Archive for March, 2012

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Lemon Brownies

March 26, 2012

I love Pinterest.  I don’t understand it, but I love it.  I love logging in and seeing all the wonderful things my friends have found.  It’s like getting a package in the mail.  Except, of course, I don’t have to leave my house to get it.  All those wonderful pictures and ideas really inspire me.  I don’t go on there every day, because well I did mention that I don’t understand it, right?

But when I do go there, there’s always something wonderful waiting for me.  I blame that on my friend Kathy.  She pinned these lemon brownies and I knew that I had to make them.  It is spring time, after all.  Plus, I love lemon.

The original recipe calls for halving the brownies, but I doubled them.  I then doubled the amount of lemon in the glaze, but kept the original amount of powdered sugar.  I did that for two reasons, one, I knew that a 8×8 pan wouldn’t be enough; and two, I didn’t want to waste half of a lemon.

These are so good.  They are not a lemon square (if you need a recipe for those, you can find it here).  They are not a lemon cake.  They are not a pound cake.  They are the consistency of a brownie but without the chocolate.

Lemon Brownies

  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Zest from one lemon

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.   Mix in the softened butter.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix well.  Pour in a prepared 9×13 pan (I used a quarter sheet).  Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

For the glaze, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Spread on cooled brownies.

Makes 28 pieces.

Here’s the original.

Oh, and Kathy whenever you went to give a tutorial on Pinterest, I’m all yours!

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My Yard

March 18, 2012

It’s been unseasonably mild around here this past week and it doesn’t seem to be letting up for at least another week.  I’m talking 80 degree days.  I’m not complaining, especially since we normally still have snow on the ground this time of year.  I’m just concerned about all of my plants.  I know that the weather is going to readjust itself and then these beauties will be damaged.

This great weather is preventing the rabbits from killing my tulips.  Usually they grow at just the right rate for the rabbits to enjoy them and for me to shake my head in disgust.

My daffodils always bloom, but that’s because they are member of the onion family and the rabbits won’t touch them.

My hyacinth’s are spotty.  Sometimes they come up and sometimes they don’t.

I need to get out there and prune my rose bushes, but they too have tons of buds on them already.  My hydrangea has some green on it too.  I even saw some of my windflowers coming up!  Now if I only lived in a climate where I could plant and enjoy my favorite flower, the calla lily, I’d be set.

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Dessert Pizza

March 12, 2012

Yesterday was unseasonably warm.  This great weather is going to stick around all week.  If March comes in like a lion, this one must be really under the weather.  I’m not complaining.  This great weather allowed my to run five outside.  It was my first outside run since last year.  It was glorious!  I was also able to start some spring clean up in the yard.  I know I’ll be sorry when we get more snow, but yesterday was too nice a day to not take advantage.

My husband even removed the grill from the garage and placed it on the patio.  He then made the best ribs ever, or they sure seemed that way because it’s been so long since we’ve had them.

I made a quick and easy dessert.  I saw the inspiration for it on Chicago’s Best.  I’ve been looking for an easy recipe to show case Nutella and this one could not be more perfect.  Oh, and it involves bacon.  I love bacon with chocolate, it’s that salty and sweet again.  We found a candy shop near us that sells bacon dipped in chocolate on a stick.  Heaven.  The use of the flatbread makes the crust super crisp, and I actually used whole wheat flatbread because that’s what we prefer.

Could you use white chocolate too?  Sure.  But I would stay away from nuts, unless they are salted and chopped super fine.

Nutella Pizza

  • 1 Flatbread
  • 1/4 C Nutella
  • 6 pieces Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 T Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Caramel

Spread the Nutella on the flatbread.  Sprinkle with the bacon and drizzle on the chocolate.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and drizzle with caramel.

Serves 4-6.

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Brioche

March 1, 2012

I know it’s not a surprise that I love to bake.  I especially love to bake bread.  For the last six months I’ve actually taken the plunge and started to use King Arthur flour.  I say the plunge because King Arthur flour is not cheap.  Luckily my local Target sells it at a reasonable amount.  This flour is worth every penny I pay for it.  It’s fantastic.

Do you know what else is fantastic?  The King Arthur website.  They have some wonderful recipes.  Like their recipe for brioche.   Brioche is a sweet bread made with eggs.   It’s also one of the best breads to use for french toast.  With this recipe you can make mini brioche, one large loaf or two loaves.  You can braid the loaf, or make it traditionally as a topknot.  The only thing to keep in mind is that it browns quickly.  That means that it may look done, but it isn’t.  So check on it frequently and tent it with foil as soon as it gets that deep brown.

I love to just slice this bread, toasted it slightly and spread some blueberry jam on it.

Brioche

  • 2 3/4 C Flour
  • 1/4 C Dry Milk
  • 3 T Sugar
  • 1 1/4 t Salt
  • 1 T  Yeast (you can use instant, I use dry active)
  • 3 Eggs, plus one more yolk reserving the white for top of the loaf
  • 1/4 C Lukewarm Water
  • 10 T Butter, softened

Using a stand mixer, mix together all of the ingredients to form a smooth, shiny dough.  This will take about 15 to 20 minutes.  Do not knead by hand.  Once the dough is shiny and smooth, form into a ball and place it into a greased bowl.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for at least an hour.  Place the dough in the refrigerator.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and as long as overnight.  This will allow the butter to chill, making the dough easier to shape.

Divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid.  Place the loaf on a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until doubled in size.  You can also shape it into a large round traditional brioche; make mini brioche or make two loaves.  You can also place the dough into two greased bread pans.  Once the dough has rested and risen, whisk the egg whites with a small amount of milk and brush on the loaf.  Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake the whole loaf in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  Check every 10 minutes and if the loaf becomes too brown, tent with foil.  Brioche should be deep brown and sound hollow when tapped.

For the mini brioche, bake in 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and tent if necessary.

For two loaves, bake in 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and tent if necessary.

For the mini brioche, combine 1 C confectioner’s sugar, 1 t vanilla, and enough milk to drizzle on top.

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