Friday, December 3, 2010

25 Days of Baking! Days 1, 2 and 3

Day 1 - Peppermint Brownie Cups: My recipe was adapted from who adapted it from Nestle's Very Best Baking. Its weird how recipes get tweaked and adapted and can end up all so different! I really liked these brownies and would definitely make them again for a holiday event.

3/4 cup granulated sugar (I substituted brown sugar for some extra moistness)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mint chips plus about 1/3 cup more for garnishing (I use Andes brand peppermint chips - to die for!)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus about 1/3 cup more for garnishing

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray or grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar, butter, and water. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter is melted. Stir in 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted. Stir in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour and baking soda, stirring until blended. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then, stir in 1/2 cup each mint chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups with batter - about 3/4 full.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly wet. Place pan on wire rack. Centers of brownies will fall upon cooling. If not, tap centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole. *mine did not fall and thus, there was no hole to fill with garnishing chips... however I still think they were great and I may have eaten some of the additional chips while they were cooling.*

While brownies are still hot, top with semi-sweet chocolate chips and mint chips. Cool completely in pan.

/a>Day 2 - Eggnog Cookies: Sister baked these, recipe came from a Mrs. Fields cookie book. They were good, but a little dry. If we made them again in the future, I would do some adjusting to make them more moist and yummy.

2½ cup Flour, all purpose
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
1¼ cup Sugar, white
¾ cup Butter; salted, softened
½ cup Eggnog
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 larges Egg yolks
1 tablespoon Nutmeg, ground

Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer to form a grainy paste. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed just until combined. Do not overmix. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown. Transfer to cool, flat surface immediately with spatula.

Day 3 - Cranberry Orange Scones: These are sooo yummy. I have had them for breakfast every day since. They were perfect the next morning when I had an early test. :) They are not too dry and perfectly flavorful.

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp orange peel, finely grated (I used about 2 Tbsp because I couldn't find the grater and used the zester instead- bigger chunks, which I actually love)
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2) sticks chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup half and half, chilled

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick mat. Whisk together 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp juice in a small bowl. Set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, orange peel, salt and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. Add chilled butter, mix using hands until a coarse meal forms. Mix in cranberries and walnuts (if desired). Add half and half and remaining juice. toss with a fork until dough forms moist clumps

divide dough in half. Press out each half onto floured surface into a 6-inch diameter (1 in high) round. Cut each round into 6 wedges and transfer to baking sheet. Brush with glaze. Bake until golden and tester comes out clean, about 18 min. Serve warm or at room temp.

No comments: