Chocolate Truffle Cookies

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I think I have got to be the only person in the world where due to my gift at being unorganized (stop laughing…), blogging is a full time job… when it shouldn’t be. When you have 50 gazillion readers I get that, but when you don’t? Please console me and tell me I’m not the only one, please??

I think I need cookies…

Speaking of cookies, chocolate truffle cookies sound pretty good, don’t they?

I thought they sounded good too when I came across the recipe in one our family recipe bags, but I don’t think I ever imagined they would be this good. What do I mean by this good? I mean warm, chocolatey, dense, truffle like cookies that melt in your mouth. Crisp on the outside, but oh so dense and chewy on the inside! It’s like eating truffles with a crisp outer shell, or in a way, they are almost like mini flourless cakes in cookie form.

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These, my friends, are little rounds of chocolate joy

Before you read any further however, I am going to give these cookies a rating: TCL, which means you have to be a Total Chocolate Lover to make them (okay, maybe not to make them, but to enjoy them).

Now that you have been fully warned…

Making these beauties is really easy and would be quick if it weren’t for the chilling time… but oh, is it worth it!

Another thing I like about this recipe is that usually when you make cookies and chill the dough or save leftover dough in the fridge, you have to let it sit out a bit before you are able to dig in there and put the balls or whatever on the sheet to bake. But due to the consistency of this particular dough that’s not the case. You just bring it out of the fridge and make the cookies right then and there. No setting it out ahead of time, and in fact, letting it sit out for any considerable length of time probably wouldn’t be a good idea as the dough would become hard to work with (unless you had mounds of flour on your hands!).

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The lowdown:

Not far from being flourless, these Chocolate Truffle Cookies are dense and loaded with chocolate flavor. Holding true to the name, it almost is like eating truffles!

A dream for any chocolate connoisseur.

Cottura felice!

 

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Ingredients

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 C. semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1/3 C. butter

1 C. granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4. tsp. salt

confectioners’ sugar, for garnishing

Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and butter. Cool for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine sugar and eggs. Beat for 2 minutes.

Add in vanilla and chocolate mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and mix until combined.

Stir in remaining 1 C. chocolate chips.

Cover and chill for 3 hours (at least).

Preheat oven to 350° f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge and with lightly floured hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. If dough becomes to hard to work with, put it back in fridge or put it in the freezer briefly to firm up.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly puffed and set (tops may be slightly cracked).

Cool on the pan for 3-4 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

 

 

 

Glorified Brownies for your BOTW

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Do you ever crave comfort food? Food that maybe isn’t too difficult or time consuming to make, but also kind of makes you… happy…? I made that sort of food yesterday when I made these Glorified Brownies. Getting the recipe from an old cookbook that doesn’t have pictures, I didn’t know what to expect, but they (the  ingredients and the whole process, that is) looked very promising, so I decided to give them a try. The results were as good as they sounded, brownies with a layer of melted marshmallows on top and then a chocolate frosting to finish it off. Yes, I was quite happy.

I first thought about trying this combination with a different brownie, but upon further tasting and thinking, I figured out why this particular brownie suits the combination of marshmallows and chocolate frosting so well; it’s because the brownie itself is not overly sweet, making it the perfect bottom layer for all that marshmallow chocolatey goodness on top.

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The brownie has actually more of a cake like consistency and when you are mixing that part up you are wondering how it’s all going to work out, but it does!

The only thing I might change, would be the addition of chocolate chips. Maybe bittersweet? Mini semisweet? If you decide to try this recipe with chocolate chips before I do, let me know how it is!

The lowdown: A cake like brownie topped with gooey melted marshmallows and finished off with a delicious chocolate frosting. Easy, simple and tasty, these brownies would be great for any event or sudden craving – be sure to have some napkins on hand, though!

Cottura felice!

Notes:
~ If you are like me and don’t have a 9×11 pan, then you can do what I did and make your own! I took a 9×13 pan and lined it with foil, but did not line the whole pan. About 2 inches before the opposite edge from where I began, I stopped and folded the foil up to have a make shift side that would give me the correct measurement, i.e. 11 inches instead of 13. Hopefully this picture will help you visualize it!

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~ When making the frosting, you may need to add a little more milk, but be careful not to add too much. Just add a little at a time – I added around 1/8 cup (maybe a little less) more total.

Glorified Brownies

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. nuts, lightly floured (totally optional, I omitted them myself)
18 large marshmallows

Chocolate frosting:
3 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. milk
3 C. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 C. plus 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add butter, chocolate, flour, salt and nuts (if desired).

Pour into a greased 9×11 pan and bake at 350° f. for 20 – 25 minutes or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted (it’s okay if the brownies are a little underdone as you will be sticking them back in the oven)

Remove from oven and top with marshmallows. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until marshmallows are melted.

Remove from the oven and mash marshmallows with a spatula.

For the frosting:

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat butter and milk until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour over marshmallows and cool thoroughly before serving.

Cut into small squares.

A Super Easy (and very tasty) Ice cream Recipe

Well I’m glad I enjoyed the extra months of no miserable heat this year, because it sure is hot and miserable now…

IMG_0800 (1)Do you ever get really excited over certain recipes? I did on Tuesday when I made this ice cream that came from an old magazine dating back to 1984. Look at that picture, doesn’t it just look old? Come to find out my mom acquired this recipe after a friend brought the ice cream to a church potluck – apparently it was raved about for days afterwards. I had seen this before while browsing through our dessert recipe collection, but never thought much about making it. I guess I have not really been interested in making ice cream that wasn’t made in a machine (yes, I’m one of those people… but I’m learning to branch out and try more simple recipes). So when looking through the recipe collection recently, I decided to give it a try. It looked good enough and then what really clenched it for me was coming across this blog, and seeing what the blogger had to say about a very similar recipe.

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My mom was right, the blogger was right: this is so good! I am now very much in love with this ice cream and its simplicity – I can’t get over it! 5 ingredients (more or less depending on what combinations you try), that’s it! And seriously, this tastes about as good as anything that I have gotten out of the ice cream maker, and bonus! it’s so much EASIER. I have already been thinking about the different combination possibilities…

But don’t listen to me, go try it for yourself and I bet you will be just as in love as I am!

Also, if you like gelato, then you have an added incentive for trying it, as that is what my sister said this tasted like to her.

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The lowdown:
I made two different combinations, both with a chocolate base and Oreos, but two different flavors. Both were equally good. By the way, let me tell you that I am privileged to have five happy (and sometimes probably not so happy..) taste testers around, it can really come in handy! Anyway, to get back on subject, one combination was a double chocolate Oreo, and one a chocolate mint Oreo. The double chocolate consists of chocolate ice cream with double chocolate stuffed Oreos mixed in. The mint chocolate has chocolate ice cream with mint Oreos mixed in and a little mint extract for more even more mint flavor.
Also, if you would like some extra chocolatey goodness on top, let me then recommend some ganache. I used Alton Brown’s recipe.

Cottura felice!

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Easy Double Chocolate Oreo Ice cream
(makes about 1 1/2 quarts)

Ingredients
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely (or big chunks, however you like it) crushed chocolate creme filled Oreos (or any other brand of sandwich cookies
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped (do not use whipped topping)

Directions
In a large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Fold in cookies and whipped cream.

Pour into a 2 quart container (a loaf pan would also work well). Cover and freeze for six hours or until firm.

If desired, serve with ganache (highly recommended) or hot fudge topping.

Chocolate Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp. (about 1/4 tsp. more if you like a very minty flavor) pure mint extract
1 C. coarsely crushed Mint Creme Filled Oreos (or any other brand of sandwich cookie)
2 C. (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped (do not use whipped topping)

Directions
In a large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, mint extract and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Fold in cookies and whipped cream.

Pour into a 2 quart container (a loaf pan would also work well). Cover and freeze for six hours or until firm.

Reese’s Stuffed Oreo Brownies for your BOTW

Summer is definitely upon us as is the summer weather. It is that time of year when some days are so hot, you can be in an air conditioned building and STILL be miserable! Ugh.

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So one would think that since it is summer, I would (a.) have more time for baking/blogging and (b.) be making things that do not require any heat whatsoever – meaning use of the oven. But in answer all I can say is, well, what can I say? Somehow few posts have been appearing (it’s all I can do to get the Brownie Of the Week Post up – and that’s only twice a month! I also have a post that’s been hanging around in the “drafts” section for awhile…) and me being the glutton for punishment that I am, have not (yet) stayed clear from use of the oven. But you wait, I’m sure the ice cream, no bake, and beverage posts will start pouring in (I say pouring, by the time I get around to posting again, it may be Fall) soon enough.

 

Okay, so what did all that have to do with this weeks brownie? Nothing, I suppose.

 

When at the store recently, my mom pointed out a package of Reese’s Oreos. I don’t eat Oreos as a rule (wouldn’t you much rather have something homemade?), and they are rarely found sitting around the house except in cases like these, but when you see something like that, the immediate thought is that I need to use these for a recipe (for the blog)! Which is exactly what my Mom pointed out.

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Allow me to tell you about the brownie that evolved from this package of Oreos. Here you have a brownie with chocolate chips (of course) and Reese’s Peanut Butter stuffed Oreos thrown in (I was going to add a peanut butter swirl, but the batter was too chunky) and a lovely chocolate ganache adorned with more crushed Oreos and drizzled with melted peanut butter.

 

The result: One of my favorite combinations (aside from this one) yet! I could have eaten a bunch of these, and would have, had I not had to share the small pan 6 ways… methinks next time I will make more?

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They are so yummy – the peanut butter flavor is just right and the ganache (how I do love ganache!) just adds that extra something, not to mention the additional Oreo’s on top…

 

Now that you have the low down, go try them. You will find that turning on the oven was worth it!

 

Cottura felice!

 Notes 

~ Please be sure to leave PLENTY of time for the brownies to reach room temperature, as they are not quite as good cold.

~ For breaking the Oreos into chunks, I placed them inside a ziploc back and used what I think is an old, old meat tenderizer to break them up slightly.

 Reese’s Stuffed Oreo Brownies 

Ingredients

½ C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 ½ C. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ C. all-purpose flour
½ C. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
2/3 C. semisweet chocolate chips
12 Reese’s Peanut Cup flavored Oreos, broken into chunks (see note above),

For garnish:

About 7-10 Reese’s Peanut Cup flavored Oreos, broken into chunks (see note above),
2 tbsp. peanut butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 8×8 in. baking dish with alluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk (or mixer), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and Oreo chunks.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

When the brownies are room temperature, make the ganache.

For the ganache:

Ingredients

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use good quality chocolate chips, it’s so much easier!)
1 C. heavy cream (heavy whipping cream works just as well)

Directions

Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl.

Heat the cream in a small microwavable bowl for 3 to 4 minutes on high, or until it is just beginning to simmer; make sure not to allow the cream to boil over.

Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 2 minutes.

Whisk together until mixture is smooth.

Pour on top of brownies and spread evenly.

Top with crushed Oreos.

Place brownies in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until ganache is set.

When ganache is set, remove from the refrigerator and allow brownies to come to room temperature.

Before serving, drizzle with melted peanut butter.

 

 Brownies adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies, ganache recipe is Alton Brown’s Ganache Frosting

 

It’s here! Your first Brownie Of The Week!

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Cinnamon rolls? Do you like them? Do you love them? Thick, puffy, warm, melt in your mouth? If you do, then this is the brownie recipe for you (I sound like a sales person, don’t I? 🙂 ).

Even if you don’t, you may still find that this brownie appeals to you more than the best cinnamon roll. Like me. I like cinnamon rolls. I don’t really love them, and hardly crave them, but I’ll take them (as long as they’re the right kind). But these brownies? Oh, yeah!

Maybe you are wondering to what kind of brownie I am referring to? With all this talk about cinnamon rolls, there could only be one kind: Cinnamon Roll Brownies! Yep.

 

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For these beauties, I am using an ingredient that I have given nothing but a hard time to my sister since she used them in some scones once twice, and that is cinnamon chips. Don’t know what I am talking about? They are these; I buy the Hershey ones, but I don’t know if there are any other brands out there.

After my sister used them in the scones, it’s been a big joke that she keeps threatening me to make them again * UPDATE: has made them again* (in case you couldn’t tell, they weren’t my favorite). The cinnamon chips and I just didn’t get along. But when it came time to construct a cinnamon roll brownie? Well, the chips and I had to patch up our differences. I did that which I thought I would not. I used them.

So now what can I say? The darn things worked!!

Let me give you the lowdown: A brownie with chocolate chips, a touch of cinnamon, cinnamon chips to boot, and a cream cheese frosting.

Sound good? Try them; they are really delicious and a fun spin on a breakfast favorite!

Cottura felice!

Notes

~ For the cream cheese frosting, feel free to use your favorite recipe as opposed to this one; I have also used one from Sally’s baking addiction and it was quite good.

~ Also, for the cream cheese frosting, you may need to add a little more confectioners’ sugar than what is called for – however, I had let my cream cheese get way too soft so that could have been the problem… 🙂 

Finally, for the baking times, you will have to be patient. There is a lot of chocolate chips in there so it can be kind of hard to tell when they are done!

 Cinnamon Roll Brownies

For the brownies

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 C. all – purpose flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (maybe a little less, depending on how strong you like your cinnamon flavor)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. cinnamon baking chips (I use Hershey brand)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk (or mixer), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in the chocolate and cinnamon chips.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 30 -35 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

Once brownies have cooled to room temperature (or at least not warm enough to melt the frosting) make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, sofetened
1 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. sour cream

Instructions

Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and sour cream and beat until blended well (about 2 minutes longer).

Spread evenly over the brownies and sprinkle with some ground cinnamon, if desired.

Store leftover brownies in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Brownie recipe adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies and the Cream Cheese Frosting is from The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball

Where has the time gone?

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Whew! Oh my! and Wow! would be three words that would accurately describe my last week. My family and I were in a frenzy between nieces spending the night  and then having to clean like crazy prepare for my young cousins annual two week vacation that they spend with us. So as I said before: whew!

I was going to do a special pi/e day post, but not only was I a little late with the pie, it was also a complete failure! ( I’m beginning to think fruit pies are not my thing…) From a mixture of blueberries, lemon, and mint, (it sounded good at the time…) that tasted ” eh” to an ”I don’t know how good it was” crust ( when I went to try a piece of just the crust the next day, it was a little soggy) I would say it was a total flop. Oh well. Bake and learn, right?

With chocolate chips

With chocolate chips

To turn to happier subjects, in all the busyness I still did some baking. As did also my mom and sister (so keep a lookout for some posts with their names on it!). One recipe I would like to share with you is for chocolate sugar cookies. Sugar cookies (of any kind) are not something I really crave or desire to bake that much, but throw chocolate in there and you’ve got my interest! These are really good, and of course, since one dose of chocolate never seems to be enough for me, I threw in some chocolate chips to boot. Adding chocolate chips is totally optional, but for fellow chocoholics I would definitely recommend the addition; it really bumps these cookies up a notch in my opinion. Whats also to like about these is that they are so easy and not too time consuming. So without further ado, here is the recipe.

Cottura felice!

Notes: 

The recipe suggests using a good brand of cocoa powder for these cookies. America’s Test Kitchen’s favorite brand of cocoa is Hershey’s Natural.

CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES

Ingredients

1/3 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. ( 8 1/8 oz. ) all-purpose flour

3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

14 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg plus 1 large yolk

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Directions 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread granulated sugar in shallow dish; set aside. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder together in a bowl.

Microwave 10 tbsp. butter, covered, in large bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir in remaining 4 tbsp. butter until melted. Allow butter to cool to 90 to 95 degrees, about 5 minutes.

Whisk brown sugar, vanilla, and salt into butter until no lumps remain, scraping down bowl as needed. Whisk in egg and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips (if using)

Working with 2 tbsp. dough at a time, roll into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in granulated sugar and space them evenly on prepared sheets. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten cookies to 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle each sheet of cookies with 1 1/2 tsp. remaining sugar.

Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until slightly puffy and edges have begin to set, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking (cookies will look slightly underdone between cracks). Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

Chocolate truffle thumbprint cookies

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Cookies and milk. You couldn’t give me a better snack as a kid. Any day, any time, any mood, I was always up for a cookie (or two or three). Actually, I’m still always up for cookies. Especially warm, chocolatey cookies fresh out of the oven. One of the things I love doing in the long hot months of summer is going to my favorite cookie bakery ( I call it a cookie bakery because other than muffins, that’s all they bake ) and getting semi-sweet chocolate and m&m cookies with the best fresh squeezed cherry limeade. That, to me, is what makes for a perfect summer day. I can’t tell you how much I love this bakery’s cookies. Unfortunately, I have not been able (although my sister came close yesterday) to find a recipe that comes close to them. Not flat, perfectly round, crunchy on the outside, but oh so chewy on the inside. They are seriously, the best (not gourmet, in my opinion gourmet is another category of cookies) cookies I have ever had. Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

Since we are on the subject of cookies… how about chocolate thumbprints? Chocolate thumbprints are very palatable and yummy in their own right. How about chocolate thumbprints with truffles on top?

IMG_0428Here you go:

Notes

~ Thumbprints are rather versatile cookies. You can put any number of toppings on them. Glaze, glaze and pecans, chocolate kisses etc. The possibilities are endless. This past Christmas I made and topped them with Hershey’s peppermint bark truffle bells – delish! ( better eaten warm though )

~ The original recipe says it makes about 24 cookies, but I usually only get about 1 dozen at the most.

~ For all interested, the bakery I referenced to above is JD’s Chippery in Dallas, Tx.

Cottura felice!

                                                                                                                                                           

 

Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
sugar, for coating
about 6 milk or dark chocolate truffles, cut in half ( I used Lindt Lindor truffles )

Directions
Beat butter, sugar, egg yolk, milk and vanilla in medium bowl until fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Press thumb gently in center of each cookie.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove cookies from cookie sheet to wire rack. While still warm enough to melt, place a truffle half on each cookie.

Cool completely. Makes about 1 dozen cookies.

If you would like to top with glaze
Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon softened butter or margarine, 2 teaspoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl; beat until smooth.

Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon filling into each thumbprint.

S’more brownies version two

Let me just begin by saying that Monday was not a good day baking/cooking wise. From burning sugar, to a pot of glaze boiling over. Yes, it was indeed a dark (and smoky) day in the kitchen. It was all because of a sugar shortage and meringue. Meringue. Why meringue? You’ll see why in a minute.

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I have not always been a fan of meringue, and in fact, until last year had never even tried it before ( except in a chocolate chip halfway cookie ). Knowing it’s contents – raw egg whites and sugar – I just never could bring myself to try it. But my intrigue with meringue began upon discovering my now  favorite bakery in Fort Worth ( Texas, did I even need to specify? ).  There was a really good looking chocolate meringue pie sitting and staring at me behind the case in the bakery, so I decided for the first time, to try some. Wow. This was not meringue; this was marshmallow fluff! Actually, no, it really was meringue, but a marshmallow ( or very close to it) meringue and  so much better then I could have imagined! Since that day, I had been interested in making a marshmallow meringue myself. Ha ha. I got a successful marshmallow meringue but not before some mishaps; let’s just say that at one point on Monday it smelled like a chemical plant as a cloud of smoke rose from a pan and wafted through the house. But as it is still too painful to talk about it right now, let’s continue to happier subjects.

Remember the s’more brownies from last week?

A couple of weeks ago when grocery shopping, I happened to notice some miniature graham cracker crusts and decided to make the s’more brownies again but in mini form and with some changes. One of the changes being a marshmallow meringue on top of the brownies. Now, if you have never had marshmallow meringue before and are possibly only familiar with what I like to call the “southern kind” ( even though I don’t know if it’s more of a southern thing or not ) then you are probably wondering at the idea of putting it on top of brownies. But this is not regular meringue, or whatever you call it, this is a marshmallow meringue. And as I stated earlier, it tastes like very fluffy marshmallow fluff, so it compliments the brownies beautifully.

I know you are really going to like these brownies. I was so happy with the finished product, that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you!

So here is the breakdown: A brownie snuggled inside a mini graham cracker crust, topped with two squares of a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, and finished with a marshmallow meringue.

I think what I like best about them is the gooey melted chocolate bar in between the brownie layer and the meringue. They are great for a personal dessert ( no need to share – hee, hee…) and would be great to take to parties.

Now that you have been acquainted with the brownies, and I hope had a good laugh at my mishaps, here is the recipe.

Cottura felice!

Notes
~ For the marshmallow meringue, you really want to be careful when boiling the sugar and corn syrup. The recipe calls for 3 to 5 minutes of boiling, so I would really recommend starting out with just 3 minutes – especially if you don’t have a candy thermometer.

~ If you don’t have a candy thermometer, don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. I seemed to have lost mine, and so had to make the meringue without it and it turned out fine. Just read these tips on boiling sugar.

For the brownies

2 packages miniature graham cracker pie crusts
1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips

2 ( 4 ounce ) milk chocolate bars

 For the Marshmallow Meringue

2 Teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
4 egg whites
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325° F. On two baking sheets, arrange pie crusts ( 6 six crusts on each sheet ).

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill each crust 2/3 full. Next, place 2 milk chocolate squares on top of each brownie.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

While the brownies are cooling make the meringue.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes or until thick and translucent. It will turn into a jelly- like blob. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a separate small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and the remaining 1/2 cup of the water and stir gently to combine. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook, without stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until the syrup registers 248 degrees F on a candy thermometer (the firm-ball stage).

While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment ( or use a hand-held mixer ).

When the sugar reaches 248 degrees F, turn on the mixer to high speed and slowly add the sugar syrup into the egg whites, drizzling it down the side of the bowl to keep it from hitting the whip and spattering.

When all of the syrup has been added, continue whipping on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture turns white and billowy.

Turn down the speed to medium, add the cornstarch mixture, vanilla, and salt and whip until fully incorporated.

Continue whipping for 3 to 4 minutes, or until barely warm to the touch.

Heap the marshmallow meringue on top of the brownies in billowing piles. Use the back of a spoon to tap the top of the meringue lightly and quickly to create tall peaks.

Serve & enjoy!

Brownies adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies, Marshmallow meringue adapted from the Flour Cookbook by Joanne Chang

S’more brownies

S’mores. I love chocolate and a gooey marshmallow stuffed between two graham crackers – not to mention just about any dessert that incorporates this combination.

Brownies? Woe to the pan of brownies that comes across my path…

S’mores and ( or should I say in? ) brownies? I’m in!

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Last week, knowing about a jar of unused marshmallow crème sitting in a cabinet, I decided to look for a brownie recipe that used this. To be more specific, I was looking for a brownie with a layer of marshmallow crème inside. So you can imagine my disappointment and being somewhat surprised to not find such a recipe ( unless there’s one out there that I am missing ). However during my search I did come across a few recipes for s’more brownies. So, as one search led to another, the way searches always do, I found some delicious looking (s’more) brownie recipes. Unfortunately though, I didn’t have this or that ingredient for some of the recipes I was interested in. But all was not lost, remembering that jar of marshmallow crème sitting in the cabinet and some leftover graham cracker crumbs that I had used for my Valentine’s Day dessert, I left the internet to go make my own idea of a s’more brownie.

Next came the hard part: deciding whether to use the marshmallow crème ( I know, you’re thinking that after mentioning it that many times how could I not use it, right? ) or to just top them with some marshmallows for more of a s’more effect. Finally, after much debate, I decided to go with the marshmallows. Now, before I had reached my decision on the marshmallow aspect, while looking in the cabinet to get the jar of marshmallow crème I did not use, I came across an unopened jar of hot fudge topping – it’s amazing what hides itself in the cabinet, is it not? – and had a moment of inspiration. I thought, why not add a fudge swirl in the brownies for the melted chocolate effect? I liked where this was heading. So the next thing was to stop debating and discovering lost items in the cabinet and start baking!IMG_2294

Here are the results in a nutshell. ( I ended up trying two variations – not mention the few slight variations on the second variation. Right now I am one large walking brownie… )

The first: Graham cracker crust, brownie, fudge swirl, and toasted marshmallow topping.
Result: An okay brownie with a crust that crumbled, and a sticky top.

The second: Graham cracker crust, brownie, fudge and marshmallow swirl.
Result: Success! A crust that better held together, a nice fudge texture with just the right amount of marshmallow – and not too sticky!

So, my friends, if you are like me and like s’mores and love brownies, or vice versa, then this is a brownie you won’t be disappointed in!

Notes:

Crust

> Why so much butter? Adding a little more butter than one might normally use when making a crust, really helps it to stick together better, and withstand the weight from the brownie batter. However you still want to be careful when distributing the batter on top of the crust.

> Egg white. I have used a recipe before that incorporates egg white into the crust mixture, so I decided to as well and all though I do not know the exact reason for doing so, it really made a nice, firmer crust.

Brownies

> Usually when a recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips, I just dump in the whole bag – can you tell I am a total chocolate lover? So if you are like me and tend to do the same, you actually don’t want to with this recipe. With the hot fudge in there it really makes up for it – plus, it can be hard enough to tell when they are done as it is!

> Try to spread the batter around as gently as you can ( you can’t be in a hurry :)) so as not to upset the crust. If you don’t, the crust will come up with the batter and you will probably end up with graham cracker crumbs in the brownies – although if that’s what you want, it might not be too bad… let me know!

> I used two different types of butter knifes and a small offset spatula for spreading the batter. I personally think the spatula is the better choice, but if you don’t have one, no worries, the knives worked just as well, the spatula just made it a little easier.

I inserted this to show how I dropped the marshmallow ( the same for the hot fudge ) creme on top of the brownie batter.

I inserted this to show how I dropped the marshmallow ( the same for the hot fudge ) creme on top of the brownie batter.

Marshmallow & Fudge swirl

> The only thing to really note on this step is that you really want to be careful – again – when swirling so the knife ( or whatever you use ) doesn’t go through to the crust.

Baking

> My oven is weird, plain and simple. So you might have to full around a little bit with baking temperatures, but since I think the problems I had with baking times lay with the oven ( it cooks at a hotter temperature than it is supposed to ) I think you will be fine at 350° f. Depending on your oven, just start with 30 minutes and go from there. But if you do have a problem with baking, just leave me a comment so I can try to help you. The last variation I did on these, I baked them for 33 ( I know, why the odd number? As I said before, my oven is weird and fickle ) minutes. When I tested them, they weren’t quite done, so I lowered the temp. to 325° f. and baked them for 8 more minutes, which did the job.

Overall

> This is a dense brownie. Due to the hot fudge topping it is also a very moist brownie. In fact so much so, that it will probably never seem fully baked. But again, this is just the affect of the hot fudge inside. If it seems to complicated to add the hot fudge sauce and you are not keen on the underdone fudge effect, then just omit it and add ( or don’t ) the whole bag of chocolate chips – it will be a good brownie either way!

Again, if you have any questions concerning this recipe, leave a comment below and I will try to answer any questions you might have. Also, as I am still experimenting with this recipe, let me know if you did any thing different – or even if you didn’t – and how they turned out, I would love to hear some feedback!

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Cottura Felice!

S’more Brownies

Ingredients
For the crust
2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. ( 1 stick ) butter
1 egg white, lightly beaten

For the brownies
1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
Hot fudge topping ( about 6 tbsp. )
Marshmallow creme ( about 6 tbsp. )

Instructions

For the crust
Preheat the oven to 325° f. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with butter.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Add the beaten egg white.
Press mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, prepare the brownie batter.

Remove the crust from the oven and increase the heat to 350° f.

For the brownies
In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter on top of the crust and, using a small offset spatula or butter knife, gently ( so as not to disturb the crust ) spread until evenly distributed.

Next, using no more than 6 tbsp. total, drop the fudge by tablespoonfuls evenly on top of the batter. Then, using a knife, swirl until just lightly incorporated. Repeat with the marshmallow creme.

Bake until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Let cool before cutting and serving.

Brownies adapted from Brookes Best Bombshell Brownies