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Ultimate Brownies

Thursday, 11 December 2014 09:19

Brenda and I have tried a few different homemade brownie recipes over the years, and none of them could get us to switch from using a box mix... until now!  After making these the first time, we will never go back to a box mix.

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten's outrageous brownie recipe.  The coffee really enhances the chocolate flavor.  I have cut the recipe down, and simplified it a bit.  

Ultimate Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 11 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 Tbs instant coffee granules
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 Tbs flour

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Butter and flour a 9 x 13 x 1-inch baking sheet.

  • Melt together the butter, instant coffee granules and 11 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

  • In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder and salt; add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and remaining chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 2 Tbs flour, then add them to the chocolate batter.

  • Spread batter evenly in the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then knock the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the batter. Bake for approximately 15 minutes more until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake!

Scott Pollacek - about me

 
Jan
14
2014

Sun Room Tile

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 09:45

You might remember around 6 years ago we tiled a whole lot up at the camp.  Well, I guess it is about time we finished what we started way back then.  We had planned to redo the sunroom tile as part of that project, we even bought the tile for it but never got around to it... until now.  Of course after 6 years, the scope of the project got a little bigger.  We have added radiant floor heat, and are putting in a ceiling fan and recessed lights as well.  Here is a slideshow of the progress so far.  A few more weekends until it is complete.

Scott Pollacek - about me

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 13:55

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag white chocolate baking chips - chopped
  • 1 cup craisins lightly chopped
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted  
White chocolate cranberry cookies

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven 350°F. 
  • Blend butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until mixed.  Sift toghether the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Stir sifted dry ingredients into dough mixture, add chips and craisins. Chill about one hour in refrigerator.
  • Measure out about 1 oz dough balls and slightly flatten. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • Makes around 4 dozen cookies.

Notes:  Dough will seem dry or stiff, but flattening the cookies before baking makes for a perfect cookie.  They do not spread much in the oven.  We have found that the base of this recipe makes great cookies.  It's very easy to experiment with alternate chips and ingredients.


Scott Pollacek - about me

 

Mint chocolate chunk cookies

Saturday, 14 December 2013 15:07

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (10 ounce) mint baking chips
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted  
Mint chocolate chunk cookies

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven 350°F. 
  • Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and eggs until mixed.  Stir in mint baking chips and flour. Chill about one hour in refrigerator.
  • Measure out about 1 oz dough balls and slightly flatten. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  • Makes around 4 dozen cookies.

Notes:  Dough will seem dry or stiff, but flattening the cookies before baking makes for a perfect cookie.  They do not spread much in the oven.


Scott Pollacek - about me

 

Cranberry Margarita

Saturday, 16 November 2013 13:34

We are testing this one out as a possible cocktail for Thanksgiving.  Hopefully it tastes as good as it sounds.  It takes a little prep time, but the cranberry jelly can be made up to a week ahead.Cranberry Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs orange juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Make cranberry jelly by combining the cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and 2 Tbs orange juice in a saucepan.  heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thick and jammy.  Add orange zest and chill.
  • Mix the salt, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and pepper on a flat dish.  Wet the rim of your glasses with lime juice, and dip the rims into the salt mixture to "salt" the rims.
  • For each cocktail, combine ½ oz. lime juice, 1 oz. orange juice, 1½ oz. tequila, and 3 Tbs cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Cover and shake. Strain into prepared glass.
  • Enjoy

Scott Pollacek - about me

 
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