Sunday, January 29, 2012

Grandma's Clusters

Everyone has that one recipe that is at all family dinners or holidays. For my Family its my Grandmothers Chocolate Macadamia nut clusters. I think my grandma probably makes at least 2 or 3 batches when we are all around and unless she hides some there will not be not be a crumb left. And our grandmother is not stingy with her recipes so she gladly emails it to me when I loose it. Yes my grandmother emails she even tells me to make a folder on my computer to save recipes in. My grandmas up with the technology and since she put it in a local cookbook I figured she wont mind me sharing it with the internet world.

I do have to warn you macadamia nuts do run on the expensive side. I am lucky enough to live about a 8 minute drive from fisher nut factory and they have a store! So I buy just what I need and most are already halved, if yours are whole they easily cut.
(One whole one half)

My Grandmas Chocolate Macadamia nut clusters
8oz unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cube (1/4cup) butter
2 lg. eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts halved
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the 8oz of chocolate with the butter in a double boiler

Beat sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth

Combine chocolate and egg mixture until well blended. mix in flower and baking powder. Add the nuts, coconut and chocolate chips mix thoroughly.  Drop tablespoons on parchment covered cookie sheets (I used silpats) Bake 8-10 min. 

And then eat away at one the most chocolaty items ever!
(ignore the mess on my counter please)
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mocha turtle cupcakes

What happens when you mix coffee, chocolate, and snickers bars? You get the perfect drink at Caribou Coffee---TURTLE MOCHA

And since I love it so much and I am slightly addicted to making cupcakes I want to combine the two!

This is my first attempt at taking a baking recipe and adding my own twist and I am very proud of how it turned out.

I used the the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe from Glourious Treats and made my own changes to it. The main change being coffee!! How am I supposed to make a mocha cupcake without coffee after all.

 Chocolate Cupcakes(with my changes)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available)
1/4 cup hot water
2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
Line muffin tin with paper liners.  Heat oven to 350*F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Stir in water and coffee
Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. I find a ice cream scoop works wonders
Bake cupcakes for approximately 20-22 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting pick your favorite butter cream frosting and add Caramel syrup, I used this one that we use in coffee drinks at home but I did read that the caramel that you would put on ice cream works well in frosting too.
(I like that it was sugar free since butter cream frosting already has so much sugar)
And the best part of the cupcake....snickers!!!!! I am not a huge candy bar person but I can never turn down a snickers bar
Caution you will eat some don't be afraid. 

 For chopping up the snicker my mini processor worked perfectly!!

And then you will be left with one very yummy cupcake

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Home Roasted Fresh Kahler Koffee (coffee)

Some of the things that can't be lived with out in our home are our cats and coffee. Did I mention our cats are named Latte and Chai...

We love coffee so when my husband said he wanted an espresso machine I thought cool!! We ordered coffee from a local place it was nice fresh coffee. 
Then it was "Hey lets get a coffee roaster!" that's when I went "uh why?". But now that we have it I don't know what life would be like without the great taste of the freshest of the fresh coffee.

Start with some green beans, they smell kind of like grass...
We order them from Sweet maria's online. By the way we love coffee and just pretend to taste the flavors described..
In to the roaster they go
 The roaster is about the size of a toaster oven..totally worth the space it takes up in the pantry. While roasting  its not a great smell but its not a bad smell. At first I thought right away it would smell like coffee but its more like...wheat grass shot....
Lots of chaff falls off the beans. Why I can't tell you my husband does the roasting and brewing I do the drinking haha.
Yay! In 2 days its ready for a latte.
Espresso time
 Steam the milk
A great coffee needs a cute cup! Thanks Ikea
And then you drink up this yummy yummy vanilla latte!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Trying to fly with the butterflies

I had one goal for this weekend, do something I can blog about!! And since you are seeing this I am sure you can guess that I met my goal of the weekend. I decided to try a cupcake design from Hello Cupcake! a Christmas present that was given to me by my husbands parents. And let me say I have been eyeing this book for so long and when I opened was sad only cause I knew it would be weeks before I could try something do to traveling.

(picture from amazon)
When I told my husband I am doing cupcakes I got the usual as long as you give most away. That is normal for him because why do 2 people need 12 plus cupcakes depending on what I am doing. Luckily I work with kids and all kids love cupcakes.

So why not start out easy and do one that just requires jelly beans...mostly because that didn't sound as fun to blog about.
So I did butterflies that require me to draw with chocolate! And for my first time it wasn't so bad.

All I needed was
12 cupcakes (I used this recipe on Glorious treats)
butterfly pattern
white and chocolate frosting
candy wafers in 2 colors
ziplock bags
wax paper

I used the pattern that came in the book, then melted candies in the ziplock bags and traced

Things learned.. do one at a time and do thick lines then fill in when I filled in they looked like ..
 Not bad for a first time! So I made bodies with the chocolate frosting on the yellow frosted cupcakes, they didn't turn out too bad.

The look good for a first try but I wanted to try again. So this morning I melted more chocolate and did better!!
By doing one wing at a time and filling it in right away i was able to get the striping because it Hadn't set up yet.I didn't  follow the pattern lines exact and made the lines thicker which helps make it look nice and I was able to get a smoother look. The very first picture of this post is of one from this morning
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