Monday, January 30, 2012

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello Beautiful!  I absolutely LOVE German chocolate anything!  It is the perfect combination... pecans, coconut and chocolate!  I saw a picture of something like this on pinterest but wanted to use all of my favorite components.  I LOVED how they turned out and will be skipping lunch so that I can justify having these multiple times today, is that wrong?  Oh well, who cares!  These are to good to pass up!

German Chocolate Cupcakes
(24 cupcakes)

My favorite recipe, I already posted it here! I made it with a chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding. Cool completely before frosting.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
(Recipe from my BFF Abby!  Here is the link)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

In a medium sauce pan, combine evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, but do NOT boil.  It should coat the back of the spoon.  Stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let the frosting cool for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2 heaping T cocoa powder
1 t vanilla
a pinch of salt
3-4 T of milk, or more until desired constancy

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove top over low heat until smooth.  Beat together all the ingredients until the frosting is smooth and whipped.  Start with the least amount of milk and add more as needed to desired constancy.

Using a pastry bag and frosting tip, pipe on a ring of chocolate buttercream frosting around the top of each cooled cupcake.  Fill the middle of the ring with a spoonful or two of the coconut-pecan frosting.  Store in a cool place to let the frosting set up a little.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dark Chocolate Cookies

When I first saw these on Pinterest, they had me at one glance!  But, I truly knew it was meant to be when I went to get out the ingredients and I had EXACTLY enough powdered sugar and just enough chocolate chips to make these!  We were meant for each other!  These are unlike any other cookie I have made.  I don't even have the words to express how I feel about these... they are divine, decadent, rich and heavenly!  They will satisfy a chocolate craving like this Double Chocolate Torte but with much less effort!  They have a little crunch on the outside but are soft and gooey on the inside! So there you have it, these just might be what you need for the love in your life for Valentine's day!

Dark Chocolate Cookies
(makes about 16-18 cookies)

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 T corn starch
1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray and set aside.  Melt one cup chocolate chips in the microwave or on your stove over low heat, until melted.  Cool slightly.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gradually beat in one cup powdered sugar until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream.  In another bowl whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt to blend.  On low speed, beat dry ingredients into egg whites mixture.  Stir in lukewarm melted chocolate and the last 1/2 cup chocolate chips. The dough will get very stiff.

Place 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a bowl.  Roll rounded Tablespoons of dough in powdered sugar and place on prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies puff up and cracks form on the tops, about 8-10 minutes.  Cool on sheets for 10 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orange Rolls (No Rise)

I LOVE Orange Rolls (you know me and citrus!). So when I found this recipe on Our Best Bites, I knew I had to try it!  They came together so fast and they are so totally yum!  They have a biscuit texture with orange roll flavor...seriously, they are addicting!  So the next time you want a sweet roll for breakfast with out the hassle of letting yeast dough rise, this is for you!

Orange Rolls (No Rise)
(makes 12 rolls)

For the dough:
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
4 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla
2 cups (9 oz.) flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda

4 T butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
zest from 1 orange (I used 2 Cuties mandarins)

2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 T melted butter
2 T orange juice (I juiced the two mandarins that I zested)

Preheat the oven to 400.  In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

Now, add the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (DO NOT over-process).  The dough will be very soft. Don't add any more flour!  Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times just until smooth.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Make it into a 12x15 rectangle.

Now put the filling on.  Spread the dough with the softened butter, sprinkle evenly with the sugar and the orange zest.  Roll the dough from the long side, making a long snake. Cut it into 12 equal parts and place into a greased pie pan.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.  While they are cooking, whisk together the glaze ingredients.  When the rolls come out of the oven, drizzle with the glaze.  Serve warm!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Saturdays at our house are usually pancake/waffle day but sometimes I just need to mix it up a little. And I NEEDED chocolate today (ok, I need Chocolate everyday!) But, at least this way, I could disguise it as breakfast!  These muffins are moist and delicious and who doesn't love banana and chocolate!

Chocolate Banana Muffins
(12 muffins)

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas, pureed (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 T butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease or line a muffin pan and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  In a medium bowl whisk together bananas, eggs, yogurt, butter and vanilla.  Mix the wet mixture into the dry by gently folding it with a rubber spatula.  Add chocolate chips, being careful to NOT over mix the batter.  Fill the muffin cups until almost full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, be careful to not over bake.  They are done when a toothpick comes out with some moist crumbs on it.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Favorite Lemon Bars

I usually don't start into my citrus kick until closer to Spring, but call it the SUPER mild winter we are having or the fact that I am just so giddy that this is my LAST Michigan winter, I have been craving lemon bars for a few weeks now.  I finally gave in and turned to THE BEST recipe I know for these! I know that I already have a lemon bar recipe on here but this one totally trumps the first one.  I thought about just replacing the other one but I was afraid that someone out there LOVES the other one and didn't want to take it away from them.  With that said, I would replace the other one in a heartbeat with this one.  The ratio of lemon to crust is perfect, the lemony flavor is perfect, the crispy crust is perfect.  I really just can't say enough about these!  So, hands down this is the recipe you want if you are craving lemon bars or Spring, or sunshine (because these literally scream sunshine to me!).  I got this recipe out of this cookbook (it is one of my favorites!)

Lemon Bars

2 cups flour
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 in pan. In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups flour, butter, powdered sugar and salt until crumbly.  Press the mixture into the prepared pan, making sure it is even.  Bake for 15 minutes until light brown on the edges.  In another medium bowl, Beat together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, 1/4 cup flour, and baking powder.  Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle.  You will know it is set as it will not jiggle.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool completely before serving.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Veggie Chowder

I found this recipe on this blog.  I was excited to try it, seeing as how my 6 year old keeps telling me he is vegetarian and doesn't even like chicken!  So, I LOVE finding soups that are full of good veggies and that he will eat!  This one did not disappoint and we will for sure be making it often.

Veggie Chowder
(6 servings)

2 T butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 T minced garlic
4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used about 8 small red potatoes with the skin on)
1 1/2 T flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté over Medium heat until the veggies are tender.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.  Add the broth and potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Mix flour with water and add to the soup. Simmer until the soup is slightly thickened.  Add milk and broccoli and cook until the broccoli is just tender.  Stir in the cheese until melted and then serve immediately.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Almond Roca

I have LOVED Almond Roca for as long as I can remember!  It is totally one of my favorite candies.  So, you can imagine how excited I was to come across this recipe.  But I was even more thrilled when it was easy, quick and OH SO GOOD! 

Almond Roca

3/4 cup toasted, chopped almonds*
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
6 oz (about 1 cup) milk chocolate chips

Butter a 7x11 inch pan.  Sprinkle half of the almonds on the bottom of the pan.  

In a heavy sauce pan, over medium high heat, melt the butter and then add the brown sugar.  Stir gently until boiling.  Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling until the temperature reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage).  The best is to use a candy thermometer, doing it with timing can be tricky, especially if this is your first time making this.  If it gets higher than 320 it will NOT remain solid.  

Pour the hot mixture over the almonds in the buttered pan.  Pour the chocolate chips over the top and let them sit for a minute or two to melt.  Once they are melty, use a spatula to spread them evenly over the top.  Sprinkle the remaining chopped almonds over the melted chocolate.  Let the whole thing cool until the chocolate has set.  Use a sharp knife to break the almond roca into pieces.  Store in an air tight container.

*to toast almonds spread them in a dry skillet and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to lightly brown and you can smell them.  Let them cool completely.  Toasting nuts gives them a much crunchier texture and a richer flavor.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

White Bread

I am usually a wheat bread kinda gal but today I just had this craving for good, comfort food, white bread.  The kind you pull out of the oven, cut into before it has cooled down, slather in butter to watch it melt into the bread and eat it while it is still steaming!  So, my search began!  I came across this recipe on this blog.  She had me at "Grandma".  You know if it is something that someone's Grandma made it is just going to be perfect!  Because that usually means that the recipe is not only tried and true but also taking it back to the basics.  No fancy, schmancy stuff.  And that is exactly what I got, and MAN was it good.  Just the stuff to satisfy my random craving! (And NO, I am NOT pregnant!)

White Bread
(6 loaves) I totally cut this recipe in half, so I just have 3!

2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
9 t salt (I cut this down to 8)
3/4 cup butter
6 cups warm water
4 T yeast
24 cups flour

Put the milk, sugar, butter and salt into a medium sauce pan.  Heat over Medium-high heat stirring constantly until the mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool down.

Put the warm water in a mixing bowl, add the yeast and a pinch of sugar.  Stir and allow to sit until the yeast starts to bubble (about 5 minutes).  Stir in the milk mixture.  Add half of the flour and mix until smooth.  Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Let rise in a warm, draft free place until it is double in size.  Punch down and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.  Shape into loaves and place into greased bread pans.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes (mine were done at 30 minutes) or until they are lightly browned and hallow sounding when you tap the top.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  It is a crockpot recipe but I just adapted it to stove top. I also changed it a bit to my liking.  I was so good!  A deep, rich, creamy tomato soup!  LOVE it!

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup
(4 servings)

1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1-2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 t dried oregano, or 1/2 T fresh
1/2 T dried basil, or 2 T fresh, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup half and half, warmed
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy soup pot, saute celery, carrots and onion in olive oil until softened. Add tomatoes, oregano and basil and stir. Add 2 cups of the broth and the bay leaf.  Let this simmer until the veggies are cooked and soft.  Once they are soft, remove the bay leaf and puree with a submersion blender or in a food processor until smooth.  Return to the pot and in another pan prepare a roux.  Melt the butter in a small pan.  Add the flour and whisk for about 3-5 minutes.  Add the last cup of broth to the roux and then add it into the soup. Stir and add the grated Parmesan, warmed half and half, and salt and pepper to taste.  Let this simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors.  Serve with a little more Parmesan sprinkled over the top!  Would be great served with grilled cheese or these croutons!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...