Monday, 18 February 2013

Frosted Fudge Brownies

I have tried a lot of brownie recipes over the years.  I stopped searching when I found this one.  I like moist fudgie brownies and these are exactly what I was looking for.  You can add nuts if you desire or add seasonal sprinkles on top. 



1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


6 tablespoons butter
2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk


In a saucepan (or microwave), melt butter.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cocoa; let cool.  In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture.  Stir in vanilla, nuts (if using) and the cooled chocolate mixture; mix well.  Spread into a greased 9" x 13" baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (do not overbake).  Cool on a wire rack.  For frosting, in a mixing bowl cream butter, confectioners sugar, cocoa and vanilla.  Add enough milk until the frosting is of spreading consistency.  Spread over brownies.  Cut into bars.

Makes 2 dozen brownies.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Dream Bars

These aren't the prettiest bars you've ever seen, but you'll soon forget that when you bite into them.  The coconut, nuts and brown sugar bake together to make a gooey rich topping on top of a buttery cookie base. 


Cookie layer

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Stir in the flour and salt; the mixture will be crumbly.  Pat the crumbs into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.  Bake the cookie layer for 10 minutes.  Once the base has been removed from the oven turn the oven up to 325 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and baking powder.  Stir in the eggs, mixing until smooth, then add the coconut and nuts, mxing until well combined.  Dollop the topping onto the crust in the pan, spreading it out as evenly as possible. 

Bake the bars for 30 minutes, until they're golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let them cool.  Sprinkle them with confectioners' sugar, if desired and cut into squares. 

Makes about 24 bars.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Banana Nut Bread

I have made this moist loaf with or without nuts.  I will sometimes substitute the nuts with mini chocolate chips, depending on who will be eating it.  It freezes wonderfully, so you could use up those over-ripe bananas and put the loaf in the freezer for unexpected guests. 


2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup mashed banana, 2 to 3 very ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and oil.  Blend in the mashed banana and vanilla.  Whisk together and then sift (it's important that these be thoroughly combined) the soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.  Add all at once to the banana mixture.  Mix quickly but thoroughly, then stir in the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. 

Pour the batter into a greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.  Bake the bread for about 60 to 70 minutes.  Or until a cake tester inserted int the center comes out clean. 

Makes one large loaf.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Caramel Apple Mini Cakes

These cakes are even better when eaten the next day.  If they last that long!



2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup applesauce
3 cups peeled, chopped apples
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped


5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease the wells of a square or regular 12 cup muffin tin.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices; set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, then mix in the dry ingredients, vanilla, boiled cider and applesauce, stirring until evenly moistened.  Fold in the apples and walnuts. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tested inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cakes for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan; cool completely before frosting. 

For the frosting: 

Melt the butter, stir in the salt, brown sugar and corn syrup and cook, stirring until the sugar melts.  Add the milk, bring to a rolling boil and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.  Stir in the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar.  Spread on the cakes while the frosting is still warm. 

Makes 12 servings

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Honey Bran Muffins


1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup liquid honey
1 1/2 cups all-bran cereal
1 cup raisins or chopped dates
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Grease 12 large muffin tins or line with paper baking cups.  Combine milk and lemon juice or vinegar; set aside.  Beat egg in medium mixing bowl with a fork.  Blend in oil, honey and soured milk.  Stir in cereal and raising or dates, stirring until just moisetened. 

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.  Spoon batter into bups, generously filling each to the top. 

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from tins to cool completely. They freeze well. 

* you can use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour or all whole wheat flour if desired.

Makes 12 large muffins