Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bodacious Brownies!

My sweetheart made it crystal clear last night he was in need of a brownie fix, so I got up super early this morning to surprise him - until I knocked the cocoa canister all over the kitchen floor and had to vacuum, which of course woke him up and ruined my plan...

These brownies turned out moist and delicious, and were super quick and easy to throw together. I will definitely be making them again, and I think they would be super easy to doctor a little to make them even better! There was a recommended frosting recipe attached, which I will include, but I did not make it this time and they were great.

I doubled the recipe into a 9 x 13" pan, and added two packs of Starbucks' Columbia Roast VIA, but you could add instant espresso or nothing at all.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk in dry ingredients. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

To make frosting: Combine all ingredients and frost brownies while they are still warm.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's a Pizza Pie!

I've made it no secret how much I adore Mark Bittman's recipes. So when I had a craving for pizza this week, it's no surprise that the dough recipe I went with came from his website.

The recipe itself is extremely minimalist, and guaranteed you are likely to have everything you need already in your kitchen.

Baking times will vary based on where you are and if you're using a pan or a stone. I used a pan and baked mine for 20+ minutes because I like a crispy crust.

You can use it same day (allow at least 2 hours rise time), or make ahead and freeze for when you need dinner fast. Also, the recipe calls to be mixed in a food processor but I didn't feel like cleaning it all up after so I just mixed it all by hand in a large bowl.

Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough

3 cups AP flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Combine flour, yeast and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add olive oil and 1 cup water through the feed tube.

Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or so of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) Proceed to Step 4 or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a zipper bag and freeze for up to a month. (Defrost in the bag or a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature; bring to room temperature before shaping.)

When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.