Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Chips

I made a big batch of crockpot carnitas for tacos earlier this week and asked The Google what I should do with my leftover stack of flour tortillas.  These kid-friendly baked dessert chips were at the top of my results list and I knew the Mister and I wouldn't be able to resist.  They were so easy to make, and the final product was lightly crisp with a delicate flavor reminiscent of cinnamon rolls.  A quick side of dulce de leche for dipping sealed the deal.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Chips
From Our Best Bites

Flour tortillas
Melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and mix well.  Brush one side of each tortilla with melted butter and top with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.  Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter.  Reserve any remaining cinnamon sugar for other purposes.

2.  Bake until light golden brown and crisp, 10-12 minutes.  Serve with dulce de leche for dipping.


Dulce de Leche

1 can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

1.  Remove the can label and place the unopened can at the bottom of a large stockpot.  Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer 90 minutes.

2.  Remove from water and allow to cool completely before opening.

***It is very important for the can to remain submerged underwater for the entire cooking time.  If water evaporates, exposing part of the can, it could explode.  I used my 8 quart soup pot and checked periodically to make sure there was plenty of water remaining in the pot.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brownies Two Ways, Take 2- German Chocolate Brownie Bites

Okay okay, I confess- I held out on you a little with yesterday's post.  As awesome as homemade brownies are, it was actually the German chocolate frosting in Nicole's recipe that drew me in.  When I came across it, my partner teacher's birthday was just days away.  She's a huge fan of German chocolate frosting, so I knew this twist would be the perfect birthday treat for her. 

I upped the cute factor by baking the brownies in a mini-muffin pan.  A dollop of indulgent coconut-y goodness later, I was set for the party.  The birthday girl loved them and happily packed up the remainders to share with her family.

Converting standard pan brownies to brownie bites, from Ehow:


1. Select your favorite brownie recipe. Cake type brownies work best for this recipe. Fudge brownies may not cook properly.

2. Prepare your brownie mix according to the recipe directions.

3.  Scoop the brownie mix into a lightly greased mini muffin tin with a tablespoon size cookie scoop.

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes. If your recipe specifies a different temperature and time, you can cut the cooking time in just under half. Be careful not to overcook the brownie bites as they will become crispy when overcooked. A toothpick entered into the center of one brownie bite should come out clean and not sticky

5.  Allow the brownie bites to cool before removing. Try twisting them out by hand or using a butter knife to help remove them. Removing the brownies too soon may cause them to crumble.

German Chocolate Frosting
From Kraft

4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2cups sugar
3/4 cup butter 
1 pkg (7 oz.) Baker's Angel Flake Coconut (2-2/3 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped Pecans
1.  Beat egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well-blended.  Add sugar and butter.  Cook over medium heat for 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

2.  Add coconut and pecan pieces; mix well.  Cool to desired spreading consistency. 

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Blog Swap: Brownies Two Ways, Take 1

It's blog swap time!  During a swap, several bloggers put their names into a pot and you are randomly assigned a blog to cook from.  This round, I was matched with Nicole over at Cookies on Friday.  I enjoyed checking out all her goodies, but inspiration struck when these from-scratch brownies appeared on my screen. 

With real chocolate melted right into the batter, they were everything I'd hoped for and more.  Stay tuned for Take 2 tomorrow!

Adapted from Cookies on Friday, originally from  America’s Test Kitchens Family Cookbook


8 oz quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet instead)
8 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8-inch square pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in the microwave.  (For the microwave method, heat chocolate and butter at 50% power for 1-3 minutes or until melted, stopping frequently to stir.)  Allow mixture to cool until warm but not hot.
Whisk the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt together in a large mixer bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes.
Allow pan to cool on a wire rack.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

28 by 28: Sandwich Bread

I've officially completed the first dish from my 28 by 28 list!  I threw together this sandwich bread over the weekend, and it yielded a loaf that was soft and moist on the inside with a crisp outer crust. It was so good that I willingly burnt my fingers trying to break off pieces of the heel to munch on.  Some reviewers recommended replacing half the water in this recipe with milk.  I plan to try that the next time around.  (And there definitely will be a next time around!)

And a tip:  In the past, I've made the mistake of killing my yeast by putting it in water that was too hot.  I've since begun using a digital thermometer to check the water temperature and have had no problems ever since.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine, July 2004 via

Yields 1 loaf

* As written, the recipe calls to mix the ingredients using an electric mixer.  I chose to mix the ingredients by hand.

1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (approximately 110°)
1/4 cup honey or granulated sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp salt
3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided (I used bread flour)
Additional butter for greasing bowl and pan as well as top of bread

1.  Combine warm water, yeast, honey, melted butter, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  While until yeast is dissolved.  Let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes.

2.  Add 2 cups flour; mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add additional cup of flour; mix until incorporated.

3.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour as needed.  Knead until smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky, about 4 minutes.

4.  Let rise in a large buttered bowl, covered with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.  

5.  Preheat oven to 400 and butter a 4 ½ by 8 ½ inch loaf pan.  (Mine was 5 by 9.)  

6.  Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Gently knead until smooth.  Shape dough into a loaf, tucking sides underneath to form a seam down the middle.  Place the loaf in the buttered loaf pan.  Cover and allow to rise until dough reaches the top of the pan, about 15 to 20 minutes.  

6.  Brush top of loaf with melted butter.  Bake until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped, 30-40 minutes.  Cool slightly in pans on wire racks; unmold.  Let cool until just warm before slicing.

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