Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mint Brownies

I love love love Mint Brownies. These are so fudgy and yummy you might want to eat the whole pan yourself. These have a few steps but are relativly easy to make. They are also better than any brownie you can buy from the store or make from a box. This is my brownie recipe I use no matter what kind of brownies I am making. Whether plain ones, mint, cheesecake, ect. This is a good one to add to your recipe box and you can also halve the brownie recipe for a 9x13 inch pan real easily.
Look at all of the chocolatey goodness:

Mint Brownies

1 1/4 cup butter,softened
4 cups sugar
8 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Mix the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the vanilla. Pour batter into a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Do not over bake them. Check with a toothpick to test if done.Let cool completely.

Mint Layer:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 T. Water
1/2-3/4 tsp mint extract
3 drops green food coloring

Combine all and beat until creamy. Spread on the cooled brownies. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.(I double this for my large cookies sheet but if you would like less minty frosting then don't double it~my husband prefers less frosting in general)
Spread all over the brownies like so:

Chocolate Ganache:
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/4 cup plus 1 T. baking cocoa
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 lb. semisweet and milk chocolate, chopped into pieces(I use choclate chips but you can use good chocolate if you want)
1 T. vanilla

Combine the cream, butter,cocoa, and corn syrup in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a large bowl. Dump the simmering cream mixture over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes and then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add vanilla and whisk to blend. Cover and let refrigerate until spreadable consistancy. Spread over the Mint layer on Brownies.
Like so:

You can also beat the ganache with and electric mixer, after it cools, to make it fluffier like frosting. I have done it both ways!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Black Bottom Cupcakes

My sister in law Rachel gave me this recipe. These are so yummy!! Most people like them without frosting but I prefer them with frosting so you choose. I usually frost them with a homemade chocolate ganache. But they are still tasty just by themselves.
Don't those look tasty?

Black Bottom Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1 T. white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coconut(if you don't like coconut you can leave this out)

Mix all the cake ingredients until combined. Fill lined muffin tins up about 1/3 of the way full. Next mix all of the filling ingredients together and place a Tablespoon of filling on top of each cupcake like this:

Bake at 350 for 24 minutes. I only had to bake mine for about 16 minutes so it depends on the oven. I love these with the coconut in them but some people don't like coconut so do it without the coconut they are just as good!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apricot Chicken

This is really yummy and so so so easy!! You must try it!! I got this recipe from my Sis in Law Stephanie. My kid ate this up really fast. We serve it with roasted green beans but would be good with any vegetable. The whole dish was almost gone before I remembered I didn't take a picture so this is not a very great picture but trust me this is worth making!!

Apricot Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts,(you can leave them whole chop them in strips or dice it up. My husband said I should chopp it up in thin strips like you get in Chinese restaurants so that iswhat I will do next time
about 8-12 oz of apricot jam-I used about 10 oz.
1-16 oz. bottle Catalina salad dressing
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
Sliced almonds or pecans(optional for on top when you serve it)
Cooked Rice

Place the chicken in a 9x13 pan. Slather the apricot jam all over the top of the chicken, Pour the whole bottle of dressing on top of chicken and jam. Sprinkle with the Lipton onion soup mix and Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

This is what it looks like before putting it in the oven:

This sounds like it would be really sweet but trust me it isn't. It is just the right amount of sweet!! Hope you enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Red Beans and Rice

Here is a really easy recipe you cook in the crockpot. It is so simple and tasty!! I found this recipe over at Our Best Bites. I have made these beans twice since I found the recipe about a month ago. I really recommend you trying them especially on a day when you need to put something in to cook in the morning and be ready when you get home.

Kate's Red Beans and Rice~adapted from Our Best Bites

1-1lb bag dry red beans
6 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1 lb Hillshire farms smoked sausage, chopped (you can omit this or use less but we like the full pound in ours)
1 onion,chopped
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp cajun or creole seasoning
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp corriander
3/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 5 hours or until beans are tender. Before you are ready to eat bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan, then add 2 cups rice. Bring back to a boil, stir, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour beans over top of rice like so:

We like to sprinkle with a little grated cheese and mix it all together Like this:

Enjoy!! Until next time have a great time cooking!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

White Chocolate Pecan(or Macademia Nut) Cookies

I have been searching all over for a good White Chocolate Macadamia nut cookie for the past few years. The ones I have tried all taste like a normal chocolate chip cookie and seem to be missing that taste you get from one you buy at the store or at Subway. I found this recipe on Kara's Kitchen. I have finally found a White chocolate cookie that is better than you can get at the store or Subway. You must try these if you Love White chocolate Macademia nut cookies. THey are even better with pecans!! I reccomend the pecans!!

White Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1 1/2 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanill

1 tsp maple flavoring~do not leave this out it is what gives the cookies the amazing flavor

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 -3 cups vanilla or white chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans or any nut you like

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs , vanilla, and maple and beat well. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the choco chips and nuts. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.

I also got the idea from Our Best Bites to fill a ramekin 1/2 full with your favorite cookie dough Like so:

And bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the middle is still a little gooey or soft and then put a scoop of ice cream on top and enjoy!! These were amazing!!! If you love a undercooked cookie or even cookie dough for that matter these are for you!! You must try it!!
Here is the White Chocolate Pecan cookie.
Here is Chocolate chip Cookie.
These are so simple an easy but yet so tasty!! If you don't feel like making your own cookie dough then just use store bought dough. Kate and Sara at Our best Bites say they have used Homemade and store bought and they think they are equally tasty. I am a make it yourself kind of gal but you can cheat no one will ever know!!