Toffee Chocolate Bars

February 7, 2014

Erica’s Edibles

Turns

5!

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It’s my blogaversary! Silly, I know, but I like to make something on the anniversary of the day I started my blog.  I honestly did not think I would be still blogging 5 years later.  I figured it would be something fun to do for a few months as I posted about my baking adventures with the Daring Bakers.  I have been slacking on my Daring Bakers participation, I need to get back to that!
This years blogaversary treat is Toffee Chocolate Bars.  I saw a picture of these bars on Pinterest a while ago and thought they looked sinful!  They had to be delicious!  This seemed like the perfect occasion :)

Toffee Chocolate Bars

Adapted from Robin Hood

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar – packed
1 cup flour
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
2 T butter
1 pkg Chocolate Chips
1 pkg Toffee Chips

1. Preheat oven 350ºC

2. Combine butter, sugar and flour

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The original recipe said to ‘cream’ the ingredients.  Mine did not cream, this is as good as it got, more of a crumble…

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3. Press into a 9×13 inch pan and bake until golden, approx 20 min.  Set aside on a wire rack to cool

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4. Heat Eagle Brand Milk and 2 tbsp of butter on medium heat in a heavy sauce pan.  Heat until thick 5-10 min (mine did not thicken, but was starting to burn so I stopped after 8 min).  I panicked when it started to burn and forgot to get a picture haha

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5. Pour over crust

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6. Bake until golden, approx 15 minutes

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7. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 2 more minutes until chips are soft

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8. Spread chocolate

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9. Sprinkle with toffee bits – press down slightly

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10. Allow to cool – may need to chill

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These were delicious!

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Everyone loved these!  They were sinfully sweet and delicious!  I really liked the base layer – the brown sugar really brought a simple crust to a new level.  It was not crunchy but firm enough to hold up without breaking or crumbling.  The soft filling and the crunch of the toffee really complemented each other.

This is one of those treats that make your mouth water, literally!  With each bite it seemed to get better and better.  I simply could not stop!  After 4 squares I had to give them away in fear that I would eat the entire 9×13 pan.

I would definitely make these again, but next time I would use 2 cans of Eagle Brand milk to make the filling that much gooier!


OCC #4

February 5, 2014

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As promised, more baking in the new year!  I have revisited my OCC (Oatmeal Cookie Challenge) as I have yet to find my favourite.

I found this recipe at Give a Blonde a Kitchen.  They looked delicious so I thought I would give them a try!

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)*

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. Melt butter and let cool slightly.

3. While butter is cooling, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

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4. In a medium bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

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5. Beat in vanilla, egg, and egg yolk for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.

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Scrape down sides when necessary.

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6. Gradually add the flour oat mixture and mix until just blended.

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7. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

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8. Scoop about ¼ cup of dough and form into balls.

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Bake for 14-16 minutes.  The edges will look lightly browned and the centers soft.  Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes  and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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I thought these cookies were ok.  I liked the flavour, but I found them to be quite dry.  They did not spread at all.  I’m all about a thick cookie, but these were still ‘ball shaped’. Everyone else said they really liked them, but to me they were just ok.  I won’t make them again.

The search continues….


Baby Cake

February 2, 2014

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It seems like forever since I have made a cake! I was thrilled when I was asked to make this baby cake for a baby shower.  They showed me a picture of what they kind of wanted and I put my own touches on it.  Apparently it was a huge hit!  Love to hear that :)


Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti

January 12, 2014

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My name is Erica and I am addicted to biscotti!  There I said it! Now, how do I stop?

Over Christmas I made 3 batches of biscotti and had gotten quite used to having one, two, three OK, FOUR with my morning tea. Four, can you believe that? (hanging my head in shame).  Well, the holidays were over and back to work I went, back to routine, same ole, same ole.  I gotta say, starting the day without those FOUR biscotti is a lot harder than I anticipated!  And it is not just me, Mom and Poppa seem to be also hooked, they were both wondering when some more would be coming, haha!  Today I caved and made 2 batches, my usual Chocolate and a new one, Pistachio and Cranberry.  Poppa and I like the Chocolate, but Mom says they are ‘too sweet’, 2 words I have never spoken, but I aim to please.  I love the texture of the Chocolate ones I make so I got adventurous and tried to adapt it to what I was making.

Before we get started, let’s talk about pistachios!  I do love pistachios, especially the red ones.  I know they all taste the same, but just something about them, I like the red ones better.  I guess it is just more fun when your hands get all red and leave some evidence.

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It is also kind of fun to eat them ,just like eating the peanuts that have not been shelled.  You aim to get it open on the first try, but inevitably there is that one, that does not have a crack and is impossible to break open with just your thumb!  The shell also slows you down, you have to work for the reward.  Which brings me to preparing the biscotti, boy did they slow me down!!  Opening a few and eating them is fun, opening enough to get a cup of them, not so much! It took me almost 20 minutes.  All I could think was, these better be good!

Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti

Adapted from Fresh from the Oven

2 1/2  cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup ground almonds
4 large eggs
1 cup pistachios
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and almond powder, and set aside

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2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and eggs.  Beat on high with whisk attachment until it holds a ‘ribbon’ for a few seconds. (approx 5 min)

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3.  Now using the paddle, add the flour mixture and stir on lowest speed until just combined

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4. Add pistachios and cranberries – mix for a few seconds to combine

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5. Evenly separate into 3 logs, on a lined cookie sheet

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6. Bake at 350ºC until firm to the touch – mine were about 35 minutes – transfer to a wire rack to cool, but not completely

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7. Slice and return to oven to desired ‘crunchiness’.  This can be tricky as they will harden up as they cool.  I like mine to be quite crisp, I cooked mine for about 25 more minutes. Will also depend on your oven.

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8. Return to wire rack until cool – best stored in a tin, but a plastic container will also work

Enjoy!

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These were delicious!  This was one of the very few times I veered off of a recipe and it actually turned out!  The Pistachio flavour really came out once baked and it complemented the tang of the cranberry.  The texture was perfect!  Quite crunchy but softened just the right about with a quick dunk in my tea.  Poppa even liked these ones.  I will make these again, I guess all that pistachio shelling was worth it.

Now, I will not be having four with my morning tea, I will try my best to have only one, maaaaaaaaaybe two.  I did have one this morning with my Tim Horton’s extra-large steeped tea with milk (heaven in a cardboard cup) and it was delightful!  Though I didn’t feel guilty at all as I enjoyed it AFTER my 4k run, I’d say I earned it!

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2013 Top 5!

December 31, 2013

I can’t believe another year is over already!  2013 has been a year full of ups and downs and has been very busy, I really didn’t get much baking done!  As I looked over the recipes I made this year I soon realized I had to make my year-end post a ‘top 5′ not a ‘top 10′ as in years past. This year I had more posts, but MANY of them were stops along the way on the Butter Tart Tour, which I plan to finish in 2014!

This year my goal was to find ‘My Favourite’ Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oatmeal Cookie recipe, I have yet to find it, so the search continues. This year I will admit that there were some epic fails/flops.  I know this is a ‘Top 5′ list, and should be celebrating the best, but in finding the best you often experience the WORST.  There is no sense hiding failed recipes or huge mistakes, you can only learn from them, right?

Even though the list is short this year, the recipes are quite delicious!

Top 5 of 2013!

Before I get into my top 5, I must give an honorable mention.  I can’t include it in my 5 because it isn’t something that I made.  As I mentioned above I have been on the Butter Tart Tour, it has been amazing!  There have been so many delicious tarts as well as a few not so delicious ones.  I have not finished the tour but I have a favourite, it is at DooDoo’s Bakery in Bailieboro.  Their Maple Bacon Butter Tart is simply Amazing!!

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5. Dad’s 60th Birthday Cake

Of the cakes I made this year, Dad’s was my favourite!  Every year Dad asks for a ‘Lemon cake with lemon filling’, but with this year being a significant birthday, I wanted to do something to spruce up the lemon cake. I really liked how this one cake out.  It seemed very appropriate for him as I think he has every tool known to man and is very handy.  Most importantly, he like it, and that is all that matters :)

4. Popcorn Cake

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This year for my birthday I asked for Popcorn cake, kinda weird, I know! I had seen this recipe on Pintrest and figured it would be prefect for my Mom to make for my birthday, 1. because she hates to bake (no baking required) and 2. because I refuse to make my own cake! ;)   Mom did an amazing job, it was delicious!  Thank you Mom!

3. Raisin Pie with Gramma

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Way back in January I got to spend the day with Gramma, learning how to make her most amazing Raisin Pie!  It was a great day.  I was thrilled to learn her tips and tricks to making a fantastic pie.  This recipe is a secret but I will be making it for years and years to come.  Thank you Gramma!

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This year I wanted to find ‘My Favourite’ Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I have tried several recipes and have yet to find it, but this one is almost there!  I will continue my search in the new year, but this is the one to beat!  Thank you Cookies and Cups.

1. Pie Crust

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My arch nemesis, Pie Crust!!! For years I had given up on making pie because I could not make a good crust to save my life!  I had some complete and total disasters, some were inedible.  I am thrilled to say I have now mastered the pie crust! It is light, flaky and delicious – every time!  I have since made Poppa apple and raisin pies and Mom some Mincemeat tarts.  I just may turn into the Pie Lady….hahaha

I would like to thank everyone who stopped by Erica’s Edibles this year.  When I started out, almost 5 years ago, I really didn’t think anyone beyond my family would check it out.  I am thrilled to say last month Erica’s Edibles has surpassed 80,000 views!!!  I truly appreciate every comment, ‘like’ and follower. I hope you will follow me as I bake my way through 2014!

Happy New Year!


Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

December 27, 2013

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Cheesecake, how I love thee.  I think cheesecake has become my new favourite thing to make, it’s so easy (though a bit time-consuming) and so delicious!  For our Christmas dessert I made yet another cheesecake.  This year I wanted to do something a little different, despite 3 request for the Turtle Cheesecake, I went with Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.

I have made some small changes (not noted, somethings just have to be a secret) over the years to make it just right for me, but I still basically follow the recipe I got way back when I started with the Daring Bakers.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

I did not take pictures of the process (I know! Crazy isn’t it?) it was late and I was rushing.  I remembered just as I was adding the Chocolate chips!  Sorry!!

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
2 cups chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Add chocolate chips and stir

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5. Pour batter into prepared crust.

It was at this point I knew my vision of a beautiful chocolate chip cheesecake went completely out the window!!! The batter is so thin and runny every single chocolate chip disappeared – I envisioned them sitting on the Graham crust.  I carry on with hope, that they were just below the surface.

6. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

7. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

The next day, cooled and ready to finish.  I remove it from the spring form pan – not one chocolate chip to in sight.  Now I know they are all sitting on the crust.  Perhaps I change the name to a Chocolate Chip Layer Cheesecake?

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Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 cup cream

Directions:

1. In a double boiler melt chocolate and corn syrup

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2. Stir until combine – I missed the photo of this step because I got MAD.  I thought the chocolate had seized on me and I did not have any extra!  I thought I was in for another melting the Easter Lindt bunnies as I did for my Turtle Tuxedo Cheesecake.

3. Add cream and stir – at this point I had nothing to lose so I just went with it.

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The chocolate Gods were with me, it survived!

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4. Spread on cheesecake and chill in the fridge

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Beautiful!

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And now we wait until Christmas Dinner Dessert….

Beautiful table setting at Mom and Dad’s

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Everyone enjoying the feast! It was delicious – Roast pork, roasted potatoes, veggie casserole, turnip puff, dressing, baked beans, coleslaw, apple sauce, gravy and rolls.

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Finally time for dessert!

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As suspected, all the chocolate chips sank to the bottom.  It was not how I envisioned it to look but, WOW was it tasty!  It was referred to as ‘sinfully delicious’.  It really didn’t taste sweet, even with 2 cups of chocolate chips.  It was a huge hit and I will be making this version again!


Sourdough Garlic Fingers

December 26, 2013

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Sour Dough Garlic Fingers!  I have seen pictures of this kind of thing everywhere lately, on Pinterest, various foodblogs, recipe magazines and knew it was something I HAD to try.  I thought Christmas would be the perfect time, lots of people to eat it!

I do not have a recipe to source this to, I just made it up as I went along

Sour Dough Garlic Fingers

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter – room temperature
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
parsley
1 loaf sour dough bread
1 cup grated cheese

Directions:

1. Prepare garlic butter to your liking. I used half cup butter, 3 cloves garlic, pepper and parsley – make it how you like it

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2. Cut sour dough bread in a criss-cross pattern – making sure NOT to cut all the way though

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3. Spread garlic butter between bread

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4. Put some of the cheese in the slices and the remaining on top

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5. Spray foil with Pam and wrap entire loaf

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6. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes – uncover and bake until cheese is melted and crispy

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Rip off a finger and enjoy!

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Delicious! This was a huge hit, everyone loved it!  The garlic butter soaked into each finger making the bread nice and soft which went really well with the crunchy cheese.  Definitely making this again!

We were talking and discussing how there are infinite possibilities with different cheeses, different spices, various dip spreads, bruschetta….mmm can’t wait to make the next one!


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