Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Out of the Box - Part 2

Thanks to my wonderful, tech savvy husband Jeff, I am once again able to upload pictures. So yesterday I tried to convince everyone that using mixes are not the kiss of death to your dessert. If you use it as a base, and add other component that are made from scratch, you can come up with some incredible looking and tasting treats.

So here is my Caramel Apple Brownies. I simply used a box of Duncan Hines Brownie mix and then before baking, topped it with chopped Granny Apples and some caramel chips. Yummy!

Here are the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies. The recipe for the pumpkin cream cheese is as follows:

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp butter, softened

5 ounces pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

Whip the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.

For the swirl brownies, put some of the pumpkin mix in lines across the top of the brownie layer and then, with a toothpick or knife, swirl the mix into the brownie. Make sure not to over swirl, or you will lose the effect that you are creating.

Mini Pink Lemonade Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and topped with lemon zest,

Mini Pumpkin Brownie Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Ganache,

Mini Cinnamon Rolls with a Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting and topped with a Toffee Crunch.

For the cinnamon rolls, take a sheet of crescent dough, spread a mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (I'm afraid I have no recipe here for you because I just eyed the measurements on this one) over the top, and then roll to desired size. Cut and bake, let cool and then top with the frosting. To make the frosting, I used about 2 ounces of cream cheese and 2 packets of McDonald's Caramel sauce.

Instead of swirling the pumpkin with the brownie, I just made layers with the two flavors. For the ganache (which is one of the easiest icings to make and probably also one of the tastiest), I heated 8 ounces of heavy cream and then added 12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted and then let cool to a consistency where you can pipe out the ganache to make the dollop.
And there you have it, fancy dessert without speeding hours in making it. With mixes, the possibilities are endless once you get creative with your recipe.

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