Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Frosting

This is quite possibly the best frosting I've ever had. Ever. And I've had a lot of frosting in my days. It is rich and creamy, not too sweet, perfectly chocolatey, and it literally melts in your mouth. Seriously it is divine. Definitely worth the extra work. I may never make regular chocolate buttercream frosting again.

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Frosting
adapted from Our Best Bites

2/3 cup granulated sugar (NOT powdered sugar)
1/3 cup flour
3 Tb. unsweetened cocoa powder
dash salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutions!)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.In medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder and salt. Slowly add milk, whisking to combine completely (slowly adding the milk helps prevent lumps so don't be tempted to add it all at once). Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about the consistency of a pudding). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. If there are any lumps, push through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps. Cool completely (I normally make this the day before or at least a couple of hours before and refrigerate until ready to use).
2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat for 30 more seconds. Stir until completely melted, then refrigerate until chocolate is room-temperature (if it is hot at all it will melt the butter and leave you with a melty, gooey mess--delicious, but not good for frosting). In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the flour/sugar/milk mixture and beat for 2 - 3 minutes or until combined and fluffy. Add cooled melted chocolate and beat until smooth and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes or cake.

Makes enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes or a 2-layer 8 or 9 inch round cake.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

World's Best Breadsticks

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I got from my friend Kim. Her mom used to make them for her family all the time growing up, and now that I have tried them I can definitely see why. My husband says that these are the best breadsticks ever. In fact, they're so good that I made them especially for him for father's day today. Everyone else that had them loved them too. And they're simple to whip up and can be ready in less than an hour.
World's Best Breadsticks

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tb. SAF instant yeast
2 Tb. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 cups flour
1 cube butter
garlic salt
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine yeast and water until yeast is dissolved and frothy. Add sugar, salt, and flour. Mix until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Let rise for 10 minutes.
2. Melt butter and pour into a large (half-sheet) baking pan.
3. Spray clean counter top, rolling pin, and hands with cooking spray (the dough is very sticky so don't skip this step!). Roll dough out into a large rectangle. Cut dough with pizza cutter (sprayed with cooking spray) into twelve long pieces. Roll each dough piece in butter, and twist to form a breadstick, then place in pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt and Parmesan to taste.
4. Let raise 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes. These are best warm out of the oven. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Southwestern Beef Wraps

This is a great slow-cooker meal. Theoretically it should be quick and easy, but with a three week old it took me much longer to make than I'd like to admit (what with the fussing, diaper changes, feedings, and everything else interspersed). If you don't have a three week old to worry about, then you can probably get it all ready in about 15 minutes. My husband and I both really enjoyed this meal and it made plenty so we had leftovers to use in salads and quesadillas over the next week.

Southwestern Beef Wraps
Adapted from Our Best Bites

1 beef roast (approx 2 lbs)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
smoked paprika, to taste
juice of 1 lime
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with chipotle chiles, or diced tomates with green chiles
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped

tortillas, lettuce, salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream, etc. for topping

1. Combine spices in small bowl. Rub all over roast, making sure it is completely coated. Place in slow cooker.
2. Top roast with onions, peppers, lime juice, and tomatoes (with juices). Cover and cook on low 7- 8 hours or high 5 - 6 hours or until meat is completely cooked and tender. Remove beef from crock pot, shred or slice, and place back in juices for at least 30 minutes.
3. Serve in flour tortillas topped with your choice of toppings.
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