Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate (love) Buttons (10)

Hugs with Valentines Day M&Ms
Chocolate Kisses with Peanut Butter M&Ms
Square Checkerboard Pretzels
Hershey's Kisses (of your choice)
M&Ms (of your choice)

  1. Preheat oven to 170F. Place pretzels on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  2. Place a Hershey's Kiss on top of each pretzel.
  3. Bake in oven for 5-8 minutes - the kisses should be melted all the way through, but still init's original shape.
  4. You can test to see if they are ready by taking an M&M and placing it in the center and pushing down. If you can push down easily all the way, they are done. Otherwise, put them back in the oven until ready.
  5. Take them out and push an M&M inside the center of each kiss.
  6. Let them cool on the cookie sheet until hard.

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels (10) (10)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
7/8 to 1 cup warm water
  1. Beat everything until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough, place it in a bag, and allow it to rest 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the "dip." Mix 1 cup boiling water with 2 tbsp baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm or cooler.
  3. After the 30 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface.
  4. Preheat oven to 475F. Prepare baking sheet(s) by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal slices (about 70g/2.5oz each)
  6. shape each piece into a rough log and let them rest uncovered for 5 minutes.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope, (28" to 30")and twist each rope into a pretzel.
  8. Pour the baking soda/water mixture into a 9" square pan.
  9. Place as many as you can fit into the pan with the mixture. Spoon the water over them; let them soak for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet smooth side up.
    • This baking soda "dip" will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color.
  10. Sprinkle pretzels lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered for 10 minutes.
  11. Bake the pretzels for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
  12. While the pretzels are baking, melt 3 tbsp butter. Unsalted is best if you're using salt on the pretzels.
  13. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter

To Double:
- Amount of yeast remains the same.
- Salt is multiplied by 1.5
- Everything else is doubled.

Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce

1 1/2 cups warm (100 to 115F) water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
22 ounces flour (approx. 4 1/2 cups)
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp butter, melted
pretzel or kosher salt

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, and yeast on low speed for 10 seconds. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and butter. Mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approx. 4-5 minutes.
    Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil i a wide 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24 inch rope. Slice each rope into 1 inch pieces. Place lightly damp towel over the pretzel pieces to prevent them from drying out while you roll and cut the other pieces.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, lower a handful of the pretzel pieces into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds, flipping them around in the water with the spoon a couple of times. Remove the pretzel pieces from the water using the spoon, drain as best you can, and place them on the baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter and spring with pretzel/kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approx. 10-12 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter before serving.
    Serve warm.
Cheese Sauce:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (not pre-shredded)
Kosher salt

  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps of flour remain. Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese has melted. Add a pinch of salt, if needed. Serve warm.
    Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals.

Brownies: Mint Filling and Topping

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs butter or margarine, softened
3 Tbs whipping cream
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
2 drops green food color (optional)

1/3 cup whipping cream
1 1/3 cups (8oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter (do not use margarine)

  1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom of 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Make the brownies of your choice. Cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours)
  2. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. spread over cooled brownies. refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.
  4. Pour topping over filling, spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. Store covered in refrigerator.

Chocolate Embellishments

4 to 6 ounces of chocolate (60% cocao baking chips)

  1. Trace the design you want onto apiece of parchment paper. Flip paper over and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Put chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on High for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue microwaving in 30 second intervals, removing and stirring until completely melted. 
  3. Spoon chocolate into a resealable plastic bag, snip off a small part of one corner and pipe the chocolate onto the parchment paper following the design you traced.
    • Piping at least 1/4" thick are more stable and least likely to break.
  4. Place baking sheet in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Gently peel the embellishments off the paper and place them on your frosted cupcakes.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


2/9/2012 Edit:
New plan.. I'm finding that being a broke college student who overloads on credits that I don't have the time or money to do all of these things that I want. But I will at least try to post about them when I do make them, photos are not promised though because I always forget :( sorry.
ALSO: I may not write out all the recipes, rather post links [and a picture or two] to the website or blog that already has it all set up.

I will change the date on this post as I try new things that way it is always on top when something has been reviewed.

Links to the craft/chow, the date, and the various ratings are listed below!

Chocolate Crinkles     (Long ago...)     Me: {
Cinnamon Toast Rolls     12/19/2011     Me & Boyfriend: |     Kaylee: ~
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles     Boyfriend ~    Me:{
[I think they would be better with a different cookie dough recipe. Boyfriend also wants me to make "mini" ones like at the movies.]
Homemade Thin Mints     Boyfriend y     Me:z
[These would be better if you add more mint! But boyfriend didn't care for them at all.]