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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Pumpkin Spice

The the holidays are around the corner and it’s time to break out the spices of the season. You may see tons of pumpkin products on the shelves in the local markets and shops. Well I didn’t want to waste more money on buying the pre-made pumpkin spice since I already had all the spices in the kitchen. So today I will be making a batch of pumpkin spice for the coming holidays.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • IMG_65543 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Step 1: In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and stir to combine.

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Step 2: Store in an air-tight container for later use.

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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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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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Scottish Shortbread

So I was watching Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Christmas and saw him make a pretty simple shortbread recipe. I really wanted to make it, but a less expensive and wasteful version. It goes really well with tea or coffee in the winter afternoons. This version is a more rustic feel to it and is a bit crumbly, but really buttery.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Step 1: Take out an 8-in. tart pan with a removable bottom (Since I don’t have that I’ll be using an 8-in. cake pan)

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, rice flour, salt and sugar together.

Step 3: Take the frozen butter and grate it over the flour mixture (you can add the vanilla extract at this time)

Step 4: With your fingertips, work the butter into the flour by lifting small handfuls and rubbing the butter and flour together. Do this until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. (do not form a dough)

Step 5: Evenly press the shortbread into the tart pan, smoothing the top as much as possible.

Step 6:Place shortbread in freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 7: Preheat oven to 300°F with the rack in the center of the oven.

Step 8: Score the top of the shortbread, by slightly cutting the top of the shortbread creating 8 or 16 triangles. (will flake don’t worry about it)

Step 9: Press a thumbprint at the edge of each triangle.

Step 10: Prick the surface shortbread with a fork.

Step 11: Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until light golden/biscuit color.

Step 12: Allow to cool slightly in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes

Step 13: With a sharp knife cut all the way through the score marks on the shortbread (do this while shortbread is still quite warm)

Step 14: Allow shortbread to cool completely in pan on wire rack before removing from pan.

Notes:

  1. If you have overly warm hands you can place the flour into the refrigerator to reduce melting of the butter

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to make a really soft cookie with leftover chocolate chips and butter in the refrigerator. So chocolate chip cookies came to mind.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 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: Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Step 2: Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 3: Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Step 4: In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

Step 5: Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.

Step 6: Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.

Step 7: Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Step 8: Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour. (Optional)

Step 9: Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. (Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.)

Step 10: Bake for 20 -25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden brown.

Step 11: Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: If you don’t chill the dough the cookies won’t spread out as much

myTaste.com