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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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)

Honey Ginger Noodles

I know I haven’t posted in a month or so, but I’ve been super busy with life. So while I was taking a break from life and going out for dinner I came across something called “Soy Sauce Noodles”. I was intrigued and when I tasted it…YUM!! Wanting to remake it though was a whole other story. Some of the ingredients were a bit hard to come by in my small town. So I improvised instead and “MacGyvered” my own version of the recipe that is so much simpler and cheaper to make.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

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  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (preferably Korean, but I didn’t have any, if you have ground use only 1/4 tsp I didn’t and it was way to spicy.)
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 (6oz.) pkg. chow mein noodles
  • 2 stalks of green onion, chopped (save 1/4 for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp. red vinegar (optional)

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, minced garlic, and honey. Taste to adjust.

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Step 2: In a medium pot of boiling water, blanch the chow mein noodles for 30-40 seconds.

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Step 3: Drain the noodles well and set aside. (Make sure you do this or else the noodles will stick to the pan)

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Step 4: In a large pan, heat up some oil over high heat. (Canola or vegetable oil)

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Step 5: Add the drained chow mein noodles and ginger into the pan. (I didn’t drain the noodles enough so they stuck to the pan)

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Step 6: Stir-fry for a 3-4 minutes.

Step 7: Add in the green onion and cook for 30 seconds.

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Step 8: Add in the sauce mixture and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. (The sauce will help loosen the stuck noodles)

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Step 9: Serve immediately with a quick garnish of the leftover green onion.

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Khaliat Nahal (Bee’s Hive Bread)

Khaliat al Nahal (known by many as Khaliat Nahal) literally means Bee’s Hive in Arabic. This is because the buns are baked close to each other in a round pan in a honeycomb like pattern and they are glazed with a honey flavored syrup. Now there are many different recipes for this dish. I have compiled a group of them and found an easier and less expensive version.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

Dough

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pkg. dry active yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water (may need more or less, just enough to form a soft dough) (I added 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • sesame seeds

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp. water

Step 1: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powdered milk, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Step 2: Mix in the yeast, vegetable oil, and enough warm water to form a soft dough.

Step 3: Knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be smooth in texture.

Step 4: Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place plastic wrap over the bowl. (I recommend to not cover the dough with the cloth, it will stick to the dough. Instead just lightly oil the plastic wrap and cover the dough with it.)

Step 5: Proof for 1 + 1/2 hours.

Step 6: Meanwhile in a sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, and honey.

Step 7: Bring to a boil and allow it to lightly thicken over med-low heat, 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool.

Step 8: Lightly oil and line the bottom of a baking pan. (I will be using a 12-inch cake pan.)

Step 9: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 10: Punch the dough down and divide it into small balls, about 2-3 Tbsp.

Step 11: Create a well in the balls and add 1/2-1 tsp. cream cheese in the center and encase the cream cheese in the dough.

Step 12: Place dough balls into a lightly oiled and lined baking pan, starting from the center and moving outward like a honeycomb.

Step 13: Brush dough balls with the egg wash and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Step 14: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 15: Remove from oven and immediately pour the cooled simple syrup over the buns.

Step 16: Cover the buns with foil and allow to cool to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. (The syrup will be absorbed into the buns.)

Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant)

I’ve always wanted to make Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant) ever since I had it once in the Indian restaurant a few months ago. So I looked long and hard for a recipe that could emulate the flavors.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 medium tomatoes (using Roma)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I will be using red and yellow)
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeded (I will be using green bell pepper and adding some chili sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Rub oil on the outside of the eggplant, or coat with cooking spray.

Step 3: Place under the broiler, and cook until the flesh is soft and the skin is blistering off, about 20-30 minutes. (Turn as needed for even cooking.)

Step 4: Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Discard the skin; chop up the flesh and set aside.

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Step 1: Cook the whole eggplant (put it on a microwave safe dish) in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes until it is tender. If you are using an oven, preheat the oven at 400 degrees F and bake it for about 45 minutes turning the sides every fifteen minutes. Be sure to first put the eggplant in an oven safe shallow bowl or a cookie sheet.

Step 2: Let it cool and scoop out the flesh, then chop the eggplant in small pieces and keep aside.

Step 3: Blend together the tomatoes, ginger and green chili; set aside.

Step 4: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Step 5: Add the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until tender, or until golden brown.

Step 6: Add the cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds and turn golden brown. (Be careful not to burn them.) *you may want to heat a bit more oil in the pan before doing this.

Step 7: Stir in the tomato and peas, and season with turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the tomato puree has begun to separate from the oil.

Step 8: Add eggplant over medium heat, keep stirring the eggplant and mashing the eggplant as it cooks; 8-10 minutes.

Step 9: Add the garam masala and cilantro.

Step 10: Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with a side of naan. (Side note: It taste best the next day.)

Garam Masala

Many Indian dishes require a garam masala, which is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings. The word garam refers to intensity of the spices rather than capsaicin content. Garam masala is pungent, but not hot in the same way as a chili pepper. So I had to make my own cause I didn’t feel like buying it if I had already have to required spices in the cupboard.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Step 1: Mix cumin, coriander, cardamom, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Step 2: Place mix in an airtight container, and store in a cool, dry place.

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