Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cookie Carnival—Chewy Peanut Butter Coconut Oat Cookies Recipe

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Whew!  I’m in just under the wire again for June’s Cookie Carnival.  I’m glad I remembered this afternoon and decided to whip out half a batch of one of our choices, the Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies.  The recipe (on the link) are actually cookies from the Smucker’s website.  But I didn’t use Smucker’s peanut butter and I made a few other changes, so I’ll leave you with the recipe as I made them.  These cookies are fantastic and just what they claim to be—chewy!  I love the addition of oats and coconut in these.

Right after I decided to make these, I realized I am completely out of all purpose flour.  I know—pretty much a cardinal sin here.  The half recipe for these cookies only needed half a cup of flour, so I looked at my choices of other flours I had on hand and decided to use bread flour.  I also just realized that when halving the recipe, I didn’t halve the amount of oats, but the cookies are so good, I’m sticking with it!  Here’s my version--

Chewy Peanut Butter Coconut Oat Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 ounces unsalted butter, softened (4 tablespoons)

6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (96 grams) (I used Jif Natural)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)

1/2 cup light brown sugar (110 grams)

1 large egg

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup bread flour (all purpose flour is fine, too)  60 grams

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

1  1/2 cups quick cooking oats* (120 grams)

1/2 cup flaked coconut

.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter and both sugars until creamy, about two minutes.  Beat in egg, milk and vanilla.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir in oats and coconut.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until all combined.  Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes, during the last 15 minutes of chilling time or so, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drop by heaping tablespoonful (or with a cookie scoop) onto baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes, then move cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 18 cookies (or more if smaller, these were about 1 ounce each).

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Cookie Carnival

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Spiced Pecans Recipe and Oven Baked Kale Chips Recipe

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We’re going light and healthy today.  I wanted to share this salad with you before I continue with my usual posts of goodies, baked treats and desserts.  I have been LOVING kale chips** lately.  I often make an entire baking sheet full, which is about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bunch of washed, torn kale and could easily eat the whole thing.  Problem lately is that I have two boys who have decided they like them, too, and any time my kids like a vegetable, I let them have as much as they’d like!

So I often have kale in stock and would never even have thought of it as an edible food until the last year or two. ;)  I’ve had it in some soups, but have never tried it raw in a salad, but decided to look around (on the internet) for any ideas and ran into this salad that not only had kale, but also another thing I had in my kitchen pantry that needed to be used.  I bought a butternut squash probably last fall—probably more than six months ago!  And it was still sitting pretty in my cupboard, but I decided that I should use it up.  So I went looking for something light to make with the butternut squash and kale and I found this recipe at Lisa’s blog, Lisa Is Cooking.  I followed most of the recipe, but since it called for raw red onions, of course, I left those out! ;)  I adapted a few other things in the recipe, but for the most part got it from the link to Lisa Is Cooking.  

I love this salad!  Of course, no one else in my family would even try it. grrrr  (Not even the kale chip likers.)  Didn’t bother me—I’ve been enjoying the salad for lunch and dinner for a few days now.  Even if you think you don’t like kale (or squash!) you should give this a try!

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Spiced Pecans, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Lisa at Lisa Is Cooking

1 small butternut squash

2-3 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil

1  cup pecans

1 egg white

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 bunch kale

3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the whole squash in the microwave for about 3 minutes.  (You don’t have to do this, but it softens it just a little tiny bit so it is much easier to slice in half.)  Cut it in half and remove the seeds.  Cut each half into half and peel each piece.  Cut each piece into about 3/4 inch cubes.  Toss the cubed squash with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until it is tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg white with the cayenne pepper, sugar and a pinch of salt.  Whisk until the egg white is foamy.  Toss the pecans in the mixture until well coated.  Place the pecans on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer (don’t dump the extra egg mixture on the baking sheet).   Toast the pecans in the 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until they are crisp.  Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet on a wire rack. 

Cut the ribs from each kale leaf.  Then tear each leaf into about one inch pieces.  Wash the leaves in a salad spinner or bowl.  Pick them leaves up out of the bowl so you’re not dumping the dirty water back onto them.  Spin them dry in the salad spinner.  Place the washed/dried kale in a large bowl.  Pour about three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over them and massage it into the kale with your hands, squeezing it.  This tenderizes the kale.

Add the roasted and cooled squash and pecans to the kale.  Toss to combine.  Add another tablespoon or so of olive oil  and salt and pepper to taste to the salad and toss to coat.  Taste and decide if you’d like a little more vinegar and/or oil and adjust according to taste. 

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I think this salad has gotten better with age.  I love the taste of the kale as it has softened a little over a day or two.  Kale just might be making an appearance in more salads around here!  As for the butternut squash, stay tuned next week for what I did with a half cup of it pureed!  See in the picture above the kale salad sitting on a plate next to another salad?  I’ll be sharing that soon, too.  It’s quinoa, mango, blueberries…….love it, too!

Now bring on those 4th of July treats! ;)

**Never had Kale Chips?  So easy—try these as a replacement to your favorite store bought potato chips.  You might not be sold at first try—but keep eating them and just like Lays, you won’t be able to eat just one.

Oven Baked Kale Chips, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/2 bunch of kale, ribs removed and torn into 1-2 inch pieces (washed and dried)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lay the kale on a baking sheet and toss lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper, sprinkle with optional parmesan cheese if desired (I love it!).  (As much in a single layer as you can.)  You can also just add the cheese as soon as you remove the baking sheet from the oven if you’d like.

Bake the kale for 12 minutes.  Check to see if all the pieces are crispy.  Bake another 1-3 minutes if they are not all crispy.  Sometimes I remove the ones that are and leave the ones that just need another couple minutes.

Put the warm, crisp kale chips on a plate and try not to eat them all!  Healthy!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TWD—Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies—My Way

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Tuesdays With Dorie is here again.  I haven’t mentioned it for a while, but I’m really glad to be in this group making and baking so many yummy things, a lot of recipes I never would have tried.  There are some great recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking From My Home To Yours.  We’re actually coming down the home stretch here in the group having almost made every recipe in the book!  I think I’ll be sad when it’s over, but then maybe I’ll be able to pick back up on the French Fridays With Dorie group cooking and baking along with her latest book Around My French Table.

This week we baked up some Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies that were chosen by Spike from Spike Bakes.   Dorie mentioned that the cookies were thin and plain.  And by the title, we knew they were soft and cakey.  I didn’t really want thin soft (i.e. breakable) cookies.  So I made a few adjustments, mostly since I think some of my baking is affected by being in a higher altitude here in Utah.  I only baked 1/4 of the recipe and I changed the amount of flour and sugar (a little more flour and a little less sugar) so the cookies would be thicker.  I left out the spices and currants and I used a dark cocoa in the cookie dough.  I had in mind the type of cookies like whoopie pies.  I baked up the first sheet and was happy with the way they turned out!

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Making 1/4 of the recipe I got about 15 cookies.  With most of them, I made a quick filling and made sandwich cookies.  For the filling, I just stirred together some marshmallow creme and Nutella.  That was good stuff!  I also made one cookie with just Nutella  in the middle. 

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I’m glad I made these and I’m glad I only made a small amount of the recipe.  I tasted one of the sandwich cookies and they were good.  I quickly let the boys eat the rest of them!

DSCF5718 Taylor has decided to give origami a try.  We got him a book with a bunch of different fairly simple animals and things to fold into shape.  (Thanks for sending it, Mom!)  For a first attempt he we made a swan and a pig.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peaches and Cream Dessert

Peaches & Cream Dessert 6-6-11

I made this dessert a couple weeks ago when we had some family over.  I had seen this Peaches & Cream Dessert in a Taste of Home Simple & Delicious Magazine from June/July 2010 that I’d found in a stack of magazines I hadn’t looked at last year (when we moved).  I thought the dessert looked great and like something different from what we’d normally have—cookies, brownies—the usual.  I was also intrigued that the gelatin topping had lemon-lime soda in it.

I would have followed the recipe as written, but for one, that wouldn’t be like me now would it?  As well, I didn’t have some of the exact ingredients, but I knew I could modify those things and it would still work.  The recipe called for a pecan shortbread cookie crust and while that would be great, I’m sure, I used some graham crackers I had and made a graham cracker crust.  The recipe also called for peach gelatin and I didn’t have any, but I had some apricot gelatin and decided to use that.  In the gelatin, it was suggested that one cup of sugar be added to the gelatin as well as the can of soda.  I thought this was WAY too much sugar.  I didn’t want to veer too far from the recipe and have it not turn out well, so I did add about 1/2 cup sugar, but next time I make this, I will try it with no added sugar since gelatin and soda have PLENTY already.  Two other small changes were that I used canned peaches instead of fresh or frozen (this will be a great recipe to make again when peaches are in season) and I omitted some pineapple juice that the peaches were supposed to be tossed with.  The recipe I’ve linked above has a five star rating with all good reviews.  You can follow that recipe or here’s my adaptation.

Peaches and Cream Dessert, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

16 ounces graham crackers (about 2 1/2 to 3 sleeves)**

6 ounces butter,  (12 tablespoons or 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 package (3 oz.) apricot gelatin (or peach flavored)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 can (12 oz.) lemon-lime soda

1 package (8 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed (or 8 ounces whipped heavy cream)

1 can (1 lb. 13 oz.) peaches, drained (or use fresh peaches!, pitted, peeled and sliced)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process them until they are finely ground crumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse until all the crumbs are wet.  Dump the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking pan and spread evenly, pushing down evenly.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, gelatin and cornstarch.  Stir in the lemon-lime soda and whisk until smooth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, in the bowl of the food processor (just wipe it clean with paper towel), add the cream cheese and pulse until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and pulse again until smooth.  Scrape sides of bowl.  (You can also do this in a bowl.)  Scrape the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl.  Add the whipped topping and fold it in with a spatula until well combined.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust.  Line the cream cheese mixture with the drained peaches.  You will use almost the whole can, but not quite all of the peaches.  Pour the cooled gelatin mixture over the peaches to cover evenly. 

Cover the dessert and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.  Cut desired size slices and serve.

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**A couple of things to note, a couple of family members who tried this mentioned that the crust was a little too thick.  I like crust, so it didn’t bother me, but next time I make this, I will try it with just two sleeves of graham crackers, which is about 10 ounces, and I’ll use less butter as well.

Also, I really liked the flavor of the apricot gelatin, but do feel free to use the suggested peach flavor.  Lemon would probably also be good as well.  I was pleasantly surprised, but you can taste a bit of that lemon-lime fizzy soda flavor, which was kind of fun.  I think I’ll actually try this again with possibly some fresh raspberries and raspberry flavored gelatin—strawberries would be good, too.  The possibilities are endless here.  Have fun with summer desserts, besides my decision to set the crust a little by baking it (the original recipe does not have a baked crust), this is a no-bake dessert!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chock Full of Chocolate Chip Cookies--Sorry No TWD Today

Chock Full of CCC's 6-20-11

I spent last week out of town visiting my family in Idaho with the three youngest boys.  I didn’t get to make the chosen recipe (Date Nut Loaf Cake) for Tuesdays With Dorie.  But I do have some of the most fantastic chocolate chip cookies to share with you.  I almost feel like I’m moonlighting on my usual favorite chocolate chip cookies, but these Chock Full of Chocolate Chip Cookies are way, way up there with some of the best!

This recipe is adapted from Elinor Klivans’ chocolate chip cookie in her book, The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook.  She is not kidding when she says they are CHOCK FULL of chocolate chips—there are four cups of chips in the recipe.  I would even say there are more chips than cookie dough in these cookies.  They are heavenly.  They bake to the perfect thickness.  I made some small ones (probably less than an ounce each) and I made some the size Elinor suggested—three tablespoonfuls (pictured above).  The smaller ones are great for a crowd.  Well, who am I kidding, the bigger ones are, too!  The recipe makes at least 3 dozen smaller ones and probably only about 18 of the suggested size.  *Note that I used a different amount of flour and sugar than Elinor because of our higher altitude.  She uses 1 1/4 cups flour and 6 tablespoons granulated sugar.

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If you are any kind of a chocolate chip cookie fanatic like I am, you really should try these.  I adapted the recipe a little in hopes of them working for the higher altitude I’m at and they are just as I remember them from a few years ago.  Not long after starting my blog, over three years ago, I made these and threw a picture of them on a post I did about a bunch of different chocolate chip cookies I’d made.  I also put them in another post not long after that and made a great big cookie that I tried to have mimic a Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie.  While I would not compare the two now, I would rate them up there with Levain's Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie or my beloved New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie adaptation.

Chock Full of Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Elinor Klivans, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (110 grams)

1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups chocolate chips (24 ounces)—I used 12 oz. semi sweet and 12 oz. dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together.

Beat the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until well blended, 1-2 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well, 1-2 minutes. 

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop by desired size tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between each.  The small ones baked in about 11 minutes, the bigger ones baked for 14 minutes.  Remove sheet from oven and let cookies sit on baking sheet for about 5 minutes.  Then remove to wire rack to cool for as long as you can stand it until you just have to try one.  Store in an airtight container.

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 My parents were vendors at their local farmer’s market for 20 years.  They still are, but they just sold the house (and land) they had for 28 years and moved to a much, much smaller house and are not going to grow and sell produce anymore.  They still have a booth at the market though—they bake cookies—all kinds of cookies.  Great, big cookies.  Tried and true recipes that everyone loves.  And their booth has been renamed from Scott’s Produce & Things to Scott’s Cookie Jar.  My niece also started a booth at the market selling things she has crocheted.  She recently made my dad the cutest chef’s hat with a great, big chocolate chip cookie on it.  Of course, I told her I had to have one, too.  (You can, too, just let me know and she’ll make you one—for a small fee.  She crochets anything and everything!)

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There are two more tables full of cookies next to the one in the picture.  I brought last week’s TWD Chocolate Biscotti with me in hopes that my dad would eat them.  He loved them and said he’d have several people at the Cookie Jar asking if they ever made biscotti.  So my dad and I made three batches—the Chocolate Biscotti, the Lenox Almond Biscotti and some Cranberry Orange Vanilla Chip Biscotti.  (Except my dad accidentally put raisins in instead of cranberries and we decided not to put nuts in them—they are most often made with pistachios).  They all sold really well, but the chocolate biscotti were the biggest sellers.

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So good to see (and be with) my parents.  I don’t take pictures with them or of them often enough.  So here’s one with me and my mommy, too.

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Just so you don’t forget the chocolate chip cookies--- ;)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TWD—Chocolate Biscotti—Two Ways

This is going to be a short post. (Ha, we’ll see, I always say that, but just can’t seem do it. ;)  I’m taking the three youngest boys to Idaho tomorrow (Tuesday) for the rest of the week.  (Scott is away at scout camp and Kevin gets to stay home alone, since he’s teaching a summer course.)  Anyway, I have lots to do, so I plan to make this a quick one.

TWD--Biscotti 6-13-11

I made the biscotti, which was chosen by Jacque at Daisy Lane Cakes for TWD this week.  Jacque will have the recipe on her blog.  I made it just as written, except as always, I omitted the espresso powder.  I made the full batch, then divided the dough in half and added almonds and tart dried cherries to half and left the other half with just the extra chopped chocolate.  Both are very good. 

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How’s that for short and sweet?  I kept eating too many of theses.  I had to put them in the freezer.  For some reason, I tell myself that crunchy cookies like these have no fat/calories.  Whatever.  I know better.  Into the freezer they went.  Lurking.  I know they’re there. ;)

Here’s the “soldiers” all lined up.

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We’ll end today with a cute little picture of the doggy.  Awww.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars—The Secret Recipe Club

I had the chance this month to bake from Margaret’s blog, Tea and Scones for The Secret Recipe Club.  I chose to make these healthy treats, Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars (with a little chocolate drizzle—my addition).  The recipe is from Ellie Krieger from the Food Network and was part of one of the many baking groups Margaret belongs to. 

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These bars are good—anything from Ellie Krieger is, because it always tastes really good and is healthy!  I just ever so slightly changed the recipe.  After baking the bars, Ellie has you spread a little apricot preserves on the still warm bars.  I didn’t have any preserves, so I decided these needed a little something on top—so I drizzled them with a little melted dark chocolate (still healthy, right?!).  You can get the link for the recipe above, as I made them just as written except for the chocolate drizzle.  I actually left some of them without the drizzle since I’ll be heading out to see my parents in Idaho tomorrow for the week and I thought I’d take some of the bars to my mom, who doesn’t eat chocolate.

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Check out Margaret’s blog, Tea and Scones.  I don’t know how she keeps up with all the baking groups she’s in, but she rocks in that realm! ;)  Want to know more about The Secret Recipe Club and/or join in?  Check out Amanda's blog, Amanda's Cookin'.  She’s our fearless leader and has made it super simple to sign up!





Almond Joy Coconut Ice Cream (Dairy Free and Low Sugar)—The Secret Recipe Club

I think it’s crazy how FAST the months are flying by, especially when it comes to the new monthly Secret Recipe Club I’m cooking/baking/churning along with.  But here we are again!  I’ve got some delicious dairy free Almond Joy Coconut Ice Cream to share today. 

DSCF5497The blog I have this month is Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy.  I had not heard of Anne’s blog before, but that is one of the fun things about this group—getting to know new bloggers/blogs.  I had fun browsing through Anne’s blog to choose a recipe and finally chose Coconut Lime Mousse, which Anne also named “Heaven in a cup”.  Her mousse is made dairy free by using coconut milk and coconut juice along with a little raw sugar and lime zest and juice.  The mousse looks great and I’m sure I would like it as she made it, but for some reason every time I think of coconut, my mind always turns to joy first—Almond Joy.  AND—I don’t know why, but as I was making the mousse, I suddenly decided to freeze it in my ice cream maker and make ice cream.  I guess I just can’t help it.  Check out Anne’s recipe and her clever instruction for making coconut whipped cream!  I just might have to make more of this with the lime flavor—but I have a feeling I’ll still freeze it. ;)  Thanks, Anne—I love that this is healthier and very low in sugar.  I debated adding more sugar, but decided to just stick with the amount in the recipe and I’m glad I did because this was definitely sweet enough.  (I have a feeling the chocolate helped with that. ;)

Almond Joy Coconut Ice Cream (Dairy Free, Low Sugar), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/4 cup sugar (I used some Zulka pure cane sugar from Mexico), or use raw sugar or even granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1  1/2 cups coconut juice, (1 12 oz. can--I used Chaokon brand coconut juice with pulp

8 ounces (about 1/2 a can) of coconut milk whipped cream**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/8 cup mini chocolate chips or grated dark chocolate

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.  Gradually stir in the coconut juice and whisk constantly over medium heat until boiling.  Once boiling, continue and cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.  Put the mixture into a medium sized bowl.  Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set the bowl with the coconut mixture in the ice bath.  Stir every few minutes to begin cooling the mixture.  In the meantime, add the chilled skimmed coconut cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat it with the wire whisk attachment until it thickens like whipped cream, 3-5 minutes.  It will almost double in volume, but won’t be quite as thickened as heavy cream.

Gently fold the coconut whipped cream into the coconut mixture until well combined.  Chill in the ice bath until it feels very cold to the touch.  Pour mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.  This took 15-20 minutes.  Put the coconut ice cream into an airtight container and freezer for a few hours.  Once frozen, let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes.  Scoop into serving dishes and sprinkle on some shredded coconut, slivered almonds and grated dark chocolate.

**Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, this makes it so the cream thickens up on the top of the milk.  I chilled my can for a few days and almost 3/4 of the can of coconut milk was a thick cream that whipped up beautifully.  I scooped out about half the can to whip for this ice cream.

DSCF5469 The ingredients, minus the cornstarch, which missed the photo shoot.

DSCF5472 The chilled canned coconut milk (cream)

DSCF5476 The whipped coconut cream

Coconut Ice Cream (SRC) Dairy Free 6-8-11

  Coconut Ice Cream!

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With “the works”---Almond Joy Coconut Ice Cream!

Check out the rest of this month’s blog hop—this group is growing in numbers and this will continue to be fun, I’m sure!  If you’d like to join and have a yummy blog with lots of recipes to share, check out the details at Amanda's Cookin'.





Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Deep Fried Scones (Sopapillas)

Scones 5-30-11

I have become a lover of scones—the English ones, the little (or big!) biscuit like tea scones that seem to be all the rage, but my family has not embraced them.  Growing up and even still, in my house and family and surroundings, if you say scones, people think of deep fried scones (also known as sopapillas).  So easy to make, so much like a fresh donut without the hole and dangerously delicious.  So we made them for family night last week.  The boys (and Kevin!) really like fried food!  It is a rare occasion that I give in and fry them up something.

These are best (in my opinion) still warm with butter and a nice drizzle of honey.  They are also good with some cinnamon and sugar or a dusting of powdered sugar.  The boys devoured a few big ones each.  I will admit to possibly eating the one in the photo.    You can make them any size you’d like.  I believe these would work with any type of roll dough, cinnamon roll dough or most bread dough.  You take the desired amount (depending on what size you’d like them) of risen dough and flatten it out to between 1/2 and 1/4 inch thickness with your hands (no rolling pin needed).  Then you just fry it (a minute or two per side) and drain them on paper towels set on a cooling rack.  You can find recipes all over the internet and they are most often called sopapillas, but growing up we always called them scones.  I found a recipe on www.recipegoldmine.com for Granny Annie’s Deep-Fried Scones, which happens to be a local SLC family restaurant.  I decided to go with that recipe although I think when it was written up and posted on Recipe Goldmine, they must of halved part of the recipe and not other parts of it.  I didn’t realize it until I’d already started making it and ended up using over 10 cups of flour and having A LOT of dough!  I froze a bunch of it in golf ball sized amounts to use at a later time as well as made a pan of cinnamon rolls with part of the dough.  But we were definitely able to make plenty of fresh deep fried scones that night!  Here’s my adapted (and corrected) version of the recipe.

Deep Fried Scones, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (divided use)

1/2 cup warm water

1/2  teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup warm milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup warm water

4-5 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup warm water.  Let the mixture sit until bubbly (about 5 minutes).  Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, salt, egg, milk and oil.  With a wooden spoon, stir in flour a cup at a time, mixing after each addition.  Once the dough is not too sticky, but still soft and well kneaded together (this only takes a few minutes), cover it and let rise until double in size (about an hour). 

In a large, deep skillet (or a deep fryer), heat about 2 inches of canola oil to 375 degrees.  Pull off amount of dough for the size of scone desired and stretch it out to about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick.  (The thinner the better.)  Place the dough in the hot oil.  Deep fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on the first side and another minute or so on the other side.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels lining a cooling rack.  Serve warm with butter and honey, or cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar. 

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These are worth every calorie, carbohydrate and fat gram—occasionally. ;)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

TWD—Blueberry Brown Sugar Plain Cake

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This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe for Blueberry Brown Sugar Cake was chosen by Cindy of Everyday Insanity.  (Cindy will have the recipe on her blog.)

I don’t have the requested 11x7 inch pan, so I used a 9x9 inch square pan.  I liked the pan with foil.  I did not add the cinnamon that was option in the cake batter and I used skim milk instead of whole milk.  The only issue I had with really loving the cake was that the blueberries sand to the bottom, which I knew they probably would, since I heard others “complain” about it.  I tried sprinkling the blueberries with a little flour, but just as other mentioned they tried, the blueberries still made their way to the bottom of the cake.

I don’t really feel like whipping the egg whites to a firm peak really did much for the cake and could they be why the blueberries sank?  I don’t know, but just for the sake of blaming something, I’m blaming the egg whites.  ;)  The cake does taste fine, but with the blueberries on the bottom, it made the lower half kind of soggy.  I very much prefer (and love) the Blueberry Crumb Cake we made for TWD back in March 2009.  I’ve made it a few times since.  I love crumbs. ;)

I made this and two other desserts (that I will be sharing soon here!) and we had some family over to help eat them.

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Cosmic Brownies

These Cosmic Brownies are very similar to Little Debbie’s brand brownies and are super fudgy and rich.

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We had a family dinner on Sunday for our Memorial Day celebration.  A couple of Kevin’s sisters and their families and his parents all met at Cindy’s for dinner.  A couple of Kevin’s aunts (his mom’s sisters) were also visiting from Idaho, so it was fun to get together and see everyone.  I was on dessert duty (surprise!).  I made these Cosmic Brownies and to go along with those I also made Dorie’s Lots of Ways Banana Cake.

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This picture is from TWD, July 2010, I didn’t take pictures of the cake this time.

I was out of powdered sugar, so I just covered it with whipped cream.  It tasted great.  I also made these Blueberry Cream Cheese Oat Bars (still trying to deplete that freezer supply of blueberries). 

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This picture is from January 2011, I didn’t take pictures of the bars this time.

But back to the brownies.

I had recently seen these brownies at Amanda’s blog,  Fake Ginger and she saw them at Elle's New England Kitchen to which she adapted a recipe from Very Best Baking.  These brownies are super dense, rich and fudgy.  They are then frosted with a dark chocolate ganache and have colorful sprinkles on top.  They are quite similar to Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies.  If you like super fudgy brownies, you should try these.  I’ve just made them for the second time since Sunday.  I actually only took one little bite of  a piece Sam didn’t finish, but these disappeared quickly at the family dinner!

Cosmic Brownies, adapted from Very Best Baking and Elle and Amanda, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)

2/3 cup brown sugar (147 grams)

3/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons water

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1  1/3 cups all purpose flour (160 grams)

3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa (62 grams)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the ganache:

1/2 cup heavy cream

7 ounces semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate

pinch of salt

candy sprinkles, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick foil, or spray with cooking spray. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine melted butter, both sugars, and water with a whisk.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.   In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Stir the dry ingredients in with the wet until combined.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes—no more.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Once room temperature, chill in refrigerator for a few hours (or wrap well and store in freezer until needed).  Chilled or frozen/thawed brownies are the best in my opinion, but you CAN just frost them with the ganache once cooled and they are still good.

Remove the brownies from the fridge or freeze.  To make the ganache, in a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl, heat the cream until just barely starting to boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate that is waiting in a heat proof bowl.  Let it sit for a minute or two.  Add the pinch of salt and starting the the center of the bowl, begin slowly whisking and continue to whisk moving to the edges of the bowl.  Do not over whisk, just until the chocolate is all melted and incorporated with the cream.  You will have a beautifully smooth chocolate ganache.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes while the brownies are thawing a bit.  Spread the ganache evenly over the brownies.  Sprinkle with the candy sprinkles.  Do not wait too long to add the sprinkles if you are using previously frozen brownies as the ganache will start to harden quickly, still I was able to frost the whole thing before adding the sprinkles.

Once you’re ready to cut the brownies, remove them from the pan by lifting them out with the foil edges, peel the foil off the brownies and set them on a cutting board to cut into bars.

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We’ve been doing lots of yard work around here.  Even have photo proof of Kevin driving a tractor!  (It’s in one of my earlier posts.)  Last Saturday, we had even more helpers—Taylor and Sam gave working the tractor a try.  (Thanks, Uncle Warren!)

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All these strangely placed wooden posts have now been removed and we’re getting ready to fence our whole property so little Chip can go outside and play more than just on a leash!  Chip is almost 10 months old and we just checked his weight.  He’s almost 8 pounds!  I don’t think our little mini Aussie is going to get over 10 pounds.  Someone we know who as an Aussie also, told us that theirs is not a mini, but is really small at 40 pounds!  (That’s really big to us!  Sam only weighs 34 pounds.)

And finally—13 years ago today I had my first baby boy!  Happy Birthday, Scottie!  We love you!  Whew—are we ready for a teenager?  Ready or not—here we go!

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Ice Cream Recipe—Cookie Carnival

The “star of the show” today, even though it’s a Cookie Carnival post is this perfectly creamy Homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Ice Cream I made to go with the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches. 

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I’ve made it just under the gun for the May Cookie Carnival.  We had two recipes to choose from this month.  One was some strawberry rhubarb bars, which I know would have been good, but I just haven’t been able to get my hands on some rhubarb yet, so I made the Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches from Better Homes & Gardens.  The cookies are made with a pretty simple chocolate sugar cookie dough.

I’ve started getting into my homemade ice cream making mood lately, even though we’ve barely seen just a touch of spring around here.  I’m ready for some nice warm springtime weather.  I’m just sure if I keep making ice cream, summer will be here, right.

Cookie Carnival 5-31-11  

The recipe from Better Homes & Gardens is on the link above.  I made it exactly as written.  The cookies are okay and the recipe says to just use some store bought ice cream or yogurt.  I had some strawberries that needed to get used and after realizing I had three bricks of cream cheese in the fridge, I decided that I’d use one to make ice cream.  I Googled “strawberry cream cheese ice cream” and looked over many different recipes, then came up with this of which none that I’d found were like this.  Just like my recent Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, I pureed the fruit and strained it over a fine mesh sieve to make sure there were no pieces of fruit and to remove the strawberry seeds. 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Ice Cream, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 cups strawberries, washed and hulled (about 3/4 cup strawberry puree)

8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup skim milk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree until no chunks remain, about one minute.  Place a strainer over a medium sized bowl and pour the puree into the strainer.  Press it through with a spatula or spoon until all the remains in the strainer is seeds and any other pieces that may not have blended up enough.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sugar, lemon juice, salt and blend.  Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Slowly add the milk while the food processor is going.  Scrape the sides of the bowl again.  Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and fold in the cream, vanilla and strawberry puree. 

The mixture is already cold enough to immediately churn it in the ice cream maker, do so according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  This took about 25 minutes.  Remove the ice cream and put it in an airtight container to firm up in the freezer for a few hours.  (Though I love soft serve, so that’s acceptable, too.)

DSCF5349  This ice cream has a perfect amount of kick from the cream cheese and a great balance of strawberry flavor.  Give it a try!

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream 5-31-11 This month’s Cookie Carnival is being hosted by Krista from Meet the Swans.  She’ll be posting a round up for all the participants’ cookies soon!

Cookie Carnival