Friday, May 31, 2013

Every Road Should Be Rocky..

Nuts. Lets talk about nuts for a second cause I'm on a kick ever since I've gone Paleo.  It's not that I didn't like nuts before, they just weren't a staple in my life. But now..now nuts are a significant part of my life- my perfect snack, salad topping, spreads, ground up for my baking- I mean they are everything.  Especially almonds.
Almond Butter. Holy Hannah if you haven't tried it get in your car right now and go get some.  And I'm not talking about the jarred kind, I'm talking fresh grind.  I've had an aversion to all brand named jarred butters every since I experienced it fresh from Whole Foods.  Plus I admit I'm like a kid and love going to push the button and watch the almonds grind..yeah I'm easily amused.

So anyway, I wanted to incorporate almonds to this weeks recipe so I can kinddd of pretend I'm enjoying these cookies with you guys {yeah not even close}. 

Growing up my mom's favorite ice cream was always rocky road.  Me being the stubborn brat that I was never gave it a try, and stuck to my cookie dough and rainbow sherbet addictions.  But now that I've started to explore my taste buds, I realized my mom was probably a genius all along.  Marshmallow, Chocolate, ALMONDS and more chocolate..COME ON PEOPLE WHAT GETS BETTER!
Of course I wait until dairy is completely cut from my diet to make this discovery and am no long able to try this flavor ice cream. Sigh.

So by all means I'll just torture myself and make this combination in the cookie form for you to enjoy and me to drool over..you're welcome.
Seriously look at this marshmallow lava, are you kidding me?!
Did your mouth just start watering? yeah mine too..

This chocolate cookie recipe was adapted from Picky-Palate's Reese Pieces Double Chocolate Chunk Recipe, substituting the mix-ins for my Rocky Road Delights!

Rocky Road Delights
Adapted from Picky-Palate

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
mini marshmallows
chopped almonds
semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars.  Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
Gradually add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined. 
Throw in your toppings and stir until fully incorporated.
Using a cookie scoop, or tablespoon, place thee dough on the lined cookie trays.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. 
Allow to cool on the cookie tray 5-10 minutes before moving to the cooling rack. *this is important or else you may have a few cookie casualties removing them like I did*
You should definitely plan your trip down this Rocky Road :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Patriotic Rice Krispies Treats

First of all, I have a bone to pick with M&M. They manage to pull through in the clutch with every flavor variety and holiday color schemes EXCEPT when I need Red, White & Blue. Let's hope they take my brilliant advice and have this problem solved by 4th of July.

Until then, I had to sit picking out each individual red and blue M&M from two bags. It's times like these I wish I had a child-- its amazing to watch how easily excited they are by simple challenges like these.
Also, another tip for M&M: spice up your color scheme, these are pretty lame especially without the Red and Blue.  Perhaps a pink? white? purple? Think about it.

So if you haven't caught on, Memorial Day is just as patriotic and exciting as 4th of July around here..got my bandana all packed up and ready for a fun filled weekend at the beach with friends, family, drinks and BBQs.

In honor of the holiday, its only fair that I make another adorably festive dessert for me to salivate over while attempting to resist licking the spoon. UGH. I almost had to break out a paleo brownie from my freeze stash especially for this one..but I managed to hold out. THINK BIKINI STEPHANIE!
Now I've probably mentioned over and over and over again that my favorite dessert, although nothing fancy, is in fact Rice Krispie Treats.  They were at one point a staple in my diet.  It actually pains me to even talk about them, I miss them that much.
But for the sake of you guys I put myself through the ultimate test of will power to create this easy, festive, absolutely scrumptious treat!
I'm assuming this is definitely what heaven looks like, am I right or am I right? fluffy, sweet, a little sticky..there really cant be a place much better than this that's for sure. I'd easily live in a pot of this forever.
Don't these just scream America?! It's crazy how taking a simple classic sweet and throwing in a few extra add-ins can change the game completely!

Patriotic Rice Krispie Treats

6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal*
1 bag Jet Puff Marshmallows
3 Tbs butter
Red & Blue M&Ms
White chocolate
Star Sprinkles
Ziploc bag

Spray brownie tray with Pam. In a medium pot, melt the butter.  Add in marshmallows and continue to stir constantly until fully melted.  Remove from heat.

Add cereal a little bit at a time and continue to stir until desired consistency is achieved* {I don't usually measure my cereal, just pour until it looks right}. Pour in M&Ms and stir to incorporate.  Be sure not to over stir or they will begin to melt and smash. Spread mixture into the prepared baking sheet and let settle about 15 minutes.

Cut into desired squares and place on parchment paper to separate, making decorating easier {not necessary but recommended}.

Melt white chocolate in a microwave save bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted.  Using a sandwich size Ziploc, cut a tiny bit of the corner off.  Put in white chocolate and drizzle over krispie treats. Sprinkle with stars and allow chocolate to set. Then serve! :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Infamous Twix Brownies

First off, let me start off by introducing you to my new cake pop model Dylan.
How could you turn down those chubby cheeks and legs?! Oh yeah and that pretty little blue cake pop he's holding..looks like even the stick tastes good hehe :)
Happy Christening Day you little cutie pie!

So I've realized there are a lot of sweets I make regularly {which you have probably seen on my instagram or facebook}that have yet to make it onto the blog for one reason or another. Some recipes are family secrets that I'm not sure I'm ready to share on the blog, and others are just so good they are gone before I've been able to take some good pictures.
This is one of those. If you're a friend or a friend of a friend or even a stranger that has been to one of my parties, it's highly likely that you've had my Twix brownies. Twix literally make everything better {like in my  Oatmeal Cookie Insanity post}.
Have you ever heard of Baked? It's a bakery located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, famous for it's brownies, cookies wedding cakes..pretty much all baked goods.  They even have two cookbooks out which have gotten fantastic reviews! Although I have yet to purchase their books or managed a visit to the store, I got my hands on their recipe and will never go back. It will undoubtably be the base for all my crazy combinations to come {including these Twix brownies}.  These are so dark, rich, chocolately and chewy even Americas Test Kitchen and Oprah rave about them!
If you like cakey brownie, I may stear you away from this recipe. But if you're ready for an amazing melt-in-your-mouth, out-of-this-world, heavenly experience, these are for you!

Twix Brownies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontier in Baking

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz dark chocolate, chopped {or I used chips}
1 cup {2 sticks} unsalted butter, cut into 1in cubes
1 1/2  cup granulated sugar
1/2  cup packed brown sugar
5 eggs room temperature*
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 bag mini twix, chopped into quarters
Schmuckers caramel ice cream topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9x13in glass or light colored baking pan with parchment paper {spray pam first to help keep the paper in place}.

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

In a double boiler, place the chocolate and butter in the bowl stirring occasionally until completely melted and combined.Turn the heat off and keep over the boiler, adding both sugars.  Whisk until combined and then remove from the pan.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined *be sure not to over beat.  Add in the vanilla.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the chocolate, using a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients. Finally add the chopped twix and gently combine.

Transfer the miture to the baking pan.  Top with a few remaining twix.  Bake about 20 minutes, rotate the pan and drizzle caramel topping, and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs.**

Cool the brownies before cutting and serving {torture but trust me!}

**Note: the original instructions call for a 30 minutes bake time, however mine tend to take about 45 minutes so keep your eye on them every so often!
I promise these won't disappoint!