Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon Chips

As you may recall snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. So I knew that when I saw these cookies I would be making them. I am so glad that I did! These are really good, I think even better than the ones that I made before. These were soft and chewy and I loved the extra cinnamon flavor they got from the cinnamon chips. If you have never tried cinnamon chips before I highly recommend them. They are SO good! I finally found them so I was excited to use them in this recipe.

Everyone loved these cookies so I'm glad I doubled the recipe. I only made a few changes. I used half regular sugar and half vanilla sugar because I ran out of regular sugar. I'm not sure if it really made a difference in how they came out but I'm sure it didn't hurt the flavor.

Snickerdoodles with Cinnamon Chips

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cinnamon flavored baking chips

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract and eggs and mix until creamy.

Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined then stir in the cinnamon chips. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together.

Shape the dough into balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place the balls 3 inches apart on a silpat lined baking sheet. Don't flatten the balls.

Bake for 10 minutes or until set and lightly brown. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TWD: Berry Surprise Cupcakes

This week's pick was made by Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen. I was worried that I was going to have a hard time this week with the cake batter since it seems like everyone else had problems with it. So I put it off until about an hour and a half ago. I don't know why I put if off for so long because I didn't really have any of the problems that other bakers faced. Maybe it was because I made mine into cupcake or because I used extra large eggs instead of the recommended large eggs? Could be that I don't follow directions and kinda did my own thing when beating the eggs.........I beat my eggs for about 5 minutes then heat it over a water bath for a few minutes and then beat in a few more minutes before adding the dry ingredients.

My cupcakes did rise nicely and I didn't have any problems with sinking. The cupcakes are nice and light because of all the air that was in the batter. The cake was eggy and reminded me of something that I've had before. I like the flavor and texture of these cupcakes even though I didn't do the filling and frosting from the recipe. I simply added a teaspoon of jam to each cupcake before baking which promptly sank to the bottom. So next time I may try to fill them with jam when they come out of the oven instead. I will definitely be making these cupcakes again.

Go check out what other bakers have done this week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TWD: Savory Corn & Pepper Muffins.........minus the savory and pepper part

This week's pick was made by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake. I was tempted to not make this until I saw the playing around section. It suggested leaving out the savory ingredients and increasing the amount of sugar. So you basically come out with regular corn muffins. These muffins are so much better than the boxed stuff and so easy too!

I made a few changes to the recipe. I decided to use one whole egg instead of just the yolk. I didn't have any buttermilk and forgot to pick some up when I was at the store so I just used nonfat milk instead. I also left out the corn kernels.

Did I mention how easy and good these are??? They are so good! I love the crunchy texture the corn meal adds to the muffins. I also like how they are sweet but not too sweet. Anyways go check out what other bakers have done this week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TWD: French White Peach Tart

This week I was tempted to slack off and not participate. The recipe looked kinda long and I didn't think I had everything that I would need. But I decided that I need to make the tart because that was the whole point of joining the group. Baking outside of what I would normally do. Boy am I glad I did. The tart is good, I mean it's really good. It's sweet but not too sweet. I really like the crust, especially the crunchy edges.
This weeks host is Dorie Greenspan herself! If you'd like the recipe go check out her site. I only made a few minor changes to the recipe. I don't have a normal food processor, I just have one of the mini ones which is not even close to being big enough to make the crust in. So I had to do it by hand which was bad but my dough seemed really dry and I was afraid that it wouldn't hold together right so I changed it slightly. Instead of just the egg yolk for liquid I also added in the egg white and enough water to help the dough form into a ball. I still think my dough came out really good so I will do it this way again.
I didn't have any fresh or canned pears that was called for but I did happen to have a jar of white peaches in the fridge. I love white peaches so I thought that this would be a good substitution and I was right! Did I mention that I really liked this tart?? Oh yeah I also used vanilla sugar in place of regular sugar just because I had some on hand.

Go check out what other bakers have done this week.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cranberry Nut Bread

I had gotten a bag of fresh cranberries at the store but didn't know what to do with them. I was thinking about some cranberry sauce but thought that cranberry bread sounded better. I used the recipe on the back of the package and followed it for the most part.

I doubled the recipe so that I would have enough batter to fill my bundt pan. I also added dried cranberries for some added sweetness because I was afraid that the fresh cranberries alone would be too tart. I'm glad I did because the bread was tart enough for me.

Cranberry Nut Bread

4 cups AP flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups orange juice (I used 5 juice oranges then added enough water to make enough liquid)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, oil, orange zest and eggs. Mix until well blended. Stir in fresh and dried cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in bundt pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chocolate Banana Cake

I had some ripe bananas that needed to be used up. Generally I can eat them all before they get too ripe but since I was stuck home because of the snow I forget to eat them. I usually like to take them to work with me. Anyways I was looking for a banana bread recipe but I stumbled across this recipe at Dragon's Kitchen. I knew I had to give it a try and am I glad I did. I didn't make the glaze for the cake but I'm sure it would be a good with it as well.

Chocolate Banana Cake
Adapted from Dragon's Kitchen

2 1/4 cup AP flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

In a bowl, sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are light in color and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar. Add butter and vanilla extract and mix well.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream. Fold in bananas and melted chocolate into the cake batter until completely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely.