Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Caramel Brownies

WOW! These were some of THE BEST brownies I have ever had!! I don't know how to praise them enough. Dense, chocolatey brownies filled with gooey caramel and a layer of melted chocolate chips. Ya, I went there.
It was adorable. The first time I made these, I brought them to a dinner party at a friend's place. One of my friends asked "how did you get the caramel to go around and under some of the brownie." I gently explained that it was not a feat of gravity or magic, but that you don't pour all the brownie in at first. His surprise made the recipe all the better. Oh, and he loved the brownie! As did the host who kept a large part of the pan to enjoy after I left.

Speaking of dinner parties, All Things Edible is holding a housewarming party, and I am bringing these scrumptious bites. Hope everyone has a sweet tooth!

Caramel Brownies
  • 1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk (a little less than a can), divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 35 (1-10oz. pkg.) soft/chewy caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 cups (1-12oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
COMBINE cake mix, butter and 2/3 cup evaporated milk (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
BAKE for 15 minutes.
HEAT caramels and remaining evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle chocolate chips over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture.
DROP remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture. (I found it looked best if you shaped large spoonfuls of dough into flat circles in your hand, then laid the circles over the caramel. Created a less craggy surface. Compare 1st and 2nd pictures at top)
BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cuts easiest if set overnight or in the fridge for a bit.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Couscous Lentil Dinner

OK, so it isn't photogenic, but it was good and super quick and inexpensive. And tasty. And good for you... Wow, sounds pretty good to me

I am entering this couscous lentil dinner into Legume Love Affair.

Couscous Lentil Dinner

1 tbsp oil

½ cup onion, chopped

3 cups water

2 1/2 cups vegetable cocktail juice

2 cups brown lentils

2 bay leaves

2 cups couscous

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

2 tsp basil

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

1. Saute oil and onion in large pot until onion is tender

2. Add water, juice, lentils and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 25-30 minutes until lentils are soft but not mushy. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf

3. Add couscous, cheese, basil and tomatoes to pot and mix in. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes until couscous is soft. Fluff with fork and serve

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Baked Pesto Chicken

"I think this is the best thing you have ever made"- The boy
Enough said? If not, let me just tell you it is phenomenal! Chicken, basil pesto, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. So good.

If you take the chicken and put it in a ziploc bag, you can pour the pesto in and then freeze it. Then, just defrost it overnight, put it on the baking sheet and continue as directed.
Baked Pesto Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2-3 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with foil.
  3. Place chicken on pan and spoon pesto over it. Once all chicken cutlets have pesto on them, smooth the pesto all over the surface (do this afterward so that you don't contaminate the pesto)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
  5. Remove from oven; top with tomatoes and cheese.
  6. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I am entering this pesto chicken into Foodie Films: Italian.

Monday, January 5, 2009

S'mores Bars

Isn't this the cutest idea? They are basically portable s'mores! Dense graham cracker crust, melted chocolate chips, topped with fluffy browned marshmallows and cut into perfect 3-bite squares. They're also super simple! I'm entering it in "recipes for the rest of us."
The only downside of these is that they are a little messy. Have a napkin nearby, because the first bite is a little explosion of graham cracker yummyness. Delicious, but not pretty when wearing a black shirt ;)
S'mores Bars
10 ounces graham crackers (18 whole crackers, or two cellophane wrapped stacks)
1 1/2 sticks butter
1-2 pinches of salt
A few handfuls (a little less than 1 bag) chocolate chips
a few handfuls mini marshmallows

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large resealable bag (or in a food processor), smash graham crackers until finely ground. Add salt. Melt butter and combine with graham crackers and salt.

2. Press into a 13×9″ pan to make a tight layer that fills the bottom. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. Sprinkle on chocolate chips. Drizzle can of condensed milk over graham crackers; follow with marshmallows.

4. Bake for 20 minutes more, until marshmallows are lightly browned. Let cool completely.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Dinner Rolls

After many test runs of different rolls, I made these for Thanksgiving. Glad I did because they were received by rave reviews. I love when that happens.
Tips: while the above picture shows it a bather dark gold, you should probably not let it get quite so dark or else you will likely burn the bottom. If I had any clear pictures from Thanksgiving I would show you, but it is more of a pale golden brown.
Dinner Rolls
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for bowl and baking sheets
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


  1. Bring milk, sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons butter to a simmer in a large saucepan, stirring until sugar and salt have dissolved and butter has melted. Remove from heat, and let cool to 110 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir into milk mixture. Add 5 cups flour, and stir until a stiff dough forms (if dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time).
  3. Turn out dough on a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth. Transfer to a large buttered bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  4. Divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Space 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets, and cover each with a towel. Let rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and lightly brush on top of rolls. Bake until light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Rolls can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days or can be wrapped and frozen.