I tried making pumpkin swirl brownies a few years ago, and just wasn’t happy with the results, even after tweaking a recipe several times. They still sounded like a great idea though, so I decided to give them another try with my own version. These Pumpkin Swirl Brownies make a great dessert or snack for fall and winter! Continue reading
The Giveaway is now closed. I’m reviewing a new cookbook, When Pies Fly, and I’m also having a giveaway for two copies—2 winners will each receive a copy! Continue reading below for details on how to enter the giveaway!
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t make pies often (especially with homemade crust) but I do want to get better at it! Which is why I was happy to review a new cookbook called When Pies Fly: Handmade Pastries from Strudels to Stromboli, Empanadas to Knishes by food writer Cathy Barrow. It’s a book for both novice and experienced pie-makers, with sweet and savory recipes ranging from free-form galettes to pretty tarts, hand pies, and more.
This is a book that can come in handy at the holidays, when more people probably make pies and other special treats than at any other time of the year. After all, what would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie, right? But this book helps you create a fresh take on classic favorites. Discover Chocolate Pecan Tassie Galette…Pear, Sweet Potato, and Pistachio Strudel…savory Thanksgiving-in-a-Bite Pie Poppers…Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings...savory Spinach, Cranberry, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Hand Pies. Continue reading
Sour milk cake may not sound that appetizing, but trust me, it’s a great little snack cake made with something you would otherwise toss, so it’s perfect for those of us who like to Continue reading
This is a good, easy cookie bar recipe that I’ve had for quite awhile! I think I originally found it in a magazine ad and then I came across it later at Kraft Recipes. This recipe uses a cake mix as part of the ingredients for the yummy chocolatey crust, so it’s simple to put together. I usually prefer making things from scratch, but sometimes a mix comes in handy if you’re in a time crunch. And these bars are so good you may not mind that they’re made with cake mix!
My version of these bars is a little different from the original recipe–I usually use pecans instead of walnuts (this time I used a little of both), dark chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks, and regular chocolate cake mix instead of German chocolate. When you’re in the mood for a very chocolatey, chewy, caramel treat, this is a great recipe to try! Save some time by unwrapping the caramels ahead of time before you make these!
DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP CARAMEL NUT BARS by NancyC, adapted from Kraft Recipes
Makes a 13 x 9″ pan of bars
- 1 (11-ounce) bag Kraft caramels, unwraped
- 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
- 1 package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided (I used a mix of pecans and walnuts)
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap caramels and melt them with 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until caramels are completely melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
Mix remaining milk, dry cake mix and melted butter in a large bowl. Press half of the cake mixture firmly onto the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan to form crust. Bake 8 minutes, then remove from oven.
Sprinkle 1 cup of the nuts and 3/4 cup of the dark chocolate chips over the crust. Drizzle evenly with melted caramel mixture. Top with teaspoonfuls of the remaining cake mixture; press gently into caramel mixture with back of spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts and 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
Put back in the oven and bake an additional 16 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Note: if you want to eat these warm (they’d be great with some ice cream on top!) wait about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting them so they won’t be so gooey. For less gooey bars, wait about an hour before cutting them, when they’ve cooled more. Be sure not to wait more than a few hours before cutting them; if you do, they will be harder to cut since the caramel and bottom crust will harden some.
It may be a little tricky to get your first piece out of the pan without crumbling it a bit, but once that’s out, the rest of your bars should come out easily!
The combination of dark chocolate, nuts, and caramel is so good! What’s your favorite chocolate/caramel dessert?
Sometimes I get the greatest recipes when I’m in the lunchroom at work! Like this Avocado Chocolate Mousse. I got the recipe from Robin, who has a blog of her own. She was telling me about a health and nutrition event she went to where they were preparing recipes with healthy ingredients and this Avocado Chocolate Mousse was one of them. I love avocados, but avocado and chocolate? Robin assured me that this mousse tasted like a creamy chocolate truffle and she was right!
This mousse is very rich, but in a healthy way–so you’ll want to use tiny dessert glasses, like they do in some restaurants, to serve this. It will definitely satisfy your chocolate cravings! And it’s dairy-free, unless you decide to top it with a little light whipped cream like I did. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Robin! 🙂
AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Makes 4 small servings
- 2 large ripe avocados
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or honey (I used honey)
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Optional: light whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with light whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, if desired.
Note: This can be made the day before you serve it.
You don’t really need to add the whipped cream or sprinkles because this mousse tastes great all by itself–but it does make the dessert look a little cuter! Have you made any dessert recipes using avocado as an ingredient?
I’m linking this to Fiesta Friday at the Novice Gardener.