Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Imagine, if you can, the sweetest white frosting bursting with small, colorful chips. That is rainbow chip frosting. Betty Crocker used to make it with a rainbow chip cake to match. They were both favorites as a kid.

The frosting, sadly, was discontinued. People are so crazy-mad about it they have gone as far as to start petitions and facebook pages. You can still find the rainbow chip cake but when it comes to the frosting you’re sc*#$ed. Until now.

No, this isn’t exactly the same. It might be better. Thanks to these guys. Rainbow chip crunch sprinkles by Wilton.

Bottled rainbows.

Rainbow Chips

They are like teeny-tiny m&m’s, smaller in size than even mini m&m’s. They have a lightly crisp coating with chocolate on the inside. You can find them at places that carry Wilton baking supplies like A.C. Moore, Joann’s Fabrics, Micheal’s and even some Walmarts (in the housewares section by the cake decorating supplies, not the grocery section). And on Amazon.

I found them staring back at me from a shelf at A.C. Moore, begging me to take them home and dump them into a big vat of cream cheese frosting where they can spread happiness far and wide.

Anyhoo, these will easily help you turn any frosting into rainbow chip frosting whether it be your favorite homemade recipe or that white tub you pick up in the frosting aisle (I don’t personally recommend this – making it from scratch is too easy!).

When life gives me rainbow chips. . . I make frosting.

It’ssssss ba-aaaaack.

Rainbow Chip Frosting

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: frosts one 2-layer cake or about 18 cupcakes

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

How to make rainbow chip frosting like Betty Crocker's discontinued version!

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces cream cheese (light or regular - not nonfat), at room temperature
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Beat in half the confectioners' sugar until combined, add the remaining half and the vanilla extract. Beat on medium 5 minutes until light and fluffy, stopping to check the consistency every few minutes. If it seems too thick you can add a teaspoon of heavy cream or half & half, too thin add a few more tablespoons confectioners' sugar.
  3. Stir in the rainbow chips by hand. Use immediately. This will frost a 2 layer cake or 18 cupcakes.

Notes:

This is pipeable with big pastry tips! I use these.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/homemade-rainbow-chip-frosting/

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Roll Scones w/ Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate-Chip-Cinnamon-Roll-Scones-and-Cream-Cheese-Icing

Cinnamon rolls collide with scones and make beautiful music together! Chocolate chip-laced scone dough is rolled up with a buttery, cinnamon filling and baked into cinnamon roll. . . scones. They have all the charm and then some of a cinnamon roll without having to wait on fussy yeast to rise. Twice.

This dough relies on baking powder to leaven it rather than yeast like that of a traditional sweet roll. They have the crusty, craggy texture of a scone on the outside with a dense, softer crumb inside. They’re speckled with the mild sweetness of mini chocolate chips and big, lovely swirls of buttery, brown sugar-infused cinnamon. The cream cheese icing brings in just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the barely sweet scone.

The method of mixing them is like making pie crust and some of the same “rules” apply. Cold butter is cut into the dry ingredients until small crumbles form then half & half is mixed in to form the dough. It’s perfectly normal for the dough to be a little crumbly and crackly especially around the edges as you’re rolling them out – they will bake up fine.

I want to make a note that you don’t want to overwork the dough or let them sit around too long before you bake them. It’s imperative you use cold butter and cold half & half – straight from the fridge. Leave it there until you’re ready for it. If you’re working in a warm kitchen it’s best to refrigerate the dough for 20 – 30 minutes before slicing it into rolls. Otherwise, some of the butter will melt right out of them onto the baking sheet as they cook rather than melting into the dough. You don’t want that. They won’t rise as well and may cause a total baking failure.

Where cinnamon rolls are best eaten warm out of the oven, cinnamon roll scones are best eaten any time! I like them at room temperature and found these to be even better the next day after sitting overnight. The flavors had a chance to get to know each other, to mingle and develop.

Scones that want-a-be cinnamon rolls.

They don’t know they’re perfect just the way they are.

Cinnamon Roll Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Roll Scones w/ Cream Cheese Icing

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Yield: about 16 scones

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Roll Scones w/ Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon rolls collide with scones and make beautiful music together! Chocolate chip-laced scone dough is rolled up with a buttery, cinnamon filling and baked into cinnamon roll. . . scones. They have all the charm and then some of a cinnamon roll without having to wait on fussy yeast to rise.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Dough:
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) cold salted butter, cut into tiny cubes
1 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Ghiardelli )
1 + 3/4 cups cold half-and-half straight from the fridge
Icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 3 teaspoons milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Make the filling:
  3. In a small bowl mix the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together until smooth and creamy.
  4. Make the dough:
  5. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or two forks used scissor fashion, work in the butter until the mixture turns crumbly with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chips are evenly dispersed.
  6. Stir in the half-and-half and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The mixture will be a little dry and crumbly.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured pastry mat or work surface and pat it together into a flat mound. Don't overwork it. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to a 18 x 12-inch rectangle. It will appear a little cracked and crumbly around the edges.
  8. Spread the cinnamon filling out evenly over the top of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Starting at one of the long sides, tightly roll the dough up into a log. Trim off the uneven ends. (If your kitchen is very warm you may want to refrigerate the roll of dough for 20-30 minutes before slicing.) Cut the dough into 1-inch thick slices and place them a few inches apart on the baking sheets.
  9. Bake, switching the positions of the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking, until the rolls are slightly golden around the edges about 20 - 22 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes then remove to wire racks.
  10. Make the Icing:
  11. Beat the cream cheese and butter together on low speed until well combined and creamy about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla and 1 teaspoon milk to start. Beat until well combined, adding more milk as need to get a consistency you like. You can thin it out to make a glaze or leave it thicker like icing.

Notes:

Adapted from Tate's Bakeshop: Baking for Friends

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-chip-cinnamon-roll-scones-w-cream-cheese-icing/

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

A soft, fluffy layer cake that bakes up taller than your average cake with mini chocolate chips speckling the batter and chocolate frosting all around.

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been searching for a good chocolate chip layer cake recipe. One where the chocolate chips actually stay suspended in the batter and don’t sink to the bottom so when you turn out the cake you have a sticky, chocolate mess stuck to the bottom of the pan and a broken, crazy looking cake that is utterly impossible to save.

I gave up on them.

Then I saw this recipe in my Tate’s Baking for Friends and all those cake fails were quickly forgotten.

It’s imperative that you use mini chocolate chips. The big ones will sink, even if you coat them with flour, too heavy even for this batter. This cake works because the batter is thick enough to hold up those lightweight, little chips. It’s made with two eggs and two yolks, entirely with brown sugar – no white, and buttermilk, all giving it a wonderful rich flavor. Plus, there’s lots of it. Cake, that is. Lots of cake.

The recipe makes a ton of batter that is best baked off in springform pans where it can bake up as high as it wants without fear of overflowing. If you don’t have two springform pans you can bake it in three or four smaller pans or use the extra batter for cupcakes.

The frosting is my favorite cocoa frosting, the one I always turn to. You can easily turn it into a mocha frosting that would complement the cake nicely by adding a few teaspoons of espresso powder and you can also add some mini chocolate chips in keeping with the theme.

This is the chocolate chip cake of my dreams.

Chocolate Chip Cake

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

A soft, fluffy layer cake that bakes up taller than your average cake with mini chocolate chips speckling the batter and chocolate frosting all around.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:
softened butter and flour for the pans
3 + ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
16 tablespoons (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 + ½ cups (9 ounces) miniature chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli )
Frosting:
1/2 cup light heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with oven rack in the center. Butter and flour the sides of two 9x3-inch round cake or springform pans or three 8x2-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Make the cake:
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Measure the buttermilk with a glass measuring cup and add the vanilla to it.
  4. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer beat the brown sugar and butter together on medium speed 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  5. On low speed add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with buttermilk in 2 equal additions, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  6. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth out the tops. I scoop up the batter with a one cup measure to get them as evenly as possible. (If using regular cake pans don't overfill them - use excess to make cupcakes and place a baking sheet on your bottom rack to catch any drips.)
  8. Bake until wooden toothpick in centers of cakes comes out clean, about 38 - 40 minutes for the 9-inch pans and 30 - 34 minutes for the 8-inch size.
  9. Cool on wire racks for 10 - 15 minutes then run a butter knife around the edges and turn out from the pans or remove the rings, if using springform pans. Turn cakes right side up and cool completely on wire racks.
  10. Make the frosting:
  11. In a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  12. In a medium mixing bowl on medium speed beat the butter, salt, cocoa, vanilla, the espresso, 1/3 cup of the warm cream and half the sugar until smooth.
  13. Gradually add the remaining sugar beating on medium speed until smooth and fluffy 5 - 6 minutes - if the frosting seems too thick to spread then beat in the remaining cream a teaspoon at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. Frost the cake right away.

Notes:

Adapted from Tate's Bake Shop - Baking for Friends by Kathleen King

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-chip-layer-cake/

Dutch Coffee Buns

Dutch Coffee Buns

Dutch coffee buns are yeast rolls traditionally topped with a jam glaze and filled with custard and raisins. Always one to buck tradition and in an effort to use up my leftover holiday baking supplies, I filled mine with almond paste, dried cranberries and then topped them off with a tart cherry jam glaze.

This was my monthly Baking Partner’s challenge. Thanks to Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen, the creator of the group and Kaveri of Palakkad Chamayal for suggesting these delectable buns! They’re easy to make with a process that is just like cinnamon rolls.

Dutch Coffee Buns with Almond Filling & Jam

The dough is proofed once then rolled out to a square and topped with almond paste and cranberries. It’s rolled up and sliced then left to proof again before baking. The buns are topped with jam glaze and are best eaten warm with a cup of fresh, piping hot coffee, the traditional way they are served in the Netherlands.

They bake up soft and fluffy with almond paste and chewy cranberries bursting from the seams. The sweet jam is the perfect topping for the tender, yeasty buns.

You can find the links to all my Baking Partner’s versions below along with recipes for the Dutch apple tart.

Dutch Coffee Buns with Jam & Almonds

Dutch Coffee Buns

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 buns, depending on size

 Dutch Coffee Buns

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet (7 grams) instant yeast
1 + ¼ cups lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces almond paste
1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup fruit jam (tart cherry, strawberry, apricot or blueberry)
2 tablespoon warm water
a handful of sliced almonds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the hook attachment)whisk the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Add the butter, vanilla and milk, stir until the milk is combined then turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is smooth or use your stand mixer set to medium speed.
  2. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with saran wrap. Set in a warm place and proof until doubled in size about 1 hour. Meanwhile, break the almond paste apart into small pieces.
  3. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently deflate the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 2 minutes. Then roll it out with a rolling pin to about a 13 x 13-inch square.
  4. Sprinkle the almond paste all over leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the cranberries over top of that.
  5. Roll the dough up to form a cylinder shape. With seam side down cut slices with a serrated knife 1-inch to 1 + 1/2-inch in size. Place on the baking sheet. If any of the almond paste falls out just pop it back in.
  6. Set a piece of parchment over top and then gently cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and proof again 30 - 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You can brush the tops of the rolls with a tablespoon of melted butter, if you like. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Mix the jam and warm water together and brush over top of the warm rolls. Sprinkle with almonds.
  9. Serve warm with a fresh, steaming hot cup of coffee.

Notes:

Adapted from The Dutch Table

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/jam-glazed-dutch-coffee-buns/

Baking Partners

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

These delectable parfaits are made by layering coconut cream pie filling with graham cracker crust crumbs, blueberries and whipped cream. A deconstructed coconut cream pie with a bonus.

Sometimes I forget just how good desserts like this can be. I get so caught up in baking cookies, cakes and brownies that other types of desserts don’t even enter my mind. The realization hit when I took the finished parfaits out of the refrigerator and heard oohs and aahs behind me and sunk in again as I happily devoured spoonful after spoonful of this heavenly concoction.

I used all the components of a coconut cream pie recipe and added blueberries because if there’s one thing I’m sure of when it comes to blueberries it’s how much they love coconut. And whipped cream.

The thick and creamy filling is made with half & half, shredded coconut, a little sugar, vanilla and cornstarch as a thickener in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can easily make one with a heat-proof bowl and a sauce pan. I included a link in the recipe below that explains how.

The graham cracker crust is baked on a baking sheet and then broken into crumbs. It’s buttery and sweet and I could quite possibly eat the entire thing just by grabbing a piece here and there every time I walk by it.

My conclusion? Dessert parfaits are wildly underrated. I need more of them in my life!

Like a habit.

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 larger-sized parfaits or 8 medium-ish or lots of smaller ones!

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

These delectable parfaits are made by layering coconut cream pie filling with graham cracker crust crumbs, blueberries and whipped cream. A deconstructed coconut cream pie with a bonus.

INGREDIENTS:

Graham Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (made from about 16 crackers)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Filling:
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
5 large egg yolks, beaten
2 cups half & half
2 + 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 + 1/4 cups shredded coconut (I use organic, unsweetened)
Whipped Cream:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
To Assemble:
1 pint of fresh blueberries or about 8 ounces frozen
1/2 cup toasted, shredded coconut, (optional, for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS:

    Make the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a medium-sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl stir the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar together. Add the butter and use a fork to work it into the crumbs.
  3. Dump the crumbs out on the baking sheet and pat it into a rectangle 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Bake 8 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Make the filling:
  5. In the top of a *double boiler or medium heatproof bowl whisk together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and egg yolks until well combined.
  6. Heat the half & half in a saucepan to just under the boiling point - steam will come off it and bubbles will rise to the surface. Whisk about 1 cup of the hot half & half into the egg yolk mixture to temper the yolks so they won't curdle. Slowly whisk in the remainder.
  7. Set the bowl over the bottom of the *double boiler or a saucepan of boiling water and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla and the coconut. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard so that a skin does not form refrigerate until cool 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. Make the whipped cream:
  10. Whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken then add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until thick and fluffy with soft peaks.
  11. Assembly:
  12. Crumble the graham cracker crust into crumbs. Layer the parfaits starting with a layer of crumbs followed by a layer of coconut cream then blueberries then whipped cream. Depending on the size of your parfait glasses you can repeat the layers again or stop there and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut.

Notes:

*How to Make a Double Boiler

Adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/coconut-cream-pie-parfaits-with-blueberries/

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Peanut butter rice krispie treats layered atop fudge brownies and enrobed completely in chocolate like a little gift.

Let’s talk about the brownie layer first. It’s soft, rich and fudgy with an occasional crunchy bite because it has rice krispies in it too. They’re softer than what’s found in the top layer from being baked and there’s just enough to give it a little texture and subtle crunch.

The rice krispie layer is a little more denser than the traditional rice krispie treat and tastes more of peanut butter than marshmallows. It’s in equal proportion to the brownie layer and together they make the perfect bite.

If the brownies were any taller it would be hard to wrap your mouth around them. While that’s never a bad thing when it comes to desserts, my intention was to get a mouthful of both so you experience crunchy peanut butter-laced cereal and soft fudgy brownie all at once in one beautiful bite.

The chocolate coating is the facet that ties them both together and makes the brownie feel complete. It unites them. Without it all you have are rice krispies on top of brownies. With it you have “peanut butter rice krispie treat brownies“. Brownie bombs. A perfect juxtaposition of chocolate to peanut butter to make your heart pitter patter a little faster. {Of course you can make them without it but I don’t recommend it.}

I do recommend you bake up a batch of these completely irresistible treats as soon as humanly possible. . .

You’re very welcome.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 (8x8-inch) pan/16 (1-inch) squares

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

Brownies:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
1 + 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Rice Krispie Layer:
1 tablespoon butter
20 (about 5 ounces) regular marshmallows or 2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Chocolate Coating:
1 + 1/2 cups chopped milk or semi-sweet chocolate (I like Callebaut )
1 teaspoon melted shortening

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease just the very center of an 8x8 baking pan to get the parchment to stick - then line it with parchment paper (or aluminum foil), leave it overhanging on two sides; lightly butter the paper.
  2. Make the brownies:
  3. Melt the butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips together in a double boiler or in the microwave on the chocolate setting in 20 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  4. Stir in the sugars and salt, then the eggs, then the flour, stirring just until combined. Stir in the rice krispies - it will be pretty thick.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the brownies from the oven to a wire rack and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over top. Wait 15 - 20 minutes then spread the melted chips gently over the top - they won't cover it completely - it's just to give the rice krispie layer something to adhere to. Let cool completely.
  7. Make the rice krispies:
  8. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until melted.
  9. Add the cereal and stir until well combined. Scoop it out onto the brownies and spread it out with a buttered spatula or wet fingers edge to edge as evenly as possible. Refrigerate 25 minutes to make for easier cutting and covering in chocolate.
  10. After about 25 minutes remove from refrigerator and lift them out using the overhanging parchment onto a cutting board. Cut into squares or bars using a large chef's knife or a paring knife wiped clean between cuts. Set them on a wire rack or on clean piece of parchment.
  11. Make the chocolate coating:
  12. In a medium microwave safe bowl melt all the chocolate except about a tablespoon (set it aside) in 20 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is smooth and melted. Add the chocolate you set aside and stir until melted. Stir in the shortening.
  13. Dip the brownies one at a time - you can stick a skewer or chopstick into them to make it easier - using a spoon to cover them all over with chocolate. Let excess drip off and then set on a wire rack or on parchment. Working fast, repeat until all the brownies are coated. The chocolate should set up quickly - if it doesn't, you can place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until set.
  14. Store in a cool dry place, tightly covered up to 5 days. Layer them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Notes:

Brownies adapted from these Rocky Road Brownies

Rice Krispie Treats adapted from

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-covered-peanut-butter-rice-krispie-treat-brownies/

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip & Cranberry Banana Bread

Banana bread bursting with dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips. The tart berries paired with the sweet chocolate and subtle hint of banana is a particularly delicious combination, not to mention, befitting of the season.

This is a bread that only gets better as it ages. The banana flavor becomes more pronounced after a day or two and the chewy cranberries really pop. It has a soft, fluffy crumb and surprisingly isn’t as sweet as some banana breads.

There’s no butter involved, just a small amount of oil and buttermilk that you can swap out for sour cream or yogurt. I always have a canister – or three – of buttermilk powder on hand for baking. I love it because you can mix it up as needed and it has the same properties as fresh. Cup for cup I find it’s cheaper too and it’s not as wasteful. You can find it in the baking section of your market or buy it on-line.

This is a perfect bread to serve at a holiday brunch or to have on hand for impromptu guests that might drop in before Christmas. You know, to spread holiday cheer or drop off gifts or brighten your day with caroling.

It’s nice to be prepared with a little snack. Payback.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Banana Bread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Banana Bread

Banana bread bursting with dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup very ripe mashed banana ( 2 to 3 small - medium)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk, sour cream or plain yogurt (I used buttermilk)
1 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup dried cranberries, rough chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard-size loaf pan.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar, and oil together on low speed until blended. Beat in the banana and vanilla.
  3. In a separate, medium bowl whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour. Add to the egg mixture and mix on low until just combined then pour in the buttermilk and mix again until just combined.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle a handful of chips over the top.
  5. Bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool on a wire rack 30 minute then carefully turn out to cool completely.

Notes:

Adapted from King Arthur's Baking Companion

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-chip-cranberry-banana-bread/

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

White Chocolate, Blueberry and Coconut Truffles

Blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, white chocolate, crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts come together in these delectable truffles. My entry in the “Blueberries Meet Their Match” blogger recipe contest being held by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

The challenge was to use blueberries with coconut, balsamic vinegar, rosemary or bananas. Being I had six bags of shredded coconut (stocking up for Christmas baking) on hand it was an easy choice.

How I came up with this combination of flavors and the idea to make them into truffles is a complete and utter mystery. Sometimes the ideas come to me out of the blue, exactly like a lightning bolt from the sky. Sometimes they’re bad ideas and I dismiss them immediately, other times I take notes. This was an “other” time.

Truffles weren’t my first choice. I confess. There may have been a batch of blueberry bars using these very same flavors that didn’t make the cut. Everyone loved them but I just didn’t think they were good enough. . .

The thing I love most about these is how all the many flavors come together to make one delicious bite but at the same time there will be a solitary standout. You may taste the zinginess of the ginger in one bite while the next one is all about the macadamia nuts. One thing I do know is the subtle hint of blueberry permeates them through and through and the toasted coconut is a stand out.

Wish me luck.

Blueberry Coconut Truffles

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Yield: about 34 truffles

 White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

Blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, white chocolate, crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts come together in these delectable truffles.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded organic coconut (I like Woodstock Farms )
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
a pinch or two of salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
16 ounces white chocolate from a block or bars, chopped (I like *Callebaut )
2 tablespoons heavy cream, half & half or whole milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus a little more if needed, to roll the truffles in

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium skillet set over medium heat toast the coconut until golden, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat cook the blueberries with the brown sugar and a pinch or two of salt until they release their juices and start to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Use a hand blender to puree them right in the pan or add them to a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, put the macadamia nuts in a ziploc bag, place them on a cutting board and cover them with a kitchen towel. Pound them into fine crumbs using a meat mallet or small frying pan. Alternately you can use your food processor but I found this works better for such a small amount.
  4. Before you start the next step be sure you have everything lined up and ready to mix in because once you melt the chocolate you have to move quickly before it sets up.
  5. Pour the blueberries back in the pan over medium heat, once it starts to boil stir in the cornstarch. Continue cooking about 3 more minutes, stirring often until the blueberries thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the ground ginger and crystallized ginger. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, set aside 1/3 cup of the chocolate and melt the rest with the milk over a double boiler or in a large microwave safe bowl using the chocolate setting. If microwaving check every 20 seconds - white chocolate can easily scorch - and stir it. Once it's melted stir in the 1/3 cup of chocolate you set aside along with the coconut oil until it's smooth and creamy.
  7. Immediately mix in the blueberry mixture - the chocolate may start to thicken fast - add the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. Combine well using a metal spoon to work it into the chocolate - it should be very thick at this point but still pretty soft.
  8. Once everything is combined allow to cool off for 10 minutes on the counter then refrigerate 15 minutes - no longer or it will harden too much.
  9. Scoop up slightly rounded tablespoons and pat into a rough-shaped ball (about 1-inch in size), using your fingers to pack it together and shape it. Set on a wire rack and repeat until all the mixture is used.
  10. Roll them in confectioners' sugar. Store tightly covered up to one week - these do not do well in the refrigerator because they harden up. For longer storage you can freeze them. If they do get too hard to eat you can microwave them for 5 seconds before eating.

Notes:

*I use Callebaut White Chocolate Blocks. Look for it by the deli or near the artisan cheese section.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/blueberry-and-toasted-coconut-truffles/