My new favorite brownie….

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

A few weeks ago I had a baking mishap with my normal brownie recipe and I didn’t have enough chocolate to make the recipe over again. I was making the brownies for someone else so I had to come up with something. I had cocoa powder but I didn’t want to make the Hershey recipe. After looking around on the Internet I finally remembered there was a recipe on the back of my King Arthur all-purpose flour bag. The recipe worked with the ingredients that I had so I went for it. I am so glad I tried it! These brownies had a great texture and flavor. I liked that they weren’t too gooey (since I was cutting them and plating them for some one else) but they also weren’t cake like either. It was a perfect combination. Give it a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed

Perfect Brownies (that’s my title for them ;))

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso powder, optional
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I omitted these)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies. * This was such an awesome tip. I had never done that before but it really worked!

Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you’ve heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

Source: King Arthur Flour

Caramel Popcorn Mix

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Last month while staying with my Aunt in Maryland she made this highly addicting popcorn mix. I immediately thought it would make a great Christmas treat/gift. Today I finally had time to put it all together. I found SUPER cute boxes at Michaels to store the popcorn. Little “Chinese take out” boxes in holiday prints. I can’t wait to give them to my coworkers tomorrow. Jesse also gives this recipe a big thumbs up and is taking some with him to work tomorrow as well.

So if you’re looking for a new holiday treat gift to give, you must try this popcorn! I promise you won’t regret it!

Caramel Corn Snack Mix
Recipe from my Aunt Ari

8 cups popped popcorn
4 cups toasted rice cereal (Chex)
2 cups pretzels
1 cup Pecan halves or pieces
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
Parchment Paper (not an ingredient but a crucial tool)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter and light corn syrup and heat over medium heat. While stirring, bring to a light boil then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes (it will still look bubbly and you should stop stirring)

While the caramel is simmering combine the popcorn, rice cereal, pretzels, and pecans in a very large bowl.

When the caramel is finished simmering remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture, stopping occasionally to stir and coat evenly.

Transfer the popcorn to 2 large bar pans that are lined with parchment paper (very important that it is parchment paper and NOT wax paper). Bake for 30 minutes, halfway through switch racks (bottom to top top to bottom)

After 30 minutes, remove from oven and let the mixture start to cool. While it’s cooling start to break the popcorn apart.

When the popcorn is completely cool transfer to a storage container.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

I love to bake with pumpkin and I am always looking for something new to try. That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled upon this recipe in Peabody’s blog. I’ve made several recipes from her blog before and I have never been disappointed. She is pretty much my baking idol. If you haven’t explored her blog before please, go, you won’t regret it!

This recipe is fantastic. One of my friends even had to go back for more, not because he was hungry, but because he said he couldn’t stop thinking about them. I think that overindulgence of that kind is the highest compliment a baker can get. So needless to say they were a hit. I look forward to making these for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Garlic Herb Chicken

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

We really love chicken. I think we could probably eat chicken every night and be perfectly fine. Actually, once I was making a weekly meal plan to grocery shop and I realized that every single meal I had planned used chicken. Sometimes though, I feel like I run out of fun ways to use it. You can only have chicken parmesan, chicken calzones, and chicken pasta so many times. That’s why I was so excited to see this recipe in my friend Amber’s blog. It’s such a simple concept and yet I have not made anything similar, at least in a long time. Amber said that she wanted to tweak the sauce a little bit so I made a few changes of my own. With this chicken I served roasted Yukon gold potatoes and peas.

Garlic Herb Chicken
Source: Amber’s Delectable Delights
This version is with my changes, Amber’s original recipe can be found here

1/3 cup of flour
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken I used vegetable because that’s all I had)
1.5 teaspoon parsley
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pound chicken breasts so they are thin and even. Mix together flour, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breast in the flour

Preheat sauté pan to medium heat and add in olive oil and garlic. Add chicken to pan and cook until done. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate, tent with foil to keep warm. Sprinkle some of the left over flour into the pan and cook for a minute to dissolve flour. Add the broth and deglaze the pan. Simmer until thickened. Add in remaining seasonings and stir to mix. Drizzle the garlic herb sauce over the chicken and potatoes.