Monday, July 25, 2011

Raspberry Crumb Bars

So I'm not sure If you know, but I LOVE all things raspberry. How can you not? We had a raspberry bush in my backyard when I was a kid and me and my brother would always eat them right off of it so maybe that's where my love comes from. I've never had a raspberry bar but I saw the picture on The Galley Gourmet, where I found the recipe, I knew I had to soon! I actually got to have a bar and I loved them so much I ended up eating three in a row! Let me tell you they are quite delish!!

This was another "learning experience" for me but I'm starting to learn that every time you cook you learn something new, which is why it's so fun! The recipe says to sprinkle the top layer on, but mine was really sticky and doughy so I added more flour and I still wasn't able to sprinkle it, so i picked pieces and placed them on top of the raspberry. Also I didn't measure how much jam I put in the middle and I'd recommend either doing so, but I think the more the better!

I wanted to share my new find! I bought the cutest oven mitt at my favorite store, Sur La Table on clearance for like five dollars! Such a good steal :) Don't you love it?

I also bought some cookie cutters and I want to use them soon, so if you know a good cookie recipe that I can use them with send me an email with the recipe and I'll post it on my blog! (click email to send me one)
Don't forget to leave comments and let me know what you think of this post!!!

Raspberry Crumb Bars

For the bottom layer:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into individual tablespoons
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup seedless raspberry preserves or jam

For the crumb layer:
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into individual tablespoons
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon milk

Place your oven rack in the center position. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal.

Part I: Bottom Layer
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. 
Add the butter and pulse on and off until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the milk and almond extract and pulse on and off until the mixture comes together. 
Transfer the mixture into the pan, spread and press firmly, making a smooth and even layer. 
Refrigerate 15-20 minutes. 
Bake the bottom layer for 12-15 minutes, until it's barely firm in the center.

Part II: The Top Layer
While the bottom layer is baking, prepare the top layer.
Clean your mixing bowl and then add the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Pulse to combine.
Sprinkle the butter pieces over the flour mixture and process until the mixture is well blended. Add the egg and mil and pulse until the mixture is moistened and forms small clumps. 
When the bottom layer is done baking, remove and spread the raspberry jam evenly over the hot crust. 
Sprinkle the top layer over the top, braking any large crumbs with your fingers. 
Bake until the top is barley browned and the jam is bubbly, about 25-30 minuets. 
Remove and place on a rack to cool completely.
Cut into desired sized bars and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Better Than A Campfire

I found this recipe on my favorite food blog, Lovin' From the Oven. I bookmarked it a long time ago and then when the opportunity came for me to make it, I could not wait, I mean really, look at them! I was really excited because I love brownies, but if they have too much chocolate or are too sweet, I get the worst headache from them, so with marshmallows and graham crackers, they'd be perfect! It was my first time making brownies from scratch and after making so many cupcakes from scratch and was ecstatic how easy the recipe was. However, it soon found that this recipe was a trial by error effort. Next time, I want to use bigger hunks of graham crackers, and I set the marshmallows on the batter standing up, and I think they would have melted better into the brownies on their sides and maybe if I pressed them in more? Nevertheless, they were gone fast! I think there was one left over after I took them to my Aunt and Uncles house and my father ate it before I could even look at it. I also had a helper, my Niece Maddy, who just turned ten(!), crushed the graham crackers and put them into the batter for me!
What do you think? Are you going to make them?
S'mores Brownies
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
roughly 1 cup graham crackers pieces, broken by hand
half a bag of large marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan.
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.
Once melted remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla, eggs, then blend.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, and salt.
Add the dry mixture to the batter and mix well.
Add the graham cracker pieces and mix.
Pour into the greased pan.
Place the marshmallows over the poured batter.
Bake for 35-40 minuets, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wanna follow my blog? click HERE and you can using twitter, google, or yahoo or create an account so you can!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

My parents wanted me to make some cupcakes for their annual Forth of July Rib Fest. Instead of following the typical Forth of July theme I really wanted to make a summer cupcake and I asked preferences from my Mom and Dad and this is the one we chose. I was really happy with my decision to make a cupcake that wasn't chocolate, I needed to switch it up. This recipe was also a learning experience for me because I learned what lemon zest was. The recipe is from Annie's Eats, I don't like a lot of frosting on my cupcakes, so if you do disregard this, but I'd recommend cutting the frosting recipe in half. Also, the cupcakes took much longer to bake for me than the recipe said. I'm told the cupcakes are delish, I however couldn't tell you, they were all gone before I could even snag one.
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
makes 23 cupcakes 
For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
12 tablespoons of butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh chopped strawberries 

For the lemonade syrup:
1 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

For the frosting:
1 cup fresh chopped strawberries
12 ounces cream cheese (softened)
18 tablespoons butter (softened)
2 2/3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Part I: Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line your cupcake pans with liners.
In a medium sized bowl, not your mixer bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest and then set aside.
In your mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it is fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat until combined.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, scrape the sides of the bowl after you add each one.
Add half the flour mixture and beat on low speed.
Fold in the strawberries with a spatula.
Fill each liner about 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring onto the cooling rack.

Part II: Lemon Syrup
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, whisk together the lemonade concentrate and the confectioners' sugar on a small bowl.
Poke several holes in the cupcakes using a skewer or a straw.
Pour the syrup over the cupcakes and allow it to soak in.

Part III: Frosting
Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender.
Strain the puree through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about five minutes.
Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Mix in strawberry puree, a little bit at a time until you reach the texture and flavor you want.
Frost the cupcakes and garnish as desired.