Sunday, January 31, 2010

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Childhood tastes and memories. I think we all have a number of things we ate as children that bring back memories when we try them again. In this case I'm talking about Gingerbread. Warm, dark, pungent, heavily gingered Old Fashioned Gingerbread. It reminds me of my grandmother and eating a slice fresh from the oven with a dollop of whipped cream, sometimes a tiny scoop of ice cream, or my favorite, just lightly buttered.

I hadn't had any in years so I made some. Try it, I think you'll like it. It'll bring back memories. Or make new ones. Up to you.

Ingredients and Method:

1 cup molasses
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
In a bowl combine sugar and butter. Beat in the egg and molasses.
Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt and mix well.
Pour one cup hot water in mixture and stir in.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Double Chocolate Butterfinger Cookies

Gosh these cookies are good!!!

I got some good news (personal, but my daughter is home from Iraq soon) and I just was bustin' up, ya know?  And because I'm a food geek and have no life, I decided to look through my saved recipes I've found over months and months and make something. And I found one.  And made them.

After a cold Beck's or two, and visit for a bit to the Sports Bar, because, ahem, I guess I DO have a bit of a life.

I came home, made these, loved the dough, texture and consistency.... they baked up perfectly, and were just as good as could be.

So they get a Merlin Thumbs UP!    Thanks to Jenny at Picky Palate for the recipe. Now admittedly, her photo's are much better than mine, but I bet my adaptation tasted at least as good. Thanks Jenny.

1 stick of butter
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate morsels
2 Large Butterfinger bars, crushed into pieces (I placed both in a plastic sandwich bag and attacked them with a meat tenderizer)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and use a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicon liner if you have it.

In a large bowl/mixer combine sugars and softened butter until fluffly. Add the eggs and vanilla.

Add baking soda and salt and mix well. Add cocoa and flour and mix thoroughly.  Add the chips and
butterfinger bar crumbs and mix well.

Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes so it's easier to work with.

Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls onto sheet with an inch and half space in between.

Bake for 9 - 11 minutes. (Mine took 11 exactly) They will still be a bit soft in the center, that is fine.

Let cool on pans for 5 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Sea Salt

Here's a basic chocolate cookie recipe with a couple of twists. One, I added Starbucks VIA Italian Espresso Roast instant coffee to the mix for a mocha taste, and two, dusted with sea salt to get that "sweet/salty" taste which is so popular right now.

I must say, they came out quite well.  I admit I work for Starbucks, but I have to tell you I love using the VIA instant coffee in recipes. It's perfect. I'm trying to work up to a Tiramisu, ya know?  LOL.

 2 sticks butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 - 2 cups flour (check consistency before adding balance of flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 dollop of sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 envelopes Starbucks VIA Italian Roast instant coffee
Sea Salt for garnish and finishing

Combined softened butter with sugars in a bowl. Mix in cocoa powder. Add eggs, salt, baking powder, vanilla, sour cream and milk and stir well. Add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix. Add more flour only if dough is too thin. Mix in VIA instant coffee.

Chill dough for 20 minutes in refrigerator.  Using a scoop, add a rounded tablespoon of dough to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper about an inch apart.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Immediately sprinkle cookies with sea salt.  Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.