Winter Treats

Hello everyone! First, let me start by saying, I hope you had an amazing Christmas if you celebrate! A friend of mine and I made some nice festive treats the other day which I thought I would share.

The first thing we made was, Hot Chocolate Stirrers. If you would like to look at a recipe you can click here. We got the idea from one of my Christmas presents, which was a cook book called Sprinkles!

20131227-144750.jpg

The next thing we made were Butter Glazed Nutmeg Mounds. We got the idea for these from my friends recipe book called, The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book. It seems like a great book. If you would like to check that out, the recipe is in there.

20131227-145117.jpg

The last thing we made was Peppermint Bark. I love peppermint bark and we decided to make it a little bit differently. Some of our pieces of “bark” had peppermint and others had coconuts or other treats. They were an experiment and it turned out well.

20131227-145350.jpg

Everything was pretty tasty and I especially think the hot chocolate stirrers are an interesting idea!
I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Brownie Muffins!

20131008-141734.jpg
Hey everybody! After asking my class what they wanted me to make for them, I was surprised by the amount of requests for brownies. I wasn’t exactly sure about it because brownies were pretty simple. However, they are also delicious and I needed a new brownie recipe! So, with the help of a classmate, I decided to make brownie muffins. They were very tasty and I recommend them, here is the recipe:

20131008-141827.jpg
Ingredients (Please note, the recipe makes mini muffins and I doubled it to make 16 regular sized muffins)

1 cup white sugar
½ teaspoon Almond extract (I used vanilla extract)
½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup butter – melted
Icing Sugar – for sprinkling

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
Place mini muffin cups inside mini muffin baking pan
Melt butter and set aside
Mix the rest of the ingredients together and then add the melted butter. Mix well until batter is smooth.
Pour into mini muffin cups (about ¾ full) and place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes
Sprinkle with icing sugar or cover with icing

Thank you so so much to: http://www.mayaskitchen.info/2013/04/29/mini-chocolate-brownie-muffins/ you should check out that blog, the brownie muffins were great!

20131008-141942.jpg

Caramel Corn

My birthday passed recently and as a gift I received a new dessert recipe book. I was interested in the Caramel Corn recipe so I decided to give it a try. I will give you a similar recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grandma-pauls-caramel-corn-recipe/index.html

20130828-154534.jpg
Here you go:

Ingredients

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 cups popped popcorn

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Over medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Stir well. Pour over the pop corn. Stir to coat well. Bake in large roaster or pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry.

This is a great thing to try out! Let me know if you do! You can also make them into popcorn balls and put them in sealed bags.

20130828-154713.jpg

20130828-154723.jpg

I made this Caramel Corn the day before I had a dentist appointment so I had to resist the urge to eat this until after the appointment. Yes, make sure you brush your teeth after eating this because it can sometimes stick to your teeth. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great thing to try and I think it’s very tasty!

Let me know if you’d like me to try any dessert recipes in the comments!

Vanilla Pots de Crème

I feel like I should begin this post by saying that I’m sorry. I haven’t been posting for a while but I have an excuse. This week I’ve been playing tennis all day in the hot hot weather. It’s really hot and tiring and this is why I haven’t been keeping up with my blogs.

Moving along, I made Vanilla Pots de Crème!

20130717-160455.jpg

These were heavenly! The recipe calls for ramekins however I don’t own any so I used jam jars. Here is the recipe:

2 cups heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half
2 vanilla beans or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Method
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pour cream into small saucepan. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into cream. Put pod in cream, too. Heat cream until steam rises. Cover pan, turn off heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. If using vanilla extract, just heat cream and let it cool while you proceed.
2. Beat yolks and sugar together until light. Pour about a quarter of the cream (remove vanilla bean pod) into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. If you are using vanilla extract, add it now and stir. Pour mixture into 4 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill dish with water halfway up the side of dishes. Cover with foil.

20130717-160734.jpg

20130717-160809.jpg
3. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until center is barely set. (Heavy cream sets fastest; half-and-half more slowly.) Chill, then serve.

Now I used jam jars so they were pretty full. I advise that you eat half, and save the other half for later. But these were fantastic!

20130717-160841.jpg

Thank you very much to: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/recipe-of-the-day-vanilla-pots-de-creme/

Chocolate Ganache Truffles

The last time I had them I was quite young but I really loved them. So I have always loved chocolate truffles. They are so rich and just amazing. Lately, I have been dying to make them, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
8 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (a cacao content of about 60% works best)
½ cup of cream (for chocolate with 70% cacao, increase the cream by about a tablespoon or two)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 tablespoon rum, or other liquor (optional)
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for coating the truffles (or use chopped nuts or melted and tempered chocolate)

Directions

1 Chop the chocolate into fairly even, small pieces—a heavy serrated knife works well.

2 Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream. For an extra smooth truffle, add butter. Add any liquor here, too. Wait a minute or two until most of the chocolate and butter is melted.

3 Transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, quickly but gently transfer the mixture to a bowl so that you can form your emulsion in a cooler environment.

4 Whisk the mixture vigorously until it’s thick and smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and incorporating all the cream and chocolate. If you have one, an immersion blender helps make sure the emulsion is stable.

5 If the ganache shows signs of breaking at this point (if it looks curdled or oily), you can add a few drops of cream to help re-emulsify it. A well-emulsified ganache should look like chocolate pudding: thick, smooth, and glossy. Leave it in a cool spot to firm up for at least four hours, ideally overnight.

6 Once the ganache has set into a uniformly firm mass, scoop out small balls with a melon baller or spoon. Roll each one briefly in the palms of your very clean (or gloved) hands. It helps if you have cold hands or are in a cool room.

7 Chill the truffles briefly, for about 15 minutes, while you prepare whatever you’d like to roll or enrobe them in.

If your ganache isn’t firm enough to scoop into balls, you can chill it in the fridge to harden. Or, whip it very briefly until the color just begins to lighten—about 30 seconds on medium-low with a hand mixer. Let it set again and it will firm up.

8 Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, shaking off any excess cocoa. You can also roll them in chopped nuts or enrobe them in melted and tempered chocolate.

20130427-170354.jpg

9 Store them at room temperature for up to a week, in the fridge for two to three weeks, or in the freezer for two months. They taste best eaten at room temperature.

20130427-170442.jpg

This is a really good recipe, I really recommend it if you love chocolate truffles like me. They are disappearing quickly so next time I think I’ll double the recipe.

20130427-170606.jpg

Thanks to: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/02/chocolate-ganache-truffles.html

Soufflé

Believe it or not, before this spring break I had never had a soufflé. My first experience was with my grandparents and my grandmother made some lemon soufflé. It was really amazing! I love lemon desserts a little too much but this soufflé was really just perfect.

I wanted to make something similar to that soufflé and I did. This recipe was simple, but very nice. I am going to post a lemon soufflé recipe, which I did not use however its similar, and I think it looks great.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more, room temperature, for dishes
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dishes
8 large egg yolks plus 10 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), plus 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup whole milk
Garnish: confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter six 12-ounce souffle dishes, and then dust with granulated sugar. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Return mixture to pan, and whisk until thick like a pudding, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice.

Beat whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.

Fill each souffle dish to the top, and smooth. Run your thumb around edges to remove batter from rims.

Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until souffles rise and are golden, about 16 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately, before souffles lose their height.

Now the soufflé I made was simply not as good as my grandmothers but I think it was a success.

20130421-113504.jpg

20130421-113518.jpg

20130421-113530.jpg

Thank you to: http://www.marthastewart.com/335397/lemon-souffles

Eastery Meringues

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. This is probably because I get to see lots family but also because I’m fond of all the sweets. I wanted to make something that is in the spirit of Easter. So I did some research and found a meringue recipe online. It is a family style recipe but I think it is a good one. Most of my family thinks that they are a bit sweet but I think they are fine the way they are. Happy (almost) Easter

Choose any colors you like, but use food coloring sparingly. One drop at a time.

To make: 50 minutes
To bake: 30-35 minutes (+ 45 minutes cooling in oven)

You Will Need:
3 egg whites (medium)
3/4 cups superfine sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Food coloring — red, green, yellow. Use a toothpick to add one drop at a time.

Makes 30 meringues. Bake at 250˚

Separate the eggs. Crack the eggs over a large bowl and separate the whites from the yolks. You only need the whites.
Whisk the whites. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat, since they will start to look lumpy — a little like cotton balls.
Whisking egg whites is easiest using an electric mixer, but try it with a hand whisk.
Add the sugar. Add 1 tsp of sugar to the egg whites; whisk. Pour in a second and continue whisking. Add remaining sugar, while whisking to stiff peaks.
Add lemon juice. Whisk in the cornstarch and lemon juice until just combined. The meringue should look smooth and glossy.
Add a little color. Divide the meringue into 3 bowls and color each one with a couple of drops of food coloring. Fold the color in using a spatula.
Make meringue swirls. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and squeeze to make swirls onto 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment. Make each one about 1 inch across. Now bake in the oven.
Bake the meringues for 30-35 minutes, until firm on the outside. Turn off the oven and leave them for a further 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Piping tips: To fill the piping bag stand it in a tall glass and fold the edges down over the rim. For the swirls use a 1/2 inch tip.

Serving suggestions: When the meringues are cool, sandwich them together with whipped cream or softened vanilla ice cream.

I chose to make some whipped cream also so that I could sandwich them with it.

Ingredients

1 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

Thanks to: http://family.go.com/food/recipe-ak-800799-multicolored-meringues-t/, and http://allrecipes.com/recipe/whipped-cream/
20130313-151744.jpg20130313-151803.jpg20130313-151812.jpg20130313-151836.jpg

Apple Crumble (apple crisp)

Today I brought in some apple crumble. 2/22/13. It took a night to properly solidify but it was worth it. I got some feedback:

Really good
Make the crumble more crispy
More together and not all over the place
Thumbs up

Here is the recipe:

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

2.Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

3.Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Thank you to, http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/apple-crisp/3715a45c-3c00-430c-bbe2-9865f9013238

Blondies!

Hi guys! On 2/8/13 I brought blondies for my class. I was extremely nervous about them because I had heard feedback that they were a bit sweet but then I thought, I think my class can handle it. It turns out they could. I got lots of great, positive feedback and I even managed to get a picture. Warning: this picture is not very good, the blondie is missing its chocolate chips and it is only a tiny piece, I don’t think the picture does it justice. Also, I did not use the nuts in this recipe because my school has a no nuts rule but I think it could be fun.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan.
Measure 1 cup sifted flour. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift again. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Mix well and set aside.
Stir the brown sugar into the melted butter and mix well. Cool slightly.
Mix the beaten egg and vanilla into the brown sugar mixture. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing just until combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

20130210-161006.jpg

Thanks to: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blonde-brownies-i/