Mmmm Caramel Brownies!

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I was going through the past posts on our blog recently, and I realized that we only have one brownie recipe! On a website called Sweet Little Brownies, there needs to be more brownie action! A friend of mine sent me the link to this Caramel Brownie recipe, and I thought it would be the perfect addition to our growing repertoire.

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The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, which is a great blog. I once made her “100% from scratch” marinara sauce, and it was amazing! So, I was not at all hesitant to try this recipe out, and it did not disappoint! I followed the recipe and instructions exactly, and they turned out great!

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These brownies are really yummy! They’re the perfect balance between cakey and fudgey, and then you get the extra oompf from the gooey caramel. To be perfectly honest, they’re one of the best brownies I’ve ever had. The bestest brownies ever are served at a restaurant on campus, and they’re are affectionately called “Crack Brownies” by my friends and I, so I think second place to those is a bit of an achievement.

Below, I included the link to the Smitten Kitchen blog, where you can find detailed process pictures and directions.

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Thanks for coming by this week! Enjoy the beautiful spring weather!

-G

 

Caramel Brownies

From Smitten Kitchen

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/02/salted-caramel-brownies/

Makes 1 8×8 pan of brownies which you can cut into 16 2-inch squares

Caramel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or salted, but then ease up on the sea salt)
1/8 teaspoon table salt, more to taste
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Brownie
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour

Make caramel: Set a square of parchment paper over a medium-sized plate. Lightly butter or coat the parchment with a spray oil, just as an added security measure.

In a medium, dry saucepan over medium-high heat, melt your sugar; this will take about 5 minutes, stirring if necessary to break up large chunks. By the time it is all melted, if should be a nice copper color; if not, cook until it is. Remove from heat and stir in butter. It may not incorporate entirely but do your best. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer and melted again any sugar that solidified. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a shade darker.

Pour out onto parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to your freezer. Freeze until solidified, which can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes in a decent freezer to 40 minutes in my terrible one.

Meanwhile, or when your caramel is almost firm, make your brownies: Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. You can also do this in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula.

Assemble brownies: When caramel is firm, remove it from the freezer and chop it into rough 1-inch squares. Gently fold all but a small amount of caramel bits into batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan, spreading until mostly even. Scatter remaining caramel bits on top. Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool thoroughly — a process that can be hastened in the freezer, which will also produce cleaner cuts — and cut into squares or other desired shapes.

Lemon Knots!

Hey there! For once, the future isn’t looking like a frightening thing. For the first time in a while, I’ve found myself happiness baking, not stress baking. With summer coming up so quickly, its time for some more lemon citrus goodness. This week, I baked some lemon knot cookies. Lemon-y, but not too in your face. If anyone knows why these cookies are made into knots, please let me know. I’m genuinely curious. These cookies were pretty simple, and tasted like a lemon shortbread.

Make the dough, and then put it into the fridge to harden a little bit. Since I’m a pretty impatient person, I only waited an hour. But 3 hours to overnight would be better, I understood why after I had a little difficulty with the knot forming part of this. Cut it into strips then roll them out.

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Now the slightly tricky part. Tie these into lose knots. Maybe keeping these in the fridge for longer would have been helpful, but once you get the hang of it, this isn’t too difficult.

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And bake away!

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(Consistency not required)

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These are coated with a glaze. I used some icing sugar and lemon juice.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve eaten way too many of these. March Madness TV time requires some intense snackage.

Have a wonderful week!

– S

Recipe from Laura Vitale: http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=398

I made one third of this and got about 15 cookies out of it.

Ingredients:


4 cups of All Purpose Flour

3 tsp of Baking Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

1 cup of Granulated Sugar

½ cup of Shortening

Zest of One Lemon

Juice of One Lemon

3 Eggs

1/3 cup of Milk

For the Glaze:


1 ½ cup of Confectioner Sugar

Zest of one Small Lemon

1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice

1) In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and shortening, add the lemon zest and eggs and beat until the eggs are well incorporated.

3) Beat in the milk and lemon zest and make sure its all mixed well.

4) Add the dry ingredients and mix them in so that everything is well combined (the dough will be sticky)

5) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

6) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

7) Take your dough out of the fridge and cut it into 3 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 12 pieces.

8) Take each small piece and roll it between your fingers to make a 6 inch rope.

9) Tie the rope into a loose knot and place it on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with the rest of them and place them about an inch apart on the baking sheets.

10) Bake them for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden, let them cool on the baking sheets.

11) To make the glaze, combine the confectioner sugar, lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine. Add one teaspoon of water a time and whisk it in until the mixture becomes the consistency of heavy cream.

12) Brush the glaze on top of the cookies and place them on a rack to dry.

13) To store, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge

Falooda for Spring!

Although it doesn’t seem like it, spring is almost here, people! Get out your rain boots and waterproof mascara! I know it’s not really warm enough yet to be eating popsicles or drinking lemonade, but I am going to get ahead of myself, and make one of my favourite cold treats for you: Falooda! Maybe you haven’t heard of this drink/dessert before, but trust me, you HAVE to try it! It’s scrumptious!

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Falooda is a popular Indian drink, which has a delicate rose flavour, and vanilla ice cream; basil (tukmaria) seeds make it almost like a bubble tea. To be honest, I’ve only had it at restaurants here, so I don’t know what the real-deal Motherland version tastes like, but I’ll show you how to make my rendition.

You need a few “exotic” ingredients for this one, but not to worry, all of these things can be found at your local Indian store.

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First, soak the basil (tukmaria) seeds in water for at least a half hour in the fridge. You’ll end up with these kinda cool-looking but kinda gross-looking bubbles. Don’t they look like frog eggs…? 😛

Before:

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After:

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Add sugar and cardamom powder to the milk. Next, stir in about a half cup of vanilla ice cream, and basil seeds. To assemble, pour a couple of tablespoons of rose syrup into the bottom of a tall glass, and gently add the milk. Top this all off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and garnish with some chopped almonds or pistachios.

Look at the pretty layers!

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When you’re ready, stir it up and enjoy!

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Special thanks to V for the beautiful pictures!

As always, scroll down for the recipe.

Thanks for visiting us! Have an amazing week! 🙂

-G

Falooda

Modified from Show me the Curry

http://showmethecurry.com/desserts/falooda-indian-drinkdessert.html

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Milk

½ tsp Basil seeds (Tukmaria)

1/2 cup Vanilla ice cream

5 tbsp Rose Syrup

1 ½ tbsp Sugar

1 pinch Cardamom powder

1 tsp Chopped almonds/pistachios, for garnish

2 scoops Vanilla ice cream

  1. Soak the basil seeds in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Add cardamom powder, sugar to milk and mix well.
  3.  Strain the Basil seeds and add to the milk.
  4. At this time, also add the 1/2-cup of Vanilla Ice Cream and mix it in well.
  5. In a glass, add the rose syrup, and pour in the milk mixture. Then top it off with 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  6. Garnish with the coarsely ground nuts and serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Bars

Well hello there. I had some big baking plans for this weekend, although none of them actually ended up happening. Lately my production has been at record lows. So I ended up just making a quick snack that I would be able to enjoy whenever. I’ve rediscovered the greatness of peanut butter recently, and these bars are extremely peanut butter-y. I hope that someone out there tries these out, it’s so simple to make stuff like this at home that you really don’t have to buy it. Here’s what I used:

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And here’s how I did it:

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(Yes, a logical step here would have been to use a smaller pan… Oh well)

A quick and delish snack ready to go 🙂

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Enjoy your week!

– S

Recipe

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-butter-bars-vi/

1/8 cup brown sugar

¼ cup corn syrup

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup peanut butter (and add about ¼ cup margarine)

1 ½ cups cereal of your choice

Directions:

In a large saucepan stir together the brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the cornflakes until they are all evenly coated. Press evenly into a 9×13 inch pan, chill and cut into squares.

Chocolate Spiderman Cupcakes

A lot of changes are going to be happening in the next few months. We are all growing up, and having to make something of our lives. This is freaking me out! I miss being a kid. Someone’s always there to take care of you, and there are no exams or interviews…what a magical time! What better way to relive your childhood than through chocolate cupcakes?! I made these cupcakes for the birthday of a family friend’s son (with help from IS)!

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The chocolate cupcake recipe is from Ina Garten, and it’s very special to me because it was the first cake that I ever made. It is the easiest cake recipe to pull off, and it always turns out super moist and yummy! As always, I used the Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream recipe, for the frosting-why try something new when what you have is perfect, right?

Here’s the link for the frosting: https://sweetlittlebrownies.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/me-love-coookies/.

Also, the birthday boy requested “chocolate on the bottom, and vanilla on the top”, and I had to abide by his conditions!

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I wasn’t able to take any process pictures, but honestly this is the simplest cupcake recipe ever! You can mix everything up with a spoon-no need to pull out your electric mixer, for this one. The cupcakes were baked at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, and I put them in the fridge to cool completely before frosting them. We made the frosting, and tinted it blue to match the Spiderman theme. Here I used the 6B tip, for the first time, to pipe on the buttercream, and it turned out beautifully, as you can see!

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For the decorations, I had red sanding sugar, so we sprinkled some of that on each frosted cupcake, and then put on the Spiderman decorations. Ta da! Impressive, yet simple cupcakes, perfect for a six year old!

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Also, a quick tip, I found this conversion chart on BuzzFeed yesterday, and it is definitely helpful to keep in mind when you’re baking!

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Thanks for coming by this week! Please feel free to follow us, by typing in your email address at the bottom left of the screen!

Special thanks to V for the all of the beautiful pictures!

-G

Beatty’s Chocolate Cupcakes

2006, Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved

Makes:

24 cupcakes (Or a two layer 9” cake)

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups good cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken; In place of buttermilk, use 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar and 1 cup of milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature or ½ cup of apple sauce

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee; 1tsp Coffee Powder and 1 cup hot water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely (in the freezer).

Frost, and serve.