Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick and Easy French Baguettes

What's better than warm, crispy french bread? Being able to make it yourself! This is a recipe I have used for a long time. It is pretty amazing. Simple. Easy. And Quick! It only needs to rise once! The last few months I have made it almost weekly. It makes two baguettes and sometimes I just freeze one for another meal. We LOVE to dip this bread in this Alfredo Sauce as a dinner meal appetizer, use it to make sub sandwiches, crispen up for garlic bread, and use it in the morning for french toast! Hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbl (2 pkts) active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
melted butter (to brush bread while baking)

Mix warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl
Let it sit for 5 minutes
When yeast has started to activate, gradually add the flour, and salt
With a mixer dough hook (Kitchen Aid), or a wooden spoon by hand, mix until the dough becomes nice and smooth
Knead for 5-8 minutes
Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 baguettes
Easiest way to do this is to roll out each half into a large rectangle and roll up lengthwise
Pinch the edges to seal and place on lightly greased baking sheet (or baking pad/Silpat) with the seam side down
Cover with a cotton towel and let rise for 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Gently make a slash down the length of each baguette with a sharp knife
Bake bread for 15 minutes
Halfway through baking (7.5 minutes), brush with some melted butter

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Peanut Butter Chick Magnet Cookie

This is a BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF COOKIE! About eight years ago, I started a cookie business: THE COOKIE CHICKS. We named all our cookies "something" chick. We had one called The Chick Magnet. It was the favorite. I recently came up with this new one that I now call the ''Peanut Butter Chick Magnet''. It's like eating a candy bar. In the middle of a moist peanut butter cookie is a peanut butter cup. It is dipped in chocolate, doused with chopped PB cups and mini chocolate chips, then drizzled with white chocolate. AMAZING. You will think you have died and gone to heaven. It is a beautiful cookie! ENJOY!

1/2 cup Crisco
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups white sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
3 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
miniature peanut butter cups
mini chocolate chips
white chocolate

Mix all but the last three ingredients together. Unwrap about 4 dozen mini peanut butter cups. Scoop about 2 T of dough, flatten, and place a PB cup in the center. Wrap dough around and shape into a ball. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Melt dipping chocolate. (I use Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate. It is the best!) Dip tops of cookies in chocolate and lay on wax paper. Chop up remaining PB cups. Sprinkle tops of cookies with the cups and mini chocolate chips. Allow to set. Drizzle with white chocolate. YUM!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Amazing Cracker Toffee

Okay, this is my FAVORITE thing to make right now! I started making this SWEET-SALTY treat every Sunday and it never disappoints. I LOVE it because it takes a few ingredients and a snap just to whip up and tastes like you actually had to put some time and effort into it. It is supper YUMMY and ADDICTIVE. You can't just have one piece... I DARE you!

1 sleeve of Saltine crackers
1 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C chocolate chips
Handful of chopped nuts (anything that you have on hand will do)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil.
2. Lay crackers on cookie sheet in 6x6 rows.
3. In saucepan melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat. Bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Pour over crackers.
4. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.
5. Pour chocolate chips over crackers and allow to sit for 2 minutes before spreading. Spread chocolate chips to cover crackers completely.
6. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and refrigerate at least 2 hours before breaking into pieces and serving.