?

Log in

Celestial Goldfish

December 2016

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com

Previous 10

Dec. 4th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote should make cookies

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
~Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

Tags: ,

Nov. 30th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

We’re kicking off the Christmas season with a recipe that’s been a favorite of mine since 2003: Soft Gingerbread Bars!

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

My original recipe was clipped from the inside of a Land O Lakes butter box. Before trying that recipe, I had associated gingerbread with dry, hard cut-out cookies.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Land O Lakes enlightened me. They taught me gingerbread could be rendered into soft, chewy bars that were a sugary equivalent to crack cocaine.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

These bars have been a household favorite ever since. You can cut the gingerbread into fancier shapes, but I prefer basic bars. These bars are soft and luscious, embodied with the divine scent of Christmas itself.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Plus, this is the perfect recipe when you’re low on time–it mixes together quickly and bakes in under 20 minutes. No standing around the oven for an hour, waiting for batch after batch of cookies to be done.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

As soft as these bars are, they are surprisingly durable. When my husband was deployed in the Navy, I mailed several batches to him overseas. I packed them in Gladware with napkins for padding, and they survived the journey, intact and tasty.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Modified from the original recipe at Land O Lakes Butter. Originally posted at Bready or Not back in 2012 on Live Journal.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

These soft, thick gingerbread bars whip together in no time and bake in under 20 minutes! They are surprisingly durable, too, and keep well for weeks for mailing–even to overseas. Plus, they smell and taste like sugary heaven. Modified from a Land O Lakes recipe.

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • Topping
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll or large bar pan with aluminum foil.

Combine the 1 1/4 cups sugar, butter, egg, and molasses in a large mixer bowl. Mix until creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and spices and mix until just combined.

Press the dough evenly into the pan. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of sugar across the top. Dust the sugar with your fingers to fill the nooks and crannies.

Bake the pan for 16 to 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely. Cut into bars or other shapes. Try to resist eating them all.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Save

Nov. 27th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote summons Bradbury

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
~Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Tags: ,

Nov. 23rd, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

It’s holiday time, so that means it’s time for super-fast microwave Maple Cookie Fudge!

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

“But Beth,” I hear you saying, “You just featured a fudge recipe a month ago!”

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

Aha! I did indeed. That pumpkin fudge is delicious indeed, with its texture and taste like pumpkin frosting, but it also gets soft if it’s not kept chilled. THIS fudge recipe has endurance. Fortitude. Maple.

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

This is a shortcut fudge without any need of a candy thermometer or stress. I like to use the microwave, but you can use the stovetop if you want. You can keep the maple cookies chunky, if you desire, or grind everything to crumbs–your choice! I actually like some small chunks mixed in for texture.

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

The maple flavor is nice and consistent here, not cloying, while the marshmallow fluff grants the texture some extra oomph. If you want, you can add in some nuts as well, but if you keep your cookies kinda chunky, they can add some nut-like texture to the squares.

This would be the perfect quick fudge to make for a holiday party where everything needs to stay out on a counter for hours! The leftovers will keep very well in a sealed container in the fridge, too.

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

Come to think of it, this maple cookie fudge is just about perfect if you ignore the pesky nutritional side of things.

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

This Bready or Not Original uses maple crème cookies as the base of a fantastic microwave fudge. The fudge should be stored in the fridge, but also keeps very well at room temperature for parties and potlucks.

  • 3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 20 maple crème cookies, crushed/chopped/maimed
  • 7 ounce marshmallow fluff jar
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts/pecans/macadamia), optional

Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with foil and applying nonstick spray.

Either in microwave or on stovetop, carefully melt chocolate with canned milk and marshmallow cream. If microwaving, do it in short bursts because it can burn fast! Stir often.

When the mix is smooth, add the maple flavor and vanilla. Fold in the maple cookies. Use an uneven spatula to smooth out the top.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours, until the fudge is firm. Cut into bite size pieces. Keep stored in fridge between layers of wax paper. Unlike some other quick fudges, this will keep well for hours at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Quick Maple Cookie Fudge

Save

Save

Nov. 22nd, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

B is for Broken 99-cents at Kobo through the 28th

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

b-is-for-broken-1

The B is for Broken anthology is on sale for 99-cents today through November 28th over at Kobo! The book features 26 diverse stories around the theme of “broken.” My story is for the letter K, and I won’t say more than that.

This is a steal of a buy, so grab it at Kobo while this price lasts!

#SFWApro

Save

Nov. 20th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote welcomes cold weather

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“I suppose half of writing is overcoming the revulsion you feel when you sit down to it.”
~Flannery O’Connor

Tags: ,

Nov. 18th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

CALL OF FIRE cover reveal at The Mary Sue!

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

The sequel to Breath of Earth has a cover, and it’s glorious and fiery! You can see the exclusive cover reveal for Call of Fire today over at The Mary Sue.

zootopia sloth gif

#SFWAPro

Nov. 16th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

These Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies are light, crisp, and full of maple goodness.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Story prompts inspire stories. Cookbooks inspire new spins on already-great recipes. In this case, I found my inspiration in the cookbook MAPLE, which also provided the basis for my Maple Pear Galette and part of my Maple Apple Pie (aka Voltron Pie).

I loved the look of the original recipe, but right off the top, I knew I needed to make some adaptations. I don’t keep whole wheat pastry flour around. I decided to substitute with cake flour since it was also lower in gluten.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

As a result, the cookies are surprisingly light and crisp. However, this also means they can overcook–and fast! Keep an eye on them as they near the end of baking time. Better to have them slightly underdone when you pull them from the oven, as they’ll finish cooking on the cookie sheet.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

I also went with white chocolate rather than milk or dark chocolate. I find the mellowness of white chocolate better works with maple flavor.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Now, maple sugar can be pricy stuff at supermarkets, if you can find it at all. I buy it in bulk at Amazon. If you glance through my maple recipes, you’ll find plenty of ways to use it up!

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Walnuts–and other nuts–are easy to roast in your oven. Line a rimmed pan with foil. Add the nuts in an even layer. Bake at 350-degrees for like 7 to 10 minutes, shifting them once sometime in there, until the nuts are fragrant. Let’em cool, then use them or eat them.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

The combination of flavors here–maple, white chocolate, walnuts–makes these the perfect cookies for autumn.

… Except, well, if you know me, I believe in summoning up the goodness of maple all year round. Awesome things shouldn’t be confined to one season.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

These cookies combine cake flour and all-purpose flour to create lightly-textured cookies full of maple flavor. White chocolate and chopped walnuts add extra crunch and oomph. Watch these cookies carefully in the oven–their lightness means they can also quickly overcook.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roasted and chopped walnuts

Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and maple sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg followed by the oil and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the two flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mix until they are just combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips and walnuts.

Use a tablespoon scoop to dole out dough onto the prepared sheet pan, leaving space for each cookie to spread. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until cookies puff and are just turning golden--watch them carefully at the end, as they can overcook quickly! Let them cool on the sheet about ten minutes and then transfer to a rack to completely cool.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Save

Save

Nov. 13th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Sunday Quote is glad the election is over

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

“Don’t know who will publish my book. Don’t know at all. No reason to let it slide though. Must keep at it. Necessary.”
~John Steinbeck

Tags: ,

Nov. 9th, 2016

Celestial Goldfish

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Originally published at BethCato.com. You can comment here or there.

Some foods are delicious but not particularly photogenic. These Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins, however, have it all going on.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Chocolate and pumpkin are a fantastic pairing. Nutella works so well here, creating a shiny chocolatey cap to these bright orange muffins.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

The texture of these is magnificent: cakey and fresh, with a light pumpkin taste. Plus Nutella. We can’t forget the Nutella.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Speaking of which… if your Nutella is older or you’re near the bottom of the jar, it can be lumpy and hard to spread. To fix that, put the Nutella in a microwave-safe dish and give it a zap in the microwave.

Trust me, that lumpy Nutella may still be delicious, but you want it to be soft enough to create a beautiful swirl on these muffins!

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Modified from The Novice Chef.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

These muffins are cakey with a perfect complement of pumpkin and Nutella. If your Nutella is stiff, give it a zap in the microwave so that it’s soft enough to swirl. The recipe makes 12 muffins.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pureed pumpkin (not organic)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk (almond milk works)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Nutella or other hazelnut cocoa spread

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line muffin pan with liners and apply nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the egg, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in the dry mixture until it is just blended.

Add the batter to the muffin pan, filling each about 3/4 full. Top each muffin with about a teaspoon of Nutella and use a butter knife to swirl it into the batter.

Bake muffins for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a center muffin comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Save

Previous 10