Thursday, December 22, 2011

gingerbread cake

I know I just did a dessert but this cake is so so simple and so so flavorful that I couldn't resist!
And what screams Christmas more than gingerbread cake??

Not much more to say than just look at that delicious picture!
Plus, it's Christmas Eve Eve Eve and we've got lots to do!

Gingerbread Cake
Serves about 30, 2" pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (please put this in.  you might want to take the easy route and leave it out.  don't.)
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350*.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, eggs and ginger root.  Set aside.


In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt
and cloves.

Add to the molasses mixture alternately with water, beating just until combined and pour into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan.  

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Frost with your favorite icing!  (I've used plain vanilla buttercream and cream cheese!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

gluten free pistachio brownies

Okey, dokey.
It's Christmas time.
Lots of parties to go to.
Lots of goodies to bake to bring to those parties.
And almost everyone I know is gluten free nowadays.
So, I thought I'd help ya out and post a gluten free recipe.
And, what do you know?
Gluten free isn't scary.
It's delicious.

Gluten Free Pistachio Brownies
Makes 16-25.
Adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet.

1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
8 oz good quality dark chocolate, at least 62% - 70% cocoa solids, chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark muscovado sugar (or good dark brown sugar)
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla 
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups almond meal, passed through a sieve (or process 1 3/4 cups almonds in a food processor until the texture of sand)
1 cup unshelled pistachios, chopped

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and pre-heat oven to 350*. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or baking parchment, being sure to leave an overhang around each side.
Slowly melt the chocolate and butter together in a glass mixing bowl in the microwave, 15 seconds at a time, stirring each time.
Once the chocolate and the butter have melted into a smooth mixture, whisk in the sugars, salt, and the vanilla.
Allow the mixture to cool for 5- 10 minutes. just until your finger can stay in the mixture for several seconds without being burned. The mixture will be granular, but once the eggs are added, everything will smooth out.
Add in the eggs and beat to combine.
Mix in the ground almonds, followed by the chopped pistachios.
Place in foil or parchment-lined baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top looks light in color, and feels soft to the touch.  Note, using a cake tester won't work - the cake tester will come out wet, even if the brownies are done.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes for easy cutting. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

baked oatmeal

Have you ever heard of baked oatmeal?
If you have, you are ahead of the game.
If you have and haven't tried it, you are a ....
How do I put this nicely?
A simpleton?
A dunderling?
Either way, you need to try this.
In a major way.

Baked Oatmeal
Serves 4-6.
from Cooking for Seven. 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 - 1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 350*. Place the butter in a square (9x9 or 8x8-inch) baking dish and place in the oven to melt. Make sure to keep an eye on the butter, or it will burn!

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, maple sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well, making sure all of the oats are moistened.

Remove the pan with the butter from the oven. Pour the oats mixture into the pan and stir, mixing until most of the butter in incorporated, but leaving some unmixed at the edges & bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, if using.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden, about 30 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

garlic encrusted tilapia

I hate boring.
And tilapia, to me, has no taste.
Sooooo, we have to add it :)

Garlic, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes.
Breadcrumbs to add crunch.
Salt and pepper.
Everything you've already got in your pantry.

Garlic Encrusted Tilapia
Makes 8-10 small filets, serves about 4.
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
8-10 small tilapia filets, rinsed and dried
Canola or olive oil, for drizzling

Combine garlic, all spices and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

Drizzle a foil lined sheet pan with the oil and lay the filets on it.

Drizzle with a bit more oil and press the spice mixture on the top to form a crust.

Broil until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes.

Remove to plate and enjoy while hot!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

easy! mini chocolate raspberry pies

Easiest recipe ever.

Perfect for the busy holiday season.

And perfect for cocktail parties.

And did I mention it was the easiest recipe ever?

And people will never know.


Mini Chocolate Raspberry Pies
Makes a gazillion.
Dark chocolate instant pudding mix
Whole milk (however much the box says)
1 cup heavy cream
Pie crust, homemade or store bought

No recipe needed...
Make the pudding according to the box's directions and chill until set.

Whip the cream and fold in gently.

While the pudding is chilling, cut 2-3" circles out of the pie dough and press into a mini muffin tin.  Poke the dough with the tines of a fork and bake at 350* for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.
Pipe the pudding mixture into the mini pie shells.

Put a raspberry on top and enjoy!

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