chocolate

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Posted by on Jul 11, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

Salted Caramel Chips now exist. There is hope for our world yet.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

“What makes these chips different than just using caramel chips?” Well, they have the texture of and keep their shape like regular chocolate chips. Caramel bits are more chaotic–they melt, they ooze, they can create a sticky mess.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

More and more stores are carrying salted caramel chips around Arizona. Locally, I have found Ghirardelli (at Walmart), Nestle (at Walmart and several stores), and a Kroger-branded kind (at Fry’s Grocery Store).

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

All three work and have a good flavor, but I liked the Kroger one the least. The color looks more artificial (yeah everything is about these is artificial but…) and the pieces are small and not quite as rich in flavor. Still, their price is good and they aren’t bad, by any means.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

You’ll see these chips used in a couple recipes in the next while–I bought several bags to test out!

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

While I’ll definitely stick to using real caramel in things like pies, these salted caramel chips are now my go-to for cookies and bars.

I do suggest keeping the ratio of 1 cup chocolate chips with 1 cup of caramel chips in this recipe. The caramel chips ARE strong–they are like butterscotch in that way–and the white chocolate adds a different kind of sweetness to balance them out.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

 

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Use a new innovation, salted caramel chips, to create stunning blondies! Ghirardelli or Nestle brands of caramel chips are recommended over store brands, but they’ll all work well. These blondies are chewy and sweet perfection, embodied with the lovely flavor of salted caramel (and without the goop and stickiness of real caramel).

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted caramel chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan with wide aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, both sugars, and vanilla to create a smooth batter. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the flour mixture. Stir in the cup of white chocolate and cup of salted caramel chips. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake until evenly golden brown and set in the middle, 24 to 27 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature or chill before cutting. Blondies keep for up to 3 days in a room temperature sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Guest Recipe from Author Wendy Nikel: The Grandmother Paradox Cherry Cupcakes

Posted by on Jul 10, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cake, chocolate, guest recipe, healthier | 0 comments

Today I welcome Wendy Nikel! Her novella The Grandmother Paradox is out TODAY from World Weaver Press. This is the sequel to The Continuum. I’ve read both, and I can testify they are fun, fast reads that reminded me of old favorite shows like Quantum Leap and Sliders. Find out more about her new release below, and grab a recipe for some cupcakes that are loaded with cocoa and cherries!

When Dr. Wells, the head of the Place in Time Travel Agency, learns that someone’s trying to track down the ancestors of his star employee, there are few people he can turn to without revealing her secrets. But who better to jump down the timeline and rescue Elise from being snuffed out of existence generations before she’s born than the very person whose life she saved a hundred years in the future?

But Juliette Argent isn’t an easy woman to protect. The assistant to a traveling magician, she’s bold, fearless, and has a fascination with time travel, of all things. Can the former secret agent Chandler, with his knowledge of what’s to come, keep her safe from harm and keep his purpose there a secret? Or will his presence there only entangle the timeline more?


THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX Cherry Cupcakes
by Wendy Nikel

Today is release day for THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, the second time travel novella in the Place in Time series. Which means, once again, it’s time to celebrate with cupcakes!
In this novella, which can be read as a sequel or as a standalone story, Chandler – a man from our present who’s been living in the future – is sent back to the year 1893 to protect the great-great-grandmother of the woman who saved his life. There, he joins up with a traveling magic show touring Michigan before heading down to the Chicago World’s Fair.

One of the many wonderful things that Michigan is known for is its cherries, which made cherry cupcakes an easy choice for this book’s recipe. Substituting fats like butter and oils with fruit in baking also makes for a healthier cake, which is something I’ve had to keep in mind since I’m still recovering from having my gallbladder removed. Fortunately, I happen to have a cherry tree in my backyard filled with sweet cherries just ripe for the picking.


THE CUPCAKES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bready or Not Guest Recipe: THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX Cherry Cupcakes by Wendy Nikel

One of the many wonderful things that Michigan is known for is its cherries, which made cherry cupcakes an easy choice for this recipe inspired by Wendy Nikel’s novella The Grandmother Paradox. Substituting fats like butter and oils with fruit makes for a healthier cupcake.

  • Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cherries (pitted & pureed)
  • Frosting ingredients:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 pkg cherry-flavored instant gelatin mix

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In separate bowl, mix egg whites and vanilla.

Add honey, sugar, applesauce, and buttermilk.

Gradually add the dry mixture into the egg and milk mixture until well blended.

Add cherries

Fill cupcake liners half full and bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool.

After cupcakes are cool, frost.

Sprinkle gelatin mix on the top and enjoy!

 

THE CONTINUUM (book #1) out NOW
paperback via World Weaver Press $9.99
eBook via iTunes
eBook via Barnes & Noble
eBook via Amazon
eBook via Kobo

THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX (book #2) out TODAY
paperback via World Weaver Press $8.95
eBook via iTunes
eBook via Barnes & Noble
eBook via Amazon
eBook via Kobo


Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author whose short stories have appeared in Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationDaily Science FictionAE Sci-FiNature: Futures, and various anthologies and e-zines. She is a member of SFWA and Codex Writers Group and is a managing editor at Flash Fiction Online.

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Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Posted by on Jun 27, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | 1 comment

These brownies are what happened after I bought a box of Cookies & Crème Pop Tarts for my son. He didn’t like them.

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Well, darn. I can’t eat them myself. I didn’t want them wallowing in my pantry forever.

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Therefore, I decided to use up the remaining packets by baking them into brownies. The layered technique works out well with Oreos, after all!

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Turns out, Pop Tarts are fantastic baked into brownies. They are thinner than Oreos, and meld more with the surrounding dough. The mild Oreo-like taste still shines through.

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Plus, the resulting brownie isn’t quite as dense. Just in case you aren’t in the mood for brick-like brownies.

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

The original recipe is from King Arthur Flour. I rewrote it and added in the Pop Tarts and chocolate chips (because, why not?!).

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

I’ve only done the recipe with Cookies & Crème Pop Tarts, but I think this technique would be great with all kinds of Pop Tarts–try strawberry (frosted or not), or Peanut Butter, or Smores.

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Plus, then you can tell people you had Pop Tarts for breakfast, and no one has to know it was encased in a brownie.

 

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Bready or Not: Pop Tart-Layered Brownies

Layer Pop Tarts into a casserole dish-sized helping of brownies for a delicious change! Cookies & Crème results in a mild Oreo-like flavor, but try out other varieties, too.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but awesome
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 3 packets (6 pieces) Cookies & Creme Pop Tarts, or other variety

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

Stir together, in order, all of the ingredients up to the Pop Tarts. Dollop about half the dough in the prepared pan, and try to spread out as evenly as possible; the dough will be thick. Layer the Pop Tarts over the dough, breaking pieces as necessary to fit. Dollop the rest of the dough on top, and again, smooth out as much as possible.

Bake brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test. Cool completely before lifting the brownies onto a cutting board to slice up.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature, or freeze to make them last longer.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, fudge, no-bake dessert | 0 comments

These easy-to-make No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge pieces are basically like homemade candy bar bites.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

They are a fantastic combination of savory, salty, sweet, and crunchy. They have it all going on.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

Plus, you don’t even have to turn on the oven–just a food processor, microwave, and maybe a stand mixer. The fridge does all the lengthy work.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

These went over so well at my husband’s work that a guy immediately logged onto my website via his phone to try to find the recipe. Uh, sorry, dude. There is quite a lead time between the initial baking/making and the online post.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

However, by his enthusiasm, maybe he’ll find this post is worth the long wait.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

Modified from America’s Test Kitchen, Christmas Cookies 2013.

 

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

Bready or Not: No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Fudge

These no-bake fudge bites are kinda like candy bars with an incredible combination of savory, salty, sweet, and crunchy. They require almost no labor, but will need several hours of chill time in the fridge.

  • Fudge:
  • 5 ounces salted thin pretzel sticks broken into pieces (2 cups, divided)
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

Line an 8x8 or 9x9-inch pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a food processor, process 1 cup of broken pretzels until finely ground. Stir together the pretzel crumbs and melted butter in a large mixing bowl and let sit to cool a few minutes.

Add peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter mixture, and mix until the peanut butter is smooth. Slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until it all comes together. Add the additional 1 cup of pretzel sticks and stir to combine.

Transfer the mix to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap or waxed paper and smooth out more, then stash in fridge for 30 minutes.

Microwave the three ganache ingredients at 50% power, stirring often, until melted and smooth. This will total about 1 minute or so. Let cool slightly.

Remove plastic cover from atop the fudge and use an uneven spatula to spread ganache on top.

Chill pan for about 4 hours. Use the foil sling to lift contents from pan and onto a cutting board to parcel into bars.

Keeps well in fridge for days in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Posted by on Apr 4, 2018 in biscoff spread, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Cookie butter makes everything better. This is a maxim of life. It is proven true yet again with these Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Cookie butter is found by the peanut butter in most grocery stores in the US these days. The most popular brands are Biscoff and Speculoos, but Walmart, Kroger, and Sprouts even have their own jars now!

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

What does cookie butter taste like? Well… rich, buttery cookie dough rendered into peanut butter-like form. That’s the only way to describe it.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

In this recipe, the cookie butter flavor amps up the inherent baked-good yumminess of these bars. Add white chocolate and macadamias along with that? Oh yeah.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

You end up with a ribbon of cookie butter through the middle and swirls across the top. These effectively acts like a thin frosting, as these otherwise aren’t heavy duty on sweetness.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

The bars rise a lot as they bake and end up quite cakey. They hold together well, so you can cut them small, if you want.

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

I want to mention macadamia nuts again. They are lovely in this recipe, adding a sporadic crunch and buttery flavor that goes oh-so-well with everything else.

 

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Bready or Not Original: Cookie Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bars

Cookie butter (aka Biscoff spread, Speculoos, and various store brands) creates luscious bars with some macadamia nuts added for crunch! These thick bars will store well at room temperature for as long as a week, if they last that long.

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cup + 1/2 cup creamy cookie butter spread, divided

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add in both sugars, followed by the eggs one by one, then the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually mix into the wet ingredients until just incorporated.

Spread half of the dough in the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be thick. Use an uneven spatula to spread 2/3 cup cookie butter in an even layer over the dough.

Top with remaining dough and spread to edges. Dollop the 1/2 cup of cookie butter here and there over the top, then use a butter knife to swirl it into the dough.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the middle passes the toothpick test. Dough will rise a great deal.

Cool completely in pan. Use the foil to lift up bars for easy cutting. Store sliced pieces in a sealed container at room temperature for as long as a week.

OM OM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

Posted by on Mar 21, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

I often get requests for more gluten-free sweets. Here you go. These brownies are so good, people won’t even know they lack gluten.

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

They also happen to be grain-free. Just don’t give them to people who have almond allergies!

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

These brownies are fast to assemble. The end result tastes like standard brownies. I didn’t find them super moist, but they were nice and chewy.

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

They kept pretty well in a sealed container for several days, too. The cut edges dried out a bit, but they were still delicious.

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

Here’s a tip for you: almond flour, because of its high fat content, can spoil. Keep it in the freezer! It won’t freeze solid but it will get clumpy. Hence my note in the ingredients list to sift the almond flour.

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

Modified from King Arthur Flour.

 

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

Bready or Not: Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

These delicious brownies are gluten-free and grain-free, and they come together almost as fast as a box mix! Modified from King Arthur Flour.

  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

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

In the microwave, melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the sugar, salt, vanilla, cocoa, and eggs. Add in the almond flour and baking powder. Pour batter into the ready pan.

Bake for 33 to 38 minutes, until the top is set and the middle just passes the toothpick test. Let cool, then cut into blocks. Store at room temperature in a sealed container or freeze for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

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