Sinister Brownies

August 29, 2008

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I saw the recipe for these oh so evil brownies at this wonderful blog called sugar plum. The minute I saw them I had no choice but to  try them out! Here’s why, they started haunting me.period. Yes they haunted me in my day dreams at work (pssst.. that’s where I discovered the recipe, when I was taking my well earned 10 minute break). They haunted me while I was at my daily 6k jog!

They are evil. They are rich. They are sooo unbearably delicious! You just want to keep ’em coming!

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Some pointless information regarding myself – since I will be going off to university in like 18 days or so ( I’m going to The university of Nottingham – Malaysia campus), I’ve been really busy accumulating very important necessities – like a french press to make really REALLy REALLLLLY frothy hot chocolate – OMG I’ll tell you about that later). Anyway yesterday we got all the food thingies and beautifying equipment (lotion, potions..)! So I’m really happy about that – it makes it all so real! I never thought that my way overprotective parents will ever part with me – ever! But I guess the beautacious ‘A’ that I got in my A-level economics did the trick! 😀

The recipe from sugar plum

Oreo Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

  • Ingredients:

1) 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2) 3/4 cup granulated sugar

3) 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened

4) 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

5) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6) 1 cup all purpose flour

7) 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

8) 1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)

9) 2 large eggs

10) 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped Oreo cookies

  • Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking dish with foil; coat foil with cooking spray.

2) Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Whisk in sugar and bring to a boil, whisking frequently; boil 1 minute. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

3) In a small mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract, until well combined, about 1 minute.

4) In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt; whisk until combined.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, until combined. Whisk in melted butter-sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, followed by Oreo cookies.

5) Spread half of brownie batter into baking dish, followed by cream cheese layer; dot the top with remaining brownie batter, and spread evenly, as best as you can. Run a knife through batter to make "swirls".
Bake at 350 degrees F, for 23-25 minutes (I kept mine in the oven for around 35 min because I thought they weren’t done – but I should have taken them out earlier – well every body’s gatsta learn somewhere)

6) Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before slicing. Lift foil out of baking dish, and slice into 9 bars. For easier slicing, try freezing the brownies for 30-60 minutes. ( I turned them out on a serving platter – BIG mistake! They got stuck to the plate – not stuck stuck, but you get the picture. I recommend you cut them in the pan then remove each beauty separately – you may notice the from the pictures that they are a somewhat disfigured, well this is the reason)
Yield: 9 brownies

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Eureka!

August 26, 2008

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I have good news.

Do you know how every single person on the planet is in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie?? okay so I haven’t discovered the recipe . .yet, but I did find a recipe that hits close to the ultimate cookie!

I have found the recipe for the perfect peanut butter chocolate ‘chunk’ cookies!

These cookies were soooo right I cant even begin to describe them! The texture was just right they where kinda chewy but not so chewy and the had the perfect crunch (Is that what you call it?!). Not only that but these babies had chocolate CHUNKS instead of your usual mini wannabe’s chips. *sighs deeply* Just perfection!

All I know is I will be baking them again!

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The recipe:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:

1) 1/2 cup butter

2) 1/2 cup brown sugar

3) 1/2 cup sugar

4) 1 cup peanut butter butter

5) 1 egg

6) 1/2 tsp salt

7) 1/2 tsp vanilla

8) 1/2 tsp baking soda

9) 1 1/2 cups flour

10) 1/2 tsp cinnamon

11) 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

2) Cream the butter and both sugars. Beat in the peanut butter and egg.

3) Scrape sides of bowl and beat in the salt, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. When well blended, add flour and stir until it is blended. Stir in the chocolate chunks (Reserve a few chunks for the chef  – Trust me you’ll need them to divert your attention from the dough when shaping it).

4) Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I used my measuring spoons tablespoon to get the same amount) and place on cookie sheets about 5 cm (2 inchs) apart.

5) Flatten balls with the bottom of a flat glass (I used the back of my measuring cups) and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges.

6) Get a large glass of milk and enjoy!

Makes about 35 cookies. Store in airtight container.

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Date and Pecan Pie

August 23, 2008

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As I mentioned earlier, I had a date and pecan pie in the oven and as promised I give you the recipe.

This one is also from my ‘brand new’ cooking light: the best of cooking light book, which I’m in love with!

Also previously mentioned dates happen to be my all time favourite fruit/ dessert, so when I saw this pie I knew that I had to make it. I was very pleased with the result, it was just right – not too sweet and the crust ( which I somehow always struggle with was very easy to make and it did not involve me ending up crying) !

In the serving suggestions the recipe said serve with whipped cream, but I recommend vanilla ice cream (you don’t need a reason for that)!

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So anyway the recipe:

Date and Pecan Pie

(Adapted from cooking light: the best of cooking light)

  • Ingredients:

Crust:
1) 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2) 3 tablespoons ice water
3) 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4) 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
5) 1/4 teaspoon salt
6) 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
7) Cooking spray
Filling:
1) 1/2 cup whole pitted dates, chopped
2) 1/3 cup chopped pecans (I didn’t have pecan so I used Almond, walnut will go just as well) 
3) 1 cup dark corn syrup
4) 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
5) 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7) 1/4 teaspoon salt
8) 4 large eggs

  • Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 325°.

2) To prepare crust: lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/4 cup flour, water, and juice, stirring with a whisk until well blended to form a slurry.

3) Combine 3/4 cup flour, powdered sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add slurry; toss with a fork until mixture is moist. Gently press mixture into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap that overlap; cover with two additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12-inch circle; freeze 10 minutes.

4) Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap; let dough stand 1 minute or until pliable. Fit dough, plastic-wrap side up, into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan. Fold edges under; flute.

5) To prepare filling: sprinkle dates and pecans evenly over bottom of crust. Combine corn syrup and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream! 😀

Yield

10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

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M & M Chocolate Cookies – A la Abeer

August 22, 2008

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Hey ya’ll sorry for the lack of updates but things have been REALLY hectic since I started my very first job as umm .. well I do a lot of typing and filing. Anyway, this job has not been all that bad! I found a bookshop near the office and they were selling all kinds of books for the smallest fraction of the original price!! I got tonnes of books – I am in heaven!!
This recipe if adapted from my brand new cooking light cook book. I made quite a few changes but it turned out sooo good and the best part is they are very very light! So the cookies can actually be enjoyed! 😀

M&M Chocolate Cookies2
 
M&M Chocolate Cookies
(Adapted from Cooking light: the best of cooking light)
Ingredients:
1- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2- 1/2 tsp baking powder
3- 1/4 tsp salt
4- 5 Tbl Butter, Softened
5- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
6- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
7- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8- 1 large egg white
9- 3/4 cups M&M’s
Directions:
1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees Fahrenheit)
2- Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
3- Combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla extract and egg white; beat one minute. Stir in flour mixture and M&M’s.
4- Drop the mixture by level tablespoons 2 inch apart onto baking sheet coated with cooking spray.Place the pans in the freezer for 5 minutes.
5- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

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Yield: 2 dozen cookies; serving size: 1 cookie (yeah right!)

P.S. I just made a date pecan pie! Its baking in the oven as we speak!

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Marmalade, Figs and buttermilk cake

August 10, 2008

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Hey there, I made this cake last week, I got the recipe from sass and veracity but made a few changes to suite my pantry..and taste!
This cake turned out to be soo moist and sticky that you can easily pull it of as a pudding rather than a cake!

In the her recipe, she used some fresh and fig preserve as I didn’t have any of which at home I opted for a lil change but using marmalade and dried figs (which she used in addition to the fresh figs).

This cake was really delicious, basically its like one of those dishes that ..well does not sound like peanut butter and chocolate but when you taste it , it will totally surprise you, so try it you won’t regret it!

Marmalade, figs and buttermilk cake

adapted from sass and veracity

Ingredients:

1) 1 1/2 cup sugar

2) 2 cup all-purpose flour

3) 1 tsp. baking soda

4) 1/2 tsp. salt

5) 1 tsp. ground nutmeg

6) 1 tsp. cinnamon

7) 1/2 tsp. ground allspice

8) 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

9) 1 cup vegetable oil

10) 3 eggs

11) 1 cup buttermilk (I used skimmed buttermilk – tastes the same but its skimmed so :D)

12) 1 TBS. vanilla extract

13) 1 cup marmalade

14) 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

15) Around 20 chopped dried figs

§ Directions:

1) Combine first 8 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add oil and eggs, beating well at medium speed with electric mixer.

2) Add buttermilk and vanilla, beating well.
Stir in marmalade,dried figs and pecans or walnuts.

3) Pour batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan.

4) Bake at 350º F. for 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

5) Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and place on serving platter.

6) Pour buttermilk glaze over cake while both are still warm.

Buttermilk Glaze:

~Ingredients

1) 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

2) 1/4 c. buttermilk

3) 1 TBS. butter

4) 1 tsp. vanilla extract

~ Directions:

1) Melt 1 TBS. butter in saucepan over low heat, add the buttermilk and the powdered sugar, heat till dissolved, then add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

2) If the glaze is to thin or thick add powdered sugar or more buttermilk accordingly until you get the consistency you like.

 

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I scream .. you scream .. we all..

August 5, 2008

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..scream for DATE ICE CREAM!!

Sometime ago I mentioned that I had made the most insanely delicious date ice cream .. well today you get to meet the recipe.

Where I live (Bahrain) you rarely find any cheap fancy fruit like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and rhubarb. So I have been so envious of all the food blogger’s who somehow have unlimited supply to all these berries and have been posting delicious dessert after another consisting of these "fancy fruit" (as I choose to call them).

So now the only fruit that probably grows in Bahrain’s painfully hot climate that can destroy the above fancy fruit and every other fruit in a  food competition is – dates.

Period. No argument. Cuz then we will have SERIOUS issues!

Dates are wonderful dried, but fresh dates with cold milk or buttermilk – its what I call heaven.

Not only are they so low in calories but they are extremely .. extremely nutritious.

Here are Some interesting facts about dates:

Dates Nutrition Information.

A 100 gram portion of fresh dates is a premium source of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy. They are fat free, cholesterol free, and are a good source of fiber Every 100 gram portion includes Vitamin A — 5 mcg beta-carotene and 75 mcg lutein + zeaxanthin and Vitamin B-complex total folate – 13 mcg. A single date contains Vitamin B6 — 0.192 mg. Dates also contain Vitamin A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and more than 20 different amino acids, helping us digest and assimilate carbohydrates easier and control blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies. The selenium lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases, as well as helps us keep our immune systems healthy. As a single date contains around 23 calories, this very low calorie count and the huge amount of healthy substances in dates make them one of the best nutrition sources for a diet plan menu.

A 100 gram portion of fresh dates is a premium source of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy. They are fat free, cholesterol free, and are a good source of fiber Every 100 gram portion includes Vitamin A — 5 mcg beta-carotene and 75 mcg lutein + zeaxanthin and Vitamin B-complex total folate – 13 mcg. A single date contains Vitamin B6 — 0.192 mg. Dates also contain Vitamin A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and more than 20 different amino acids, helping us digest and assimilate carbohydrates easier and control blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies. The selenium lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases, as well as helps us keep our immune systems healthy. As a single date contains around 23 calories, this very low calorie count and the huge amount of healthy substances in dates make them one of the best nutrition sources for a diet plan menu.

Traditional Medicinal Uses.

Dates have a high tannin content and are used medicinally as a detersive (having cleansing power) and astringent in intestinal troubles. As an infusion, decoction, syrup, or paste, dates may be administered for sore throat, colds, bronchial catarrh, and taken to relieve fever and number of other complaints. One traditional belief is that it can counteract alcohol intoxication. The seed powder is also used in some traditional medicines. The roots are used against toothache.

From www.organicfood.com.au

anyway the recipe:

Note: Since dates are very sweet, there is no sugar whatsoever in this recipe! 😀

Date Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1) 1 cup dates, seeded and roughly chopped

2) 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin

3) 1 ½ cups evaporated milk, whipped

4) ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

5) 3 tablespoon hot water

Directions:

1) Place dates in a bowl with cardamom powder and mash to incorporate.

2) Put 3 tablespoon hot water in a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin. Place over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until dissolved. Pour on to the dates and mix well.

3) Add the whipped evaporated milk and fold to incorporate. Pour the mixture into a plastic freezer container and freeze until half frozen.

4) Place in a food processor until smooth. Spoon back into container and refreeze. Stir after two hours or so.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving and place in the fridge. Garnish with fresh dates if desired.

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