Saturday, December 19, 2009

Alton Brown's Beer Cheese Bread

I love Alton Brown, and this bread was easy and delicious!

beer bread - sliced

* Nonstick spray
* 8 ounces all-purpose flour
* 4 ounces whole-wheat flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
* 4 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
* 12 ounces cold beer, ale or stout
* 1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, optional


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick spray and set aside.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and dill in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cheese and stir in the beer just to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, if using.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

beer bread - still in the pan

Cookie Dough Cuppycakes, Part Deux

I've made cookie dough cupcakes before, but this time I decided to try a different recipe. This recipe was shamelessly stolen from the blog "How to Eat a Cupcake."

cookie dough cuppycake

I've never made whipped cream frosting before, so I was quite proud that I succeeded in making it without collapsing my whipped cream. The reason these cupcakes are a little uglier than usual is that I wasn't sure that whipped cream frosting could be piped without destroying it.

cookie dough cuppycakes - the inside view

Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
(Adapted from Chocolate Cupcakes at - makes 12 cupcakes)

* 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup whole milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined.

3. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).

4. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Place a ball of frozen cookie dough (I used 1-oz pieces of pre-made, pre-sliced frozen cookie dough) on top of each cup (do not push it in). Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake (but not in the cookie dough) comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

cookie dough cuppycakes - cooling

The cupcakes, cooling on my baker's rack.

Cookie Dough Frosting


Eggless cookie dough:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
4 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

Whipped Cream Frosting:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2.5 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla


For the cookie dough, cream the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add water and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and stir to combine. Stir in 2/3 cup Mini Morsels. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Break dough into 1/4 teaspoon sized chunks and place the chunks on a plate or in a plastic container, separating layers with waxed paper.
Store them in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the frosting, in a medium bowl (a cold bowl with cold beaters) beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat); set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Fold the frozen cookie dough chunks into the frosting and immediately frost the cooled cupcakes.

Grammy's Chocolate Cookies

Someone posted this recipe on LiveJournal, and I just had to try it. It's a Martha Stewart recipe. Martha is my hero, and I don't care who knows it.


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping (the "dipping" sugar should be the raw kind)
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

(I have nonstick cookie sheets, so I preheated my oven to 325 degrees and I believe the cookies stayed in the oven for 10-11 minutes. Also, I did not use the Silpat baking mats.)