Easy Brigadeiro Truffles

A few years ago I had made different types of truffles which got a bit messy to say the least. This year I wanted to try out a simpler version that required less ingredients and time. I recently found out about the Brazilian truffles called “Brigadeiro” through a few websites and I wanted to make this treat. Now there were two ways of making this truffle. One way was by Betty Crocker and the other was by Eugenie Kitchen.

I found that the one by Eugenie was simpler and less of a hassle to make when compared to the Betty Crocker version. Although I am tempted to make double the batch, at the moment I have upcoming projects that are due in the coming week.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter + extra for rolling the truffles
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • pinch of salt (if you use unsalted butter)

Decorations:

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  • Coconut flakes
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon-sugar
  • Decorating sugar
  • Pumpkin spice-sugar
  • Green tea powder
  • Dried berries (Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • Cookie crumbs (Almond, gingersnap, Oreo, graham cracker, etc.)
  • Sprinkles
  • Chopped nuts (Pistachio, walnut, almond, chestnut, etc.)
  • Fine espresso powder

Step 1: In a thick-bottom sauce pan, add in the sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder.

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Step 2: Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, over medium heat, until well combined.

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Step 3: Add in the butter and stir continuously until melted.

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Step 4: When the mixture comes to a boil begin stirring rigorously until it thickens.

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Step 5: Transfer thickened mixture into a heat-proof bowl and allow it to cool.

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Step 6: Rub some of the extra butter into the palm of your hands.

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Step 7: Scoop out 1 tsp. of the Brigadeiro mixture and roll into balls.

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Step 8: Gently roll the Brigadeiro into a coating and then place them into mini cupcake liners.

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Quick Shortbread Cookies

Some time ago I had made Scottish Shortbread Cookies and they took a bit of time to make. I know that I will not have the time to make this for the coming holidays so instead I am going to make an easier version that is great for gift giving and as well as the holiday parties.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • melted chocolate

Step 1: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

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Step 2: In a large bowl, add the butter and whisk until smooth.

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Step 3: Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until light and fluffy.

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Step 4: Add in the flour and fold to combine. (Side Note: should look like sand)

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Step 5: Transfer dough onto a clean surface and knead once (Important Note: knead away and into pieces by pressing down and away.)

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Step 6: Form a ball and flatten slightly.

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Step 7: Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

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Step 8: Place dough onto a baking sheet and roll dough until it is 1/2-inch thick. (the dough was a bit tough so I crumbled the dough and press it together with a rolling pin)

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Step 9: Cut the dough with either a sharp knife or a bench scrapper.

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Step 10: Prick the cookies with a fork.

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Step 11: Bake at 300°F for 45 minutes, or until light golden brown.

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Step 12: Re-cut the cookies once they are out of the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.

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Step 13: Dip one end of the cookie into the melted chocolate and allow the chocolate to harden before serving.

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Mini Pumpkin Bread

It is that time of the year again where pumpkins are in an abundance and there seems to be a never ending supply of pumpkin recipes. This year I’ve resigned myself from making over the top pumpkin desserts and instead I figured something simple and quick would be the thing. So a quick and easy pumpkin bread came to mind. And I found the perfect recipe by EugenieKitchen.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (I’ll be using 1 15 oz. can)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • pumpkin seeds or even melted chocolate

Step 1: In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.

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Step 2: Add in the eggs and beat until well combined.

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Step 3: Add in the pumpkin puree and stir to combine; set aside.

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Step 4: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice.

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Step 5: Add the dry ingredients all at once into the butter mixture and fold to combine. (Optional: may add in nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips and fold into the mixture)

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Step 7: Fill the prepared pans with batter and top with pumpkin seeds (Optional: swirl in some melted chocolate).

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Step 8: Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Step 9: Allow bread to cool for 20 minutes before serving. (They should just pop out of the baking cups easily)

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Step 10: (Optional: Drizzle icing over the tops of the cooled bread)

Holiday Desserts Galore

Well another year has quickly come to an end and the holidays are just around the corner. Time to break out the new recipes and maybe a few classic ones, but nonetheless treats that will tantalize even the picky of eaters. Now last year I had done a simple set of desserts and a side.

  1. Iced Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
  2. Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes
  3. Pumpkin Cheesecake
  4. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This year I will be bringing back a classic cake that I haven’t made in a while. But most of all the rest of the desserts will be new recipes. So here are the desserts and sides that will be served this year for the holidays.

  1. Dulce de Leche Cake
  2. Upside-Down Caramel Apple Rolls
  3. Pumpkin Pie Bars
  4. Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Cookies
  5. Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes
  6. Shortbread Cookies
  7. Mini Pumpkin Bread

(Side Note: Will be adding links to the list after Thanksgiving)

Quick and Easy Hot Cocoa Mix

It’s that time of the year again. That’s right gift giving is in season. As winter approaches the hot drink are rolling. Now recently I have been invited to a few housewarming parties and the traditional gifts are fine and all, but with a tight budget and with the holidays coming around the corner I had to figure something quick and easy. Looking around the kitchen I was suddenly struck with a new idea for a gift. Something that will last and would be enjoyed by others and not just the host of the party. I figured “how about something in a jar and is easy to make?” Well at first I thought of cake mix, but what if the gift receiver doesn’t have an oven or can’t bake?, so I instead I went for the simple route. Hot Cocoa!

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Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, dutch processed (I used Ghirardelli chocolate)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules (I used Nescafe vanilla)

Step 1: Sift all the ingredients

Step 2: Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Step 3: Scoop or funnel the mixture into a mason jar and seal tightly.

Step 4: Store at room temperature and decorate it however you like

To make the hot cocoa drink just add 1-2 Tbsp. of mixture into a heat-proof mug and add in 1 cup of hot water or milk.

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Creme Egg Filled Brownie Mug Cake Thing

So Easter is just around the corner and there are rows upon rows of Easter themed candies in the markets now. I decided to pick up some mini creme eggs for old times sake. I used to eat these all the time as a child and I have now noticed that there are many different filled versions as well. I bought the fondant filled and caramel filled ones. Eating them straight up was alright, but I figured I could make them into something even better. I give you Easter Creme Egg Filled Brownie Mug Cake. Make sure you have a microwavable 1 cup container.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. milk, coffee or water
  • 1-2 mini-sized Easter Creme Eggs (or 1 full-sized Creme Egg)

Step 1: In a heatproof mug or ramekin, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until no lumps remain.

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Step 2: Stir in the oil and milk until you have a thick paste. (If you mixed it all in a bowl, spoon it into a ramekin or mug.)

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Step 3: Unwrap the Easter Creme Egg and press it into the middle, pushing it down so that only about the top third is exposed.

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Step 4: Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, checking it after 30 seconds (microwaves vary) – it will be done when it’s springy on top but still a bit gooey – like the very best brownie.

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Step 5: Eat warm. (I like to add a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top or even a small scoop of ice cream)IMG_5864

Christmas Gifts Galore

What to do, what to do? Being on a tight budget and having a short amount of time to buy things. So many people to gift and so many choices. Every year I generally just get gift cards and such. But last year I made cookies. Although they were pretty plain-looking they were a hit. This year I will be more adventurous and make a multitude of cookies and treats.

While scouring the internet I found many recipes and photos of cookies and baked goods that would do well as gifts. I figured I could make some of my cookies in a smaller form and give that out.

So this year I have figured out that I will be making 3 different treats, never-mind I meant 4 different treats and place them in a party bag to give out as a gift.

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  • Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispy Treats

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  • Orange Cream Drop Cookies’

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This should only take the day to make all the treats. I generally like to bake in the morning so that I can allow the baked goods to cool off completely by the time I finish cleaning. Now this year I have a dog to take care of so the baking process took a bit longer to finish off than I had anticipated. But in the end they turned out really easy and budget friendly to make for the Christmas holidays.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Making my chewy chocolate chip cookies is pretty easy, but it’s a bit messy. With all the baking pans and extra spoons being used. It is annoying to have to clean it all up all the time. So I figured I could make it all into 1 baking pan.

I will be using the same ingredients as my chewy chocolate chip cookies recipe for the most part in this recipe.

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Step 1: Line and grease a 10×15 inch jelly roll pan, or a large baking sheet.

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Step 2: Follow steps 3-8 from my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

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Step 4: Spread cookie dough into the prepared evenly.

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Step 5: Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 6: Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

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Step 7: Cut into bars when cooled.

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Iced Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

I wanted to use the leftover pumpkin puree into something easy and cookies were the answer to my problem. These soft, almost cake-like in texture, moist, and sweet are simple to make and will do well without being stored in an air-tight container. Instead store them on the counter with some plastic wrap on them and they will be fine because of the high moisture content in them.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup milk (more or less)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.

Step 3: In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.

Step 4: Add the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract; beat until creamy.

Step 5: Beat in the dry ingredients until just blended. (Don’t over beat)

Step 6: Fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 7: Spoon out tablespoon sized dough balls spaced 1-inch apart.

Step 8: Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Step 9: Place baking sheet onto a wire rack and cool for 3 minutes.

Step 10: Remove cookies off of the baking sheet an on to a wire rack to cool completely. (Save the parchment sheet)

Step 11: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the glaze, while adding 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until it’s the right consistency.

Step 12: Place the parchment sheet beneath the wire racks.

Step 13: Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cookies.

Step 14: Store on the counter.

Decorated Cupcakes

Well today I will be decorating a multitude of cupcakes for my portfolio and it is so time consuming. But I really got inspired from a multifaceted playlist a few days ago. There were also many other sites that I checked out, but there were to many to count.

Edible Decorating Items:

  • Butter Cream Frosting
  • Fondant
  • Edible Glitter
  • Edible Dusting
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Candies
  • Food Coloring
  • Water
  • Vodka
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cookie Crumbs
  • Corn Starch
  • Shortening

Decorating Tools:

  • Piping Tips: 2D, leaf, round, star, petal, and etc.
  • Piping Bags
  • Off-set Spatula
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pairing Knife
  • Food Safe Paint Brushes

Here are the decorated cupcakes:

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