Monday, December 27, 2010

Scotch Bars

I have a lot of posts in progress so I best get started. It is a snowy day here. We got a lot of snow throughout the night and it is not over yet.
Here is the view from my porch. The drooping tree is a River Birch that needs some snow knocked off its branches. I will be doing that later. We have a few more birches closer the the street so I will be busy today!

But back to the Scotch Bars. I found this recipe in magazine about tea.
The ingredients and method are the same as the original recipe but I changed the pan size because I like a thicker bar. This is a very rich bar and I ended up getting about 36 pieces from it. I love it with a strong cup of coffee in the afternoon. The bars keep really well. I think they are actually better the second and third day they are made. Go make a batch. They take very little time to make and you don't even have to get out your mixer!
Mm mm, look at that chocolaty richness.

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup butter, plus 2 TBSP, melted
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Microwave on high at 20 second intervals, stirring well with a spatula, until chocolate is melted and smooth.
3. In a separate bowl,combine the remaining one cup of melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, pecans, coconut, salt and vanilla extract. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon  to combine.
4. Spread approximately half of the dough on an ungreased 13x9x2 inch pan. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the dough, then drop small spoonfuls of the remaining dough over the chocolate. Gently drag the back of  the wooden  spoon around the mixture creating a swirl pattern
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bars have a light golden brown color. Remove from oven and cool on a rack to room temperature. Cut into bars.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Apple Muffins

I made apple muffins with my niece who visited recently. She is eleven years old and very excited about cooking. Her family visits every year and I usually have an array of breakfast things to feed them but this particular morning, I had nothing really of interest. I thought I would head to the store before they all woke up but then I remembered this recipe and I had some leftover apples. I got the recipe from King Arthur Flour web site but I  tweaked it quite a bit! It was great fun making these muffins with my niece and I look forward to their next visit when we can "play" in the kitchen again.

Scraping the bowl is an important step in mixing the batter!
We filled these muffin tins quite a bit as there is not a lot of rising in the oven.

Yummy muffins! This breakfast got people out of bed.
 Here is the recipe. Find an enthusiastic eleven year old and enjoy!

Apple Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. grease and flour 12 cup muffin tin or line with papers.

2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and a 1/2 cup of the dark brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. stir in the dry ingredients. and fold in the apple chunks.

3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the tops with the remaining brown sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven, cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin then remove muffin into a rack to cool completely.
Yields 12 muffins