Yum Yum!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Walnut Rocha

Yet another opportunity to bake due to Travis' work potluck! This week I ventured into the candy zone of my Better Homes and Gardens book. Candy always sounds delicious, but it scares me because I know it can be tricky, temperamental and unforgiving. I read the recipe several times through and had all my ingredients at the ready so I would not screw it up! I also read up on testing candy at the 'soft crack' stage since I don't have a candy thermometer. And it turned out great! I wonder if I needed to cook the bottom layer just a tad longer for a crunchier texture, but it still looked and tasted great. I was kind of mad at myself for forgetting to take a picture of the cute platter I had Travis take to work, so I only got a shot of the left overs I kept for us.

Nut Rocha

2 C butter
2 C sugar
1/3 C water
2 T light corn syrup
1 3/4 C chocolate chips
1 C finely chopped nuts, I used walnuts

1. Line a 15x10 pan with foil, set aside.
2. In a 3 quart saucepan melt butter. Stir in sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium high heat to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. This is where you should use a candy thermometer and stir for about 15 minutes, until it is at 290, soft crack stage. I did the cold water test, by putting a few drops into a cup of cold water and it separates into hard, pliable threads that can't be shaped into a ball. It took a little more than 15 until it reached this stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate with bubbles over entire surface. Remove from heat and remove thermometer.
3. Carefully pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Cool about 5 minutes or until the top is set. Sprinkle chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. Spread the softened chocolate over toffee mixture. Sprinkle nuts on top and gently press them in. Let stand at room temperature for several hours until set. Use foil to lift candy out and break into pieces.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wheat Bread in the Crock Pot

I loved this recipe! I found it in a crock pot cookbook and it was so easy! I recommend cutting this recipe in half unless you've got a huge crock pot. I am so glad I halved mine or I would have had dough everywhere. Basically, you mix the ingredients and put them in a round cake pan, which then goes into your crock pot. Simple as that! It is a little different texture, kind of like a corn bread. But we really enjoyed it with butter and it went well with our chili.

Crock Pot Wheat Bread

2 C warm reconstituted powdered milk
2 T veggie oil
1/4 cup of honey or brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 1/2 C wheat flour
1 1/4 C white flour

1. Mix milk, oil, honey or brown sugar, salt, yeast and half the flour. Beat for two minutes. Add remaining flour and mix well.
2. Place dough in a well greased round cake pan that fits in your crock pot. Cover with a well greased piece of foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Place in crock pot.
3. Cover and bake on high for 2 1/2-3 hours.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nutella Cheesecake Brownie

I found this recipe two weeks ago on a blog I like to follow (Cheeky Kitchen), and it has been on my mind ever since. I have been craving cheesecake and this really hit the spot. The cheesecake part was amazing! However, I felt like the brownie part of it was so-so. But Travis still really liked the brownie part so I guess it is all about personal preferences. So, I will give you the whole recipe, but when I make this again (and believe me, I will!) I plan to double the cheesecake portion and bake it in a chocolate crumb shell instead of on the brownies.

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie layer:
4 eggs
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
3/4 C cocoa
1/2 C nutella
1/3 C flour

Cheesecake layer:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C nutella
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs

In one bowl, beat all of the brownie ingredients together. In another bowl, beat all of the cheesecake ingredients together. Pour brownie batter into an 8x8 greased pan (these will be very thick). Gently spread the cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie mixture. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. The brownies will be set, but if you poke a toothpick in the center if won't come out dry, no worries! The cheesecake layer needs to cool completely to set up. I kept mine in the fridge for a few hours.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Almond "Mints"

I've had these yummy "mints" (they aren't actually minty) a few times at a wedding reception and baby shower and I think they are super delicious. So I decided to whip some up. They are super easy and I was actually thinking someday this recipe would work well for decorating in place of fondant detailing.
Almond Mints

In mixer, beat 3 ounces of cream cheese. Add in 1/2 tsp almond extract, although you could use mint or even peppermint of cherry would be good too. Gradually add in 3 cups of powdered sugar. You may have to knead in the last bit yourself. Roll into small balls, then roll in sugar and press crosswise with a fork. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Skeletons and Ghosts

I had so much fun baking Halloween goodies this year. I made chocolate sugar cookies for Travis to take to a work potluck. I did both skeletons and ghosts, then I did the skeletons again for his family party on Halloween. It had been forever since I'd had these cookies, one my my grandma's recipes, and they were delicious!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

3/4 C crisco
1 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C light corn syrup
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream crisco, sugar, and egg. Stir in syrup and melted chocolate. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Form and ball, cover, and chill for 1 hour. Roll out onto sugared board. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350 10-12 minutes.