Thursday, December 20, 2012

Caramel Pretzel Brownies

Caramel Pretzel Brownies

  • Brownies:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Toppings:
  • 4 oz milk chocolate, melted
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped thin pretzels
  • 14 caramels, unwrapped (make sure they are fresh caramels, not ones you have had in your pantry for 9 months. They won't turn out well)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  1. Grease a 13 x 9" pan and preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and stir in the sugars.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Gently stir in the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  7. Sprinkle the pretzels over the brownies and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Set the pan on a rack to cool.
  9. Drizzle the melted milk chocolate evenly over the pretzels.
  10. Combine the caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the brownies and let rest for at least an hour before cutting into squares.                                                                                                                                                             Recipe and Photo source: Cate's World Kitchen

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crunchy Candy Bar Caramel Corn

Crunchy Candy Bar Caramel Corn
Time: 30 minutes + 15 minutes to set up
Yield: One large jelly roll pan full
Recipe adapted from Your Homebased Mom

16 C popped popcorn (1/2 C unpopped)
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C corn syrup
1/2 C butter
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
15 fun sized candy bars (I used twix, milky way and 1000 Grands)
1 C white chocolate chips
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1 t shortening

1. Pop 16 cups of popcorn.
2. Into a medium sized glass bowl, or large glass measuring cup, place the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Repeat this step four more times. (Total of 5 minutes in the microwave)
Heat and stir…
Heat and stir…
Heat and stir…

and a final “heat and stir”. It should be very bubbly and hot at this point.

3. Add the baking soda, vanilla,and a dash of salt. 

4. Pour the popcorn into a large brown paper grocery sack.

5. Pour the caramel right into the bag on top of the popcorn. Stir it around with a wooden spoon. 

6. Fold the bag over and place it in the microwave, heat for 1 minute. Take the bag out of the microwave and shake it….shake it…..shake it.
7. Return the bag to the microwave and heat it for an additional 30 second, then shake it again. 

8. Pour the caramel corn out onto a large jelly roll pan, lined with parchment paper. 

9. Chop up the candy bars and lay them out over the caramel corn. 

10. Heat the white chocolate chips in the microwave, for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating interval. Don’t let the chocolate get too hot. Add 1/2 t shortening to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. 

11. Drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the caramel corn and candy bars. 

12. Melt the semi sweet chocolate just like you melted the white chocolate. Drizzle it over the caramel corn. 
13. Let the chocolate set up (you can pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes to hurry along the process). Break it up into chunks and serve. Store any leftovers in an air tight container.
Recipe and photo source: Jamie Cook's It Up

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk (not fat-free)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked (I recommend reducing it to 8 oz to 12 oz)
1 1/2 to  2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 to  2 C mozzarella cheese, grated
Cook the chicken and noodles first at the same time. Once noodles are done–rinse in cold water and set aside (it keeps them from sticking together). Combine evaporated milk (don’t use fat-free version) and Ranch dressing in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Stir in chicken and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes (don’t do any less), stirring frequently. Layer half of lasagna noodles, poultry sauce, and cheese in well-buttered 9×13 pan. Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe and photo source: Real Mom Kitchen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Peppermint Brownies with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Peppermint Brownies
Yields 12 – 16 servings

1 (18.3 oz) box Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
2/3 cup butter, melted (10 2/3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 recipe Fluffy Peppermint Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine brownie mix, melted butter, milk, eggs and peppermint extract and using a wooden spoon, stir until combine. Pour mixture into a buttered 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish and bake in preheated oven 50 – 55 minutes. Allow to cool completely then frost with Fluffy Peppermint Buttercream Frosting and sprinkle with optional crushed peppermint candy canes (note that it will take several hours for the brownies to cool completely because they are thick, so plan accordingly). 

Fluffy Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy about 6 – 8 minutes, occasionally scrapping down sides of the bowl. Add in powdered sugar, heavy cream and peppermint extract then mix on low speed until combine, then increase mixer to medium-high speed and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. 

Recipe and Photo Source: I Heart Naptime
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