If you haven’t heard of a Texas Millionaire before, they are essentially chocolate-covered caramel pecan balls (say that five times fast!) They’re very similar to turtles and thus, equally as addicting.
Homemade candy is so easy to make and it makes a great gift. Everyone loves something that was handmade and custom. Here’s a great opportunity to make something for someone you love.
Spray a [heavy] saucepan with non-stick spray. Cook first three ingredients in the sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
Once melted, stir in pecan halves. Remove from heat and cool in pan at least 5 minutes (should be a fairly pliable consistency).
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased wax paper. Chill 1 hour, or freeze 20 minutes (until firm).
While the pecan caramel goodies cool, wash out the saucepan you were using. Melt the chocolate morsels and candy coating in the same saucepan on low heat, stirring until smooth (this will save you loads of cleanup later).
Dip caramel candies into the chocolate sauce, allowing excess to drip, place on lightly greased wax paper. Chill 15 minutes. While these chill, clean out your saucepan.
This recipe makes 2-3 dozen candies. These keep the best in the fridge. However, if you know you're having company over ahead of time, take them out a half hour before your guests arrive and these little guys will be ooey gooey on the inside by the time their grubby fingers find them.
December 8th is National Brownie Day! Yes, these moist and fudgy (SnackWells reference, anyone?) sweet, baked delights have their own national “holiday.” Like the sandwich, pizza and potato chip, the first brownie ever made was actually a mistake. The baker didn’t have baking powder and ended up with this dense, baked good (actually creating what is now commonly known as a blondie). The baker added cocoa to this recipe and voilà! The brownie was born.
In honor of this glorious treat and as a spin-off of my chocolate chip cookie pie recipe, I thought I’d share this combination recipe with you today. Can you tell that I love chocolate chip cookies (in any form)? Not at all, right?
I figured the fudgy brownie layer covered the basics and the cookie dough layer was an added bonus.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature or almost melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
Additional miniature chocolate chips, if desired (to garnish the top)
Prepare the brownie layer:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x9-inch pan with nonstick spray, then line with a strip of parchment paper so that it covers the bottom and comes up two sides of the pan. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray too.
In a microwave safe bowl (or in the top of a double boiler or pan set on top of a pan of simmering water), microwave in 30 second bursts to melt butter and chocolate chips together until all is melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugars, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla and salt. Sift flour into the bowl and stir that in too. Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the brownie layer is cooked through (toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Place the pan of brownies in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process (or cool at room temperature and add the cookie dough layer later).
Prepare the cookie dough layer:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugars and salt until soft and creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Mix in the milk and vanilla. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in until combined. Stir in the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Scoop the cookie dough onto the top of the brownies and spread onto the brownie layer. I find that it's easiest to do this if the brownie layer is chilled and firm. Wet your hands or spray them with nonstick spray and pat the cookie dough on top in a even layer. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top to create a nicer, visual appearance. For easy, clean cutting, chill the brownies (wrap the brownies with plastic wrap and chill until firm- 1 to 2 hours or up to 2 days).
Cut the brownies: Run a knife along the sides of the brownie pan and then use the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice the brownies with a sharp knife, wiping the knife with a paper towel between cuts. If you'd like all of your slices of brownies to look clean-cut without edges, use the knife to cut the sides of the brownies off before cutting pieces. Keep brownies slices covered and chilled until ready to serve.
Today’s focus is on sinfully sweet chocolate and melting techniques. Chocolate is a fairly fragile substance and burns rather easily. So when it comes to those melty chocolate recipes you really don’t want to expose your delicious morsels to direct heat. There are a couple different methods that work well to melt chocolate.
Firstly, chop your chocolate into uniform pieces so it will melt at equal time.
Because all microwaves are different, this is my preferred method. Also I feel you have much more control over the melting of your chocolate than with a microwave.
To use this method, fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and place on low heat. Place your chocolate in the top of the boiler over hot (not boiling) water and allow it to melt. Do not cover. Stir until smooth and immediately remove the top of the boiler from the heat.
NOTE: If you do not have a double boiler, you can easily cheat this method by using a pan as your lower half and a large glass or metal bowl for the top half of your make-shift double boiler.
Place your chocolate into a glass container and place it in your microwave for 1 minute. You will probably need to melt the chocolate further. In between each heating, make sure you stir the chocolate to prevent scorching. Repeat until completely melted.