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Jul 28, 2015
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Baked: Funfetti Malted Blondies

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

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Since word spread that my fiance Joe is engaged to a baker, I now make a monthly treat for him to take to work. I was short on time last month and whipped these up with two days to spare. They turned out to be a smash hit.

Making blondies is as easy as brownies but with a different flavor profile. Without the cocoa, ingredients in blondies shine through more so than in brownies. With that in mind, I added malt powder, white chocolate chips and several spoonfuls of sprinkles just because. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Funfetti Malted Blondies
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe 
16 servings

4 oz. (½ stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup malted milk powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup finely chopped white chocolate
¼ cup rainbow sprinkles or nonpareils

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder and salt until just combined, then fold in the white chocolate and sprinkles.
• Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Bake 20 to 23 minutes, until top is golden and edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely, then slice into 16 even squares. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

Baked: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

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This was my first time baking whoopie pies, but it definitely won’t be my last. I opted for a simple chocolate dough to create a pillowy, cake-like cookie that paired perfectly with peanut butter-cream cheese frosting. A note on the batter: It should be a bit stiff and not spread too much when piped. If it’s too runny, add another tablespoon or two of flour.

This cookie sandwich is pure heaven for chocolate and peanut butter enthusiasts. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
12 servings

3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup plain full-fat yogurt
1/3 cup walnut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
Sprinkles
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2¾ cups powdered sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. milk or cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, yogurt, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until just combined. Do not over-mix.
• Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and pipe 12 circles, leaving 1½-inches between each round. Repeat with the other baking sheet. Dust some of all of the tops with sprinkles, if desired.
• Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter, milk and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract on medium-high speed until fluffy and spreadable.
• Spread a layer of frosting on 12 cookies and sandwich together with the remaining 12 cookies to make whoopie pies.
• Pour a layer of sprinkles in shallow dish. Roll the edges of the whoopie pies in the sprinkles so they adhere to the frosting. Whoopie pies will keep, refrigerated or frozen, up to 1 week in an airtight container.

 

 

Baked: Summer Berry Cake

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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This irresistible berry cake is the epitome of summer desserts. I intended to write a blog post about it a few years ago, but it was devoured at a Fourth of July party before I could get a photo. When I found some wonderfully fresh berries at the farmers market last weekend, I was inspired to make it again.

The berry-studded cake can be served without frosting as a simple snack for an everyday treat. It works for any occasion, using in whatever fresh (or even frozen) fruit is available. For special occasions, I stack three of these beautiful cakes and seal them together with a smooth, brown sugar-cream cheese frosting. The cake is best eaten within a couple of days, but that’s never been a problem for us. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Summer Berry Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup blueberries, plus more for garnish
Brown Sugar Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans and line each with parchment paper.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub the lemon zest and the sugar together to release the oils. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well until incorporated.
• Reduce the speed to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, then ½ cup buttermilk. Repeat until all the ingredients are just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans and smooth the tops. Scatter the strawberries evenly atop the first cake, the raspberries evenly atop the second cake, and the blueberries evenly atop the third cake.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes, then invert each cake onto a rack and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled.
• Place a 10-inch cardboard circle on a cake stand and place 1 chilled cake layer on the cardboard. Add a one-quarter of the frosting atop the cake and spread in an even layer with an offset spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat. Add the final cake layer, top with the remaining frosting and spread evenly across the top and down the sides of the cake. Decorate with remaining berries and serve.

 

Brown Sugar Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese
1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
Heavy pinch kosher salt
1¼ cup whipping cream

• Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy and there are no lumps remaining. With the mixer running, add the cream and beat until the mixture is firm and fluffy. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before frosting.

 

 

Baked: Browned Butter-Green Tea Cake

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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This loaf is simply scrumptious. Browned butter and vibrant matcha powder elevate a humble, classic pound cake to a nutty, more elegant counterpart. This dense loaf tastes better the day after its baked and the flavors have a chance to develop, so try to show restraint. A dish like this works for any time of day. It’s fabulous at breakfast or brunch; I’ve served it in the afternoon with tea, too. You can even slice and wrap leftovers and freeze them up to a month, then thaw on a whim and serve with ice cream for a simple, quick dessert.

 

Browned Butter Green Tea Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 1 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan

½ cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 scant Tbsp. matcha powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. sea salt
1¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml.) heavy cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan.
• In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan, swirling occasionally, until it the solids begin to brown and it smells nutty, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
• In another large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until pale, about 1 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract until incorporated, then the heavy cream. Use a spatula to gently fold in the in the dry ingredients. Fold in half the browned butter until incorporated, then repeat with the remaining butter.
• Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. (If the top of the cake browns too quickly, tent the top with foil.)
• Let the cake cool completely, then gently remove from the loaf pan. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature 12 to 24 hours before serving.

Baked: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

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I know it is way past Valentine’s Day, but red velvet never goes out of style. You are warned: These muffins are so delicious, it will be very hard to eat just one. They are incredibly soft and fluffy with a tangy cream cheese center that melts in your mouth. This is an irresistible recipe, even for those who aren’t fans of red velvet. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins
Adapted from Averie Cooks 
12 servings

1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup buttermilk
½ cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp. red food coloring
1¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. coarse salt
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cold butter, diced

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar, the buttermilk, canola oil, egg and food coloring. Add 1¼ cups flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and whisk gently until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Set batter aside.
• In another bowl, mix the cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and vanilla extract together until combined.
• Pour 2/3 cup batter into each muffin cup. Add a small dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each batter-filled cup and use a toothpick to swirl the cream cheese a little. Set aside.
• In another bowl, cut the butter together with the remaining ¼ cup sugar and remaining ¼ cup flour until the mixture is crumbly and the butter forms pea-sized pieces. Divide the crumb mixture evenly over the tops of the muffins.
• Bake 17 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool completely before serving.

 

Baked: Chocolate Cherry Cake

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

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I made this simple cake for a friend who loves chocolate-covered cherries. Though it’s never been my favorite combination, they complement each other well, and this cake tempers the sweetness with strong brewed coffee and tart buttermilk. Frozen cherries add a nice tang to the chocolate, too. This rich cake is ideal paired with a post-dinner glass of red wine and great conversation. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate Cherry Cake
Adapted from Lady and Pups
Makes 1 9-inch cake

1 cup sugar
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
¾ cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. plus a pinch kosher salt, divided
8 oz. frozen, pitted cherries, thawed and roughly chopped
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
Chocolate shavings or sprinkles, for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan or cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the canola oil, coffee, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and ¾ teaspoon salt until just combined, then fold in the cherries. Pour the batter into the pie pan.
• Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, prepare the ganache by bringing the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate chips and the remaining pinch of salt. Remove from heat, cover and let rest 2 minutes. Whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Let cool completely.
• Turn the cake out of the pan and onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the cool ganache and garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles before serving.

Baked: Green Tea Nun’s Puffs

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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The moment I read about Nun’s Puffs, I knew I had to make them. Also known as Pets de Nonne or Nun’s Farts (yes, really), they practically melt in your mouth and look like individual Dutch babies: soft, fluffy and egg-y.

Typically these are served as a savory breakfast treat with jams or honey. I wanted to try them as a dessert, though, so I added some sugar to the dough. Since these were served after an Asian-inspired meal, I carried that influence to dessert by adding matcha powder and sprinkling it with black sesame seeds. A final flourish of pearl sugar added the best crunch.

You could very easily eat all of these in one sitting. They are that addictive. The dough is essentially a pâte à choux – the same dough for cream puffs and éclairs – only five or so ingredients. Feel free to omit the sugar and smear some honey instead for breakfast instead of dessert. These delightful little puffs are best eaten still warm from the oven. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Matcha Nun’s Puffs
Adapted from Olga’s Flavor Factory
Makes 12

½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup milk
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup minus 1 Tbsp. flour, sifted
1 Tbsp. matcha powder, sifted
4 eggs
Coarse or pearl sugar for sprinkling
Black sesame seeds for sprinkling

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
• In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the butter, milk and sugar until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the flour and matcha powder until a dough forms.
• Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat in the eggs 1 at a time until the dough is smooth and lighter.
• Divide the dough evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and black sesame seeds. Bake 30 minutes, until puffed and golden on the edges.
• Let cool slightly (they will deflate as they cool) and serve warm.

Baked: Chocolate-Orange Loaf with Greek Yogurt Sauce

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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Sometimes the best recipes are born from random ingredients in my refrigerator. During a recent healthy kick, I purchased a big container of Greek yogurt. I wanted to try a simple, citrus-y sauce that would pair well with a dessert. I started experimenting and later paired this tangy sauce with a chocolate-orange loaf, a perfect fudgy vehicle for my creation. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate-Orange Loaf with Greek Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
Makes 1 loaf

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
½ cup plus 5 Tbsp. butter, softened, divided
1 large egg at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla or orange extract
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
¾ cup thick Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1¼ cup powdered sugar

• Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a standard loaf pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, rub the brown sugar, white sugar and orange together with your fingers
• Use a hand mixer to cream ½ cup butter into the sugar on high speed at least 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla or orange extract and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the buttermilk.
• Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined and no streaks of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
• Bake 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and honey on high speed at least 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
• Beat in the Greek yogurt and orange juice until smooth, then add the powdered sugar into the mixture until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
• To serve, slice the cake and drizzle with the yogurt sauce or serve it on the side.

Baked: Chicken Potpie with Apples and Brie

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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I came up with this when my fiancee and I found some brie in our fridge. It didn’t appear to be spoiled, but we couldn’t remember how old it was and didn’t relish the idea of eating it raw, so we decided to bake it instead. While his favorite party dish is brie wrapped in pastry dough with cranberries and pecans, I wanted to try something new. I also really wanted to try out my new Staub baking dish, and so a new chicken potpie was born.

This recipe comes together in 10 minutes thanks to precooked chicken and only requires another 30 minutes in the oven. The apples add a mild sweetness, the crust has a great crunch, and the brie provides a gooey, decadent surprise. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chicken Potpie with Apples and Brie
8 to 10 servings

2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large crisp apple, peeled, cored and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. flour
¾ cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
8 oz. brie, sliced
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
• In large skillet over medium heat, saute the shallots in the butter until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apple, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and saute 3 to 4 minutes.
• Sprinkle the apples with the flour and stir to coat the mixture. Add the stock and reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let the mixture simmer 1 to 2 minutes until just thickened. Remove from the heat.
• Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie dish. Cover the top with the slices of brie, then cover with the puff pastry sheets and trim the edges. Brush the top with egg yolk, then poke a hole in the center of the crust to vent.
• Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 15 minutes until the puff pastry is browned and bubbling at the edges. Let cool 5 minutes, then serve.

 

 

Baked: Vanilla Bean Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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We’re eating snickerdoodles for days here on Baked. Last time I showed you berry potpie with a snickerdoodle crust, and today, I have another way to use up that leftover cookie dough (with instructions on how to make more, in case yours disappeared somehow).

This is the simplest from-scratch vanilla pudding in the world, and its flavor is to die for – especially when spiked with a bit of rum. Snickerdoodle crumbs hidden at the bottom add surprise spice and crunch. Make them well in advance of your next dinner party and garnish each with a cookie on top just before serving. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Very Vanilla Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
4 servings

½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
2 2/3 cup almond milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, split
A splash of rum
4 Snickerdoodle Cookies, plus crumbs (Recipe follows)

• In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, salt and egg until combined. Whisk in 2/3 cup almond milk. Set aside.
• In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the 2 cups almond milk and the vanilla bean to a rolling boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and slowly whisk into the sugar mixture until it is thoroughly combined.
• Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the rum. Set aside.
• Add a layer of snickerdoodle cookie crumbs to the bottom of 4 dessert cups. Divide the pudding evenly between the cups. If you don’t like pudding skin, lightly press plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding. Refrigerate at least 1 to 2 hours, until set. Garnish each with a snickerdoodle cookie and serve.

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● Roll pieces of dough into 2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let cool completely.

 

 

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