April 13, 2014

Strawberry Jam Crumb Bars

The original post at NAMI-NAMI calls these an Estonian crumb cake, but in my mind it's not a cake. This is a buttery crumb bar with strawberry (or other if you choose) jam sandwiched between the piles of crumbs. Tasty, but not my treat of choice since there is no chocolate involved.


Strawberry Jam Crumb Bars
3 1/3 cups flour
3 oz. sugar
Pinch of salt
14 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1 pint strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease a 9 x 13 pan, and set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a small bowl, and set aside as the crumb topping. Add the egg to the food processor, and process until well mixed.

Pour into the prepared pan, spread evenly and press down with the palm of your hand. Spread the filling evenly over the crumb base, leaving a bit of room between the jam and the edges of the pan if you desire an easier pan to clean. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until crumb topping is lightly golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

There's nothing like using 7 sticks of butter in one morning (two sets of bars including these and the world's largest batch of waffle batter for a family of 2 adults, 1 toddler and an almost 9-month-old babe). I felt much better knowing most of the bars would go to our church's Lenten fish fry, so I'm sharing the buttery wealth.

When I saw these bars on Buns in My Oven, I knew I wanted to make them. I also knew I didn't want to be tempted to eat a half batch of them, so taking them to the fish fry is the perfect solution for me.


Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
3 sticks plus 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups oats
2 cups flour
11 oz. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium saucepan, melt together 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk, and cook stirring almost constantly until the mixture thickens and deepens to a caramel color, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats and flour together. Melt the remaining 3 sticks of butter, and mix well into the dry ingredients. Press half the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake 10 minutes. Immediately top with chocolate chips, and spread caramel peanut butter sauce evenly over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for another 15 minutes or until top is golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
make the caramel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. When melted, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and darkens to a caramel color, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
To make the crust, combine the flour, oatmeal, and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl. Melt the remaining 1 1/2 cups of butter and stir into the oatmeal mixture.
Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the oatmeal crust. Spread the caramel peanut butter mixture over the chocolate chips and crumble the remaining oatmeal crust mixture over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99

April 8, 2014

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Our semi-vegetarian quest through Lent continues. I made white bean burgers while my husband was out of town for work since he thought they sounded disgusting. Disgusting ... no. Delicious ... no. I have a hard time getting behind bean burgers, I guess. I think they sound pretty good and then am left feeling bleh.

But this Enchilada Bake from Two Peas & Their Pod has no blehness whatsoever. This is delicious. And it's versatile in the sense that leftovers could be made into burritos (with a bit of fried chorizo on a non-vegetarian day). Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this, so this will be a repeat meal for us.

No pictures here, but check out the original post for pretty pictures.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
30 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray, and set aside.

Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa, and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the corn. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder and cilantro. Stir to combine.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the vegetable mixture, and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce, and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, and then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

March 28, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

It's pie day for our church's Lenten fish fry. Shockingly, I have three different peanut butter pies bookmarked to try. This one from Spicy Perspective was my winner, winner, fish dinner because it allowed me to use the remaining homemade cream cheese for something other than beer dip that I would devour by myself.

I actually doubled this recipe and made it in a giant disposable foil pan intended for grilling pizza. Best part is I had enough extra to make a small tart version that my husband and I reluctantly shared. His logic was since he only had half a pie that he should be able to have another half of a pie with the whole thing.


That should tell you how good it is. I was completely impressed with my ability to create such a huge pie that looks so presentable!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Crust
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes
4 Tbsp. COLD shortening, cut into cubes
3-4 Tbsp. cold brandy 
Filling
3 cups heavy cream, whipped (6 cups whipped cream)
2 cups peanut butter
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar 
Garnish
1/4 cup  heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 small chocolate bar for chocolate curls

Preheat the oven to 375ºF, and lower the rack to the lowest position. Cut the butter and shortening into cubes, and place in the freezer to chill while pulling out the other ingredients. Pour the brandy over ice to chill.

Pulse the flour, cocoa powder, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the cold butter and shortening, and pulse to break up the butter into small pea-size balls. Drain the brandy, and add one tablespoon at a time pulsing, in between, until the dough come together. Don't add too much liquid, and don't over mix. Dump out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough has chilled, place a piece of foil on the counter. Flour the foil, and place the dough in the center. Flour a rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Use the foil to flip the dough into a deep-dish pie pan, and then remove the foil. Fit the crust down into the pie pan, but don't stretch the dough. Fold the rough edges under, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Then place the foil back inside the pie crust, and fill with dried beans. Bake the pie crust for 17 to 20 minutes until set. Allow the crust to cool before removing the pie weights and paper. Cool completely before filling.

For the filling, whip the heavy cream into firm peaks, and set aside. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, and then beat in the peanut butter. Scrape the bowl, and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once the mixture is smooth, gently fold in the whipped cream until the texture is consistent.Scoop the pie filling into the cooled crust. Refrigerate immediately.

To garnish, microwave the heavy cream until scalding hot. Add the chocolate chips, and allow them to sit in the cream for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Once the chocolate ganache cools a little, use a spoon to drizzle it over the top. Then sprinkle with peanuts. Use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate curls over the top. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 8.


 

March 25, 2014

Molten Chocolate Banana Bread

This recipe from Lady and Pups caught my eye and was perfect for the overripe bananas on my counter. It's tasty, but it still doesn't top my all-time favorite banana bread. My molten chocolate, so to speak, isn't so molten for some reason. Still, I can't see someone complaining if you handed them a slice ... or loaf ... of this.


Molten Chocolate Banana Bread
Chocolate Center
5.3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 large egg
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Banana Bread
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 large, ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

First prepare the chocolate center by microwaving chocolate and butter until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in flour until very smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and sugar until foamy. Fold into chocolate mixture until evenly incorporated. Chill in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes to become firm.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Microwave the vegetable oil and butter 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Mash the bananas into this mixture until very few lumps are left. Whisk in the egg, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla until smooth and thick.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Fold into the banana mixture just until evenly combined. Pour the batter into a greased loaf-pan, and then add the molten chocolate-batter  into the center of the banana bread batter in dollops.  Gently press the chocolate batter into the banana bread batter, but not too much.  Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes until a wooden skewer comes out clean from the center of the banana bread but still runny and gooey from the center of the molten chocolate.

Let it cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing.  Makes 1 loaf.