Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Do you have a hidden talent?  Mom and I have debated this quite a bit lately having watched America’s Got Talent and the hidden talent competition on the Today show.  And it was decided that we do not have hidden talents.

But as suggested to me by Kim The Ninja Baker I do have a hidden talent.  And my friends that talent is pitting cherries.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

I pit cherries.  Lots of them.  Cherries for smoothies, cherries for pies and cakes and sauces on top of ice cream.  Cherries in kale salads and paired with cottage cheese.  Probably over a hundred, maybe two hundred, cups every summer.

I did have a stainless steel cherry pitter that I was using, but I used it so much that I broke it.  That’s right, I snapped the metal cherry pitter right in half.  So now I just do it by hand.  Split open the cherry and pull the pit out.

This is easy to do with sour cherries in particular because they are soft, but once you get in the groove with any kind of cherry, it’s not so bad.  I told you how I pitted nine cups of cherries for the popsicles last Sunday in twenty minutes.  This is my summer routine.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

And I never mind doing it.  Not only because cherries are so delicious in so many different things, but because it is a relaxing, mindless activity that washes stress away and makes me feel better as I get in the rhythm.  Just make sure you double check cherries if they are going into the blender.  Better safe than sorry when it comes to wayward pits being blended into oblivion.

I pitted more cherries for this Black Forest Sheet Cake.  After seeing all the black forest masterpieces on the Great British Baking Show, I was inspired.  I took a classic chocolate cake and made it with carob of course, but cocoa powder will work just fine.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Then I topped it with a thick and jammy cherry compote and a rich chocolate/carob glaze.  The end result is a rich, messy cake that is totally irresistible.  The cake is deep and dark and packed with that classic chocolate flavor, intensified with coffee.  The cherries are sweet, the perfect foil, and the drippy glaze rounds the whole thing out.

Do yourself a favor and pit some cherries and make this sheet cake.  Your next summer get together will be even better with it for dessert.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup carob or cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

1 cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1 cup brewed coffee, cooled

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cherry Compote

4 cups Bing cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Glaze

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1/3 cup carob or cocoa powder

1 stick unsalted butter

1 box confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and lightly flour it.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, carob or cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until a thin batter is formed. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 30 -35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

While the cake bakes, make the compote. In a small saucepan combine the cherries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Continue to boil, still stirring frequently, for 3 or 4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened significantly. Set aside.

Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and carob or cocoa powder. Add the butter and microwave for 1 minute. If the butter is not melted, microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Add the vanilla and slowly stir in the sugar until a thick yet spreadable glaze is formed.

Spoon the cherry compote over the baked, but still hot cake. Spread it into an even layer. Spread the glaze evenly over the cake. Serve warm or cool completely in pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in zipper bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

http://piesandplots.net/black-forest-sheet-cake/

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

I told you a few weeks ago about my sketchy history with computer (my new one is up and running and I’m loving it), but I’ve realized it’s not just computers I kill, it’s electronics. Seriously, if there’s an electronic in your life that you value, stay far, far away from me.

Recently the washer quit working. It even sparked when plugged-in to reset it. That’s a little too exciting for my taste! Then about a week later, the dishwasher went. It totally and completely quit working. It was super fun hand washing all the dishes for the better part of a week. Not! I do have to admit, shiny new appliances are pretty awesome. I never thought I’d say this, but I looooooove our new dishwasher.

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Oh, and now the latch on the microwave is broken. Mom (or as I like to call her MomGuyver :)) is determined to fix it herself. As opposed to the dishwasher and washer, which get used and abused on a daily basis, the microwave sits idle most of the time, so it has no excuses to break. Of course, suddenly, I want to use the microwave all the time.

I can’t forget about my cell phone and me. We barely survived the last two year contract with it constantly telling me it was out of storage space, even though I had deleted almost EVERYTHING on it. The day the contract expired, I went and got a brand new phone, which I discovered two weeks later had a faulty microphone, so I couldn’t be heard when making calls (clearly I make a lot of calls). I have another new, fully functioning cell phone, thanks to the nice guy at the phone store, and I’m frankly just hoping I’m not part magnet, out to destroy the world’s electronics.

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

I’m also in need of some of this Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake. I actually used a mix of yellow and white peaches and nectarines, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand. This coffee cake is super moist with the best crumb topping and a boozy, bourbon glaze. The glaze packs a bit of a punch and isn’t cooked, so feel free to use lemon or orange juice, or even water if you’re concerned about the alcohol. I hope summer, peach season, this cake, and my new electronics last forever.

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Bourbon Peach Coffee Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 9 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons bourbon

½ cup sour cream

4 small peaches or nectarines, pitted, peeled, and sliced thinly

!Topping

¾ stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8 inch pan. Line with parchment and butter the parchment.

Make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would also work. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to fully combine. Add bourbon and mix until fully incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture and mix only until barely combined. Mix in sour cream. Mix in the rest of the flour until you have a thick cake batter with all flour combined. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Top with sliced peaches in even rows, some overlapping is fine.

Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt until fully incorporated with no big lumps. Add the butter. Stir until all of the dry mixture is moistened and clumps of various sizes are formed. Pour topping evenly over cake and fruit.

Bake for 70 to 80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the very center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, rotating halfway through if necessary. Make sure the toothpick has crumbs, or the cake may still be liquid in the middle. It will be golden brown on top. Some of the crumbs will become very crunchy, if you do not want this to happen, cover the cake after about 60 minutes of baking. Cool in pan for at least 1 hour.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and bourbon until fully incorporate, adding more sugar or bourbon as necessary until a glaze that can be drizzled is achieved. Drizzle over the cake.

Cut into 9 pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. Store for up to 2 days at room temperature or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw pieces at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes, wrapping in parchment if you wish to prevent it from becoming crunchy. Whole cakes will take much longer to thaw.

http://piesandplots.net/bourbon-peach-coffee-cake/

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts #SundaySupper

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

Sweet and spicy.  That’s how I would describe 2013.  Some of it was pretty great.  I feel like I’m doing the best writing of my life (2014 will show if I’m right), I spent a lot of quality time with my parents doing fun things like shopping, going out to dinner with friends, and seeing plays, musicals, and even a concert.  My blog has started to grow, though it is still not where I’d like it to be, and I made some rather tasty food.  But my struggles with trying to get my dreams to become reality, frustrations over blogging, fears about what the future holds, and a few other things I didn’t talk about here on the blog, made it a tough year.

Isn’t that how most of us feel about the years?  That they were good and bad, sweet and spicy.  We look back and think of the things that didn’t go right, the things that didn’t get done, the regrets we have.  And then a decade down the line, when we look back, those mostly little things have hopefully vanished and we only remember the good parts.  Life is always a series of ups and downs, and hopefully in the end, there are more ups than downs.

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

2013 wasn’t my favorite year.  I wanted it to be better.  I hoped it would be better.  And now I’m looking to 2014, hoping, wishing that it has some good things in store.  Only time will tell.  For now, I sit, thinking about this year, and all the things that occurred during it.  Reliving the good bits, and trying to forget the bad ones. 

Regardless of my feelings about the year, it certainly went quickly.  Thinking back, it seems like January was just yesterday, like 2013 just commenced, like I want it back, to do over again, to use my time better.  I was just filled with that nostalgia for 2012, pleading with it to come back; now here I am again.  This time, I’m not asking 2013 to come back.  I don’t want it back.  I’m proud of a lot of the things I accomplished.  And this time, I’m really looking forward to 2014, because I think it has great things in store for me.  I think it’s going to work out.  So, 2014, here’s to you; may you be far more sweet than spicy.

Speaking of sweet and spicy, these Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts are just that.  Okay, so these are definitely more sweet than spicy, but two heaping tablespoons of cinnamon bring that warm, comforting heat, I crave this time of year.  I thought these would be dense and chewy like a blondies, but instead they baked up soft and moist, a dense, cake-like bar that I fell in love with after one bite.  I’m much happier they’re cakey instead of chewy.  The crunchy walnuts are the perfect complement to the cinnamon cake and the vanilla glaze is quite literally the icing on top.  If 2014 is anything like these bars, I think we’ll all be just fine!

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts

 

Glazed Snickerdoodle Bars with Walnuts #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Bars

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups walnuts

Topping

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Glaze

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, line it with parchment and lightly butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tartar, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work too. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the walnuts until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar for topping. Sprinkle the topping into an even layer over the batter. Use it all.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Once the bars are cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, water, and vanilla until a thick, but spreadable glaze forms. Add more water to make it thinner or sugar to make it thicker as necessary. Immediately spread glaze evenly over bars. Cut into pieces and serve. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl Cookbook via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

http://piesandplots.net/glazed-snickerdoodle-bars-with-walnuts-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Breakfast

Appetizers & Snacks

Main Dishes & Sides

Desserts & Drinks

Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

I’m a football orphan.  You’ve heard of football widows, but me?  I’m a football orphan.  And the culprit isn’t whom you’d expect.  Dad played college football and he enjoys watching the games on TV.  However, he doesn’t mind doing other things during the games and can hold a full conversation without interjecting some sports related commentary.  He’s content to sit in his chair, half watching the game, half playing some other computer game, quietly enjoying a relaxing Sunday.  He’s a pretty casual football fan.

Mom . . . yeah . . . not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, if things need to be done, Mom does them regardless of what is on TV.  But on Sundays, during the Lions games, she is a bit of a lost cause.  She prefers not to have many distractions, and trying to talk to her about important stuff doesn’t really work, as I can’t manage to tear her attention away from the game.

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

The games all have trained professionals doing play-by-play commentary, but it’s like Mom isn’t aware of this fact, can’t hear them, because I all too frequently hear her basically calling the games over the commentators, creating quite the cacophony of sound.  “That’s a first down” and “Touchdown” can often be heard being yelled in our house on Sunday afternoons.  Worst of all are the outbursts of shouting and shrieking, as though it will make the players run faster or catch the pass, along with Mom turning from play-by-play announcer to coach, criticizing plays, wondering why they were run.  This is only a little distracting while I’m trying to work.  A few gentle reminders calm Mom down . . . at least for a few minutes!

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

I found plenty of calm in this Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze.  I’ve wanted to make this cake for a long time and am so glad I finally got around to it.  The super moist cake is full of fresh, soft pears and comforting, warm cinnamon.  I used the fabulous Warren pears from Frog Hollow and think that made the cake turn out even better.  The pears were sweet, juicy, vanilla -y bits of heaven in the super moist and sweetly spiced cake.  The crumble is soft in parts and a bit crunchy in others, providing contrasting texture, and the glaze brings it all together with the fantastic maple syrup goodness.  It’s not too sweet and is a coffee cake, so it’s breakfast appropriate, but it’s also decadent enough for dessert.  Whenever you eat this cake, it’s definitely a touchdown!

Don’t forget to enter my Warren pears giveaway from Frog Hollow Farm!

 Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

 

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 12 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 ½ cups pears, peeled, cored, and diced

Topping

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Glaze

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Make the cake. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition, until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture is once again light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Do three additions of flour and two of sour cream. Add in the vanilla and pears. Stir until the pears are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter using a fork or your fingers until it is well combined and forms clumps of various sizes. Sprinkle into an even layer over cake batter. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

While the cake cools, make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup until smooth. Add more maple syrup as needed until it can be drizzled over the cake. Serve cake warm or cool completely in pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute until warmed through.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

http://piesandplots.net/pear-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze/

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway!

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway

This giveaway is CLOSED!!!  Congratulations to Barb on winning 🙂

A few years ago, I could take or leave peanut butter.  I’d eat a peanut butter cookie or peanut butter and jelly crackers on occasion, but I could live without it.  Lately, however, all I think about is peanut butter.  I crave it like crazy.  There are fancy Momofuku peanut butter cookies, flourless peanut butter cookies, puppy chow, easy to make fudge, Good Morning Sunshine Bars.  And sometimes I stir it into oatmeal or smear it on a banana.  My food life kind of revolves around peanut butter!

When I’m at the grocery store, I’ve been buying all different kinds.  Different brands, creamy, crunchy, natural, flavored, and of course, lots of peanuts to make my own.  I can’t put enough jars in my cart.  A few months ago, I saw Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter in the store and had to try it since I’ve heard so much about it.  It did not disappoint.  Their Smooth Operator creamy peanut butter is probably my favorite store bought peanut butter.  It’s super creamy, soft, and spreadable, but doesn’t separate like some peanut butters.  It’s also not loaded with not so yummy ingredients, which gives it a sweet peanut flavor that really just makes me happy.

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway

When I contacted Peanut Butter & Co. and they offered to allow me to try two of their peanut butters and give them away to one of you, my readers, I jumped at the chance.  There were a few hard decisions, though.  First I had to decide which of their flavors I wanted to try, then what I was going to make.  Decisions, decisions.

I settled on Crunch Time crunchy peanut butter and The Bee’s Knees peanut butter with a bit of honey.  They also were fantastic, the smell alone enough to make me grab a spoon and dig in!  And I chose to make Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread.  It took a couple of tries to perfect, but now this is without a doubt the best banana bread I’ve ever had!  I couldn’t stop popping pieces in my mouth as I was cutting it to share with Dad’s colleagues.  It is so moist and soft with tons of banana flavor enhanced by peanut butter.  I also made a glaze that is so peanut butter-y and delicious.  The glaze takes the bread over the top, but is totally not necessary, as the bread alone is simply delightful.

I know you want to make this bread and try some Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter, so to enter to win one jar of Crunch Time and one jar of The Bee’s Knees, answer the question: What is your favorite way to eat peanut butter?

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway

To earn additional entries:

Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

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Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to US residents only.

The giveaway ends Monday, July 22, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen.  Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was provided with samples and the giveaway by Peanut Butter & Co., but all opinions, as always, are mine.

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway

 Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Bread + Giveaway!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

Bread

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup honey

¾ cup Peanut Butter & Co. Crunch Time

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Glaze

1/3 cup Peanut Butter & Co. The Bee’s Knees

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup almond milk (regular milk will work too)

Instructions

Make the bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together bananas, sugars, honey, peanut butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out with only a few moist crumbs, rotating halfway through. If at any time the bread begins to get too brown, tent it with foil. I recommend considering tenting after 30 minutes. Allow bread to cool about 10 minutes in pan, before removing from the pan and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.

When ready to serve, make the glaze. Place peanut butter, honey, and almond milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir to combine ingredients. If the glaze is too thick, add some more milk and microwave again. Pour over the bread, slice, and serve. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Larger pieces will take longer.

http://piesandplots.net/peanut-butter-honey-banana-bread-giveaway/

Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze

Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze

I almost met Ne-Yo once.  Well, I almost had a private concert that very possibly could have resulted in meeting him, but then things happened, as so often occurs with life.  Back when I was but a wee sophomore in high school, the local Top 40 radio station ran a contest.  The school who got the highest percentage of their students to sign a petition to always wear their seat belts would win a concert from Ne-Yo.  This was back in 2006 when Ne-Yo’s only popular song was “So Sick.”  I was a Ne-Yo fan, though not at the level of my grade school fandom of NSYNC and Britney Spears, but a fan nonetheless.  And the chance to have a private concert by any singing sensation sounded pretty awesome.

I didn’t know much about the contest and had no idea my all-girl Catholic school was a part of it until I signed the petition with a group of girls from one of my classes not even thinking much of it.  I figure I had probably been absent when the school announced the contest or scrambling to finish some homework I didn’t want to do at home.  Mere days later I was certainly glad I signed, as the end of the contest was drawing near and the incredibly competitive nature of this school came out.  Students who had not signed were called down to the office after morning announcements to do so.  The school was determined to win.

Oatmeal Cake

Win they did.  Excitement filled the school as the Dean of students told us we won.  I was kind of expecting it as there was no stopping this school when it put its mind to something.  You know by now I hated school day in and day out, so much so that after this sophomore year I began homeschooling and never looked back, but even I was super excited about this concert, this chance in a lifetime happening.  What would I wear?  Would I get to meet him?  Could this be some kind of big break for me?  Whatever it was I was ready to learn every Ne-Yo song and sing and dance my heart out.

The next day there was a decidedly different feel in the school when I walked in.  Totally out of the loop almost all the time, I knew something was up but had no idea what.  Instead of going to first hour, we stayed with our advisors.  An important announcement would be coming our way.  The seniors were more than happy to oblige in telling me what had happened without waiting for our rarely seen principal to share her words of wisdom with us.  There would be no concert.

Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze

Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze

As mentioned above this was a Catholic school, and they suddenly found an issue with Ne-Yo’s lyrics, even though they hadn’t changed in the day between winning and this.  Instead of a concert we would get an assembly where the principal would explain her decision.  Good times.  During the course of the day, my Spanish teacher had to threaten taking away our free time for the rest of the year to get us to stop talking about the concert, my religion teacher threw out the day’s lesson plan and focused on it, siding with the students for the most part, the lyrics of “So Sick” were changed to express our disdain over the situation, phone calls to the radio station were constantly made from the unsupervised cafeteria, and at the end of the day local news trucks were parked right outside the gates, as administration refused to speak to them or allow them on school property.

During the assembly, the principal pointed out the small group of students that brought the questionable lyrics to her attention and ruined things for the many, as well as the student who helped administration organize everything.  The principal said the organizer agreed with the decision and was okay with it, but it made the rounds among the student body that she didn’t and wasn’t.  It turns out Ne-Yo had even agreed to work with the school on eliminating questionable lyrics.  But they no longer cared.  I still wonder what the concert might have been like, and I am a bigger Ne-Yo fan than ever.  His music always brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step.  To his credit, students from my school were offered free admission to his concert at a local teen nightclub.  I didn’t go and am not sure if anyone from the school did.

Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze

What does this Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze have to do with Ne-Yo and this almost concert?  It’s a superstar of a dessert.  Seriously, we’re barely into the New Year and this is totally a new favorite dessert.  I saw Teaspoon Bakery featured on Unique Sweets a little while ago with this cake and wanted it immediately.  Unfortunately they don’t ship, but I found the recipe on Cooking Channel’s website and put it in the to-bake queue instantly.

Though I had to tweak the recipe some, this cake did not disappoint.  The cake itself is soft and moist, with a large crumb and slight chew from the oatmeal.  The crust is brown and caramelized while the interior stays perfectly fluffy and cakey.  I added vanilla and am thrilled with the addition, as the flavor reminds me of some muffin or cake I had as a child but a million times better.  This mild, vanilla sweetness I haven’t encountered in a cake in a long time is so comforting.  Then I made the glaze, only two ingredients, confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup.  It is much thinner than the TV and bakery version, but I loved that.  It soaks into the cake, giving it extra moisture and wonderful maple flavor.  And it’s all very easy to make.  You guys have to give this cake a try – I know you’ll love it.  Maybe put a little Ne-Yo music on your iPod as baking accompaniment.

Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze

5.0 from 3 reviews
Oatmeal Cake with Maple Glaze
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Glaze
  • 3-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (I used Blis Vanilla Infused Maple Syrup)
Instructions
  1. Make the cake. In a medium bowl, combine the oats and buttermilk. Allow to sit in the refrigerator about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8 inch square baking pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until once again light and fluffy. Alternately add the flour mixture and oat mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. I did three installments of flour and two of oats. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake come out with only a few moist crumbs. After 30 minutes the cake must be covered with foil to prevent browning. The cake should also be rotated at least once during baking. Cool cake completely in pan.
  6. Cut the cake into pieces. Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and syrup until a thin glaze forms. Immediately pour over the entire cake, making sure all of it is covered and allowing it to run down the sides of the cake. Cake may be stored at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 2 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in a 350 degree F oven wrapped in parchment placed on top of foil for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Teaspoon Bake Shop, courtesy Cooking Channel

 

Frosted Clementine Cookies

Frosted Clementine Cookies

Winter and I, yeah, we’re not friends.  In fact we’re more like mortal enemies.  I was fooled by this winter, things were surprisingly mild and snow free and then Christmas came and so did winter in the truest sense.  The forecast is not looking promising, but I’m still holding out for a January thaw and no more snow storms that require the snow guy to come.

Winter is just so . . . wintry.  I told you how I’m allergic to the cold, so you can imagine my dismay when forecast highs aren’t even going to break twenty degrees.  The cold air physically hurts, as the wind pounds into every unexposed area of my body and somehow manages to pass right through my coat and clothes, as though it has super hero powers, or super villain powers.  The snow might be pretty for a moment, one single, solitary moment, but then it doesn’t melt, turns into snirt (snow mixed with dirt), and loses its allure completely and totally as the ever growing piles in parking lots look like they should be given their own zip code.  Walking in parking lots is also treacherous as I step to avoid mounds of salt, leftover slush, and pot holes filled with water.  Not to mention the fact that I could go on and on about how many snow storms have ruined plans.  Somehow every time I was a kid wishing as hard as my brain would allow for a snow day, the weather guys’ prediction of twelve inches turned into two as the storm took this path instead of that, but now that I make plans I’d actually like to keep, the two inch storm often manages its way to twelve.

Unbaked Clementine Cookies

Home is where I stay for the most part, not wanting to get upset over cancelled plans or deal with the finger swelling a day in icy cold temperatures inevitably brings, but I still see the snow and lack of sun nearly every day from the windows and it makes me sad.  I tend to dwell on it more than most, but it’s just not fun to deal with a season that makes me think twice every time I want to leave the house, that makes me long for a nice warm walk outside, the sun hitting my face, that makes me want to trade Michigan and its winters for the sun of California or Florida.

Frosted Clementine Cookies

Frosted Clementine Cookies

There’s also the lack of produce.  Store shelves seem almost bare, as my grocery store bill is sometimes cut by almost half.  I know they’re not seasonal and local and all that, but the Chilean cherries have been outstanding and have quelled some of my desire for stone fruits.  There is one bright spot of winter (don’t tell anyone I’m admitting this).  Citrus.  Different kinds of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.  They’re so pretty and fragrant and healthy.  Oranges are by far my favorite, especially clementines.  Those little orange jewels bursting with juice are something I look forward to every year.  I always buy the ones imported from Spain as they are real clementines and have the outstanding flavor to match.

Frosted Clementine Cookies

I put one of the many boxes of clementines I have already purchased this season to good work in these Frosted Clementine Cookies.  Little nuggets of sunshine, they brightened my day even if looking outside didn’t.  The cookies are super easy to make, no mixer or chilling required, and bake up perfectly.  They are thick, puffy, cakey cookies that have surprisingly crisp edges.  Though I typically like super soft, underbaked cookies, I fell in love with the crispy edges and perfectly baked interior with a moist fine crumb, as they became some of the best cookies I’ve made, filled with orange flavor from both zest and juice.  I love the flavor orange zest gives baked goods and was happy to see so much used in this recipe.  Then it is topped with a glaze.  I kept mine very thick and it was more like frosting, which I loved, as it fully coated the cookie.  It was a true pleasure biting through the soft, lightly orange flavored frosting, then into the firmer cookie with its hint of crunch.  These cookies are a wonderful treat that I think of as one small way winter is trying to make up for all its shortcomings.

Frosted Clementine Cookies

Frosted Clementine Cookies

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Frosted Clementine Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons clementine zest
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh clementine juice (I used two clementines)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Fresh clementine juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together sugar, zest, and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, as long as the butter is room temperature the dough is very easy to put together by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the egg, juice, and vanilla and mix until once again light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix until a dough just comes together.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared sheets, 8 to a tray. Bake for about 12 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges and still quite soft to the touch. Cool completely on cookie sheets.
  5. When the cookies are completely cool, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar and enough juice to form a spreadable yet still thick frosting. Immediately spread the frosting onto the cookies or it will harden in the bowl. Be generous. The frosting will firm up as the cookies sit. Cookies may be stored at room temperature in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

We all enter contests sometimes, and as a baking blogger, finding and entering contests is pretty much a part of my job.  I found one such contest a few weeks ago.  Giada de Laurentiis of Food Network fame ran a recipe contest asking people to put their spin on one of the recipes from her show of Halloween sweets.  Four winners would be chosen, and they would be featured on the homepage of her website for a day.  This was perfect for me.

So I went to the drawing board.  The episode featured a yogurt and fruit parfait, chocolate cake pops, and pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies.  Hmmmmm . . . pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies.  What if I turned them into cupcakes?

That’s exactly what I did with the addition of a simple maple glaze.  They were easy to make and fantastic on the first try, exceeding my expectations.  I was super excited.  I submitted my entry, following the rules to a tee and was even retweeted by a Giada fan Twitter.

Unbaked Pumpkin Cupcakes

The day for winners to be announced came.  I was not one of them.  Can’t win ‘em all; I understand that.  But only two winners were chosen.  Not four.  Based on a Twitter search there didn’t seem to be many entries, but mine is clearly there.  Since I know there were more than two entries, three (if there were only three) or four winners should have been chosen as stated.

I’m still a fan of Giada and her food, but this unfair contest has disappointed and upset me a great deal.  It is so important that all contests, perhaps especially those from our food idols, be run properly.  I can assure you all giveaways and contests here will be run exactly according to the rules specified.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

The good news is these cupcakes are still amazing, healthy, and just in time for Thanksgiving.  Moist pumpkin cupcakes get a bit of chewy texture from oatmeal, along with sweetness from raisins and a bit of spice.  They’re topped with demerara sugar, giving great crunch and flavor.  Though totally unnecessary, a maple glaze makes the whole thing irresistible.  Make these a day or two before Thanksgiving as a power breakfast while making turkey, a snack for waiting and hungry guests, dessert, or as a treat just for you after all the company is gone.  These will be a winner in your book, even if they weren’t in Giada’s.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

5.0 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 11
 
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup demerara sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (preferably homemade)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 11 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and cloves. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, syrup, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Pour flour mixture into sugar mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in raisins until evenly distributed.
  3. Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into paper liners, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
  4. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and syrup, until a thick yet spreadable glaze has formed, adding more sugar or syrup as necessary. Drizzle over cupcakes immediately. Cupcakes with glaze may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen without glaze wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours, or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

 

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Scones – Guest Post from The Cooking Actress

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Scones

I’m taking the day off today, but that doesn’t mean your day will be free of yummy baked goods.  Instead, today is my first guest post.  Even better it’s from my friend Kayle over at The Cooking Actress.  I stumbled upon Kayle’s blog after seeing a guest post of hers on another blog and knew I had to investigate her recipes further.  OMG!  She makes some amazing goodies.  Remember that super easy Baguette?  The recipe was thanks to Kayle!  Plus, I knew we’d hit it off right away since she’s an actress and I’m a writer.  I think one day we’ll be BFFs living in California, her acting in my latest screenplay, but for today, these scones make her a superstar in my book.  I’m not a scone expert but what’s a baking blog without scones?  So Kayle’s here to save the day with some seriously yummy looking scones that I’m totally going to have to make.  You should also like Kayle on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest so you don’t miss out on any of her fabulous recipes.

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Scones

Hello wonderful Pies and Plots readers!

My name is Kayle and I’m the writer of a lil blog called The Cooking Actress. I am SO excited to be over here guest posting for Laura today! I think she has one of the cutest blogs ever (don’t you!?) and she has been immensely supportive of my blog, and has been a great friend almost as soon as we found each other in the blogger universe. But you guys already know her amazingness!

Let’s talk food.

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Scones

Since this is a largely baking blog, and I love to bake, I knew I definitely wanted to share something of that nature over here. But one big obstacle? Laura (the poor dear) is allergic to chocolate! And um…I’m sort of chocolate crazy. But then I had an epiphany on the perfect recipe! I had recently(ish) made some scones from another one of my fave foodie friends, Kristina from Whipped. Baking! Breakfast! Dough! Chocolate-less! Yay! And Laura agreed, saying she’d been wanting to share a scones recipe on here anyway :). It was kismet!

These scones are super delicious. They’re lovely scone-y goodness, stuffed with cinnamon sugar deliciousness. And they’re like…healthy. So it’s justifiable to eat about 3 of these, right? Right.

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Scones

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Scones - Guest Post from The Cooking Actress
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
Scones
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Filling
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Glaze
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper/silpat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Filling
  1. Stir the sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a small bowl. Work in the softened butter until it forms a paste.
Scones
  1. Whisk flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl combine Greek yogurt, butter, and egg white. Add into the large bowl until it is crumbly and just moist.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using floured hands, knead 6-12 times. Divide into 4 equal parts. Pat each section into a 6 in. circle.
  4. Put 1 circle on the baking sheet. Spread half of the filling mixture on top, leaving a small border around the edges. Take a 2nd circle and place that on top. Carefully press the top and bottom together, paying close attention to sealing the edges. Cut into 6 wedges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Repeat with the remaining 2 circles.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Glaze
  1. Whisk milk and powdered sugar together. Drizzle over warm scones.

 

 

Iced Hermits

Iced Hermits

I don’t like fall.  In my mind it has no redeeming qualities.  It’s the bridge season to winter.  Yikes!  Winter!  If there’s anything worse than fall, it’s winter.  But my problems with winter are a post for another day.  Fall has its own unique issues.  The chilly temperatures that have already resulted in my winter coat making its return.  Speaking of which, said coat covers all my pretty clothes.  My sandals have to be stored away until warmth returns.  The seemingly constant rain is depressing.  And when it’s not raining, it’s cloudy.  Bye, sun, see you in May 2013.  The leaves fall off the trees, turning what has felt like an isolated oasis back into the neighborhood house I actually live in.  The pretty flowers fade away to nothingness, as I try to coax the last few to stay around.  The fresh, local produce, it’s gone too.  Fall, well, it’s just depressing.

But, there’s one thing I kind of love about fall.  You won’t tell anyone I’m admitting it’s not totally without merit, right?  The leaves changing color makes everything else a little better.  They’re stunning, making the trees often prettier than when they’re green.  Yellows, oranges, and, reds, my favorite, fill the trees and skylines, showcasing the unbelievable beauty of nature.

Unbaked Hermits

Baked Hermits

One tree in particular sits right in front of our house.  It was never Mom’s favorite tree, but now it has grown and is beautiful year around, never more so than in October, as it begins turning bright orange from the top down.  On the off chance the sun has decided to grace us with its presence, when it hits that tree in the late morning, the orange reflects right in our big front window, the tree itself gleaming in the sunlight.  No matter how cold it may be outside (and sometimes inside as I resist the urge to turn on the heat for the first time), I feel warm.  And just for that moment, fall isn’t so bad.  But then the leaves vanish even more quickly than they changed color, and it’s back to reality.

Trees

Iced Hermits remind me of fall with their spicy flavor, except they’re a lot better than fall.  I’ve made these a few times now, and my enjoyment of them has only increased the more I make them.  They begin with a spicy bar cookie loaded with plump, sweet raisins, and spicy crystallized ginger, one of my all-time favorite foods.  I’m picky about my crystallized ginger and only like the kind from Williams Sonoma by The Ginger People.  It’s so good!  The bars by themselves are amazing.  Which is good because when I made them to take to my friends at the dermatologist office I may not have had time to make the glaze.  Sorry, guys!  I have to say the glaze is pretty awesome though.  It takes only a few minutes to make and is addictively good.  Together, the bars and glaze, along with more crystallized ginger, are the perfect treat for the chilly fall.

Iced Hermits

Iced Hermits

5.0 from 2 reviews
Iced Hermits
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
Bars
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
Glaze
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (more if needed)
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Make the bars. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a rimmed baking sheet about 10 by 15 inches, line it with parchment, and butter the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the eggs and maple syrup and beat until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Add the raisins and crystallized ginger, mixing only until distributed throughout.
  3. Spread the dough in the prepared pan and bake, rotating halfway through, until firm to the touch, slightly cracked, and a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs, 18-22 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  4. When completely cooled, make the glaze. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, milk, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. This should only take a few moments. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla and confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time. Continue adding confectioners’ sugar until the glaze is thick, yet spreadable. Drizzle glaze over bars immediately so it does not harden. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger and allow glaze to set. Once the glaze is firm, cut and serve.
  5. May be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

 

 

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