Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Decadent Cappuccino Bars

Cappuccino Bars
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari

Special equipment: 10x15-inch jelly roll pan
Makes a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan (cut into any size portions you like, they are rich tasting, so I cut them into smaller portions.)

1 cup room temperature butter (2 sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar, pressed firmly into measuring cup
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder (I used an Italian one, most grocery stores carry it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate morsels, or chopped chocolate. Can use semi-sweet or a darker, less sweet chocolate.
2 Tablespoons whole milk, half & half, or cream
2 to 3 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Center rack in middle position of oven, preheat to 375˚(F).
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Either grease, or spray baking oil on inside of the jelly roll pan. Alternately, line with baking parchment.
With an electric mixer cream the butter, brown sugar, instant espresso powder and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture and beat until just combined. It will should be very crumbly; do not over mix.
With a wooden spoon or rubber/silicone spatula stir the chocolate chips in by hand, distributing evenly.
Transfer the crumbly dough into the prepared jelly roll pan; with your hands press the dough into the pan evenly and firmly.  I find it useful to use a piece of wax paper, or plastic cling film between my hands and the surface of the cookie dough (less sticking to hands.)  You can use a little roller to even it out if you want. You're aiming for an even, flat surface so the glaze will spread evenly later.
Place pan in oven and bake for 5 minutes; rotate pan and bake for 7 to 12 minutes more. The edges should just begin to turn a golden brown.  Don't walk away from the oven during the final moments. 
When done remove to a cooling rack, the cookie base will probably have puffed up a bit so use a spatula (offset spatula works best) to gently tamp down and even the surface of the cookie base to make it level.  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan.   In the meantime . . .
Make the glaze: Combine all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, whisk gently until smooth ~ allow to bubble for just a moment them pour over the warm cookie base and spread evenly to the edges of the pan with a spatula.  Allow to set up until the jelly roll pan is just barely warm to the touch, then cut into desired shapes/sizes.

Enjoy ~  And thank you for visiting!

Recipe adapted from "With Love and Butter", Holly B's Bakery cookbook.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Toasted Walnuts

Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Toasted Walnuts
As shared by Mari @ www.OnceUponaPlate1.com
Special equipment a 9" round cake pan

I altered this recipe from King Arthur Flour slightly.
It's not too sweet, which I like. It can be served warm or room temperature; I prefer it warmed. Don't overbake or it becomes dry. Terrific with a cup of coffee or tea, serving it with a scoop or vanilla or cinnamon ice cream puts it right over the top, or perhaps a spoonful of lightly sweetened whipped cream?
You be the judge!

1/2 cup walnuts

about 20 unwrapped soft-chewy caramel candies (Kraft or Brach for example)Or make your own.
3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


2 large apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges each

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F
My NOTES: Other reviewers mentioned it browned too quickly at 350-degrees, they baked it at 325-degrees instead. I struck a good compromise ~ 330-degrees, and began watching it at 50 minutes. Mine was done at 60 minutes, using the toothpick test, ovens vary so your "done" time may be different.

Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan at least 2" deep; or a 9" spring form pan.

Spread the walnuts in a single layer in an ungreased pan, and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and sprinkle very lightly with salt. Set them aside.

Beat together the sugar, butter, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla until smooth.

Add the eggs. Beat till thoroughly combined.
Stir in the sour cream or yogurt alternately with the flour, using the low speed on mixer. The batter will be stiff.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula, don't be concerned if it's not perfect, just try to spread it evenly.

Toss the apple wedges with the sugar and vanilla till apples are thoroughly coated.

Arrange the apples on top of the cake batter, pushing them into the batter gently so they're partially submerged.

Bake the cake for 65 minutes (see notes, above), till it's golden brown on top and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Don't overbake!

Remove the cake from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack, apple-side up.

Place the caramel and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat till the cream is showing bubbles, and the caramel is soft.

Stir the caramel and cream till smooth.
Spoon the caramel over the cake, dripping it down into the crevices around the apples.
Scatter the walnuts on top. Sprinkle lightly with very coarse sea salt flakes if desired.
Serve warm, or at room temperature. Vanilla Ice Cream is a nice addition!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Swiss Chard (or Spinach) Parmesan Torte with Press-in Olive Oil Pastry Crust

Swiss Chard Parmesan Torte with Press-in Olive Oil Crust
As shared from Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Serves 8 to 12 appetizer servings if cut into thin slices, or 6 serving size pieces for light lunch or dinner.
1 cup all purpose flour
large pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Swiss chard leaves (or fresh spinach leaves)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (use the authentic imported Parmesan for best results)
Method: Preheat ove to 375˚F, position rack in center of oven
Mix pastry:
Combine flour and salt in a medium size bowl. Stir in the water, then the oil mixing with a wooden spoon until blended. Knead it with you hand (right in the bowl) a few times. Dough will resemble cookie dough. Press dough into a 10 1/2 inch tart pan with removable bottom (I usually use an 8-inch pan) Don't worry about bringing the dough all the way up the sides.
Prepare the filling:
Wash and dry the chard or spinach, discard tough center stems. Cut or tear leaves into smaller pieces, then cut them up into smaller pieces with a knife or in the food processor (don't cut them too finely.)
Place the cut greens in a wide, shallow frying pan; season with salt and pepper, wilt over low heat until most of the moisture has evaporated (2 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
In a medium-size bowl whisk eggs, add cheese and wilted greens, mix well. Add a little salt and freshly ground pepper (the cheese is salty so you might not need much salt.) Spoon the filling into the dough lined pan, smooth top gently if necessary. Place in oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Filling should be light brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm, cut into slices or allow to cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from "Trattoria" by Patricia Wells

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
As shared from the Kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Makes about 2 dozen two-inch cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (divided use)
1/2 teaspoon baking soday
1/2 cup butter, soft room temperature, plus 3 tablespoons (divided use)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, plus 1/2 cup (divided use)
1 egg yolk
1/4 u applesauce
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (sifted)
1 to 3 tablespoons milk 
In a medium bowl thoroughly whisk flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon until ingredients are evenly blended and no lumps are present.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment,  beat 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar until light colored. To the mixture add egg yolk, applesauce, corn syrup & vanilla. Beat until well incorporated.  Remove paddle and bowl from mixer. With a wooden spoon or stiff spatula fold flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined. Divide dough into two equal pieces, wrap in cling film; refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. While dough is chilling combine 1 tablespoon cinnamon & 1/2 cup brown sugar in a bowl; whisk to mix evenly. Set aside.
When dough has chilled, roll out into a rectangle 1/4-inch thick. The dough is sticky, so I like to either roll between two silpat/silicone baking mats, or waxed paper which has been sprayed with a little oil spray (like Pam). Place one oiled wax paper facing up, place the dough, then top with another sheet of wax paper (oil side down), then begin rolling. With a pastry brush, spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of soften butter on dough; sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon & sugar mixture evenly over the butter; gently pat into the dough.  Form log by rolling log from the long side, roll firmly and place seam side down on parchment paper or plastic cling film; wrap air-tight.  Repeat entire process with second half of dough. Place both wrapped logs in the refrigerator and chill for 45 minutes to an hour.
When chilled, remove from refrigerator and slice each log into 1/2 inch slices, place slices on parchment lined, or baking mat lined baking sheets, leaving about 1" between each slice on all sides.  Bake in a 350˚ (F) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven, allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then place each cookie on a wire rack to cool.
Make Glaze:
Sift powdered sugar place in a small bowl;  drizzle in milk until desired glaze consistency is reached.  Drizzle tops of cookies with glaze. Glaze will dry completely, store cookies in an airtight container.


Adapted from several Cinnamon Roll/Bun cookie recipes

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