Friday, September 30, 2011

Chocolate Covered Sausage Bites

Sausage bites covered in chocolate have been on the agenda for a hot minute. But other things just seemed to pop up that interested me more, so they had been put on the back burner...until now.

Not much to say regarding these bite-sized bits of meat. So I'll just get to it.


Chocolate Covered Sausage Bites

Melt, coat, chill; you know the drill. (Do you like what I did there?)

Here's the verdict: stick with milk chocolate baking bark. I was told that it holds up better against the strong flavor of the sausage when compared to the white chocolate.

I say I was told this because I didn't actually try any. Well, that's kind of true and kind of not. I ate the chocolate off of the sausage (that's what she said) and tossed the meat itself. Yes, I'm a terrible and wasteful person. Judge me; I deserve it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Movie Theater Cookies

These cookies originally promoted my search for what eventually morphed into Cracker Jack cookies. But I was still curious as to how these cookies would turn out. I mean I love cookies, and I love Kettle Corn. This recipe is originally from Blue Bonnets and Brownies.


Movie Theater Cookies
makes approximately 18 large cookies


Ingredients
  • 2c flour
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 3/4c butter
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1c Raisinets (I used 1/2c milk and 1/2c dark)
  • 1c Kettle Corn

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and prep baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Melt butter. Cream together the brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter. Beat in the vanilla, whole egg, and egg yolk. Continue beating until batter is light and creamy.
  4. Add in flour mixture, mixing after each addition.
  5. Pop popcorn and allow to cool. Pick out any visible burnt pieces and kernels. Using your clean and dry hands, knead popcorn through them so that popped kernels become smaller, breaking away from the main kernel so that they’re smaller and more easily combined into a cookie.
  6. Add 1c Raisinets and 1c popcorn bits to the dough, stirring by hand.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto baking sheets. These cookies spread a LOT. They need to have at least 3″ of space between each ball of dough.
  8. Bake for 17 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
While others certainly enjoyed these cookies, and I did consume a couple myself, I wasn't really feelin' it. Mix-ins, I think, should enhance the taste, not detract from it. And, in my opinion, both the texture and the flavor of the popcorn take away from the awesomeness of the cookie itself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dark Chocolate Mint Tim Tam Truffles

Did you know that people eat dark chocolate on purpose? I'm sure you did. In fact, you are probably one of them. Why?

If you ever happen to run into me on the street, I'd be more than happy to show you my hoppy beer/dry wine/dark chocolate face. It's not pretty, which is saying a lot considering how ridiculously good looking I am.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I take requests for friends' birthdays. This month, the birthday boy mentioned his love of Tim Tams, which I have procured before but are not currently available around here.  Fortunately, my friend's birthday coincided with workshops at my office, and a very generous client who was attending the workshops schlepped a few packages of Dark Chocolate Mint Tim Tam biscuits over from Australia.


For the full, dark-as-my-heart chocolate truffle recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chocolate Covered Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels

The terrible, terrible memories of the chocolate-covered green olives are slowly being replaced with new memories of other, significantly tastier chocolate covered treats. For example, these pretzels. 

Pretzels are among the more tame and common items that one can cover in chocolate. However, within the pretzel family there are a variety of species that often get overlooked, but are just as, if not more so, tasty when dipped in the melted awesomeness that is baking bark. I've started with Honey Mustard and Onion Pieces, one of my favorite flavors.  


Chocolate Covered Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels


Say it with me now: melt your baking bark, coat the pretzel pieces, chill to set.

There's not much to say except these were great. Confession (brace yourselves):While the white chocolate was good, it got a little lost amongst the other strong flavors, so the milk chocolate coating is the clear winner this time around. I know, right!?!

Monday, September 19, 2011

REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cups® Cupcakes

WARNING: If you are allergic to peanuts, do not, I repeat, DO NOT read this recipe. These cupcakes contain so much peanut butter that even skimming the ingredients list will be cause enough to whip out your EpiPen.

If you are not allergic to peanuts; however, then read and make this recipe immediately because, if you rely on the testimony of one of my taste testers, this will be the best thing you have eaten in a month. In the spirit of full disclose, most of my taste testers were poorly-fed and very drunk grad students.

I snagged the cake recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor, the frosting from How to Eat a Cupcake and the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures from Kroger!


For all of the hive-producing, throat-closing details, visit Foodbeast.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Covered Andy Capp's Hot Fries

Andy Capp is a character from a British comic strip. I don't know why he has his own fries. I also don't know why I sometimes think he is the same person as Andy Griffith. 

While these questions of who he is and how his fries came to be his may, from time to time, plague my mind, I didn't let that stop me from covering said fries in chocolate. 

Not much else to say as is usually the case with most of my chocolate covered creations, so as Michael Bolton would say "Boys, let's get to it."


Chocolate Covered Andy Capp's Hot Fries

I'll just give you the Cliff Notes. Characters: Hot Fries (yes, they are HOT!) and baking bark. Plot: Melt bark. Coat fries. Chill until set. Major themes: Tastiness. Awesomeness. And the incompatibility of military heroism and love. Oh wait...this is baking, not Othello. Meh, two out of three ain't bad.

Both types of bark are great, as always; each type of chocolate bring a different flavor to and out of the hot fries. If you are looking for an alternative to these for people who are not so much into the cheez-i-ness, Hot Fries are the way to go.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chips Ahoy!® Truffles

Why mess with a good thing? I'll tell you why: because you can turn it into a great thing! Here's a better question: Why settle for merely good?

Cookies in general are good, but pulverizing them, mixing them with cream cheese and coating them in chocolate = GREAT!

This time around I used Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate Chips Cookies (original). I was hoping the truffles would remain the same color as the cookie in its intact form, but upon crushing and cream cheesing, the chocolate chips darkened the entire mix. Meh, still tasted flippin' fantastic.

  Chips Ahoy! Truffles

To find out exactly how the cookie crumbles, visit Foodbeast!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

I like layered desserts. It's like several different awesome things that all come together to create an even more awesome thing. This particular awesome, layered dessert was passed along to me by Kyle's mother. Thanks, Judy!

Here's the general idea: a pretzel layer, a cream cheese/Cool Hwhip layer, and then a strawberries/jell-o layer. Aaaaaand I've pretty much told you the entire recipe right there, but, in case you were curious, I'll hit you up with the specifics.


Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Ingredients
  • 2c pretzels, crushed
  • 3/4c butter, melted
  • 3T sugar
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 12oz Cool Whip (TRICKERY! A regular tubs is only 8oz., so be sure you buy two!)
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 6oz strawberry jello
  • 2c boiling water
  • 16oz frozen strawberries, sliced
Directions
  1. Mix together first three ingredients (pretzels, butter and 3T sugar) and press evenly into 9x13 glass pan. 
  2. Bake for 7 minutes at 400 degrees F and let cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, add boiling water to Jell-o powder and stir until dissolved. Then add frozen strawberries to Jell-o mixture and let them melt all up in there.
  4. Cream together cream cheese, Cool Whip and 1/2c sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled pretzel crust and stick that baby in the freezer for like 15 minutes or until that layer is set.
  5. Wait a while longer until the Jell-o and strawberries get kind of gunky and thick and then spread that on top of everything.
  6. Put it into the fridge until the Jell-o layer has solidified. 
So you really, really need to wait until the crust is cool, the cream cheese layer is solid and the Jell-o is starting to solidify. If the Jell-o is still warm and/or the cream cheese isn't set, the results are disastrous. The cream cheese will chunk and rise through the Jell-o and the Jell-o and strawberries will sneak underneath the cream cheese. If this happens it looks a mess and it doesn't hold together very well. That's why I suggest making the Jell-o early on so it has time to do it's thing.

But if you do it right (patience is definitely a virtue in this situation), this is a great late summer dessert. It still has a lingering summer feel with the strawberries, but it starts to bring in the heavier fall dessert-y type situations when you hit the cream cheese layer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cracker Jack® Cookies

When I first came across a recipe titled Crackerjack Cookies, I thought "Cracker Jacks in a cookie? What a great idea!" So I read through the recipe: butter, flour, both kinds of sugar...

Wait...

Guess what ingredient these cookies lacked. Yup, Cracker Jacks. Apparently the name of the recipe is in reference to a slang term similar to "jimdandy" (which will be added to my vocabulary immediately). 

So I put that recipe in my back pocket and decided that if I wanted something done, I was going to have to do it myself. Although doing it myself basically entailed making Alton Brown's The Chewy recipe and replacing the chocolate chips with crushed up caramel popcorn and peanuts.

 
For the entire jimdandy recipe, visit Foodbeast.com.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chocolate-Covered Honey BBQ Cheetos Puffs

And she's back! One week of a hot chocolate-covered mess was all I needed to get my head back in the game. (I still gag just a little when I think about those green olives.)

When Foodbeast featured Honey BBQ Cheetos Puffs as a new product, I knew I had to cover them in chocolate as soon as humanly possible. But at first it seemed like it wasn't in the cards. For months I scoured the snack aisle at the grocery only to be disappointed over and over again. While I was in Colorado I found a bag, but didn't figure they would travel well on my trek home.

So last week, during my shopping exploits, I noticed that they were everywhere. Done and done.

 (See what I did there with the fancy placement?)

Chocolate Covered Honey BBQ Cheetos Puffs

Ingredients: puffs and baking bark. 
Directions: melt bark, dip puffs, chill to set.

How could these not be anything other than awesome? (I ask that of myself everyday.) Both the white and regular chocolate bark paired well with the flavor of the puffs. I didn't have a preference, meaning you should try both.