How did everyone like the toffee?
Time to get out your candy thermometers, bakers — toffee is next up on the schedule! Posting date is April 21.
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch glass or metal baking pan (do not use nonstick spray).
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are a fine powder. Place the powdered almonds in a small bowl and set aside. In the same food processor bowl, pulse the pecans for just 1 or 2 seconds, or until they are coarsely chopped but not powdered. Set aside.
- Put the butter in a medium pan over low heat. When the butter is halfway melted, add the sugar and 1 tablespoon water and cook over low heat, stirring very gently with a silicone or rubber spatula, until completely combined. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan, turn the heat up to medium high, and wait for the mixture to reach 300 degrees F., about 15 minutes. The mixture will start to bubble and turn brown. If the browning seems uneven, swirl the pan during the cooking process but do not stir.
- Meanwhile, toss the dark and milk chocolate pieces together.
- When the mixture reaches 300 degrees F., remove the pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Stir in the pecan pieces and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. After the mixture has evened out in the pan, wait 1 minute, then sprinkle the chocolate pieces all over the toffee. Wait about 3 minutes for the chocolate to melt, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle the almond powder over the melted chocolate, then carefully put the whole pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and break the toffee into pieces with a sharp knife. Store the toffee, between layers of parchment, in an airtight container at cool room temperature.
- The toffee will keep for up to 5 days.
A definite mixed bag of reviews on these cookies — and we have some rogue muffins!
Are these cookies a hit, or did they fall flat? Leave your links here!
We are back to basics for our next project: a classic chocolate chip cookie with lots and lots of chips. Fire up your ovens, posting date is April 7!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 2⁄3 cups (16 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat for 5 seconds.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
- Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the bowl tightly and put in the refrigerator for 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough in 2-tablespoon-size balls. Use your hands to shape the dough into perfect balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans once during the cooking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the tops just start to darken.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the individual cookies to the rack to cool completely (although they are delicious warm).
- The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Surprisingly delicious icebox pie results!
What’s the verdict on this no-bake pie? Leave your links below!
Next up on the schedule: a no-bake, frozen pie! Posting date is March 24.
- 30 chocolate wafer cookies (about 6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon light corn syrup
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (64% cacao), finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- In a food processor, grind the cookies to a very fine powder. You should have about 1½ cups. Put the crumbs in a bowl and stir in the sugar.
- Pour the butter over the crumb mixture and mix until well combined. The mixture will feel wet. Turn the crumb mixture out into a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. You can use the back of a large spoon to even out the crust.
- Put the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven or in a double boiler (see page 23). Add the corn syrup and stir to combine. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate in a thin layer on the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Put the crust back in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter filling.
- Put the cream cheese, peanut butter, vanilla, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined and completely smooth. Set aside.
- In a clean bowl, use the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until the mixture is uniform in color.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and freeze for at least 4 hours. Once the pie is frozen, you can cover it with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 days.
- Place both chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add the corn syrup and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolates. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture in a circle until completely smooth. The hot fudge sauce, cooled to room
- temperature and covered tightly, will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. Rewarm the sauce in a microwave oven on medium heat for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until the sauce is warm; or reheat it in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Place a frozen piece of pie on a large serving plate and spoon 3 heaping tablespoons of the warm sauce directly over the top of the pie. Eat and enjoy immediately.
Our bakers turned lots and lots of cream cheese into some very pretty cheesecakes!
If you’ve got cheesecake, leave your links here!