Category Archives: dessert

Grandma’s Brownie Recipe

Simply the best brownies ever.  Grandma in this case is Nancy (Tunis) Klein ♥

brownie

1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate*
1/2 c butter
1/2 c flour
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

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Grease a square baking pan (8x8x2″) and preheat oven to 350º.

Crack eggs into a medium sized bowl and beat with a fork. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Set aside while you melt the chocolate and butter, let cool a little and add them to the egg mixture.  (Melt the chocolate in a double boiler – small pan set in a larger pan of boiling water or in the microwave. If you use the microwave, watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.) Blend in the flour, then add the vanilla. Spread into the greased pan and back for 25-35 minutes, until set in the middle. Let cool before cutting into 9 squares.

* substitute: 1 square baking chocolate = 1 T oil + 3 T unsweetened baking cocoa

brownies

Strawberry Shortcake for Chelsea

CORRECTED VERSION. Apologies to those who make the baking soda version *Teddy*.

Do not buy those crappy yellow sponge cakes from the supermarket.  Instead, make these.

first slice up fresh local strawberries in season
and have some whipped cream ready …

2 c flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1-2 T sugar
5 T butter
2/3 milk

Preheat oven to 400° and butter a cake pan or small cookie sheet.  Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles course meal.  Add milk slowly until the dough just comes together to form a ball.  Knead on a floured surface for a minute, then roll the dough into  a rough circle about 3/4 inch thick and place in the pan.  Before baking “cut” into 8 pieces with a fork by poking holes close together bisecting the circle in a 4 lines – like cutting a pie.  Bake 12 minutes, or until nicely lightly browned.

Serve warm (not hot) piled with lots of strawberries and whipped cream.

Love Aunt Deb

strawberries

Greek Yogurt Cake

Or yiaourtopita. A very rich and delicious basic cake.

3/4 c butter at room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
3 eggs
1 c Greek yogurt
1 T vanilla
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350° and butter and flour a 9 1/2 inch springform pan.

Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Add vanilla and beat well.

Combine dry ingredients and add to bowl along with the yogurt.  Stir to mix and then beat until thick and smooth.  Spoon into pan and back for 45 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.  You can cover with foil after 30 minutes if it seems to be browning too quickly.

Let cool for 10 minutes before removing spring pan, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Connor’s 17th birthday cake. You’ll need a spring-form pan.

CAKE LAYER
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 c sugar
1/2 c plus 2 T cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 oz baking chocolate
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 c milk
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Preheat oven to 325º and butter and flour your spring-form pan, bottom and sides.

Melt chocolate in a small saucepan placed in a larger saucepan full of boiling water (double boiler). Set aside to cool down.

Use electric mixer to beat the sugar, cocoa and butter together until creamy, at least 3 minutes. When the chocolate has cooled down but is still warm, add it to the butter and sugar. Beat on low until thoroughly blended, scraping down the sides. Then beat for at least 3 minutes on medium-high.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl, then heat the milk in the microwave, but don’t let it boil.

Add milk alternately with flour mixture to the chocolate on low until thoroughly blended, scraping down the sides. Then beat on medium-high for another 3 minutes.

Pour into prepared spring-form pan. Don’t fill any higher than 1/3 of the way! If you have extra, you can bake it in greased cupcake tins and make some mini-mousse. Bake about 20 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
6 oz high cocoa content dark chocolate
1 t gelatin powder
2 T water
1/2 milk
3/4 c heavy cream
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Chop up chocolate finely and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

Put 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the top of it and let it “bloom”.

Heat the milk to a simmer in a sauce pan just to the boiling point. Remove from heat! (excessive heat will ruin the gelatin) Then, add the gelatin to the hot milk and stir until entirely dissolved. Pour this over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts completely. Set aside, but work quickly now, you don’t want the chocolate to cool enough for the gelatin to set!

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Scoop about a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate and fold in. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you work, gently turning the mix in on itself. Then fold in the rest of the cream.

Pour the mousse onto the cake in the spring-pan and spread it out, making sure you have enough space to add the final mousse layer. If you have too much, you can add it to your mini-mousse or put it into a small dish or two to set up on its own. Put the cake in the refridgerator to start to set up while you make mousse mixture II.

MILK CHOCOLATE or WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
6 oz high quality milk chocolate or white chocolate
1 t gelatin powder
2 T water
1/2 milk
3/4 c heavy cream
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Chop up chocolate finely and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

Put 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the top of it and let it “bloom”.

Heat the milk to a simmer in a sauce pan just to the boiling point. Remove from heat! (excessive heat will ruin the gelatin) Then, add the gelatin to the hot milk and stir until entirely dissolved. Pour this over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts completely. Set aside, but work quickly now, you don’t want the chocolate to cool enough for the gelatin to set!

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Scoop about a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate and fold in. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you work, gently turning the mix in on itself. Then fold in the rest of the cream.

Pour the mousse onto the cake in the spring-pan- fill it to the top and spread it out. If you have too much, you can add it to your mini-mousse or put it into a small dish or two to set up on its own. Put the cake in the refridgerator to start to set up.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

We’ve been making this cake for most family birthdays every year since Connor’s preschool teacher Stephanie gave it to him. She was one of his teachers at Glenridge Montessori in Erie, PA. She told Connor her grandma used to make it with her. The filling is adapted from Fannie Farmer.

CAKE
2 c flour
2 c sugar
½ c cocoa powder
1½ t baking soda

1½ c milk
½ c shortening
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
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In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add milk shortening and vanilla, stir until combined and then beat on high for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes more. Pour into two greased and floured cake pans and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

FILLING
Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (4 ounces)
2 T butter
1 c heavy cream
2 c powdered sugar
pinch of salt
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Melt chocolate and butter together in a small pan over simmering water. Pour cream and half of the sugar and the pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and mix together. Add melted chocolate and butter and beat for about ten minutes, slowly adding the rest of the sugar until light and fluffy.

ASSEMBLE
Place one of the cake rounds on a serving plate and spread the filling on top. Put in the fridge for about 20 minutes before placing the second round on top. Now you are ready to ice the cake!

ICING
1/3 c butter, softened
3 c powdered sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/4 c milk
1½ t vanilla
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Beat butter until fluffy. Stir in half the sugar and cocoa powder and then beat well. Slowly add milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar until the icing is light and fluffy.

Ice cake at once. Store in the refrigerator.

Crackle Top Gingersnaps

One of the best desserts ever is a dish of good vanilla ice cream with a gingersnap or two stuck into it.

Cream together:
1 c shortening
2 c dark brown sugar, packed firm

Blend in the following and beat until fluffy:
1 egg
1 c molasses
1 t vanilla
1 t lemon juice

Combine dry ingredients and then add gradually to the sugar mixture:
4 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking soda
4 t ginger powder (plus try adding a little fresh grated ginger if you are a ginger fan)

The resulting dough should be soft, not sticky or the tops won’t crackle. Add a little more flour if sticky.

Shape 1″ balls, dip each ball in sugar and set on a greased cookie sheet two inches apart. Don’t flatten them! Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.

gingersnaps front

Gingersnaps back

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies

William’s favorite cookie in 2008.  We make these at Christmas but they are a great treat anytime, and fun for kids to help make.

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c butter at room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
3/4 2 c natural peanut butter
1 egg
1 T milk or soy milk
1 t vanilla
3/4 c powdered sugar
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Combine first three dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.Cream together butter, sugars and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat well. Add flour gradually and mix well. Shape dough into about 32 balls.

In a clean bowl, combine powdered sugar and the rest of the peanut butter. Knead by hand if necessary. Shape into 32 balls, one for each chocolate ball.

Preheat oven to 350° and set out a little sugar in a shallow bowl.  To assemble the cookies:  flatten a chocolate dough ball, indent slightly  and top with a peanut butter ball.  Gently shape chocolate to completely cover the peanut butter filling and roll back into a ball.  Place cookies 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten each with the bottom of a glass dipped into sugar.

Bake 8-12 minutes.  Allow to stand for one minute after removing from the oven, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/cookies/peanut-butter-munchies/

cookies