Archive for December, 2014

Merry Christmas! Maple Bacon Peanut Butter Balls

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PSA: You guys, Merry CHRISTMAS! It’s next week already! Per usual, tha blog will be taking a wee break over the Christmas holiday. Expecting every happiness for your Christmas bakes and bread of course, but mostly wishing you joy in Christ.

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With that news out of the way, I’d like to direct your attention toward maple bacon peanut butter. I didn’t even know what to think when I saw this in a Canadian grocery store, but I knew immediately that I should buy it, even though it was, unfortunately, the stirrable, “natural” kind of peanut butter that no one should have to deal with. Give me processed peanut butter or give me death.

I say “natural” because upon tasting, I realized that the bacon included in the peanut butter was likely the bacon bits of old, the kind that don’t actually include…meat. To be fair, some bacon bits these days actually do include bacon, but I would say based on the quick Google search I just did, that your chances on any particular bag at the store are 50/50. I didn’t check the label on the peanut butter to see what type of bits these were. I’m better off not knowing.

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Anyway, the product was a nice idea; there is no denying that flavor combo is a good one. I used up the last of the jar on these no-bake energy oat ball things, amping up the maple flavor with maple syrup as a sweetener. The bacon flavor was nearly lost, but I’d wager these would make an amazing dessert if you flattened them into bars and topped each with a little bit of candied bacon.

Warm wishes,

L

Maple Bacon Peanut Butter Balls

An LH Original

  • 3/4 cups maple bacon peanut butter (or regular, natural is fine)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, agave, etc.)
  • 1 3/4 – 2 cups old fashioned or quick oats (combo is fine)
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground flax
  • pinch salt

Stir the peanut butter, vanilla, syrup and salt together until well-combined. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips until a dough forms. Add more oats if necessary to make the dough roll-albe. Stir in the chocolate chips last. Form into balls and store in the fridge or freezer.

Pipe Dream #308: To Make Angels Sing – Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt & Almond Cookies

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Gloria in excelsis Deo!

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I gifted these to a friend, and apparently, upon consumption, “angels sang.” If only all my baked goods produced this result. Can you imagine?

almond choc cookies

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I mean, baked goods might not deserve that kind of praise. We are living in December, after all. CHRISTmas month. So maybe causing angels to sing over my bakes is revealed to be an unworthy goal, but still, in this one instance, I won’t complain.

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These were sooo good, as most massive chocolate chip drop cookies are (even in their little mini form, pictured above). One thing: please please chill the dough. I didn’t, and I experienced the secondary emotion of regret.

Brightly,

L

Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt & Almond Cookies

Adapted from Take a Megabite

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 2/3 cups bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt

2 1/2 sticks, unsalted butter, softened (1 1/4 cups, 20 tablespoons)

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds total semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks, chips and chopped almonds

kosher salt for garnish

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla; scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer to low, then add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the chocolate and almonds, mixing briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24-36 hours, or up to 72 hours. (I skipped this step, but I really do recommend it.)

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the bowl of dough from the fridge and allow it to soften slightly. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

Measure about 1/3 of a cup of dough for each cookie, rolling into a ball and  scooping about  six mounds of dough onto each baking sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 12-15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Pipe Dream #307: To Up My Hang Time – Coffee Liqueur Cake

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There is this thing in basketball that boys can do that girls can’t do, and I think it’s called a reverse layup (If I’m wrong about this term/technique, you can complain in the comments underneath the block of spam or correct me in person.). It involves jumping up for a shot and, while in midair, remaining completely still while flicking one wrist so the ball goes into the net. It looks like ballet. Basketball in slow motion. Serious hang time. Jump, freeze midair, flick, 2 points. Beautiful, graceful, and for me…impossible.

I remember trying to learn how to do this once (if you’d like to learn how to do a layup via the Internet, check out this handy anime tutorial) and feeling ok about failing because I read that there is actually something anatomically different about boys that allows them to achieve that midair freeze. Like, their bone structure or something. More on this from an extremely reliable forum here.

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Now, what does this have to do with a loaf cake, Lauren? Well, friends, I served this cake after dinner when I was hanging with friends. I want to up my hang time. Get it?? Lol.

But seriously, if you can do reverse layups I have mad respect, and I wish that I was you and that our lives were switched.

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Now, this cake included enough cocoa to make the batter brown, but not enough to make it chocolate-y, which means you can really taste the coffee liqueur flavor. I pooled the sauce at the bottom of the serving plate and spooned it over top of each individual slice, so that the cake, already dense, achieved heretofore untried levels of booziness.

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I also wrangled a few helpers and spent a good 90 seconds trying to get a shot of cocoa powder gently falling like some acid rain snow globe, but you can just barely see that above. Maybe with a macro lens and the best lighting in the world I could have achieved this. The bitterness of the cocoa cut the richness of the cake nicely, so don’t skip that.

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Also don’t skip the canned whipped cream, obviously.

Ballin’,

L

 

Coffee Liqueur Cake

Adapted from Booze Cakes

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

1/3 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua

1 tablespoon vodka

2/3 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine coffee liqueur, vodka and buttermilk. In a third bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry and wet mixtures into the butter mixture in three additions–dry-wet-dry, mixing until just combined each time. Pour batter into a greased 9×3 inch loaf pan. Bake a 350 degrees F for about 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

For the sauce:

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup coffee liqueur

2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the coffee and liqueur. Add sugar and stir until the mixture thickens into a sauce. Pour onto the serving platter, place cake on top and dust with cocoa powder before serving.


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