Friday, February 24, 2012

Whole-Wheat Walnut-Raisin Biscotti

I've never had biscotti before so I don't really have anything to compare these to, but they are pretty good. They definitely have a healthy taste to them because of the whole-wheat flour but don't let that turn you off.  I've eaten so much of them today that I'm not hungry for dinner tonight.  Dunk them in a cold glass of milk, hot chocolate or in my sister Sarah's case, Diet Coke. I'm just kidding; that would be gross. Enjoy!


  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in walnuts and raisins. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, pat dough into a loaf about 1 inch thick, 2 1/2 inches wide (and about 7 inches long); transfer to baking sheet. Bake until risen and firm, 20 to 25 minutes; cool completely on sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  4. Place loaf on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices; place slices in a single layer on sheet. Bake, turning once, until dried and slightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spicy Chocolate Bars

    This is an Allred classic- especially for events where food and large amounts of people go together. They are easy and especially good when frozen. Take care not to overbake them (like me- oops).

1 1/2 c. margarine/shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet and cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I made this cake for Valentines Day and it was quite delicious.  Its very moist and rich and very grown up.  I served it with a homemade butterscotch sauce, but any store bought caramel sauce would work as well. 
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides and parchment paper.
In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate together. Once melted, remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Once soft peaks form, gradually add in the sugar and beat until you see glossy, stiff peaks.
Once chocolate is cooled, whisk in the egg yolks.  Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate before folding in the remaining egg whites.  Be sure to fold them in well as to not have pockets of egg whites.
Pour batter into the greased pan, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set.  Cool completely before removing the sides of the pan and serve with sauce of your choice.

This little guy wanted to help so he held the measuring cup.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pâte Sucrée

This is such a yummy crust recipe! Being in college I didn't have a pie pan on hand so I decided to try out a recipe that didn't involve a pie pan. "Pâte Sucrée, or sweet pastery, is a sturday dough, thanks fo its proportion of sugar and the addition of egg yolks. It's a good choice for tarts, which are most often unmolded before serving."
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 to 4 tablespoons cold heavy cream or ice water

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combines. Add butter, and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolks and drizzle 2 tablespoons cream evenly over mixture; pulse just until dough begins to come together, no more than 30 seconds. If dough is toodry, add remaining cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator before using).
 Citrus Variation: Add 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest to the dry ingredients
Poppy Seed Variation: Add 2 tablespoons poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.
Chocolate Variation: Replace 1/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder.
Cornmeal-Lemon Variation: Replece 3/4 cup flour with 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal; reduce sugar to 2 tablespoons. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the dry ingredients.

You can choose a filling of your choice!
I choose a frozen berry mix I had in my freezer.

1. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out dough to a 16-inch-long oval, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough and parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. Thaw berries, and sprinkle with sugar, and cinnamon (optional).

3. Preheat oven to 375F. Spoon mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Dot with butter. Fold in edges, pressing gently. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, 30 minutes.

4. Whisk egg yolk with cream; brush over edges of tart. Sprinkle entire surgace of tart with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Triple-Chocolate Brownies with a Secret Ingredient

I made these brownies last night for dessert and I was pleasantly surprised, considering one thing, they have black beans in them! Instead of using all butter, a 1/4 cup of pureed beans is added, which decreases the fat content from 11g to 7g, not to mention some added fiber, according to Martha Stewart.  They are a little cakier than I normally like my brownies, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup you can't really complain.  


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking pan
  • 1/4 cup black beans, rinsed, drained, and pureed until completely smooth
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup) (next time, I think I will try milk chocolate for a less rich brownie)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, bean puree, and chocolates and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk in sugar, eggs and egg white, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture until just combined. Pour batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until top is cracked and a toothpick inserted in center has moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes (center will seem undercooked but will set further as it cools). Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using parchment, lift brownie from pan and cut into 16 squares.