Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oreo Cream Fudge Brownies

I am really proud of this recipe because it is all mine. Well, I combined elements from three different recipes, but the inspiration and end-result were my original idea. These brownies are extremely rich and chocolatey, so if you're not a hard-core chocoholic, you may want to stick to regular brownies. :)

Fudge Brownies
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake or all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and chopped chocolate. Heat until melted, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Sprinkle the sifted flour over the mixture and stir until just blended. You don't really need to use the cake flour since these are dense brownies, but if you want them to be a little lighter and fluffier, go ahead. Stir in chips. You'll notice that there is no chemical leavening in this recipe. That's what makes these more dense and fudgy instead of light and cakey.

Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch square, preferably glass. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Do not overbake. Cool completely.

Oreo Cream
1/2 package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 cups thawed whipped topping
6 Oreos, crushed

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping and crushed cookies. Spread over cooled brownies. You can add as much or as little as you want. The brownies are a very dark chocolate, almost bitter, so the sweetness of the Oreo cream is a great complement.

Chocolate Ganache
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat cream in microwave or in saucepan until small bubbles start to form. Stir in chocolate until melted. Let cool slightly. Spread over Oreo cream and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Caramel Apples

If you've ever had a caramel apple at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, you know there's a lot more to these apples than just caramel. I am always dazzled by all the different topping choices, but my favorite is caramel, chocolate, and pecans. Even with all the fabulous toppings, this dessert is still an apple to the core, which makes it healthy, right? With fall in the air and apples on sale, I decided to try my hand at making my own caramel apples. They turned out great, thanks to this great caramel recipe from my sister-in-law Chelsey.
Caramel Apples
1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 pinch salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
apples for dipping (Granny Smith are perfect for this)

Melt the butter and add the rest to a deep, heavy saucepan. You want a deep pot rather than a wide one to make it easier for dipping and coating the apples. Stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees. (Make sure to calibrate your thermometer!) Remove from heat and add vanilla. Dip apples immediately into hot caramel; then dip immediately into toppings (nuts, chocolate, cookie crumbs, etc.). Place on parchment or wax paper to cool.