Dove Melt Away Brownies



Good morning everyone!! I wanted to post a great Valentines dinner recipe today, but the one I tried out over the weekend was not really that great, so I’m just going to post my own recipe for today. I wanted to create a recipe that included a melted Dove milk chocolate center, cause I love Dove chocolates.

Usually I would get the milk chocolates, but decided to try these Dove Dark Chocolate & Cherry Swirl Hearts cause they look really festive, but I would not recommend unless you have tried these and love them. It’s not that they aren’t good, but just not my taste, so stick to the milk chocolate hearts.

But the end result turned out so much better then I had hoped!! A melted chocolate center, moist brownie, and a layer of firm pink chocolate on top with a little crunch from the sprinkles. All together, it turned out amazing! Hope you like it 🙂 Enjoy!!


Dove Melt Away Brownies
     1/2 cup butter, cubed
     1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
     2 eggs
     3/4 cup packed brown sugar
     1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
     3/4 cups all-purpose flour
     1/2 teaspoon baking powder
     12 Dove milk chocolate hearts

Assembly
     1 1/2 to 2 cups pink melting chocolate chips
     Sprinkles to finish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of each heart cup with parchment paper. This is optional, but will make your life a lot easier when it is time to get these puppies out.

In a heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave.

Stir every 30 seconds until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl beat eggs, brown sugar, and vegetable oil.

Add melted chocolate. Mix well. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons into each heart cup. Place 1 Dove piece into the middle of each heart cup and press down slightly into brownie batter.

Cover chocolate with an additional tablespoon of batter. Bake for 20 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes inside of cups, and then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove parchment paper after un-cupping, but leave brownies upside down. This is the side you will be decorating.

After cooling, place pink melting chips into a microwave save bowl and melt in microwave…

… stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Place a large spoonful of melted chocolate on over each brownie.

Use the bottom side of the spoon to spread chocolate out over the brownie.

Allow chocolate to drip over the edge.

Immediately add sprinkles after you got the chocolate the way you want it. You can either serve immediately with gooey melted chocolate, or let stand for about 10 to 20 minutes until chocolate hardens to give you brownies a crunchy firm exterior.

Makes 12 brownie hearts.

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A Food Snots Original Recipe.

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Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes



I’m back to my old ways again. Shoot!! But, with Valentine’s Day coming up, there are just so many desserts I have to try. But today I’m going to practice some self discipline, and I’m not going to let myself make the Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart I want so badly to make until I try a filet mignon recipe that I plan on making for my Secret Valentine’s Dinner.


Here is a super adorable cupcake recipe for today though. I don’t know why, but this year I have been obsessing with chocolate and cherries.

For recipe and step by step instructions click here!!

Normally, I’m all about the Chocolate Covered Strawberries, but not this V-day, and these cupcakes are great for any fun or romantic setting. I had a tiny bit of trouble with the frosting being a little runny, which I loved for my photo, but makes it a little tricky to eat. But I guess that’s why they invented forks. All together though, completely loved these cupcakes. A perfect balance of chocolate, cherry, and frosting. Plus, how stinking cute are they with that chocolate covered cherry on top! Enjoy!!


Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes
Cake:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Frosting:
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

Topping (optional):
16 whole maraschino cherries, with stem
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line sixteen 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper baking cups.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and…

…beat until smooth fluffy.

Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.

Beat in sour cream and flour mixture.

Fill eat cup with two slightly rounded tablespoons of cake batter.

Bake 18 minutes or until top springs back. Cool completely on wire rack.

Prepare cherries (if using): Drain cherries, keeping stems attached; pat dry with paper towels.

In small microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate and shortening. Cook on 50% power 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once.

Dip cherries in chocolate; place on waxed paper until set. Store, covered, up to 24 hours.

Prepare frosting: In a large mixing bowl combine all frosting ingredients. Beat on medium-high until fluffy.

Ice cupcakes- spread onto cupcakes. Top with a chocolate covered cherry. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Servings: 16

Printable Recipe

Recipe from culinarycovers.com.

Valentine’s Day Scheme

Many of you might not know, but my wedding anniversary is Feb. 19th. So we never really celebrate Valentines Day because our anniversary is right behind it. Or maybe we do, but somehow they both get lumped together. Either way, had I of know this, I would have made our wedding either earlier or later cause I have always loved Valentines Day!! I don’t understand how some people can hate it?.? I’m convinced that these are people that have either always had bad experiences on V-day, or have never had someone to share it with, cause how you can hate the day of love is beyond me.

Anyways, getting off subject… Where were we… Ah, yes… My V-day/Anniversary crisis. So this year I vow it to be different. This year I’m gonna surprise my hubby on V-day with a babysitter, all out steak dinner, and some kind of completely decadent dessert. All at home over candles. I know he wont see this cause he doesn’t read my blog, so I can tell you all, but if you know my hubby, mums the word!! But this is my plan to start celebrating Valentines separately from now on.

So, these aren’t my picture but to give you an idea of what I have in mind, here is my meal plan:

Appetizer:

For recipe click here!!

Spinach Artichoke Dip (cause it’s my hubbies favorite)
Dinner:
To view photo source click here.

Filet Mignon with this amazing onion stack.

Dessert:

For recipe click here!!

And for dessert, Molten Lava Chocolate Cake, cause my hubby loves cake, and I love this cake 😉 Plus between the chocolate and the melt-i-ness (not a word, sorry), this dessert just says romance to me. Might be my girlish idealism, but I’m hoping this makes everything work.
So that’s my plan. That and I need to go get a cute little number from Victoria Secret to top it all off (which I will not be posting a picture of cause that would just be acquired :), but that about sums it up.
What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day??

Photo’s, in order of appearance, from homeklondike.com, www.lifesambrosia.com, fr.123rf.com, cleaneatingmag.com.

Homemade Samoas Cookies



This past weekend has been such a whirlwind. For the past year my hubby has been training MMA (mixed martial arts) at the gym. But at the end of last year he informed me he didn’t want to just use it to get in shape, but he wanted to put his skills to the test by fighting. So this weekend was his first amateur fight. Can I just tell you, I was freaking out. Anticipation, stress, and shear fear. I know I should have more faith in him, but he’s a really big guy. Which means the guy he’s going up against is gonna be really big too.

But, no reason to fear! My baby rocked it out!! Felt kind of bad for the other guy, cause he kind of got clobbered, but so proud that my hubby was victorious! Here we are after the big event (me holding his medal for winning!!). Here is a link to the whole fight if you want to watch it, but be forewarned, if you can’t watch UFC, then don’t even click through.



So, that was my busy, crazy weekend. That and these Homemade Samoas Cookies.This recipe has been haunting me since I first saw it. Samoas cookies are my absolute favorite girl scout cookie, so of course I had to sample and see if these were anything in comparison. I’m not gonna lie, this recipe is extremely tedious. The amount of work that goes into them makes buying them completely reasonable. I did have to change the recipe around a little bit too.

The recipe says to just warm up the caramel until it melts. The problem being, the more you cook your caramel the harder it’s gonna become. So to solve this problem, I added extra water in with the caramel. There are notes in the instructions where I did this so you’ll know how to make these cookies the way I did. But just know, if you don’t add the water in with the caramel not only will assembling the cookies be more difficult, but the cookies themselves will be almost impossible to eat. So I highly recommend adding the additional water where it appears. But over all, these cookies are amazing. Not quite the original, but still delicious. Enjoy!!


Homemade Samoas Cookies
     1 lb sweetened coconut, toasted
     1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
     1 cup butter
     1 tablespoon vanilla extract
     2 cups all-purpose flour
     1 11oz. bag of Kraft Caramels

Chocolate Dipping Sauce
     2/3 cups semisweet chocolate
     2/3 cups milk chocolate
     1/4 cup heavy cream
     1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
     3-4 tablespoons warm water

Place coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 10-minutes. Make sure to stir the coconut half way through.

Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add flour and beat until combined. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough to an 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Using a two inch round cookie cutter stamp out cookies and for the center use the wider end of a piping tip if you don’t have a small enough cookie cutter.

Place stamped out cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Place caramel squares in a medium size saucepan over medium heat to melt (I added about 1 cup of warm water also).

Once the caramel bits are completely melted, turn heat to low.

… and dip tops of cookies into the caramel. This will help the sticky caramel coconut mixture to quickly adhere to the cookie. Place cookies on a flat surface. At this point if you need to add another 1/2 cup of warm water to keep caramel from over processing, do so and stir until smooth again.

Add the toasted coconut to the remaining caramel mixture. Fill a shallow pan with hot water and place saucepan filling with the finished caramel coconut mixture in it to keep the mixture at spreading consistency (I just kept it over low heat and stirred after assembling each cookie. You can do this if you added the additional water). Reheat mixture as needed to maintain spread consistency during assembly. Let assembled cookies rest for 30 minutes before dipping the bottoms in chocolate and drizzling the striping on top.

After caramel has set, start making chocolate dipping sauce by placing chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring.

Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until pouring consistency is reached.

Spread out a fresh sheet of parchment paper to place cookies on after dipped. Dip bottoms of cookies into the warm chocolate and place on parchment paper. Space cookies about 1/2 inch apart to make piping easier.

After dipping cookies, pour remaining chocolate into a small ziplock bag and seal shut. Snip a small corner off of the bag and pipe chocolate stripes across cookies. Place finished cookies into the fridge to help chocolate set quickly. Let cookies come back to room temperature before serving.

Printable Recipe

Altered recipe from www.bakersroyale.com.

Garlic-Rubbed Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes

I’m posting this in a bit of a rush today. We are having my daughters 6th birthday party today, so in about 3 hours I will have about 15 little girls going crazy at my house. My daughter insisted on a Valentines theme, so I still need to finish up her cake and make the frosting for the sugar cookie decorating station, and clean. So I’m a little stressed right now. It will be fun though!! Lots of amazing goodies to snack on, but lots of work.



This recipe was so good though!! Whoever made it is a genius. I’m normal not a huge fan of grilled cheese sandwiches, but this caught my eye, and when I saw all the different stuff that went into this I had to try it. It’s amazing! It’s got this Italian feel flavor from all of the cheeses and garlic, with just a slight spicy kick to it from the red pepper flakes. And lets be honest, I’m a country girl at heart, so anything with bacon is going to win awards in my book. Like a gourmet BLT, but substituted with cheese instead of the lettuce. It’s to die for!! Enjoy!


Garlic-Rubbed Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes
     8 slices bacon
     3 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) grated Gruyere
     3 ounces (about 1 cup) grated fonina
     2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
     1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
     8 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread
     2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
     2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
     1 to 2 large cloves garlic, halved and peeled for rubbing

Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottomed skillet until browned and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off the grease from the pan and wipe clean.

Combine the cheeses and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Lay 4 slices of the bread on you work surface, and distribute half of the cheese evenly among the bread. Top the cheese with 2 slices of bacon and then 2 or 3 slices of tomatoes (enough to cover the cheese and bacon). Evenly distribute the remaining cheese among the 4 sandwiches. Lightly butter one side of the remaining four slices of bread, and put them on top of the sandwiches, butter side up.

Heat your heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches butter side down in the pan and cook on the first side until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Meanwhile, butter the top slice of bread on each sandwich. Flip the sandwiches using a spatula and continue to cook on the other side until the bread is golden brown. You can use the spatula to compress the sandwich as it cooks on the second side. Remove the sandwiches from the pan and immediately rub both sides with the cut side of a garlic clove. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Printable Recipe

Recipe from traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com.

How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Flour

I finally did it!! We were at Costco the other day, and I finally committed myself to buying a really large bag of flour. 25 lb. to be exact, and that wasn’t even the biggest size they had!! I just figured, I go through enough flour that it warrants not having to run to the grocery store all the time to get the little 5 pound bag. Time to start buying my stuff in bulk. But while I was prepping my stuff for storage, it occurred to me, I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you guys my secret of how to keep bugs, pests out of your flour.

You all are gonna think I’m crazy, but I’ve been doing this for about 7 years now, and not once have I gotten a singe weevil or any other type of creepy crawly in my flour or rice. This is full proof. The secret is, broken china. I know, you think I’ve lost it, but I’m serious. For whatever reason, bugs do not like this stuff and you will never again have a problem if you put a couple of broken pieces in with your flour.

It doesn’t have to be your fancy china if you have any, unless you have a piece that got chipped that you were just gonna throw away anyways. But if you’re like me and don’t have china, just go down to Goodwill and get something cheep there. Or I’ve seen really cheap plates at Walmart, but it just needs to be china (Not made in china, but made of china). You’ll be able to tell on some stuff cause it will say china on the bottom. Like shown above.

Here’s what you need:
     1 plate or bowl made of china
     4 sheets paper towels
     1 gallon size zip lock bag
     1 medium size towel
     A hammer
     Fine grit sandpaper, (I used 180A grit)

First, choose your dish. I like something with a little thicker edge cause it makes later steps a little easier, but anything will work (just as long as it’s made of china).

Rap dish in paper towels.

Place in a zip lock bag to keep all pieces contained.

Rap zip lock in a cloth towel, and using a hammer, break up the dish on a hard surface. Do not do this on a tile flour. It’s better if you do it on concrete. You want pieces to be about 1 to 1.5 inches square.

Carefully remove pieces from bag. Discard any pieces that are jagged or chipping.

You want pieces that have clean lines like these.

Using a small piece of sandpaper sand against the sharp edges of the broken dish. Again be careful when you do this cause the edges are sharp. You do this step for two reasons. To smooth out edges and make them so they aren’t sharp, but also to get rid of any chips or loose pieces of china.

After sanding, wash and dry pieces thoroughly. Place two to three pieces of china on top of flour and seal container closed. It is best if you store flour in air tight container, but either way, the china will keep all the bugs away.

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No Bake Nanaimo Bars



Valentines Day is right around the corner, so I thought it would be fun to start doing some super fun pink/red themed desserts. This was so easy and so yummy! I love anything chocolate and coconut. The bottom is rough and crunchy, the pink frosting layer is creamy and has this amazing flavor from the vanilla custard powder, and then the fact that you top the whole thing with more chocolate just makes this dessert out of this world.

One thing though, it doesn’t say to line your pan with foil, but I would! I always line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper, but that wasn’t enough. Line your pan to save yourself headaches later when trying to get this out without cracking the chocolate top. Just trust me on this one. Other then that, this is such an amazing recipe. Enjoy!!

Bottom Layer
     1/2 cup unsalted butter
     1/4 cup sugar
     5 tablespoons cocoa
     1 egg beaten
     1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
     1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
     1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler.

Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl combine crumbs, coconut and nuts.

Pour chocolate over coconut mixture.

… and stir until well incorporated. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Second Layer
     1/2 cup unsalted butter
     2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cream
     2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (such as Bird’s Custard Powder; I used instant vanilla pudding powder)
     2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and confectioners’ sugar together well. Add a little pink gel dye and beat until light.

Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
     4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
     2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

Slice with a warm knife when ready to serve.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from www.mybakingaddiction.com.