Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Grandson visiting

On Saturday, our grandson came for a visit and he wanted to bake...so we made brownies, which is everybody's favorite and goes so well with a scoop of vanilla or strawberry ice cream.

The legend of the brownie dates to back to 1893 in Chicago, Illinois, when a socialite asked the pastry chef to create a "cake-like" dessert that was small enough to fit into a boxed lunch for ladies attending the Columbian Exposition at the World's Fair.  The result was the Palmer House Brownie with walnuts and apricot glaze.  Since that time, brownies have taken on many flavors and pairings of ingredients.  While most people like nuts in their brownies, there are a lot of true chocoholics who like extra chocolate chips for a unique texture.  Which are you?

Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

3/4 cup + 1 T (13T) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. espresso dissolved in 3 T water

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment paper and lightly dust with flour.
Heat the above ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter is melted.  Pour this mixture over:

10 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (we used chips!)

Let this mixture stand until the chocolate softens, about 1 minute.
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk the chocolate and vanilla extract together until smooth.

3 large eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition.

1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until smooth.

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into the square pan.
Bake in the preheated for 30-33 minutes.  A wooden toothpick in the center should come out clean and the top should be shiny.

Let cool completely in the pan, then cut into squares.  The brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days...if they last! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Uniquely Good Banana Bread

I've made tons of banana bread in my time, but this recipe is uniquely different.  Instead of smashing the bananas, I sliced them.  The interior almost looks like there is chocolate in this recipe, but i assure you there isn't and the taste is really good and moist.  I enjoyed a slice with a cup of tea--my new favorite Twinings "Lady Grey Tea."  It's light and has a hint of citrus.

We finally got some much needed rain and watching the birds and squirrels running around made for a relaxing morning.

Uniquely Good Banana Bread
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 bananas, sliced
1 T Vanilla extract
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray two loaf pans (9" x 5") with baking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and melted butter.  Add the eggs, one at a time and stir to incorporate.  Add the vanilla and sliced bananas.
The slices should be about 1/4-inch.  I used a banana slicer, but you can use a paring knife.

Add the dry ingredients, then the sour cream and walnuts and stir until completely incorporated.  Divide batter between the two loaf pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes; until golden brown and a tester comes out cleanly from the center of the bread.  Remove pans from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove bread from the pans and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

I used my Grandma Gladys' wedding china...almost 100 years old to relax and Enjoy!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Key Lime Pie and August's Give-away Apron

Key Lime Pie is an American dessert made from, yes of course, Key Limes that are naturalized throughout the Florida Keys.  Key Limes are more tart and aromatic than the common "Persian limes" found year-round in grocery stores.  It's juice is a pale yellow and it's the acidic juice mixed with sweetened condensed milk that causes the filling to thicken on its own.  Historically, the pie was not baked, but because consuming raw eggs can be dangerous, especially to small children, the pies are baked for a short period; this recipe I made is baked for 10 minutes.

Although typically only the egg yolks are used in Key Lime Pies and the whites are beaten to a meringue to top it, I prefer whipped cream on top of mine to counterbalance the tartness, so I used the whole egg in this recipe.

I love citrus pies and my mom made a wonderful Lemon Meringue.  Both my girls and now our granddaughter are crazy for Key Lime Pie so this is a favorite around our house.  What's better at the end of a hot day?


Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 360F-degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Using a measuring cup, press the mixture into a bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan.  (I had an 8-inch and the filling almost overflows...be sure you use a 9-inch)
Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

3 (14oz) cans Sweetened Condensed Milk (approx 3 1/2 cups)
2 large eggs
1 cup Key Lime juice (I used fresh, but you can use bottled) I used 9 limes for 1 cup!
Zest of 1 lime

In a bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.  Add the lime juice slowly, whisked to combine.  Finally stir in the zest.  Pour into the prepared crust.

 Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Use a hand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment or as I do, a copper bowl and whisk to beat the ingredients until stiff peaks form.  
 Slice the pie and add a dollop of whipped cream over the pie.  Nothing's better on a hot, humid evening.  Enjoy!

Now, as promised...here is August's Apron.  The blues made me feel cooler; after all, blue is a cool color, and the hydrangeas are always a favorite.  Just leave a comment this month and you could win this beautiful apron.  Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July's Apron Winner...

The month went by so fast with my granddaughters visiting, but I wanted to get a fresh start and announce the winner is Linda at Linda's Life Journal.  Please email me your address and I will send the Poppy Apron out to you asap!

I'm planning on having August's apron up by tomorrow.  Please forgive me for being so behind:-D