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Sharing the Love (Handles)

Posted Sep 09 2009 7:21pm
It's pretty clear that eating tons of sweets is bad for your health and figure. That's why, when I bake, I save some for myself and give the rest AWAY. Since I can't rely on self-control, I've got to get rid of the stuff. This weekend, I made up for my baking drought by cooking up a storm: chocolate-kahlua truffles, blueberry pie, and chocolate peanut butter pretzel bites. I doled out a generous portion of each for myself and toted the rest to a labor day BBQ on Monday. I feel like that way, everyone wins.

Blueberry Pie
Courtesy of Heidi Swanson at 101cookbooks



Don't be fooled - this blueberry cake may look like it's made with chocolate, but it's just the molasses. I love this cake because it's all about the blueberries. The only sweetner is the 1/2 cup of blackstrap molasses, but it's just sweet enough to give the cake a kick without coming close to drowning out the star.

Ingredients

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
5 tablespoons milk (divided)
1/2 cup unsulphered molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, barely melted

1 1/2 cups blueberries, frozen (I freeze fresh berries)
1 teaspoon flour

Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar (optional), or a big dollop of sweetened freshly whipped cream

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or equivalent).

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk together the cider vinegar with 3 tablespoons of the milk. In another bowl whisk the molasses with the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk the cider vinegar mixture into the molasses mixture, then whisk in the eggs.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just barely combined. Stir in the butter. Toss the blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and fold them into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about thirty minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, or with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. We just enjoyed this cake served straight out of the pan, but you can turn it out if you like.

Serves 8 - 10.


Frozen blueberries tossed with flour


Buttered and Floured Pan: butter the pan and then spoon some flour inside. Pick up the pan and move it around to spread the flour all over, then dump the excess in the sink, and tap the pan lightly to get rid of any excess.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
Courtesy of Stephanie's Kitchen


These miniature treats won't last long. Creamy peanut butter filling sandwiched between two chocolate dipped salty pretzels are the perfect party snack. Plus, they're a great make ahead dessert and don't use the oven (energy saver!)



makes about 45 sandwiches

Ingredients
1 cup of peanut butter (creamy works best)
2 Tbsp softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar (you may need more)
3/4 cup brown sugar (you may need more)
Pretzels (the waffle shaped ones)
1 bag good quality chocolate (I like milk)

Using a mixer, combine peanut butter and softened butter and beat until smooth. Add the sugars and stir to combine. At this point if the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you’re ready to go. If not, add more sugar ( a little bit of each) until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll. Use a teaspoon measure to scoop the filling. Roll each portion into a small ball and set on a cookie sheet. I like to roll all the balls and then sandwich them between two whole pretzels. When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the whole tray in the freezer for about half an hour.

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate. When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely. Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.




Chocolate Kahlua Truffles
Courtesy of Real Simple

4 dozen truffles Hands-On Time: 1hr 00m Total Time: 5hr 45m

Decadent doesn't begin to describe these rich treats, which turn your kitchen into a candy shop.

The only complicated part is scalding the cream. If you keep the stove on medium/low and watch the cream as it heats up, you'll see it start to bubble around the edges. As soon as you see that, take it off the heat. You need to be patient because cranking the heat will only burn the cream - and it'll take you longer since you'll have to start over.




Ingredients

* 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate
* 1/2 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate
* 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
* 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
* 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup unsweetened cocoa

Directions

1. Coarsely chop both chocolates and set aside.
2. Heat the cream and instant coffee in a large saucepan, stirring to blend. When bubbles start to form along the edge of the pan, remove from heat. Scatter the chocolate over the cream, stirring gently until melted. Set aside for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the liqueur and vanilla. Stir gently, just until evenly blended. Scrape the chocolate into a shallow bowl. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.
4. Using a teaspoon or a melon baller, scoop enough chocolate to make balls 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll the balls in the cocoa, shaking off the excess, then transfer to wax paper until ready to serve. Best when served at room temperature.


Rolling the refrigerated chocolate into truffles


Dusting the chocolate truffles with unsweetened cocoa
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