Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snickerdoodle Bars


There is nothing better than the simplest recipe with loads of flavor.  Sometimes I wonder why it's fair to spend far less time than expected on a recipe and turn out with a final product that quadruples the effort you put into it, but I guest it's just the little things in life...  These scrumptious treats are super simple to make and are so very sweet and delicious.  The batter was like a thick cake batter, but the cinnamon/sugar topping gave it a flavor of its own.


Snickerdoodle Bars
adapted from Milk 'N Cookiezzz
(2 PointsPlus per serving)

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well blended.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the baking pan.  (If you have sufficiently covered the pan and still have some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture left that is fine.  No need to use it all up.)
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed.   Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Cut into 32 pieces.  (1 serving = 1 piece, 2 PointsPlus per serving)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Banana Cinnamon Chip Blondies


After the new year I decided it was time to clean out my baking drawer.  I found a few unused bags of cinnamon chips that were about to expire, so I began searching for new recipes.  I found a ton of ideas, but this recipe for Banana Cinnamon Chip Blondies ultimately won out.


Not to mention the smell in my kitchen, these blondies were incredible.  They were super moist, had just enough banana flavor to taste and were loaded with cinnamon.  They also had a hint of a crunch from the pecans which added a nice texture.  This recipe is certainly a keeper.

Banana Cinnamon Chip Blondies
adapted from Beantown Baker
6 PointsPlus per serving

Ingredients

6 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup banana puree
1 banana, mashed
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9X9 baking pan.

Cream the butter, add in the sugar and beat in the egg.  Stir in the banana puree, mashed banana and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined.

Add the cinnamon chips and pecans and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into squares.  Makes 16 squares. (1 serving = 1 square, 6 PointsPlus per serving)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cupcake Decorating Class


I celebrated a bachelorette party this weekend for a good friend of mine who is getting married in just over a month!   She is a fellow baker, so the cupcake decorating class that we took part in was just perfect.  We went to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown and had a blast learning how to frost and top way too many mini cupcakes.  Here are a few of our creations!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweet Adventures in Israel


Israel is known for many things- its history and culture, the various religions and languages practiced and spoken, its geography including the Dead Sea, among many others.  But what most people don't think of is the incredible food found everywhere throughout the country.


The chocolate filled rugelach above and several of the photographs below come from the Mahane Yehuda Market, also known as "The Shuk."


Look at the rich chocolate and perfectly browned pastry.


Below you can see how the various vendors display their delicious merchandise in the Shuk.  It was difficult to only take photos and not sample one of everything!



Fresh mini challah rolls.


Below are sufganiyot, a ball-shaped doughnut, fried and injected with jelly or custard, typically eaten during the Hanukkah holiday.  




And last but not least, it was very important for me to make a stop at my favorite rugelach shop in Israel, Marzipan.  These were fresh out of the oven.