Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pecan-Toffee Brownies

     Brownies are always a hit with my husband and he prefers his with nuts.  You can omit them from this recipe, or swap out if you don't like pecans. 

     Also---think outside of the box ---scoop this mixture into cupcake liners and a muffin tin for a change!  Just watch the time---they obviously will NOT take an hour to bake.  I would the timer at 18 minutes and keep checking until a toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!!

Pecan-Toffee Brownies

2 (19.9 oz.) boxes chewy fudge brownie mix
4 large eggs
34 C vegetable oil
12 C water
1 (12-oz.) bag semiswet chocolate morsels
2 C chopped pecans
1 (8 oz.) bag toffee bits
Garnish:  Caramel ice-cream topping, chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 15 x 11-inch baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing foil to extend over sides of pan.  Spray foil with nonstick baking spray with flour.  In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, oil and water; stirring until well blended.  Add chocolate morsels, pecans and toffee bits, stirring until combined.  Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hours, or until a wooden pick inserted 1 inch from edge of pan comes out clean.  Cut into squares.  Drizzle with caramel ice-cream topping and chopped pecans, if desired.

Serves 12 to 16

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lemon -Yogurt Crumb Cake


     In tribute to my love of all things lemon, I'm going to share a lemon-yogurt crumb cake recipe which calls for homemade lemon curd. Now, yes, this deal IS rather time consuming, but oh so worth it! You will end up with enough lemon curd leftover to save for another crumb cake in 2 weeks, OR fill cupcakes or miniature tart shells with what's left. 

Lemon Curd

6 lemons
1/2 C butter
2 C sugar
4 eggs

Grate zest from the 6 lemons to equal 2 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice into a measuring cup to equal 1 cup.

Beat 1/2 C butter, softened, and 2 C sugar at medium speed with an electric mixcer until blended. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add lemon juice to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition; stir in zest. (Mixture will look curdled)> Transfer to a heavy 4-qt. saucepan.

Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 14 to 16 minutes.

Place heavy-duty plastic wrap directly on warm curd (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 4 hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Makes 2 cups

Lemon-Yogurt Crumb Cake

Crumb topping

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C cold butter, cut into pieces

Cake batter

1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C plain (I'd use vanilla) Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
3/4 C Lemon Curd
1/4 C powdered sugar

Prepare crumb topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first 5 ingredients; cut cold butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Prepare Cake batter: Beat softened butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add 1 1/4 C granulated sugar, beating 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Stir together flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lemon zest.

Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy; gradually add remaining 1/4 C granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch square (2-inch deep) pan. Dollp with lemon curd; gently swirl with a knife. Sprinkle crumb topping over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack 1 hour.

Serves 8-10