Tag Archives: Recipes

Blackberry Cobbler Quickbread with Spiced Topping & Blackberry Lemon Thyme Butter

Feeling buoyed by my recent success, I decided to continue on my Sweet & Vicious baking streak. This time I selected a recipe that actually allowed for a lot of variance, but still maintained the sass that I am coming to expect from this book. First, I decided on the cobbler quickbread and, after checking my fridge, refined it to the blackberry iteration of the recipe. Then of course, I went all the way by adding the recommended flavor elevator of blackberry lemon thyme butter to pair with the finished product. Here’s how it went:

Notes:

  • This recipe made me so happy! Reading it and mentally running through the steps, it seemed… well… a bit extra, but every little thing blends perfectly into something so delightful that you don’t mind the effort. Just go for it; you won’t regret it.
  • While the base recipe is solid, it is the bells and whistles that really take this over the top. First the spiced topping, that pinch of cayenne brings the most subtle hint of heat which in turn brings out the sweetness in the berries. The compound butter adds an extra level of richness, and the lemon zest paired with the mashed fruit keeps that slight tart that makes this more than just another sweet quickbread.
  • I am having so much fun with this book; the more recipes I try, the more I want to make.

Hiker’s Bravado Cookies

Inspired by my success with my last recipe from Sweet & Vicious, I decided to try out another one ASAP. One of the things I am really enjoying about this book is the names of the different things she comes up with. Plus, each recipe has a little blurb about her inspiration and more often than not they are quite hilarious.  These Hiker’s Bravado Cookies sounded delicious and appealed to me in spirit since I frequently pray that people will think I am wearing yoga pants because I just came from a work out and not just because they are comfy. I mean, I do have a yoga mat; I’m just not entirely sure where it is right now.

Notes:

  • As you can see, these are not the most attractive cookies; likewise, they are not the cleanest to eat. Expect to end up with pretzel pieces all over; I mean, it looked like a bag pretzels exploded on my counter top by the time I was done. Ultimately, it’s worth it though. These cookies were very good and fairly easy to make. The rolling in the pretzel bits part got a bit messy, but I got rhythm going towards the end.
  • The flavor balance in these cookies is deeply satisfying. You have the richness of the peanut butter, the sweetness from the chocolate chips, a little tart from the dried cranberries, and a nice pop of crunchy salt from the pretzels.
  • The other thing I think is a big selling point for the recipe is how easily it can be made gluten free. Just use GF pretzels and you are good to go. No weird flours or conversions required 🙂

Southern Sartorialist’s Cookie

While my mom was here to lend a hand, I decided to tackle a few of the things on my 31 before 32 list. One of the items she was keen on helping me with was trying out recipes from the Sweet & Vicious Cookbook. We decided on two cookie recipes, the first of which was the Southern Sartoralist’s Cookie. A pretty impressive name to live up to, but we were not disappointed.

Notes:

  • This cookie was so kick ass that we made two batches in three days. The first we took to Andy’s coworkers (all 2 dozen were gone within 3 hours) and the second we made the night before my mom left so she could take them to some of our family in NC. And so she’d have road trip treats, but mostly for family 😉
  • I lucked into some modifications since we made both batches so close together, first we tried this with both dark and light brown sugar and hands down dark brown sugar is the way to go. The other thing I accidentally tweaked was the measurement for the smoked salt. While that stuff is incredibly powerful, I will say that the cookies with a slightly more full 1/2 a tsp (think slightly humped not level) really highlighted the play of salty and sweet in the recipe.
  • I know it is a little more complex than your average rip and dump cookie recipe, but it is well worth the effort. I get a lot of positive feedback on my baking, but rarely have a gotten this enthusiastic of a response. After having one of the left over cookies for dessert the day we made the first batch, Andy even said it was good that he hadn’t tried the cookies when we dropped them off at his office because he wouldn’t have be able to stop himself from eating them all. My mom is on a very strict diet right now (she’s lost almost 30lbs!), but after trying a single bite, she rearranged her daily calorie allotment to make sure she had enough at the end of the day for a single cookie.

Bourbon Syrup & Candied Bacon

Sadly, one of my long time taste testers has taking advantage of a wonderful job offer and is leaving the sultry humidity of Florida in favor of North Carolina. Since he was one of my first testers and without a doubt one of my most appreciative, I did what any baker would do. I offered to make him any farewell cupcakes he wanted. The prompt response was “anything with peanut butter or booze”, and me being me, I said “let’s do both!”

Once I made that decision, I took to Pinterest for some fresh inspiration. I already have a kick-ass chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting recipe so I wanted to find something that would elevate the two. Within fifteen minutes, I found “Manly Cupcakes” by The Baker in the Rye and had the perfect accompaniment to my peanut butter and chocolate profile, bourbon and bacon. With a few minor tweaks, I was in business and ready to go.

Ingredients for the Maple Candied Bacon

  • 4 slices of Bacon
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degreed Fahrenheit.
  2. Place a silicone baking mat or foil on a cookie sheet and top with a baking rack.
  3. Pour maple syrup in one bowl and in another bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
  4. Dip the bacon in the syrup so it is fully coated. Then rub the brown sugar mixture into the bacon until it is completely coated in the sugar. Do this for all 4 pieces of bacon. Place each piece on baking rack, making sure it isn’t touching the mat underneath.
  5. Then, bake for 20-25 minutes until it is dark brown in color. *If it is undercooked, it will not candy and become a hard salty treat.

Ingredients for the Bourbon Syrup

  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar

Directions:

  1. In a small pan, bring bourbon to a rolling boil.
  2. Turn to low and add in maple syrup, butter, and dark brown sugar.
  3. Then cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens up and reduces to about 1/3 cup. Let cool before using toppings.

Notes:

  • Even before I stopped drinking, I wasn’t a huge fan of bourbon, so I knew this was something I’d need a little help with. My first helper was the cashier at the liquor store. We talked about what I needed and what I needed it for and he showed me a few different options that would work best for what I had in mind. He also helped me find the best sized bottle since I wouldn’t be drinking the left overs. Andy stepped up for the tasting portion of this adventure since, to me, the syrup tasted only like sweet bourbon. We did several tastings during the process, and he helped me determine when the alcohol had burned off and when the subtle maple and molasses had fully blended. Did I like it when I was done? Nope. Did everyone else? Yep.
  • I’ve tried to make candied bacon once before and hadn’t really had good luck with it, but I wanted to give it another shot. This recipe was pretty different from the first one, and it is hands down my winner. You do have to keep a close eye on your bacon since the difference between candy and charcoal is maybe a minute / minute and a half, but if you pull it off I guarantee it’ll be a crowd pleaser.

 

My recipes are adaptation of this recipe found on The Baker in the Rye.


Pecan Banana Bread with Brown Butter Glaze & Toasted Pecans

I’m on a roll, you guys! I woke up the other day and thought “I want to up my banana bread game,” and a few short hours later, I had this recipe. Now I will admit that this isn’t a “from nothing” origin: I used several different reliable recipes and shuffled, edited, and altered them until I had exactly what I wanted. This bread is dense, rich, nutty, and completely delicious. I can’t wait to make it the next time we have house guests!

Ingredients:

Banana Bread

  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 5 1/2 tbsps brown butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Glaze

  • 2 1/2 brown butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cream

Topping

  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease one standard loaf pan.
  2. Heat the butter over medium high heat until it turns a toasty hazelnut brown. Once the desired color is reached remove from heat immediately.
  3. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then beat in the sugar, brown butter, eggs, pecans and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Combine the two mixtures, stirring until just incorporated.
  6. Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool for 25 minute and then turn out of pan.
  8. Toast the pecans to put on the top of the glaze in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
  9. While the bread is cooling, brown the butter for the glaze.
  10. Whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth and then drizzle over the cooled loaf. Top with the toasted pecans.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Notes:

  • I actually don’t have anything I would change about this. I think my only comment would be that it is a little dangerous. With the exception of the two small slices I cut for tasting and photography purposes, Andy ate the rest of the loaf within 6 hours of it being made. I’m just glad it wasn’t me.