We are having a "Sweet Sensations" cooking contest at work on Valentine's Day. I want to try a new (and fairly easy) recipe that is sure to win! It can be anything sweet... Got any suggestions/recipes?
Sounds like a fun contest, BCG! I'd suggest to start by scrolling through some of the posts in this section to see if anything catches your eye. There are a ton of suggestions with a lot of variety here. If you come up with any more specific requests let us know and I'm sure someone here can help you out!
I love little work baking contests, if it were me, I'd make little heart shaped cake, probably chocolate, since that's always a big hit. Or make linzear (sp?) cookies, heart shaped, of course... Anything heart shaped is always great during V. Day.
Good luck and let us know what you end up making!!!
If you could find a heart-shaped mold this would even make this better
SLICE OF SIN
8 oz. semisweet chocolate (use a good brand)
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (not instant)
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (do not pour in one bowl)
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°
Line a glass loaf pan with foil (I only had light gray). In the top of a double boiler melt the chocolate in the coffee. Add the butter and sugar, stirring until the butter is melted.
Cool the mixture for 10 minutes then beat in 1 egg at a time. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a crust forms on top, approximately 35-45 minutes. (the sides of mine came up higher for some reason)
Set the loaf pan in enough cool water to come halfway up the pan. The dessert will rise and fall as it cools.
When cool, wrap the pan well and refrigerate for at least 2 days or up to 2 weeks. (this helps set it).
When ready to serve unmold and slice and place a little whipped cream on a plate and a slice of sin on top.
This is another good one and impressive to look at
Signature Homemade Carrot Cake
2 cups vegetable oil
2 2/3 cups sugar
2 2/3 cups carrots, grated
1 1/3 cups walnuts
1 1/3 cups pineapple, crushed and drained
2/3 cup coconut flakes, sweetened
1/3 cup raisins
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 tablespoons baking soda
1 1/3 tablespoons baking powder
2 2/3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 pound or 1/4 stick butter, unsalted, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla, pure
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup coconut flakes, toasted
Grease 2 (10-inch) cake pans and set aside. Mix together in a large bowl the oil, sugar, eggs, carrots, nuts, pineapple, coconut and raisins. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the carrot mixture and blend. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Release the cakes from the pans and cool completely before cutting and frosting. Cut cakes in 3 equal layers (a total of 6 layers). Assemble the carrot cake one layer at a time. Finish the carrot cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting on top. Do not frost the side of the cake. This gives the cake that special homemade country-style look. Garnish with toasted walnuts and coconuts.
Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vegetable shortening for 15 minutes. Mixture must be very smooth and light. Add the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla and mix until smooth (about 3 minutes).
1 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa
1 c. pecans, chopped
2 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
1 c. margarine, melted
1 c. powdered sugar
1 jar chocolate fudge topping
2 c. powdered sugar
1 qt milk
2 c. cool whip
4 sm. pkgs jello instant pudding (any choc. flavor)
2 c. Cool Whip
~Mix flour, margarine, cocoa, powdered sugar & pecans in med. bowl. Spread mix evenly into baking dish to create crust.
~Bake crust 15 mins @ 350 degrees and let cool. Once cool, spread fudge topping over crust.
~in a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and cool whip. Mix well. Spread evenly over the fudge topping to create third layer.
~Mix milk & pudding in separate bowl and spread over third layer. Top with Cool Whip and pecans. (For Snicker-style, use caramel and peanuts. Can use Chocolate Cool Whip for even more chocolate flavoring).
These are two really fabulous recipes. I noticed many chocolate suggestions, so I went with something a bit different.
1 c unsalted peanuts
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 c creamy peanut butter
3/4 c sugar
1/4 lb unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ts vanilla extract
1 1/4 c flour
1/8 ts salt
1 1/4 c creamy peanut butter
1/4 c confectioners sugar
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 325F
1.Toast the peanuts on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the nuts to room temperature, then finely chop them in a food processor to make crumbs.
2.Heat 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double broiler and use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a 1-quart bowl and set aside.
3.Place 1 c peanut butter, granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat on medium for 2 minutes until soft. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4.Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix for 3 minutes until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate and the chopped peanuts and mix on medium until incorporated, about 1 minute.
5.On low, gradually add the flour and the salt. After all of the ingredients have been incorporated, use a spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until smooth. Transfer the dough to a cutting board.
6.Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. With both palms, roll each portion on a clean, dry cutting board to form each portion into a cylinder that is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Individually wrap each portion in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours, or until the dough is very firm to the touch.
7.Slice each dough cylinder into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Divide the slices onto baking sheets. Bake for 16-18 on the center rack. Halfway through the baking time, turn each slice. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool to room temperature on the baking sheet, about 30 minutes.
1.Place 1 1/4 cups peanut butter and the confectioners sugar in a medium bowl. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for 1 minute. Finish mixing the ingredients until smooth. Set the topping aside while making the chocolate drizzle.
1.Heat 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double broiler and use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a 1-quart bowl and set aside.
1.Place a heaping teaspoon of creamy topping in the center of each cookie. Use a small spatula or butter knife to spread the topping evenly over the top of each cookie.
2.Arrange the cookies close together on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Use a teaspoon to drizzle thin lines of melted chocolate onto the top of each cookie. Keep the cookies at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
Bourbon Maple Bars
1 c Unbleached AP flour
1 ts Baking powder
1 c Unsalted Butter, softened
1 c Light brown sugar, packed
1 ts Vanilla extract
1 c Maple syrup
4 tb Bourbon
1 c Pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 c Confectioners' sugar
2 tb Maple sugar
2 tb Bourbon
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking pan.
1.Sift together the flour and bakng powder, set aside.
2.In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla until blended.
3.Combine the maple syrup and bourbon, and then add in a slow, steady stream, beating gently until blended.
4.Stir in the flour mixture until blended. Add the pecans or walnuts, stir to blend.
5.Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool on a wire rack, and glaze the bars while still warm.
6.For glaze, sift the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the maple syrup and bourbon. Add the liquids to the confectioners' sugar, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the warm bar cookies, spreading it into a thin, even layer. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars.