dulce de leche brownies

Last night’s baking adventure kinda took all day because of making the dulce de leche. It’s really simple, just have to simmer a can of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours, but still, that’s three hours you have to wait to get this awesome, tasty caramel. Of course, you could just pour it on some ice cream, or dip some apples into it. But I made dulce de leche brownies. I used the recipe for brownies that I’ve been using since I got the kid’s cookbook. (when I was around 12). They are really gooey, fudgy brownies to begin with, and the addition of dulce de leche just made that that much gooier and fudgier. Since I just folded in the duce de leche (there wasn’t enough to spread out an even layer) the brownies just look like brownies. Next time, I will make two cans, instead of one, and make  brownie-dulce de leche layers. Also, I could’ve tried baking regular brownies, and then just pouring on the dulce de leche; that would have been the easiest, but messiest way to go, I think. Ah, so many options. I guess I am going to have to make these again some time. Anyway, here is the brownie recipe, and I found out about making dulce de leche from this blog, Not Without Salt. They have links to learn more about dulce de leche, and also links to recipes to use the dulce de leche. I really like the pictures they took, too.

Fudge Brownies
3/4 c cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup oil
3/4 c water
2 c sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c flour

put cocoa, baking soda, and 1/3 cup oil into a bowl. mix well. boil water. measure 1/2 cup of boiling water and add to bowl. mix till mixture thickens. add sugar and vanilla to bowl and mix well. add remaining 1/3 cup of oil, eggs, and salt to bowl. mix well. add flour to bowl and mix well. pour cake mixture into 13×11 cake pan. bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

for the dulce de leche brownies, I baked them for a little longer (perhaps a little too long, the edges were a little over done, and they were really chewy.) for regular, even fudgier brownies, I like to bake them in a smaller pan, either 8×8 or 9×9, whichever I have around.

Chocolate Mousse

I’ve been working on trying the recipes that I now have saved together in a binder from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. So, last night we made “Inside-out Eggplant Parmesan.” It was really easy, just a lot of steps involved. You could use jarred sauce, and take away the arugula, but where’s the fun in that? I know I am trying to stay on track and write a dessert only blog, but this was too good not to share.
So here it is:

You probably are more interested in the chocolate mousse we made, since this is a dessert blog after all. Also, that is what the title of the post promised you’d be reading about, so here goes:
I made some chocolate mousse from the recipe binder, too.

Chocolate Mousse
 3 eggs, seperated
3/4 of a stick butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60%)
cream, whipped

Melt chocolate and butter together.
Whisk egg yolks until thick and pale in color.
Whisk whites until soft peak.
Whisk cream.
Fold in the yolks to the chocolate mixture.
Fold in the whites.
Fold in the whipped cream.

The amount of cream used depends on how chocolaty you want your mousse. (also makes it lighter in texture, but of course the more you add, the more calories you are adding, too.)

By the way, do not be intimidated by the fact that these recipes come from magazines. Remember, that just means they might have some fancy ingredients in them, but mostly, they are made for the home chef.

A note on Gourmet magazine: this month’s issue (Nov. 2009) was the last issue of Gourmet. (sad news, I know.) Good thing I saved over 100 recipes!

my Eggplant Parmesan-a little messy, but so tasty!

my chocolate mousse-rich, but so good!

Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies

Yes, another double-post day. This time it is because this is the (semi) regular post for this week, the Monday post. The last post was really leftover, just never posted until now. Anyway, this post’s recipe is from The Little Black Book of Chocolate. All recipes in this book include chocolate. I made half of the recipe because I only had half the amount of butter than what is called for in the recipe. But it doesn’t really make that much dough, even though it says it makes about 72 cookies. (36 for a half recipe) Also, I don’t really like oatmeal cookies, because they usually include raisins, and I do not like raisins, and I don’t really like oatmeal. But, I had oats on hand, so I decided to try this recipe, and these cookies are pretty good. (Those of you going to trivia tonight will have a chance to try them.)
So, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate-oatmeal cookies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Cream butter and sugar in a separate bowl and stir in rolled oats, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons of water. Add flour mixture gradually and stir until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool on racks. About 72 cookies.

butterscotch pudding

Another recipe from my binder was made recently. Butterscotch pudding. Really easy and really delicious.  There are no eggs to temper, which is what makes it great for the home baker.  This also means that it is not really a custard, and it is only thickened by the corn starch. Here’s the my picture and the recipe: ***I had a picture with the recipe on it after my picture, but it was not showing up on some computers, so I removed the picture of the recipe and typed it up for you.***

Butterscotch Pudding
 serves 4. active time: 15 minutes start to finish: 1-3/4 hour


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Then whisk in milk and cream. bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Then boil, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. pour into a bowl then cover surface with buttered wax paper (or plastic wrap) and chill until cold, at least 1-1/2 hours.

Brownies or cookies? How about both?!

Two posts in one day? Yes, I wanted to get right on baking things from my recipe binder, since there’s 101 recipes in there. (That’s no exaggeration, I counted and that’s really how many recipes there are.) So, I made the brownie chunk cookies…sorta. See, I was thinking about the Treasure Island Music Festival and I wanted to be able to bring some dessert to snack on while we are there, and well, there will be four of us, among the crowd of other SF/Bay Area locals coming together for this (awesome) concert. What better way to make some new friends than to share some delicious treats? (and make the friends I already have happy.) Therefore, I made the cookies into brownies. The original recipe

is for cookies with brownie chunks in them. (See picture) Since I wanted to make enough dessert for a crowd, I opted to make them brownies (blondies?) because then you get more pieces.  I also have leftover regular brownies. Hopefully, by Saturday, there will still be brownies (both kinds) left, since I know that my roommates like eating my treats really quickly. If not, I suppose I can make something else…

basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but instead of chocolate chips, it’s brownie chunks. I don’t like nuts in my cookies/brownies, so I didn’t add the walnuts.
  note: I did not refrigerate/cool the brownies before adding them to the cookie batter, which is why there is not that pretty cookie/brownie contrast.
 

this is the brownie-cookies in brownie (blondie) form…YUM!

Rugelach

Alright, so it’s been a while since I posted, but I am going to try out the regularly scheduled posting again. So, last night, we made rugelach. It was really easy, especially because we had the dough already made. We used the leftover dough from the pumpkin pie we made a while ago. (It was frozen and then defrosted the night before we wanted to use it.) We used this filling recipe and substituted chocolate chips for the shredded chocolate. It was good, but I thought that it tasted a little gritty, like there was too much sugar. We rolled it up two different ways, first by making a log and cutting it like a jelly roll, and second, cut triangles and rolled it up the traditional way. With the jelly roll style, the butter and chocolate melted out a bit, but most of the pieces were okay. The traditional rolls were really good. (I couldn’t stop eating them!) Another easy and quick recipe.

Also, I just finished putting together a recipe binder that includes recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines from 2008-2009. I am going to try all of those recipes, and of course I will blog about them. I also typed up the old recipes from my great-grandmother and I want to try those, too, so it should be an exciting time trying these recipes.

Meringues

We made some chocolate meringues on Wednesday. (I was too tired to post about them yesterday.) They are really easy to make. I don’t really have a recipe, but allrecipes.com should have some good ones. I just whipped up some egg whites and sugar, and then folded in some cocoa powder. Spooned them onto cookie trays (I suggest spraying with pan spray/greasing them.) Bake for about 20-25 minutes in a pre-heated 300º oven. ***Update: The “recipe” I used was more like the meringue you would use for the top of a lemon meringue pie. You need finely granulated sugar for meringue cookies. Also, a lower temperature (like around 200º) for about 3 hours is better.***Then, I took them out, but most recipes say to turn off the oven to dry them out. I like meringues dry (If I eat them at all.) but Benjie likes them gooey, so I chose to pull them out of the oven and ate them then. *This is still true for meringue cookies (not pie meringue)* If you omit the chocolate, I definitely suggest drying them out because otherwise, you are going to be left with icky, gooey egg whites. Nothing yummy about that. The picture of the whipped whites are kinda cool, (look how white and fluffy!) but the picture of the chocolate meringues are not that pretty, and are not blog-worthy.

I am attending a friend’s wedding tomorrow and a pre-wedding dinner tonight, so I will hopefully get a chance to take some pictures of/try some nice looking/good desserts this weekend!