My favorite Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

It’s time for me to get to enjoy being a Hamilton Beach Ambassador one more time! I always love when I get the chance to share my thoughts on one of their products with you, and I especially love getting to give away whatever that product is to one of you! So, what do we have to talk about today? The most recent thing the lovely people at Hamilton Beach sent to me is their Easy Reach 4 Slice Toaster Oven .

4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door

4 Slice Easy Reach™ Toaster Oven with Roll-Top Door

This toaster oven is so darn cute! Yes, I just called a toaster oven cute. But really, it is.31334 Other women will understand it, while men will just shake their heads and assume I’m insane; rather like my husband does when I say that those teeny tiny mini sized bottles of ketchup are cute. Inside, this oven is only a wee bit smaller seeming than the typical toaster oven. What makes it seems tinier is it’s lack of bulk. You have a glass door on the front that rolls up rather than opens downward. This has a pro and a con. It makes it easier to get into the oven without worrying about the door getting in your way as you pull things out. BUT… and this is again something most women will “get”; it also means that you can’t set any sort of knick knacks or decorations on top of this oven. On my old one, I kept the cup that held all the keys, my ceramic cow named Herman (don’t ask) and a knick knack that once belonged to my mother in law. With this one, I can’t do that due to the roll top door.
But it makes up for it in other ways. The Hamilton Beach 4 Slice goes from 200 degrees all the way up to 450 degrees. Beyond toasting, you have the already mentioned bake function, plus a broil one. I can see THAT one working great for melting the cheese on top of something or crisping up a food; making burgers.

Did I mention that the door was removable? Can we say “easy cleanup”?! Unlike ones where you end up with a door so splattered and icky that you can’t see through it, with this one, after each use, just take the door off, wash it up, dry it and put it back on. No mess! 31334-04 This comes with a removable rack that can be used in two different positions and a crumb tray that isn’t attached inside, so you can pull it out easily and clean it off.
My old toaster oven? I was afraid to actually COOK anything in it. I used it for toast and frozen pizzas and that was about it. But I knew if I was going to be able to accurately review this for you, I needed to branch out a little. I thought about homemade pizza, then realized that was still hedging my bets; pizza is pizza when it comes to baking. So I finally decided to make one of my family’s favorite cookies; my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies. This cookie isn’t cheap to make generally, so I was counting on this oven to do it correctly and not end up burning the tops or the bottoms like other ones have done. So I took a deep breath and dived in.
IT WORKED!! The cookies came out looking just like they should, though they seemed to finish baking about a minute and a half quicker. Obviously, you can’t fit a full sized tray of cookies in there, but the oven comes with a tray and that tray fits four cookies just fine. If made smaller, you could fit six, but I like generously sized cookies 😀 My sons got a hold of the cookies (I only got ONE cookie! Darn kids!) before I got a photo (I had only made a half batch) so the photo I am using here is my old one, but trust me, there was no difference in the cookies.
As for the cookies themselves, if you haven’t tried these before, now’s your chance! These cookies are awesome, if I do say so myself, hehe. They are ooey gooey, with a slight nutty flavor from the browned butter, but no actual pesky nuts. They have that wonderful soft middle with the crispy edge. You could make a half batch like I did and have enough for the here and now, or make the full batch of dough, freeze half in cookie sized balls, then bake in the toaster oven anytime you get a craving. You can bake straight from frozen; just add a couple of minutes time on.

                         Browned Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown color & cooled
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Heath Bar toffee chips (or 4 Heath bars, crushed)

 

  1. To brown the butter, in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Let cook,stirring frequently, until it turns a golden brown color. This can take anywhere from five to ten minutes. It will sputter, spit and foam a lot at first then that will stop. Do NOT walk away from this as it can go from yellowish butter to burnt garbage very quickly.
  2. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl, leaving behind all the solid bits at the bottom of the pot (though if you get some in there it’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it.). Let cool.
  3. When cool, pour both kinds of sugar into the bowl with the butter. Beat until well mixed.
  4. Add in the egg and egg yolk, then pour in the vanilla and the cream. Beat on low speed until well mixed.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and at slow speed (unless you want to be covered in flying flour), mix until you have a cohesive cookie dough.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and the toffee bits.
  8. Now you can chill for about an hour if you want. The original recipe says to but I didn’t bother and they were fine.
  9. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. If you don’t have a silicone mat, please go buy one. They aren’t cheap but oh my, they’re worth it. Trust me on this. The first time you use it, you’ll totally understand. Spray the cookie sheet with baking spray.
  10. Scoop the cookies up and place about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
  11. Bake at 350 until golden brown on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do NOT over bake or they will lose that delicious softness and gooeyness (yes, that is now a word). They should be firm on top if you press one lightly but not hard.
  12. Let cool for a minute on the sheet then transfer over to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Now for the fun part; the giveaway! Enter below for your chance (chances) to win one of these Hamilton Beach 4 Slice Toaster Ovens for yourself!

[promosimple id=”95f8″]

Disclosure-The lovely people at Hamilton Beach provided me with a 4 Slice Easy Reach Toaster Oven With Roll Top Door to review, but all opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream 1

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream



I want Autumn! I want Autumn! I want Autumn!! *Falls on the floor in a raging temper tantrum, kicking and screaming*

Sorry. I’m fine now. But I really am about done with Summer. I’m tired of trying to keep up with the weeds in the yard. Ok, I got tired of it a few weeks ago and my flower area now looks like a mini forest. I’m pretty sure there are fairies and elves hiding down in there, having nightly parties with my now lost in the weeds ceramic froggie. I heard him ribbiting for help a few days ago, but I was afraid to venture in and look for him. Russ would have had to send in the national guard to find ME.

What does any of this have to do with brownie cupcakes? Not a thing. I just felt like whining and making all of you have to listen. It works for my six year old; why not for me, too?

These are quite tasty. They are yet one more incarnation of the brown butter brownies I first made back in early 2013 (please forgive the completely atrocious photo in that post!) and have used in various ways since then. They really are some of the best brownies around. They are very chocolatey (which I was skeptical of with just cocoa, but they are), rich, with a mild nutty back flavor from the brown butter. In THIS incarnation, they are made into little cupcakes and then covered with a creamy, tangy orange buttercream that perfectly complements the brownie. So simple to make these, yet they are good enough for more than just the kids school lunches. Though they are great for that, too.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

  • Brownie Cupcakes-
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened powder (NOT drink mix)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil or orange extract (don’t use more here. The frosting is the orangey part. The little bit in here is just to tie it all together.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • Orange Vanilla Buttercream-
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 2/12 cups powdered sugar
  1. Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  2. Place foil cupcake liners (you can use the paper ones, but the foil comes off the brownies so much easier) into the cups of a muffin tin. I got ten brownie cupcakes from this.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isn’t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat.
  4. Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla, orange oil and salt. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat for 60 or so strokes.
  6.  Divide the batter evenly between the lined cupcake wells. Use about 1/4 cup for each. Bake at 325 until they a skewer inserted in the middle of one comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it; no loose batter and not completely clean, either. This will take from 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 3 minutes, then gently take each cupcake out and let it finish cooling on a rack.
  7. As they cool, make your buttercream, which is easy peasy. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, a cup at a time (I always start by hand so that I and my whole house don’t end up covered in the powdery sugar). Beat until fluffy, smooth and creamy. You want a nice thick pipeable/spreadable frosting. After adding two cups of the sugar, beat well at high speed for about a full five minutes. If it’s a bit too thick, just drizzle in a touch more orange juice; a bit too thin, just add that last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
  8. Spread or pipe onto the cooled brownies and garnish as desired (I grated more zest over the tops)

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Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes With Tangy Orange Vanilla Buttercream

 

 

 

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

 

When I was ten, my mom and brother and sister and myself went to Alabama to visit my grandparents (Mommer and Popper) for a few days. I absolutely loved being there. It was way out in the country, a small wood frame house with no central air, no central heat (no heat at all actually), built I have no idea when. It had one small bathroom, two small bedrooms and an ancient kitchen with an old iron porcelain coated sink. I remember sleeping in the tiny hallway between the kitchen and one of the bedrooms on a blanket with my mom when I wasn’t staying over with my cousin Lori. The house was surrounded by woods and the blueberry bushes that Popper had planted. On the same patch of land was the trailer my Aunt Irene and my cousin Lori, who was my age, lived in, so going to visit was sheer heaven for me. Country, family and someone to play with. Part of my heart still lies in Alabama and the south, which is why I’m probably quite content living out the rest of my life here in Kentucky even though I was born and raised in Chicago.

Well, one day during the visit, Popper told me, my cousin Lori and a couple other cousins who were visiting that we could go pick some blueberries. We grabbed bowls and went out to the two large bushes right next to the house, which were about 5 feet tall each; nicely established bushes. About half an hour later, we went back into the house to show Popper our blueberry haul. We had totally stripped the bushes bare and had about 2 gallons of blueberries. While I’m sure that inside of him he was thinking, “oh, Etta (Mommer) is going to kill me for letting them doing this”, outside all he did was laugh, tell us that we had a lot of blueberries and had us take them in to my aunt. I have no earthly idea what they used all those blueberries for.

Silly story maybe, but the memory popped into my head the other day when I made this cake. It doesn’t take 2 gallons of blueberries though, I promise; just one pint. It did however, take me a couple of tries to get right. The first one totally stuck to the pan and while it tasted fine, it wasn’t quite right even if it hadn’t stuck. The second one however, was completely delicious. My husband, who is type 2 diabetic and knows better, had three slices in one day. I used my raspberry amaretto pound cake recipe, but changed it up for this, plus increased the butter a bit to account for the water evaporation from browning the butter. This is a delicious cake. It has a tight, moist crumb and an amazing flavor. Don’t look at the amounts of flavorings and think it sounds like they would all be competing with each other. They don’t at all. They complement each other and mixed with the fresh berries, brown butter cake and the orange syrup finish, add up to an outstanding cake, if I do say so myself.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs to go get some cake before my husband finishes it all

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange oil (or orange extract, but please, go buy the oil. it lasts forever and is much better
  • 1 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia flavoring (optional; available through the King Arthur site. Another one I recommend splurging on. It is a fantastic addition to many baked goods)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Orange syrup-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  1. Place the butter in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat, swirling the butter frequently, until it is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do NOT leave the stove. Butter can burn before you know it. Pour immediately into a bowl and put in the fridge for 45 minutes or so, just long enough to chill it and take it form a pure liquid state to a mushy solid.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 and grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the soft brown butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl once if needed.
  4. Gradually add the sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the Grand Marnier and the extracts, beating well afterward. Gradually add the flour to the mixture at low speed. Beat just until blended.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each one. GENTLY fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. When you have it in the pan, firmly bang the pan on a counter top to help remove any air bubbles.
  6. Bake at 325 for 65 to 95 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. When the cake is almost done, make the syrup- in a small pot, combine the syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the orange zest and discard it, then set the syrup aside until the cake is finished.
  8. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then use a plastic spatula ( or a fast food plastic knife if you have one) to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Place a large plate over the top of the pan, then carefully invert the pan. Tap firmly on the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake. It should fall out onto the plate. Let it finish cooling on the plate.
  9. Carefully transfer the cake over to a rack that has been set inside of a large rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips). Reheat your syrup until it is hot to the touch, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake. Make sure to let it soak in each time before adding more. You may not use all the syrup; it’s up to you. If you don’t though, don’t throw it out. It’s wonderful in tea.
  10. That’s it! Enjoy!

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Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake 2

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies



I’ve come to the realization that I am always going to be a year or so behind everyone else when it comes to trying new things, be it watching a TV show, shopping certain places or trying new foods. When everyone else was watching Glee, I refused. I started watching it on netflix after season two. I then stopped mid season 4 because it sucked, but that is neither here nor there. Greys Anatomy? End of season six is when I started watching. Stopped watching that also, because they got into subject matter I disliked. I have a hard time finding a modern show I can stick with :-p I’m also that person who didn’t realize what a wonderful place Target was until about a year and a half ago. Now, like most women over 12 and under 95, it’s one of my favorite stores.

When it comes to foods, same thing. I didn’t try a Macaron until about a year ago and now I love them. I still haven’t tried making them myself though. Easier just to buy them frozen at Trader Joes. 😀 I didn’t try salted caramel until MAYBE two years ago, a full couple of years after you could find salted caramel everything (salted caramel shoe leather anyone? Maybe a nice salted caramel beef tongue?) on every food page on the internet. That’s one I regret not trying sooner, but live and learn. Stubbornness has its drawbacks and I doubt I’ll be changing anytime soon. The plus though is that, when everyone else has moved past it, yet it’s still a loved flavor, like salted caramel, you don’t have to compete with 5000000 posts each day to get seen. The rest of the foodie world has moved onto marinated llama feet in a balsamic reduction, so the salted caramel treats stand out more 😀

One thing I only recently tried was the whole sweet/salty idea. Sure, I’d had chocolate covered pretzels, which I don’t care for to be honest, but the idea of purposely sprinkling salt on top of a sweet food bewildered me. Until I tried it. Just trust me on this if you’re still as hesitant as I was. Will I be sprinkling salt on a Twinkie anytime soon? No. But on chocolate? It adds an indefinable something to the flavor.

I’ve made browned butter brownies more than once in here and they are still a favorite, but these are totally over the top. Moist, chewy browned butter brownies and creamy chocolate chunks, covered with gooey salted caramel, then MORE salted caramel and some coarse salt for crunch and contrast. Totally delicious!

You know the drill….

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1  teaspoon instant coffee (optional; my addition. You can’t taste it, it just rounds out the chocolate flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1/2 cup good quality salted caramel sauce plus more for drizzling
  • coarse salt for sprinkling on top

 

  • Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  • Line an 8 inch square pan with foil, letting it hang over the edges to use as a handle later. Lightly butter or spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isn’t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat. This will probably take about 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Stir well.
  • Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat well by hand for one minute.
  • Stir in chocolate chips or chunks. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle the salted caramel sauce over the top of the batter. You could swirl it in if preferred, but I just let it lay on top, where it gets all bubbly and more or less melts into the batter.
  • Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost, but not quite, clean. Cool the pan on a rack then lift out by the edges of the paper. Cut into 16 squares. Drizzle more salted caramel  over the top of the brownies and sprinkle with coarse salt. Enjoy!

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Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies



It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. There are times when I’m creating that I find that to be true. I had this cookie all planned out. it was going to use a combo of flavors I loved- cherries, chocolate and pistachios. But have I ever mentioned that little fact that I’m a mom to two young men? Well, I’m a mom to six, but only three are still at home. So, I went to go get all my ingredients ready (big believer in “mise en place” here… never start cooking until you have everything you’ll need ready to go) and lo and behold, my recently bought bag of roasted and salted pistachios were nowhere to be found. That’s where the “I have two young men still at home” seems to have come into play. I have learned that if I have something that is out of the norm for our household, I need to stash it away somewhere where it isn’t found quite so easily. I must not have heeded my own advice in this case because….. no pistachios. Nada, zip, zilch. All gone.

After I stopped crying and making plans to go live on a deserted island in the south Pacific all by myself, I had to reinvent what I had planned to invent. After a search through the cabinets, I found a bag of roasted and salted pepitas. I originally bought them to make my “famous” :-p pumpkin bread. But for unbeknownst to me reasons, I never got around to making any pumpkin bread this past Autumn/ Winter season. The result being that I had still had a full bag of pepitas. So I improvised. And you know what? These are some seriously awesome cookies. You can never go wrong with browned butter anyway… and then when you add in sweet creamy chocolate, tart cherries and crunchy salted pepitas, you end up with a really really tasty treat. I also sprinkled a little salt on top of the cookies. This is something I had never done before myself, though I’d seen it done elsewhere. I figured “what the heck” and went for the whole sweet/salty thing and oh my gosh, it was fantastic. If you’re not sure, just sprinkle some on one cookie and try it. If you don’t like it, just one cookie wasted. but if you DO, you’ll be in Heaven.

You know the drill…. Get to cookin’!

Brown Butter, Cherry And Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown color & cooled
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dried tart cherries
  • 1 cup roasted, salted pepitas
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • coarse salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and brown your butter-  toss your butter into a medium pot. With the heat on medium high, cook the butter (DON’T walk away!) until it turns a medium (dang, I’m using the word medium a lot) golden brown. Swirl the pan a few times to help it along. Have a bowl ready and once it gets to the right color, immediately pour the butter out into the bowl. Let this cool for about 30 minutes before you continue.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter and both the sugars. Beat on medium (there’s that word again) speed until it is thick and creamy. Add in the egg, egg yolk, cream and vanilla. beat on low speed just until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Dump this into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, scraping the bowl down once.
  4. Fold in the cherries, chocolate chips and pepitas.
  5.  Line your cookie sheet(s) with a silicone baking mat ( like my favorite ones right here )  or lightly grease.  Scoop out large spoons full of dough (about golf ball sized) and shape into a circle in the palm of your hands. Place them about 2 inches apart on your cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 until golden brown and firm on top, about 16 to 18 minutes. let rest on the pan for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Other than the one or two you snag for yourself to eat all warm and gooey, of course. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with coarse salt upon taking them out of the oven. If you don’t, that’s cool; they are still some of the most delicious cookies ever.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter, Cherry & Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust



Well, orange season is pretty much over. Sure, I can still go to the store and grab some navel oranges, but the peak season for the good stuff…. Clementines, Blood Oranges,  Cara Caras, Tangelos, is about kaput till next Winter. That makes me sad, as I could live on oranges and yogurt if allowed to. Of course, my husband gives me looks and tells me I need to eat something more substantial, but what does he know? Oranges and yogurt are a perfectly acceptable breakfast…or lunch..or dinner.  Speaking of oranges, I have some blood oranges in my fridge that are looking pretty peaked and old. I got notices from the Social Security office in their name the other day saying it was time to sign up for benefits and for some reason, every morning when I get up, they are all lined up in front of the TV with an anti wrinkle cream infomercial playing. So if anyone has any ideas of how to use them up before they move onto Viagra commercials, I’d appreciate it. I wait much longer, I’m going to have to pay to have them put in a home for aged oranges.

So it’s time to move on to my other favorite citrus- limes.  Is there anything to hate about a lime? They are a beautiful color, they smell absolutely amazing and they taste delightful. Well, not plain so much. I’ve never been the wedge of lime and shot of tequila type of gal, though I do enjoy a slice in a gin and tonic. But baked into something? Delicious and a definite favorite in my household.

These are based on my Triple Lemon Bars which is one of those baked goods I can’t control myself with, thus I rarely make them. They make me weak in both the knees and the self control and make my already tight jeans tighter. So I made lime bars instead… because I’ll do soooo much better in the area of self control with these <insert sarcasm font here> I wanted to change them up a little. So I made the crust with browned butter instead of just plain old butter. Sounds so simple and boring, ehh? But oh my gosh, you wouldn’t believe the difference it made. I found myself eating bits of the raw dough until I stopped myself before it got to the point where I wouldn’t have enough for the crust. it just adds this caramelly, nutty flavor and scent to the crust and tastes so good. I have plans now to just make a browned butter shortbread in some flavor or another. Add in a tart sweet lime filling and a tangy lime glaze? Yeah, just say goodbye to self control.

You know the drill… 🙂

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

  • Crust-
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Filling-
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime oil (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Glaze-
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon lime oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 13×9 inch baking dish with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the crust ingredients and beat on low speed with a hand mixer until it is moist and crumbly throughout. You should be able to pick up a piece and press it together in your hand and have it stay. If it doesn’t, add about a teaspoon more water and beat it again for a minute.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Slide into the oven and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned around the edges.
  4. Meanwhile, make your lime filling- In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Use a whisk to beat until thoroughly combined. Add in the lime zest, vanilla extract, lime oil, flour and baking powder and whisk until well combined. Pour in the lime juice and whisk again just until combined.
  5. Pour the lime filling over the hot crust. Place back in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set when lightly pressed on, light brown and doesn’t look liquidy at all. Let cool in the pan for an hour or two then place it in the fridge for about an hour at least; overnight is even better.
  6. About an hour before you’re ready to serve, make your glaze- In a small bowl, whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Pour over the cold bars. Let set up for at least 30 minutes or so before slicing. Use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board and use a knife that has been dipped in hot water then wiped dry to cut squares from the bars.

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Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread



As much as I love making yeast breads and other good stuff that are yeast raised like sticky buns , my first love will probably always be cornbread .There is just something so homey about a good wedge of cornbread, be it plain or doctored up, as this version is. You can eat it by itself; and contrary to popular belief, you really should be able to eat it plain, without soaking it in something to relieve dryness. If it’s that dry, you did something wrong when baking it.

On the yeast bread front, I’ve put my sourdough starter out to come to room temp somewhere in the vicinity of 43 times in the last month. Then, I get involved in other things, put it away and say I’ll get to it the next day. If starters could be sentient, mine would have the worlds largest inferiority complex. “What? She doesn’t want me again? Was it something I did… said? Do I smell funny? Wait… I’m supposed to smell funny.”

With this bread, I took the recipe I have up in here for honey cornbread and played with it. I traded the plain butter for browned butter because you can never go wrong with brown butter, used maple sugar in place of the regular and added in a pint of blueberries.  This one is perfect for breakfast. Just serve it with  yogurt and a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re good to go. It’s actually almost cake like enough to be a good fit for dessert too, if you’re the nontraditional sort, as I am. One of my favorite desserts is a piece of cornbread with butter and maple syrup. Try it sometime. 🙂

You know the drill…

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (NOT cornbread mix)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (if you don’t have maple sugar, sub 1/4 cup regular sugar and add in 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring when you add the eggs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed if needed to make it pourable
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 9 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch square baking pan.
  2. Then, brown your butter- place the butter in a small pot. Melt it over medium high heat, swirling it frequently. Let it keep cooking until it turns a nice golden brown, then immediately pour it into a measuring cup or bowl to cool a bit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, combine the maple sugar, cream, milk, honey and browned butter. Whisk well. Add in the eggs (and maple flavoring if that’s what you’re using) and whisk well.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir just until barely combined. gently fold in the blueberries then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 400 until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20  to 25 minutes.
  7. Best served warm with plenty of butter and maple syrup. But that may be a bit of bias on my part. 😀

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Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes With Banana Frosting

Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes With Banana Frosting

Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes With Banana Frosting

What is it with kids and fruit? There are times I simply can’t keep it in the house for more than 30 seconds because they are inhaling it practically before I can get it unpacked from the car and then other times it just sits there. Of course, those days when there is no fruit in the house, suddenly everyone wants it. Then the days when I have a ton of something like bananas around because they were griping that there weren’t any, that’s when no one eats them and I end up with 382 over ripe bananas on the counter. What does that lead to? A fruit fly party. They set up tents on my counters near the bananas and late at night I’m kept awake by teeny voices singing “Kum Ba Yah” and  the flicker of a little campfire. So I then set up vinegar swimming pools for them to lure them to their tangy deaths. But I still have 382 bananas to use up that now no one will touch because, “Ewww, they’re too ripe! I don’t like them like this!”

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a ploy. They do it on purpose to get me to buy bananas that will get too ripe to eat just so that I have to cook with them. And there is only so much banana bread one can eat. Well, unless you’re my husband who would eat it 5 times a day for like 8 weeks before complaining. So one is left trying to figure out what to do with them. I don’t have a blender since mine was broken by an over zealous teen, so that leaves out banana shakes. That’s probably a good thing though because I do so love banana shakes and would over indulge if left to my own devices.

So I made cupcakes. I searched the web for a good recipe but just wasn’t liking anything I found. So this is an amalgamation of a handful of recipes… call it the Frankensteins Monster of banana cupcakes, minus the electrical wires.

These are fairly dense, which is what I was looking for. Call me strange but I like a heavier cake, reminiscent of a pound cake, at times. Not all cakes need to be all light and fluffy. This is fairly sweet with a heavy banana taste and are quite moist. They are great with or without the frosting. I actually only frosted about half and we ate the rest of them plain.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes With Banana Frosting

  • Cake-
  • 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned and cooled*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana flavoring (sold by the vanilla)
  • 2 cups flour whisked together with
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda and
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Banana Frosting-
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (will vary)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons banana flavoring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. In a large bowl, on medium speed, beat together the sugars and browned butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Don’t skimp on the beating.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the bananas, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream and extracts
  4. Stir in the flour/baking soda/salt mixture just until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 16 prepared cups
  6. Bake at 350 for 19 to 21 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for about a minute then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  8. Frost with banana frosting.
  9. Banana Frosting-
  10. In medium bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, mashed banana and the extracts. Beat well for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  11. On low speed (preferably over the sink to contain sugar dust), beat in 3 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat for 3 minutes until thick and creamy. If it isn’t of spreading consistency, add in another cup to cup and a half of sugar and beat well for about 2 minutes.
  12. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes.

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Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting



I waited as long as I could. But it was time…. time for a pumpkin recipe. 😀 it occurred to me as I was contemplating what to make that for a blog named From Cupcakes To Caviar, I don’t have many cupcake recipes on here. Yes, yes, before someone brings it up, I am well aware that I don’t have any caviar recipes on here. Guess what? I never will. 😛 I just liked the way the name sounded when I created the blog and it was simply meant to denote that the blog will have everything from the simple to the fancy in it. Buttttt, as I was saying, I realized when mulling over pumpkiny goodness ideas that I don’t have many cupcakes on here. !!!! That had to be rectified immediately. So pumpkin cupcakes it was. But I didn’t want to do plain cupcakes; oh no, not me! So I decided on using brown butter in them. When I went to see if that had been done before, I found a bazillion variations lol. So rather than beat a dead pumpkin, I used the recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Two Peas And Their Pod because I knew if it came from there, it would be good. The only thing I did differently was in the matter of spice. I like pumpkin desserts that are heavy on the warm Autumnal spices and their recipe was a bit light for my tastes, so I used quite a bit a little bit more. I also used more vanilla and dark brown sugar rather than light because we enjoy the more caramelly flavor it lends.

These are some delicious cupcakes. The cupcakes part is just dense enough without being heavy and with the additional spices and extra vanilla I added, it tastes like Fall. When I was trying to decide what to do for frosting, I wanted to vary a bit there too. I didn’t want cinnamon or cream cheese or caramel or any of the other “normal” flavors. We all know by now that I don’t do normal well in any aspect of my life. So I chose a combo of maple and honey; both flavors I love but both flavors that can be a bit one dimensional on their own. I knew it would need a bit of tang though, what with 3 sources of sweetness, so I added some sour cream. You could probably sub a thick Greek yogurt if you wanted to. The frosting is quite lovely if I do say so myself. Sweet, but not cloying with a touch of tang from the sour cream and a nice maple and honey flavor.

This all comes together fairly quickly; the long list is mainly spices, so don’t cringe…  you know the drill 🙂

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

  •  3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Maple Honey Frosting-
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (preferably grade B as it has a stronger flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 15 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. Melt your butter in a medium sauce pot over medium low heat. Stir occasionally as it cooks until it turns a lovely medium brown color and has a nutty aroma. Immediately take it off the heat and pour it into a medium sized bowl to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla and eggs to the cooled brown butter. Whisk to combine. Dump the flour mixture into the butter one and stir just until it’s combined. Don’t overbeat.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling them about 3/4 full. bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cupcakes from the pan to a rack to cool completely. While they cool, prepare your frosting- In a large bowl, on high speed, beat your butter for about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until it is light and fluffy looking.
  6. Add in 4 cups of the powdered sugar and with the mixer OFF (unless you want to have a face full of powdered sugar), stir it around a bit to mix in the sugar a bit. Turn the mixer on low and beat until well combined. Snatch a bite of the butter/sugar mix out of the bowl and enjoy, because it’s one of Gods gifts to us hehe
  7. Add in the rest of the icing ingredients, except the last bit of powdered sugar. Beat at high speed for about 5 minutes. Yes, you read that right. When you first add the ingredients and beat it, it will look soupy. Keep beating and it will come together and thicken. If it isn’t thick enough for piping after five minutes, add the last 1/2 cup of sugar and beat on high speed for about another minute or two. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes.
  8. When ready to frost, stir the frosting a little to loosen it and pipe or spread the frosting on each cupcake. If you have any extra, it can be refrigerated, covered. It’s strangely appealing on bagels and would also be great all melty on top of a waffle or pancakes.

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Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake



I haven’t made a foodie confession in a while, so I guess it’s time for a new one. Well, I did mention to a friend the other day that I like Spam, but since he is from Hawaii, where they very wisely love the canned meat, it didn’t really phase him as it would have many other food bloggers 😛

On to the confession. It’s no secret that I used to love Twinkies and Ho-Hos when they were owned by the original company. Now however, they are pretty bad. I’m still mourning and have been blocked from the Hostess site because of my insistence on periodic candlelight vigils lamenting the passing of the REAL Hostess products. One other thing I loved? Those horrid, dry, overly sweet crumb cakes. I can’t recall if they were Hostess or Dolly Madison. All I know is that every couple of months, I had to go to a convenience store and grab a pack. We won’t discuss how I also would buy a Little Debbie Brownies that was topped with fake M&Ms.

But, me being me, when Hostess became “Hostess Wanna Be” (and yes, I’m astute enough to realize they weren’t exactly gourmet in the first place), and they AND Dolly Madison products disappeared, I knew it was time to make my own goodies. I never really got around to the Twinkies and Ho-Hos, but I CAN make a killer crumb cake. Does it taste like theirs? No and this is a good thing lol. The one I make is better. The original recipe is from Food And Wine and while it was good, it was rather plain. I wanted to give it some flavor and I think I succeeded quite nicely.

You know the drill… 🙂

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

  • Crumb Topping-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cake-
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality cherry preserves
  1. Make your topping first- combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the chilled butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Then get in there with your fingers and smoosh together the mix between your fingers to heat it up a bit and make larger pieces. Refrigerate while you make the cake batter
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan well with baking spray (the kind with both flour and oil in it) and put the pan on a baking sheet. This will protect the bottom of your oven from possible leakage. Put the butter into a medium pot and cook over medium heat until it has turned a golden brown color and has a nutty scent. Do NOT turn away form it as it begins to color as it can go from browned and delicious to burned and garbage very quickly. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
  4. In another bowl (remember, always have someone nearby who has dish duty 😀 ), beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, eggs and egg yolk and beat until well combined.
  5. Alternating the flour and the sour cream (start and end with the flour mixture) add them to the butter/egg mix. Beat just until combined after each addition.
  6. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread to the edge of the pan. Cover with dollops of the cherry preserves and spread them to within a half an inch of the edge of the batter. Top with the other half of the batter and spread it carefully to the edges. Sprinkle the chilled crumbs over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45 -60 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs, but no loose batter.
  8. Cool on a wire rack, still in the pan. When completely cool, open outside of pan carefully then gently slide a butter knife under the bottom of the cake to loosen it and carefully lift it off of the bottom of the pan and transfer to a plate.

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