Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Cheesescake Layer Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 8-28-12

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Do you like cheesecake?  And who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies?  These are the best of both worlds.  A cheesecake layer in the middle of chocolate chip cookie bars.  I saw these recently, on Pinterest? or a blog?, I can’t remember.  I think it’s Pinterest because I think I got the recipe from being led to a blog I didn’t really know.  Hey, I know, I’ll go check.

Okay, I’m not that big of a loser, the recipe is on Nicole’s blog, Heat Oven to 350 and I have heard of it, lots of delicious recipes and great photos, I just couldn’t remember until I got up, walked across the room and got the recipe I printed.  I know, the things I do for my readers! ;)  Nicole has adapted the recipe from King Arthur Flour, but a quick search over on their website and I couldn’t find anything close enough.  So, all the credit for this one goes to Nicole, and her mom’s friend, Jill. 

And you know what?  Wait for it……I didn’t change any of the ingredients in the recipe.  I know, I should have had you sit down before tell you that.  Sorry.  Make these cookie bars and you’ll forgive me.  I wanted to give the recipe a shot exactly how it is written for the first try, but I’m crazy, so I’ll change the recipe the next time I make it.  Why?  Well, I know I can make any chocolate chip cookie recipe and the bars will work, so although the recipe Nicole has provided tastes great, it has shortening and is the chocolate chip cookie recipe with vinegar.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve made that similar recipe before and the cookies are great.  I just try not to use shortening and since I already have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, that’s what I’ll try next time.

I’ll shut up now.  I just urge you to try this bar cookie/cheesecake cookie bar/chocolate chip cookie bar with cream cheese/whatever you want to call it—because they are THAT good. 

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 2 I’ve looked it over and thought about it, I didn’t change the recipe enough to even rewrite it.  You’ll see in Nicole’s recipe for these Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars that she mentioned the dough being a little difficult to spread in the pan.  The bottom layer wasn’t too bad.  I just dolloped it around the pan, as she suggested and spread it evenly with a spatula.  After pouring the cream cheese layer over half the cookie dough, it’s a little more difficult to spread the other half of the dough over that.  I feel I was being somewhat genius in what I did.  I spread the rest of the dough on a piece of waxed paper so it was close to the size of the pan (9x13) and stuck it in the freezer.

chocolate chip cookie dough layer

My idea would have worked great if I had decided to wait long enough for it to freeze, but I was somewhat pressed for time, so I only waited about  10-15 minutes.  Parts of it peeled off in nice, flat pieces, but some of it wasn’t frozen enough yet.  Can’t wait to try that again and do it right next time.  There’s nothing wrong with a little of the cheesecake mixture seeping up through the top layer of cookie dough.

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars unbaked

These bars were great and sliced perfectly after they chilled in the fridge for a couple hours.  For removing them from the pan easily, I lined it with nonstick foil that hung over the sides. 

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 3

You just need to make these, that’s all I’m saying. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fudge Topped Brownies

Fudge-Topped Brownies, Cook's Illustrated Chewy Brownies 8-24-12

Fudge Topped Brownies

After I recently posted a picture of these on Facebook (Baking and Boys), I was nearly accosted by some family, friends and cyber friends to hurry up and get the recipe posted.  So here you go---  ;)  (They are THAT good that they need to get posted ASAP.)

I got the idea for these and the fudge part of the recipe from my friend, Anna, at Cookie Madness.  She made them using a boxed brownie mix she had that needed to be used.  Boxed brownies are perfectly acceptable, though I’m on a quest to rid my life of boxed products, I can’t convince my family of that so far—even with brownies like these 100% homemade.  Sometimes Kevin will “whine” “Can’t you just make plain boxed brownies?”  Yes, there are some in the boxed-brownie camp who think homemade don’t taste as good.  While that is certainly not me, I think it’s the texture or the way the brownies turn out that people like so much.  (I hope it’s not the flavor as much, because I think the flavor is rather, well, boxy. ;) 

Moving on—these brownies, just the brownie part, are a new recipe (new, as in, I hadn’t made the recipe before) from Cook’s Illustrated for Chewy Brownies.  The folks in the Cook’s Illustrated kitchen set out to make a brownie like the boxed ones that are so well liked by many and this is the recipe they came up with for Chewy Brownies.  I have adapted it (of course), but you can find it online in many places.  I’m just going to give you the recipe as I made them.

I will for sure make these again as just brownies without the fudge top just to see what they are like on their own.  But they certainly worked well for these Fudge Topped Brownies.   Like I mentioned, the fudge top idea and recipe came from Anna (I’ve linked her recipe post above).  Hey, speaking of Anna—her first cookbook is coming out in November!  I’m so excited and have preordered mine---you should, too.  Here’s a link for the book from Amazon, The Daily Cookie, 365 Tempting Treats For the Sweetest Year of Your Life.

Fudge Topped Brownies 3

Fudge Topped Brownies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from recipes by Anna at Cookie Madness and Cook’s Illustrated (Chewy Brownies)


1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) boiling water

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely

4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) canola oil (or vegetable/corn oil)

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2  1/2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar

1  3/4 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon table salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda (I used this for high altitude purposes, it may not be necessary)

6 ounces dark/bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil, leaving enough to overhang for removing the brownies.  Spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Whisk together the cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl and mix until smooth.  Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk together until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in melted butter and oil.  (The mixture may look curdled, but will come together when the next things are added.)  Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth.  Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.  Add flour and salt (and soda, if using) and combine using a rubber spatula.  Fold in until just combined.  Fold in chocolate, if using.

Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly.  Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35-45 minutes.  (Mine took 41 minutes.)  As soon as they come out of the oven, prepare the fudge.


3 tablespoons (1  1/2 ounces) butter, room temperature

1 cup sweetened condensed milk (not quite the whole can, 1 cup is 328 grams)

2 cups dark/bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60%)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

When the brownies come out of the oven, combine the butter, condensed milk and chocolate chips in a medium sized saucepan.  Melt together over low heat (do not overheat the mixture) and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour the fudge over the hot brownies.

Let sit until room temperature, then chill the brownies in the refrigerator for an hour or two until set.  Remove brownies from pan using the foil edges to lift them out and peel off the foil.   Cut into desired size brownies, 24 or 32.  These are pretty rich, so smaller is good.  (I cut the edges of the brownies off all four sides and got 30—1  1/2 inch brownies.)

Fudge Topped Brownies 4

If you like fudge and you like brownies, you will love these Fudge Topped Brownies, there is almost an equal radio of fudge to brownie.  I will be trying just the brownie recipe without the baking soda (not sure it made much difference) in the near future and I think I’ll leave out the six ounces of chocolate that is stirred in at the end.  Pecans or walnuts would be great in the brownies or even on the top of the fudge layer before it sets.  I think those Cook’s Illustrated folks got this brownie just right, but it’s a lot more involved than my favorite brownie recipe, so I’m sure I won’t make it all the time as a go-to brownie, but it is great, fudgy, dense and dark chocolaty!

*These are being added to Lisa’s blog hop, Sweets For a Saturday at Sweet As Sugar Cookies.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TWD—Baking With Julia—Popovers

TWD--Popovers 8-19-12

Today’s Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking With Julia recipe for Popovers just might be the easiest recipe in the book!  I can’t believe I’ve never made popovers.  I think I always thought they were difficult.

Take some milk, a couple eggs, salt, flour and some melted butter and blend them in a blender for a minute.  Pour the batter into some custard cups (or muffin tins) and bake.  It’s fun to turn on the oven light (but DON’T open the oven door) and watch them pop up over the cup.  Even the boys got a kick out of it.  Taylor saw me pour the batter in to each cup and wasn’t thrilled that we were having that for part of our dinner.  But he was excited to see the risen popovers!

I don’t even have much more to say because it was so simple and they tasted great!


I have six 3/4 cup glass custard cups, as the recipe suggested, but it was supposed to be nine.  I was ready to put a little batter in some mini muffins cups, but after filling each custard cup with 1/3 of a cup, I was out of batter when only the six were filled.  I didn’t actually measure the 1/3 cup, just eyeballed it, so I’m sure that was why it was all used up.  No matter, six popovers were perfect for us.  Everybody ate one and followed suit with the suggest dripping butter and honey.

Honey and Butter Popovers

So simple.  If you’d like the recipe, our hosts this week are Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes and Amy from Bake With Amy.  They’ll have the recipes.  What would my life be like without Tuesdays With Dorie? ;)  Well, I can certainly say I have loved every minute of it and baking new recipes that I often would not have ever tried otherwise.  After finishing Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, I was torn about sticking with the group and starting on Baking With Julia, but I’m really glad I’ve done so!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fudgy Gooey Brownies—Secret Recipe Club, Group C—Operation Save-An-Orphan ;)

Fudgy, Gooey Brownies (Aug. SRC Group C) 8-20-12

Get your fresh, hot, fudgy, gooey brownies!

When I hear that a blogger from the Secret Recipe Club is orphaned because the person who was assigned their blog didn’t make and post something from it on time, I am eager to help because I wouldn’t want to be orphaned.  One of the fun things about this monthly club is seeing something made from your blog that someone took the time to make.  It’s pretty simple to follow the instructions, (sign up, agree to make something from your assigned blog, and post it at the right time—and you have a month to do it), so I’m a little baffled why this seems to happen as much as it does.  We all have things happen that can’t be avoided, but I like stepping in, as it gives me more chances to make things from other blogs!  So I made something a couple weeks ago for Group A---Delicious Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream, because I’m actually IN Group A.  Last week it just worked out that I was able to make something for an orphaned blogger in Group B, and now I have another cookie in my arsenal of great cookies to keep making---German Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Wow, does anyone sense a trend here?  I think I like chocolate.  Who knew? ;) 

Today when I heard that the sweet Avanika from Yumsilicous Bakes was an orphan for Group C reveal,  I offered to adopt her.  I mean, really, this is a gal after my own chocolate-lovin’, decadent, baking heart.  Avanika is a great, young blogger from Bombay, India that I’ve “known” for a number of years.  She is currently living in the UK finishing up her studies.  (I thought she actually graduated, but she might be in a Master’s program.)  Help me out here, A. ;)

As soon as I offered to adopt Yumsilicous Bakes, I was accepted in for another round of “having” to make something yummy.  I mean, twist my arm.  I did a quick search of her blog, and since it was a last minute thing, decided to make these great looking Brownies For Fudgy Gooey Camp.  Being a fudgy, gooey brownie kind of gal, I knew these would be great and who can argue that brownies are so simple?!  Check out Avanika’s post from May celebrating her three years of blogging—she also lists some of her favorite recipes and posts from the past.  Look at that Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake that has been on my radar since she first posted it, not to mention her Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Truffle Cookies that she baked after seeing them on a blog---oh yes, that’s right---it was mine!  Ahh, her cookies look so good and I wish I could just whip those up again right now.  Thanks for the blog love over the last few years, Avanika!  The feeling is mutual.

And the brownies---fudgy and gooey as promised!

Hot fudgy, gooey brownies (Aug. SRC Group C)

These brownies are great right out of the oven fresh and hot.  I decided not to let them cool before taking a slice for pictures.  As promised, these fit their name.  I think these would be perfect for a brownie sundae, you know, add to the goo with ice cream and toppings!  Now we’re talking. 

I only adapted the recipe slightly, as it says 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons flour and that it is 135 grams.  Knowing that 1 cup is 120 grams, I assumed that is a typo and should say 1 cup plus 1 tablespoons, so I used all the gram measurements for the recipe and it seems to have worked.  The recipe also calls for the optional extra chocolate chips and some walnuts, but I left those out as my family prefers plain ‘ol brownies.

*Note, after posting Avanika and I decided the flour should be 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon, which would be 67.5 grams, the correct amount is in the recipe.

Fudgy, Gooey Brownies, adapted from Avanika at Yumsilicious Bakes by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

10 ounces semi sweet chocolate

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter

1 cup (240 grams) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (67.5 grams) all purpose flour

1  1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13x2 inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray, leaving some to hang over the sides.

Melt the chocolates and butter in a double boiler (or microwave in 20-30 second intervals).  Once melted, allow to cool to room temperature.  In the meantime, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a medium sized bowl.  Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Do not over mix.

Once the chocolate is cooled, add it to the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.  Add to the chocolate mixture and stir just until combined.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.  Cool completely in the pan.

Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil edges.  Cut into desired sizes on a cutting board. 

Melted chocolate and butter for Fudgy Gooey Brownies (Aug. SRC Group C) Is there a better looking thing than melted chocolate?  I think not---and Avanika said the same thing.  Great minds think and bake alike.  ;) 

Fudgy, Gooey Brownies

I probably would have taken them out a couple minutes sooner, but just set the timer for 35 minutes and took them out as soon as it rang.  They still came out great though!  Glad to help out with SRC Group C again, and bake something yumsilicious from Avanika’s blog.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse for her 100th birthday 8-14-12

Julia Child’s Chocolate Mousse (Mousseline au Chocolat)

Today is Julia Child’s 100th birthday!  Love that woman--all that she was and all that she did for the culinary world or just people who love food.  (Who doesn’t love food?)

I decided to make one of her signature dishes and naturally chose a dessert and chocolate!  You can’t just “whip up” the chocolate mousse.   After reading through the recipe, I realized and decided this was the kind of recipe where “mise en place” really was necessary.  With two different pots of simmering water on the stove, a bowl of cold water, the stand mixer ready (and used twice during the making of the mousse), as well as having all the ingredients measured and ready, I was right on track for my first mousse making ever.

Mise en place for Julia Child's chocolate mousse 8-14-12

Mise en place for chocolate mousse

After beating the egg yolks and sugar in the mixer until a pale yellow color of slowly dissolving ribbons were formed, I added my replacement of Grand Marnier (we don’t drink or use alcohol) using 2 ounces of Torani chocolate flavoring syrup.  I then removed 1/2 teaspoon of that and added 1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract.  I think it was a perfect non-alcoholic substitution.

The mixture was ready for its stint in a bowl over simmering water.  I whisked it for six minutes, also taking a quick-as-I-could break to quickly wash the mixer bowl and get it ready for egg whites. 

Whisking over heat I moved the bowl from the heat to the cold water bath and kept on whisking.  All the while on the other side of the burners I added the chocolate to the double boiler and instead of coffee (we don’t use or drink coffee either) I just used water.  Whisking egg yolks and sugar in one bowl and stirring chocolate until it was melted in another.  Thank goodness for two hands! 

Whisking over cold water

I removed the yolks from the water bath and let them sit for a few minutes while I stirred the butter in to the melted chocolate a little at a time.  That resulted in a wonderfully smooth and rich chocolate mixture!

Melted chocolate/water and butter

Ahhh, heavenly!

The chocolate was then poured into the egg yolk mixture and whisked together in to the beginnings of a wonderful mousse. 

Chocolate mixture added to egg/sugar mixture

Somewhere during all that, I turned on the mixer with the waiting egg whites and a pinch of salt in it.  Thank goodness the mixer got to help out with a few things or my left arm might have fallen off. ;)

s, IReady to chill chocolate mousse

Looks like there’s gold in that thar mousse (bad lighting photo moment)!  The mousse was ready for a little chillin’ in the fridge.

I decided to take part of the mousse and freeze it, because one of the biggest reasons I settled on making the chocolate mousse in honor of the late and beloved Julia Child is having seen Angie at Big Bear's Wife's Frozen Chocolate Mousse, also made in tribute to Julia.

A few hours later, the mousse was ready for its photo session.  I’m not all about how fancy my photos look (yes, I’m sure you noticed), a couple scoops of frozen mousse, which scooped beautifully, were dished up and ready for the camera.

Frozen chocolate mousse 8--14-12

A couple things are for sure, the mousse is delicious and it’s super rich.  A little scoop will do ya.

Frozen Chocolate Mousse 8-14-12

I do love the way it froze and that it wasn’t too hard to scoop.  This is the kind of treat I love just having a spoonful of and I’m good on a chocolate fix for at least an hour. ;) hehe

Maybe I shoulda coulda fancied it up with some whipped cream, but I just thought it didn’t really need it.  If I was having company over for some mousse, I would have done so and it for sure needs a couple raspberries on the side—but having made it just for the experience of making the recipe, it wasn’t necessary.

Here’s the recipe as I made it--

Chocolate Mousse (non-alcoholic and coffee-free), adapted from Julia Child, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

4 large egg yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)

1/4 cup (2 ounces) Torani chocolate flavoring syrup, minus 1/2 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract

6 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60%)

4 tablespoons room temperature water

6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 large egg whites

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 pot of simmering water

double boiler with about 1 inch of simmering water

1 bowl of cold water

In a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar together.  Mix until it is a pale yellow color and forms slowly dissolving ribbons.  Beat in the chocolate flavoring/orange extract mixture.  Put the egg yolk mixture into a bowl that fits over the simmering water.  Set the bowl over the simmering pot and whisk it vigorously for 5-7 minutes until it is foamy and hot.

Remove the bowl from the hot water and set it into the bowl of cold water.  Whisk it for five minutes until the mixture is cool.  Take a few seconds to quickly wash the mixing bowl and get it ready to whip the egg whites. 

In the double boiler, melt the chocolate with the 4 tablespoons of water.  Once it is all melted and combined, remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time until it is smooth and creamy.

Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture. 

Turn the mixer on and beat at high speed until soft peaks are formed, also adding the pinch of salt.  Sprinkle in the one tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. 

Stir a little bit of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Fold in the rest of the egg whites.  Refrigerate the mousse in a covered container in the fridge for a couple hours or you can also freeze the mousse in an airtight container for 3-4-5 hours.  Serve in small dishes.

Julia Child's Chocolate Mousse for her 100th birthday 8-14-12

I put the mousse into a piping bag with a large tip and piped it into the dishes.  No matter how you serve it, grab and spoon and dig in!  It may seem a little daunting to some to think of all the steps to making this, but it really did help to have everything ready and there really wasn’t anything difficult about each step, a few things just took a little arm muscle, but I can assure you, it’s worth it.

Happy 100th Birthday to Julia Child!

Monday, August 13, 2012

German Chocolate Chip Cookies—Secret Recipe Club, Group B

Aug. SRC Group B, German Chocolate Chip Cookies 8-13-12

I was lucky enough to throw my hat into the pool when we were told at the Secret Recipe Club that Group B had a couple orphans (I’m in Group A and posted last week—delicious Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream, I must say).  So I got to choose and bake something from yet another great blog, that is new to me, but I’ll for sure be back--Crumbs and Chaos

After looking through the blog all too quickly (I'll be back!), so I could get something made today, I chose to make cookies.  I know, everyone is shocked about that.  ;)  A couple months ago or so I had German Chocolate Cookies on my mind.  Not sure what ever became of the thought, but I hadn’t tried any recipes.  When I saw that the gals at Crumbs and Chaos had a recipe, I decided that was the recipe I had to make.

I had to make a few adaptations.  Their cookies used milk chocolate chips and pecans, but I was out of both, so I used dark chocolate chips and walnuts.  These cookies are great!  I will for sure be making them again.

German Chocolate Cookies

German Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Crumbs and Chaos

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup all purpose flour (120 grams)

1/4 cup natural cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips (or milk/semi sweet)

1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (or pecans)

3/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together in the bowl of an electric mixer the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together.  Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture and mix just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips, nuts and coconut. 

Scoop the dough with a 2-tablespoon sized cookie scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets.   Bake for 10 minutes.  Makes 16 cookies.

German Chocolate Chip Cookies

The gals at Crumbs and Chaos are four sisters who decided that the 11 kids between them weren’t enough, so they also have a blog to add to the crumbs and chaos of their daily lives. ;)  Nah, they thought it would be a fun way to share their recipes with each other and the world.   Thanks for letting me play, Group B!



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brownie Batter Dip

Brownie Batter Dip

A couple weeks ago I saw this delicious looking Brownie Batter Dip on Mel’s Kitchen Café and decided I needed to make it.  Love it!  I could eat it by the spoonsful, but it really is great with pretzels, animal crackers or graham crackers.  I didn’t try it, but it’d also be great with fresh fruit.  I also thought it would be a great sandwich cookie filling for whoopie pies or something.  In fact I tried it as a filling in some zucchini cookies I made this week.  I’m even thinking it would be a great topping for cupcakes. 

Chocolate Brownie Batter Dip

I made some minor adaptations to the recipe.

Brownie Batter Dip, by Katrina, Baking and Boys! adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (or butter), softened

2 cups (220 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

5 tablespoons (37.5 grams) all purpose flour

5 tablespoons (25 grams) cocoa powder

2 tablespoons (27.5 grams) brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

**You might need a tablespoon or two of milk for the desired consistency, I didn’t use any

Pretzels, animal crackers, graham crackers, fruit

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat until light and fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined.  Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy and smooth.  Add milk a teaspoon at a time, beating together until desired consistency.   Serve with pretzels, crackers, etc. 

Brownie Batter Dip 2

Do you like brownie batter?  This is the perfect solution from eating unbaked brownie batter (not that there is anything wrong with that). :)

**Disclaimer—no content or photos of this blog may be copied without permission from Katrina at Baking and Boys!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream—Secret Recipe Club

August SRC Turtle Ice Cream 7-25-12

Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream

Ahhhh, it’s August already!  Awww, it’s time for Secret Recipe Club!  Yippee for heavenly ice cream!

Bet no one will ever guess whose blog I have for Secret Recipe Club this month.  I’ll bet at least everyone in Group A will be able to guess!  If you can’t guess, maybe you’ve been living under a rock.  Or here’s a hint, maybe you’re a lunatic………………..well, that doesn’t sound very nice…….but since my secret blog this month is none other than Kim Bee of Cravings of a Lunatic, it’s probably okay to say.  Kim has such a fun blog.  I love her writing and I love her food!  Check out her "about me" page.  She is a barefoot-loving, picky eater who hates pickles and tomatoes and is lactose intolerant, but love ice cream.  She likes it so much that she has devoted her Sunday posts to Ice Cream Sundays (though I think she posts about ice cream more than just on Sunday). ;)  No matter, I don’t hardly know Kim, except for recently discovering her blog through the Secret Recipe Club, but we have a lot in common—especially our love for ice cream.  I was torn on which ice cream to make from her blog, but finally settled on her Turtle Ice Cream.  Oh, that’s another thing we have in common, I love turtles—the chocolate caramel pecan kind, not so much the animal. ;)  Kim has turtle popcorn, and no-bake turtle cheesecake, and turtle bark just to name a few. 

I have not made enough ice cream this summer, so this was a perfect excuse for me to do so.  I ended up making a few slight changes to the recipe, since she has cut up turtle candies in her ice cream and I didn’t have those, so I put pecans and drizzled melted chocolate in the ice cream and made Kim’s caramel sauce that is part of her turtle bark recipe, which is some good stuff!  The caramel went on top of the ice cream, since I knew some in my family would not like it IN the ice cream (crazy people!).

Homemade Caramel Sauce

I really like the chocolate ice cream recipe for how simple it is, with just cocoa powder, sugar and a mix of cream and milk.  I’ve made it twice.

Turtle Ice Cream August SRC 7-25-12Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream, adapted from Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar (I’ve also used light brown as I’ve made the ice cream twice)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup 2% milk

1  1/2 cup half and half

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2  1/2 ounces toasted, cooled, chopped pecans

2 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted

In a medium sized saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugars, salt and 2% milk and 1/2 cup of half and half.  Stir with a whisk and let the mixture heat on medium until sugar dissolves, 2-5 minutes.   Remove from heat and add the mixture to a blender, as well as the cream and vanilla.  Blend for about 1 minute.  Refrigerate the mixture until it is cold, or put it in a bowl in an ice bath until cold. 

Churn in the bowl of an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, 20-25 minutes.  Just before it is finished, add the pecans and drizzle in the melted chocolate in a fine stream.  Put the ice cream in an airtight container and freeze for a couple hours. 

Serve with caramel sauce and more chopped pecans (optional—just the nuts), the caramel is mandatory for turtle ice cream! ;)

Turtle Ice Cream in a cookie 7-25-12I had to do it.  I baked a chocolate chip cookie in a 4 ounce ramekin and put a little of the Chocolate Turtle Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce on top (and then I took a bite and gave the rest to Kevin and Scottie, sigh).  Dee-licious! 

Friday, August 03, 2012

Delicious Fat Free Sugar Free Peach Mango Ice Cream

Peach Mango Ice Cream 8-3-12

This Peach Mango Ice Cream I made today is so good and I LOVE that it is fat free and sugar free but you’d never know it.  It’s a great treat if you’re watching what you’re eating!  I actually made a peach mango ice cream last year that was also light, but I upped the amount of fruit in this one and instead of using a full-of-sugar condensed milk, I used just a touch of agave and some skim milk.  I like this one better and am happy to have a frozen treat for me in the freezer.  It seems to be full of full-fat ice cream treats that I choose not to eat (even though I love those, too!). 

Delicious Fat Free Sugar Free Peach Mango Ice Cream, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

4 peaches, pits  removed and sliced

2 mangoes, removed from pit and cut off the peel into chunks

zest of one lime

juice of one lime

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional, or more to taste)

1 cup skim milk

Put the peaches and mangoes in a blender.  Add the lime zest and juice and agave nectar.  Puree until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Add the milk and puree until combined.  Put the mixture through a sieve to remove the peach skins.  (It’s easy and there isn’t much of the skin left.)  Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until cold.  Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, 20-25 minutes.  Remove ice cream from bowl and store in an airtight container in the freezer.  Serve after a couple hours of freezing.

Peach Mango Ice Cream

Perfect summer treat!