Friday, March 29, 2013

Mini Bundt Carrot Cakes with Peeps and More


Easter, or Spring for some of you, is almost here, and that means chocolate  bunnies and chicks, move over, here come the  Peeps.  I always bought Peeps for my non-chocolate loving kid, until he told me he didn't like them any more.  so I hadn't bought any Peeps in a long time.  However, I was seeing tons of Peeps in all colors across the blogosphere, and suddenly I couldn't resist them. I even saw a picture in the Sunday Newspaper magazine putting Peeps on cupcakes, and making frosting grass with a Wilton tip. I googled frosting grass and found out that I needed a Wilton Tip 233. I love Google so much, and I really don't think that I could live without it:) Do you "Google" often?  I didn't even know that you could make frosting grass, but I do now.  I went out today a bought a Wilton Tip 233.


I decided that I would put Peeps on my Mini Bundt Carrot Cakes, perfect for Easter, and make the frosting grass.  I need more practice that's for sure, but I was crunched for time, if I was going to get pics, before it got dark. I also put Peeps on my Vanilla Cupcakes, too, and added the frosting grass.  Don't they look cute?


My Mini Bundt Carrot Cakes turned out so well.  I put grated carrots, crushed pineapple, toasted coconut, and walnuts along with coconut oil in the batter, which was very moist.  they came out of the pan, perfectly, too.  I hold my breath, every time I take them out of the pan, because you never know, if there will be a problem coming out of the pan. I frosted them with the traditional Cream Cheese Frosting. then I added the green grass with the Peep Bunny inside.  where else would the bunny be, but inside a carrot cake? If you make these, you won't be disappointed.  Have a Happy Easter, Happy Spring! Enjoy!



Mini Bundt Carrot Cake Adapted from Cupcake Project
Yield: 6 mini Bundt Carrot Cakes, plus, 12 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1 C finely chopped carrot ) - It's easiest to do this in a food processor.
  • 1 C (crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 C  coconut (I toasted mine)
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C flour
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine everything but flour, eggs, oil, and butter. 
  2. Add oil and butter and stir vigorously to combine. 
  3. Add eggs in one at a time, combining well after each addition. 
  4. Add flour in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide evenly among Mini Bundt pan. Smooth tops with a teaspoon. (If you have leftover batter, fill mini cupcake tins, and bake 10-12 min.)
  6. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until creamy and light.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. You can add more or less to get your desired consistency.
  3. Add vanilla until fully integrated.
  4. Spread on Mini cakes or cupcakes
I also linked up this post to Katherine Martiinelli's Easter Blog Hop!

  I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #60
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


    

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs



Even though I have seen a lot Peanut Butter Eggs on the blogosphere, I had to make these for my DIL,  Cherise, that loves Peanut Butter and Chocolate.  Her Grandma  Lorraine, makes Peanut butter Balls for her with Rice Krispies, peanut butter and chocolate. These Peanut Butter Chocolate are made with fresh ingredients , peanut butter, powdered sugar,  butter, and semisweet chocolate chips, no preservatives, and taste so good.  I didn't want to make a lot of these, so I made half a batch, and made various sizes, just enough for my DIL, and my other  son and wife.  Cherise's husband, my son, doesn't like chocolate.  I will try to make him oatmeal rabbit cookies, if I have time.  Saturday we are having a Birthday/Easter Party.  We are even going to color eggs, all six adults. It should be a lot of fun.


These eggs came together much easier than when I made Peanut Butter Balls. I halved the recipe, because I didn't want to make that many and have leftover eggs. I sprayed my hands with cooking oil, because the peanut butter mixture was very sticky.  I used the double boiler method to melt the semisweet chocolate chips.  I find that they are much easier to melt than the candy melts, which are too thick, even when thinned.  Once the eggs are coated, place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, and   add the sprinkles, if you want.  Refrigerate in a covered container until serving time. Enjoy and have fun waiting for the Easter Bunny!


 Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs ( I cut this recipe in half, and  got 14 eggs of various sizes)


 Ingredients:
 2 c. creamy peanut butter, not natural style
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c butter, 1 stick

Combine all of the above ingredients, and form into egg shaped peanut butter eggs.  I used my
1 1/2” cookie scoop, and then formed the egg   Refrigerate for 1 hour, or freeze for 15 min, on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

 Semisweet Chocolate Coating

 16 oz Semisweet Chocolate  or 12 oz. of chocolate candy melts
1 tsp coconut or canola oil to thin

1.   Leave eggs in refrigerator, while you are melting chocolate.
2.   Over double boiler or microwave in 30 sec. intervals, melt chocolate or candy melts, stirring until all lumps are melted. If using double boiler, be sure that the bottom of the bowl, doesn’t touch the water. Stir in Coconut or Canola oil, if needed to thin.
3.   Pour melted chocolate or candy melts into a deep bowl or cup, and drop the eggs in the chocolate, turning with two forks or a spoon to coat evenly.  Tap side of container to remove excess chocolate.
4.   Place on wax paper coated cookie sheet. Add sprinkles if desired, and refrigerate, until serving time. 

I also linked up this post to Katherine Martinelli's Easter Blog Hop!

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #60
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


    



Monday, March 25, 2013

Chocolate Pots de Creme


If you need a  rich, little dessert for your Easter menu, these Chocolate Pots de Creme are it. They have lots of chocolate flavor from the rich, creamy custard and are easy to make. You can dress them up or down. I forgot the whipped cream topping.  I made these cute little pots, for my Bunco group a couple of weeks ago in my demi tasse cups. You can garnish with berries, too. These are just  a little bite of rich, in case you have had to many chocolate eggs or Easter Bunnies and they look so cute on the table.


These little pots come together quickly.  First, you melt some good quality chocolate in simmered cream, stirring till melted.  I used half and half, and they turned out rich and delicious.  Then you whisk the egg yolks, six to be exact, and  sugar in a bowl, till thick and pale. Slowly stream some of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg sugar mixture to temper the egg yolks, whisking constantly. (Otherwise you will end up with scrambled eggs.  Continue to add the hot liquid to the egg mixture, until all the liquid is incorporated.  Be careful not get air into the mixture.

Strain custard over a large strainer into a large measuring cup.  Pour custard in to 6, 6 oz ramekins or 8 demitasse cups.  You might have some leftover custard to have "samples". Place ramekins in a large baking pan. and pour hot water, halfway up the sides of the ramekins or demi tasse cups. Cover pan with foil with a few holes poked in to let the steam escape. Bake 25-30 min. till outer edge of custard is set. Cool to room temperature, then cover custards, and refrigerate, until serving time.  You may make these ahead of time.  Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings,  or seasonal berries.  I forgot the garnish at the last minute, but I know you won't do that. Enjoy!



Chocolate Pots de Crème That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300º. Place 6 6-ounce ramekins or 8 demi tasse cups in large baking dish.  

Add cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir till chocolate is melted.

Whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl, till thick and pale.  Drizzle a bit of the hot chocolate mixture into eggs to temper, whisking constantly.  Continue slowly adding hot liquid while whisking till all liquid is incorporated.  Avoid incorporating air into mixture if possible. 

Place a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup.  Strain custard.  Pour custard into the ramekins, then pour enough hot water into pan to reach halfway up ramekins.  Cover pan with foil and poke a few wholes in foil to allow steam to escape.  Bake 25-30 minutes or till outer inch of custard is set.  Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate till serving time.  Garnish with whipped cream or berries

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #60
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


    



Friday, March 22, 2013

Mini Pink Velevet Bundt Cakes


Mini sized desserts are the best.  I love my new mini bundt pan, and made these Mini Pink Velvet Bundt  Cakes for my Bunco group last week. There is just something special, about having your own mini bundt cake all to yourself.  These little cakes are so moist, and a lovely Spring color.  The little cakes would be great for your Easter menu, and are less puhtzy, than cupcakes.  Now don't get me wrong, I love, love love cupcakes, but they do take time to fill the tins and  decorate. (I got five cupcake themed birthday cards:)

Mini Bundt Cakes, on the other hand, usually have a glaze of some type, or even powdered sugar with some sprinkles.  Who doesn't love sprinkles?  If you are making these with your kids, they can help you decorate the little cakes.  Do you bake with your kids?


As a former teacher, baking and cooking with your kids are great opportunities for following directions, using math skills, and fostering confidence, and making memories. Besides, they get to eat, what they helped to create.  I baked with my kids and my Granddaughter.  They all loved it. Now, with advanced technologies, the kids could also take pictures of what they made, as well.  The options are endless.  Sure, it might take a little longer to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and they might be a little messy, but the experience will well be worth it. Enjoy! 

Mini Pink Velvet Bundt Cakes Adapted from Taste of Home

Yields: 12 mini Bundt Cakes, 24 cupcakes, or 1 large bundt cake



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pink paste food coloring
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and food coloring until light and fluffy.

 Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. 


Spoon batter into well greased or sprayed with cooking spray, mini bundt pans, paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full, or large bundt pan.. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes for mini bundts or cupcakes, 40-55 min for a large bundt pan or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


 Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. 


Vanilla Glaze

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla


Combine all ingredients in small bowl, and mix until desired consistency. Drizzle glaze on cooled cakes


  I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #59
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pina Colada Layer Cake-Happy Birthday to Me



Today is my birthday, the first day of Spring!  Mother Nature is not cooperating though.  Our weather is cold and snowy.  Where is Spring?  Last year it was 84 degrees on my birthday, and today the high will be 26 with wind chills in the single digits, Yikes.  When I trying to decide what to make for my birthday, my mind automatically went to tropical desserts. I want to close my eyes and pretend I'm on a beach somewhere, sitting in the sand with the warm sun. Don't worry, I have my sunscreen on.  Pina Colada cupcakes or cake would be good, tropical pineapple, coconut, and rum, all in a cake, Yum!


I'm so excited that I finally got a cake stand.  I never had one before.  I got a good deal on this one at TJ Maxx.  I liked the color and the edging. Now, I had  to a make a cake to use my new cake stand, and it would be Pina Colada layer cake.  Now, I don't make layer cakes too often, but this Pina Colada turned out pretty well.  I used parchment paper in the cake pans, so I didn't have to use flour. Also, I used strips of waxed paper on the cake stand, when I was frosting the cake.  These are basic things, that I had never done, till now. I need lessons from Monet, and her Cake Stand.


This Pina Colada layer cake is a very moist yellow cake with coconut milk and a little dark rum.  The baked layers are brushed with a pineapple juice rum mixture.  Then you make a Buttercream Frosting with coconut milk and more rum.  Some of the frosting is mixed with crushed, drained pineapple and spread on the bottom layer, sprinkled with coconut. The layers are put together, and frosted with the remaining Rum Butter Cream Frosting, and sprinkled with toasted coconut.  Even though it sounds like the cake has a lot of rum, it isn't overpowering.  The same goes for the coconut milk.  There is just enough coconut flavor. This cake is amazing, even if I say so myself. One bite of this cake, and you will be in the tropics, just where I want to be today!  This cake would be a perfect addition to your Easter Menu.



Pina Colada Cake

Adapted from Food Net work   

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Glaze:

·      1/4 cup pineapple juice from crushed drained pineapple reserve pineapple

·      2 Tbsp dark rum

Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  •  2 Tbsp coconut milk. more or less
  • 1 2 tbsp Dark rum
  • 1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple juice (14 oz can)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup flaked toasted coconut***

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans. In an electric mixer or using a hand beater, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add coconut extract and eggs 1 at a time. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and powder. To mixer add coconut milk and flour to creamed mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 to 28 minutes. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes then remove the cakes onto rack(s) and allow to cool completely.


For Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine pineapple juice and rum.  Brush over cooled layers.


 For Frosting: In an electric mixer or using a hand mixer beat together the butter, until well blended and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar gradually at low speed. Beat in coconut milk and dark rum. Remove 3/4 cup frosting.


Stir reserved pineapple into reserved frosting.  Spread between the layers, and sprinkle with one cup of coconut.


Frost cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle top with toasted coconut.

***Toasted Coconut- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Place coconut on a cookie sheet lined with foil.  Bake 7-10 minutes, stirring every 2 min.  Watch carefully! Coconut burns easily.  Remove from oven and cool on rack.

.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #59
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mini Quiche Lorraine and Springtime in Paris!


The first Day of Spring is almost here, but Mother Nature isn't co-operating unfortunately.  We have had temps in the 30's with snow this March.  Last year we had temps in the 80's for nine days, and now this weeks we will have temps in the low 30's and high 20's, and more snow, unbelievable. Anyway, last week it was my turn to host Bunco, so I had a Springtime in Paris Party, complete with a mini Eiffel Tower, and French food. Even though we didn't have Spring weather, we could "transport" ourselves to Paris for the evening, n'est-ce-pas?


For our French Menu, which was appetizers first and dessert later in the evening,  I made Mini Quiche Lorraine, Spinach Mushroom Crepes, Baked Brie with a Balsamic Reduction, Mini Croissants with Chicken Salad, and  Crudites with a Herb Yogurt Dip. For the dessert portion, I made Mini Pink Velevet Bundt Cakes, Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, and Chocolat Pots de Creme We also sipped on French Champagne Punch.  Most of the recipes will be posted alter.  We had a lot of food, and a lot of fun.


I wanted to make Mini Quiche Lorraine as one of the appetizers, because they are so French and so good besides. What could be better than cheese, bacon, and onion combined in a cute little crust?  Now, I did use the refrigerated pie crusts, because I was short on time, but can use your own crust recipe, if you like.   So many things to make, and so little time. These little quiches can be made ahead and frozen, which I did.  I just put them in a freezer container, covered with plastic wrap, and in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge, and reheat in the microwave. These little quiches would be perfect for an Easter Brunch.  If you wanted them a little larger , just make them in a regular cupcake pan.  Bon Appetit!




Makes 36 mini quiches 


Ingredients:

One recipe double pie crust. A ready made refrigerated pie crust works well, or you can use your own recipe, or this one.  **If you don’t have a 2 1/2” biscuit or cookie cutter, you can use a 21/2” rim of a glass or canning jar, which is what I did.  It worked great,

6 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 medium eggs
1/2 C cream
1/2 C grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese (I used all Swiss cheese)
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 T chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco (didn’t add)

Directions:

Spray the cavities of two mini muffin tins with spray oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F



Cook the bacon slices and cool on paper towels. Cook onion in bacon pan, until softened.



Beat the eggs in a medium to large bowl. Add the cream, cheeses, parsley, salt, pepper, and Tabasco, if used. Stir in the cooled onions



Use a 2 1/2** inch cookie cutter to cut the pastry into circles. Line the muffin tin with with pastry.



Chop the bacon into small pieces. Divide the bacon pieces evenly, among the pastry lined muffin cups.



Place about two tsp of egg and cheese mixture into each pastry



Bake one tin at a time for about 30 minutes until golden and puffy.

Cool on rack, unless you serving them right away.



To freeze, place cooled quiches in a freezer bag or container and freeze.. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake at 350 for about ten minutes, or in the microwave 

Serve either warm or at room temperature..


   I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #59
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


    

Friday, March 15, 2013

Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patty's Day




We always make a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner around St. Patrick's Day, so we made one yesterday. I was able to find low sodium corned beef this year. We put the corned beef in a pot on the stove and simmered until tender We love carrots, so we put in a whole bag of carrots, red potatoes "B "size, and a small head of cabbage . This is Scott's plate, he likes cabbage, me not so much.





 Now, for the mystery, What is in this glass?  It's green and has bubbles. You don't have to necessarily drink it for St Patrick's Day, because it is green all of the time. You can buy this, it isn't something that you make. You might be showing your age if, you know what this is.  Give up?


 Green River soda!!! I'm probably showing my age, but I can remember going to the corner drugstore, sitting at the soda fountain, and ordering a Green River. I could have ordered a Vanilla Coke, a Chocolate Coke, a Cherry Coke, or if you were really brave, you get a Suicide Coke.  A suicide coke was a mixture of all the flavors of Coke. For those of you who don't know about Green River soda, it’s even on Wikipedia!  What would we go without Google and Wikipedia?  According to Wikipedia, Green River Soda was first manufactured in 1919 by a brewery in Chicago, as a non-alcholic Prohibition drink.  Once Prohibition ended, Green River fell out of favor. It was later a soda  fountain drink in the 60's.  Maybe your parents had Green River Soda? It is now manufactured in Chicago. The bottle is now plastic, and they even have a Diet version. It's a very limey drink, no wonder I like it.  If you can find it in your area, try it!  You might like it!


Back to the recipe:
Corned Beef and Cabbage
1 3 lb Corned Beef Brisket, preferably flat, cut spice packet was included
4 clove of garlic, smashed
1 med onion quartered
2 bay leaves
1 lb of whole carrots cut in chunks
1 lb of red potatoes, 'B" size
1 small head of cabbage, quartered
Place brisket in a pot with garlic, onion, bay leaves and content of spice packet.  Cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer.  wait 5 min, and skim off foam. Continue simmering, until meat begins to get tender.  Add carrots and potatoes.  Continue simmering for 15 min, and then add cabbage.  Cook until cabbage is tender, approximately 15 min.  .
Slice meat and serve with vegetables.  Slainte!

I also linked up this recipe to Katherine Martinelli's St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #58
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


   

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Cake for Pi Day, 3/14!




Celebrate Pi Day by making a Pi cake for your Math Geek.  What is a "Pi" Cake you might ask?  "Pi" is the mathematical constant for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, the ratio itself: 3.141592+.  It has been represented by the Greek letter "π".  I made this "Pi" cake for Cherise, my daughter-in-law, who was an engineering major in college, and loves all things "Pi". When I was looking on the web for all things, "Pi, I saw that someone had made a "Pi" shaped cake, so I had to make this for her.  Pi Day is celebrated on 3/14.

  I used a knock off recipe for Portillos chocolate cake. I needed  a firm cake to cut out the design, and  Portillos chocolate cake recipe is firm.  I knew that because I used to work at Portillos in the Catering Dept. and have eaten a lot of Portillos Chocolate cake over the years.  I baked two 9x9 cake layers, doubling the knock off recipe, and put chocolate frosting between the layers., Then, Scott cut out the design free hand, without a template, that's his "artist's eye". Unbelievable!!! He did a wonderful job!!. I couldn't have made the cake without his help.  That's why we make such a great team. After the design was cut out, I frosted the cake with Vanilla Butter Cream frosting, so the design would stand out.


Portillos Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Butter Recipe Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup Hellman’s Mayonaise
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and  Spray and flour desired pans.  I used two 9X9 pans, so I doubled the recipe, and had leftovers for cupcakes
  2. Combine cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes until fluffy.
  3. Pour into prepared pans
  4. Follow baking instructions on box for your choice of pan.
  5.  Test for doneness
  6. Cool in pans 10 min.  remove to rack to cool


Cook's Note:

I used two recipes of the Portillos Chocolate Cake to make the "Pi" Cake. Because I didn't know how much batter it would take to fill a 9X 9 pan, I made each box, one at a time.  I filled one 9 x9 pan, and then used the remaining batter for cupcakes, then I repeated the process for the second 9X9 pan.









Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
Ingredients
1/2 c butter, room temperature
2c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c more or less milk, or half and half I used almond milk
Cream butter with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.  Gradually add in powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix well, Add milk until desired consistency.
Frost top of the Pi  cake.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Irish Cream Brownies with Chocolate Irish Cream Ganache


This is one of my favorite recipes with Bailey's Irish Cream.  Now,  there are lots of recipes that have mint flavoring or green food coloring, but  something with Bailey's Irish Cream, which isn't green, but it's sure Irish, is so good. With a last name of Higgins, the recipe couldn't be anything less.  Bailey's Irish Cream is my favorite liqueur, especially with coffee.  We even named our dog, Bailey, because she is the color of Irish cream, true story.


This recipe has a rich, fudgy brownie topped with a layer of Irish Cream Butter Cream and topped with a Chocolate Irish Cream Ganache. These brownies taste heavenly! You are going to think that you have a pot' gold and will have the "Luck of the Irish, when you take your first bite. My husband doesn't even know that I made these babies, or he would want to eat them all.  I hid them in the freezer, Sshh, Dont' tell him.


I used my go to brownie recipe baked in an 8x8 pan.  Then I made Vanilla Butter Cream, substituting Bailey's Irish Cream for the milk in the Butter Cream for the Irish Cream Layer. Finally,  the ganache recipe used the heated Bailey's to melt the chocolate, and then was carefully spread over the Irish cream layer. Pure delight! Chocolate and Irish Cream in three layers.


Irish Cream Brownies with Chocolate Irish Cream Ganache Inspired by Fannie May Mint Brownies
Fudge Brownies Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients:
1/2 c butter
2 squares, (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp .vanilla
3/4 c. AP Flour

Directions:
Fudge Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line an 8x8x2 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, edges overlapping. If using foil, spray the opposite side of the foil Melt butter and chocolate.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar.  Add eggs, and vanilla.  Beat lightly until just combined.  Stir in flour and mix well. Spread batter in pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Do not over bake. Cool on rack.  Leave brownies in pan.

Irish Cream Layer
11/2 c powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter
1/4-1/3 c Bailey’s Irish Cream, or other brand

Beat butter with and electric mixer, until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar, adding Irish cream until desired consistency.  The butter cream should be in a spreadable, thick layer. Spread Irish Butter Cream over the cooled Brownie. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes, until firm. Leave in prepared pan.


Chocolate Ganache
6 oz. dark or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
3/4 c Irish Cream or heavy cream

Place chocolate in medium bowl, Heat Irish cream until simmering. Do not boil. Pour over chocolate in bowl. Stir chocolate until chocolate is evenly melted. Allow to cool and thicken.  Pour over refrigerated brownie with Irish Cream layer and spread out over the top of the Butter Cream layer.  Refrigerate at least one hour until ganache is set.

 When ready to serve, remove the pan from the fridge, wait about 15 minutes for the ganache to soften slightly and cut the bars with a   knife dipped in warm water, and dried. Cut into squares and serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers. if there are any.

I also linked up this recipe to Katherine Martinelli's St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop


I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #58
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicken Stir Fry with Honey Orange Sauce


Stir fry is a wonderful thing, especially when you have leftover vegetables from a Cheese Fondue Party.  We had leftover Mushrooms, Broccoli and Cauliflower. besides the mini  bell peppers, onions, and cilantro, that we had in our fridge.  All we had to add was about 3/4 pound of chicken breasts.  You could also use pork, shrimp, or beef, whatever meat you have on hand.  And then there is the sauce.


We had leftover sauce, Honey Orange Sauce from the sauteed shrimp that we had at the fondue party. That sauce is amazing.  We now have had the sauce with Pork Tenderloin, Sauteed shrimp, and Stir Fry Chicken.. The possibilities are endless. The sauce has such a sweet, tangy, flavor with a bit of salt.  I'll warn you that it's very addicting. We are already planning the next dish to use the sauce.


If you make this dish or just the sauce, please let me know how you liked it.  This dish is so quick, easy and delicious for a weeknight dinner.  Besides being so colorful and enticing, it  is low fat, and low sodium.  Enjoy!



Chicken Stir Fry with Honey Orange Sauce



Ingredients:

34/-1 lb of chicken breasts, diced in small pieces

1-2 cloves of garlic minced

1 small onion, diced

2 Tbsp canola or peanut oil

Any fresh vegetables of your choice, mushrooms, broccoli, water chestnuts, Baby Bok Choy, etc. Cauliflower, etc.

1 tsp Five Spice Powder



Honey Orange Sauce

1/3 cup Orange Marmalade

3 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

3 Tbsp low sodium Soy or Teriyaki Sauce

1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh garlic.

1 1/2 teaspoons honey



Directions:

Heat wok or large skillet on high.  Add oil, garlic, and onion for 2-3 min.  Add diced chicken, stirring until lightly brown and cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside in bowl.  Add stir fry veggies, fresh or frozen, and cook until crisp, 3-4 min. then, add chicken back to pan with veggies and, seasonings. Combine all of sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with whisk. Pour sauce over ingredients in the wok and heat over medium heat Stir well. Serve over rice  
 
  I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #57
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


 


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