I've decided I don't LOVE to cook in the same way that I LOVE to bake. And even more than the baking, I LOVE the assembling, decorating and garnishing! I LOVE making things look pretty. For a recent "Girl's Night Out" that I hosted at my home, I decided to try a few new desserts. My favorite go-to recipes have been used over and over again, and it was time to shake things up a bit.
Here are a few things I whipped up for
Girl's Night Out 2009
- 1 package (19-21 oz) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make mix)
- 2 squares (1 oz each) white chocolate for baking
- 2 tablespoons milk1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar1 cup thawed, frozen whipped topping
- 1 pint small strawberries, sliced
- orange zest (optional)
- mint leaves
- melted semi-sweet chocolate for baking (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray cups of deluxe mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to directions for cake-like brownies. Using small scoop, fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are set (do not overbake).
2. Remove pan to cooling rack. Immediately press tops of brownie with tart shaper to make indentations. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Loosen edges and gentle remove the brownies from pan. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
3. Microwave white chocolate and milk, uncovered on high 1 minute; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
4. Pipe mixture into cooled brownie cups using the Easy Accent Decorator (or other piping tool). Arrange strawberry slices on top. Garnish as desired. Place in airtight container and refrigerate 1-3 hours before serving.
Tip: to get even strawberry slices, slice them using your egg slicer.
Speed version: Purchase brownie bites from Costco instead of making brownies! :)
Cool Lime Napoleons
- 1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
- 3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
- 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained and patted dry
- 2 large limes
- 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly sprinkle Stoneware Bar Pan with flour. Unroll crescent dough across length of pan; pinch seams to seal. Lightly sprinkle dough with flour. Using Baker’s Roller™, roll dough evenly to cover bottom of pan. Prick dough using pastry tool. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes on Stackable Cooling Rack. Carefully remove pastry from pan to cooling rack; cool completely.
2. Transfer pastry to smooth side of Large Grooved Cutting Board. Using Pizza Cutter, cut pastry crosswise into six rows and lengthwise into four rows to make twenty-four 2 1/2-inch squares. Slice kiwi using Egg Slicer Plus®. Place one kiwi slice and one orange segment onto each pastry square using Bamboo Tongs.
3. Using Lemon Zester/Scorer, zest one lime to measure 1 teaspoon zest. Finely snip zest using Kitchen Shears. Juice limes using Juicer to measure 2 tablespoons juice. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine whipped topping, powdered sugar, lime zest and juice; mix until smooth and slightly thickened using Classic Scraper. Attach open star tip to Easy Accent® Decorator; completely fill with lime mixture. Pipe a 1 1/2-inch rosette onto center of each pastry square, refilling decorator as needed.
4. Finely chop almonds using Food Chopper; sprinkle over rosettes. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar using Flour/Sugar Shaker. Place one pastry square on top of another using Mini-Serving Spatula, pressing down lightly. Repeat with remaining pastry squares. Place on Simple Additions™ Large Platter; serve immediately.
Yield: 12 servings
"Box of Chocolates" Cupcakes
The last treat comes from my newest favorite cook book: Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson.
Here is the book:
The first picture is the "box of chocolates" idea presented in the book. The second is my copy-cat version. Really, they are chocolate cupcakes decorated to look like chocolates.