Monday, April 26, 2010

Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is warming up here in Houston and its almost Cinco de Mayo! These are the perfect recipe for something light, fresh, and yummy!

I actually made these cookies for a friend's upcoming birthday though, her favorite pie is Key Lime and I wanted to send her cookies, voila Key Lime cookies! The tart lime flavor goes perfect with the smooth sweet white chocolate flavor, so this recipe is a definite win.

Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice
2 tsp grated key lime zest
1 cup white chocolate chips
confectioners sugar for decoration

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar till creamy, add egg and yolk beat till smooth. Stir in key lime juice and zest and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well, finally mix in white chocolate chips. Refridgerate dough for 1 hour at least, this will make it easier to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon 1/2 inch balls onto baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute on pan and transfer to cooling rack. Immediately sift confections sugar over cookies, it is important to do this while the cookie is still warm.

This recipe was adapted from All Recipe's Key Lime Cookie recipe.

They were a little flat for how I like my cookies, but tasted yummy. I also would like to try using sea salt next time to give it that extra sweet and salty taste.

Key Lime on FoodistaKey Lime

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stout Cupcakes, Irish Cream Ganache Filling, Irish Cream Icing

Happy Birthday Hubbie!

I have to start out with this statement, these are the BEST cupcakes I have EVER made. This is a surprising statement since one, I don't like stout beers, and two, I don't like Irish cream. These cupcakes were made just in knowing that my husband would love them for his birthday!

So thank you to Annie's Eats and Smitten Kitchen for this wonderful recipe.

Chocolate Stout Irish Cream Cupcakes
1 cup stout beer
1 cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter (softened)
2 tsp Irish cream

8 tbsp butter (softened)
3 cups confectioners sugar
5-6 tbsp Irish cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners. In medium saucepan over medium heat combine stout and butter, add cocoa powder and whisk till smooth. Allow to cool. In mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In stand mixer combine eggs and sour cream and beat. Slowly add in stout mixture just until combined. Add in flour mixture on low setting, just until combined. Fill cupcakes 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and let cool completely on wire rack.

Meanwhile, heat the whipping cream in small saucepan till simmering. Pour simmering heavy cream into bowl with bittersweet chocolate. Let sit for one minute, until chocolate is melted, and whisk. Add butter and Irish cream and whisk heavily till smooth. Let mixture cool slowly while stirring every 10 minutes. Once the ganache is cooled and thick, pipe into each cupcake. I used the Wilton method of filling a cupcakes and filled a bag with the cooled ganache and with tip # 230. You do not cut into the cupcake at all, just insert the tip about one inch into the cupcake and squeeze out the filling while slightly pulling up. The inside will look like a cone of ganache (before you dive into it).

For the frosting, beat the softened butter and powdered sugar on medium for at least 3 minutes (it may form a puff cloud of powdered sugar, I just place a damp paper towel over the stand mixer to prevent this). Slowly add in the Irish cream until it is a good piping consistency. Wait for the cupcakes to be cooled completely and filled, then begin icing. For icing, I used the large Wilton tip 1M, the wide star. To obtain the swirl look, start icing at the outside of the cupcake and slowly move in to the center, stop pressure and pull tip away.

I have made chocolate stout cupcakes before and had used Young's Double Chocolate Stout thinking it would only make it better, but I was wrong. The cupcakes were too chocolaty and not enough stout flavor. So sticking with the Guinness or a similar basic stout is a good idea.

Also, the hubbie prefers Michael's Irish cream over the well known Bailey's so I used that instead.

I am looking for another filling cupcake, any ideas?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ghirardhelli Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Yep, its another peanut butter recipe! I can't help it, I just love peanut butter recipes. My husband told me during my wisdom teeth removal I was on a peanut butter IV!

So if you love peanut butter, chocolate, and cheesecake this is your recipe! Actually, it is a Ghirardelli recipe, but I am going to share. It makes quite a few cheesecake bars and you can make this pretty quick compared with the usual cheesecake timing.

Ghirardelli Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup sweet ground cocoa 
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tbsp granulated sugar 

Cheesecake Layer:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
2 ounces chopped milk chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine crushed graham crackers, ground  cocoa, butter, and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Press into a 13x9 pan and bake for 8 minutes, transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

In large bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flour at low speed. Add eggs, one at a time while mixing. Add vanilla and milk. Pour cheesecake mixture into pan and bake for 40 minutes or until set. It will "puff up" a bit, but will settle after cooling completely. 

Melt chocolate and vegetable shortening in double broiler stirring until smooth. Spread the melted chocolate over the cooled cheesecake layer. Chill for 10 minutes, chocolate layer should be slightly set, score the chocolate with a sharp knife into 2 inch squares. Return pan to refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes, cut bars, serve, and eat! 

If you have a food processor use it! I hand crushed my graham crackers and well it just made it a little crunchier. The cheesecake is firm after 30 minutes, but I thought it tasted better after about 2 hours, the peanut butter taste really comes out then!

This recipe came from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nutella Stuffed Pancakes or Ebelskivers

I am really excited about this post because I had been wanting to make these for a while and who doesn't love Nutella on anything! 

An Ebelskiver is a Danish style puffed pancake. It is light and fluffy, but with a slight crunch on the outside. Add a chocolate hazelnut filling and it is pure genius. 

My mom got me the Williams Sonoma Ebelskiver filled pancake pan and mix for Christmas. Well this year has been so busy, but I finally got around to making them for a weekend breakfast. I did not have the Ebelskiver turning tools, but I used some leftover wooden chopsticks and they worked perfect. 

Ebelskiver Pancakes

1 and 1/4 cup Williams Sonoma Ebelskiver mix
2 eggs separated
1 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter 
1/2 cup filling (Nutella, jam, cooked apples...)
maple syrup or whipped cream

Whisk egg yolks, milk, and 2 tbsp melted butter. Whisk this mixture with the Ebelskiver mix until well blended. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes with electric mixer. Fold in the egg whites into the batter.

Turn on burner to medium heat with Ebelskiver pan and place 1/4 tsp of butter into each pancake well. After butter starts to bubble pour in 1 tbsp of batter in each well. Add 1 tsp of filling and then another 1 tbsp of batter, being sure to cover all the filling. Cook until bottoms are brown, about 3 minutes or 1 after you finish filling everything. Turn using wooden chopsticks/turning stools. Cook another 3 minutes or until bottoms are brown. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining batter. Serve with syrup or whipped topping.

I served these stuffed pancakes with some real Vermont maple syrup, thanks to our good friend for stocking us up! 

Please let me know if you have any technique suggestions! Hope you enjoy!

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