Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cow Plops


Ingredients:
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
4 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Step one: preheat oven to 320F degrees. Put the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Then, line (preferably rimmed) baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step two: make sure your pecans have cooled a bit, then chop coarsely and set aside. Sift together the confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir in the nuts, then add the egg whites and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Step three: spoon the batter onto the prepared sheets in mounds of about 1 to 2 tablespoons each, allowing for PLENTY of room between cookies: these cookies really expand. Put about 6 cookies on each sheet, and try to avoid placing the batter too close to the edge of the pan.

Step four: bake until they puff up. The tops should get glossy, and then crack a bit - about 12 -15 minutes. Have faith, these cookies really do surprise you.  At first, they look like runny poop, then they really blossom and look appetizing.

Step five: slide the cookies still on parchment onto a cooling rack, and let them cool completely. They will keep in an airtight for a couple days. This recipe makes about 18 LARGE cookies.

Rebel Baker's Note:  I made these cookies for the V-Day bake sale at my law school.  V-Day is a global movement and series of consciousness-raising events to end violence against girls and women through public performances, education, and networking.  I'm on the fundraising committee and will be hosting an event featuring the band The Nightlife on March 25th at Tess's Lark Tavern in Albany, NY.  So please come!!!

NOTE: This recipe is from 101 Cookbooks; originally entitled "Chocolate Puddle Cookies" but I thought they looked more like Cow Plops.  101 Cookbooks is an amazing cooking/baking website that I highly suggest you take a gander at.  I substituted some organic ingredients they used for some Ghetto Chopper buys and I used pecans instead of walnuts...  Also, I used wax paper. Which is NOT a good idea because the cookies tended to stick to the paper and it was super hard to get them off of it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chocolate Pecan Cookies (a.k.a. Nutty Coco-Balls)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 (maybe a bit more if needed) cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup (or more) chocolate chips
1/4 to 1/2 cup crushed pecans

Step one: preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.

Step two:  place all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together.

Step three: in a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Gradually mix in the dry stuff.

Step four: place tablespoonfuls of the mixture on to the cookie sheets, spacing them well apart to allow for spreading during cooking.

Step five: bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.

Step six: using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. This recipe makes about 25 to 30 cookies.

Rebel Baker's Note: these are yummy. Try to keep them away from your siblings.

Sugar & Spice Valentines Day Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Step one: sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

Step two: place butter, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg in large bowl and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. 

Step three: gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Step four: ADD FOOD COLORING: if you want different colors, you have to dived the dough first and then add the colors. We did pink, purple, and white -- so we divided the dough into three equal parts.  For the white, we added no food coloring; for the pink, we added about ten drops of red; for the purple we added 5 drops red and about five drops blue (and then guesstimated from there).

Step five: wrap the dough in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Step six: preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Step seven: sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking (if dough has warmed during rolling and cutting, place it back in the fridge while you work with the other dough). 

Step eight: cut rolled out dough into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges. 

Step nine: let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. 

Step 10: serve and enjoy!! 

Rebel Baker's Note: Nicole and I baked these Valentines Day cookies as presents for our friends.  Nicole was going to Burlington, VT for the weekend to visit her best friends from college and I was headed to Brooklyn, NY to visit Leslie.  I also made a special cookie for my Valentine (the be mine one -- awww).  All in all, these were fun to make and pretty cute to look at -- not too shabby tasting either (note: the nutmeg and vanilla give these sugar cookies some pizazz).  Happy Valentines Day everybody!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mini Pizzas by Nicole!

 
Ingredients:
  • English Muffins
  • Olive Oil
  • Pizza Sauce (with spices like garlic or rosemary)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
Step one: Cut the English Muffins in half.  Place on aluminum foil on your oven racks. Put olive oil on them. (Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees).


Step two: Put the pizza sauce on top.

Step three: Cover with Mozzarella cheese.

Step four: Bake in the oven until they are cooked through and browning on top.

Step five: Enjoy!

Rebel Baker's Note: Nicole was kind enough to bake these delights at my house warming party back in late September. I have to admit, I did nothing but watch the cooking go on (strike that, I cut the English muffins!). I also have to apologize for the late posting, but you know how things go when you're a busy law student.  Nicole is an amazing chef and I could definitely use some of her pointers in the kitchen.  Coming up soon is me baking in the kitchen with Nicole, where the tables are turned!


Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 (9 inch) pie crust 
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water
Step one:  pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Step two: clean and cut the strawberries up into 4 pieces each.
Step three: in a large mixing bowl, combine strawberries with sugar and spices.
Step four: in a small bowl, whisk together flour and water. Gradually stir the mixture into the strawberry mixture. Put the mixture into the fridge for a half-hour to an hour.
Step five: place 1 pie crust into a glass pie dish.  Pour mixture into pastry shell.  Cover with the other pie crust. 
Step six:  beat one egg in a small bowl. Baste the crust with the egg (makes the crust golden brown). If you want, you can cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes of baking so it doesn't get too crispy.
Step seven: bake pie for 45 minutes or until crust is browning. Remove and cool for several hours.
Step eight: Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

Rebel Baker's Note: I made this pie back in October for my friend Anya's Game-Night Party.  The party was a really fun time and the pie was a smash hit, literally -- next time I'll at more starch to it (it kinda collapsed when you cut into it!).  I just recently got my pie dish back in exchange for borrowing a dress of hers for the Ellis Hospital Ball I attended with Patrick.  I don't think I've hung out with Anya since then!! I miss her (and Courtney!).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Decadent Oreo-Peanut Butter Brownies

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 sleeve oreo cookies (Approx. 14) or enough to cover the brownies.
1 package (10 oz. Reese peanut-butter chips)
1/2 cup Fluff
1 box Brownie Mix (Note: Brownie mix used in this recipe is Duncan Hines 13x9 Family size. Water,and oil measurements may have to change)

Step One: Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Two: Mix brownie mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil together until blended. Gently fold in 3/4 of the package of Reese's peanut-butter chips (save the rest for garnishing). 

Step Three: Grease a 13x9-inch casserole dish. Pour batter into the dish. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove the brownies and add the oreos on top of the brownies (adding them after the brownies have baked a little keeps them from sinking to the bottom). Put back in the oven and back for another 20 minutes.  Before you remove them, check to see if a knife comes out clean first. 

Step Four: When done, add more Reeses to the top of the brownies.

Step Five: Heat the Fluff in a saucepan over low heat, do not burn! If needed, add a dash of milk to loosen the Fluff up. Once it is melted, take a spoon and drizzle it over the brownies. 

Step Six: Let cool and then cut into squares. Serve, in this case, to happy Ski Patrolers at Gore.

Rebel Baker's Note:
This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prepare and the rest is bake time. I made these as decadent as possible for the Ski Patrol's first taste of rebellious baking. Also, for any apprentice bakers out there (and you know who you are) I have acknowledged that this is not a "from scratch" recipe. One day I'll make brownies from scratch though, and you can't have any!! ;) Just kidding. Love you.

Brian and Pat of Gore Ski Patrol

Radical Rasp-Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Muffin Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted, then cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablesppon lemon zest (fresh is good, but you can also use dried grated lemon zest)
  • 2 cups buttermilk (substitute: fill 1 cup with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fill the rest of the cup with milk and repeat) 
  • 1 pints fresh blueberries, washed, stems removed 
  • 1 package fresh raspberries, washed, stems removed
Streusel Topping Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
  • (optional) 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Step One: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place liners (paper or aluminum) in muffin pans. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step Two: Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat one egg in at a time, then add vanilla, lemon zest, buttermilk (or the substitute - which is what I used). Combine the wet and dry ingredients slowly and beat until combined. With a spatula, evenly and gently fold blueberries into batter. Don't over stir them.

Step Three: For the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add the butter pieces and combine the mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until the topping resembles coarse crumbs.

Step Four: Scoop batter into muffin pans and fill each cup to the top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until they start to brown.
    Rebel Baker's Note: This recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare and makes approximately 20 muffins.  They are delicious warm with a little bit of butter on them.  A glass of milk helps them go down nicely too.  I made these muffins with my mom in her kitchen.  She insisted on going easy on the berry count but later recanted her foolishness.  However, we both agreed that the recipe could have used a tad more sugar, that's why I adjusted the recipe above from what I actually made. [Radical Rasp-Blueberry Muffins With Streusel Topping adapted from Barefoot Contessa]