October 2009

Where do I start…

Well, I knew my next post was definitely going to be a cheesecake of sorts and due to the timing of my post it would certainly contain pumpkin.

My only dilemma was the flavor combination, I wanted it to be different, something not seen to often when it comes to the crust and cheesecake itself.

So there you have it… short, sweet [literally] and to the point. Don’t be afraid to try this combination of peanut butter, chocolate & pumpkin, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Oh and heads up, once you set out the peanut butter cups on the counter keep an eye on them… mine started to disappear.





Reese’s Chunk Pumpkin Cheesecake



Nutter Butter Oreo Swirl Crust

14 Nutter Butter Cookies
14 Oreo Cookies
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt

In a food processor pulse Nutter Butter cookies until they have been processed into crumbs, place crumbs in a small bowl. Repeat with the Oreos and place them into a separate bowl.

To each bowl add the following:
1/2 the melted butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
tiny pinch of salt

Stir everything to combine in each of the bowls. Take spoonfuls of the Oreo crumb mixture and place in a springform pan leaving room to place spoonfuls of the Nutter Butter crums right next to them in somewhat of a dotted pattern.


Reese’s Chunk Pumpkin Cheesecake Batter

3 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon creme de cacao
1/2 tablespoon myer’s rum
4 large eggs
12 reese’s peanut butter cups roughly chopped
1/4 cup reese’s peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, whip cream cheese on medium high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, then add sugar and whip for 2 more minutes.

Add the maple syrup, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, creme de cacao and myer’s rum and blend thoroughly.


Reduced mixer speed to the lowest setting and add the eggs one at a time, mix just enough so that each egg has been incorporated into the batter.


Stir in the peanut butter chunks and chips with a wooden spoon.


Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Refrigerate a minimum of 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from refrigerator for 15 minutes prior to serving.


Enjoy!





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This is one of my go-to recipes when I have a few bananas lying around that have past their prime.

Every time I make this the house smells amazing… forget scented candles, nothing tops the aroma of freshly baked bread, and the fact that you are able to consume it is a bonus!

My youngest who doesn’t even like bananas can’t pass a slice of this up, probably because it’s loaded with chocolate chips and walnuts… yeah, how bad can that taste!

Trust me, you’re gonna love this one!


I would like to thank Heather R. from BlissTree.com for trying out my chocolate chip banana bread recipe. After reading Heather’s post, I ran to the kitchen to double check the size of the pan I used for this recipe and it turns out I made a mistake. Sorry guys!

Errata: The pan used for the loaf was actualy a Danish loaf pan which mesures 12 x 4 x 2.5

Also, a big thanks to Cari Snell from dinnervibe.com for featuring this post as the lunchtime snack of the week!!

Thanks Cari!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
A.K.A “Best Ever Nana Bread”

1 stick of unsalted softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon maple extract
1/8 teaspoon banana extract
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and butter a 9x5x3 12x4x2.5 loaf pan.


Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.


Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.


In a small bowl combine the bananas, sour cream and extracts. With a fork mash the bananas into the the sour cream and extracts then stir until evenly combined.



Alternate adding the mashed banana mixture and dry ingredients into the batter mixing on low, just until combined in three batches. With a wooden spoon stir in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.



Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


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Ahhh… who doesn’t love a fresh out of the oven cinnamon roll/bun? The scent alone will awaken anyone with a pulse.

Well, as soon as I saw this recipe in the November edition of the Food Network Magazine, I was determine to try it out myself and see how close it came to the original.

If you’ve never tried making cinnamon buns at home before, a side from requiring a little patience to let the yeast activate and the dough rise, the process is quite simple. Don’t be afraid to try this particular recipe out.

Not much else needs to be said about this recipe, other than you won’t be disappointed. It is definitely pretty close, some might even argue that these turned out better than the original. 😉



Almost-Famous Cinnamon Buns
November 2009 Food Nework Magazine

For the Dough
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4(.25)-ounce packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the bowl
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Filling
All-purpose flour, for dusting
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon


For the Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Make the dough: Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until it reaches about 100 degrees F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar (don’t stir). Set aside until foamy, 5 minutes. Whisk in the melted mutter, egg yolk and vanilla.


Whisk the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the salt and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed with the dough hook until thick and slightly sticky. Knead on medium speed until the dough gathers around the hook, 6 minutes. (Add up to 2 more tablespoons flour if necessary.)


Remove the dough and shape into a ball. Butter the mixer bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 hour 15 minutes.


On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-by-14 inch rectangle with the longer side facing you.

Spread with the softened butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the far long edge. Mix the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the butter.

Brush the unbuttered far edge with water. Roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder and press on the long edge to seal.

Cut the cylinder with a sharp knife to make 6 equal size buns.


Roll out the dough, fill and cut into buns. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan; place the buns cut-side down in the pan, leaving space between each. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 40 minutes. You can refrigerate these overnight at this point or if patience isn’t one of your virtues proceed proceed to the next step.




Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.


Bake the buns until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl, then whisk in the cream and melted butter. Transfer the buns to a rack and spoon the glaze on top while still warm.





Notes:

  • Yeast rising time… in my case it took 10-15 minutes, but I made a double batch.
  • I didn’t see the need to add any additional flour during the kneading process, the dough came together perfectly.
  • The recipe says to divide/cut the roll into 6 equal-sized buns, I decided to cut each of my rolls into twelve buns. I was happy with the portion size, not skimpy at all…(something to keep in mind)
  • Since I made two batches and divided the dough into twelve buns, I buttered two regular sized sheet pans.
  • In lieu of waiting the 40 minutes to let the cut buns rise, I placed the prepared pans in the fridge overnight. Took them out the following morning, and followed the directions from Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Roll Recipe picking up at “Remove the rolls from the refrigerator…” just for the proofing stage, I still baked them in a 325 degree oven for a little shy of 30 minutes. The recipe actually calls for approx 35 minute baking time. So just start keeping an eye on them at minute 29 to be safe.
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I decided to add this little beauty to my cookbook collection. I figured if there was a blog dedicated entirely to baking out of this cookbook, and a few hundred bakers following along how could I go wrong with such a purchase?



Tuesdays with Dorie: Allspice Crumb Muffins

One of the other benefits of said purchase is that I now get to follow along as well, this being my very first TWD post.

This weeks selection was chosen by Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table


I know, I know, here I go again… adding more to my plate. I just couldn’t help myself. :)


For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or you can visit Grandma’s Kitchen Table where the recipe will be posted.


If you would like to see who else is following along check out the TWD Blogroll.

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A few days ago I brought double chocolate scones into the office. I made them that same morning, and of course every time I decide to bake first thing in the morning on a weekday I end up running late, therefore I wasn’t able to try them before I walked out the door.

I blame the time vortex spiral I get dragged into every time I’m baking, blogging, or photographing. Next thing I know I’m running late for something or I’m up all night. I’m usually prompt otherwise, really!

Well, that evening after dinner I decided to try one… it turns out they were a bit too salty, and a little on the dry side even for a scone, despite all the chocolate chunks in them.

Instead of giving up on these scones, which wouldn’t be fair… after all they do contain “Chocolate”. I took a chance altered the recipe and voilà! Success, the recipe resulted in a much better tasting Double Chocolate Scone.

Double Chocolate Scones
inspired from Baking By Flavor by Lisa Yockelson

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened, alkalized cocoa
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup diced unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks
or 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

turbinado sugar for sprinkling
or extra chocolate (melted) for drizzling


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl whisk together, the flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar and salt making sure they are well combined.


Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a fine crumb texture.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, heavy cream, and vanilla until blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry add the chocolate chunks or chips and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.


Roll the dough over a floured surface into the shape of a disc about 8-9 inches in diameter, then slice into 8 wedges or cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter.


Place the wedges onto the lined cookie sheet, if you wish, sprinkle the tops liberally with sugar.

Bake about 12-15 minutes. Serve them warm or let them cool on a wire rack and store.

Drizzle with melted chocolate and enjoy!

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