Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

8 oz. fine milk chocolate, chopped
4 oz. [1/2 cup] water, divided
1 oz. [2 tbs] butter
3 egg yolks
1 oz. [2 tbs] sugar
10 oz. [1 1/4 cups] whipping cream, whipped

  1. Melt chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan and using an instant read thermometer, continuously whisk egg yolks, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup water over LOW heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F.
  3. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate mixture.
  4. Set saucepan in cold water bath and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

YIELD 6 servings
PREP TIME 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 4 hours 30 minutes

  • Semi-sweet chocolate can be used, although I find the flavor a bit harsh.
  • Using LOW heat for the eggs is imperative.  Scrambled egg is not welcome here.
  • A lovely variation of this dessert is to coat the bottom and sides of a wine glass with mouse and chill for 2-4 hours.  Before serving, fill the interior of the glass with banana or strawberry slices.
  • Use plastic wine glasses covered in plastic wrap and ribbon to create an elegant food gift.

1 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz powdered sugar

  1. Microwave butter and peanut butter in a covered glass dish for 2 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon and microwave for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until combined.
  3. Dump into an 8 by 8-inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and smooth surface of the fudge as needed.  Refrigerate 1 hour (or freeze 30 minutes) until set. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

YIELD 64 small squares
PREP TIME 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 35 minutes

  • Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Chunky peanut butter is not so great in this fudge.
  • Spray measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring the peanut butter.
  • This fudge will not stick to the surface of the pan, however, for easier removal an cutting, I use a freezer bag cut at the sides to line and cover the fudge.  Before cutting I remove the whole thing and transfer to cutting surface where I use a pizza wheel to slice.   Also, cuts can be made into the corners of the bottom liner to allow for flat, even edges.
  • The surface of the fudge can be smoothed easily with a metal spatula before setting, but to usually smooth it over with my hand over the plastic wrap.  This is quicker and requires one less utensil.

8 ounces dark chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
powdered cocoa, cinnamon or chopped nuts to coat

  1. In double boiler, melt broken chocolate, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove chocolate from heat; blend in butter, salt and cream. Use a rubber spatula to stir gently until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Chill for 15-30 minutes, until thick enough to hold a shape.
  4. Using a melon baller, scoop chocolate and roll in powdered cocoa.

Truffles are best when served at room temperature.

1/4 cup butter
1 10 oz. bag regular marshmallows
1/2 cup honey or sugar (optional)
2 packages microwavable popcorn
1 cup (approx.) chocolate chips

  1. Prepare popcorn in microwave one bag at a time.  (This will take about 7 minutes.)
  2. While popcorn is popping, melt butter, marshmallows, honey/sugar in large pot over MEDIUM heat, stirring as needed.
  3. Stir in popcorn and mix well. Remove from heat and allow about 5 minutes for mixture to cool.  (Chocolate chips shouldn’t melt on contact.)
  4. Pour a handful of chips into a small bowl for your working area.  Stir in a small handful (maybe 1/4 cup) popcorn mix and incorporate chips as you form a ball. (See Chocolate Chips notes below.)

This recipe is for smaller popcorn balls since they’re richer and messier with the added chocolate.

The sugars must not be heated too high (235 degrees max) or they will caramelize and become hard.
Scoop the popcorn into the pan, rather than pouring it, to avoid pouring in too many unpopped kernels.
If mix is too warm the chips will melt, which yields more of a brown popcorn ball.

Chocolate Chips
It is tricky trying to incorporate the chips while keeping the mixture cool but still sticky. Luckily only a few chips are needed in each ball for the flavor to come through.  The first few balls will no doubt turn out all wrong.  Eventually one gets the hang of taking a loose clump of popcorn, placing it in the small bowl with the chips and then forming it into a ball (while taking special care to stuff a few chips in center for good measure).  It’s not hard and it’s not tedius.  It’s fun, gooey and tasty and perfect for counter-top kids.
Wash hands as needed to avoid the brown popcorn ball look. (White popcorn balls with sporadic chocolate chips just looks better.)
Dark chocolate chips taste better and look better in these.
Some chips that are allowed to melt during forming may turn white in places.  If chips are melting upon contact with the popcorn, allow a little more cooling time before forming.

Store tightly covered 2 days.  Although I doubt they’ll last that long.  They never do.

Velvet Brownies

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
3.5 oz (2/3 cup) AP flour
4 oz (1 1/3 cups) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 oz (1 cup) sugar
8 oz (1 cup) brown sugar
3 oz (1 cup) walnuts

  1. Melt butter (microwave approx. 45 seconds) and set aside to cool.
  2. Place oven rack in position “C” and preheat to 350. Prep 8″ square pan and set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip eggs at MEDIUM speed until light in color and texture.
  4. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together in food processor. Dump into small mixing bowl and set aside.  Sift sugars together in food processor.
  5. Lower mixer speed to 30 percent and slowly add sugars to eggs. Add remaining ingredients, starting with butter and alternating between wet and dry.  Fold in nuts.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake 45 minutes. Test doneness using toothpick; toothpick should come out clean.  Place pan on cooling rack and cool completely before cutting.

YIELD 16 2″ brownies
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 2 hours
Slice using a pizza cutter, cut into quarters then cut the four squares into quarters.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
as needed: 4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
graham crackers

  1. Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until fluffy.  Stir in flour until combined, then stir in chips.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Dump mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap; shape into a ball and refrigerate that for another hour.
  3. Just before serving, roll the ball in pecans. Serve with graham cracker sticks.

2 cups canned pumpkin puree (1 15 oz. can approx.)
1 cup vegetable oil
2-2/3 cups white sugar
3 eggs (approx. – not 4)
3 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, approx.
1 1/2 – 2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, approx. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

SERVES 24 (2 9″x5″ loaves)
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hr 15 minutes

{almost perfected}

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons water
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together the 1 cup butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract, water and flour; mix until smooth.
  3. Measure level teaspoons of dough, roll into a ball and smash into a Milano shaped oval into your palm. (Dough will not flatten significantly during baking, so take a minute to shape into a nice, flat, oval.) Place on ungreased cookie sheet 3/4″ apart.
  4. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes (appox.) or until they have a golden honey color (not brown).
  5. Cool for 5 minutes while preparing chocolate. Microwave chocolate chips and the 1 tablespoon butter until smooth. (Heat for 1 minute, stir; continue heating for no more than 15 seconds at a time and stirring at each interval.)
  6. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread chocolate on the flat side of each cookie. (Careful not to make a mess of this process. Cookies will look much better if the chocolate is carefully placed.)
  7. Let harden for 30 mins to 1 hour. Match similarly shaped cookies together. (Pressing too hard will cause the chocolate to overflow.) Let harden in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

I just discovered that Gale Gand has a recipe for these.  Here’s her’s:

12 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1 1/2 cups flour
Cookie filling, recipe follows
Cookie filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 orange, zested

Cream the butter with a paddle attachment then mix in the sugar. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
Cookie Filling: In a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl. Whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools). Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

German Chocolate Cheesecake

2 (4 oz.) bars German sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
11 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons natural (unsweetened) cocoa
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 packaged graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
additional cocoa for topping (optional)

    1. Place chocolate chunks in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Set aside to cool.
    2. Mix cream cheese, sugar, cocoa and butter in large bowl until creamy. Gradually add melted chips, beating on low speed until blended. Fold in whipped topping until blended; spoon into crust. If desired, use a flour sifter to cover top with cocoa. Top with coconut and pecans. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours).

    SERVES 8
    PREP TIME 15 mins
    TOTAL TIME 3 hours

    1 cup powdered milk
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup hazelnut non dairy powdered creamer
    1/3 cup malt powder, optional
    1/3 cup table sugar

    Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl or process in a food processor. Store in an airtight container. This keeps indefinitely in the pantry.

    To make hot cocoa:
    Heat milk – in a pot on the stove or microwave about 70 seconds per cup. Fill your mug 1/3 to 1/2 full with mix and stir in milk. Don’t forget the whip cream.

    1 “Chocolate Cookie Crust” (recipe follows) in 9″ spring form pan
    3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
    1 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 (15 oz.) can pureed pumpkin
    2 eggs, 1 egg yolk
    1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, for swirling
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, for use in cheesecake, OPTIONAL

    1. Microwave chocolate chips and butter for 40 seconds; stir. Microwave at 10 to 20-second intevals as needed, stirring until smooth. Place in refridgerator 15 minutes while preparing crust and cake mixture.
    2. Prepare “Chocolate Cookie Crust”. Increase oven temperature to 400°. If desired, sprinkle the optional 1/2 cup chocolate chips over crust (start at edges).
    3. Cream sugar and cream cheese in stand mixer on high for 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides at least twice. Add flour and pumpkin pie spice and mix until blended. Add pumpkin and eggs and mix again until well blended.
    4. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Spoon teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture over top; swirl. If desired, sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top, clustering them together in the center. Press them down into the batter just slightly.
    5. Place into water bath and bake 10 minutes.
    6. Reduce oven temperature to 275°; continue baking 60 minutes or until almost set.
    7. Loosen cake from side of pan using a knife. Cool completely.
    8. To transfer to cake plate: cover cheesecake with the back of a cake or pizza pan; turn over and lift warm cake pan straight up; replace with cake plate and flip over.
    9. Cover and refrigerate about 5 hours before serving. Serve cold.

    SERVES 8-10
    PREP TIME 15 mins
    TOTAL TIME 6 hours
    Cheesecake can be wrapped in foil over plastic wrap and frozen for up to three months.
    Don’t over swirl chocolate top and don’t stick the knife in to deep.

    “Chocolate Cookie Crust”
    1 1/3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (approx. 45 wafers)
    1/3 cup butter
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
    1/3 cup sugar

    1. Heat oven to 350°.
    2. In food processor, grind vanilla wafers into crumbs.
    3. Add butter and blend well. (Note: if industrial strength food processor is not available, melt butter first.) Add cocoa and sugar and process until blended.
    4. Use a drinking glass to press mixture onto bottom of greased or lined 8″ spring form pan. Bake 8 minutes.

    SERVES 8-10 (for 9″ cake pan)
    PREP TIME 5 minutes
    TOTAL TIME 15 minutes
    This crust is far superior to store bought chocolate crusts. It’s definitely worth the extra 5 minutes.
    Prepare BOTH bottom and sides of pan with either Baker’s Joy spray, shortening & flour or parchement paper.

    2 (29 ounce) cans pear halves in juice
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar (approx.)
    4 oz chopped pecans (approx.)

      1. Place pear halves, cut side down, on paper towels
      2. Combine cream cheese and sugar in standing mixer until smooth
      3. Spread about 1 rounded tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto center of dry pears
      4. Place onto serving tray
      5. Sprinkle with chopped pecans

      Increase sugar to change this side dish to a dessert.