Baking, Failures

Funfetti Fudge FAIL

Funfetti Cookie Fudge Bars
Funfetti Cookie Fudge Bars

I hate it when a recipe looks sooo good online, but then you make it and it’s a failure. Unfortunately the “Funfetti Cookie Fudge Bars” didn’t work out for me.

The cookie base was too dry. I had a feeling that this would happen. When mixing the door it felt too dry and crumbly. I think two cups of flour was too much. The only thing I didn’t add was the 1/2 tsp of butter extract. What is that?

Anyway, if you want to give it a go head over to Crazy For Crust for the recipe: http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/02/funfetti-cookie-fudge-bars/

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Baking

Chocolate Silk Pie

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I finally conquered pies!  (Well, sort of.)  My early attempt to make my own crust ended in failure.  I ran out to the store and was  rescued by Pillsbury.  This chocolate silk pie is sooo creamy and smooth, and not too hard to make.  Patience is key!

What you’ll need:

1 Premade/baked pie crust

Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (Use Baker’s chocolate squares)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into 8 pieces

Make the whipped cream.  (Make sure bowl and tools are cold.  Put in the freezer for about 10 minutes.) Add cream to bowl and whip on medium high until stiff peaks form, transfer to small bowl and refrigerate.

Melt chocolate in microwave in 25 second increments, stirring every time.  Do not burn chocolate. Set aside to cool briefly. (Cut chocolate in small pieces for faster results.)

Combine the eggs, sugar and water in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water or double boiler.   With a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until the egg mixture is thickened and reads 160˚ F on an instant read thermometer, about 7-10 minutes.  (The mixture will be a very light yellow.)   Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat until the egg mixture is fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the melted/cooled chocolate and the vanilla to the cooled egg mixture and beat until well blended.  (You might need to put the egg mixture in another bowl.)  Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until well combined.  Using a spatula, gently fold in the chilled whipped cream until no streaks remain.  Transfer the filling to the baked pie shell.  Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours OR overnight.

Decorate with whipped cream (optional).

Thank you Annie’s Eats for the great recipe: http://annies-eats.com/2011/03/14/chocolate-silk-pie-for-pi-day/

Baking, Cupcakes

“Chocolate Surprise” Cupcakes

Chocolate and cream cheese = yummy!  You really don’t need to experiment with this recipe, Hershey’s has it just right.    It’s moist, rich, and easy to whip up in less than 30 minutes, plus baking time.   Make the filling first!

FILLING

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened/at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chips OR 1/2 cup of regular chips

Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt in small bowl until smooth and creamy. (Use hand mixer.)  Stir in chocolate chips.  Set aside.

CAKE

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Line muffin cups with pan.
  2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl.   Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Spoon 1 level tablespoon FILLING into center of each cupcake.  (I used a small cookie dropper for this.  It was a lot less messy.)
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake portion comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. About 2-1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Original recipe: http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5373&name=Filled-Rich-Chocolate-Cupcakes

Baking, Cupcakes

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes (Semi Homemade)

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Oh Sandra Lee… you’re a genius for the concept of “Semi Homemade.”  Of course we’ve been cooking and baking the semi homemade way for decades, but it took Ms. Lee to officially coin it.  Brilliant!

Anyway, I just wanted to take the time and share a fantastic new cupcake recipe that I found on The Boogie Blog.  I’ve adjusted the recipe a little bit and make it even more semi homemade!  Hopefully I have done Sandra Lee justice!

Continue reading “Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes (Semi Homemade)”

Baking, Brownies

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

On the food blogosphere this recipe has been going around for quite some time, so I figured I should put it to the test!

A couple of tips:

  • Line 8×8 pan with foil for easy clean up.
  • Use margarine, instead of butter for the foil.  (Margarine is easier to spread in the foil than butter.)
  • I omitted the walnuts, simply because I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like buying some.
  • I microwaved the butter in a safe proof bowl.  It’s just faster.

Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
1 stick unsalted butter (melted in microwave)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened/room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Foil and grease (margarine is okay) an 8×8 baking pan, and set aside.   Make sure to line the pan with foil!

Brownie layer:
Melt butter in microwave.  Remove the butter to a large bowl.  Add sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions.  Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir in cocoa mix.  Fold flour until lightly combined.  Pour batter into baking pan, save 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.

Cream cheese layer:
Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. (Hand mixer recommended)  Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer.  Using tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes.

Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.  (At least 2 hours for cooling)

Original recipe found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/red-velvet-swirl-brownies-recipe/index.html

Baking, Cookies

Samoa Cookie Bars!

Made these for my coworkers back in April, just now I get around to blogging about it.  It was a pretty successful recipe: tasted great!  (This recipe does require a lot of TLC though; it sure takes a long time.)  Did change the order of putting this together and one little step at the end, read all the way through.

Recipe is from Baking Bites:  http://bakingbites.com/2009/02/homemade-girl-scout-cookies-samoas-bars/

Step 1: Coconut Topping

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 300.  Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides). Toast for about a total of 20 minutes, stir/check on it every 5 minutes.  Coconut will be golden when done.  Remove from oven, cool, and set aside.

** I did this part first, because this required the oven to be at 300 degrees and the cookie base at 350 degrees.  I wanted to gradually increase the temperature on my oven.**

Step 2: Cookie Base:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Set oven to 350F. Make the crust.  Line a 13×9 pan w/ parchment paper.  (It’ll be easier to lift out and cut then.)

In a electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.  Slowly beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand.  (Don’t overbeat!)   Pour into 13×9 pan and make crust even with hands.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Step 3: Chewy Topping

  • 12-oz of chewy caramels (I got a bag of these from Target.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk (used 2%)

Begin with a double boiler on the stove.  Unwrap the caramels and add the milk and salt.  Cook on high until the caramels, milk, and salt are melted together.  Remove from heat, add the toasted coconut.

Evenly spread over shortbread base using a spatula.   Let harden/cool

Step 4: Putting it all together

  • 10 oz of chocolate chips

When cooled, cut into bars.  (Lift from the parchment paper to make it easier to cut.
Melt chocolate chips in double boiler (or microwave in short intervals.)  I used the double boiler method.  Using an offset spatula spread a layer of chocolate onto the base of the bar.  (I tried dipping, but then the base would crumble and make my chocolate messy.)  Place on wax  paper or silicon baking mat to dry.

Take remaining chocolate mixture and put in zip lock bag with the corner cut off.  Drizzle over cookie and make a pretty design.  =)

Store in airtight container and enjoy!!!