Raspberry & Chocolate Cream Cheese Rugelach + Baking Chez Moi Review

rugelach-main

Dorie Greenspan is a baking god in my book. I look up to her. So when I was recently approached to adapt Dorie’s rugelach recipe with some fresh Driscoll raspberries, I got super excited. I jumped at the opportunity to check out her latest cookbook, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes From My Paris Home To Your Home Anywhere.

baking chez moi

And then it hit me. They wanted me to make rugelach. I’ve made rugelach once before, but only once. Rugelach meant that I would have to take out my rolling pin. You know how much I despise rolling out dough. But I’m doing it for Dorie. Because she’s a great teacher.

So I got to work. I read and reread the cookbook and studied the rugelach recipe. Her dough recipe is so simple and comes together fast. I mixed up the flour, butter, cream cheese and salt in my food processor. It took just a couple of minutes.

mixing-dough

I formed the mixture in to two squares, wrapped them up in plastic wrap and then chilled for a couple hours. While the dough chilled, I made the filling. I knew that I needed to fill the rugelach with some form of raspberry and chocolate, but it needed to be different than the last time I made rugelach. I decided to make my filling using cream cheese, sugar, the fresh raspberries and some 72% dark chocolate. I’m so glad I went in that direction.

raspberries

Next, I reviewed her rolling technique over and over. To be honest, at first I doubted her method. With the first batch of the cookies, I stuck to the pie slicing method that I’d used in the past. Of course it didn’t turn out the way I wanted to. I relented and tried Dorie’s method of rolling rugelach. She recommends rolling the dough into a rectangle and slicing in half and on each half, filling and then rolling the long way.

rolled-out-dough

I froze the two long rugelach tubes for a little bit before slicing. They sliced beautifully once chilled.

unbaked

 

I baked the rugelach for around 15 minutes. Lo and behold, Dorie’s version came out perfectly.

cooling

And that raspberry and chocolate and cream cheese filling? Amazing and rich. The perfect dessert. It meshes so well with the flaky and buttery dough. I am definitely making these rugelach again soon. I’m sure I will mix up the filling ingredients over and over again, but for now, this works for me.

Thanks to the publishers, I have a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook available to give away. Please enter below!



 

Raspberry & Chocolate Cream Cheese Rugelach + Baking Chez Moi Review
 
Author:
Ingredients
Dough:
  • 4 oz. cold cream cheese
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Filling:
  • 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 heaping cup fresh Driscoll's raspberries (around 6 oz.)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 5 oz. chopped 70% or greater dark chocolate
For Top of Dough Rolls:
  • 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
  • ½ cup sugar (approx.)
Instructions
  1. Cut up the cream cheese and butter in to chunks.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the butter and cream cheese to the food processor and pulse several times until it becomes crumbly. Don't let it come in to a ball on its' own.
  4. Transfer mixture to a floured board and form in to a ball with your hands. Separate in to two pieces.
  5. Shape each piece into a square and wrap in plastic wrap.
  6. Chill dough squares in fridge for two hours.
  7. For the filling, place the cream cheese, berries and sugar in the food processor and pulse until combined. You don't want the raspberries completely pureed - you want some pieces. Set mixture aside.
  8. Chop up the chocolate well. Set aside in small bowl.
  9. Take one square of dough out of the fridge. Move to a floured surface and dust the top of the dough and your rolling pin with flour.
  10. Roll out the dough to a 12 x 12 rectangle.
  11. Slice the rectangle in half to 12x6.
  12. Spread filling on rectangle, leaving one long edge without filling.
  13. Roll up the dough from that one edge. Roll it up jelly roll style, with seam side down.
  14. Repeat process with the second dough rectangle,
  15. Transfer both rolls to the freezer.
  16. Preheat the oven to 400.
  17. Once the oven is heated to temperature and the dough rolls are chilled thoroughly, remove the rolls from the freezer.
  18. Brush the top of the rolls with the egg mixture and sprinkle on some of the sugar.
  19. Slice each roll in to 1 inch slices
  20. Baked on parchment lined baking sheets for about 15 minutes
  21. Transfer to cooling racks
  22. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
  23. Enjoy!

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Rugelach-Vertical

The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer: Giveaway & Babka Bites

Babka-Bites-for-Blog

The holidays are upon us. So much craziness. I’m thrilled that I get a fresh dinner on the table –  let alone somehow manage to pull off a holiday meal. Each day I come home from work with a new menu idea and a new shopping list. I know I should probably just stick to just one idea, but I’m always inspired by new things I see. My menu tends to change up until the actual holiday day. As long as it’s a holiday I can cook on, I tend to play and go with whatever my mood dictates.  As long as I have some fresh veggies and proteins on hand, I’m good to go.

The only thing I have trouble with though is dessert. I love chocolate and cookies as much as every other person out there, but I’m not always creative about it. 90% of the time, I tend to rely on my trusty cookbooks.

HBKCover-(1)

That’s where a book like The Holiday Baker by Paula Shoyer comes in. This cookbook is filled with fabulous treats to bake up in my kitchen. Paula Shoyer makes holiday desserts simple to create. Her recipes are easy to follow and the photos in the cookbook make me want to make and eat everything right away. She even has a fantastic section on must-have tools and tips. Was thrilled to get a copy of the cookbook this holiday season. My daughter has flagged about 10 recipes that I MUST make. Everything with chocolate was at the top of my list.

Paula Shoyer’s recipe for Babka Bites are on my must-make list. Such an amazing treat and the recipe is super easy to follow. I highly recommend you make this now.

Don’t forget to enter this fabulous giveaway for this amazing cookbook!

Shana Tova! Happy New Year. May you have a happy and sweet New Year!



Babka Bites
 
Recipe from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer Sterling / November 2013
Author:
Ingredients
Dough
  • ¼ cup (60ml) warm water
  • ½ ounce (2 envelopes; 14g) dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
  • ¼ cup (60ml) canola oil
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
Filling
  • ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips
Instructions
To make the dough:
  1. PLACE WARM WATER, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add the ¼ cup (50g) sugar, flour, salt, margarine, oil, egg, and egg white.
  2. Combine with a wooden spoon or a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1 ½ hours.
To make the filling:
  1. PLACE THE MARGARINE into a medium or large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the cocoa and sugar and beat until combined. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature while the dough is rising.
  2. PREHEAT OVEN to 325°F (160°C). Place mini muffin papers into a 12-cup mini muffin pan. You will need to bake Babka Bites in batches.
To assemble and bake:
  1. AFTER THE DOUGH HAS RISEN, divide it in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece of dough into a 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30-cm) rectangle so that the 12-inch (30-cm) side is facing you. Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin if the dough starts to stick to it. Use a silicone spatula to spread half the chocolate filling all the way to the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips all over the chocolate filling and roll up tightly the long way. Cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm)
  2. slices and place one into each of the muffin cups, cut side up. You will have about 24 slices. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  3. BAKE for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

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Mocha Pound Cake

I am slowly conquering my fear of baking cakes from scratch.

I am sheepishly admitting here that in the past, I have been known to simply doctor cake mixes in to creations of my own. I had no idea that it was so easy to create a cake of your own. I’ve made a few cupcakes here and there, but by and large I have stuck to Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker.

Until last week.

mocha pound cake

Last week, I made some chocolate brownies from scratch! Whoa! They came together super fast, and actually tasted pretty good! Who knew?

So the other day, when I was working on my chocolate crouton recipe for the Kosher Connection link-up post, I decided to come up with something on my own. I will admit that I did look for a chocolate pound cake at Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t find it. So I made my own. I decided to turn it in to a mocha pound cake. I was so amazed with the results, I had to share the recipe.

Mocha Pound Cake – (adapted from King Arthur)


Ingredients:

1 stick butter, room temperature

1.5 cups sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. instant espresso powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup cocoa

2 tbsp. sour cream

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

mocha cake batterIn a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon and sour cream.

Beat in the eggs slowly.

Add in the flour and milk. Mix well – so that all the ingredients are combined.

cake batter in panPour the batter in to the loaf pan.

Bake the cake for an hour at 350°F. You may need an additional 5-10 minutes. The cake may be a little moist on top. That’s ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for a bit.

Remove the cake from the pan and let cool further.

I turned my cake into croutons. Check it out here!

mocha pound cake

 

Mocha Pound Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon and sour cream.
  4. Beat in the eggs slowly.
  5. Add in the flour and milk. Mix well - so that all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Pour the batter in to the loaf pan.
  7. Bake the cake for an hour at 350°F. You may need an additional 5-10 minutes. The cake may be a little moist on top. That's ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for a bit.
  8. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool further.

Warm Berry Compote with Mocha Pound Cake Croutons

Today’s recipe is part of the Kosher Connection link-up. The Kosher Connection is a group of food bloggers who happen to be kosher and are working hard to bring amazing flavors to the kosher community. This month’s link-up theme is croutons.

When I first saw the email, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical. What can I do with croutons that I haven’t done before? I’ve made soup croutons before, and those were pretty awesome. I like croutons in my salad as well. Those have been done before, and I wanted to do something different. My daughter suggested cotton candy croutons. Not sure that’s workable. It did lead me on a quest for sweet croutons.

berry compote and chocolate cake croutons

I knew my croutons had to include chocolate. I came up with a mocha pound cake recipe that is perfectly suited for croutons. You can use your own favorite chocolate pound cake recipe or even a store-bought chocolate pound cake.

My original intention was to pair the croutons with a warm pudding dish. As I was discussing this dish with my family this morning, a warm compote was recommended. I’ve never made compote before, but I warmed up to the idea. I quickly ran over to my fruit & vegetable market and picked up some berries.

While this recipe has a few steps involved, it is totally worth it. This dessert was amazing. Will definitely make this again.





Warm Berry Compote with Mocha Pound Cake Croutons

berries for compote

Warm Berry Compote
Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

3/4 sugar

juice of one lemon

1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tsp. water
Directions for the Compote:

Place all of the ingredients, except for the corn starch slurry, in a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high.  Stir everything together until the mixture begins to boil.

Once the mixture is boiling, add in the corn starch mixture.

Turn down the heat and keep cooking and stirring. The berries will begin to disintegrate and the mixture will thicken a bit. Cook the compote on medium low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Keep the compote on low until you are ready to serve

 

Chocolate/Mocha Pound Cake Croutons



Ingredients:

chocolate croutons1/2 – prepared and cooled pound cake loaf

baking spray

Directions for the Chocolate Croutons:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut up the pound cake in to 1-2 inch squares.

Lay the pound cake pieces on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Flip cake squares over and bake another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool slightly. You may notice that the cake croutons seem a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool.

Serve the berry compote warm with some vanilla ice cream and the yummy chocolate croutons.  Enjoy!

berry compote with chocolate croutons

Warm Berry Compote
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • ¾ sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tsp. water
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except for the corn starch slurry, in a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high. Stir everything together until the mixture begins to boil.
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, add in the corn starch mixture.
  3. Turn down the heat and keep cooking and stirring. The berries will begin to disintegrate and the mixture will thicken a bit. Cook the compote on medium low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Keep the compote on low until you are ready to serve.

 
Mocha Poundcake Croutons
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ½ - prepared and cooled pound cake loaf
  • baking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cut up the pound cake in to 1-2 inch squares.
  3. Lay the pound cake pieces on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Flip cake squares over and bake another 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool slightly. You may notice that the cake croutons seem a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool.
  6. Serve the berry compote warm with some vanilla ice cream and the yummy chocolate croutons.
  7. Enjoy!


Chocolate, Caramel and Marshmallow Biscoff Cookie Bars

I first encountered Biscoff cookies several years ago on a Delta flight. I immediately fell in love with these cinnamon and ginger spiced cookies. They melt in your mouth and are so fantastic with a cup of coffee. At the time, you couldn’t find the cookies anywhere except for Europe and the plane. I can now purchase the cookies at my local store, and the cookie butter or Speculoos is available everywhere. It’s all so good! If you haven’t yet tried Biscoff or Speculoss, both the spread and the cookies, you’re missing out.

Biscoff Cookies

I recently picked up a package of the cookies and decided I had to turn it in to something else. I love cookie bars. I came up with two different recipes. One of which I am sharing with you today.


Chocolate, Caramel and Marshmallow Biscoff Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 – 8.8 oz package Biscoff or Speculoos Cookies
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 stick Butter or Earth Balance Buttery Stick, melted

Caramel Layer:
14 oz or 1 package Kraft Caramel Squares, peeled
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Marshmallow Layer:
1.5 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance

Chocolate Layer
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. Earth Balance Shortening
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the cookies in the bowl of your food processor and process completely. Add in the brown sugar. Slowly pour in the melted butter to incorporate. Press crust ingredients in to a greased or parchment-lined 9×13 baking pan. Bake in oven for 17 minutes. Cool.

For the caramel layer, melt the caramel in a saucepan with the heavy cream. You must stir this often. You should be melting the caramel at a medium-low hear or it will burn.  Once the caramels are melted, stir in the sea salt and the cinnamon.

Pour the caramel over the cooled cookie crust. Let the caramel cool completely. I recommend chilling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For the marshmallow layer, heat up the marshmallow fluff, cinnamon and butter in a microwave or on the stovetop. You only need about 40 seconds in the microwave so it is easily spreadable.  Spread over the chilled caramel. Place back in fridge for another 30 minutes.

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the shortening, stirring frequently. Stir until smooth. If the chocolate is too thick, you can thin with some additional shortening. Spread the chocolate over the chilled marshmallow. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Return to the fridge and chill for at least an hour.

Once everything is set, it’s time to slice. It can get messy. Use a sharp knife. When not eating, keep these bars in the fridge for optimal conditions. These bars are very rich, so I recommend cutting in small pieces.

Enjoy!

biscoff-cookie-bars

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Tart

So much about Passover, the customs and my memories – revolve around food. It goes beyond the foods that we aren’t allowed to eat. I’m always thinking about what we do and can eat. I find that the easiest part about Passover are the main and side dishes. It’s the desserts that are tough. What do you do when it seems like you can’t eat anything? We adapt. There’s always chocolate and fruit to fall back on.

raspberry-tart

Every special meal must include chocolate. I feel like that is a written rule in my book. This tart that I am sharing with you reminds me of my mom’s flour-less chocolate cake that she often serves at the seder,  along with some other chocolate treats I grew up with. One of my favorite flavor combinations is raspberry and chocolate. Growing up in Minneapolis, if someone brought the fabulous Raspberry Chocolate Torte from Gelpe’s Bakery to the house on Shabbat – everyone was happy. Another favorite that I remember as a kid, was the Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream from Sebastian Joe’s. All three of these fabulous treats were inspiration for this raspberry chocolate tart I am sharing with you. This tart will be served at one of our Yom Tov lunch meals, where we tend to feast on dairy. Happy to have a dairy dessert.



Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Tart
Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 cups almond meal
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. sugar

For the filling:
1 cup raspberry jam
10 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, or use good quality chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt

raspberries for garnishing


Directions:

For the crust:
Preheat over to 350°F.

Melt the butter.

Mix the almond meal, sugar and butter together in a small mixing bowl. It will be pretty crumbly.

Press the mixture in to a tart pan. Try to get up the sides as much as possible. I use a non-stick pan and do not need to butter or spray the pan. I would recommend buttering the pan a little if it doesn’t have the non-stick coating.

Bake the crust in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. Check to see if the crust gets too brown.

Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely.

Note: If you want to make the crust pareve, I would recommend using coconut oil in place of the butter.

crust



For the filling:
Heat up the heavy cream in a small sauce pan. Heat it until it just starts to boil and then remove from heat.

Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let it sit for a few minutes. After a few minutes, whisk the chocolate completely. It should be shiny. It will thicken as it cools.

Warm the jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Spread the jam along the bottom of the tart crust.

Pour over the ganache filling and spread evenly with spatula. Chill in the fridge to set.

Once set, garnish with some fresh raspberries.

Serve.  Enjoy!

Note: If you want to make the filling pareve, I would recommend using coconut milk or the non-dairy whipping cream in place of the heavy cream.

tart

Cookie Cookie Cheesecake Ice Cream

I have this lovely ice cream maker. I rarely use it. I love ice cream, but I only make it a few times a year. Such a shame.

Over the course of the past week or so, whenever I am with a group of like-minded Jewish women, the topic always moves over to Shavuot. The holiday best known for cheesecake, is the holiday where we received the torah. Everyone asks me what I have on my Shavuot menu. I invariably freeze and turn red. I have nothing on my menu. Seriously. I have this urge to have toast and eggs at every meal. Something super simple. Of course I can’t get away with that.

It’s supposed to be hot this weekend, so I decided to make a couple of different ice creams. In reverence to the holiday tradition, I have prepared a cheesecake ice cream base. I mixed in oreos and chocolate chip cookies for some of what I call Cookie Cookie Cheesecake Ice Cream.

Cookie Cookie Cheesecake Ice Cream
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
Ingredients:

10 oz cream cheese, cut up
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half & half
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup crushed oreos
1/2 cup crushed chocolate chip cookies

Place the cut up pieces of cream cheese in the bowl of a blender.

Add in the lemon zest, sour cream, half & half and salt.

Blend until everything is mixed well together.

Chill for about an hour or two.

Pour in to your ice cream maker. Run the ice cream maker for about 25 minutes. Once the mixture is thickened, add in the cookie pieces.

Keep the machine running for 5 more minutes.

Pour in to a container and freeze.

Enjoy!

cheesecake ice cream

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Jam Bars

In my constant need to use things up, I came across a lovely bottle of raspberry jam in the fridge. It sat open and largely unused. I remember purchasing it with good intentions. Probably at someone’s request. When I asked why it wasn’t used, I was informed that strawberry was the preferred jam flavor. Ah well, I tried. I like raspberries. Why not bake with it.

I decided to test out a gluten free raspberry bar recipe that I had been playing with. I sprinkled on some chocolate chips, since dark chocolate and raspberry always go well together.

Gluten Free Raspberry Jam Bars
Ingredients

1 cup almond meal
1 cup gluten free flour blend
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1.5 sticks of butter, cut up
1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
zest of two lemons
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam

Chocolate Chips (about a handful)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, pulse the almond meal, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda and butter.

Pulse a few times. Add in the oats and lemon zest and pulse some more. Mixture should be crumbly but stick together a bit.

Butter a 9×13 baking pan.

Press 3/4 of the mixture in to the baking pan to form a crust.

Spread a light layer of the jam over the crust.

Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Not too many.

Sprinkle the rest of the dough mixture on top of that.

Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until the top has browned a bit.

Let cool for an hour before cutting.

Gluten Free Raspberry Jam Bars

Enjoy!

Homemade Kit Kat Bar Awesomeness

If a recipe includes two sticks of butter and a huge amount of sugar, it’s a sure bet it’s going to taste pretty good. Even one stick of butter is pretty indulgent in this household.

A couple of weeks ago, the most amazing treat possible popped up in my blog reader. Paula Deen, the Butter Queen, concocted homemade kit kat bars. Whodathunkit?!

The rundown of ingredients seemed easy enough. No oven was involved either. Almost too easy! And so good!

You must make these bars. Alas, they taste nothing like a kit kat bar – which is probably a good thing. These treats are way better than anything in the candy aisle. I beg of you – make these bars!

P.S. Thank you to my in-house guinea pigs for tasting these treats to make sure they aren’t poisonous, and thank you to my dear colleagues for letting me bring my creations in to the office and eating these fattening treats so I don’t have to pig out on the whole pan myself.

Homemade Kit-Kat Bars
adapted from Paula Deen (and all around the blogosphere as well)

Ingredients:
75 club crackers
2 sticks of butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Line a 9 x 13 inch foil pan with one layer of club crackers. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add graham cracker crumbs, dark brown sugar, milk, and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour half of the mixture over crackers in pan evenly. Arrange another layer of club crackers over the mixture, then cover that layer with the other half of the butter mixture. Arrange a final layer of club crackers on top. Now lick that buttery, caramelly spoon. You’ll be glad you did. It’s that good.
Combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips in a small saucepan. Melt the chocolate mixture. Stir it and stir it some more so that it doesn’t burn. Once melted – spread the chocolate goodness over the crackers.

Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. It needs a good few hours. Cut the bars to desired size and enjoy!


Babkalicious!

We eat very few baked good around here, despite my urge to master the realm of baking. So, I bake, and then I bake some more, and then I dump said baked goods on unsuspecting taste testers. Such was the case with the babka.

Babka is one of those things that has to be perfect or else it really sucks. It’s also one of those things that comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors. One person’s babka, is another person’s coffee or bundt cake. My mission was to accomplish a successful chocolate babka in a similar realm of the infamous Green’s Babka. That stuff is awesome.

I ended up with the babka over at the Smitten Kitchen blog. Because the recipe is over there, I will not repost the recipe, but I will share some photos. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, and it came out great. I highly recommend the recipe, and Smitten Kitchen in general. Everything I have made from that blog comes out great.


Count the sticks of butter. You know it’s gonna be good when there is that much butter and chocolate in a recipe.



You could probably put this together by hand, but it’s much more fun with a mixer.

Ball of kneaded dough in a butter bowl, ready for some rising…


I normally detest any recipe that requires me to pull out the rolling pin and actually use it, but this wasn’t too bad. It was actually very easy. Probably has something to do with all that butter.


mmmmm….chocolate….


Now go on over to Smitten Kitchen and get that recipe and make babka! It’s so good!

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