Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sea Salted Brownies

Fall is officially in the air!  While we still have a few summer days ahead of us, we are are starting to experience some cooler days as well, even hail storms in some places!  Just last week we had a massive hail storm that had to be some of the craziest weather I have ever experienced.  One minute we had a loud thunder/lightening storm, the next minute the skies open to a huge rain/hail storm that left people abandoning their bikes, strollers on the sidewalks with cars pulled over on the street.  As quickly as it started, the storm ended.  In only a few short minutes, this is what had accumulated on my lawn. 
Needless to say,  the cooler weather has me craving comfort foods and freshly baked goods.  These brownies are the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and will kick any chocolate craving that comes your way.  The icing is nice and light, and the perfect addition to this moist brownie. 
Ingredients
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp ground sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
Icing 
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp dark rum
- 1 cup icing sugar
- coarse sea salt, to taste
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. 
Stir white sugar into melted butter.   Whip in eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix in cocoa powder, and then add flour, seal salt and baking powder, mixing only until combined.  It's important not to over mix during the last step. 
Bake brownies for approximately 30 minutes, until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle comes out clean.
While the brownies are cooling, prepare the icing by combining all of the ingredients.  Icing the brownies while slightly warm.   Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Banana Split Cake

The unspeakable happened this week - our internet went down.  We should have it back up next so things will be back to normal   I am posting this from my brother's house, and unfortunately I don't have the photo's of the recipe I was planning on posting.  Instead, I am going to share with you a recipe that my Gramma sent me last week to try.  I haven't made it yet but Gramps says it's AMAZING.  I can't wait to make this myself!  
Ingredients
- 2 cups graham wafer crumbs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4-6 bananas, peeled & halved lengthwise, cover with lemon juice
- 1 (14 oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained
- any fresh fruit equaling 1 quart
- 1 pint whipping cream, whipped
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. 

Instructions
Combine crumbs and melted butter thoroughly and press into a 9x13 pan.  Chill in freezer at least 15 minutes.  in medium bowl, combine icing sugar, eggs, and softened butter; beat at medium speed for 20 minutes.  This step is important, so don't try to save time.  Spread buttercream mixture evenly over chilled crust.  Place bananas, cut side down, evenly on top of buttercream and spoon curshed pineapple evenly over the bananas.  Distribute other fruit evenly over pineapple and spread whipped cream evenly over all.  Sprinkle with walnuts and refrigerate at least 3 hours overnight before serving. 
Makes 10-12 servings.  Recipe can be halved. 
The original page from Gramma's recipe book: 
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gramma's Apple Pie


When my Gramma was here last month we enjoyed a cooking/baking day together.   We made lots of fun stuff together, and this recipe was one of my favourites (oh who am I kidding, all of Gramma's recipes are my favourites!).
Ingredients
- 2 disks of pastry (2 pie crusts)
- 6 apples, cored, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- cinnamon, to taste
- 2 tbsp butter
Directions: 
Roll out pie crust and place in a pie dish.  I like to use my deep dish ceramic pie plate for this recipe.
 
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 
Core, peel and slice apples and toss with flour, sugar, and cinnamon.  Place apple mixture in pie crust and add a few dabs of butter on top.  
Add the top pastry and cut a few slits in the centre with a fork.  My Gramma likes to cute leaf designs with leftover pastry to place on the pie.  This is great for hiding any cracks or tears in the dough. 
Cook for 45 minutes, .  Reduce heat to 350 for approx 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (here's a shot of Gramps with his piece).
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bread Maker Buns

Here is the recipe that appeared in Thursday's edition of The Hinton Voice
[I have a secret to share with you all – I use a bread maker to make the dough for all of my bread baking needs.  The convenience of using a bread maker just can’t be beat.  All you have to do is throw all of the ingredients inside and walk away until the dough is ready – it doesn’t get much easier than that!   

 I’ve only ever used the bread maker for it’s full-intended purposes once, and the “bread” that resulted came out closely resembling a cinderblock.  Trying to carve the paddle attachment out of the bottom of the loaf without wrecking the loaf really is about as much fun as it sounds. From that loaf on, I decided to stick to using the dough setting only.  My Gramma makes her bread this way and her bread is by far the most delicious I have ever had (okay so I might be a little bias but it really is great stuff).

I use my Gramma’s recipe as a base for all of my breads, and this is my go-to recipe for all things bun related.  I’ve used this recipe as a base for hamburger buns, cheese buns, cinnamon buns, and dinner rolls – it hasn’t disappointed yet!

These buns are so easy to make and turn out perfect every time.  So go ahead newbie bakers  - impress all of your friends and bring homemade buns to the next BBQ.   How much time you spent making them will be our little secret.]

Ingredients

For bread maker:
-        1 egg
-        1 cup lukewarm water
-        2 tbsp butter
-        3 ¼ cup flour*
-        4 tbsp sugar
-        3 tsp bread maker (or quick rise) yeast
-        ¼ tsp salt

*I’ve experimented with all sorts of flours and any flour will do – you get the lightest, fluffiest buns with bread flour, but all-purpose is a close second.

Additional ingredients:
-        2 tbsp butter
-        2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  
Directions

Place ingredients in your bread maker in the order they appear.  Set your bread maker to the “dough only” setting.

Once dough is ready, punch it down lightly to remove the access air.   Split dough into a dozen balls placing them seam side down on a well-greased baking sheet.  Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush it onto each piece of dough.  Lightly drape dough with a clean dishtowel and place in a warm spot until buns have doubled in size (about 40 minutes).  I like to use the proof feature on my oven for this step.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until buns are golden brown. Melt remaining tbsp of butter and brush the tops of the buns to soften.  If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them on as you butter each bun to ensure the sesame seeds stick. 

- Nutritional Info (1/12 recipe) -

Calories - 146   Fat - 3    Carbs – 27     Protein - 5   Fibre – 1



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