Tuesday, September 25, 2012

grandpa's favorite butterscotch brownies

A few weeks ago, we had an impromptu family reunion on my dad's side to celebrate a large milestone in my Aunt's life. All of my cousins on that side, except four came out to celebrate with her. My sister was kind enough to put together a luncheon for everyone and she had asked my Aunt Donna what desserts she would like. Aunt Donna's first response was, "My dad's favorite Butterscotch brownies." My Gramps used to LOVE these. He loved most treats, but these were his all-time favorite. So, they have a special place in my family history (which of course is food related—we may have a problem—but we don't care—you don't know our life!) These guys are addicting. So when you make them, which I suggest you do immediately, make sure there are people to share with—or you may wake up in a haze with an empty pan of brownies next to you.

Grandpa's Favorite Butterscotch Brownies

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease an 8x8 pan. Combine the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl; set aside. Mix the eggs, butter and vanilla together until combined. Stir in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. While brownies are baking, make the frosting.

Combine brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add milk and powdered sugar, and beat until thick. If you overbeat, the frosting will be too dry, so stop when it becomes thick. Spread frosting onto hot brownies and cool to room temperature before slicing and stuffing your face.

Monday, September 10, 2012

streusel coffee cake

When I was in New York last year, I finally got to try the Clinton Street Baking Company for breakfast. I wanted to eat every single item on the menu. My Mom has had the cookbook for a while, so I knew I needed to go to the real thing while I was there. It was a crazy wait, but like all good things—worth it. My parents gave me the cookbook this year for my birthday and I couldn't have been more pleased. I am so excited to make everything from this book! I found this recipe for Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake and I knew I had to make it. I didn't have buttermilk, which was a problem, but I did have greek yogurt and some left over half and half from another recipe and decided to take the gamble and substitute this concoction for buttermilk. The gamble paid off, everyone loved the cake, and now I have a new favorite in the arsenal of breakfast coffee cakes.

Streusel Coffee Cake, adapted from Clinton Street Baking Company

Streusel Topping

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup graham-cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup half and half or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Mix all the Streusel Topping ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.

For the cake, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, two at a time, mixing until well blended. Mix in the greek yogurt mixture and vanilla extract. Sift together and sir in the remaining dry ingredients. (Mixture will be very thick, almost like cookie batter)

Fill the pan halfway with the batter. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the Streusel Topping. Add the rest of the batter. Top with remaining on-third streusel.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (My bundt pan may have been a little small, cause some of the batter spilled over while baking, so make sure you have the right size pan and put foil on the bottom of your oven, just in case.)

Cool. To unmold, place a plate firmly on top of the pan and flip, being carful to preserve the streusel.