Twix Cheesecake – Delish!

recipes using candy

Another wonderful recipe from my friend Danielle!  I made it for my best friend’s grandson’s birthday – he loves Twix.  And what a hit it was! Easy to make too, thanks to Danielle’s instructions.  Check out her blog, Hugs&CookiesXOXO – it’s divine!

recipes using twix bars

Chocolate Glazed Peanut Butter Brownies DIVINE

chocolate peanut butter bars

These chocolate glazed, peanut butter cream topped brownies truly are *divine*.  Sinful?  Maybe.  Worth it?  Definitely.

I found this recipe on the Womans Day (magazine) website and have modified it slightly.  Although there are 3 steps to it, they are all quite easy and take only minutes.

Important Note: Depending on what kind of peanut butter you use (I always use all- natural) and how thick the peanut butter is – the “creaminess” of the peanut butter layer could vary.  If it is too stiff (mine was), add 1 Tbsp. of heavy cream (or milk) at a time until it achieves your desired creaminess.  It should be rich, thick and smooth.

S’Mores Brownies – Delicious Any Time of Year!

marshmallow brownies

These s’mores brownies are so rich, so decadent and *SO* delicious that you’ll find yourself making them throughout the year.  Although there are several steps to making them, each is easy and takes only minutes to do.  Add these to your holiday dessert trays and see them disappear fast!

Here are some tips to help with preparation and serving:

  • brownies are best a little undercooked and fudgy.  Start checking for doneness at least 10 minutes before the brownie mix directions tell you too.  Take them out of the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • These chocolate ganache topped marshmallow brownies are best kept refrigerated until serving.  The picture above was taken 20 minutes after the brownie was cut – that’s when the marshmallow begins to ooze a bit which makes for a dramatic presentation.

Best Christmas Cake

 

christmas cake ideas

To say that your guests will love this cake is an understatement.  I served it and gave it as gifts throughout the 2012 holiday season and I’m already getting requests for it again this year!  For the cake layers I used my recipe for the Best Dark Chocolate but you should feel free to use any cake, from scratch or from a box, as the foundation of this terrific Christmas dessert recipe.

To create the crushed candy canes, I unwrapped a box of them (typically they have 8 to 10 to a box for under $2) and put them in a ziploc bag and used my meat pounder to crush them.  However, you can also use the bottom of a heavy pan, a rolling pin or a food processor.

I used less than 1 bag of Hershey’s® Candy Cane Kisses® to decorate the top of the cake.

Peppermint Candy Christmas Cake

  • 2 or 3 cake layers* (Diva Entertains Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe, if you’d like)
  • white buttercream frosting, recipe below or prepared frosting
  • 8-10 candy canes, crushed
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s® Candy Cane Kisses® (you will not use the entire bag), unwrapped
  • Wax paper strip

White Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 (32 oz.) package of powdered sugar (2 lbs)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6-7 Tbsp. of milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Put powdered sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use handheld electric beaters).  Start on low speed and beat sugar and butter together for 1 minute.  Add  vanilla extract and 4 Tbsp. of milk or heavy cream and turn mixer up to medium high for one minute.  Continue adding liquid, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until you achieve the frosting consistency that you desire (I like mine a bit on the thick and heavy side).

To Assemble and Decorate Cake:

Place one cake layer on plate or cake pedestal.  Place several dollops of frosting on layer and then spread to have a even layer (about 1/4″ thick).  If frosting is difficult to spread, run frosting spreader or knife under hot water and then flick to remove dripping water, then try frosting again.  The heat from the spreader will make the frosting much easier to spread.

Place second layer on top and proceed to frost top and sides with remaining frosting.

Once frosted, take a strip of wax paper (half the width of the side of the cake) and press it against the sides from the middle of the cake to the top so that the top half of the cake is covered.

Using your hands, press the crush candy canes against the lower half of the frosted cake.  When pieces fall on the plate/pedestal below the side, use your frosting spatula to lift and press into cake.

Place Hershey Kisses on the top of the cake in any pattern you’d like.  Press down gently to adhere Kisses to top of cake.

*I like to freeze my cake layers prior to frosting them as it makes them much easier to frost (barely any crumbs).  Once you have put on the desired  amount, remove the wax paper strip. You made need to smooth out the frosting that was hidden. To do so run frosting spreader or knife under hot water and then flick to remove dripping water, then smooth frosting.  The heat from the spreader will create a smooth finish.

 

 

Best Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies!

chocolate mint cookie recipe from scratch

Introducing what I think are the best chocolate mint chip cookies. It’s another great recipe out of my favorite cookie cookbook, Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York’s Milk  Cookie Bakery.  Every recipe I’ve tried  from this book has been absolutely *delicious*!

But now let’s talk about these mint chip cookies surrounded by a rich chocolate base.  Everything up to the chocolate chips is part of a ‘dark chocolate base dough’ to which your choice of ingredients can be added.  In this case, I added a 12 oz. bag of mint chips and a bit of peppermint extract.  My next go at it will be with peanut butter chips!

chocolate cookies with mint