Posts made in April, 2019

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

Posted by on Apr 24, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cheese galore, chocolate | 2 comments

Cheesecake Brownies. Beautiful to behold. Delicious to eat.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

I’m not a cheesecake person. But the pairing of chocolate and cheesecake? That makes it work.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

This recipe is all about that balance of different kinds of sweetness. The addition of semisweet chocolate chips complements both and adds a different texture, too.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

I have to say, I love the swirl effect on the top of these brownies. There’s something especially pleasing about food that looks as amazing as it tastes.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

If you want a similar, stronger (and more expensive) pairing, my Swirled Goat Cheese Brownies will also interest you.

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

Modified from All Recipes Magazines, November 2017.

 

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

Bready or Not: Cheesecake Brownies

This take on a classic pairs brownies with rich cream cheese. The semisweet chocolate chips throughout complement in a delicious way.

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/4 cup (half cube) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with heavy foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.

Beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 egg until fairly smooth; some small chunks are fine. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and remaining 1 cup chocolate chips in brief bursts until fully melted and smooth; watch it carefully and stir well between each burst. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, followed by the 2 eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pour half the chocolate batter into the ready pan and spread into an even layer. Gently spread the cream cheese batter on top. Drop dollops of the rest of the chocolate batter on top. Use a butter knife or narrow spatula to swirl the layers together for a marbled effect.

Bake until the top is crinkled and edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then stash in the fridge for another few hours to completely cool.

Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in fridge, waxed paper between stacked layers to prevent stocking, for up to three days, or freeze for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Posted by on Apr 17, 2019 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars are essentially a casserole-sized platter of delicious homemade candy bars. That is reason enough to make them.

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

These are simultaneously chewy (from the oats), crunchy (because pecans), and sweet (caramel).

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Oh yeah, then there’s the coffee flavor that is imbued throughout every bite. I don’t like drinking coffee, but espresso powder is sheer magic in baked goods.

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Needless to say, these bars are perfect paired with a cup or coffee or tea.

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Plus, if the number of bars seems excessive, the leftovers can be frozen. Just freeze and store them between waxed papers layers so you can easily thaw as many as you’d like at a time.

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Modified from 100 Best Cookies Magazine.

 

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Bready or Not: Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

These Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars are essentially a casserole-sized platter of delicious homemade candy bars with the distinct flavor of coffee throughout.

  • 3 cups rolled (old fashioned) oats
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee crystals or espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup jarred caramel

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flour, 1 cup of pecans, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a big mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy, then add brown sugar. Follow up with the eggs, coffee/espresso powder, and vanilla. Carefully stir in the dry ingredients; it looks like a lot, but it will fit in the pan! Reserve 2 cups of the dough for the topping.

Spread the bulk of the oat mixture in the pan. Using floured hands or waxed paper and a heavy glass, press down the mix to form a solid even crust. Spread the caramel topping over it, bringing it to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Dollop the reserved oat mixture over the top, along with the remaining 1/2 cup pecans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are set. Cool completely in pan before using the foil to lift it onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in sealed containers with parchment or waxed paper between the layers. Bars can also be frozen.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Book Blog: The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and cooking with cheeses at home by Morgan McGlynn

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

 

I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

 

The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and cooking with cheeses at home by Morgan McGlynn
out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

Modern Cheesemaker

I received an electronic galley of this book via NetGalley.

I am known for my passion for artisan cheese. For me, it’s a Pokemon-like gotta-catch’em-all joyful hunt. However, I’ve never tried making cheese, even though I’m a baker and I love experimenting with diverse recipes in the kitchen. What little I had read about home cheese-making left me very intimidated.

That attitude has shifted after reading this book. Morgan McGlynn is a cheese-monger and cheese-maker in the UK, and she has written a book in which I feel like she gently took me by the hand and showed me step by step how to make my own cheese. The book is organized by level of difficulty, too–start with fresh cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta, and work up to hard cheeses (hard in texture, harder and more time-consuming to make) like aged Cheddar and Brie.

This isn’t simply a recipe book, though it does indeed feature recipes for 18 cheeses plus some 40 recipes for utilizing that cheese. This is a book about the basics: the science of cheese explained in straightforward terms, a breakdown of the equipment needed to safely and successfully make cheese, and also information about professional cheese-makers along with a list of some of the best cheeses in the world to seek out. To make this all even better, there are abundant full-color photographs that illustrate the steps and show what the finished results should look like.

Oh, and I should add that all of the information is presented in measurements friendly for readers/cooks in Britain, America, and elsewhere. The recommended places to buy supplies are also not focused on one specific locale. McGlynn wants to help you make cheese, no matter where you live.

I think I’m going to get a large pot and a few other new additions for my kitchen and finally give homemade cheese a go. The idea does still intimidate me, but now I feel like I have a guide to help me on my way.

Read More

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

Posted by on Apr 10, 2019 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate | 0 comments

Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies pack tart cranberries, zesty little nuggets of candied ginger, and mellow white chocolate in a chewy blondie base, to delicious results.

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

This begins a small spate of dried cranberry recipes that will be on Bready or Not over the next while.

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

This is because I bought a massive bag of dried cranberries on sale at Costco, and I had an existing stockpile to use up, too. Cue a “oh crap, I need to use up some of this stuff!” response.

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

This recipe proved to be a fantastic one, too. The blondies are sweet and chewy, and that combination of dried cranberries, candied ginger, and white chocolate complements and contrasts in an amazing way.

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

I’ve been asked before about where to find candied ginger. Sometimes brands will sell it jarred alongside spices on the grocery store aisle. Also, check the bins at your local health food store or co-op. I’ve bought candied ginger at my local Sprouts.

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

The good news is that candied ginger (like dried cranberries) keeps well for ages, so you can stock up and enjoy it for months. Though space might be an issue if you’re buying at Costco…

 

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies

Cranberry Candied Ginger Blondies pack tart cranberries, zesty little nuggets of candied ginger, and mellow white chocolate in a chewy blondie base, to delicious results.

  • 2 stick (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 inch dish with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

Place butter and both sugars in a large bowl and beat until creamed together. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Follow up with the flour, baking powder, and salt, until just combined. Fold in the cranberries, candied ginger, and white chocolate chips.

Spread batter in the ready pan and even out. Bake for 27 to 30 minutes, until edges are firm and the middle passes the toothpick test. Cool on a wire rack.

Use foil to list contents onto cutting board. Slice into pieces. Store in an sealed container at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

Posted by on Apr 3, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 2 comments

I love creating new recipes using my favorite grocery find in recent years, caramel chips! This original recipe for Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies is sublime and delicious.

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

This recipe was inspired by my favorite recipe for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. The secret to success in that recipe is white chocolate chips are melted and mixed into the dough.

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

I considered a bag of caramel chips and thought, hey, if it worked for white chocolate chips, why not caramel?

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

I opted to use pecans because 1) they go so well with caramel, and 2) they are cheaper and generally more accessible to people.

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

The melted caramel chips don’t simply add sweetness to the dough, but a smooth, silky texture that helps these cookies to bake up fat and chewy.

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

You might need to hunt around for caramel chips. I’m still mad that my local Walmart carried them for a year then stopped, but most grocery stores around still carry them. Kroger even stocks their own version, which doesn’t look or taste quite as amazing as Hershey’s or Ghirardelli’s, but it’s still good. And cheaper, for sure.

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

 

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

Bready or Not Original: Pecan Caramel Chip Cookies

This original recipe requires caramel chips. A cup of these chips are melted and blended into the dough, transforming these cookies into something magical!

  • 1 bag cup caramel chips, divided
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup (11 Tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Place 1 cup of caramel chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power in short increments, 20-25 seconds, and stop to stir between passes until the chips blend smoothly. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together both sugars, butter, vanilla extract, and eggs until they're creamy. Mix in the melted chips. Stir in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Fold in the remaining caramel chips, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.

Use a tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon to place dough in rounded lumps on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops just begin to turn light golden brown. Cool on the sheet for several minutes, then move to a rack to cool.

OM NOM NOM!

Read More