Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh Fudge!!

Ok so as of late making fudge has made me happy. I have found white chocolate is my favorite though. Man I love white chocolate. So i came up with THREE new treats! yeah I'm broke and making fudge..something doesn't add up.

My first treat, was something I'd been thinking up for a while. NOw I didn't come out perfect so i have some tweaking to do but here it is basicly. A three layer chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge rice krispy treat.

Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with either wax paper or tin foil. Set asside and being layers as follows.

Layer 1- Peanut Butter Fudge ( i need to half it i think)

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup peanut butter-any kind will do

1 lb powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (i actually forgot this step and it came out fine)

Put butter and peanut butter in a microwaveable bowl or double boiler. microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Remove and stir. Place back in microwave and microwave for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract (preferably with a wooden spoon) until mixed thoroughly. Place in an 8X8 glass dish or metal pan lined with waxed paper or foil.

Source : Recipezaar

NOw at this point it also says to place in fridge for 2 hours. I did not for this next reason!

Layer 2-Rice Krispies treat

Who doesn't know this recipe? But for safe keeping here it be:

3 Tbsp. butter
10 oz. (1 bag) marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat butter and marshmallows over medium heat until melted.
Remove from heat, and immediately stir in the cereal, using the prepared spatula.
Spread into the prepared pan. Flatten gently with the spatula. Let cool and harden completely. Cut into squares.


In this case the prepared pan is the one with peanut butter fudge in it.

Layer 3-Fudge-ridiculously easy fudge at that

16 oz. (450 g) chocolate chips
4 Tbs. (57 g) butter
14 oz. (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
nuts (optional)

Throw the butter and chocolate chips into a medium metal bowl or double boiler. Pour the sweetened condensed milk on top. Fill a small pot with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering. Do not let top pan of double boiler or metal bowl touch water. After a few minutes over the heat, start mixing the melting chocolate together with the melting butter. Now you can constantly stir it like I do OR you can let it heat then mix alternatly. Once melted remove from heat.

Adapted from: Cooking for Engineers
Pour this fudge over the rice krispy treats.

Allow to chill in fridge for at least 2 hours or until set.

Once set cut in to small squares. I emphasize small because it will be a rich treat. and TADAAA.

The above fudge recipe is so stinkin easy and simply I used it for two of the other treats.


Peanut butter Chocolate Fudge Rice Krispy thingies!

4 tbsp butter or maragrine
12 oz bag semi sweet chips
10 oz bag of peanut butter chips
1 can condensed milk
Approx 4-5 cups rice crispies
1/2 c. walnuts

Place rice kripsies in medium bowl and set aside. Put butter, chips, and milk into bowl over water or double boiler. Melt, stir, blah blah. Spread walnuts onto bottom of a foil lined 9 x 13 baking dish. or if you want thinker bars 9x9. Pour 3/4 of melted fudge into pan, spread out evenly. Take other fourth of fudge and pour it over rice cripies. Stir and mix until all cereal is covered. Spread out fudgey cripies over still warm and melted fudge in pan. Chill, cut, enjoy. Kinda tastes like a candy bar.

Ok LAST treat. I love white chocolate..nom nom.

White choclate Butter Toffee Fudge

11 oz bag white chocolate chips
1/3 condensed milk (i love this stuff)
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. chopped and/or whole butter toffee peanuts

Line a 8x8 pan with tin foil. Throw the butter and chocolate chips into a medium metal bowl or double boiler. Pour the sweetened condensed milk on top. Fill a small pot with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering. Do not let top pan of double boiler or metal bowl touch water. After a few minutes over the heat, start mixing the melting chocolate together with the melting butter. Now you can constantly stir it like I do OR you can let it heat then mix alternatly. Add nuts. Stir until combined.

Pour into prepared pan. Chill, cut, drool, enjoy.

And that has been my fudge making adventure. Next post: Tales from the crock pot! Yup I start making REAL food. Now I am going to go enjoy my time with my best friend while she is still in town!! WEEE. I will post my crappy pictures tomorrow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Turtle Turtle!!

The Kitchen Store is...amazing....A friend and I went in there and spent a good 30 minutes looking around. I left with a cookie scoop(AT LAST), a citrus squeezer, three spatulas and..a two foot extending fork. Why the fork you ask? because I wanted it and it's fun to poke people with!!!

THEN I went to walmart and spent a little money on baking goods....I know I know I said I wasn't going to but hey! I had three new spatuals to break in!

So what do you do when its about midnight, you aren't tired and you just purchased candy making ingredients for no reason? You make....Turtles.

Ok so I don't know what possessed me but I made Turtles or pecan danties. I have no reason to make them except for the fact...I wanted to make them and I could. I think the caramel came out a liiiittle to hard for them but oh well. My dad loves pecan danties. *shrug* we shall see if he likes mine.

I also played a bit and made them with white chocolate instead of semi sweet and also butterscotch (melted chips) instead of caramel. They came out really good!!! Thank you Annie's Eats yet again for providing the caramel recipe!!! You rock!!! The rest..well yeah

Pecan Danties or Turtles

( I apologize for the crappy pictures but they're from my phone)
4 squares of almond bark (white or regular), melted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup light corn syrup
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 bag of pecans, chopped OR pecan pieces (which is what I had)

Step 1: Make the Caramel

Caramel Recipe Thank you Annie!

Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, mix in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. When mixture reaches a boil, let the mixture continue to boil for 5 more minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. (And I just discovered where my caramel went hard......*feels like a moron*)

To assemble danties:

Place pecan pieces in little piles on parchment paper. Slowly pour some caramel over the pecans until mostly covered. Allow to set for about 10 minutes.
While you wait, melt the chocolate. Using a double boiler (best invention ever) or your microwave, melt the chocolate with low heat so as not to burn it and or harden it. If it gets hard and siezes up, remove from heat and add a tablespoon of warm water at a time and whisk until smooth again (William Sonoma is a genius!!).

Once melted, use a spoon and poor some of the melted chocolate over the caramel pecans. You can then either put them in the refrigerator to set or just leave them on your counter to set.

Now you can make the chocolate a fudgey chocolate or just melted chocolate like I did. Fudge tends to melt on your fingers faster.

Oh what would a post from me be without the mess?

PS Those oatmeal balls I made last night- HUGE success. THEY LOOOOOVED THEM! So I knwo what I will be making again. I mean I over heard this from a coworker: "Yeah she made them. That girl can cook!" *blushes* hehe I try.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Of Chocolate and Oatmeal!

SO Ive been slacking in the cookie baking department for my coworkers. Granted I do it because of personal reasons like lack of funds. But my coworkers have been amazing lately and I wanted to make them something. My cabinets are bare and because I plan on moving soon I'm not buying any baking stuff ( I whimper as I pass the aisle in the grocery store). So i looked around my kitchen...instant oatmeal, leftover melting chocolate, fondant, corn syrup, molassas....not much.

SO i melted the almond bark (half a big block) in my fabulous double boiler, and poured it over about 6 of the packages of maple and brown sugar oatmeal...rolled it into a ball, chilled it...omg. Yumyum.

I then repeated this step with dark chocolate chips and 3 packages of cinnamons swirl oatmeal. and then again with 2 oz white chocoalte and 3 packages of maple and brown sugar. granted the white chocolate ones didn't come out just right due to me adding a liiiittle too much water to the chocolate. but they are still yummy. They were a mix of a bonbon, a cookie and a ball. Hopefully my coworkers will like it because 1) it's food 2) that food is chocolate.

Instant Oatmeal BonBon's

5-6 packages (more or less depending on how chocolate-y or how oatmeal-y you want your bonbon) of instant oatmeal, any flavor I suppose

1/2 of large block of almond bark, or 4-5 oz. white chocolate, dark chocolate, whatever chocolate

1 tbsp of butter

warm water

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Pour oatmeal into medium bowl. Set aside. In microwave or double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. It will get clumpy, so whisk in 1 to 2 tbsp water and whisk smooth. Pour melted chocolate over oatmeal. Stir until all is combined. Allow to cool for a few minutes. With your hands, shape "dough" into 1" balls and set on parchment paper. Place balls in fridge until set.

These would probably make a great gift too. Best part is: Not much of a mess! SO no messy kitchen tonight! YAY!

Now it's time for my chocolate filled belly and me to go to bed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Change of Heart haha

Ok I changed my mind:

Beer Bread

3 C. self rising flour (very important it's self rising)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 bottle or can of 12oz beer
1/4 c. melted butter or margarine

Prehead oven to 350.

in large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Slowly add beer and stir. Mixture will start to get sticky and gooey. Mix completely and pour (or plop as I do) dough into greased bread pan or pie pan. Pour 1/4 c. melted butter on top of dough. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes depending on your oven. Mines evil so I go for 60.

THis bread is BEST right out of the oven with just butter. Or even flavored butters. Or even just jam or honey. Or just pick at the crunchy crust.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chili Bowl!! Aka our Anti-Fundraiser

As of last year, Accounting, IT, PUrchasing (ME!!!) and this year HR, have an anual tradition of having a chili bowl. All, or I should say most, of us make a huge crock pot of chili, bring it in and set it up in the commons of Goodwill and feed everyone, well everyone onsite that is, at no charge. we have so many fundraisers at Goodwill to raise money for different parts, such as the Greenhouse, or Project Care, etc. that you get sick of having to pay 2 bucks for a hotdog or something like that.

So my boss, Anthony, who is the most awesomest boss ever, came up with the idea. He buys all the supplies, bowls, spoons, napkins, sour cream, cheese, etc. Everyone else brings the chili. This year he was super busy and didn't have time to promote it much. SOOOO I took over. I pretty much got to coordinate it and market it. I had a flyer that I sent out to the company and I got everyone invovled with the chili. Asked how many, what kind. Then I got all the stuff sorted when it was brought in and Anthony, Todd and I set it up. I didn't eat for like an hour into it. Then gave up because it all smelled so good. Being a baker, naturally I had to take SOMETHING besides chili. SO I took 3 loaves my ever famous (within the company anyway) beer bread. Yeah it was destroyed within 30 minutes. 3 LOAVES!! YEESH! *makes note* Got it. I really enjoyed the coordinating part. People really appriciated it even with my busy schedule. I knew no one else had time. So maybe they'll let me do it again and maybe I'll have more time to actually make decent awards!!!!

I also made some corn bread for the very first time. I made Jalapeno and cheese cornbread and it was DELISHIOUS!! I hate jalapenos but this was a very nice savory bread. I also made regular cornbread which was ok but a little too dense for what cornbread should be. I also put together some homemade garlic butter. when spread on the beer bread and put in the oven for 10 minutes...heeaven!

The Beer Bread:

The Chili:
The Cornbread:

The Mess:

As for my chili, (yeah i was a crazy cook in the kitchen thursday night) I made black bean and corn chicken chili in my mama's big crock pot. There was only a glob left after the end of two hours.

There were 9 different chili's. NINE! three made by Anthony! THough his white chicken chili was da bomb. I must get that recipe! A coworker even made spaghetti noodles to go with his cincinnati chili. And he made this thing called a chili was awesome. Boboli crust, chili, cheese, oven. Voila done. Must try it.

People voted for their favorite chili in four categories so this weekend I have to try to find a way to dazzel up some trophies! How I'm gonna do that I don't know because I only have tomorrow and my plate is full already. But here are some beautiful pictures (not) of the food I made. I'm not giving out the recipe for the beer bread. It's my precious. It's the one thing I know I can make and EVERYONE will enjoy it. And so many variations beer wise. The lighter the beer the lighter the bread the thicker the beer the denser the bread. Man...ok bye!!! WEEE
PS Also updated this post with pictures!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 devine

So I was craving chocolate and didn't have much. I had a box of devils food cake mix. hmm...didn't really feel like making the WHOLE cake. So I started thinking...I wonder. Grabbed my milk(which happened to be almond milk) mixed it with some cake mix. First yum..cake batter. Then I started wondering again!!! So i put some in a cup and put it in the microwave fora bout 1:30. HOLY CRAP! It turned to cake! Added a little batter on top for icing and PERSONAL CHOCOALTE CAKE! Now, it wasnt as sweet because of the almond milk but it was great and with no eggs. It was fluffy, a little chewy, but chocolate. So here is what i recommend:

1 box of devils food cake mix (i plan to try it with yellow eventually)
Apporximatly 1.5-2 cups milk (any kind) -i eyeballed it

Mix ingredients in bowl until well blended (i still had those dry cake dots but oh well). Spoon into small cups (make sure they are microwave safe). Microwave for approximatley 1 to 2 minutes depending on the amount of batter. Carefully remove from microwave and allow to cool, (or not..I didn't :) ). Top with chocolate sauce, vanilla sauce, frosting, left over batter, cool whip, nothing...whatever your little heart desires!

YUM! I bet this would be a good quick dessert or maybe even little snack cakes for a party. ANd yes I made a HUGE mess with the cake wouldn't open!!! So it was on me and the floor!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A passion for...

Cookbooks. I LOOOOVE COOKBOOKS. I honestly couldn't tell you why. I just love them. Everytime I go into a bookstore, any bookstore, I make a bee line for the cookbooks. Even children's cookbooks *coughDisney'sTiana'scookbookcough*. Of course I can't afford ALL the ones I want! I have a great deal of cookbooks that I am always looking through but here are a few that I am dying to to call my own not the library's!

1) Baking: From My Home to Yours- I want to join the Tuesdays with Dorie. It just sounds fun!

2)Take this Dish and Twist It - He's got some strange but tastey looking stuff

3) Mastering the Art of French Cooking

4)The Dessert Bible

5) Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

6) The Golden Book of Chocolate

7) Pastry: Savory and Sweet

8) Incredibly Easy Entertaining

9)All New Cookie Dough Fun

10) The Rice Krispies Treats Cookbook

11) Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads: Sweet and Savory

12) The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts

13) Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

14) Pillsbury Kids Cookbook

I'm sure there are more I just cannot remember them. Maybe I should start baking and cooking from the ones I do have before I get more.

By the way, The bread I made a few nights ago...YUM! It was very good. I ate like half myself. The recipe is as follows:

Quick Bread Low Calorie Recipe Ingredients
2 ½ cups of flour + excess flour for kneading
1 Tablespoon of Yeast (1 package)
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
½ Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Hot Water
2 Tablespoons of Oil ( I used canola)

Egg wash
1 Egg + 2 Tablespoons of Skim Milk (or any variety that you have on hand) (I actually did not use an egg wash I used melted margarine to spread on the dough before i put it in the oven)

In a large, deep bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Next, add the hot water and oil. Stir; mixture will be sticky.
Spread a bit of flour onto your kneading surface and begin kneading the dough for five minutes. Add flour as necessary so as dough doesn't stick to surface BUT take care not to add too much or dough will be tough and bulky.
Place kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a cloth that has been dampened with cool water. Allow Quick Bread to rise for 30 minutes.
Spray baking pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Transfer Quick Bread to loaf pan OR shape into rolls if desired. Before baking, brush surface of bread with egg wash (or melted margarine). Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until golden brown. approximately 20-25 minutes.

For extra prettiness, brush melted margarine or butter onto the bread while it is still hot

Source: adapted from Diet Bites

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A milestone has been marked

WOOHOOOOO! Ladies..and gents if there are indeed gents that read this blog. I have successfully made my very FIRST yeast bread. Well two actually but one was steamed buns which I WILL but the recipe up here for because they were nummy.

But here is the first BAKED bread: It's a "low calorie" white bread, and i haven't cut into yet so I'm not sure how it tastes so I will let you know. But at least I know that I CAN indeed do it! For so long I was terrified of yeast. I didn't know how to make it active how long I should let the dough rise, etc. So I never made it. THen I made the dough for the steamed buns (nom nom) and it worked so I thought "hey lets try a baked bread" and voila!!!

Ok so the picture sucks because it's from my phone. I have GOT to start using my GOOD camera. I have to find that stupid memory card. But yeah! EEE! I'm excited. I can finally baked bread! *happy dance* SO next post will beee on Thursday OR Friday. I have a black bean and chicken chili to make along with 2 loaves of beer bread (so super simple and so tasty that if you don't make it you will be punished), AND jalapeno and cheese cornbread. Wish me luck!

Steamed Buns Recipe

6 cups flour

1¾ cup warm water

¼ cup sugar

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1 tbsp baking powder

2 tbsp shortening

Place the flour in a large bowl and set it aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the warm water and the sugar. Stir thoroughly until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Next, add the yeast and stir it in gently. Let the yeast sit for 10 minutes so that it activates.
While the yeast mixture sits, add the baking powder to the flour stirring it with a fork until it is mixed through. You can sift these two ingredients together if you wish, but it is not necessary.
After about 10 minutes the yeast should be active. The mixture should have a large amount of foam on top. Once the mixture has accumulated the foam, pour it into the flour while stirring.
Then add the shortening and continue to stir until a stiff dough forms.
Once a dough forms, use your hands and mix everything together thoroughly.
If the dough feels too dry and is breaking apart, add just a little water and continue to mix it with your hands. At this point, the dough should be a bit sticky and malleable. Continue to mix until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough.
Once everything is mixed through, knead the dough with your hands for another 10 minutes. Use the heel of your hands to press into the dough and knead it.
Once the dough is done, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, this dough is ready to be used in a delicious bun recipe.

TO make use a steamer or if you don't have a steamer (like me) take a ball of the dough (filled or unfilled) wrap a clean damp towl around it and put it in the microwave for aboout 45 seconds to 1 minute. It's probably not the same but it'll do in a pinch! And they are good with savor or sweet butters. You can fill them with mince meat, meat, jams, jellies, and a bunch of other stuff. They are sooo good. and can get very addicting. Especially at 3 in the morning. Don't ask. I ate them too fast to take a picture! I bet you can you the same dough for dumplings as well!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cookies and Popcorn

So I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to make something. So last Saterday when I went to a friends party I made something simple: Peanut Butter Popcorn. Let me tell you it went FAST! I mean people were gathered around the bowl!

Curtosy of Annie's Eats (which is an AMAZING blog) here it is:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn ( used two bags of the microwave kind cause I'm cool like that)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. butter
2 tsp. brown sugar
coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips

Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Pop popcorn. Spread popcorn in an even layer on prepared baking sheets. Combine peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second intervals and stir, until melted and able to drizzle it. Drop the peanut butter mixture in spoonfuls over the popcorn and gently toss to coat evenly (mix by hand if necessary though VERY STICKY). In another microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate in 20 second intervals until fully melted. Drizzle over the popcorn. Let the chocolate set before serving. Store in an airtight container.

*i will add a picture later as it is on my dead battery camera

it's very tasty. Trust me. I also ATTEMPTED to make Jagerdoodles but those are very hard to bake for some reason! They kept burning. I WILL try to make them again but I have to have the right time to do it. Like another party.

In place of the cinnamon:

In place of the vanilla:

And final product:

The Mess:

And last night I felt like a mad scientist in the kitchen!

Never put on Julie and Julia when you have an itch for baking. I started mixing ingredients and came up with THIS cookie. Sadly I dont remember what i even put in it but melted chocolate chips. I basicaly mixed it until it had the right texture and taste. I only used egg whites don't worry. But it turned out pretty good!