Monday, May 9, 2011

Knock You Naked Brownies

Oh my gawd! Delicious brownies with a generous layer ooey gooey caramel in the middle!

That ooey caramel was dripping on the counter the second after I snapped the photo! And the best part is that it was still soft and gooey after being refrigerated for an hour. Nothing worse than hard caramel that sticks to your teeth! But no worries about that with these scrumptious little babies!

The brownie base is actually made from a cake mix, but I promise you that no one will even be able to tell! Definitely doesn't have a "box cake" taste. Because of the cake mix these brownies are super easy and fast to whip up! The hardest part about making these is waiting for them to cool before being able to eat them.

These bad boys are delicious with a glass of milk, but are taken up a notch when served with a scoop or two of ice cream. Especially when they are still a little warm and they make the ice cream soft and soupy!

Knock You Naked Brownies

1 box german chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
60 Kraft caramels, unwrapped
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until well combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half of the mixture into a well-greased 8x8 inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler, melt caramels and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When completely melted, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips over caramel layer.

Turn out remaining brownie mixture onto work surface. Use your hands to press it into a square that is slightly smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to lift it off the counter and place on top of the caramel and chocolate chip layer.

Return pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow pan to cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Source: Pioneer Woman
Linked to: Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It Friday

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Communion Cupcakes

I've looked at the candy molds many many times at Micheal's and JoAnn's, but have always passed them up. For some unknown reason I figured they just wouldn't worked. I envisioned the candy getting stuck in the molds and ruining them while trying to get 'em out. Well yesterday I decided to spend the whopping two dollars and give them a shot. And boy am I glad I did! Kind of want to go to Micheal's now and grab one of every design! They are so incredibly easy. And not one of them got stuck in the mold! They pretty much just fall right out!

And best of all, making these cute little candies is so much easier, faster, and less stressful than working with fondant! So glad we are finding some fun alternatives to fondant!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lemon Tart

First and foremost, I must apologize for my poor picture. The family had dug into it before I could snap a decent photo... and my tin foil stuck to the whip cream. Do not let looks deceive you. This tart is absolutely amazing. Remember when Jess was blogging about a baking bucket list...well making a tart/torte has been on my list for quite some time. When I spotted this recipe I knew that it would be a nice compliment to my family's Easter dinner. This is a perfect light lemony spring dessert. I honestly can't wait to make it again and taste spring at its best. I'm proud to say that not only was it a tasty success on my first attempt at a tart but I also get to cross it off my baking bucket list.

So what stood out for me when I came across this recipe? Well, I do love lemon. It ranks right up there with pumpkin. So my eye always gravitates towards lemon recipes. This recipe has a shortbread crust. I love the light buttery taste of shortbread. Paired with lemon, cream cheese, and homemade whip cream, I knew that this would be a hit.

1 cup flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter

Lemon filling:
5 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 eggs
1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 8-9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. In a food processor place the flour, sugar, and salt. Process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. Place the pastry in the prepared tart pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. Cover and place the pastry shell in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.

When the pastry is completely chilled, place the tart pan on a large baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or electric mixer, place the cream cheese and process until smooth. Add sugar and process until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, and process until thoroughly combined. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended and smooth. Pour filling into pre-baked tart shell and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Transfer tart to a wire rack to cool, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour.

Beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Cover the lemon layer with the whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Joy of Baking
This recipe has also been linked to Cupcake Apothecary A Theme Bakers Sunday #2. Theme: Lemon

Bake on!

S'More Cookie Bars

Holy Cow!! It has been far too long since I have blogged. I have some catching up to do! I thought I would start out with a hit. These ooey gooey s'more bars are just as good as the sticky treats I grew up loving as a child. These treats are perfect for any season. While our s'more making season is quite limited in Minnesota, these are a perfect alternative and sooooooo much tastier than a "microwave s'more". The recipe is simple and the results are irresistible.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 (1.55 oz. each) HERSHEY's Milk Chocolate bars
1 cup marshmallow creme

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8-inch square pan.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press half of dough into prepared pan.

Arrange chocolate bars over dough, breaking as needed to fit. Spread with marshmallow creme. Scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallow; carefully press to form a layer.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes approximately 16 bars.

WARNING: wet nap not included!!
Bake on!

Linked to: Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Salted Peanut Bars

Tonight I am having a total writer's block. Descriptive words just aren't flowing. So I asked Zach what I should write about these and his response was, "YUM! That's all that needs to be said!" Guess we will leave it at that!!

Salted Peanut Chews

1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/3 cup margarine or butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows

2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 package peanut butter chips
2 cups rice krispies
2 cups salted peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, butter, and egg. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Press into 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to the oven for an additional one to two minutes or until the marshmallows begin to puff. Cool while preparing the topping.

In a saucepan, combine corn syrup, margarine, vanilla, and peanut butter chips. Heat until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in cereal and peanuts. Immediately spoon over marshmallows and spread to cover. Refrigerate for one hour.

Linked to: Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It