Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cafe Coffee Cookies

If you enjoy coffee, I think you will really enjoy these! They are quick and easy to throw together, yet they look like they took a long time to make.

I have made these in the larger size and the smaller size. Both are delicious! If you need them to go further, then go ahead with the smaller size. If you are making them for a special coffee visit with a few close friends, go all out and make the large ones.

Cafe Coffee Cookies

Adapted from
Makes about 15 large, or 3 dozen regular-sized cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or 7 oz Soft White wheat flour)
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules or instant espresso coffee (dry)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag (11.5 or 12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional) (can add 1/2 cup extra choc. chips instead)

For the coffee drizzle:

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or instant espresso coffee (dry)
2 tablespoons water
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350º.

Beat together in a large bowl the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and egg (using an electric mixer on medium, or by hand), until creamy. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, coffee granules, baking soda and salt. Stir into creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips and pecans (if using). Stir until dispersed.

Drop dough onto a large ungreased cookie sheet by 1/4 cupfuls, leaving 2 inches between. (Or drop by rounded tablespoons for smaller cookie size).

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown, and edges are set. Allow to cool 4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, (about 30 minutes).

In a small bowl dissolve the coffee granules in the water. Stir in the powder sugar. The mixture should be smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle on top of cooled cookies. Allow drizzle to harden before transferring to an airtight container. Enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Basil Ice Cream

When I first stumbled across this recipe, my first reaction was "BASIL ice cream!?! That sounds awful!" I was used to seeing ice cream recipes with caramel and brownie chunks swirled in, but basil was something I never would have thought of using in ice cream. However, I had made countless recipes from the site I found this recipe on, and the author thought so highly of it that she said it is actally her favorite ice cream. So, I had to give it a go.

The verdict? It is SO YUMMY! There is something subtly fresh about it, and maybe that's what makes it so delectable. It somehow tastes like summer, and makes you have a happy feeling while enjoying it.

I actually added 1/2 tsp of vanilla to my batch, but I think it might have slightly taken away from the basil flavor. Next time I make it, and I do plan on making it again, I may leave the recipe as is, and leave off the vanilla. However, it was delicious with it in there : )

Basil Ice Cream

Adapted from 17 and Baking
Makes 3 cups

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided (or honey sucanat)
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream

Combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and basil in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep, half covered with lid, for 30 minutes. Pour into blender and whir until basil is ground up. (Keep the saucepan, you will use it again later in recipe.)

Beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale (about 1 minute). In a steady stream, pour milk mixture into egg mixture. Beat until thoroughly combined. Transfer mixture back into saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, cook on medium, stirring constantly until the custard coats the back of a spoon. (It should reach 175ºF.) Strain and chill until cold, stirring often.

Once chilled , stir in whipping cream. Churn in ice cream maker. Freeze leftovers in airtight container. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Funny Fudge

This is an old family recipe. It is hand-written in a recipe book with dozens of other hand-written family recipes. I have no idea where it originally came from, or why it is called "funny fudge" ...?

I have been making this recipe since I was probably 12 years old, and I used to tell people that it got its name because it only takes about 5 minutes to make, and I guess I thought that was funny. Who knows! No matter what you call it, this fudge is extremely yummy and habit forming, in all of its microwaved goodness.

Funny Fudge

1 box (16 oz) confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk (or half and half)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Line an 8x8 dish (or 8 1/2 X 6 1/2 pyrex) with foil and lightly grease with butter. Set aside.

Sift powdered sugar and cocoa into a microwave safe bowl. Add melted butter, milk and vanilla, do not mix or stir. Microwave for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave (bowl will be hot!) and stir until smooth. (I use a hand mixer to make sure there are no lumps). Stir in nuts (if using).

Pour into prepared dish and allow to come to room temperature. Using foil as "handles", lift and remove from dish. Cut into squares. Enjoy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Baked Doughnuts

I have been trying to find a yummy baked doughnut recipe for quite some time, but the recipes I've tried in the past resulted in a doughnut that was, in my opinion, too dense. It was after making the orange-cinnamon honey sticky buns, that I found a dough that was easy to work with, and resulted in a more airy texture. So I adapted that recipe for my doughnuts.

May I just say that these are DELICIOUS! The dough is pretty quick to throw together, and easy to work with. They do take a while to rise, but what do you expect if you want nice and fluffy doughnuts? They are well worth the wait!

I actually think that these turn out fluffier if you either omit the refrigeration, or refrigerate the dough during its "ball stage" and allow it to come to room temperature the next morning, before shaping into doughnuts. (Then allow the shaped doughnuts to rise for 1 hour before baking). However, I realize this means you would have to get up almost 2 1/2 hours before you want to enjoy your breakfast, so in the recipe below I cut the waiting time about in half, so that you only need to let the already-formed-and-refrigerated doughnuts come to room temp before baking. It's your choice if you want to sacrifice some fluffiness for time. They are yummy either way : )

I made mine into maple glazed doughnuts, but if you prefer to make them chocolate, feel free! Or you could even dip them in butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar... yum!

Baked Doughnuts

Dough adapted from 17 and Baking's Sticky Buns
Glaze adapted from this site
Makes 16 doughnuts


1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup warm water (105ºF to 115ºF)
2 tsp. instant dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, divided (or honey sucanat)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour, divided (or 10 oz Soft White wheat flour)

For Maple Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon maple extract
pinch of salt

For Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt


To make the dough: Lightly butter a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer bowl combine water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and let stand about 5 minutes, or until foamy.

Add remaining sugar, salt, butter, egg, milk and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. On low speed, mix until combined. Switch to dough hook, and slowly add remaining flour, with mixer on low, 1/4 cup at a time. Once all the flour is in, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and slightly tacky, but not too sticky. If the dough is too wet, add 1-2 tablespoons more flour. Continue mixing for 3-4 minutes. Turn off mixer and shape dough into a ball.

Put dough in greased bowl, and turn so that it gets lightly covered in butter. Cover with plastic wrap so that it will not be exposed to much air. Allow to rise in a warm place until double (about 2 hours). After it has doubled, punch down, and turn out on a lightly floured surface. Divided into 16 equal portions (a kitchen scale makes it easy!). With each piece of dough, roll into a ball, and then press your thumb through the center of the ball to form a ring. Using the rest of your fingers, continue to make the hole larger until it is about 2 inches wide. (When the doughnuts rise, the hole will close if it is not wide enough). Place onto greased cookie sheets, allowing room for them to rise. Cover doughnuts with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or allow to rise one additional hour at room temperature).

The next morning, remove doughnuts from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown (try not to overbake, or they won't be as soft).

To make maple or chocolate glaze: Combine all glaze ingredients and stir until smooth. If too thick, add a little milk.

Spread glaze on doughnuts (you can do this while they're still warm if you want), and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flax Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies not only live on the healthy side of life, but they are totally YUMMY! You would never guess they are whole wheat, and made from a less-refined sweetener. Plus, they contain flax, oatmeal, nuts, and coconut.

I think that warrants eating a few extra cookies, don't you? : )
As an added plus, they seem to be pretty sturdy, so they are great when you have to transport them somewhere.

The book this recipe comes from is sold by the same company that sells the wheat and sucanat I use in my baking. I highly recommend purchasing this book if you would like a collection of recipes that are designed for use with freshly ground whole wheat flour. I have yet to try one of their recipes that didn't turn out delicious. Check out their site for more info!
Flax Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from The Bread Beckers Recipe Collection
Makes about 5 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup honey sucanat (or granulated sugar)
1 cup molasses sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
12 1/2 oz Soft White wheat flour (or 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
1 cup freshly milled oatmeal (or old-fashioned oats)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (I use a coffee-bean grinder to do this)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt.
1 1/2 cups unsweetened dried coconut (you can substitute regular sweetened coconut)
1 cup chopped almonds
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cream together the butter, honey-sucanat, and molasses-sucanat, making a grainy paste consistency.

Add eggs and vanilla and stir well. Mix together the dry ingredients. Stir into creamed mixture. Stir in coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips (if using).

Shape into 1-inch sized balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving about 2 inches between cookies. (Cookie scoop works best).

Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Not only is this gooey cake quick and easy to throw together, it is chocolaty and delicious!

Probably the most important thing to remember when making this recipe, is to be careful not to overbake the cake. It goes from "lava cake" to "chocolate muffin" very quickly.

I opted out of the whipped cream, but feel free to pile it on. I'm sure it would be delish!

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 4

4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
6 tbls. flour (or 6 tbls. Soft White wheat flour)
2 tbls. cocoa powder

For fresh whipped cream:

1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar (or honey sucanat)


Preheat your oven to 425º.

Grease 4 custard cups (ramekins) and place onto a cookie sheet, (or you can bake all the batter in one loaf pan).

Over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then add chocolate. Stir until both are fully melted and smooth.

Stir in sugar until incorporated. Whisk in the yolks and whole eggs. Stir in the flour and cocoa.

Divide batter between the ramekins, or pour all of the batter into loaf pan.

Bake 12-14 minutes for ramekins, (20-25 minutes for loaf pan), until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand for about 1 minute. (Do not overbake, or all of your chocolate "lava" will become cake).

Combine the whipping cream and sugar. Whip until it is stiff.

To serve, invert the cakes onto plates, and top with the whipped cream, (if using the loaf pan, you can just spoon the cake out from the pan). Best served warm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Apple Crisp

I love apple pie, but if you want a quick apple fix, and don't want to take the time to make crust and all that, here is a great alternative. It is so yummy!

I used Gala apples this time, because it was all I had on hand, but Granny Smith I'm sure would be delicious for a tart/sweet combo.

Apple Crisp

Adapted from
Serves 6-8

4 cups apples, sliced or cubed
1/3 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Crumb topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar (or honey sucanat)
3/4 cup flour (or 3 oz Soft White wheat flour)
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Slice or cube apples and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.

In a bowl mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour over apples and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into greased 8x8 baking dish.

Mix together topping ingredients. Sprinkle over apples.

Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbling. Enjoy!