Saturday, March 12, 2011

melt in your mouth Brownies

I tried to dislike these.
I tried to say they were, 'chocolate but bland.'
I tried to say, 'theses need a strong shot of expresso.'

...these brownies are so moist, and ooooeeeyyyy  gooooeeeyy.  They just melt in your mouth!

These brownies are thin, baked in the 8x8 pan, but they are so rich.

melt in your mouth Brownies
(Adapted from Texas Fudge Brownies found here)

2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla

In separate bowl, melt in microwave:
2 oz chocolate (I used Olive and Sinclair 67% cacao)
1 stick butter
Cool slightly and add to egg mixture while whisking.

1/2 c. flour

Pour into greased 8x8 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

While the brownies are baking, make the frosting:
Over medium heat, bring to boil:
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 c. whole milk
2 T cocoa powder

1/4 t espresso powder and a pinch of salt to hot butter mixture.
2 c. sifted powdered sugar and mix until smooth

Pour icing over hot brownies immediately after removing from oven.
Let cool completely before cutting; these cut more smoothly after refrigerated (but they taste better at room temperature!)

vanilla wafer bourbon ball

I found this in the back of the refrigerator in late February, 2011.  My recipe file states that these were made 12/19/2010.
The color, texture, and flavor had not suffered.  Apparently, bourbon preserves!

Vanilla Wafer Bourbon Balls
(adapted from Saveur here)
mix together:
28 vanilla wafers, crushed (you should have 1 c. crushed wafers)
1 c. pecans, chopped
3 T cocoa powder

in separate bowl, mix:
3 - 5 T bourbon (this was TOO much for me; I'll only use about 2T next time)
1/4 c light corn syrup

Add wet to dry and mix well.  Portion about 1 T each and roll into balls.
Then, roll balls into a bowl of decorative sprinkles of your choice.

Store in refrigerator (original recipe says 1 week) but serve at room temperature.

blueberry muffins

I have an extensive cookbook library.  Many of these books I have purchased at used book stores (this makes me feel like a better steward of my resources); however, I do have my share of recently released books.  And, I anxiously await this one by Gesine Bullock-Prado!

A friend told me years ago that books are never a waste of money.  My library proves that I committed her comment to permanent memory.  Thanks..My Friend T.

I've decided to peruse the pages of these aging beauties, and bake from a variety of these cookbooks during 2011.  The blueberry muffins shown above claim spot #1 of this cookbook adventure.
On the inside first page, yellowing with age and crackling a little as the binding is strained, I find "Happy Birthday Gale!    Love, Shelly."   Ahhhh...what memories.

In years past, this was my 'go-to' blueberry muffin recipe.  I must confess that now this one has taken first place.  Nonetheless, it was great to take a trip down memory lane with this blueberry muffin.

Country Style Muffins - Blueberry version
(adapted from the book "Country Tastes" by Beatrice Ojakangas)

Mix dry ingredients together:
2 c all purpose flour
1/3 c + 2 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients:
1/3 c soft butter
1 egg
1 c whole milk

Add wet to dry and mix gently, just until combined.

Gently fold in
1 c. blueberries (mine were slightly frozen; they seem to bleed into the batter less when I add them frozen)

Top muffin batter with granulated raw sugar and a few sprinkles of cocoa nibs (my touch...)

Evenly portion into 12 greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes.

spring is in the air

my Easter basket

My Mom's name is Esther...I always think of her every time I see or write "Easter."  Love you, Mom.
I wish I could talk to her, but she doesn't remember well these days.  I encourage you to really talk to your Mom...someday later you will wish you had taken the time...