Recipe Review: Cookies and Cream Fudge

I’m not much of a sweets person myself unless it’s ice cream but I love to make them. Every so often I’ll try out a new recipe and bring it into the office and let them have at it. Such was the case with this Cookies and Cream Fudge recipe from Lil Luna.

Please pin from original source by clicking on photo.

Please pin from original source by clicking on photo.

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Serves:  not listed but this easily could make 36 bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used light)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 can marshmallow fluff (7 ounces)
  • 20 Oreos crushed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here.

THOUGHTS

  • Super easy to make and smells amazing – this smells EXACTLY like Blue Bell Cookies & Cream ice cream. I wish I could turn it into a candle!
  • This was a huge hit at the office.
  • Even though this only fills a 9×9 pan it’s so rich and decadent that you need to cut it into small squares which ultimately means that it feeds quite a lot of people.
  • This is a great dessert recipe for all the non-bakers out there!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

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Recipe Review: Chocolate Covered S’more Sandwiches

So I made these babies on Sunday to bring to work with me on Monday.  I put them in the kitchen around lunch time and they were loooong gone in less than an hour.  That means that several people at more than one, and these babies aren’t small.  If you’re looking to please a crowd, then these are a good choice!  Do note, however, that there are lots of crumbs that fall when people eat them.  Unless you want some cleanup on your hands, I’d suggest that these be served outside (they’d be great for a picnic).

I found the original idea for this here and I’m using her pictures because 1) they’re better than anything I’d take and 2) I suck at remembering to take pictures of the things I cook.  🙂

Chocolate Covered S'More Sandwiches 2
     Source

Chocolate Covered S’more Sandwiches

Serves:  20+

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 1 bag jumbo marshmallows (I saw that there are some flat-ish rectangular shaped ones in the store now… if I were to make these again, I think I’d try those instead of the round marshmallows)
  • Dipping chocolate (I like to use chocolate made especially for fondue.  I find it has a creamier consistency and is easier to work with)
  • Hershey bars, chocolate chips, or any kind of plain chocolate for placing inside the s’more
  • Sprinkles, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Break your graham crackers in half so that you have two still attached two each other side by side and place them on a large baking sheet.
  3. Cover half of your graham crackers with a marshmallow and the other half with your “inside” chocolate.

Chocolate Covered S'More Sandwiches

     Source

  1. Place in oven and watch carefully!  The marshmallows will expand quickly.
  2. Once marshmallows have expanded and chocolate is melted pull baking sheet from oven and quickly sandwich one marshmallow piece with one chocolate piece (we found it was easier to take the marshmallow piece to the chocolate piece and place the marshmallow piece on top).
  3. Melt your dipping chocolate according to the manufacturers instructions.  Then, take your sandwiches and dip the bottom half in the chocolate – place on a wax paper lined baking sheet or cutting board.  Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.  Once your sheet/board is full you can place in the refrigerator for quicker set up if you’d like.  Otherwise, leave at room temperature and they should set up in 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container overnight.

THOUGHTS

  • As previously mentioned, these were a hit in my office.  They are a bit messy to eat so I’d serve in an outside environment if possible (like a picnic).  Our office floor was covered in graham cracker crumbs.  J
  • We did not use the sprinkles and we let everything set up at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator.
  • When our container of dipping chocolate was getting shallow we used a basting brush to brush the chocolate onto the bottom half of the s’more.  Painting with chocolate… gotta love it.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: ‘Suck It, Betty Crocker’ Vanilla Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

So my husband and I aren’t big sweets people.  The only sweet I really love is ice cream and my husband could basically do without sweets all together.  I don’t think that once in the five years we’ve been together he’s ever brought up sweets without prompting from someone else.  That being said, I LOVE to bake/make desserts.  So, whenever I’m entertaining, or I just get a whim, I’ll cook up a dessert and give it to our guests and/or bring it to work to share with coworkers. 

The idea of making a cake that tastes as good as if it came out of a box but that didn’t come out of a box definitely appeals to me.  It just so happens that I stumbled upon this recipe and I thought that my life was about to be complete. 

‘Suck It, Betty Crocker’ Vanilla Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS

  • For the Cake
    • 1-1/2 cups sugar
    • ¾ cup butter flavored shortening
    • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 5 large egg yolks
    • ½ cup honey
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • ½ cup additional liquid (use any sweetened clear liquid such as cream soda, white wine, light-colored fruit juice, coconut milk, lemon-lime soda or sweet tea) (I used coconut milk)
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting
    • 5 large egg whites
    • 1-1/4 cups sugar
    • 2 cups (4 sticks) salted butter at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Go here.

THOUGHTS

Sadly, this cake was a complete and utter disaster for me and I have no idea why.  The cake tasted awful – it literally tasted like I’d put a cardboard box in my food processor, ground it down to powder, and used that in place of flour.  And the icing?  Don’t even get me started.  After mixing for 20 MINUTES and getting NOTHING resembling ‘stiff peaks’ I gave up and tossed it down the drain.  I’ve made cake and frosting from scratch before and NEVER had these problems.  And strangely I don’t think it’s the recipe – there’s nothing in there that should have caused these problems (especially with the frosting – I sort of suspect that the butter flavored shortening is to blame for the cake).  So – all I can tell you is that this was a complete and utter recipe flop for me for some unknown reason.  I’d love for Mandy Rivers from South Your Mouth to tell me what the heck she thinks I did wrong!  I’m very sad this didn’t work out.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:


Days of Chalk and Chocolate

One Artsy Mama

UndertheTableandDreaming

Skip To My Lou


Recipe Review: Baked Apple Pie Eggrolls

So I tried these babies out on my dad and my stepmom the other day and we all really enjoyed them.  I’m not a big fan of pie in general but I still think these are really nifty and they’re not particularly complicated to make.  I’d never used eggroll wrappers before and I found the process fun.  I enjoy doing something new and different in the kitchen.

Image from Chef in Training

Baked Apple Pie Eggrolls

Yield 12-16 eggrolls

Normally I’d put the recipe below but I really want you guys to go check out the website that I got it from instead.  It’s from a blog I read called Chef in Training.  Nikki (the author and chef) is incredible.  I’ve soooo enjoyed reading her blog the past few months.  If you want the deets on the recipe, go here.

 THOUGHTS

  • Under ‘instructions’ she says to let the filling mixture sit for 10 minutes – I got caught up doing stuff and it ended up sitting for nearly 3 hours.  Sadly, this makes the filling really runny and it ‘gooped’ out of the wrapper while they baked.  I highly recommend letting them sit for the recommended 10 minutes and then stuffing and baking these babies.
  • Conversely – the whipped cream held up fabulously in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.  You can definitely make this ahead of time.
  • At the end of the baking time for the eggrolls she says to bring them out, brush with egg wash and dust with cinnamon and sugar – I totally and completely missed this step and I truly wish I hadn’t.  It’s the cherry on top.
  • I left the leftovers with my stepmom and she heated them up the following morning for a few seconds in the microwave – she said they heated beautifully (didn’t get chewy). 

 I bet these would be AMAZING with my Farmhouse Chicken Dinner and Easy Peasy Green Beans.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

One Artsy Mama

I Heart Nap Time

UndertheTableandDreaming

Skip To My Lou

Recipe Review: Creamy Apple Pie

So I’ve told you guys about the Farmhouse Chicken Dinner and the Easy Peasy Green Beans that I provided for a family I know that’s going through a rough patch.  Well, I also tried out a new-to-me recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.  It’s easy to make and it turned out well and you’ve got to love the fact that it can be prepared the day before and refrigerated overnight.

Creamy Apple Pie (picture from BHG website)

Creamy Apple Pie

Serves 8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups finely crushed crunchy oat and honey granola bars (about 12 bars, or 1 box of 6 packages) (easiest to ‘crush’ these one or two at a time in a food processor)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 7 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick slices (I used the apples that are a yellowish red)
  • 8oz carton of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, softened (I used mascarpone)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. amaretto or ½ tsp. almond extract (I used extract)
  • 1 cup whipping cream (NOT whipped cream)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. Combine crushed bars, coconut, and ¼ cup butter.  Press on bottom and up sides of pie plate.  Bake 10 minutes.  Cool.  In a very large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  Stir in apples.  Cook uncovered over medium heat for 25 minutes or until apples are very tender; stir occasionally.
  3. Cool 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat cheese, granulated sugar and amaretto or almond extract with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds or until light and fluffy.  In a medium bowl beat whipping cream on medium speed until soft peaks form; beat into mascarpone mixture on low speed until combined.
  4. Layer half of the apple mixture in piecrust.  Spread half of the cheese-whipped cream mixture atop the apples.  Layer remaining apple mixture atop cheese-whipped cream mixture.  Spread with remaining cheese-whipped cream mixture
  5. Cover loosely and chill at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

THOUGHTS

  • The first time I made this I totally goofed and bought whipped cream instead of whipping cream – it makes this dish way to sweet.  Don’t make the same mistake!
  • I used one of those nifty apple slicers that slices the apple uniformally while coring it at the same time.  However, after making this pie twice I can tell you that those slices aren’t small enough.  So, the next time I made the pie I used the same tool, then I cut each slice into thirds.  This made the apples more bite-size.
  • I found the apple/cheese/apple/cheese layering to be a pain and not really worth it.  The last time I made the pie I just made one layer (i.e. crust/apples/cheese).  No one complained so that’s the way I’d go when making this pie again.
  • This pie is messy to slice and doesn’t “present pretty” when cut up (it sorta falls apart) so be aware of that if you’re serving for company.  If you want people to “ooh” and “ahh” over the way it looks, make sure that you show them the unsliced pie!
  • I thought the crust was delicious and I’m definitely going to have to find a way to incorporate the crust in other desserts!
  • I would have ice cold milk or hot coffee on hand to serve with this dish.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Happy Hour Projects
I Heart Nap Time
Ivy and Elephants
One Artsy Mama

Recipe Review: Ginger-Peach Freeze

Do you remember back here when I told you about this wonderful Spiced Chicken and Couscous Pilaf?  Well, I served that dish with this refreshing fruit dessert from Better Homes & Gardens.

picture from Better Homes & Gardens

Ginger-Peach Freeze

Serves 8 (1/2 cup servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 16oz. unsweetened frozen peach slices
  • Fresh peach slices (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and ginger.  Bring to boiling.  Remove from heat; add frozen peaches.  Let stand about 30 minutes or until peaches are thawed and mixture has cooled.
  2. Add peach mixture, half at a time, to a blender container.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Transfer blended mixture to a 2-quart rectangular baking dish.   Cover and freeze for 3-4 hours.  Break up mixture with a fork; spoon into dessert dishes.  Top with fresh peach slices.

THOUGHTS

  • I served this as 4 (1 cup) servings.
  • I did not cover my dish as it froze (didn’t see the point).  When I make this again, I still won’t cover it (still don’t see the point).
  • I would break the mixture up once every hour.  Doing so yields a more “slushy-like” consistency.  Breaking it up after it had frozen for four hours into one giant slab of peach was a little difficult.
  • This dish is a cinch to prepare and what’s great about it if you’re serving it for company is that you do all the prep work HOURS before your dinner party.  All you have to do is scoop and serve!

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Delightful Order
Happy Hour Projects
One Artsy Mama
Skip to My Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming

Recipe Review: Apple Dumplings

Did you have a good Mother’s Day?  Whether you’re a mom and you got celebrated or you celebrated your own mom (or grandma, aunts, etc) I hope it was a great one.

We had my mom over and we had a simple late lunch of shish kabobs and saffron rice.  We make shish kabobs using chicken breasts, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, white or yellow onion and usually squash and zucchini.  Apparently though, the squash and zucchini supply this year really stinks because the produce department at my local store refused delivery of the latest shipment because they were so crummy looking.  I couldn’t even find them frozen!  So, we made the kabobs sans squash/zucchini.  They were still yummmmy.  We just marinate them for a few hours in Wish Bone Robusto Italian Dressing then the Hubs grills them on the grill.

We also use Mahatma saffron rice (in the yellow package in the rice section of your grocery store).  We looooove this stuff and it complements the kabobs really well.

I made a new dish for dessert that turned out AH-MAY-ZHING!  Having never made the recipe before I followed everything verbatim from the recipe just like I normally do when I make something for the first time.  This recipe is called Apple Dumplings and it’s out of the book Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.  I didn’t, and wouldn’t, change a thing.  It’s fabulous just the way it is.  You should definitely try this.  It’s incredibly easy too!  In the book it’s listed as a breakfast recipe but it can easily double as a dessert recipe too!

click here to buy this book (totally worth every cent)

Apple Dumplings

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 canned buttermilk biscuits (not reduced-fat or anything ‘different’)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples vertically into 8 slices each.  Cover with water to keep the slices from turning brown.
  • In a medium saucepan, mix the water, ¾ cup of the sugar, the butter, and the vanilla.  Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Separate each biscuit into 2 layers.  Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap, and seal on the bottom.  Place the wrapped slices, sealed side down, in a 9 x 12 x 2-inch casserole dish.  Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices.  Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the wrapped apples.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Here’s the delicious picture straight from the book:

Here’s the picture that I took (as you can see, I’m not a very good photographer):

sidenote:  all you people out there who say ‘I’m not a baker’ this recipe is totally for YOU!

I’m linking this recipe up to a couple of blog parties.

Bloom Designs
Chef In Training
Creatively Living
I Heart Naptime
Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night
My Girlish Whims
One Artsy Mama
Simply Designing
Skip to my Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming