Friday, March 28, 2014

No Bake Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

I made these for a great night with the girls to see our Zignat. Thanks for visiting us! Wish you were still in SA because we love seeing you!

I used Wilton Peanut Butter Candy melts which were really good. They taste natural and very peanut buttery. How can you go wrong with this flavor combination.

No Bake Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

16 oz. Peanut Butter Oreos
5 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature (use 3 oz. if making cake pops)
2 tbsp. peanut butter, optional (use if you buy regular oreos)

12 oz. bag of Wilton Peanut Butter Candy Melts
30 lollipop sticks, optional (you could just do these as cake balls instead of pops)
mini chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles, optional

mini cupcake liners, optional

Dump the entire package of oreos in your food processor. Process until they are fine crumbs. This is optional but if you want, add the peanut butter. Then add the softened cream cheese and blend until its all mixed together. 

Roll into balls the size of a tablespoon and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. Stick them in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

Melt your candy coating in microwave according to instructions on bag. Take the end of the lolipop stick and dip it into the melted candy coating, about 1/4 inch up the stick. Insert stick into the center of a truffle, be careful not to go all the way through the other side. If not making into cake pops, simply dip them into the chocolate and use a spoon to tap off the extra. Return truffles to the freezer for about 5 more minutes so that the coating can firm up.

Put some of your melted candy coating in a short cup or mug and dip the truffle pop to coat all sides. Garnish with mini chocolate chips or sprinkles on top or on all sides and allow to set up on a plate lined with parchment paper or place onto mini cupcake liner.

Refrigerate left overs.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I was looking for a soft chocolate chip cookie recipe to sandwich between cookie dough frosting. I decided to try these off my pinterest board because they have a new ingredient which I have not tried in cookies. Cream cheese. They did bake up soft and fluffy, but I don't know if that had much to do with the cream cheese or more with the cake flour.

For some reason these weren't very sweet. I thought it would turn out well with the frosting I was planning to make. Unfortunately we forgot to buy corn syrup so I didn't get to make it. At least I added extra chocolate chips because without a bite of chocolate, I found these kind of plain. I prefer the New York Times recipe or this brown butter sea salt recipe.

On a side note, refrigerated place and bake Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies are really good sandwiched with Ben and Jerry's cheesecake ice cream. Ooh.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use cream cheese in a block or spreadable, don't use fat-free, light or whipped)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose cake flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.
Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.

Preheat oven to 350F, and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool. They have chewy edges with soft, pillowy centers. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Good Housekeeping's Fudgy Brownies

We were browsing through a half priced book store where I snapped a couple of pictures of recipes from cupcake and brownie cook books. That's where I got this recipe. 

These were some pretty good brownies, and I was amazed to hear my brother say they were the best brownies he ever eaten. He's been on a diet for the past few months though (haha). I think these would be the best brownies ever if I added about 1/3 cup cocoa powder to deepen the chocolate flavor and then maybe add some mini chocolate chips to make them sweeter and richer (to balance the cocoa). 

Though If you love bittersweet chocolate, these are the brownies for you. The flavor of the ghiradelli chocolate that I used really shines through. These are really good the next day as they get chewier.  

Good Housekeeping's Fudgy Brownies
Yield: 24 brownies

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter or margarine (1 ½ sticks)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease 13” by 9” baking pan with shortening or butter.

In small bowl, with wire whisk, stir flour and salt.

In heavy 4-quart saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened and semisweet chocolates over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat.

With wooden spoon, stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; stir until well mixed. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture just until blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted 2 inch from edge comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. When cool, cut lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. Makes 24 brownies.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

I LOVED these cupcakes! And they aren't even chocolate! Or lemon! But they do have salted caramel

Believe it or not, these apple spiced cupcakes are both so warm and comforting as they are refreshing and clean tasting. The raw green apple cubes in the batter bake softly, but still have alittle crisp to them which gives these a fresh feeling. The cinnamon and nutmeg spices warm you up like a cozy sweater.

And it just might be the way I happened to cut this cupcake in half, but it was not muffin-looking at all. These had a great cakey crumb so I would definitely make them again.

The buttercream was needless to say, absolutely delicious. 

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream 
Cupcakes adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 23 cupcakes

23 cupcake liners
1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (135g) brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups (190g) cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together in a medium bowl until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, until combined. Add the vanilla. Fold in the apples.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters of the way full with batter. Bake for 21–23 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Nora's Salted Caramel Buttercream
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 packet of Dream Whip
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caramel sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, dream whip, and salt and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Then mix in caramel sauce and vanilla. Pipe onto cupcakes.
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