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Brownie Cookies

About a week ago I was having a night filled with serious chocolate cravings. However, I didn’t just want any old chocolate bar I wanted brownies. Fudgy and chewy and decadent. It sounded perfect, but I didn’t want just any brownies either. I wanted brownies that were all corners since you get even more chew that way. Now, there are Pans designed to give you more edges, but I don’t own one of those. Honestly I agree with Alton Brown about unitaskers (in general) and it’s just not a pan I have space for given the number of times I’d use it. So what’s a chocolate craving girl to do?

Cookies. Brownie cookies. One batch gives you more servings than an 8×11 pan and everything is edges with this gooey yum right in the middle. And with the addition of Ultra Gel these moist cookies freeze really well. My daughter loves them to munch on when we go for an afternoon walk, and when it comes to ice cream sandwiches you just can’t go wrong!

Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flour

Combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in 30 second bursts, stirring between until the chocolate is melted smooth. ((You can also do this over a double boiler if you prefer)). In a separate bowl or stand mixer combine eggs, sugars, cocoa powder, Ultra Gel and vanilla and beat smooth. Add chocolate mixture to creamed mixture to mix to combine. Combine dry ingredients and add to chocolate mixture until just combined. If desired add white chocolate chips or mini chips for even more chocolate death. Drop spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

Note: This was supposed to publish last week. Technology and I had a falling out, so I apologize to anyone who was miffed it didn’t show up, but I think we’re good now.

When it comes to homemade ice cream I think it is vital that everyone has a really really good vanilla ice cream base. Not only because vanilla ice cream is yummy on its own, but also because once you have a good vanilla base you can add all sorts of stuff to it to make a million flavors. But if your base isn’t good it doesn’t matter how many beautiful raspberries you add, or chunks of double brownie it just won’t have the quality you want.The Thick Gel in this recipe helps to create a really smooth ice cream that freezes with small crystals to retain a superior mouthfeel.

So…that said here is my favorite recipe, for now, for vanilla ice cream base.

vanilla ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

2 cups half and half

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons Thick Gel (5 Tablespoons Ultra Gel)

2 Tablespoons peach jam (I use my Jam in a Jiffy Jam. And yes it needs to be peach as that flavor is very delicate and highlights the vanilla. If you don’t have peach then omit entirely. The flavor won’t be as rich, but it will work out)

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar and Thick Gel and mix thoroughly. Move to a large saucepan and combine with all remaining ingredients. Stir well to make sure all ingredients are completely integrated. Warm over medium heat until mixture just starts to thicken. You need the heat to activate the Thick Gel but you do not want to boil the mixture to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and pour into a container. Refrigerate over night. Remove vanilla bean before pouring mixture into a churn and processing as per manufacturer’s directions.

When it comes out of the churn the ice cream will be soft. This is the perfect time to stir in any extras you want, then move the ice cream to the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Today’s recipe is brought to you by trying to get all the goodness I can out of the wonderful blueberries which I know will, too soon, be disappearing from store shelves until spring again. I’ve actually seen versions of this blueberry upside down cake in recipe books and floating around online for sometime and I’ve always wanted to try it. The idea is very similar to a pineapple upside down cake where the fruit and a sugary glaze are put in the bottom of a pan and then covered with batter. The biggest difference is, beside the type of fruit, that the batter here is a thicker more biscuit like batter versus a fluffy cake.

Now I went through about six different recipes for blueberry upside down cake before I settled on what I wanted to make. I ended up taking aspects of each recipe and putting them together and I really love the end result.The cake layer is rich with a golden brown crust and the blueberry layer sweet and tart. I used Ultra Gel in both the filling and the cake and, of course, topped it with Ultra Gel Whipping Cream.

Next time I want to try adding some blackberries with the blueberries as I think the contrast with a tarter fruit would be even better! I also think I can do this with raspberries for a fantastic raspberry lemon cake.

upsidedowncake

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

1/4 cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice (Or lemonade if you want a lighter lemon flavor)

16 ounces blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (Optional but tasty)

2 Tablespoons Water

2 egg

3/4 cups milk

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet melt the butter until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Once sugar is well incorporated whisk in juice, spice and 1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel. Smooth sugar layer across the bottom of the pan then cover with berries in a single layer. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel. In another bowl wisk together water, egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Combine dry and liquid ingredients and stir until just combined.

Pour batter layer over blueberries and bake for 25-35 minutes until cake tests done. Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. At this point you can invert the whole thing onto a plate for presentation, or scoop it out cobbler style. Be very cautious as cast iron holds heat and will continue to be warm for a while. Serve with whipping cream or ice cream for extra smoothness.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

Today (May 15th) is National Chocolate Chip Day. This whole food holiday thing always amuses me, but the very most when the food in question is something I really love, and chocolate chips are something I really love.

So in pondering a recipe to share for such a wonderful food holiday I went back to the classic chocolate chip cookie. What I want in a chocolate chip cookie is a delicate balance of a crisp edge that gives with a satisfying chew and a soft chocolatey center. Then, just to make things hard, I want a cookie that I can keep over night or freeze while maintaining the same qualities because as much as I love my chocolate chip cookies I know better than to eat the whole batch at once. With all of this in mind I went to work with a few adjustments to the recipe, again. Often I put Ultra Gel in my cookies and I do love what it does, but this time I worked with Thick Gel. I get the cookie I want and a cookie that will keep, all good things in my book. And I’m never unhappy to find another recipe to use Thick Gel in. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons Thick Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter, soft

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but if milk chocolate is your thing I’m not judging)

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, Thick Gel and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Seriously, give it 3-4 minutes, even as many as 10, light and fluffy! Add egg, additional yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Now the hard part: put the whole thing into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Some folks will say as long as overnight. I personally don’t like that and find the resulting dough to be very stiff to work with without getting much benefit from that much chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I like these cookies big so I use a two ounce disher and can put about 8 per batch. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to cooling racks. Serve warm, or cold, or freeze any option is a good one!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Many years ago when I was in college at BYU my mother also worked on campus (we even took some classes together which is more fun than one might think). At least once a week we’d get big old muffins from the bookstore and eat at her office or on the go between classes. There was a decadent chocolate thing that we loved, but a close second place were the banana chocolate chip muffins topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting. The only problem with these muffins…well there were two… The were so big that eating a whole one could put a serious hurt on your caloric intake for the day and they dried out way too fast. These were an eat now or forever hold your piece kind of treat, and often I wanted to take half home and freeze it for tomorrow, but that just never worked.

These Banana Chocolate Chip muffins I’m sharing remind me of those muffins I got in school and the afternoons in Mom’s office. However, these are made with Ultra Gel and butter milk and so we’re able to back the calories down significantly, without giving up an ounce of flavor or moisture. They freeze great and you can choose to bake them from mini muffin size all the way up to a bread pan (just adjust your time to appropriate doneness), which is pretty darn cool.

So for Mother’s Day here is my mom’s Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. (The recipe can also be found in the Ultra Gel Answer Book). Love you, Mom!

banana chocolate chip muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup shortening

2/3 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup mashed overripe bananas

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 cup chocolate chips or mini chips

Beat shortening and sugar together for 3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and Ultra Gel and whip until light and fluffy. Add bananas and buttermilk. Stir in dry ingredients until just blended. Like all quick breads these muffins will peak if over beaten, so mix just until the flour is incorporated. A few lumps won’t hurt anything. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased and floured (or lined) muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tests done. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from pans. Cool complete. Eat immediate, or freeze. Particularly good with cream cheese frosting!

Cornaby’s Spicy Cooking Sauces

It seems like everywhere we look right now there’s someone promoting a new spicy sauce and then another one that’s hotter than the last! For me the burn your tongue off ghost pepper sauces don’t do much cause I’m a giant wimp. Not that I don’t like a sauce with a good kick, but there’s a difference between interesting kick and I’m on fire kick. This is where the Cornaby’s line of spicy sauces comes in!

Currently our spicy sauces come in three amazing flavors all based on combining the delicate sweet flavors of fruit with the heat and smoke of peppers. Any of these sauces makes a great grilling or dipping sauce and with a little creativity can be used to top wraps, burgers and even lightly drizzled on grilled vegetables or corn! Yummy!

Peach Habanero

So here’s the run down:

Raspberry Jalapeno:

Sweet Cornaby’s Raspberries combined with pickled jalapenos. Sweet and warm at the same time, with just enough kick to get your attention. Add 1-2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup mayonnaise and spread on hero sandwiches or burgers!

Raspberry Chipotle:

Sweet Cornaby’s Raspberries combined with fiery smoked chipotle. Hotter than the jalpeno with a smoky effect. This is fantastic on robust meats like pork or beef!

Peach Habenero:

Delicate local Utah Peaches combined with spicy fresh habenaros. This one is surprisingly refreshing and the hottest that we make. Add a tablespoon to a bowl of coleslaw and just count the fans!

Soon we’ll have a Strawberry Serano, but that’s still in the works!

So you tell me. What would you put a spicy cooking sauce on and find Cornaby’s cooking sauces at your local Associated Food stores or at www.cornabys.com.

Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies

A few nights ago Bunneh and I were catching up on some of our DVRed shows and just enjoying the evening. At a certain point I found myself wandering around the kitchen because I wanted… Something. Something really amazing, something I could make in a hurry. I mentioned this to Bunneh and he said, “So you want brownies too?”

And truthfully, yeah, I did. But I didn’t want just any brownie. I wanted homemade, from scratch, amazing brownie goodness that I could be eating within a half hour. When I have these kinds of cravings the place to go is the family cookbook. Yeah, the internet is all fine and dandy and everyone on Pinterest will tell you they have the best recipe for this or that, but the family cookbooks are always my go to source for culinary goodness. I am rarely disappointed, and this time was no exception. I found a fudgey chocolate chunk brownie recipe from my cousin and it was just the thing to sooth my craving. With a little bit of Ultra Gel to hold the moisture in we’ve been munching on the goodies for nearly four days, and that’s pretty good for a 9×9 inch pan and just the two of us. :)

Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies from Shaina Cornaby Sorensen

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons milk

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×9 inch baking pan by greasing or lining with parchment and then greasing. Set aside.

Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time mixing between additions. Add milk and mix through. In a separate bowl stir together Ultra Gel, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients gradually to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Pour batter into prepared pan (it’s a thick batter) and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with ice cream! Or cool and eat by the block!