Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fudgie Brownies

I was looking on the internet for a brownie recipe that was more like boxed brownies than cake brownies and found this delightful (and not too hard) recipe at Inspired Taste. Everyone loved them. I have been told that I must make them again.

10 Tbl unsalted butter
1 1/4 C granulated sugar
3/4 C plus 2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 tsp salt, rounded
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 F.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).

Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering.

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).

Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks gritty, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour.

Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.

Stir in vanilla with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated, then beat with the wooden spoon or spatula for 40 to 50 strokes. (The batter will be quite thick). Stir in nuts, if using. Spread evenly in lined pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean (you want it to be a little moist with batter).

Note: Some have found they need to bake an extra 10 minutes, so keep an eye on the doneness of the brownies and use the toothpick test as your guide.

Cool completely then remove from pan. For the cleanest lines when cutting, place into freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up. Cut into 16 squares.

Printable version

Monday, June 30, 2014

Easy and Delicious Rice Pilaf

We eat a lot of rice. So I was really happy to find this easy rice pilaf recipe. It's delicious and so simple.

1 C rice, uncooked
2-4 Tbl olive oil
2 C chicken broth
1 Tbl dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp salt

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil. Add the rice and toast on medium high until the corners of the rice are translucent and it has a nice, toasted smell.

Add the broth, thyme, and salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan.

Cook covered for 15-18 minutes. Do not remove the lid to check how it's going. After 15 minutes, you can check, and then check every minute or two after.

Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with your favorite entree.

Printable version

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baked Cheese Cake

I love cheese cake. When dining at a nice restaurant, I will almost always go for the cheese cake when the dessert tray comes around. I find it very disappointing if they don't offer a cheese cake of some kind. However, the best cheese cake I have ever had is made by my sister's mother-in-law, Bonnie. She has graciously given me permission to share it on the blog, so here it is.


1 can Holland Rusk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C sugar
1/4 butter, melted

3-8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 pint sour cream
2 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375.

Crush rusk into crumbs.

Set aside 1/3 C crumbs to sprinkle on top.

Combine remaining crumbs with cinnamon and sugar.

Melt butter and add to crumb mix.

When well mixed, line 10-inch springform pan with mix.

Press with thumbs until smooth. The crust may ride up the sides of the pan a bit, but that's okay.

Cream cheese well.

Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla.

Mix well with hand or stand mixer.

Pour into crust.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. The center should still be slightly giggly.

Increase oven temperature to 475.

Mix all topping ingredients together well.

Carefully spread over cake like icing. I made two, and the first one I plopped the topping in the center and spread it out from there. Don't do that. Spoon the topping on in a ring and spread out from there. It's much less spreading and it won't take as much of the cake with it.

When the oven is hot, bake again for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with crumbs. Let cake completely cool. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Serve plain or with your favorite cheese cake toppings. I used the homemade blueberry topping from the Blueberry Sour Cream Pie.

Printed version

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cheese Ball of Yumminess

Yes, I know that yumminess isn't a real word (though my spell check knows it -- that's just weird), but this cheese ball is amazingly delicious. I got the recipe from a dear friend. She made if for a church social where it was the first thing completely devoured. The pictures show the recipe doubled, which makes quite possibly the biggest cheese ball ever made, so unless you are feeding your congregation, I would recommend doing the amounts listed for a single batch.

8 oz. pkg cream cheese - softened to room temp
1/4 C mayo
2 C finely cubed ham
1-2 tsp parsley
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 C chopped nuts-divided

Combine first 6 ingredients plus 1/2 of the chopped nuts.

Mix well.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hrs. to set up. Remove from fridge, shape into a ball and roll in remaining 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Serve with your favorite crackers.

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