Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Old Fashion Pecan Praline Sauce

So, I LOVE ice-cream… and what’s ice-cream without a YUMMY topping!  Well, here’s one that you’ve gotta try (perfect for gifts on a budget too, now that Christmas is coming)  Even if you don't like pecans, the creamy(ness) of this sauce will make your ice-cream SO much better!!   Great topping for apples, bread pudding, cakes and muffins as well!!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
7 tablespoons of butter (divided)
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of flour
3/4 cup light of corn syrup
2/3 cup of evaporated milk (heaven)
Place chopped pecans in a microwave dish with 3 Tablespoons butter. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring twice. Watch the pecans closely to not burn them.
In another microwave safe bowl (I use a glass batter bowl because it has a lip for pouring) place remaining butter and heat until melted.  Whisk in brown sugar, flour, and light corn syrup until blended.  Cook on high 6-8 minutes, stirring twice, until the sugar is dissolved.
Add in 2/3 cup of evaporated milk and the pecans, stir well.
Pour into jars. Keep sauce refrigerated and to reheat slightly in microwave to pour over ice cream.
Add a tag and you’ve got some sweet little gifts! Consider packaging with a cool ice cream scoop to make it extra special.

Yields: 3 cups of sauce

Recipe Courtesy of: Skip to my Lou

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Curly Top Fabulous Find

So, I came across these fabulous gems today at the store… They are made by KRAFT and are called “Jet-Puffed Stacker Marshmallows”.   I am IN-LOVE with the thought behind these little goodies… what a clever idea in making s’mores a whole lot easier!  These marshmallows are the PERFECT size for stacking with chocolate and a graham cracker, possibly a drizzle of NUTELLA as well… mmmm, these just make me want to pack up the kids and our swimsuits and take a trip to Newport Beach for a bonfire!   Happy s’moring!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Best Blondies EVER!!

Who said that you have to be blonde to enjoy a “BLONDIE”?? Well, this brunette has a pretty YUMMY recipe that I’m sure you’ll love. This has been my "go to" recipe for over a year now, and I'm still crazy for it. Add in mixes can create a whole new taste, I prefer them with NUTELLA, but that’s just me, I listed several choices below… regardless of the add in, they are D-licious!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Nutella – optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper (makes removing easier)

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add both sugars and whisk until combined and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly drizzle in the butter and sugar while whisking constantly. Then add the flour and whisk until just incorporated.

*Now, at this point you could fold in your favorite add-ins: chocolate chips, milk chocolate chunks, nuts, M&M's, etc..

*To make Nutella Swirl Blondies: Pour the batter into the prepared dish, then drop spoonfuls of Nutella over the surface. (I did probably 9-10 spoonfuls) Swirl the batter in the pan making “S” shapes with a butter knife.

*Other optional add-ins and drop-ins? You could swirl in peanut butter or caramel. Or you could make a batch of cookie dough (my favorite would be peanut butter cookie dough or double chocolate chip cookie dough) and press chunks of cookie dough down into the batter. The options are limitless! :)

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Or until you can’t stand it anymore and have to dig in!

Recipe courtesy of: kevinandamanda.com

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Bread

So, I came across this recipe on my Pinterest account, and fell in-love! If you know me, I LOVE NUTELLA, maybe, Love is an understatement!?! Let’s just say that it makes me giggly inside to find a new Nutella recipe… and now that FALL is here, what better combination to add to pumpkin! YUM, trust me, this is heavenly!!

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons Nutella (2 tablespoons per mini loaf) ***see note below

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and extracts. Whisk until smooth and combined.

4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.

5. Pour the batter into the mini loaf pans, making sure batter is evenly divided. Drop 2 heaping tablespoons of Nutella onto each loaf pan. Swirl the Nutella into the pumpkin batter with a knife. Place the loaf pans onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Place the loaf pans on a wire rack. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then carefully remove the loaves. Cool completely before slicing.

*Note-You can make regular size loaves. This recipe should make 2 8×4 loaves. Adjust baking time to about 60 minutes. You can also make muffins, baking between 15-20 minutes. I also recommend adding additional Nutella in the middle of you muffins or loaves (oh yea). Just fill the pan half way and swirl in some Nutella just like the recipe calls for on top.

Recipe courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

Ok, this has taken the regular PIZZELLE to a whole notha level!  You can use this recipe for the traditional pizzelle Italian cookie (which is yummy on its own) or kick it up a notch by adding NUTELLA (my tummy is smiling) and vanilla bean ice cream!  Either way, you WILL enjoy this Italian treat!
Note: You will need a Pizzelle iron
Here’s what you’ll need:
6 eggs
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
Powdered sugar for garnishment
Nutella Spread (use as much as you’d like)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer until light. Add the sugar, butter, lemon zest and vanilla, mix well. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
Heat the pizzelle iron. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto the center of the patterns, close the lid and cook for about 30 seconds. Test the cooking time on the first one, because temperatures may vary. Remove cookies carefully from the iron and cool on wire racks.
At this point, if you want the tradional cookie, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar!
Spread cooled cookie with NUTELLA (oh yea) and vanilla bean ice cream – add a second cookie on top to make a delicious treat!
Yield: 1 ½ dozen pizzelle’s

Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

Doughnut muffins… I was intrigued just by the title… does it count as a doughnut or a muffin – I see a donut as a treat, and a muffin as a breakfast food… so how happy was I to have both in one (and be able to enjoy my dessert in the morning!)  Give these a try, I’m sure you’ll love them!!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of whole wheat flour
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 3/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
Olive oil, sugar and cinnamon for brushing on top of muffins
1/2 pint spiced apple butter  (ah yea)
Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease and flour a mini or regular muffin tin.
In a large mixing bowl, stir the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk and vinegar.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat the butter, olive oil and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add one quarter of the dry ingredients and one third of the liquid ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Repeat until only 1/4 of the dry ingredients remains. Fold in the last of the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.
Pour into muffin tin up to the rim.   Bake 12-16 minutes for mini, 15-20 for regular. Allow to cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the muffins are still warm, brush each top with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
When the muffins have cooled, use a plastic bag filled with apple butter and fitted with a pastry tip to poke a hole in the muffins and fill with apple butter.  (the best for last)
Grab a cup of coffee AND a glass of milk and enjoy!!!
Recipe courtesy of: Savyeats.com