Mini Toasted Coconut Bundt Cakes

I couldn’t love spring more if I tried. I was the lucky one out of my siblings and I don’t have to worry about wheezing at the sight of the beautiful cherry trees in our front yard or getting itchy red eyes if the windows in my car are left open.  Typically, spring can also be a stressful time of year for me, but I didn’t have to take my end of year jury at MSM and I only have a few days left of school before I start my senior internship. It’s crazy how time flew by after all of my college acceptances!

DSC_2501I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but my mom runs a pretty cool website called The Weiser Kitchen, and now that I have time (???) it’s fun to test out her recipes once in awhile. These bundt cakes were given to me because the first time they didn’t turn out too well, but the addition of coconut oil and some RTTC magic, and presto, some delicious bundt cakes. Enjoy!

Mini Toasted Coconut Bundt Cakes: A TWK/RTTC Original

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups toasted coconut

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the coconut oil and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before the next addition. Add the vanilla paste (or vanilla extract).
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  3. Alternate adding the coconut milk and the flour mixture until just combined. Add the toasted coconut and fold in until just combined.
  4. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

We can put off the whole “get fit for summer trend” until next week, right? :)

-Rayna

Meyer Lemon Strawberry Muffins

Good morning! I hope that spring has treated everyone nicely so far. This past month has been very hectic, and it’s only bound to get busier now that concert season is starting up. Within the next 3 weeks, I have my senior recital, my final orchestra recital, my chamber recital (with my group at MSM), my final orchestra recital (at my high school), and plenty more that I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention here. I love the spring, but it doesn’t leave me much time to actually get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

This weekend was especially wonderful to me because it was my last gymnastics meet in the USAG program. At states at the end of March, I qualified to my 3rd consecutive regional team for CT and had the opportunity to compete in Boston this weekend. It was such a fun meet, and I still can’t believe that after all of the hours of work I’ve put in, that this weekend was the end of my competitive career. It was by no means an easy road, but I wouldn’t have traded my experience for the world. I love gymnastics, no matter how much beam and I don’t get along. :)

Even though I was in the heart of training for regionals and preparing for the endless recitals coming up, I wanted to make sure that you guys weren’t left in the dark, and made these lovely springtime muffins to share with you. I love meyer lemons, but since they aren’t available very often I try to make the best of it when they’re there. These muffins are a lovely, light way to start off your day, with the slight tartness of the lemons and the crunchy turbinado sugar on top adding wonderful texture to the otherwise soft muffins.

-1Meyer Lemon Strawberry Muffins: From My Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Zest and juice of one Meyer Lemon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) safflower or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped, fresh strawberries
  • Turbinado sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray 12 – 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch muffin cups. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, Meyer Lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  3. In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Gently fold in the berries. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.
  4. Fill each muffin cup almost full of batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Enjoy!

-Rayna

 

 

Sour Cream Bran Muffins

These past few weeks have been action packed, stressed beyond belief, seemingly endless waiting, but that time is over! I am so happy to say that this coming fall, I will be a Northwestern University Wildcat as a part of the class of 2018, majoring in Viola Performance. It’s such a relief knowing that all of my hard work has paid off these past few years, and after visiting and auditioning in January, I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else. And don’t worry, I’m already stocking up on purple and white merchandise!

-3One of the questions that I get the most after I mention that I run a baking blog is what do you do with all of the things you make? Well, while I do taste everything I make, it’s rare that I make something just because I want it. While I love a good muffin, these were not made for me- they were made with my aunt in mind. She’s a sucker for coconut, but recently asked me to make something healthier, and that’s where these muffins came in.

-5Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day, and if I am going to have a muffin, it better be one that can sustain me from 6:45 am until lunch, which can be upwards of 5 hours. These muffins are not the cakey kind, and filled with wheat bran and raisins, they’ll keep you going for awhile. I loved it toasted with a shmear of peanut butter, but I’m sure they’re good straight out of the oven. :)

Sour Cream Bran Muffins: From Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened or 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries, or other diced dried fruit
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup miller’s bran (available at natural foods stores, specialty foods shops, and some supermarkets)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter or oil and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (will be far less light or fluffy if oil is used), beat in the egg, the sour cream or yogurt, and the molasses, and stir in the raisins or other dried fruit.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, the cinnamon (optional) and the bran, add the mixture to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.)
  3. Spoon the batter into 12 well-buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

Enjoy!

Rayna :)

Apple Blackberry Crumble Bars

Good afternoon everyone!! I hope that your St. Patrick’s Day was filled with lots of green, clovers, and hopefully not too many green treats, because to be honest, those kind of scare me. Mine was pretty uneventful, but this coming weekend is going to be filled with lots of news. In the next few weeks, I’m going to be receiving all of my college notifications, which is a little bit stressful to say the least. But, the only thing that I can do at this point is wait, and to help you wait too, I made you something that isn’t green!

-4My last ever state gymnastics meet is this coming weekend. I’m still having a hard time thinking about that, but I knew that this day would come eventually. I’ve been at my gym for 7 years, and it’s sad to think that this is the last time that I’ll be able to wear my leotard and warmups. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to a sport that I’ve spent so much of my life participating in, but I’m hoping that wherever I go I will be able to compete on a club team or even train at a gym recreationally.

-1I always seem to end up with tons of apples at my house. I love to eat them as a healthy after school or gymnastics snack, but there are some weeks where there seems to be an endless supply of apples in our kitchen. I’ve made so many apple desserts that are just so similar, and I wanted something a little different. These crumb bars are a mixture of a buttery shortbread crust, cinnamony apples, and a slightly tart layer of all natural blackberry preserves. While you can use whatever you would like, I love the mixture between these 2 and would highly recommend it.

Apple Blackberry Crumble Bars- From Annie’s Eats

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling:

  • 4 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and coarsely diced
  • 5 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fruit jam (I used peach)

For the topping:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

  1. To prepare the filling, in a large skillet combine the apples, sugar, and cinnamon.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until apples are tender but still firm.  In a small cup, whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice.  Add to the apple mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.  Line an 8×8” baking dish with foil, leaving overhang on both sides for easy removal later.  Grease foil.
  3. To make the base, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt.  Mix well.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, two forks or your hands, until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven.  Spread the fruit jam evenly on the base while it is still hot.  Top with the cooked apple mixture.
  4. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the topping.  Mix well until combined and crumbly.  Sprinkle over the apple layer.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Using the foil, lift out of pan.  Cut into squares and serve.  (If desired, refrigerate before cutting to firm up a bit for easier slicing.)

Enjoy!

-Rayna :)

 

Spelt Pancakes

Hi again! I hope someone is still reading this, seeing that I’ve been gone for over a month! I apologize for my absence, I’ve been flying and driving all over the country going to college auditions these past few weeks, and in the last week alone I was in 6 different states, just so I could attend a 10 minute audition with an occasional theory placement test.

Obviously, most of my time these days is devoted to traveling and practicing for seemingly endless auditions and concerts, but one concert that I’m especially excited for is coming up tomorrow night. When I play chamber music, I typically play in either a string quartet or the occasional piano quintet, but tomorrow, my quartet coach invited my quartet to play the incredible String Octet by Felix Mendelssohn tomorrow night. It’s a piece that you’ll find at most sight-reading events, but since it’s not only challenging to get 8 players together for rehearsals but quite difficult music as well, I’m treasuring the fact that I am able to play this magnificent work at only 17.

On a completely different note (music puns…) these pancakes were fantastic. Despite the fact that I run a blog devoted to carbs and sugar, I try to eat on the healthier side, and these pancakes accomplish just that. The spelt flour may be tricky to find, but I promise, it tastes so much better than just using regular whole wheat or all purpose. If you’re looking for a way to keep up the Sunday morning pancake tradition without rolling out of the kitchen, or just want an awesome pancake recipe, these are for you!

-1

 

Spelt Pancakes: From King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (7 ounces) whole spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) milk
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, sugar and baking powder. Combine the milk and melted butter, and the vanilla if you’re using it.
  2. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened: it will seem very wet, but will thicken as it sits. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes before you use it.
  3. Heat a non-stick griddle if you have one, or a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. If your surface is not non-stick, brush it lightly with vegetable oil.
  4. When the surface of your pan is hot enough that a drop of water sputters across the surface, give the pan a quick swipe with a paper towel to eliminate excess oil, and spoon the batter onto the hot surface, 1/4-cupful at a time.
  5. Let the pancakes cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cakes, about 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to adjust your heat up or down to get the pancakes to cook through without scorching the surface, or being too pale.
  6. When the cakes are just beginning to set, flip them and let them finish cooking on the second side, about 1 minute more, until they’re golden brown on both sides.

I promise more recipes will be coming soon!

-Rayna

Ozark Pudding Cake

Happy extremely belated New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I’ve been too busy for words between midterms, trying to figure out travel arrangements for auditions, and practicing lots and lots. But, I finished my last midterm today, and now comes a much deserved 5 day weekend after a long first semester. I can’t wait for my last semester of high school!

While I love making things that I can whip up with the ingredients that I have, my favorite thing to do is to look up recipes and then being able to create something with more than just peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Now I don’t mean having to ship stuff halfway across the world, but using what’s local and in season is one of my goals, which is why I love summer baking so much- lots of produce, lots of in season baking. Winter baking is a little harder, but I think this cake hits the nail on the head. (or, takes the cake :)

I have made a pudding cake in the past, but this one is a little bit different. It has the moistness almost like a clafoutis or a dutch baby, but stays together like a cake. The pears add a nice sweetness while the almonds create a great textural contrast to the otherwise soft cake. I would recommend adding the dried cranberries, but it’s up to you! Oh winter baking, how I love you…

-1Ozark Pudding Cake: From Vintage Cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe but firm pears, peeled, quartered, and cored
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced natural almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) dried cranberries, optional

Directions

  1. Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 11 x 7 baking dish (a square pan will work too). Finely chop one of the pears and thinly slice the other. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt into a bowl.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the buter and sugar together on medium speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and blend on medium-high speed until fluffy, around 5 minutes, Scrape down the bowl occasionally as needed. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture all at once. Mix until just blended, the batter will be stiff.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped pear (set aside the sliced pears for the top), half the almonds and cranberries and stir until just blended. Dump the batter into the prepared dish and spread it in an even layer. Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining almonds and the remaining teaspoon of sugar.
  4. Place the skillet in the middle of the oven and bake until the cake is golden in color and the center springs back when lightly touched, 38-40 minutes. Enjoy!

A quick cake to brighten up the dull and dreary winter. :)

-Rayna

 

 

 

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, everyone! I wish that all of you were able to spend lots of time with family and friends, and of course enjoyed lots of delicious food. I have had a very relaxing break so far, mostly involving sleep and organizing myself before I have to go back to the hectic schedule I have once school starts up again.

One thing that I have been very grateful to be able to do over these past few weeks is really explore what New York has to offer in terms of classical music, namely going to lots of concerts. Some of my favorite things that I’ve seen this year include Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and most recently, the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. It’s hard to find time mainly because I’m the only one in my family that thinks it’s really fun to watch an opera for 3 and a half hours, but between birthdays and the holiday season, I’ve made it work.

While I don’t get sucked up into the holiday cookie craze too much (this is when gymnastics season starts, after all), I still love to make a nice treat for my family and others to enjoy this time of year, and one of my favorites is biscotti. Between the endless thumbprint cookies, crinkle cookies, gingerbread, etc., I like to make something that isn’t cloyingly sweet and is easy to enjoy in the morning, afternoon, or as a sweet treat after dinner that won’t give you more calories than you can count.

Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti- Adapted from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 7.48 ounces (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (1 1/8 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1.83 ounces (1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups toasted walnut pieces
  • 4.59 ounces (3/4 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg for egg wash

Directions

  1. Position one rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar for 1 minute or until a sandy mixture forms. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy and lighter in color, about 1 minute more.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and whisk together. Add to the butter and egg mixture in 2 additions, and mix only until combined.
  4. Fold the walnuts and the chocolate chips into the dough, and mix until evenly distributed. The dough will be thick and hard to stir. If it is too sticky, chill briefly.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, about 16 oz. each. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a log about 2 inches wide by 14 inches long by 1 1/2 inches high. Place the logs on the prepared sheet pan with several inches between them.
  6. In a small bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush each log with egg wash, coating them evenly on the top and sides.
  7. Bake for 27 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet from front to back halfway through baking, until very lightly browned and somewhat firm. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  8. Cool the logs for 20 minutes, then place them onto a cutting board. With a serrated knife, slice each log on a slight angle into 3/4-inch thick pieces, keeping them in a row. Slide the row of biscotti together, lift and place back onto the cookie sheet, then separate the slices, leaving 1/2 inch of space between each one.
  9. Bake again for 9-12 minutes, rotating once during baking until the biscotti feel slightly firm.
  10. Enjoy!

Enjoy the rest of the holiday season!

-Rayna

 

Cashew Butter Grapenut Cookies

I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more exhausted. While some people say this time of year is the holiday season, I consider it the concert season. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had about 4 recitals, and these coming weeks are only bringing more along. Something I’m excited for in the middle of the madness is the concert that I’m playing this Saturday. It’s not your typical setting, because instead of my chamber group performing by itself, we get the opportunity to accompany a local ballet studio in their upcoming production. They don’t do the Nutcracker like most studios, but instead perform a piece called “La Boutique Fantastique.” It’s a different experience trying to match to dancers, and it’s a nice change of pace from the usual quartet setting.

Although I haven’t talked about it much on RTTC, I’m still going to gymnastics as much as I can between seemingly endless amounts of chamber group rehearsals. I’m competing level 8 again this year because I wanted this year to be fun, not filled with competition stress. And, since I typically can’t stay for a full practice because of rehearsals, it’s better for me mentally that I don’t have to worry about lots of new skills. Anyway, our first meet is next weekend and I’m pretty excited. I wouldn’t have been able to stay in the sport for all of these years unless I loved it, and the adrenaline and excitement that comes from competing is something I can’t get anywhere else.

Now that I’ve bored you enough talking about my various life adventures, let’s get to the real reason why you came here- cookies. As much as I love reading copious amounts of food blogs and finding interesting recipes to try, I can’t help but get creative in the kitchen. I had originally wanted to whip up something quick, simple, and delicious: a peanut butter cookie. But, after looking in my cabinet and seeing cashew butter shining in the front row, I knew that I couldn’t go back to plain ol’ peanut butter. Then, as I was making the dough, I thought, why not add some texture to these? I couldn’t find the cashews, so the next logical solution was clearly to go for the good-for-you, whole grain goodness that is Grapenuts. They add such a nice heartiness and crunch to these cookies that I just love. Besides, it’s an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast- obviously something I have never done before. :)

rayna's grapenut breakfast cookie

Cashew Butter Grape Nut Cookies: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter or vegan butter substitute

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 3/4 cup smooth cashew butter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup grape nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2.  Beat together the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and cashew butter until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the cashew-butter mixture, beating gently until everything is well combined. It may take awhile for this rather dry dough to come together; and when it does, it’ll be quite stiff. Only if necessary, drizzle in enough water to make the dough cohesive. Mix in grape nuts until just combined.
  4. Drop the cookie dough by tablepoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here), leaving 2″ between them.

The holidays are coming- better get baking!

-Rayna

Pumpkin Biscuits with Candied Ginger

You know the saying where you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone? That is exactly what I am going through right now with food blogging. My time to do anything has been zapped away by seemingly endless amounts of rehearsals and practices and I have neglected giving you guys any recipes for the holidays coming up this Thursday (Thanksgiving and Hannukah, of course!). I barely have any time to finish my homework by the time I get home (around 9) on a daily basis, and my free period at school is used to finish homework so I’m not up until all hours of the night.

As someone who avidly follows food blogs, has a mom that’s a chef, and (occasionally) posts on her own blog, you would think that I love Thanksgiving. News flash: I really don’t. There is not much about the holiday that appeals to me: I have to have a long dragged out dinner with food that I don’t really like, and I have to pretend that I like it all while trying not to explode from the amount of food I was forced to take. The only good thing about Thanksgiving as far as I’m concerned is not having school, because everyone likes a day to sleep in.

The only thing about Thanksgiving that I like is the extensive amount of bread and baked goods, mostly because I get to make most of them. The pumpkin in these isn’t overpowering, which is nice because you know that you’ll be eating pumpkin pie later. Instead, it is the sweet and tangy candied ginger that provides a flavor pop in these otherwise mellow biscuits. Enjoy!

-1

Pumpkin Biscuits with Candied Ginger: Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree (not pre-spiced pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 T. honey
  • 2 T. chopped candied ginger

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine buttermilk, pumpkin, and honey in a medium bowl. Whisk until well blended and then add to the chilled flour mixture. Stir just until moist.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly just a few times. Roll dough into a 1/2” thick 9” x 5” rectangle and dust top of dough with flour. Fold the dough crosswise into thirds, as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope. Roll the dough again into a 1/2” thick 9” x 5” rectangle and dust the top with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds again and gently roll or pat to a 3/4” thickness. This process helps to make your biscuits tall, with a layered textured. Using a 2-1/2” biscuit cutter, cut dough into 10 rounds. Place dough rounds 1” apart on your prepared baking sheet. Lightly press some candied ginger into the top of each round. Bake for 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack for a couple minutes. Serve warm.

Happy Holidays!

-Rayna :)

 

Chewy Butterfinger Blondies

Chewy Butterfinger Blondies

Happy Halloween! I hope your day is filled with many chocolates, sugar comas, and of course fantastic costumes. I know pumpkin is all the rage for Halloween, but I figured a recipe that will help you get rid of all of that candy you’re going to collect tonight would be pretty helpful too. While this could work with a variety of candies, I like how the crumbly texture of the Butterfinger works with the chewy blondie.

-3

I don’t really care about Halloween very much. There. I said it. I don’t understand the allure of spending money on a ridiculous costume you are going to wear once as you walk around freezing outside knocking on strangers’ doors asking for candy, just so you can go home and eat so much that you get sick. Fun? No, not to me. I stopped trick-or-treating when I was in sixth grade, which was the year that I started to take gymnastics seriously, and I wasn’t going to miss practice to go walking around outside.

-1

Just because I don’t like Halloween doesn’t mean I don’t like candy though! Butterfingers are one of my favorites with their chocolate outside and uniquely textured inside, so I grabbed a blondie from Warm Vanilla Sugar and got going. The end result was a chewy, nutty and butterfinger-y treat to help me celebrate Halloween. These are just too simple not to whip up!

Chewy Butterfinger Blondies

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2¼ cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 regular-sized butterfinger candy bars, crushed

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture and 1 cup of crushed butterfingers.
  3. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining crushed butterfinger bars over top of batter.
  4. Bake 30- 35 minutes, or until the bars are a bit firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Happy Halloween!