Baked Goods in B2B: Lemon bar cups

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I prepared these in small muffin tins rather than in a flat 13-by-9-inch pan. Cleaner, more easily able to handle/eat.

LEMON BARS
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C

BASE
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter

Combine base ingredients until crumbly. Press mix into an ungreased 13×9 pan (or into individual muffin tins, buttered). Bake until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes for the pan version; perhaps less for muffin version)

FILLING
Reduce oven temperature to 350F/175C after removing the base

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients except lemon juice. Blend well. Stir in ¼ c. lemon juice. Pour filling over warm base, return to oven, bake at 350°F for another 25-30 minutes. Cool one hour.

(glaze, if desired) 1 c. powdered sugar
2 to 3 T. lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine 1 c. powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired consistency (only if desired. I never make this).

Baked Goods in B2B: Cinnamon cookies

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I had three leftover egg yolks to use and a lot of chocolate frosting. Cinnamon and chocolate being a great flavor combination, I decided to make these very simple cinnamon cookies and sandwich two together with the leftover chocolate buttercream.

CINNAMON COOKIES
After chilling the dough, preheat oven to 350F/175C.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt

In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, then stir in the milk. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir dry mixture into the wet ingredient mixture. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. (I cut into circles using the edge of a glass).
Bake 10-12 minutes. Let sit on pan for a minute or two after removing from oven. Transfer to wire rack for thorough cooling.

Baked Goods in B2B: Peanut butter cups

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Not technically a baked good, but candy. Also not necessarily a favorite with everyone in the world, since peanut butter is a love/hate thing. But even peanut-butter naysayers often enjoy this small treat. Very simple to make.

PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
Set out mini muffin cups (paper or aluminum).

12 ounces (340g) milk chocolate, to melt
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
½ cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Using a small spoon, put a small amount of chocolate in the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups. Coat entire inside if possible. Put in fridge to harder. Over low heat, combine peanut butter and powdered sugar. Spoon a small amount into cups. Refrigerate one hour. Add the rest of the melted chocolate over the tops of the cups. Chill.

Baked Goods in B2B: Mini dark chocolate tarts

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MINI DARK CHOCOLATE TARTS
TART SHELLS
Preheat oven to 375F/190C; lightly coat muffin tins (regular size or mini) with nonstick cooking spray.

1 cup crushed chocolate cookies (plain chocolate or even Oreos will work here)
1/3 cup ground nuts (or just 1/3 cup more cookie crumbs if you don’t like nuts)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all ingredients together and then press into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes, cool on a wire rack.

TART FILLING
Preheat the oven to 325F/160C

10 ½ ounces (280g) dark chocolate (between 70-85 percent cocoa)
¾ cup whipping cream
½ cup milk
3 tablespoons honey (regular or flavored, e.g. raspberry, cinnamon or ginger)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Melt chocolate, cream and milk together in the microwave (3-4 minutes on full power) or in a double boiler on the stove. Stir, make sure chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in honey.
Put egg in a separate bowl, beat lightly. Gradually stir hot chocolate mixture into the beaten egg (stirring constantly). Pour into the prepared tart shells.
Bake 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes and remove from pan.

Baked Goods in B2B: Mini cappuccino cupcakes

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No story to tell here. Simply that these are perfect for small bites and as an alternative to chocolate or something really sweet. (I added a picture later, unfrosted; I do not think they look very impressive!)

MINI CAPPUCCINO CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 400F/200C

¾ cup cake flour
½ cup soft unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon instant espresso
3 tablespoons milk

WHITE CHOCOLATE SOUR CREAM FROSTING

5 ½ ounces (170g) white chocolate
¼ cup butter
½ cup sour cream (+1 tablespoon or so more, to achieve desired consistency)
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
Garnish with a sifted scant teaspoon of cocoa powder, if desired

Prepare a muffin tin (either with paper liners or by buttering/flouring the cups—I do this with a mini-muffin tin). Mix all cupcake ingredients minus the milk. When well-mixed, add the milk to form a smooth batter. Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the pan to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.

After cupcakes are completely cool, prepare the frosting. Melt the white chocolate and butter in the microwave or a double boiler, and after it slightly cools, stir in the sour cream. Gradually beat in the sifted powdered sugar. Spread roughly over each cupcake, and then dust sparingly with cocoa, through a small sieve, so that they look like little cups of cappuccino.

Baked Goods in B2B: Experimental kiwi and coconut muffins

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Earlier this week my manager at work celebrated his birthday. Because the number of native North Americans now outnumbers the Scandinavians in our team, we have decided to follow our North American birthday traditions. In the US and Canada, the birthday boy/girl is feted by colleagues, often as a surprise. The colleagues come together and bring a cake, ice cream, sign a card, etc. In Iceland, and indeed here in Norway, the tradition is that you, on your birthday, bear the responsibility of providing some kind of treats for everyone! We North Americans find this incomprehensible. Why should you, celebrating a special day in your life (maybe even a depressing one if you’re hung up on aging) providing for others and making an effort? Without meaning to sound culturally insensitive and judgmental, it’s just backwards! Haha.

Thus, I decided to bake a few simple things. I made chocolate cake (the recipe was provided in this blog already), peanut butter cups, some soft, chewy chocolate cookies that were supposed to form a sandwich for a caramel filling (I ran out of time and energy and ended up making sandwiches using melted milk chocolate… not the same thing at all), and these kiwi-coconut muffins. I saw a recipe like this on a blog somewhere and decided to give it a try… it was unusual and they were all eaten in the end, but I do not actually know how they turned out.

KIWI-COCONUT MUFFINS

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C

2 finely diced kiwis (about 1 cup—use firm kiwis that will not add too much moisture to the mixture)
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 large egg and 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons orange blossom honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut

(3 tablespoons sweetened, shredded coconut can be used as topping, if desired. I did not use this.)

Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or put paper liners in the tins.

Peel and dice kiwis. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).

In another bowl, whisk coconut milk, melted butter, and eggs. Add the orange zest, honey, and vanilla extract, and whisk until just combined. Add to the flour mixture, and stir quickly until well combined. Fold in the kiwis and toasted coconut. Spoon the batter evenly into the molds.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with 3 tablespoons shredded coconut.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.