Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Michelle's Brownie Pie

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For something positively scrumptious, try this recipe for a rich, fudge brownie pie. It has a cake-like consistency and tastes decadent.  You can sprinkle powdered sugar on top, or turn it into a brownie sundae by serving it with vanilla ice cream and fudge topping.  This recipe came from my daughter, Michelle.

3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then set aside.  In another bowl, beat the sugar and flour together, then add the eggs, then the vanilla.  Mix until thoroughly blended.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until blended (do not overmix).  Stir in the chopped walnuts. Bake in a greased and floured 9" pie pan at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.

Mother's Day photo (left to right): Tim Coffey, Susanne LaFaver, Sean Coffey, Michelle Coffey, Karen Loase and Stephen Loase.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Truly one of the best cookies I have ever eaten!  This is a copycat recipe of Levain Bakery's Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie that has been tweaked. The peanut butter chips are omitted in this recipe, but if you are a fan of them, you can substitute them for the chocolate chips or use them both to your liking).  They are large-size cookies, slightly crispy on the outside and moist like a brownie on the inside.  They are truly decadent and will fulfill your chocolate craving.  All you need is a big glass of milk.  Here's Stephen tasting a fresh batch.

2 sticks COLD unsalted butter
1-1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
2-1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Separately mix the flour, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda until blended.  With an electric mixer, beat the cold butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at at a time, until blended.  Mix in the cocoa powder.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just blended (do not overmix). Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop 1/4 cup size onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 18 min. at 375 degrees.

Paula Deen's Truffle Pie

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I saw this pie at Paula Deen's Restaurant while on a Foodie Tour of Savannah.  It looked so good that I searched for the recipe on internet and had to try it.  It is a sinfully rich and delicious chocolate cream pie.  If you are addicted to chocolate, you will truly love this dessert.

Truffle Filling:
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust *

Whipped Chocolate Filling:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1-1/2 oz. milk chocolate
1-1/2 oz. white chocolate
1-1/2 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate

For the truffle filling, in a sauce pan, bring 2/3 cup cream to simmer. Place the 6 oz chocolate chips in a bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate.  Let stand for 1 min. then gently whisk until smooth. Spread truffle filling over the bottom of the prepared pie crust and freeze for 20 min.

For the whipped filling, in a double boiler or microwave set on low, heat the 6 oz chocolate chips with 1/2 cup cream until the chocolate is melted, stirring often.  let cool to room temperature.  In a chilled bowl, beat the chocolate mixture, remaining 1 cup of cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.  Spread this over the truffle filling in the crust.  Refrigerate overnight.

For the topping, just before serving, beat 1 cup cream on medium speed of an electric mixer until slightly thick.  Add confectioners sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.  Spread over the pie.  Using a grater or vegetable peeler, make the chocolate shavings and garnish the pie.  Serve immediately.

Graham Cracker Crust *
In this photo, I used 9 crushed chocolate graham crackers, mixed with 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar.  The chocolate graham crackers added extra chocolate flavor to the pie.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Donna's Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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This yummy recipe comes from Donna Ferguson of Poway, pictured here (on the left) with Phyllis Hays-Martin. You can serve this as a first course in a martini glass with a slice of fresh lime or as a dip with tortilla chips. It's hard to resist this one as it is easy to make and so colorful in its presentation. You can use any size shrimp. Muy delicioso!

1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup lime juice
1-2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 lb. fresh or frozen cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
2 avocados chopped

Stir together the catsup, lime juice and hot pepper sauce.  Add the shrimp, tomato and cilantro and toss to coat.  Cover and chill 2-4 hours.  Right before serving, add the avocados and toss lightly.