Monday, April 21, 2014

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons


Chocolate-dipped Coconut Macaroons are one of my favorite treats to buy in a bakery. So when I saw them featured on Lick The Spoon, my assignment for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I knew I would have to try my hand and making them. And since Easter was coming up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a new treat! These are so easy to put together and so delicious! You don't need a holiday for an excuse, make these yummy treats today.

Mix coconut, sugar,


flour


and salt in a large bowl. Beat egg whites until soft peaks, the add the vanilla.


Fold gently into the coconut mixture.


Form 20-24 roughly formed but firmly packed balls of mixture and place onto parchment-paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden.


Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 45 seconds. Stir, and heat again in 30 second intervals until nearly melted. Stir until smooth.


When cookies have cooled, dip the bottoms in melted chocolate


and place on parchment paper (chocolate side up) until cooled.


Enjoy!


One year ago: Scallop Risotto
Two years ago: Crockpot Carnitas
Three years ago: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Four years ago: Carrot Souffle
Five years ago: Carrot Cake

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

7 ounces coconut flakes
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
small pinch salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 ounces semisweet chocolate

Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl. Beat egg whites until soft peaks, the add them to the coconut mixture with vanilla, and stir until well combined. Form 20-24 roughly formed but firmly packed balls of mixture and place onto parchment-paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 45 seconds. Stir, and heat again in 30 second intervals until nearly melted. Stir until smooth.

When cookies have cooled, dip the bottoms in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper (chocolate side up) until cooled. Store in an airtight container.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats


I love different varieties of rice krispie bars - I can't even name a favorite (kind of like the varieties of banana bread!) - I love the cinnamon ones, the caramel ones, and now I love these too. I've had this recipe pinned for some time, and when this month's Improv Challenge was announced, I knew this would be the perfect entry. This month features dishes on the theme "Ebony and Ivory." Sing with me, now. We've got it covered here not only with oreos, but with marshmallows and white chocolate drizzle. I dare you to eat just one.

Start by placing the Oreos in a ziplock bag and chop them using a rolling pin or soup can. You want the Oreos to be a variety of sizes from chunky to finely crushed, so it's best to use this method and not a food processor.

Then, in a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows,


and cook, stirring constantly, until they melt together. Pour cereal


and chopped cookies


into the melted marshmallows mix well. Spread the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.


Place the white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave, using 50% power, for 45 seconds. Stir, then repeat once to melt the chips. Stir until smooth;


drizzle over the rice krispie treats.


Allow the bars to set, then cut.


One year ago: Sassy Pot Roast
Two years ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Crepes
Three years ago: Cherry Coffeecake
Four years ago: Shrimp Melts
Five years ago: Breakfast Couscous

Find more great stuff at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent.

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
20 Regular Oreos
5 cups mini marshmallows
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup white chocolate chips

Place the cookies in a ziplock bag and chop the cookies using a rolling pin or soup can. You want the Oreos to be a variety of sizes from chunky to finely crushed, so it's best to use this method and not a food processor.

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows, and cook, stirring constantly, until they melt together.

Pour cereal and chopped cookies into the melted marshmallows mix well. Spread mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.

Place the white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave, using 50% power, for 45 seconds. Stir, then repeat once to melt the chips. Stir until smooth; drizzle over the rice krispie treats. Allow the bars to set, then cut.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef in Training



Monday, April 14, 2014

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars


I first made these bars about four years ago, and I don't know why I didn't post them then. I owe all of you readers a big apology, because that's four years that you haven't been able to make these absolutely delicious bars. Make up for it by making these right away - these are a scrumptious blondie-like bars that are chock full of coconut and chocolate chips. I added almond extract to make these even more special. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Place the shortening, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla


and almond extract


in a large mixing bowl and cream together. Slowly blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips


and coconut.


Spread the mixture evenly in a greased 9x13 pan.


Bake for 25 minutes.


Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.


One year ago: Carmelized Brussels Sprouts in Garlic Butter
Two years ago: Fruity Coconut Cake Roll
Three years ago: Cashew Rice Pilaf
Four years ago: Chocolate Raisin Cake
Five years ago: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Talented Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Cast Party, What's Cooking #2.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips (I like using mini, but regular works well too)
1 cup shredded coconut

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract. Slowly blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips and coconut. Spread the mixture evenly in a greased 9x13 pan.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

Recipe Source: Adapted from AllRecipes

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Muffins


I am trying to invoke spring in as many ways as possible. One way is by cooking and baking with strawberries! These delicious muffins are chock full of these spring berries and are topped with a lovely crunchy cinnamon sugar mixture. These were a hit at a recent breakfast meeting, and I'm sure they'll be received with raving reviews at your house, too.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sour cream


and sugar. Add egg


and vanilla and blend well. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour mixture and milk


alternately. Stir in strawberries by hand.


Spoon into paper-lined or greased muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over each muffin.


Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Cool on a wire rack.

Although strawberry muffins won't melt the snow, they will help you feel more spring-like!


One year ago: Lemon Raspberry Pie
Two years ago: Ham and Snap Pea Risotto
Three years ago: Greek Chicken Pasta
Four years ago: Pesto Pasta Salad with Peas
Five years ago: Sloppy Joes

Find more great stuff at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday #2, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sour cream (regular or light)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, diced

Topping:
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sour cream and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and blend well. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in flour mixture and milk alternately. Stir in strawberries by hand. Spoon into paper-lined or greased muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over each muffin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Muffins keep at room temperature for two days, but are best eaten within one day.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Pigtails and Parsley

Monday, April 7, 2014

Take 5 Ice Cream Cake


I made this cake for my birthday this year, but there's another birthday worth celebrating - this blog is now five years old! I can't believe it! And I haven't aged a bit. It's been a great five years of trying new recipes and showing you that it's not difficult to cook and bake, and provide delicious and homemade meals and treats for your family, and so worth it. Here's to another five years!

This ice cream cake is celebration-worthy. An oreo crust is topped with caramel and pretzels, then filled with a peanut butter laced ice cream, topped with more peanut butter, then hot fudge. It is spectacular. You should find a reason to celebration - like that today is a day that ends in "y"!

Start by making the crust. Place cookies into a food processor and pulse until they have turned to crumbs. Toss them into a large bowl with the melted butter stir well to combine.


Press into a lightly greased springform pan.


Place in the freezer while you make the fudge sauce and caramel.

For the fudge sauce, combine the powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk and


chocolate chips


in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 6 minutes.


Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let the fudge sauce cool while you make the caramel.

For the caramel, place sugar and water in a medium saucepan


over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and cook without stirring


until the syrup is a medium amber color (about the color of maple syrup). Swirl the pan occasionally to keep cooking even. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream - mixture will bubble vigorously.


Return to medium heat and stir a few minutes to dissolve any bits of caramel. Add butter


and salt and stir to blend. Spoon the caramel into the crust


and return to the freezer while you make the ice cream layer.

Place the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 30 seconds to soften. Scoop the softened vanilla ice cream into a large bowl and use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir in the peanuts.


Pour in about 2/3 of the peanut butter and gently stir to swirl.


Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle the crushed pretzels over the caramel layer.


Spoon the ice cream on top of the pretzels in the crust then drizzle with remaining peanut butter,


and then the hot fudge sauce.


You'll only use a portion of the fudge sauce - keep the rest for sundaes!

Decorate the top with additional pretzels and peanuts, if you like.


Freeze the cake several hours before serving. When ready to serve, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan and place on a cake plate or cutting board. Let sit at room temperature about 5 minutes before serving to make it easier to cut.


One year ago: Chocolate Covered Oreo Cake
Two years ago: Asian Honey BBQ Tilapia
Three years ago: Dad's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Four years ago: Hearty Wild Rice Soup
Five years ago: Broccoli Salad

Get more great inspiration at Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Talented, Create, Link, Inspire, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking 2.

Take 5 Ice Cream Cake

Crust:
20 chocolate sandwich cookies
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

Caramel sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt

Chocolate Fudge sauce:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup evaporated milk
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Ice cream and assembly:
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup salted pretzels, crumbled
1/2 cup peanut butter


For the crust, place cookies into a food processor and pulse until they have turned to crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse several times to combine. Press into a lightly greased 9" or 10" springform pan. Place in the freezer while you make the fudge sauce and caramel.

For the fudge sauce, combine the powdered sugar, chocolate chips, evaporated milk and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let the fudge sauce cool while you make the caramel.

For the caramel, place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and cook without stirring until the syrup is a medium amber color (about the color of maple syrup). Swirl the pan occasionally to keep cooking even. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream - mixture will bubble vigorously. Return to medium heat and stir a few minutes to dissolve any bits of caramel. Add butter and salt and stir to blend. Spoon the caramel into the crust and return to the freezer while you make the ice cream layer.

Place the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 30 seconds to soften. Scoop the softened vanilla ice cream into a large bowl and use a sturdy wooden spoon to stir in the peanuts. Pour in about 2/3 of the peanut butter and gently stir to swirl.

Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle the crushed pretzels over the caramel layer. Spoon the ice cream on top of the pretzels in the crust then drizzle with remaining peanut butter, and then the hot fudge sauce. (You'll only use a portion of the fudge sauce - keep the rest for sundaes!) Decorate the top with additional pretzels and peanuts, if you like.

Freeze the cake several hours before serving. If the cake is going to be in the freezer for longer than a few hours, take it out after 2-3 hours and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan and place on a cake plate or cutting board. Let sit at room temperature about 5 minutes before serving to make it easier to cut.

Recipe Source: Inspired by I Heart Naptime
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