Thursday, May 30, 2013

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies (again!)

This past weekend I was in AZ visiting my brother and his family. My brother mentioned that he had a craving for one of those Little Debbie oatmeal creme pies that were given out to him after he played soccer when he was younger.
I immediately said, "Oh, I can make those!" I remembered one of my favorite recipes from 3 years ago and decided to make it again (and to take better photos this time around!)
Also, for this time around, I had a helper! One of my nephews!
He actually was very helpful for a 3 (about to be 4) year old! He even posed with his messy hands!
While we made the first batch I kept thinking about how I didn't remember the dough being so liquid-y. So, while the first batch was in the oven I re-read the ingredients list.
Sure enough! I had forgotten 1/2 a cup of flour. Wonder how I could have possibly done that while also supervising a kid! Imagine! ;)
Thankfully, both batches came out well. (Oh, and they were just as good as 3 years ago!)
2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup shortening

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
2.Cream butter or margarine with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and mix well. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, baking powder, boiling water, baking soda and flour. Mix to combine. Stir in the oats.
3.Drop cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.
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!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Monkey Bread from SCRATCH!

It's a Friday before a long weekend which means I make monkey bread for my coworkers. Yes. It's tradition. (See here and here and here.)
I've wanted to make monkey bread from scratch using the Overnight Coffee Loaf recipe for the dough. So last night I did just that. Except...gulp...I had put in complete eggs. I didn't realize it only called for the yolks until after I stirred it together. I was sort of upset at myself but only for one minute. As my room mate can tell you, I said, "Oh well. It'll be a learning experience for me. I'll see how it turns out with egg yolks and egg whites!"
It turned out incredibly yummy. I was so happy with the results. It was so worth the waking up at 5am to pull the dough out of the fridge, sleeping, and then waking up again to put it together and in the oven. My coworkers agree.
Monkey Bread from Scratch (adapted from Mom's Best Recipes Cook Book)
1 pkg dry active yeast (or scant 1 T)
1/4 C warm water
4 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 t salt
1 C butter or margarine (softened)
3 egg (or try just using the yolks of 3 eggs)
1 C lukewarm milk, scalded and cooled
1 C sugar
2 t+ cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 C brown sugar
1 t cinnamon

Soften butter. Cut in flour, 1/4 C sugar, and salt until mixture looks like a pie crust mixture. Dissolve yeast in warm water and stir with a fork so no big lumps form. Once stirred, mix in yeast, egg yolks, and milk. Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Take dough out and punch it and then knead it briefly. Leave dough in bowl and cover. Let rise for 2 hours. (Dough will not double in size.) After 2 hours, grease a bundt pan. Make cinnamon and sugar and place in a small bowl. Take small chunks of dough and roll around in cinnamon and sugar and then place in bundt pan. Boil together butter, brown sugar, and 1 t cinnamon. Pour mixture over top of dough. Bake 350 for 1 hour or until the top of the dough is very hard. Remove from pan and let cool 10 minutes before inverting.
Erikas Extras: Frost with powdered sugar glaze (mix 1 C powdered sugar and a tiny bit of milk.)

Bake well and prosper!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinnamon Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made some cookies Sat morning for a weekend of fun.
This past weekend I went to the Jersey Shore to cheer on runners running the NJ 1/2 and Full Marathon. I got to stay at a couple's beach house and wanted to bring something for us to enjoy both in the evening and in the morning.
I found that these cookies were hearty and are probably a better fit for Autumn. However, they were perfect this weekend with red wine in the evening and perfect with coffee/chai in the morning. And they were good fuel for all the cheering I did.
The runners REALLY liked that last sign. I like making runners laugh. It's no small feat to make someone laugh who's running 26.2 miles!
These cookies were nice and next time I'll make it with dulce de leche (which is what the original recipe calls for) instead of adding chocolate chips.
Cinnamon Walnut Cookies (adapted from Laura's Mess)
1 and a half stick of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (Erika's Extras: I used muscovado)
1/4 cup white caster sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp extra, for sprinkling
2 cups (250g) plain white flour
2 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon baking soda
sea salt
1 cup raw walnuts, crushed + 2 tbsp extra, for sprinkling
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Erika's Extras: I used semi-sweet AND white chocolate chips)

Place the butter and sugars into a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, then continue to mix at medium speed until well combined.

Sift in your flour, cornflour, baking soda, cinnamon and a large pinch of salt. Mix together, adding in the walnuts and chocolate chips when the mixture starts to come together. When well combined, refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Take 1 Tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place on prepared cookie sheet and flatten each ball slightly with your hands. Press a few bits of crumbled walnut into the top of each cookie and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place the cookies into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Bake well and prosper!