Monday, April 7, 2014

Peanut Butter Cranberry Energy Bars


When Mini Me started college, she found her schedule packed with long days on the go with little time for a substantial breakfast or lunch. I wanted to make her a portable snack that would give her energy and brain power throughout the day, but without crazy ingredients or the protein powder after taste. Mini Me loves peanut butter which is a good source of protein and healthy fats, so that was a good starting point in searching for a recipe to try. During my search for a portable snack bar I came across this Sunset Magazine article on homemade energy bars and decided to give them a shot.
I have been making these bars for the last 4 years while she has been in school, and I know I will make them long after she graduates. They are moist and soft, and packed with good for you ingredients. These bars are quick to make and travel well. With approximately 210 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein in each bar, these make a perfect grab and go item on your way out the door at the beginning of a busy day. I wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap, put them in a gallon sized ziplock bag and send them to Mini Me every few weeks. She keeps them in the freezer and tosses one in her backpack as she heads to class and I'm happy knowing she has a tasty, healthy snack in her bag just in case she doesn't have time to stop and eat during the day. 


Peanut Butter Cranberry Energy Bars
adapted from Sunset Magazine

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup oat or wheat bran
3 Tbs ground flax seeds
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp each baking powder and salt
1/2 cup each chopped peanuts, dried cranberries, and finely chopped dates
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup honey
Zest from one orange
1 Tbs fresh orange juice.

Line a 9x13 pan with plastic wrap. In a large bowl, stir together oats, bran, flax, flour, baking powder, salt, peanuts, cranberries and dates.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, egg, honey, orange zest and orange juice until well blended.

Add flour mixture and beat until completely blended. Scrape dough into prepared pan and with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and evenly. Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 300 F. Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel away plastic wrap. Using a bench scraper or knife cut straight in half length wise. Then cut each length into 8 bar about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place bars about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with a slip at or parchment paper. Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
printable recipe

 
Foodie Friday

Monday, March 3, 2014

Irish Cream Chocolate Cupcakes


March is definitely the month of all things Irish, and that includes many delicious food items, from a warm bowl of Irish oatmeal in the morning to a relaxing cup of coffee with a generous splash of Bailey's after dinner. If you really want to up the Irish-ness, you could enjoy one of these Bailey's cupcakes along with your Irish coffee. When I stopped by recently to enjoy the goodies on Sprinkle Bakes, I immediately knew these would make an appearance on our table well before St. Patrick's Day.
This chocolatey cupcake has a Bailey's ganache in the center and is topped with a Bailey's buttercream. Although the original recipe includes a hot fudge sauce on top that sounds wonderful, I omitted it for the sake of portable and easy eating. However, if I were serving these on a plate with a fork, I would most definitely drizzle that on top.

I highly recommend that you stop over at Sprinkle Bakes to see her beautiful desserts and a video  on her Irish cream hot fudge cupcakes, but be prepared to immediately want to get in the kitchen to make these. 


Bailey's Cupcake 
Sprinkle Bakes

Cakes
1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur, or two mini bottles (50 ml each)
3 tablespoons well-beaten egg 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 6 large or 9 standard  muffin papers 

Place Irish Cream liqueur, egg, and vanilla in cup; beat together vigorously with a fork, set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and liquid mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.  Add coffee and beat again until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula and beat well again.

Divide batter between muffin cups.  Bake for 25-27 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when pressed in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack.


Chocolate Ganache Filling

1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur (about half a mini bottle)
Combine heavy cream and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan or a microwaveable bowl.  Heat on medium low until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth.  If using the microwave, heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted and mixture can be stirred smooth.  Add butter in pieces and stir until melted.  Add Irish cream.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until ganache is thickened but still fairly soft.
Cut a large divot out of each cupcake and fill with ganache. 


Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons Irish cream (about 1 1/2 mini bottles)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mix on low speed with a hand mixer until just combined.  Gradually add in Irish cream.  Scrape down sides of bowl  and mix in vanilla.  Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip.  Pipe frosting over the surface of the cupcakes.


 
Irish Cream Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup Irish cream (2 mini bottles)

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk to incorporate.  Bring to a boil and let bubble one minute.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring into the empty Irish cream bottles.
Pour a scant 1/4 cup of hot fudge sauce in each empty Irish cream bottle. Turn them upright and press the bottle neck into the frosting and down to the chocolate ganache filling.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve.
****2x recipe made 18 standard cupcakes, 1.5x ganache filled 18 cupcakes and frosting recipe was enough to frost all 18
 
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pirate Cupcakes and Cookies

Anyone who knows a little guy around the age of 5 has most likely gone through a pirate stage. I know we sure did. When Boy Mimi was much younger he would play outside for hours at a time with his big plastic pirate ship and pirate men.
 
 Although Boy Mimi is way past the pirate phase now, our good friend Little E recently had a birthday that was all about pirates. To go with all the decorations, costumes, treasure chests, and the hunt for gold, he naturally needed some pirate themed treats to round out his party. 

 
We used our favorite sugar cookie recipe for the pirate ship cookies and used royal icing to decorate them, and for the cupcakes we made Martha Stewart's chocolate cupcakes. Since most little pirates don't like fondant, we used buttercream frosting and used the back of a paper towel to smooth the surface and give the face some texture. The eye patch, eye, mouth and nose were done with extra royal icing from the cookies. For the tie on the bandanna, we used a small heart sprinkle with the pointy end pushed into the cake, and the white dots were small round candy confetti.

The flags on top of the pirate ships came from a cupcake liner set from Michael's. We used the liners for the cupcakes, and used melted chocolate to glue the decorative flags onto the top of the cookies. You could easily make you own by printing out small pirate flags and gluing them onto a toothpick before attaching them to the cookies.


We had such a good time contributing to Little E's pirate party and making some fun new desserts, and can't wait until the next party!

Martha Stewart One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
 adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes
 makes 18


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder** I used Hershey's regular cocoa 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
2 large eggs 
3/4 cups buttermilk 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
3/4 cup warm water 

Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed whisk together flour, cocoa,sugar, baking soda,baking powder and salt. Reduce speed to low add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and water:beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Divided the batter evenly amount the lined cups, filling each about 2/3 full**I filled them only half full since I wanted a flat surface to decorate. Bake, rotating tins half way through baking. Bake about 20 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer tins to a rack to cool 10 minutes; turnout cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Frost as desired. 
printable recipe

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
4 cups of sifted powdered sugar 
Color as desired

1. Cream the butter and slowly add powdered sugar and beat until fairly well incorporated, mixture will be crumbly.
2. Add milk and vanilla beat at medium-low speed until combined and then up your speed to med-high and beat until light and fluffy, 7 to 10 minutes.

printable recipe



Foodie Friday

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ice Box Caklettes


One of our favorite cakes in Mimi's Kitchen is an icebox cake. It is a simple dessert with endless flavor combinations. Made with crisp cookies and whipped cream flavored any way you want, this cake takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and the best part is that it has to be made the day before serving. Overnight, the cookies soften in between the layers of whipped cream to create a soft, cake-like texture surrounded by the cream that firms up to create a "frosting" of sorts. An easy 2-ingredient cake that is mandatory to make ahead- what's not to love? We have made this so many times that each of us has our own favorite. I stick with the classic chocolate wafer and vanilla cream, Mr. Mimi loves chocolate with mint, and Boy Mimi would eat an entire coconut version all by himself. 
 
To get all those even layers, you need very thin wafer cookies. You can definitely buy any thin crispy cookie, (we have used a box of ginger thins from Ikea before) but I like to use Alice Medrich's recipe for chocolate wafers. The recipe makes a lot of cookies and they have great chocolate taste. Her instructions call for rolling it into a log and slicing into thin cookies, but that leaves one side a little flat, so last time I rolled it between layers of plastic wrap and used a circle cutter so that all the cookies were an even thickness and size with a perfectly round edge. 

Whether you make or buy cookies, this cake couldn't be easier to make and with all the possibilities for flavors, this cake will remain a family favorite for a very long time. 

Chocolate Wafer Cookies
Adapted from Alice Medrich

Makes 50 to 60 1 3/4-inch round wafers if you roll into a log and slice them. I rolled the dough 1/8 inch thick between two pieces of plastic wrap and got about 95 cookies.

1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix thoroughly. Cut the butter into about 12 chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse several times. Combine the milk and vanilla in a small cup. With the processor running, add the milk mixture and continue to process until the mixture clumps around the blade or the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or a cutting board and knead a few times to make sure it is evenly blended.

**Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed. 

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough into slices a scant 1/4-inch thick (I went thinner, closer to 1/8 of inch. If you’re trying to emulate the store-bought wafers, slice as thin as you can, and watch the baking time carefully, as it might be less) and place them one inch apart on the lined sheets (cookies will spread). Bake, rotating the baking sheet from top to bottom and back to front about halfway through baking, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will puff up and deflate; they are done about 1 1/2 minutes after they deflate.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on racks, or slide the parchment onto racks to cool completely. These cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks or be frozen for up to two months.


** I divided the dough into 4 portions, chilled it and rolled each portion between sheets of plastic wrap to 1/8 thick and cut them with a 1 3/4 inch round cutter. When the cookies were baked they were about 2 inches in diameter.
printable recipe


Ice Box Cake or Cakelettes

Wafer cookies
whipped cream
garnish- I used a Bailey's ganache on these small ones, but I usually do cocoa or chocolate curls

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to a bowl and whip to firm peaks.

Ganache
1/2 cup cream
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat cream to boiling, pour over chopped chocolate. Let set for a minute. Gently stir until chocolate is completely melted and ganache is smooth. Stir in Bailey's and cool to almost room temperature. You can refrigerate this until you need it. If it is cold or too thick to pour, heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. It needs to be warm enough to be able to be poured over the cake, but if it is too hot it will melt the whipped cream so heat in small increments and pour carefully.  
 
To assemble: 
For one large cake, cover the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with an even layer of cookies. I usually break a few into halves or pieces to fill in gaps, but it doesn't have to be perfect. Cover the cookies with an even layer of whipped cream. Continue layering cookies and cream, until all of the cream is used up, ending with cream on top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours. To serve, release sides of pan, garnish as desired.
  
 For cakelettes: 
I used a piping bag with a 3/8 round tip to pipe even layers of whipped cream between the cookies. Once I had the cookie stacks the size I wanted (5 cookies high), I covered the sides and top with whipped cream  and chilled them for 24 hours. Before serving, I drizzled them with Bailey's ganache.


Foodie Friday

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gingerbread Snowflakes


I can never resist when I see a pretty cookie idea, and these popped up just in time to be made as favors at a holiday dinner with a group of long time friends. In their December issue Sunset Magazine featured gingerbread snowflakes, and that first lovely picture was all the prompting I needed to get the mixer out. While I used the design from Sunset, we opted to try the Cooks Illustrated gingerbread cookie recipe from their 2011 holiday baking issue. This one recipe lets you make thick and chewy cookie or thin and crispy ginger snap cookie from the same dough, all you have to change is the thickness of the rolled dough and the baking time and temperature. As usual with a Cook's recipe, we were not disappointed. Our only challenge was trying to decide if we liked the soft thick cookies or the thin crispy ones best.

Thick or thin, these cookies had great ginger flavor and were really easy to make. Using a food processor for the dough made it a quick one bowl recipe, and the dough was pretty easy to work with. Although in our regular sugar cookie decorating we use royal icing, the chocolate glaze on these cookies goes really well with the ginger and spice, making for a delicious and slightly different take on the usual holiday cookies that come from our kitchen. 

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
adapted: Cooks Illustrated Holiday Baking 2011

3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces softened slightly
3/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons milk.

1. In food processor, process flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves together until combines. Scatter butter pieces over the flour and process until mixture is sandy, about 15 seconds. With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk, process until dough is evenly moistened and forms a soft mass. (You could use a stand mixer instead of a food processor)

2. Scrape dough onto counter; divide in half. Working with 1 portion at a time roll to an even 1/4 inch thickness between 2 sheet of parchment paper. Leave dough between parchment paper and stack on baking sheet and freeze until firm, 15-20 minutes. Or refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.

3. Adjust oven rack to upper middle and lower middle positions. Heat oven to 350f. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

4. Remove one sheet of dough from freezer place on counter and peel off the top sheet of parchment. Flip the dough over and peel off the second sheet. Cut the dough into desired shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Set scraps aside. Repeat with remaining dough until cookies sheets are full. Bake cookies until centers are just set and dough barely creates an imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8-11 minutes, rotating sheet front to back, top to bottom halfway through baking. Do not over bake. Cool cookies in sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

5. Gather scraps together; repeat rolling, cutting and baking until all dough is used. We chilled our dough after re-rolling each time. 

* For thin crispy cookies roll dough 1/8 inch thick and bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes, until center is firm when pressed with finger*

Glaze, Outline and Decoration
Sunset Magazine December 2013
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon white corn syrup

For Glaze:
Put chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl. Melt in a microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring between each until mixture is smooth. Stir in the corn syrup. Let cool until it's body temperature and drizzles in a thick ribbon. (if it solidifies, microwave about 10 seconds and stir to liquefy).

For outline: Melt 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate until completely smooth. Pour into small parchment cone or zip lock bag with a tiny corner cut off.

Decoration: Melt 2 ounces white chocolate until smooth. Pour into small parchment cone or zip lock bag with a tiny corner cut off.

Parchment cones or zip bags are necessary, when the chocolate cools and becomes to hard to pipe, just zap it in the microwave for a few seconds until it is soft enough to use again.

Working with one cookie at a time, with the bittersweet chocolate pipe a boarder around your cookie. Using the glaze(I used a regular piping bag with a #4 tip) flood the center of your cookie. Shake or jiggle your cookie until the glaze is smooth. With the white chocolate, pipe a zig zag down the length of one arm of the snowflake quickly drag the tip of a  knife or a tooth pick through the zig zag, to the center of the cookie. Repeat zig zagging and dragging each arm of your snowflake. Try to work fairly fast; as the chocolate cools and sets it becomes more difficult to drag a smooth line without creating a lumpy mess in the dark chocolate. 
printable recipe


Sunset magazine has a video of the process and directions for making a parchment cone if you need it.


link:Foodie Friday

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hermits


In our house, food has seasons. Not just what's available at the store kind of season, but for us it's also the foods we associate with summer, and with fall. We usually don't eat strawberry short cake in December, nor do we eat pumpkin pie in July. (However, ice cream is fair game all year!)

These hermit cookies are new to my children, but something I remember well from the colder months of my own childhood. They are a soft and chewy raisin spice cookie with a sweet citrus glaze, and my mom would have a tin of them at the ready during the fall and winter seasons, for that afternoon cup of tea or to share with some unexpected holiday guests. Now that I have made them for my family, they will definitely be on the list of seasonal favorites that we look forward to every year. 



Hermits
from Cook's Holiday Baking 2013

1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
8 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Process raisins and ginger in food processor until mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain, about 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl.

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nutty brown in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir butter mixture in to raisin mixture until well combined; let cool to room temperature.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Stir brown sugar, molasses and eggs into cooled butter raisin mixture until incorporated. Fold in flour mixture (dough will be sticky) and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake pre heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat

Divide dough into quarters. Transfer 1 piece of dough to lightly floured surface, roll into 10 inch log. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and use a ruler to neatly square off sides. (each sheet will contain 2 logs) Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until only shallow indentation remains on edges when touched (center will appear slightly soft), 15 to 20 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Whisk orange juice and confectioner's sugar in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze onto cooled logs and let sit until glaze hardens, about 15 minutes. Cut logs into 2 inch bars. Cookies can be stored in airtight container room temperature for up to 5 days.
printable recipe


Links: Foodie Friday

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopies Pies

In our house we love the flavors of fall, from pumpkin breads and muffins,apple tarts, to cranberry,and our favorite pear pie. While we are lucky enough to have our summer weather last well into September, it does make our fall season seem a little short. It feels like just a quick month before we are already into our Christmas cookies and peppermint treats. We try our best to get in plenty of fall baking, and these pumpkin whoopie pies are a great way to celebrate the cooler days and changing leaves. 
These cake sandwich cookies really deliver on the fall flavors. They are full of pumpkin and warm spices, and the sweet and tangy cream cheese filling makes these almost like an inside out cupcake, that is portable and easy to eat. 

The recipe for these came from the Baked Cookbook, and the guys behind the famous bakery explain that cold pumpkin is key to making these whoopie pies. It makes your whoopies easier to scoop and gives them a domed top, so be sure to plan ahead for these. The cookies and filling can both be made ahead and stored separately for a day or two, and will also last a few days assembled in the refrigerator.  I made 1/2 the recipe and using my tablespoon scoop I got 18 whoopies (36 cookies)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Baked New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Whoopies pies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon cloves
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin purée
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt (my addition)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats

In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the brown sugar and oil, until combined. Add pumpkin purée and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Sprinkle flour mixture over the pumpkin and whisk until completely combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to droop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about one inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on the top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth, with no visible lumps. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the filling or it will loose its structure. (The filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the bowl tightly and put it in the refrigerator. Let filling soften at room temperature before using)

Assemble the whoopie pies:
Turn half of the cookies upside down (flat side facing up). Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookies. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookies. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving. The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days, in a tightly covered container, in the refrigerator.
printable recipe

Foodie Friday

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles and A New Cookbook

A new cookbook, Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers is is hitting the shelves this week. At Mimi's kitchen we love sprinkles so this book was made for us. You don't have to be an avid baker to enjoy using this book; there are plenty of ideas for food projects that don't require baking. This book is beautifully photographed, full of vibrant colors that making each recipe come to life.
 From martini's to candy Jackie has a sprinkle idea. The best part is that you can customize any sprinkle recipe to your event. Use holiday colors, team colors, favorite shapes... the options are endless! 
We chose to make these Brazilian Chocolate Truffles because they were something completely new to us and sounded delicious. With only 3 pantry ingredients, plus your choice of sprinkles, a recipe can't get any easier or faster. These chewy, chocolatey candies had a flavor reminiscent of homemade stovetop chocolate pudding, which we absolutely loved. They were rich without being too sweet and the coating of sprinkles added a nice bit of texture. We will definitely make these again, maybe with a pinch of espresso powder or cayenne pepper, and change up the sprinkles for a fun festive look this coming holiday season. 


 Brazilian Chocolate Truffles
Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts

1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan and hands
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sprinkles.

 1. Coat a large shallow pan or platter with butter or cooking spray (I used an 8 inch square pan). In a large saucepan bring condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter to a boil, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (I also added a pinch of salt) . Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. It should have the consistency of thick frosting. 
2. Pour mixture into prepared pan; let cool completely and become firm (you can refrigerate it to speed up the process). 
3. Grease your hands with butter and shape pieces into 1 to 11/2 inch balls. Roll each ball in sprinkles. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.