Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hersheys Quick'N'Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

I have not made cupcakes in SO long and oh my goodness it was a blast. Since the last time I made them, my decorating skills have slightly evolved, hence the more elaborate icing design than just slapping it on with a knife (which is just as good too!). I added some chocolate chips to the batter because I need multi-textured food; it really is bad I know. I also doubled the icing recipe, but shh...don't tell anyone. :)

Seriously, these were probably the best cupcakes I've ever made, thanks to Hersheys of course.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening, softened (usually I HATE using shortening, but don't substitute here. This really did make a lot of difference in the texture).
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or milk)
Creamy Fudge Frosting-recipe below

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening, eggs, milk, water, and vanilla; beat on low speed of mixture for 1 min. (try doing this without a mixer...your arm will get a good workout I promise). Beat on medium speed for an additional 3 min or until mixture is smooth. Fill cups 1/2 full with bater.
3. Bake 15-20 min. or until the center of each cupcake springs back when touched lightly in the center. Remove cupcakes from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. 

4. Prepare frosting and frost the cupcakes however you desire. 

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
3 2/3 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1/3 cup of water (you may not use all of this. If you add too much, just add more sugar).
Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add cocoa; stir until smooth and well blended. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt alternately with water; beat with a spoon or whisk until smooth and creamy.

Hersheys Mixed Nut Crunch

So yes, there are going to be 3 new posts today...and no I did not make them all today. I made the pie this weekend and this recipe and the next ones were made today. This recipe is from my Hershey Best-loved Recipes cookbook. I've been using various recipes from online so much recently that I've really missed using an actual cookbook. Originally the recipe is called "Cashew Macadamia Crunch" because it uses only cashews and macadamias, but I had a big tub of mixed nuts and I thought it was discriminatory only to use those 2 nuts. :) 

This is a salty and sweet pleasure for anyone! Unless you hate nuts, I can't imagine anybody not liking this candy. The nuts are held together by a gooey, sugary, and buttery mixture. The recipe also originally called for only milk chocolate chips, but after years of experience, I found that using half milk and half semisweet chocolate usually yields the best results. Hope you guys enjoy and tell me if you try it! :)

 2 cups (11.5 ounce package) Hershey's Milk Chocolate chips (or 1 cup Milk chocolate, 1 cup semisweet)
   *of course they tell you to use EVERYTHING Hershey, but I won't tell anyone if you don't. :)
2 cups mixed nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil. Cover bottom of prepared pan with chocolate chips.

2. Combine nuts, butter, sugar, and corn syrup in large saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly until mixture begins to cling together and turns a light golden brown.

3. Pour mixture over chocolate chips in pan, spreading evenly; cool. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Remove from pan and peel off foil. Break into pieces (you might need to use a knife). Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place (I kept mine in the refrigerator b/c to me it tastes better cold). 


Strawberry Margarita Pie

I was in the mood to make a pie, and I definitely don't have a lot of money to spend on ingredients so I went for this yummy sounding pie recipe I found off the pillsbury website. The picture they have makes the pie look a whole lot bigger, but in reality it's slightly smaller. I also added about 1 cup of crushed graham crackers to my crust to make it a little thicker. Pay attention to the fact that the whipping cream, whipped, is used IN the pie. I, having a dumb moment, thought it was just for a whipped topping and I skipped on buying it at the store. Then I realized, one: there is no whipped cream on the top of the pie in the picture, and two: that it actually goes IN the pie. Oh well, I used the small amount of Cool Whip I had in addition to a touch of milk. There were, consequently, a few little white dots from the Cool Whip, but it still tasted really refreshing and light! This is a perfect summer dessert. 

1 1/4cups crushed pretzels
1/4cup sugar
1/2cup margarine or butter, melted
1(14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2cup frozen concentrated margarita mix, thawed
1(10-oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
1cup whipping cream, whipped

In small bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix well. Press firmly in bottom of ungreased 8 or 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

n large bowl, combine condensed milk and margarita mix; beat until smooth. Add strawberries; beat at low speed until well blended. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust-lined pan. Freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.

To serve, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Garnish as desired. Store in freezer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Butterfinger Mounds and Chocolate Clodhoppers

Two candies in one post today! The Butterfinger mounds are from and the clodhoppers are from The butterfingers really do taste a lot like the actual candy. You could dip them in chocolate or just drizzle it on top if you want, but I was lazy and didn't feel like it today. The clodhoppers, also called chocolate brittle...AWESOME. Definitely use Hershey milk chocolate bars with this one.

Butterfinger Mounds

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups corn flakes

Place butter, sugar and corn syrup in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 1 minute or until bubbly. Stir to dissolve sugar. Quickly stir in butterscotch chips and stir until chips are melted. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Stir in corn flakes.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Let sit until firm or chill until firm.

Makes around 12

 Chocolate Brittle (Homeade Clodhoppers)

1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup sugar (either white granulated sugar or light brown sugar both work, but I prefer to use the white sugar for taste preference)
20-30 Graham crackers (amount depends on size of cookie sheet)
Approx. 400g of your favorite chocolate bar (I like to use either Cadbury's milk chocolate bar, Hershey's cookies and cream bar, or Lindt's dark chocolate bar)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2) Melt butter and sugar over medium heat stirring occasionally and bring to a boil
3) Arrange graham crackers to fit evenly on cookie sheet
4) Pour butter mixture over graham crackers and spread to cover all graham crackers evenly
5) Place in oven for 8min then cool completely on a wire rack
6) Once cooled, break sugar coated graham crackers into bite size pieces
7) Melt chocolate in large pot over low heat stirring frequently
8) Once melted, add graham bits to melted chocolate and stir to cover each piece equally
9) Pour chocolate covered grahams back onto lined cookie sheet and spread evenly
10) Place in fridge to cool, once cooled break into pieces again and enjoy!