Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies Recipe


Ever since my friend Sheryl first shared with me her freshly made cookie dough brownies, I knew I had to make this recipe! I am a cookie dough lover, and have been known to bake a batch of cookies just because I'd like to eat some cookie dough. No joke. Well, this recipe is much safer as the cookie dough contains no eggs, but it's just as gooey and sweet as the real deal. Topping a fudgy homemade brownie with cookie dough was just brilliant! People will love you for these brownies. Seriously. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies Recipe
recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 24-36 servings

4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips

glaze (optional)*
*I drizzled chocolate syrup over top.
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. 

In a large bowl, cream together egg, oil and sugar. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt, then stir in gradually to wet ingredients. Stir in walnuts if desired.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until brownies test done. Cool completely.

For filling, in a large bowl, cream together butter, brown and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gently stir in flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Once brownies are cooled, spread evenly over the top of the brownies and refrigerated until set. 

For glaze, drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving OR in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread over filling. Immediately sprinkle with nuts, pressing down slightly. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes


If you enjoy the crunchy, nutty texture of cornmeal, then these pancakes are your new best friend. My husband has quite a love for cornmeal, so I wasn't even hesitant to try this recipe found on Tasty Kitchen. These are some of the simplest homemade pancakes to throw together and they cook up beautifully. Top with your favorite fruits or just lather with butter and syrup. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes
recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 4

3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Zest of 1 whole lemon (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Butter, for cooking

*to substitute for buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to equal one cup milk. Let sit for 5 minutes and stir. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs Add the buttermilk and oil and beat until well blended.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently add in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. 

Melt butter on a hot skillet then cook pancakes until a few bubbles pop on the surface, about 1 minute per side. Be careful—they brown quickly!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Easy Beef Stroganoff


For a quick and easy dinner that makes you happy and warm in all the right ways, this stroganoff is the way to go. I have many fond memories of family dinners around this meal. We loved it served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Perfect for easy homestyle cooking. And only 4 ingredients (plus noodles!)

Easy Beef Stroganoff 
from my mom
Serves 3 

1 pound stew meat (beef or venison)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
1/2 packet dry onion soup mix
3 cups dry egg noodles 

Combine stew meat, soup, water, and dry mix in a 4 or 5 quart crock pot. Cook on high 4-5 hours or until meat is fall-apart tender. 

When ready to serve, cook egg noodles until tender. Spoon stroganoff over the noodles in a shallow bowl. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread


I am a sucker for anything cinnamon. Thus, when I saw this sweet tasting bread on Annie's blog, I knew it was a must-try. I didn't even wait around for days or months; I got right in the kitchen and got that yeast working. This bread is irresistible--especially warm and toasted and topped with butter. *drool*

p.s. If you want to achieve the gooey center swirl like Annie did, be liberal with the sugar-cinnamon and butter. I skimped a bit, resulting in a not-as-gooey-but-just-as-delicious center.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
recipe adapted from Annie's Eats.
make 1 loaf--16 slices


For the dough
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm milk (105-110˚ F)
3-1/4 cup flour
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
Vegetable oil

For the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp water
1 egg, lightly beaten


Combine the yeast, warm milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer (may be done by hand as well.)  Use the beater blade to combine until a dough forms.  Once the dough begins to come together, use the dough hook to begin the kneading process. Continue kneading on low speed for about 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and pulling away from the edges of the pull. Sprinkle in additional flour as needed (1 Tbsp at a time) until dough comes together smoothly. 

Add in the raisins and knead another 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and raisins evenly distributed.  

Lightly oil a second large bowl. Move the dough to the oiled bowl and roll it to coat lightly with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (If the room is cool, heat 2 cups of water to boiling in the microwave. When the 2 minutes is up, leave the water in place and add the dough bowl to the microwave. Close the door and let rise about 1 hour. The warmth and humidity will aid in rising--just don't turn on the microwave! :D)

Once doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. (check out Annie's step by step photos.)
1. Shape into a round. 
2. Fold the dough like you would a business letter--take the bottom third of the dough up and fold the top third down.
3. Repeat this patter with the right and left sides of the dough, forming a rectangle. Press down to seal.  Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Generously butter a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.  

To make the filling, combine the sugar, cinnamon and water in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.  

Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. (the following steps are Annie's.)
1. Roll the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle.  Brush lightly with the beaten egg.
2. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a thin border around the edges
3. Fold in the edges of the long sides of the dough about 1 inch.
4. Beginning with one of the short ends, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log, gently pressing as you go.
5. Pinch the seam shut, and place the loaf seam side-down in the prepared baking pan.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until the dough rises just above the edge of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  When the loaf has risen, brush the top of the loaf lightly with the remaining beaten egg.  Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is golden brown, about 45 minutes.  If the surface seems to be browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil (halfway through baking.) Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Confetti Sugar Cookies


I am always on the lookout for new drop cookie recipes. I don't like to spend a whole lot of time and effort perfectly forming cookies or having to frost or decorate them after baking. I'm a simple girl. Mix butter, flour and sugar. Scoop. Bake. Eat. 

This recipe was exactly what I was looking forward, but never would have come up with on my own. How easy is this? It's a sugar cookie recipe without all the cutting and icing and sprinkling. Stir in some sprinkles to the batter and you've got yourself a crowd-pleasing, eye-catching cookie that everyone will love. 

Confetti Sugar Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
2-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cups cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cups rainbow jimmie sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla and almond extract and egg and beat to combine. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and stir to combine. Gently stir in sprinkles (do not over stir or the sprinkles may bleed into the cookies.) 

Scoop by the tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet with an inch or two between each cookie. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until edges are set and barely browned. Let cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.