Dec 22, 2007

Bunch of brunch

Forget pancakes! Flip over some delicious Welsh cakes for breakfast or brunch.

Welsh Cakes
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup (50 grams) currants or raisins
1/4 cup (40 grams) chopped mixed peel
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 - 4 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and mace. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants and mixed peel. Add the beaten egg and enough milk to form a light dough.
Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of 1/4 inch (5 mm). Cut into rounds using a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) cookie cutter.
Lightly butter a griddle, heavy frying pan, or electric frying pan and heat to medium hot. Cook the welsh cakes for about 5 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown, but still soft in the middle. Immediately after baking, sprinkle with granulated white sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Welsh cakes can also be eaten buttered or split in half and spread with jam.
Makes about 20 - 2 1/2 inch cakes.

Recipe from: Joy of Baking website

Dec 20, 2007

Caramel Brownies

2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and beat well. Blend in melted chocolate, vanilla, and flour. Mix in nuts if desired and pour batter into a greased, 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Do not overbake!
Caramel Frosting
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and mix in 3 tablespoons milk and brown sugar. Boil vigorously for 1 minute.
Remove from heat, and beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Cool slightly, and beat in the vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.

Dec 18, 2007

Apple Pie Afternoon

It's been years since I've baked an apple pie. Thanks to this fantastic apple pie website, I finally brought out my rolling pin (gathering cobwebs in a cupboard somewhere!) and spent a sun drenched afternoon making the tastiest, flakiest, crumbliest and juiciest apple pie ever!

Dec 12, 2007

Happiness is a tin of butter cookies

I'm a sucker for Danish Butter Cookies. Those lovely, butter-y, secret goodies in keepsake, collectible tins. I think they make the nicest, sincerest gifts. Every tin is a nest of warm, happy thoughts.
Last night, I actually spent hours making these buttery treats. Chill. Cut. Bake. Enjoy!

Butter Cookies

Preparation: 1 hr. Baking: 6 min. Cooling: 15 min.
Chilling: 2 hrs.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
21/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons
orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
Combine 1 cup butter, sugar and egg in large mixer bowl.Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low; add flour, orange juice,1 tablespoon vanilla and baking powder. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).
Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic food wrap.
Refrigerate until firm (2 to 3 hours or overnight).
Heat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface,one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Dec 2, 2007

Candy shaker ornaments

Candy shaker ornament

Fill salt and pepper shaker with tiny candies such as candy hearts, spicy cinnamon dots or peppermint. Hang on the tree. Happy holidays!

Dec 1, 2007

First day of Christmas: Chocolate cake-a-melting

Individual Chocolate Melting Cakes


10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Caramel sauce
Coffee ice cream


Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat. In another large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and melted chocolate. Mix with a spoon until well blended.

Divide the batter evenly into 8 muffin tins and bake until the cakes have just cooked through about 15 minutes. The cakes will still look a bit moist on top. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream with caramel sauce on top.

Caramel Sauce

Sugar 8 oz
Water 2 oz
Lemon juice 3/4 tsp
Heavy cream 6 oz
Milk 4 oz

1. Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook the syrup to caramel stage.

2. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

3. Bring heavy cream to a boil.

4. Stir and continue to add the cream slowly. return to heat.

5. Let cool completely.

6. Stir the milk into cooled caramel.


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