My friend wanted me to "teach her how to bake." Her only request was that it be chocolate, so after a quick scroll through my Pinterest pins, we decided on these cast iron skillet brownies. The hardest part of this recipe is probably melting the chocolate since it can burn so easily. Other than that, it's pretty straight-forward and so delicious!
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.
In a medium cast iron skillet, bring butter and cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add chocolate; reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes.
Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended (reserve skillet). Fold in flour mixture. Pour batter into skillet.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. (I actually cooked mine for about 37 minutes until a toothpick came out clean, but the brownies turned out a little dry around the edges. Next time, I'll probably take mine out at around 30 minutes for some gooey-er brownies.) 5. Serve from skillet, warm or at room temperature.
I needed dishwasher detergent, and surprise surprise, I was too lazy to go to the store. If I can make my own laundry detergent, why can't I make my own dishwasher detergent? Well, I can! Some recipes I found online called for citric acid, lemon juice, or even citrus oils, none of which I had and was obviously not going to go to the store to buy. Then, I found the simplest recipe ever, equal parts baking soda and Borax. All you need to do is mix the Borax and baking soda together. Then, add about two tablespoons to your dishwasher's detergent compartment, and run as usual. I mixed mine in a jar so I could just pour it in to the dishwasher.
The dishes seemed clean to me, so it looked like this homemade dishwasher detergent works. I'm not sure how it'll do with stuck on foods though because I'm one of those crazies that likes to scrub down my dishes before running through the washer. According to About.com, "Borax and baking soda are both natural disinfectants and mild abrasives – just what you need to blast away stuck on food and germs. In fact, you may be interested to learn that Borax is a common ingredient in many commercial detergents."
Here's another great Pinterest find. These cookies only have four ingredients, and they are super easy to make. No eggs needed! If you use margerine instead of butter, does that mean they're vegan? Except for the cream cheese frosting, which would be such a shame to leave out because it can make anything taste amazing. I forgot the step to flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass so they look a little funky, but they still tasted amazing! They almost melt in your mouth...no wonder they're called meltaways!
1 C. butter
3/4 C. cornstarch
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. flour
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
In a medium bowl, cream butter until fluffy.
Add cornstarch & sugar and blend well.
Beat in flour until thoroughly mixed.
Drop by small teaspoons onto baking sheet & flatten out with the bottom of a glass dipped in powdered sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack & frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
I got these glasses for free. I love them because they're my favorite color and they actually fit my face (which is extremely hard for my little nose), but they say Smirnoff on the sides. I thought about painting them, or covering it with paper, but then I remembered a box of emboridery floss my mom sent me home with after Christmas. I was planning on being nostalgic and making some friendship bracelets, but so far the box has gone untouched until now! I made this project extremely easy by using double stick tape, but you could do the same with glue for something a little more durable.
Cut double stick tape to fit the length of your sunglasses.
Starting with your first color, tie a double knot around the sunglasses making sure it is hidden on the inside.
Wrap the embroidery floss around the glasses, pressing it into the tape as you go.
To change colors, finish off with a knot and start your new color with a double knot.
Chocolate chip cookies are always a classic favorite, and has there ever been a more famous recipe than this one from Nestle Toll House? Anyone remember that Friends episode?
Monica: Well, I mean what about friends of your grandmother’s? Wouldn’t they have the recipe? Phoebe: Well, y’know I may have relatives in France who would know. My grandmother said she got the recipe from her grandmother, Nesele Tolouse. Monica: What was her name? Phoebe: Nesele Toulouse. Monica: Nestle Toll House?! Phoebe: Oh, you Americans always butcher the French language.
It's a little different than the Martha Stewart recipe I tried here. I can't really tell you which one I prefer so I guess you'll just have to try them both!
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.)Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets or one lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
A friend of mine has a grapefruit tree in his backyard and gave me a load of them. What else could I make with grapefruits besides juice? Cookies! These were a little unusual, but a nice combination of tart and sweet. Nice and light and perfect for spring time. The original recipe is for cut-out cookies, but my dough was a little sticky so I just dropped the dough instead.
Grated zest of 1 Ruby Red grapefruit, plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
In a small bowl, combine zest with 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and remaining sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add egg yolks, and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in reserved zest-sugar mixture. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the juice, and beat to combine.
Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes. Transfer parchment paper and cookies to rack to cool completely.
I want to go to the beach tomorrow. 'Nuff said. Here are some great bikini trends to keep an eye out for.
1. Fringe - A super fun detail and great for small-chested ladies like me.
2. Retro - Mad Men anyone? High-waisted bottoms and sweetheart necklines can also create the illusion of curves.
3. Geometric - Bold a sporty. Plus, you can use color blocking to fake a perfect figure.
Happy National Eggs Benedict Day! Eggs Benedict is pretty good, and definitely a treat if I go out to a nice brunch. I try not to eat it too much because Hollandaise sauce isn't the most healthy. Poaching an egg is one of the lowest calorie ways to prepare eggs since there's no added fat. Try serving over toast with a little salt and pepper. If you want to go all out and make Eggs Benedict, try this recipe here.
1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar (rice vinegar works well) (optional)
First bring water in a saucepan to almost boiling. If the water is already boiling, lower the heat until it is no longer boiling. At this point, you can add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water, if you want. The vinegar will help the egg whites to congeal more easily. We use seasoned rice vinegar.
Working with the eggs one by one, crack an egg into a small cup, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the eggwhites closer to their yolks. This will help the egg whites hold together.
Lift eggs out of pan with a slotted spoon.
One trick to make the eggs stay somewhat contained is to take a ring from a mason jar and place it in the pan. Drop the egg over the mason jar ring and let it settle in the ring, then turn off the heat and cover. Or, you can use an egg poacher.
In my continued Easter baking, I decided I wanted to make cupcakes because I had a bunch of Easter themed cupcake liners. My mom always buys them on sale and gives them to me. In my search for some spring timey desserts, I found these jam-filled cupcakes. They're relatively easy to make, and I find that cupcakes filled with anything are always impressive. The little hint of jam is such a sweet surprise!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup seedless jam (I used blueberry)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan. Combine flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in two parts, alternating with 1/2 cup milk.
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, whisk together confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, gradually add cocoa mixture, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat frosting until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.
Using a paring knife or cupcake corer, cut a 1-inch-deep piece from the top of each cupcake (do not discard). Fill each hole with 1 teaspoon jam and replace cutout pieces. Frost cupcakes.
For Christmas, my mom gave me a cookie press. I'm kind of surprised it's taken me this long to try it. Since I knew I wanted to bake a lot for Easter, I figured it was the perfect time to bust it out. There are a lot of different recipes out there, so I tried two, this one from Martha Stewart and a shortbread recipe. This one tasted better, so I figured I'd share it with you. Besides, when has Martha ever been wrong? I threw some blue food coloring in there, but you can also use colored sugar or even frosting.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Fill a cookie press either by spooning the dough into the container or by making cylinder-shaped piece of dough to fit in the tube. Turn out cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until the cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate sheet halfway through the baking process. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.