Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cream Cheese Brownies

One of these sinfully delicious dish is for my friend whom I love very much. I will be joining her tonight.
The other plate is a happy belated, happy welcome back home brownie plate for myself. I was still pregnant with Ibraheem on my birthday, even though my due date was the 12th and my b-day is the 19th, he wasn't born until the 21st. Go figure, another late baby (eye wink). Anyhow, this is my belated birthday "cake". We now have four March babies (including myself) in this family. =D

Brownie Bottom:
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup dark cocoa powder
1 cup butter
5 large eggs
1 1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/8 cup expresso

Cream Cheese Topping:
12 oz cream cheese at room temp
2 tbs vanilla extract
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cooking plate by either using spray, line with parchment paper or foil or you can butter and dust with flour. This recipe will fit a 9x13 or two smaller plates as I have done.

Melt the butter, set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

I make my own brown sugar these days, but that's my preference. It's so easy, and tastes fresh, no hard lumps and always on hand!
1 cup of sugar + 1-2 tbs unsulfured molasses, depending on how dark you like your brown sugar.

Add the brown sugar to the butter and mix well, then add the eggs one at a time. Carefully stir the dry ingredients into the butter and eggs. Mix until just well combined.

Pour into your pan. Set aside and make the cream cheese topping.
Beat the cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.

Dab  the cheese mixture all over the chocolate. Using a butter knife twirl it until it's all chocolaty and cream cheesy pretty.

Bake for about 30 minutes, be careful not to overbake.

Refrigerate overnight, or at least for several hours. It's better to cut them cold, if you can wait that is.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Sandwich Bread

3 cups flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2  cup warm water
4 tbs vegetable oil or melted butter
2 tbs sugar
1 1/4 ts salt
2 1/2 ts yeast

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir untill the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. If you like to use just milk or just water, that's fine.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. You can use a mixer or food processor if you like.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1" above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.