COWABUNGA RABBIT


Giant Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Tuesday 22 April 2008, 6:18 PM
Filed under: cookies/bars

I have the best roommates in the world and these are for them. I found this recipe on Su Good Sweets. The recipe is listed in the comments section (scroll down to the middle of the page). Yields 12 giant cookies.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and then beat in cocoa powder. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients except the chocolate and peanut butter chips until just combined. Fold in the chips.
  3. Transfer dough to a clean work surface and mix the dough by hand.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts. Flatten dough out and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 16-20 minutes, depending on how well baked you want the insides to be.

Modifications

  • I couldn’t find dark cocoa powder (not that I was trying really hard anyway), so I used Ghirardelli’s Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa.
  • I had no kosher salt, so I substituted it with 1/2 teaspoon of regular salt.

After Thoughts

The recipe calls for cold butter, but I honestly believe it should be room temperature. Other than that, this is an excellent recipe, especially if you’re a chocolate and peanut butter fan. I tried a bit and I really liked the consistency. The cookie is certainly rich and dense and the flavors exceptionally well together. Many thanks to Lisa who posted this recipe and Su Good Sweets for hosting it!

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Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
Tuesday 22 April 2008, 4:12 PM
Filed under: cake

This is a recipe Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. The cake was super moist and not even that sweet. However, next time I’d probably omit the raisins and add more nuts. Also, I didn’t have another baking pan, so I just made the cake into two layers, instead of three. My family isn’t big on super sweet things, so I cut back on the frosting and I’m glad I did. The frosting’s suuuuuuuuppppeeeerrrrrr sugary. With the right amounts of it though, it accentuated the cake perfectly.

I’m glad I made a successful cake on the FIRST TRY (I have terrible luck with cakes)! Let’s hope I can keep up this insanity!

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake

Yields 10 servings

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • ½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:

Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

Serving:

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it’s good plain, it’s even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it’s firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.



Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies
Monday 21 April 2008, 6:39 AM
Filed under: cookies/bars

Mmm… tasty tasty. I got this recipe from this site and I didn’t change anything. All I did was halve the recipe and made some of them with Rolos and Reeses. Yay, candy binge.



For Andrew
Wednesday 9 April 2008, 6:45 PM
Filed under: art, ink

As promised, a better picture. Thank you professional scanners. The thumbnails however are the product of my amateur hands.

        



Banana Coconut Muffins
Saturday 5 April 2008, 7:20 AM
Filed under: fruit, muffins/scones

I think I have really bad luck with cakes. I had to bake that damn (but delicious) Party Cake three times. After that one, I created a disaster called a Crepe Cake. And then a supposed “Best-Ever Butter Cake” didn’t quite live up to its name. So I had to redeem myself somehow and I did so with this nice recipe from Epicurious. Yields around 8 muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 sweetened flaked coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line muffin tin with liners or grease/spray generously.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup of coconut.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet.
  5. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  6. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of coconut on top of batter.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until muffins are puffed and golden.

Modifications

  • I used a little more than 1/3 cup of sugar.
  • I had to use three bananas (mine were pretty small).
  • I ended up with 7 muffins with nice big tops.

After Thoughts

Theses are good and surprisingly dense. Even though I cut out some of the sugar, the muffins were still pretty sweet. Next time I’ll try to use a little less than half of the amount of sugar. I like the coconut in the muffins; it provides a great texture and pairs well with the bananas.

This is a nice twist from the traditional banana muffins and banana bread recipes I usually use when I have overripe bananas. My only complaint is that the amount this recipe yields is really small! Seriously, only eight?! The fact that I ended up with seven (which is a prime number) sort of bothers me, but that’s beyond the point. The point is, these muffins are good so try them!