Individual Homemade Pizzas

Friday, June 11, 2010

Last night I was kind of wiped out from a long day, and just didn't feel like pulling too much together in terms of dinner.  I decided to make some individual homemade pizzas.  They're quick and easy, and when you make individual ones, everyone gets to customize them to their own taste, so they're a crowd-pleaser.

I started with some dough from a batch I had previously mixed up (a very basic flour, water and yeast recipe).  After I let it proof a little, I rolled out the individual crusts and pre-baked them in a 475 degree oven for 4 minutes each.

From there, I loaded up with sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and some fresh oregano and fresh basil from my container garden.  Threw them back in the oven, with the temperature nudged back down to 450, for about 7-8 minutes each.

Sadly, there is no "baked" picture to share with you; the batteries in my digital camera died just as I was trying to take the final picture, and I just didn't feel like waiting for them to charge before I could eat!

Again, very simple meal, but good for those nights that you just don't have the time (or energy) to get to fancy or creative.

This weekend I plan to create a small baking storm; keep an eye out for the results :)

Quick and easy (tasty, too!) brownies

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last night there was a craving for something sweet in the air, and considering that I'm always in a baking mood, I decided to whip up some brownies to satisfy that craving (hey, can't let a sweet tooth go untreated, right?).  I had also been wanting to try something new, so after reading through multiple brownie recipes, I settled on a slightly modified version of Brooke's Best Brownies from  The best part was all the ingredients were already in the pantry, so no need for a quick run to the store.

They turned out to be quite tasty - nice and fudgy with a slightly-crackle top.

I started out melting the butter in my Classic Batter Bowl (I am a Pampered Chef junkie from way back) to minimize the dishes.

 Then I added in the sugar and vanilla and mixed (by hand) until combined.

Then, using a whisk, I incorporated the eggs one at a time

until well blended.  Next, I whisked together the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl

I then slowly poured the sugar mixture into the flour mixture, stirring with a spatula, until all ingredients were combined (but not over-mixed)

From there, I poured the batter into a lightly greased 9x13" pan, spread to the edges

 and baked.  Fortunately they don't take too long to bake, because that scent wafting through the place was almost too much to bear!  The finished product was worth it, though

 The original recipe I used as the basis for this were called "Best", and I don't know that these are the best brownies I've ever tasted in my life; they're a fairly basic recipe.  But what they definitely WERE, were fudgy, yummy, chocolaty, mouthfuls of goodness.  And they definitely hit the spot.

Here's my tweak on the recipe:
1 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 T vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt

1) Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.
2) Combine the melted butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until well-blended.
3) Whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt in separate large bowl.  Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the flour mixture, stirring well to fully incorporate the ingredients, without over-beating.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
4) Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool before cutting (if you can wait that long, and let's be honest - who can?)

Again, these are fairly basic brownies, but that's kind of what is so great about them.  In about 40 minutes from start to finish, you'll have tasty homemade brownies to share with your family.  Or not to share; don't worry, I won't tell if you don't!

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