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Friday, September 25, 2009

Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Bites of Goodness!

Oh my goodness are these addictive! They might even be the simplest cookies to make.
Pour the contents of the package of the Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix into a bowl, add one egg, a stick of butter and mix! Tada!!! (Oh ya..and a membership to Costco to get the box of cookie mix!)

Use a mini ice cream scooper to scoop out even sized balls of cookie dough. I can see the butter in the bottom left corner. That's what makes these so delectable. No shortcuts or margarine substitutes here!

There's nothing like
chocolate chip cookies
fresh out of the oven!
But wait!

Look what's inside...

Three different types of chocolate!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carrot Cake

For as long as I can remember, when we were kids, my sister and I loved going grocery shopping with my mom to Concord Foods, only to buy their delicious, over sized carrot muffins and eat them as we were shopping! We always knew that they were one of the few carrot desserts made without nuts. And since we were, and still are both allergic to nuts, we were safe!

A few years ago, when I tried my friend Lisa's homemade carrot cake, the taste immediately triggered those same flavours! Bingo! Thanks Lisa for the delicious recipe. I no longer need to purchase muffins at Concord, I now make them myself!

Below is the recipe...

Carrot Cake
4 cups of grated carrots
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/3 cup oil
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Grate carrots and set aside.

Process eggs with sugar for 1 minute. While machine is running, add oil through feed tube. Process 45 seconds longer. Add carrots and process for 8-10 seconds, until blended. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to batter. Process with 3 or 4 quick on/off turns, just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into a well greased 9” x 13” baking pan. Bake at 325 F for 45 minutes to an hour.

For Muffins-fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter. Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes.

Grate carrots and set aside

Add remaining wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients...

WARNING...DO NOT REMOVE KNIFE FROM BOWL BEFORE POURING OUT BATTER! Otherwise, you might end up with this mess! (Thank goodness Adrienne was over as a spectator as I was baking for many help me find a bowl and a measuring cup to pour the mess into, and to take the picture of course!

Generously spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I usually make this recipe in a 9" x 13" rectangular baking dish, but I decided to change it up this time!)

I had some leftover batter, so I also made some mini muffins!

The perfect snack to have while watching Glee!
BONE Appetit!
What's that you said? You want more?
Come a little closer!
The cake "turned out" so well onto my new 3 tier Snap 'N Stack Cookie and Cupcake Carrier! Thanks Jason and Kim!
Before serving, sift some icing sugar through a sieve to make it look pretty!

Serve with a nice, tall glass of milk.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gourmet French Toast

When our friends Jeff and Julia invited Rich and me over for brunch, I knew that my "Gourmet French Toast" would be the perfect addition to the meal! It is such a "crowd pleaser" and so simple to prepare. (Thanks Ada for the recipe! See below for details.)

I recommend using an unsliced rectangular challah from What-A-Bagel. Even a day old challah would be fine. When I went to buy one on Friday, they were sold out! In the end, I settled for a braided challah. It took a little more time to remove the crust, but the taste was unbeatable!

Begin by removing all of the crust. Don't forget to take a few bites along the way! The challah is so good, I can never resist!

Cut into cubes and place in a Ziploc bag. Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla and pour into bag over cubes. Let sit in fridge overnight.

The next morning, generously grease baking dish with non-stick spray. Add cubes to baking dish. Combine melted butter with brown sugar and maple syrup. Pour over cubes. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Sometimes I add raspberries, blackberries or even strawberries directly into the dish before I bake it. However, this time I decided to make a coulis to pour on top which compliments the sweetness of the dish very nicely.

As the french toast was baking I cut up a handful of strawberries and cherries and added some blueberries. I love the Magic Bullet that my mom got us as a housewarming gift and used it to create the coulis. Combine fruit, a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar. Mix and chill.

Don't forget to peek into the oven...

The crust that formed on the top was just perfect!


Wait...let's look at that a little closer!
Sorry Mark, none left over this time.
The pieces below were served right after the shot was taken!
Below is the recipe. The pictures in this post show half of the recipe. I halved all of the ingredients, except for the challah. Since it was a braided challah, I felt that it wasn't quite as much bread as a rectangular one. Enjoy!

Gourmet French Toast
6 eggs
2 ½ cups milk (or 1/2-1/2 cream mixed with milk)
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 challah bread cut into cubes with no crust
½ cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp maple syrup

1. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla.
2. Combine bread cubes and mixture, mix and
cover. Let soak overnight.
3. Next morning, mix cubes, put in 9 x 13 inch pan.
4. Combine melted butter with brown sugar and maple syrup.
5. Pour over cubes (berries, optional).
6. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes uncovered.
Who wants the first piece?