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1  COOKING / Dessert / Tirimisu Truffles on: December 31, 2012 07:29:34 PM


I think that these are going in my permanent recipe book... if I ever get around to making one.

Basically they are delicious.  They are sweet, but not as sugary sweet as most chocolate.  Probably because there isn't actually all that much chocolate in these.  (Not having so much chocolate may not seem like a selling to point to some people... but you've got to have an option for people that aren't as much of chocoholics as the rest of us!)



Recipe:

-2 Cups White Chocolate Chips
-2/3 Cup Mascarpone Cheese  (Can be substituted with 1oz Cream Cheese, 2 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream and 1 Tablespoon Sour Cream.)
-1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Mixed with 1/2 Teaspoon Water
-2 Tablespoons Spiced Rum
-White Chocolate Candy Coating
-Unsweetened Cocoa Powder to Decorate

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and stir in the mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese substitute), rum and coffee.  Fill your molds and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

*** You could also put the filling into the refrigerator to cool and roll these out by hand if you don't have candy molds.

I've got some tips on filling molds on my blog:  http://papercookies.blogspot.com/2011/12/creamy-caramel-filled-chocolates.html
2  COOKING / Dessert / Exploding Peppermint Truffles- Really Explode in Your Mouth on: December 31, 2012 07:27:46 PM


These are tasty as well as super fun to eat!  When you first bite into them they "explode" in your mouth, and the sensation stays the whole time you are eating the candy.  The secret?  Pop rocks!

I made these peppermint flavored, but they could be any flavor you want.

Just make the filling by heating 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream on the stove until just boiling.  Pour this over 10oz of chocolate chips in a large bowl.  Mix this until it forms a smooth mixture.  Add peppermint flavoring, or whatever flavor you would like.

Fill the candy molds, and then while the chocolate is still soft top with pop rocks.  (I used peppermint flavored pop rocks.)

***You could also roll these by hand and then roll them into pop rocks if you don't have candy molds.

I've got some tips on filling candy molds on my blog: http://papercookies.blogspot.com/2011/12/creamy-caramel-filled-chocolates.html
3  COOKING / Dessert / Butterfinger Cups From Scratch on: December 31, 2012 07:22:28 PM



I've seen tons of recipes out there for "Butterfinger Truffles" where all they did was crush the candy bar and mix it with chocolate ganache... I didn't feel like this would cut it, so I found how to make the candy myself.

I love it... it tastes like Butterfinger, and surprisingly it feels like you are eating a Butterfinger!


Recipe:

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup salted butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups  creamy peanut butter
Chocolate coating

In a medium sized bowl, combine the sifted confectioners' sugar and powdered milk. Set to the side. 

In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce heat to medium and continue stirring for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from heat. 

Add the confectioners' sugar and powdered milk mixture to the wet ingredients.

Pour mixture into a large microwave safe bowl and mix with peanut butter.  Microwave in 15 second intervals until it is smooth but grainy.  (My sugar mixture clumped up, so I had to actually blend the mixture until it was right.) 

Fill your candy molds or roll by hand into balls and coat those if you don't have candy molds. 

I have posted some tips on filling candy molds on my blog:  http://papercookies.blogspot.com/2011/12/creamy-caramel-filled-chocolates.html
4  COOKING / Dessert / Cinnamon Candied Almonds on: December 31, 2012 07:17:47 PM



Mix 1 Cup of Sugar with 3 Cups of Almonds, 1/2 Tablespoon of Cinnamon and 1/4 Cup of Goldschlager.

Heat this in a skillet until the coating turns brown and starts to clump up.  (It will get very syrupy before this, but if you keep stirring and heating, it will brown and become a more grainy coating.)

Pour this out onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and let them cool.

That's it!  Instead of goldschlager, feel free to use water and flavor with any kind of extract you want, and I'm sure it would be delicious!
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / One Hour Bread from Scratch on: December 31, 2012 07:07:19 PM


This bread only took me about an hour to make... and a lot of that was just waiting for the bread to rise and then bake, so I had plenty of time to make the soup we were having for dinner.

Just mix 1 1/2 cups of water with a packet of fast acting yeast, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 cups of flour, a dash of salt, oregano, basil and pepper.  (You could really add anything to the bread at this point as far as flavoring you would like.  I just chose to go with herbs because this bread was going with soup for dinner.)

Slowly ad more flour until a soft dough is formed.  Turn this out onto a floured board and continue adding flour and knead the dough until the it is no longer so sticky.  This takes several minutes.

Form this into a loaf and lightly dust the bottom with flour.  Place this onto a baking sheet, cover with  dish towel and let rise for half an hour.  While the bread is rising place a baking tin with ice in it into the preheated oven (400 degrees).

Once the bread has doubled in size, cut some slits in the top and bake for 20 minutes.  (I forgot to cut slits into the top of mine, so the back of it separated, and it would be much prettier if it had happened on top instead.)

Then just slice it up and enjoy!
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Christmas Cards (My first attempt with Copic Markers) on: December 11, 2012 05:30:58 PM
To make some of my Christmas cards this year, I decided to try out Copic markers... I think that I like them!   

I'm sure that you can tell where I made some mistakes, but for a first go, I think I did a pretty good job.  (Especially since I did'n't want to buy very many colors in the beginning.)

I've got the colors I used and some other pictures on my blog if you want more information...  does anyone have any good resources for Copic coloring? 

7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Traditional Alfredo Sauce- Only Two Ingredients on: November 22, 2012 08:48:35 PM


I usually start making dinner once I am already hungry, so I like to make food that is quick, uses very few pots and has very few ingredients.  I also love to eat alfredo sauce.  Until recently I didn't think it was possible to have both...

That is, until I learned that the alfredo we get on our pasta in restaurants these days isn't actually the original version of the sauce, and that the original version... only has two ingredients! 

Here is a super simple way to make this sauce for any pasta you are making.  It doesn't take any extra pots and it only needs a few ingredients.  You can also customize this sauce very easily for whatever taste you like. 


What You Need:

- Pasta of choice (I used spaghetti here because that's all we had, but of course fettuccine would be best.)
- Cheese of choice (Traditionally this sauce uses parmigiana, but I've also used cheeses like pepper jack when that's all I had.)
- A couple tablespoons of butter
- Seasoning of choice (I like to keep it simple, with some salt, pepper and basil.)
- Any add-ins you like (As you can see in the picture above, I used fresh spinach.)


What To Do:

Cook your pasta al dente (it will continue cooking while making the sauce).  Scoop out a cup of the starchy pasta water and set aside.  Strain your pasta (but don't worry about shaking out excess water, you want the water).  Return the pasta to your original pot, and put it on your burner on the lowest heat possible.  Add the butter and a little bit of the pasta water.  Begin adding your cheese of choice, and toss the pasta until it is coated.  You will want to add cheese slowly so that it is able to melt properly.  If the cheese is melting too thick and you want more sauce, add some more pasta water, then add more cheese. 

Now your sauce is done!  Go ahead and add any add-ins or seasoning you like.  Just remember that with most cheeses you won't want to add very much salt.  (That's why it's good to wait on seasoning until the end.)

Wasn't that easy?
8  COOKING / Dessert / Apple Cider Caramels (Microwave Recipe) on: November 22, 2012 08:44:58 PM


I saw a recipe a while back for apple cider caramels.  I got all excited to make them, but when I read through the instructions, it was on the stove top (and so required a candy thermometer).  I keep meaning to get a thermometer, but of course I haven't yet.

I've also seen microwave recipes for plain caramel candies.  I've never made caramels before, but I decided that it couldn't be too hard to put the recipes together and make apple cider caramels in the microwave.  To my surprise it actually worked out really well!

The candy is firm when picked up, but as soon as you put it in your mouth it starts to melt.  (No sticky teeth!)  The flavor is definitely apple cider, but there is also a rich buttery caramel flavor.  I was worried that the spices would make the candy gritty, but it was actually pretty smooth.   

I am sure I'm not the only one that liked these because I took these to a few houses for Thanksgiving, and very few people only had one piece.

It is a very simple recipe, all you need to do is mix the ingredients together and microwave.  (That really is it!)

Keep these caramels in the microwave after wrapping them.  They can be kept at room temperature for a several hours before getting soft and sticky, but make sure you don't set them in the sun or something.  They melt very easily.  (Which is why they melt so well in your mouth.) 



Recipe:

10 Tablespoons Butter
3/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Cups Apple Cider (Reduced to 1/3 Cup on the stove)
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

Put all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 6-10 minutes*, stirring every 2 minutes.  Line an 8"x8" dish with wax paper then cooking spray.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Let set in the refrigerator and cut into pieces.  Wrap these pieces in wax paper.  Store in the refrigerator. 


*An important note on cooking times: When I first cooked the caramels, I microwaved them for 6 minutes, and when I poured it into the pan to set up, they were way too soft and sticky to wrap individually.  I decided to try and just pop them into the microwave for another couple of minutes, and it worked like a charm.  When they set up after that, they were super easy to slice and wrap... and most importantly... they were easy to unwrap too!  (When I was stirring the batch that set up properly, it was still liquidy, but there was definite resistance while being stirred.)  If you would like to make this into a sauce, you should be able to just cook the caramel for less time in the microwave.  The opposite should also work to make the candies even firmer, but I haven't tried it myself. 
9  COOKING / Dessert / Apple and Orange Pancakes (Flavored with Real Fruit) on: August 17, 2012 06:44:07 PM


These were super fun to make!  (And pretty easy... especially if you just wanted to make them look like regular pancakes... but of course I HAD to make them look like the real things!)  

The best part is that the flavor was all done with the real fruit, so it really tasted like an apple or an orange!  (Not that fake candy flavor.)  

- Recipes-


Orange Pancakes:  


3/8 cup orange juice
1 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
3/8 cup buttermilk (I don't have this just laying around, so I added lemon juice to milk and let it sit for a few minutes... I've read that it's a good substitute!)  
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 cup granulated sugar
Orange food coloring (or a mix of red and yellow)


To make this batter just mix all the ingredient together and then add a little bit of orange food coloring.  I used Wilton's Icing Coloring red and yellow mixed together.  (This batter will naturally be a light orange color already, but I wanted it to be really really orange, so I added the coloring.)  

For the leaves and stems read the apple recipe.



Apple Pancakes:  


3/8 cup milk
1 small peeled, cored and grated apple
3/8 cup buttermilk (I don't have this just laying around, so I added lemon juice to milk and let it sit for a few minutes... I've read that it's a good substitute!)  
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 cup granulated sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Brown food coloring (or a mix of red and green, or a cocoa powder)

To make this batter mix all of the ingredients except for the cinnamon and apples.  

Take out a small amount of batter and set it aside in a small bowl (about 2 tablespoons).  This can be made brown by adding food coloring, or cocoa powder.  (I would normally have used cocoa powder, but I was really distracted and tired this morning, so I started adding red without thinking and had to save it by adding green!)  

Take the original batter and make it green.  (Still without apples or cinnamon!)  Take a few tablespoons of this batter and set it aside in a small bowl.  

Now, with the original batter that is now green, add the apples and cinnamon.  Finally!

Now... to make these pancakes!  You should have four types of batter, a lot of orange, a lot of apple, a small amount of green and a small amount of brown.  

Pour the orange and apple pancake batters like  normal pancakes.  (This amount of batter should be five pancakes of each flavor.)  Remember not to let these pancakes brown too much, especially on the first side because this will be the pretty and flat side!  

For the stems and leaves, I put the batter into small plastic bags and then cut the tips off.  For the stems just pipe the brown batter into a sort of rectangle that is 1"x1/4" and thinner at the top than the bottom.  You will need five of these for the apples, and then five brown dots for the orange stems.  For the leaves just pipe the green batter into leave shapes!  These pancakes are small enough that they don't really need to be flipped, so don't worry about it!

That's it!  Just place the pancake pieces on the plate and you're done!  A variation could be that if you want to pipe the stems and leaves onto the griddle first (overlapping a little bit) then you can pour the batter directly onto the griddle, and they will be a single pancake.  This might be a bit fancier, but in the end I think that I was happy with how they turned out!  
10  COOKING / Dessert / Single Serving Mug Cakes! (With several recipes) on: August 17, 2012 06:33:08 PM
Here are some super yummy microwave mug cakes that I've been obsessed with lately, as well as everyone else in the world!  I hope that these make good eye candy!  Oh, and btw... I'm warning you... you might want to have self control and not read these recipes... they are pretty dangerous because the ingredients are simple and they take less than a commercial break to make... Don't say I didn't warn you!  

Peanut Butter Cake and Chocolate Brownie:


Peanut Butter Cake:  

- 4Tblsp Flour
- 4Tblsp Sugar
- 1/4tsp Baking Powder
- 1Tblsp Sour Cream
- 3Tblsp Peanut Butter
- 3Tblsp Milk
- 3Tblsp Oil

Combine all the ingredients and whisk well with a fork.  Microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Be sure to use an oversized mug because it will double in size!  A better idea would be to split this recipe into two mugs!


Brownie:

- 2Tblsp Oil
- 2Tblsp Water
- 1/4tsp Vanilla
- Dash of Salt
- 2Tblsp cocoa
- 4Tblsp Sugar
- 4Tblsp Flour

Mix the wet ingredients well, then add the dry ingredients.  Whisk well with a fork then microwave for 60-90 seconds.  (The center will be just slightly molten.)  I didn't have chocolate chips, but next time I am definitely adding some to the top!

***Variation***  Add 1Tblsp Water and 1Tblsp Peanut Butter to the brownie cake.  (May take longer to microwave.)


Chocolate "Muffin" Cake:



Mix the following dry ingredients together- 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cocoa, 3 tbsp. flour, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Add the following wet ingredients- 2-3 tsp. oil, 3 tbsp. milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Microwave for 40 seconds, then in increments of 5-10 seconds until it's done.  (It took mine about 55 seconds.)


Molten Cinnamon Amaretto Cake:


Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
Cinnamon To Taste (This is a single serving, so it won't need much)
Cap-full of Vanilla Extract (Probably about 1/2 teaspoon?)
2 Tablespoons Oil
3-4 Tablespoons Amaretto

So just mix all of the ingredients together.  Start by adding 3 Tablespoons of Amaretto, and then if the batter is too thick, add more.  (It shouldn't be thin like pancake batter, but it shouldn't be thick like cookie dough either.)

Once it's all mixed up microwave it for 50-60 seconds.  Start with a short amount of time, maybe 40 seconds (depending on how powerful your microwave is, mine is week so it took 60 seconds) and work your way up in 5 or 10 second intervals.  The longer you do it, the more it will set up, but that also means it will become dryer.

Chocolate Rum Cake:


4 Tblsp Flour
4 Tblsp Packed Brown Sugar
3 Tblsp Rum (or water or milk or coffee or any liquid)
2 Tblsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tblsp Oil (or melted butter for a richer taste)

Microwave for about 60 seconds... and done!
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