Thursday, July 26, 2007

brownies and cookies and tigers oh my!!

Bonjour! It is I, Martha Stewart!! Queen of baking!! Psyche! It's ReemBean, alright, I know I haven't posted in awhile, but here I am with two new recipes to tickle your sweet tooth! These recipes were made in an attempt to please 3 very small hooligans, otherwise known as the spawns of satan, or Greg's 3 cousins, Monica 9, Kara 8, and Kevin 12.
First recipe on the list, and now Greg's favorite brownie recipe:

Orange Cappuccino Brownies
2 oranges
3/4 cup butter
Coarsley chop:
2 squares (1 oz each) semi sweet chocolate
2 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate

1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier or Triple Sec)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 package (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

Grease 13x9 inch pan. Finely grate orange peel, and measure 2 teaspoons peel. Melt butter, chopped chocolate squares in large heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and espresso powder, remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Beat in eggs one at a time with wire whisk, whisk in liqueur and orange peel. Beat flour into chocolate mixture until just blended, spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, until center is just set, and remove from oven, let cool on wire rack.

While brownies are baking, melt chocolate chips and shortening in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, after removing the brownies from the oven, spread melted chocolate over brownies and let cool completely.

Cut into 2 inch squares and garnish with thin strip of orange peel. To make thin strips of orange peel use citrus zester and tie the strips into little knots.
I'm a regular Martha Stewart! Don't they look awesome??

Second recipe is a version of chocolate chip cookies that is super awesome for kids.
Mini M&M cookies:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (12 oz) mini m&ms
1 cup peanut butter chips

Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, in large bowl until fluffy. Then beat in eggs and vanilla, then add flour and blend on low until well blended. Stir in m&ms and peanut butter chips with mixing spoon. Drop heaping teaspoons full onto ungreased cookie sheet 3 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown, at 375 dedgrees F. Remove cookies from oven and let cool for a few minutes, then remove to cool on wire rack.

The verdict? So good Greg got mad at everyone because they ate all "his" cookies, and he only got one. I had to substitute the peanut butter chips in this recipe for Greg, so I used white chocolate/semi sweet chocolate swirl chips instead.

This is ReemBean, signing off.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Red Kind of Day...

Hello, all. It's Meg. I'm terribly sorry for dropping off the edge of the universe, dear readers. Work has been keeping me busy, as has re-reading the first six Harry Potter books in preparation for the release of the seventh and final book (I'm halfway through book 3 right now...will I be able to finish between 1000-2000 pages by Saturday?). Also, I have acquired a shiny new Mac laptop (his name is Squishy), and I've been spending a lot of my spare time converting from my PC ways. This has all led to very little cooking going on.
However, I did a fair bit of cooking in June, so here comes part of my backlog.

As I did last year, this year I made Dad's birthday cake. Instead of busting out my Nigella cookbooks, I allowed my father to make a request. He asked for a family favorite: Red Waldorf Cake. It's named after the hotel where it is said to have originated, according to family legend, and some distant cousin alledgedly paid 125 dollars in order to acquire the recipe. I have no clue how true this story is, but the cake IS delicious, so it doesn't really matter.
I started baking in the afternoon, happily mixing the odd red batter which smelled strongly of chocolate. I daydreamed about the final product on a pretty cake platter, covered in snow-white buttercream, and tried my best not to salivate.
Then the doorbell rang. I had gotten a package, as it turns out, and it contained my new red iPod. It couldn't have come on a more colour-appropriate day.