- Dulce de leche lovers will want to try this easy Dulce de Leche Ice Cream from Confections of a Foodie Bride. The homemade ice cream has just five ingredients and is loaded with 2 cups of creamy dulce de leche, which provides all of the sweetness that you need in the base of the ice cream. It also has a generous amount of vanilla, with th addition of both vanilla extract and a whole vanilla bean. You will need an ice cream maker to get the best results, and if you don’t have one yet, this just might be the recipe that makes you put one on your Amazon wishlist.
- Une Gamine dans la Cuisine‘s Clementine Olive Oil Cake is a great example of how you can bake with olive oil and make a fantastic dessert. The fruitiness of the olive oil works very well with the sweet orange zest in the cake, and there is enough sweetness in the recipe to ensure that the olive oil doesn’t dominate the other flavors. This cake is finished with a buttermilk and almond glaze that highlights the buttermilk and almond flavors that are also found in the cake, and it also dresses the finished cake up a bit.
- The Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies from Pinch of Yum combine two great treats into one easy to eat dessert. The bars start with a layer of brownie batter that is topped with a layer of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. They bake together in the oven and the result is a decadent bar with a buttery cookie topping and a fudgy chocolate base. And if you like the original, you could even play with the cookie dough portion to put your own twist on this idea, adding nuts or different mix-ins to try something a little different than a classic chocolate chip cookie.
- Good things often come in simple packages, and that is the case with the Lemon Lime Cookies that Cookie Monster Cooking baked up. The sugar cookies are flavored with both lemon and lime zest, which gives them a bright citrus flavor that puts them a cut above your average sugar cookie. You also get a good butter flavor and a hint of vanilla, which rounds out the overall flavor of the cookies. The finished cookies are sweet and chewy, and while they are good on their own, they might make a great base for some springtime ice cream sandwiches.
Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category
- Brownies are a staple recipe, like chocolate chip cookies or banana bread, and it never hurts to have a few ideas for variations so that you can jazz them up a bit. London Bakes‘ Orange and Almond Brownies are decadent, flourless brownies that are infused with orange zest and ground almonds, which gives them a unique flavor. The brownies are very rich, with an intense chocolate flavor. They use 12 ounces of dark chocolate, as well as a generous amount of cocoa powder. Unlike other brownie recipes, they’re sweetened with honey instead of sugar, which goes well with the floral orange notes in the finished product.
- A creamsicle is a popsicle with both orange and vanilla cream components that has a distinct and delicious flavor. Oui Chef wanted to put these flavors in a different format for an Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake. The cheesecake gets its potent orange flavor from Cointreau and orange extract, while the cream elements come from heavy cream, sour cream and – of course – cream cheese. A little bit of orange zest in the graham cracker crust ties the crust in to the creamsicle theme, too. The flavors work very well and deliver a cheesecake that tastes like it could have come from the ice cream truck – only much, much better.
- The Poppyseed Thumbprints that Technicolor Kitchen recently baked are a relatively simple cookie, but one that never goes out of style. You make them by poking your thumb into a ball of buttery cookie dough to create a pocket that is filled with jam. The jam bakes into the cookie and almost looks like a colorful jewel after baking. Just about any flavor of jam will go with the cookie dough, which has a nice look and texture from the poppy seeds. For a little change of pace, you could try this recipe with chia seeds, as well.
- Rhubarb is in season in the spring, so fans of its sweet-tart flavor have to make the most of it during a relatively short season. Rhubarb is often paired with berries, but it can also be good on its own, and that is how it is featured in These Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb Shortcakes from Hummingbird High. Rhubarb is roasted in the oven with red wine, vanilla and sugar until it is tender and its juices (and the wine) are syrupy and sweet. The roasted rhubarb is served with homemade shortcake biscuits and plenty of vanilla whipped cream, and turns into a simple looking dessert that is packed with flavor.
- Sometimes you find inspiration in unusual places, and Noble Pig found the inspiration for a batch of cookies in a box of cereal. Her Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Kashi Cereal Cookies. The spin on regular chocolate chip cookies involved using Kashi Go Lean cereal in place of some of the chocolate chips. The crunchy, chunky cereal added some great texture to the cookies and actually helped keep their interior pleasantly chewy. A generous pinch of sea salt brings all of the flavors together and will keep you coming back for seconds.
Butter is typically used in one of three ways in a recipe: cold, softened or melted. Cold butter is typically cut in to a mixture of dry ingredients. Softened butter is used in recipes that require the butter to be creamed, such as cookie dough and frostings. Melted butter can be used in many recipes, and often it is stirred into a dry mixture along with other “wet” ingredients, such as eggs and milk. The vast majority of baking recipes call for butter to be cooled down after being melted and before being added to the rest of your ingredients, but very few recipes define how cool the butter needs to be before you can use it.
In just about all recipes, butter should be cooled down to just above room temperature before you use it. Depending on how much butter you’ve melted and how hot you made it while melting, this could take anywhere from 1 – 5 minutes. You don’t need to use a thermometer to check the temperature, but a basic guideline is that the liquid butter should be cool enough to handle easily and not so cold that it starts to resolidify. If a recipes needs the butter to be hot instead of room temperature, it should explicitly mention it.
Butter can be melted quickly in the microwave or slowly on the stovetop, and it can be made plain or cooked until it has become browned butter. When it is very hot, melted butter can actually melt the sugar in your recipe or even cook the eggs. In the case of the sugar, this can drastically change the texture of your finished product, and accidentally cooking the eggs can give your recipe flavors you didn’t expect (and definitely don’t want – especially where desserts are concerned).
Many types of pies are topped with billowing meringues that give them a beautiful finished look and a lovely contrast between a denser filling and a lighter topping. But even though the meringues look good when you spoon them on top of a pie, they often start to weep and make your pie look less than perfect. Weeping is when a meringue releases droplets of liquid, giving the meringue the appearance of having tears or raindrops all over it – hence the name. Weeping is caused by an unstable meringue, one that is undercooked or that it simply has too much moisture in it.
Many pies are topped with a meringue made by beating sugar and egg whites together, spreading it onto a hot pie and baking it for a few minutes in the oven to brown it. This method generally sets the outside of the meringue and counts on the heat from the pie to help set it from below. Unfortunately, a few minutes in the oven isn’t really enough time to fully stabilize a meringue and meringues made in this way will often shrink, separate from the crust and start to weep after a short while.
There are a couple of solutions to the problem. One option is to extend the baking time slightly for your pies, giving the meringue more time to cook through. Another options is to add a stabilizer – such as cornstarch – to your meringue to help to absorb excess liquid. A tablespoon or so should be enough to help control the weeping initially, and it is easy to incorporate into a meringue. The stabilizer will help your meringue to last longer than one with nothing added, but once the pie is in a humid environment, such as the refrigerator (or your kitchen, if you live somewhere it is very humid), it may begin to weep anyway.
The most reliable way to prevent weeping is to replace a simple meringue with a very stable Italian Meringue. Italian meringue is made by beating egg whites until they reach soft, fluffy peaks, then slowly streaming in boiling sugar and beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. The resulting meringue is fully cooked so it is very stable and it is significantly less likely to weep than an uncooked meringue (typically only in very humid conditions), and you can spread it on top of a pie and bake it until it browns in the oven without worrying about having an under-cooked meringue on your dessert.
- If you’ve never had a bialy, you should definitely consider making a batch of Bialys with Caramelised Onion and Poppy Seeds to see what you’re missing. This batch of NY-city staples were baked by The Moonblush Baker. Bialys are chewy, bagel-like breads that are typically topped with onions and they are very popular in New York City, but tend to not be as well known elsewhere. The caramelized onions that top these add a savory sweetness that works well with the bread and makes them addictive, whether you want to serve them plain or, like bagels, spread with cream cheese.
- The Mini Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Cheesecakes from The Gunny Sack are the perfect treat for peanut butter lovers. The mini cheesecakes have a peanut butter base studded with peanut butter and chocolate chips. The base is made from chocolate cookie crumbs, which provides enough chocolate flavor to make you think of a peanut butter cup – and the peanut butter and chocolate glaze on top does the same thing. They’re indulgent, but they’re also small enough to easily enjoy in single servings.
- Salty and sweet things have been a trend – and a good one – for quite some time now, but people continue to push the envelop with the idea and Chasing Delicious‘s Salt & Vinegar Chips Topped Chocolate Cake is a great, and unexpected, example. This rich chocolate cake has a dark chocolate flavor and a very moist, tender crumb. You could top it with anything, but this one is topped with decadent ganache and loads of salt and vinegar shoestring potato chips. The salt and vinegar make your mouth water and that actually makes the cake taste even better when you get to a bite of the chocolate. As if that weren’t enough, there is also a generous drizzle of caramel poured over the cake to enhance the sweetness and that sweet-salty contrast even more.
- Another single serving treat comes in the form of the Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffins from On Sugar Mountain. As much as I like big coffee cakes, the smaller versions often seem just a little more tempting because they get the cake-to-crumb ratio just right. These coffee cakes have a classic brown sugar and cinnamon streusel topping, but they also have a brown sugar and cinnamon swirl running through the batter to give them a lovely look and a bit more flavor. They’re quick and easy to make, so you don’t have to wait for a special brunch occasion to bake a batch.
- You can’t go wrong with donuts in almost any situation, and that is even more true when you’re taking about freshly fried, homemade donuts. Handle The Heat‘s Yeast-Raised Chocolate Glazed Donuts look good enough to grab off of your screen. If you’ve never tried yeast donuts, you’ll be surprised that the dough is not difficult to make and very straightforward to work with, although you have to have a little patience when making them to allow for the dough to rise. You will probably want to pick up a donut cutter so that you can get that classic donut shape once you’re ready to cut and fry them. The effort is all worth it when you take that first bite of a light, fluffy donut that is light years ahead of what the local donut shop is doing.