Sunday, September 30, 2012

Homemade Twix Bars

This recipe comes from the Kraft website. They called them Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars, but basically they are homemade Twix bars. Pretty simple and definitely yummy.

Homemade Twix Bars

1 box of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
1 package of caramels (the kind you use for making caramel apples)
1 tablespoon milk
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3 oz. white chocolate

Line 9x13 pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides for a handle later. Use the Reynolds non-stick foil if possible. If not, give the foil a light dusting of cooking spray.

Create a single layer of shortbread cookies on the foil. I had to break some cookies in half to make them fit.

Melt the caramel and the milk in the microwave for two minutes, stirring every thirty seconds. Pour over shortbread cookies and spread until even.

Microwave both types of chocolate in a small bowl for two minutes, again stirring every thirty seconds. When chocolate is smooth, pour it over the caramel layer.

Refrigerate for two hours. Before serving, take it out of the refrigerator and let it soften for fifteen minutes before cutting into bars.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baking Runs in the Family

Apparently, making desserts runs in my Cattapan blood. Check out this online article about a Cattapan from Padova, Italy (my grandfather came from this region) who is a chocolate connoisseur.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Favorite Fall Dessert?

With fall now officially upon us, I thought I'd ask a question for you to answer in the comments below . What's your favorite fall dessert?

Mine is apple crisp. I blogged one apple crisp recipe two years ago, but I've got another recipe I use when I want a little apple crisp just for me. Maybe I'll blog that recipe soon.

In the meantime, let me know your favorite fall dessert. If it's something I haven't made yet, maybe I'll give it a try and post the results on the blog.

Happy fall, everyone!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Sea of Oswald Cupcakes

A Dora birthday cake wasn't quite enough for one little girl, so she also got some cupcakes. My plan was to arrange the cupcakes in a circle and do one giant Oswald the Octopus face.

Alas, cupcakes are ornery little things when you want to put them into a circle. 

First of all, they end up more octagonal.

 Second, they don't want to stay put. I even tried several kinds of tape on the bottom of the cupcake liners, but nothing wanted to stick. I guess whatever they put on the cupcake liners to help keep the cake from sticking also keeps tape from sticking.

Instead, I made a bunch of individual Oswald faces. Hope they make you smile!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another Dora Birthday Cake

What can I say? My friend's daughter really likes Dora, so this is her second Dora birthday cake in a row. To see last year's, check out this post. Since this year's cake needed to be a small 8-inch one, I decided just to do Dora's face and used a frozen buttercream transfer.

Dora Birthday Cake
Luckily, I still had my Dora face pattern from a previous cake. I taped this to a cookie sheet and then taped waxed paper over it.

Then I outlined her face using the dark chocolate icing I was used for her hair. After outlining it, I can began to fill in all the features until I had a solid decoration.

Next, I covered the entire pattern by piping white icing over everything. The cookie sheet went into the freezer to solidify over night.

The next morning, I baked and iced the cake. The Dora face was turned upside down onto the cake, and the wax paper was peeled off. I used a star tip for a swirly border on top and shells along the bottom.

Since Dora is about five shades of brown, I decided the cake needed a bit more color. So I used some purple icing to make little star flowers with yellow centers. I froze these for a bit and then pressed them into the side of the cake with a dab of icing as "glue."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Super Easy Fruit Dip

You can find this recipe on many blogs, including on the Kraft food website. It's super easy and really delicious.

Super Easy Fruit Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. marshmallow creme (a.k.a. marshmallow fluff)
1/2 teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Mix the ingredients until well bended. Serve with fruit.

That's it. Done. End of story.

Feel free to substitute flavored cream cheese for regular cream cheese. Or skip the orange or lemon zest. Or add other flavorings. You get the idea.