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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Healthier Peanut Butter Cookies

I was minding my own business at work, reviewing the final report for my latest 3 year project when it hit me. Peanut Butter Cookies. NOW!! So not right when you have 4 more hours to go in the day, let alone several days until Friday. But this necessary wait for time to make them gave me time to think and research. This was good. I had the craving for that rich, sweet, nutty goodness and I was certain there was a way that I could have my cookies and not gain it on my hips.

I reviewed several recipes – so many no carbohydrate 10 calorie cookies out there… But it should be sweet, it needs to have that crumb, and it does need butter. Finally I found a recipe that was nearly perfect – an applesauce substitution for half the butter. Yet it still had 2 cups of sugar. I went back into my recent arsenal of substitutions (minus the use of a baking quality sugar sub) and came up with this:

  • 1/2 c. Butter, softened
  • 1 c. Natural Peanut Butter
  • ¼ c. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 Large Banana, mashed
  • ½ c. White Sugar
  • ½ c. Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ c. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Whole Grain Oat Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ t. Baking Soda

Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy then beat in the peanut butter, applesauce, banana and eggs. Add in the dry ingredients and incorporate well. Cover the very sticky batter and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and dish out the chilled dough onto your favorite cookie sheets. I had approximately 1 inch balls of dough placed 2 inches apart. Depending on how accurate I was, I managed12-15 cookies per pan. Press a criss-cross of sugared fork tines across each ball to flatten and give them a traditional look.

Unbaked
Bake each pan until they are nicely golden brown. Mine took 10 minutes.
Baked

Yum.

Add Ins

Incidentally – if you add chocolate chips and chopped nuts they are also quite delicious. Next time, I intend to eliminate the leavening to hopefully get that chewy texture compared to the light moist cake-like texture these have.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Recipes

 

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Heaven..er.. Heavenly Chocolate Cake

(Holy wow – Twice in one week!)
I went a little nuts in my kitchen this weekend – the result was panakuchen, chocolate mousse, a divine grilled cheese with havarti, beef and mushroom stroganauf with fresh green beans, cupcakes (more cupcakes) and cake. Thankfully, I am adept at scaling back those recipes that I can – and dividing up the remains to highly deserving people (co-works!) At least I will only focus on the related parts tonight.

Saturday night I was craving chocolate. BADLY. I found and gave this a try (Frugal Feeding’s Mocha Mousse as prepared by me).
Mocha Mousse recipe prepared by cheshire21
It was divine – but a different kind of divine than the grilled cheese. Chocolate craving satisfied. I thought. So I decided to be generous and bake for my co-works (and me). Answer: Chocolate cupcakes! As I had already hurt my arm by whisking a single egg white to stiff peak manually – I took the easy route and began with a mix.

Cake:

  • Your Favorite Brand Dark Chocolate Fudge 13×9″ cake mix
  • Its instructed ingredients (egg, oil, water, etc.)
  • 1 T. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. Cayenne Pepper

Frosting:

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 c. Heavy Whipping Cream, well-chilled
  • 1/2 c. Granulated Sugar (standard)
  • Splash of Vanilla
  • 1 t. Cinnamon

Optional Filling:

  • Mocha Mousse
  • 3 T. Apricot preserves mixed with 2 T. Brandy

Prepare the cake batter as directed plus extra spices. Bake off as desired. I dished out 48 miniature cupcakes into lined 24-cup pans, baking each pan 12 minutes. Then I woke up to reality and baked the remaining batter in a 6″ round cake pan lined with parchment paper for 33 minutes. Let them all cool completely. The cupcakes will take less time than a full cake (thermal dynamics is crazy like that).

For the Frosting, place cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whip attachment and cream in sugar and flavorings until smooth and light. Still on medium speed (KitchenAid #4-5), slowly add in the chilled heavy whipping cream. Once it is all added and incorporated, crank that baby up to high (#8-10), step away to grab a spatula, turn back and its done – stiff peaks, room temperature stable non-melting lightly whipped cream. Frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired, decide how many cupcakes your co-workers deserve – and put them ALL onto the pan to let them eat.

Cupcakes
Now for the rest of that cake. Flatten and split the cake into layers as desired – took off the top (was rather domed and split into 2 layers). Place a dollop of frosting onto your cake plate and center a layer on top of it. Slather half of the apricot/brandy mix on it (lush). Ring that layer with a frosting wall and fill further with Mocha Mousse. Top with the remaining layer of cake and repeat! Cover with more frosting – then you have permission to lick the bowl, whip, spatula and any other digits needed.
Cake
Its cake on a plate – ergo – Cake Plate.
Slice coming
Mmmm – hello beautiful!
Slice of Heavenly Chocolate Cake
Yum. Delish ❤

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Recipes

 

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Edible Delight! Apple Panakuchen

A few weeks ago I watched one of my favorite shows on FoodNetwork’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” I cannot remember where this episode was filmed or to which lovely Dive I need to credit, but the Apple Panakuchen was my inspiration this morning. I remembered that this lovely thing was a concoction of spiced near-candied apples baked into a thin eggy batter in a smallish pan, finished in the oven as a puffy delight. So I began with my apples.

  • 1 large Golden Deliscious Apple, cored, quartered and sliced thin across the quarter
  • 1 T. Butter
  • 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 t. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. Ground Cloves
  • Good Grind of Nutmeg
  • Good Grind of Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c. Water

Place all the ingredients into a covered sauce pan on medium. Allow the mixture to come to a bubble and soften for about 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to bubble the apples until liquid reduces to about 1/3. Check on it so the sugars do not burn. The apples would be good on ice cream at this point.

Time to start on the main event – preheat your oven to 400°F and put an oven safe pan into it to heat. You can also use 2 metal pie pans 9″ diameter if you want to make the entire recipe at once.

  • 2 T. Butter, separated
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 3/4 c. Milk
  • 3/4 c. All Purpose Flour
  • Good Grind of Sea Salt
  • Prepared Apple mixture

Measure the flour and salt into a medium sized mixing bowl. Measure the milk into a second bowl and whisk the eggs with the milk. Add 1 T. butter to each hot pan in the oven to melt. Once the butter is melted, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk vigorously together, about 1 minute. Pull both pans out of the oven carefully – they are HOT! and swirl butter over and up the insides of the pan. Place half the apple mixture into each pan, it will sizzle. Pour half of the batter over the apples in each pan and place back into the oven. Let bake for 20-25 minutes. It will puff and rise above the edges of the pan, becoming golden brown and delicious!

Panakuchen in Oven

The panakuchen should slide right out of the pan and will start to fall as soon as it comes out of the oven. Serve it either right side up or upside down by itself or with butter and maple syrup.

Apple Panakuchen with butter and maple syrup

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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