recipes

Beverages 30 March 2017

Refresh Your Routine with Protein-Packed Smoothies

(Family Features) Spring brings warmer weather and a fresh start, making it the perfect time to reinvigorate your workout routine and healthy habits by starting with fresh ingredients. Whether you’re training for an upcoming event or simply looking for new and easy nutritious meal options, these protein-packed recipes prepared by U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s chef and registered dietician Megan Chacosky are perfect for casual fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes alike.

Few people understand the nutritional needs of athletes during their spring training period better than Chacosky. She stresses the importance of protein to all athletes. Boosting a simple smoothie recipe with a tasty solution like Rockin’ Refuel is an easy way to add a high-quality source of protein.

Made from pure, fresh milk, Rockin’ Refuel is a healthy option to start your day or recover after a workout. Chacosky typically uses one full bottle, which contains up to 30 grams of protein, as the base ingredient in smoothie recipes and adds fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

For example, Chacosky’s Spicy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie can be your solution following intense workouts to help repair and replenish muscles, or you can prepare for a big race with a Berry Cherry Blend Smoothie with its full serving of antioxidants. For athletes looking to maintain or lose weight while still taking in a daily dose of protein, her Lean Chai Latte Smoothie makes for a nutritious mid-day snack.

Find tips to optimize your nutrition at rockinrefuel.com.

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Lean Chai Latte Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Vanilla Lean Builder
  • 1 tablespoon loose chai tea or contents of 1 tea bag
  • 1/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cups ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

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Berry Cherry Blend

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Strawberry Muscle Builder
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries
  • 1 cup spinach
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

Tip: Use as morning meal replacement by adding 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds or 1-2 tablespoons oats for added fiber.

 

Spicy Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Megan Chacosky on behalf of Rockin’ Refuel

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Rockin’ Refuel Chocolate Muscle Recovery
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency.

Tip: Add 1-2 teaspoons chia seeds or 1-2 tablespoons oats to add fiber.

Source: Rockin' Refuel

Dessert 24 March 2017

Impress Spring Party Guests with Surprise Sweets

(Family Features) Transform an ordinary cupcake into something extraordinary with a peek-a-boo filling. These simple cupcakes are an easy addition to any spring celebration. You’ll want to serve every variety of these turned up treats for Easter and beyond.

The best part about this party trick? It’s easy. You’ll be digging this one out of your recipe repertoire for every spring soiree.

Hop to Easter
Who said Easter baskets are just for the kids? Treat your holiday guests to take-home cupcakes served in individual cupcake boxes. They’ll be delighted to find a surprise inside these icing-filled cupcakes.

The Garden Party
Spring into the season and host an outdoor party on the patio or in the garden. Your guests will enjoy the fresh air and the sweetly decorated desserts.

Add Fresh Flavor
Shake things up with a refreshing new twist. Try filling your cupcakes with refreshing lemon meringue, raspberry mousse or peanut butter and jelly cupcake fillings.

No matter how you slice it, fill it or serve it, these cupcakes are a party pleaser that’s guaranteed to impress. Find tasty filling recipes, fresh ideas and easy decorating projects at www.wilton.com.

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Carrot Garden Easter Cupcakes

Servings: 1 dozen cupcakes

  • Favorite chocolate cake mix or recipe
  • Creamy Decorator Icing
  • Chocolate Decorator Icing
  • Leaf Green Icing Color
  • Orange Icing Color
  • Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Color Wheel baking cups in standard muffin pan.
  2. Prepare cake mix following package instructions. Bake in prepared muffin pan 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on cooling grid.
  3. To decorate, tint small amount of creamy decorator icing green; tint remaining orange. Use spatula and chocolate icing to ice tops of cupcakes smooth. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
  4. Use knife to cut out center of cupcakes almost to bottom of cupcake. Use tip 2A and orange icing to fill in center of cupcake and pipe about 1/4 inch above cupcake; pat smooth. Use tip 352 and green icing to pipe pull-out leaf carrot tops.

Source: Wilton

Beverages 03 October 2016

Chillingly Creative Drinks for Halloween

(Family Features) If you’re planning a monster bash this Halloween, brew up drinks so frightfully delicious that it will spook the taste buds of every little ghost, witch and goblin.

The Spooky Smoothie is a flavorful combination of vanilla milk and Greek yogurt, which is blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. The fun is all in the orange-tinted Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, so make sure to serve it in a clear glass. And ghosts will rise from the dead for the chocolaty Monster Mash Mudslide. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk.

Both of these tasty concoctions feature TruMoo, which is made with 35 percent less total sugar than the leading chocolate and vanilla milk competitor and has no high fructose corn syrup. That’s one thing that won’t scare you this Halloween season.

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Spooky Smoothie

Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color
  • 1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 5 cups ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup fat free whipped cream
  • Candy corn for garnish, optional
  1. In blender, combine vanilla milk, yogurt and ice cubes. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. To serve, pour into serving glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy corn.

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Monster Mash Mudslide

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 cups TruMoo Lowfat Chocolate Milk
  • 10 chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
  • 1/2 cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 8 mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended)
  1. In blender, blend chocolate milk and chocolate wafer cookies until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.
  2. To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving, spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into dollop for eyes.

Note: To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave.

Source: TruMoo

Dessert 14 March 2017

Brighten Up Bake Sales

(Family Features) A bake sale is a sweet way to support any charitable cause, whether it’s raising money for new uniforms or donating to a local animal shelter. These tips and recipes from the celebration experts at Wilton will make bake sale treats that stand out among the rest — it’s a piece of cake.

  • Baking delicious goodies is just the start to a successful bake sale. Add some dazzling details. The eye-catching finishes on Bake-Sale Ready Cupcakes — swirls of colorful icing topped with jumbo sprinkles and butterfly decorations, complete with vibrant wraps — will ensure they sell out fast.
  • Serve sweets-on-a-stick like Kaleidoscope Cookie Pops and School Star Cereal Treat Pops. Favorite treats are more fun and easier to eat when customers can just grab them and enjoy.
  • Offer size options. Sell some cupcakes and mini breads by the “eaches” and cookies by the pop. Have dozens available, too.
  • Wrap goodies using treat bags and ribbon, or pack in colorful, easy-to-transport boxes — making them perfect gifts customers will want to keep for themselves.

Visit www.wilton.com for other bake sale ideas and recipes, and for all of your baking and decorating supplies.

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Coconut Lime Mini Breads

Makes 9 petite loaves

Breads

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Topping (optional)

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cavities of Petite Loaf Pan with Petite Loaf Baking Cups.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, lime zest and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in coconut extract. Add flour mixture alternately with coconut milk to butter mixture; mix until well combined. Divide mixture evenly into baking cups.
  3. Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pan 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pan; cool completely.
  4. To make icing, combine confectioners’ sugar and lime juice in small bowl to desired consistency. Drizzle icing over tops of loaves, allowing icing to run down sides. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

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Zucchini & Apple Bread

Makes about 12 servings

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In medium bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, apple and pecans, mixing until just combined. (Do not overmix.) Turn mixture into prepared pan.
  3. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Loosen edges of bread from pan. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.

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Kaleidoscope Cookie Pops

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Round Comfort Grip Cutter
  • Assorted Colors Cookie Icing
  • Assorted Jumbo Sprinkles or other favorite Sugars and Sprinkles
  • Cookie Treat Sticks
  • Candy Melts candy (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts; mix well. Do not chill dough.
  3. Divide dough into 2 balls. On floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12-inch diameter x 1/8-inch thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool cookies completely.
  4. Outline and fill-in cookie with Cookie Icing. Add zigzag border to some cookies. If desired, pipe alternating circles of colors onto cookie surface; immediately pull toothpick through icing from center of cookie to outer edge, pulling colors through. Or, arrange sprinkles and sugars on iced cookie surface. Let dry.
  5. Attach sticks to back of cookies with icing or melted candy. Let dry.

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Bake Sale-Ready Cupcakes

Each cupcake serves 1

  • Assorted Primary, Gold or Silver Baking Cups
  • Favorite cupcake recipe or mix
  • Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream Icing
  • Golden Yellow or other desired Icing Color
  • Jumbo Stars and Jumbo Nonpareil Sprinkles
  • Butterfly or other favorite Icing Decorations
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cavities of standard muffin pan with baking cups.
  2. Bake your favorite cupcakes in prepared pan. Cool completely. Color buttercream icing with icing color. Pipe tip 1M buttercream or chocolate buttercream icing swirl on cupcake top; insert icing decoration.

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School Star Cereal Treat Pops

Makes about 2 dozen pops

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • Cookie Treat Sticks
  • Cookie Icing
  • Assorted Sprinkles
  1. Spray Star Cookie Treat Pan and rubber spatula or wooden spoon with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In large saucepan, melt butter. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal; mix well. Press into prepared pan; insert cookie sticks. When cool to touch, remove from pan. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture. (If mixture becomes hard to work with, microwave at 50 percent power 30 to 60 seconds to soften.)
  3. Outline treat with Cookie Icing; add Sprinkles. Let dry.

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Candy Bark

  • 2 packages (12 oz. ea.) White or Light Cocoa Candy Melts candy
  • Rainbow Chip Crunch or other Sprinkles or Sugars
  1. Line 10.5 x 15.5-inch cookie pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt Candy Melts candy following package instructions; spoon into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles; if needed, smooth top with large spatula. Sprinkle on Rainbow Chip Crunch. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment from pan; break candy into smaller serving pieces.

Source: Wilton Enterprises

Dessert 14 March 2017

Chocolate War Cake

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Chocolate War Cake

Yield: 12 slices
Serving size: 1 slice

  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch round baking pan, whisk together whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In small bowl or measuring cup, combine water and vinegar.
  3. Make well in center of flour mixture in pan and pour canola oil and vanilla extract into well. Pour water-vinegar mixture over top of flour and then stir well to blend all ingredients.
  4. Bake until set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Place cake on rack to cool in pan. Once cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: Whole-wheat, all-purpose flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour.
Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 180; Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 200 mg; Carbohydrates 29 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 2 g

Source: CanolaInfo

Dessert 14 March 2017

Mucho Choco Tacos

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Mucho Choco Tacos

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Start to Finish: 40 Minutes
Makes: 8 tacos

  • 8 Old El Paso Stand 'N Stuff taco shells (from 4.7-oz box)
  • 1 (24-ounce) package chocolate-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups sliced bananas
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 aerosol can whipped cream topping
  • 8 mint leaves, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Heat taco shells as directed on box. Meanwhile, melt chocolate candy coating as directed on package.
  2. Carefully dip each taco shell into melted chocolate, using spoon to get chocolate on inside of shell; hold shells above bowl to let excess chocolate drip off. Stand shells upright on waxed paper; let stand until chocolate hardens, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl, mix strawberries and bananas. Divide fruit evenly into taco shells.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave fudge topping on High 30 to 45 seconds or until soft. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla. Drizzle topping over fruit in shells. Top with whipped cream; garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

Source: General Mills Inc.

Dessert 14 March 2017

Beehive Cupcakes

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Beehive Cupcakes

  • 1 (13-ounce) bag Snickers Miniatures for Easter, chopped
  • 24 cupcake paper liners
  • 1 (18-ounce) box favorite cake mix
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans classic vanilla frosting
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag Starburst Jellybeans Original Fruits
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tube chocolate decorating frosting, with plain tip
  • 2 resealable plastic bags
  1. Unwrap and chop all miniatures, set aside.
  2. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Prepare cake mix, fold in chopped miniatures and bake according to package directions.
  3. Let cupcakes come to room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, tint frosting with yellow food coloring to desired shade. Frost top of each cupcake to cover.
  5. Spoon remaining frosting into resealable plastic bag. Cut off 1/4-inch from tip. To create a “hive” on each cupcake, pipe on frosting in spiral fashion, starting with bottom of hive and working up to top.
  6. Separate orange jellybeans from package. Arrange 3 to 4 jellybeans on each frosting hive. Gently squeeze chocolate frosting through tip in zigzag pattern over jellybeans.
  7. Angle an almond slice on each side of jellybeans as bee wings.

Makes 24 servings

Source: M&M’S®

Dessert 14 March 2017

Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie

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Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes one (9-inch) pie

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups finely crushed crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about 20 cookies)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) whipping cream, whipped
  1. In small saucepan, melt butter; stir in cookie crumbs. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate; chill while preparing filling.
  2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy; add peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla; fold in whipped cream.
  3. Pour into crust. Chill 4 hours or until set. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Source: Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk

Dessert 01 June 2016

Artful Adaptations

(Family Features) Ice cream is a classic summertime treat and a favorite indulgence for people of all ages. Now, this palate pleaser gets a modern makeover with recipes that cater to the most sophisticated tastes.

Give simple backyard cookouts and festive dinner parties alike an artful finale with creative desserts that make the most of Starbucks ice cream. They’re simple to make, easy on the wallet and a sure-fire way to impress your guests.

Super-premium ice cream, inspired by popular Starbucks beverages, turns floats, tiramisu and even hot chocolate into gourmet desserts that put a smile on everyone’s face.

Delight your friends and family all summer long with these delicious, unexpected flavors. For more information, visit starbucks.com.

Tips for Storing Ice Cream
From The International Ice Cream Association

  • Don’t allow ice cream to repeatedly soften and re-freeze. When this occurs, ice cream’s small ice crystals can eventually turn into large, unpalatable lumps.
  • Your freezer should be set at between -5°F and 0°F. Ice cream is easiest to scoop when stored between 6°F and 10°F, the ideal serving temperature range.
  • Store ice cream in the main part of the freezer, not in the freezer door, where it’s subject to fluctuating temperatures.
  • Keep the ice cream container lid tightly closed when storing in the freezer.
  • Don’t store ice cream alongside uncovered foods; odors may penetrate ice cream and affect its flavor.

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Mocha Cream Soda Floats

2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 can (12 ounces) chilled cream soda
  • 1 cup Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino ice cream
  • 2 dollops sweetened whipped cream
  1. Evenly divide chocolate syrup into 2 tall glasses. Scoop 1/4 cup ice cream into each glass. Add soda, then top with remaining ice cream. Garnish with whipped cream.

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Decadent Hot Chocolate Affogato

2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half, heavy cream or milk
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 cup Starbucks Coffee ice cream
  1. Bring milk, half and half, chocolate, sugar and salt just to a boil in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted.
  2. Scoop ice cream into two large ice cream bowls. Pour hot chocolate around ice cream and garnish, if desired, with whipped cream.

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Coffee Bananas Foster

2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark or light rum
  • 2 slices prepared pound cake (about 1/2 inch thick), toasted
  • 1 cup Starbucks Caramel
  • Macchiato ice cream
  1. Bring bananas, sugar, cream, butter and rum to a boil over medium heat in 10-inch nonstick skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  2. Arrange cake on 2 dessert dishes. Top with ice cream, then banana mixture.

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Caramel Macchiato-Topped Waffles With Maple-Walnut Sauce

2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 1/2 cup pure maple or pancake syrup
  • 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 prepared waffles, heated according to package directions
  • 1 cup Starbucks Caramel
  • Macchiato ice cream
  1. Bring syrup, cream and butter to a boil in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, then stir in walnuts.
    Arrange warm waffles on 2 dessert plates. Top with ice cream, then drizzle with maple-walnut sauce.

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Tiramisu Ice Cream Parfaits

2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream, plus extra for topping
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone*
  • 1/3 cup strong-brewed Starbucks coffee or espresso
  • 1 cup chopped crunchy ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 cup Starbucks Java Chip
  • Frappuccino ice cream
  1. Fold 1/4 cup whipped cream into mascarpone in medium bowl. Fold in remaining whipped cream; set aside.
  2. Spoon 1/2 of mascarpone mixture into 2 parfait dishes. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the cookies and 1/4 of the coffee mixture into each dish. Evenly scoop ice cream into dishes, then top with remaining ingredients. Garnish, if desired, with additional whipped cream, grated chocolate or chocolate covered espresso beans.

*Substitution: Use 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened, whisked with 2 tablespoons milk instead of mascarpone. Fold into whipped cream and continue as above.

Source: Starbucks

Dessert 13 March 2017

Luck of the Irish

Family Festivities for St. Patrick’s Day

(Family Features) This St. Patrick’s Day, entertain your little leprechauns with delicious treats and fun activities that will lead them to their pot of gold.

Every year in March, families celebrate the annual Irish tradition of St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of celebrations. Whether it’s attending a parade or preparing and enjoying an elaborate Irish meal, everyone has their own favorite ways to celebrate the holiday. Set your own unique traditions and rituals with some ideas below.

Pass Along the Luck
Have kids put together lucky treat bags to pass along to neighbors. These treat bags could include cut-out, decorated and customized four-leaf clovers, chocolate coins and other goodies. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, walk around as a family and surprise neighbors with these bags.

Treasure Hunt
Set up a treasure hunt for family and friends by placing chocolate gold coins around the house. Give them a series of clues and riddles to help them figure out where to look for the coins. Equip each “hunter” with their own pot or basket for collecting the gold coins. At the end of the hunt, reward them for their hard work with some festive brownies. These delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive.

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Chocolate Mint Brownies

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 3 hours 25 minutes
Makes: 32 brownies

Brownie Base

  • 1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch) water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

Filling

  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 4 drops green food color

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease only bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
  3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.
  4. Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator.

For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com.

Betty Crocker® is a registered trademark of General Mills.

Source: Betty Crocker

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