Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I was talking on the phone to my mom the other day and she asked if I knew of a brownie recipe that required only cocoa and not melting chocolate. I thought it was funny how quickly I knew of a recipe and where she could find it online because I was out shopping and couldn't look for it at home. I guess this really is one of my hobbies. This recipe is the Hershey's Best Brownies recipe that is often found on the back of the cocoa box. I didn't actually use Hershey's cocoa when I made these, but it is a really great recipe. If you don't overbake them, they have the best wet, chewy texture that makes a brownie really great and that slightly crisp top. I like these brownies and they are a great one to serve with ice cream. Of course, everyone has a different view of what the perfect brownie should be, but I think these are great for what they are--easy, chocolatey, and chewy.

Hershey's Best Brownies

1 c butter
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 c cocoa
1 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c chopped nuts(optional)-I opted out, so my kids would eat them.

Heat oven to 350F. Grease a 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave 2 to 2 1/2 min. or until melted. (I usually do it in 30 sec. incremements. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add the cocoa; beat until well blended.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat well. Stir in nuts, if desired.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 min or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes about 36 brownies.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Whenever Joey asks me to make cookies he is really asking for a snickerdoodle. He never has to say it, but I always know. I love snickerdoodles. My mom was always really good at making them when I was growing up. The cream of tartar gives them this great tangy taste. They are kind of a tricky cookie. Sometimes they turn out just right and other times they are completely flat. I prefer to use all butter. That's when you have to be careful that they don't spread too much. A combination of butter and shortening would help them to not flatten as much, but I love the taste and texture they have when it is just butter. I find that if I chill the dough long enough and make sure that I don't overmix it, they turn out perfectly. I have also discovered this really good Saigon Cinnamon. It is spicier than other cinnamons and makes a basic snickerdoodle over the top.


1 c butter, softened-but not too much
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in a small bowl: 2 T sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt and whisk together.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well.

Stir in the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix the dough. Sometimes mine is even a little crumbly.

Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Roll into 1" balls and roll in the suagr/cinnamon mixture.

Bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 375F for 8-10 min.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

World Peace Cookies

I don't know what to say about these cookies except that they are probably the best cookie I have ever eaten. They are not your typical chewy, crispy, or cakey cookie. They are a sable which is a French cookie and the name means sandy. They are crumbly, yet chewy at the same time and you slice and bake them. This gives them that uniform quality. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan and I am dying to get her new cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours. These cookies are also known as Korova Cookies. My sister was visiting this weekend and we decided to try the recipe out.

The recipe calls for a salt called fleur de sel, which is supposedly expensive and I have no clue where you would buy it in Bakersfield. Next time I will have to find it online. I hear the recipe is also that much better if you use dutch processed cocoa powder, but I also could not find that. This cookie is all about the ingredients. Use real vanilla extract (I used an awesome Mexican vanilla), a good quality cocoa powder, fine sea salt (if you can't get fleur de sel), great tasting bittersweet chocolate, and a nice tasting butter. I wouldn't bother trying these cookies without great ingredients. When I tasted them they actually tasted expensive--I don't know if you get what I mean. So now I have joined the numbers of people who are also in love with these cookies.
World Peace/Korova Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose Flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch processed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 Tbls) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits
Makes about 36 cookies.
In a small bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
Pour the flour into the the creamed mixture and stir very slowly. At this point it is importnat to just get it combined. The dough will be dry and maybe a little crumbly--for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible. Add the chocolate pieces and stir in just until incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one have at a time, gently shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. ( The rounds are likely to crack as you are cutting them--don't worry, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them. They don't spread much.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes. It was the perfect time in my oven. Let them cool for a few minutes on the sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. They will be really delicate until they are cooled.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Folsom Brambleberry Pie

Found 'em.

Picked 'em.

Baked 'em.

In a tiny little kitchen nestled in the rolling hills of Folsom, California, the now famous Anniebannie had her first lessons in the art of baking. She watched and learned as her mother masterfully concocted batch after batch of cookies, pies and other delectable delights. If you think Anniebannie is good, wait till you try my Folsom Brambleberry Pie!

Brambleberry Pie

Any berry that grows on thorny canes or trailing vines, called brambles, is considered a brambleberry (raspberries and blackberries are two examples). Mix berries with some sugar and a bit of thickener, and you have a deliciously simple pie.

Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp. vinegar

Cut butter into flour and salt until crumbly. Whisk together egg, water and vinegar. Slowly add to flour and butter mixture with a fork until just combined. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Berry Filling:

5 cups blackberries, raspberries or other brambleberries
1/4 cup flour
About 1/4 cup granulated sugar (Add to taste)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt\
1 tbsp. butter

1. Put oven rack on the lowest rung and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly dust your counter and rolling pin with flour. Using half the dough gently role into 12 inch circle continually flouring rolling pin (1/8 in. thick). Transfer dough to 9-in pie pan, letting dough fall into place. Trim over hang to 1/2 inch, refrigerate.
2. Put berries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with four, granulated sugar, brown sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, and salt. Stir gently until berries are well coated. Taste and add more granulated sugar if you like.
3. Pour berry mixture into chilled bottom crust and dot with butter. With remaining dough roll out top crust and lay over pie and trim even with bottom crust. Fold top crust over bottom crust and tuck under rim of pan. Crimp edges together. Cut several vents in top crust and sprinkle with sugar. Put pie on a foil lined baking sheet to save your oven from bubbling berries. Bake until crust is browned and filling is bubbling, 60 to 75 minutes. (cover edges with foil if they become too dark before middle of top is nicely browned.)
4. Let pie cool until bottom of pie pan reaches room temperature, at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you like. Enjoy!

posted by anniebannie's mom

Friday, August 3, 2007

Chewy "Aloha" Coconut Cookies

After a wonderful trip to Hawaii, I have decided to make some coconut cookies. These were delicious. They are buttery, crispy, and chewy, which is my favorite kind of cookie. The dough base is similar to that of a chocolate chip cookie. They would be great with chocolate chips or nuts added to them as well...if only I had had some macadamia nuts. I always love a super simple cookie recipe with on-hand ingredients that have amazing results. These are them!

Chewy "Aloha" Coconut Cookies

1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 c sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture, then mix in the coconut.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets (ungreased if not using parchment paper). They should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 8-10 minuntes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks.