Category Archives: Quick and Easy

Acme Baking Company’s Addictive Toffee

I don’t send Christmas cards but I receive many every year. Acknowledging the effort people put into remembering me at the holidays is important. So, each year in January (or early February if my birthday celebrating takes over) I make a special candy treat, write new year well wishes on cards and send off a little something to everyone who sent me a card. 

This year I opted for toffee. Super easy, always reliable toffee crack! 

  

 Addictive Toffee

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans (or whatever you want) 

In a microwave safe 8 cup glass bow (I use a glass measuring cup type batter bowl) heat the butter and sugar in 1 minute increments – stirringn after each session. 

Critical note – use a wooden spoon to stir. I have tried other utensils but they always break the mixture.

My microwave takes a total of 8 and 1/2 minutes to get to the beautiful caramel color you want. 

Spread pour onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat (or greased aluminum foil). I generally take a big offset spatula and spread it out. Work quickly and then top with loads of chocolate chips. 

I generally toss it into a 350 degree oven for a couple minutes to help the chocolate melt. Then using an offset spatula, I spread the delicious melty chocolate over all of the toffee. 

Top with finely chopped pecans and let cool completely. Break into bit sized pieces and enjoy! 

I typically package in cello bags with a cute ribbon. 

  

Peanut Butter One Bowl Brownies

A little art from the kitchen

I like to keep things simple, delicious but simple. A few years ago I became obsessed with high quality chocolate that doesn’t have milk (making it a useful ingredient if you have lactose sensitive family or friends). I also love peanut butter and while there are a lot of recipes for peanut butter brownies, I found most wanted you to make a peanut butter frosting and I couldn’t be bothered. 

  
Peanut Butter Brownies

1 1/2 stick of butter (sliced)

7 ounces of good chocolate (I generally chop up high quality chocolate but you could use chips as well)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Chop chocolate and put in microwave safe bowl with the butter. Heat until the butter melts and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. 

Add sugar and mix well. Then add the eggs and vanilla. Lastly, add the flour and mix until combined. 

Pour into a 9×9 or brownie pan lined with foil and either greased or sprayed with non-stick spray. 

Heat the peanut butter for maybe 30 seconds in a glass measuring cup. Stir and then drizzle on top of the brownie batter (bring on your inner jackson pollack. Well don’t splatter) 

Bake at 350 for anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes. You don’t want the center to jiggle. 

Cool completely and cut into 1 inch or so squares – these little guys are super rich! 

The best banana bread

We’ve all been there, you had high hopes of eating those bananas the minute they are perfectly ripe. But, you blinked and they went from perfection to perfect for baking.
This bread has a lot of bananas in it, so you almost have to plan for it. It also has an ingredient you will almost never find in our recipes, vegetable shortening. Butter just doesn’t give the right texture so shortening it is.

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The Best Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
7 ripe, peeled, mashed bananas
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream the sugar and shortening together. Add eggs one at a time until mixed then add the bananas all at once and the vanilla.
Add the baking soda, powder and salt. Then add the flour.
Remove from mixer and fold in nuts and chocolate chips.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (i generally use glass. This bread is really more cake like. You could do it in bread molds but I am lazy).

Pour mixture into pan and spread it out so it is even. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

Let cool completely and enjoy!

A Seinfeld dilema – to poppyseed or not? Acme Baking Company Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Baking on a hot day in a kitchen without air conditioning calls for something quick where the oven will only be on for maybe an hour tops! Enter Acme Baking Company Almond Poppyseed Muffins. These aren’t those giant muffins you find at big box stores but the flavor is pretty close.

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Almond Poppyseed Muffins

3 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 tablespoons poppyseeds
1 1/2 cups milk

Whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, extracts, poppyseeds and milk. Add the dry to the wet and mix just until combined. Overmixing will cause tough muffins and no one likes a tough muffin.

Using a large cookie scoop fill lined muffin tins. Batter makes exactly 2 dozen muffins.

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. The tops should be lightly golden.

Let cool and enjoy! If you prefer a more moist muffin you can make a simple glaze with powdered sugar, milk and a little almond extract.

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Another week another Acme Muffin Recipe – Blueberry Yum!

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The basics are almost always the easiest thing to bake and blueberry muffins are really no exception. There is no reason you should ever buy a box of blueberry muffin mix!

Acme Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
Heaping 3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter (cool)
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

Sift together the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Add butter to the egg mixture.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into the dry. Mix until combined but not over mixed, it will still look a little lumpy.

In yet another bowl, toss the blueberries in 1 tsp flour, this helps them from bleeding in your batter. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

This batter made 11 standard size muffins.
Bake at 40″ degrees for 16-18 minutes.

Acme Baking Company Chocolate Chip Muffin

20130609-194312.jpgIt seems to have become a thing around here, each week on Sunday afternoon I bake a batch of muffins to enjoy for breaky the next week. This week there were some mini chocolate chips screaming out to be used up so it became obvious that it was time to tackle the Chocolate Chip Muffin.

Micro Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
Heaping handful of mini chocolate chips

Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl. Then lightly beat the egg, milk, oil and vanilla in another. Add wet to dry and mix just until incorporated. Fold in your chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 12 cupcakes (either with a liner or grease and flour). I made exactly 12 using a large cookie scoop about 3/4 full. So probably a heaping 1/3 cup in each cupcake.

Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

These are a fairly dense muffins and you could add a little rock sugar to the top before baking to kick up the sweetness a little.

Quick Palmier- an Acme Baking Quick and Easy Favorite

20111124-144327.jpg Sprinkle surface with cinnamon sugar (3 tbsp sugar to 1 tsp cinnamon) take 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry and place it on top of the sugar mixture. Top puff pastry with another cinnamon sugar (3 to 1 again). Roll the puff pastry out until it is fairly thin. You will be pushing the sugar mixture in on both sides.
Making 1 inch folds roll in from the long sides. Roll evenly on both sides so they meet in the middle.
Slice 1/4 inch thick and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
Bake at 350 to 400 for 13 minutes or until brown. The sugar will melt. Let the cookies cool on the sheet.

Gluten free peanut butter cookies – for our Acme Baking Company celiac friends

Baking gluten free is not a primary focus of Acme Baking Company but, like most of you, I have gluten free friends that I would love to bake for. Enter Gluten Free Peanut Butter cookies!

Ingredients
1 c. Peanut butter
1 c. Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix in a bowl, scoop on lined cookie sheets and make the normal criss cross fork tine imprint or make a well that you can fill with jelly when you take the cookies out of the oven. For a little extra something, sprinkle flake salt on top before baking but just a little!

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet.

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Acme Baking Company Quick and easy – the cake, not me…

My mom used to make this cake all the time when we were kids. It’s really fast and easy and you almost always have the ingredients on hand. There is no greasing/flouring of pans, just make the batter and bake it off!

The base is a sour cream coffee cake batter with cinnamon added. The chocolate chips and sugar on top really make this a delicious treat.

Chocolate Chip Bit Cake

Cream together:
6 Tbsp soft butter
1 c. Sugar
2 Eggs
then add 1 c. sour cream

Whisk together:
1 1/3 c. Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Pour into 9×13 baking dish (no need to butter or flour the dish).

Top the batter with 6 oz of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate – typically I use semi-sweet but it is equally delish with a good dark chocolate. The sprinkle the top with a couple Tbsp of granulated sugar.

Bake 30-35 minute at 350. Cool completely and enjoy! Don’t overbake or it will be dry and who wants a dry cake?

The cake will rise just slightly so you can use the disposable 9×13 pans that are only a little over an inch in depth.

Everyone who has ever had this has loved it! It was my great uncle’s favorite cake – good thing we never told him there was sour cream in there, he HATED sour cream.

Everyone has one.. here is mine – Chocolate Chip Cookies

No picture this time, because to be honest I was in a mad dash to make it happen. Everyone raves about them, they are very delish and they turn out a little different every time. My recipe is a slight variation of the Toll House brand cookie but then what recipe isn’t a slight variation on this classic concoction?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 6oz chocolate chips (or chopped high quality dark chocolate..my fave)
  • you decide if you want to be nutty or not but no more than a half cup chopped (I would pick pecans over walnuts any day)

Put the butter in your kitchen aid and let it blend with the paddle until soft (you can skip this and use soften butter but this does change the texture). Once soft, cream in the sugars. Once combined add the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla.

Sometimes I sift my dry ingredients together but most of the time I don’t. I just add the salt and baking soda to the mixture and then add the flour (don’t over mix once the flour is in or you will get tough cookies). Then I stir in the chocolate chips.

Almost always yields exactly 3 dozen cookies. I use a cookie scooper that I think is 2 tbsp.

Bake 350 for 11-14 minutes – depending on your oven.

I always line my pans, sometimes with parchment sometimes with aluminum foil. You will find you get a slightly different result from each material. Aluminum tends to let the edges get more crispy and oddly enough can sometimes take longer to cook on.

Enjoy!