Thursday, July 10, 2014

Andes Mint Puppy Chow

I found this recipe today off of some cooking blog and decided to give it a try. If you like puppy chow and if you like Ande's mints, well then you are going to love this! It is super simple to make, which makes the whole thing better!

Andes Mint Puppy Chow


6 cups of Rice Chex Cereal
1 2/3 cups of Andes Mints (If you don't want to get that much Andes mints, you can mints with chocolate chips. I did this and it still tasted great!)
Brownie Mix or 1 cup powder sugar with 2 tbsp. of cocoa.


1. Put the Chex cereal in a large bowl
2. Melt the Andes mints in a pot over medium low heat. Stir until completely smooth.
3. Dump the chocolate mint mixture into the cereal and gently fold until cereal completely covered. 
4. Put the cereal mix into a large plastic bag.
5. Put either the brownie mix or the power sugar/cocoa mix into the bag. Close the bag and then shake until the sugar has covered all the cereal.
5. Put on cookie sheet to cool.
6. Then eat and enjoy!

Very easy to do, which makes this recipe even better! I chose to use the powder sugar and cocoa because I already had those ingredients and it seemed cheaper to me. I thought that tasted great but I also saw the comments raving about the brownie mix idea. So, whatever you feel is best!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Black and White Later Cake

I made quite the decadent cake recently, for a Relief Society birthday celebration dinner. The cakes were meant to be centerpieces, so I thought I should try for something fancy. I had the idea perfectly layed out in my head: 3 layers of chocolate cake with white filling, covered with chocolate curls. That was it. No frosting to cover the layers; no added fuss. Just three naked layers. Unfortunately, that idea was shattered when my cakes did not come out of the pans too easily. They were a big mess, in fact. 

So I moved onto my next idea: 3 layers of chocolate with the white filling...but with a semisweet ganache coating on the whole cake! I thought that would look nice and smooth, and taste delicious! I made the ganache, coated the cake...and the cake started falling apart even more. The top layer was probably about 1/8-inch larger than the bottom two layers, so the ganache simply fell over that top edge and left the bottom layers not accounted for. After a failed attempt of spooning the ganache onto the sides of the cake, I resorted to the save-all: whipped cream.

Vince and I made a quick trip to the store and I moved on to my last attempt at making this thing worthwhile. I whipped it up, frosted the cake, and topped it with my large chocolate curls (that I had made previously)...and it looked beautiful! I was pleased with its appearance, that's for sure! And if I might add, it was a hit at the party. 

So in summary: I made the layers, filled them with the Vanilla Butter Filling, poured the ganache over all the layers, topped the entire cake with whipped cream, and then decorated with chocolate curls. All the recipes are included below.

Not only did it look elegant, which is what I was going for, but it tasted phenomenal. I love chocolate, so chocolate...upon chocolate...upon chocolate...and topped off with whipped cream, was pure bliss. Don't be scared away by all the layers! They're really not too hard to do, and it would have come together much quicker had I known I was going to do ALL of it! Enjoy!

Black and White Layer Cake

From Grandma's Pantry... "Shon's Birthday Cake" (Adapted from the very first Taste of Home Magazine ever, I think)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp b. powder
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oil
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 

Sift together all dry ingredients, including the sugar.  Add oil, hot drink and milk; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix another 2 minutes.  Batter will be thin.  Grease (and flour/cocoa) pans and bake 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

I used 3 9-inch round baking pans and sprayed them with cooking spray and then coated them with plain cocoa powder so as to avoid any white flour chunks on the outside of the cakes. I would suggest cooling them for at least 15 minutes prior to dumping them onto a wire rack to cool completely after cooking; I don't think I waited long enough and all of mine fell apart. Hence the LAYER cake. 

Vanilla Butter Filling:

  • 1 c milk
  • 5 T. flour
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the milk and flour in sauce pan; cook until thick.  Cover and refrigerate.  In a mixing bowl, beat butter, shortning, sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add chilled milk/flour mixture and beat for 10 minutes, or until fluffy.  

Ganache (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Heat cream and corn syrup over medium heat. Put chocolate chips in medium-large bowl. Add vanilla to cream mixture, then pour cream mixture over the top of the chocolate chips. Whisk together until melted, smooth, and glossy.

Whipped Cream 

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. (or to taste) confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.

Large Chocolate Curls (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 3 oz. semisweet and/or white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. shortening
Combine the shortening and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate out onto a baking sheet and spread into a thin, rectangular layer. If using semisweet chocolate, put into the freezer for about 2 minutes before removing. If using white chocolate, place in the refrigerator for 1-2 minutes. (Time's vary. It took me a while to figure out the right temperature. I had to use trial and error - freeze/refrigerate and thaw - to get the chocolate the correct consistency.) When the chocolate is ready, you should be able to scrape a somewhat sharp spatula or something across the pan/chocolate and the chocolate will curl. 

I used 2 batches of the semisweet chocolate and 1 batch of the white chocolate. Freeze the curls until ready to use. Freeze any leftover for future use!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Toffee Apple Dip

This is the best apple dip ever---caramel-y taste with a little crunch.  Tastes even better when you have a cute red-head to go with it!

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar

Mix these 2 ingredients with fork and let stand for 15 minutes while sugar dissolves.  Then add:
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz Heath bar almond toffee chips

Serve with slices of your favorite variety of apple!