Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Perfect Homemade Toffee

Simply elegant and yummy, toffee is the perfect gift to give this holiday. It makes the perfect hostess gift plus, it's easy to make!

Stuff You'll Need:
1 cup unblanched whole almonds
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package of good milk chocolate chips 
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Let's Play!

1. Toast almonds in a 9x13 pan lined with foil.

2. In a 2-quart pan combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt.

3. Cook over medium high heat, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon (about 7-10 minutes) until toffee is the color of the skin of the almonds.

4. The toffee is extremely hot! Handle with care and immediately pour toffee over the toasted almonds. Use a spatula to spread toffee over almonds.

5. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee. Wait a minute then spread the melted chocolate until smooth.

(Sorry, I had to work really fast during steps 4 and 5 because the toffee sets quickly. 
That's why I'm missing a couple pictures here.)

6. Sprinkle the pecans on the smooth, melted chocolate. Cool completely before breaking into yummy pieces.

Ah, yes. Perfection!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake in a Cup

For those days when you want to indulge without the hassle of making an entire cake...make this!
 It's incredibly chocolatey, rich and yummy.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake in a Cup

Stuff You'll Need:
a cup/mug
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten 
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 salted caramels (If you can’t find salted caramels you can sprinkle a little fleur de sel salt into the mixture as you’re dropping in the caramels).

Let's Play!

1. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, and vegetable oil in a small bowl.

2. Pour mixture into your coffee cup/mug. Drop caramels into center of mixture one at a time.

3. Microwave on high for one minute and 15 seconds.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Mini Pecan Pies

When I think of pecan pie I think of the holidays. Maybe because it's that time of year to indulge in decadence with family and friends. Pecan pie is just wonderful. The filling is dark, sugary and rich and the crust is buttery and oh-so delicious. These mini versions are the perfect treat for Thanksgiving, Christmas or just about today...I already devoured 3!

Mini Pecan Pies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup flour
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

for crust:

for filling:

1. With an electric mixer, beat the 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese until smooth. Add the flour and beat until fully combined. Remove dough and wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Set aside.

4. Shape the chilled dough into 24 balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Press each ball into a cup of the muffin pan, spreading evenly and up the sides.

 Spoon 1 teaspoon of the pecans into each muffin cup.

Fill each cup with the egg mixture until evenly distributed, about 1 teaspoon in each.

5. Bake until the filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then remove from the muffin pan.

Ah, heaven in a bite!