Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sour Cream Cornbread

Lifted this one from the land o' lakes website, and surprisingly, it works quite well. Very fluffy, very light. The final cornbread is also not very sweet, just the way I like it.

Sour Cream Cornbread

- 2 sticks softened butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup milk

- 2 cups AP flour
- 1.5 cups cornmeal
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. First cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Then add eggs one at a time.
  3. Then add remainder of wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet in halves, mix well.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees F in a greased baking pan for about 23-24 minutes.
  6. Makes 1 shallow 9 x 13" corn bread.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars, as adapted from Barefoot Contessa. The shortbread crust is delicious. The recipe features a very high flour content, and it gives the bars a bit of a crust. When baking, constantly check the status to make sure the lemon filling doesn't overbake.

I have to say that I didn't like this recipe; the high flour content resulted in the lemon bars developing a crusty top layer, that was almost cake-like. So I cut off the top layer to yield the underlying middle layer, which had the consistency of lemon curd. The top layer was just "chewy", and not really ideal, IMO.

I guess it depends on personal opinion- if you like lemon bars with a chewy top crust and a gooey middle, then this is for you. I prefer the gooey curd-like middle all the way.

**I was able to salvage the recipe; after removing the top chewy crust, and exposing the gooey lemon-curd like middle, I refrigerated it. The curd hardened slightly, so that it was still curd-ish, while also being slightly chewy. Sweetness is just right, and borders on the sour and tangy.

Sauce was a blueberry reduction with Grand Marnier.

Shortbread Crust

- 2.5 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt

Lemon layer

- 9 extra large eggs at room temperature
- 1.5 cups lemon juice (Use juice from 6-8 freshly squeezed lemons)
- 1.25 cups flour
- 3 Tbsp grated lemon zest, from 4-6 lemons

Confectioner's sugar, for dusting.

  1. Combine ingredients for crust. Add into 9x13" pan, chill. Then bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees F until lightly golden. Let crust cool to room temperature, or overnight.
  2. Combine lemon layer ingredients. Pour over crust, and bake ~15 minutes more, or until the filling is set. Check the status constantly.
  3. Let cool to room temperature, refrigerate overnight before cutting.
  4. Serve with dusted confectioner's sugar.
  5. Cut into triangles.

The confectioner's sugar gets absorbed really quickly. It was mostly gone by the time (30 seconds later) I repositioned the plate for the picture.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen 2-Tbsp size cookies. I wasn't able to add in the orange zest, but I'm sure it would complement the chocolate well.

- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp all-spice
- 2 cups quick oats
- 4 cups chopped, toasted walnuts
- 24 oz. chocolate chips
- 4 tsp grated orange zest

  1. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, vanilla, mix some more.
  2. Add in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, all-spice. Add in half of flour mixture into butter, mix well. Then add the remaining half of flour.
  4. Next, add in oats, walnuts, zest, chocolate chips.
  5. Remove dough, form into 2 Tbsp-size spheres on Silpat or parchment lined pan. Refrigerate for half an hour, to enable them to remain nice and thick during the baking.
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  7. Let cool on wire rack.

They turned out very well. Better than my other cookie recipes.

Friday, June 05, 2009

White Chocolate Whiskey Espresso Blondies


- 16 Tbsp butter (2 sticks) very softened
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1/2 whiskey
- espresso powder

  1. Mix together butter, brown sugar. Add in egg, vanilla.
  2. Then add salt, flour, chocolate chips, whiskey, and espresso powder.
  3. Bake 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Cool on rack before cutting.

I omitted baking powder, which tends to make the blondies more cake-like. They aren't supposed to be like brownies, they're supposed to be more like cookies or bars. However, if you prefer, you may add baking powder.

I'd probably make them slightly thicker next time.