Posts made in February, 2022

Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

Posted by on Feb 23, 2022 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, cake, chocolate | 0 comments

This Chocolate Whiskey Cake is dense, moist, and delicious–the perfect cake for chocoholics.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

This is the first entry in a special sequence of deliciousness, too–three weeks in a row with Ireland-inspired recipes. Look for Irish Apple Cake and Irish Coffee Coffee Cake in the coming weeks!

Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

This is the kind of cake that doesn’t need frosting; that would actually be overkill. If desired, add a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top, but that’s more about adding some color contrast than flavor.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

So, what IS the flavor here? Chocolate. Coffee. And yes, whiskey–that adds a refreshing waft. I used Green Spot Irish Whiskey, my favorite, and one I’m fortunate enough to find sometimes at Costco around St. Patrick’s Day! Total Wine carries it year-round, too.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

Eat this cake within a day or two, or wrap up pieces and freeze for later! It thaws, no problem at all.

I modified this a lot from an original take at NYT Cooking.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Whiskey Cake

This is a cake for chocoholics! The crumb is moist and dense, with chocolate, coffee, and whiskey melded to endow every bite with deep flavor. Modified from NYT Cooking.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: irish
Keyword: alcohol, cake, chocolate, coffee, springform pan
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 9-inch springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • food scale

Ingredients

  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 156 grams light brown sugar note this is weighed, not packed
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Confectioners' sugar for serving, optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot on low heat, warm the butter, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, coffee, and Irish whiskey. Once the butter is melted, stir in the sugars until they are dissolved. Remove from heat to cool, 30 minutes at minimum.
  • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Apply nonstick spray to pan, place parchment inside, then spray again. Dust the interior with the remaining 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder to coat.
  • In a big bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, and cloves. In a different bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir the egg mixture into the butter-cocoa pot. Add the dry ingredients to just combine, then fold in the chopped chocolate.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake cake for 65 to 70 minutes, until the middle just passes the toothpick test. Let cool for about 20 minutes, then release sides of pan to let the cake cool completely.
  • Slice into wedges to serve. Add confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on top, if desired. Keep cake covered at room temperature up to 2 days. Remaining pieces can be sliced and individually wrapped and frozen for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

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    OUT TODAY: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss and Healing

    Posted by on Feb 22, 2022 in anthology:nonfiction, Blog, chicken soup for the soul | 0 comments

    I’ve had stories in almost 20 Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, and I’m starting off 2022 with another publication! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss and Healing is guaranteed to be a cathartic tear jerker (though their regular cat books can do that to me, too). My story is “Joy Amidst the Sorrow.” It’s about the emotional turmoil I endured as my grandma died in 2018. I wasn’t able to travel home to be with my family, which delivered a painful edge to my grief, but I found a small measure of comfort by writing about her character–love for the Muppets and all–for her memorial.

    You can buy the book everywhere that books are sold.

    Grandma would be very happy to be memorialized even more through this book. Here’s one of her most beloved songs, one that addresses this very subject of loss and comfort.

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    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    Posted by on Feb 16, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

    I have recipes for various kinds of Snickertdoodle Cookies, but this one is for a single Giant Snickerdoodle!

    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    When I say this thing is big, I mean that it is BIG. I baked it on my stoneware pizza pan! I measured the cookie, too–after baking, it was a full 10 inches across.

    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    This is a great cookie for one person to enjoy over a week, or for a small party to dig into together. Really, I can see this being perfect as a substitute birthday or other celebration cake.

    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    The dough is really easy to work with. It comes together fast because you’re not having to shape and roll some thirty or forty cookies and bake multiple batches. One roll, one bake, done!

    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    This tastes exactly as you expect a Snickerdoodle to taste, too. The signature cream of tartar flavor is there. The cinnamon and sugar form a lovely crackled top. The interior is sweet and chewy.

    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    Leftovers aren’t a problem, either. Wrap up any remaining wedges, and they’ll keep for at least four days, dependent on your personal fortitude.

    Here is a sampling of the Snickerdoodle recipes on Bready or Not. If you want more, hit the search box in the upper right corner.

    Snickerdoodle Brookie

    Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

    Snickerdoodle Quick Fudge

    Snickerdoodle Pie

    Bready or Not: Giant Snickerdoodle

    This Giant Snickerdoodle is perfect for a small group of people–or for one person’s big treat, as the cookie slices also keep well for days if well-wrapped! Note that the dough can be made ahead of time and stashed in the fridge for hours or a day prior to baking; just let it warm up at room temperature for about 20 minutes before shaping it.
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: cookies, snickerdoodle
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • large flat baking sheet or pizza pan/ stone
    • parchment paper

    Ingredients

    Dough

    • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
    • 1 large egg room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Topping

    • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 400-degrees. Line a baking sheet or pizza pan/stone with parchment paper.
    • Beat together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer. Add egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.
    • In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients.
    • Pat the dough to form a cohesive ball. Roll it in the topping. Set dough in middle of pan and press into about a 8-inch round. Sprinkle remaining topping all over, pressing it into dough.
    • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The edges should be set, with some of the crackles in the cookie still showing some moisture (the cookie will finish baking as it sets).
    • Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut cookie into triangular wedges. Cookie is great fresh, but individually-wrapped pieces also keep wonderfully at room temperature for up to 4 days.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      Posted by on Feb 9, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, side dish, yeast bread | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      Bread is awesome. Cheese is awesome. Combine them to achieve a special kind of awesome, especially in the case of these Comte Pull-Apart Rolls.

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      These rolls are tender, soft, and inherently savory. They are perfect to go along with roasts.

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      First of all, the cheese. If you live in a cheese-deprived area as I do, Comte may not be available (or is only available at Christmas, sigh) or is prohibitively expensive. Really, you can use any cheese you like here, but I advise using one with a savory note. Another alpine cheese or a bandage-wrapped cheddar would do the trick.

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      My recipe is based on one featured in the Nov/Dec 2018 issue of Bake from Scratch. I made significant modifications, the foremost being that I halved the recipe so that it would only produce 12 rolls.

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      This recipe isn’t as fussy as some homemade rolls, but it still takes some time and effort. I was very worried because my first rise was so low, but my rolls rose beautifully once they were formed. That’s the rise that really matters!

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      If you want to give your second rise a boost, use this trick: preheat your oven at 200-degrees. Shape your rolls or bread. Stick the dough in the oven without any plastic wrap or cover. Immediately turn the oven OFF. Set a timer for 30 to 40 minutes or longer; this will depend on the oven, so experiment. Once the bread has nicely puffed from the heat, remove it from the oven, then preheat it again for the full bake.

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      These rolls can be eaten at room temperature or warm, but for me, they really are far better hot. I want them to melt butter!

      Bready or Not Original: Comte Pull-Apart Rolls

      This recipe makes 12 hearty, soft rolls that are perfect to go along with a special meal! If you can’t find Comte, substitute with another alpine cheese or bandage-wrapped cheddar to achieve that same kind of savory depth.
      Course: Bread, Side Dish
      Keyword: cheese, yeast bread
      Servings: 12 rolls
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9×9 pan
      • parchment paper
      • kitchen scale
      • pastry brush

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup warm milk (105-110 degrees F), can substitute half & half
      • 1/2 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
      • 1/2 Tablespoon active dry yeast
      • 1 large egg room temperature
      • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
      • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and divided
      • 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
      • 2 3/4 cup bread flour
      • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley or other dried herbs
      • 4 ounces grated Comte cheese 100 grams
      • flaked salt for garnish, optional

      Instructions

      • In a stand mixer, place the warm liquids and yeast. Let stand for about 10 minutes, until the yeast is nice and foamy. Add the eggs, sugar, 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, and salt. Gradually beat in the flour, cheese, and parsley, until everything is well combined.
      • Cover the bowl to let the dough rise for about an hour.
      • Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper cut to crisscross and extend up all four sides. Apply nonstick spray.
      • Lightly flour a surface. Turn out the dough onto it. Use the kitchen scale to weigh the dough. Divide it into 12 equal portions, forming each into a tidy ball. Place in rows within the prepared pan, each roll touching. Cover the pan to let rolls rise for another 40 minutes to an hour.
      • Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Brush rolls with remaining 2 Tablespoons butter and add a sprinkle of flaked salt, if desired.
      • Bake rolls for 13 minutes. Check them. If they are getting quite brown, cover the pan with foil. Bake for another 13 to 15 minutes.
      • Serve rolls at room temperature or warm.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not: Brookies

        Posted by on Feb 2, 2022 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Brookies

        No need to deliberate whether to make chocolate chip cookies or brownies–this recipe for Brookies combines these goodies together in a delicious way.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        This recipe excels at chocolate distribution. It’s not super-chocolaty, but every bite has some brownie and chocolate chips. If you add in cacao nibs, it’s even better; the nibs enhance the other chocolate flavors and adds a pleasant crunch at the same time.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        On that note, this is a great recipe for people who don’t like nuts. There’s lots of flavor here without them. Could you add nuts? Sure. Is it necessary? Nope.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        These bars are dense and nicely portable. Wrap them up individually, and they are great for a school lunch, road trip, or picnic. Plus, they freeze well, so you can even save some for later!

        Modified from AllRecipes Magazine August/September 2020.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        These Brookies combine chocolate chip cookies and brownies in one convenient dish!
        Course: Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: American
        Keyword: bars, brownies, chocolate
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 9×13 pan

        Ingredients

        Cookie layer

        • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
        • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
        • 1/4 cup white sugar
        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1 large egg room temperature
        • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

        Brownie layer

        • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted
        • 1 cup white sugar
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 2 large eggs
        • 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted
        • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1/8 teaspoon salt
        • 1/4 cup cacao nibs optional

        Instructions

        Make cookie layer

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.
        • In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and creamy. Add egg, scraping bottom of bowl, then beat another two minutes.
        • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in chocolate chips. Dough will be very thick and sticky. Drop into pan in clumps and press into a level layer, covering the bottom completely.

        Make brownie layer

        • Using the same big bowl (leave it unwashed or wash it, baker’s preference), beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Follow with the egg. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the cacao nibs, if using.
        • Pour over the cookie layer, spreading it into an even layer.
        • Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely–chilling in fridge, if desired–before slicing into bars.
        • Brookies will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 3 days, and can also be frozen for layer enjoyment.

        OM NOM NOM!

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