Posts Tagged ‘cinnamon’

Valentine’s Day Bark

In Dessert on February 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a chocolate treat. With the stores full of everything from chocolate roses to heart shaped boxes of chocolate candies, I thought I would take a cue from them and make a chocolate Valentine’s Day treat for my co-workers. Since I had enjoyed working with chocolate so much when I made the Black and White Cookies last week, I looked for a recipe that would allow me a bit of a challenge versus just a traditional chocolate chip cookie (though there is nothing wrong with a chocolate chip cookies). I stumbled upon this recipe for Valentine’s Day Bark while surfing the Internet looking for Valentine’s Day recipes. I naturally altered it a little bit by using:

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces of red heart-shaped cinnamon candies

First, I preheated the oven to 200°F. While the oven warmed up I spread a sheet of wax paper over the bottom of a cookie sheet. I then poured the chocolate chips evenly over the cookie sheet.

24 Ounces of Chocolate Chips

Once the oven was done preheating I placed the chocolate chips in to melt for about 10 minutes, I checked them every few minutes to see how quickly they were melting.

Melted Chocolate

I sprinkled the red heart-shaped cinnamon candies evenly over the melted chocolate while it was still warm, then put it in the refrigerator to cool and harden.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the chocolate had cooled and hardened I broke it into pieces and placed it in tupperware to bring into work. I left it in the refrigerator, since my apartment gets warm and I didn’t want the chocolate to melt. Hope you enjoy this Valentine’s Day treat as much as I do and that everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Bark

Bon Appetit!

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Monkey Bread

In Bread, Breakfast, Brunch on January 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm

In the spirit of maintaining my resolution to eat healthier this year, I turned to Hungry Girl for this low-calorie version of an old favorite.  My sister bought me 2 of the Hungry Girl cookbooks for Christmas this year, and I couldn’t resist checking out her website to see what healthier recipes she had for some of my favorite classic meals.  I was rewarded for my efforts when I found this recipe for Monkey Bread.  For those of you wondering what exactly Monkey Bread is, it’s also referred to as sticky bread.  It is typically made of dough that is baked in a cake pan at high heat after first being  coated in melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, and sometimes chopped pecans.  It is traditionally served hot.

Hungry Girl‘s recipe for Monkey Bread calls for:

First, I combined 1 tbsp. Splenda and 1 tsp. cinnamon is a medium bowl.

Cinnamon and Splenda

Then, I places a small pot on the stove and placed the butter, syrup, brown sugar, 2 tbsp. of Splenda, and 1 tsp. cinnamon in it. I did not immediately heat it.

Ready to Heat

With the majority of the ingredients set aside for use later, I rolled out the dough on a clean, flat surface. Once I had sprinkled it with the baking soda I cut the sheet of dough widthwise into 6 strips of equal size. I then cut each strip into 4 squares.

Dough

I then rolled each square into a ball, and rolled 12 at a time in the Splenda and cinnamon mixture that I had set aside in the medium bowl. I then placed 4 dough balls each in each each cup of a muffin tin. Once this was done I heated the mixture on the stove. I constantly stirred the mixture until the butter was melted and the mixture was well blended into a gooey mixture.

Googey Mixture

Before sticking the muffin pan into the oven to bake I spooned the mixture evenly over the dough balls that were in the muffin tin. I then baked the Monkey Bread at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until the dough is puffy and firm.

YUM!

This was a HUGE success, and so easy to make. I will definitely be making this low-calorie treat again in the near future!

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Any cooking resolutions?

Bon Appetit!

Gingerbread Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on December 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Nothing says Christmas cookies quite like gingerbread cookies. I like mine on a snowy afternoon, with a good book, some hot tea, and a roaring fire; if I would be perched by a window too, that would be IDEAL. Barring my PERFECT situation, I like my gingerbread cookies with a nice mug of hot tea. My sister likes to have hers with some hot chocolate, and my dad likes to eat them leaning over their Tupperware container with a glass of milk handy. How do you like to eat yours? I decided to make these using Betty Crocker’s Gingerbread Cutouts recipe. This recipes calls for:

Ingredients

First, I used a hand mixer to beat the sugar, butter (I melted it in the microwave first), and molasses in a large mixing bowl.

Butter, Molasses, and Sugar

Next, I beat in the egg and water.

Adding the Egg and Water

I then added the baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, ground cardamom, and ground cloves, and used the hand mixer to beat the mixture smooth.

Spices

Finally, I added the flour a cup at a time. This made it easier to use the hand mixer to combine it, and also cut back on the flour flying all over my kitchen. Lesson learned.

Flour

Once the dough was completely mixed, I wrapped it in plastic wrap, and refrigerated it for about 2 hours, or until it was firm.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the dough had firmed up. I rolled one third of it out on a floured surface at a time. The cookies were about 1/8th of an inch thick, and I used gingerbread boy and girl cookie cutters.

Ready for the Oven

Once the cutouts were on the cookies sheets I baked them at 350°F for 5 minutes. I made sure the oven was preheated before I put them in! Another lesson learned. The cookies expanded as they baked, so make sure to give them room to do so, otherwise your gingerbread boys and girls will be holding hands. 🙂

Right out of the Oven

Once I was done I had my very own gingerbread cookie army.

Gingerbread Cookie Army

I enjoyed these, well one or two of them with a hot cup of tea, and was thrilled. This recipe is a holiday MUST. I hope you enjoy them as much as I plan to.

Bon Appetit!

Snickerdoodles

In cookies, Dessert on December 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I’ve always been told that baking cookies is an art form, and either you’re good at it, or you aren’t. I have most fortunately always been good at it. This is probably why I have always enjoyed the Christmas season so much, LOTS of cookies baking! Sadly, the first 2 batches of these were not as successful as I have usually enjoyed my cookies to be. 😦 More on that later though.

I used Betty Crocker’s Holiday Snickerdoodle recipe for this. The recipe called for:

Ingredients!

These cookies are SUPER easy, because once you have all the ingredients together you need to only combine the cookie mix, flour, butter, and egg in a large bowl. I also like the cinnamon and sugar for my Snickerdoodles mixed into the dough, so I also added the sugar and cinnamon to this combination.

Dough

If you prefer, then once you have combined the cookie mix, flour, butter, and egg in a large bowl to make the dough, you can combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl. In this case you would create tablespoon size balls and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture before placing them on a cookie sheet to bake.

In my case since my dough already had the cinnamon and sugar in it I made the tablespoon size balls and plopped them right on the cookies sheet. They then went into the oven for about 10 minutes at 375°F.

Ready for the Oven

Here’s where I ran into my problem. I didn’t preheat my oven long enough for the first batch, so they were a little small, and didn’t bake properly. I thought it was me, so I left the second batch in a little longer, and also made them a bit smaller. This resulted in burned, tiny cookies.

burned, little hockey pucks

My third batch, was much better, sadly it was also my last, as this recipe only yields about 3 dozen cookies. I made the cookies a little larger, about tablespoon size, and cooked them for 10 minutes. By this time my oven was heating evenly and the size of the cookies was much better.

Successful Cookies

Needless to say this was not my most successful cookie adventure, but in the end I finished with 12 delicious cookies! Not the most impressive showing ever.

Cookies

At least I know better for next time, and I also know that I need to not bake when I am exhausted from my last week of classes. Another day another lesson learned. I hope all of you have more luck than I did with this wonderful recipe.

Bon Appetit!

Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

In Breakfast, Brunch on November 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

This delicious treat just made my morning much, much better! I couldn’t have enjoyed it anymore, or the smell of it cooking in my kitchen. Nothing like a nice warm kitchen in this nice fall weather. I started by following The Food Network‘s recipe for Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze. I of course made a few enhancements. Let’s take a look at all the ingredients for the cake part:

Ingredients

I started by peeling and dicing what ended up being a little more than 2 cups of apples, though I wish I had used more. Though there was a delicious amount in the coffee cake.

Apples

My next step was to combine the stick of butter, light brown sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, sour cream, and vanilla in a bowl. I then used a hand mixer to blend it all together until smooth.

Ready for the Apples

I then folded in the apples, and evenly distributed the mixture in the bottom of a dark, 13 inch by 9 inch pan.

Coffee Cake Ready for the Oven

Once this was all set, I started to make the crumble topping. Normally, for the first round I would stick to the recipe, but this recipe DID NOT have me making enough crumble topping! Now, reader beware I love crumbles on the top of my coffee cake, so I may have gone a little over board, but still. I thought the result was delicious! Let’s look at the adjustments I made for more crumble topping:

I poured all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and beat it with a hand mixer until the mixture resembled crumbs, then I sprinkled them on top of the coffee cake.

Coffee Cake with Crumble

I then put it in the oven, which was heated to 350 °F. The coffee cake baked for 35 minutes, or until I could cleanly pull a knife out of the center of it. As it cooled a little, I made the glaze for the top, and changed the quantities up on this a little too.

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons water

    Brown Sugar Glaze

I drizzled the cooked coffee cake with the glaze and let it harden slightly, before I served/ate this!

Ready to Serve

This is a delicious addition to any brunch or even a breakfast. I absolutely loved this recipe and its result. I loved that it made so much too, and I’m sure my friends will too. This recipe is a complete keeper, and quite easy to make. This dish is a total…

Bon Appetit!

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

In Dessert on November 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

Pumpkin Pie!

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a Pumpkin Pie. And in my house, growing-up nothing said Thanksgiving quite like a Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie! The GREAT thing about this recipe is that it is right on the can, but here are the ingredients:

Here’s the other part about this that I LOVE. You combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, eggs, pumpkin, and evaporated milk in a large bowl. So easy to just pour all the ingredients into a bowl and use a hand mixer to blend them all together.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

This makes 2 pies, so then I used a ladle to evenly distribute the mixture between the 2 pie crusts.

Ready for the Oven

The crusts will be VERY full, so be careful when you go to place them in the oven, which is preheated to 425°F. The pie is then CAREFULLY placed into the center of the oven and bakes at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then the oven gets turned down to 350°F, and the pie bakes for an additional 40-50 minutes (mine took 65). The pie is ready when you can place a knife in the center and it comes out clean.

One Done! One Ready for the Oven!

The best way to eat these yummy pies in my opinion is to then place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until they call. I prefer my pumpkin pie cold, it just seems more natural to me. But in a pinch you can also serve the pie hot. Whip cream is a nice topper too!

I also prefer to serve the pies cold, because then I can bake them the night before Thanksgiving, because let’s be honest, the oven is a pretty busy place on Thanksgiving Day! DO NOT freeze the pies however, because that will cause the filling to separate from the crust, and no one wants to loose a perfectly good pumpkin pie.

mmmmmmm...PIE!

This simple dessert is must have on any Thanksgiving Day table, and for that matter in the weeks leading up to it. So take some time and give the pies a try, while you stay tuned for my next holiday side dish!

2 Pies Out of the Oven!

In the meantime…

Bon Appetit!