Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Waffles

I'm on vacation.  But I haven't gone anywhere.  So what this means, for my children anyway, is that instead of having a stale granola bar thrown at them on the way out of the door in the morning, I might actually get out of bed and lovingly make them a real live breakfast.  And for the past two days that's been waffles.

 it's blurry, but just pretend you're just getting up to eat waffles and your eyes aren't quite awake yet

Last night I was thinking of my ongoing love of peanut butter, and then a thought of waffles, so the logical next step was peanut butter waffles.  With bananas and chocolate syrup of course.  

The recipe is from Martha Stewart.  It makes a light textured waffle that's a bit crispy on the outside...just like I like it.  The little darlings had better enjoy, next week it's back to slinging granola bars at their heads.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cranberry Bliss Bars

It's the much lauded Cranberry Bliss Bar made famous by Starbucks, as I understand.  I've aspired to make them quite some time now, thinking their sophistication would launch me into the upper echelon of people who eat mature desserts.  

So, am I there?  Is this what it's like?  Feels...kinda the same as before.  While they were pretty yummy, I'm more of an un-sophisticated chocolate- covered, messy, gooey dessert person.  I guess what I'm saying is they're good, but I didn't feel the bliss.

If you think it's something that might bring you bliss, here's the recipe:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
2. Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave or until melted; stir in brown sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
3. Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Let the frosting set then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.