Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mini Pecan Pies

I have never made pecan anything but when I came across a recipe for Pecan Pies I thought I would give it a go. It is relatively easy - I didn't have to get the mixer out at all and you just whack in the oven and let them cook.

The original recipe came from Bakerella but I didn't want to make 3 pies or 36 mini's so I adjusted the recipe a little and although mine certainly do not look anything like her gorgeous pies they taste damn good so I will stick with this recipe. 

Mini Pecan Pies - adjusted from Bakerella
130g Pecan pieces 
85gms melted unsalted butter
150g brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon SR flour
150g glucose syrup 
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 mini frozen pie crusts 

  • Melt margarine in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until melted and set aside.
  • Prepare your pecans. Remove any unwanted brown pieces from the pecan crevices and shake out pecan crumbs in a colander.
  • Place brown sugar in a large bowl. Work out any lumps with the back of a spoon. If the brown sugar is too hard, you can loosen it up in the microwave. Heat it for a few seconds and it will be fine.
  • Add a heaping serving tablespoon of self-rising flour and stir until the flour disappears into the brown sugar.
  • Add a bottle of light corn syrup. Then add 1 serving tablespoon of vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Add melted margarine. Fold carefully into the mixture so it doesn’t splatter. Fold until the margarine is thoroughly worked in and disappears.
  • In a separate bowl, crack open six eggs. Remove the “roosters” and loosely beat the eggs with your spoon.
  • Fold the eggs into the pie mixture until they disappear.
  • Add pecans and stir until completely coated.
  • Grab a dessert/soup spoon and spoon mixture in to mini pie crusts. Do not overfill. I did and they overflowed so be careful. I would suggest that you have more than 12 as you have mixture left over so this saves the wastage. 
  • Cook in oven on a lined tray for 35 minutes. These will rise and fall so they are done when they have 'fallen'. 
These are really yummy so give them a go. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chocolate Cake Donut Balls

Oh how I love donuts. The kids love donuts. The kids like chocolate, so when my little Miss asked me what I would be making yesterday I said "Nothing". But then I thought about it and decided I would try a recipe I saw at How Sweet It is. They looked too yummy to not try them. 

These were very simple to make but I didn't have enough cocoa powder - in fact I only had 1/2 cup instead of the full cup so I substituted it with 1/2 cup flour. I think that was a mistake and even though these are so delicious they are actually quite dry. Also, instead of doing the balls just under a golf ball size I did them half that size so we had approx 72 balls not the 36 that is said. You decide of course if you try the recipe. 

You can find the recipe here

Tip: Slowly heat the oil. Do not heat quickly and then turn the heat down. I made this mistake and burned the first two batches I fried. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Red Velvet Roll out cookies

Are you seeing a little obsession here.....???

No.....!!!! Yes.....!!! Maybe...!!!!!

LOL. I found a great recipe for Red Velvet Roll out cookies at Sweet Sugar Belle. Most people who have made Red Velvet 'anything' you will know that you add buttermilk to it. That is what (I think) makes it. They have a unique taste that is to die for. So this recipe calls for Buttermilk powder instead of the liquid form. Thankfully I found the powder easily online and just had to wait for it to arrive. 

I made these babies for the assistant teacher who is leaving today to the wonderful world of retirement and because she likes red velvet I added a pack of buttermilk powder and the recipe so she can make her own. So awesome. She was so happy and she also loved the mug that we bought. So cute. She will be missed but thankfully this is our last year at the kinder and we only have one more term left with a different teacher. 

These are extremely yummy and addictive and easy to make. Give them a go. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Red Velvet Brownies

If anyone knows me they know that I love love love love Red Velvet Cake. If I could I would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner but alas it is so very very naughty and it would be impossible to do that - drat....!!!!! LOL. Today at my little girls kinder they are having a farewell afternoon tea for the assistant teacher Carol and her favourite it Red Velvet so I had to make some cupcakes - they are all iced and ready to go and then I made this - Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting. Okay so my diet is well and truly suffering from all this yummy goodness but this is so yummy. So decadent and the frosting makes it oh so yummo.

I am not very good at frosting things so it is a big mess but I will one day get it right.

Red Velvet Brownies from How Sweet it is - go to her blog to see the whole kit and kaboodle. I used Cream Cheese Frosting not White Chocolate Frosting but I am guessing it just brings that added bit of sweetness which it does not need (I think anyway).


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake

Okay I am the best. Yes I am not always full of confidence in my everyday life - in fact I am very much a shy person but when it comes to crafting or creating things I am good at a lot of things and cooking/baking seems to be working out to be the same.

I need to start by saying that I used to hate baking - thought it took too much time to do things. WRONG. If anything, if you are really organized and have all your ingredients and utensils and tools ready to work with, baking does not take a lot of time at all.

So yesterday I thought I would make a Baked Chocolate Cheesecake but I couldn't find a recipe that I thought was suitable for me - so I made up one myself. You will have to forgive the 'nasty' photos but I wasn't actually intending on putting up a post about the CC but I tasted it and OMG it is divine. Hence - I AM GOOD.

This is creamy and decadent and has the right amount of chocolaty flavour.

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake
100g Chocolate ripple biscuits - finely crushed
25gms castor sugar
70g melted unsalted butter

500g Cream cheese (2pkts)
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 Tbls plain flour
3 large eggs - room temperature
50mls double cream
150gms melted dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 177degrees celcius (350f) with a baking tray in the middle.

For crust:
Blitz your choc ripple biscuits and sugar in a food processor to get it nice and fine and mixed well. Melt butter in microwave and add it to the biscuits and sugar. Mix well and press in to a springform pan and place in fridge to chill while you make the filling.

For filling:
In a bowl of a stand mixer (can of course use a handheld) place the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2mins). Scrap down the sides when needed. Add an egg at a time and mix (about 30secs). Scrape sides and add cream and melted chocolate. Mix until well incorporated. Remove crust from fridge and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on the tray sitting in the middle of the oven.

Bake for 15mins and then turn heat down to 120 degrees (250f) and continue to bake for a further 45 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake lookes wet and wobbly. I actually baked for the full 45mins and took out. Cool on a wire rack. Remove the outside of the springform pan, and chill further. Place in the fridge when completely cool. Chill overnight.

As this is baked you can also freeze it but chances are you won't have any left over to freeze.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chocolate Coconut balls

Here in Australia we have 'Rum Balls' but technically they aren't really rum balls as they don't contain any Rum so I did a search for Choc Coconut balls and I got the exact recipe that I needed. My kids love them. My hubby loves them. I love them but they go so quickly so I generally only make them on special occasions like birthdays as they are really messy to make but oh so simple. Four ingredients is all it takes and they are ready in a flash.

Chocolate Coconut Balls
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 packet of Marie biscuits
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
More coconut for rolling them in.

Blitz all the biscuits in a food processor. Make sure all the biscuits are broken up. Put in the other ingredients and mix well. Make sure all the biscuit crumbs are mixed in.

Roll a small ball with the mixture. I normally find them so sticky so grab an inch ball of mix and put a bit of coconut on it and roll. Then roll it in coconut. Ta da....!!!! Easy peasy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The End All for Chocolate cookies

Okay I am not good at icing. I just for some reason can't hold a piping bag. My hubby keeps telling me that it takes a lot of practice and I am sure he is right but I am a perfectionist and I want to get it right NOW. So my solution is to use icing bottle. Lots of fun for me and the kids. They loved decorating the cookies that we made. Don't know whether they like the taste of them but they like making them at least. So here is my first 'good' decorating 'attempt' at cookies.

I tried the Royal icing with meringue powder - here in Australia it is Pavlova magic as proper meringue powder is not available here. I tried it. No good. The powder didn't dissolve properly so the icing was 'grainy' and didn't taste right. So we made the icing with eggs whites instead. Much better and certainly tasted better when set properly.

My apples. I am experimenting with these for a surprise
retirement party that the Kinder is throwing for the assistant
teacher. Unfortunately I didn't wait until icing was fully dry
and we have a pattern from back of the cookie on them. Oops.
All ready to ice. I made about 50 cookies of various sizes.
Next time I will roll the dough out thinner.
The kids decorating. They had lots of fun.
My creations. Just experimenting.
A couple of Almond Sugar cookies in there as I had some in
a container from last lot that didn't work.
These were fabulous with the icing fully set. Yummo. Yummo. Yummo.

You can find the cookie recipe here at LilaLoa.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I love love love love Red Velvet cake. Ever since I bought some from Cupcake Central here in Melbourne a year back for the first time I was in love. So I bought some Red Velvet cake mix. Yummo but I have been wanting to try them from scratch and when I received my 'Cake Boss' cookbook - lo and behold there is a recipe in there for it. So I thought I would make them before my second lot of Buttermilk doesn't go bad.

Seeing my middle child was home sick from school today due to an extremely sore throat I thought I would make them as he wants to be the chef. I used half the recipe as it actually makes 2 x 9inch cakes or 24 cupcakes but I didn't want to make that much.

The below recipe is the full recipe not what I used. I halved the quantities - yep I put in half an egg.

Red Velvet Cake from 'Baking with the Cake Boss'
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening - I used Crisco
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon (TBS) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (I used normal)
4 1/2 teaspoons (ts) red food colouring gel
3 cups of cake flour
1 1/4 ts salt
1 1/4 ts vanilla extract
1 1/4 ts baking soda
1 1/4 ts white vinegar
3 extra large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- Something to grease the pans

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
1. Put shortening, sugar, cocoa, food colouring, flour, salt, vanilla, baking soda and vinegar in a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until mixed, then raise speed to medium for about a minute.
2. Add eggs - one at a time and mix for about 1 minute each until mixture absorbs them. Add the buttermilk in two portions - make sure you scrap the sides between each addition.
3. Grease your baking dish or cupcakes pan (I just used patties and skipped this step).
4. Divide the batter into your pans - for the mini cupcakes I used 1 teaspoon for each one and the big ones 1 ice cream scoop each.
5. For 9inch cake bake for 35-40mins - mini cupcakes bake for 10mins and big cupcakes for 18mins.

Ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
250g block cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix butter and cream cheese together until well mixed
Add vanilla and mix. Add icing sugar in batches (1/4 cup at a time if you can) and mix each batch for about a minute. Put on cupcakes and put in fridge or serve straight away. As it has cream cheese you can't leave out.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Snickers, Milky Way and Choc Brownie Bites

Good morning everyone. If you are in Australia you are probably all set for Fathers Day today. I am up and DH is having a sleep in so thought I would post this before the morning got busy.

Last week or even the week before I made 'Snickers Brownie Muffins' - big failure. I used the wrong flour and they rose and were a total flop. I took them all out of the cupcake papers (which is a big no no by the way as they stick) and put in the food processor. I thought - "Hmmm I will make a brownie slice with cheesecake". I did but it turned out - unique. LOL. Used the wrong cream cheese so it didn't set properly. Might show you the disaster one day but today on to these gorgeous bites.

I got the recipe for these at My Baking Addiction here. These are delicious but mine just didn't turn out the way hers did but they are yummy all the same.

Top left is Snickers, Right is Milky Way and the other plain.
I think I overcooked them as I did for 10mins and should have left at 9 mins but live and learn right. That is the whole thing about trying out other peoples recipes. I didn't do the caramel sauce - as for me too much of a hassle but if I had people over and we had these for desserts I would go all out. I used Milky Way snack bars in some as the kids are not too keen on the Snickers and also left about 4 without anything at all. All really yummy. Go to My Baking Addiction and try them for yourself.