Archive for December, 2013



Favorite Shots: Coming and Going

This is officially leaving.

creme pie cake 7

But this is officially arriving.

creme pie cake 5

So many reasons for excitement right now, at this, the first week of a new month.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:16-18

L

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Pipe Dream #238: To Have Higher Hopes – Gooey Cinnamon Squares

gooey cinn squares 3

I had high hopes for this evening baking extravaganza. First of all, it was a smitten kitchen recipe. Second, this is the gooey butter cake version of a snickerdoodle cookie, the best cookie to ever be known. Third, it was Friday, and who doesn’t have unreasonably high hopes for a Friday night?

gooey cinn squares 1

Turns out, there was less goo than I would have liked, and I found them a little bland overall. I have hope for next time. Maybe I will never make these again.

Maybe my Friday nights will always be disappointing until Jesus comes back. Good thing I have hope in that. You know, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied,” and all that.

Meaning, if this life is it (and it is so lame sometimes), how sad it would be that I just got a few short years of inspiration out of following Jesus and then died and then had nothing. The best thing I would have gotten was a bit of moralism and some average baked goods. It would be pointless and sad and dumb just like every other disappointing thing that I ever hoped in (case in point, these bars).

But guess what, in heaven Friday nights are always the best. Never disappointingly bland. And it is actually true, which is why I’m not stupid for hoping that Jesus comes back soon. I can take a few disappointing Friday bakes before heaven. I have higher hopes.

gooey cinn squares 2

This is my baking blog. HI.

L

Gooey Cinnamon Squares

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook via LHJ.com

Cookie Base
3/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
a pinch  salt
1/4 cup  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 of a large egg (beaten lightly and halved, reserve other half for gooey layer)
2 tablespoons  milk
Gooey Layer
1/8 cup  light corn syrup
1/8 cup  milk
1/2 tablespoon  vanilla extract
6 tablespoons  (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch  salt
1/2 of a large egg (reserved from cookie base)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon  cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch cake pan with parchment, allowing the ends to hang over at least 2 inches. Coat pan and parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.

Make the cookie base: Stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 min. Add the egg and milk and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Spread dough into an even layer in the prepared pan; set aside.

Make the gooey layer: Whisk together the corn syrup, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer cream butter, 1 cup sugar and salt until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and corn syrup mixture alternately, mixing each time until all ingredients are incorporated. Dollop over the cookie base and spread into an even layer.

Mix together the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the gooey layer. Bake until edges have set and center is still gooey, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely. Lift from pan using the parchment; cut into 1-inch squares. Can be kept covered at room temperature for 3 days.

Pipe Dream #237: To Sign Off – Maple Pecan Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

maple butter cupcakes

You’ve heard about this cupcake recipe before. In this particular post, it really is all about the frosting. The brown butter frosting. My roommates recently told me they didn’t know what brown butter was. I experienced a torrent of emotions including pity, horror and resignation and then resolved to make something brown butter for them as soon as possible. Which wasn’t this. I’ll keep you posted.

maple butter cakes 5

I read too many food blogs about how brown butter is the latest food trend/the best, and then I make brown butter things and discover that it is true time and time again. I don’t think brown butter will ever get old for me, but people waxing on about it will, so I’ll sign off soon.

maple butter cakes 3

maple butter cakes 4

I think these were the best thing I’ve made since that peach cobbler. How’s that for a statement?

maple butter cakes 2

Maple Pecan Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

For the cake, I used this recipe.

For the frosting:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) salted butter

3-4 cups powdered sugar

2-4 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt 8 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter foams up, turns golden brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and let cool until the butter is a soft solid.

Place the remaining stick of soft butter and the solid browned butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for a couple minutes on medium-high speed until completely combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar.

Add two tablespoons of milk and vanilla, then beat on high speed for three minutes until fluffy. Add more milk or powdered sugar until the frosting is the correct consistency.


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