Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Mocktail…EVERYONE’S Friend

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I have to admit that I don’t partake in the traditional bubbly at the new year, but I am a MOCKTAIL lover!  As a child I grew up with a mom who was always concocting fun drinks for us girls.  You know, a girl cannot live on a Shirley Temple alone.  We called them Spritzers and she was always very creative. 

Jamie and I have come up with a few Spritzers for you as you ring in the New Year tomorrow.

White Grape Spritzer

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  • 1 part White Grape Juice
  • 1 part Ginger Ale

This is a perfect bit of bubbly to toast the New Year and much cheaper that the sparkling cider alternative.

Cranberry Lime Spritzer

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  • 1 part Cranberry Juice
  • 1 part Ginger Ale
  • A squeeze of lime

I am a lime lover so this is one of my favorites!

Blueberry Pomegranate Spritzer

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  • 1 part Blueberry Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 parts Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with pomegranate seeds

The color with this one is stunning!

Sour Apple Spritzer

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  • 1 part Sour Apple imitation liqueur (I like the Pucker brand)
  • 3 parts Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with cherries

Huge fan of this one as well.  Who needs an Appletini  when you can have a Sour Apple Spritzer?

Now, don’t forget the details…

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…add some fun embellishments to your stemware.  Ribbon, tulle, Divine Twine… get creative!  I also used my new Silhouette SD to etch my stemware and bottle. (Santa was very good to me this year!!)

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However you choose to welcome the New Year—at a glamorous party or snuggled in bed with your sweetheart—know that we here at WhipperBerry wish you a fabulous New Year!!

Kisses…

Heather, Jamie, Emily, Whitney, Erin, Kristin, Katie & Christene

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Upside-Down Pineapple Cherry Cobbler

When I was growing up, my amazing mother cooked every meal at home. My darling little sister was the baker of the family, and would force me to choose a cookie recipe from Mrs. Field's cookbook every day. Needless to say, I didn't learn the art of cooking or baking at an early age. Truth be told, the first real meal I ever undertook was the first night of marriage at home... chicken-fried steak. Good thing I lived about six houses from my mother-in-law, and she grew her own aloe vera plants! I was nearly burned to death from sizzling oil up both arms!! Since then, I have perfected the art of easy, yet impressive cooking.

This family heirloom is a wonderful, fast and easy, "dry" recipe you can have in your cupboards for a throw-together dessert that is still going to knock the socks off your guests!

Upside-down Pineapple Cherry Cobbler

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One box of yellow cake mix (dry)
One stick of butter
One can of crushed pineapple
One can of cherry pie filling

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Grease a cake pan and dump the cherry and pineapple cans (juice and all) in the bottom. Mix well. I sincerely hate nuts in my desserts but the nut fanatic may add chopped walnuts at this point as well.

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Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the top. Roughly chop the butter over the entire surface.

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And to quote one of my favorite movies ("Steel Magnolias") Bake @ 350 for about 20-25 minutes until golden bubbly! Just add vanilla ice cream to cut the sweetness.

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Enjoy this easy family treat anytime with under five minutes of prep! If you are as busy as I am, you can impress in no time :)

Erin

whipperberry

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Hot Chocolate

I found this recipe a while ago, and it has already become a favorite. What a wonderful treat for the chilly season!

White Hot Chocolate (from allrecipes.com)

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2 cups whipping cream
6 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12 oz) package white chocolate chips – Note: t
his recipe tastes the best with a premium white chocolate chip, not vanilla flavored chips.

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Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and white chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chips are melted. Stir again before serving.

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Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes, as desired. Makes ten servings.

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whipperberry

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Ganache Blocks

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I admit it…I am a chocolate LOVER!!  I will take it in all forms, but I especially love this recipe.  It’s perfect on its own, but lovely when added to some warm milk to make the most heavenly hot chocolate! Add some homemade marshmallows and you’re all set for a cozy winter night!

Chocolate Ganache Blocks {Click here to print the recipe}

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  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla {or any other flavoring that you would like, e.g. hazelnut, peppermint, coffee, or whatever would be good with chocolate}

Using a double boiler, (I use a heat-safe bowl on top of a sauce pan) place 2-3 inches of water in the sauce pan.  Bring to a low boil and then turn down to low. Place bowl on top of sauce pan.

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Heat the cream and the sweetened condensed milk in the bowl of the double boiler.

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Once warm add the chocolate and gently melt.

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After about 10 minutes, whisk mixture until thick and smooth.  Add vanilla or the flavoring of your choice.

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Whisk in the flavoring and pour into a parchment or foil lined 8x8 in. dish.

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Let sit overnight to slowly set up.  Once set, turn out onto a clean surface and cut into 1 inch cubes or use a small circle cookie cutter to cut into rounds. {Note: it’s best to heat knife in hot water and wipe clean with each cut.}

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This is wonderful as is, but pair it will a fluffy homemade marshmallow and melt it into 4-8 ounces of warm milk…it’s divine!!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread Pecan Biscotti with Peppermint White Chocolate Drizzle

 

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One thing you need to know about me is I'm a dunker. I need a glass of milk with me at all times when having any type of cookie or chocolate. I've even been known to pour milk over my cake (you've got to try it!). So biscotti is right up my alley, but this time I thought I would make a biscotti that says "Christmas".

What's better than the aromatic smell of gingerbread baking? So I searched until I found a recipe for gingerbread biscotti that had great reviews, and I think I found one. This particular recipe isn't overly sweet or heavy; it's light and crunchy like a good biscotti should be. And the peppermint white chocolate drizzled over it makes it the perfect little Italian treat.

Gingerbread Pecan Biscotti (adapted from food.com)

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I grated whole nutmeg for added flavor)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped


In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In your mixer, combine the egg and egg whites, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla until smooth.
Stir the egg mixture into dry ingredients just until moistened; fold in pecans; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
Divide dough in half; shape each half into a ball; on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray, or parchment paper; roll each ball into a 14-inch x 1 1/2-inch rectangle.

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Bake at 325 for 24 to 28 minutes or until firm to touch; remove from the oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees.
Cool for five minutes then transfer to cutting board. Cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2-inch slices; place cut side down on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray; bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove to wire racks to cool.

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Peppermint White Chocolate

6 oz. Baker's White Chocolate
1/4 teaspoon Peppermint extract

Place chocolate in microwave safe container, and add peppermint extract. Microwave according to directions and heat in small increments, stirring each time until fully melted. Making sure your biscotti is completely cooled, line up and drizzle chocolate over them with a  spoon.

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Let the chocolate cool and harden, and place in an air safe container. Or if you’re like me, pour yourself a glass of ice cold milk and enjoy! Also great with any of your favorite hot beverages like cocoa.

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Katie

whipperberry

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Double Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Who Doesn’t love a cupcake? It’s the perfect portion of sweet indulgence. They transcend through every season and holiday, and Christmas-time is no exception. These cupcakes are a double chocolate fudge with red buttercream frosting.

To make your cupcakes, you can use a special family recipe, or you can certainly use your favorite cake mix from the store. One of my favorite things to do is to jazz up a store bought cake mix. You can add any type of chip (milk, semi-sweet, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc.) to your batter to give it a pop of flavor when you bite into it. Or you can add any of your favorite nuts or sprinkles. One of my secrets to a really moist cupcake is to add pudding into my batter. I like to pick an instant pudding that matches my cake flavor, and I add it in with my wet ingredients. Be sure to make the pudding, not just add the powder into it. Do this and your cupcakes will come out moist and irresistible!

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For the frosting, I like to use a homemade buttercream recipe. It’s creamy and delicious, and so simple to make. A few tips about your frosting. First, if possible, use a high-ratio shortening. It gives your frosting an unbelievable creaminess. Second, if you want to make your frosting really white, use a clear vanilla extract and replace butter with shortening. And third, don’t forget to sift your sugar. It helps to make the frosting silky and free of clumps.


Red Buttercream Frosting (via Wilton.com)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or your favorite extract)
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
1 bottle of Wilton no-taste red food gel
Makes: About 3 cups of icing, enough to cover 24 cupcakes.

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In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add extract. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add your gel coloring until you get desired color. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
 
Once your cupcakes have cooled, place your icing tip at the bottom of your pastry bag, and snip off the tip. Use the biggest round frosting tip you have (if no.12 is the biggest you have use it) Load your frosting in your bag, and squeeze down to get the air out.  Then take one of your cupcakes and slowly, in a swirling motion, pipe your frosting onto your cupcake. Once you’re done you can add sugar crystals to your cupcakes to give them an extra sparkle.

Enjoy!

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Katie

whipperberry

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzels

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzels:

I am a self-proclaimed peanut butter connoisseur.  I LOVE it.  Everything is better with peanut butter smothered all over it.  But only certain kinds.  If it's not the right kind of peanut butter, I won't even eat it.
I've received a lot of chocolate covered pretzels as "neighbor gifts" at Christmastime over the years, and I've always loved them.  But when the idea popped in my head to make pretzel rods covered in peanut butter and THEN chocolate, nothing was stopping me.  I made a bee-line to the grocery store and bought some pretzel rods.  I experimented with a few different ways and finally got a delicious peanut butter chocolaty treat that any sweet tooth would die for.

Here's how I did it:
Gather together some pretzel rods, some chocolate (I just used chocolate chips) of your choice... milk, semi-sweet, dark... whatever you like, and your favorite peanut butter.
Melt the peanut butter in the microwave so that it runs.  I melted about 3/4 cup in 30 seconds.  Dip your pretzel rod in the melted peanut butter and immediately put it in the freezer.  Continue dipping and freezing until you have all the pretzels that you want.  I like to freeze mine until they're nice and hard, to ensure that the peanut butter doesn't just slide right off when you dip it in the chocolate.  This should take 1-2 hours.
Next, melt your chocolate in the microwave in small increments (10-15 seconds) so that you don't burn it.  Make sure you stir it well in between.  Once it's nice and melted, take your pretzels out and dip them, fully covering the peanut butter, and put it back in the freezer quickly so that everything doesn't melt off the stick.  Once you've dipped all the pretzels, let them freeze until they've set up, 15-30 minutes.
Take them out of the freezer and give them away or eat them up, they're definitely hard to resist!

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whipperberry

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