Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TWD—Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet

TWD--Creamy Chocolate Sorbet 6-30-11

I love this Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet chosen for Tuesdays With Dorie.  I’ve made it three times in the last month.  Love it that much.  You can (and should) get the simple recipe for this from Steph at A Whisk and a Spoon.  She chose the recipe and I thank her ever so kindly for doing so.  Last year, it was my turn to pick a recipe from Dorie’s book, Baking From My Home to Yours and I chose the Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream on the page right next to this Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet.  Both are divine!  I love that this sorbet doesn’t have as much fat in it, so I don’t feel as guilty having a little more of it here and there.  The ganache ice cream is heavenly and rich and not light.  I will continue making the sorbet time and again, I am sure.

Each of the three times I made it, I made it just a little different.  The first time (which is the photo above), I use a 70% bittersweet chocolate and regular coconut milk.  The second time, I used the same chocolate, but used lite coconut milk.  I couldn’t tell a difference between the two, but I loved the flavor the coconut milk added to the sorbet.  Each of the three times I made this, I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract, both of which I think really added some great flavor as well.  I’m sure I’ll always put those two extracts in when I make it, though I’m tempted to try mixing this up with some raspberries or raspberry flavoring.  The third time I made the sorbet, I used a 60% dark chocolate and just skim milk.  This version isn’t quite as good as the other two, but is still just fine.  I will probably use lite coconut milk from now on when I make it and stick with the Lindt Excellence 70% dark chocolate.

Sadly, I didn’t even take pictures of it the second time I made it, but it has pretty much looked the same each time.  I love the consistency of this sorbet, it is just creamy enough and divinely chocolate!

TWD-Creamy Chocolate Sorbet 7-25-11

Here’s a perfect little 1/4 cup scoop of the skim milk version.  It looks more icy, but is still just creamy enough.  Check out all the other chocolaty goodness at TWD Land and go over to Steph’s blog and get the recipe—it really couldn’t be more simple!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Butterfinger Ice Cream


This is some good Butterfinger Ice Cream!  Butterfinger candy bars aren’t really even my favorite, but I don’t dislike them, I just wouldn’t ever open one up and eat it as is.  For some reason, I had a bunch of the fun size bars in my baking stash.  Probably because I’ve made Butterfinger Cookies a number of times (I actually just made them again and still had enough candy to make the ice cream).   I just might have “stole” a bunch of fun size bars out of the boys’ Halloween candy last year.    Might have.  We’ll just never know for sure. ;)

That said about Butterfinger candy bars not being my favorite, I LOVE the Butterfinger cookies and this ice cream is fantastic.  I’ve also made Lori from Recipe Girl's Butterfinger Blondies before (more than once) and they rock, too.  

If you like vanilla based ice cream (my husband doesn’t!) with lots of peanut buttery, chocolaty mix-ins, you’ll like this ice cream!  I often just use up whatever dairy I have—cream, half and half, milk, etc. in different amounts.  This ice cream got lucky and has lots of heavy cream and half and half in it (the amounts are just what I had on hand, you just want 3 cups of dairy).  What I’m saying is, it isn’t light—which I’m sure contributes to its extra yum-factor! 

Butterfinger Ice Cream, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup half and half

1/3 cup 2% milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

5 ounces Butterfinger candy bars, crushed (hit each wrapped bar with a rolling pin a couple times)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)

Put one cup of cream, the sugar and pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.  Make an ice bath in a large bowl.  Put the remaining cream, half and half and milk in a medium sized bowl and set it in the ice bath.  Once the sugar has dissolved in the hot cream, pour it into the cold cream and milk.  Add the vanilla and stir to combine everything.  Stir the mixture every few minutes and let sit in the ice bath until cold. 

Once it is cold, about 30 minutes in the ice bath, pour it into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.  About five minutes before the ice cream is finished churning, add the crushed Butterfingers and drizzle in the optional melted chocolate. 

Store the ice cream in an airtight container.


Ready to serve some ice cream?  Get a cute dish, like this lonely one.

DSCF6098  Add some Butterfinger Ice Cream—go ahead—pile it on.

Butterfinger Ice Cream 7-11-11Top it with some more crushed candy bar and just because you have some, some matching colored M&M’s, just because you have some. ;)  Grab a spoon!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Buncha Crunch Fudgy Brownies


Don’t you hate it when that happens—you search for a recipe online, find one, print it out and make it, but you have no idea what made you do that a couple weeks later.  I can’t remember why I looked for these brownies or what made me choose this recipe.  You see—I already have a favorite brownie recipe.  I use that recipe for all the brownies I make.  (Shouting—“Does anyone know why I made these brownies?”)  My only notes on the recipe, which I made at the end of June, was that I followed the recipe exactly, except I added two boxes of Nestle Buncha Crunch candies.

I found the recipe on My Recipes and it looks like it was  from Sunset Magazine a few years ago.  Here’s the recipe as I made it.  The Crunch candy was actually really good in the fudgy brownies!

Buncha Crunch Fudgy Brownies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Sunset Magazine

3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar (220 grams)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all purpose flour (60 grams)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (20 grams)

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces Nestle Buncha Brunch candies (2—3 ounce boxes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 inch square pan with non-stick foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Melt the chopped melted chocolate and butter over a double boiler until all melted and stirred together.   Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs until well combined.  Add the flour, cocoa and salt and stir until all combined.  Stir in the Nestle candy.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let cool completely on wire rack, then chill the brownies for at least two hours.  Remove from pan using the foil edges.  Peel off foil and cut into squares on a cutting board.


*Ha, as I was typing up the recipe, it hit me—I remembered why I searched out and made this recipe—I had recently bought some blocks of chocolate and wanted to find a brownie recipe that used melted chocolate in it.  That’s it!  And these are a really good brownie—they just might replace my go-to recipe (that just uses cocoa powder), at least until the blocks of chocolate are used up!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TWD—Coconut Scones with Dried Cherries, Pistachios and White Chocolate


Scones, scones—get more scones here!  Last week we made Dorie’s Cream Scones to which I added chocolate chips and toffee bits.  This week our chosen recipe was for Chestnut Scones, which are supposed to have chestnut flour—which is near to impossible to find and if you do find it, it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.  I have a two pound bag of coconut flour that I’ve barely dipped in to, so I decided that is what I’d use.  If I’m going to make any scones, they can’t just be plain, so I looked through my baking cupboard and decided to add some dried tart cherries, pistachios and some chopped white chocolate.  All were well received to the coconut scones. 

I only made a half batch and ate a couple for lunch (they’re small), along with some snap peas and an apricot.  I always brush my scones with some cream, which is what adds a nice shine to them.  It’s simple to half a recipe when you use a scale, even the egg.  I weighed one cracked egg and it was 50 grams, so I just took out 25 grams of egg (cooked up the other half in the microwave really quickly, let it cool and gave it to the dog to eat—he LOVES eggs.  No really, would it be bad to just feed our doggy eggs and bologna/hot dogs as his main source of food?  Those things are cheaper than dog food and Chip won’t hardly eat any dog food!  By the way, I’m kidding—we wouldn’t only give Chip eggs and bologna, but he sure does love it when one of the boys don’t finish one they’re having and he gets their leftovers!)


Back to the scones!  The coconut flour made these just a little bit more crumbly than last week’s cream scones, but they are still good.  I used 1/3 cup of cherries, 1/4 cup pistachios, and 2 ounces of white chocolate. 

This week’s recipe was chosen by Andrea from Andrea In The Kitchen.  She’s got the recipe on the link to her blog.  Not too sure what you think about scones, especially if you grew up with these scones like I did (which are delicious in their own right), but give some like these or last week’s scones a try!  Scones galore over at the Tuesdays With Dorie website.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Banana and Butternut Buttermilk Cake—Secret Recipe Club

SRC Cake for July 6-24-11

I had the pleasure this month for The Secret Recipe Club of making something from Marla’s blog, Family Fresh Cooking!  Sheesh, if you haven’t seen her blog, check it out and imagine trying to pick one thing to make and post.  I spent a lot of time browsing her entire blog and it became quite the challenge deciding what to make because everything looked and sounded so good.  I’ll be back to her blog to try more of her recipes!  I finally settled on a cake—Banana and Butternut Buttermilk Cake.  I was instantly sold on the banana and had some buttermilk I needed to use up.


Believe it or not, I also had a butternut squash that had been in my pantry since last fall and it was still in good condition and waiting to be used.  I decided this was it—banana buttermilk cake with a little butternut squash puree thrown in.  My mind was instantly drawn to my favorite cake--Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake and I knew this one would be good because I love squash and also thought of another favorite cake--Marbled Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake.  I knew the flavor in Marla’s cake would be good—and it sure was!


First thing I did was cut up and peel the butternut squash and then roast it in the oven in little 1/2 inch pieces—simple enough.  After that and a quick gathering of the rest of the ingredients and I was in business.  I love that the cake has cardamom and cinnamon.  Marla suggested throwing in some nuts and/or chocolate chips if you’d like and well, I like!  I added 3/4 cup of toasted, chopped pecans and 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips.

This cake had great flavor with just the little added butternut squash (1/2 cup pureed squash) and of course banana, nuts and chocolate.  I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half all purpose flour—which is the same as Marla used.  The cake was baked in a 9-inch springform pan and took 48 minutes.  I would suspect this cake would make a nice breakfast treat, I never had some for breakfast, but it was sure easy to keep snitching from at other times!  Check out Marla’s cake!  Make it!

You can check out more info about The Secret Recipe Club on the link I’ve left above.  Join in.  We are randomly given another blog to choose a recipe from and make it and do so only once a month.  It’s fun.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

French Cocoa Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache (Macarons are Gluten Free!)

I did it!  I made macarons!  After tasting some for the first time a couple years ago and falling in love, I’d had them on my list of things to learn to make.  Not sure why it took me so long and I can’t wait to make them again.  Even Kevin liked them!  I used a recipe from Joanne Chang found online at the Fine Cooking website.  She does a great, short video how-to for the cookies.  There are many variations available, but I chose to do Cocoa Macarons with a dark chocolate ganache inside. (Surprise.) 

Cocoa Macarons 7-6-11 I followed Joanne’s recipe and techniques pretty exactly.  Especially her plea to measure the ingredients with a scale.  She made her cookies with just the traditional almond flour base, but also gave measurements for adding a little cocoa to the batter. 

I think my cookies are a little small, but they are not small on flavor at all, making it easy to pop more than one in your mouth at any given cookie-eating sitting!  The simple batter is just made with whipped egg whites, a little sugar, almond flour and in this case some cocoa.  The batter then goes into a piping bag and little round mounds are piped onto a cookie sheet. 


I sure mine are small because the largest piping tip I have isn’t the suggested 1/2 to 3/4-inch tip, it’s more like 1/4 inch.  I need to go piping tip shopping! ;)

I don’t know if my macarons have a little too much “feet” (the bottom of the cookie that sticks out a little), but I don’t really care because they turned out so yummy and petite and perfectly chocolaty.


I’ll keep playing around and trying some different recipes an techniques and decide what works best. 


The ganache is perfectly dark chocolaty and so simple to make.  Joanne’s recipe is just dark chocolate and cream.  I added a little vanilla extract and almond extract and loved it!

Look at this little army of macarons!  The recipe made 32 of the smaller ones for me.


My friend Bonnie was visitng with her sister and they ate a few of these cookies and liked them, too.  Macarons are almost better after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, at least we thought so.  Some recipes will tell you they are best the day they are made (Joanne’s does), but after chilling with that ganache in between (then brought to room temperature), we loved the chew it gave them.  They were just a little on the crispy side fresh.  Either way though, they are light and crispy an airy and chocolaty goodness.  


Sealing the deal here, you know you want to try these!  Can’t wait to try them with other flavors and fillings!

Here’s a few websites with lots of great instruction—but don’t let all that info scare you.  Read a few things and then have at it—it’s pretty simple!

How to Make Macarons by Eat Live Travel Write.

Helene’s blog, Tartelette is swimming in macaron goodness and expertise.

Food Nouveau has a great post about macaron making.

The list goes on and on—just Google “how to make macarons”—endless information and countless varieties!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TWD—Cream Scones—with Chocolate Chips and Toffee Bits

Scones!  Love them.  For Tuesdays With Dorie this week, Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu chose for us to make Dorie’s Cream Scones (page 27).


One of my dearest, kindred friends (a roommate from BYU) was in Utah last week and I had the pleasure of her staying with us a couple days.  I’ve known Bonnie for almost 20 years, it was great to see her!  One morning, I whipped up a half batch of the scones for breakfast before she woke up (her sister was also staying here one night).  The scones were a great addition to breakfast along with yogurt, homemade granola and fruit.  Bonnie and her sister really liked the scones.  So did I!

Scones are so simple to make.  These have an egg and butter along with the cream.  I decided to add some mini chocolate chips and toffee bits, since these are my favorite mix-ins to scones.  I already have a favorite scones recipe that also has cream in it.  I like that it doesn’t have butter and egg, too.  (You know me, trying to save every fat gram and calorie I can, so I’ll probably stick with that recipe—which I’ve also made a little lower fat and with whole wheat flour and they were still great--blueberry lime scones.

Don’t get me wrong, Dorie’s cream scones are great—nothing like a little butter flavor to add to the deliciousness of something!  Oh yeah, the chocolate and toffee help there, too! 


I like that these are smaller, you know, so you don’t feel bad eating 2 or 3 of them. hehe

Here’s a picture of Bonnie and I the morning she left.  She was off to a wedding all pretty and ready to go and there I am with morning bed head, plain faced and a t-shirt.  sigh  Oh well.  I’m glad we got a picture.


Bonnie lives in California and has forever (except for college days).  She took me to Disneyland for the first time, in 1993, actually it was the only time I’ve been there—we plan to take the boys there next year.

DSCF3213 Here’s Bonnie and I sportin’ that awesome 90’s hair.

DSCF3226 And here we are ready to par-tay at a 70’s dance.  And I can’t believe I’m posting this nasty photo of me, but Bon looks so good that I went ahead with it.   Ah, the good old days.  A few years ago, in 2006, Bonnie so graciously let my mom, sister-in-law, Monica and I spend a few days with her while we spent time in LA (We went to The Price Is Right—to fulfill my dream of seeing Bob Barker before he retired, he retired the next year!  We also went to The Ellen Show—such a great time!  And we spent a day in San Diego.)  Super fun to get to spend time with Bonnie again then.  Those kinds of friendships are priceless.  Thanks, Bon!  I can’t help it, but always sing “My Bonnie lives near the ocean, my Bonnie lives near the sea….bring back, oh bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me!” ;)

Hey, you can get the recipe for Dorie’s cream scones on the link above for Lynne’s blog.  Check out other TWD blogger's scones, too!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Mango Peach Ice Cream (Fat Free) and Golden Oreos Crust Mango Peach Ice Cream Pie Recipe


I’ve got to get as many ice cream posts in as I can since July is National Ice Cream Month.  It’s starting to be peach and mango season, so I grabbed some at the store recently.  I decided some of them needed to be made into ice cream.  The Mango Peach Ice Cream is actually fat free, but I would never have guessed that if I was given some to taste and wasn’t told that and I really just made it up as I went along.  I’m glad I wrote it down because I will for sure make this again!

Mango Peach Fat Free Ice Cream, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks

2 ripe peaches, pit removed and cut into chunks

2/3 cup fat free sweetened condensed milk**

1/3 cup skim milk

zest of half a lime

juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discard the remaining bits of peach skin, etc.

Chill in an airtight container in the fridge for a few hours, or in a bowl in an ice bath until mixture is COLD.  Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (about 20-25 minutes).  Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

**I used this amount because I’d used the rest of the can for something else and had some to use up.  I will probably make this with a whole can of condensed milk next time, but I always use fat free milk. 


After making the ice cream I decided to make a couple of ice cream pies for dessert when we had company over and thought this would be good in a pie.  I made a cookie crust using Golden Oreos and it was really good!  I put a layer of the mango peach ice cream on the crust, then topped it with whipped topping and let it freeze overnight.  I think it tasted great!

Mango Peach Ice Cream Pie with Golden Oreo Crust, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 quart homemade mango peach ice cream (fat free), recipe above

8 ounces whipped topping

Cookie crust:

5 ounces Golden Oreos

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grind the Oreos until finely ground crumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse until all combined.  Dump the buttery crumbs into a pie plate and spread evenly, going up the sides of the plate as well.  Bake for 8 minutes just to set and toast the crust.  Let cool completely.

Spread the softened ice cream over the crust, then the whipped topping.  Freeze until solid.  Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pie Party---Best Cherry Pie

Best Cherry Pie 7-4-11

Some people on Facebook and Twitter were talking about pie and how great pie is and how everyone loves it.  They decided to make today a virtual Pie Party.  I decided I just HAD to join in so there was a legitimate excuse to make pie. ;)  Cherry pie is one of our favorites around here, but I have swore off the canned pie filling if I can help it.  In searching for cherry pies on the internet, I settled on one from Food.com called Best Cherry Pie submitted by Luby Luby Luby in 2003.  The pie has a 5 star rating and all the reviews I read were great.  The pie was also a blue ribbon winner at a county fair.  I knew I couldn’t lose there.  And it called for canned tart cherries, which I had on hand.

I followed the recipe exactly, but when it came down to needing some lemon juice, I found that I didn’t have any lemons.  So I used lime!  Cherry and lime go well together and the pie tasted great!  I used an all butter pie crust, which is a recipe from my friend Paige for basic pie dough (aka—pate brisee).  This has become my go-to pie crust!

After assembling the pie with the top crust, it sprung a leak that I could not patch up.  So I tried dabbing the leaking cherry juice with paper towel and a cloth and it just kept getting worse.  So I finished up crimping the edges and slitting the top with some holes and baked the pie with its little pool of red on the top.  Sigh.  The pie still turned out nice.  I always put my signature pie crust cut out of what is in the pie on the top, in this case two little cherries.  Before baking the pie, I brushed some cream over the top and sprinkled it with granulated sugar.


My pie looks like it had a little injury, but it gave it a little character, right? ;)  This cherry pie had a perfect sweet/tart taste to it and is surely one I’d make again.  What I’d really love is to get my hands on some actual fresh tart cherries, that would be heavenly!


We had a great 4th of July.  It started with us waking up early and going to a parade.  It was perfectly cloudy yesterday so that we didn’t get too hot sitting at the parade.


The coolest thing at the parade was a big Star Wars float and a bunch of marching storm troopers, etc.


I think the look of anticipation on Sam’s face is really cute as he could see each float, band, etc. coming down the street.




We took it easy the rest of the day, then I made everyone going running/walking with me that evening before they could have pie and before we lit off some fireworks.


Sam’s first sparkler.



When Kevin was about seven years old, he disobeyed his parents and got into some fire crackers and matches and lit one off that exploded in his hand.  He has told the boys about how he really burned some of his fingers and got hurt.  He has not really liked fire crackers since and we have never bought any ourselves.  It has worked out fine in that we usually have ended up spending the evening with friends or watching a big fireworks show.  But this year, we spent the day by ourselves.  So Kevin ventured out and bought a bunch of things.  I think he was secretly really enjoying lighting them and watching them blow.  Shhh, don’t tell him I told you. ;) 

TWD—Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

We made muffins this week for Tuesdays With Dorie.  The Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins were chosen by Bridget from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

DSCF5764I wanted to love these muffins—since they ARE chocolate.  But it’s probably my fault (always changing a recipe—sigh!).  I’m afraid my slight changes made these muffins too dry and quite crumbly.  Especially when my husband gives me his opinion about something I’ve made without my even asking.  These do taste good, even though they were rather crumbly.

Here are the changes I made, which really aren’t that many, but probably caused the crumbliness. 

Instead of butter, I used Bestlife 50/50 buttery baking sticks.  For the two cups of all purpose flour, I used one cup of all purpose and one cup of whole wheat pastry flour.  I also added some hazelnuts and walnuts because the dark chocolate I used was Lindt Excellence Intense Dark Chocolate with caramelized walnut and hazelnut pieces.


Next time I try these, I’ll try to stick with the recipe! ;)  Check out all the other chocolate goodness on the Tuesdays With Dorie website.  Bridget will have the recipe on her blog.


I made these as soon as I saw the chosen recipes for this month.  Most of them went in the freezer because even though they are a little crumbly, I’d still keep eating them! ;)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Red, White and Blue Broken Glass Jell-o

Happy 4th of July!  So proud to be an American and grateful for all I’m blessed with!  Thankful also for our military troops and their continuing to fight for our freedoms!

DSCF5891 Thought I’d share this really fun gelatin I made.  We had some friends who were visiting from Arizona over for lunch.  I have seen this on a number of blogs over the years and thought it would be fun to make with red, white and blue.  You can use any color of Jell-o with any flavor and as many colors as you’d like, so this would be perfect for any occasion using colors to suit the holiday, etc. 

The blog I immediately thought of was The Food Librarian.  Mary has made different version of this broken glass Jell-o many times.  It’s really simple and looks great (minus my bubbles on the top-I didn’t take the time to remove them and I should have before the Jell-o went in the fridge for the night.  I love how nicely this cuts and it would have been perfect cut with a star shaped cookie cutter. 

You can see Mary’s simple instructions on the link to her blog.  Her Jell-o squares are perfect.  Make up to four different colors of gelatin.  In this case, I made two red cherry flavored and two blue berry flavored Jell-o.  After the colors set, you cut them into little cubes and add them to a 9x13 pan.


After that, which set up in 2-3 hours, a simple gelatin is made with sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free).  That is poured over the colored Jell-o and chills overnight.


This was a fun addition to our lunch!  (So fun to see the Peterson’s and most of the Kennedy’s!)