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
teaspoons baking powder
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
teaspoon kosher salt
cup sugar
tablespoons butter melted and browned

Honey Butter:
1 quart of heavy cream
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt

DIRECTIONS

Follow these instructions for making butter.  Once done, mix in honey and salt and set aside in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Add sugar and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture. Gradually mix with dry ingredients until just combined. Add melted and browned butter, and stir until smooth. Try not to over-mix.

Line an 8 1/2- by 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 60-75 minutes.  Cool in pan 5 minutes, remove bread from pan, and finish cooling on a rack.

 

Chewy Coconut Oat & Chocolate Cookies

Lots going on here and that’s a good thing.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 large egg, at room temperature, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, coconut, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed fluffy

Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition for 30 seconds.

Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the flour mixture in three parts, beating for about 10 seconds after each addition. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a lined cookie sheet.

Scoop out portions of dough the size of golf balls, roll them between your palms loosely, and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. It is best to make these in batches. Bake for 14 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges. Halfway through baking, remove the pan from the oven and drop it onto a heat-safe flat surface, such as the open oven door to defeat the cookies and help make them chewy.  Immediately return the cookies to the oven, rotating the pan 180 degrees, and complete baking, until the center resists light pressure but is still somewhat soft.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to make the rest of the cookies.

I got the recipe here.

Chocolate Shortbread

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You could eat these like popcorn.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in vanilla.

 

In separate small mixing bowl, stir together flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder and salt until combined then beat into butter/sugar mixture.

 

Form dough into three logs and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Slice in 1/4 pieces and  place cookies on ungreased baking sheets and bake about 15-20 minutes (or bake about 20-25 minutes or cookies about 2-3 inches in diameter).

Chewy Chocolate Muffins

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Chocolate chips and marshmallows meld together and make some magic.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter, browned
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl whisk wet ingredients.  Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients using a spatula and do not over mix. Fold in chocolate and marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Grease or line muffin tins. Fill batter to the top.  Bake for 8 minutes on 425 degrees then without opening the oven door, lower to 350 degrees and bake for about 9-12 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Salty Pirate Cookies

Coconut and almonds with a sprinkle of salt.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt + extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture then stir in coconut and almonds. Refrigerate the dough until cold, about an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheets 3 inches apart. Sprinkle some salt on top. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set. Wait a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Smitten Kitchen does it again.

INGREDIENTS
FILLING

170 gramscreamy peanut butter
80 grams powdered sugar
Two pinches of flaky seas salt

COOKIE

115 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
100 grams granulated sugar, plus more to coat cookies
95 grams dark brown sugar
65 grams creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175 grams flour
55 grams dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Filling
Line a small tray or plate with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt with a fork; it’s a little messy but it will come together. Once evenly mixed, use a teaspoon measure to scoop heaped teaspoons of filling into little balls. Spread them out on prepared tray or plate. Once you’ve used all the filling, put the tray in the freezer while you make the cookie portion.

Cookie
Beat softened butter with peanut butter and sugars until creamed together. Add vanilla, egg, and salt, and beat until combined. Sift in baking powder and cocoa, beat to combine, then add flour and mix until flour disappears.

Place 1 to 2 tablespoons extra granulated sugar in a small bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a scoop of cookie dough that’s just shy of 2 tablespoons and place it in the palm of your hand. Flatten it with your fingers. Take a peanut butter filling from the freezer and place it in the center, and wrap the chocolate dough around, rolling it in your palms until smooth. Roll it in the granulated sugar to coat, place it on your prepared baking sheet and gently flatten the cookie, just slightly, with your fingers.

Bake cookies:
For 8 to 10 minutes. This is going to seem like really little time, and the cookies are definitely going to look underbaked, but remember that we are just baking a thin outer shell of a cookie (the center doesn’t need to be baked), and this does not take long. Let cookies rest and set up on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool.

Candied Lemon Angel Food Cake

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Spongy, light, and sweet.  Just as it should be.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Don’t grease or flour your angel food cake pan. A 10″ round pan or an angel food loaf pan will fit this recipe well.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, salt, and extract. Beat until the mixture is just frothy, then sprinkle the cream of tartar on top and continue beating until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.

Add the remaining sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, then gradually fold in the dry ingredients.

Spoon the batter into the pan, and bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched.

Remove the cake from the oven, and set it upside down with a bottle through its center cone to keep its top from flattening on the counter. Let the cake cool for 1 1/2 hours. This cooling period sets the structure, and keeps the cake from collapsing.

Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife, and remove it from the pan. Glaze and decorate as you like. 

Jorge’s Chocolate Cake

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Feliz cumpleaños, Jorge.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup  unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup  buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted chocolate (whatever leftover chips or scraps you may have)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, espresso powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not overmix. Fold in melted chocolate. Scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure everything is mixed in.

Pour the batter into loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes before you turn out.

I got the recipe here.