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Double Batch Update

Before I get a sweet comment asking about when the next post will be coming, I’ll share with  you that I’m taking a break from Double Batch.

The blog will remain up, available for you to access any recipes you’d like to create.

I’m just taking a blogging vacation.  Maybe a month more, maybe six months more, maybe I won’t blog at all…although I doubt that.

And I’m not committing to a complete vacation.  If there’s a MUST SHARE recipe, well, you might find me taking a break from that vacation.  For now though, I just want a break.

Thanks so much for reading, and thanks especially to you email subscribers.  It means a lot that SO many people want updates and new recipes from this simple baker.

My measuring cup runneth over.

Mint Brownies

Yes, I’m sharing something with a little green in it just in time to celebrate St. Patrick, but these amazing brownies can be made any time of year.

Truthfully, I was nervous about making them.  You see my friend Denise already makes what I consider to be a perfect mint brownie.  So why would I waste my time making something that couldn’t possibly compete?  I dunno.  Curiosity I guess.

The good news is that this recipe is different enough from my friend’s that I now have two favorites.  The most notable difference is in the brownie layer: this recipe’s brownie layer is definitely more thick, which, in the end, yields a taller brownie.  But the taste…well, it’s equally as good as my first favorite.

I recently took these to a baby shower and knew they were a sure success when one of the attendees declared, “These are even better than the BYU mint brownies.”  You alumni know what she’s talking about.  The chocolate and mint really become best friends in this recipe and make the most delicious sweet treat.

So, bookmark, pin, or just get into your kitchen to make some mint brownies.  You won’t be disappointed!

Mint Brownies
adapted from SavvyGirl & Company

printer friendly recipe

For the brownie layer:
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mint Frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few drops green or red food coloring

Glaze Topping:
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 325.  Grease a 9×13 baking pan.  In large bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs until well-blended; then add melted chocolate. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with vanilla.

Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until no imprint is left when touched or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Mix mint frosting ingredients until creamy and spread on cooled brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour.

For glaze, combine butter and chocolate chips in top of double boiler. Add the vanilla and blend thoroughly. Pour gently over the mint frosting and spread by tipping pan; refrigerate until glaze is set.

Recently, my friend’s husband hired me to make her birthday cake, requesting only that it be “chocolate and good.”

That meant I had lots of options.  Since I had recently created some chocolate cake goodness for the auction, I had an idea.

I used THIS cake as my inspiration, keeping the cake and ganache parts the same, but changing up the frosting a bit.

Instead of strawberries, I put about 15 Oreos in the food processor, pulsed them until finely ground, and folded them into the frosting.

Wow, that’s some creamy, Oreo deliciousness.

And the finished product doesn’t look too bad either.

A reminder too, that if you don’t have 3 6-inch pans like the cake recipe calls for, use two 8-inch ones.  Your result will still be amazing, just not quite as tall and skinny.

Cookies and Cream Swiss Meringue Buttercream
inspired by Sweetapolita

printer friendly recipe

Yield: ~5 cups

5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g/5 oz)
1 1/4 cups (250 g/9 oz) sugar
3/4 lb (3 sticks/340 g/12 oz) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
15 Oreos, finely crushed
pinch of salt

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease.

Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 150°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.

Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together.

Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.

Add the crushed Oreos, and blend until combined.

Banana Nut Crumb Muffins

When it comes to comfort food I’m typically an ice cream girl.  That pretty much cures whatever the current ailment seems to be. Why can’t carrot sticks or mixed greens be my go-to for comfort?

Last week I had a friend in definite need of some comfort food and her request was banana nut muffins.  Wow, she picked a good food for comfort.

I love a delicious recipe that can be put together with basic pantry items.  Sometimes you just need to bake up a little something, like I did last week, but don’t want to head off to the grocery store one more time.

Those ripening bananas are begging you to use them in this recipe!  Whether you need a little comfort or just a little something sweet, these are worth a try.
Oh, and I’m curious, what’s your go-to food for comfort?

Banana Nut Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Allrecipes

printer friendly recipe

For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional but you would be crazy to leave them out!)

For the topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted (again, optional)

Heat oven to 375.  Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, cinnamon and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in the pecans.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add in chopped pecans.  Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

I hate photographing inside with florescent lighting and having to use a flash.

Gross.

But it’s the best I could do.  By the time the cake was complete the sun was on it’s way down, a one year-old was incessantly pulling on my pant leg and we had to get this creation to the auction.

And that’s where the bad lighting and photographing took place.

So I made this cake for the silent auction/dinner we had at church on Friday.  The winner not only took home the cake, but also four more desserts of their choosing to be delivered once per week for the next month.  I’ve done something like this every year since we’ve been a part of the auction, and it’s always exciting to see who the winner is and what sweet treats I get to create for them.

One of the reasons I like this cake is its size: just six inches in diameter.  So it’s not a huge triple layer cake.  And each of those layers get cut in half so even though it’s a pretty tall cake, it’s still not huge.   If you don’t have six inch cake pans, however, just use two nine-inch pans and increase the baking time a little.

The frosting is amazing.  This was my first attempt at swiss meringue buttercream, and I’m SOLD.

So. incredibly. good.

(and not hard at all.)

While I have not sampled this amazing creation in its ‘sliced,’ fully assembled form, I can report that all of the components: cake, buttercream and glaze are DElicious. I had to sample to make sure the cake was worth auctioning, right?

I made just one adaptation from Sweetapolita’s original creation, replacing the coffee in the chocolate cake for just hot water.  Her awesome post can be found HERE.  And she has a WAY better picture too.

For ease of printing, I have created a printer friendly recipe of all three components of the recipe.

I just finished making a second one for a sweet husband who saw the cake at the auction and ordered one to surprise his wife for Valentine’s Day. I know, time is short, but you can get this made for someone you love!  Try it.

Lemon Bars

I know, not very Valentine-ish.

That’s coming on Friday (or maybe Saturday, we’ll see).  But these are definitely worth sharing.

A few weeks ago the weather turned cold and fearing that all of her citrus would freeze, my mom went outside on a frigid dark night and picked nearly everything off of her meyer lemon tree.  She had lots of fruit to share.  In fact, if you’re close by and want some lemons, let me know.  I’ve still got more than I can use.

I put those lemons to good use when my sweet friend Kristen came to town.  I had to take her a Double Batch treat, right?  Meeting her little girl Evelyn was way sweeter than any treat I could have made.  Nevertheless, these are pretty delicious.

Yes, you could buy a mix at the store and make lemon bars, but WHY when the assembly is so easy and quick and the results are SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Give them a try, and seriously, if you want a few lemons to get you started, let me know! :-)

Lemon Bars
adapted from Lion House Desserts   

printer friendly version

1 ¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from one lemon
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

To make the crust:
Heat oven to 350.  Put butter in mixing bowl and beat until softened.  Stir in vanilla.  Add the flour and powdered sugar and mix on low speed until just combined.  Spread the dough evening into a 9×13 pan.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the corners are light golden brown.  Remove from oven and pour filling on top of crust.

For the filling:
Mix together the eggs, sugar lemon juice, zest, flour and baking powder with a wire whisk or on low speed of a mixer.  It is important not to mix a lot of air into the filling.  Pour on top of the partially baked crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and all our to cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar.  Cut into bars and serve.

There never seems to be enough time leading up to Christmas.

Even if we had an extra week, it would probably just be filled with more baking, more shopping and more parties.  Much as I’d like for that imaginary week to be spent sitting by the  fire, sipping hot chocolate and thinking of the true meaning of Christmas, the reality is that it would likely just be mostly filled with more hustle and bustle.

If you haven’t quite gotten around to making a sweet treat to share, to deliver or to just have around for family to nibble on here’s an EASY one for you.

In about 2 hours you’ll have a white chocolate fudge that is a bit reminiscent of funfetti cake batter.  And your actual in-the-kitchen work time is about 15 minutes…or less.

Once again, a little bit of almond extract is just the perfect finishing flavor.

Oh, and if you’re like me and you’ve got a few friends who need a little gluten-free treat this holiday season, this one a perfect one to deliver!

Merry Christmas.  Thanks, as always,  for reading!

Funfetti Fudge
created by Victoria @ Pursuit of Hippiness
printer friendly recipe
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3 ½ cups white chocolate chips
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
multicolored nonpareils and jimmies

Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 2-3 minutes, or until white chocolate is almost completely melted. It is very important to NOT overheat the white chocolate.  Stir until completely blended, melted, and smooth.

Immediately add vanilla and almond extracts and combine thoroughly. Add a handful of jimmies (as much or little as you’d like), and fold in quickly.  Stirring too much will cause the jimmies to melt so don’t over do it.

Transfer to the prepared baking pan, sprinkle with nonpareils, and let set in the refrigerator.  Once set lift foil out of the pan, cut fudge and serve.

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