Tag Archives: Chocolate

A New Brownie Recipe for My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert

If you’ve been following my blog with any regularity, you’ll know that we just love our Brownies here In The Middle Of The Desert.

 

I’ve made so many different kinds, flavors, add-ins and so on and so on.

Recently I found this recipe …

https://www.shugarysweets.com/bakery-style-brownies/

… on a social media site, I can’t remember which one, but they looked pretty dang good.

My go-to recipe for Brownies has been from Hershey’s, I mean come on, who knows chocolate in America better than Hershey’s… by the way, have you ever been to Hershey Pennsylvania?  The entire town smells like chocolate, the light posts have Hershey Kiss shaped shades and geez, it’s just a super neat place.

But I digress, back to the topic of Brownies.

I took Aimee’s recipe and made it my own by adding a half teaspoon of Espresso Powder to pump up the chocolate volume and a half cup of chopped Macadamia Nuts.  I think though next time, a full cup of Nuts would be better.

Look at THAT!!!

Man oh man oh man OH MAN!!  Them’s some good Brownies, let me tell you buddy.  My husband, who doesn’t comment on food too often, has exclaimed with each and every bite “… these are just the best Brownies you’ve ever made, really!”

They are quite rich and decadent, I gotta tell ya, so I cut this 9 by 9 inch block-o-goodness into 16 pieces.

This is from batch #2 made with chopped Pecans, topped with Mint Cookie Crunch Ice cream, YUM!!

AND they are over the top delicious  with a scoop of Ice Cream on top!

Brownie, Ice Cream and then warmed Blueberry Preserves over the top

OR  take it one more step with the Brownie, Ice Cream and then your favorite Preserve, warmed and drizzled artfully all over.

Mahalo, thank you Aimee, for sharing this fabulous recipe with all of us.

Baked Chocolate Donuts

I’ve been eyeing up this Wilton 6-Cavity Donut Pan for, well, ever.  Not long ago, I was out and about with Missus Dear Friend on one of our “Girlies Day Out”.  We went into Bed Bath & Beyond and what was calling my name?

What the heck, it’s only $9.99, I should be able to make a decent baked, rather than fried donut, right?  I followed the directions that came on the pans sleeve…

The first batch, I think I filled the pan a bit too much, there isn’t a hole.  Maybe the icing would hide that.

The next batch looked pretty, but the texture was off, they were too airy (can you see those huge pockets of air?).

This Sunday’s Brunch was disappointing.   It’s a good thing a made a BIG pan of Bacon too.

Conclusion:  We’ll need to look for a different recipe maybe, but we will try again.

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake, Oh My!

I’ve fallen behind on my blog, I know I know, so to make this is up to you I give you,

CAKE!

I love a good cake, really, but not the ones with oodles of icing on it or that are overly sweet.

I think I told you folks that I ordered The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook.  Fabulous!  I watched the episode where they made this cake; I was drooling the entire show.  This recipe makes a large, rich, moist, over the moon, delicious chocolate Bundt cake with a ganache like glaze dripping down the sides.  I did have to share some of this cake with neighbors, as well as freeze a huge hunk of it, just to keep both my husband and I from devouring it.  And I’ll be honest with you, as the cake sat on the counter, it got better.  After the second day, I put it in one of those Dollar Store plastic cake carriers, they’re great.  Then I stashed the whole thing in the `fridge.  On the fourth day, I cried uncle and froze the last of it.  About a week or so later, I defrosted the cake in the `fridge for a couple of days and it was FANTASTIC!  I will be making this cake again.

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake

For the Cake:

2 ¼ oz. Dutch-processed Cocoa plus extra to dust the pan

½ C. Boiling Water

2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

10 oz. All purpose Flour

2 C. Pecans (or Walnuts), chopped fine

8 oz. Confectioner’s Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

5 Eggs, room temperature

1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

20 Tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

7 oz. Granulated Sugar

5 ¼ oz. Light Brown Sugar

For the Glaze:

¾ C. Heavy Cream

¼ C. Light Corn Syrup

8 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350⁰, with the rack at to the lower-middle position.  Grease a 12 cup Bundt pan and dust with some cocoa powder.  Set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and then pour the boiling water over it; whisk gently until it’s smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, nuts, confectioner’s sugar and salt.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla.

In your stand mixer fixed with the paddle, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high until it’s light and fluffy, this will take about 2 minutes.  Turn it down to low; add the egg mixture and beat just until combined.  Add the chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated.  Beat in the flour mixture for about 30 seconds, don’t over work it.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with an off-set spatula.  Bake until the edges start to pull away from the pan, about 45 minutes.  Testing for doneness with a toothpick won’t work here, because the cake is so fudgy.  If the cake springs back when you press gently with your finger, it’s done.

Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack for 1 ½ hours, then turn it out on to a serving plate and let it cool completely for at least 2 more hours.

(I made the cake one day then glazed it the next.)

For the Glaze: Heat the cream, corn syrup and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s smooth.  Off heat, stir in the vanilla and set aside to thicken, about 30 minutes or so.  Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it flow down the sides.  Let the glaze set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days, but that’s about when it really gets good, I think anyways.

CAKE!

CAKE!

Sliced Tunnel of fudge cake

*I’m sure that you noticed that this recipe uses weight rather than volume (ounces vs. cups) for some of the ingredients.  It’s much more precise this way and your baked goods will come out perfect!

I do think that the next time I make this cake, I’ll make only ¾ to ½ the amount of glaze though.  You see how it’s puddling a bit?  But, yeah, I mean, aren’t you drooling now too?

Please let me know if you try this recipe by taking a photograph and posting it on whatever social media site you use, with the hashtag, #mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.  I’d love to see what you’re making in your kitchen.

ENJOY!

I Found This Recipe On Pinterest

Yesterday, my darling, handsome husband said that I’m losing my touch with food, WHAT?  He said that I have been kinda boring in my dishes, especially for breakfast.  Okay.  So I went to Walmart, only because there are some of my staple items there that are less expensive, and what did I spy but Pillsbury “Pop-N-Fresh” biscuits on sale.  I remembered a very simple recipe that I pinned for Doughnut Waffles, sounded interesting, DH did say something about doughnuts.

I used Pillsbury Grands!® Junior Golden Layers Flaky Biscuits, and cooked them in my Cuisinart 4-slice Belgian Waffle Iron, using the #4 setting for 1 minute.

Meh, not so much for me, but then BACON makes everything better, right?

 

Enjoy!

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Huh, huh, are ya?

Me, well, kinda I guess.

Though I am an official card carrying member of the females in America, I don’t care for shopping so much, no, really.  I’ve lost my lust for it, now don’t get me wrong, I like to go-along with other gals as they look for this or that.  For myself, I could grocery shop all day, every day!

So, this brings me to what I wanted to share with you all today,

COOKIES!!

Yes, Auntie has been in a baking frenzy of late.  What I like to refer to as a cookie-fa-la-la-la-palooza here in the middle of the desert.  I finally finished up 9, yes Virginia, I said NINE different types of a baked goods to give as gifts.

My Rum Cake

Rum Cake

My Kahlua Cake

Kahlua Cake

This was for a party, my Great-Grandmother's Ginger Bread with fresh whipped Cream, MMM!

This was for a party, my Great-Grandmother’s Ginger Bread with fresh whipped Cream, MMM!

Ginger Bread

Gingerbread Cupcakes with powdered Sugar

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Hershey's Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Hershey’s Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Land-O-Lakes Spritz Cookies, great recipe btw.

Quaker's Vanishing Cookie Bars with dried Cranberries

Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Bars with dried Cranberries in stead of Raisins

Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Blossoms (that was a bust)

My husband's favorite cookie

My husband’s favorite cookie

Land-O-Lakes Chocolate Chip Cookies

WHEW!

I’m tired.

Now all I have to do is package these up all pretty-like and go visiting with folks to share.

Have yourselves a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pie, Oh My!

I had never even heard of Buttermilk Pie until we took Our Great Western Adventure back last September …

Our Great Western Adventure Chocolate Buttermilk Pie @ Bubba's Bar-B-Que in Cody Wyoming

… and had a slice of this divine dessert in Cody Wyoming at Bubba’s Bar-B-Que, OH MY GAWD!

After making by chefy pal Joey’s Boomer Cake, I had some buttermilk left that I didn’t want to waste. DING!

I went-a-lookin’ on the World Wide Web for a recipe and I found a boat load. But, I wanted something that would be as close as possible to my first experience. I found a recipe that sounded like it would please both my husband (“I don’t like chocolate pie, I don’t like anything sour … ” please insert whinny little boy here *wink*) and myself at The Pinter Test Kitchen.

My best pie crust yet

The difference in my interpretation was that I made my own pie dough from scratch, following my girl Martha’s recipe. I NAILED IT! That is the most beautiful crust I’ve ever made, thanks Martha.

This pie will puff up in the middle and then as it cools, it will sink a bit and crack, that’s okay.

This is really rich pie

The agony was finally over, let’s dig in! This pie is so nice and chocolatey-gooey-yummy, it’s just, just… AH! Sigh

The only problem was that we liked it so much that it was gone before we knew it.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yep, it’s my birthday, today as a matter of fact. And seeing as my husband doesn’t know how to bake, I made my own birthday cake.

The recipe that I used for the cake is from BettyR at ChefTalk … thanks Betty, this is the easiest scratch cake I’ve ever made. I made two layers rather than three, as called for in this recipe and then a dozen cupcakes to share with neighbors.

For the frosting, I had a dozen egg whites (I only used 6 egg whites) in the deep freeze that were leftover from making Meyer Lemon Curd awhiles back. So I went looking for a recipe for Chocolate Italian Meringue Butter Cream that I have wanted to try my hand at. What I found even came with a video, very helpful, Mahalo (thanks) Dede Wilson at Bakepedia.

Hauoli la hanau, Happy Birthday to me!

Dessert In Chino Valley Arizona

On our most recent visit in Prescott Arizona, we had dinner, yet again, at Bonn-Fire in Chino Valley Arizona, love this place!  Our dinner choices were pretty much the usual stuff we each order, but dessert for the table this time was beyond good.

SURPRISE! Brownies

We have been so good that I felt that DH and I needed a treat. I try harder than is humanly possible to keep temptation out of the house. Sometimes though, it’s okay to give in to your desires. Sugar is the downfall for both of us.

With Monsoon season in full swing, sometimes we get trapped in the house because of flash floods; yesterday was one of those days and I was getting bored.

brownies

SURPRISE!

I can not resist a good, fudgy, chew, chocolate-y, brownie.

Since moving here to the continental United States, I make brownies using Hershey’s Best Brownie recipe. My sister had given me a Hershey’s Cookbook a long time ago; I only just started to use it, but with my own twist. I add a packette of Starbuck’s® Via Ready Brew Italian Roast coffee into the batter. This intensifies the chocolate flavor, such a difference.

My husband likes his plain with icing on top; I like all different kinds of goodies in or on mine.

brownies with peanut butter cups in the middle, suprise!

What I did this time was took mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups and pushed them into the four corners of the pan to bake into the bar.  SUPRISE!

one brownie has chocolate chips and the other nuts

Then down the middle of the pan, I made one row of dark chocolate chips and another of crushed nuts, leaving two rows just plain. So we wound up with 4 different flavored brownies in one batch.  SUPRISE!

DH looks at the pan when it came out of the oven and was cooling on the counter and says “is that’s all you made?”  (Try the recipe for the Creamy Brownie Frosting, it is good)

THEY’RE GONE ALREADY!!

ALOHA!

Talking About Cake

A few weeks ago, DH took me to the greater Phoenix area for a mini vacation (I’ll catch you up to speed on that later). One of the places that we went to was Scottsdale Fashion Square, and I found Caketini. We had our very first Cake Pop, well, they call them truffles.

Caketini Coconut Truffle or Cake Pop

This is Coconut flavored cake mixed with buttercream and then dipped in chocolate ganache, WOW!  I mean WOW!

I got to thinking, why does it have to have a stick and can I freeze them (for quantity control, otherwise we’d eat them all in a single go) ?

Ginger Bread-Cake, too dry

I had made my great grandmother’s old fashion ginger bread, using cake flour that I had left in the cupboard, instead of AP flour. It came out way too dry, so I thought, HMMM, this would make a great Cakeball.

the kit

I had been at our local supermarket, and I saw they had a Cake Pop kit for sale, cheap.

So here we go…

I crumbled the cake into a bowl; added 2 heaping tablespoons of canned, yes I said prepared buttercream frosting and gave it a good mix.

I didn’t want it too mushy, I wanted that truffle-like quality. I used a 1 ½ tablespoon disher to create even cakeballs and then into the freezer for about a half hour. There was my first mistake I found later after watching some You Tube ‘how-to-s’, they should have gone into the `fridge over night instead, oh well.

dipped and ready to chill

I melted some chocolate flavored Candy Melts in a double boiler, but it was awfully thick, but hard headed as I am, I plowed forward and dipped the icy cold balls into the candy and placed them onto a sheet pan covered in plastic wrap.

differest sprinkles

Some of them got some assorted sprinkles, cute. Then back into the chill box to firm up.

the finished product, YUM!

Not bad, though the candy coating is a bit thick. That was the second mistake. On the video that I watched AFTER I was done, you’re suppose to thin out the candy melts with some vegetable oil, did it say that on the box the kit came in? NO! Now I know for the next time. I got 14 little darlings to munch on later.