Showing posts with label Improv Cooking Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Improv Cooking Challenge. Show all posts

Thursday, June 20, 2013

S'mores Popcorn!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Today is the Improv Cooking Challenge reveal day! This month's two ingredients~fish and chips! Being a non fish lover, I decided to put a little fun twist on the traditional, and go with graham cracker fish and melted chocolate chips! What I came up with is a S'mores Popcorn, perfect for summer celebrations and campfires!
S'mores Popcorn
1 bag popped Popcorn
16.5 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips
1 cup Graham Cracker Goldfish
1 cup mini Marshmallows
Pop your popcorn.....
and spread your popcorn in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler, 
or in the microwave.
Drizzle your chocolate over the popcorn.
Place your graham cracker fish on top of the chocolate 
drizzle throughout the baking sheet.
I got my graham cracker gold fish by buying a bag of
S'mores goldfish and picking out the graham cracker fish to use.
Then drizzle more chocolate over the popcorn
 and graham cracker fish in the opposite direction 
that you drizzled the first time.
Add mini marshmallows on top of the drizzled chocolate,
just as you did the graham cracker fish.
Drizzle more chocolate over the mini marshmallows,
drizzling every which way, making sure there is plenty
of drizzled chocolate over all of the popcorn.
Let the chocolate set up and dry.
Enjoy your S'mores Popcorn!

Check out the rest of the Improv Cooking Challenge entries:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies!

Today is reveal day for the Improv Cooking Challenge. This challenge is always fun, and this month the two ingredients we were required to use are Hearts and Flours! Aren't they just perfect choices for the month of February?! I made these Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies, and I think they are a great example of everything heart and flour during this month of love!

Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 cup Flour
2 Egg Whites
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/2 cup Sugar
40 Milk Chocolate Kisses
Start with making your cookie base. 
Beat butter in a bowl on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Add 1/2 cup Sugar and beat until combined, scraping
sides occasionally. Beat in milk
and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. 
Beat in your flour, and combine well.
Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness. 
Chill dough for 4-48 hours.
Cut heart shaped cookies from dough. 
Place on a baking sheet, and return to refrigerator.
Beat your egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon,
and cream of tartar in a mixing bowlwith an
electric mixer on medium to high speed until   
soft peaks form.   
Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, 
beating on high about 7 minutes,.......
or until very stiff  
peaks form, and sugar is dissolved.
Spoon the mixture into a decorating bag, fitted
with a medium star tip.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 
Take your baking sheet from the refrigerator.
Place a chocolate kiss in the center of each heart.
Using your pastry bag, 
pipe the meringue around each kiss.
Start at the center of the heart, and
 continue around and 
up until the chocolate kiss is covered.
Cook for 15-18 minutes, until meringue is
slightly browned. Cool on wire rack. 
Enjoy your Meringue and Chocolate Surprise Cookies!

We are visiting the following parties:
Networking Saturday

Thanks for joining me today, and don't forget to 
check out all the wonderful Improv recipes!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Banana Nana Cheesecake!

It is Improv Cooking Challenge day and January's two ingredients are banana and nutmeg! Aren't those great ingredients? So many recipes and ideas came to mind, that, as usual, I had a hard time deciding what to make. I decided on this creamy Banana Cheesecake! I crunched up some left over sugar cones for the crust, added nutmeg to the batter, and made the cheesecakes in mini pans. I think they turned out fantastic!

 Banana Nana Cheesecake
10 Sugar Cones
4 tablespoons Butter, melted

3- 8 ounce Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
3 Eggs
3/4 cup Mashed Banana (about 2)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
sliced Banana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the sugar cones in the food processor, and pulse
until finely crushed. Place the crumbs in a bowl, add your melted
butter and mix together. Press the mix into a 10" springform pan
or 6 small pans. Refrigerate.
Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy.
Add your sugar and cornstarch and blend with cream cheese.
Add your eggs and mix them in.
Mix in your bananas, heavy cream, and vanilla.
Incorporate your nutmeg into the mix.
Place your pans on a baking sheet.
Pour your batter into your pans.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 
200 degrees and bake for 45-50 minutes for the small pans
and 1 hour and 15 minutes for the large pan. The cheesecakes
are done when the when the center is almost set.
Loosen the edges around the cheesecakes, 
and set them on a cooling rack. Once they are completely 
cooled, remove the sides.
Refrigerate for 6 hours. Before serving, let the cheesecake stand 
at room temp for 15 minutes. During that standing time,
whip your whipping cream with a mixer on high speed. 
Add your sugar and whip until stiff peaks appear.
Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and banana.

Thanks for joining me today!

Here is where we are partying:
What's in your Kitchen Wednesday? 
Don't forget to check out what everyone else cooked up today!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Cocoa Cookies ~ It's the Improv Cooking Challenge!

When I discovered that the 2 ingredients for today's Improv Cooking Challenge were chocolate and marshmallows, I was excited! They are two great items and my head was spinning with ideas. But then I saw this recipe for Hot Cocoa Cookies in Food Network Magazine, and I had to make them. I'm so glad I did. You will love them! They just scream "Merry Christmas"!
Hot Cocoa Cookies
2 1/4 cups Cake Flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 sticks Butter, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Marshmallow Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda,
and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. 
Add the egg and vanilla  and beat until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture, a little at a time until just mixed.
Divide the dough in half, wrap it in plastic and 
refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 1 day.
Take 1 piece of dough out of the fridge at a time.
Dust it generously with flour, and roll it out between
2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll to 1/8" thickness.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters.
Refrigerate your cookie cutouts while on the baking sheet
for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the scraps until the dough is
firm again, then reroll and cut out.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Let cool completely.
Sandwich cookies with the marshmallow cream.

Thanks for joining me today.
Check below for all the other great recipes from the Crazy Cooking Challenge.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Red, White, and Blue Biscotti

Today is Improv Cooking Challenge Day! This month our ingredients are almonds and cherries. It just so happens that today also starts The Freshman Cook's 15 Days of Red, White, and Blue! So, in the holiday spirit, I baked  Red, White and Blue biscotti. This biscotti is simple and delicious. Oh, yeah, and festive too!!

Red, White and Blue Biscotti

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated Lemon Zest
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Sliced Almonds
1/3 cup Dried Cherries
1/3 cup Dried Blueberries
1/4 cup White M and M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in mixing bowl.
Whisk flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
 Add eggs 1 at a time.
Add the flour mix and blend together.
Stir in almonds, dried blueberries, dried cherries, and M and M's.
Shape the dough into a 13" by a 3" wide log on
 the parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden  brown.
 Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.
Use a serrated knife, and slice the loaf of biscotti in to 1/2" slices.
Place the biscotti on its side and bake again for 10-15 minutes. 
Cool Completely.
Melt the white almond bark, dip the edges in, and
sprinkle some sprinkles on the white bark.


See you tomorrow for day 2 of
15 days of Red, White and Blue

Here's where we are celebrating this week:
Patriotic Project Parade Linky Party 

Here's what my friends at the Improv Cooking Challenge made:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Improv Challenge~Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies!

Today is the day for the Improv Cooking Challenge!   This is such a fun challenge, I just love participating! This month our ingredients are carrots and ginger. I immediately thought of carrot cake, but I was looking for something a little smaller, like cookies. This got my brain thinking about cookies, and then whoopie pies, the ultimate cookie!
Carrot Cake Whoppie Pies
(adapted from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley)

2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
8 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/2 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Grated Carrots

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder,
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together. 
Set aside.
In the bowl that you can use a mixer with, 
cream together the butter and both sugars. 
Cream on medium for  4-5 minutes
until light and fluffy. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
Mix in vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Add carrots.
Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
While the batter is chilling, make the cream cheese filling.
This is a recipe I have used for a very long time. I love it!
Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces Cream Cheese
5 tablespoons Butter, softened
2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
Cream the cream cheese and butter together.
Add vanilla.
Add sugar 1 cup at a time. You might need more
if you want thicker filling.
Put filling in a pastry bag with a Wilton #12 tip.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use a small cookie scoop, and place circle of dough
on your baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes.
Let cool!
Pipe the filling onto the bottom of 1 cookie,.....
and put the other cookie on top.

Thanks for stopping by The Freshman Cook!

Improv Challenge