Archive | September, 2010

oldie but goodie

28 Sep

I know, I know. I ALWAYS make Oatberries, but they’re the best and everyone has to experience them at least once in their life… which is why on my last day of my internship, I had to bring them to my co-workers! I stuck to the original recipe and added a few sprinkles of cinnamon, since that’s been pretty pleasing to everyone lately and baked up a few dozen for my last day. One new finding from this batch was that Savor’s art director, Julie, asked about crisping them up and I suggested putting them in the toaster oven for a minute or two and voila! a new Oatberry finding! Though, honestly, I kinda love them frozen the best!

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10,000 smiles delivered!

19 Sep

Back in January, I wrote about the big rice krispie treat I made for the Chicago chapter of ConKerr Cancer’s 5,000th pillowcase delivery, and not even a year later, they’ve reached 10,000! That is such an awesome accomplishment, they’ve filled many children’s hospital rooms with bright, cheerful pillowcases and a smile when they need one the most.

To celebrate the accomplishment, my mom finished the Miles of Pillowcase Smiles week with a pillowcase party, where they surpassed their goal and of course, needed desserts to celebrate.

I put together a sweet spread of graham cracker cupcakes (my favorite recipe) frosting in chocolate buttercream, brownie cupcakes (a doctored box mix) frosted with vanilla buttercream and a giant coco-marshmallow rice krispie treat covered in melted peanut butter and chocolate decorated with leftover buttercreams.

I doctored the brownie mix with a splash of vanilla and a enormous helping of multiple flavored chocolate chips. After baking the chips pretty much sank to the bottom, but these brownie cupcakes may have been one of the most delicious desserts ever baked. I covered them in my favorite buttercream, which I made chocolate for the other cupcakes with some melted chips and cocoa powder.

I used my usual graham cracker recipe for the other cupcakes, it’s my mom’s favorite, and topped it with the chocolate frosting. This frosting never fails. It’s just enough butter in it to compliment the powdered sugar perfectly, there’s no super sticky sugar feeling, and I’m also able to turn it into more frosting by adding a bit more sugar to offset the chocolate addition.

Finally I made the big, square rice krispie treat. I saw Swirls marshmallows at Target and thought it would be fun to play around with them. They’re coco swirled marshmallows, advertised to make fun s’mores. The mix of the coco marshies and the regulars added a sweet twist to the batch, but covering them in chocolate was necessary because they were pretty much grey treats due to the swirl. I melted peanut butter chips and chocolate chips for the covering and spread it around before frosting. Congratulations, ConKerr Cancer Chi!

Brown Sugar Bars – an ode to cookie cubes

14 Sep

My schedule has truly been bobble-y recently. I had a rough time remembering what day it was for the entire last week, in fact I spent all day today thinking it was tomorrow… for that reason I almost forgot to make a dessert for our family softball game!

For the past three years, we Abrahams have been playing a softball game against my brothers’ (yes that punctuation is correct) best friend’s family. The game is usually in August, we were a little late this year… we had a new little family member pop up late July , so we postponed. Anyways, after the game we have a little cookout and I, of course provide dessert. I usually stick to cookies, but this year I wanted something a little less traditional.

I always get asked, “What’s your favorite thing to make,” and I never have an answer because my favorite thing to do is add my own twist to recipes that I find. This time I tackled the recipe on the back of my GIANT bag of brown sugar from Costco. The recipe is titled, “Choco-nut bars” but I renamed them to “Brown Sugar Bars” due to the super-high content of brown sugar… and the fact that I took out the coconut.

Here are the ingredients that are listed on the bag:

2/3 cup butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar

3 eggs

2 cups flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Well, I didn’t have coconut, so I used marshmallows. I know, weird sub, but I felt like the texture would be comparable, since both are gooey in baked goods. This was quite a risk though, seeing that I’ve baked some mistakes with marshmallows before. They can’t be too close to the surface or else they will burn or ruin the shape of the dessert. Luckily, these were bar cookies so I didn’t have to worry about the spreadability. I baked the bars in a 9×13 at 375 degrees for a little over a half an hour. The recipe called for 45 minutes but surprisingly my oven decided they were done early. Also, I mixed a bunch of different chocolate chips together, but I always do that, I think it’s just more fun than sticking to the same cacao percentage.

So the bars turned out really delicious. They were very fluffy and so they allowed me to cut many tiny squares, reminding me of when I started baking in high school and made “cookie cubes.” The marshmallows caramelized a bit and added a nice texture to compliment the crunch of the pecans and sweetness of the chocolate. I plan to fiddle with this recipe again in the future, making cookies or mixing more marshmallows into the dessert toward the end of the baking so that they stay marshmallow-y in the bars.

So in conclusion, the desserts were great and we won back the title! 21-7! Go Abes!

Septemberfest Sweets

3 Sep

Desserts are back in my life, just in time to do some final prepping for Labor Day weekend! I posted about my Snickerdoodle Blondies, which I finally tasted when I cut them up tonight. I love how thick they are, but I wish I’d added some chocolate chips in them, or perhaps if I had the ingredients to make the glaze that goes with. Either way I’m sure they’ll be a good after-fest snack or breakfast this weekend.

I also decided to doctor up a brownie mix with Bailey’s Irish Cream. I picked up a Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate brownie box a few weeks ago and thought I’d see what happened if I subbed 1/4 cup Bailey’s for the 1/4 cup water. I’m pretty sure (unless it was a malfunctioning box) that the cream weighed them down a bit. The batter was pretty sticky and the brownies didn’t seem to rise. They taste pretty good (as did the batter) but I think I may have overcooked them since they weren’t quite as fluffy as boxed brownies usually are.

I also made my famous Jell-O jiggler shots today, including a few Jiggler hats for my dad’s Septemberfest accessory. I mixed and matched strawberry, raspberry and orange jell-o’s with Smirnoff Cosmopolitan, Vodka & Bacardi O. The extra scraps were pretty yummy, I hope they last all weekend, though I know they won’t. I have the ingredients for one more batch in the cabinet.

Finally I wanted to tackle breakfast for the weekend by making my dad a pancake mix. I titled it, “Mr. A’s Septemberfest Pancake Mix,” and based it off a recipe I found at the Food Network website, I changed it up though, swapping some of the all-purpose flour for cake and whole wheat flour and also mixing in both brown and granulated sugars. He laughed when I handed him the recipe and the “mix” so I hope he will actually use it! He loves to make pancakes for any guests we have over the holiday weekend, and I’m not a fan of boxed pancakes, so this is our compromise, I hope they’re fantastically fluffy!

Well that’s all I have on the menu for now, well including the rest of my frozen fudge, but there’s always a possibility for more with me! Enjoy the weekend!

mmm… cookie jar mix

1 Sep

I’m ALMOST done with my 2 week no desserts detox, I admit, the lack of fudge is making me feel better, but not as delicious!! Regardless, I needed to make something for one of my best friend’s going away party. So…. because I know she loves cookies, but didn’t want to tempt myself with the dough, but also since she likes MAKING cookies, I decided to make her a mix.

Not that I really needed a recipe, but I found one online that I thought she’d like, but ended up filling it before I could add the pecans, whoops. I was so pleased with how it looked in the jar and it honestly took two minutes to compile. Making this mix is tempting me to make my dad a pancake “mix” for the weekend.

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