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Tag Archives: treats

Site Update!

8 Jul

I’ve finally launched my re-designed site! ¬†You’ll still find our best recipes at http://www.chewoutloud.com, and you can follow me there now ūüôā

Happy looking, cooking, and… chewing!!

-Amy

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

15 May

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars.  This post needs no words, really.  A picture is worth a thousand, right?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars 1

But I do have a small back-story.  It went like this:

Hubby:  I have a Dessert Challenge Day at work coming up.  Do you have an idea for what I can make?

Me: ¬†Awesome! ¬†I’ve totally got ideas. ¬†What’s the date of the Dessert Challenge?

Hubby:  Tomorrow.

Me:  (Silence. Blink. Blink.)

After I recovered from the mini shock, my excitement to bake something yummy kicked in. ¬†I’d been hankering for Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars for quite some time. ¬†No better excuse than a Dessert Challenge to break out these decadent treats.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake bars 2

Oh. ¬†My. ¬†Goodness. ¬†This was so, so worth it. ¬†So worth the late-night baking and kitchen blunders that occur as a result of late-night baking. ¬†Hubby was making an entire pan for work, and I was making another pan for me. ¬†A little chaos in the kitchen. ¬†Note to Self: ¬†Make this during normal hours and pay attention = ¬†it’s a cinch!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars 3

There’s something here for everyone. ¬†Flavorful graham cracker crumb crust for all the crust-lovers. ¬†Thick, rich cheesecake for cheesecake fans like myself. ¬†Chocolate chip cookie dough full of gooey chocolate for cookie buffs. ¬†Decadent and rich. ¬†Smooth and creamy. ¬†Textured and chewy.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

You can taste the crust, cheesecake, and cookie all separately yet it all marries together like a match made in heaven.

You have to try this.  Your taste buds will thank you.  And your family and friends will look at you with speechless awe.  Enjoy!

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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE CHEESECAKE BARS (12 servings)
* serve cold for best taste and texture

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
7 TB melted, salted butter

Cheesecake Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, room temp (indents when lightly pressed, but not melty at all)
1/3 cup sugar
1 extra large egg, room temp
1 TB pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 TB salted butter, room temp (indents when lightly pressed, but not melty)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 TB granulated sugar
1 TB pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips (mini chips turn out more gooey)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F with rack on lower middle. ¬†Line 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper, with enough hanging over handles to make a “sling.” ¬†Oil the parchment paper.

Make Crust:  Mix melted butter and cracker crumbs together until resembles wet sand.  Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom of pan.  Bake for 7-8 minutes.  Remove pan to rack, but keep oven on.

Make Cheesecake Filling:  In bowl in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy and smooth.  Mix in egg and vanilla on low until incorporated, taking care not to overmix.  Pour cheesecake batter into prepared crust.  Set aside.

Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:  In bowl on stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and mix just until combined.  Slowly mix in the flour on low speed just until combined, taking care not to over mix.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop clumps of slightly-flattened dough evenly on top of cheesecake batter.  Continue until all cookie dough is evenly distributed across top of cheesecake.

Bake 30-40 minutes, until top of dough feels mostly dry and entire pan looks mostly set if given a gentle shake.  It will continue to set up as it chills.  Move bars to cooking rack to cool completely.  Chill several hours or overnight.  Lift bars out by sling and cut.  Keep cut bars in fridge until ready to serve.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from mybakingaddiction

Note:  Leftover bars can be wrapped and stored in freezer.

Luscious Key Lime Bars

22 Apr

Spring envy is sooo rampant around here as everyone awaits completion of our final (please, let it be the last one) dump of snow. ¬†In case you didn’t see the post date, it’s April 22. ¬†Our ridiculously late spring is supposed to make an entrance this weekend, and the entire state will suddenly bust out walking, biking, playing, and dancing. ¬†Or just standing. ¬†Outdoors.

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I recently posted one of my favorite spring treats here. ¬†It’s time to break out my other favorite spring treat. ¬†Key lime bars. ¬†Luscious,¬†because they are unbelievably and unforgettably amazing.

Luscious Lime Bars 6

Limes tempt your senses with their freshness and springy-ness.  You already know of their cocktail virtues, but did you know the Lime stars in its own to-die-for dessert?

Luscious Lime Bars Cooks Illustrated

I was truly surprised at how fabulous these Lime Bars are.  The batch I brought to a gathering left me nothing but crumbs to bring home.  My kiddos and hubby inhaled every small bit they could get their hands on.

Luscious Lime Bars 5

These Lime Bars are sweet and lightly tangy, rich and creamy, light and smooth… all at the same time. ¬†That decadent filling sits on top of a crisp textured, perfectly sweetened crust.

You will l-o-v-e this.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE: KEY LIME BARS (one 13×9 pan)

INGREDIENTS

For the Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
2 TB grated lime zest
1 cup fresh lime juice, from 6-8 limes
1/8 tsp salt
2 (14 oz each) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
powdered sugar, for dusting

For the Crust:
10 oz animal crackers (i.e., Stauffer’s Original)
6 TB packed brown sugar
8 TB salted butter, melted and slightly cooled

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on middle position. ¬†Press a long sheet of heavy-duty foil into the corners and up sides of 13×9 pan, with enough foil hanging over edges of pan, for super easy removal later. ¬†Grease foil.

Pulse animal crackers in food processor until evenly fine.  Add brown sugar and salt and process to combine.  Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are moistened with butter evenly.  Press crumbs firmly and evenly into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake until golden brown, 18-20 minutes.  Cool while making the filling.  Leave oven on.

In medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zest, and salt with a rubber spatula until soft and creamy and fully incorporated.  Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk vigorously until combined and no lumps of cream cheese remain.  Whisk in egg yolk.  Add lime juice and gently whisk until fully combined.  Mixture will thicken slightly.

Pour filing into crust.  Spread to corners and smooth the surface.  Bake until set and edges begin to pull slightly away from sides, 23-25 minutes.  Center will still be a bit jiggly.  Cool on wire rack to room temp.  Cover with foil and refrigerate until fully chilled.  Remove bars from pan using foil.  Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.  Keeps for days in fridge.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Cooks Illustrated cookbook

Lemony Lemon Bars

19 Mar

Spring officially debuts on March 20, like right now. ¬†If you’re living it up in a warm climate, you’re feelin’ the spring. ¬†If you live where the snow is still knee-deep, well… we can surely pretend, right? ¬†It stretches the imagination when I walk into a Target store and see the beach shorts and flip flops front and center. ¬†Because just beyond the doors is a snow storm. ¬†I’m all for letting the imagination fly.

Luscious Lemon Bars

Even though winter is citrus time in much of the country, fresh lemons seem to scream spring. ¬†The pretty bright yellow just makes you happy. ¬†These super lemony lemon bars are like spring’s mascot. ¬†If it doesn’t feel springy, at least it will taste like it!

Luscious Lemon Bars 3

Both Hubby’s parents and my parents live in sunny So. Cal., and they are blessed with all sorts of lush fruit trees thriving in their backyard. ¬†Whenever I get my hands on a bunch of fresh lemons, I think of my father in law’s lemon tree on steroids. ¬†It produces lemons that resemble little grapefruits. ¬†Wish I had a picture of those for you.

Luscious Lemon Bars 2

These lemon bars are ultra lemony. ¬†Superbly lemonish. ¬†The juice of three big lemons plus lotsa zest creates an amazingly tangy + sweet filling that is a burst of happiness in your mouth. ¬†The smooth lemon filling rests atop a tender yet crisp butter crust that is a taste of perfection. ¬†My family adores lemon bars. ¬†My kids beg me not to give them all away when I make them. ¬†Hubby used to buy them from a gourmet pastry shop for me when we were dating. ¬†These are by far the most perfect lemon bars we’ve inhaled, and we think you’ll love ’em too.

Enjoy a little flavor of spring, wherever you happen to be!

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RECIPE (one 9×13 pan)

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
12 TB regular butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces

For the Filling:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup white sugar
3 TB all purpose flour
Juice of 3 large lemons (2/3 cup)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 tsp table salt

DIRECTIONS

For the Crust: ¬†Preheat oven to 350F with oven rack at middle position. ¬†Press a long piece of foil into 13×9 baking dish, so that the ends hang over the dish (helps with removal of bars.) ¬†Grease the foil and set aside.

Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until fully combined, about 15 seconds. ¬†Add butter and process to blend, about 10 seconds. ¬†Then pulse until the mixture looks pale yellow, resembling a coarse meal. ¬†(If you’re doing it by hand, mix the dry ingredients together in large bowl. ¬†Freeze butter and grate it on large holes of a grater, into the bowl and toss pieces to coat with flour mixture. ¬†Rub the bits with fingers until flour turns pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.) ¬†Sprinkle crust mixture into prepared pan and firmly press into an even layer over bottom of pan. ¬†Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes. ¬†Then bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For the Filling:  Whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in large bowl.  Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to incorporate.  Reduce oven temp to 325F.  Stir filling mixture well, and pour into warm crust.  Bake until filling feels firm upon a very light touch, 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool completely to room temp.  Tightly cover and  chill in fridge before serving.  Once chilled, remove entire dessert with foil sling, and cut into squares.

Dust with powdered sugar upon serving, if desired.  Bars will keep well in fridge, covered.

Source: ¬†Chew Out Loud, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

9 Feb

There are two camps of eaters. ¬†Those who love cheesecake seem to be in the majority camp. ¬†Then there are the handful of people who say they don’t like cheesecake. ¬†I obviously adore cheesecake and would eat it every day if I could. ¬† This white chocolate raspberry version is my favorite cheesecake in the whole wide world, and it has singlehandedly converted a few of those non-cheesecake fans over to our side ūüôā

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake 2

The fact that I could eat cheesecake daily is what drives me to bake this dense, rich, indulgent New York style cheesecake every opportunity I get. ¬†Birthdays: ¬†it is the cheesecake lover’s dream cake. ¬†Christmas: ¬†the red and white swirls have that holiday covered. ¬†Valentines Day: ¬†this thick cheesecake with chocolate crust is the perfect sweetheart dessert. ¬† In fact, February 14th ¬†is coming up, and your loved ones would be so impressed.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

I’m bragging on the cheesecake (not myself) when I say this, but countless people have requested this ¬†recipe, deeming it better than Cheesecake Factory’s. ¬† I have to agree. ¬†Years ago, I liked Cheesecake Factory’s white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for indulging my sweet tooth… but ever since this homemade one stole my tummy, I can’t order cheesecake at any restaurants anymore.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake 4

White chocolate raspberry cheesecake is surprisingly easy to make. ¬†The best part about this plush cheesecake is that it is made at least a day ahead of time! ¬†Score! ¬†If you come here often, you know I’m always looking for recipes that can be done ahead of time. ¬†I can’t really cook well and socialize with a bunch of people at the same time. ¬†I try to have most of my cooking done, so I can be fully in the moment with my friends. ¬†It helps to use¬†stabilized whipped cream so you can decorate the entire cheesecake the day before and it stays perfect in the fridge. ¬†No runny or watery-ness!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake 5

Next time you’re having dinner guests, try out this impressive cheesecake along with some good coffee. ¬†Relish in the fact that it can be completely made up to 2 days beforehand. ¬†You just might convert a non-cheesecake eater into a fan.

Bonus:  If you have leftovers and want to prevent yourself from eating it all, this cheesecake freezes beautifully.

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RECIPE (one 9 inch cheesecake)

INGREDIENTS
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter

For the raspberry sauce:
1 (10 oz) package frozen raspberries
2 TB sugar
3 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water

For the cheesecake:
1 bag (12 oz) pure white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
3 (8 oz) packages good cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 TB vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Make the crust:  In a large bowl, mix fine cookie crumbs with butter until well incorporated.  Press into bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.  Set aside.

Make raspberry sauce:  In a heavy saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch/water mixture.  Mix well.  Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 215F.  Set rack to lower middle position.  Place a pan full of water in the lowest rack.    Using a small heavy saucepan, melt white chocolate chips with half and half, on low heat.  Stir often until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In large bowl, mix together softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla and the melted white chocolate mixture.

Pour half of batter over the crust.  Spoon about a third of the raspberry sauce over batter in small chunks. Swirl with tip of butter knife.  Gently pour in the remaining cheesecake batter.  Spoon another third of the sauce over the top of batter.  Swirl with tip of butter knife to complete the desired marble effect.

Bake at 215F for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  Filling will still jiggle in the center and seem undone.  Edges should feel firm upon light touch.  Turn heat off and let cheesecake cool in the oven, with door ajar.

Once cool, cover springform pan tightly with foil and cool cheesecake in fridge overnight.  Carefully remove cheesecake from springform, and garnish with whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, or fresh raspberries.  Remaining third of raspberry sauce can be used for topping as well.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by allrecipes

Note:  If you are freezing leftovers, simply wrap cheesecake well with cling wrap.  Defrost in fridge or counter.  It tastes just as yummy after being frozen!  

The slow-bake method at room temp allows you to bake a cheesecake without cracks on top.  It takes longer to cook, but will give you a smooth cake without unsightly cracks.

 

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

27 Jan

We’re in the final days of Back-to-Healthy month (aka January), and we are still quite oatmeal-happy here in our kitchen.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies 4

My new year’s non-resolution (no official resolutions here) was to eat a lot more oatmeal, a lot more often this year. ¬†I haven’t exactly kept up with my one-bowl-a-day ambition, but healthful oats are finding their way into my everyday baking.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

True, true… these are cookies. ¬†Cookies with chocolate, at that. ¬†But, hey… they are also laden with robust old-fashioned oats. ¬†Not the quick-cooking oats, but the good ol’ old-fashioned oats. ¬†Heartier, chewier, and bigger oat-y taste senstation is the result.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

These are unbelievably scrumptious oatmeal cookies! ¬†For one, they taste like chocolate. ¬†Like a rich chocolate chip cookie with texture…soft in the center and lightly crisp at the edges. ¬†For another, the use of old-fashioned oats give these cookies a satisfying chewiness that you can sink your happy sweet tooth into.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies boast a perfect balance of sweetness with a bit of saltiness, loads of semi-sweet chocolate, and chock-full of natural oats. ¬†Can this combo be any better?! ¬†Oh, yes, they can – because these fab cookies naturally bake up nice and full, without spreading too much. ¬†You can count on a perfectly thick, dense cookie that stays soft and chewy. ¬†Just the way you like ’em. ūüôā

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RECIPE (40-50 medium sized cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup regular butter, softened just to room temp (not too soft)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 TB vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
1 (12oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels

DIRECTIONS

In the large bowl of stand mixer, cream together room-temp butter with the white and brown sugars, until fluffy.  Several minutes on medium-high should do it.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Mix in the oats.  Gently work in the chocolate morsels until incorporated.  Dough may be thick and heavy.

Preheat oven to 350F, adjusting rack to lower-middle.  Keep cookie dough in fridge while waiting for oven.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Drop rounded balls of cookie dough, about the size of a walnut, 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Flatten each rounded ball to a 1/2 inch thick cookie.

Bake 8 minutes in preheated oven. ¬†Cookies will seem underdone, but remove them from oven. ¬†If you’re making much larger cookies, remove at 9 minutes. ¬†The key is not to overbake. ¬†They will set upon cooling. ¬†Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. ¬†Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from allrecipes

Note: ¬†If you want less salt, reduce to 1/2 tsp salt. ¬†Cookies stay soft and chewy for a couple of days in airtight container. ¬†They are best on the day they’re baked, but nobody complains about leftovers! ¬†Cookie dough can be wrapped up tightly and kept in fridge for up to a week.

Turtles: Chocolate, Caramel, ‘n Pretzels

12 Dec

I don’t know where these little guys have been all my life.¬† I’ve seen variations around, but I finally got the chance to throw a turtle-making party of my own.¬† Chocolate?¬† Yes.¬† Caramel?¬† Got it.¬† Salty, sweet, and crispy?¬† Check, check, and check.¬† The most dangerous part:¬† they are way too easy to make.¬† Way.

Pretzel Turtles

I mean, really.¬† It takes but minutes to assemble these delicious morsels.¬† I wrote assemble on purpose, because that’s all you’re really doing with these awesome treats.¬† The kiddos actually gave up play time so they could make their own pretzel turtles (not pictured, on purpose.)

Pretzel Turtles 3

These turtle treats are made up of salty pretzels, Rolos, and pecans.¬† If you can’t do nuts, use a candy like M&M’s for the topping.¬† I’ve made nut-free turtles using colored sprinkles on top, which are super cute too.¬† They are fantastic for a quick snack.¬† You can technically make just one or two, very technically speaking.¬† If you put a bunch of these out at a party, they’ll be a huge hit on that snack or dessert table.¬† Don’t expect leftovers.

Pretzel Turtles 4

A drizzle of white chocolate makes these pretzel turtles pretty and ready for gift-giving.¬† These goodies are the perfect no-fuss treat to give to all those peeps you appreciate so much.¬† You know…teachers, friends, volunteers, neighbors, bus driver, mail carrier…

Pretzel Turtles 5

Y-U-M.¬† Yum.¬† Want…need.¬† Grab a bag of pretzels, some Rolos, and toppings next time you’re at the store.¬† Keep it in your pantry for all those little emergencies in life. ūüôā¬† Happy turtle eating!

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RECIPE (40 candies)

INGREDIENTS
40 salted butter pretzels, round
40 Rolo candies, regular (not mini)
2-3 oz chopped unsalted pecans, toasted
4-5 oz good quality white chocolate morsels

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 300F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Arrange pretzels evenly on baking sheets in a single layer.  Place a Rolo on center of each pretzel (if not centered well, it can melt off the pretzel)

Bake 3 minutes on center rack.  Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately press on the toasted pecans. Cool.

Place white chocolate in a small bowl and microwave in 20 second increments, mixing in between, until smooth and melted.  Scrape melted white chocolate into a ziploc bag, cut a very tiny hole at bottom corner, and drizzle immediately onto pretzel turtles.  If chocolate hardens, just microwave for a few seconds and resume.

Source: Chew Out Loud, adapted from allrecipes

Note:¬† To toast pecans, I use my toaster oven and toast the nuts for 2-3 minutes.¬† If using your oven, you can lay chopped pecans in single layer on baking sheet at 325F.¬† Brush with a little melted butter, if desired.¬† Toast about 5 minutes, depending on oven.¬† Just until aromatic and browned, but watch that they don’t burn.

Double Chocolate Biscotti Cookies

10 Dec

Is anyone else in the heartland feeling the sudden freeze?  The frost has definitely found us in MN.

To all my beautiful Californian family & friends:¬† I love you dearly and miss you more than you know…but I just can’t read any more Facebook posts about your “weather” out there.¬†¬† Because it makes me want to cry and go stare longingly at my collection of flip flops.

I need cookies.  Double Chocolate Biscotti cookies to the rescue.

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I know many people in our current Midwestern stomping ground who are enjoying the sudden blanket of heavy snow today.¬† True, I do enjoy how pristine and beautiful fresh snow can be.¬† To say the kids were excited is an understatement.¬† They immediately donned their rugged snow gear and threw themselves into the thick white powder, and “helped” Daddy shovel.

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But some snow days (today) are semi-crazy.¬† When huge snow plows can’t keep up, when too many cars are stuck on the side of roads, and when people (Hubby) spend all of Sunday clearing the driveway… well, that’s not such great fun.¬† Semi-crazy days like today are good for staying in.¬† Ok, we didn’t really stay in…not at all.¬† But it would have been a good day for it.

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For those mornings or afternoons when you can stay in and sip on a hot mug of coffee or tea… bring in these double chocolate Biscotti cookies.¬† They are the perfect dunking cookie.¬† I used to think Biscotti would be tricky to make from scratch, but I started making these a few years ago and fell in love with homemade Biscotti.¬† They are pretty straighforward, extremely flexible (any fave add-ins would be yummy), and best of all?¬† They keep so, so well.¬† Biscotti is classically crisp in texture (dunking perfection) and they stay nicely crunchy at room temp for days.¬† Or frozen for much longer.

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This recipe will make enough Biscotti to give away as yummy Christmas treats, or you can keep some in the freezer for a quick morning or afternoon treat when you need it. ¬† In fact, I just made a batch to give to my girlfriend’s lovely family.¬† There was enough leftover to go with Hubby’s coffee at breakfast.¬† And kids’ afternoon snack.¬† And my breakfast + snack.

To make it Christmas-y, I added dried cranberries.¬† They are a perfect addition for a holiday breakfast/brunch or cookie exchange.¬† Enjoy these cookies, stay warm, and romp a little in the snow.¬† If you’re lucky enough to get snow ūüôā

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RECIPE (approx. 40-50 cookies)

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup canola or light olive oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 300F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix oil and sugar until well blended.  Add vanilla extract, almond extract, and eggs.  Beat until well incorporated.  Gradually stir egg mixture in with the flour mixture.  Mix in cranberries and semi sweet chocolate chips by hand.  Dough may be sticky; place in fridge for 30 minutes to help with stickiness.

Divide dough into equal thirds (using wet hands here will help with sticky fingers.)¬† Form each third into logs, about 12×3 each, on the parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake 35-40 minutes on middle rack, until lightly brown and mostly firm to the touch.  Place light cloth over logs and cool for at least 30 minutes or until they are almost room temp.  Turn oven down to 275F.

Carefully cut cooled logs on diagonal, into slices that are a little less than 1 inch thick.  Depending on your knife, you might either press down very gently to get clean cuts, or you might use a gentle sawing motion.  I use my sharp bread knife.  Lay Biscotti onto their sides, on parchment covered baking sheets.  Bake 10 minutes.  Flip and bake 10 minutes more.  Biscotti is done when they feel dry.  Cool on cooling racks.

Melt white chocolate in small bowl in microwave, in approx. 30 second increments, until smooth and melted.  Transfer melted white chocolate into a plastic baggie, cut a very tiny hole in bottom corner, and drizzle over Biscotti.  Happy dunking!

By: Chewoutloud

Note:  If desired, you can do an egg wash over the dough logs before baking.  Just beat 1 egg with 1 TB water and brush onto logs.

Chewy Triple Chocolate Brownies – Goodbye, Box.

2 Nov Chewy Triple chocolate Brownies

Chocoholics, be forewarned.¬† Reading any further could¬† be dangerous if you’re on a mission to sidestep the chocolate food group.¬† Otherwise, read on.¬† You’ll be treated to the absolute BEST homemade brownies you can sink your teeth into.¬† They easily blow all boxed competition out of the water.

Chewy Triple chocolate Brownies

We’re a family of brownie lovers.¬† Hubby has been making them from scratch since he was 13, to satisfy his and his siblings’ Friday night munchies.¬† Our sweet-toothed children would inhale brownies by the buckets if allowed.¬† It’s a party in their lunchbox if a little brownie square is found hidden behind the sandwich.¬† Me?¬† I’m with the chocoholics, so it’s a given that brownies are considered highly dangerous territory for me.

Chewy Triple chocolate Brownies

A little bit of danger can be good ūüôā¬† Only if it involves chocolate that’s truly worth the eating.¬† Admittedly, I fully embraced boxed brownie mixes before meeting these Chewy Triple Chocolate Brownies.¬† Every past attempt at homemade-from-scratch brownies just could never quite parallel the chewy moistness of their boxed counterparts.¬† Until this game changer came along.

Chewy Triple chocolate Brownies

In truth, these Chewy Triple Chocolate Brownies do not simply parallel the boxed stuff.¬† These homemade brownies completely outshine our favorite box mixes.¬†¬† To prove it, I did a side by side comparison brownie bake-off.¬† For our neighborhood party, I made three different batches of brownies.¬† The Chewy Triple Chocolate Brownies went up against two other brownies, including Ghirardelli’s popular brownie mix.

Chewy Triple chocolate Brownies

We were amazed by how clearly these homemade brownies stood out.¬† They have such a rich, complex, chocolate flavor.¬† A perfectly thin crisp top.¬† A chewy, dense moistness that can’t be beat.¬† It honestly wasn’t even a contest.¬† Next to these homemade ones, the boxed brownies tasted surprisingly artificial.¬† The Chewy Triple Chocolate Brownies were snatched up in a wink.¬†¬† Once you taste these, you simply won’t go back to the box.

Ready for some dangerous chocolate territory?

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RECIPE (one 9×13 pan)

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup (1 oz) Dutch processed cocoa (unsweetened)
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder, optional
1/2 cup + 2 TB boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened good-quality chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 cup + 2 TB vegetable oil
4 TB regular butter, melted
2 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (17.5 oz) white sugar
1 3/4 cups (8.75 oz) all purpose, sifted flour
3/4 tsp fine salt
6 oz good quality bittersweet/semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

DIRECTIONS

Bring a kettle of water to boil.  Adjust oven rack to second-to-lowest position and preheat to 350F.  Make foil sling:  Insert 2 long sheets of foil perpendicular to one another in baking pan, so that there will be enough foil that hangs over edges of pan.  Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil against pan.  Grease foil and set aside.

Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water (measure out correct amount from your kettle of boiling water) together in large bowl until smooth.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in oil and melted butter.  Add eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla.  Continue to whisk until smooth and incorporated.  Whisk in sugar until thoroughly incorporated.  Sprinkle salt and sifted flour into batter and mix with rubber spatula until just combined.  Fold in bittersweet/semisweet chocolate pieces.

Transfer batter into prepared pan, spreading it into corners and smoothing the surface.¬† Bake for about 30-33 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.¬† It’s done when toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached; should not come out clean.¬† Do not overbake, or brownies may be dry.

Transfer pan to wire rack and cool for 1 1/2 hours.  Remove brownies from pan using foil sling.  Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely.  Cut brownies into squares and serve.  Can be stored in airtight container at room temp for a couple of days.

Notes:
* If you have a kitchen scale, use it to get the most accurate measurements.
* Let brownies cool thoroughly before cutting into them, for chewiest texture.
* If your baking dish is glass, cool brownies in pan for just 10-20 minutes, and then use foil sling to transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

By Chewoutloud, adapted from Baking Illustrated

Spiced Pumpkin Souffle with Molasses Bourbon

15 Oct Pumpkin Souffle with Molasses Bourbon

At this time of year, all our favorite pumpkin desserts are on the brain.¬† Many of us are dreaming about what we’ll be baking up, whether it’s for a dinner party or a casual date night.¬† Most of my classic favorites are undoubtedly rich, with pumpkin cheesecake topping my list (more on that soon!)¬† To balance out all those classic yet dense offerings, we were instantly intrigued with the idea of a lighter pumpkin dessert.

Pumpkin Souffle with Molasses Bourbon

Hello, Pumpkin Souffle.¬† Wow, this is a good one!¬† This spiced pumpkin souffle is heavenly, reaching up and away as it puffs beautifully in your oven.¬† The result is an airy, fluffy, light dessert that is immensely satisfying.¬† Your sweet tooth will be absolutely fulfilled, without feeling stuffed. Even if you’ve just finished off a full meal, you’ll happily polish off this lively treat.

Pumpkin Souffle with Molasses Bourbon

The earthy pumpkin and spice flavors complement each other perfectly.¬† Make this easy Molasses Bourbon sauce for an unbelievably impressive finale.¬† This decadent sauce was born to go hand in hand with its souffle partner.¬† The souffle just wouldn’t be the same without the sauce; it’s scrumptious together.

Pumpkin Souffle with Molasses Bourbon

The Pumpkin Souffle will likely deflate as it cools, but it doesn’t change the yum-factor in any way.¬† Mine¬† actually rose comically high while baking in the oven, so I took them out.¬† They shrunk upon cooling and still tasted delicious, but my extra large ramekins could have used an extra minute or so.¬† If you have 6-ounce ramekins, you won’t have to play with the bake time much. ¬† To ensure a nice big puff for presentation, serve these immediately out of the oven.¬† Oh, and keep leftover Molasses Bourbon sauce on the table, because someone just might want a second drizzle.¬† Your guests will be wowed.¬† Enjoy!

RECIPE (8 six-ounce servings)

INGREDIENTS

Pumpkin Souffle:
1/2 cup whole milk
1 TB cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp grouind cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup, plus 1 TB white sugar, divided
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
10 large egg whites
1/4 tsp fine salt

Molasses Bourbon Sauce*
1/4 cup sugar
1 TB salted butter
1 TB pure molasses
3 TB water
2 TB Bourbon

DIRECTIONS

Make the Molasses Bourbon Sauce (can be done ahead of time):
Stir all sauce ingredients, except for Bourbon, in a heavy small saucepan.  Cook on medium, stirring frequently, until sauce bubbles.  Turn heat down to simmer.  Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add Bourbon, continuing to stir.  About 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool at room temp.  Sauce will thicken upon standing.  If desired, warm up sauce a bit before serving.

Make the Souffle:
Whisk together the milk, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and 1 TB sugar in a small, heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil at medium heat, whisking.  Lower heat to simmer.  Whisk on simmer another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.  Whisk in pumpkin and let cool to room temp.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Put rack on lower third.  Butter ramekins and coat with granulated sugar, shaking off excess.  Place prepared ramekins in a large shallow baking pan.

Beat egg whites with salt in a large bowl, using electric mixer.  Beat until soft peaks.  Add remaining 3/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating.  Beat until stiff and glossy peaks.

Very gently fold one third of egg whites into cooled pumpkin mixture.  Fold in remaining whites very gently but thoroughly.  Divide mixture among ramekins, mounding if needed.

Bake souffles until puffed and golden brown.  About 18-20 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.  Serve immediately with yummy sauce.

by chewoutloud, adapted from Gourmet

*Note:¬† A little of the Molasses Bourbon sauce goes a long way, but if you’d like more sauce, double the amount.¬† It’s great for pancakes, waffles, on ice cream, etc. too!

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