Thursday, September 10, 2009

Canine Cookies

(sorry; couldn't resist.)

Peanut Butter Dog Treats
(this recipe is all over the interwebs, but I got it from


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup whole milk.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix peanut butter and milk; I suggest using a whisk to get smoother results than just using a spoon. Add this to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead u
ntil dough is smooth. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness, then cut out dough using dog bone cookie cutter and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Bake for approx. 20 minutes until lightly brown.* Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container.

*This is kind of silly because the dough is already darker than 'lightly brown' before baking!

I really like this recipe because it comes together so quickly and with a minimum of fuss.
I actually threw it together while talking to my best friend on the phone.
And then, too, it makes the whole house smell like peanut butter, which is a win-win situation.

This recipe got two paws up from my dog, Isabel and I'm betting
your pampered pooch will like them, too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jane:1, Red Velvet::1

Jane: 1; Red Velvet:1

Dear Red Velvet: Don't think this is over. Not by a long shot.
The Food Network Throwdown recipe may have won the battle,
but it didn't win the war. Not yet.

Not while I still have...wait for it...

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Better Homes and Gardens!!!

Yes, this one was good. And not just good. Excellent, in fact.
I still had just the lame-o super red coloring gel to use so my
cupcakes were more of a dark coral color than truly tomato red.

Nevertheless--Jane triumphed.
Never let it be said that a flavor got the best of Me.

So here it is, from Better Homes and Gardens, a name you've
trusted for donkeys' years...

Red Velvet Cupcakes


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 oz. bottle of red food coloring (2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. One at a time, add eggs and beat on medium speed after each. Beat in food coloring ON LOW.*

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low-medium speed after each only until combined.

**Stir together baking soda and vinegar.** Add to batter and beat just until combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cupcakes from pans to cool completely.

Frost or dust with powdered sugar.

*Don't ask.

**Just a friendly head's up on this--this is not included in most other cupcake recipes. I don't ever remember coming across this technique of combining vinegar and baking soda before. Have you?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Ganache Topping

Oops. Too late.

I suppose if one were burning w
ith curiosity as to who had attacked this
brownie prior to the photo, one could always access dental
records, (bite marks are pretty damning evidence, don't you think?) but is it really that important? You can still see the big chunks of
chocolate, the denseness of the peanut butter brownie, and the thick layer of
semisweet topping; everything you need to see, in fact, to convince you to try this recipe. Except for the faint traces of chocolat
e on someone's
front choppers. Naming no names.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
(adapted from Cookie Madness)


8 oz. (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into slivers
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks (or more; you know me--or actually, you don't-I almost always add extra chocolate chunks, chips, etc.)


1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (only because they melt faster than chunks)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9 inch metal pan* and spray with
non-stick cooking spray or rub with butter.

Cream the butter and sugar with electric or stand mixer. When light and fluffy,
add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in eggs, the egg yolk and vanilla. By hand, stir in the flour and chocolate chunks. Spread batter in pan, patting it down flat**, and bake on center rack for 35-40 minutes or until puffed
and golden. Cool completely.

Make the ganache: place chocolate chips in heat-proof bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream until it starts to boil. Pour the cream over the chips and let stand for a minute. Stir well to melt chips; stir in the butter. Spread on cooled brownies and let set.

Makes 36 bars. Don't scoff at this; they are very, very rich.

* I usually use a Corning 13 x 9 glass pan, adjusting my oven temp. to compensate. (You know about lowering recipe temps. about 25 degrees F. when using glass dishes, right?)

** I usually spray a Rubbermaid spatula with non-stick spray to pat the batter down with and smooth the surface a bit.