Three Blind Mice Chocolate Cheese Pie Recipe

Award winning Recipe provided by the American Pie Council: 1st Place Crisco Classic Chocolate
Diane Selich, Vassar, MI

Crisco Pie Crust:
1 1/3 cup of flour
½ tsp salt
½  cup Crisco
3-4 TBS cold water

1. Combine flour and salt in a small mixing bowl.  Cut in Crisco forming a course mixture.  Add water a little at a time.  Work the dough into a ball.

2. Roll on floured board 1 and a half inches larger than your pie plate.  Pinch and trim the edges.

3. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.  Place foil in pie shell for 25 minutes, remove and bake another 5-8 minutes so the crust will be golden brown.  Cool before using.

Three Blind Mice Chocolate Cheese Pie
Three Blind Mice Chocolate Cheese Pie. photo courtesy of the American Pie Council
Brownie Layer
¼ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
¼ cup cocoa
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

1. In a small mixing bowl, blend the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Add egg and beat together.  Combine the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture.  Spread in a greased pie plate.

2. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.  Cool and set aside.

Cheesecake Layer
4 ounces softened cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup flour
1 tsp clear vanilla
1/3 cup whole milk

1. Blend cheese and sugar together.  Add milk and mix in the eggs.  Add sour cream, vanilla and flour.  Mix until smooth.

2. Pour into a greased pie plate and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

3. Cool- Remove from plate and place in the freezer to set before using.

Ganache
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Melt in a double boiler.  When chips are melted pour into and bowl and cool before using

2. In the baked pie shell, spread 4 tbs of ganache.  Add the brownie layer.  Spread 4 tbs of ganache over the brownie layer and add the cheesecake layer.  Set aside.

Chocolate Filling
2 cups of whole milk
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sifted cocoa
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter

1. On low heat place 1 cup of the milk with the sugar, vanilla and the butter.

2. In a mixing bowl add the other cup of milk with the egg, cornstarch and cocoa.  Whip until smooth.  Add slowly to the heated mixture stirring to prevent lumps.  Pour over the cheesecake layer.

3. Cool and top with 4 cups on whipped topping and chocolate curls.

Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches

Summertime means strawberries. Red, juicy, sweet with just a tiny bit of tartness, they are the queen of the May garden. We go to strawberry festivals, buy baskets of them at roadside stands, and even labor in the fields of the “pick your own” stands.

But once you have them, what do you do with them other than eat them with sugar, or pile them on a biscuit with whipped topping for strawberry shortcake? Sure, there are strawberry preserves to be made. Few of us do that any more. And there are chocolate covered strawberries. Those tend not to keep in the summer. What good are chocolate covered fruit when the chocolate runs off in the heat.

One thing you can do is Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches. Not exactly a sandwich, really, but they look like one, and they are easy to make.

Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches Recipe

To start, you have the option of buying a pound cake ready made, or you can make one, either from scratch or a mix. You can also make your own chocolate butter cream frosting, or buy it in a can. Buying is easier. Once you have that hurdle decided, you may proceed. Allow one “sandwich” for each serving.

photo courtesy of Dave Allen

Ingredients
You will need:

– Thinly sliced pound cake
– Strawberries, sliced
– Chocolate frosting
– Butter

Directions:
1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Put some butter in the pan.
2. Once it is melted, place the slices of cake in the butter, moving the slices around so they soak up any excess.
3. Watch the cake carefully, as the sugar content will make them burn easily. Once they are golden and crispy on the bottom, turn them onto plates.
4. Allow the cake to cool so you can handle them without burning your fingers. Cut each slice in half diagonally.
5. Spread chocolate frosting on each half. Arrange some sliced strawberries on top of the chocolate, piling them several layers thick.
6. Using two spoons, cut quenelles of chocolate frosting, and place one on top of each half. You may also place a quenelle of sour cream beside each half.

Serving options:
1. These can be served using ice cream in place of the frosting, or whipped topping can be spread on the bread, then topped with the berries, and chocolate syrup drizzled over them. Or you can make them, as above, and put a scoop of ice cream in between the two halves.

2. You can also serve these with ice cream and blackberries or raspberries. Chocolate doesn’t fare well with these two berries, but white chocolate does. Spread the grilled cake with ice cream, cover with berries, and drizzle it with white chocolate sauce.

No decent berries in season? No problem. Use tinned, drained peach slices. Peaches and chocolate go well together.

Use your imagination. Use what you have on hand. Use a spoon so you don’t miss any of the good stuff.

Gluten Free Desserts

So, you are on a gluten free diet? No worries! Not all desserts are made from wheat. There is actually a wide variety of gluten free options. Some companies include Larabars, Amy’s® Kitchen, and Enjoy Life®.

RAW FRUIT BARS

Larabars aren’t only gluten free, but sugar free, too. Now you might ask, how can that be a dessert? Well, in Italy, fruit and ricotta cheese is a traditional dessert. A Larabar is a blend of raw fruit, nuts and spices. There is a variety to choose from starting with ginger, coconut, cherry, lemon, key lime, to name a few.  Each bar has a shelf life of 12 months and contains one or more of the following nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans. This is one of those great “on the go” type of desserts or snack bars.

photo courtesy of Enjoy Life (R)

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Then, the next option you have is a chocolate cake by Amy’s® Kitchen. It’s gluten free, non dairy, and a vegan friendly dessert. It’s made with organic cocoa powder and brown rice flour. You can eat this cake cold or warmed up with a cup of coffee. It is rich, smooth, and has a light texture that simply melts in your mouth. You can find this to be a little slice of heaven in Whole Foods Market or any health food store.

COOKIES AND MILK

Enjoy Life® has quite a collection of delicious cake like cookies. They are all very soft and chewy. Some of the most popular ones include chocolate chip cookies, no-oats “oatmeal”® cookies, double chocolate brownie cookies, and gingerbread spice cookies. They are great for an old fashion milk dunking!

ALWAYS HAVE A SWEET TOOTH

When you try any of the above listed desserts, you will feel like a kid back in the candy store all over again!

Fudge-it

Fudge it!

Fudge. That very word has struck fear in my heart. Usually spoken late on a cold night, when the kids had been off from school because of snow, one of them would invariably ask for a ‘pot of fudge’.

Fudge at our house was rather involved. 3 cups of sugar, half a cup of cocoa, a tablespoon of white corn syrup and a cup of milk, cooked to soft ball stage, then beaten until I thought my arm would fall off [for some reason known only to my maternal grandmother, this step was only to be completed by hand, never with a mixer]. Then the whole mess was spread out on buttered wax paper, scored and you prayed to the Fudge Goddess that it didn’t set up grainy.

Now, there are all sorts of kits on the market for ‘home made fudge’. They’re not anywhere near like the real thing. I know. I’ve tried them.

There is hope, ladies and gentlemen. Chocolates will out, there is a new day dawning in the annals of fudgedom. And it is

drumroll please

GENIUS FUDGE

This is sort of complicated. So I’ll type slow:

1. In a large microwave safe dish, put 12 ounces of chocolate chips

2. Heat on high for one minute. Stir. Continue until all the chips are melted.

3. Into the melted chocolate, stir one can of prepared creamy style [not whipped] frosting of whatever flavor. Stir well

4. At this point, you can make any additions: a cup of peanut butter, some chopped nuts, dried fruit. Most anything.

5. Spread it out onto a buttered surface [don’t try the non-stick aluminum foil. It works for cakes, not candy] and score the top lightly with a knife before it sets up.

There. That’s it. Five minutes and you have a perfect batch of fudge.

I usually make two batches. One I use milk chocolate chips and caramel/coconut/pecan frosting, and the other dark or bittersweet chips, dark chocolate frosting and add a cup of soy-nut butter because I’m allergic to peanuts. It’s also excellent using butterscotch chips and vanilla frosting, with chopped cashews or crushed pretzels.

This is a recipe to have fun with, something you send to your kid’s school, but only you know how easy it was to make.

10 Tips for Baking Brownies

Brownies became a favorite treat of the United States and Canada during the first half of the 20th century. With a texture resembling a cross between a cake and cookie, the brownie has come a long way from the first example to appear in public. A chef at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois created the sweet treat using walnuts and an apricot glaze. The original recipe is still being served at the hotel. When you wish to create your own brownie magic, consider the following tips for baking brownies.

1. Even-Textured Brownies

If you want to make brownies with an even texture, use the correct sized pan stated in the recipe. If you use a different pan, the brownies will form a different texture.

2. Moist and Chewy Brownies

If you over-bake your brownies, they will become dry. Make sure to follow the recommended baking time listed in the recipe to enjoy moist and chewy brownies.

3. Mixing Your Brownies

For better results, it is suggested to hand-mix your brownies and avoid using an electric mixer.

4. Easy Cleanup

To minimize the amount of clean up after making your brownies, line your pan with aluminum foil. Once the brownies have cooled, they will lift straight out of the pan, which makes it easier to cut into uniform squares.

5. Avoid Crumbly Brownies

Not only are crumbly brownies messy, but they also lessen the overall appearance of a fresh plate. To prevent crumbling, completely cool your brownies before cutting into squares.

6. Smooth Sides

To make brownie bars with smooth sides, make sure your treats have thoroughly cooled before cutting with a plastic knife.

iconicon7. Brownie Toppings

To add a little something extra to your brownies, there are many different toppings to consider. For starters, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on unfrosted brownie bars. Chocolate curls on top of frosted bars add a hint of elegance. Other toppings for brownies include mini chocolate chips, nuts, and colorful sprinkles for kids.

8. White Chocolate Brownies

If you’d like to make decadent brownies for your next get-together, combine 1/3 cup of coarsely chopped white chocolate and two teaspoons of vegetable shortening in a small, heavy saucepan. Melt the ingredients over low heat – making sure to constantly stir. Drizzle over your brownies.

9. Blonde Brownies

Use brown sugar and no chocolate to create a ‘blondie.’

10. A la Mode Brownies

A popular dessert offered at restaurants is brownie a la mode, which means that your treat is warmed and served with ice cream topped with whipped cream.

The Best Things in Life Are…Chocolate!

Show of hands: Who here likes Brownies? That many, huh?
Okay. Who likes the Brownies with all the extra goodies in them, like coconut and nuts and with gooey frosting on top?

And who likes to pay those huge bakery prices for a pan of special ‘gourmet’ brownies? Mm-hm, I thought not.

A friend sent me a recipe for an ‘upside down German Chocolate Cake’. It was okay. But I like brownies better, and I didn’t care for the pecans she used. I made some changes, adjustments and this is the result.

Let’s make us some Inside Out Brownies!

You’ll need a 9X13 cake pan. I like to use disposable aluminum pans, basically because I hate cleaning them afterwards. Spray well with Pam or other baking spray and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 ° F

Prepare a brownie mix according to the package direction. Pour into the prepared pan and set aside.
In a microwave safe dish, place

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • one stick of butter or margarine

Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds. Stir. When well blended, mix in

    • One pound powdered sugar
    • 8 ounces shredded sweetened coconut

  • one cup [or more] of chopped, salted, roasted cashews

Drop by spoonfuls onto the top of the brownie mix. Don’t stir it in, just arrange dollops all over the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until done. I test for doneness when the sides start to pull away, and when the top is on the verge of cracking.

As much as you will be tempted, please let it cool fully, to room temperature, before turning it out or cutting a slice. The filling can be downright dangerous right out of the oven.

Turn out on a rack, cut into chunks, and be prepared to beat the diners away from it, because you’ll want to take it home with you. Or better yet, make two: one for home and one to take to the party.

What is a Chocolate Truffle?

What is a box of assorted chocolates without a truffle? This tasty confection is traditionally filled with chocolate ganache and coated with chocolate or cocoa powder. Truffles are usually shaped like a sphere and can have other centers besides ganache, such as caramel, nuts, nougat, toffee, mint, marshmallow, berries, and even liqueur.

Different Types of Truffles

The credit for creating the first chocolate truffle goes to M. Dufour of Chambery, France in 1895. However, recognition of the sweet treat didn’t truly spread until the establishment of the Prestat chocolate shop in London, which to this day, still sells the original recipe for ‘Napoleon III’ truffles. Today, you can choose from three main types of chocolate truffles in the world: American, European, and Swiss.

The “American truffle” typically uses a blend of dark or milk chocolates with butterfat. It comes in a half-egg shape coated with chocolate. In Canada, graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter are added to what is called the “Harvey truffle.”

Cocoa powder, milk powder, fats, and other ingredients are paired with syrup to create the “European truffle.” At least 10% of the truffle should include butter, which is then mixed with ganache cream. Butter creates an enhanced flavor and a melt-in-the-mouth experience.

Melted chocolate combined with a boiling mixture of dairy cream and butter creates the base of the “Swiss truffle.” The mix is then poured into molds to set. A sprinkling of cocoa powder finishes off the confection. It is a must to eat this kind of truffle within a couple of days.

Ways to Vary Your Truffles

If you are interested in making chocolate truffles from scratch, there are plenty of ways to spice up your recipe. Add Frangelico to your chocolate and cream mixture to create a hazelnut-flavored truffle, and then coat with chopped hazelnuts. Truffles with a coffee flavor are achieved with the addition of one tablespoon of espresso powder into heated cream, and Kahlua to the truffle mix. Adding two tablespoons of fruit puree or jam to a recipe will make fruit-flavored truffles.

Street Sweets & Food Network Magazine are announcing The Scharffen Berger ‘Chocolate Adventure Contest’

Street Sweets and Food Network Magazine are partnering to promote The Sharffen Berger ‘Chocolate Adventure Contest’.

If you like cupcakes and love to bake, you can win a top prize of $10,000 (total cash prizes of $20,000) and chance to fly to New York City to bake and share your cupcake from a beloved Sweet Truck.  The winning recipe would also be published in an upcoming edition of Food Network Magazine.

Please go to http://www.scharffenberger.com/cupcakeapp.asp to learn more about this fun exciting contest.

In mid October, keep a look out for the special Sharffen Berger / Food Network Magazine /Street Sweets truck handing lots of delicious Street Sweets cupcakes, more details to follow soon.

Photo courtesy of Street Sweets

Please also friend Street Sweets on Facebookto be the first to learn about upcoming exciting news and events.

Watch Street Sweets on CNBC’s Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo.

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