25 September 2008

Chocolate Chip Cake Bar

1 package yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 Cup water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 Cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 Tbsp shortening

-In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
-Stir in 1 3/4 cups of chocolate chips and nuts.
-Spread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan.
-Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
-Cool pan completely on a wire rack.
-Cut into bars. (About 24)
-Melt shortening with the remaining 1/4 Cup chocolate chips (about 45 seconds in the microwave); drizzle over the top.

***Allow drizzled chocolate to set completely before stacking on a plate.***

Toffee Bars

1 Cup real butter, softened
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 to 2 Cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely crushed Heath bar

-Cream butter and brown sugar with mixer.
-Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.
-Gradually add flour and salt, beating until smooth.
-Spoon into lightly greased 15x10 pan. (Use 13x9 if you want thicker shortbread, but it may require a slightly longer bake time.) Press down in pan until dough is even.
-Bake at 350° for 17-19 minutes, or until LIGHT golden brown.
-Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top.
-Return to oven for about 2 minutes.

-Gently spread melted chocolate evenly over bars.
-Sprinkle crushed heath bar evenly over the top.

***If plating bars, place in refrigerator to cool for about an hour. Remove and slice into bars. Cover and place back into refrigerator for a few more hours or overnight or until the chocolate on top is no longer soft so they can be stacked on a plate and not stick together.

01 September 2008

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake
350° 30-40 minutes
3-8"cake pans

1 (4-oz.) package of Baker's Sweetened Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Take one package of Baker's sweetened chocolate and mix it with 1/2 cup of boiling water. You are done mixing the chocolate once it is all dissolved. Let this cool before adding it to the following sugar/butter/egg mixture.

Mix 1 cup of butter with 2 cups of sugar until they are fluffy and rich. This should not take but a few minutes.

Slowly add in your egg yolks while beating the mixture. Once no more streaks, or spots of yellow remain they have been mixed in well enough.

Add cooled chocolate liquid and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the batter.

Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the flour.

Add the buttermilk and flour to the mixture at the same time, but alternating between the two (buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour...) Don't stop mixing as you do this. Once you are done beating in the buttermilk and flour, make sure that it is smooth.

Take your four egg whites and beat them in a separate bowl at a high speed. When you lift the beater out of the bowl it should have a peak, or pointed tip at the end of it. This means they are done being whipped. (TIP: Make sure that there is no egg yolk mixed into your egg whites.)

Now fold in your egg whites SLOWLY. DO NOT STIR OR BEAT THEM IN. This would ruin the cake.

Pour equal amounts of batter into three 8 inch cake pans.

Put the cakes in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not open the oven until the cake has been in for the required time, if you do it may fall in the middle. Stick a tooth pick in your cake after baking. If it comes out clean your cake is done, if it comes out gooey then it needs another five to ten minutes.

Cool cake completely before frosting.

Coconut Pecan Frosting
(Double if frosting sides of cake)

Mix the following ingredients in a medium saucepan on a stove set on medium heat for about 12 minutes:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Once you are done cooking the above ingredients add:
1 1/2 Cup coconut
1 Cup chopped pecans

Cool the frosting until it is firm and easy to spread.

Oatmeal Cake

This cake is so moist and yummy, it's sure to become a family favorite.

Oatmeal Cake
350° 35-40 minutes

1 Cup sugar
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Cups flour
1 1/2 Cups boiling water
1 Cup oatmeal (quick-oats, not old fashioned)
(For top- 1/2 container vanilla frosting)

In a medium bowl, combine baking soda, salt, cinnamon and flour. In a separate bowl, pour boiling water over oatmeal. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla in large bowl. Add flour mixture to the sugar and blend. Add oatmeal and mix fairly well.

Bake in lightly greased 13x9 pan @ 350° for 35-40 minutes. Frost immediately with 1/2 can vanilla frosting (it will melt on the top) and serve in about 20-30 minutes, while still warm.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

This recipe comes from The Next Food Network Star and was featured in the Bon App├ętit magazine. I tried it out for a Sunday dinner and EVERYBODY raved over it. My sister even sent me a text later in the evening thanking me for the awesome dinner and said she was going to have fanciful dreams about it all night. She especially loved the vegetables. (WOW.) When I made it I served it with a simple grilled teriyaki chicken and jasmine rice. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo after it was baked, but you get the idea. It's a yummy recipe! There were no leftovers.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 or 2 red onions, halved, thickly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 eggplant, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
2 yellow squash, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
3 zucchini, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
Salt /Pepper

Whisk vinegar and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in garlic, thyme, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss all vegetables in large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add dressing; toss to coat. Divide between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Roast until vegetables are tender and slightly brown around edges, about 35 minutes.