Category Archives: Kitchen Bootcamp

White Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

This blog post was supposed to be a recipe for a fabulous pumpkin cheesecake with a luscious apple topping. I had it all planned out and spent my precious free time one evening baking the cheesecake. I was careful not to over-mix the filling and I let it cool in the oven for two hours to avoid any cracks. When I took the cheesecake out of the oven, it looked perfect. It seemed too good to be true… And, it was.

I carefully covered the cheesecake and transferred it to the refrigerator to chill overnight.  The next day, we were having friends over for pizza night, and I was planning to serve the cheesecake for dessert.  In the afternoon, I planned to cut a slice of the cheesecake for photo purposes (I knew our friends wouldn’t mind if a piece was already missing). I waited for nap time and I had everything all ready to go.  I sliced into the cheesecake only to discover that the center wasn’t done. The edges were luscious and perfect, but the center was a gloppy mess.

In an attempt to save some of my hard work, I cut off the edges of the cheesecake since they were perfectly fine. Then, I figured I’d better make another dessert. I pulled out a go to recipe for one bowl brownies that I knew I could make even if the baby woke up from her nap. The recipe is one that I got from a box of squares of unsweetened baking chocolate years ago. I don’t remember the brand anymore. But, it’s a good recipe. It yields brownies with the perfect texture (according to me).  They are chewy and a bit fudgy without being too over the top.  And, they always yield a nice crackly top, just like the box kind.

The cheesecake may have been a flop (though, we did enjoy eating the edges that I cut off), but the brownies weren’t. The next afternoon, as I was snacking on one of the leftover brownies, I started to thinking… I love brownies, but I’m not always in the mood for chocolate. So, I decided to play around with the recipe a bit.  If brownies could be made from melted chocolate, why not melted white chocolate? And, when I think of white chocolate (especially this close to the holidays), I can’t help but to add some cranberries into the mix.

The resulting white chocolate cranberry brownies turned out to be another success.  And, much like the standard brownies they were based on, the recipe is fast and simple.  You an mix them up in a single bowl in just a few minutes.  And, in no time at all, you’ll have chewy white chocolate flavored brownies studded with cranberries that just beg to be eaten. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have trouble letting them cool before you cut into them! Continue Reading

Challenge: Holiday Recipes (Kitchen Bootcamp November/December)

I cannot believe that October is over already. Between waiting for our little baby to arrive and then adjusting to life with a newborn in the house (and, we’re still working on that part!), October just breezed right on by. November is here, and it’s time for a new Kitchen Bootcamp challenge!

In the last week or so, there is a chill in the air that I hadn’t detected before. The days are getting shorter and it is dark by dinner time each night.  Fall is definitely here, and I am reminded that the holidays are right around the corner.  Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away, and then the Christmas season is in full swing.  I know our holidays are going to be quite different this year, but I’m excited to start creating some new memories.  And, of course, I’m excited to start working on a few new holiday recipes.

So, I thought it would be fun to do another two-month Kitchen Bootcamp challenge focusing on holiday recipes.  It’s a bit of a different challenge since I’m not choosing a specific chapter in The New Best Recipe. We’re all busy this time of year, and I know that it can be difficult to add another thing to the agenda.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll be in the kitchen trying a handful of new things for the holidays.  Don’t you just love gathering new recipes and working on a menu for Thanksgiving dinner?  Or perhaps you can’t wait to find the perfect new cookie recipe to try for a holiday cookie swap? Well, that’s what I’d love to hear about for this month’s challenge!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the recipes in The New Best Recipe.  If you’re nervous about making a turkey for Thanksgiving, check out the Poultry chapter (chapter 7) for all the information you need for turkey, gravy, and stuffing.  Need dessert inspiration? You’ll likely find the chapters on Cakes (chapter 19) and Pies and Tarts (chapter 20) to be quite helpful. The Vegetables (chapter 4) and Appetizers (chapter 1) chapters may also be particularly helpful if you’re looking for side dishes or snacks for hungry guests.  The book is a great resource for all kinds of recipes!

Of course, even if you don’t have a copy of The New Best Recipe, you are more than welcome to participate in the challenge. Feel free to use whatever sources you have on hand. The point of the challenge is to try something new, and you can be as creative as you’d like!

Since we’ll all be sharing some great holiday recipes that others may want to try, I’d like to post the roundup on Thursday, December 20th.  So, in order to have your blog post included in my roundup, please submit it (including a photo, if you would like a photo included) by Wednesday, December 19th.

Please Note – The links to The New Best Recipe provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.  If you purchase this cookbook (or another item) after  clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

Kitchen Bootcamp Roundup – Yeast Breads

For this Kitchen Bootcamp challenge, I asked everyone to spend some time in the kitchen getting familiar with yeast breads… Many of you know that I love to bake, and baking with yeast is pretty high up there on my list.  While a new baby has kept me from doing as much baking for this challenge as I had hoped, I am glad to see that the challenge inspired many others to take on some new recipes and even try baking with yeast for the first time! Continue Reading

Pumpkin Sticky Buns

Pumpkin season is officially here, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! If you are a regular reader, you’ve most likely already figured out that I’m big fan of the fall, and I especially love pumpkin. I put it in just about everything – from cookies and cupcakes to pasta and beef stew. So, it should come as no surprise to you that, when experimenting with some new yeast from Red Star Yeast, I decided to throw some pumpkin into the mix. Seems reasonable, right?

Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning, shall we? Most of you are also aware of my ongoing relationship with Red Star Yeast.  I bake a lot of homemade bread, and their yeast has always been my favorite (long before I had a blog). So, I’ve been working with them for the past year or so to bring you some great recipes and take some of the fear out of baking with yeast.  Just over a month ago, I was given the opportunity to try their new PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast.  I played around with it in a lot of my favorite recipes (pizza, sandwich bread, and even some challah!), and I was quite pleased with the results.

PLATINUM is a premium instant yeast that has been blended with dough enhancers that are commonly used by professional bakers.  So, the result is an easy to use yeast that helps to leaven the dough while producing consistently good results.  And, my favorite part? It is particularly good for baking with whole grains and sweet breads. Most of the breads that I bake at home are, in fact, whole grain, and they have turned out beautifully with the PLATINUM yeast. You can get all of the details on the official PLATINUM page on the Red Star website. And, while you’re there, I’d definitely recommend checking out the tips on how to use the yeast, as well as the video.  There’s a lot of great information!

You can also find out more about the PLATINUM yeast by following Red Star on Twitter (@RedStarYeast) and checking out their Facebook page. They’ve also got a great collection of recipe boards on Pinterest, as well.

Ok, so now that you’re up to speed, let’s get to the pumpkin!  While I enjoyed playing around with the new PLATINUM yeast in my usual recipes for pizzas and sandwich breads, I knew that I had to step it up a bit and come up with a fun new recipe to share here on the blog. That’s where the pumpkin comes in.  Perhaps you remember these Pumpkin Pull-Apart Pan Rolls that I featured from the Red Star site last October. They quickly became one of my favorite fall recipes, and I think I’ve made them at least 10 times since.  I knew that I wanted to make another batch now that pumpkin season is upon us, but  I couldn’t just leave you with a repeat recipe, could I? Of course not. So, I used the rolls as a base for some decadent pumpkin sticky buns. Continue Reading

Challenge: Yeast Breads (Kitchen Bootcamp September/October)

Time for a new Kitchen Bootcamp challenge!  Since I will be otherwise occupied towards the end of September and the beginning of October, I have opted to do an extended challenge this time around…  But, I think it’s a good one!

With the arrival of fall comes the arrival of baking season.  In the heat of summer, the last thing I want to do is crank up the heat in my kitchen by baking all afternoon.  I always welcome the cool fall air since it always puts me back in a baking mood.

Since we’re doing a bit of an extended challenge, I thought we’d tackle a good topic (and one of my favorites!)… Yeast Breads!

Don’t stop reading!  Baking with yeast shouldn’t be scary, and the fall is the perfect time to get started.  Plus, I think you’ll find that The New Best Recipe (our current guide for Kitchen Bootcamp challenges) covers the basics of baking with yeast quite well (look for Chapter 17).  You’ll find everything from tips on technique, measuring and kneading to recipes for sandwich bread, crescent rolls, bagels, and even doughnuts.  There’s something for everyone… And, every level of experience! Continue Reading