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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

Posted by booksncooks on June 20, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday S! Thanks for letting me spoil you with your choice of cupcakes on you special day. These cupcakes (aka boozecakes) were a wonderful pick, something that I wouldn’t have looked at but normally chosen, since I’m not a huge fan of lemon desserts. However, I ended up really loving these cupcakes. I just wish the photos had come out better, but I guess I should have expected poor quality when I was hiding in your spare room trying to get the shots! Clearly, I’ll have to make these cupcakes again so that I can get some better photos.

A slightly sweet lemon cupcake filled with a tart lemon curd and topped with a light limoncello frosting, these cupcakes were way better than I imagined. The only trouble I had was with the frosting. The original frosting tasted a bit too much like cream cheese for me, and was not nearly thick enough to pipe. I ultimately ended up using twice the amount of confectioner’s sugar than indicated, and it still wasn’t quite thick enough. And I ended up with a ton left over because of all the extra sugar added. In the recipe below, I adjusted the frosting ingredients to make a thicker batch with a stronger limoncello taste.

Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

Adapted from BrownEyedBaker, originally from Tartlette

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Lemon Cupcakes:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tbs. limoncello
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c.  lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
zest of 1 lemon

Ingredients for the Lemon Curd:
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 c. lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

Ingredients for the Limoncello Frosting:
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tbs. limoncello
2+ c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Garnishes: i.e. slices of candied lemon, fresh lemon slices, berries, etc.

Make the Cupcakes:

Ensure an oven rack is positioned in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, beating until combined. Same for limoncello. Lower speed. Slowly add remaining dry ingredients (baking powder, salt and flour) alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add lemon juice and zest.

Portion batter into muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Set on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, Make the Lemon Curd:

While cupcakes are cooking, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted.

While waiting for lemon-sugar mixture to simmer, whisk together egg and egg yolk in a medium bowl. When sugar is dissolved, whisk the sugar-lemon mixture into the eggs. This will temper the eggs. Return mixture to saucepan (still over medium heat), and whisk constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the curd to cool completely.

Make the Limoncello Frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Lower speed and add limoncello. When incorporated, with the mixer still on low, slowly add confectioner’s sugar until frosting has reached desired consistency. (Clearly, mine was still a little soft, but I had run out of sugar!)

Assemble the Cupcakes:

When cupcakes have cooled complete, use a sharp knife to remove a cone in the center of each cupcake. Fill the little hole with lemon curd, and top with limoncello frosting. I piped the frosting using a Wilton 1M tip, but you can also spread it with a knife, if preferred.

Garnish with candied lemon slices or fresh fruit.

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Candied Lemon Slices

Posted by booksncooks on June 15, 2011

Go Big Or Go Home

This is a big year for many of my friends – the bit 3-0. Everyone is choosing a different way to celebrate. We had a ladies weekend at the spa for the first 30th birthday of the year, enjoying massages, pedicures, wraps, and the like for one friend’s birthday. For the second and most recent birthday, another friend hosted a birthday BBQ and asked K and I to bake her cupcakes. We were excited to provide dessert for the BBQ and the three of us made a night out of baking. We had a great night munching on a tomato-mozzarella tartlet, drinking limoncello cosmopolitans (had to beg a neighbor for ice), and baking up a storm. For the celebration, we made Cosmo Cupcakes and Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes (recipe to be posted this weekend), or what K’s friend fondly dubbed “boozecakes.”

In the spirit of “go big or go home,” I decided to garnish my Limoncello Cupcakes with slices of candied lemon.  These sweets were easy to make, but did take a while. It took about two days before the syrup to dry enough for me to handle them. Completely worth it. Like any good cook, I had to try the lemon slices before serving… again and again and again. They’re very sweet, with a slightly stronger taste in the candied rind, and set on top of a cupcake, make a striking presentation. Not going to lie, I was also eating the leftover lemon syrup with a spoon (but would probably be a great addition to a hot or sweet tea or mixed drink).

 Candied Lemon Slices 

Adapted from Use Real Butter

Makes 1-3 dozen slices

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 lemons
  • 2 c. sugar
  • water

Cut lemons into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick, 10-12 slices per lemon. If the slices tear easily, they’re too thin.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath and set aside. When water is boiling, blanch lemons for 1 minute. Remove with a strainer and plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking.

In another medium saucepan (or the one you just used) over medium heat, bring 1 c. water and the sugar to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Lower to a simmer and add lemon slices. Simmer for 1-2 hours (I did about 90 minutes).

As water boils, set a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

With a set of tongs, remove slices from syrup, allowing excess sugar to drop off, and set on a wire rack to dry. This may take up to 48 hours.

Posted in Candies & Truffles, Condiments | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Recipe II

Posted by booksncooks on May 6, 2011

Last year, I had a semi-successful attempt at making Barefoot Contessa’s Jam Thumbprint Cookies, a sweet vanilla cookie with coconut flakes and a jam center. While 8 cookies came our beautifully (and tasted amazing), the recipe just didn’t go right for me. The dough was too crumbly, I’m guessing because the butter wasn’t at the correct temperature. The couple that came out were fantastic, so I chalked it up to an error on my part, and put the recipe back in the stack to make again at a later date.

Recently, I was cleaning out the kitchen and noticed 3 half-empty jars of jam in the fridge. Forgetting about last year’s failure and my hope of remaking the recipe, I made Southern Living’s Thumbprint Cookies – an almond cookie with a pecan crust. These were equally as good as Ina’s, a slightly sweet butter cookie with the spark of flavor from the jam. I did have a similar problem with the dough being crumbly, again contributing it to the temperature of the dough. I solve the problem this time, by warming the dough slightly in my hands, while rolling them into balls.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies, Recipe II

Adapted from Southern Living’s Best Loved Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies (p. 46)

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 c. jam, one flavor or multiple flavors

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy, another 1-2 minutes. Lower speed and add egg yolks and almond extract, until just combined. With the mixer on low-speed, sift in flour and salt.

Cover and chill dough for an hour.

Just before removing dough from fridge, preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Lightly beat eggs whites and spread chopped pecan pieces on a plate or in a small bowl.

Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1-inch balls. If the dough won’t stick together, warm it slightly in you hands. Flatten slightly, dip in egg white, and then dip/roll in pecans. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or so in between each cookie. Just before putting into oven, press the center of each cookie down with thumb or knuckle, making a small indentation.

Bake 14-16 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Once on wire racks, while cookies are still warm, press centers again and fill with jam.

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Posted by booksncooks on March 29, 2011

I can’t say enough about these cupcakes. I had wanted to make them the minute Annie posted about them (and that’s not just because everything Annie makes is awesome). I had the perfect opportunity a few months ago, when a guy in my office turned 21. I know, right? How cute. He’s the only person I work with who is that young, so I knew I had to make it special for him.  These cupcakes did it. They were the talk of the office floor, and all sorts of people were “visiting,” hoping to be offered one.

So yeah. Make these cupcakes. In fact, make a double batch. They’re amazing. Completely worth the multiple steps. And if you don’t tell anyone about the surprise ganache in the middle, you’ll really get some great reactions.

The below recipe has a few modifications. I used a little extra Bailey’s in the ganache and the frosting, and made an extra half batch of the frosting in order to cover all of the cupcakes (although that could be that I’m just now experimenting with piping the icing).

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally found on Smitten Kitchen

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients for the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

  • 1 c. Guinness stout
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c. sour cream (I used reduced-fat and it was fine)

Ingredients for the Bailey’s Chocolate Ganache Filling:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Ingredients for the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 8 Tbs. Bailey’s Irish Cream*

* Note: I love the taste of Bailey’s so added quite a bit to the frosting. I’d recommend adding a little at a time, starting at 2-4 Tbs., and tasting as you go.

Make the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:

Line two cupcake pans with paper muffin liners and preheat oven to 350° F.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine Guinness and butter. When butter is melted, add cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sour cream just until combined. Add Guinness mixture, again mixing until barely combined. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add in salt, baking soda, sugar, and flour.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each to 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cupcakes are cooled, core center with a small paring knife. This will be for the chocolate ganache.

Make the Chocolate-Bailey’s Ganache:

On the stove, set up a double broiler. In the top bowl, heat cream, until very hot. Add chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute. Whisk cream and chocolate together until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and Bailey’s. Set aside to cool.

When ganache is cooled and thick enough to be piped, transfer to a piping back and pipe into the cupcakes.

Make the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading, until incorporated. Then mix in Bailey’s, until incorporated.

Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag or spreading.

Posted in Cupcakes, Desserts | Leave a Comment »

Quick & Easy Palmiers: Cinnamon & Cardamom

Posted by booksncooks on March 23, 2011

Quick & Easy Palmiers: Cinnamon & Cardamom

I have a new favorite cookie recipe – this is it. I think I made it three times in one week (once for work and twice as a dessert for a friend’s house). Sweet and crunchy, they look impressive but are so incredibly easy to make. Four ingredients and requires just a mixing bowl, rolling pin, and knife. Can’t get easier. These were wonderful alone, but it would also be fantastic with ice cream or along side a mousse or pudding.

The original palmier recipe came from Ina, but I made some pretty substantial modifications to it. I felt that 1 c. was just way too much sugar, as there was quite a bit of sugar that didn’t get absorbed into the puff pastry dough. I also played with the flavorings in the sugar, trying out cardamom, which I liked even better than the cinnamon. The flavor was just slightly sweeter but still more subtle than the cinnamon (hence, I used 1 tsp. of cardamom instead of 1/2 tsp. called for in the cinnamon palmier recipe). This flavor was such a hit, I look forward to trying out some other flavors!

Cinnamon Palmiers, Heavily adapted from Ina Garten

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2/3 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cardamom Palmiers, A Books n’ Cooks Original, inspired by Ina Garten

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2/3 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix 1/3 c. sugar, salt, and either 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or 1 tsp. cardamom. Set aside.

Sprinkle a large cutting board with 1/3 c. sugar. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto sugared board. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon/cardamom mixture over puff pastry, so that the pastry is completely covered. It’s alright if you have a little left over. Just set it aside.

Using a rolling pin, lightly roll out puff pastry until measured 13×9 inches and sugar is pressed into pastry. As you’re rolling, feel free to add the extra sugar, if any lightly-sugared spots pop up.

Lay the puff pastry lengthwise. Fold one end to the center, and then the other. The puff pastry will look like a book. Again, fold each end toward the center. You should have 4 layers of pastry folded on both sides. Use a sharp knife in a sawing motion (don’t press down!) to slice the puff pastry into 1/2 to 3/4-inch pieces. (I got about 16 cookies out of each puff pastry sheet.) Place on prepared cookie sheets, cut side up. If the cookies don’t stand up straight, bend them slightly at the center.

Bake 6-8 minutes, until sugar begins to caramelize. Flip, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the making sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Posted in Barefoot Contessa, Cookies | Leave a Comment »

Blackberry Cornmeal Cupcakes

Posted by booksncooks on March 18, 2011

I think that tomorrow, the cupcake fairy shall come to visit. I’ve been in the mood to play in the kitchen, but between work, various planned outings (the spa last weekend!), and trying to eat healthier, I haven’t had much of an opportunity. Today, I had the afternoon free, and cupcakes and blogging sounded way more fun than laundry.

This recipe came from a cookbook that I regularly flip through, but have not used nearly enough – Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I received the book at my book-themed bridal shower, a compliment to my book-themed wedding (isn’t the library where my reception was held amazing?!). I think the giver of this book warrants a visit from the cupcake fairy, don’t you? And maybe one for the hubby, who surprised me with flowers last night, for no apparent reason. And maybe for a couple coworkers, since it’s been a long week at work. Who would you surprise with a cupcake? And maybe a couple for me (slightly sweet and a but savory, I wonder if I could justify these as breakfast).

Blackberry Cornmeal Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes (p. 103)

Makes 16 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 . all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. fine-ground cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar (1 c. + 2 Tbs. for cupcakes, 2 Tbs. for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 7 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2-6 oz. containers of fresh blackberries

* If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make it by combining 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Line 1-2 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, melt butter in the microwave (about 30 seconds). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and 1 c. plus 2 Tbs. of the sugar.

Add the eggs and buttermilk to the cooled butter and whisk to combine. Add to the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins, filling only to the half way point. It won’t look like a lot, but I promise, that’s accurate.

Place 4 blackberries on top of the batter – it’ll look tight but they’ll spread out when cooking – and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake 23-28 minutes (Martha says 20-25), until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (don’t forget to rotate) baking trays halfway through if using more than one). Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by booksncooks on February 13, 2011

I’m don’t normally crave sweets. I’ll eat a cookie or try a piece of cake, but it’s not often that I want to have seconds. However, if you give me a plate of french fries or a bowl of potato chips, it’s another story. I love the saltiness and will eat more than my fair share of fries and chips. Anyway, these cookies are the exception to the rule – they’re sweet and they stayed soft, even a couple of days after baking them. I have one and keep going back for me.

I did make these cookies twice, and adjusted the recipe slightly. The original recipe called for 3 c. flour, 2 c. white chocolate chips, and 1 c. coarsely chopped pecans. I found that the dough was just too crumbly, and the chocolate chips and nuts were not well mixed into the dough. The second time, I used a little less flour and half the recommended quantities of chocolate chips and nuts, and found the ingredients were all incorporated into the dough much better. These changes are reflected in the recipe below.

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Southern Living’s Best Loved Cookies, p. 10 (also online here)

Makes 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked oats
  • 1 c.  white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans (or slivered almonds)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on high-speed until light and fluffy, about a minute. Add sugars slowly until well combined. Lower speed to low, and add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla. Slowly add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour, with the mixer still on low-speed, until jut incorporated. Add oats, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts – either with the mixer on low-speed or by hand using a wooden spoon.

Using tablespoons or an ice cream scoop, portion dough onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 12 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Vanilla Fudge

Posted by booksncooks on January 3, 2011

When I had been planning our annual holiday party, I also try to do a mix of sweets – not too much chocolate, not too many unusual or different desserts… but I do like to try out new recipes and get a bit creative. This Vanilla Fudge paired perfectly with the Chocolate “Dummy” Fudge, but gave me a bit of a challenge. I was a little nervous about heating the heavy cream, afraid it would curdle, but this fudge turned out to be one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made.

Note: This fudge will be softer than the Chocolate “Dummy” Fudge, but once it sets, it will melt in your mouth.

Vanilla Fudge

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes a 9×9 pan (about 80 1-inch pieces)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Prep Work: Butter a 9×9 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper (I had the parchment paper hang over the edges, but if you don’t, you’ll need a sharp knife to remove fudge from dish) and butter the paper. Set aside on a wire baking rack.

Prepare a small bowl of water and a pastry brush – set both by the stove.

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and set aside. The fudge batter will later be added to this bowl.

Make the Fudge: In a medium, heavy saucepan combine cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (about 10 minutes). Raise heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. As mixture heats, wash down sides of pan with the wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming.

When boiling, attach candy thermometer to pan and continue cooking until mixture reaches 238F, the soft-ball stage. This will take 10-15 minutes. Do not stir mixture during this time!

When mixture reaches 238F, remove from heat and pour immediately into the bowl with butter. Do not scrape bottom or sides of the pan. Transfer candy thermometer to bowl and allow to cool until it reaches 110F, about 90 minutes. During this time, do not touch the bowl.

When the mixture cools to 110F, remove thermometer and using a wooden spoon, gently stir the mixture. Gradually increase speed, stirring until the mixture lightens in color and “loses it sheen,” about 5 minutes.

Pour into buttered pan, using a spatula or knife to ensure the fudge is spread evenly. Allow to cool in the pan on the wire rack for 1 hour.

Cover in Plastic Wrap and Refrigerate until fudge is set, at least 8 hours. When ready to cut, use parchment paper to lift fudge out of pan and onto a work surface. Cut with a sharp knife.

Storage: The original directions said that the fudge can be stored in the fridge between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week, bringing to room temperature before serving. I stored it a little longer than a week (in muffin liners) before moving to the freezer (with no parchment paper or lines) and it worked out just fine.   🙂

Posted in Candies & Truffles, Desserts | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Chocolate “Dummy” Fudge with Coconut

Posted by booksncooks on December 30, 2010

I’m not a huge Paula Deen fan, but this recipe was too easy not to try. It’s a great recipe to make ahead for parties or to give as a gift. The fudge is just slightly sweeter than a plain chocolate fudge, thanks to the butterscotch chips. After our holiday party, there were only a few pieces left, so I call this recipe a success!

Chocolate “Dummy” Fudge with Coconut

Adapted from Paula Deen’s Dummy Fudge Recipe

Makes a 9×9-inch pan (about 80 1-inch pieces)

Ingredients:

  • butter
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. butterscotch chips
  • 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. toasted sweetened coconut (or nuts or other mix ins of your choice)

Butter a 9×9 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper and butter the paper. Set aside.

In a bowl set over boiling water, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips and condensed milk. Stir regularly, until smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and 3/4 c. coconut. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading to even it out. Top with remaining coconut.

Refrigerate until fudge is set, about 10 minutes.

Posted in Candies & Truffles, Food Network | Leave a Comment »

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Posted by booksncooks on December 18, 2010

Remember the story about me being a weird kid and not liking cheese to such an extent that I would take the cheese off my pizza? Well, here’s another one of those fun facts about me – I was the kid that used to (and still does) eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, minus the jelly. In fact, when I met A, that’s how I knew we would become best friends. We both ate plain peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.

Peanut butter is a staple in my diet. I love peanut butter on a toasted English muffin for breakfast, or in a protein bar. No lunch? Easy enough to whip up a peanut butter sandwich. Snack? Who doesn’t like celery and peanut butter or peanut butter on crackers? Oh, the list doesn’t stop there…. there’s Asian pork tenderloin with peanut sauce for dessert and PB&J bars, chocolate peanut-butter filled cupcakes, or peanut butter balls for dessert.

Anyway, here’s one more great dessert recipe using peanut butter. Quick and easy to make, and best off, freezable so that you always have a sweet in the house. I’d make another batch now, but the hubby is catching on to my freezer trick…. Enjoy!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Adapted from Taste of Home

Makes approximately 3 dozen peanut butter cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 4 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate (either chocolate chips or bakers chocolate, coarsely chopped)
  • 6 oz. milk chocolate candy bars (12 mini Hershey bars or 4-1.55 oz. bars)
  • sprinkles or candies for topping (optional)

Line 3 mini muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c. peanut butter, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Stir until well combined.

In a microwave-safe medium bow, place remaining peanut butter, and both chocolates. Microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring well in between, until chocolate is fully melted.

Pour a scant 1 tsp. of chocolate into the bottom of each of the cupcake liners. Top with 1/2 a teaspoon of peanut butter, and top with another teaspoon of chocolate. Sprinkle with candy if desired and refrigerate to set, a couple of hours.

Store in an airtight container.

Posted in Candies & Truffles, Desserts | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »