Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Toffee Scones with Chocolate Drizzle

Ever had one of those days where you just forget a whole bunch of stuff? Yeah that happened to me last week while I was making these scones.

I guess my baking skills have gotten rusty since I really haven’t been baking as much as I usually do. You see I forgot to add the butter to these and didn’t realize until after they were halfway baked.  Seriously, who forgets the one ingredient that makes things taste like heaven?

When I pulled the scones out of the oven to let the pan cool so I could start a fresh batch, I realized the cream I was using was chunky, not pleasant. I seriously don’t know where my head was when I was first making these.

This scone recipe yields a dense biscuit-like pastry, but the toffee chips and the chocolate drizzle makes it all the worth while to eat. And it is perfectly acceptable to at this for breakfast (since scones are breakfast foods) and dessert (because of the sweet chips and chocolate on top)

Toffee Scones with Chocolate Drizzle
Hardly adapted from The Pastry Affair
Makes about 10-12 scones

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup toffee pieces
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Rub the butter into the four with the tips of your fingers until the flour looks like coarse sand. Mix in the toffee pieces.

In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the cream and egg. Pour mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and form the dough into a circle. Flatten the dough until roughly 1 inch thick. Cut dough using a circular cutter (I just used one of my mom’s wine glasses). Place pieces onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before topping with the melted chocolate. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I have been posting a lot of cake recipes lately. Lets change that.

Today I bring you two delicious desserts combined into one! I saw this recipe on Foodgawker and saved it because it really is an ingenious idea. Cookie dough is soft and brown sugary and make people happy. Brownies (the good ones) are dense, fudgy, and full of chocolate! Combining these two things really does make an awesome dessert.

I was actually kind of nervous when making these because I didn’t read the comments for tips on how to improve until I was getting all the ingredients together. Then I started to get nervous when I kept reading all these comments about how the cookie dough topping was crumbly and how the brownie bottom was dry. Despite this, I decided to make them anyways and hope for the best.

Michelle, from Brown Eyed Baker, used the creaming method for her brownie base, but I decided to switch it up a bit and use the original recipe of melting the butter and whisking it with the brown sugar. The cookie dough part was hardly changed at all (just the addition of salt) and it was not crumbly at all! This eggless cookie dough has the perfect regular chocolate chip cookie dough consistency, and this is coming from a girl who is back to baking in the dry, high-altitude of Colorado. I don’t know what those crazy people where doing.

The brownie is soft, and sort of cake like, which isn’t too bad since it pairs well with the soft cookie dough on top. I feel if the brownie base was like a regular fudge brownie this dessert would be way to rich. The cookie dough is so perfectly textured, I was almost tempted to not put the dough on top of the brownie base and just eat it out of the bowl with a spoon, it really is that good!  

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes one 8-inch square pan

Brownie Base
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and still warm
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt

Cookie Dough Topping
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tbsp. milk
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ - 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

To make the brownie base: preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with tin foil. Grease foil with cooking spray and set aside.

In a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, add the chopped semi sweet chocolate. Stir occasionally until completely melted. Turn off the heat and set the bowl of melted chocolate aside to cool.

In a medium bowl whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until combined and the mixture looks creamy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, adding the second once the first has been incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate. Fold in the flour and salt until just combined. The mixture will be very liquidy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean when inserted in the center. Do not remove the brownie from the pan; allow it to cool while you make the cookie dough topping.

To make the cookie dough topping: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add both sugars to the beaten butter. Cream the ingredients until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and vanilla and beat on medium until combined. Turn the mixer speed down to low and gradually add the flour and salt. Mix until flour is just incorporated. Turn the mixer off and fold in the chocolate chips.

To assemble: Spread the cookie dough over the just warm brownie (still in the pan). Make sure to spread the dough evenly to the corners of the pan. Place plastic wrap over the dough and freeze until the dough has become firm. Remove cookie dough brownie from the pan and cut into desired portions. Allow the brownie to come to room temperature before serving.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Antique Caramel Cake

It’s been 3 weeks since my last post. Whoops.

I didn’t mean to go so long without posting anything. I thought that once actual classes ended I would have time, but then I wound up studying for finals about 7 or 8 hours each day. But now that finals are over and I’m done with school for the summer I will be posting a lot more often, hopefully.

Oh, incase any of y’all care, I passed my physics class with a C! I have never been more excited to have a C in my life. I was terrified I was going to fail that class and have to retake it, but no sir-y Bob, I will not have to take that class ever again!

In other news, I’m breaking the silence on this blog with a delicious caramel cake!

My mom adores anything with caramel in it, so I knew this would be the cake for her. This cake was so good that within 12 hours the cake was halfway gone

This cake has basically three components of caramel. The cake, with its sturdy crumb, tastes like a combination of brown sugar and liquid caramel. The frosting tastes like salted dark caramel, and then there is a caramel drizzle that goes on top. The caramel on top was store bought, but if you would like to go and make your own caramel to drizzle the top with, I say go for it!

The best part about this cake was the frosting. It has the perfect soft consistency and the flavor is phenomenal. I found myself cleaning the plate with my finger to get any frosting that had stuck to the plate.    

Antique Caramel Cake
Slightly adapted from Laura’s Sweet Spot
Makes one 8-inch round cake

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
 ½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tbsp. distilled white vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp and separated
1 ¼ oz. heavy cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
liquid caramel

To make the cake: preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch round pan with parchment paper. Grease bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray.

Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Add both sugars and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Scrapes the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and egg white and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, starting and ending with the flour.

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the white vinegar. Pour the mixture into the batter and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: in a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Pour the mixture into a separate bowl to cool.

Once the brown sugar mixture is almost cool, beat the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy. Add the cream cheese and salt and continue to beat until smooth. Turn the mixer speed down to low and add the powdered sugar. Beat until the mixture feels loose. Refrigerate the frosting for 10-15 minutes in order to firm up

To assemble the cake: cut the completely cooled cake in half horizontally. Set the bottom of the cake on your serving plate, cut side up. Place a little less than half the frosting on the top of the cake on the plate. Smooth over the frosting. Place the top of the cake, cut side down, on top of the filling. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Drizzle liquid caramel on top. Refrigerate cake for 15 minute to set before serving. 
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