Friday, August 18, 2017

Browned Butter Cinnamon Crinkles



Our hot weather finally has ended and it’s very lovely again in the Pacific Northwest! My house cooled down enough that I can bake again, and I am so happy about that. Of course, even though it is only mid-August, I am thinking about fall already. I went looking for recipes to make this week and I knew that I wanted something that at least hinted at fall. These sounded wonderful: browned butter cinnamon crinkles.

I love cinnamon recipes, apples, ginger, and other spices. These cookies are reminiscent to snickerdoodles, but have a different, richer flavor. The browned butter adds a nuttiness, and the brown sugar enhances the flavor as well. I have made a number of recipes with browned butter, and sometimes you can taste it and sometimes you can’t. As this is a fairly simple recipe, I feel like the browned butter flavor shines through. Be careful when browning the butter, as it can burn very easily. It seems like it takes a different amount of time each time I make it, so my rule is just don’t walk away when you are browning butter.

These cookies are simple to put together, and don’t require any special ingredients. I did have to buy eggs as it’s been so hot and I haven’t been cooking and baking that my eggs were out of date! I refrigerated the dough overnight, as I ran out of time the evening I made the dough. It took quite a while for the dough to become pliable after chilling, but at least the dough was easy to shape. These cookies come out of the oven nicely crinkled, and the powdered sugar coating becomes somewhat like a glaze. These cookies have a wonderful cinnamon, nutty flavor. They are soft, especially when they are fresh out of the oven, and just perfect as we look towards fall.

Browned Butter Cinnamon Crinkles
10 tablespoons butter
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

Cut the putter into pieces and place in a medium saucepan. Heat the butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Continue cooking, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter browns and smells slightly nutty. This can take 5 minutes or longer. Watch carefully, as the butter can burn very quickly. Transfer the browned butter to a small dish and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, add the sugar, brown sugar, and the slightly cooled browned butter. Beat on medium until the mixture is combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla and stir again on medium until combined. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture, stirring just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2” balls. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets. If desired, flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Friday, August 11, 2017

Twix Caramel Chocolate Crispy Bars



I have yet another no-bake cookie for you this week. We’ve been breaking records with our heat wave, which makes it so hard to bake! I want to bake cookies and it’s getting close to fall, my favorite baking season. But my house it too hot. It was almost too hot to make these! It’s supposed to cool down this weekend and maybe even rain (yippee!) so I am certainly looking forward to that.

This recipe called for a salted caramel chocolate spread, which isn’t something I could find locally. I did find a Twix spread, which was chocolate caramel with cookie bits. I figured that would work great, especially since these are topped with caramel and chocolate like a Twix bar. I really like Twix bars, and they are also popular are work, so I figured these would be a hit. If you can’t find any of these fancy chocolate spreads, you could certainly use Nutella.

I made these in a 9” square pan. If you’d like a thinner bar you could use a 9” x 13” pan. The caramel came together with no problem. I have days when I can make a lovely caramel, and other days when I can’t make it at all. It’s very frustrating! Since my house it so warm, I refrigerated the bars between each step. I don’t think you’d really need to do that, except for the caramel layer, if your kitchen was a normal temperature. When I took these to work, I was asked how I got the chocolate layer so even. My trick is to spread the chocolate as evenly as possible, and then shake the pan until the chocolate is super smooth. These are very decadent, and I think topping any type of crispy bar with caramel and chocolate would be a fantastic idea.

Twix Caramel Chocolate Crispy Bars
1 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup Twix caramel chocolate spread
6 cups crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening

Line a 9” x 9” pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, and brown sugar. Heat over medium, stirring until the sugars dissolve. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate caramel spread and stir until smooth. Place the cereal in a large bowl. Pour the corn syrup mixture over the cereal. Stir with a spatula until the cereal is coated. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

Make the caramel: in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a low boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the caramel over the bars. Allow to cool before topping with chocolate.

Make the topping: in a microwaveable bowl, combine the chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel and smooth into an even layer. Allow the chocolate to set before cutting into bars.

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

Friday, August 4, 2017

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars



We’re having record-breaking hot weather here at home, so baking is off the list of activities for a while. There aren’t that many different no-bake recipes, but I do have a few that I really like. Nanaimo bars are a favorite, and I have a British cookbook that has quite a few good no-bake recipes. Hmm, I wonder where that cookbook is? I should go look for it.

My husband picked these bars, after I mentioned that I didn’t know what I was going to do this week since it was so warm. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. You have to be careful with no-bake cookies, as sometimes I don’t like the not-baked texture. This is especially true for no-bake cookies with oats in them. I just don’t care for that raw oat flavor. As you probably guessed, I’m not much of an oatmeal fan.

These are very simple, just a handful of ingredients. The base by itself is just phenomenal, and I’m not usually a cookie-dough-eating baker. I didn’t want to have a plain chocolate top, so I also melted some white chocolate and piped it in diagonal lines and then made a nice little swirl. I added the shortening to the melted chocolate, so it doesn’t get so hard. My house is super warm, so I stored these in the refrigerator. These bars are almost candy bars and not cookies, but close enough. They can’t be beat.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-pound powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
11 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
½ cup white chocolate chips, if desired
1 teaspoon shortening, if desired

Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil; spray the foil with nonstick baking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate the base while you make the topping.

In a microwave, or in the top of a double boiler, melted the milk chocolate chips and the tablespoon of shortening. Heat, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Spread the milk chocolate on top of the peanut butter base. If desired, melt the white chocolate and shortening in the microwave, and drizzle over the milk chocolate, swirling to make a decorative pattern. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Food.com