Sunday, December 22, 2019

Fried Cheese Rounds

I’m always looking for a good appetizer for when company’s coming. I like to make something simple that my guests can snack on while waiting for dinner or while watching the football game. One day I saw these little BabyBel cheese rounds in the grocery store and thought to myself, “Self….. you could fry those.”   And so I did. I came home, and dipped them in egg and then rolled them in flour and Panko and fried them.  OMG.  What a great snack…I mean appetizer.  I mean …..okay…okay… I like to snack on them too!  How good can it get?  Warm, creamy, cheesy and crispy…. Oh My Goodness.

Fried Cheese Rounds

12-14 Babybel cheese rounds
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Panko
1 cup cooking oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of dried parsley

Remove outer coating and inner wax covering off each cheese round.

Set up 3 shallow bowls.  One bowl for the flour, one for the beaten egg and the Panko and parsley in the third bowl.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet.  You know your oil is hot enough when you drop a grain of rice in the oil and it sizzles.

Dredge the cheese rounds in the flour first, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Place them on a plate as you work.

Once oil is hot enough, use a slotted spoon to carefully place 3 or 4 breaded cheese rounds into skillet. I like to fry mine in small batches because they are easier to handle.  

Continue to fry, turning often, until golden and crispy. Carefully remove cheese from hot oil with slotted spoon. Place rounds on a paper towel lined plate.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley while hot. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cheese will be very hot. Eat as is or serve with marinara sauce. You can also spread the hot melted cheese on toasted bread rounds. YUM.

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Hot Molten Fudge Brownies

Once you’ve had a fudgy molten brownie, you will wonder why you haven't been eating them all your life! I mean who wouldn’t want to bite into a fudge brownie and have thick, smooth, warm chocolate slowly ooze out?  You’ll wonder why all brownies aren’t made this way. The secret is to take the brownies out of the oven when they don’t seem quite done. They’ll continue to cook and as they cool the fudge centers will stay moist and fudgy.

Hot Molten Fudge Brownies

1 cup all-purpose four
¾ cup cocoa
¾ cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups sugar
¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup good quality chocolate, chopped into chunks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over sides to use as handles for lifting out brownies later.

Place the flour, cocoa, both of the sugars, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix batter until smooth. Add the chopped chocolate and continue to stir until smooth. Spread the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top until level.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until the brownies are set on top. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before slicing into squares and serving warm.  Top with vanilla ice cream for a real treat! 

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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Almond Cherry Donuts

“There she goes again…..making those donuts!”  That’s probably what you’re saying when you see this post and what you’ll say when you see all the others I have for you this year.  I love making donuts.  It’s so easy to make your own!  As a matter of fact, I often find myself wondering why I bought them in the past when I can make whatever I want so quickly here at home.  This time I bring you my own creation that took me all of five minutes to make!  These are my Almond Cherry Donuts and they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!   

Almond Cherry Donuts

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package sliced almonds
½ cup cherry jam or pie filling

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry.  Using two round cookie cutters, cut a larger circle for the outside and a smaller circle for the center.

Fill a large pot with at least an inch of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Carefully drop donuts into the hot oil and cook until golden on each side.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to make glaze.  While the donuts are still hot, dip them in the glaze.

Sprinkle tops of donuts with almonds and slightly press down to get them to adhere. You can drizzle more glaze if needed. Add a tablespoon of jam or pie filling in the center of each donut.  Enjoy!

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