Tag Archives: Chocolate

Bird’s Nests

Birds Nests 3

If someone had me write a list of my favorite desserts, Bird’s Nests would probably be in the top ten.   I am not exactly sure what to call them, they’re not cookies…but I don’t know if candy really fits either.  They are chocolate bundles of sweet and salty goodness.  In my family they have somehow become a Christmas only dessert, like gingerbread cookies.  However, this year I decided to change that.  Since Monday was Valentines Day, as well as my Birthday, I decided to treat myself with this delicious treat.

Chow Mein Noodles for Bird's NestsThe ingredients in this recipe are pretty straightforward, milk chocolate chips, semi sweet chips, peanuts…except for one, Chow Mein Noodles.  For some reason when I tell people about this recipe that one ingredient always throws them.  They add another layer of saltiness to the peanuts and they give the dessert another bird’s nest like quality, they act as the twigs.

Despite how easy this recipe is to make, the directions I have to make them are very vague.  “small bag of chow mein noodles”, about 3/4- 1 cup peanuts, “barely coat.”  I usually just keep adding the peanuts and noodles until it looks right, but that is a little difficult to explain through a blog post, so I’ll do my best! Despite this I think it would be very hard to mess this recipe up.  If you don’t add enough peanuts and noddles each nest will just be more chocolately, and vice versa.  Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

Bird's Nests 4

Bird’s Nests
1/2 – 3/4 package (6-9 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 package (12 ounces) Milk Chocolate Chips
About 3/4 – 1 cup Peanuts
About 1/2 – 3/4 can Chow Mein Noodles
1 bag M&Ms, whichever flavor is your favorite

Line two cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper.  In a pot on the stove melt chocolate chips over medium heat until melted.  Add in peanuts and chow mein noodles, add more if needed, they should be barely coated in chocolate.   Scoop small tablespoons of the mixture on the wax paper lined cookie sheets, quickly press in 2-4 (depending on preference and size of nests)  M&Ms to be the “eggs.”  Let sit for 1-2 hours, peel off wax paper and store in airtight container.  Enjoy!

And lastly, an update on the Surfer Squares my friend and her husband loved them!  He said they tasted just like his mother’s, though he wasn’t able to tell me how they got their name.

Bird's Nests 1

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Filed under Baking: Other

Surfer Squares

Surfer Squares 2

A couple weeks ago a few friends and I had a recipe exchange of sorts.  In this exchange I received quite a few recipes, and I am looking forward to trying all of them.  The one I decided to test out first is a recipe called Surfer Squares.  The recipe comes from my friend’s mother-in-law, and my friend has, in fact, never made this recipe herself, or even tasted it!  Her husband however, raves over how good it is, and since I bake more than she does, she thought I might want to try it sometime. I’m going to be seeing my friend and her husband tomorrow, and I thought it would be nice to make the “Surfer Squares” and surprise them both!  The real test will be seeing if he thinks they taste like his mother’s!

Now, I haven’t quite figured out why they are called Surfer Squares yet.  But they are delicious!  I was actually very skeptical about how this recipe would turn out. Butterscotch chips, semi-sweet chips, marshmallows?  It all sounded kind of strange to me, and I was having trouble imagining how it would taste.  It didn’t help that on my first attempt I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the butter, sugar, and butterscotch chips melting on the stove and I somehow had the butter separate into a greasy, gooey, glob. (Try saying that five times fast!)

Surfer Squares 4

On the second attempt I was sure to pay more attention, and even though the mixture on the stove was still quite grainy and odd looking when the chips had melted I transferred it into a mixing bowl, and added the egg.  Almost as soon as I turned on the beaters it changed until a smooth glossy mixture, and I went ahead and mixed in the rest of the ingredients.  The batter was quite dense and sticky when I went to put it in the 8×8 pan, and I still wasn’t sure if it was right, but I popped it in the oven to see what would happen.

I baked it until it was golden brown on top and around the edges, it smelled really good, but at this point I still wasn’t sure how it would taste.  When it was cool I cut it into bars (which was slightly difficult because they are quite sticky) and tentatively took my first bite.

My verdict? They are delicious, rich and gooey! I taste the chocolate first, then the butterscotch flavor comes through after.  I am really not a marshmallow fan, but I don’t even taste them.  It’s like they melt quietly into the background, and make the bars wonderfully chewy.  They smell amazing as well!  All in all I think this recipe is a total hit!  I can’t wait to see what my friends think of it tomorrow, and maybe I’ll find out why they are called Surfer Squares.

Surfer Squares 1

Surfer Squares
1 cup Butterscotch Chips
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Mini Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 8×8 inch square pan. In saucepan melt butter over medium heat, when fully melted add in sugar and stir until totally dissolved and incorporated with butter.  Add butterscotch chips, stir constantly until melted*.  The mixture might be slightly grainy/lumpy.  Transfer mixture to mixing bowl, add egg and vanilla, beat well.  Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Spread mixture into greased 8×8 inch pan.  Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes.  Cool and cut into bars.

* I took the saucepan off the heat after the butterscotch chips were in about 20 seconds, the butter/sugar mixture was hot enough to finish melting the chips.  Remember to stir constantly.

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Filed under Baking: Bar Cookies

Dark Chocolate Truffles

I have been wanting to make truffles for a while now, I tried once a few years ago and it failed horribly. I let the chocolate sit in the refrigerator for too long before I tried to roll it into balls, so it hardened up way too much. Then I was impatient and didn’t let it sit out long enough before I tried to roll the chocolate again, and I ended up with something like shaved chocolate and not nice round truffles (it still tasted good though :P)

This time, it went much much better! I ended up with 12 delicious round truffles. I used the recipe that was on the back of the Ghirardelli chocolate, but I decided to half it. It said it would make about 30 truffles and I really didn’t need that many. So all the amounts in the pictures are half the normal amount, the full recipe will be at the bottom of the page.

Truffles are so simple to make! Only three ingredients!
Truffles 1

As I said, I just took the recipe right off of the back of the chocolate.
Truffles 2

You start by adding the heavy cream to a saucepan and bringing it to a simmer.
Truffles 4

Once the cream is simmering add in the butter and stir until melted.
Butter

Then add the chocolate to the saucepan and stir until entirely melted. Once the chocolate is smooth remove from heat and pour into a shallow bowl.
Chocolate

Then put the bowl in the refrigerator until firm (but not solid) it will probably take at least two hours.
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Once firm roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and roll in a coating of your choice. I left half of mine plain and the other half I rolled in finely chopped walnuts. I prefer them plain, but my family likes the walnuts so by doing half and half everyone got what they liked.
Here is the finished product!
Truffles 14

Enjoy!

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Truffles
Makes 30 Truffles
8 oz. (2 Bars) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/3 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
6 Tbsp. of Unsalted Butter Cut into Small Pieces
Coating
1/3 Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa or 3/4 of finely chopped almonds or pecans (or whatever you want really)

Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Add butter and stir until melted. Add chocolate to saucepan, stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and pour chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl. Cool, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours. Roll mixture into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in coating.

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Filed under Baking: Other