Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TWD - Chipster-Topped Brownies

Brace yourselves people this Tuesdays With Dorie has a high dosage of chocolate. It was pure heaven. I went from no baking at all to this beauty. Hallelujah!!!! Chipster-Topped Brownies are basically a thick layer of the richest chocolaty brownie ever with a layer of chocolate chip cookie spread on top. Here is the run down.

THE MAKING - I felt like this was an easy make simply because both brownies and cookies are such common treats around here that I didn't need to be paranoid about how it was supposed to look during the process. I used the Ikea dark chocolate bars for the bittersweet chocolate in the brownie portion of the treat. It did the job superbly. For the cookie part of the treat I felt like there was A LOT of butter. The batter tasted like butter to me, but in the end it cooked up nicely so maybe you need all that butter. The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate chips, but it also says you can change it up according desire. I ended up using peanut butter chips in combination with an Ikea milk chocolate bar. The peanut butter cookie and deep chocolate brownie complimented each other nicely.

Like I said these were heaven. You must be a chocolate person to truly appreciate them. Miriam (my chocolate obsessed 3 yr.old) quickly gobbled them down wanting more. Rebekah (my chocolate obsessed want-a-be but truly a lightweight, 5yrs) ate half a one and then gave the rest to Daddy who inhaled it quickly. Glenn and I both loved them and ate way too many. I made the whole 9x13, but I was glad I did. The day I made them we had play dates in and out of our house. So we sent treats home with two different families who all came back raving saying that they ate them all quickly and even began hoarding and hiding what was left. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I LOVE the Ikea chocolate bars. This was the first time I used the dark chocolate bar in baking and it was just as fantastic. My chocolate bars usually do not make it into my baking because I eat them soon after making it home from shopping (sometimes before). Yum!

If you want to give it a try you can go visit Beth at Suppilicious for the recipe.

TWD- Fresh Mango Bread

Lucky me! This wasn't my normal week for TWD but Liz thought it would be a bit too much to make this while trying to pack for a move cross country so she asked me to fill in for her. This was actually a recipe that I thought I would make even if I wasn't the one to post on it because it looked too good to pass up! 

I didn't make any changes to the recipe at all. In terms of mangoes, I have no idea how one mango would yield 2 cups of diced mango. It took me two mangoes and I was good to get as much as possible out of each one. The batter was definitely more like a dough and took a bit of mixing by hand to get all of the dry ingredients to fold in. 

Once in the oven, sweet tropical smells filled my house! I knew I was in for a real treat. I baked mine for the length of time recommended in the recipe but it seemed that the ends of the loaf were over done while the center was just perfect. I covered the loaf with foil for the last 20 or so minutes of baking so I'm not sure how to avoid that when I make it again. 

The finished product was wonderful! My only complaints were one, I wished I could taste more of the lime zest once the bread was baked. In the batter I could taste the hint of lime but once it was finished it seemed non-existent. Second slight issue was that the bread just kind of fell apart and was difficult to cut. It is so packed with mango that it was difficult to slice. That said, the taste more than made up for the fall-apart slices.

I actually baked two loaves and served one at a church activity one night and then at a lunch I catered the following day. It was received with rave reviews! I even had some women say that they really don't like mango at all but they loved the bread. I think that is because the mango flavor is more subtle once it is baked. 

This bread was wonderful and I will definitely make it again. Thanks to Kelly at Baking with the Boys for the great pick this week. If you want the full recipe head on over to her site.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monkey Fun

We had a birthday this week. I thought I would share the cake with everyone. I got the assembly instruction from parenting.com . There is always a debate as to whether I should do a specialty delicious cake or a fun one. This fun one was the way to go. Miriam giggled and giggled over her cake. She thought it was so funny that the monkey kept smiling at her. Such a funny girl

The Happy Birthday girl

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Babies

Did this one pique your curiosity?

These are awesome!!  And they don't just have a little bit of peanut butter cheesecake flavor swirled around inside, it has a real mass of deliciousness in the middle that you can enjoy and let linger in your mouth for a while.  Yummy!!!

I found this recipe in Kraft's Food and Family magazine.  They always have fun (and easy) recipes and its free!!  They even have archives online if you missed something.

1 pkg brownie mix (19-21 oz., I prefer Ghiradelli mixes!!) + ingredients to make
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/4 c peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups cool whip
20 maraschino cherries (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.  Spoon into 20 muffin cups.  I like the silicone ones, they just pop right out.

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla with mixer until blended.  Spoon a rounded Tbsp into each muffin cup and use another spoon to pull brownie mix over the top.  You should still be able to see some of the cheesecake on top.  Bake 30 minutes or until centers are set.  Cool to room temp, then transfer to refrigerator.  

True cheesecake needs to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours.  I found that to be true with these as well.  These are great on the first day, but if you can wait 24 hours, they're even yummier!

Serve topped with cool whip and maraschino cherries.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD: Tartest Lemon Tart

Pucker up baby!!  This one is SOUR!!  Here is a recipe that truly lives up to its name.  It really is the TARTEST lemon tart ever!  It contains whole lemons (sans seeds) pureed with the rest of the filling.  

I took the liberty of omitting 2/3 of the rind.  I zested the lemon, then cut off and discarded the white part of the rind, then added the flesh of the lemon.  I made the original version of the sweet tart dough.  (I've just had my fill of nuts ground up in things lately.)   I have to say how much I LOVED the dough!!   I'm sure I'll be looking for reasons to use that one again.

Even with the changes, it was super sour, but very tasty.  I served it with a sweet cream and thought it was really good.  I even had to put it in the freezer, so I wouldn't eat it all in one night.

Thanks to Barbara of www.babettefeasts.com!  This was a fresh, fun change from some of the things I've made lately.  If you haven't checked out "Baking, from my home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan, check it out.  There are some amazing and delicious things in there!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

TWD: Tiramisu Cake

Although we are not coffee drinkers for religious reasons, I have always loved the smell of coffee and the taste of coffee flavored desserts. The smell of coffee reminds me of mornings spent on summer vacations visiting grandparents. I guess you could say I am a bit nostalgic. So, when I read that the choice for this week was Tiramisu Cake I was intrigued. Turning Tiramisu into a cake. Genius!

I splurged and purchased the marscapone cheese at my local Sunflower Farmers Market (my new favorite place to buy produce). Although a bit pricey, I think it was well worth it. Because we don't have coffee around our house I had to find some instant coffee granules. I opted out of the espresso granules and instead chose to use a decaf coffee. And to substitute for the liquor I used almond extract. That said, even with my substitutions I think the cake turned out fabulous. I didn't have a chance to have it sit overnight or even for a couple of hours in the fridge. I'm sure the flavors would have been more pronounced if I had. I had friends over for dessert and all plates were licked clean. This probably won't be a regular recipe for me to make, but it will be saved for those times when the husband is craving Tiramisu. If you are interested in the recipe head on over to My Baking Adventures where Megan has it posted.

Until next week...Happy Baking!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stove-Top Broccoli Mac-and-Cheese

Good Eats is one of my favorite shows on The Food Network. I enjoy learning about kitchen science and Alton Brown makes it fun and informative. A few months ago I saw an episode on Macaroni and Cheese. Most of the show was dedicated to Baked Macaroni and Cheese but at the end he quickly showed a recipe for Stove Top Mac-and-Cheese. I was intrigued and decided it was a must try. It doesn't take much longer than box macaroni and cheese and the taste is amazing. As long as I keep evaporated milk in my pantry this will be my go-to recipe when the kids request macaroni and cheese. I made it this week and decided to add some broccoli to it to see how the kids would react. Much to my surprise they all loved it! Kids and adults will love this recipe. It is now a permanent addition to the Hasler Family Favorite Recipes. Enjoy!

Stove Top Broccoli Mac-and-Cheese
adapted from an Alton Brown recipe

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • Two broccoli heads cut into small florets
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 10 ounces shredded cheese (I've just used what I had on hand.)

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the broccoli and pasta until the pasta is al dente. Drain and return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.