Sunday, May 22, 2011

M&M sugar cookie bars

a couple of weekends ago i wanted to make something easy. i didn't have a ton of ingredients so i wanted something simple. i was looking on thenest and saw this blog. i have looked at and got ideas off of stephanie cooks before and i was really happy to see these easy m&m sugar cookie bars! they were the perfect fix for my sweet tooth! :)

what you need-
1 stick butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

what you do-
1- Preheat the oven to 350.
2- Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar.
3- Once it's slightly cooled (about 3 minutes) beat in the egg and vanilla.
4- In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Stir this into the wet mixture.
5- Pour into a greased 8x5 baking dish (or similar size). Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
6- Pull out of the oven and top with M&Ms, gently pressing them into the dough.
7- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the top is set and the cookies don't wiggle when you shake the pan. They should still be white with barely golden edges.
8- Cool completely in the pan before slicing. Yields 8 cookie bars.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

light brioche buns

i want to be able to make bread. SO bad. i have made honey yeast rolls a few times with no luck. i saw these buns on annie's eats (where i also got the honey yeast rolls) a while back and have had them on my mind since but just hadn't gotten up the guts to attempt bread again. so, i attempted sunday and FAILED. bad! i guess my water was too hot and i killed the yeast. i was so bummed when they didn't rise. so, last night i tried again. at first, i didn't think they were going to rise but then...they did! i did a happy dance in my kitchen. they aren't the prettiest buns but they taste AMAZING! so, here you go...light brioche buns! :) i will def make again and go for the look of annie's...round and beautiful!!

3 tbsp. warm milk (around 110*)
1 cup warm water (around 110*)
2 tsp. instant yeast
2½ tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
1 large egg
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds (i left this out only because i didn't have any!)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

*note- when putting the wrap over for the 2nd rise make sure to just lay it over...otherwise the wrap will stick to the buns. just trust me! :) haha