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Chocolate Macroon Bars

14 Feb

2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

6 TBSP butter, melted

6 TBSP powdered sugar

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

3-3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup Dark Chocolate chips

1/4 cup whipping cream

 

Heat oven to 350

Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Combine cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a large bowl. Firmly press in the bottom of prepared pan. Stir together sweetened condensed milk and coconut in a large bowl, mixing well. Carefully drop by spoonfuls over crust; spread evenly.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges of coconut begin to brown slightly. Cool.

Place chocolate chips and whipping cream in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium ( 50 %) power 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at medium in 15 second increments; stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Cool until slightly thickened. Spread over cooled bars. Cover and refrigerate several hours. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes about 36 bars

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Chocolate Caramel Torte

16 Jan

1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 (3 oz) packages ladyfingers

1 (13 oz) jar Nutella

20 Kraft caramels

2-1/2 cups whipping cream, divided

1-1/2 cups chopped pecans

1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 ( 8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

3 ( 1 oz) semi-sweet baking squares

2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar

 

In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips on high 90 seconds or until melted; stirring at 30 second intervals. Cool 5 minutes and set aside. Split ladyfingers, and stand halves around the edge of a 9 inch springform pan, placing rounded sides against pan. Line the bottom of pan with remaining ladyfinger halves. Spread Nutella evenly on ladyfingers on bottom of pan.

Cook caramels and 1/3 cup cream in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted. Stir in pecans until coated; spoon evenly over nutella spread.

Beat 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar and cream cheese in a medium bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate until blended.

Beat remaining 2 cups cream in a medium bowl at medium speed until stiff; fold into cream cheese mixture, and spoon evenly over caramel layer in pan.

Shave baking chocolate squares with a vegetable peeler evenly on top. Sprinkle with 2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar. Chill 1 hour

 

Red Velvet Cake

16 Jan

A boxed cake mix makes easy work of the Southern beauty.

 

1 Duncan Hines Butter cake mix (substituting is not recommended)

1 cup buttermilk

1 stick butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

2 TBSP cocoa

1 TBSP baking soda

1 ounce red food coloring

3 eggs

1 TBSP white vinegar

 

Preheat oven to 350

Mix first 5 ingredients together until moist. Add vinegar and baking soda; beat 2 minutes. Bake according to directions on cake mix box. Cool completely

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, softened

1 (16 oz) box confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 pecan pieces

1/2 cup coconut

Mix cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add vanilla and sugar; beat until fluffy. Add pecans and coconut; gently stir until combined.

Key Lime Cupcakes

16 Jan

1 box lemon cake mix

1 box ( 4-serving size) lime jello

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup Key lime juice

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

 

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 TBSP Key lime juice

 

Frosting:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350

Place paper baking cups in 2 muffin pans. In a large bowl, beat cake mix and gelatin on low-speed 30 seconds. Add remaining cup cake ingredients; beat at low-speed for 30 seconds; then beat 3 minutes 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary. Divide batter evenly among pans, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Move to cooling racks and pierce holes in top of cup cakes with a fork in several places.

In a small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough of the 2 TBSP lime juice until glaze is smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle and spread over cupcakes. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low-speed, beat in vanilla and powdered sugar until mixed; beat at medium speed until fluffy. Frost cupcakes, mounding and swirling frosting in the center. Garnish with grated lime zest if desired.

 

Makes 24 cupcakes

Peanut Butter Truffles

15 Jan

1 (1 lb.) package peanut-butter sandwich cookies

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 (1 lb.) packages chocolate candy coating, melted

 

Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor, process cookies until finely ground. Add cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. process until combined. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on prepared pan. Freeze 15 minutes. Using 2 forks, dip balls in melted chocolate. Place on baking sheet and let chocolate set.

 

Yield: 4 dozen

 

 

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

12 Jan

1 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups mashed bananas * about 4 medium

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Preheat oven to 350

Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow baking pan for 6 to 8 minutes; stirring occasionally. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low-speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8×4 loaf pans.

Bake 1 hour, shield with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool in pans 10 minutes.Transfer to cooling racks; Cool completely.

Drizzle with glaze

 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp orange zest

3 TBSP orange juice

Mix all together until smooth.

 

 

Four Layer Coconut Cake

12 Jan

3 cups all-purpose flour

2-2/3 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups butter, softened

1 cup milk

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp coconut extract

1 tsp vanilla

5 large eggs

1 (6 oz) package frozen flaked coconut, thawed

1 cup coconut

Coconut Filling

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 400

Beat first 6 ingredients at medium speed until well blended. Add extracts, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in frozen coconut. Pour into 4 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks and cool completely. Reduce heat to 350 and place 1 cup coconut in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted; stirring occasionally. Spread coconut filling between layers leaving a one inch border. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Spread on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and sides, pressing gently to adhere.

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