Saturday, July 4, 2015

S'mores Brownies


What's Fourth of July without S'mores? Well, you know I'm always looking for a new s'mores recipes -- for truffles, for cakes, for drinks...whatever. I've posted several recipes for S'mores Brownies, but this is my new favorite! You'll love these. If you're making these today for Independence Day, consider adding Patriotic Peeps instead of traditional marshmallows. These Smores Brownies are perfect for the Fourth of July or anytime!!!

S'mores Brownies

Ingredients
3/4 cup sweet butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Graham Crackers  
4 Hershey bars
5 ounces marshmallows (regular or mini)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F°. Grease an 8 inch square pan.
In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
Pour half batter into pan.
Layer graham crackers side by side over the top of the brownie batter until completely covered.
Put layer of Hershey’s chocolate bars side by side over graham crackers.
Place marshmallows over chocolate bars.
Pour remaining batter evenly over marshmallows, spreading with a spatula if necessary.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Cool before cutting.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Red Velvet Blueberry Whoopie Pies for Fourth of July!

Photo: US Highbush Blueberry Council
I always say you should check out food sites and associations for creative recipes! This recipe for Red Velvet Blueberry Whoopie Pies from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is perfect for Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day...or just about any time. And, you can always change it up by using a chocolate cake mix instead of red velvet. The recipe calls for a mix--very easy--but if you're a purist, you can always use your favorite red velvet cake recipe.

RED VELVET BLUEBERRY WHOOPIE PIES

Ingredients 
1 red velvet cake mix (18.25 ounces)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1⁄3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1-1/2 cups marshmallow crème from a jar
1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl combine cake mix, flour, water, oil and eggs With electric mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
Scoop batter by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart, to make 24 cookies Bake until puffed, 8-10 minutes.
Let cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. With spatula, remove to wire racks to cool completely.
With small spatula or knife, spread 1-1/2 teaspoons marshmallow crème onto flat side of each cookie.    
Divide blueberries and put near edge of marshmallow creme. (or alternatively add to edges after putting top cookie on.)
Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches.
Serve immediately or store chilled in an airtight container layered between sheets of waxed paper.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Chocolate Baby Back Ribs for Fourth of July

So what are you making for the Fourth of July barbecue? Chicken? Hotdogs? Burgers? Ribs? Here's a great recipe for Chocolate Flavored Ribs for Fourth of July. Don't let this fool you. These ribs are savory and have a kick! I found the original recipe on the Fox News Latino site in 2011. I've made a few adjustments, but not many!

CHOCOLATE BABY BACK RIBS

Ingredients
3 pounds baby back ribs
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup apple juice

Chipotle Chocolate Sauce Ingredients
1 Tbsp sweet Butter
1/2 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 cup Half and half
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (65 % cacao or more), chopped
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions
Heat cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, and rub on all sides of baby back ribs.
Working in two batches, cut seasoned ribs in half.
Brown both sides until crispy.
Place each section in oversized piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Place sliced garlic over ribs and divide apple juice and pour over.
Create airtight seal and place in preheated grill for 90 minutes.
Remove from foil and place directly on grill. Brush with chocolate chipotle sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn over and repeat, then EAT!

Chocolate Chipotle Sauce
To make sauce, sauté butter over low heat, add cumin and half and half. Continuously stir until hot but not boiled.
Add chopped chocolate and continue to stir until smooth. Mix in apple cider vinegar. Set aside until ready to brush over ribs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Patriotic Strawberry, Chocolate, Blueberry Salad!

Here's a Patriotic Salad for the Fourth of July. Simple and easy.

Strawberry, Blueberry, and Chocolate Salad

Combine a basket of strawberries with a basket of blueberries.
Chop dark chocolate into chunks.
Combine chocolate and fruit and toss in a raspberry vinaigrette.
One of my favorites is Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette... or make your own. Keep it slightly fruity.