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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

It seems that there are two types of people when it comes to a Sweet Potato Casserole: Those who cover theirs with toasty melty marshmallows, and those who don’t.  Do you think I am biased?

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You already know I love to sneak dessert-like side dishes onto my table.  Why wouldn’t I top my Sweet Potato Casserole with candy? To be honest, this is the way I grew up eating sweet potatoes.  Each time I see a recipe for a casserole topped with something delicious like a pecan streusel or turned savory I’m tempted to try it, but why mess with something that is just right?

This recipe is actually a lot healthier than you might think.  It is filled with nutrient-dense sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin (yes, pumpkin!), spices and and a secret ingredient:

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I got the idea of using pumpkin butter in a Food and Wine recipe a couple of years ago.  I haven’t turned back since.

The other secret to this recipe is the roasted sweet potatoes.  Yes, you can microwave them to cut down on time, but roasting them adds so much flavor.

To begin, line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil and non-stick spray.  Top with your sweet potatoes and poke holes in them to prevent any oven explosions

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Roast them for an hour or so, or until they are nice and tender to the touch

The softer they are, the easier they will be to peel.  I usually roast the sweet potatoes the night before so that I can peel them easily when they are cool, no burnt fingers required

Place them in a mixer with a can of pumpkin and combine until most of the mixture is pureed but some chunks still exist (you can also mash by hand if you don’t have a mixer)

Add in your pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin butter, a dash of salt and a bit of vanilla

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Once well-combined, place in a large greased baking dish

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Cover with foil and bake until hot

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Remove the baking dish from the oven and top with marshmallows

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Broil for a minute or two, until your marshmallows are lightly browned.  I recommend putting foil or a sheet pan below the baking dish in case you have any drippings

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 12

Ingredients:

8-10 medium sweet potatoes, about 5 pounds

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin, (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup pumpkin butter

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1-lb bag of mini marshmallows

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Line jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with foil and non-stick cooking spray

Poke sweet potatoes with a fork and spread out on baking sheet; roast in oven for about an hour or until they are tender

Once sweet potatoes are cool, peel them; cut a slit in the skin of each sweet potato and then peel with fingers

Place them in a mixer with pumpkin and combine until most of the mixture is pureed but some chunks still exist (you can also mash by hand if you don’t have a mixer)

Add pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin butter, salt and vanilla

Once well-combined, place in a large baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray

Cover with foil and bake about 30 minutes or until hot

Remove the baking dish from the oven and top with marshmallows

Put oven on broil and bake casserole for 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly browned

Which camp are you in? With marshmallows or without?

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This recipe was a complete accident.  I was making Cookie Dough Topped Brownies and feeling over-confident in my memory of the brownie ingredients.  When I got past the step of stirring in sugar, I realized something was wrong.  The batter was much thicker than it should be.

Fortunately, I realized that my mistake was adding 50% more sugar than the recipe called for.  Rather than throw everything away at that point, I added 50% extra of every thing else.  As a result, I had an extra 9X9 pan of brownies and nothing to do with them…

Until I thought about what was in my freezer.  Did you know that buttercream stores very well in the freezer?  How about some White Chocolate Buttercream?

And then I looked again.  Did you know that mocha ganache also freezes well?  I happened to have extra from my Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mocha Ganache

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Oh that is right, one rich chocolate brownie topped with not one, but two incredible toppings.

Thanks to a small mistake and leftovers from baking, I made Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream and Mocha Ganache, another delicious dessert for our Thanksgiving with Friends.

Make these.  No mistakes necessary.

Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream and Mocha Ganache

Makes 16 brownies (more if you want small pieces, brownies are very rich)

Ingredients:

Brownie (recipe from Baker’s)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)

1 cups sugar

1 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup all purpose flour

White Chocolate Buttercream

2 ounces baking white chocolate

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 1/2 tablespoons milk (any type is fine)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Mocha Ganache

5 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

1/4 cup extra-strong brewed coffee

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Directions:

Brownies

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter and chocolate in large sauce pan over low to medium heat

Stir in sugar

Stir in eggs and vanilla

Whisk in flour until smooth

Pour into a 9×9 pan lined with foil and greased or sprayed with cooking spray

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean

Buttercream

While brownies are cooling, make buttercream

Combine the white chocolate and whipping cream in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat, stirring continuously

Remove from heat and stir in milk

Refrigerate for mixture for half hour

When white chocolate mixture is cool, finish making the buttercream

Beat the butter until creamy

Beat in confectioners’ sugar until butter and sugar are light and fluffy

Now beat in the cooled white chocolate mixture until buttercream is creamy and light

Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate until buttercream hardens slightly

Ganache

While brownies with buttercream are chilling, prepare ganache

Chop up the chocolate, coarsely, and prepare extra-strong coffee

Slice up your butter and set aside

Now set up your double boiler; bring water to a simmer in medium pot over low-medium heat

Place heat-proof bowl of chocolate over the pot

Pour the coffee over your chocolate

Continuously stir until chocolate is melted and smooth

Remove bowl from heat and whisk in the butter until creamy

Then allow ganache to cool, stirring occasionally

Ganache is ready when the mixture gets nice and thick

Spread over buttercream layer

Keep brownies stored in a cool place

 

 

What would you do with extra brownie?

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I learned to bake by watching my mom, the Original Baker.  Most of my memories are of standing next to her at the kitchen counter as she measured ingredients and put them together effortlessly.  I’d help pour the sugar into the bowl or turn on the mixer, and sometimes even crack the eggs.  The best part, of which I have many memories, was getting a beater fresh off the mixer with “extra” chocolate chip cookie dough.

Luckily I never got sick from eating the raw dough! Sometimes I doubt that is even possible because I have a lot of experience licking cookie dough, brownie batter and other delicious pre-baked desserts full of raw eggs off of spatulas.  If I didn’t get sick from copious amounts of raw cookie dough, who has?

But just in case you can in fact get sick from raw eggs, no-bake (eggless) cookie dough is a kid’s dream!  Now, imagine slathering that cookie dough onto rich chocolate brownies?  Oh yes.  Cookie Dough Topped Brownies is a dessert any kid would dream about, and well, any adult too;-)

First thing to do is make your brownies.  I used the tried and true Baker’s recipe that is also used for my Chocolate Lover’s Bites.

Melt butter and chocolate in large sauce pan over low to medium heat

Stir until smooth

Remove from heat and stir in sugar

Your batter will get nice and thick*

Stir in eggs and vanilla

Then the vanilla

Whisk in flour until smooth

Batter will get nice and thick

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with foil and greased or sprayed with cooking spray and bake

While brownie is cooling, make your cookie dough

Combine your butter and sugars

Then add a little bit of milk

Mix in some flour

And of course I have a 6-pound bag of chocolate chips

Add them in

Stir until the chips are mixed throughout the dough

Now it’s time to spread your cookie dough

Wait until your brownie is completely cool, it wouldn’t hurt to freeze the brownie first since the dough is very thick

A long strong spatula is good for spreading

Once finished, keep your brownies in a cool place; they also freeze very well

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

Makes 36 brownies

Ingredients:

Brownie (recipe from Baker’s)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

Cookie Dough (Adapted from the Blue-Eyed Bakers)

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

4 tablespoons milk (I use skim)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Brownies

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter and chocolate in large sauce pan over low to medium heat

Stir in sugar

Stir in eggs and vanilla

Whisk in flour until smooth

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with foil and greased or sprayed with cooking spray

Bake for ~30 minutes or until knife comes out clean

Cookie Dough

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy

Mix in milk

Gradually mix in flour and salt

Stir in chocolate chips

Allow brownies to cool completely (might be easier if they are frozen) and then spread cookie dough over the top

Store in refrigerator (or freeze)

cooke dough brownies

*While I was making these, I accidentally added too much sugar.  In an upcoming post I’ll tell you how I rectified that and ended up with another delicious dessert.

Do you eat raw cookie dough?

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