Brownie Lollipops with Milk Chocolate and Caramel Sauces

Brownie Lollipops with Milk Chocolate and Caramel Sauces

This is a neat solution for kids parties. Wooden sticks as handles eliminate sticky fingers and minimize the mess. But watch for the double dippers!

The brownie recipe is from Nick Malgieri’s “Chocolate”. The brownies are good, very fudgy, of course.

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Milk Chocolate Sauce

Milk Chocolate Sauce

I used this sauce for dipping the brownie lollipops (the recipe follows). The recipe is from the famous Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking”. Although the flavor was nice and clean, I wish the sauce would be a bit thicker for this particular-dipping purpose. May be an addition of an extra ounce of chocolate could bring the consistency to what I wanted. Next time I try it I’ll post my notes.

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Tofu, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Strudel with Red Pepper Sauce

Tofu, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Strudel with Red Pepper Sauce

Even the most eager carnivores need a break once in a while. This is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. It’s tasty, healthy, full of protein. If you have preconceived opinion regarding tofu (which I think you should not), I can reassure it’s not going to be noticeable since the cheeses play the dominant role here. And nobody whom I served this strudel could not recognize the tofu presence. It makes two large strudels, but I usually freeze one for later – I like to stock my freezer for emergencies.

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Chocolate Blackout Cake

Chocolate Blackout Cake

This is a truly American classic. It got its name from the blackout drills performed by the Civilian Defense Corps during World War II. When the navy sent its ships to sea from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the streets of the borough were “blacked out” to avoid silhouetting the battleships against the cityscapes of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The cake was so named because of its darkly chocolate-practically black-appearance.

The cake itself is moist, fudgy, dark chocolate layers sandwiched and frosted with a rich, creamy chocolate pudding. The batter is made entirely in a saucepan on the stovetop, minimizing the cleaning afterwards.

This recipe is from the trustworthy magazine “Cook’s Illustrated”, to be exact – from “The Best of Cook’s Illustrated” which gives certain assurance.

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Coconut Marshmallows

Coconut Marshmallows

I like marshmallows. But I don’t eat the store bought variety. Once, being incautiously curious, I read the list of ingredients on a marshmallow package… I’ve been making them ever since. And they are not difficult to make. If you happen to have a stand mixer (not the totally necessary equipment for this task, may I say) the whole process is a breeze.

I prefer to coat the marshmallows with toasted unsweetened coconut instead of the most common cornstarch, or a combination of the last and icing sugar. The cornstarch aftertaste is not the one I’m particularly fond of. The coconut also cuts down the cloying sweetness of the marshmallows.

This recipe is my adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s.

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Asparagus-ricotta tart with Comté cheese

Asparagus-ricotta tart with Comté cheese

Finally the weather is getting warmer. Neither the soul nor body demand for stew for supper. Quick and flavorful tarts and quiches are replacing hearty meals. Serve a crisp-fresh green salad on a side and don’t forget a glass (or two) of fine wine.

I spotted the recipe in the Bon Appetite (or may be Gourmet…) but didn’t follow the exact measurements. I’m always generous with cheeses, so, I might use more than was suggested – all for the best… The tart is very, very good. And the prep takes almost no time at all.

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