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Let’s Get Baking Again | Summer 2017

Chocolate chip cookies (makes about 2 dozen)-Monday

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all- purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips
3. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans
4. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned

Black and White cookies (makes about 2 dozen)

5 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cup sugar
16 tbsp butter, softened
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lb confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

1. Heat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In another bowl, combine sugar and butter, and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time,
beating after each addition, and beat until smooth. Add milk, vanilla, and the reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.
2. Use an ice cream scoop or a  1 ⁄ 4 -cup measuring cup to divide the dough into roughly 24 portions. Transfer dough portions to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing the portions 2″ apart. Bake until cookies are set and lightly browned at the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, make the icing: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and  1 ⁄ 3 cup boiling water in a medium glass bowl to make a smooth glaze (this will be the white icing). Working with one cookie at a time, hold the cookie horizontally, gently gripping it by the edges, and dip the top in the white glaze (you’ll get some icing on your fingers); then return the cookie to the baking sheet to let the icing set. Meanwhile, make the black icing by adding the chocolate to the remaining white glaze. Microwave the mixture for about 45 seconds; stir to combine. Dip each white-glazed cookie vertically halfway into the chocolate glaze and transfer to the baking sheet. Let the chocolate glaze set completely before serving
4. To quicken the setting of the glazes, place the cookies in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes after each coating

Marshmallow surprise cookies (makes about 2 dozen)

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally
1 container chocolate frosting

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined
3. Using a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10-12 minutes
4. Remove baking sheets from oven and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven and continue baking until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 to 2 ½ minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool before frosting
5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of chocolate frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered

Whoopie pies (makes 6)

½ cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup shortening
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In large bowl cream shortening, sugar, and egg yolks
3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda
4. Add to other mixture alternately with milk, beating well. Add vanilla at the end
5. Drop by large spoonfuls on greased pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely
6. To make filling: beat together shortening, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla
7. To assemble: Spread the flat side of one cookie circle with a spoonful of filling. Top with another cookie

Mini Soda Breads (makes 16 large buns)-Tuesday

4 cups flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups raisins
1 egg
1 ¾ cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine flour and butter, working it with fingers until it has consistency of course oatmeal
3. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and raisins mixing with fingers
4. Whisk egg and buttermilk together
5. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients and add the egg-buttermilk mixture
6. Stir until well blended, and form into a ball
7. Lightly dust clean surface with flour and knead dough for 3-4 minutes until smooth
8. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, shape each portion into a ball and place balls at least 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet
9. Gently press the top of the buns with palm of hand to flatten it slightly
10. Using a very sharp knife dipped into flour cut a cross on top of each bun
11. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crusty

Cornbread (makes about 9)

½ cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, grease an 8 inch square pan
2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan
3. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean

Mini Blueberry Tarts (makes about 4)-Wednesday

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Process until large moist crumbs form
2. Spoon dough into individual tart pans. Press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides until firmly packed. Freeze for about 10 minutes. Prick bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes
3. Bring ¼ cup water and 1 cup berries to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally, until berries start to break down slightly (3-4 minutes)
4. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into berry mixture. Add lemon zest and juice, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer and stir for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in remaining berries. Immediately pour hot berry mixture into cooled tart shell. Reserve a little berry mixture to pile on top of tarts.

Mini Quiche (makes 12)

1 ¼ cup flour
1 ¼ stick butter
4-5 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
4 slices bacon chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
½ cup cheddar cheese (block)
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
salt and pepper

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the butter. Using fingers, rub the butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the water and mix to a dough. Knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes
2. Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in frying pan and saute onion and bacon until onion is soft and bacon is cooked. Cool
3. Lightly grease muffin tin. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each out on a lightly floured surface. Gently press into the holes of the muffin tray. Prick the bases with a fork and chill for 15 minutes
4. Shred cheddar cheese
5. Divide the onion and bacon mixture between muffin tin. Top with cheese. Beat together eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper. Pour eggs into muffin tin
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes

Chocolate Mousse Pie (makes about 8 servings)

21 oreos, crushed
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 (12 oz) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup white sugar
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9 inch springform pan with 2 3/4 inch sides.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together crushed cookies and softened butter or margarine. Press mixture evenly into greased pan. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, then allow to cool
3. Combine 1 cup cream, chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt, in the top of a double boiler. Heat until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth
4. Pour chocolate mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally
5. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups chilled cream with 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Pour mixture into cooled crust.
6. Chill pie at least 6 hours before serving. Prior to serving, beat remaining 1 cup cream with 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff, then pipe onto top of pie with a star tip, or place a spoonful on top of each slice

Pineapple Upside Down Minis (makes about 12)-Thursday

¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
12 maraschino cherries

1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a standard 12-count muffin pan well with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Add the butter and brown sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix until the butter is melted and the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from the heat and evenly distribute between all 12 muffin cavities.
3. Place 1 maraschino cherry in the middle of each muffin cavity. Spoon the crushed pineapple evenly between all 12 muffin cavities (you’ll probably have some left over). Set aside

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, making sure to mix well after each ingredient.
3. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk, starting with the dry ingredients and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each time until just combined. Evenly distribute the cake batter between all 12 muffin cavities.
4. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Slide a knife around the outside of each cake (to loosen them from the pan), place a wire rack on top of the muffin pan. Very carefully (the pan will be hot!) flip the wire rack over with the muffin pan on top. Gently remove the muffin pan to release the upside-down cakes

Mini Lava Cakes (makes about 4)

½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the molds
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
4 large eggs
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoon flour plus more for dusting molds

1. Put the butter in a medium bowl and melt in microwave. Add the chocolate to the hot butter and stir until melted.
2. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, and add 2 more yolks (discard the extra whites). Add the sugar, and beat or whisk until light and thick, about 1 minute. Add egg mixture and 2 teaspoons flour to the melted chocolate; beat until combined
3. Butter and lightly flour molds or ramekins (make sure not to miss any spots, or the cake will stick). Tap out excess flour. Divide the batter among the molds
4. When you’re ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put the molds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cakes have puffed up a bit. The tops are barely set and the cake still jiggles slightly when shaken, 7-9 minutes (better underbaked than underbaked) Let sit for 1 minute
5. Put a plate on top of the ramekin and carefully invert the cake onto the plate
6. Let sit for 10 seconds then lift up the ramekin
7. Serve with piped whipped cream

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Beat together until cream forms stiff peaks

Mini Cheesecakes (makes 12)

1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
1 egg
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cup holes with liners
2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Press about 2-2 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin liner
3. Beat room temperature cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in room temperature sour cream. Beat in egg, sugar, and vanilla until (mostly) no lumps remain
4. Evenly divide (about 2-2 1/2 tablespoons each) cheesecake among crusts. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they just begin to brown. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Blend 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter with 1 cup of sugar
2. Add the eggs and mix well
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg
4. Add to the butter and sugar mixture
5. Blend in the milk and mix together thoroughly
6. Fill greased donut tins
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until doughnuts are golden
8. Combine remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon
9. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons of butter
10. While doughnuts are still warm, roll them in melted butter; then in cinnamon sugar