fat bottom

fat bottom

Monday, September 20, 2010

beignets and doughnuts!

ummm... you wanna know why i made beignets... it's funny, and you'll never guess it...

it's not because i watched "the best thing i ever ate' " on the food network, or because i came across a recipe in one of my gourmet magazines...

you ready for this...

it's because i watched Disney's "the princess and the frog"... that's why!!

i never have gotten a food craving from a cartoon before... this is like a totally new level... getting hungry watching illustrated food... it has never happened before... not even during the "be our guest" number in beauty and the beast... well maybe because the food had faces and was dancing about the table... the only thing i wanted from that scene was a foamy glass of beer out of one of those steins...you know you did too :) ... and not even in ratatouille... remy's food descriptions were music to my ears, but i never came away from that movie craving anything... but leave it to two talking frogs to make me go bonkers for fried food!

when trying to explain a beignet to my hubs, i best described them as a cross between a donut and a zeppoli, 2 things we new yorkers are famous for!! as soon as i said that he was on board! so i broke out the dutch oven and a crap load of fry oil and got ready!

now these beignets come courtesy of paula deen... and man... they were crispy on the outside and so light and fluffy on the inside... and with the perfect amount of sweetness on the outside... sooo good!!

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes
2. in another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together, then mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture
3. in a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour, add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine
4. add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour
5. remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth
6. spray a large bowl with nonstick spray, put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours

when dough is ready:
1. preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (i used a dutch over to fry these in, so keep a good and close eye on the oil temp!)
2. roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares, or any size you'd like, i went with 3 inch rectangles, basically i just eyeballed it :)
3. toss 'em in and deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color
4. after beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels and then shake on some confectioners sugar to give them that lovely southern sweetness

and why now go all out... if i'm frying dough, i better be making a few donuts while i'm at it... these suckers were glazed with a thick helping of confectioners sugar mixer with heavy cream and a splash of vanilla extract... ahhh... just like wawa makes!!

Cuisson heureux tout le monde
(which according to this online translator means "happy baking everyone" in french)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

pumpkin maple cinnamon and bacon cupcakes... just for you for lia!

this past weekend was a bittersweet one... my big brother brendan, and his lovely wifey lia, began their move clear across the country to portland, oregon... boo... i mean, hurray for them! :(
i know, i should be happy they are following their dreams, and living their life they want, but i am going to miss them dearly...
so... on the friday before their move, my wonderful parents threw them an amazing going away party... and in typical family party fashion... there was good food, good drinks, some spontaneous karaoke in the dining room, lots of laughs and of course plenty of shenanigans...
these cupcakes were made especially for ms. lia... she's a huge fan of my pumpkin cupcakes, and when my mom had mentioned making cupcakes with some bacon, i decided the combo would just be too good to be true... and i was right... it was like breakfast/dessert/yumminess all rolled into a handheld and portable delight...
so here's to you big bro and sis-in-law... have a safe trip driving across the country to your new home... i'll be seeing you soon!

have a safe trip cross country brendan and lia, love you and miss you already... and as always... happy baking everyone!

cookie dough cupcakes!

here are some vanilla cookie dough cupcakes i made this past week... yummy buttery vanilla cake, topped with vanilla creamcheese buttercream... covered with some some brown sugary drops of egg-free cookie dough and mini chocolate chips... just plain good!

happy baking everyone!

bacon brownies! need i say more!

umm... 2 words... BACON, and BROWNIES... say it with me... BACON BROWNIES... one more time... BACON BROWNIES... has the awesomeness set in yet... maybe i'll reiterate it one more time... BACON BROWNIES!!!
combine the warm, deep chocolaty fudgy brownies with the salty smokiness of bacon... and what do you get... one badass brownie ... that's what you get...
just thinking about their goodness makes me sweat like a sinner in church!
i can't wait to make these again, but with one tweak... the crispiness of the bacon gets kinda lost in the brownie... now, don't get me wrong, these are still some awesome brownies, but the bacon kind of got chewy during the baking process... so next time, i am going to bake the brownies for a bit, then coat the top of the brownies with the bacon, and then finish baking... like a crispy crunchy bacon crumb topping... now how does that sound to ya'll... sounds freakin amazing to me!
Bacon Brownies
recipe adapted from 17 and baking, and from The Hungry Engineer

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4 1/2 oz flour (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons natural cocoa (not Dutch-processed)
4 strips bacon (i went with 6 strips of really crispy bacon :) yum!)

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9x9 pan and set in parchment paper, letting the two ends hang over the edge and grease the parchment
2. heat a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon till it's nice and crispy, let cool and break into pieces
3. place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a metal bowl, and set it over a double boiles, stir the mixture until the smooth and the chocolate has melted completely
4. remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then whisk in the sugar, salt, and vanilla, then add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring until combined and smooth
5. sift in the flour and cocoa, and whisk into batter to combine, then stir in the bacon
6. scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula, then bake brownies 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
7. let the brownies cool in the pan for a few minutes, then lift the brownies out of the pan, transfer them to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting into bars
happy baking everyone!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

hummingbird cupcakes

so... how many people out there have tried hummingbird cake... i bet there aren't too many of you out there...
and until a few days ago hadn't even thought of making this delectable cake... and now i can't imagine my cupcake recipe book without it... here's a quick description... you take yummy moist banana cake, and add the bonus of sweet pineapple, and when baked, the pineapple becomes like tiny bits of candy in the cake... it's just plain good... you can even add pecans to the recipe, but me i'm a no-nut fan when it comes to my cakes and cookies...
i came across this recipe on the blog, "bake or break"... and since everything i've made from that blog has been amazing, i just had to try it... plus i had a bunch of ripe bananas that needed to be used pronto... this cake is just delish-ious... i even left some plain, without the smothering of vanilla cream cheese frosting, and my boys loved them... and so did i... and i didn't feel as guilty eating them for breakfast :)
anyways... this is a must try... so next time you're in the mood for a tender and sweet cake... try this one out... it defiantly gets the becky seal of approval!

and something that sounds so pretty... say it with me... hummingbird cake... desreves some pretty frosting... so i went with an almost flowery look...

hummingbird cupcakes, adapted from "bake or break"
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
1 cup chopped pecans (i opted out of these)
2 cups chopped bananas
chopped pecans or sanding sugar, for garnish (opted out of these too)

1. preheat oven to 350, and prep cupcake pans, set aside.
2. combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl
3. add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened
4. stir in vanilla, pineapple, pecans, and bananas.
5. pour batter into prepared pans
6. bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
7. cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks
and below, here they are without the covering of that delightful frosting... take a look inside, can you see all those chunks of bananas and pineapple... mmmm.... mmmm.... drool...

happy baking everyone!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

mmm... mmm... cookies

raise your hand if you love cookies!!
i mean, maybe it's just the kid in me, but nothing makes me happier then a really chewy and gooey straight outta the oven chocolate chip cookie... well... i'd be lying actually... every baked good makes me happy, i'm just that easy... but come on, the pure nostalgia of cookies has to put them at the top of every one's list... just saying :)

anyways, i was in the mood for cookies... but couldn't decide whether or not to make plain old fashioned chocolate chip cookies, or some double chocolate chocolate chip cookies... so... i made both... why not...
for the double chocolate chip cookies i went with a tasty recipe from "milk and cookies", and dude... these were chocolate heaven... soft and fudgy on the inside, with huge chunks of melty chocolate, with the slight crispy outside... oh man... really really tasty!
Double Chocolate Cookies recipe:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon coarse salt
224g (½ pound) good-quality chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 4 ounces cut into chunks ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. preheat oven to 325
2. whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside
3. melt 4 ozs. coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly
4. put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until combined, reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture, then fold in chocolate chunks
5. using a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart
6. bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes, then let cool on parchment on wire racks
and what else are cookies good for... ummm... sundae's of course! best ice cream flavor out there in my opinion... chocolate chip cookie dough... ahhh... thank you ben and jerry!

and here are some of dorie greenspans "best chocolate chip cookie"... and these have basically become my never fail good ol' stand by chocolate chip recipe... in all the times i've made them, they have never disappointed!
so... if you haven't tried this recipe yet, then get off your tookis and make them...the recipe is simple to make, and always produces an amazing yummy treat...
Dorie’s best chocolate chip cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups tore-bought chocolate chips or chunks

1. center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats
2. sift together the flour, salt and baking soda
3. working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth
4. add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes until well blended
5. beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in
6. reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated
7. on low speed, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the chocolate
8. spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inch between spoonfuls
9. bake the cookies – one sheet at a time and rotating the sheets at the midway point, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center... they may be still a little soft in the middle, and that’s just fine
10. pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature

grab yourself a tall glass of milk and enjoy... and as always... happy baking everyone!