Monday, December 30, 2013

Best Desserts of 2013

I'm joining up with SnoWhite today in her Countdown to 2013 - Best Desserts.  

As you probably already know, desserts are my favorite food category.  Both to make and to eat. And I've made some really terrific ones this year.

So here we go, in no particular order:

Surprisingly easy and fast to throw together, yet so elegant and scrumptious, especially with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.  

My birthday cake - simply fantastic.  I might just have to have a repeat next year. 

The ones Grant declared his FAVORITE brownies ever.  

Fudge pie, peanut butter nougat, caramel, peanuts, chocolate drizzle, and chopped snickers. 
My 6 year old still talks about this pie (that I made in March) and begs me to make it again.  It was truly fabulous.  

Because you can never go wrong with brownies stuffed with caramel, chocolate chips, and pecans.  Yum!

With strawberries in the cake and the frosting, and nary a drop of food coloring in sight, it's a perfectly delightful spring or summer cake.  And I have to add that the cream cheese frosting tastes almost like rich strawberry ice cream. It's amazing. 

Quite possibly the best chocolate cookie I've ever had.  

Chocolate crust, chocolate cheesecake, and a cookie dough topping.  All in a little bite-sized piece. 

It's like having a chocolate truffle, in a slice.  Rich and completely decadent.  And worth every calorie. 

If you've never tried pineapple pie, you just have to do it.  It's awesome.  One of my dad's very favorites. 

Think Hello-Dolly Bars mixed with Toffee and S'mores.  Yeah.  Utterly delicious.   

Monday, December 16, 2013

Triangle Delights - SRC

Need another recipe for a cookie exchange, party, potluck, to give away to friends or neighbors, or just for dessert tonight?  Wow, Christmas season is just so busy, right???

Look no further.  This one will blow your socks off.
And it's ridiculously simple, which makes it even better.

For my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month, I had the pleasure of browsing through Adventures in All Things Food,, where Andrea has tons of great recipes, three adorable children, and a huge, beautiful farm. Oh, and she also has a craft section and does frequent give-aways.  Awesome!

While I was tempted by many recipes, including her Challah Bread and this amazing Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake, I just couldn't resist trying a cookie which Andrea said was one of her favorites from childhood.
What do you get when you combine graham crackers and a simple sauce of butter and brown sugar with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla with coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips????

A pan of pure deliciousness, that's what. 

I took a big plate of these luscious goodies to our homeschool co-op Christmas party, and they were devoured in minutes.  Frankly, I was disappointed.  Even though I had saved several at home, I was hoping to have a few left over.  I just could not get enough of them.

They're like a combination of Hello Dolly Bars and Toffee, both of which are huge favorites of mine.  I altered the recipe only slightly, adding a half cup more marshmallows because I thought it just didn't look like enough.

These are going into the *BEST* and *MUST MAKE* categories for me.  Thanks so much, Andrea!

Triangle Delights

2 sleeves of graham crackers (all may not be used)
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sliced or chopped almonds
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan with parchment paper, then place graham crackers in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover with marshmallows.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir until butter is melted and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Pour the hot mixture over the marshmallows, then top with coconut, almonds, and chocolate chips.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

Allow the pan to cool, then use the parchment paper as handles to remove the cookies from the pan to a cutting board.  Slice into 3 inch squares, then into triangles.  A pizza cutter works great for this!

Source: Adapted slightly from Adventures in All Things Food

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