Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Milk Chocolate Cadbury Mini Egg Brownies


Milk Chocolate Cadbury Mini Egg Brownies

Has spring arrive for you all? Other than the spring winds, we've only had a few peeks of spring here and there. I still wear my winter coat in the mornings and have gotten away a little bit with not wearing a coat or sweater in the afternoons.

It just doesn't seem like spring to me this year. I think I might have said something similar to this last year... but if you think about last year, I'm doing much better with my spring/Easter baking than last year! This is my second post with a spring-y dessert and I have a few more that I'm planning on sharing if all things go as planned!

These brownies are from Bakeaholic Mama and are incredibly cute and festive. These are milk chocolate brownies to complement the milk chocolate eggs. This recipe also uses Greek yogurt which adds a little bit of tang to the brownies as well, which were quite moist and yummy. I didn't make any alterations to this recipe though it looks like I used much more chopped candy eggs. I measured after I chopped the candy eggs, which might be why there looks like more. My candy also didn't sink into the brownie and stayed mostly on top of the brownies (I just pressed them into the batter only slightly just so they don't fall off when eating), which I thought made them beautiful.

You could easily change up the candy in this recipe (I've already got some plans!) or you could even use a different brownie recipe. Like dark chocolate? Use a different brownie recipe. Don't want to make the brownies from scratch? Use a boxed mix. Carrie/Bakeaholic Mama originally used a blondie recipe version of this recipe. I don't think you can really go wrong!

Happy Easter and happy eating! Maybe spring will arrive this weekend too!





Fatty doesn't understand she can't have brownies!








Milk Chocolate Cadbury Mini Egg Brownies
From Bakeaholic Mama

Ingredients:
1 c. of butter (2 sticks)
3 oz. chopped milk chocolate
1/2 c. unsweetened coco powder
1  1/4 c. of sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/4 c. of plain Greek yogurt.
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. Milk Chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small sauce pan melt butter and milk chocolate together over low heat (the lowest possible!). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium mixing bow,l mix sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together. Whisk in the butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula mix in flour and salt. Once combined, fold in Greek yogurt.

In a parchment paper lined 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish spread brownie batter on the bottom. Sprinkle chopped mini eggs on the top. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes. Or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing.



Friday, March 22, 2013

Cotton Candy Cake Bars


Cotton Candy Cake Bars


So Easter is fast approaching and I've got some great recipes lined up to share with you! Today is the first of a few spring-y dessert recipes that I'll be sharing in the next couple weeks.

But before I get into all of that, I must share with you one of the best burgers that I've EVER had, courtesy of Gordon Ramsay's restaurant BurGR in Las Vegas. Joe and I drove up to Las Vegas last Thursday for the Mountain West Conference Tournament to see the University of New Mexico's men's basketball team win! The tournament was a very exciting and fun experience that I think all Lobo fans should be able to experience. Lobos took over Vegas that weekend for sure! (Sadly, the Lobos lost their first game of the NCAA tournament last night, which shouldn't dampen all of their achievements this year or the past several years... Gosh, who ever thought this girl would be talking about sports...)

After the Lobos won the tournament on Saturday, we went to check out the Strip and ended up eating dinner at Gordon Ramsay's BurGR located in Planet Hollywood casino. I had the Char Siu Burger, which was probably the best burger I've ever had! I'm part Asian and grew up eating char siu and other fun foods which are quite a delicacy for me, especially since we don't get much of that type of food in Albuquerque (more specifically dim sum... good dim sum!). I was so thrilled at the thought of the char siu burger, which had a slice of Chinese roast pork on top of the burger patty as well as a "coleslaw" of carrots and daikon radish and topped with cilantro (very reminiscent of a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich). Some of all of my favorite things wrapped up in one and it was so good!

The truffle fries, which I was equally excited about, were a anti-climatic so let's not focus on that. Before I continue with the rest of my post, here are some photos from the trip and my favorite hamburger to-date!


Lobo Louie and the UNM cheerleaders at a pep rally

Joe and myself enjoying our first MWC tournament

After the big win! Congratulations Lobos!

The menu at BurGR

Char Siu Burger

In my Lobo gear and can't wait to eat!

The inside of the best burger ever!

Back to business!

These Cotton Candy Cake Bars don't really have anything to do with spring other than their pretty blue color that looks like the New Mexico skies in spring (when it's not windy!) and the Easter sprinkles on top (they were the only sprinkles I had that weren't Christmas or Halloween colors).

This dessert is super easy to make since it uses a boxed cake mix and canned frosting. I love the Duncan Hines Frosting creations! You can get creative with the flavors, as shown by this recipe. These bars are very moist and are right in the middle of being a cake and bars. Only thing I might change for the future is to leave out the white chocolate chips. While they were cute, they didn't really add anything for me to these bars. So add them in or don't, they're still wonderful!

The cake bars are sweet though the cotton candy flavor is more subtle so you're not going to get overwhelmed by a cotton candy flavor. They are delicious and easy and definitely worth trying (whether you're making them or eating them!)

Happy official spring everyone! I hope you enjoy this recipe and I can't wait to share the other recipes I have in store for you.











Cotton Candy Cake Bars
From The Domestic Rebel

1 box Funfetti cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil
2 pkts Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Recipe Creations Flavor Mix
1 c. white chocolate chips (these can be optional)
1 can Duncan Hines Frosting Starter kit (sold next to the flavor mixes)
Sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil and ONE packet of the cotton candy mix with a rubber spatula until blended and combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 14-16 minutes or until edges are lightly golden and center is set. Allow to cool completely before frosting (center will set up a little more once removed from oven; just don’t overbake these!)

Stir the remaining flavor packet into the can of icing (or prepare your own vanilla buttercream, if you wish). Spread the icing evenly onto the cooled bars and top liberally with sprinkles. Pop in the fridge to set the icing for about an hour before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container for approximately 1-2 days. (I kept mine in the fridge.)



Monday, March 11, 2013

Honey Pecan Pork Chops


Honey Pecan Pork Chops

I feel like I owe you a non-dessert recipe! I noticed the other day that it's been nearly three (!!!) months since I've posted a recipe that isn't a dessert. I have several recipes that I want to share, but just haven't gotten around to posting about them. The photos are on my camera, desktop, Dropbox, waiting to be shared and I just need to find time and get them all posted. I guess it's the sugary sweet recipes that catch my attention the most (not always the best thing)... and I suppose this recipe, while not a dessert recipe, is also one of them. But on another note, I'm really going to try hard and post at least one recipe a week!

While this is a meat dish, it has a slight sweetness (read: not overly sweet) to it will appeal to anyone that loves the savory-sweet combination. It's also a super fast meal that you can get on the table in less than half an hour. Just steam up some vegetables while the meat is cooking, and you're ready to go! I bought one of those steamer packs from the produce section where you just poke holes in it and stick it in the microwave. Joe's sister showed us them when we visited her a couple months ago and it was such a great idea that now I have a couple of them in the freezer. She also showed us how to steam sweet potatoes in the microwave, which would actually be perfect for this dish too!

I made several changes to this dish, but it is still very close to the original. I used corn-starch instead of flour to make it gluten-free and used a thicker pork chop (I like them more) instead of the thin ones. I also only had two pieces of pork, but kept the sauce increments the same-- I didn't have a ton of sauce left over but the pecans were piled nicely high. I, personally, didn't think the sauce was too much but you can reduce it if you'd like.

I'm looking forward to making this dish again soon and I hope you give this a try! I wasn't too sure how it would come out, but it was a nice treat. Sweet and savory folks, this one is for you!







Honey Pecan Pork Chops
Adapted from Sugar & Spice by Celeste


Ingredients:
2 pork loin chops, boneless, about 3/4 to 1-inch thick
4 Tbs. corn starch
salt, for sprinkling
pepper, for sprinkling
1 Tbs. butter
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. pecans, halved or roughly chopped

Directions:
Pat the pork chops with a paper towel to remove some moisture. Season pork chops well with salt and pepper on each side. Place corn starch in a small bowl and dip the pork chops, making sure to coat each side with the corn starch.

Stir together honey and pecans in another bowl. (If the honey is too thick, melt it in the microwave using 10-second intervals until it becomes runny-- do this before you mix it with the pecans). Set aside.

Melt butter in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown cutlets on one side, then flip to brown on the other side. After the other side is browned, add the honey-pecan mixture to the skillet and stir gently. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer for 7-8 minutes until the pork is done (about 145 degrees on an instant thermometer).

Plate the pork chops and spoon the honey-pecan sauce over the pork.



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