Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mini Caramel-Brownie bites

So.. this is what my final result was on the caramel sauce and the brownies I made last night... I didn't have any white chocolate as I think they would have popped out a bit more with it on top (may have to try that later tonight).  I placed it in a mini cupcake wrap.  Which by the way was a Christmas themed one but can you see that part? no worries... :)

This is what it looks open -->

Chocolate heaven! 

In the middle of the sandwiched brownie is more caramel.  After taking a bite out of one tho.. I'm thinking adding toffee bits would be even better! :)

I dipped it in some melted chocolate and topped it with Caramel (adding toffee bits up there would be great too!)  oh.. my head is spinning!!  lol

My kids are going to love this!  Hey, lets be honest... who cares if they do because if they don't... that means more for me! *WINK*

Monday, July 25, 2011


This is my home made caramel sauce that is waiting to be chilled for tomorrow dessert.  
I just pulled out my brownies from the oven and it also is cooling down for the dessert I will be making.  I can't wait!

To be continued...

Jumbo Maple-Pecan Scones

Now this is a Jumbo Scone!!!

This is another recipe from the FN magazine and it is one that was shown on the show "The Office" as one of the desserts offered. 
This to me was like a thick pancake with nuts, don't get me wrong it wasn't bad.. it was just very delicious but very addicting. ;)  
A great breakfast to go!

The recipe is below.



  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal.

Add the pecans and pulse once. Add the buttermilk mixture and pulse 3 or 4 times, or until the mixture is just moistened. (Do not overmix or the scones will be tough.)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until it just forms a ball. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. (To make individual scones, cut into 8 wedges and space apart on the baking sheet.) Brush with buttermilk and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Mix the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the scone. Cut into wedges.

Add some strawberries or some mixed fruit with this to balance the sweetness. 
You can also use the maple syrup mixture for dipping your favorite fruits... yum!


Monster Marshmallow Cookies

After tasting this, I will have to say it is my favorite cookie.  I don't know why they call it a monster cookie (maybe because of all the ingredients) but they came out normal size for me. ;)  I guess you could make them bigger and then they will be considered a MONSTER cookie.
Below you will find the recipe.  This recipe is from the Food Network Magazine (you will see a lot of my recipes coming from this magazine..).



For the Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons half-and-half
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans


Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and both sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time on medium speed, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined.

Stir the oats, cereal, chocolate chips, pecans and marshmallows into the dough with a wooden spoon. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies in batches until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

Make the topping: Combine the chocolate chips, marshmallows, half-and-half and cayenne pepper in a saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the pecans. Drizzle the mixture over the cookies and let set, about 4 hours.

Note: Don't forget your tall glass of milk with this... Enjoy!


Above: I didn't know how to get these cones to set when I dipped them in chocolate.  I had just used the last egg in my carton and thought.. "hey, this could work!"  I turned it over and poked little holes with my finger and inserted the cones. Doesn't take much room and I can do a dozen at a time.  :)

The final result!
These were shown in the Food Network magazine but I did my filling different and added the dipped chocolate edges to the cones.  These were gone before I could get out the door.  They are topped with grated chocolate and chopped pistachios. YUM!  A favorite for sure.
Recipe below:

  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (about 2 ounces)
  • 6 sugar cones
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios


Put the ricotta in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Refrigerate 30 minutes to drain.
Transfer the ricotta to a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and the orange zest and beat with a mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Fold in 3 tablespoons chopped chocolate. Cover and refrigerate until thick and cold, at least 1 hour.
Transfer the ricotta mixture to a resealable plastic bag. Snip off one corner and pipe the mixture into the cones. Gently press the remaining chocolate and the pistachios into the ricotta mixture. Dust the cones with confectioners' sugar.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Breakfast Skillet

This is something I had when I went to the beach for the Holiday (July 4th) weekend camping trip.  We stopped by a restaurant one morning and I had a breakfast skillet and it was sooo good!  I knew when I got home I would have to try it. 
Turned out just like the one they had.

Kielbasa, eggs, hashbrowns, green peppers, onions and to top it off... country gravy!  YUMM!!!

Cooking Terms

Al dente
“To the tooth,” in Italian. The pasta is cooked just enough to maintain a firm, chewy texture.
To brush or spoon liquid fat or juices over meat during roasting to add flavor and to prevent it from drying out.
To slice a food crosswise at a 45-degree angle.
To thicken a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as eggs, flour, butter, or cream.
A popular Cajun-style cooking method in which seasoned foods are cooked over high heat in a super-heated heavy skillet until charred.
To boil briefly to loosen the skin of a fruit or a vegetable. After 30 seconds in boiling water, the fruit or vegetable should be plunged into ice water to stop the cooking action, and then the skin easily slices off.
A cooking technique that requires browning meat in oil or other fat and then cooking slowly in liquid. The effect of braising is to tenderize the meat.
To cook food directly under the heat source.
To cut open a food such as pork chops down the center without cutting all the way through, and then spread apart.
Browning sugar over a flame, with or without the addition of some water to aid the process. The temperature range in which sugar caramelizes is approximately 320º F to 360º F (160º C to 182º C).
Remove impurities from butter or stock by heating the liquid, then straining or skimming it.
To slowly cook pieces of meat in their own gently rendered fat.
To beat vegetable shortening, butter, or margarine, with or without sugar, until light and fluffy. This process traps in air bubbles, later used to create height in cookies and cakes.
To preserve or add flavor with an ingredient, usually salt and/or sugar.
Cut in
To work vegetable shortening, margarine, or butter into dry ingredients.
A measure approximately equal to 1/16 teaspoon.
To add liquid to a pan in which foods have been fried or roasted, in order to dissolve the caramelized juices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
To cut into cubes.
Direct heat
A cooking method that allows heat to meet food directly, such as grilling, broiling, or toasting.
To sprinkle lightly and evenly with sugar or flour. A dredger has holes pierced on the lid to sprinkle evenly.
Egg wash
A mixture of beaten eggs (yolks, whites, or whole eggs) with either milk or water. Used to coat cookies and other baked goods to give them a shine when baked.
A mixture of liquids, one being a fat or oil and the other being water based so that tiny globules of one are suspended in the other. This may involve the use of stabilizers, such as egg or mustard. Emulsions may be temporary or permanent.
To remove the bones from meat or fish for cooking.
To ignite a sauce or other liquid so that it flames.
To cut and mix lightly with a spoon to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Usually a stew in which the meat is cut up, lightly cooked in butter, and then simmered in liquid until done.
A decorative piece of an edible ingredient such as parsley, lemon wedges, croutons, or chocolate curls placed as a finishing touch to dishes or drinks.
A liquid that gives an item a shiny surface. Examples are fruit jams that have been heated or chocolate thinned with melted vegetable shortening. Also, to cover a food with such a liquid.
To shred or cut down a food into fine pieces by rubbing it against a rough surface.
To coat a pan or skillet with a thin layer of oil.
To cool down cooked food by placing in ice; also, to spread frosting on a cake.
Extracting flavors by soaking them in liquid heated in a covered pan. The term also refers to the liquid resulting from this process.
Jell (also gel)
To cause a food to set or solidify, usually by adding gelatin. Also SET.
To cut into long, thin strips.
The natural juices released by roasting meats.
To work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until it becomes smooth and elastic.
An ingredient or process that produces air bubbles and causes the rising of baked goods such as cookies and cakes.
To combine food with aromatic ingredients to add flavor.
A paste (of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites) used to fill and decorate pastries.
To chop food into tiny, irregular pieces.
Adding enough liquid to dry ingredients to dampen but not soak them.
To slowly heat wine or cider with spices and sugar.
To cook a food in a skillet without added fat, removing any fat as it accumulates.
To cook in a hot pan with small amount of hot oil, butter, or other fat, turning the food over once or twice.
To partly cook in a boiling liquid.
A heavy, heat-resistant paper used in cooking.
The mounds made in a mixture. For example, egg white that has been whipped to stiffness. Peaks are “stiff” if they stay upright, or “soft” if they curl over.
Same as “dash.”
To force a semisoft food through a bag (either a pastry bag or a plastic bag with one corner cut off) to decorate food.
To simmer in liquid.
Pressure cooking
A cooking method that uses steam trapped under a locked lid to produce high temperatures and achieve fast cooking time.
To let yeast dough rise.
To mash or sieve food into a thick liquid.
To cook liquids down so that some of the water evaporates.
To pour cold water over freshly cooked vegetables to prevent further cooking and to retain color.
To melt down fat to make drippings.
To cook uncovered in the oven.
A cooked paste usually made from flour and butter used to thicken sauces.
To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil in a skillet or sauté pan over direct heat.
Cooking a liquid such as milk to just below the point of boiling; also to loosen the skin of fruits or vegetables by dipping them in boiling water.
To tenderize meat by making a number of shallow (often diagonal) cuts across its surface. This technique is also useful in marinating, as it allows for better absorption of the marinade.
Sealing in a meat’s juices by cooking it quickly under very high heat.
To remove large lumps from a dry ingredient such as flour or confectioners’ sugar by passing it through a fine mesh. This process also incorporates air into the ingredients, making them lighter.
Cooking food in a liquid at a low enough temperature that small bubble begin to break the surface.
To remove the top fat layer from stocks, soups, sauces, or other liquids such as cream from milk.
To cook over boiling water in a covered pan, this method keeps foods’ shape, texture, and nutritional value intact better than methods such as boiling.
To use string, skewers, or pins to hold together a food to maintain its shape while it cooks (usually applied to meat or poultry).
Baked goods that contain no agents to give them volume, such as baking powder, baking soda, or yeast.
To incorporate air into ingredients such as cream or egg whites by beating until light and fluffy; also refers to the utensil used for this action.
To mix or fluff by beating; also refers to the utensil used for this action.
The thin, brightly colored outer part of the rind of citrus fruits. It contains volatile oils, used as a flavoring.