Posts Tagged 'chocolate'

Completely Random Icebox Dessert

I always have a sweet tooth after a meal…no matter how full I am. So after lunch, I was rummagging around the kitchen for something, anything that I could eat for dessert.

I saw half a package of reduced fat graham crackers, boxes of pudding mixes, and lots of random little things in the freezer. So what did I make? You guessed it. Another icebox dessert.

I made the sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding according to the directions, with two cups of skim milk and a dash of instant coffee. I didn’t lighten this one with whipped topping, mainly because mine was frozen and I didn’t feel like waiting for it to defrost in the fridge.

I placed some graham crackers in the bottom of a dish. I skipped the step of dunking these in milk, but you can definitely do that if you need then to soften quicker.

Graham crackers make awesome fodder for icebox desserts…especially if you make the Boston Cream Pie dessert for a crowd in a large dish!

Spread 1/3 of the pudding on the graham crackers.

Does this look familiar?

Last time I made the Butterscotch Bark, after all of it was devoured, the platter had about 1 cup of the topping that did not stick to the graham crackers. I put it in a ziplock baggie and put it in the freezer thinking that it would make a killer topping for some vanilla ice cream…but then it found its way into my icebox dessert.

Sprinkle some of that onto the pudding.

Repeat this 2 more times, for a total of 3 layers.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you dipped the graham crackers in milk, it’ll be softened and ready to eat in less than 2 hours, but if you did not soak the crackers, you can leave it in the fridge all day and eat it for dessert after dinner!

Enjoy!

Overeating at the Bellagio

Last month, in honor of me and the BFF’s birthdays, we took our annual trip to Las Vegas!!

Now, I can’t really show you any pictures save for those in which I took at the glorious Bellagio Buffet. This was our first time eating at a Las Vegas buffet and we were not disappointed.

I only remembered to take pictures of the desserts. Besides, I’m sure you don’t want to see my dinner plate stacked with prime rib, on top of Alaskan snow crab legs, on top of rack of lamb, on top of manicotti….I could go on…haha.

The desserts were super delicious and each on its own little plate:

Creme brulee, flan, chocolate and hazelnut mousse cake, chocolate raspberry mousse cake, bread pudding (way in the back of the picture, but insanely delicious!)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I know, I am very, very behind on my blogging. Forgive me while I try to catch up!

March was a very busy birthday month! I celebrated at least 7 of them! These were for a co-worker…

Inspired by the delicious Michael Jackson cupcake that I had at Hey Cupcake in Austin…

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

I love these foil cupcake liners…you don’t have to use a cupcake/muffin pan!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Yea, that’s right…I said Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies!! The best friend’s birthday was coming up and I wanted to bake her something so yummy that she would forget that she was turning 27.

I got the recipe from the Betty Crocker website. I have this Betty Crocker Recipe of the Day gadget on my iGoogle homepage. I LOVE it.

The recipe was so insanely easy…

Make brownie mix and cookie mix as directed on the package.

I buttered the pan and dusted with cocoa powder for anti-sticking insurance!

Drop the cookie dough onto the brownie batter and press it in a little bit. The picture below shows perfect little rows of cookie blobs, but in fact, I still had more cookie dough, so I had to plop it in more randomly…

Let it cool completely. Then put on the icing!!

Cut into squares and ENJOY!

While I was cutting the brownie squares, one of them looked too rectangular, so I was forced to cut off a piece to even it out…and then I was forced to eat it for quality assurance purposes, of course.

Honestly, this was the BEST brownie I have ever eaten. It made me so happy, I was squealing with joy…really….squealing….

Homemade Oreos and Thin Mints

I saw this picture in a Food Network newsletter and I knew what I’d be doing this weekend!

The recipe was given by Trois Pommes Bakery in New York. It is definitely a keeper!

Here are some of my observations:

It calls for Dutch process cocoa powder, which isn’t sold in regular grocery stores, so I headed over to Whole Foods and picked some up for a hefty $8.99. I figured I shouldn’t try to substitute regular cocoa powder and mess up the recipe. Wondering what’s the big difference? Here’s your answer.

It doesn’t say “Dutch Process” on the box. It just says imported from Holland. Here’s a picture of what it looks like:

It says to only re-reoll the scraps once, but I did it maybe 3 or 4 times to use up all the dough…no big deal. (Especially since I spent $9 on the cocoa powder!!)

It says the recipe yields 64 cookies or 32 when sandwiched together. I got about 100, probably because of all the re-rolling I did.

I used a 2-inch round cookie cutter like the recipe suggested, but I think a smaller bite-sized one would be better.

I used my linzer cookie cutter set (just the heart) to make decorative imprints in the cookies. Since the cookies don’t rise, you can take a lot of creative liberty here. You could use rubber stamps (with not too much detail) or even just prick them with the tines of a fork.

It also says to space them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. This is totally unnecessary since they don’t spread. You can just space them 1 centimeter apart!

Here are all the cookies: plain round, imprinted round, and round with fluted edge.

Since Girl Scout cookie season ends on March 29th, I thought this would be a good time to experiment with making Thin Mints. I melted some Andes Mint chips in the microwave and dipped all the ones with a fluted edge.

I sandwiched the rest with the creme filling:

The final product!

They don’t really look like the ones in the Food Network picture, but hey, I am really proud of them!!

Valentine’s Day 2009, Part Trois (last one!)

Project 3: Alfajores

Many of my co-workers are Argentineans. I have also traveled to Argentina for work and I couldn’t help but notice the Starbucks-like popularity of these Havanna Cafes. These chic cafes, nestled on every corner in Buenos Aires, peddle rich espressos and delicious confections.

One confection in particular, alfajores, are extremely popular. You can’t leave Argentina without a box of these. They are shortbread-like cookies filled with dulce de leche and coated in chocolate, coconut, or meringue. The Havanna variety are wrapped in regal, gold wrappers…Think, the Rolls-Royce of Hostess Ding Dongs.

I tried my hand at making these, with a Valentine’s flair, of course.

I used this recipe I found on the net, but any shortbread recipe would do. I would also highly recommend the “semi-homemade” version of making rolled cookies by kneading 1/4 C. of all-purpose flour into one tube of sugar cookie dough. I got that idea from Giada. It yields an ever-so-slightly-cakey cookie that is just sweet enough. Plus, they really keep their shape while baking; no need for spacing them out because they don’t spread!

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For the dulce de leche, I was fortunate enough to find it in the international foods aisle of my local grocery store, but you can easily make it by boiling a can of condensed milk for hours and hours. Instructions found here.

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I dipped them half way in semi-sweet chocolate melted in a double boiler.

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Place them on a platter and adorn with wrapped chocolates and watch them disappear!

They were a HUGE hit and even the Argentineans raved about them. I will definitely make these again, maybe with a fluted round cookie cutter next time…

Valentine’s Day 2009, Part Deux

Project 2: Box of Chocolates from design.wash.rinse.repeat

An adorable DIY Valentine gift using Hershey’s Nuggets…I used the one with toffee and almonds. Yummm.

I must say that this one was tricky. First, I couldn’t figure out how to open a .png file and then I could not figure out how to print it to get the right dimensions. After toying with it a bit, I got some decent results.

I just LOVE the color combo of the gold with pink and orange. It just makes me happy.

With a bit of customization, this would make such a cute wedding favor, but it would be way too much work…

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