Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (or store bought Dulce de Leche)
- 1 cup of butter
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 box of vanilla ice cream
Remove the label from the sweetened condensed milk cans. Place the cans in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 2 ½ – 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary to keep the cans fully submerged in water. Remove the cans of dulce de leche from water and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cream together butter, sugar and salt and add the flour and combine. Roll out the dough to ½ -inch on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2 ½ – inch round cutter, cut out shortbread cookies and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
To assemble the ice cream sandwiches, open the cans of dulce de leche. Note: since the ice cream was melting so fast, I decided to do two sandwiches at a time. Lay half of the shortbread cookies on a tray. Spread dulce de leche on one half of the cookies. Grab ice cream and cut off a 1/2 inch slice and lay on cutting board. Grab 2 inch round cutter and cut out ice cream. Place the ice cream on the cookie and top with the other half. Lightly press down and wrap in saran wrap and place in freezer until ready to serve.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER KRISPY BARS
- 1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cocoa), coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter
1. Make the crispy crust: Lightly spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and use it to rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan. Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan. Gently add the sugar and corn syrup (do not let any sugar or syrup get on the sides of the pan) and use a small wooden spoon to stir the mixture until just combined. Put a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235 degrees F.
3. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Let the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.
4. Make the milk chocolate peanut butter layer: In a large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens.
5. Make the chocolate icing: In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
6. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Pour the mixture over the chilled milk chocolate peanut butter layer and spread (actually, I found it easier to just roll it around until it coated smoothly, avoiding the risk of picking up any of the peanut butter layer with it) into an even layer. Put the pan into the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the topping hardens.
Cut into 9 squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease and lighly flour three 9×2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
5. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Cool the layers in pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
PINK VANILLA BUTTERCREAM
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- pink food coloring
1. cream together the vegetable shortening and butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy, add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fluffy. add the heavy cream, vanilla extract and pink food coloring (depends on how pink you want it), beating until you reach the desire consistency.
No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Truffles
Yields: 20 to 30 truffles depending on size preference. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
- 1 c vanilla cake mix
- 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp agave (optional and you can just use all sweetened condensed milk if you don’t have agave on hand)
- 1.5 to 2 c chocolate chips
- In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, and stir to combine.
- This mixture should be quite solid and not runny, but not so dry that you can’t mold it into balls. If you find that your mixture is a little too runny, add a touch more cake mix. If it’s a little too dry, add more sweetened condensed milk/agave. I ended up using about 1.25 c of cake mix to get the perfect consistency.
- After you’ve made the dough, refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes and then remove and roll into balls.
- After the balls have been made, refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes minutes or until well-chilled, ensuring the melted chocolate will adhere and set up properly.
- Melt the chocolate chips, and dip the chilled cake batter balls into melted chocolate. Using parchment paper is a tip I’d recommend when working with melted chocolate. Place truffles in freezer or fridge to set up.
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Makes one 9-by-9-inch square cake, 12 generous pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces plain, vanilla, or chocolate yogurt (thicker Greek-style preferred, do not use diet, fat-free or light yogurt; sour cream may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brewed coffee, room temperature or warm
- 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking or grease and flour a 10-inch round cake pan; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and whisk until smooth and combined. Add coffee, cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s), and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and free from lumps. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute. Note about coffee: The coffee does not make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake. Rather, it brings out and enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder and adds depth of flavor; I highly recommend coffee but use water if you must. The coffee can be any temperature other than piping hot; you don’t want to scramble the egg. Pour batter, which is a loose and fairly runny batter, into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan completely, at least 30 minutes, before adding ganache or frosting the cake, or before slicing and serving. Unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or store frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Chocolate Ganache (microwavable)
- 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 3/4 cup cream or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or optionally use 1 to 2 tablespoons rum, bourbon, coffee-, orange-, raspberry-, chocolate-flavored liqueur)
Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, heat the cream (I used half-and-half) on high power just until it begins to bubble and show signs of boiling, about 60 to 75 seconds. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it stand about 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety. Add vanilla or optional flavorings and stir to combine. Set bowl aside for about 10 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit. Whisk mixture briefly before pouring all of it over the cake. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache with a spatula or offset knife. Allow ganache to set up for at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving the cake; or speed this process up by placing pan in the refrigerator or freezer briefly.
Wonderful Soft Buttery Pretzels
- 4 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 1/4 cup water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 5 cups bread flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbs melted salted margarine
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 4 cups hot water
- 1/4 cup sea salt, for topping
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
- When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned. brush melted butter using pastry brush to each pretzel while hot.
Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze
For the Rolls
- one 8-count can refrigerated crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury Big & Flaky Crescent Rolls)
- about 2/3 cup Nutella (store brand chocolate-hazelnut spread may be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon+ cinnamon
For the Glaze
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup+ confectioners’ sugar
- splash of cream or milk, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9- or 10-inch pie plate or baking dish, or a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray; set aside. Open the can of crescent rolls and carefully unwrap the dough. If two triangles are stuck together, keep them that way. Arrange triangles or rectangles (if two triangles are stuck together) in one long row on clean counter or work surface. Press the seams together, overlapping them slightly to close any large gaps. Generously spread Nutella in an even flat layer over the entire surface, leaving 1/2-inch margins around all borders. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon, to taste.
- Starting with a short side, roll up the dough into a log, rolling the log as tightly as possible. With a sharp knife (serrated works nicely), bench scraper, or unflavored dental floss (works nicely to pinch off pieces without compressing the dough log), slice log into 8 equal-sized pieces. I find the best way to do this is make a cut in the center, and then divide each half into fourths, rather than trying to eyeball eight pieces working from end to end. Place pieces in prepared pan, noting there will be gaps and spaces. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until rolls have puffed and are just beginning to turn golden; don’t overbake because these are meant to be gooey.
- While rolls bake, make the Glaze: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine and until smooth, playing with butter and sugar ratios until desired consistency is reached. If desired, a splash of cream or milk may be added to help achieve desired glaze consistency; I don’t use it and simply use butter, vanilla, and sugar. Rolls may be glazed immediately upon removing them from oven, resulting in glaze melting into the crevices; or glaze rolls after they’ve cooled a bit. Glaze may be drizzled on or spread on thicker with a knife or spatula, which is what I do after the photos are done. Serve immediately. Rolls are best eaten fresh, but may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Meringue Pie
- 1 9-inch baked pie crust
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbs chocolate malt Ovaltine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp whiskey (I used bailey’s irish cream)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, Ovaltine, salt, and cornstarch.
- Add egg yolks and whisk until combined; mixture will look like a thick paste.
- Slowly pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; let boil for 30 seconds and immediately remove from heat.
- Add chocolate, whiskey, and vanilla; whisk until well combined and mixture has cooled slightly.
- Let stand, at room temperature, for 15 minutes. If a thin skin forms on the filling while cooling, whisk until skin is gone. pour filling into the crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
- 2 large egg whites
- 4 tbs white sugar
in a large mixing bowl beat egg whites and salt using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment until fluffy, add sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
preheat oven to 400 F.
take out the refrigerated chocolate pie while making the meringue, spread filling on top of filling right up to edge of crust. bake for 15 minutes or until meringue is lightly brown. chill the pie for at least 4 hours before serving, best served cold.