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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Yes, I’m sharing something with a little green in it just in time to celebrate St. Patrick, but these amazing brownies can be made any time of year.

Truthfully, I was nervous about making them.  You see my friend Denise already makes what I consider to be a perfect mint brownie.  So why would I waste my time making something that couldn’t possibly compete?  I dunno.  Curiosity I guess.

The good news is that this recipe is different enough from my friend’s that I now have two favorites.  The most notable difference is in the brownie layer: this recipe’s brownie layer is definitely more thick, which, in the end, yields a taller brownie.  But the taste…well, it’s equally as good as my first favorite.

I recently took these to a baby shower and knew they were a sure success when one of the attendees declared, “These are even better than the BYU mint brownies.”  You alumni know what she’s talking about.  The chocolate and mint really become best friends in this recipe and make the most delicious sweet treat.

So, bookmark, pin, or just get into your kitchen to make some mint brownies.  You won’t be disappointed!

Mint Brownies
adapted from SavvyGirl & Company

printer friendly recipe

For the brownie layer:
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mint Frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few drops green or red food coloring

Glaze Topping:
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 325.  Grease a 9×13 baking pan.  In large bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs until well-blended; then add melted chocolate. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with vanilla.

Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until no imprint is left when touched or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Mix mint frosting ingredients until creamy and spread on cooled brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour.

For glaze, combine butter and chocolate chips in top of double boiler. Add the vanilla and blend thoroughly. Pour gently over the mint frosting and spread by tipping pan; refrigerate until glaze is set.

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Buckeyes

This post comes with a shout out to my sister-in-law Becky, who lives entirely too far away — in Ohio.  Man, we miss her.

She got married this past summer to and Ohio State grad, which means she too is now a Buckeye.  It’s funny how all of us now are just a little more tuned into Buckeye life: sports scores, events and even controversy (um, hello Tresselmania).  While most of us in the family still claim to bleed blue, I think we like that Becky and Terry have made us fans of another university as well.  Although I don’t think all of us will be carrying a real buckeye around in our pocket like a certain someone sometimes does. 🙂

We attended the annual family Christmas party over the weekend, so I made Buckeyes for the occasion.  I mean, if part of our family can’t be there, they should at least be represented, right?  Even if it is only in dessert.

I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a while.  It comes from the second cookbook from those genius bakers at Baked in New York City.  Heaven help me the next time I get to New York.  I’ve got a list of bakeries to visit that is far too long.  And Baked is at the top.

If you look at other recipes for Buckeyes, they typically call for twice the amount of sugar that this one does.  This recipe also includes crushed graham crackers, which deviates from the ‘traditional’ one.  But you know what?  The result is phenomenal.

Not just delicious.  Like over the top awesomeness.  It’s such a good blend of peanut butter and chocolate.

I struggle when it comes to dipping things in chocolate, so after reading a few tips from different bloggers I inserted toothpicks into each peanut butter ball and put the tray in the fridge.  After about 20 minutes the peanut butter balls were dipped in chocolate and the toothpick was removed.  Once the chocolate hardened I just barely got my fingertip wet and rubbed it on the spot where the toothpick had created a hole.  Voila!  The hole was gone.

I’m leaving all of that out of the printable recipe, because you’re probably a lot more skilled at dipping than me.  But, if not, this is a pretty foolproof method.  Think ‘dipping for dummies.’

Buckeyes
Slightly adapted from Baked Explorations

1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped

Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds. Add the sugar, vanilla  and butter, and mix on the lowest speed until it stops floating off everywhere, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.

Make the coating: Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth or in a microwave in 30 then 10 second increments, stirring before you start it again until it is completely smooth. Let it cool a bit while you shape the peanut butter centers.

Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than one tablespoon’s worth of filling (I used my smallest cookie dough scoop). Use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.

Using a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is coating, leaving a small circle uncoated.

Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.

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Confession time: I’ve got a major weakness for snap, krackle and pop.

What is it about puffed rice, marshmallows and a little butter? SOMEbody tell me why I can’t resist cereal treats! (A shout out there to Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. They’re so generically appropriate when they talk about RICE KRISPIES treats. 🙂 )

One quick and easy way to make this all-American treat festive for February is to get out your heart cookie cutter and give it some shape!

Here’s the basics from Kellogg’s…with one addition.

Rice Krispies Treats
NOTE: I increased Kellogg’s original recipe by one half, so that the hearts would be a little thicker.

4 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 large package (16 oz.) miniature marshmallows, or about 60 large marshmallows.

9 cups Rice Krispies

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate for dipping – I chopped up half of a semi-sweet Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar. If you like milk chocolate better, go for it. Chocolate chips will work fine too.

Measure out 9 cups of Rice Krispies in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray. (This makes clean up SO much easier!)

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pour over Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated. You’ll be so happy if you also spray your scraper or large stirring spoon before you mix the melted marshmallows and cereal.

Press mixture into 13 x 9 pan coated with cooking spray. After pressing the treats into the pan, they went into the refrigerator to speed up the hardening process a little. Thirty minutes later (don’t let them get too hard!) turn the whole pan of treats out on to a cutting board and put your heart-shaped cutter to work.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring after thirty second intervals of warming until completely melted. Dip the treats one at a time into the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off before inverting and placing on a pan or cooling rack.

Add sprinkles, a drizzle of white chocolate or leave as is.

Deliver and share with someone you l-o-v-e!

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I’d throw a party for my newly created blog except I’ve spent so much time getting it up and figuring out WordPress that there’s too many other things things to do.  Yes laundry I hear you calling.  Well, that, and the fact that I’m not one to really throw a party for myself OR my blog.  But, that doesn’t mean a cake isn’t in order for the occasion.  So, here it is: the best yellow cake.

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There’s a dessert place here in town where you can order their  ‘Best Yellow Cake’.  Well, I’m telling you this one is a WAY BETTER best yellow cake.  If you’re totally loyal to Betty Crocker, and I can’t convince you to make your own cake, at least make your own frosting.  This frosting will make you a believer.  You’ll never go back to buying it again.

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BETTER Best Yellow Cake
from The Well-Decorated Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups ( granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups  buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter and line with parchment paper two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Cut up the butter into 1-inch pieces and place them in the large bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters. Beat for 3 minutes on MEDIUM-HIGH speed until the butter is light and creamy in color. Stop and scrape the bowl. Cream the butter for an additional 60 seconds.

Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs one at a time.

Reduce the mixer speed. Stir vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife. Lift up the pan with the batter, and let it drop onto the counter top to burst any air bubbles, allowing the batter to settle.

Center the pans onto the lower third of the oven and let bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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*Note: I split the cake layers and added raspberry preserves.  But I’ve made this cake without doing that too.  If you’re really a frosting fan, split the layers and use frosting.  You can’t go wrong with three layers of frosting on the inside, right?

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Cool completely and frost generously.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
adapted from More from Magnolia

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1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
2 tablespoons milk
9 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy about 3 minutes.  Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.  Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and of desired consistency.

Makes enough for a 2-layer 8-  or 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes.

Oh, and if you’ve got extra frosting, make some graham cracker sandwiches with it.  I love them frozen!

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