German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

From Recipe Revival: Southern Classics Reinvented for Modern Cooks by the Editors of Southern Living

NOTE: This recipe alone is worth the cost of the book.

Makes: 2 dozen (or a 13 x 9 pan full).
Hands On: 20 min
Total: 3 h 20 m

Ingredients:

1 3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c powdered sugar
3/4 c cold butter, cubed
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate morsels
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c light corn syrup
1/4 c butter, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
3 c toasted pecan halves and pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line bottom and sides of 13 x 9 pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 in to extend over the sides. Lightly grease the foil.
  3. Pulse the flour and next three ingredients (powdered sugar, cold butter, unsweetened cocoa) in food processor 5 or 6 times or until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture on the bottom and 3/4 in up the sides of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the crust at 350 F for 15 min. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the chocolate morsels over the crust. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 min).
  5. Whisk together the brown sugar and next three ingredients (corn syrup, melted butter, eggs) until smooth. Stir in the coconut and toasted pecans, and spoon into the prepared crust.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 min or until golden and set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Chill 1 hour. Lift from the pan, using foil sides as handles. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars.
  7. Enjoy!
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Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

IMG_20160520_183933

CAKE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. Makes 12 servings.

VARIATIONS:

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  2. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Creme Fraiche

I had a taste of La Fermiere yogurt while abroad and – WOW. If you EVER see it, buy it to taste – it’s wonderful! They sell it in cute little blue terra cotta jars. Love!

This is NOT sour cream, or yogurt, or whipping cream. It is something special and amazing. Hug a French person today, for inventing this. Vive le France!

Living in the US, they don’t sell creme fraiche in the supermarkets. And recipes say to just sub in sour cream or yogurt. NO NO NO. OMG NO. Having had creme fraiche, seriously.. NO!!!!

And it’s so darn easy to make! Make this! Make this now!

Yield: 2 one cup servings

Ingredients:

1 pint whipping cream (2 cups)
2 tbsp yogurt (natural with bacteria – I use dannon natural NO PECTIN or Trader Joe’s Organic Cream Top Whole Milk Plain Yogurt)[NO PECTIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
2 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 F (this is the lowest my oven goes, if your oven goes lower, preheat to that temperature).
  2. Find two cute cups, like the terra cotta cups they sell the La Fermiere yogurt in (click link above to see picture). Or use custard ramekins. Or a small individual sized yogurt container.
  3. In each cup, pour in 1 c whipping cream, 1 tbsp yogurt and 1 tsp sugar. Mix well. It helps with the mixing if the whipping cream and yogurt are at room temperature.
  4. Turn off the preheated oven, let cool until slightly warm but not hot (175 F is too hot, you want it warm but not hot, but most ovens do not go that low). The oven should not be too hot, you will kill the bacteria in the yogurt and then your creme fraiche will not firm up.
  5. Cover yogurt with cling film. I placed it in two small ceramic pots and onto a small tray (so it would be stable going into and coming out of the oven).
  6. Place yogurt into the oven overnight. It will solidify.
  7. When done, the creme fraiche will jiggle like jello. At that point, it’s done! Fridge and enjoy!
  8. I like to eat this with honey and fruit. It tastes great with oatmeal. Granola. Cake. Pie. Any kind of dessert, really. Or by itself. Just taste it and you will know, it’s soooo divine.

 

Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise

Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise
 
Meringue
3/4 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Buttercream
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons amaretto or water
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Ganache

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons corn syrup
12 whole hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted

For the meringue:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Using ruler and pencil, draw 13 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle on piece of parchment paper. Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, ink side down.
Process almonds, hazelnuts, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until nuts are finely ground, 15 to 20 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pulse to combine, 1 to 2 pulse.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. With mixer running at medium-high speed, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold nut mixture into egg whites in 2 batches.
With offset spatula, spread meringue evenly into 13 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle on parchment, using lines on parchment as guide. Using spray bottle, evenly mist surface of meringue with water until glistening. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven and allow meringue to cool in oven for 1 1/2 hours. (Do not open oven during baking and cooling.) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. (Cooled meringue can be kept at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.)

For the buttercream:
Heat milk in small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.

Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in bowl until smooth. Remove milk from heat and, whisking constantly, add half of milk to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to remaining milk in saucepan. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is bubbling and thickens to consistency of warm pudding, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer pastry cream to bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Before using, warm gently to room temperature in microwave at 50 percent power, stirring every 10 seconds.

Stir together amaretto and espresso powder; set aside. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter at medium speed until smooth and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pastry cream in 3 batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Add amaretto mixture and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes longer, scraping down bowl thoroughly halfway through mixing.
For the ganache:
Place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Stir mixture until smooth. Set aside to cool until chocolate mounds slightly when dripped from spoon, about 5 minutes.
Carefully invert meringue and peel off parchment. Reinvert meringue and place on cutting board. Using serrated knife and gentle, repeated scoring motion, trim edges of meringue to form 12 by 10-inch rectangle. Discard trimmings. With long side of rectangle parallel to counter, use ruler to mark both long edges of meringue at 3-inch intervals. Using serrated knife, score surface of meringue by drawing knife toward you from mark on top edge to corresponding mark on bottom edge. Repeat scoring until meringue is fully cut through. Repeat until you have four 10 by 3-inch rectangles. (If any meringues break during cutting, use them as middle layers.)
Place 3 rectangles on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Using offset spatula, spread 1/4 cup ganache evenly over surface of each meringue. Refrigerate until ganache is firm, about 15 minutes. Set aside remaining ganache.
Using offset spatula, spread top of remaining rectangle with 1/2 cup buttercream; place on wire rack with ganache-coated meringues. Invert 1 ganache-coated meringue, place on top of buttercream, and press gently to level. Repeat, spreading meringue with 1/2 cup buttercream and topping with inverted ganache-coated meringue. Spread top with buttercream. Invert final ganache-coated strip on top of cake. Use 1 hand to steady top of cake and spread half of remaining buttercream to lightly coat sides of cake, then use remaining buttercream to coat top of cake. Smooth until cake resembles box. Refrigerate until buttercream is firm, about 2 hours. (Once buttercream is firm, assembled cake may be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
Warm remaining ganache in heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very fluid but not hot. Keeping assembled cake on wire rack, pour ganache over top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread ganache in thin, even layer over top of cake, letting excess flow down sides. Spread ganache over sides in thin layer (top must be completely covered, but some small gaps on sides are OK).
Garnish top of cake with hazelnuts. Holding bottom of cake with 1 hand, gently press almonds onto sides with other hand. Chill on wire rack, uncovered, for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. Transfer to platter. Cut into slices with sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each slice. Serve.

Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls

These are the Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls.

Outback Rolls 1 Outback Rolls 2

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients:

Dough
1 1/3 cups (10 5/8 ounces) warm water
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
1/2 cup (6 ounces) honey or molasses
2 3/4 cups (12 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 3/4 cups (7 3/4 ounces King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour OR regular whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon powdered caramel color OR 2 teaspoons liquid caramel color (optional, but without it the rolls will lack their distinctive color) OR 1 tsp ccocoa powder OR 1 tsp coffee powder (I used both the coffee powder and the cocoa powder)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Topping
yellow cornmeal or rolled oats

Directions:

DOUGH MAKING TIME: 30 MINUTES: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a Kitchenaid, bread machine, or mix by hand. Dough will be sticky and slightly elastic.

If you’re using a bread machine, program it for the dough or manual cycle.

If you’re using a Kitchenaid, start with the flat beater, then switch to the dough hook when the dough starts to form a ball and come away from the sides of the bowl.

If preparing this dough by hand, remember that it’s very sticky and a bit messy at first, but just keep at it, flouring your hands and trying not to add too much additional flour to the dough; eventually it’ll smooth out.

FIRST RISE: 60 MINUTES: Let the dough rise for 1 hour. It won’t have doubled in size, but should be just a bit puffy.

Divide the dough into 12 even pieces (about 4 ounces each), and shape the pieces into 6 x 2-inch oval rolls.

Coat each roll, top and bottom, with some yellow cornmeal.

SECOND RISE: 90-120 MINUTES: Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet, and allow them to rise, covered, in a warm place, for 90 minutes to 2 hours. They won’t have doubled in size, but will appear puffy; when you gently press your finger into one, the indentation will rebound quite slowly.

BAKING TIME: 24 MINUTES: Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 24 minutes, until the bottoms appear slightly browned (you’ll have to carefully pick one up to look), or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a roll reads about 200°F. Remove the rolls from the oven, and cool them on a rack.

Note: I did not brush these with butter when I took them out of the oven. They didn’t need it. And, it would have dislodged the corn meal.

TOTAL TIME TO MAKE THESE ROLLS: 4 HOURS
Nutrition information per serving (1 roll, 109g): 304 cal, 5g fat, 7g protein, 44g complex carbohydrates, 14g sugar, 4g dietary fiber, 13mg cholesterol, 430mg sodium, 173mg potassium, 46RE vitamin A, 3mg iron, 12mg calcium, 131mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 3, Early Spring 2001 issue.

Honey Butter

1 stick butter, softened and at room temperature

1/2 c honey

Mix butter and honey with fork. Serve with rolls.

VERDICT: BEST RECIPE EVER. NEVER MAKE ANOTHER DINNER ROLL RECIPE. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. BE A HERO AND MAKE THIS. PILLOWY SOFT, LIGHT, AMAZING TEXTURE, HONESTLY THE BEST. THING. EVER.

THIS IS THE GOLD STANDARD OF DINNER ROLL RECIPES.

THANKS, KING ARTHUR FLOUR, FOR SHARING THE AMAZING!!!

Coconut Flan (Puerto RIcan Recipe)

This is the solid gold standard of flan recipes.

From: http://www.elboricua.com/flan.html

Ingredients:

6 eggs
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 15 oz can coconut milk
1.5 c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. On cookie sheet in water bath, place ramekins. Place 1 tsp sugar in each ramekin. Heat until it becomes a light brown. Take out of oven. Make sure it doesn’t burn. This is not an exact science.

3. Mix eggs. Add other ingredients. Do not overmix.

4. Pour flan mixture into caramelized molds from above. Cover with foil.

5. Place the foil covered ramekins in the water bath in the oven. Bake for 60-90 min until done. Larger ramekins take longer. The small individual sized ramekins take an hour.

6. Flan is cooked with knife inserted into center comes out clean. Flip over and onto serving plate. The caramel that was on the bottom of the ramekin forms the lovely caramel topping to the flan.

ENJOY! (To guild the lily, serve with whipping cream).

LEFTOVERS: Yes, you can freeze flan. Bake it completely, let it cool completely. THEN, wrap it really super duper well. You should be able to wrap your ramekins in cling wrap and freeze it with the plastic lid it came with (if you bought the pyrex ramekins). When you want to eat them again, defrost in the fridge, then enjoy. How long do they last in the freezer? As long as ice cream (same ingredients). Biggest danger in freezing flan is the noxious smells of the freezer and fridge getting into your food. If you can safeguard against that, you’re golden.