Archive for the ‘Baked Goodies’ Category

peanut butter jelly bars2

peanut butter jelly timeIt’s peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time…”

I love that episode of Family Guy… Brian is trying to cheer Peter up by singing and dancing dressed as this banana… singing peanut butter jelly time… Even my 3 year old

sings it!

So, when I saw this recipe posted as part of the Barefoot Bloggers “A Week with the Barefoot Contessa”, I immediately started singing that song and I’ve been having it run

through my head ever since! AGH!!!

Anyway, I decided to make this dessert to bring over to our friend’s house.  It was so easy to make… pretty much fool proof. And it was awesome! It was however, very, very rich and filling. I almost would have made it into bite size pieces… that’s how rich it was.  I used Skippy peanut butter (that was recommended and that was what I had.. gotta love Costco) and I used Polaner’s All Fruit Spread Strawberry Jam (You know.. in an effort to be healthy!) I also used the whole jar of jam which was @ 2 ounces more than the recipe called for since past comments suggested it was a bit dry. It turned out great… By the way, I halved the recipe and still got a ton of bars…. the recipe below is the full recipe. Enjoy your “peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time”!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Source: Barefoot Contessa at Home

Serves: 24 bars


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter (recommended: Skippy)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam
  • 2/3 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

How to pull it all together:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
  • Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula.
  • Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam.
  • Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven.
  •  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cool and cut into squares.


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Beatty's Chocolate CakeCoffee or no Coffee?…. That is the question. 

Let me say that this cake was awesome. Moist, chocolatey, firm enough to hold the icing, and just really, really, yummy!

The only thing I would probably change about it was the icing.  It wasn’t sweet enough for me… it’s not that I’m opposed to the coffee flavoring in the chocolate icing, it just needed more sugar to please my palate. However, if you’re not into super sweet icing than you should have no complaints about this.

Try it… it’s worth the extra bit of effort rather than opening the box of Betty Crocker…. (although that Betty makes some pretty good cakes too! ) Enjoy!

 Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

From Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten

Serves 8


  Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows  

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.  (I used the disposable ones, as I don’t have them for some reason! They worked out great… and I got to throw them out and not wash them!)
    • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
    •  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
    •  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
    • With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
    •  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
    • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
    •  1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    •  1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    • Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    • Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.
    • Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
    • Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.  ( I didn’t have coffee powder, so I used 2 tsp of hot coffee instead. Maybe that is why it was to coffee flavored for me? I don’t know…)

    Many thanks to Mary of Passionate Perseverance for choosing this recipe! Please check us out at Barefoot Bloggers to see what we’re cooking!

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    100_1187I confess…. I’ve made these before.  I also confess… they are “outrageous”.  I also confess… they disappeared within a day.

    So I am very far behind in my blog posts.  I do apologize.  I am not managing my time wisely!  I made these brownies for a BBQ we had Memorial Day weekend.  I won’t go into big specifics on how delish these were…. more like fudge then a brownie… but this picture should say it all.  Sorry Kristen, but this is a funny picture! Also, notice the hand reaching in from the other side of the table….100_1183

    Here is the recipe:

    Outrageous Brownies 

    Source: Barefoot Contessa-Ina Garten

    Serves: Makes @ 20 large brownies


    • 1 pound unsalted butter
    • 1 pound plus 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
    • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    • 6 extra-large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder ( I only used a smidge, or I sometime leave it out. Gets us too wired!)
    • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 ¼ cups flour, divided
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 cups diced walnut pieces  ( I left these out)

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
    • Melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
    • Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
    • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.


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    So, I’m posting some belated Barefoot Bloggers recipes.  Why you ask? Well I have been very busy… you know… moving my family and all our possessions back home to the U.S. of A ! Hooray! So, now I am playing catch up.. in between unpacking, painting, entertaining a small child, cleaning, getting a new car, getting lawn and gutter quotes etc….

    The March Bonus Recipe Challenge was Brownie Pudding, chosen by Tia of Southern, Eh?  I made this as a dessert for our last weekend in the UK with our good friends.  The rest of that menus items will be coming… but I thought I would start with dessert.  This was very easy to make, and it tasted amazing!  It was so good that I had to post these pictures as it is a bit embarrassing what happened to the Brownie Pudding.

    Innocent Brownie Pudding, sitting on the counter: innocent-brownie-pudding                                                                                                                                                                                                              











    Defiled Brownie Pudding, sitting on the counter:  brownie-pudding-destruction2







     Notice the dragged finger marks in the Defiled Brownie pic?  Do you think they liked it?!?


    Here is the recipe:


    Brownie Pudding

    Source: Ina Garten, Back to Basics

    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
    • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
    • 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
    • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
    • When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
    • Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
    • Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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                Here is another sneaky recipe to get some fruit and veg into your picky eaters.  I’ve adapted this recipe from one for Banana Bread.  The original recipe comes from Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively DeliciousThese muffins are so good you won’t even know your eating veggies!  This is the second time I’ve made them and although they were good they were not as sweet as the first time.  I think that is because my fruit was not overly ripe.  The bananas still had a bit of green tint on the tops and the blueberries I stupidly didn’t taste before tossing in the mixing bowl.  If that is the case, you may want to add additional sugar. 

    Ok… here is the original recipe.  I’ve put my modifications in italics. (I just discovered how to change color! Dur!)

    Banana Bread

    Source: Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld

    Makes a 9×5 inch loaf, 2 mini loafs, or 12 big muffins

    • Non stick cooking spray  I used muffin cups, so no need for spray
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour  I used all purpose flour, due to dietary restrictions in my house
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) I tend to add a dash more :o)
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (I used dark)
    • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 1 1/2 cups banana puree  
    • 1/2 cup cauliflower puree I used sweet potato puree
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 pint blueberries

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat oven to 325° F.  Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or 2 mini loaf pans with cooking spray.  Put muffin liners in the muffin tin.
    • In a bowl or a zipper lock bag, mix the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, if using.  Set aside
    • In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and oil with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Mix in the egg whites, banana and cauliflower sweet potato purees, and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in the blueberries.
    • Pour the batter into the loaf pan muffin cups.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes for large loaf, 25-30 minutes for the mini loaves.   I had to bake my muffins @ 35-40 minutes but my oven is all wacky and the temp fluctuates.  SO…keep an eye on them and check them.
    • Let cool on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.

    FYI: This recipe is awesome on it’s own without any modifications.  It’s really good with peanut butter smeared on it and a cold glass of milk.


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    Good grief Charlie Brown!  Well, here is another Ina indulgence since we had guests to visit the other weekend.  I really never bake unless we have company because honestly, who could be trusted not to raid these babies at 2:00 in the morning!  Anyway, back to the magical goodness of the Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookie.  They were so freaking good it was scary!  A tad crunchy on the outside, with a gooey white chocolate chunk center!  They were gone by the end of the day.  Good thing I had gotten impatient with making the individual cookies and just made one huge giant cookie pretty much the size of the pan with the extra dough!  Now that was even better than the little cookies! I cut them into little cube size pieces so we could nibble them on Sunday and then sent the rest of them to the office with my hubby.  He said people hovered and then were practically licking the crumbs from the plate.  Can you picture that??

    I wouldn’t change a thing about these cookies, although they may be a good starting point for an experiment.  Maybe instead of white chocolate chunks some sort of candy bar?  Snickers, Butterfinger? Oooh maybe Rollos!  Those are hard to find though. Oh well… I shall ponder the possibilities and report back at some time.  Enjoy!


     Here is the recipe:

    Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties! 
    • 1/2 pound unsalted butte,r at room temperature
    • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
    • 2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 pounds good white chocolate, coarsely chopped

    How to put it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
    • Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well.
    • Add the cocoa and mix again.
    • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
    • Fold in the chopped white chocolate.
    • Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly.
    • Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone).
    • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.cookie-plate


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    Oh dear… I think I wish I hadn’t found this recipe!  Luckily, I tend to only make this sort of thing when we have company over,  which living over here in the UK is not that often.  We may be in trouble when we move home though!  These were dangerously delish!   The original recipe was for mini bundt cakes… however I don’t have those pans so I made cupcakes. Besides the amazing taste of the cake, the aroma that permeated the house from the orange and chocolate immediately caused your mouth to water! As for the actual cake, it was moist and refreshingly citrusy… then when I added the orange syrup it made it even more so.  When I added the chocolate ganache topping however… LOOK OUT!  The entire dozen were inhaled by the end of the weekend.  I highly recommend them… the cake was orangey and moist with chunks of Cadbury gooey goodness… and the topping was a mix of milk and dark Cadbury… it was fudgy and magical! All hail the Barefoot Contessa! orange-muffin-glaze-3

    Here is the recipe:

    Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

    source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, page 206

    • 1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
    • 1/8 cup grated orange zest (2 large oranges)
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 3 ounces buttermilk at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunksI used chopped up Cadbury Dairy Milk

    For the syrup

    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

    For the ganache

    • 4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips: I used Cadbury Dairy Milk and a bit of a dark chocolate bar (I can’t remember the brand)
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules: I only used @ 1/4 teaspoon

    How to put it all together:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 6 individual serving baking molds, such as the flexible non stick 100 percent silicone molds  I used a 12 cup cupcake tin with cupcake liners
    2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the orange zest.
    3. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 1 tablespoon flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the molds on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pans, put them on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
    5. For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cakes.

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