Friday, November 21, 2014

Baby Brother's Baked Birthday Box

My "baby" brother turned 22 right around the time I had a really bad need to bake, or at least to accomplish something productive (in college this mood hit right around the time of finals when I was slogging through term papers.) So I came up with a list of things I could make with mostly pantry staples (for us.) The results were delicious (we kept a few of each) and very unhealthy. I felt sort of bad sending it since BB has always been concerned with health. I figure he can share them at his weekly yoga/drum/slack line circle (when I wasn't looking he turned into a 6'+ hipster.)

So I shipped BB a large box filled with unhealthy desserts I didn't want in the house. At the very least, I'm sure his roommates were happy.

So the recipes:
Shoo-Fly Cake from Amish Cooking: Deluxe Edition (1992)
Inside of a Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from Averie Cookes
Pumpkin Oatmeal Anytime Squares from Oh She Glows (as is, just follow her instructions and you'll do fine)
Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treat Pralines from Kevin and Amanda's Recipes
Praline Buckeyes

Shoo-Fly Cake

This tastes much better than the pie, especially if you're used to wet bottom shoo-fly. Warning, this cake doubles in volume as it bakes. While the overflowing, crispy top is delicious, the clean-up when it falls in the oven is a pain. Plan accordingly.

You Need:
4 Cups AP Flour
3/4 Cup Shortening
2 Cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 t dried ginger 
2 Cups boiling water
1 cup molasses
1 T baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 and a set a kettle of water to boil
2. Line a large casserole or two 8" pans with parchment paper (if you can use a pan with a removable bottom, that makes things convenient.)
3. In a bowl mix the flour, ginger, and sugar.
4. Cut the shortening into the flour and sugar.
5. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture.
6. Add to the remainder, the boiling water, molasses, and soda. Mix well.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Drop several times to get ride of extra air
8. Top batter with reserved mixture.
9. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, until tester comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I did some tweaks to fit my current elimination diet and pantry contents, also convenience. A well-rounded peanut butter cookie, you can roll them in cinnamon-sugar before baking, added an original or peanut butter filled kiss on top instead of the cross-hatch, decorate with chopped peanuts, whatever floats your boat. Hershey's used to stock a "Peanut Butter Blossom" cookie in the Chocolate World bakery that was fantastic - 3-4" wide base with a center original kiss, surrounded by chopped mini cups, and drizzled with peanut butter and chocolate. I always used my free cookie coupon for one of those. Last time we stopped by it was just a plain cookie, I was very disappointment.

You Need:
1 heaping T ground flax
3 T lukewarm water
3/4 cup peanut butter, conventional (creamy or crunchy, depends on your tastes)
8 T butter or butter susbstitute
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 T vanilla
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup peanut flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 t baking soda
1 pinch kosher salt

1. Combine flax and water, set aside for 10 minutes
2. Process rolled oats in food processor until medium to fine flour.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the flax to the processor. Mix until well combined. If you used crunchy peanut butter, reserve half for few minutes to keep some of the texture.
3. Roll the dough into 3/4-1" diameter log. Slice into 1/2" slices. Alternatively, just roll out 3/4" balls.
4. Place slices on silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll in sugar or cinnamon sugar if you want. Use a fork to press a cross-hatch mark into the top.
5. Freeze for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until slightly browned on the edges and the top is set.
7. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then move to cooling rack to cool completely (if you use a silicone mat, just move that to the counter-top for less dishes instead of using a rack.)

Praline Krispies and Praline Buckeyes

After the failed pralines, I used the remainder of what fell apart (most of them) to make the base of what DH calls Buckeyes. I think adding rice krispies to the buckeye center is weird but it does add some texture and a tiny bit of lightness to an otherwise dense treat.

 You Need:
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup milk or milk substitute (I used quinoa & rice)
6 T shortening, butter, or coconut oil
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2-1 cup smooth peanut butter (buckeyes, only)
1 1/2 cup crisp rice
1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz chocolate (I used Enjoy Life's mini chips since I had them for the pumpkin bars)
2-3 oz paraffin wax (optional, if you are only going to be eating them from the fridge, you don't need it, otherwise you risk chocolatey fingers without it)

1. Lay out large sheets of waxed paper near your cooktop
2. In a large pot, combine white and brown sugars, milk, and fat. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to combine then let boil untouched for 3 minutes. Stir in crunchy peanut butter.
3. Remove from heat and stir until mixture looks creamy. Add in Krispies
4. For Krispies Only- Immediately spoon out onto waxed paper and let sit until set, you may need to press to get them to hold together.
The rest of the instructions are for the buckeyes
5. Stir the mixture until smaller clusters form and the remainedr powders.
6. Add in alternating spoonfuls of smooth peanut butter and powdered sugar until the mixture holds together.
7. Form 1" balls of the mixture and freeze for 30 minutes or until well set.
8. In a double boil- shave the paraffin into the chocolate and melt. Using a fork, dip or roll each ball in the chocolate, gently tap off the extra chocolate and lay it on the waxed paper. Let the coating set, if the coat seems to be too soft, shave in more paraffin to the chocolate.
9. Build up a generous coat, letting each coat dry for at least 15 minutes. I used 4 coats.
10. Store in fridge. I wrapped each buckeye in twists of waxed paper like salt water taffy.

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