Kitchen Concoctions: July 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Black, Brown, Purple, Orange

One of my favorite movies is Now and Then. I love that movie! It came out right when I was a young adolescent/teenager. I remember thinking how 'cool' all the friends were and that they were having such an awesome summer: riding their bikes everywhere, getting in adventures, hanging out in their tree house. These four friends were having the time of their young lives! I was so jealous that they could ride their bike to the diner, library, etc. I mean at that time I was allowed to ride my bike around my small neighborhood but that only consisted of my friends' houses, pool, the community center, and the new tiny grocery store that was at the very front of my neighborhood.
Ahhh... the memories.

One of the scenes I love in the movie Now and Then, is when the four girlfriends are sitting at the diner counting the money they had saved up to by a tree house and they order 'black cows'. The waitress brings them their 'black cows' and calls the very obvious group of girlfriends 'boys' and they are all offended and freaked out because they think this waitress is a creepy/a witch (obviously I have seen this movie many a times).

But when I was that young adolescent watching this movie, not only was I jealous that they lived in a small enough town to ride their bikes EVERYWHERE, but I was jealous they were allowed to order and drink black cows or coke floats. Growing up my siblings and I weren't allowed to have caffeine so we could have root beer floats, purple cows (grape soda floats), and orange julius (orange juice or orange soda floats). But NEVER a black cow!

Ok, bear with me I know this story is getting long, but there is a point to all this.

So as I was 'reading' July's CBOM I was happy to see that they had a section on 'ice cream beverages'. "Mmmm, Yummy!" I thought. "Who doesn't love a nice cold smoothie, float, or shake?" So when I was reading this section of the cookbook I saw IT, in big bold letters: BLACK COW ICE CREAM SODA. I then read the list of ingredients and directions and was shocked to find out what Bruce weinstein, the author of this ice cream cookbook bible, was referring to as a 'black cow.' His version is simply a glorified root beer float with chocolate sauce. Since seeing the movie Now and Then I always thought a black cow was simply a coke float... is this not so? Or is this one of those things that are different depending on where you live? Or could this simply be Mr. Weinstein's twist on this old classic?

Anyways, I knew I wanted to make this ice cream treat but then I debated about sharing this recipe on this blog because it was so simple. But this blog is for me to share my culinary experiences and adventures, and so, for me that is what this is! A learning/nostalgic adventure/experience!

And the final verdict: I didn't like this as much as I thought I was going to the first go a round because I used A LOT of chocolate syrup. But when I tried it again I used a lot less chocolate syrup and thought it was better (as always my changes are expressed below).

Black Cow Ice Cream Soda
Prep Time: 3 minutes Serves: One

1/2 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 (12 oz) can root beer
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Place chocolate syrup in the bottom of a chilled glass. Add 4 ounces root beer and stir until well blended. Add one scoop of ice cream. Fill glass with remaining root beer. Top with remaining ice cream. Serve.

adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"A Spoonful of Sugar"

"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down... the medicine go down... a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.. In the most dEliGHtful way!" I was singing this Mary Poppin's classic the whole time I was making this rich and smooth chocolate syrup. I mean I am not adding this chocolate syrup to medicine, simply ice cream and milk (and licking it straight off the spoon), but I am sure this chocolate syrup would make just about anything taste good! And I don't feel quite as bad because although this truly sinful concoction has two different types of sugar in it, it doesn't 'look' like pure sugar so I can feel less guilty about having a spoonful, right? I know my logic doesn't make sense but I guess I just wanted you all to have this catchy little song stuck in YOUR heads too. I know so nice of me.

Anyways.... this homemade chocolate syrup was thick and chocolaty. Better than that runny stuff you buy in the bottle at the store. The only slight 'issue' I have with this though, is that it has corn syrup. And I KNOW the stigma corn syrup has... I almost came very close to not making this because of the whole corn syrup thing but I figured I would make it was the recipe calls and maybe next time play around with not using the syrup (maybe by adding more regular sugar an water next time). But the way I look at it, this chocolate syrup is a special treat to add to already special treats, like ice cream... so every once in a while is ok, right?

Chocolate Syrup
Prep Time: 3 minutes Cook Time: 6 minutes Makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is clear. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the cocoa. Bring back to a simmer and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein

Monday, July 26, 2010

Homemade At It's YUMMIEST!

If you remember Eric gave me a Kitchen Aide Mixer for my birthday last year as well as the ice cream maker attachment. If you have the Kitchen Aide Mixer I strongly suggest the ice cream attachment! It totally makes making ice cream soooo easy! No need for rock salt or hand churning…. Just hook it up and turn your mixer on… not 20 minutes later and you have yummy ice cream!

After I got my ice cream maker I was on the hunt for the perfect ice cream. I had seen this recipe for cookies and cream ice cream on The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog, who had gotten it from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. I knew immediately I had to make this ice cream and get this book… so I did!

This ice cream is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! If you have never had homemade ice cream you MUST! It really is pretty simple to make and the end result is WAY better than anything I have bought at the store or the ice cream parlor.

If you never take my advice on anything else, at least take my advice on homemade ice cream…especially THIS homemade ice cream… you must make it… you will have NO regrets!

Notes: I have made this ice cream recipe several times since I discovered it. When I first made it I followed the directions and we did not think there was enough vanilla flavor, so I have added more each time I have made it again. Also the picture here (and the picture at the top of this blog) was taken one time I made this when Girl Scout Cookies were in season. I used Girl Scout Thin Mints and loved the slight ‘mint’ flavor and how crunchy the Thin Mints stayed as opposed to when I have made this with Oreos (but Oreos are still good if that’s all ya got!).

Cookies n' Cream Ice Cream
Prep Time: 25 minutes Chill Time: Overnight Churn Time: 20 minutes Makes about 1 quart

1 cup sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Crushed Thin Mint or Oreo cookies

Beat the sugar and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Set aside.

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the cheese mixture. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the egg will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot cheese custard through a strainer into a large bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in your ice cream machine according the manufacturers instructions (my machine took 20 minutes), adding the crumbled Thin Mints/Oreos to the machine when the ice cream is semi-frozen. The more cookies the better, right!?! Allow the machine to mix in the cookies. When finished the ice cream will be soft (like soft serve) but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Sweet Time

Well I hope you all have had a great weekend. I apologize for the irregular blogging over the last few weeks but I have been on vacation. I just got back yesterday from traveling in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was a blast and we enjoyed every minute of it. I am already missing the mountains, cooler weather, and slower pace lifestyle that we experienced up there (things we don’t have so much here in Texas). But it is good to be home, catch up on my sleep, and slowly catch up on blogging and blog reading (not so thrilled to have to go back to work tomorrow, but that’s life, right?).

Because life has been so busy for me here, getting ready for vacation and then being gone so long, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do a cookbook of the month review for July. But I think I am going to be able to make it possible! So, (hopefully) for this last week of July I will share four or five recipes from the sweet cookbook I have chosen, The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, by Bruce Weinstein.

What a perfect book to cover during one of the hottest times of year. What doesn’t get more tasty than ice cream, I know I could totally eat it everyday if I was forced too! : )

I really like this cookbook so far, however compared to a lot of cookbooks it is rather plan. There are no pictures and no cooking times listed (however when making ice cream, as I have learned it requires several small steps, sometimes over the course of several days to reach the final amazing product).

This book does cover all the ice cream essentials. Of course ice cream, ice cream cones, sorbets and granitas, ice cream toppings, and ice cream drinks. I also like that for each recipe listed there is several variations of that same recipe listed below that take that basic chocolate recipe up a notch.

It should be a fun week covering this cookbook and maybe if you are lucky I will share a few photos and stories from my vacation!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

(Food) TV Junkie

I am really not a huge TV watcher. I was obsessed with Lost when it was on and watched it religiously. And I always enjoy a good Friends marathon when I am sick or feeling like having a lazy day, but I really don't watch that much regular TV. But I do have to say that when it comes to food TV, I AM a bit of a junkie. And it seems like in the summer all of the Food TV shows that I love are flooding the TV airways with new episodes. Not only are there new episodes of all the shows I love but there are some new food shows that I have come to love.

I have been watching Mr. Ramsey give the contestants of Hell's Kitchen 'a good stern talkin' to' since season one of this show 7 years ago. I know some folks are turned off by Gordon's rough and tough (and sometimes foul) attitude in the kitchen but he sure knows his stuff! What I would give to work with Gordon Ramsey and learn from him (I know I could handle him, plus I know he's got a soft spot deep down in there some where). In the show Gordon takes 12 professional chefs (professional in some form or fashion) and puts them through rigorous challenges and dinner services and widdles them away one by one. The winner then gets to go and be the executive chef at one of Gordon Ramsey's world renowned restaurants! This year I have not been too impressed with the skills, and personalities of the chefs but it is still fun to watch. I sure do get a kick out of Mr. Ramsey's personality!

Another TV food show I watch religiously is TLC's Cake Boss. This reality TV show follows the 'baking life' of Buddy, the owner of Carlo's Bakery. His bakery is a family owned and operated New Jersey bakery, and the show follows their adventures in the bakery and the adventures that their professional cakes take them outside the bakery. The the cakes and baked goods they create are AMAZING and each one holds a story. This show cracks me up because this is one BIG Italian family and each family member has a BIG Italian personality and accent. I just love it!

A new cooking competition show that is new this year is Cupcake Wars. Cupcakes have been all the rage for several years now and this show takes that rage to a whole new level. In this show 4 cupcake bakers from across the country compete in competitions with one person being eliminated each round, until they have a final winner. Each show has a theme where the competition and cupcakes being made and judged have to go with that theme/event. The winner gets $10,000.00 and their signature cupcake creations featured at that actual event. It is a fun show. Past shows have included making cup cakes for an OK! Magazine singles party, and a celebrity charity golf event. I love seeing how these cupcake artiest decorate their creations and what flavor combinations they come up with.

Have you been following this season's The Next Food Network Star as closely as I have been? It is always fun to see the different competitions all of the contestants have to go through and how they act or react in front of the camera. It is so cool to see them progress through the show. Many of today's top Food personalities such as Guy Feri and Melissa d'Arabian have come from this show. Who do you think will win this year? I correctly guessed Melissa winning last year and this year I have bets on Arti a fellow food blogger. I guess we will just have to wait and see who wins.

Not only are there new cooking shows out this summer there is a whole new cooking channel! Have any of you checked out the new Cooking Channel? I have been wanting to but I have been so busy with life and watching ALL of these other cooking shows that I haven't really checked it out. It is by the same folks who bring us the Food Network but it is supposed to be purely instructional/educational cooking TV. Think old school Food Network before all the previously mentioned 'relaity TV' and 'cooking competions'. A lot of old Food Network Stars, such as Giada De Laurentiis, Emerial Lagassie, Bobby Flay, have new shows on this channel. Also there is also a good ole classic TV chef, Julia Child, who is still finding the spotlight every day. If you are burnt on all the reruns of all the regular cooking shows on the Food Network (I know I am) then this is the new place to be!

But I do have to say that out of all these shows probably my favorite is Chopped. Eric loves this one (and Hell's Kitchen too). Chopped is where 4 professional chefs compete in different rounds with one chef being eliminated each round until there is a winner. Round one is an appetizer, thee next round is an entree, and the final round is dessert. The kicker: each round they are given a basket of mystery ingredients that they must use in the dish they are preparing. An appetizer round might include chicken wings, bananas, beans, and eggs. All random and never seeming like could all come together and make a complete dish that tastes great. But according to the judges comments they do (or they don't and they are 'chopped'). They are given use to a pantry and fridge of basic ingredients like spices, additional fruits, veggies and grains, etc. But because each round they are handed their basket and then told to immediately start and only have a 30 minute time frame these chefs have to think and act quick. I love this show because it challenges me. I always am thinking what could or would I make with the mystery ingredients. Plus it is fun to hear the judges comments and see who gets chopped or who stays!
So I am not really a big TV watcher... just a few shows here or there! : )

Pictures courtesy of,,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


A few weeks ago (wait I take that back actually a few months ago... eeks that is how far behind I am in blogging) my cool peeps over at Foodbuzz* teamed up with Bertolli and asked some blogger peeps if they would like to review a couple of their new sauces. I of course said I wouldn't mind.

Bertolli shipped me this cute little box that looked like a menu. Inside were the two bottles of their new Arrabbiata Sauce and their new Four Cheese Alfredo. On the two side flaps of this 'menu' were 3 or 4 recipes using each sauce. It was too cute (I tried to take pictures but they didn't turn out all that great). I knew immediately what I wanted to do with the Arrabbiata sauce. I was going to make a pasta dish since I kinda have a thing for pasta!

Before I started cooking I tasted the sauce by itself.. so I knew what I was working with. The flavor was great and did not taste tomato pasty (which with some of the jar sauces they can sometimes have that lingering tomato paste taste). Also the texture was perfect and not runny like other jarred sauces. The one and only thing that disappointed me about this sauce was that for me it was not spicy enough. Arrabbiata means 'angry' in Italian and an Arrabbiata sauce usually has a bit of a kick. So in my recipe below I added a little bit of crushed red pepper. But if you would like to serve this to kids or you have trouble handling the heat then leave out the crushed red pepper and just use the heat in this sauce to have that 'little' kick.

This pasta dish is delizioso! All the flavors complement each other so well. The tanginess of the feta and the spiciness of the Arrabbiata sauce pair perfectly. Add in Italian sausage and bell peppers and you have perfection in a bowl.

'Angry' Sausage and Pepper Pasta
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves 4-5

1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 pound Italian sausage links
1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 jar Bertolli Arrabbiata Sauce (or your favorite brand arrabbiata sauce)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces feta cheese
salt and black pepper to taste

Slice peppers and onions into long thin pieces. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage links on all sides. Continue to cook until sausage is thoroughly cooked all the way through.

Once fully cooked, remove sausage from pan and slice. In the same pan the sausage was cooked add peppers and onions. Saute veggies for 3-4 minutes.

While veggies are cooking bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

After veggies have cooked add the sliced sausage back to the pan along with sauce and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook until heated through.

Pour sauce mixture over prepared, drained pasta. Serve topped with feta cheese.

*As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received the Bertolli Arrabbiata Sauce.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Earlier this week when I shared with you the recipe for the Asian Chicken Bites I mentioned I had served the chicken with some Asian inspired noodles. Well folks here they are in all their simple, yummy glory. These were the most perfect side to that chicken. And would also be the most perfect companion to any Asian inspired dish.

They were also great just by themselves. Yup I totally ate this pasta as leftovers the next day when I had no chicken left and these noodles were even more tasty. And yup I really wish I had some right now. And no I did not eat these Asian Noodles with chopsticks, as you would assume by the picture below. Because here is a little secret about me: I don't know how to eat with chopsticks. As much as I love Asian food and eat it all the time you would think I would know how; in fact several people have tried teaching me and I still can't! It is one of my goals though... exactly number 22 on my list of food related things to learn how to do! I guess I had better go make some more of this pasta and start practicing! LOL!

Asian Noodles
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Serves: 4

12 ounces angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti

1/2 cup beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a small bowl, whisk all of the sauce ingredients together to combine. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until desired tenderness. Drain and set aside.

Pour the sauce over the noodles. Toss to evenly coat pasta. Serve immediately. Leftovers eaten heated or cold are amazing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3 out of 5

Today I am ending the back to back cookbook of the month recipe marathon for June... wait it is not June any more... silly me...anyway!?! The Hershey's Cookbook that I decided to feature at the last minute at the end of the month of June was... partially a hit. It wasn't a total deaster because I did get THREE really good recipes out of the five I made. And these THREE I am totally making again... no matter what. So I guess all in all THREE out of five recipes ain't bad at all! So I take back that whole partially hit thing!
I thoroughly enjoyed this cookbook. It had everything you want (or at least everything I want) in a cookbook. Pictures for EVERY recipe: heck yeah... Well rounded variety of recipes: um more heavy on the whole sweet/dessert recipes but who's complaining there, NOT ME... Number of servings listed: check... Cooking/Prep Times easily listed: ok not so much, but hey I guess we can't have everything.
Even though I choose to feature several entrees from a cookbook by Hershey's; this is totally a great cookbook to have on hand for when you get major sweet tooth cravings (I know I get them on a regular basis). Or this book would be perfect to pull out for the holiday baking because of the wide variety of cookie, pie, cake, and treat recipes that flood this book.

This Tex-Mex Rubbed chicken unfortunately made my "I won't be makin' this again" list. I felt like there was no flavor to what they were calling a "Tex-Mex" rub. But hey I guess you can't win them all.

The second recipe I tried was better than the first (the Tex-Mex Rubbed Chicken) but still lacked the "I'ma gunna hurry out and make this" vibe. They called it chili but I liked this concoction much better slapped on some hamburger buns and called a Sloppy Joe Chili.

Ahhh. I finally found a WINNER! A HUGE winner! These Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls where 'da bomb (OMG...who says that anymore... I guess I still do... hehe)! Eric asked that these be the ONLY cinnamon roll I ever make anymore. EVER... that just speaks for it's self!

MMMM. These brownies were delish. The best way to describe these Perfectly Peppermint Brownies is that I made a small batch of these and Eric and I conquered them. I then made more to take to a 4th of July get together and they were the first dessert gone. And if you are still not sold yet, Eric's brother, who said he was a York Peppermint Pattie hater, ate THREE of these delicious brownies and said: 'What was I thinking hating York Peppermint Patties. These are fantastic!'

And finally the last recipe I tried, I attempted another savory dish and had ultimate success. These Asian Chicken Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce were positively scrumptious. Eric and I also conquered and devoured this chicken and were totally left wanting more

Monday, July 5, 2010

Peanut Butter n' Chicken

The final recipe I ended up making from the Hershey Cookbook was another savory one. Believe me I could have, no change that to I wanted to, continue to make every single dessert and sweet recipe in this book but I did have to have a little self control (it is the middle of swim suit season, you know).

I was so happy this savory dish turned out so well (especially with the lack of success I had with the other savory dishes I featured). We really like Asian inspired foods around here and I was really hoping this recipe wouldn't disappoint. And it didn't! These chicken 'bites' were full of those Asian flavors. This chicken tasted great by it's self and was enhanced with the peanut dipping sauce.

Stay tuned because later this week I will feature the Asian noodles that I created to accompany this chicken (which really completed this meal!).

Chicken Bites
Prep Time: 20 minutes Marinate time: 2 hours Cook Time: 40 minutes Serves: 15 to 20 appetizers or 4 to 6 entree servings.

6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons dried coriander
4 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Cocoa
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons fresh, chopped ginger
2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine garlic, coriander, brown sugar, salt, cocoa and pepper in large bowl. Stir in soy sauce, oil, lime juice and ginger.

Cut chicken into 1-1/2 to 2-inch cubes. Add to soy sauce mixture, stirring to coat chicken pieces. Cover; marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, prepare PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE. Bake in preheated oven, with marinade, for 40 minutes. Discard leftover marinade. Serve with prepared peanut sauce. Refrigerate leftovers.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup peanut oil
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Gradually whisk peanut oil into peanut butter in medium bowl. Blend in lime juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, cayenne pepper and hot pepper sauce. Adjust flavors to taste. (You should have a sweet/hot flavor.) Makes about 2-1/4 cups dipping sauce.

both recipes adapted from Hershey

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Word: Perfect

Sometimes when I see a recipe that has the words 'the best' or 'the perfect' in the title I get a little put off. I mean nothing against being 'perfect' or 'the best' but until I have tried EVERY recipe for cookies, pie, brownies, etc. how can choose to name one recipe over another as 'the best'. Well after needing to fulfill a major chocolate craving earlier this week, I WAS looking for 'the perfect' treat. Well I settled on these brownies from the Hershey cookbook (what a 'perfect' cookbook to have on hand when needing to find 'the perfect' chocolate treat!) because they were easy and I had all the ingredients on hand (yup, I did have an entire bag of York Peppermint Patties at home already- please don't judge). And these brownies DID do an excellent job at 'perfectly' fulfilling my chocolate craving. They had a light mint flavor and the gooey morsels of Peppermint Pattie were a delightful addition. These Peppermint Brownies were gooey, not cake like, chocolaty, and whip up fast!

These brownies definitely cured my chocolate craving and would be 'perfect' for any get together you may have for this holiday weekend.

Hope you all have a Happy and Safe Independence Day Holiday! And Happy Birthday to my Grandmother (84 years young today!) too!

Notes: I did make a few slight changes. I like the flavor of mint and chocolate so I added a little bit of mint extract to these brownies. Be carful though, mint is a strong flavor... a little goes a long way! Also I reduced the amount of sugar I used. The original recipe had A LOT if sugar which I did not think necessary. My brownies were 'perfectly' sweet with the amount of sugar I added. I cut my YORK Peppermint Patties into 8ths. This left them big enough to have recognizable chunks in the brownies.

See those white chunks... that's the YORK Peppermint Patties... yum!

'Perfectly' Peppermint Brownies
Prep Time: 25 minutes Bake time: 25-30 minutes Makes: approximately 20 brownies

16 - 17 small (1-1/2 inch) YORK Peppermint Patties
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup milk
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Unwrap and coarsely chop peppermint patties; set aside.

Stir together cocoa and baking soda in large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup butter. Heat milk in microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Add milk to cocoa mixture and stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter; stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla, mint extract and salt; blend completely. Stir in peppermint pattie pieces. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

adapted from Hershey's

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Breakfast Dessert

The next recipe I made from the Hershey Cookbook was totally and completely scrumptious and totally redeemed the other two I tried. It was also a sweet! Not just any sweet a yummy breakfast sweet. These cinnamon rolls gone chocolate were the 'icing on the cake' to a hearty 'breakfast for dinner' meal Eric cooked up a few nights ago. After we ate his tasty breakfast concoction he asked if the 'dessert' I made was ready. It was and we devoured these. Eric asked (after we had ingested several of these little delights) if this could always be our "breakfast dessert"! Folks I think that is a sure sign of a winner!

These little breakfast goodies were soooo so easy and used ingredients I always have on hand. And since they are kind of 'self-frosting'so you can just pull them out of the oven and serve.

Notes: I followed the recipe pretty closely. I did add cinnamon the the filling mix to make them a true "Chocolate Cinnamon Roll". Also the original recipe said to cook these in mini muffin pans but I didn't read that part and used a regular sized muffin pan and just put 2 to 3 little 'rolls' in each muffin pan.

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 11-13 minutes Serves: 6

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter or margarine, divided
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa, divided
5 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated quick crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over low heat; add brown sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Spoon about 2 teaspoonfuls chocolate mixture into each of 48 small muffin cups (1-3/4-inches in diameter) OR 12 large muffin cups. Set aside.

Unroll dough; separate into 8 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; brush over rectangles. Stir together granulated sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa; sprinkle over all rectangles. Starting at longer side, roll up each rectangle; pinch seams to seal. Cut each roll into equal pieces. Press 2-3 pieces gently into prepared pans, cut-side down.

Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; cool 30 seconds. Invert onto cookie sheet. Let stand 1 minute; remove pans. Serve warm or cool completely.

NOTE: Rolls can be baked in two 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Cook chocolate mixture as directed; place half in each pan. Prepare rolls as directed; place 24 pieces, cut-side down, in each pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes. Cool and remove from pans, as directed above.

adapted from Hershey's
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