Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who Knew??? Now I am in Trouble!

Okay, I missed the memo that one of my favorite culinary treats was SO EASY!!!!

A week or so ago I was craving coconut (when I say coconut, I mean coconut macaroons!) so Jill said why don't you just bake some, they are SO EASY. Not that I don't trust my dear friend but I did not beleive her. These little pieces of decadence seem so delicate... how would I ever live up to the moistness I was dreaming of. Ah, the challenge. . . .

So, before I headed to Annie Kays to gather the ingredients I googled the recipe to make sure
coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and one egg was all I needed. Low and behold, Jill was right!

So... 20 minutes later there I was, nibbling on one of my favorite treats. And the recipe makes a lot (shhh... I told Scott I burned the first batch but I really ate them all.... OOPS).

Cookoo for Coconut Macaroons


3 cups coconut
1 can condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg white

Whip together, spoon onto greased pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes (check after 8, some batches cooked faster. Makes about 32. Eat and tell your husband you burned half :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lots of love for the lava!

YUM! This is my new favorite dessert. I love it
so much that I have made it two times... One for
dinner party and the other for me and Scott... I ate
two this time. YIKES! So easy, yet impressive. Decadent,
but not too sweet. And you know if I can bake it, you can.
(also, if you need ramicans I have cute pink, chocolate and white
ones at the store).

Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

1 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/2 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
2 eggs
1/4 cup(s) heavy cream
8 tablespoon(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup(s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1/4 cup(s) cake flour

To make centers, melt chocolate and cream in double boiler. Whisk gently to blend.
Refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm. Form into 6 balls; refrigerate until needed.

To make cake, heat oven to 400°F. Spray six 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups
with cooking spray. Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler; whisk gently to blend.
With an electric mixer, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed about 5 minutes or
until thick and light. Fold melted chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture just until combined. Spoon cake batter into ramekins. Place a chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin.
Bake about 15 minutes or until cake is firm to the touch. Let it sit out of the oven for
about 5 minutes. Run a small, sharp knife around inside of each ramekin, place a plate
on top, invert and remove ramekin. Garnish with raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Finally! Thinking Outside the Box

So, one of my favorite sweet treats are BROWNIES. You know, the kind that are gooey and nutty? I grew up in a house where we made these little pieces of heaven from a box. Now, in my dear mom's defense, there were NO complaints about the end product...

For those that don't know me, early on I gave myself the title of certified creative cook non-baker so there was NO need to learn the gratifying task of thinking outside the box. When we wanted brownies I bought the box. Very simple. A year ago I decided it was time to learn to fend for myself. I know that most baked goods consist of flour, sugar, butter and eggs... all things we have on any given day in our kitchens. I fantisized of being snowed in and whipping up brownies, cookies or whatever on a whim... without having to venture out for the trusty box.
And thus the journey began...

Scott and my mom will tell you that I am a bad baker because I have issues following direction. I do have to agree... but why do things need that much sugar... that much butter. Well, folks, they need it to taste good. I have attempted almost 10 brownie recipes... unsucsessfully.

On Wednesday, (please note- on a whim) I decided to give it one more try. 55 minutes after following the recipe there they were--- Out of the Box, Gooey, Bittersweet Chocolate Pieces of Heaven. All from my kitchen, no box included.

Out of the Box Brownies

4 squares Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup coarsely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil. MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and pecans; mix well. Spread into prepared pan. BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

PS- Please follow the directions :)