Monday, December 3, 2012

Lemon Sunbursts

I went on a baking spree this weekend. I needed a distraction, since my poor baby of a computer underwent a face-lift and consequently lost internet connection. Have you ever tried not going on the internet? It's almost impossible! And I was going out of my mind. So I decided to bake. And watch Casablanca. Of course, right? What goes better with old movies than lemon?

Lemon Sunbursts
from Pilsbury

For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup margarine/butter, softened

For the Filling:
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice

For the Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Now, in a large bowl, mix together all the crust ingredients. They'll be pretty crumbly, which is perfect!

Now you'll press that into an un-greased 9 by 13 pan, like so:

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top starts to turn a lovely golden color. Don't over-bake though! You'll have to put it back in the oven later.

While that's cookin', start on the filling. Mix all the filling ingredients except the lemon juice.

Once it's nice and well-blended, add the lemon juice.

Now, pour that on top of the still-warm crust and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. The top will be a nice golden brown.

Let it cool for about an hour before frosting. To make the frosting, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together and pour it over the cooled lemon bars.

Cut them into bars and try not to eat all of them in one sitting! (Trust me, it's hard! My willpower almost wasn't strong enough!) Hope you had a great weekend! Only 22 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful for Cranberry Crumble

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish? Dessert? How about breakfast? If you're anything like me, you probably don't really think about breakfast on Thanksgiving day. There's always already an overwhelming amount of food to prepare and (my favorite part!) eat! But maybe you could get the holiday ball rolling a few days early with some mighty scrumptious muffins! Of course, you need some festive cupcake liners, too!

So, in the spirit of thanksgiving, I want to count my blessings. It's hard sometimes, not having a job so close to the holidays. Sometimes, you need a distraction. I'm so thankful for school. It worked out somehow this semester, and it seems like blue skies all the way! I'm thankful for great friends who are willing to drive out of  their way to have brunch with me and the hubby. I'm grateful for our two kitties and our fish. I'm thankful I married into a big family, so holidays are always bustling and full of great food! And one big one: I'm so blessed that this year, I'm not in charge of the turkey! So here's some Thanksgiving breakfast for you to snack on while you're waiting for the feasting to commence!

Cranberry Crumble Muffins

For the Crumble Topping:

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

12 cups old-fashioned oats

2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the Muffins:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 cups milk

2 eggs

2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sugar and butter together until smooth.

Mix in the oats and cinnamon and refrigerate.

In a small pan, over medium heat, melt the butter.

Set it aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl, blend together the milk, egg and melted butter until smooth.

Add the cranberries to the mix.

Gently add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full with batter.

Okay, so that's a little more than 3/4 full... but no complaints here!

Now, top each muffin with the crumb topping.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You can check for done-ness by poking the muffins with a toothpick. This will make 24 yummy muffins.

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment! Happy turkey day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skinny Minnie Brownies

I know this is a long time coming. I caught a cold. Dang it, right? I was put on kitchen restraint. Only soup and tea for two weeks. It was awful! I was so sad. And sniffly.

Anyways, on a completely different note, I found a gem of a recipe this week! Are you ready to have your socks knocked off by something healthy? Not a typo, I promise. Brownies your diet can feel good about! Are you as shocked as I was? No butter, no oil, no flour! What? How is that even possible?? Read on, lovelies, read on.

Skinny Minnie Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
from Sally's Baking Addiction

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 oz. low fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

You can even make things healthier by subbing out the eggs for Egg Beaters, almond milk, and fat-free yogurt! Diet-friendly to the max!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8 by 8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set it aside.

Place all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter into a blender. I do love recipes like this, recipes that are easier done than said. Make sure you put the liquid-y stuff in first. It'll be easier to blend.

Now, blend until the oats are all ground up and the whole thing is all smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter into your 8 by 8 pan.

Microwave the peanut butter for about 30 to 45 seconds, so that the peanut butter is a little bit liquid-y.

Drop the melted peanut butter by the spoonful on top of the batter. Swirl it around with a butter knife, but don't mix it too much! You want to make it look marbled.

Bake the brownies for about 20 to 25 minutes. The brownies should separate from the sides of the pan a little.

These babies will be ULTRA FUDGY! So let them cool completely before you dig in. If you're impatient, you can pop them in the fridge to speed up the process (highly recommended!) and then eat one or even two! Trust me, they're worth it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cinnamon, The Remix

This is a little late in coming, I know, but I've been super busy. Which is weird, since, you know, I'm unemployed now and should theoretically have a lot of time on my hands. But hey, at least I'm not bored! Now, I like to sometimes send Sambo to work with goodies for his co-workers, if you didn't already know. A while ago, I attempted (and pulled off!!) the most delicious cinnamon rolls ever, which were a hit with all his co-workers. I sure do love cinnamon. And giving people yummy trreats! So now, I'm bringin' cinnamon back in muffin form! (Which were gobbled up in less than a minute, so that should tell you how freaking amazing they were!)

Simply Sinful Cinnamon Muffins
from King Arthur Flour

For the Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup diced pecans
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup All-Purpose flour
3 tablespoons soft butter

For the Filling
3 to 4 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

For the Batter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup cinnamon chips or butterscotch chips (Go with cinnamon. Just trust me.)

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake papers, or grease it lightly. But why grease when you can use adorable cupcake liners? Like this one:

Prepare the topping and set it aside. Maybe take a teeny tiny sample... for um, quality control. Yeah, that's it...

Prepare the filling. It should have a soft, pudding-like consistency. Set it aside.

It smells soooooooooo good! :D

Now stop! It's batter time! (Sorry, that was cheesy...) In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, and eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add the dry mixture to the liquid, stirring just until combined.

Now fold in those heaven-sent cinnamon chips. I'm not exaggerating. They seriously are that delicious.

Divide half the batter evenly among the muffin cups. This is actually a long process from start to finish. I think I went through two whole episodes of Vampire Diaries. That Damon. Mmm...

Dollop 2 teaspoons cinnamon filling onto each muffin, and spread it around to cover all of the batter.

Now, go ahead and top that with the remaining batter.

Sprinkle all of that with topping, pressing it in just slightly. I wasn't kidding about it being so time-intensive!

Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown.

Remove them from the oven, and wait 5 minutes before transferring them from the pan to a rack to cool. They'll be nice and puffy and sooooo gooooood!

This will make 12 muffins.

If you want my advice, double this recipe!!!!!!! The muffins Sam took to work were vacuumed up in like, 10 seconds. And the cinnamon chips? They make these little breakfast delights that much better!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Halloween Is Here!

This is my favorite time of year! I love all the spooky decorations, the costumes, and of course, the Halloween candy. I would decorate our house to the nines with skulls and pumpkins if my husband would let me, but alas, he doesn't get as into the spirit of the season like I do. And we don't really have that many decorations just yet. We will though. Just wait. Now, I was feeling rather festive today, seeing Jack Skellington in someone's front yard and going through Halloween Town at Disneyland yesterday, so I wanted to make a tasty treat to reflect my holiday cheer! What's the most recognized fall candy? Candy Corn! So I decided to whip up something wickedly sweet and only a little bit spooky to celebrate the coming of my favorite holiday.

Candy Corn Cookie Bark
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

14 whole Oreos (use Halloween-orange Oreos if you can find them! More festive.)
1 1/2 cups pretzels, any shape
16 ounces white chocolate chips
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup candy corn
Halloween sprinkles

Step one, cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.

Break up the cookies and the pretzels.

Spread the cookies, pretzels, and 3/4 of  the candy corn on the cookie sheet.

Already so festive!

Place the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 20-second intervals, adding a smidgen (yes, smidgen. Technical term.) of oil to make it spreadable. Do the same for the chocolate as well.

Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with spatula if needed to coat evenly. It may seem like it's not enough but just try to spread it evenly.

Sprinkle the remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the chocolate mix while it's still melted.

Place the cookie tray in the refrigerator until nice and firm.

Remove and gently break bark into pretty small pieces because it's really rich.

Nom nom nom!

The only place suitable for storing such a delectable treat is a candy corn pot!

Happy Halloween! And enjoy!