White Brownies With Chocolate!

white brownies

I don’t normally bake a lot of things. I can and will do a little baking under the right circumstances, but generally, I like enjoying the baking from someone else rather than doing it myself. Then, of course, I was looking through some cookbooks and saw this recipe for white brownies with amazing white and black chocolate. For some reason, I just had to have them. And after a few bad starts and a nasty cut on my finger (no, don’t ask — I was doing something stupid) they finally made it to my table.

I’d never made a white brownie, so that was a good start. But what I really liked about this idea (which has been modified a bit) was the inclusion of both white chocolate and the good old dark black chocolate. There is something about having both versions rather than just one in the mix that makes both of them seem a bit more. In any case, give these a try. Especially with some ice cream…

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Peach Pie, Getting It Just Right

Peach Pie

Peach pie is one of those things that, done right, is quite likely the best pie you can make. Done badly, it can be pretty awful. How do you make it the right way? Surprisingly, it’s actually pretty easy, but does require a little care in getting everything ready.

So to start out, you need a couple of pie crusts. I use the special Perfect Pie Crust I’ve used for many years. If you have another recipe or even want to use a prepared crust, go for it. You can also make a lattice crust if you like. The secret is how to deal with peaches, which can be way too juicy or, on occasion, too  dry. To handle that, after the peaches are peeled, put them in a pan with brown and white sugars and let them sit for at least an hour. If you then lift out the peaches and take that wonderful peachy juice that’s left behind, add it to some starch (I use tapioca, you can use cornstarch or what ever else works), cinnamon, nutmeg and some salt. Heat it until everything is dissolved and it starts getting nice and thick, and add it back to the peaches. Add a little butter and you’re done.

You can then bake the pie and that’s all there is too it. And with a bit of luck, you’ve got a pie that’s moist and flavorful.

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A Simple Chocolate Pie

chocolate pie

Chocolate pie is what I would call one of the best things you can easily make, and win a few hearts along the way. Valentine’s Day is coming!! With a little bit of help from one of my grandma’s favorite recipes (and some upgraded chocolate), you can have the pie in a hurry, too. The recipe is very easy to make and the only thing that’s a downside is having to wait around for the pie to cool enough to eat it.

The pie you see in the picture is not the simplest nor the most extravagant pie you can do with this recipe. If you care, you can use a chocolate pie crust made up of Oreos or Graham crackers, or a simple pie crust from the refrigerated aisle at the grocery store. I use my own crust, but didn’t bother to make it look as pretty as you might have seen elsewhere at Discovery Cooking. I just wanted something quick and easy. I used some whipped cream and some chocolate chips to decorate mine, you can use fruit or have it just plain. Your call.

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Pane Bianco — Bread with a Superb Stuffing

pane bianco

Although I have not done much of it lately, there is something special about a home-made loaf of great bread, especially when it’s loaded with a superb stuffing that sends it over the top. That’s where this Pane Bianco comes into the picture. This concoction has a wonderful but simple stuffing that’s very good on it’s own and even more important, I’ve already started thinking about what might be added in future editions.

This is not any kind of original thinking on my part. It started out as a post by King Arthur’s Flour. The idea was to get people to give the bread a bake-along project for the month. It’s a very simple dough but what makes it stand out is a filling made with tomatoes, cheese, basil and garlic. The filling is the wonderful part. Dipped in some of olive oil, or dabbed with a little bit of dip or just by itself, the filling is amazing and definitely worth giving this bread a try.

I made mine in a couple of loaves, but the recipe really just calls for one large loaf. It works either way. And FYI, this is a great little Labor Day appetizer.

The recipe below, is pretty much exactly from King Arthur’s Flour.

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A Basic Cheesecake

Cheesecake

Sometimes, you just have to have a great cheesecake.  It doesn’t happen often, maybe, but especially, when you got company coming by for a weekend or maybe just to indulge yourself, there is really is nothing better than beautiful cheesecake, standing there and ready to go when dessert hits.

This cheesecake is relatively light and ready for almost any filling you might like to try. And, yes, it’s just perfect for that 4th of July weekend. It’s flavor  is a very light vanilla with a chocolate graham-cracker crust (you can use just about anything you like for a crust) and apart from have to wait overnight for it to get to peak condition, it is fairly easy to make. What I like about this version is that it really does go with just about any kind of filling you can imagine, from fresh fruit to chocolate. It pretty much works with anything.

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Perfectly Done Coffee Cake

coffee cake

This is the best coffee cake I’ve ever had. For me, it’s nearly perfection. 

It started from a recipe that my wife managed to pack away maybe 5-6 years ago, but as near I can remember, never, seemed to ever actually get made. I found it the other day when looking for something else and decided to give it a try — but, of course, with my own little deviations.

So the first thing you’ll notice when you bite into this amazing coffee cake is that it has much less sweetness and but with a definite bit of cinnamon and allspice to make up for it. The second thing you may come across is this kind of unusual topping recipe, which unlike most of the coffee cakes I’ve made, actually goes into the cake mix before it gets baked. The result is that the rumbling of the cake mix while its baking cause some of the icing to settle in and actually go deep into the cake. 

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Fantastic Banana Cake

banana cake

Most of the recipes here at Discovery Cooking are either developed here or at least very heavily modified. There are notable exceptions, of course. This banana cake is one of them. It’s simply the best cake I’ve ever made and one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s moist, light, full of flavor and — depending on the thickness of the cream cheese icing — more than enough to satisfy any sweet tooth on the planet. It’s killer.

The recipe below I found on a refrigerator door in a beach house we rented a number of years back in North Carolina. There was nothing to indicate where it came from. We had one rainy day that vacation and so I decided to try it and it blew my family away. On searching the net, I found dozens of copies of the recipe on various food sites and blogs, none of which pointed to the original. So my guess — and it is just a guess — is that this banana cake was probably published by one of the ingredient makers (a flour company, cream cheese brand?) some years ago and has been passed around.

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