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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Platinum Chef 4 Inspired Recipe

I don't know that I'll officially enter Platinum Chef Challenge 4, although mole would have been a perfect way to use the remaining ingredients after this creation I am presenting here today. I just never got around to figuring out how to make it (though a call to my future mother-in-law would have probably done the trick). I will, however, present my PCC4 inspired recipes over the next few days (provided they turn out good!).

I start with an original recipe, which is a huge leap for me. It was an even bigger leap because I have never cooked with sweet potatoes before, and have maybe only eaten them once in my life. This took about three batches to get it where I wanted it. I tend to be my own worst food critic, so I still feel like I should be improving on it somewhere, but I presented it to my fiance this morning. He said it was "Good", but then went back for a second one, which is a more telling sign than saying it's good. :-)

Cheesy Spicey Sweet Potato Muffins
  • 1 egg, beaten

  • ¼ cup milk (I used 2%)

  • 2 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt

  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 1 cup flour

  • ¾ cup cornmeal

  • 1 1/3 tbsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder

  • 1 cup sweet potato, shredded

  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used low fat cheddar made with 2% milk)

  • ½ cup Monterey jack with jalapeno cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425F. Combine first four ingredients in medium sized bowl. Add sugar, mix. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and chili powder, mixing to combine. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing just until fully incorporated. Add the sweet potatoes and cheese, mixing just until evenly distributed through batter. I use foil muffin liners because I don’t have a muffin pan, and filled them approximately ¾ full, which made about 10 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes.

Servings Per Recipe: 10
Calories: 170 Fat: 5.5g Saturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 34mg Sodium: 435mg Potassium: 93mg Total Carbs: 24g Fiber: 1.5g Protein: 6.7g

Requested Each Weekend....

While my fiance claims not to have that much of a sweet tooth, I stumbled across a brownie recipe that he just can't get enough of. Literally. Each weekend, I ask, "What do you want me to bake for you?" The answer is always "Brownies." I found the recipe on the Nestle site, after he made a request for caramel brownies one weekend. Through his preferences, I've tweaked the recipe a bit, so I'll post it here, along with my advice on dealing with this batter.

Chocolate... no, Butterscotch Caramel Brownies
  • 1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix (I use German Chocolate cake mix)

  • 1 cup chopped nuts

  • 1 cup evaporated milk, divided (I find one 5 oz can is the perfect amount)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

  • 35 (10-oz. pkg.) caramels, unwrapped

  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I use one 11 oz bag of butterscotch morsels)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. (I use my 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper. I try to place portions of batter around the pan, then use my hands to even it out and cover the bottom.) Bake for 15 minutes. Heat caramels and remaining evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle morsels over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture. Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture. (I take portions of it in my hand, flatten it out as if I am making a burger, then place them around the pan, covering as much of the surface as I can). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 24 squares. (Since I am working with 8x8, I cut it into 16 squares).

After making them so many times, I am starting to think the top of the brownies needs something, so I think I'll start experimenting with some sort of topping. :-)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nutella Cupcakes

W-o-w. I'd heard people talking about Nutella before, and how amazing it is, but when faced with such fanaticism for something, I tend to be turned off to it (HP included!). Well, The Nest/What's Cooking also has its legions of Nutella fans, but after actually seeing things made with this stuff, I decided it was time to give in and just try it.

My first adventure in Nutella Land (aside from, of course, eating it off a spoon) was Nutella Cupcakes, from ladymcbth on What's Cooking.

Nutella Frosted Cupcakes
  • 10 tbsp(140 grams) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups (200 grams) sifted ap flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Nutella, approx. 1/3 cup
Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don't worry if the batter doesn't look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you're not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Another Nestie Legend: Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie piqued my interest yesterday. My mom's chocolate chip cookies are famous in my family, and I have always wondered about how other people make them, and if any of those recipes would compare. This one gives her a run for her money. These cookies are awesome!

I decided to make the recipe as is, but before adding the chips, divide the dough in half to make a BBFCCCC cousin...

Let me present to you, the BBFC-PBOCMM-C (or Best Big, Fat, Chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Coconut M&M Cookie). :-)

I wasn't measuring (gasp!) when I added those extras, but for about 1/2 the dough, I added somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of chunky peanut butter, coconut and oatmeal, and maybe 1/3 cup mini M&M's. The peanut butter and M&M's were just right, but next time I'll add more coconut and oatmeal. Yes, my kitchen will definitely be graced with their presence again!