Brownies with Peppermint Frosting

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Brownies with a decadent creamy peppermint frosting is the perfect homemade holiday treat to make and gift to family and friends! It’s a unique treat that will help you and your loved ones get in the holiday spirit! Here’s what you’ll need: (This makes about 54 servings, so about 5 gifting portions)

Brownies

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 squares (1 ounce size) unsweetened chocolate

1 cup sugar 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 square (1-ounce size) unsweetened chocolate

Peppermint Frosting

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring

2 drops red food-coloring directions:

Instructions:

For Brownies: Melt 1/2 cup butter and 2 chocolate squares in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 minutes. Add sugar and eggs, stirring well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to chocolate mixture, stirring well. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool brownies completely on a wire rack.

Spread with Peppermint Frosting. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 chocolate square in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and let cool. Spoon chocolate mixture into a small heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag or a decorating bag fitted with tip No.2; seal bag. Snip a tiny hole in one corner of zip-top bag, using scissors; pipe chocolate mixture in a decorative design over Peppermint Frosting. Cover and chill thoroughly. Cut into 2- x 1-inch bars. Store brownies in an airtight container in refrigerator. For Peppermint Frosting: Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Add whipping cream, flavoring, and food coloring; beat until frosting is spreading consistency.

Chocolate Ganache

chocolate-ganache

This recipe is just for Chocolate Ganache. The pure chocolate mixture can be used for so many different deserts. You can use it to dip strawberries and other fruit, cupcakes, pour over a cake or cheesecake … the possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into squares (you can use Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, it’s cheap and works well)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional – taste great with or without)

Directions

  1. Place the cut chocolate squares into a medium mixing bowl (pyrex or stainless steel is best)
  2. Heat the heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it boils.
  3. Don’t over boil, right when it starts to bubble, pull the cream off the flame and pour over the chocolate squares in the mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk the mixture until smooth. If you’re using the optional rum, stir it in at this point.
  5. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake, cupcakes or dipping fruit in it.
  6. If pouring on a cake, start at the center of the cake and work the ganache outward.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

chocolatecoveredstrawberries

This is as simple as gourmet chocolate covered strawberries can be made. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion. They symbolize love and romance, so share them with someone special!

  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves attached

Directions

  1. Insert a toothpick into the top of each strawberry.
  2. In a double boiler (stainless steel or Pyrex bowl over a stock pot of boiling water) melt the chocolate and shortening together, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding each strawberry by the toothpick, dip them one at a time into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.
  4. You can drizzle with melted white chocolate (after cooled) or any use sprinkles or other decorative sugars while they are still warm and will stick.

Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

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BROWNIE LAYER

  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Prepare BROWNIE LAYER. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from side of pan. Meanwhile make cheesecake batter.
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in eggs, heavy cream, vanilla and salt, beating until well blended.
  4. Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Place remaining chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted when stirred. Gradually blend melted chocolate into cheesecake batter.
  5. Immediately after removing brownie from oven, spoon cheesecake mixture over brownie. Return to oven; continue baking 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature. Remove side of pan.
  6. Place remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Drizzle over top of cheesecake. Cover; refrigerate several hours until cold. Garnish as desired. Cover and refrigerate leftover cheesecake. 10 to 12 servings.

    BROWNIE LAYER: Stir together 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add 2 eggs; stirring until blended. Stir in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; blend well. Spread in prepared pan.

Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (optional)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese. Stir in confectioners’ sugar to make a workable dough. For best results, use your hands for mixing.
  2. Divide the dough into four parts. Leave one of the parts plain. To the second part, mix in peanut butter. Mix coconut into the third part, and cocoa powder into the last part. Roll each type of dough into egg shapes, and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until hard, at least an hour.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth. If the chocolate seems too thick for coating, stir in some of the shortening or oil until it thins. Dip the chilled candy eggs in chocolate, and return to the waxed paper lined sheet to set. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour to harden.

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

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Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Servings: 16

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 8 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter and milk (if needed for moisture) until blended. Shape mixture into two 1/2 pound eggs or make a bunch of smaller eggs. Freeze eggs for 1 hour.
  2. While the eggs are freezing, cut semi-sweet chocolate into small pieces and place in top of double boiler with shortening. Melt over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Stick a long-tined fork in top of each peanut butter egg, dip it in melted chocolate to cover then drain on waxed paper. When the eggs are cooled and set, decorate the eggs to suit your fancy.

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

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Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  14 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Grease 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Add the flour and sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur. Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.

Basic Truffles

basic-truffles

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes

Servings: 35

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine chocolate and cream. Cook, stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in flavoring. Pour into a small dish and refrigerate until set, but not hard, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use to fill candies or form balls and roll in toppings.

Low-Fat Chocolate Bread Pudding

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Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup firm-textured white bread cubes (from about 1-1/4 slices of Italian or sourdough bread)
  • 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 3 tablespoons refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sifted powdered sugar or fat-free whipped topping (optional)
  • Directions

    Spray two 6-ounce individual souffle dishes or custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Divide the bread cubes between the two souffle dishes or cups.

    Combine chocolate, sugar, and milk in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the chocolate melts; remove from heat. Beat smooth with a wire whisk, if necessary.

    Place egg product or egg in a small bowl; gradually stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the orange peel and vanilla. Pour mixture over bread in the two dishes or cups. Press lightly with back of spoon to be sure all bread cubes are moistened. If desired, desserts may be covered and refrigerated for 1 to 2 hours before baking. Uncover before baking.

    Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops appear firm and a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes; serve warm. Top with sprinkles of powdered sugar or dollops of whipped topping, if desired. Makes 2 servings.

    Frozen Mocha Torte

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    Preparation Time:  20 minutes
    Cooking Time:  20 minutes

    Servings: 10

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2/3 cup chocolate syrup
    • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
    • 1 tablespoon hot water
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
    • Chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)

    Directions

    1. In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan; set aside.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, milk and chocolate syrup until smooth. Dissolve coffee granules in hot water; add to cream cheese mixture. Fold in whipped cream. Pour over crust. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
    3. Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with coffee beans if desired.