Thursday, May 21, 2009

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

Healthier version of store bought granola bars. These tastes better and have none of the icky preservatives. The only problem they are too good to have just one.

White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup reduced fat peanut butter (you could substitute almond butter if you like)
½ cup white chocolate chip

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing foil to extend over sides. Butter foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix oats, raisins, and pecans in bowl. Combine butter, sugar, honey and peanut butter in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and mixture is smooth and begins to boil. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until well coated. Mix in chocolate chips. Transfer to prepared pan. Using spatula, press mixture evenly into pan.
Bake oat mixture until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. Using foil as aid, lift out of pan; place on work surface. Using large sharp knife, cut into 18 bars.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I had the urge to cook but not the urge to go to the grocery store. This easy treat can be made simple with things already in your pantry! (Plus a Candy thermometer)

1 cup butter
1cup sugar
3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces (I used chips and I worked fine)
½ cup finely chopped pecans or almonds, toasted

Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan (standard cookie sheet) with foil extending foil over the edges of the pan and set aside.

Butter the sides of a 2-quart heavy saucepan. In saucepan melt butter; add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook and stir on medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at moderate steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 290˚F, soft crack stage. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Pour candy into prepared pan, spreading quickly.

Let candy stand about 2 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes. When chocolate has softened, spread over candy. Sprinkle with nuts. Chill about 20 minutes or until firm. When firm use foil to lift out of pan; break into pieces. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
No candy thermometer not problem:
Using the cool water test you can see if you mixture has reached the right stage.

Thread stage:(230 to 233 F) when a spoon is dipped into the hot mixture, then removed, the candy falls off the spoon in a long, fine, thin thread.

Soft-ball Stage: (234 to 240 F) when the ball of candy is removed from the cold water, the candy instantly flattens and runs over your finger.

Firm-ball Stage: (244 to 248 F) when the ball of candy is removed from the cold water, it is firm enough to hold it's shape, but quickly flattens.

Hard-ball Stage: (250 to 266 F) when the ball of candy is removed from the cold water, it can be deformed by pressure, but it does not flatten until pressed.

Soft-crack Stage: (270 to 290 F) when dropped into cold water, the candy separates into hard but, pliable and elastic threads.

Hard-crack Stage: (295 to 310 F) when dropped into cold water, the candy separates into hard, brittle threads that snap easily.

Friday, May 15, 2009

High Stacked (Chocolate Chip Pancakes)

Since I am out of school for the summer, eating pancakes as a 12 o'clock breakfast is a common occurrence. These chocolate chip pancakes are fluffy and have just the right amount of sweetness.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 rounded cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Whisk together all ingredients except chips until just combined.
Heat a griddle over medium heat until hot and lightly brush with additional oil. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and sprinkle each pancake with about 1 1/2 teaspoons chips. Cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute. Flip with a spatula and cook other side, about 1 minute more. (Lightly oil griddle between batches.)
Pancake Destruction ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

Strawberry season is here and it's not hard to find wonderful recipes that include them. I love angel food cake and decided to take it on myself.

Angel Food Cake
Adapted from Gourmet

1 1/2 cups large egg whites (10 to 11)
1 tablespoon warm water
1 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 1/4 cups superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Special equipment: a 10- by 4-inch tube pan with removable bottom

Preheat oven to 375°°F.
Put whites and water in a very clean large metal bowl and swirl over simmering water or a gas flame until barely warm. Sift together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and ginger 4 times onto a sheet of wax paper.

Beat whites in standing electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Increase speed to medium-high and beat just until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually beat in remaining cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, occasionally scraping down side of bowl. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. (Do not overbeat.) Sift one third of flour mixture over whites. Beat on low speed just until blended. Sift and beat in remaining flour in 2 more batches.

Gently pour batter into ungreased tube pan and smooth top. Run a rubber spatula or long knife through batter to eliminate any large air bubbles.

Bake cake in lower third of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Remove cake from oven and immediately invert pan. (If pan has "legs," stand it on those. Otherwise, place pan over neck of a bottle.) Cool cake completely, upside down. Turn pan right side up. Run a long, thin knife around outer edge of pan with a smooth (not sawing) motion. Do the same around center tube. Remove outer rim of pan and run knife under bottom of cake to release. Invert to release cake from tube, and invert again onto a serving plate.

Serve cake with whipped cream and berries.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

* I like to chill the Reese's cups in the Refrigerator while I make the dough so that they retain there shape after you press them into the cookie.

Reese's Cup Cookies

1 cup semi- sweet chocolate ships
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
½ cup Butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all porpoise flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup finely chopped peanuts
36 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
1 cup peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 350˚F. Place sheets of foil on counter top for cooling cookies.
For cookies combine chocolate chips and chocolate squares in microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave for 1 minute increments until smooth (or melt on stove top on low heat)

Combine sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat on Medium speed until blended and crumbly. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then salt and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add chocolate slowly. Mix until well blended. Stir in flour and baking soda with spoon until well blended. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in nuts. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 350˚for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Press (chilled) peanut butter cups into center of each cookie immediately. Press cookie cup. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely.

For drizzle place peanut butter chips in heavy resealable sandwich bag. Seal. Microwave for one minute knead and repeat until smooth. Cut tiny tip off of bag. Squeeze out and drizzle over cookies.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I was looking for a little pick me up today and cookies seem to always do the trick. This cookies are perfectly chocolaty! I used the same Chocolate cookie dough as the Chocolate Surprise cookies the and add some semi sweet chocolate chips. Yummy!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks0 butter
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
½ cups plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup pecans
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl set aside.
Beat butter, brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture and ½ cup pecans; beat well. Stir in Chocolate Chips Cover dough; refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm enough to roll into balls.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set and slightly cracked. Let stand on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; cool completely.