Sunday, July 22, 2012

homemade twix bars!!!!

WARNING: These are extremely addictive! Make at the risk of your own waistline!

Thats right. Homemade delicious cookie with caramel and chocolate twix bars. I have always wanted to make these ever since I saw them on one of my favorite blogs, cupcakes and cashmere. The idea of making caramel is slightly terrifying. Burning, molten sugar that has the potential harden into a rock and stick to every corner of everything is really appealing (not).

I thought I could face my fears with some help, so I suggested to Cassie and Annelih we make them for our weekly blogging adventure. They agree and so the mission began!

Check out Annelih's twix bars here and Cassie's isn't up yet but she's got an awesome scone recipe for now and I'll post her twix when she gets it up. (Update: heres cassie's! and hers doesn't involve making your own caramel for those of you who want a simpler recipe)

Heres my attempt. They turned out really well! Like I can no longer make them because I eat the entire thing in three days well. I"m warning you, make these for a party or for company, your waistline will thank me!

Homemade Twix Bars
1 stick plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter 
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1- 14oz can sweeten condensed milk
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate layer:
10 oz dark chocolate

1. Cream sugar and butter together for cookie layer. Add salt and flour a little bit at a time, the mixture will be crumbly. Press mixture into a 13 X 9 in pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Make sure the layer is level to ensure even cooking.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and then rotate pan. Bake for another 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow time to cool.

3. While cookie layer is baking and cooling make the caramel. In a large sauce pan, mix together butter, sugar, corn syrup, milk, and salt for the caramel. Place on low-medium heat and stir constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat to medium-high heat. Continue stirring to avoid burning. Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat back down to low-medium. Stir for another 10 minutes until the caramel becomes thicker and begins to pull away from the sides. Pour over cookie layer and let cool.

4. Once the caramel is cool, put into fridge. Fill a sauce pan with about an inch of water in the bottom with a glass bowl on top. The glass bowl should not touch the water but should be big enough to sit on top of the pan without touching the bottom. Put the sauce pan on medium heat and bring the water to a simmer. (this is a double boiler!) Place chocolate in the glass bowl and stir until melted. 

5. Remove caramel cookie thing from the fridge. Pour the chocolate over the top and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. 

6. Slice and enjoy!!! (sprinkle with a little salt for an extra treat)

Monday, July 16, 2012


 The best quiche I ever had was last summer in Paris. My friend and I knew very little french so ordering food became very interesting. One day we went into a very busy bakery to grab lunch for a picnic. There were to many people to find out what everything was so I attempted to ask which of the delicious looking options didn't have meat. I ended up with the best tomato, basil, and mozzarella quiche ever! The quiche along with macarons and nap in the park equaled the perfect lunch.

Since then I have started experimenting a little more with my quiche filling. The combinations are endless. Once you know how to make a basic quiche, you can put whatever you want inside! For this quiche, I used stuff I already had in my fridge; goat's cheese, tomato, basil, and onions.

Goat's Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Tomato, and Basil Quiche

1 pie case (I used the left over pastry from my apple pie for the crust but frozen will do)
5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 onion
1 large tomato, sliced
goats cheese
3 basil leaves

1. Slice the onion and cook in a pan at medium-low heat with a little bit of oil. Cover the onions and leave them, stiring occasionally until they turn a carmel color. Add a pinch of salt and remove from heat.

2. Whisk the eggs, milk, and cream together in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Chop the basil and add it into the mixture.

3. Using a fork, prick the bottom of your pie case. Spread the onions at the bottom of the crust. Place small pieces of goat cheese on top of the onions as well as the slices of tomato. Pour the egg mixture on top of it all.

4. Bake in a preheated 365 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove when the center is fully cooked. Use a toothpick to test if needed. Let cool for at least an hour.

5. Slice, eat, and enjoy!!

** The pie crust, eggs, milk, and cream are all you need for a basic quiche so get creative and make your own combinations and flavors!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chocolate Orange bread

Ok, so for this weeks group bloggingness we decided to make bread. I decided what a perfect time to make yeast bread for the first time! Days later, in a flour covered kitchen, I ended up with a heavy lump of kind of bake terrible bread.  I failed, epically. Sometime in the future I will post a beautiful picture of some steaming, perfect french bread but for now yeast bread will be on hold.

That being said I needed something for group blog day (ps we need a name, any suggestions?). Both Annelih and Cassie were making sweet quick breads. I decided to follow their trend and googled quick bread recipes. In my searches, I came across orange chocolate bread. I was sold! Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations ever!

Check out Cassie's Chocolate Almond Bread and Annelih's Peanut Butter Bread they both look amazing! I'm going to have to try those recipes out for myself!

Orange Chocolate Bread

1 orange
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Zest and juice the orange. Combined he juice and add boiling water until it equals 1 cup. Pour over the zest and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Combined flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg, butter, vanilla, and orange mixture together. Add the liquid to the dry and mix until just moist. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Pour mixture into a greased bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick and remove from oven when the center is cooked. 

4. Cool, slice, and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Key lime pie

Being from Florida, it was only a matter of time before I blogged about our state pie, key lime pie. This delicious treat uses the tart key limes that can be found in the Florida keys. If you google key lime pie, you can find a bunch of different recipes. As far as I'm concerned, there are only three things you need; key lime juice, sweeten condensed milk, and egg yokes. Any recipe that tries to make it more complicated is not a key lime pie. You can buy the juice in a bottle or take the tiny fruit and squeeze your own. Either way its delicious. For my pie I addde some strawberries for something a little different.

Strawberry Key Lime Pie

1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
3 egg yokes
1 cup sliced strawberries
graham cracker crust ( I usually buy one because making one isn't really worth it)

1. Whisk together the egg yokes and condensed milk. Keep mixing whilst adding the lime juice a little at a time. 

2. Spread the strawberries at the bottom of the crust. Pour lime mixture over the strawberries.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool for several hours.

4. Top with whip cream, slice, and enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Guac time!

I used to hate avocados. When I was younger I thought they were the grossest thing in the whole world. My parents loved them though and would always order guacamole at our local mexican restaurant. They would bring out a big bowl and make it right there next to the table. One day I decided to face my fears and try it. My whole world changed. It was the BEST thing in the world. From then on  I have loved everything and anything with avocados in it; guacamole being my favorite.

I always make it for parties or potlucks and it is always a hit. One time, I made four avocados worth of guacamole. I swear two of my friends where about to fight over licking the bowl. They ate the entire bowl between the two of them. So here you go the easiest and best guacamole recipe ever!

2 avocados
1 clove of garlic
1 small tomato
half a lime
1/3 cup of onion
1/4 cup chop cilantro (optional)

1. Smash the two avocados. Crush the garlic, dice the tomato and onion, and mix all with avocado. Squeeze the lime juice into the mixture and add a generous pinch of salt. At this point, add cilantro if you desire. Taste your guac and add what ever you think its missing!!

2. Eat and Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Apple pie!!

Today marks the start of a wonderful blogging adventure!. Several of my blogging friends and I will each be cooking up the same delicious dish and posting about it each thursday! This gives you a great chance to read about three different experiences making some sometimes challenging dishes.

So first off here are my fellow bloggers and their awesome blogs:

Now the first dish! For our first post we went with apple pie. We wanted to do something July 4th themed and whats more American than apple pie??

I've made apple pie several times, most of the time buying frozen pastry for the crust. This time I decided to make my own. I usually don't follow a recipe for the filling either, I just mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour add some butter and bam! This time I payed a little more attention so I could write it for you guys.

The crust recipe I used was a little weird. The high fat content made it kind of difficult to work with but the results we yummy and buttery. As long as you make sure your surface in well floured as well as you rolling pin you should be fine.

Apple Pie

(adapted from smitten kitchen)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp vegetable shortening
12 tbsp unsalted butter
8 tbsp cold water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the shortening in small chunks and mix with the flour mixture with hands until it looks like bread crumbs. Next add the butter in small chunks and mix with hands until the largest lumps are no bigger than a small pea.

2. Using a spoon, add the water a little but at a time. Stop when the mixture comes together in a rough ball. You may not use all the water, you may use more, don't let the mix become to wet. Divide the ball into two and flatten into disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for minim a hour.

6 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter divided into 5 chunks

1. In a big bowl mix together the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Make sure all the apples are throughly coated. Added the flour and mix again. Leave to one side.

2. Take out the crust from the fridge. Take one disk, unwrap, and place it on a throughly floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top and roll out the dough until it will fit your pan. Carefully lift the dough over your rolling pin and place it over your pie pan. Using only small adjustments make sure the dough lines your pan with a little overhang. It is important to remember the more you mess with your dough the tougher your crust will be so avoid messing with it as much as possible.

3. Take the filling mixture and pour it into your prepared crust. Spread the apples out evenly. Place the butter on top of the apples. Next roll out the second disk, just like the first and place it on top of the apples. Cut off the extra around the edges and pinch together the bottom and top crust. Cut slits in the top crust to help vent the filling ( I cut a star for the 4th theme so get creative if you want!)

4. Bake on a tray at 425 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for another half hour. Check the pie and remove when the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Place on a cooling rack and allow a generous amount of time for the pie to cool.

5. Slice and enjoy!