GRANNY SMITH APPLE BREAD

GRANNY SMITH APPLE BREAD
BREAD
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1 teaspoon sea salt
2 LARGE eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Tillamook old fashioned vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
2/3 cup avocado oil
2 GRANNY SMITH apples
Juice of 1 lemon

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In one bowl sift together the flour, apple pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl mix together the eggs and sugar, beating until fluffy.
  • Add yogurt and vanilla, beating to incorporate.
  • Gradually beat in the avocado oil, beating until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides until well mixed.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Slice one half of an apple into thin slices. Small dice the remaining apples.
  • Fold all but 1/2 cup of small diced apples into the batter.
  • Spread batter in loaf pan.
  • Bake 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 15 minutes and then transfer to rack to cool completely.
  • Toss remaining 1/2 cup apple pieces with lemon juice. Drain off juice and reserve for glaze.

GLAZE
4 PACKED tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 teaspoons heavy cream

  • Heat brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts.
  • Add cream and salt.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer.
  • Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
  • Fold in reserved apple pieces.
  • Drizzle over bread and serve immediately.
  • Store any remaining bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

For the life of me I cannot remember where I adapted this recipe from, but it is a serious home run! It’s actually more sugar than I can tolerate and hubby said it was good, but felt we could go without the fudge layer completely and that it would still be great. I had also added a thin layer of blackberry jam that I will omit next time.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

This recipe uses 1 batter 2 ways (vanilla and chocolate) swirled with a fudge ripple to create a simply delicious layer cake topped with a fudgy buttercream frosting. This was a scratch recipe that I’ve adapted to use weights trying for a more exact baking science.

VANILLA CAKE BATTER
3 cups all-purpose flour or 390 grams by weight
3 cups granulated sugar or 600 grams by weight
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 10 grams by weight
1 teaspoon salt or 5 grams by weight
1 cup butter or 225 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons or 10 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites or 245 grams by weight – about 6 LARGE egg whites
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or 360 grams by weight, at room temperature
1/8 cup vegetable oil or 30 grams by weight

  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  • Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.
  • Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  • Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour half of the batter (950 GRAMS) into a separate bowl and set aside.

CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER
1/3 cup or 35 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 cup or 50 grams by weight granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 2 grams by weight baking powder
1/4 teaspoon or 1 gram by weight salt
1/4 cup egg whites or 60 grams by weight (about 2 egg whites)
1/4 cup or 45 grams by weight buttermilk

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, 1/4 salt, and baking powder into the remaining batter.
  • Add the egg whites and buttermilk, mixing on a low speed until smooth.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SWIRL
1 cup or 150 grams by weight MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup or 55 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup or 60 grams by weight heavy cream, room temperature

  • Combine the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream into a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat in microwave for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Allow the mixture to cool 1 minute, then stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

CAKE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line three 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper AND grease with non-stick baking spray.
  • Alternate spoonfuls of vanilla cake batter with the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pans, filling them roughly one inch high with batter.
  • Randomly add small dollops about one inch in diameter of fudge swirl on top of the vanilla and chocolate cake batter.
  • Drag an offset spatula or butter knife through the batter in horizontal and vertical lines to create a marbled pattern.
  • Bake for 33-35 minutes until tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  • Level the cakes with a serrated knife as necessary once they’re fully cooled.

FUDGE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING – if simply icing without fancy decoration halve this recipe.

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter or 325 grams by weight (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 1/2 cups or 685 grams powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 3 grams by weight salt
1/4 cup or 30 grams by weight heavy cream
1 tablespoon or 15 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 40 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup or 90 grams by weight semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and salt on a low speed.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream.
  • Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time or if frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Mix in baking cocoa powder and the melted chocolate chips.
  • Place half of the buttercream into a separate bowl.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

  • Stack the cake layers on a grease proof cake round or large serving plate.
  • Spread a thin dab of buttercream on the center of the board, to help your cake layer stay in place.
  • Next, center the first cake layer the cake board.
  • Spread an even layer of buttercream onto the cake layer with an offset spatula.
  • Repeat with remaining cake layers.
  • Place the top cake layer upside down.
  • Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting, and smooth using a bench scraper.
  • Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  • At this point you can get creative with your decorating or add a final layer of buttercream smoothing as you go.

NOTES

  • You can make the parts in advance and freeze them to make the process A LOT less tedious.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to stir it well to smooth the consistency.
  • You can add a marmalade or berry layer on top of each buttercream layer for a bit of an added oomph!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious! If you cut into the cake and have any leftovers, you can use remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

ALTERNATE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
8 ounces cream cheese – 1 brick, 226 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter – 1 stick, 113 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar – 455 grams by weight, sifted
3 tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt on low until combined.
  • Beat on high 3-4 minutes until smooth, light, and creamy.
  • Decorate as desired.

CHILI STUFFED BREAD

ACTIVE PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25-30 minutes
TOTAL TIME START to FINISH: 45 minutes
SERVES: 4-6 depending on appetites
WHY I’LL MAKE IT AGAIN: This is a comfort food perfect for ANY Fall evening!  It’s a quick cinch to make on a weeknight too.
NOTES: Don’t over stuff your bread (like I obviously did 😀 )

CHILI STUFFED BREAD
3/4 pound ground beef
1-2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 teaspoons ancho chile pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 can ROTEL tomatoes ORIGINAL, drained WELL
1 can SHOEPEG corn, drained WELL
1 tablespoon GREEN Tabasco sauce
1 tube Pillsbury PIZZA dough
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line 9 1/2 x 5 loaf pan with foil. Leave a couple inches hanging over on ALL sides to use as handles to remove the bread at the end.
  • Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Lightly spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add ground beef, onions, garlic, ancho chile powder, salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned and everything is well incorporated.
  • Add tomatoes and corn, stirring well.
  • Stir in the Tabasco sauce and half of each cheese.
  • Cool slightly.
  • Unroll dough and form into an 8×14 rectangle.
  • Cut a 4 inch section off the short end so you have a 4×8 section and a 10×8 section.
  • Fit the large section into the loaf pan, GENTLY stretching the dough into the loaf pan so the dough goes up the sides.
  • Add cooled meat filling.
  • Top with half of the remaining cheeses.
  • Roll reserved dough into an 11 inch long piece.
  • Cut crosswise into 14 pieces.
  • Arrange cut pieces into an overlapping basket weave pattern over the top of the meat mixture, sealing the edges.
  • Brush with the egg.
  • Top with remaining cheeses.
  • Bake 25 minutes.

COBBLER COOKIE PIES

We LOVE cookies and we LOVE pies around here, but with just the two of us pies are too big and cookies don’t always have the summer flavors we’re looking for.  So, WHY not combine them into little cookie pies FULL of flavor AND the crunch of a cookie AND a streusel topping? You can also make your own sugar cookie dough and even use FRESH fruits, but why not go easy on that too?

COBBLER COOKIE PIES
Yield: 12      Prep Time: 15 minutes      Cook Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 45 minutes

16 ounces package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup sugar
1 can peach pie filling, chopped small***

STREUSEL
3 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons FINELY chopped oatmeal
3 tablespoon PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons COLD butter, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

GLAZE
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2-3 teaspoons milk

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Divide cookie dough into 12 pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and roll in sugar to coat.
  • Fill a well-greased muffin tin with cookie dough balls and bake for 15 minutes.
  • While cookie cups are baking, chop peach pie filling and prepare the streusel by combining the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and use a fork to blend until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Set aside.
  • Remove cookie cups from oven; press the center of each cookie cup with the bottom of a small glass. I use a small prep bowl.
  • Fill each with peach pie filling and top with a layer of streusel.
  • Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, cool completely, and gently remove from muffin tin.
  • Combine powdered sugar and milk; drizzle over cooled cookie cups.

***NOTES:  Any flavor works, but for summer peach or apple is awesome.  I also really like using blackberry or a black and blue berry combo! Today was a berry combo  using strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

ARTICHOKE PARMESAN SQUARES

ARTICHOKE PARMESAN SQUARES
1/2 package MRS. GRASS vegetable soup mix (save the other half for next time)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package Pillsbury Crescent GRAND size
5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained WELL
12-14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and chopped small
8 ounce can water chestnuts, chopped
3 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and soup mix. Set Aside.
  • Lightly spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Roll out and arrange crescent rolls in baking dish, sealing perforations and pushing rolls slightly up the sides.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes until golden.
  • Add spinach. artichokes, water chestnuts, garlic and Jack cheese to the soup mixture, blending well.
  • Spread on top of the crescent rolls.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake another 10-12 minutes until heated through and turning golden.
  • Cut into 2 inch squares and serve.

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE
This wonderfully moist coffee cake is loaded with FRESH blueberries, topped with a delectable brown sugar crumble and  drizzled with a creamy vanilla glaze that hardens as it cools. You’ll end up with a super moist and chewy cake with a crunchy crisp sweet topping.  The glaze is optional and no even really needed! 😀

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup PACKED light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

  • In medium bowl stir all the dry ingredients together.
  • Cut butter into smaller chunks and mix with mixer until combined or using fingers or pastry cutter mix until butter is combined and you can squeeze together to form clumps.
  • Chill mixture until ready to use.

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
3/4 WHOLE cup milk
1 egg, rood temperature
2 cups FRESH** blueberries, washed and dried
1/4 cup WONDRA flour, for blueberry dusting

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 9″ springform pan with nonstick spray and if desired, cut out a piece of parchment paper for easier transfer to serving dish.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt stirring to combine.
  • Add milk, egg and softened butter, in chunks mixing until mostly smooth and combined. The batter will be thick, but if too thick, add additional 1/4 cup milk.
  • Dust blueberries with WONDRA flour.
  • Gently fold in blueberries into the batter.
  • Pour into prepared 9″ springform pan. If you use a smaller pan for a deeper cake add 10 minutes baking time and if you use a larger pan for a larger shallower cake, decrease baking time by 10 minutes.
  • Remove crumble from refrigerator and crumble on top of coffee cake batter in marble sized chunks.
  • Bake 50-65 minutes until top is golden and center is firm, toothpick may or may not come out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Glaze.

GLAZE (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream

  • While cake is cooling, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk/cream until smooth and pourable consistency.
  • Pour over top of warm cake for glaze that hardens and melts into cake, or if preferred, wait until cake is cooled completely then pour glaze over.

TO SERVE:

  • To serve, using a butter knife, gently run around the edge of the spring form pan.
  • Transfer to serving platter and enjoy.

NOTES:

  • **Frozen blueberries may be used, if possible thaw and drain, toss gently in a couple tablespoons of flour to coat, that will help the blueberries to not bleed as much.
  • You can substitute any other sliced or diced berries; strawberries, blackberries, raspberries… to make you happy.
  • *Glaze is GREAT, but can definitely be left off the cake and still be flavorful and moist.

 

BROWN BAG APPLE PIE

There are a lot of recipes out there for Brown Bag Apple Pie, but I honestly haven’t found one that compares to grans. ALL of those others will tell you that their pie is the most incredible one! Once again I haven’t found one that compares with gran’s old recipe. I can agree that no matter what recipe you use, the paper bag is THE key ingredient! It truly makes for a crust that doesn’t burn, but is a lightly textured and deep golden flaky crust, sweet and delicately flavored center and a crunchy topping. Don’t forget the luscious vanilla ice cream on a nice warm piece of pie!

BROWN BAG APPLE PIE

CRUST
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons SUPERFINE sugar
6 tablespoons UNSALTED butter
2 ½ tablespoons COLD vodka or more as needed

  • Whisk the flour and white sugar together in a bowl until well-combined.
  • Cut the unsalted butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle with the vodka, a little at a time, mixing the dough together lightly with a fork until it barely holds together.
  • Form the dough into a ball and roll it out to a circle about 1/8-inch thick.
  • Gently ease the dough into pie dish, pressing to fit pie pan.
  • Cut off any excess pastry with a knife.
  • Finish the edge of the crust by gently pressing the tines of a fork into the dough all the way around the edge of the pie dish.
  • Set the crust aside.

FILLING
5 pounds Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced thinly
½ cup PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 teaspoons PURE ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch QUALITY ground ginger
Juice from 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons ginger snap crumbs

  • In a large mixing bowl toss the apples with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and lemon juice.
  • Set aside.

CRUMB TOPPING
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup COLD butter
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon 



  • Combine the flour, sugars and cinnamon, whisking to combine.
  • Cut in butter pieces until you have a crumbly coarse mixture.


ASSEMBLY


  • Sprinkle the ginger snap crumbs over the bottom of the pie crust evenly.
  • Fill the pie with the apple mixture.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping mixture evenly over the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Place pie in a brown paper bag (grocery size) so that bag is folded over, but not actually touching the pie itself.

  • Bake for 1 hour. DO NOT PEEK while baking.
  • Remove from the oven, carefully remove paper bag from around pie and let cool; serve warm.
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator.


NOTE: ALTERNATE METHOD TO AN ACTUAL PAPER BAG

  • Tear off two 30 inch long pieces of parchment paper.
  • Place them perpendicular to each other on a work surface.
  • Place the filled pie in the center of the two pieces of parchment, bring the paper ends up over the pie and fold and staple the parchment paper over the pie to COMPLETELY enclose and seal in the pie inside.
  • The paper should not touch the top or sides of the pie.
  • Place on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

AUSTRALIAN CHEESECAKE ~ LEMON CHERRY

I found this recipe in an old (1960’s) cookbook put together for a lake area homeowner’s association. I have no idea what makes it “AUSTRALIAN” and Ruth Traum is unknown to me so I can’t even ask her. I tried to do research and found several recipes called “Australian), but none of them said WHY they were “AUSTRALIAN”. Best I can tell it’s just a version of a no-bake cheesecake, but it’s SUPER airy and light.

Ruth’s recipe used lemon jello, but it is a simple thing to change up the flavor to your liking. I mixed a box of cherry and lemon, using only half then and saving the other half for another time. You can also substitute ginger snaps for the vanilla wafers or mix in some pretzels for and extra crunch… The second time I made it I used a combination of lemon and lime on the jello…  The cherry was better, but we’ll try orange next time 😀

AUSTRALIAN CHEESECAKE ~ LEMON CHERRY
1 small box Vanilla Wafers (crushed to make 2 cups of crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 small box lemon jello
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice and zest of 1 LARGE lemon + hot water to equal 1 cup
1 LARGE can Carnation milk (VERY COLD) 12 ounces VERY COLD heavy whipping cream
1 can pie cherries in glaze (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Crush wafers and mix with melted butter until well mixed.
  • Press crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan.  If you use the 8 it will COMPLETELY fill the pan.  If you use the 9 inch it provides a couple more pieces, just not as tall. 😀
  • Bake for 10 minutes and then cool.
  • Whisk jello into hot water mixture until dissolved.
  • Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add in jello mixture until well blended.
  • Beat carnation milk with chilled beaters until very stiff.
  • Fold whipped milk into cheesecake mixture and pour into cooled crust pan.
  • Chill AT LEAST 8 hours, but this cheesecake is best made 24 hours in advance!
  • Top with whipped cream or pie cherries and enjoy!

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
Your favorite pie crust recipe for a double crust
2 1/2 cups chopped FRESH red rhubarb
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and chopped strawberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • Pour out into chilled crust.
  • Dot the top of the filling with the butter.
  • Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash.
  • Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling.
  • Crimp to seal edges.
  • Slice several vents into top to allow steam to escape.
  • Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar.
    bake for 15 minutes.
  • Decrease temperature to 375° and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling starts to bubble.

NOTES:

  • I often like to cook the filling first if the rhubarb is especially tough, but be sure to allow filling to cool COMPLETELY before filling crust.
  • Collar with foil for the first 30 minutes to prevent burning.

CANDY BAR RICE KRISPIE TREATS

CANDY BAR RICE KRISPIE TREATS adapted from RecipeGirl.com
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups Rice Krispies
5-6 ounces chopped Butterfinger candy bars (or candy bar of your choice)*
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

  • Spray an 8×8-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter together over medium heat.
  • Add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the rice krispies.
  • Stir in the Butterfingers, reserving 1/4 cup as topping.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepare pan and press it evenly into the pan with clean hands.
  • Let it cool.
  • Cut the Krispie Treats into nine equal pieces and move them to a platter.**
  • Melt the chocolate chips and the shortening together in a small saucepan or in a small glass bowl in the microwave or until they are melted and smooth.
  • Spoon the chocolate into a zip baggie, snip the corner and squeeze the chocolate into the corner.
  • Drizzle chocolate onto each Krispie Treat and then sprinkle with some Butterfinger crumbs and then drizzle more chocolate on top.
  • Place the Krispie Treats in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Do NOT leave them in the refrigerator – they will get too hard!
  • Store them in a covered container.

NOTES:

  • *Use a candy bar with a cookie or nut base along with the chocolate. We prefer Heath bars, KIT KATs or Butterfingers.
  • **You can eat them as they are or store them in a covered container. Otherwise continue with the topping directions.

COWBOY BROWNIES

COWBOY BROWNIES
BROWNIES

1/4 cup butter
2 ounces QUALITY unsweetened chocolate
2 LARGE eggs
pinch sea salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup caramel bits
1/2 cup chopped nuts – OPTIONAL – (pecans or walnuts)

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Add butter and chocolate to double boiler, melting together until smooth.
  • When chocolate mixture is cool add eggs one at a time and salt, stirring to combine until creamy.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla, beating well.
  • Add the flour and cocoa, stirring until JUST combined.
  • Fold in caramel bits and raisins as well as nuts if you are using them.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and spread smooth.
  • Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake layer.

CHEESECAKE LAYER
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 LARGE egg
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate mini chips

  • Cream together the cream cheese, butter, cornstarch and sweetened condensed milk until fluffy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla, beating until smooth.
  • Pour this layer over the brownie layer and spread smooth.
  • Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the cheesecake layer.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes until cooked though and brownies are set.
  • Prepare icing just before brownies come out of the oven.

ICING
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened QUALITY cocoa
1/4 cup WHOLE milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts – OPTIONAL – (pecans or walnuts)

  • Beat the butter, cocoa, milk, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
  • Spread icing on the brownies as soon as you remove them from the oven.
  • Sprinkle with nuts if you are using them.
  • Let stand until cool.
  • Cover any leftovers with saran and refrigerate.

NOTES: Good QUALITY chocolate, cocoa and vanilla make ALL the difference in the flavor of a good baked product 😀

HONEY BUTTER ROLLS ala SANDRA & SALLY

I have been looking for a soft and fluffy, but yet sweet like a Texas Roadhouse type roll for ages.  I accidentally found it by way of Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom who found the recipe over at Sally’s Baking Addiction.

The only change I made to Sandra’s version was to use the bread flour that Sally recommends.

HONEY BUTTER ROLLS  Original Source:  Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 cup whole milk, warmed to about 110°F*
2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star® Platinum yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/2 cups bread flour (spoon and leveled)

  • Pour warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
  • Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  • With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the honey, egg, egg yolk, melted butter, salt, and 3 cups of flour.
  • Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
  • Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft and only slightly sticky pulling away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle– add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  • Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl– I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray.
  • Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, preheat the oven to 200°, then turn oven off and place the bowl inside the warmish oven.
  • Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles.
  • Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 8 equal pieces for a total of 16 pieces that are about 1/4 cup each– golf ball size, give or take. They don’t need to be perfect!
  • Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased 9×13 baking pan.
  • Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake the rolls for 18-21 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the edges of each roll look cooked.

TOPPING
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, very soft
2 Tablespoons (42g) honey

  • Mix the topping ingredients together to make a creamy honey butter.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven when they are done and brush or spread a generous amount of honey butter onto each warm roll.
  • Serve with any remaining honey butter.
  • Cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.

NOTES based on SALLY and SANDRA:

  • WHOLE milk will make the richest soft rolls.  Anything less will make them chewier and dense.
  • Don’t leave off that honey butter topping! The rolls will be lacking a little flavor without it. I prefer spreading the honey butter on the rolls after they bake as opposed to before they bake. The reason is because spreading or brushing butter on top of the delicate, airy unbaked roll weighs them down and encourages them to deflate. Best to spread on the honey butter right after baking.