Tuesday, May 28, 2013


So, today I set out to make some brownies, I searched my Pinterest page (because I knew that I pinned one or two brownie recipes) and I came across this recipe. It is for "Lunch Lady Brownies" there is a discrepancy on the origin of this particular recipe in the comments on her blog. But, wherever this recipe came from it is a keeper.

The brownies are soft and the perfect consistency between fudgy, chewy, and cake like. They are YUM! They can be made with or without nuts, you can frost them or not, and you can either share...or not!  :)

The recipe did call for a 9"x13" pan, and the brownies came out a little thinner, if you wanted pretty thick brownies you could always use a 8" square or a 9" square, just adjust the baking time.

Yield: (1) 9"x13" pan

1 Cup    Butter (Melted)
1/2 Cup    Cocoa (I used unsweetened)
2 Cups    A.P. Flour
2 Cups    Sugar
4    Eggs
4 Tsp.    Vanilla
1 Cup    Chopped Nuts (optional)

Brownie Frosting:
1/4 Cup    Butter (somewhat softer, just not rock hard)
1/4 Cup    Milk (I used 2%)
1/4 Cup    Cocoa
3 Cups    Powdered Sugar

For The Brownies:

Place the melted butter and the cocoa powder into a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment.

Mix until smooth.

Add the flour and sugar mix until completely combined.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and nuts (optional).

Mix just until combined, do not over mix.

Spread into a greased and floured 9"x13" pan. 
*Note: this is not runny batter, it is pretty thick so you will have to smooth and even the top with a spatula.*

Bake at 350F for 20-30 Min. Let cool for about 10-15 min, then frost (make sure the brownies are not too hot, warm is okay, if too hot the frosting will melt down the sides).

For The Frosting:

Cut butter into chunks. Place everything into a mixer with a whisk attachment.

Mix until smooth. Spread onto warm brownies.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Apple Turnovers

So with my rough puff pastry that I just made, I decided to use some homemade applesauce and put together some apple turnovers.

Apple Turnovers
1/2 block of Rough Puff Pastry
Applesauce (as needed)

Roll out puff pastry to about 1/4". I used the biggest round cutter I own, and punched out 9 rounds.

Using a rolling pin, roll out each round into an egg shape.

Dip your fingertip into water and on the bottom half of the egg shape wet the edges.

Place a spoonful of applesauce (or any filling you prefer).

Fold the top over the applesauce (note how it fits just inside the water line).

Press the bottom dough up over the edge sealing in the filling.

This is just for reference on the size of my turnovers.

Place on a sheet pan and brush an egg wash over the tops.

Bake at 350F until golden brown, mine took about 45 mins.


Rough Puff Pastry

Puff pastry is delicious, but it is very time consuming. The other day I was debating if I wanted to start a batch of puff pastry for some apple turnovers that I am going to make, I ended up not starting it. But I came across a recipe for "instant" puff pastry. I thought to myself, "hey, isn't that cheating?!" I read through the recipe, it didn't call for sandwiching the butter in the dough or even resting in between turns. All you do is mix in the butter chunks much like you do for pie dough. So cheating aside I decided to give it a try. I must say it was sooo easy! A little sifting, a little mashing the butter with your fingers and voila! puff pastry dough. As a side note I would only add about 1/2 the water at first, then add more as needed.

Instant Puff Pastry
250g    A.P. Flour
1 Tsp.    Sea Salt (Fine)
250g    Butter (Cut into chunks)
75-150 Ml.    Cold Water

Sift flour and salt together in a bowl.

Place chunks of butter into the flour.

Using your hands mash the butter into the flour, do not compact it though.

Make a crater in the mixture and pour water into it. Start with 75 Ml. increase up to 150 Ml. total as needed.

Mine was a little too sticky, I should have used less water.

Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 20 min.

Take out of fridge and shape the ball into a small rectangle. If yours was a little too sticky like mine was just add a bit more flour to your dough.

Roll out to about 1/4" thick, keep in a rectangle.

Fold the bottom up and the top down (into thirds).

Wrap with plastic and put back into fridge for at least 20 min.

When you are ready roll out however much you need, flour table.

Bake at 350F until golden brown


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Banana Bread

I went searching for a banana bread recipe yesterday, I wanted a simple, no frills, plain ole' banana bread. Well, I found one! I am a little bit strange, I don't really like nuts in my banana bread. This recipe was pretty cool, because it didn't call for any nuts! :)

Although, please feel free to add some before adding in the flour. I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves and I only had 9"x5" loaf pans, so the bread doesn't look as tall. This bread can be frozen after cooling, I have heard that the flavor develops stronger. I haven't experienced it since this bread does not last long at my house! You can also try adding nutmeg, or cinnamon for a more "spicy" bread.

Banana Bread:
Yield: 1 loaf

3-4    Ripe Bananas, Smashed
1/3 Cup    Butter, Melted
3/4 Cup    Sugar
1    Egg, Beaten
1 Tsp.    Vanilla
1 Tsp.    Baking Soda
Pinch    Salt (omit if you use salted butter)
1 1/2 Cups    A.P. Flour

Peel bananas and place in a big bowl.

Using a wooden spoon, mash bananas to whatever lumpyness you like. I like to have some chunks of banana in my bread so I left mine a little chunky.

Mix in melted butter, then add the sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt (if you didn't use salted butter).

Sprinkle the baking soda over the top and mix in. (you can also mix in any nuts at this point)

Next, add in the flour, mix until all the dry is incorporated.

Pour into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 325F for about 1 hour


Friday, May 10, 2013

Apple Sauce

This is a recipe that I love! I use just to snack on, I use it in apple turnovers, anything you can think of. Now I have used this recipe for almost 2 years now, but I still haven't tried to mix in any other fruit. That will be added to my to-do list.

Apple Sauce
yield: about 1 quart

5   Granny Smith Apples
3 Oz    Sugar
Vanilla (to taste)
Cinnamon (to taste)

Peel, Core, and cut apples into chunks.

In a sauce pan, add a tiny bit of water to coat the bottom. Put apples in and place on medium heat. Slowly add sugar, mix, add vanilla and cinnamon (if wanted).

Cook until you reach your desired consistency. Apples will start to "mush" as you stir them.

I finished mine with an immersion blender. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Crescent Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls

We have a twofer tonight! I am posting another recipe, I had made the lemon loaf yesterday, but didn't have time to write up the post until today. But, today I have made...Crescent Rolls! OMG! This recipe is amazing! I absolutely love it! I made a full recipe which would normally yield 32 rolls, but I took 1/2 of the dough and rolled it out to make some cinnamon rolls. I have not had a chance to try those, but with a bread like this adding cinnamon and brown sugar will just make it taste even more delicious!

Here is the recipe.

Crescent Rolls:

2 Cups    Warm Water
2/3 Cups    Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
2 Tbsp.    Dry Yeast (I used dry active)
1/4 Cup    Sugar
2 Tsp.    Salt
1/2 Cup    Butter (Soft but not melted)
1    Egg
4 1/2-5 Cups    A.P. Flour (I ended up using 5 cups)

In a mixing bowl (I have a 6 Qt. bowl lift KitchenAid mixer) place the warm water and the dry milk into the bowl and dissolve. Next, add the dry yeast and sugar, stir to mix. Add the soft butter (I cut it into chunks) the egg and 2 cups of flour, place the salt on top of the flour, make sure not to touch the salt and yeast together as salt will kill the yeast.

Mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet, then increase to medium speed for 2 mins.

Scrape sides, add 2 more cups of flour, again mix on low until incorporated (wet), then increase to medium speed for 2 mins. 

Scrape sides, add 1/2 cup of flour, mix on low until incorporated (wet), then increase to medium speed for 2 mins. 

*If dough is still too wet add an additional 1/2 cup of flour*

Scrape sides and add about 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil to coat the sides of bowl. Or if you want you can spray cooking/baking spray onto another bowl and plop the dough into that.

Cover with plastic wrap and put into a warm area, I placed mine under the stove lights.

Let rise for about an hour, the dough will be very puffy and light.

Cut dough in 1/2 and roll the half into a circle (about the size of a large pizza/just about 1/4" I didn't measure I just eyeballed it)

Cut into 16 triangles (I actually just used my bowl scraper to cut the dough)

Roll from bigger end to smaller end tuck the point under the roll. Let rise in a warm area until double in size (1 hr-1.5 hours).

Bake at 350F for 10-15 mins, rotate halfway through (I took mine out at 13 mins)

Cinnamon Rolls:

Roll the second half of the dough into a big rectangle.

Brush on melted butter and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll from the top to the bottom and place seam on the bottom. Cut into 12 rolls.

I used a 9"x13" pan, buttered and floured. I placed the rolls into the pan and let rise in a warm place (1 hr-1.5 hours)

Bake at 350F for about 15 mins (or until golden brown) Top with frosting or glaze.