Monday, October 31, 2011

bat brownies

I know, I know, I know... it looks like my 2-year-old decorated these... they could have been way cuter if I had any patience at all!

the goods:

1/2 cup (1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for baking pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate chips (1 and 1/2 cups)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
32 miniature York peppermint patties
York pieces (white ones only) for eyes
chocolate chips and icing pens, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square metal baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter, sugar, and bittersweet chocolate over medium, stirring frequently, until smooth. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in eggs and vanilla, then let cool to room temperature, 10 minutes.
Transfer batter to pan. Press 16 peppermint patties evenly into batter and, with a small offset spatula, evenly spread batter to completely cover patties.
Bake until cake is puffed and just set, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 25 minutes, then top with 16 peppermint patties. Let cool 25 minutes more, then decorate with York pieces dotted with chocolate for eyes and chocolate chips for ears. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 5 minutes. Decorate with icing pens. Using parchment, lift cake from pan and cut into 16 squares.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"i scream" graveyard pie

the goods:

16 graham crackers, broken into large pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup roughly chopped Butterfinger "fun size" bars (about 8)
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
1 cup roughly chopped Mounds "snack size" bars (about 8)
2 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted
6 Milano cookies, halved crosswise
candy skulls or bones for decorating
20 chocolate wafers, such as Famous

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, process graham crackers until finely ground. With motor running, add butter in a slow stream and pulse until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9 and 1/2-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is dry and set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, 45 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir vanilla ice cream with a wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in Butterfinger. With a small offset spatula, spread ice cream mixture evenly in crust. Freeze until firm, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Stir chocolate ice cream until smooth. Fold in Mounds and spread evenly on top of vanilla ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, with a small spoon, place a dot of melted chocolate at one end of each cookie half. Immediately top with skull or bones and let set.
In a clean food processor, pulse wafers until finely ground. Spread crumbs on top of pie. With a knife, cut slits for "tombstones" and press cookie halves, cut side down, into slits. Serve immediately, or freeze; let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before slicing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

chewy caramel mystery cookies

the goods:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup caramels such as Kraft (about 20), halved
1 cup roughly chopped miniature Mr. Goodbar (about 16)
3/4 cup orange M&M's or Reese's Pieces, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in three additions until combined. Beat in vanilla. Fold in caramels and candy bars.

 Using a 1/3-cup spring-loaded scoop, drop dough, 2-inches apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.

Remove from oven; immediately press orange candies onto cookies.

Return to oven and bake until golden around edges and set in centers, 8 minutes more.

Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Repeat with remaining dough on fresh parchment.

Monday, October 10, 2011

mini peanut-butter cupcakes

the goods:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
48 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups
48 pieces candy corn, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar on high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and egg yolk, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture, buttermilk, and vanilla until combined.

With the large end of a melon baller, place 2 teaspoons batter into each muffin cup.

Press a peanut butter cup into each center until batter aligns with top edge of candy.

Bake until puffed and set, 10 minutes.

Immediately place a piece of candy corn on top of each cupcake; let cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Repeat with remaining batter and candy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

peach-blueberry pie

I wish I had more pictures of this pie to share, but as soon as the first slice was cut, it just kept going and going until it was all gone and by the time I made my way over to it, the plate was licked clean! Guess it was good! ;)

the goods:

dough (you'll need 2 of these):
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3 -5 tablespoons very cold water

Stir together flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry cutter, or two butter knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture. Add water and mix with a fork until dough pulls together. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic. Regrigerate until ready to use (up to 1 day).

1 and 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pounds peaches, peeled and sliced
12 ounces blueberries
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 large egg, separated, white lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, tapioca, and salt. Add peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice and toss to combine; let sit 15 minutes while you roll out dough.

Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out 1 dough round to a 12-inch round. Place in a 9-inch glass pie plate and brush with egg white. Pour in fruit filling and dot with butter. Roll out remaining dough to a 12-inch round and place over fruit filling. Trim excess and crimp edges to seal. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush top of dough with egg yolk mixture. With a paring knife, cut several small slits on top to vent. Set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 50 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil if crust browns too quickly.) Let pie cool completely on a wire rack, about 3 hours.