Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Whopper's Malted Milk Ball Cookies

Is there anyone that can resist popping chocolate whoppers in their mouth if there happens to be an open package anywhere near them?   Well, not me.  I am not proud to say I lose all will power when tempted by the smooth chocolate coating and crispy malted centers…   So anyway,  when I was looking for a good cookie recipe that would be quick and easy I found “Malted Milk Cookies” in my “Taste of Home Cookies” cookbook.  So of course I picked up one of those milk carton containers of the yummy malted goodies and set some time aside today to bake.   I have to say the recipe is great and I would not change a thing other than to encourage you to really crush the candies well.  The larger chunks of whopper got a little hard from baking.  Be sure to use all the powder too!   Seriously, give this one a try and let me know what you think…


1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 -1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons instant chocolate drink mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups malted milk balls, crushed

First pour the whoppers into a plastic ziplock bag, and using the flat side of a mallet pound the candy until all are crushed.

Then, pre-heat oven to 375° F.

Next, to a medium size bowl, add the flour, instant chocolate drink mix, baking soda and salt.  Dry whisk to distribute the ingredients and fluff the flour.   Set aside.

Then in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla. 

Next,  in two increments add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well. 

Then, stir in malted milk balls.

Using a medium sized cookie scoop, place dough balls 2 inches apart on greased or parchment lined baking sheet. 

Then, place in oven and bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until set.  

Place cookie sheet on wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer the cookies from the sheet to the wire rack to continue to cool.

Enjoy a couple of them warm with a glass of milk. 

  They also make a nice gift ....

 Link for cookbook - seriously, take a look at this book - there are some awesome cookie recipes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tomato and Herb Yeast Bread

I have a great cookbook titled " Taste of Home the Market Fresh Cookbook" which   I turned to this week because I had some tomatoes that needed to be used soon and was delighted to see a huge selection of tomato recipes.   The one that inspired my recipe is "Tomato and Dill Bread".   I did tweak it a bit as I do not post a recipe until I have made it one or more times to iron out the kinks.   Anyway, the bread is scrumptious.  Give it a try and let me know what you think...

BTW:  I have nothing against using dill.   I will use it myself sometime in the future as this is a delicious bread.  My dill plant is just currently depleted.   I therefore replaced with chives and rosemary ( see my post for herb garden)  In addition, rather than all-purpose flour, I used bread flour and more oil.

Also, you will see that the flour requirement has about a one cup span.  This is because the moisture content will vary with the tomatoes.   It may  take more or less flour to get to the smooth dough ball stage.


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110° to 115°)
1-1/2 cups peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions     ~ Yield 2 loaves ~

First, prep your herbs:   for the Parsley, oregano and rosemary pull the leaves off the stem and toss them in the bowl of a food processor.  For the chives, mince them.   Then, pour the olive oil over the herbs and pulse until the herbs are all minced.   (you do not want the stems - they will be tough when baked - as for the chives, they will not mince easily via the food processor.  The long strands will just keep spinning and only mince a bit)

 Next,  prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside.

Now, bring a large pot of water to a boil.   Gently drop your tomatoes into the boiling water and then turn the heat off.   Allow the tomatoes to "sauna" for 30 seconds or until you can see the skin wrinkling and peeling back.   At that time, remove the tomatoes from the hot water and immediately drop them into the ice water.  After a few minutes they will be cool enough to handle.

The skins will now be loose and easy to peel off.  

Remove excess seeds and then place the skinned tomatoes and salt over the herb mixture and pulse once or twice to puree. Just leave this mixture in the food processor and move on to preparing the yeast.

In a plastic measuring cup, add the lukewarm water and honey, then top with the yeast.  Using a plastic spoon, swirl the mixture and then set aside for the yeast to activate.   In about 5 minutes or so the top should look foamy.

Now, top the herb and tomato mixture with the foamy yeast and 3 cups of flour and pulse two times.  Then add additional flour in 1/2 cup increments and pulse a couple of times after each addition until you have a smooth dough ball.  The dough ball will still be still wet and will require some kneading on a floured surface.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down and divide in half; shape into loaves. Place into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

When the dough is ready for baking, score down the middle with sharp knife or razor.  Then place in pre-heated oven and bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°; bake for 25 minutes longer or until done (if the top is getting too dark, tent with a piece of foil).    Brush with melted butter as soon as you remove from the oven.

*** I opted to make one bread loaf and then I used the other half of the dough to shape into buns ***

Regarding buns:   Brush with melted butter before baking.   Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Enjoy !!!

Link for the cookbook:


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Walnut and Dried Currant Spice Cake with Old Fashioned Brown Butter Frosting

I have a cookbook titled “Baking for all Occasions”  by Flo Braker.  I found this book at a Border’s closeout sale, and I am anxious to try several of the recipes.   The first one is a spicy cake which I adapted as a walnut and dried currant cake.    This cake is moist and dense by using applesauce rather than extra oil - topped with an old fashioned brown butter frosting, you get a touch of nostalgic comfort from a different time.   An oldie but goodie...

BTW:  I baked my cake in a rectangular baking pan, but this recipe would suit loaf pans as well, and present as a “quick bread”.    


2 ¾ cup All-Purpose flour
1 ½  teaspoon baking powder
¼  teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
1  heaping teaspoon Cinnamon
¾  teaspoon Allspice
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
¼  teaspoon ground cloves
2  sticks butter ( 8 ounces )
1  cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups unsweetened applesauce, smooth textured.
1  cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried currants
Brown Butter Frosting ( see recipe below )

You will need two bowls.  One medium bowl for the dry ingredients, and a larger bowl for the wet ingredients.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease & flour a 9x13 rectangular baking pan - or line with parchment paper as I did.

Next, chop walnuts and set aside.

Then, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices to a small bowl and dry whisk to combine and evenly distribute the leaveners.  

Next, add the butter and sugars to the larger bowl and using an electric mixer, beat on medium until creamy and smooth.   Then, scrape the sides and continue beating on medium speed as you add the eggs. When the eggs have been incorporated, scrape the sides again and add the applesauce and vanilla.  Now, turn the speed up to medium high and continue to beat for another minute.

Next, on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in three additions.  When all of the flour has been added and mixed, scrape the sides and lift the bottom.  Then, detach the paddle or beaters and tap excess into bowl.   

Now, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the currants and walnuts.   

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly with a spatula.

Bake the cake until it is a light brown on top, springs back when lightly touched in the center, and is beginning to come away from the sides of the pan, about 38 – 40 minutes.

Place pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Then, invert, turn out and frost when completely cool.


While the cake is baking make the Brown Butter frosting and set aside.


1 stick unsalted Butter
3 cups powdered sugar
Scant 1/8  teaspoon salt (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Melt butter in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, while stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter just starts to turn golden brown (4 to 6 minutes). (Butter will get foamy and bubble.) Remove from heat. Cool completely.

Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla in small bowl.  Beat at medium speed, gradually adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency.  (I am using a whisk attachment with an electric mixer)

Frost cooled cake.


This cake is most tender and spicy the day it is baked.  It is still delicious the next day, but the spices will mellow.  

Link for cookbook: