Ultimate Brownie Bites

Since I have been laid up at home, and the kids have been around during their summer break, I have been dabbling in more baking than I probably should, not only to kill time and boredom but to provide a dessert for post dinner meals for the kids. I typically let my daughter handle most, if not all, of the desserts for the family. By default it is typically a small bowl of ice cream, however my daughter will jazz things up with crushed pistachios and a fresh raspberry coulis from time to time. For me, I have little patience and just want to get things done with dessert. This is where the ultimate brownie bites comes into play.

It’s similar to the dump cake I made last year, or maybe even the Ranger cookies where I purged a bunch of things from our cupboard. This is very identical and the inspiration was to get rid of things and make a chocolate dessert that I knew my kids would love. The things I do, I’ll tell you…

Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe
Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe

Not the prettiest of pictures, but trust me, the picture doesn’t matter as the taste made up for it.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix, cooked according to its instructions
  • 16 small Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • 6 Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of roasted, salted peanuts, crushed
  • 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips, optional
  • vanilla ice cream, optional

Start by baking your brownie mix according to directions. Cook about 3/4 of the way through, then remove from the oven. We are only cooking partially as we are going to load it up and finish the rest with the toppings.

Once about 3/4 of the way through cooking, remove the brownie pan from the oven and set onto a non-burn working surface.

Take the graham cracker crumbs and sprinkle on top of the brownies, lightly coating the top.

Next, layer on about 16 of the Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Ultimate Brownie Bars Recipe
Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe

Crumble on the Oreo cookies, then sprinkle with roasted peanuts and butterscotch chips.

Place this back into the oven, and cook until the top is nicely melted and the brownies are cooked to your liking.

Remove, let cool, and let the kids gaze at this sugary delight until it is time to dig in. Sure, it’s a mess when slicing into it, and it falls apart of the most part, but that’s where the vanilla ice cream come in and acts like a glue to capture all of that loveliness.

Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe
Ultimate Brownie Bites Recipe

Was this a hit for dessert? You betcha, and let’s just say it didn’t last long in the house. The good thing is I was able to purge a few things from the cupboard while satisfying the rest of the family. A win, win. Hope you enjoy!

Rhubarb and Blueberry Streusel Recipe

First and foremost my apologies for not posting in some time. Unfortunately I got diagnosed with leukemia back in March which has prevented me from creating more recipes in my kitchen. I could go on and on as to how I could improve hospital food, only if it were as simple as a spice or two, but I am not going to go there. I’m just happy to be home with my wife and kids, and to be able to be back in the kitchen when my energy permits, and this past week was probably one of those good weeks with as much energy as I think I may have over the next few months.

It’s funny the first thing I did when I came home was make a meal for my family. Thai basil chicken to be exact. Granted we were blessed to have family and friends bring over meals for my family as I was laid up in the hospital, whether that be of gift cards, casseroles, or other homemade goodies; my wife and kids (and I) were so very thankful in receiving all of the gifts during the challenging time, but being able to whip something up in my kitchen felt oh so good, and let’s just say my wife and kids loved the spice and flavor impact of the Thai food.

So I had a small amount of time on my hand this past week, and I decided to whip up a dessert I knew my wife and daughter would love (and hoping my boys would take down), and that was a rhubarb and blueberry streusel.

 

Rhubarb and Blueberry Streusel Recipe
Rhubarb and Blueberry Streusel Recipe

This recipe is so easy to make, and makes excellent use of rhubarb, something that is perfect right now and is in season this Spring.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint blueberries, washed and cleaned, strained
  • 2 cups rhubarb, cut into roughly 1/3-inch-thick pieces, exterior skin removed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, divided (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Butter. I know. It probably makes this recipe so delicious. Not only that but the combination of rhubarb and blueberries, along with the light brown sugar brings this one together. Cut into bars, these are addicting. Trust me.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F.  Line it with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. This helps with removal and slicing when it is done cooking.

Combine the blueberries, sliced rhubarb, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Set this aside to macerate while you make the crust and streusel. I love macerating.

Place 2 1/2 cups of the flour into a food processor. Cut the butter into large chunks and add to the flour along with the cream cheese, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup of the light brown sugar. Pulse to combine the mixture until moist and crumbly, with no chunks of butter remaining.

Remove about 1 2/3 cups of this crumbly mixture from the food processor and set it aside for the streusel topping.

How to make rhubarb and blueberry streusel
How to make rhubarb and blueberry streusel

To the rest of the mixture still in the food processor, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, whole egg, baking powder, and vanilla. Blend until it just starts to come together to form a dough. This should only take a minute or two.

Press the dough evenly into the lined pan (it’s easier to do this if your hands are slightly damp). Bake for 10-15 minutes. I use a glass 8×12 pan a few inches deep.

Strain the macerated fruit to remove the excess liquid. Spread the fruit in an even layer over the surface of the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved streusel topping over the surface of the fruit and then sprinkle on a little more light brown sugar. Bake again for 40 to 50 minutes until the topping is golden-brown.

Let the pan cool for 20 minutes before lifting out of the pan using the parchment paper. Let the streusel cool, then slice into squares.

Rhubarb and Blueberry Streusel Recipe
Rhubarb and Blueberry Streusel Recipe

Take square. Take a bite. BACK AWAY FROM THE STREUSEL. THEN BACK UP TO IT AGAIN AND GRAB ANOTHER SQUARE. This is how it goes with this dessert, it’s that good.

If you are looking for a super simple dessert, one that is seasonal, and one that is darn right addicting, you will have to give this rhubarb and blueberry streusel recipe a try.

No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream

My daughter is really into baking lately, and baking desserts for that matter. As you are probably aware, I am not a desserts type of guy so I am pretty hands off when it comes to that expertise. However, I do encourage her to keep on trucking and coming up with new ideas when making cupcakes. With all of that being said, I do like making ice cream, and I wanted her to see how I make a no churn ice cream. She was already suspicious and asking questions when she saw a few ingredients laying on the counter top. This ice cream is not only way too easy to make, but it may be the best batch of ice cream I have made to date.  Seriously. It reminded me of really good custard with a certain kick which I will get to in a bit.

No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe
No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 3 whole star anise
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of coffee beans
  • 14 oz can of chocolate condensed milk
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • parchment paper
  • bread pan

Start by adding the heavy cream, cinnamon, cardamon, star anise, coffee beans, and salt to a saucepan.

Bring this mixture to a simmer, and once you hit the simmer, turn it off the heat, and cover for about 45 minutes to let those aromatics steep.

After 45 minutes, strain the mixture and reserve the cream and discard the solids. Add the cream to a bowl, and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, getting it very cold but not frozen.

 

No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe Ingredients
No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe Ingredients

Next, get your mixer out and pour in the condensed milk and cocoa powder. Mix on medium speed until the cocoa powder is nice and incorporated.

Remove the cream from the freezer and pour into the condensed milk, mixing on medium speed for roughly 5 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a parchment paper lined bread pan, and place into the freezer for 5 hours or until you have a solid ice cream. When you are ready to serve, scoop out and dig in.

This ice cream is not only super smooth, but it was the best infusion, and one that has you trying to guess what those flavors are. Were my kids and wife impressed? You betcha. If you are looking for a great, and easy dessert, and one that is perfect on a hot day, this is it. Hope you enjoy!

Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder – Product Review

I’m always open to trying out new products and giving my honest opinion. I think it is helpful to all of you, as well as the product provider. It was not long ago when I was approached to try a product from CTL Foods, Inc. based out of Colfax, Wisconsin. I was all for trying their Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder, and granted they are not local in the sense, however four hours north of me, so even more excited to try another Wisconsin product.

Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder

I was sent 2 pounds of their malted milk powder, which was based on all natural ingredients. A cute product shot of some classic kids sharing a malt was on the front of their label, which immediately reminded me of a great classic malt. Now if you have never been from Wisconsin, we are known for a few things, and custard is one of them. Custard like you will not find anywhere else in the country, and this season is ice cream, and custard season in my house. My kids pretty much have it for dessert a few times a week, so this was a great time to have them taste what a classic malt tastes like.

Malted Milkshake using Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder

One of my lucky kids got my good old mustache drinking class, actually it was my daughter, just to add a bit more fun into the mix.

The recipe calls for the following, of which I stuck to, however you can get as creative as you want as noted on their label.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 scoops of any flavor ice cream (I used vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup of cold milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp of Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder

Start by adding everything to a blender, and blend until thick and smooth.

How to make a Malt

I made one for each of my kids and got their reactions. It took them a while to react because they sat there slurping and spooning the delicious malt for about 5 minutes, rarely coming up for air.

Their result was a two thumbs up. It was really their first malt (I think) they have ever tried, and they fell in love. Something they will continue to drink whether summer, fall, winter, or spring. If you are looking for a great malt product, give this a shot. Their products are sold online at http://www.ctlfoods.com/malted-milk-powder/.

For one lucky, and random winner, I have a 1 pound Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder to give away. Send me an email to daxphillips@gmail.com no later than August 24, 2014. I will then provide a random drawing and get one shipped out to you.