Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grand Marnier Brownie Bites

2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2c butter
2 eggs
3/4c packed brown sugar
3/4c white granulated sugar
3 TBSP brandy-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange zest
3/4c all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4c pecans, chopped

2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP light cream
1/2c confectioner’s sugar
1 TBSP brandy-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)

1. Preheat oven to 350* Grease and flour mini-muffin pan.

2. In sauce pan over low heat, melt dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and butter. Stir continuously until ingredients are melted and consistency is smooth. Remove from heat.

3. In mixing bowl, beat brown sugar, white sugar, and eggs on medium speed 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy.

4. Add melted chocolate and butter, Grand Marnier, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Continue mixing on medium speed until well blended.

5. Add flour, salt, chocolate chips, and pecans. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined.

6. Pour batter into muffin pan, filling each muffin cup up to ¾ full.

7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of a brownie comes out clean.

8. Place on wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Preparing the Frosting:

1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the milk chocolate and butter; stirring continuously until consistency is smooth. Remove from heat.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, add light cream, confectioner’s sugar, and Grand Marnier. Beat on medium until ingredients are well blended.

3. Spread on tops of cooled brownies.
Yields 36 mini brownies.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vodka Cream Sauce

Served this the other night over rigatoni with a side Caesar salad and French bread and it was completely devoured.  The secret ingredient is prosciutto (pancetta would be good, too!) 
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped
2c. heavy cream
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2oz. vodka
1 (7oz.) jar roasted red peppers
2 TBSP parsley, chopped
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Drain roasted peppers, reserving about 1/4c. liquid.  Cut peppers into small to medium strips.

2.  Combine prosciutto, cream, crushed tomatoes, vodka, roasted peppers with reserved liquid, parsley, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a saucepan.

3.  Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sauce comes to a boil.

4.  Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

5.  Stir cheese into the sauce and serve immediately.

Makes enough sauce for 1lb. of pasta.
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