Archive for October, 2010

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOO!

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October 29, 2010

What’s in a name?

Reprinted from SkidNews, Oct. 29, 2010

Sometimes I get bored with the names of baked goods. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vanilla Cake. Apple Pie. You get the point. C’mon fellow bakers, let’s get creative here!

So I wanted to rename these bars something awesome. My housemate Elaine and I were staring (drooling) down at the pan of uncut gooey goodness and, for lack of creativity, decided to put the responsibility on Betsy, one of our other housemates. I declared that the first words out of her mouth upon tasting one of the bars would be the official title of these bars.

See, I imagined Betsy exclaiming, “How delightful!” or gushing, “Ohmygosh, YUM!” Nope. Betsy doesn’t exclaim or gush. I should have known better. Elaine and I danced around giggling impatiently while Betsy (completely unaware of our plans, yet highly suspicious of our behavior) sampled a bite.

“What the heck are in these?” she demanded.

Well, a deal’s a deal. I bring you WHATTHEHECKAREINTHESE Bars, also known in a previous life as Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars.  Okay, so maybe I don’t have a future in bringing creative and refreshing new names to the baking world.  Man, this brings back bitter memories of losing that Name-The-Mystery-Color Crayola crayon contest when I was seven…

Betsy, let me tell you just what exactly is in these. Oats. Peanut Butter. Sweetened condensed milk. Lots and lots of butter. All topped with a healthy dose of oh-so-sweet milk chocolate chips and chopped up Reeses. I guess the original title got it right… These are pretty dreamy.

Let’s get real for a moment though. One problem I had with these bars was all that chocolate goodness on top. Yes, I did just use chocolate and problem in the same sentence. Although I pulled the pan out of the oven marveling over the glistening chocolate, when I popped them in the freezer to speed up the cooling process, all the topping hardened and just fell off when I tried to cut it.

My advice? Be patient (unlike me) and let them cool nice and slow as nature intended. Otherwise, just sprinkle them on under that top layer of crumble so the chocolate-y goodness is trapped forever!

You can call these whatever you want. What’s in a name anyways? Let’s EAT!

WHATTHEHECKAREINTHESE Bars (a.k.a Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars)
Adapted from http://www.bakingblonde.wordpress.com

1 cup melted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/4 cups rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2  cup peanut butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

3 packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
1 cup milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until crumbly. Set aside about 1 cup or a little more.
Press the rest of the crust into prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Once crust has baked, evenly pour and spread peanut butter filling over the baked crust. Be gentle so you don’t pull up the warm crust while you spread the filling.

Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and candy bars/chips are melting.
Allow to cool slowly but completely to make cutting and serving easier.

October 27, 2010

Apple Muffins/Writer’s Block

I kind of have writer’s block about these muffins. Want to know why?

I hated them and will never make them again. There, I said it. The strange thing is, almost everyone else who tried them loved them. So should I gush and rave? Or say what I really thought?

The alarm bells went off in my head when these muffins took a cup of oil instead of butter. Something about that didn’t feel right. I love butter. The crumble on top also didn’t have any butter, so it didn’t have that lovely melty crunch on top. And the bottoms of the muffins were down right soggy.

I said I’d never make these again. I guess that’s a lie. I would make these again, only I would cut the amount of sugar in half, use less juicy apples, substitute butter (or applesauce for a healthier muffin) for the oil, and change the crumble on top. But then that wouldn’t really be THESE muffins would it?

Well, the important thing is that they were greatly enjoyed by everyone else, so I guess I should stop complaining and go bake something else!

Apple Muffins
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples)
Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease muffin tins.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix into dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the diced apples.

Fill muffin tins almost to the top about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 18-24 muffins.

October 22, 2010

A Girl’s Best (Cookie) Friend: The Snickerdoodle

Note: I am now publishing a weekly column in the Skidmore Newspaper! For those of you who aren’t so lucky as to go to Skidmore, on Fridays, I will be posting my column as is!

SkidNews, Oct. 22, 2010

My dear new readers. There are 3 things you should know about me before we get started. 1. I like to bake.
2. I like to have adventures.
3. I always, always have room for dessert.

About a year and a half ago, these three things collided, resulting in an explosion of butter, sugar, and flour, and A Sprinkle In Time was born to the blogosphere. Now, I am no expert, just a girl who likes to share good eats with her family and friends.  It has certainly been a journey over the past year—my computer keyboard has seen its fair share of dough, batter, and chocolate splatters, and my family is always complaining that I will make them all fat, but it has been absolutely fun and delicious.

I wanted to start by introducing you to my best friend in the whole cookie world.  I present you with the snickerdoodle. Not too adventurous, I know. But they are simple to make, and they are universally loved by all. There is something just a little more exciting than your average sugar cookie, but these guys are not too extravagant or flashy. They have a little crunch, and a little chew. A little sugar and… a little more sugar. Friends, this right here is my go-to recipe. The one I always turn to for that last minute baking request. The bake sale, the group meeting, the family gathering.  You know, the one you forgot about until an hour ago.

One tip for you smart cookies who decide to try these out. Don’t skip the cream of tartar. Now as we get to know each other a little better, you will learn that I am the queen of lazy substitutions when I don’t have an ingredient on hand. However, cream of tartar seems to be the key secret ingredient for an excellent snickerdoodle, so pop over to the Chopper and invest in some.

So, I hope you are ready to set off on a new chapter of baking adventures with me. It may not always be pretty, and it might get a little messy, but I promise you it will always be yummy.

Snickerdoodles
Adapted from PopularCookieRecipes.com

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup butter, softened

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

• 1 large egg

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

• 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds or by hand with a fork.  Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended.  Mix in flour until ingredients come together in a ball. Cover and chill for 1 hour. (Eco-friendly tip: instead of using plastic wrap, try putting your dough in tupperware or covering it with another bowl!)

Combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are just barely golden. Makes about 30 cookies. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. I dare you to eat less than 10 in one sitting (oops!)

October 11, 2010

1am Pancakes?

Guess what? This post is NOT about the pancakes I made for Betsy and Rebs at approximately 1am on Saturday night. Why? Because, at 1am, I was not thinking “Hey, I wonder what lighting would make a really sweet picture for my blog.” I was thinking “Hey, I should make some chocolate chip pancakes and devour them immediately.”

Don’t get too disappointed. I do have some pancakes to blog about. I was afraid of letting you down, dear readers, so I dug up these pictures of chocolate chip pancakes I made with Andy Lane over the summer.

These are 8am pancakes. They are actually more delicious than 1am pancakes.

They are fluffy and perfect and I think I ate about 6 that morning.

Denny Lane, who doesn’t even like pancakes, managed to eat a few bites with a smile on his face.

And Bruce Lane? He gave them two thumbs up. Thanks Pops!

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

adapted from Joy The Baker

2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2- 3/4 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and let batter sit for a few minutes.

Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray.

Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Devour over orange juice with your favorite people in the world.