Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Really, really, really good-looking.......cookies

This was a new recipe I tried from Melodysoul on Tasty Kitchen. The reason I love them so much is their resemblance to actual brownies, which the name obviously implies, but usually tends to leave me a little skeptical.....some recipe names just don't live up to their potential, you know? Well, these totally hit the bullseye!

My favorite brownies are the perfect mix of chewy, cakey, fudgy, AND the great crispy edges. The best part of the brownie, for me, is the corner. We know this in my house. Sometimes I'll make brownies and later walk by the pan to see the sides and middle brownies gone--eaten by the other inhabitants of my house--and the corners left intact, either because they love me so much, or because they fear me......I don't know which. If the entire pan could bake up like the corner we will have achieved nirvana!

I know you can get crazy pans to maximize corner-goodness, but really--I like kitchen gadgets, not gimmicks. And besides, it costs $20 on the 'as seen on TV' aisle at The Walmarts and you only get like, 8 brownies....not near enough!!

These cookies, however, had all the essentials of the perfect brownie! Chewy, cakey, and fudgy on the inside, and crispy-chewy like the corner on the entire outside!! And they bake up so pretty! I love it when all the cookies come out the same feeds a need for order that I am unable to achieve in other areas of my life.

The dough is very thin (for a cookie...) until it is chilled. I baked one pan after about two hours of refrigeration, and baked a minute or two less, and they were good. I let the dough sit overnight before baking the rest of the dough and then I used a medium cookie scoop and baked them for 11 minutes. A lot of dough loses integrity after sitting for a day, but this dough improved! Let them sit on the pan for a couple of minutes before moving to a rack. The only change I made to the recipe was to QUADRUPLE it the second time I made it. That's how much I loved them.

Brownie Cookies

¼ cups Butter

1-½ cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

¾ cups Sugar

3 whole Eggs

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup All-purpose Flour

¼ teaspoons Baking Powder

¼ teaspoons Salt

In a saucepan, or in the microwave, gently melt butter and chocolate chips until the butter is melted and chocolate begins to melt. Remove from heat and stir until all the chocolate has melted completely.

In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until they’re thoroughly combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or until manageable.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a tablespoon or mini ice cream scoop, drop cookie dough onto baking sheets, leaving a couple of inches of space in between each cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes.

From Melodysoul on Tasty Kitchen

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Got Rum?

I love looking at pictures of food. It's slightly embarrassing how much time I can spend doing it if I'm not careful. It's just that looking at other peoples food inspires me. It's almost as good as eating it! There is so much beautiful food out there! I'm always checking up on Tasty Kitchen and filling my recipe box with all sorts of delicious possibilities. Looking at the featured recipes is one of the online highlights of my day! Always really good stuff there.

Every few days or so, five recipes are chosen by one of the administrators and are placed in the featured recipe section. I am not going to lie. I really wanted a recipe of mine featured on TastyKitchen. I've been really picky about the recipes I've submitted so far. I don't want to just put stuff in my box. I want to make sure that my box is full of the most delicious, most beautiful food I make. Stuff my family and friends really, really like. So I posted the yummiest cake I know. And look what happened on Friday:

(click on the picture to make it bigger)

I screamed out loud a little when I opened TK last night! I was so excited! It's even in the #1 spot so it's the first thing people see when they go to Tasty Kitchen! Go check it out for yourself--I don't know how long it will be there before it's replaced with other yummy recipes, which is, after all, the entire point, so hurry along!!

This cake has become one of my favorite cakes to make and serve. If you are a rum fan, a banana fan, a chocolate fan or a rumbananachocolate lover, you should definitely try this! It uses a mix as a base, adding things to make it extra moist and from-scratch tasting, so it's super easy, and then it has the yummiest cream cheese frosting in the middle.

The ganache is very simple, but it's the banana filling that makes it crazy delicious! You literally cannot take brown sugar and butter, melt it together in a pan, and come up with a bad result! (unless of course you walk away to attend to one of the fifty-seven other things pulling you in all directions and come pack to a burnt caramel pancake.....don't do that.)

Add rum to said butter-brown sugar bath and man, oh man!! Even if you don't particularly like bananas, their flavor is subtle enough that it only rounds out the rum mixture instead of overpowering it.

Bake the cake layers in three 8 or 9 inch pans. If you only have two pans, set one third of the batter in the fridge and wash your pan before re-using, then bake the last layer. Let cool.

Spread one half (not counting the reserved 1/3 cup) of cream cheese frosting on bottom layer.

Cover with one half of banana filling over cream cheese. Spread to within 1/2 inch of edge of cake.

Repeat with remaining layer and fillings. Top with last layer.

Cover with the ganache. Ganache is angel food. Chocolate nectar. The spread that gets in my head........
(it's good)

You will never want to use frosting in a tub ever again. Unless you are making Lunchlady Peanutbutter Fingers. Then you have to. It's the law.

Drizzle with the reserved cream cheese frosting using a #3 or 4 piping tip in a decorating bag

Now stand back and give a little cheer for yourself because you just made one seriously yummy cake!!

Chocolate Bananas Foster Cake
  • ⅔ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cups Bananas--ripe And Chopped Fine
  • ¾ teaspoons Rum Extract
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon--heaping
  • _____
  • 1 package Cake Mix-chocolate Or Devil's Food-18 Oz. (no Pudding In Mix)
  • 1 package Instant Pudding--3.9 Oz.--chocolate Or Vanilla
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • ½ cups Vegetable Oil
  • ½ cups Water
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • _____
  • 1 cup Cream
  • 12 ounces, weight Semisweet Chocolate
  • _____
  • 1 package Cream Cheese (8 Oz. Softened)
  • 1 cube Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 5 ounces, weight Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla

For the filling: In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and the butter. Cook on medium heat, stirring, until butter is melted and ingredients are well incorporated. Add the chopped bananas, rum extract, and cinnamon. Cook 5 more minutes on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.

For the cake: In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, and water. Mix on medium speed until well blended (batter will be thick). Pour equally between three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. (I use a parchment circle in the bottom of each pan. Sprinkle each layer with 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For the ganache: Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just barely boiling. Remove from heat and add 12 ounces semisweet chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cover and set aside to cool.

For the frosting: Cream together the softened cream cheese and the softened butter. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat well. Frosting will be quite soft. Reserve 1/3 cup and set aside.

For the assembly: Place one cake layer on your serving platter or cake round. Spread half of the remaining (non-reserved) cream cheese frosting on top of this layer. Spread half of the cooled banana mixture on top of that to within 1/2 inch of the sides of the cake. Top with the second cake layer. Spread with remaining (non-reserved) cream cheese frosting and top with remaining banana mixture. Top with the last cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the third layer with the chocolate ganache. Garnish with the reserved cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Once it is set, serve it! Refrigerate leftover cake.

**You can use 8-inch cake pans. Just adjust baking time if needed. If you only have two pans, refrigerate one third of the batter while first two layers bake. Bake last third in a cleaned and greased pan.

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