Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dark-Chocolate Cookies with Espresso

This recipe came from Martha's Cookies that came in the email. Make sure you do not over bake them, they will be crunchy. If someone likes chocolate you will like these.


1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces melted and 4 ounces coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 350

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla. Combine espresso powder and melted chocolate; beat into butter mixture. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Drop dough by two heaping tablespoons, 3 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are dry, 14 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. (To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Caramel-Apple Pudding Cake

I was looking through some of my to try recipes I have bookmarked. I saw this Caramel Apple Pudding Cake and decided to give it a try. Since I did not have store bought caramel sauce I made it myself. The recipe will follow the cake recipe. The cake recipe came from Better Homes & Gardens. The Cake was really good. I will definitely make it again.

Caramel-Apple Pudding Cake


2 medium tart cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Jonathan, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (2 cups)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter (no substitutes)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease a 2-quart square baking dish; arrange apple slices in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Top evenly with raisins; set aside.

3. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add milk, the 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly over apple mixture.

4. Combine caramel topping, water, and the 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan; bring to boiling. Pour caramel mixture over the batter in the baking dish.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in center. Spoon warm individual servings into dessert dishes, inverting each portion. Spoon caramel-apple mixture from the pan over each portion. Makes 12 servings.

Caramel Sauce


1 cup of sugar 6 Tbsp butter 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream Directions: Have everything ready and beside your pot. Add sugar to pot. Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize. As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts). Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving. Makes a little over one cup of sauce.


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