Flourless Fudge Brownies #SundaySupper

Flourless Fudge Brownies

It’s the unofficial start of summer and it feels every bit of it with warm temperatures, flowers in bloom, the air conditioner running, and bugs.  Lots and lots of bugs.

The first nice day every year, they emerge.  I’m bug-phobic and run and squeal whenever I see one outside and inside it’s even worse.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

We’re used to spiders.  Every spring or summer, there is one day when we kill ants in the house (lots of ant, double digit numbers of ants), we put cloves around the doors and windows (it works), and then they leave and stay away (knock on wood).  Flies are common.  Too common, swooping and zooming and scaring the life out of me.

Stinging insects are far less common (again, knock on wood), but the other day, it happened.  You guys, it happened.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Mom had just gotten off the elliptical and I was in the den innocently buying Katy Perry tickets (so excited!), when Mom said, is that a bee?  She didn’t really mean bee and it wasn’t a bee, but all those stinging insects, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, are one in the same in our house.

Sure enough it was a “bee.”  I did what any reasonable person would do.  I shut the door to the den and let Mom deal with it, shouting ideas at her at how to dispose of the insect.

We … well she … ended up using a light bulb changing tool to smash it on the window until it was dead.  And we all lived happily ever after … except the bee.  Him, not so much.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Other than having a bee free house, Flourless Fudge Brownies are a must.  You’re thinking these don’t taste anything at all like regular brownies since they use almond meal instead of all-purpose flour.

But you are so wrong.  These might be the best brownies I’ve ever had, period.  They have that crackly top crust with a gooey, fudgy, supremely rich interior, and they don’t taste a think like coconut.  These are the ultimate brownies and because they are so easy to make and gluten free, you really need to make them asap.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Flourless Fudge Brownies #SundaySupper

Yield: 9 brownies

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate or carob chips
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
½ cup carob or cocoa powder
½ cup almond meal
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch square pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, place the chip and coconut oil. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each. Stir in the carob or cocoa powder, almond meal, and vanilla until a uniform batter comes together. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 35-40 minutes until the top is crackly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave 30 second – 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Well Floured

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Sunday Supper Easy BBQ Recipes

Best Burgers and Sandwiches

Grill Master Mains

Mop Worthy Sauces

Searing Starters and Sides

Sizzling Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake #SundaySupper

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I love hearing Mom’s stories.  Even though we spend much of our days talking, lately she has shared some stories I hadn’t heard before.

It’s so interesting to hear her perspective on life and what has happened to her.  Even though I might have sometimes thought her life was a bit mundane, I have been proven wrong over and over again.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Big Boy is one of the popular chain restaurants in our area.  I loved it there as a kid.  We’d go on the weekend and enjoy the salad bar and broccoli soup.  I mentioned, after seeing a commercial, that I’d never had their fresh strawberry pie.  I asked Mom if she had.

She said yes, but what she really liked was their hot fudge cake.  Since I had never heard of this dessert, I asked for more information.  She went on to explain that it was dark chocolate cake with ice cream in the middle, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

As many times as I had been to Big Boy, how had I not only not had but not even heard of these fabulous desserts???

Mom and her friend would go out to lunch and split a sandwich or have soup and salad and then split dessert.  That was their routine and apparently it involved a lot of hot fudge cake.

I was instantly inspired to recreate that cake to celebrate Mother’s Day and all of Mom’s stories, and well everything about Mom because she’s the best.  And also I really wanted to try this cake and homemade has to be better than the one in the restaurant.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Enter Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake.  I made this with carob (though no one will ever know), but you should feel free to make it with chocolate – you know the drill.

Whatever you do, just make this!  The cake itself is crazy moist and rich and fluffy.  Mom couldn’t stop raving about it.  I mean, it has to be trimmed to make the ice cream cake, right???  Then premium vanilla bean ice cream goes in the middle – nothing but the best for Mom.

Since the cake is so insanely soft and fluffy and moist, it absorbed some of the ice cream, but who cares?  After cutting into pieces, it is served with hot fudge sauce and a cherry on top.  I skipped the whipped cream – it doesn’t need it – but it you want some, go for it!

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

The cold cake and ice cream against the hot fudge, the rich cake and fudge paired up with the sweet ice cream, the burst of color and flavor from the cherry.  I totally get why Mom loved this cake.  And I’m so glad this time we got to split a piece.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup carob or cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk (I used almond-coconut, use what you love)
½ cup olive oil
1 cup strong black coffee, hot
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Assembly
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream, softened
Hot fudge sauce, homemade or store bought
Maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch pan and line it with parchment leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, carob or cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in eggs, milk, oil, coffee, and vanilla until a glossy batter forms. Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan.
  3. Once the cake is cool, line an 8 inch square pan with plastic wrap. Remove the cake from the pan and cut it in half across the long sides of the cake. Place half in the bottom of the pan. You will need to trim excess cake (snack time!). Spread the ice cream over the top, followed by the other half of cake. Cover with plastic and press down slightly. Place in the freezer for at least two hours and up to overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, cut the cake into pieces using a large serrated knife. Top with hot fudge, a cherry, and serve. Cake may be stored in the freezer without the hot fudge for up to 1 month.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary.

Cake recipe adapted from Blahnik Baker

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Amy from My World Simplified for hosting!

Sunday Supper Mother’s Day Food Ideas

CHOCOLATE TREATS

ENTREES

SIDES AND SALADS

SWEETS

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Flourless Chocolate Torte #SundaySupper

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Though we live in a rather built up and populated area, we are lucky enough to have a lot of wildlife around.

I mean does it get any better than having Target and Costco practically within walking distance, a major highway just a couple miles away, and birds and bunnies and deer and more frolicking in the yard?  I think not.

The majesty of wildlife is really something.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

We’ve had a raccoon visit us right at the kitchen window, which Mom still finds horrifying and I still love.  Raccoons also had a habit of getting into the hummingbird feeders, which is rather strange to me.

There have been deer, from a mom and her baby to majestic visitors, grazing at the bird feeder.

Ducks.  Lots of ducks, sometimes twenty at a time.  The best is when the trail of babies come from half a neighborhood away, waddling through the street like they own the place.  I never get tired of watching them.


More squirrels and those oh-so-adorable but oh-so-destructive red squirrels than we know what to do with and enough chipmunks to keep us entertained at all times.

Birds and hummingbirds fly and sing and eat and fight with each other.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

There have been groundhogs (with babies!) and opossums and wild turkeys, hawks and butterflies and dragonflies.

Recently the bunnies have come back out, just in time for Easter!

This Flourless Chocolate Torte is also just in time for your Easter dinner.  I used carob, you’ll use chocolate, but either way it is out of this world, crazy delicious.  It has almost this pecan pie without the nuts thing going for it with all the butter, eggs, sugar, and bourbon.   Small slice is rich enough to satisfy, making this impressive, yet deceptively easy to make dessert perfect for a crowd.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

The top is crackly and crunchy and the interior is silky smooth and just a little gooey.  Plus, it’s naturally gluten free.  Whether you are gluten free or not, you need this cake in your life!

Happy Easter!

Flourless Chocolate Torte #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

18 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
9 ounces carob or dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, line it with parchment and butter the parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, place the butter and carob or chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the butter and chips are completely melted. Stir until well combined.
  3. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to stir in each egg completely before adding another. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon and mix until a glossy, uniform mix is formed.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-60 minutes. I know that’s a wide range – the original recipe called for 30 minutes, but mine took about 60. I don’t know if that is just because of the carob, so start checking at 30 minutes, but be prepared to cook it for 60.
  6. The cake is done with the top is crackly but the cake is still rather jiggly, particularly in the center. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Well Plated

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings for hosting!

Make Ahead Sunday Supper Brunch Recipes

Breakfast Pastries

Eggs

Sides and Veggies

Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Peeps Pancake Smores

The thermostat is a hot topic in our house … literally.

Since I can remember I have been hot.  Temperature hot.

In school while most of the girls would walk around with long sleeved shirts and sweaters and beg to wear pants under their uniform skirt, I happily perused the hallways in my short-sleeved shirt and often wished they’d turn the heat down.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Things haven’t changed much.  I hate the forced heat of winter and love the air conditioning.  On these cool spring days there’s nothing better than having the windows open and having it just a little too cool in the house.  I sleep with the ceiling fan and a table fan blowing on me.

So what is the ideal temperature for me?  You ask.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Well, I never turn the heat higher than 68 during the day and at night it dips to 59.  I like the air also on 68 or 69.  And right now, having the windows open and the thermostat reading about 65 is sheer perfection.

In short, if you come to visit me, pack a jacket.  People who have spent time in this house can attest to that.

It is a mystery why I am always hot, except when I go outside in the winter, then I am cold and feel I will never be warm again.  But life is full of mysteries and this one isn’t so bad … unless you’re Mom or Dad.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Luckily, I keep everyone happy with tasty treats like Peeps Pancake Smores.  Easter to me means having Peeps around.  And creating a super simple masterpiece like these Smores is kind of the best thing ever.

Whether you use homemade or store bought pancakes, this is totally irresistible with a smooth chocolate (or carob – you know the drill) spread and a towering jiggly stack of Peeps.  Easter just got a whole lot sweeter.

Peeps Pancake Smores

Peeps Pancake Smores

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings

Ingredients

2 pancakes, homemade or store bought
3 tablespoons dark chocolate or carob chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
4 Peeps bunnies

Instructions

  1. Get your pancakes ready to go. Not gonna lie – I used Eggos and they worked great!
  2. Place the chocolate or carob chips in a bowl with the shortening. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Divide the mixture among the two pancakes and spread into an even layer.
  3. Place 2 Peeps on each pancake and microwave about 30 seconds until the Peeps are super puffy and melty. Bunnies work best here because they are flat. Smash the pancakes together and serve immediately.
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Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime!

I sometimes shout that when I or Mom or Dad have something to share.  It’s a fun exclamation to express my interest in sharing or hearing, which is almost always high.

I love talking and listening, connecting with people I love by sharing about our days and ourselves.  Plus, life is sometimes isolating and boring sitting at a computer and typing away all day, so storytime is something special.  Something to be savored.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

But I can’t take credit for the exclamation.

In my freshman year of high school, we were all required to take health.  The teacher was a down to earth woman who tried to relate to us as equals more than treat us as inferiors.  She was a pretty decent teacher, but the school didn’t appreciate her and let her go after that year, as opposed to some of the other teachers, like the old lady who never moved from her desk and formed coherent sentences only some of the time.  But I digress.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Health wasn’t a super difficult, heavy class like many of the others.  It was a fun, interactive way for us to learn about ourselves and how to make life the best it could be.  So she wanted to make it fun as much of the time as possible.

She would tell the class stories, to which the girls, most of whom were very popular and didn’t much care for me, would exclaim “storytime!”

In the moment, I probably found it annoying and rolled my eyes, just waiting for the day to be over.  But all these years later, more than I care to think about, I like it.  It brings me joy, as it did them then.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime is always a good thing.  So are any desserts with melty marshmallows.  Like these Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars.  These take smores to a whole new level with an oatmeal cookie base that is soft and chewy.  In the middle are tons of peppermint marshmallows that add a fun, subtle flavor, though vanilla will work just fine, and carob in my case, or dark chocolate, in your case, chips.

Serve these warm out of the oven or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the smores experience.  Gather the family, have smores bars, and storytime.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 heaping cups mini peppermint marshmallows
1 ½ cups carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the marshmallows and chips. Spread clumps of the remaining dough on top, covering as much of the filling as possible.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes before serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Reheat or thaw in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

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Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

You can tell what day of the week it is by looking in our refrigerator.

We stock up on food one day of the week, typically Saturday or Sunday, unless we’re feeling wild and crazy and head to the grocery store on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I know, we’re major risk takers.

After that grocery store trip, okay, sometimes multiple grocery stores, the refrigerator is basically overflowing.  I try to organize it, but that’s hard when there is so much stuff.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

There are the basics: water, milk, almond milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sliced cheese, eggs, egg beaters, butter, coffee drinks.  From there we move to coconut, chia seeds, and almond meal and onto washed fruit and vegetables.

Then there is the mess of produce bags with too much air because my dad and I haven’t learned the skills of tying the bags without adding enough air to fill five balloons.  The bags are stuffed into the crispers, the shelves, and even the doors when necessary.  Add to this maze of puffy bags the meat and fish and giant containers of lettuce and spinach, and immediately following the grocery store trips, the refrigerator is a take your life in your own hands adventure of finding that one thing you are looking for that inevitably is lurking in the very back, buried under and behind bag after bag after bag.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

As the week wears on, the contents dwindle.  Since we eat the vast majority of our meals at home, food goes rather quickly.  By the end of the week, a slam of the refrigerator door reverberates a hollow noise as I know it is time to stock up once again.

Though I try to run a tight ship in the refrigerator, sometimes things get away from me.  I realized my bag of coconut was about to expire and I couldn’t live with that, so I made cookies.  Obviously.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

These Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies are sooooo easy to make and have such a great texture.  All the oatmeal and big coconut flakes make these cookies super interesting.  But then there are the melty chips and gooey undercooked center that add that decadence we all love about cookies.

The coconut oil may be my favorite thing about these cookies.  It’s not something I bake with a lot, but I should totally start.  The cookies aren’t super coconutty but have a rich flavor and texture that I don’t think butter brings to cookies.

My freezer is stocked up with of goodies like these cookies, and yours should be too!

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup quick oats
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup melted coconut oil (be sure to measure it once it is melted – it’s about 1 cup solid)
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add oats, flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing until just combined.
  3. Mix in the coconut and chips until well distributed. You may need to us your hands as the dough is very thick.
  4. Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and beginning to set. Serve warm or cool completely on the tray. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

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Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Don’t drink your calories.  That’s kind of one of my mottos.  My aunt said she thought about it the other day when tempted to order a fancy drink at a coffee shop.

I used to drink my calories like a champion.  Gatorade, orange juice, milkshakes, Frappuccinos, soda.  And my body paid for it.  I stopped pretty much cold turkey and reaped the rewards.  Plus I didn’t really miss any of those things.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

But every once in awhile rules are meant to be broken.  Especially around the holidays (and when you need a super easy blog post 🙂 ).  I made Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate and it is kind of the best thing since sliced bread or at least regular hot chocolate.  Because what’s better than peanut butter and marshmallow melted into drinkable heaven?

It is rich and rather sweet, so I swapped it for dessert instead of dessert and caloric drink like old me would have and really you definitely do not need dessert after this, nor do you need a large portion.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

It’s easy to make, gluten free, and perfect for these super chilly winter days.  I’m thinking this is a must for Christmas morning present opening.

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Super warm and comforting, it is extra creamy from the marshmallow fluff melted right into the beverage.  the peanut butter flavor is prominent with a hint of vanilla.  My favorite might just be the topping of more fluff and peanut butter.  I loved to get the topping and the beverage all in one drink.

You will absolutely love the peanut butter and marshmallow drink!

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Fluffernutter White Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 drinks

Ingredients

4 cups milk (I used almond, use what you love!)
¾ cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup marshmallow fluff, plus more for serving
¼ cup creamy peanut butter, melted, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, stir together milk, white chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, and peanut butter that has been melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Place over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until everything has melted together and the mixture is steaming hot. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste.
  3. Divide evenly among mugs. Tip: if your mugs are microwave safe, warm them for about 1 minute before filling with hot chocolate.
  4. Top each mug with a dollop of fluff and a drizzle of melted peanut butter. Serve immediately.
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Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark #SundaySupper

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

I like to challenge myself.  I mean clearly since I’ve chosen to be a writer and try to break into Hollywood.  Now that’s a challenge.

But sometimes I like challenges that I feel like I am much more able to accomplish.  Things that are under my control.  It keeps my brain and my body going to be challenged and it’s a very rewarding feeling to complete a challenge no matter how big or small.

Potato Chips and Pretzels

Like upping the speed or resistance on the elliptical or trying a new workout DVD.  Sure, there are moments when I think I won’t be able to finish, but then I do, and I feel ah-mazing!  I pushed through something I thought I might not be able to, and that shows me how strong I really am.

Then there are the batters I whip up by hand.  Unless I absolutely positively have to bring out the hand or stand mixer, it is by sheer force of will that I beat butter and sugar into shape.  I even whipped cream by hand recently.  There were definitely a few moments when it seemed unlikely the soupy cream would turn into fluffy, luscious whipped cream but it did and it was amazing.  What’s next?  Egg whites???

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

I have even challenged myself to write a screenplay in 30 days and done it.  I probably couldn’t write a novel in the same time span, but a screenplay is a bit easier for me to write.  Now selling it in 30 days, that is another story.

Do you like to challenge yourself?  How do you challenge yourself?

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

It is definitely a challenge not to eat all of this Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark because it is crazy addictively good.  And it’s so easy to make and gluten free since I used gluten free pretzels which are definitely as good as the real thing.

The goo of the toffee.  The crunch of the pretzels and potato chips.  The snap of the chocolate.  The pop of color from the sprinkles.  This is the ultimate snack or dessert.  It is perfect to whip up as a last minute gift or party treat because it makes a bunch.  This is one challenge you have to take on!

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Sweet and Salty Toffee Bark

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups pretzels (gluten free, if necessary)
3 cups plain potato chips
1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces white chocolate chips
12 ounces dark chocolate or carob chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, divided
Brightly colored sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread pretzels and chips on foil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring sugars, syrup, and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil for 2 minutes while stirring. Immediately and carefully pour over pretzels and chips on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. After the tray comes out of the oven, allow to cool briefly while you melt the chocolate. Place white chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Set aside while you repeat the process with the dark chocolate or carob chips and the remaining tablespoon of shortening.
  4. Swirl both white and carob/dark chocolate on the pretzel and potato chip base, ensuring to leave streaks of both chocolates. Sprinkle with sprinkles of your choice and allow to set for at least two hours at room temperature. Break into pieces and serve. Toffee bark may be stored in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

Recipe adapted from The Cookies and Cups Cookbook via Brown Eyed Baker

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes! Thanks to Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking for hosting!

APPETIZERS

BEVERAGES

DESSERTS

FINGER FOODS

MAINS

 

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Have you ever stared at a word so long it starts to look strange?  Maybe this is just a writer thing, but I have a feeling it’s not.  I have a feeling it’s something we can all relate to.

Whether you are typing an email or blog post or reading a book or magazine, it happens out of nowhere.  A perfectly normal word will catch your eye.  Perhaps you are tired or distracted, your mind racing with ideas and thoughts and worries, staring at something instead or really reading or typing it.

If you stare just long enough, a common word, something you’ve seen a million times, starts to stand out.  It practically morphs right in front of your eyes.  It changes from that innocent little word to a menacing term toying with you.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

First it tries to convince you it’s spelled wrong.  And then the spelling no longer matters.  Spelled right or wrong, it just looks weird.  It’s like how is this a word, a common word, something I say and write all the time?  It looks like a jumble of letters that doesn’t make sense in the least.  Except it really does.

It’s our brain’s way of showing us who is boss, who is in control, who can turn our worlds upside down whenever it feels like it by turning our words, our lives, into a messy jumble.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

This happened to me this morning when writing “krispies.”  It’s a word we have all grown up with.  Though it was only truly made a word by Kellogg’s sometimes that’s how things go.  Words become words out of labels and trends and shorthand.  It’s a word as far as most of us are concerned in our daily lives, but this morning, I swore I was staring at another language.  It’s the snow getting to me, clearly.

There is nothing strange about these Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats.  I love putting the flavors of peppermint bark into different treat and these are even better because they are super easy to make.  The chewy treat in all its minty glory is perfectly matched by the snap of the chocolate (or carob in my case, which I promise is actually really tasty!).  These are an awesome Christmas treat!

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 14 minutes

Yield: 12 treats

Ingredients

1 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows
½ stick unsalted butter, cubed
4-5 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup coarsely chopped Peppermint Crunch Andes Mints
2 cups carob or dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening or oil

Instructions

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and butter. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in the cereal, one cup at a time, until the mixture is firm but still super sticky. I love gooey cereal treats!
  3. Stir in the mints and pour into the prepared pan. Press very firmly into the pan. Allow to set completely, about 2 hours. Once firm, cut into squares.
  4. In a small microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate or carob chips and the shortening or oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. Dip the bottom and part of the side of each of the cereal treat squares into the chocolate. Place on parchment paper to set.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Treats may also be wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary.

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Homemade Twix Bars #SundaySupper

Homemade Twix Bars

Lots of people have Thanksgiving traditions and many of them are the same.  Travel.  Family.  Cooking.  Baking.  Turkey.  Pie.  Football.  Leftovers.  Shopping.  More leftovers.  More shopping.  More travel.  Lots of crowds.

And I think all those traditions and whatever others you may have are great.

Homemade Twix Bars

But I bet you aren’t surprised to know those aren’t my traditions for the most part.  My Thanksgivings are quiet days, just Mom and Dad and me.  We actually have started this new tradition where we go shopping the day before Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite!

There aren’t any crowds and a lot of the sales have already begun.  This year I picked up an awesome dress at Saks I can’t wait to show all of you!!  It’s fun, low key, and this year was a great way to get out on a rainy, yucky day.

Homemade Twix Bars

On Thanksgiving, the only traditional food we have is cranberry sauce (not out of the can).  Otherwise we have steaks or tacos and it’s just the three of us.  No pressure.  Not too much work.  No drama.  There aren’t many leftovers and save for a little shopping by Dad on Black Friday, we leave the crowds to everyone else.

That’s my Thanksgiving and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  For me it is perfect.  For you something else may be and I hope that is exactly what you had over the holidays 🙂

Homemade Twix Bars

For dessert, we skipped pies and pumpkin and all that and had homemade Twix Bars.  These are everything I remember a Twix to before my allergy and oh so much more.

The shortbread base is the star here.  It is thick and crumbly and practically melts in your mouth.  Then there is the gooey caramel that stretches when you bite into the bar.  It all finishes with the slightly bitter carob (in my case) or chocolate coating, snapping as you take a bite.  Make sure these are a part of your holiday season!

Homemade Twix Bars

Homemade Twix Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: About 24 bars

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 batch homemade caramel or store bought
18 ounces carob or dark or milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Make the shortbread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, cornmeal, and salt and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.
  3. Bake shortbread 20-25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and mostly set.
  4. While the shortbread bakes, make the caramel or warm the store-bought caramel. Pour the hot caramel over the slightly cooled shortbread. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight until completely chilled.
  5. Once the caramel and shortbread are chilled, cut into long, thin bars. Melt the carob or chocolate with the shortening in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. I recommend doing this in two batches.
  6. Carefully dip each of the bars in the chocolate and use a spoon or your fingers to coat completely. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet to set. Once all bars are set, serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Shortbread base adapted from Ashley Rodriguez via Craftsy

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Baked Goods

Candy

Chocolate

Jams, Syrups, Drinks

Mixes and Spices

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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