Strawberry Shortcake

 

I found this post in my draft folder and I have no idea why I didn’t publish it. I made this strawberry shortcake eons ago but, it was so good, it’s still worth posting. The recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs, Love and Olive Oil. Lindsey is the bloggers behind “The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook” which was basically written for me. I think I love cookie dough more than I love cookies and I was lucky enough to be gifted the book for my birthday. There are so many awesome recipes I’m not sure where to start.

I know strawberries are currently out of season but, I’ve used frozen strawberries for shortcake before with delicious results. Lindsey’s recipe was great, especially the cream biscuits. They were light with some flakiness and held up well to the juicy strawberries. I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of the final product so you’ll have to trust me that they came out great. Check out her recipe and enjoy the pictures!

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{ASOP} Mug Brownies

I’m a Pinterest addict. I love pinning recipes and craft ideas, most of which I will never make. However, I decided to add a new category to the blog – ASOP or As Seen on Pinterest, for when I do actually make something I’ve pinned. Today’s ASOP is mug brownies.

Last night, I wanted something sweet but, didn’t have the desire or supplies to really bake anything. Instead I was perusing Pinterest when I stumbled on a recipe for mug brownies. The first time I heard of making anything in a mug in the microwave was on Michael Simon’s show where he made a “chocolate cake” in a mug. At the time, I was skeptical and when I came across mug brownies I was still skeptical. It’s hard to resist the temptation of a sweet treat in a minute and forty seconds though so, I gave it a try.

I got out my favorite Rainforest Cafe mug and added my dry ingredients:

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

I mixed those up in the mug and then added:

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp water

and stirred it up until it was all combined in the mug. I also mixed in about a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips.

Then I popped the mug in the microwave and set it for 1:40 and let it go. While the mug brownie was cooking, I whipped up some fresh whipped cream.

When the timer on the microwave went off, I grabbed the mug with a pot holder ( it’s definitely hot) and stuck a butter knife in the middle to make sure it was done. Despite my suspicions, the butter knife came out clean. I let it cool a little (but not enough that my whipped cream didn’t melt a little) and grabbed a fork.

The result? It definitely tastes like a brownie but, it’s not a brownie. It’s very moist with a little bit of a chewy brownie texture but, it’s obviously missing the characteristic exterior of a classic brownie. It works for a quick, chocolaty and sweet snack if you just need something in that category but, if you’re craving brownies, it probably wouldn’t help. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate so, I ate about half and let Jerry finish the rest. I would make it again though, if I was looking for something quick and sweet.

Hot Fudge Sauce

I love making gifts for Christmas. I don’t get to make nearly as many as I would like to but, I do what I can. One of the things I had decided to make this year was hot fudge sauce. It’s my absolute favorite topping for ice cream. It’s not hard to make and it makes an awesome gift because it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like hot fudge. Searching the internet for recipes I found that many of them included corn syrup which I didn’t want. Then I found one on one of my favorite websites, Big Girls Small Kitchen, that was exactly what I wanted.

I’ve now used their recipe so many times, I’ve been able to tweak it a bit to fit my needs but, it still remains the same base. You can find their original recipe here. Over the course of my testing I’ve changed it so that it fills 3 pint jars (and is easily cut in half or thirds). I also converted all the measurements over to weight because that’s the only way to keep it truly consistent over time. Finally, I use both unsweetened and milk chocolate at the end and I add a double shot of espresso instead of espresso powder.

For this batch, I cut my recipe in half. I was only making one jar to give away and wanted some for the house but, not a full jar. I start by weighing out all my ingredients and having everything ready to go. Making hot fudge sauce goes pretty fast and you need to be ready with your ingredients.

The butter and cream are combined over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and it just starts to boil. Then the sugars are added to the mixture and stirred until they combine with the cream until the sugar dissolves and is no longer gritty.

Then you slowly whisk in the cocoa powder until it is smooth and thick. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Then let it sit for a couple minutes and whisk again.

After you whisk the second time, take a taste. You may want to add a little more milk chocolate or vanilla depending on your taste. Let it cool a bit and when it’s warm but, not hot, pour it into your pint jars. Then let it completely cool on the counter before putting the lid on and storing in the refrigerator. It’s important to let it cool completely or else it will crystallize in the fridge.

Mason jars make great vessels for gifts because they’re cute on their own or you can add ribbon or cloth or whatever you want. I like to tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar and attach a card with the hot fudge sauce recipe so the receiver can make their own when it’s all gone.

Crack Brownies

I found this recipe for Better-Than-Crack Brownies on Tasty Kitchen a few weeks ago.  The whole thing seemed ridiculous and delicious but, a bit of a dessert overkill.  I’m not a huge fan of chocolate so, while it looked good, I definitely needed to make them when I had an opportunity to share.  That opportunity came in the form of a meeting at work.

The recipe was super simple to make yet, I managed to mess it up.  In my defense, it was kind of late and…um…well that’s all I’ve got.  Here’s the recipe straight from HowSweetEats on Tasty Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Brownies
  • Additional Required Ingredients Specified In Mix Package (typically Water, Eggs And Oil)
  • ½ cups Salted Peanuts
  • 1 cup Chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1-½ cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1-½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • ½ Tablespoons Butter
  • 1-½ cup Rice Krispie Cereal

Preparation Instructions

Mix brownies according to directions (you’ll typically need water, eggs, and oil, as directed in mix package), andbake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.

While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over the top.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

I was good with everything until the Rice Krispies.  I was melting the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a pot over medium-low heat and it turned into this awesome, tasty looking sauce and I got totally distracted and poured it over the brownies without adding the cereal.  It wasn’t until the brownies had been in the fridge for over an hour that I realized I forgot the cereal.

The brownies still came out great but, they were super peanut butter and chocolaty.  I think the addition of the cereal would have broken up that sweetness a bit and I probably would have enjoyed them more.  For someone like me that isn’t a big on chocolate it was a bit overpowering.

With that being said, here’s a few notes I would add:

  • Don’t forget the Rice Krispies (obviously)
  • Unless you finely chop the Peanut Butter Cups, 1 cup isn’t really going to cut it.  I would double the amount of peanuts and Peanut Butter Cups.
  • Fudgy brownies probably weren’t the best choice.  I think a cake-like brownie would work best.
  • Check to make sure the brownies are cooked through before pouring on the melted topping.

Have fun making them and enjoy!