Saturday, March 8, 2014

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats with Chocolate Ganache Topping



Is there anything better than a cereal treat? They are hands down some of the easiest and most favorite treat/dessert that I make. Throw in a little browned butter, peanut butter cups and chocolate and you have created a decadent, delicious treat!



Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats with Ganache Frosting.

Ingredients:

10 oz bag of marshmallows
1 stick of browned butter
5 cups of Rice Krispie cereal

1 cup of peanut butter melted
1 bag of peanut butter cup mini's

8 oz bag of chocolate chips
1 cup of heavy cream

Directions:

Prepare 8 x8" pan with cooking spray. Melt butter in a small pan over low to medium heat. Once melted watch the butter and stir until the butter foams and turns brown. Be very careful it burns easily.
Add the marshmallows to the browned butter and stir until melted. Add the rice krispie cereal and stir until combined. Then pour and press into the prepared pan. While warm sprinkle the top with the mini-peanut butter cups. 
In a small bowl add peanut butter and melt in the microwave, about 30-50 seconds. Pour the peanut butter over the mini-peanut butter cups then set pan aside.
Pour chocolate chips into a bowl and set aside. In a small pan over low heat warm the heavy cream until small bubbles appear around the edges.  Then pour cream over the chocolate chips, wait a few minutes until the cream melts the chips and then whisk until smooth, pour mixture over the cereal treats and smooth out. Then refrigerate for a least 30 minutes, cut and enjoy!




The nutty flavor of the browned butter, the creamy marshmallows and crispy cereal combined with the peanut nut butter and chocolate... Frankly there are no words to tell you how good these are, they are a little like Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and an Outrageous candy bar combined. 


Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mocha Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows



Although it is February the winter winds are still howling here.  In fact it seems as if they will never end. Today will be another day filled with snow and cold, not to mention bone chilling wind chills. Although I would love to stay inside that is not going to be an option today. 



But a nice mug of cocoa will be a warm welcome when I return.

Mocha Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 cup instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of water

3  cups of milk
1 cup of half and half

Topping
marshmallows

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan, except milk and half and half. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until cocoa is dissolved and the mixture is a paste. Slowly add the milk and half and half, whisking until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, do not boil. Pour into glasses and top with marshmallows. 



Enjoy!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine Peanut Butter Heart Thumbprint Cookies



Valentine's day is all about love and what better way to show someone that you love them than baking a sweet treat for them?

These soft, buttery cookies with a peanut butter cup center are a perfect way to celebrate the people you love. 



Peanut Butter Heart Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons of butter softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups of flour
1 scant cup of cornstarch, not a full cup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
20 Hershey's Kisses or Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment cream together 2 sticks of butter and sugar. In a separate bowl sift together flour and cornstarch add salt and stir. Add the dry ingredients and the vanilla to the bowl and mix on high speed until combined, if mixture seems crumbly add extra tablespoons of butter.

Form dough into a ball and wrap with plastic, then refrigerate for minimum 20 minutes or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 325, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into balls and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Then use either your thumb or a glass to flatten cookie. Bake cookie for 15-20 minuets or until golden around the edges. I recommend checking after 10 minutes and then keeping an eye on them. Remove cookies from oven and let sit for one minute. Then place an unwrapped kiss or peanut butter heart in the center. Cool and enjoy.

Note: I was not paying attention and my cookies browned more than I wanted around the edges. 



Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jacques Torres The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever



I LOVE chocolate chip cookies! Each time I make them or eat then hot from the oven I am transported back  to so many special days baking in the kitchen with my mom and my siblings. The chocolate chip cookies of my childhood were Toll House and don;t get me wrong I enjoy them tremendously but am always looking for something new and different. These cookies fit the bill, after all they were invented by "Mr. Chocolate" Jacques Torres



First let me warn you that if you are the kind of person that is looking for instant gratification from a recipe this is not the one for you, unless your gratification comes from eating the raw dough. I do not recommend that but I will not lie to you I probably eat as much of the raw dough as I do the cookies.




The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie EVER
Recipe adapted from Jacques Torres

Ingredients:
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
12/3 cup bread flour
11/4 teaspoon baking soda
11/4 teaspoons baking powder
11/2 teaspoon course salt
21/2 sticks of softened butter
11/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
11/4 lbs of chocolate chunks(I used 60% Ghiradelli and Guittard mixed)

Sea salt for garnish

In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking soda and salt, whisk well and then set aside. 

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Then add eggs one at a time mixing well after each one. Add vanilla bean paste and mix well. Reduce speed of the mixer to low and carefully add the dry ingredients, mix until just combined about 10 -15 seconds. DO not turn the mixer on high you will have flour everywhere. Mix in the chocolate chips then refrigerate the dough for 24-36 hours. 

When ready to bake remove bowl from refrigerator and let sit for a few minutes to soften the dough a bit. Preheat oven to 350, line baking sheet with a Silphat or parchment paper. Set aside. Scoop  out dough into golf ball sized mounds and space evenly on baking sheet, sprinkle each with sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown but still soft. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and cool on a rack.

NOTE: I baked mine at 375 for 10-12 minutes because I was impatient and they came out fabulous!




These cookies are crunchy on the outside with a toffee like base, gooey on the inside and scrumptious! I have made them 3 times this week and given them to friends who all declared them to be "the best cookie ever."



Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

National Chocolate Cake Day



I love a holiday and if it includes chocolate even more so. Today is National Chocolate Cake Day, yes there is such a day as well as National Cream Puff Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and more.




To celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day I made a scrumptious Chocolate Banana Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting. 



Recipe from The Joy of Baking

2 cups of white sugar
13/4 cup flour
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
11/2 tsp. baking powder
11/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana( about 2-3 bananas)
1 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of milk 
1/2 cup of oil(canola, safflower, corn)
1/12 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl whisk the eggs, bananas, water, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisked until combined. Pour batter into prepared 9 x 13 inch prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. 

Let cool and then frost

From the Savory Sweet Life

2 sticks of unsalted butter softened
31/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt 
2 tsp. vanilla
4 tablespoons of heavy cream

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar, salt  and the cocoa powder and mix on LOW until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium high and add vanilla and heavy cream until desired spreading consistency.




Did you make anything for National Chocolate Cake Day? If so please share you recipe I would love to try it. 

Have a great week. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Homemade Hot Chocolate



Winter is typically one of my favorite times of the year. I love the snow, snow shoeing, long days and lots of time to relax and read by the fire. But this year the bone chilling cold is getting me down.




To combat the winter blues I have been drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate and this morning is no different. After all what could be better after shoveling than a piping hot cup of chocolaty goodness?




Homemade Hot Chocolate
Serves 4

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 oz. 60% dark chocolate
3 oz. 70% dark chocolate
2 oz. milk chocolate
3 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan bring milk and cream to a low simmer, over a medium to high heat. Do not scald the milk. Chop chocolate into small pieces. Once milk is warm add the sugar and salt and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Mix until combined and then serve. You can add whipped cream, marshmallows or whatever else you like as a garnish or serve it plain.




This is my standard recipe, the only variation is the percentage of chocolate depending on what is in my cabinet. Sometimes I have more dark that milk, other times I use all dark and just add a touch more sugar. 

Do you have a favorite hot chocolate recipe? I would love for you to share a like if you do or just write it in the comment section. 

I hope that you stay warm and have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Magic Bars



Magic Bars are one of my favorite desserts to make, they are perfect right out of the oven, or paired with vanilla ice cream and fudge topping. 




They are also one of the most versatile bars that you can make because you can basically add any kinds of chips, candy bars, nuts, fruits, or toppings and have the perfect dessert.




After the holidays I ended up with a few bags of mini candy bars, Kit-Kat's, and Peanut Butter cups among them; and as chocolate and peanut butter are one of my favorite combinations I thought they would make the  the perfect Magic Bar. I was correct, they are perfect. These bars are chocolaty, with a hint of peanut butter, a little crunchy and buttery sweet from the graham crackers and condensed milk. 





Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Magic Bars


1/2 cup melted butter

11/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

1 can of Eagle brand condensed milk

3 cups if chopped candy bars, Kit-Kats, Peanut Butter Cups




Heat oven to 350. Melt butter and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Mix in graham cracker crumbs. Pour condensed milk over the crumbs and then layer the remaining ingredients evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool.






Tell me, do you have a Magic Bar combination that you enjoy? Are you a traditionalist or do you experiment with different combinations of chocolate, coconut and nuts? Please share your favorite and if you try this one come back and let me know what you thought of it. 


Linking to:
Stone Gable