2008-10-07

Update Your Bookmarks and RSS Feeds

We've moved! Update your bookmarks and RSS feeds... and visit me at http://www.TheRepressedPastryChef.com woohoo!!!
I hope you'll continue reading!! :)
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2008-10-06

Moving Day Is Almost Here

Be sure to update your bookmarks and your RSS feeds because The Repressed Pastry Chef is on the move!

As of Tuesday October 7, 2008 my blog will have a new home and a whole new look. 

Is this exciting, or what!?!?!!!!!!



Hi everybody... I'm taking The Repressed Pastry Chef to a brand new location at http://www.TheRepressedPastryChef.com

If you've enjoyed my blog here on Blogger, I hope you'll consider joining me over at my new home :) It's been a blast here but the time has come to kick things up a notch. All the old posts, comments, recipes and pictures have been packed up and loaded onto the moving truck... and I hope you'll caravan along too.

Have a delicious day!

Love,
Marlena... aka "Em"
The Repressed Pastry Chef

...vroom vroom!! beep beep... Let's go!!

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2008-10-04

Mocha Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


Now that I'm sitting among really nice "neighbors" at work, I've been re-invigorated in my baking. Last weekend I bought a couple of bananas with the intention of making banana muffins. They were barely ripened when I bought them... still just a tinge of green... but I figured a few days at home and they'd start getting brown soon enough. Well, in the process of waiting, The Hubs got rather impatient and asked if I'd please make them "soon". I had intended on making chocolate chip muffins that night but ended up with these instead ;-) Since even the smell of coffee does a number on my stomach... and I'm allergic to bananas... and I'm not a big fan of chocolate.... well, this was a great muffin to make because it held absolutely no temptation for me! LOL!! Apparently the same can't be said for those who ate them because they were gobbled up with glee and I got tons of praise from loads of smiling faces :)

If you're into baking and have a Cost Plus World Market store near you, I recommend checking them out. They have all sorts of interesting things you won't find in the regular grocery store. For example... Lyle's Golden Syrup. I've read about this but never found it in the grocery store but at CPWM one night, they had it so I grabbed a jar and ran off like a thief in the night! Okay, so that's a little exaggerated... but that jar is now mine after a stop at the check out counter of course ;-) I can't remember why I wanted it so badly but I'm sure it was in a recipe or two that I came across and wanted to try. Trouble is, now that I have it, I can't recall what the recipes are or where I found them :( Hey, if you've got some recipes that include Lyle's Golden Syrup, help a blogger out and leave a comment for me will ya? Thanks! LOL

Recently on a trip to CPWM, I came across a big bag of E.Guittard Cappuccino baking chips. I'm not one who can resist baking chips, especially those that are slightly out of the ordinary so of course I bought them (having absolutely NO idea of when or how I'd use them LOL!). So as the Chocolate Chip muffins I had wanted to make suddenly included bananas at the request of DH I decided to throw caution to the wind and incorporate his next suggestion of a coffee-flavored base... and since those cappuccino baking chips were staring at me rather forlornly from the pantry, yeah, I threw those in too! LOL! DH loved the batter, I mean, he licked the paddle clean and then started in on cleaning the bowl... with his fingers!!! Wow - that's saying something because he rarely cares for that, usually preferring to wait for the finished product.

After it was all baked, he proclaimed this muffin to be so good and so delicious in flavor that he would actually BUY it in a store. O-M-G! I won't say he's cheap because he's definitely not, but the times when he will spend money on something like that which he considers to be absolutely unnecessary and "foo-foo" are ridiculously few and far between. He'd rather save the moolah and buy something at ManLand (aka Home Depot for those who don't know! LOL!!). So, for my wonderful husband to say he'd actually spend money and buy these muffins at a retail location can only mean one thing.... YOU GOTTA MAKE 'EM!!!

I suspect they're best eaten warm when the chocolate chips are all melty and gooey but those who have eaten them say they're just plain good - warm or at room temperature. Eh, go figure. And if you don't happen to have cappuccino baking chips, no worry, you can always omit them. It's all good :)



Mocha Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Ingredients
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
2 bananas
2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 1/2c warm (not hot) water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup cappuccino baking chips

Method
Preheat oven to 350 F
Spray muffin tins with baking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and combine well. Add the banana and combine well. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dissolved coffee, then the vanilla and combine well. Add flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix just until combined. Add chocolate chips and the cappuccino chips and mix to incorporate. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center contains moist crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool in pan 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Have a delicious day!

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2008-10-03

Cherry Almond Cupcakes


I made these cupcakes a few weeks back. They're extremely tasty... especially if you're a fan of almond since the cherry adds a nice variation. I never quite got around to posting them perhaps because I thought the pictures really didn't turn out well. They're not hideous, but they're not "good". I was reading another baking/food blog the other day and she posted something she didn't feel was gorgeously photographed but shared it anyway because the recipe was worth it. Well, that sums up my feelings today... the photography isn't stellar but the cupcakes are so tasty that I simply have to share!




Cherry Almond Cupcakes

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup milk
20 fresh cherries, pitted and halved (divided use)


optional crushed almonds for garnish and melted chocolate for decorating


Directions
Preheat oven to 300F
Line 18 muffin tins with paper liners
Set aside 18 cherry halves

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar and beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs and extracts, beating well after each addition. Add one-third of the dry ingredients, then half the milk; repeat and mix until well combined. Add in the remaining cherries that were not set aside and mix only until cherries are well distributed. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting make a half-batch of the buttercreme icing recipe found here and mix in a few fresh cherries (about a half-dozen to a dozen depending on personal preference), pitted and chopped very small (almost to the point of being mashed).

Once the cupcakes have been frosted, garnish each with a half-cherry, some crushed almonds and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Enjoy!

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2008-10-02

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookies


When I lived in the Washington DC area, my favorite breakfast on a cold winter morning was oatmeal. But it had to be a cold morning... it had to be a morning when I didn't have to rush off to work... and my oatmeal had to be full of brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Now I'm back in the suburbs of the Los Angeles area and here a "cold winter morning" is when the temperature is in the neighborhood of 60 degrees (hardly cold if you ask me! LOL). Since our weather doesn't afford me the chance to enjoy oatmeal very often I thought I'd transform that favorite breakfast into a cookie. Turns out, it's a very good cookie at that!!

We're undergoing a lot of, uhm, turmoil at work. Interesting choice of words since "turmoil" is an understatement. One of the most recent changes (and exceptionally minor in comparison to everything else) has been a completely new seating arrangement. I spend my days in a cube farm and I used to have a great location, window view and all. But that all changed a couple of weeks ago and now I am so far removed from a window view that fire & brimstone could rain down from the sky and I'd never know it. Sad but true. One very nice thing about my new cube location is "the neighborhood"... the people there are very very nice and best of all they love to eat my baked goods :) YAY!!! Yesterday I brought them muffins (which I shall post about very soon... I promise) and they were a big hit. Today I'm bringing them cookies. I hope they like them - I know the hubs and I sure did :) :)




Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups cinnamon baking chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line cookie sheets with Sil-pat, silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla then mix until ribbony smooth. Add in the flour, salt and baking soda - mix until thoroughly combined. Add the cinnamon baking chips and mix to combine. Stir in the rolled oats.

Roll tablespoon size mounds of dough into balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.
Bake for 14 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove from oven and cool on pan for 3-5 minutes then remove to wire rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
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