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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Crumb Bars




They're called Chocolate Cherry Crumb Bars but I'd prefer to call them "Chewy Chocolate Cherry Chunks", because that has a ring to it! Regardless, very yummy. So yummy in fact that my friend could not stop eating them once she had one bite. They basically taste like rich chocolate shortbread, stuffed with cherry goodness.

To start, preheat oven to 325 and coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and cover that with cooking spray as well. It makes it a lot easier to get the bars out of the pan once they are baked and cooled :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup baker's cocoa
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded, coconut
  • 2 cups (+ 7 1/2 tsp) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate

Directions:

  • Bring cherries, 2 tbs butter, water, and 1/4 cup sugar to a simmer in a pan on low heat. Stir and simmer until liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove cherries from heat and mix with 1/4 cup sugar. Let cool on the side.
  • Whisk together cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, coconut, and 2 cups of flour in a bowl.
  • Blend in remaining 2 1/4 sticks butter with a pastry blender, or your fingertips, until mixture is mixed and coarse.
  • Press 3 cups of the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Put egg, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer.
  • Fold in cherry mixture and 7 1/2 tsp of flour.
  • Stir in chocolate.
  • Spread the mixture over the bottom crust, which you have by now have taken out of the oven.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cocoa dough mixture.
  • Bake for 5o minutes and when it is done lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper

Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Martha Stewart is Totally My Favorite Ex-Con



I know I need to start challenging myself more with cakes, and tarts, and puff pastries; but lately I just don't have the time and energy, yet I still have the will to bake! And if Martha made the time to come up with hundreds of cookie recipes while incarcerated (okay, maybe she didn't write this book in prison...) then I think it is only right that I make the time to bake her yummy Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies!
I bought the book but you don't have to, because here is how you make them:
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1tbs freshly grated, peeled, ginger (I just grated some candied ginger)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp boiling water
  • About a cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 granulated sugar (to roll the dough in before baking)

Directions:

  • Sift together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa
  • In a separate bowl beat together the butter and fresh ginger (or candied ginger) with an electric mixer
  • Add brown sugar to butter mixture, and mix well
  • Add molasses to above butter mixture, and mix well
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water
  • Beat half the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then add the baking soda mix, and then add the remainder of the flour mixture
  • Mix in the chocolate chips
  • Roll into a log and cover in plastic wrap to be chilled for 2 hours, or even overnight

When you are ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and roll pieces of the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Then roll the dough balls in granulated sugar and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (about 2" apart.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, let them cool, and thank Martha.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello Dolly Bars


These were another hit from my Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I've had them at different places, under different names, but they always taste just as good! I brought them to a BBQ hosted by culinary school students, and people still enjoyed them. So that must say something, right? ;)

Hello Dolly bars are by far the easiest thing I have made. Here's how you make them:

Preheat oven to 325

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crumbled graham crackers
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups sweetened, and shredded, coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 14oz cans of condensed milk
Directions:

Mix everything but the condensed milk together and pat it all down into a greased 13x9 baking pan. Once it's all in there pour the condensed milk over the mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, cut them up into bars, and you are set!