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Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

It’s the holiday season and whether you are working in an office or going over to a friend’s house – this recipe I read about in Martha Stewart is sure to be a hit!  The recipe is for “mini peppermint-meringue cups with ganache”! It makes plenty and looks pretty darn cute.

MINI PEPPERMINT-MERINGUE CUPS WITH GANACHE

Total time: 2 hours (until ready to eat)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 32 pieces

Tip: To give these cups their festive design, paint lines of red gel paste food coloring up the inside of an empty pastry bag before adding the meringue.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR MERINGUE CUPS:

 

o        Vegetable oil cooking spray

o        3 large egg whites, room temperature

o        ¾ cup sugar

o        ¼ teaspoon pure peppermint extract

o        red gel-paste food coloring (sugarcraft.com)

 

INGREDIENTS FOR GANACHE:

 

o        6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

o        1 cup heavy cream

  

Note: add a garnish with 1 large candy cane, finely chopped

 

 

DIRECTIONS: 

 

1.    Preheat oven to 175°. Trace 16 circles onto each of 2 pieces of parchment using a 1 ¾-inch round cookie cutter, spacing about 2 inches apart. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray and top each with a sheet of parchment, traced side down.

2.    Make the meringue cups: heat egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer. Whisk on medium high-speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in peppermint extract.

3.    Using a small food-safe paint brush, paint 3 stripes of red food coloring up the inside of a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch plain round tip. Transfer egg-white mixture to pastry bag (or a large Ziploc baggie with small hole cut at corner); pipe coils to fill each traced circle. Pipe up sides of each to create ¾-inch to 1-inch high cups.

4.    Bake until meringue cups are crisp but not browned and lift off parchment easily, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer meringue cups to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

5.    Meanwhile, make the ganache: Transfer chocolate to a heat-proof bowl. Bring cream to a gentle simmer in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Pour over chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and cut a small slit in the top. refrigerate until firm, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

6.    Stir ganache, and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch open-stir tip. Pipe ganache into the center of each meringue cup. Garnish with candy cane.

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Halloween may be a one-night affair, but its delish treats can last long into November. If your kids brought home a mountain of chocolaty and sugary bites, you don’t have to let them sit around. Our tip? Use the leftover Halloween candy to create this easy and yummy dessert/snack recipe. You can bring this dessert to parties or break off into mini pieces for an after-school sweet treat.

Candy Corn Pretzel Bark
White chocolate binds a Halloween classic — candy corn with salty pretzels and dried cranberries in this sweet-and-savory treat.

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time Until Done: 1 hour 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounce(s) white chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup(s) miniature pretzels
  • 1/2 cup(s) candy corn
  • 1/3 cup(s) dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang of paper.
  2. Melt white chocolate in the microwave on low (be careful not to burn the chocolate) OR in a small pyrex bowl over a pot of low boiling water.
  3. Spread melted white chocolate in the prepared pan and sprinkle with miniature pretzels, candy corn, and dried cranberries.
  4. Chill until firm.
  5. Remove from the pan and break into pieces.

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St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re searching for festive and scrumptious desserts for your celebration to please both kids and adults, look no further.


St. Patrick’s Day Rice Krispies Treats

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 4 cups green mini-marshmallows (you may have to pick them out of a bag of pastel mini-marshmallows)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 3-4 drops green food coloring


DIRECTIONS:

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.  Add food coloring and rice krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. You can also add plain green M&Ms.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

 

Easy GrasshopperBars

Chocolate drizzle and cool minty cream cheese frosting top indulgent chocolate bars. Yum!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 36 bars

INGREDIENTS:

Bars

  • 1 pouch ( lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker double chocolate chunk cookie mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg  

Frosting

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoons mint extract
  • 3 to 4 drops green food coloring

Glaze

  • 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter


DIRECTIONS:

1.  Heat over to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

2.  In large bowl, stir all Bar ingredients until soft dough forms> Press into pan; bake 15 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes.

3. In large bowl, stir all Frosting ingredients until smooth. Spread over bars.

4. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave all Glaze ingredients on High for 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Drizzle over frosting. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

source of Grasshopper Bars: http://www.bettycrocker.com/Recipes/

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…IN thumbnail15 MINUTES!

I received this recipe from my friend, Amber (from Boerne, TX). She found it on one of the many blogs that she reads (like ours!) and made this delicious little cake IN A MUG! She raves about how easy this recipe is and thought our le•top readers would enjoy it as well. Perfect little project to do with your child on a cold, rainy day!

I wish I could try this as a Valentine treat, but with gestational diabetes, I’m going to have to wait until after my little munchkin delivers. It’s a perfect dessert for two, or for someone eating for two. 😉

Five Minute Chocolate Cake In A Mug For Two

4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp chocolate chips
a splash of vanilla
1 large mug

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mug. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the
milk and oil, and mix the batter well. Then add the chocolate chips and vanilla, and mix again.

Place the mug in your microwave oven (1000 watts) and cook for 3 min. The cake will rise over the top of the mug but don’t be alarmed. Allow the cake to cool a bit and tip out on a plate if desired or eat right out of the mug. Serve with ice cream on the side. Voilá… dessert for two. (Thanks, Amber!)

choco-cake-in-a-cup

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Don't mess with me, Buddy! Ooh... and hand over the cookies.

Don't mess with me, Buddy! Ooh... and hand over the cookies.

Yup, that’s me! I’m Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey, Clumsy, Forgetful, Hungry, and Hormonal all in one. This last trimester is catching up with me! There’s so much I need to do during the day, yet, as I sit here typing out this blog entry, my eyelids are dangerously half closed…and it’s only 11:00 AM! If I’m not sleepy, I’m definitely grumpy. Probably because I want to sleep and crawl back into my warm bed and forget about all my responsibilities for the day. (more…)

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cupcakesGoodbye, cupcakes! Goodbye, hot chocolate! Goodbye, sugar! I’ll miss you all and will hope to see you after I give birth… Hello, Gestational Diabetes! You weren’t invited. I wish you would go away.

After failing the 1-hour AND the 3-hour glucose tests, I must now face the reality that I have GD. I suppose it could be worse. I could have Type 2 Diabetes and would have to deal with this forever. But for now, it’s gestational diabetes and I need to focus on my diet.

(more…)

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banasplitWhen I was pregnant with my daughter, all I wanted was watermelon. It didn’t matter that it was out of season or if the watermelon wasn’t sweet, I just wanted the refreshing red flesh of watermelon… And I would pay anything for it!

With my current pregnancy, I am craving all sorts of things. During the first trimester, I craved cocktails, such as margaritas and lemon drops. Obviously, I didn’t give in to these cravings. Instead I looked for other ways to satisfy them, such as drinking lemonade in a salt- or sugar-rimmed glass, or sipping margarita mix on the rocks. Neither worked. Needless to say, I had to patiently wait for the craving to subside, then moved on to the next trimester.

My second trimester has been all about the PERFECT banana split. I wanted the usual scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, AND the sundae sauces had to be in the right spots: pineapple sauce on vanilla, hot fudge on chocolate, and strawberry sauce on strawberry. Of course, the whipped cream had to be slathered all over with sprinkles, almonds, and a cherry on top. Not walnuts, not peanuts, but almonds. And if there were no almonds available, someone (usually my husband) had to go out to get me almonds.

When people find out you’re pregnant, one of the first things they ask is, “Do you know what you’re having?” But when women find out you’re pregnant, they also ask, “Any weird cravings?” So I asked a few women what they craved during their pregnancies. Here’s a  list of some of the weird ones:

  • an Oreo cookie with a dollop of white frosting (from a tub) and a peanut butter cup on top
  • escargot (what my mother craved when she was pregnant with me, which is my excuse for being slow and slimy?! ;-))
  • Krispy Kremes with Classic Coke
  • cold chocolate cake right out of the refrigerator
  • Taco Bell (for breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • pickle juice but not the pickles

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