Posts tagged ‘sweets’

pecan brittle & world’s best strawberry butter cookies

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a friend gave me sweet pecans from his mother. so i made pecan brittle. i’ve never made candy before & was surprised how good it turned out despite substituting some of the corn syrup with molasses, which is probably a better idea anyhow.

i would have to say the hardest thing about making this is it that it is physically demanding. you have to constantly stir it & it gets like caramel, which takes strength to handle. i’m looking forward to doing this again with variations. i have tons of pecans left. hand made candy is the best xmas gift.

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i continued my baking roll & made worlds best butter cookies & topped a fraction of them with my home made strawberry preserves.

i swear there’s nothing sweeter than spending all day in the kitchen.

chocolate peanutbutter layer brownies

i had a jar of natural peanut butter that was too dense to use on bread so i decided to make chocolate peanut butter layer brownies. i change up some of the recipe-like doubling the peanut butter, adding much more chocolate, using irish butter & adding giraldelli cocoa powder, which never hurts. these are not the heavy dense style but cake style. don’t let that stop you. there’s always a time & a place for the moist cake brownie.

i had surgery yesterday & these are my medicine.

TEN layer monster bars

these are the most decadent thing i have ever made. it has nothing but sugar & fat. i was pretty skeptical i could pull it off because i often do not have luck with cookie bars because of my toaster oven. stuff seems to cook on the outside & stay raw on the inside. not this time. these are UNBELIEVABLE. the should be. look at the list of ingredients in yesterday’s fantasy dessert 10 layer monster bars

-graham crackers
-sweetened condensed milk
-plugra butter
-walnuts
-cashews
-pecans
-belgian milk chocolate
-white chocolate
-gourmet caramels
-peanut butter morsels

i’m glad i made a half batch. because they are impossible to stop eating until they are gone. good luck 🙂

cherry chocolate chippers

cherry chocolate chippers

i made these for a student who i am extremely fond of for his birthday. he runs marathons & raises a lot of money for aids & is just delightful to be around. i felt that the first time i met him. another student made a hand made card with little pilobolus figures. i was delighted because that was my favorite dance troup when i was a kid.

she is a lot younger than i so she had never heard of this popular dance troupe. i enjoy teaching at this place because a yoga community is happening in the most unlikliest of places-a downtown corporate high-rise lawyer firm. i used the very best euro butter-luprek, bourbon natural vanilla, soft organic brown sugar, hershey chocolate pieces & fat dried sour cherries. i made them tiny in case he was weight concious. he just said that he runs a lot so he can eat a lot. that’s a good answer. i’m sure he killed that bag pretty quick. they are addicting. the cherry with the chocolate is a good idea.

guava & manchego phyllo pouches with passion fruit syrup

a facebook friend posted some ideas for guava & it had me thinking. i have never cooked with it before, so i decided to make 2 dishes with it. the first is a very flaky & very sweet pastery called guava & manchego phyllo pouches with passion fruit syrup.

first i had to scout out some of the hard-to-find ingredients. guava is bought in a giant round can in a paste form. i found it for a couple bucks at my local caniceria.

you have to chop this sticky mess into tiny 1/4 inch cubes & combine with manchego cheese (a spanish cheese very similar to sharp white cheddar), sliced toasted almonds & vanilla. weird, right?

the one ingredient i failed to locate was passion fruit or granadilla in spanish. i read the reviews for this recipe and that’s what everyone else was missing. so i decided to concoct something similar. i purchased some fresh pineapple & my very first papaya! i picked a super ripe beauty out at the mexican market. i was proud that i chose such a beauty!

the sauce is the fruit pureed with sugar & water reduced on the stove. it is VERY sweet & turns out the pastry does not really need it.

i’ve worked with phyllo before when i held a job as a cook for neiman marcus. i made baklava regularly. the thin sheets of dough are a pain & dry out easily, so you have to keep them covered with a damp towel. you melt butter, brush one sheet, sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar/cayenne/cinnamon mix, add another sheet for 3 rounds, cut it in half, put the filling in & bunch it around the best you can. then you brush the outside with butter & bake for 20 minutes.

this is very strange, but in a good way. the combo is a surprise, the cheese bites through. it’s probably the most unusual dish i have made in a long time. i think next time i will take the same filling & mix with cream cheese instead of manchego, wrap in a won-ton skin & deep fry like they do at the cuban joint. they make really great guava/cream cheese empanadas.

there was too much guava left so i made a marinade with it with habanero peppers, key limes, achiote paste & other spices & put a whole cut up chicken in it for 2 days. i will post the results in the next post.

meagan’s chocolate meringue cookies

from the colonel’s cousin’s girlfriend. this is decadent to the max. mmm…

meagan’schocolate meringue cookies

3 Egg Whites
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 oz. chocolate chips
1/4 c. walnuts (if you want, sometimes I leave them out)

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

-Whisk whites to stiff peaks. On a high speed, gradually add sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes. Sift cocoa onto the egg whites, add chocolate chips and nuts. Fold everything gently together, making sure that the cocoa is not folded completely into the meringue.

-Scoop meringues onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes or until you’re able to gently slide the cookies off the sheet.

home made oreos

i had a craving for chocolate last night & knew i had some nice cocoa powder but no chips, so i decided to make martha stewart’s cream filled chocolate cookies her take on the classic oreo. these are kind of hard if you do not have a mixer (i don’t) because the dough & the icing are very stiff. it takes a lot of muscle. i also made the mistake of leaving my butter soften on the radiator, which melted it. i had to put it outside to stiffen again, i think it changed the texture of the cookies. they turned out pretty hard. i recommend baking them a few minutes less than the recipe calls for & definitely using an electric mixer if you have one. the cookies are really good just on their own.