Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes

February 14, 2017

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February 14th….yup, you guessed it…It is Valentine’s Day. Does everyone know what amazing dish they’re making for their sweeties to celebrate the day? I tell you, I think I’ve got a real winner here with these Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes. The husband loves a good G&T. The two places which he ranks as making the best G&T’s out there are the Slippbarinn in the Marina Hotel in Reykjavik Iceland (kind of difficult to get there for us…) and Saison in good old Richmond Virginia (Dangerously close to us if you know what I mean!). Although each version of this classic cocktail has very different flavor profiles, they both share the use of grapefruit juice and garnish in their mix rather than the traditional lime. So that is what I did here. Bring on the grapefruit I say. Wow! These boozy little cupcakes are just perfect.

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So refreshing with bold citrus flavors and floral gin notes. And I should also mention that I frosted them with a pink grapefruit/gin swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Yeah, swiss meringue frosting rules. So fluffy, so light. It is everything you could ever want in a frosting.

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It is actually strange for me to say that recently I am really into grapefruit. I absolutely hated it as a kid and was at a loss as to why anyone would eat one. Can’t get enough of it now. I’m even sipping on a grapefruit flavored fizzy water as I write this. And G&T’s are also something I never cared for in the past. To me drinking any kind of gin was like licking a Christmas tree. But my opinion has definitely changed since I took a taste of the husband’s G&T at Saison. I couldn’t wait to order my own! Saison is our favorite restaurant in Richmond, which says a lot because Richmond is just chock full of fantastic eateries. A real foodie destination I tell you, but it is actually pretty difficult to tempt us away from Saison when we are in town. Not only has every morsel of food we have ever gotten there been delicious, but their cocktails are also simply superb – especially their G & T’s. One of the things that makes Saison’s G&T so remarkable is that it is a hopped G&T. They actually make their own hopped tonic. Now they used to sell little bottles of this magical tonic, but their G&T is such a popular cocktail for them, that they had trouble making enough tonic for both the bar and take out market. Here is where we totally lucked out. We happened to be there last week and the bartender had just made up a brand new batch of tonic. Not only were we able to enjoy it in a Hopped Gin and Tonic or two…we were also actually able to buy a little bit of the hopped tonic to take home with us. I used it in these Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes. That’s right…the ones we are scarfing down here are actually Pink Grapefruit Hopped Gin & Tonic cupcakes! OMG! So delicious! The hopped tonic is slightly bitter but also citrusy which pairs so well with the sweet grapefruit notes. Now I know not everyone can get ahold of that amazing elixir. Like I said, we really lucked out. But you can use regular tonic water and the results will still be stellar!

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So I don’t know if your Valentine is anything like mine….he is not so much into chocolate, but loves fruit desserts. And he loves G&T’s, so these Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes are a Valentine’s Day dessert match made in heaven for him. I’d wager you’d love them too. And don’t forget, if you are ever in Richmond, you must grab a bite to eat as well as a Hopped G&T at Saison! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes

  • Servings: 15 -18 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe inspired by: Globe Scoffers

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 180 grams unsalted butter
  • 180 grams caster (superfine) sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 large pink grapefruit
  • 180 grams self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 4 Tablespoons tonic water
  • 2 Tablespoons Gin (plus more for brushing over cupcakes)

For the Frosting:

  • 5 large (150 grams) egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons Gin
  • grapefruit zest for garnish

Directions:

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line muffin tins with cupcakes papers.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and grapefruit zest until light and fluffy.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add the flour/baking powder and mix until it is just incorporated. Take care not to over mix.

Stir in the tonic water and gin, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide the mixture between the cupcake wells. I use an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes on a metal rack. While they are still warm, poke several holes in each cake with a skewer. Brush liberally with gin and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice or vinegar to remove any trace of grease. Make a double boiler by placing the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl, whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140°F, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add the butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add the vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.

Add the grapefruit juice and gin slowly, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and mix until well combined.

If you would like to make this frosting ahead of time, keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let come to room temperature and rewhip in the mixer with the paddle attachment before using.

When you are ready to frost the cupcakes, place frosting in pastry bag fitted with whatever tip you desire and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Garnish with grapefruit zest and wedges as you prefer.

Enjoy!

Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Useful links for Kitchen Tools and Ingredients for Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic Cupcakes:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Oxo Good Grips Ice Cream Scoop

King Arthur Self Rising Flour – You can also find this on Amazon, but have to purchase several bags of it.

India Tree Superfine Caster Baking Sugar

Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Tonic Trio – I have never actually tried these, but if you are into the idea of artisan tonics these might be fun to experiment with. Just add soda water to these syrups for a unique flavor profile.

 

 

 


Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

December 6, 2016

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I’ve got another great Autumn dessert for you today! Just take a look at this Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting! With a texture somewhat similar to carrot cake, this incredibly moist treat is just bursting with all of the flavors of Fall, like apple, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. And that Brown Sugar Frosting? It is just unbelievably dreamy – smooth and creamy with notes of maple and caramel flavors. It is very similar to fudge to be honest.

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And I must say, I do love an old-fashioned sheet cake. You can’t get much easier than that and you just frost it right there in the pan. This Fall treat is delicious when eaten the same day it was made. But, I gotta say, I think it even tastes better the next day (if you can manage to keep from scarfing it all down at once that is…). Good for dessert, coffee breaks or even breakfast. Perfect for potlucks or church socials. Serve it up with a nice cold glass of milk. You can’t go wrong with this one!

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Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

  • Servings: 24 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
  • 1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans

For the frosting:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ pan. 

To make the cake: Toast whatever nuts you are using by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350° oven until they are golden brown; about 6 – 9 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and nuts in a large bowl. 

Beat until well combined; the mixture will be very stiff, and may even be crumbly. 

Add the apples and nuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency. 

Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it. 

Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely; don’t remove the cake from the pan. 

To make the frosting: Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. 

Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, stir in the sifted confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Spread on the cake while frosting is still warm.

Enjoy!

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Thanksgiving Pie – Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache & Boozy Cranberry Sauce

November 22, 2016

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I’m sure you already know this but…Thanksgiving is upon us! It is time to get all your menus for the big day finalized and you just might want to start cooking! But before you make that final shopping run, I wanted to share a great dessert recipe with you. I call it “Thanksgiving Pie”. Now I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there who consider Pumpkin Pie or even Sweet Potato Pie to be their “Thanksgiving Pie”. I get that. But they haven’t tasted this Thanksgiving Pie. In fact, I’d wager that with one little forkful, this pie would be able to wrest that title away from any other contender. You see my Thanksgiving Pie is actually a Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, and a Pumpkin Ganache topping. And as if that wasn’t enough, I serve it with a garnish of Boozy Cranberry Sauce drizzled over the top. You see….that title is ridiculously long winded. Hence, Thanksgiving Pie. Or maybe you could call it “Special Thanksgiving Pie”.

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It has got all of those iconic Thanksgiving flavors going on, the pumpkin, the cinnamon, the cranberry. Yum, yum yum! I got the idea for this amazing pie from Chef Christina Tosi in her Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook. If you look, you won’t see a recipe for this actual pie there. I cobbled it together from various recipes listed there. The cookbook is designed around “mother recipes” and then lists variations you can take to build on that recipe. There are definitely some tried and true Momufuku Milk Bar favorites listed there, but you can also get creative with the flavor profiles and come up with your own favorites.

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Now keep in mind, there are a few steps involved here in making this masterpiece. You definitely must plan ahead because I know things tend to get really hectic this time of year. But there is still plenty of time, no worries whatsoever. And you can make the Blonde Pie Filling and Pumpkin Ganache ahead of time and then just make the crust and assemble when you are ready. It can all be done the day before the big day and just be chilling somewhere.

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Once folks are just starting to slip into their Turkey Comas but still want a little dessert before completely losing consciousness, voila! You will be ready with the Thanksgiving Pie of their dreams!

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Thanksgiving Pie - Toffee Blonde Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust, Pumpkin Ganache & Boozy Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 1 Ten inch pie 8-10 slices
  • Difficulty: moderate - a lot of steps and recipes within recipes
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recipe cobbled together from various Christina Tosi recipes found in the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

Ingredients:

For the Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups diced crusts and end pieces from 1 loaf of packaged white bread (10 ounces of crusts)

For the Blonde Pie filling:

  • 160 grams (5 1/2 oz.) white chocolate
  • 55 grams (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40 grams (3 Tablespoons) sugar
  • 105 grams (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 52 grams (1/3 cup) flour
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt

For the pumpkin ganache:

  • 150 grams (5 1/4 oz.) white chocolate
  • 25 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 50 grams (2 tablespoons) glucose ( no glucose? substitute 18 grams (1 Tablespoon) corn syrup
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) cold heavy cream
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) cinnamon

For the garnish:

  • Fresh cranberry sauce (optional. You can use store-bought cranberry sauce or if you aren’t already spending enough time on this pie and you can’t bear to leave the kitchen yet – see Cranberry Sauce recipe below)

Directions:

Make the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 325° F. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes; strain into a glass measuring cup.

Pour half of the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and chopped bread, and toss. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.

Rewarm the remaining butter. Place Cinnamon Crunch croutons in a food processor. Pour the remaining butter over the croutons. Pulse until fine crumbs form. Place the crumbs into a 10-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate the crust until chilled, 15 minutes.

Make the Toffee Blonde Pie Filling:

Combine the white chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt them on medium, in 30 second increments, stirring between blasts. Once melted, whisk the mixture until smooth.

Put the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream and whisk to combine.

Stir the flour, toffee chips, and salt together in a small bowl, then carefully fold them into the filling. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Make the Pumpkin Ganache:

Combine the white chocolate and butter in a microwave safe dish and gently melt them in the microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring between blasts. The result should be barely warm to the touch and totally homogeneous.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a container that can accommodate and immersion blender (yes, it must be an immersion blender, Chef Tosi insists!) – something tall and narrow. Warm the glucose in the microwave for 15 seconds, then immediately add to the chocolate mixture and buzz with the hand blender. After a minute, stream in the heavy cream, with the hand blender running – the mixture will come together into something silky, shiny and smooth.

Blend in the pumpkin puree, salt and cinnamon. Put the ganache in the fridge to firm up before using, at least 4 hours, or ideally, overnight. Stored in an airtight container, pumpkin ganache will keep fresh in the fridge for 1 week.

Assemble the pie:

Once your Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust has chilled, fill it with the cooled Toffee Blonde Pie filling. Use a spatula to smooth top. Place cooled Pumpkin Ganache in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe ganache over the top of the pie. If you would rather, you can simply use a spatula to smooth the ganache over the top of the Toffee Blonde Pie filling. Serve with a side of Boozy Cranberry Sauce if you desire. (and why wouldn’t you….)

Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Pie brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces, weight Fresh Cranberries
  • 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup quality Bourbon

Directions:

Pick through the cranberries, removing any stems or berries that don’t look plump and ripe. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Stir to combine, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all have burst. Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will look very liquidy, but will thicken as it cools. After the sauce has cooled completely, stir in the bourbon. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled.

Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time.

Links to Useful Kitchen tools and Ingredients for Thanksgiving Pie:

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

Kitchen Aid Hand Blender

Heath Bits O’Brickle Toffee Bits

Libby’s Pumpkin Puree (This link is for 6 -15 oz. cans. Way more than you need for this recipe. However, you can at least see what it looks like here and then maybe find it in your local market or heck, get all 6 and be ready anytime a pumpkin need arises)

Glucose

 


Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread & Rolls

November 18, 2016

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Now here is one lovely recipe to add to your Fall baking repertoire – Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread and/or Cinnamon Apple Rolls. You will love how scrumptious your house smells when it is filled with the cozy, comforting aroma of cinnamon and apples. But you know what you’ll really love? How delicious this soft, tender and sweet bread tastes. I’ll consider you pretty dang accomplished if you can keep from eating it all in one sitting!

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I know you might be thinking that this bread looks a bit complicated. But don’t fear. It is actually pretty easy to make. I used to be awfully intimidated by any recipe that called for yeast. Now I don’t even give it a second thought. It really isn’t that hard and the results for your efforts are so worth it. So to make this bread have such a lovely swirled appearance, you simply roll your filled dough up as though you were making a jelly roll or cinnamon buns.

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Then rather than cutting the individual rolls, you cut the roll in half lengthwise and twist the two pieces together. Now I will admit, the filling does leak out a bit, but don’t freak out, there is still plenty of filling left inside. The day is not lost. I will say that the original recipe called for a King Arthur Flour product called Clear Jel (link provided below). Apparently this powder thickens fillings and sauces without giving them a starchy taste. I didn’t have any on hand, though will be getting some in my next King Arthur Flour shipment, so I used flour as the thickener for this batch. Since I already know I will be making this amazing bread again, I’ll try that Clear Jel out next time.

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This recipe is pretty versatile too in that you can make either two loaves of twisted bread, two pans of apple cinnamon rolls or one loaf of twisted bread and one pan of rolls. So if you are really anxious about trying the twisty bread, make the rolls. They are pretty easy-peasy.

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Your family will be thrilled with this delicious Fall treat! And don’t forget, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. How amazing would it be to wake up with that turkey hang-over the day after and have a batch of this Cinnamon Apple Bread waiting for you? Just saying…

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Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread & Rolls

  • Servings: 2 loaves of twist bread or 16 to 18 rolls or 1 loaf and 8 - 9 rolls
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 3 1/4 cups Pastry Flour Blend or All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup dried potato flakes
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup room-temperature or lukewarm milk

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup peeled, grated apple (1 to 2 large apples)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon boiled cider (if you don’t have boiled cider, just use 2 tablespoons heavy cream. The boiled cider just bumps up the apple flavor. There is a link below to where you can buy it.)

Directions:

To make the dough: Whisk together all of the dry ingredients , then add the butter, flavor, egg, and milk, mixing until a shaggy dough forms. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes; this resting period allows the flour to absorb the liquid fully, making it easier to knead.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes; it should feel slightly sticky and soft. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the dough feels firm or dry. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it’s almost doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The amount of time this takes will depend on the temperature of your kitchen; yeast works the fastest at about 85°F, but we prefer the flavor the bread gets from a longer, cooler (about 70°F) rise.

To make the filling: While the dough is rising, make the filling. Whisk together the sugar, ClearJel, and cinnamon. (If you substitute flour for the ClearJel, the filling will be runny at first, but will firm up when baked.)

Toss the grated apple with the lemon juice, then add that to the ClearJel and sugar mixture. Mix well, and set aside.

To assemble the loaf: Gently deflate the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured or greased work surface. Fold it over once or twice to remove the excess gas. Divide the dough in half. Roll the first half into a 10″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread half the filling over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1/2″ margin clear of filling along all sides.

Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log, taking care to pinch the edges closed as you are rolling. This will help keep the filling from leaking out. Finish your roll with the seam on top, rather than underneath of the roll and then seal that edge. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise. Place the half-logs, filled side up, side by side on a well-greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Keeping the filling side up, twist or “braid” the two logs together, working from the center to each end. Pinch the ends together. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cover the twists lightly, and set them aside to rise for 1 to 2 hours.

To make rolls: Follow the directions above to the point where you’ve rolled the dough into a log. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough, then cut each log into 1″ slices. Some folks recommend a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the rolls. I prefer using a strand of unflavored dental floss. Place the slices cut side up in well-greased or parchment-lined pans, placing them close together (though not touching) for soft-sided rolls, or about 2 inches apart for crustier rolls. Allow the rolls to rise until they’re puffy. 

To bake the bread: Bake the loaves in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes (or the rolls for 18 to 20 minutes), until they’re lightly browned. Check the loaves after 20 minutes and tent with aluminum foil if they’re browning too quickly around the edges. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for about 1 hour before glazing and serving.

To make the glaze: Mix together all of the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the loaves or rolls once they’re cool.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread and Rolls brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread & Rolls:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

SAF Instant Yeast

Clear-Jel

Boiled Cider


Mississippi Mud Brownies

November 8, 2016

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Hmmmm….what is going on with me? I mean my blood sugar levels have barely recovered from my self-induced Halloween Candy Coma and here I am posting a recipe for more sweeties! Oh…and let me tell you, this isn’t just any old dessert. No sir-ee…this here is one of the most rich, decadent and utterly addictive brownie creations I have ever had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into…Mississippi Mud Brownies! Now I am well aware that there are countless Mississippi Mud Brownie recipes out there, not to mention the legions of Mississippi Mud Cakes, Mississippi Mud Pies and Mississippi Mud bars. Seems folks just can’t get enough of that good ole Mississippi Mud. What all of these delectable creations have in common is lots and lots of rich chocolate and oooey – gooey marshmallow. Many also have some nuts thrown into the mix and I even came across a few that make some good use of peanut butter. Yup many variations indeed. It seems like this quintessentially Southern dessert must have been around forever. But it looks like it actually originated in the 1970’s and was wildly popular back then. Apparently it wasn’t just a fad. Mississippi Mud desserts are still hot to this day!

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This particular Mississippi Mud Brownie recipe will deliver you up a batch of moist, rich, dense chocolate chip filled brownies which are topped with a layer of fluffy marshmallow creme and lovingly drizzled with even more chocolate. I really think critical chocolate mass was achieved here. No nuts in these little gems, but as I’ve mentioned the recipe is easily customizable. Have a nut lover in your house? Throw a few handfuls into the mix or sprinkle them over the top. You can’t go wrong with this mouth-wateringly delicious creation. And perhaps if you hop to it you can have a batch ready before the final election results are in. I’m sure the resulting sugar rush will help soothe your frayed nerves. Though you might need to add something a bit more medicinal to that glass of milk – if you know what I’m saying. 😉

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Mississippi Mud Brownies

  • Servings: one 13x9 inch pan
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Pass the Sushi

Ingredients:

For the Brownies:

  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips – I used semisweet

For the Topping:

  • 3/4 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with aluminium foil and spray with baking spray.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 5-7 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs and sugar on low speed until completely incorporated. Pour in the melted chocolate and continue to mix. Add the flour and beat mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and using a rubber spatula, smooth out evenly.

Bake for 40 -50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few wet crumbs. Place on a wire rack.

Scoop dollops of the marshmallow creme onto the hot brownies and let sit for one minute until softened.  Spread the marshmallow creme evenly over the brownies. Meanwhile, in a heat proof bowl, combine the chocolate chips and oil and microwave until smooth, 30 – 60 seconds. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the marshmallow creme layer.

Cool for at least 2 hours before removing from pan, cutting into squares, and serving.

Enjoy!

Mississippi Mud Brownies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

October 27, 2016

 

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Oh ho ho! It’s getting close to my favorite holiday! No not Thanksgiving – not that I’m not thankful or anything…I am. But….I’m talking about Halloween! Whats not to like? You get to dress weird, drink booze and eat candy for dinner. In fact all of that fun stuff is encouraged. That is my kind of holiday! These White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels will be a welcome addition to all of your Halloween festivities. Quite tasty and maybe a bit more on the cute than scary side of things, they will prove to be very popular with all of the ghosts and ghouls your encounter on All Hallow’s Eve.

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Dogs can have white chocolate right?

Halloween actually has Celtic origins. Our modern Halloween celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun-god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our Halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. Oh and I shouldn’t forget mummies. Yup they’ll be about too.

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These treats are very easy to make. Just melt your chocolate in a double boiler. Use a spoon to pour chocolate over 3/4 of the pretzel rod. Tap the rod lightly against the side of the bowl to shake off any excess chocolate and then just add the eyes and bandages. I actually made it a bit harder on myself because I was convinced that I didn’t want to eat those candy eyeballs which come oh so conveniently in a pack from the store. No, I decided it would be a good idea to use and upside down white chocolate chip for the white of the mummy’s eyes and then add a mini M&M for the iris bit. Well, that required me to whittle the pointy bit off of 40 chocolate chips so that they would sit flat on the mummy’s face, then stick the M&M to the chip with a bit more melted chocolate and finally to draw the pupils onto the M&M with an edible marker. Yeah….store bought candy eyeballs would have probably worked just fine! Oh well, live and learn. And you can benefit with the knowledge of my travails. Though the M&M eyes are pretty cute, you gotta admit…

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White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels

  • Servings: 18 - 20 Mummy Pretzels
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Lets Dish Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 pretzel rods
  • 12 ounces white melting chocolate (such as Ghirardelli)
  • 40 white chocolate chips*
  • 40 mini M&Ms*

Directions:

Melt chocolate according to package directions. Dip pretzel rods into white chocolate, or use a spoon to coat, covering about 2/3 of the pretzel. Gently tap pretzel rod on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate.

Place two candy eyeballs on each pretzel rod (if they slip off, let the chocolate set for about a minute first). Place on waxed paper to set. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Or if you want to spend a bit more time fussing over them, place white chocolate chips upside down on the mummies for the whites of their eyes. You will likely need to whittle the pointy bit off of the top of the chip so that it sits flat.

Carefully spoon remaining chocolate into a pastry bag, zip-top bag or squeeze bottle. If using a bag, snip of a small corner. Drizzle white chocolate over the pretzels to form bandages, being careful not to cover the eyes, to resemble a mummy. If using mini M&M’s for eyes, squeeze one drop of chocolate on each M&M and stick it onto the white chocolate chips you placed earlier. Use an edible marker to add the pupil of each eye in the center of the M&Ms. Let white chocolate set completely before serving.

Enjoy!

*You can just use store bought candy eyeballs if you prefer.

White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for White Chocolate Mummy Pretzels:

Wilton Candy Eyeballs

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melting Wafers

Still looking for additional spooky Halloween treats for your festivities? Take a look at some of my past Halloween offerings.

Yeasted Irish Barmbrack Bread (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

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Irish Tea Barmbrack with a Whiskey Honey Glaze (traditional Halloween/Samhain)

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Soul Cakes (Traditional Halloween/ Samhain)

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Halloween Cookies & Cream Owl Cupcakes

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Mini Mummy Brownie Bite Cupcakes

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Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies

October 14, 2016

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Sorry…Did someone say Bacon…Bourbon and Peanut Butter in one little cookie? And it is salted! Whaaaat?!! Can you do that? Yes indeed you can and that is just what I did here. These naughty boozy little cookies are completely amazing. With gooey peanut butter, smoky bacon, rich chocolate and silky smooth bourbon (Knob Creek is our favorite) all enhanced with a perfect sprinkling of flaky sea salt, how could they be anything other than oh so decadent and sinfully delicious! Wonderful with a glass of milk or maybe with another shot of bourbon for an indulgent nightcap.

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These cookies would be perfect for tailgating, a very welcome treat for any adult trick-or-treaters you might encounter and certainly keep these in mind when those Super Bowl parties fire up!

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Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: The Endless Meal

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ⅓ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • Maldon Sea Salt for Sprinkling over top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings and set aside to cool. Once cool, crumble the bacon, remove (eat) any chewy bits.

Beat the butter and reserved bacon drippings in a large bowl with a mixer on until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the peanut butter until combined, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and light brown sugar and mix until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and bourbon and beat until light and fluffy, about two more minutes.

Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed, until just combined.

Stir in the crumbled bacon and chocolate chips

Form the dough into 1″ balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle Maldon flaky sea salt over the dough balls. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator and let cookie dough rest overnight. If you are rushed for time, you can simply let the cookies chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, though I think an overnight rest results in a more flavorful cookie.*

Once you are ready to bake. Place cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking tray 2″ apart. Bake for about 8 minutes for chewy cookies, 10 for crispier cookies.

Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

* You can also freeze the cookie dough balls at this point. Once the dough is frozen you can remove it from the baking tray and store in a ziplock bag. When you are ready to treat yourself to a cookie or two (or so…) remove from freezer and bake as directed above, but add two minutes to the overall baking time.

Salty Bacon Bourbon Peanut Butter Cookies brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


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