Friday, February 27, 2015

Dessert Mash-Ups:Pie Surpise:Elvis Hand Pies!

We all know Elvis's well-beloved food growing up was a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich right? Well what if I were to tell you that there is a fresh new idea on this popular treat that is elegant,portable as well as easy to create.You might think? Not. However Dorothy Kern has successfully developed an unique dessert with Dessert Mash-Ups.

 What is the concept then? Well its a Elvis Hand Pie to be precise.It is a combination of a mini pie pastry designed as a sand dollar infused with peanut butter,a slice of banana as well as a drizzle of honey in each.These hand pies are baked to perfection along with a description that will make any ones mouth water.

This is a mini pastry that anybody can master with efficient techniques along with beneficial directions to guide you through each step.This recipe has inexpensive ingredients that are staples in almost every ones kitchen,along with minimal preparation needed.It also includes a pastry that is a breeze to form not to mention very flexible to work with in the assembling process.It will acquire practice to create these pies although following the second or third try you will have a flawless mini desserts that will surely impress.

In the end, you will have exceptional hand pies with exquisite golden exteriors along with fluted edges.A wonderful flaky and buttery crust that compliments well to a warm and gooey filling.The center will have a settle hint of peanut butter, along with a strong sweetness and flavor of banana.Then to top it all off it will include a slight sweetness of honey.So altogether we have a flavorful warm filling locked inside a delicious mini pastry.They are best when served warm and I highly recommend this dessert just to experience the wonderful textures and flavors.

Overall, this is a great dessert that is simple and quick to make that I feel has earned a two thumb ups.I even believe The King himself would be very impressed with this unique portrayal of his favorite treat.So be sure to try this recipe for yourself and see what I mean.

Elvis Hand Pies

1 recipe All-Butter Pie Crust
6 tsp creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1/2 banana,sliced
Honey,as needed
1 egg,lightly beaten
Granulated sugar,for sprinkling

All-Butter Pie Crust

2-3 tbsp ice water
1/2 cup unsalted butter,diced and chilled
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Filled a glass measuring cup with ice and water.Setting aside.

In a large bowl,I combined flour and salt,whisking together.Using a pastry blender,I cut the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembled coarse bread crumbs.Then I worked in one tbsp of the ice water at a time.Using only up to three tbsps.

Then I floured my work surface and turn out the dough.I rolled the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and transfer it to a floured pan or round pan to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheated the oven to 375F.Then lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using a fluted round cookie cutter about two 1/2 inches, making about 20 circles or more.Making sure to have an even amount and re rolling dough as needed.

Laid out half of the dough circles onto a clean work surface.Placed a heaping of 1/2 tsp peanut butter in the center of each and topped with one slice of banana and a drizzle of honey.

For assembling, I used my finger tips to wipe a little of the beaten egg around the edges of the crust. Then I top it with a second circle, pressing lightly.Then I pressed it with the tines of the fork to seal.The egg helps the pastry stay together.Then I repeated this process with the remaining pies.Once done,I pieced the pies with a fork a few times and placed on the prepared cookie sheet.

Then using my fingers tips,I rubbed a little egg over the top of each of the pies and sprinkled a pinch of sugar.Then baked them for 13-18 minutes, until the bottoms started to turn golden while the pies will be somewhat pale in colour.Keep in longer if you want them more shiny and golden.Cooled on a cookie sheet for at least five minutes before eating.Great warm or cold.Can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.Best eaten within a couple days.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dessert Mash-Ups:Homemade Gifts For Valentine's Day

 Do you need a Valentine's day gift this year? Well how about a marvelous homemade dessert, such as these peanut butter cup brownie bites.These chocolates are exceptional in presentation and will impress just about anyone.Just think? Who can really resist the combination of a fudge brownie topped with creamy peanut butter and immersed in dark chocolate.These brownie bites are an unique creation and you be crazy not to try them. 

These decadent desserts are simple as well as challenging to create.This recipe is well composed taking you through each step attentively,including tips on how to create your own homemade candies.The most challenging part of this recipe is the assembling process,which can be time consuming as well as tedious.So its best to follow the advice and keep your afternoon free.It certainly takes practice to get a flawless appearance;however every chocolate is unique in its own way.This is the time to develop your own creative skill and improve.Now the ingredients for this recipe is pretty budget friendly;however the chocolate aspect can be expensive depending on the choice.This recipe gives you plenty of room for adaptability including what chocolate you may want to use.The possibilities are endless.

Overall,the time spent making these beautiful chocolates are definitely worth it.Its a great skill to learn and not to mention your family and friends will certainly appreciate this dessert.This recipe gave me excitement as soon as I saw the picture.It personally gave me the chance to open up my creativity as well as challenge myself.Also,one of my favorite parts about this recipe is these treats can be easily made ahead.So this would make the  best Valentines gift since they freeze quite well.Or if you're like me when a sweet craving strikes.

 However I have to say my favorite part overall for this recipe is the taste testing .These candies have a bold and delectable appearance,along with flavors and textures to match.Take one bite you experience a smooth dark chocolate shell, along with a creamy,rich peanut butter and fudge brownie center.As well as the richness of brewed coffee to enhance the flavors.Overall, these chocolates have multiple layered attraction written all over them and great for any occasion.

So take a chance on this recipe and see what you can bring to the table. It's definitely a two thumbs up recipe for me.The challenge and expense are definitely worth it.Just make sure to at least get your hands on one of these chocolates before there all gone.They are that good. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites

Brownie Base:

1/2 cup unsalted butter,melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened coca powder,sifted
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp brewed coffee (or water)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Peanut Butter Mixture:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
16-24 ounces melted semisweet bakers chocolate or melting chocolate (Highly recommend 24 ounces or more)

Preheat the oven to 350F.Sprayed a 9 by 9 glass pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl,I stirred together melted butter,sugar, and sifted cocoa.Then I stirred in the eggs,vanilla,brewed coffee and salt.Then I carefully stirred in the flour and spread it evenly on the prepared pan.

Then I bake the brownies for 18-25 minutes until a toothpick came out with only crumbs attached when inserted.I let the brownies cool for about 10 minutes and then placed them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

Then I combined the peanut butter,brown sugar and powdered sugar using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.Beating until crumbly,low setting and then added the vanilla and continue to beat until smooth and coming together.

Then using a wax paper sheet, I traced with a pencil the size of the 9 by 9 pan.Then I removed the mixture from the bowl and formed a smooth ball.I then placed the peanut butter ball on the waxed paper sheet and rolled it into the square size.

Then I lifted the the peanut butter square with the wax paper and quickly flipped it over and placed it on top of the cool brownie base and then adjusted the edges to make even.Then I refrigerated the brownies for 30 minutes or can be up to 1 hour.

I melted half of the chocolate which is 12 ounces.Using a pot with water half full and a large glass bowl on top.I cut the semisweet chocolate in pieces and place it in the bowl.I also added 1 tsp of vegetable shortening to help thin out the chocolate.Kept on low setting to prevent bubbling.

Optional: Cut chocolate finely and place in a microwave safe container and melt in the microwave at 10 second intro volts,stirring in between, until fully melted.Add vegetable shortening to help thin out the chocolate.

I then lined a large cookie sheet with wax paper.Once the brownie and peanut butter base was chilled.I cut the whole brownie square in half.I cut 32 pieces on each side of the pan.Each half had 4 rows by 8 columns.

I worked with 32 pieces at first and placed the other half in the refrigerator. I melted half of the melted semisweet chocolate (12 oz) for 32 squares,additional chocolate may be needed.

So for dipping: I carefully submerged the brownie bites one at a time into the chocolate, lifting it up with a fork,tapping off excess and then using a toothpick to carefully place on the prepared cookie sheet.

I repeated this same process with the other half of the remaining brownies along with melting the other half of the chocolate.Additional chocolate may be needed.

Then I refrigerated the chocolates till they were set.I used any remaining chocolate by placing it in a small plastic bag and drizzling on top of the truffles.I also used sprinkles;however you can also keep them plain.

These brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temp or chilled up to 5 days.They can also be frozen for a longer period in an airtight container.