December 31, 2010

Mint Chocolate Brownies & Hot Chocolate

For the December recipes, I made the chocolate mix and mint brownies! All were fantastic, so thanks to those who contributed. I'm happy to have the chocolate mix to last the rest of the winter, and I think I might introduce mint brownies into other seasons besides Christmas. Yum! If you'd like to read the rest of my post, please feel free to check out The Lovely Lady Baker blog

Happy New Year!

December 5, 2010

December Recipes

I asked Joanna, one of our newest to share a recipe with us. I was specific though... I've known Joanna since college and she is super sweet. She shared her Hot Chocolate recipe with me once and after that I was addicted. Here is what Joanna has to say about her recipe:

"I grew up making this Hot Coco Mix with my mom every winter. We would fill a big tupperware container and keep it near the stove. When I moved away, my mom would mail me a bag of it.
A fun way to incorporate this into Christmas gifts is to fill a mason jar with the mix, top it off with some mini marshmallows, and tie a ribbon with instructions around the top. It is also a big hit at retreats, holiday parties, or just to snuggle up on the couch during a cold winter day. Enjoy!"

Hot Chocolate Mix
8 quarts dry milk (11c)
8 oz French vanilla powdered coffee creamer
16 oz nonfat powdered dairy creamer
1 lb milk chocolate mix (Quik or off-brand, both work well)
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix well (pouring the ingredients in layers helps). Store in air tight container. Fill cup or mug 1/2 full with coco mix then add hot water. (I like to save room to add a little cold milk to make it creamier and cool it off faster.)

You can substitute 24 oz of nonfat dairy creamer instead of using the French vanilla creamer. However, my mom believes the French vanilla is what makes it so creamy and delicious :)

Who can resist an incredible warm brownie with hot chocolate? I hope none of you. I've posted two brownie recipes below, but feel free to use your favorite and share your recipe with us! 

Mint Brownies
Mint seems to be a  good pairing with chocolate, no? Here is a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that looks delicious! 

Check out the link above for the full recipe! 

and one more just for fun
Espresso Brownies
mmmm.... coffee and chocolate. 

1/2 C butter
4 oz bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
3 oz unsweetened chocolate coarsely chopped
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 T espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 C miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
chocolate cream cheese frosting

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and cool. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line an 8x8x2 inch pan with foil extending over the edges. grease foil and set aside.  

Add sugar to cooled chocolate. Add eggs one at a time beating until just combined. Stir in espresso powder and vanilla. In a small bowl combine flour, soda and salt. Add flour mix to chocolate and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate pieces. Spread batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Spread with chocolate cream cheese frosting and top with chocolate covered espresso beans. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
In a small saucepan heat and stir 1/2 C semisweet chocolate pieces over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and cool. In a medium bowl, stir together 3oz cream cheese with 1/4 C powdered sugar. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth. Store in a single layer in an airtight container. 

from Better Homes and Gardens 30 Blissful Brownies Recipes 

What's next? maybe a contest?
Share with us your own creation for a savory baked item by December 30th, and you'll automatically be entered into our February recipe contest. Anything you can imagine. We're going to have a vote in early January and your recipe will be featured as one of our February recipes. What's in for you? Well, I'm glad you asked! Our very first winner will receive a copy of Savory Baking by Mary Cech! So how do we do this? I'm going to submit all of your recipes in random order in one post. You'll have the entire month of January to vote, and the winner will be announced February 1st on our monthly recipe post. More on voting to follow.
The fine print:
1. You MUST use your own recipe. If your recipe is based on another fantastic recipe, you must have changed at least 4 things about it to call it your own. Please be honest!
2. All entries must be received by December 30th at 12:00pm PST to be considered.
3. You must have made this recipe at least twice. Preferably, it should be something you really love and would like to share with everyone. 
4. There is no restriction on difficulty. We like a good challenge every now and then.