Friday, May 11, 2012

Olive Oil & Herb Biscuits

First, talk about your "quick breads!" If The Flash were to take up baking, these are the biscuits he would make. Seriously, I had the dough mixed, blobs on the pan, and everything cleaned up before my oven even finished pre heating! So, if your in a time crunch and need and extra piece for your meal...I'd suggest these.

Second, these made my apartment smell amazing! I'd suggest not making them if you won't be eating them for a while, because once you catch a whiff you won't be able to help yourself.

Now, on to how to.

What You Need:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
about 1 tbs each rosemary & thyme

What You Do:
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and herbs. Mix in milk and oil.

Drop dough balls (about the size of a golf ball) onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 475 for 10 minutes.

This recipe, using the golf ball sized dough balls, yielded me 16 smallish biscuits.

On top of being insanely easy to make and clean up, these are quite tasty. Nice crusty outside, soft inside. Great full flavor. These are without a doubt a make-again. I can see a lot of potential for changes and variety with this recipe. Different herbs, cheese, etc. I'm thinking next time i'll try to toss in some garlic...maybe green onion? Seems limitless.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cupcake Poppers

What You Need:
1 box white cake mix
1/4 tsp each desired food coloring
1 can white frosting
mini muffin pan
bowls (1 for each color)

-OR, to make filling-
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
food coloring, if desired

What You Do:
Mix cake by box directions. Divide batter into small bowls, 1 for each desired cake color. Add coloring and mix thoroughly.

Fill tin cups with about 1 tbs batter each. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

If making own filling- beat marshmallow and butter. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Divide into bowls, again one for each desired color.

Cut tops off of cakes, discard bottom "cup" portion. (or repurpose them for cake balls, etc to reduce waste!) Pair up tops and spread filling on the flat sides. Press into sandwiches.

Makes 30 poppers, 120 calories each.

Amazing. Maybe a bit time consuming, but worth it. These are just so fun! I used a canned frosting (pillsbury fluffy white, i think) to save a bit of time. I left the the filling white for the colored cakes, but dyed it for the white cakes. For the rainbow effect in the white cakes, I just stirred in basic sprinkles (the kind you get to top ice cream).

These are light, fluffy, and delicious...not to mention fun to look at! I can't wait to make them again. I plan on making red and green ones for Christmas, orange and purple for Halloween, maybe red and blue for 4th of many possibilities!

Nutella Cookies

What You Need:
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup Nutella spread

What You Do:
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.

Beat together butter and sugars. Beat in egg. Beat in Nutella, vanilla, and flour mixture until dough forms. 

Split dough into two equal balls, wrap in saran wrap, refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Roll out dough and cut into desired shape. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-11 minutes.

These aren't my favorite cookies. They were good, just not great. They were a little too dense for me, and the flavor was too light. Add that to the fact that they were quite a mess to make, and they just don't make the list for me. I'm glad I tried them, and my boyfriend liked them a lot. I might try to play around with the recipe a bit, and would probably make them again, but only if it were for a party, bake sale, etc and not just to have at home.

Apple Dumplings

My body is stupid. If I so much as think of Autumn, or anything related to it, my body starts to think it actually IS that magical season. It starts wanting to curl up in a blanket. Crunch through leaves. And most of all, eat fall type foods. Apples. Pumpkin. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and other such spices. I happen to be going through one of those odd periods at the moment, and to try to satisfy it, I tried my hand at making apple dumplings for dessert last night.

What You Need:
2 small to medium Granny Smith Apples
2 refrigerated pie crusts
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1-3 tbs butter
maple syrup or caramel syrup(ice cream topping)

What You Do:
Roll out your pie crusts, and cut 4 circles out of each. Place half the dough circles on a greased cookie sheet.

Chop up your apples into small chunks. 

In a medium sauce pan combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water. Bring to a boil. Add 1/2 - 1/3 tbs of your chosen syrup, stir. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add apples.

Spoon apples chunks into the center of crusts. Reserve sauce, keeping it warm.

Top with remaining 4 crust circles, rolling the bottom crust into the edge of the top crust. I used the left over scraps from the crusts to cut out little decorative details for the tops. The heart and "leaf" decorations worked out the best, as the lines of the other two baked up off the dumpling, and fell off as soon as you touched them. 

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Serve topped with warm sauce, or a small scoop of vanilla of ice cream if you don't share my intolerance of the dairy family.

Not going to lie...I really impressed myself with these. Pies and things of that nature have never been a strong point for me, so all I was really expecting of these was apple taste, maybe a hint of cinnamon, and a warm flaky crust. However, I got a truly delicious fall themed treat that I can't wait to make again and try different variations of. I used maple syrup this time as it was all I had on hand, but next time I will try caramel. These were easier to make than I was anticipating, warm, gooey, flaky, with a really great well-rounded flavor. Love.