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!
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.
Posted in Candy, Christmas, Dessert, Gluten Free, Quick and Easy
Tagged addictive, candy, Chocolate, easy, fast, nits, pecans, toffee
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
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!
Posted in Baking, Bars, Chocolate, Dessert, Peanut Butter, Quick and Easy, Uncategorized
Tagged brownies, Chocolate, easy, one bowl, Peanut butter
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.
The Best Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
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!
Posted in Baking, Bread, Dessert, Quick and Easy
Tagged baking, bananas, breakfast, chocolate chips, nuts, Quick bread, snack cake, walnuts
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.
Almond Poppyseed Muffins
3 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
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.
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 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.
It 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
1/3 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.
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
6 Tbsp soft butter
1 c. Sugar
then add 1 c. sour cream
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.