Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twice Baked Orange Chocolate Croissants

For orange syrup:

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup water
    1 vanilla bean
    1/4 cup fresh orange juice

For almond cream:

    1/2 cup natural almonds (2 1/2 ounces)
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan; 2 ounces), cut into pieces
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon rum
    1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

    8 (day-old) croissants
    good quality chocolate pieces
    3/4 cup sliced natural almonds (3 ounces), toasted
    Confectioners sugar for dusting

    Special equipment: a pastry brush, parchment paper

Make syrup:
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Split vanilla bean with a sharp small knife and scrape seeds into sugar mixture. Add pod and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in orange juice.

Make almond cream:
Pulse almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add almond paste and pulse until finely chopped.

Beat together butter, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, almond mixture, and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk together egg, rum, and extract in a small bowl and gradually add to almond cream, beating until combined well. Chill, covered, until set, about 1 hour.

Assemble croissants:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut croissants in half horizontally. Brush insides of croissants (both top and bottom halves) with some orange syrup. Spread 2 tablespoons almond cream on each bottom half, mounding in centers, top with chocolate and cover with tops. Spread 1 tablespoon almond cream on each top. Transfer croissants to a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons toasted almonds on each.

Bake croissants in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly, then dust with confectioners sugar.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake With Butter Rum Sauce

• Prep Time: 30 mins
• Total Time: 1 hrs 45 mins
• Servings: 16

About This Recipe
"Got this recipe from a Nov. 1990 issue of Classic Pillsbury Cookbooks and have been making it ever since. I have made this dessert a Christmas tradition in our household (though have also served it for other special occasions). Everyone who has sampled it gives it a "thumbs up".


o 2 3/4 cups sugar
o 1 1/2 cups butter or 1 1/2 cups margarine, softened
o 1 teaspoon vanilla
o 1 teaspoon orange zest
o 6 eggs
o 3 cups flour
o 1 teaspoon baking powder
o 1/2 teaspoon salt
o 1 (8 ounce) cartons sour cream
o 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries or 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries ( do not thaw)

Butter Rum Sauce
o 1 cup sugar
o 1 tablespoon flour
o 1/2 cup half-and-half
o 1/2 cup butter
o 4 teaspoons light rum or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously grease and lightly flour 12 cup fluted tube pan.
3. In large bowl, beat 2 3/4 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups butter until light and fluffy.
4. Add vanilla and orange peel.
Page 2 of 2Cranberry Orange Pound Cake With Butter Rum Sauce (cont.)

5. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. In medium bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Add alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
8. Gently stir in cranberries.
9. Pour batter into greased and floured pan.
10. Bake at 350 degree for 65 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
11. Cool 15 minutes.
12. Remove from pan.
13. Meanwhile, in small saucepan combine 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp flour.
14. Stir in half-and-half and 1/2 cup butter.
15. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
16. Remove from heat; stir in rum.
17. Serve warm sauce over cake.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 (151 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 545.4
Calories from Fat 259

© 2012 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips


2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 Golden Delicious apple - peeled, cored and diced
1 Crisp red apple  - peeled, cored and diced
1 Pomegranate - seeded
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
10 10" flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 T cinnamon sugar


In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate  white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Easy Cheesy Sausage Dip

1 lb. of Jimmy Deans Pork Breakfast Sausage
2 boxes cream cheese
2 cans Rotel Tomatoes (and onion/peppers)

Cook sausage, add cream cheese and stir until melted.  Add in Rotel and stir.  Serve w/ bread or chiops.

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bread Pudding

photo courtesty of

Original recipe from

Ingredients (Serves 10)

For the Caramel:

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon salt  (yes, this is a lot of salt but once it's on the bread pudding, its great)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
8 Tablespoons butter

For the pudding:

6 1/2 cups cubed challah or brioche
5 eggs
2 cups milk
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 Toblerone White Chocolate bar (3.52 oz), chopped (optional)
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)


For the caramel:

Mix the sugar, salt, and water together in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Set out your butter and cream. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, DO NOT STIR!!

Boil the sugar mixture until a caramel color develops. This happens quickly, so keep a close eye on it!
Stir in the cream and butter, and whisk until the foaming goes down. Simmer until it looks like caramel (a light brown color), then add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Transfer to a heat-safe container (NOT GLASS!!!!)

For the bread pudding:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter. Make sure each cube has at least some butter on it. Layer in a large baking dish: Half the bread cubes, half the chocolate chips, the other half of the bread, and the rest of the chocolate chips and add the optional chopped up Toblerone bar sprinkled on top.

Mix in a bowl: milk, eggs, vanilla, and sugar Pour the milk mixture over the bread. Allow it to sit a few minutes, pressing down on the bread to allow all of it to soak up some of the milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the pudding no longer jiggles and the top is brown. Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the pudding, return to the oven for about 10 minutes, then serve with fresh whipped cream.

Creme Brulee


2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 1/2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/3-1/2 C sugar (we usually do just a little less than 1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
extra sugar for creating the caramelized layer

In a heavy small saucepan, heat the cream over medium low heat just till bubbly.  Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, the sugar, vanilla and salt.  Beat with a wire whisk just till combined.  Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture as soon as it becomes bubbly.

Place six 3/4 cup souffle dishes or 6 ounce ramekins in a rectangular baking pan.  Set pan on oven rack and pour custard mixture evenly into the cups.  Then pour enough hot water into the glass baking pan around the dishes to reach halfway up the sides of the dishes.

Bake the custards in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till a knife inserted near the center of each custard comes out clean.  Remove custards from the water bath; cool on a wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Before serving, remove custards from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a layer of sugar on top of the custard and then, using a kitchen torch slowly and evenly heat the sugar until it becomes a nice hardened layer of caramelized sugar.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mississippi Mud Brownies

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
1 7-oz. jar marshmallow cream

½ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350. In large mixer bowl, beat eggs until thick. Gradually beat in sugar. Combine melted butter with flour, cocoa, vanilla, coconut and pecans. Add to egg-sugar mixture. Stir well with a spoon. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Immediately spread marshmallow cream gently on surface of cake. Prepare frosting. Spread frosting gently over warm marshmallow cream, swirling to give a marbled effect.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Malted Milk Chocolate Buttercream

From Love and Olive Oil blog
photo by lindsay from love and olive oil blog

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 ounces (1 bar) milk chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until no traces of the dry ingredients remain, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is fully incorporated.

Drop dough by the tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll into smooth 1-inch balls, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand, forming even 1/2-inch-thick disks. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed and set. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet (they will deflate slightly), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare filling, melt milk chocolate in a microwave or double boiler over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add cooled milk chocolate and beat until smooth.

Combine heavy cream and malted milk powder in a small bowl and mix until powder is dissolved. Add to milk chocolate mixture, along with vanilla and salt, and beat until light and fluffy, another 2 to 3 minutes. At this point you may need to add more cream or more powdered sugar as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

To assemble, spread or pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling onto half of the cookies, then top with remaining cookies. Press lightly until filling spreads to edges. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.