Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cherry Topped Brownie Bites with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love these little brownie bites because you can change them to just about anything you can think of. Sometimes I sneak a Rolo Candy in the center and then frost them with caramel icing. I've also put a Kraft caramel candy or a miniature peanut butter cup in the center.  But no matter what you fill them with, make sure you put that special sweet cherry on top!   

Cherry Topped Brownie Bites with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box Ghirardelli fudge style brownie mix, plus whatever ingredients are called for on the box.
4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar

1 Star Fine Foods Dessert Cherries for topping

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare brownies according to package directions. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray and fill each cup 3/4 full with batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for a couple of minutes then carefully remove the brownie bites from the pan to a cooking rack. Allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and whip until creamy. Add frosting to piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped out and squeeze a dab of frosting on each brownie.

Need a mini cupcake or brownie pan? I got mine at Amazon for a great price. Click on the link below to see the one I use: 


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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Chicken Parm Lasagna

Two classic Italian classics in one casserole.  If you love Chicken Parmesan but like to serve up lasagna for a special dinner, then this is the recipe for you. The combination of these two recipes are just perfect for a wonderful Italian meal!  The chicken is breaded and fried up brown and crispy and it becomes a wonderful twist to my favorite lasagna recipe. This would be the perfect Valentine's Day dinner for your sweetie! This is a keeper my friends.

Chicken Parm Lasagna

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 (26 ounce) jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, and Onion Sauce
2 (15 ounce) containers whole milk Ricotta cheese
no boil/oven ready lasagna noodles
3 cups mozzarella
2 cups parmesan 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay chicken breast out on the counter on top of wax paper or parchment paper.  Slice each chicken breast in half width ways or you can pound them out slightly to flatten at least on one side. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Set up a dredging station with a bowl for the flour, another for the two beaten eggs, and one for the breadcrumbs.  Coat the chicken in the flour first, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and set aside. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken on both sides until crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes each side). Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta and remaining 2 eggs and season with salt. In another small bowl, combine the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Set aside both bowls.

In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread about a third of the jar of sauce on the bottom, top with lasagna noodles overlapping with each noodle. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles.

Next, lay the fried chicken on top of the ricotta mixture. Cover with a generous layer of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Continue layering in the same order and top with remaining cheeses. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbly, 45 to 55 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then garnish with basil and slice into squares.

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Cheesecake Tart with Fresh Raspberries

This is the perfect dessert for Valentine's day. I mean who wouldn't love this for a sweet little dessert after that scrumptious dinner you made for your Valentine. It’s a creamy cheesecake in a tender cookie-like crust topped off with beautiful fresh raspberries and a dusting of sugar. A must make dessert.  

Cheesecake Tart with Fresh Raspberries

1/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
Sliced almonds (optional)

In a food processor combine the almond meal, flour, confectioners' sugar and salt. Pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and egg yolk, process just until the dough comes together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 14 inch rectangular tart pan, with removable bottom. Place the dough into the tart pan and lay plastic wrap over the dough. Using your hands, press it into the pan so that it is an even thickness. Remove the plastic and freeze the dough until it is firm, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the dough with foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and beans, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the crust is a light golden color. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
12 oz fresh ripe raspberries
Powdered sugar, for dusting

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until completely smooth. Mix in sugar, salt and vanilla, followed by heavy cream. Finally, mix in egg. Beat only until batter is just combined.

Spread filling into an even layer in pre-baked crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until center is set.  Cool on a wire rack until cheesecake is room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator to chill completely. Top with raspberries. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.   Store in the refrigerator.

To purchase my tart pan with a removable bottom click on this link:

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