Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chocolate Pecan Diamonds

Embedded Recipe Image (Unsupported on IE 7 and earlier)
Chocolate Pecan Diamonds



  1. 5 tbsp cold butter + 1 tbsp to coat pan
  2. 1 c. all purpose flour
  3. 2/3 c. powdered sugar
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 1/2 c. unsalted pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  6. 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  7. 2 c. dark brown sugar
  8. 3/4 c. heavy cream
  9. 2/3 c. light corn syrup
  10. 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate cut into 1/4 oz pieces
  11. 2 c. unsalted pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  12. 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  13. 10 oz milk chocolate baking chocolate


  1. To make the dough:Preheat oven to 325F.Coat a 9-x-13-inch pan with the melted butter.Sift together flour and sugar and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.Add the cold butter one piece at a time while mixing on low, until mealy in texture, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and mix on low until the dough forms around the paddle, about 30 seconds.Add the pecans and mix on low for 30 seconds.Remove dough from the mixer and place it in prepared pan. Use hands to flatten the dough uniformly to cover the bottom of the baking pan.Bake on the center rack of oven for 15 minutes.Remove from oven and set aside, leave the oven on.
  2. To make the filling:Bring butter, brown sugar, cream, and corn syrup to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the brown sugar. Boil for 3 minutes, until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.Remove from heat. Add the unsweetened chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted.Fold in the milk chocolate chips and pecans.Pour filling onto baked dough. Using a spatula, spread evenly.Bake on center rack for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees half way through.Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the 10 ounces of milk chocolate over the surface.Place pan back in oven for 3 minutes.Remove the pan from oven, and use a spatula to smooth the chocolate. I choose to make a marbled effect since the chocolates were different shades of brown.Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in refrigerator for an hour.
  3. To serve:Remove from refrigerator. Turn the pan over onto a clean, dry, cutting surface, then turn the contents chocolate side up.Using a sharp serrated knife, cut away 1/4-inch of the edge from the two narrower ends, then divide widthwise into 4 strips. Diagonally trim a 1/2-inch piece from each end of each strip, then cut the strip diagonally 3 times to form 4 uniformly sized diamonds form each strip.The diamonds may be served immediately or kept at room temperature for 30 minutes. Best served at room temperature.Keep in a tightly sealed plastic container in the refrigerator for several days.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rock the Vote!

I am volunteering on Tuesday to work the polls for the election. The hours are long, the pay is low, but I think it'll be a fun experience. Plus, it's a day off of work, and since I'm out of vacation time, this is as close as it gets as time off.

I was told that the hours are 5:30am to 7:30pm or until all the voters in line at 7:30pm have voted. I was also told that it's highly recommended that you bring breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the day because it will probably be too busy to go out for any breaks.

I thought I would be nice for the other poll workers and make some cookies for the day. What better thing to make than elephants and donkeys, the symbols for the Republican and Democratic parties.

I made more elephants than donkeys, because let's face it...the elephants are going to need a majority of something on Tuesday, and it's probably not going to be votes!

I'm happy to say that I've already voted several weeks ago for Barack Obama. It surprises me that there are still "undecided" voters out there. How is this even possible? You're either for a rational, intelligent individual, or you're either racist, ignorant, or an idiot. If you don't think any of those apply to you, then it's probably the last one. Who the hell thinks it's a good idea to elect a grumpy old man who's a 72 year old heartbeat away from putting in the dumbest bitch in the free world?

So my request is that if you're voting for Obama, get to the polls early and place your vote if you haven't already, and if you're thinking about voting for McCain, either don't go out, or do what Ms. Palin thinks should happen and just let "God do what's right" on election day.

Onto the cookies....

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. (I baked mine only for 5 minutes because I love soft, chewy cookies.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

I recently bought some lemon pound cake at meijer, and it was excellent, but I think I can do better. We will see. It's in the oven now, and I'm going to bring it to work tomorrow, so I'll have to update this once I've taste tested it.

If it's shitty, I'll just pawn it off on the coworkers.

Pound Cake Ingredients:

3 cups cake flour
6 large eggs
1 pound butter
1 pound sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder


Sift the flour, baking soda,and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in salt and
the sugar. Use a large spoon for this. Next, add the butter.

Add the eggs, whole. At this point begin mixing on slow and slowly add the buttermilk, and then add the vanilla extract. After it is thoroughly stirred, turn the mixer up to medium for a few minutes, and then finally on high. If the mixture is a little thick add just a touch more buttermilk. If you don't mix things thoroughly you will have lumps that will form air bubbles in your mixture and leave holes in your finished cake.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Take your standard tube cake pan and oil it with butter. Then lightly flour the oiled pan. Shake the excess flour from the pan.

Pour the mix in, bake the cake for about an hour and twenty minutes. Keep looking at how your cake is doing through the oven door but avoid opening the door too much while it is cooking as I have seen this, or jarring a cake, cause it to collapse. When you think it is done, do the toothpick test. Stick a wooden toothpick into one of the thickest parts of the cake. If it's dry when you pull it our, the cake is done.

Allow the cake to cool 15 or 20 minutes in the pan. Then gently remove it, and stick it on your favorite decorative cake plate.

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice


Mix the above two ingredients until smooth, and pour over warm pound cake.

I'll update this with a picture later on if I remember to take a picture before I bring it in to work.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Banana Bread

I hate bananas. I think it's the texture that just makes me want to gag. However, I love banana bread. There's nothing better than warm banana bread fresh out of the oven with some melting butter.

Since I've been craving banana nut muffins all week, I decided I'd make some banana bread instead.


1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ice Cream!!

Well, I decided that I'd start a new blog specifically for ice cream. I just purchased a new ice cream maker, and knowing how much I love ice cream, I'll probably be making more of that than any other thing. I may give up eating real food.

My new blog, I Dream of Ice Cream, will be updated later this week with the first recipe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Hello. My name is Jared, and I'm an italian food whore.

I love italian food, and could probably live on it day in and day out (if there wasn't mexican or chinese food around).

This weekend, I decided I wanted some chicken fettuccine with peas...one of my favorites. I stole this recipe from another food blog, but made some slight modifications to the original - I Have to Cook Anyway, so thanks for the recipe!

I didn't roast the garlic, and I also didn't use the mustard powder since it's optional, and I don't have any. I also used the milk and cream, since I have a ton of cream left over from the salty caramels.

My favorite pasta to use is the Barilla Fettuccine - they make the best pastas in my opinion. I also like to use peas, and according to my friends, that's really weird, because I should be using broccoli (eww), but I really like the sweet flavor of fresh peas, so I'll stick with my (superior) recipe.


1 bulb of Roasted Garlic
2 cups milk (or 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup cream)
1/3 of an 8oz pkg of cream cheese

3 tablespoons butter (optional)

1/2 to 3/4 cups grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder (optional)

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (you decide how thick you want it)

1 lb chicken - cubed
Garlic Sea Salt - to taste


Cube the chicken into small pieces. Heat a pan on high with a little EVOO and then add the chicken. Cook until it's nice and done. I like mine seared until it's golden.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups milk and butter together, stirring frequently until smooth and heated through. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, dry mustard, and reserved 1/2 cup milk. Stir slowly into the sauce and heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Mash as much roasted garlic as you want and stir it into the sauce. Stir in the parmesan and the chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta according to the directions, and then add the pasta to the sauce and stir.

I also have a little helper who whines and begs for food, and of course, I always give in.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

S'mores Brownies

I needed some inspiration for something to make this weekend, so I looked over some food blogs, but eventually landed on food network's website. I was searching for something that looked good, so after browsing the site for a while, I found the top 100 recipes of 2007. At number 8 was this recipe for a smores brownie. My insatiable sweet tooth decided for me that the brownies would be what I made.

I ended up cheating a little because I'm lazy, so I didn't use the aluminum foil since I was using a silicone pan (bad idea!!!). I also found that when cooking the crust in the silicone pan, it only took like 10 minutes to cook, not the 20, so it looks a little on the crispy side.

I also added some chocolate chunks to the batter because I have a ton of chocolate that is about to expire.

While the brownies were good, they weren't the life altering brownies that I expected them to be, considering they were #8 on the top 100 list.



6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

I also added some chocolate chunks since I had some and they were about to expire. Plus, more chocolate is always a good thing.

4 cups large marshmallows - I used mini marshmallows


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away.