Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nanaimo Bars - January Daring Bakers' Challenge

The January 2010 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and  Nanaimo bars are a classic Canadian dessert, and so very appropriate with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver just around the corner. I opted to use gluten in my bars, but otherwise followed the recipe. These are very rich!

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix
2 cups powdered sugar

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. For Bottom Layer: Melt butter, sugar, and cocoa in the top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts, and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 x 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, heavy cream, pudding mix, and powdered sugar in a mixer bowl. Beat until light in color. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles are a classic cinnamon sugar cookie, and happen to be one of my husband's favorites.  I have tried several recipes and this is the one that he likes best.  These cookies bake up nice and crispy around the edges and chewy in the center.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until just combined.

4. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

5. Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set.  Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lemon Bundt Cake

Happy New Year! The holidays were busy so I fell a little behind in my postings. I made this cake back in December. It has a lovely, fresh lemon flavor and would be great for brunch, tea, or dessert.LEMON BUNDT CAKE

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh grated lemon zest
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature

1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
pinch salt

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

2. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest together.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, until combined, about 1 minute.

4. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk mixture. Beat in the remaining flour just until incorporated.

5. Scrapte the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 50-60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it out onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.

7. While cake cools, whisk together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Let sit until thickened, about 25 minutes. Pour glaze over the top of the cake after it has cooled completely, letting the glaze drip down the sides. Let glaze set before serving, about 25 minutes.