Tonight, I’m making an easy and awesome Betty Crocker dessert: Betty Crocker Supreme Bars Cookie Brownie. I thought, what better activity while waiting for these to bake than to update my blog. These will please any crowd and I discovered these little gems while visiting a friend. We went to get some groceries and she had a craving for brownies, while I was craving chocolate chip cookies. The compromise, if you can even call it a compromise was these awesome cookie brownie bars. They are delicious and I give them 3 stars, not bad for a boxed dessert. Here is a picture of the chocolate chip cookie land mines encased in brownie.
Now on to some more desserts I’ve made in the past. Last week, I had some friends coming to visit and decided to shower them with treats when they arrived. I made chocolate truffles and strawberry champagne cupcakes! For the truffles, I used Alton Brown’s recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chocolate-truffles-recipe/index.html. I did not use the brandy in them, but perhaps I will try that if I make them again.
I made this recipe over the course of a couple of days, as making them is quite time intensive. First, you basically make a ganache, chill it, then scoop it out into balls, chill it some more, roll it/shape it into prettier balls….like I said, it definitely takes a good chunk of time.
Next, I did as the recipe said and used a heating pad to heat the chocolate. This step took a lot of patience because it took a while to heat the chocolate. However, I did not have a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature, so I thought it was the best way to do it. Here’s the chocolate pan surrounded by the heating pad:
Viola: the finished product! On my first batch, I used a dark chocolate coating and topped them with an almond. These are a little rough around the edges as I didn’t let the chocolate melt quite enough; however, I learned from my mistake on the second batch and they came out more truffle-like. I don’t think that these look bad, but they do have a more rustic look than regular truffles and probably have more chocolate since it was not completely melted.
On the second batch, I used chili pepper chocolate and added some cinnamon and cayenne pepper to it. I garnished the tops with a mix of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. They were only slightly spicy and if I were to make these again, I would add more cayenne or add cayenne to the ganache as well as the shell.
Here is a side-by-side image of both truffles. I will give them 5 stars as they are an excellent and decadent dessert. I brought some into work and my coworkers agreed and said that they melt in your mouth!
On to Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes! I used the following DC Cupcakes recipe: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/DC-Cupcakes-New-Years-Eve-Strawberry-Champagne-Sparkler-Cupcakes. I’ve used this recipe before and they always turn out really well. The recipe says to use “good” champagne, but I’ve always used the $5 bottle of pink “Andre” champagne and they’ve turned out great! I didn’t put them in champagne glasses as the recipe suggests and I did not make the ganache, but these cupcakes are still amazing on their own or with the strawberry champagne frosting in the recipe. Mini versions of these cupcakes are pictured below:
One bonus of these cupcakes is that after you infuse the strawberries with the champagne, you drain out the champagne, so you have a strawberry daiquiri-type drink to enjoy! A couple hints to making these are: 1) make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature, 2) be sure not to over-mix your batter, and 3) make sure you’re baking with love, it makes a big difference!
I’ll give the cupcakes 4.5 stars. I also brought some of these into work and they were a big hit! One lover-of-sweets said that they were the best cupcakes she had ever tasted! That’s a pretty big compliment coming from someone who eats sweet treats on a regular basis.
Last, but certainly not least, a few weeks ago, I made chocolate ganache-dipped chocolate chip cookies. Here is the recipe: http://whatsgabycooking.com/ganache-dipped-chocolate-chip-cookies/. I made a double batch and made mini cookies so they are “diet-friendly.” I froze half the batter and used it at a later time. Here are a couple of pictures of these tasty treats: