Friday, November 26, 2010

Brownie Pecan Pie

I was in Virginia for Thanksgiving. This means I was making a dessert in someone else's kitchen. And this means I was making a mess in someone else's kitchen.
Whoops. Well, flour is my nemesis everywhere, not just in my own kitchen.

Naomi, my boyfriend's sister-in-law, was nice enough to let me use her kitchen for 2 hours Thanksgiving morning. And by use I mean commandeer.

On Bakerella's site I saw what looked like heaven. A pie with brownie in the middle and pecan pie on top. I HAD to try to make it for Thanksgiving. I'm not much of a pie person. (Seriously. I was born after my mom had two pieces of lemon meringue pie. I HAD to get out of that womb and get some chocolate.) Since this pie involved chocolate it was definitely for me.
It was a success at dinner and we got to eat it off of Christine's great great grandmother's lovely China plates. (Christine, my boyfriend's step mom, was the wonderful hostess of the dinner.) I also learned that there is a southern pie recipe called Chocolate Chess Pie that it is similar to. Awesome! Another pie to research and bake. Yum!
Brownie Pecan Pie (adapted from Bakerella)
I used my mom's recipe for pie crust instead of buying it pre-made. This makes 3 pie crusts.
Never Fail Pie Crust (from My Mom's Best Recipe Book)
1 heaping t baking powder
1 t salt
5 1/2 C flour
Mix together

Mix 1 lb (2C) lard (Crisco) into flour mixture until crumbly

Put 1 egg in 1 C measuring cup; beat with fork. Add 1 t vinegar and fill cup with cold water. Mix well and mix with flour mixture. Dough can be frozen.

Makes 3 pie crusts
Can use combo of lard and Crisco (1 C of each.)

Then I used my never fail brownie recipe for the brownie part.
Supernatural Brownie Recipe
Then I used the topping Bakerella used.
Bakerella's Mama's Pecan Pie Recipe

Make the pie crusts and mold into pie pans. 
Make the brownie batter and pour an equal amount into each pie.
Make the pecan pie filling and pour on top of brownie batter.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and then place aluminum foil on top of pies for the last 15 minutes. This ensures the pie crusts don't burn.

Once completely baked, take out of oven and let cool for 3 hours. Serve at room temperature.
Bake well and prosper!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Little Thanksgiving Humor

Hats off to Off the Mark. They did it again. They made me smile.

Check out Gravy Boats for a little holiday humor.

I love it!

Bake well and prosper!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Before I got to the beautiful outcome of the whoopie pies (seen above), I had this scary outcome:
I had put everything together and the dough was so sticky. I tasted it and it just tasted like flour. I was mortified and scanned the recipe to see what I missed.

Oh. There it was. I am embarrassed to report this, but I missed the SUGAR!

So, to get this
Out of this
I did the only thing to do. I added the sugar even though it was supposed to be added at the very beginning. Wow. What a difference that made! (I felt like such a rookie, but  you know what, it turned out fine!)
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (from
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.For cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)
3.Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.

For filling I used the recipe from my Oatmeal Whoopie Pies.
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup shortening

4.To Make Filling: Beat egg white. Mix in the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Beat in the shortening and remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Beat until light.
Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spilled Milk

Last night I decided to have a nice, soothing glass of milk before going to bed. (Ok, I drank it while eating one of the cupcakes from my last post. I can't deny it.) The milk carton was almost empty so I tilted to let it all out. Unfortunately it speed out and produced this horror.
I thought about how I shouldn't cry over spilled milk. I was considering crying seeing I had JUST cleaned all the specks of powdered sugar on that counter top. But then I thought I would take a picture to share with you.

That's when I heard it.

While I was picture taking the milk was doing this:
Yep. Dropping off the side of the cabinet and onto the floor. But don't worry. I hadn't just cleaned the floor so it was ok. Well, I mean, it was ok besides the fact that I had to clean it up off the dirty floor...

And to think I made a mess in my kitchen without even baking!

Yeah. I think I'll just go ahead and cry.

Bake well and prosper!

Monday, November 15, 2010

No Recipe For You!

Do you guys remember the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld? Well, if you do, please read the title of this post with his accent.

I baked this weekend. Oh yes. But I can't share the recipe for my creations.
This is because I'm creating new recipes to enter into The Chocolate Adventure Contest. Or at least I am trying to create a new cupcake recipe to submit. Not sure yet if I am going to use my ideas from this weekend or not.
I CAN tell you that it has Scharffen Berger chocolate in it and that I used sweetened condensed milk as my adventure ingredient.

I felt like a "mad scientist" as I tried many variations on my idea for my cupcake. The end result of this round DID involve frosting, but that's all I can say. :) So, for now, enjoy the pictures!
As you can see from the picture above, Fall is still happening. The trees in Central Park decided to change colors. Well, half of them did. The ones that did are beautiful!
Bake well and prosper!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All Runners Are Crazy

Do you like my inspirational poster? Anyone can run a marathon...if they are crazy enough.

Well, I was crazy enough and ran the NYC Marathon on Sunday for the 2nd year in a row. It was still the most fun I've ever had in Brooklyn.

I was also crazy enough to try to recreate the colors of the ING NYC Marathon for cookie decorating. The colors are orange and blue.
I got the orange color well.
It even made a pretty mess on my counter.

My blue however... Well, I tried to make it more of a navy blue and it just turned black. Ah well. Halloween year round is nice... 
Cookie Bonbons (from I Am Baker)

Ingredients for Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup powder sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 lemon zested as finely as possible
1/8 tsp salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 325

In bowl combine butter and powder sugar on medium speed. Add almond extract, lemon zest, and salt. Combine. Add mix and reduce speed to low. Add milk. Slowly add flour and mix until dough comes together. (about 2 min)

Roll out dough into two logs, about 12 inches long. Then cut 12 one inch pieces from each log. Roll each piece into a dome. Place domes on prepared baking sheet spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake until firm, about 25 minutes.

Cookies Glaze
3 cups powder sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
(optional) 1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl stir powder sugar, water, corn syrup, oil and extract(s). Stir until smooth.
After you have cooled bonbon cookies on wire rack that has been placed over a parchment lined baking sheet, pour half of the glaze mixture over the bonbons. Let sit at least 15 minutes, then pour remaining glaze.

Cookie Frosting (from I Am Baker)

•1 cup Confectioners Sugar (powder sugar)

•1 Tablespoon Milk
•1 drop Lemon Juice (fresh or processed)
•1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

Combine powder sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl.

******This next step is important!******
If you need a thicker frosting, say for outlining your cookies, add LESS milk. Just a drop at a time.
If you have already outlined your cookies and need a to fill in or ’spill’ your cookies, you can add more milk (as much as you would need) to make your frosting very runny.
If you are using food coloring, be sure to use LESS milk. Most food colorings are liquid and can make your frosting more runny. If you are using a gel food coloring, your milk quantity can remain the same.
If you want to add different flavors, you can add drops of vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon, etc. to flavor your frosting.
If you want more SHINE, use more corn syrup and less milk.
This frosting will stay good for days in the fridge.

Erika's Extra: These are not super sweet cookies. They seem to be perfect for tea time.
PS Here's what I got for running 26.2 miles:
It's so shiny.
Aw. My medal and me.
Wait a second...maybe it's a foil wrapped around chocolate!

Congratulations to everyone who ran the marathon. These cookies are for you!

Bake well and prosper!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Banana Bread with a Kick

I have a problem in my kitchen. No, it's not my normal spilling of flour. You see, I have only three cabinets that came in my small, humble abode.  
Oh? You like those "stylin" door knobs?
Yeah. Those came with the place. I bet you are super jealous. Anyway, the doorknobs are not the problem. The problem is my baking supplies (especially since a coworker gave me a bunch of items she can't use.)
Yeah. The bottom shelf was originally for my coffee mugs. Ahem...
*sigh* Yes, that WOULD be coconut, chocolate, and Ritz crackers pouring over into the space for my glasses. The thing is, my OTHER cabinets (the ones I brought when I moved) are stuffed with baking pans, utensils, and the basics (flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc.)

You know the only solution to this dilemma? Yep. I better bake more. :)
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger (the "kick") (from Food, Wine, & Mod Podge)
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
2 eggs
2-3 ripe bananas (I generally freeze very ripe ones to save for this recipe)
3 T milk
2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 C mini chocolate chips
1/4 C finely chopped crystallized ginger

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add bananas. Add milk, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until smooth. Fold in mini chocolate chips and chopped ginger with a spatula. Pour batter into a large greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, lower temperature to 300 for another 15-20 minutes, until outside is browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Erika's Extras: This is the first time I've ever lowered the temp for banana bread. It worked wonders! Also, I find that this bread goes really well with Chai tea.
Bake well and prosper!
Crystallized Ginger on FoodistaCrystallized Ginger

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just Some Silliness

As some of you might know, I occasionally post comics from Off the Mark. Well, seeing that I am on a baking taper after the marathon of apple recipes (runners will understand this), and seeing that Off the Mark has a really funny baking comic today, I'm sharing another good comic strip to check out:

Off the Mark: He's A Mix

Also, just in case you wanted MORE giggles, check out my Halloween costume: Babe-raham Lincoln.

Bake well and propser.