Tag Archives: recipes

Thanksgiving 2012

8 Jan

Thanksgiving in my family is a pretty epic event.  There are about 40 people every year, and we bring pretty much the same dishes ever year. I love the traditions and I love the food.  We’re one of those few families that actually get along and it’s the day I look forward to most every year.  

And even though we walk to the train station (through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade) and take a train, I still can’t resist baking up a storm.  I last blogged about our Thanksgiving in 2009, but I realized that there are a few recipes that I consider classic to my repertoire that I haven’t yet blogged about.  Also, 2012 was the year of the Brownie Battle.

Thanksgiving is also a time of experiment for me. While I bring a lot of the same things, in the weeks prior I try to refine them and make them better, and I try to bring something new each year.

My peanut butter cups are pretty much set in stone at this point, but I did have an accidental experiment when a drop of water splashed into my chocolate cups. They always warn you that water is melted chocolate’s worst enemy. But here I had some side-by-side proof.  Check out the consistency of the one cup that got a single drop of water (center of the shot) versus the rest.

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And Thanksgiving also happens to be a time when I am very thankful for my KitchenAid (Thanks again, Mikey! Best gift ever!) One of my favorite moments is when the chocolate hits the batter and makes perty swirls.

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I have been making a family brownie recipe for years (from my Grandmother’s recipe folio) that was noted as being from my (totally awesome and inspiring) great Aunt Dinah (who is currently in her late 90s, but you would never believe it).  I actually made the one’s from Grandma’s recipe when I was on the Wendy Williams show, and you can find that recipe on the Wendy site.

I always assumed that the recipes were the same, but my cousin (Dinah’s granddaughter) noticed some differences between our recipes.  So… what else to do besides an epic Brownie Battle?

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I put a sprinkle on Grandma’s recipe to differentiate, but turns out the color and texture were different enough to be able to tell.

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Aunt Dinah’s was a bit fluffier and fudgier. And while I love Grandma’s recipe, Aunt Dinah’s recipe won hands down (recipe at the end of this post).

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I also made my Drunk N’ Nutty Pie, but I have refined it a bit and replaced the chestnuts with pecans (for texture, added after the slow cook but before the crumb topping).

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I could eat this filling with a spoon! Slow cooked apples and cranberries in red wine. SOOO good. And such a beautiful scarlet color.

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I also changed out the crumb topping for a new blend and cooked it a bit longer (until the top browned, about an hour) at a lower temperature (350 degrees) to get it a little crisper. The new topping is simple to remember:  1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 stick unsalted butter cut into 4 or five chunks, and 1 cup pecan halves. Pulse a few times in the processor to make a coarse meal.  I definitely liked this new topping even more!

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And then there are the meringue kisses.  I absolutely love these and they are a family favorite. My grandmother used to make them, and I took them over for Thanksgiving to make sure they would always be around.  They sit in the oven overnight (which made for some fun times the next morning when I preheated the oven and forgot they were there… but luckily only lost one tray and not all!) This recipe also at the end of this post and I also posted about how NOT to make them and did a tutorial on making meringue in a vlog. The vlog is instructions how to make a meringue torte, but the same principles apply to the cookies, just with different ingredients and ratios.

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So we schlepped peanut butter cups, Drunk N Nutty pie, meringue kisses, two sets of brownies, apple cider salted caramels, and Mike’s famous butternut squash souffle up to White Plains.

My dad’s cousins host every year, and they always set a beautiful table and we all get name markers.  The rule of Thanksgiving is that if you bring a date (which must be approved by Dinah, by the way), you get to sit with them during year 1, but after that, they’re on their own.  

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And my cousin Eric and Aunt Linda are our expert turkey carvers each year.

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Mike was kind enough to go in early and grab a turkey leg for me. (Awww)

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And the dessert table always just looks like something to dive into, mouth first.

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Here is the final Drunk N’ Nutty pie:

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And brownies.

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And meringues with other brownies.

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And the peanut butter cups.

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 With my cousin adding a sign to remind the family that these were famous peanut butter cups.

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And the final apple cider salted caramels (with a spice cake behind that my aunt made). (IT”S JUST ALL SO GOOD!)

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The day after Thanksgiving every year, we have a leftovers party at my dad’s house in New Jersey. We invite our friends and ask everyone to just bring some leftovers for everyone to share. It’s a great gathering and I look forward to this every year (almost as much as Thanksgiving itself).  And every year I make a cider recipe that is an absolute crowd pleaser.

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And my favorite breakfast the day after: leftover sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top!

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Gosh I just love Thanksgiving!!!

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RECIPES
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Aunt Dinah’s Winning Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 stick margarine (softened)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (it used to be 2 cups, but at some point in history it was changed)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened or bitter Baker’s chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Melt 4 ounces unsweetened or bitter Baker’s chocolate.
  2. Mix together 1 stick butter, 1 stick of margarine, 1 3/4 cups sugar.
  3. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beat well after each egg.
  4. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the sugar/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Add 1 cup four, 1/4 cup at a time.
  6. Add a pinch of salt.
  7. Add 3/4 cup (or 1 cup) of walnuts.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees. (The recipe says for 18-20 minutes, but it took me 25-30 each time, so just bake it until a toothpick comes out clean)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

  • Good quality chocolate (I like Ghiradelli and frequently make milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate versions to please everyone’s pallettes) 
  • Creamy Peanut butter – 1/2 cup
  • Salted butter- 1 stick melted
  • Confectioners Sugar- 1 & 1/3 cups
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs – 1 cup

Directions:

  1. Prepare either mini candy cup molds (these are my favorite and I use them for all sorts of things) or cupcake liners (full size, cut down in about half)
  2. Melt chocolate and pour half into prepared molds (you can use your finger to spiral it up the sides of the cups so it makes a mini dish)
  3. Put these in the fridge until hardened
  4. Combine the peanut butter, butter, confectioners sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in a mixer until blended
  5. Put peanut butter mixture into the chocolate cups (Only put in enough peanut butter mixture so they are below the top level. You can smooth out the top of the chocolate with a bench scraper or knife)
  6. Top cups with the other half of the melted chocolate and put into refrigerator until set
  7. Pop out and try not to each all of them in one sitting (but I will totally understand if you do)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meringue Kisses

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites (room temperature)
  • pinch of cream of tarter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 350
  2. Beat egg whites until frothy
  3. Add pinch of cream of tarter and salt and beat until stiff
  4. Add sugar 1 tsp at a time
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. Slowly add vanilla
  7. Put cookies on silpat
  8. Turn off oven and leave off over night
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Apple Cider Salted Caramels from SmittenKitchen

3 Jan

One of my favorite food blogs is SmittenKitchen. Her recipes are great and she does a great job of describing how to make certain things. Also, I find her recipes pretty crowd pleasing so I usually go to her site first when it comes to baking.  She released a book recently and when asked to pick out her favorite recipe, she managed to point to her Apple Cider Salted Caramels.

I read the post during Hurricane Sandy (while we somehow got insanely lucky and kept our power) and knew immediately I had to try this recipe. I love salted caramels and I love apple cider. This sounded like everything wonderful about fall.

So the day after the storm, I put on my boots and went a few blocks away to the grocery store in search of cider. By some odd fortune, there was one, single carton of cider left… laying down on an empty shelf.

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The recipe is actually incredibly easy. I know that a lot of people are intimidated by caramels and making candy, but it really just comes down to a bit of patience and a good thermometer.

I put mine into a silicon baking dish and they came out perfectly.

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I sprinkled some flake salt on top of mine as well.

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And I used my bench scraper to cut them into perfect squares.

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And managed to get through the cutting only eating one… 

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But these little nuggets of heaven didn’t last long as I rolled them in parchment paper.  I think I ate almost half during the next hour.  They were freakin’ amazing. 

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And they got accolades from my office. Perfect little candies.

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I made them a second time and I think that the cider I used impacted the final texture.  It just refused to reduce to the same syrupy consistency of the first time, even after I cooked it for twice as long.  I went with it, and they still tasted GREAT, but they were a bit stickier and harder to handle.  I had to keep them in the fridge just to make sure they could be peeled from the wrappers.  But still… delicious.

The recipe specifically says to use unpasteurized cider, but I couldn’t find that, so both times I used pasteurized cider that was in the refrigerated section.  I’ll have to try a few more times (damn!) The first time around I used Red Jacket cider, so if you find that, I’d scoop it up for this recipe.

This recipe is going straight into the KEEPER section.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups

18 Sep

I am a huge fan of Pinterest.  I have posted my favorite recipes and restaurants, as well as recipes I want to try. And don’t even get me started on how much of my wedding I have been pinning!

One recipe I stumbled on was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups.  My homemade peanut butter cups are pretty well known and the idea of making cookie dough cups seemed pretty awesome.

You start by heating butter until milted and then stir in brown sugar, then remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter.

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I whisked in the vanilla and it looked pretty liquidy.

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But after the 20 minutes of cooling, it firmed up nicely, just like dough.  And I added the chocolate chips (mini chips would be best for this).

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While it cooled, I lined my most favoritist cup molds with chocolate.  I have found an even faster way to do this by putting just the right amount of chocolate chips (6 small or 4 big) into each cup and then putting that in the microwave until it just melts. Then using my finger to spread it around and up the sides. SO simple!

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Once the dough was cool, I rolled it up into little balls.

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And placed each ball into a cup.

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The pushed each ball down so it was flat and just below the top.

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At this point I melted more chocolate, placed a dollop on top of each cup, and then tamped it down so it created the top of the cup.  When you bought into it, you could see a perfect dough filled chocolate cup.  I am explaining this to you because I was too busy eating these suckers to take a picture. WHOOPS!

I really liked these, but they were just too close to the peanut butter cups (and not quite as good) to make it into the usual repertoire.  I made these again the following week and did it without the peanut butter.  I kept adjusting the recipe until it tasted more like cookie dough (including adding flour to get the consistency right) and it was DAMN good.  That version may make it… we’ll see.

Here is the recipe that connects from Pinterest.

Cream Puffs

30 Aug

I really love when Mike comes home and says “You know… my coworker says they really love ______.”  And then suddenly I find myself searching for recipes and Mike finds himself lugging lots of tupperware into his office.  I love a good baking challenge.  So when a love for cream puffs was mentioned, I began scratching my head.

Aren’t cream puffs really hard to bake?

As it turns out… NO… Not even a little bit!

I scoured AllRecipes.com and eventually landed on this recipe. I was skeptical how vanilla instant pudding would work out, and while it felt a bit like cheating, the rave reviews about it made me try it out.

The dough is actually started in a pot on the stove. Water, butter, flour, salt. 

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And then put into a mixer and beat in the eggs.

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It made a perfectly thick dough, which I then dropped by the spoonful onto a silpat and baked.

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I was so excited when I opened up the oven and there were perfect little puffs.

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The recipe says to slice the tops off, put the filling in the middle, and then put the sliced top back on.  But I wanted to fill these little beautiful puffs.

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I first tried the old “Put it in a ziplock and cut off the corner” piping method, but the bag was just too soft to get into the cream puff in any sane way.

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So I began to look around the apartment for something to make it easier (and also allow Mike to take it into the work and do it there, so it didn’t get soggy).

Then I remembered my trusty little squeeze bottles.  I don’t know what I ever did before these babies!

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So all you do is flip it over, put the spout into the bottom of the puff, and squeeze until full. There is a hollow space in the puff and it works like a charm.

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And when you popped them open, they were flaky yet doughy and tender puffs with a crispy shell and great filling.  It was a really awesome recipe.

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These were so easy to make, that I would easily do these for any dinner party. They are impressive without being time consuming. And I was impressed that they lasted overnight and that Mike could fill them the following day.

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RECIPE
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Ingredients

  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  •  
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Directions

  1. Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
  5. When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-puffs/detail.aspx

Homemade Chocolate Mousse

24 Apr

Certain recipes instantly go into the “filed for life” box.  This is one of them.

I love chocolate mousse when it’s good. But so many times it’s just not.  It’s not chocolaty enough or it’s gritty or it’s sickeningly sweet.  This mousse is just perfect. And much easier to make than I anticipated.

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com. Step one: whip cream to form light peaks.  You would think that I have done enough homemade schlag in the past to know better than to leave the mixer unattended while whipping, but alas, I wound up with some stiffer peaks than I anticipated. Luckily, this didn’t impact the recipe from what I could taste.

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This recipe especially caught my eye because Ghirardelli is my favorite chocolate to bake with. Hands down, changing to these chips made every recipe better. Every time I run out and use Nestle’s or Hershey’s, the taste difference is noticeable and if I’m making anything with melted chocolate, these cheaper brands just don’t temper as well, come out as smooth and uniform, nor taste anywhere near as good.  Lesson for anyone new to chocolate: Spend the extra $1 on the good chocolate chips. It’s worth it. Case in point, these melted perfectly smoothly in my double boiler (metal bowl placed on top of a pot with simmering water… hint: make sure the bowl is bigger than the pot so steam doesn’t work it’s way out of the pot and into your chocolate).

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AllRecipes is my favorite recipe site because of the dedicated readers who leave comments on the recipes. Thank goodness for them!  While certain times I don’t follow their advice and end up with a mess, this time, they guided me in the right direction, because while the recipe calls for 4 eggs, they really meant 4 egg WHITES.  Big difference.  The egg whites fluffed up perfectly with the sugar.

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I think the next ingredient is where this recipe really takes on a new level.  1/4 cup of coffee added to the recipe gave it a richer flavor that also countered some of the sweetness without making it taste less chocolaty.  A few people mentioned that they left out the coffee and regretted it later.

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You stir the coffee into the chocolate and then quickly add the eggs and fold in the whipped cream. I was nervous that the chocolate would bind upon adding the coffee (chocolate basically turns into an ugly mess when it’s mixed with water), but working quickly left me with a perfectly smooth and delicious mousse.

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Any elegant chef might pour these into a martini glass or mason jar to present, but I had to make them transportable to offices, so I went with Dixie cups.  Keepin’ it classy.

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I also wanted to top each with whipped cream, but whipped cream won’t stay fluffed overnight, so I added a tiny bit of gelatin to my whipped cream for the first time to stabilize it and, surprisingly, it worked. And it still tasted great.

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This recipe was perfectly delicious and surprisingly easy to make. I highly recommend this as a crowd pleaser (and impresser!)

Ghirardelli Chocolate Mousse
 
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Ghirardelli®
Servings: 8
“Serve this simple chocolate mousse in a martini glass for a fancy presentation. A dollop of whip cream adds an elegant touch.”
INGREDIENTS:
10 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao
Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup coffee, hot
4 eggs, room temperature (JUST THE WHITES!)
2 tablespoons sugar
DIRECTIONS:
1. Whip the cream to form light peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. Melt the chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl set over barely simmering water. Meanwhile, whip the eggs with the sugar until very fluffy and thick, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir the hot coffee into the melted chocolate chips. The mixture will start to thicken, so work quickly. Quickly stir in the beaten eggs, then fold in the whipped cream. Pour or spoon mixture into cups or bowls, and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2012 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 4/22/2012

Recipes with Homemade Bread: Grilled Cheese and French Toast

17 Apr

It was very exciting to have finally successfully made bread.  We gave one loaf away to friends, but that still left us with more bread that we could eat between the 2 of us.  So… it was time to come up with some meals that included bread.  Which led me directly to grilled cheese and French toast.

Grilled cheese was up first.  I browned some shallots in butter first.

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Then I sliced some apples very thin and layered it up with Gruyere and the shallots and placed each sandwich in a pan with hot butter to brown up.

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The bread was browning but the cheese wasn’t quite melting  yet… so I turned the heat down and let ’em melt.

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And melt they did.  

Boy were these good!  The sharp cheese combined with the sweet apples and shallots made for an incredible grilled cheese sammie.  The homemade bread browned up nicely and maintained a crunch on the outside with some fluff on the inside.

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Next morning it was French toast time.  I actually realized that I hadn’t made French toast in quite some time, and really didn’t remember exactly what to do.  One thing I always disliked about French toast at restaurants is when it is nicely browned on the outside  but still tastes like normal bread on the inside.  I decided that if I really buried these slices in the egg and cinnamon mixture and left it for a while to absorb, that should do the trick.  Problem is, the bread was so fresh and fluffy that it started to fall apart.  Damn.  Had to just make do.

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They browned up really nicely and tasted great… on the outside.

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The inside was still lacking in the flavor… so I vowed to learn a better way.

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It was just a few days later that I saw a perfect “How To” from America’s Test Kitchen. Turns out, if you bake the bread first to dry it out, that solves the problem that I saw and helps it absorb the right amount but not be soggy. (Here is their recipe)

Next time!

Sludge Fudge

22 Mar

For my coworkers birthdays, I have sent surveys to ask for their favorite desserts.  My one coworker said “anything with raspberries and chocolate” so I went about trying to find a fun recipe that included both.  I was surfing through allrecipes.com and came upon a beautiful looking chocolate and raspberry layered fudge recipe

It started out pretty good… made some easy chocolate fudge and layered it on the botton… then made some of the raspberry fudge and layered it on top, then topped it with raspberries. 

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It sure looked pretty.

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That is… until I tried to get it out.

Turns out, the top layer didn’t actually set up.  It was basically raspberry mush… and it caused what can only be defined as “goop” to spread all over the fudge below as soon as I cut into it.

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Don’t get me wrong, it still tasted DEElicious, but it was a sloppy, gooey, sticky mess.

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The notes on the recipe said that a lot of people had this issue, and I should have listened.  Only a few people had issues, so I figured they screwed up and if I followed the recipe pretty closely, I’d be fine.  Wrong.  It didn’t seem that the ratios between the chocolate fudge and the raspberry fudge were that different, but white chocolate does act very differently.  I would make this again, but with more white chocolate and no cream, and perhaps some gelatin.

 

________________________
RECIPE
________________________

 

Raspberry Truffle Fudge

 
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Leeza
Photo By: littlemisscook
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Servings: 40
“A unforgettable double-layer confection that’s absolutely perfect for your true love!”
Ingredients:
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
salt to taste
 
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup raspberry flavored liqueur
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (substitite white chocolate to get the top layer to be pink)
Directions:
1. Spray a 9×9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray, and line with wax paper.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 3 cups chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Heat in microwave until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let it scorch. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Spread into pan, and cool to room temperature.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine cream, liqueur, and 2 cups chocolate chips. Heat in microwave until the chocolate melts; stir until smooth. Cool to lukewarm, then pour over the fudge layer. Refrigerate until both layers are completely set, about 1 hour. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2012 Allrecipes.com Copied from Allrecipes.com 3/18/2012

I made bread!

24 Jan

Two years ago, I epically failed at making bread. I went into it with such gusto… but it was so traumatic that it took a full 2 years for me to pull up the courage to try again.

I received a recipe that my friend Lillian had been using for years.  By the time I put all the dough together and kneaded, I wound up with a perfect ball of dough.  A much better state than the one from 2 years ago at this point.

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And then I left for a bit and came back the requested 1 hour later and was overjoyed to see my dough had risen SO MUCH that it was playing pic-a-boo under my dish towel.

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Now that was SOME rise!

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I pulled it out and took out some aggression by punching it in the face. (And while you’re there… LIKE NYC Nom Nom on Facebook!)

I then split it into 2 loaf pans and one mini loaf pan.

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And since I just can’t 100% follow a recipe without adding something to it… I painted the top of olive oil and then added flake salt to the top of the mini loaf.

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And when it came out of the oven, I was ecstatic.  Not only did it LOOK like bread… it SMELLED like bread!

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And it’s hard to resist a wee loaf.

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The bigger loafs also… amazingly… both LOOKED and SMELLED like bread.  It was so satisfying! (So satisfying, in fact, that I debated not cutting into it just in case I screwed something up)

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But cut into it we did and it sliced up perfectly.

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And then we ate it with homemade jam…

And it was good.

Damn good.

It was BREAD! Real bread!

And I made it.

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RECIPE
_______________________

Homemade White Bread from Lillian (original source unknown)

INGREDIENTS:
7 1/4 to 7 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon nonfat dry-milk powder (they sell this in big packets in big boxes)
2 packages active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups water
1/3 cups shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the bread flour, the nonfat milk powder and yeast; set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat and stir water, shortening, sugar and salt until just warm and shortening almost melts (I actually got nervous because I know temperature is important for yeast, so I looked it up and found this handy dandy chart. I realized my water was WAY too hot already, so I pulled it and let it cool down to below 130°)
  • Add water mixture to the dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.
  • Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that’s smooth and elastic (8-9 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface of the dough. Cover and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (45-60 minutes)
  • Punch dough down.
  • Turn out again onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 or 3 equal portions.
  • Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, lightly grease two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans or three 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.
  • Shape each portion of dough into a loaf by rolling on a lightly floured surface into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from the short side. Seal with fingertips as you roll.
  • Place into prepared loaf pans.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (20-30 minutes).  (Mine didn’t really rise MUCH more, I guess because it rose SO much in the first round, but it turned out just fine)
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap the top with your finger. (My mini loaf took about 20 minutes total)
  • Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.

YIELD: 2 or 3 loaves

Best Recipes of 2011

29 Dec

As I reflected on the past year and searched for recipes, I realized a very important thing about 2011… we didn’t cook NEARLY as much as we did the years prior (2010 best recipes here) or at least didn’t post as many recipes.  And almost everything I cooked was of the dessert variety. Hmmm… Reflection is 20/20.

So without further ado… please enjoy my favorites of 2011:

Pancakes

Bailey’s Frosting

Fudged Fudge

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

The Famous Cider

Strawberry Shortcake

Salted Caramels

Grandma’s Plum Tart

Homemade Popovers

Drunk ‘N Nutty Pie

Happy Nomming!

“What do I make for my Cookie Exchange?” (AKA The Big Dessert Post) – 2011 Update

12 Dec

#1 question that is coming up right now:

“What should I make for my cookie exchange?”

(Funny story… I have never been to a cookie exchange. I do love the concept… trading recipes and eating cookies does sound particularly awesome.  Perhaps I shall host one next year!)

In honor of the holidays… here is a selection of options that I have blogged about in the past that are great for a cookie exchange (with some 2011 updates):


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars/Cups (cups recipe at bottom of post)

Black and White Cookies

“O” Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cake Balls (they’re almost a cookie)

Homemade Crunchie Bars AKA Chocolate Covered Honeycomb (also not quite a cookie, but I think candy can count for an Exchange)

Chocolate Coffered Toffee with Salt (Candies for Cookies)

 

2011 Update:

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

 

Chestnut Cookies

 

Homemade Salted Caramels (this photo was done in a mold and topped with chocolate)

 

Faux Fudge:

 

Meringue Mini Pies

 

Not into cookies/candies but still need a good dessert?


Peach and Pear Crumble

Key Lime Pie

Pie Variation #1 (Apple, with detailed instructions on making pie crust)

Pie Variation #2 (Cranberry Apple Pie- Prepared Crust)

Berry Belt Cake

 

2011 additions:

Grandma’s Plum Torte

Pumpkin Cheesecake: (and how to water-bathe it)

Drunk ‘N Nutty Pie

Strawberry Shortcake

Confetti Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting

 

If anyone does use any of these recipes for an Exchange, just give them this blog URL and ask them to tell all their friends!  K? 🙂

I will continue to add to this post as I post more dessert recipes.  So bookmark it or find it in the “Best of the Best” tab on the title bar.