Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Acorns

So fun and easy to make.  I made these little acorns for Thanksgiving.

Melt a small amount of mini chocolate chips in the microwave.
Dip the flat end of a Hershey's Kiss into melted chocolate.
Place on top of a Nutter-Butter Bite cookie.
Dip the flat end of a mini chocolate chip into the melted chocolate and place on top of the cookie.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

Make sure you have a cup of coffee or milk with this rich and decadent cake.

Cake Ingredients:

12 TBS (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 TBS brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Icing Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
8 TBS (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
3/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup + 3 TBS heavy cream

Cake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Line bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with waxed paper.  Grease and lightly flour the waxed paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and two sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix only until blended.  Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to make sure it is completely blended. 

Divide the batter between the two cake pans.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, remove from pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Directions:

Combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.  Mix on medium-low speed until creamy.  Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. 

Serves 8-10

Source:  Barefoot Contessa At Home - Ina Garten


Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Not only is this soup delicious, it is very good for you also.

7 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, cut into large pieces (about 1 1/2 inches)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 (15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp Tabasco
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375.  Toss the tomatoes, onion and garlic with the olive oil, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper in a large bowl, then transfer to a baking sheet.  Roast until the garlic cloves have softened, the edges of the onions are browned and the tomatoes have collapsed, 35-40 minutes, stirring once after the first 20 minutes.

Transfer the roasted vegetable mixture to a 4-quart saucepan.  Add the broth, beans, cumin, chili powder and the remaining 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.  Stir in the hot pepper sauce.  Pour soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

Source:  So Easy - Ellie Krieger


Fig Bran Muffins

These bran muffins are moist and delicious.

1 1/2 cups bran cereal (All-Bran)
1 cup low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
2 TBS unsulfured molasses
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup chopped dried figs, plus 2 whole dried figs, thinly sliced (you can also use dates)

Preheat oven to 400.  Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cereal and milk.  Let sit until softened, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.

Add the applesauce, honey, oil, molasses and egg to the cereal mixture and stir until combined.  Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Gently stir in the chopped figs (or dates).  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and top each muffin with a fig slice.  Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  If necessary, run a knife around the muffins to loosen from the tin.  Unmold the muffins and cool completely on a rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Source:  So Easy - Ellie Krieger