Bready or Not

Bready or Not recipe blog

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | 0 comments

Those big jewel-like candied cherries aren’t just meant for fruitcake. Bake them into some Holiday Cherry Brownies!

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

As with my recent Fruitcake Cookies, this recipe is handy if you want to make a festive treat in December–or put those clearance tubs of fruitcake fixins to good use in the new year.

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

Plus, these are darn good brownies with a thin, crisp top and a chewy interior. The cherries add lovely flavor and juiciness, which is even better alongside the crunch of walnuts.

Oh yeah, and these brownies are PRETTY. That counts for something.

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

I modified the original recipe to melt the chocolate and butter the quick and lazy way with the help of my microwave, because my stove is old and cheap and that method would probably triple my prep time. But you can certainly use the stove, too. Whatever works best for you.

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

Mind you, I am a purist about butter on the stovetop for things like browned butter (SO GOOD) but here alongside the chocolate, I don’t think there would be a discernible difference.

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

Modified from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars magazine.

 

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

Bready or Not: Holiday Cherry Brownies

These chewy, classic brownies are loaded with the candied cherries usually used in fruitcake, adding fantastic sweetness and undeniable holiday flare.

  • 1/2 cup (I stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) halved red and/or green candied cherries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

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

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and sugar in careful, 30 seconds bursts. Once everything is smooth, set aside to cool a bit. (This step could also be done at a low temperature on the stove.)

In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Follow that up with the eggs and vanilla until everything is smooth. Fold in the cherries and walnuts.

Pour batter into the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center passes the toothpick test.

Completely cool. Use foil to lift brownies on cutting board to slice up. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

Posted by on Dec 5, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

These Classic Icebox Cookies are the kind of cookie I think about when holiday cookies come to mind.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

That’s because these are the kind of cookies I remember eating at Christmas when I was a kid–at preschool, at school, at home, everywhere. When my mom baked them, I had the all-important duty of Sugar Sprinkler.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

When I was just starting to bake, but still really nervous about it, I’d buy sugar cookie dough tubes at the store. At least I had the sugar-sprinkling down pat.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

This recipe makes cookies that are a total nostalgia trip. They look and taste like a childhood holiday.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

The only difficult thing about this recipe is stirring everything together. Get your biggest bowl, the one a large cat can completely fit in. Even then, stirring everything together might get messy.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

If you have kids or grandkids around, this is the perfect recipe for them to help out and build some memories of their own. Carry the nostalgia forward.

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

Modified from All Recipes Magazine December/January 2018.

 

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

Bready or Not: Classic Icebox Cookies

These are basic, classic, delicious cookies, packed with nostalgia and topped with colorful sugar. The hardest thing about the recipe is mixing the sheer amount of ingredients in the bowl. Do note that the dough requires chill time prior to baking.

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
  • decorating sugar

Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Gradually mix in as much flour as possible, then stir by hand to get to at least 4 1/2 cups. Dough should be stiff.

Divide dough into thirds and shape into logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Enshroud in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice dough rolls into 1/4-inch slices, reshaping with hands as necessary, and place them on cookie sheet with plenty of space to spread. Add decorating sugar on top.

Bake until the cookie edges are turning golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Depending on how cookies are cut, makes anywhere from 60 to 90 cookies.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

After Christmas last year, I scored a whole stack of fruitcake fruit containers for 80% off on the grocery clearance aisle. I already had recipes in mind for the fruit, and this is one of them.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

These Fruitcake Cookies are essentially good old fashioned chewy oatmeal cookies with new mix-ins. Really good mix-ins.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Really, these are pretty and rustic cookies to behold. The red and green cherries look like sparkling jewels. I was surprised at how well the dates worked, too; they were meatier and softer than the usual raisins.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Plus, there’s a comfort food vibe around these cookies. They look like a variation of oatmeal cookies, but the different fruit gives them a distinct holiday vibe.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Of course, if you’re like me and use fruit snagged on a post-Christmas sale, that might be a holiday vibe in January or February. But hey, good cookies shouldn’t be confined to any one season.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

And these are definitely good cookies.

Modified from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars.

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

Bready or Not: Fruitcake Cookies

This recipe is a fantastic way to use fruitcake fruit mix up without the fuss and time investment of making fruitcake! These are like chewy oatmeal cookies with soft nuggets of fruit.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) fruitcake fruit mix with chopped red and green cherries, pineapple, etc

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Gradually mix into creamed ingredients. Stir in the coconut, dates, and other fruit.

Use a tablespoon scoop to place dollops of dough on parchment paper, giving them space to spread. Bake for about 15 minutes. Set on rack to cool. Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM

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Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

Posted by on Nov 21, 2018 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

These Caramel Apple Cookies involve some extra work, but they are worth it. These are among the best cookies I have ever made. That’s saying something.

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

They also might involve some blood-letting. Let’s just say I will never again try to grate apple. I’m fine with finely dicing with a knife from now on.

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

But hey, as history and mythology has taught us, sometimes blood-letting comes to good purpose. These are chewy, sweet, soft apple cookies topped with caramel. If that’s not worth sacrifice, what is?

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

Use some variety of sweet-tart apple like you’d use for a pie. I used Braeburn, but Granny Smith and Jonathan are also good choices. 1 cup grated/diced is most of a medium apple.

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

These cookies reminded me of a fresh-made and frosted version of the Little Debbie’s Apple Delights that I loved loved loved as a kid. I have never before had a homemade cookie that was like this.

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

You may have some frosting leftover at the end; I had about 1/3 cup. Just look for random things you can frost like Golden Oreos, the cat, graham crackers, human flesh, etc. Trust me, you don’t want this apple-caramel frosting to go to waste.

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

Modified from Fall Baking 2016 by Better Homes & Gardens.

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

Bready or Not: Caramel Apple Cookies

These stunning Caramel Apple Cookies involve a little extra work, but their deliciousness is well worth the effort. Use a tart or sweet-tart apple like Braeburn, Granny Smith, or Jonathan. Recipe makes about 36 cookies using a tablespoon scoop.

  • Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • sprinkle cloves and nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or juice
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup peeled, coarsely shredded or diced tart apple (most of a medium apple)
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider or juice
  • 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth, then add brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and salt. Continue to beat until fluffy, scraping bowl as needed.

Beat in the egg and apple cider or juice. Slowly mix in flour. Fold in the apple bits last; dough will be very soft.

Use a tablespoon scoop to space out dollops of dough on the parchment paper. Bake about 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown; be careful not to under-bake, as the cookies need to be sturdy enough to be frosted. Completely cool cookies on wire rack.

When the cookies are cool, begin making frosting on stovetop. On medium heat in small saucepan, stir together brown sugar, butter, and apple cider or juice. Heat until the brown sugar is dissolved. Gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar.

Begin frosting cookies immediately; the back of a spoon works well. If the frosting in the pan begins to harden, stir in a few drops of hot water until it is smooth again.

Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature with wax paper between the layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

Posted by on Nov 14, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

This original recipe combines salted caramel chips (my new favorite ingredient) with my beloved macadamia nuts to make something innovative and amazing.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

These Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies are soft, chewy, and nigh divine. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, they are fast to make and bake.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

That’s exactly what I needed when I created this recipe. I had another recipe result in total disaster (it happens to us all!) and I needed another platter of baked goods, fast, for my husband to take to work…

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

… where these bars were declared a new kind of crack. All of the bars were scarfed up. Not bad for an emergency oh-crap-what-can-I-throw-together recipe.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

If you need to sub another kind of nut in this recipe, I think pecans and walnuts would work especially well. I do suggest sticking with the balance of 1 cup white chocolate and 1 cup salted caramel chips, though.

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

Caramel chips are very strong–like butterscotch chips in that way. They are a great ingredient, but you don’t want to go overkill. Plus, this way you’ll still have half a bag for another recipe. Scroll back on Bready or Not for some suggestions!

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

 

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Macadamia Nut Caramel Chip Blondies

These delicious, fast-to-make bars utilize salted caramel chips, a fantastic new innovation on the baking aisle. These bars are chewy and sweet with a welcome crunch from the macadamia nuts.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup salted caramel chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, oats, salt, and baking powder. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir in the two kinds of chips and macadamia nuts until just distributed.

Smooth out the dough in the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center passes the toothpick test. Cool completely before using the foil to life the contents from pan to slice on a cutting board.

Store in a sealed container with parchment or wax paper between the layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cake, maple | 0 comments

Let’s kick off the 2018 holiday season the right way: with cake! A Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake, to be exact.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

Earl Grey adds a lovely spice and kick that contrasts and complements the sweetness of maple. As you can see, tea flecks freckle the entire cake.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

The cake is super-soft, moist, and cakey. I was amazed at how high it rose. It pretty much went to the top of my casserole dish.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

The cake itself isn’t heavily sweet, which is why the thin layer of glaze is just what it needs. It provides a more potent sweet maple flavor.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

This is a cake that pairs well with tea (Earl Grey, hot, Picard-style?) and also with coffee. Serve this to a crowd! There’s plenty of cake to go around.

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

 

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

Earl Grey tea and maple form a superhero duo in this lovely sheet cake topped with a thin glaze with (you guessed it) more maple flavor. This cake bakes up high and soft, so make this to feed a crowd!

  • Cake:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups sour cream (16 ounce container)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 packets (heaping Tablespoon) Earl Grey tea
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Glaze:
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 2+ Tablespoons milk (almond milk works)

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

In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, maple syrup, sour cream, vanilla, and butter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, Earl Grey tea, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir in the egg mixture. Spread batter in the ready pan.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test. Cake will have risen a great deal. Cool in pan on wire rack for a few hours.

Once the cake is room temperature, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add confectioners' sugar, maple flavor, and two tablespoons milk. Stir until mixed and of spreadable thickness, adding more milk as necessary to loosen it or sugar to thicken.

Spread glaze atop cake. To slice, lift up by foil and set on cutting board. Store slices in sealed container(s) at room temperature; keeps well for at least 2 days.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not Original: Glazed Earl Grey Maple Gingerbread Sheet Cake

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