Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brownie Bites

We've moved into our new home and are finding our way around a new town. It always takes awhile - each grocery store is different, driving means paying strict attention to where I am, unlike the automatic "turn right" "turn left" of familiar places.

Baking something always means I'm settling in. The children and my parents are coming for Easter weekend, so I'm filling the pantry and the freezer with good things to eat so I won't spend all my time in the kitchen. Cinnamon bun dough is in the breadmaker.

These little brownies are just two bites - just the right size for a rich bit of chocolate sweetness. And they are easy to make.

Brownie Bites

1/2 cup butter
4 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (or a combination)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips (white, semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
18 mini cupcake liners (I use my small tart pans for two bite brownies and get 36 small brownies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin pans with paper liners

Melt butter and chocolate. Reserve.

Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Stir in melted butter and chocolate. Add flour, cocoa and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

Bake 15 minutes or just until the tops are firm to the touch. Cool, and try to eat just one.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nuts about These

A friend gave me this recipe. She made them to top a salad, then brought out the rest after dinner and we couldn't stop eating them. Sweet, but not too sweet, with a hint of heat and a bit of spice. They are addicting.

Mine look a little gloppy in this picture. I'm trying to use up stuff from the freezer and didn't take time to thaw these pecans before adding them to the egg white mixture. Result - frozen egg whites stuck to the nuts, which didn't want to stick to the sugar. But they tasted fine.

I made a double batch and served them with drinks before dinner last weekend. They disappeared in a hurry. I'm saving the other batch as a snack for unpacking - we'll have a crowd helping out - yippee!

Candied Nuts

½ cup white sugar
2 ½ T brown sugar
½ - 1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
1 large egg white (at room temperature if you remember)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy, whisk in 1 T water until combined. Add 4-5 cups of nuts – walnuts, pecans or almonds. Stir to coast. Sprinkle on the sugar mixture and stir.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stir and continue baking until the nuts smell roasted, about another 15 minutes.

Let the nuts cool on the pan, then separate them. When completely cool transfer them to an airtight container. They’ll keep for two weeks. Or freeze them.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

I like eating coleslaw. But I hate making it. Bits of cabbage fly everywhere, whether I use the food processor or chop it by hand. So I don't make it very often. This is a yummy version, full of lots of good things. If you don't like blue cheese, you could leave it out, or add some feta.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

1 small Savoy cabbage, shredded
½ sweet red bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup toasted chopped almonds


2/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix the dressing ingredients, then combine it with the other ingredients. Let sit for an hour or so in the fridge to let everything meld together.
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