Friday, March 25, 2011

Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Makes: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
For the Banana Cupcakes:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1½ cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
½ cup buttermilk
For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:
3 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To Make the Banana Cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs, and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again and add the bananas. Beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
4. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on the rack to cool completely.
To Make the Vanilla Pastry Cream:
1. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer and keep warm.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
To Assemble the Cupcakes:
If you have a pastry bag, fit the bag with a large tip, fill the bag with the pastry cream, and pipe out enough pastry cream to cover each cupcake.
If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the pastry cream and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake.
You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. Top with a single slice of fresh banana or a dried banana chip.
To Serve: You can either top these with the pastry cream and refrigerate until ready to serve; or keep the cupcakes at room temperature and top with the pastry cream right before serving.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Yield: About 1 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.
3. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients are well-combined. Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
4. Place the Oreo cookie crumbs in a small bowl. Scoop the cookies into about 1½ to 2″ balls and then roll in the cookie crumbs. Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tops are slightly puffed.
5. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups sour cream
2½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
For the streusel:
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup chopped walnuts, optional
For the glaze:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
3. For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.
4. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
5. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 16 to 18 large cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 12 minutes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup peanuts
Coarse salt for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and peanuts.
4. Drop by two heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a small pinch of coarse salt on top of each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the outside of the cookies are set but the middles are still a little soft. Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dunkin Donuts

Homemade Shamrock Shake

Yield: 2 shakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
3 cups of your favorite vanilla ice cream
1½ cups whole milk
½ teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring (enough to get the shade of green you want)
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and blended. Divide between two glasses, top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

White Chocolate-Coconut Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 30 minutes
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
11 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.
3. Put the white chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the white chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture and the coconut over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour and coconut mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 35 minutes | Chill Time: 2 hours
For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 whole graham crackers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cookie dough:
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the cheesecake filling:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate drizzle:
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper; set aside.
2. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
3. To make the cookie dough, stir together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes), and then roll teaspoon-sized ball of the dough and place on a plate, and refrigerate plate of cookie dough balls while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
4. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until thoroughly combined.
5. Remove the cookie dough balls from the refrigerator and toss with 1 teaspoon of flour. Drop into the cheesecake filling and mix together. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, coaxing the filling into corners and sides. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake filling is set and doesn’t jiggle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
6. Using the parchment paper as handles, lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into squares. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute at 50% power and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the bars and allow to set for about 20 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Monster Cookies

Yield: 26 large cookies
Prep Time: 45 minutes | Bake Time: 10-12 minutes per baking sheet
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces, or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1½ cups chunky peanut butter
4½ cups rolled oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup Reese’s Pieces
¾ cup M&M’s
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (If you don’t  have three baking sheets, just be sure to cool the ones coming out of the oven before placing more cookie dough on them. If I’m short on sheets I will run them under cold water to cool them down.)
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, both sugars, vanilla extract, corn syrup, baking soda and salt. Then stir in the melted butter and peanut butter, followed by the oats and flour. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips, Reese’s pieces and M&M’s. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
3. Drop the dough by ¼ cupfuls onto baking sheets (if weighing, each ball of dough was approximately 2.7 oz or 77g). Use your fingers to flatten the dough slightly. Baking for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are a light golden brown. Cool on a rack and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
*Note: I found that since I used both M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces, some of the candy pieces fell out when scooping the cookies if a particular ball of dough was overrun with both. Not a big deal, just know that you might lose some candy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pancake Cupcakes with Maple-Bacon Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 10 minutes
For the Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups whole milk
2 eggs
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Frosting:
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with liners and then spray the liners with non-stick spray (important step!).
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the milk and eggs, then stir in the melted and cooled butter. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just moistened and combined. Like pancakes, lumps are okay! Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake until puffed and firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. To make the frosting, use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer to whip the butter on  medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it’s mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla and whip for another minute or so to incorporate. Add the bacon and mix to combine. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Top with additional crumbled bacon if desired.

Friday, March 11, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooling Time: 30 minutes
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1. Add the first four ingredients (through the cocoa powder) to a 4-quart saucepan.
2. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Let cool until set.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars

Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes
1 batch of your favorite brownie recipe for a 9×13-inch pan
½ cup salted peanuts
8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

1. Prepare the brownies according to the directions and bake for about 5 minutes less than the recipe states. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups. Return to the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes.

2. While they are finishing baking, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cereal to evenly coat. Remove the brownies from the oven and evenly pour the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over top. Spread to cover evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Starbucks Chocolate Cake

I'm sure you can get this at the nearest Starbucks, if not, sucks for you.
I've tried this cake twice already, and it's DELICIOUS.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

S’more Cupcakes

Chocolate and graham cracker cupcakes topped with marshmallow swirl.

Two Chocolate Chip Cookies;

with Ice Cream and Chocolate and Butterscotch Chips

Caterpillar Breakfast Pancakes

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Apple

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcake

Corn on the cob cupcakes

The kernels are jelly beans

Blow Your Mind Brownie-Nutella Mousse Pie

The cravings

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing

This blog will be mostly pictures; things that we normally call "junk".
(if there is a recipe, I'll post it)
& for those who care to know, if I baked it, I'll imply it under the photo.

~We shouldn't, but we must.
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