Girl Scout cookie Thin Mints cake pops

I’ve reinterpreted everyone’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie into everyone’s other favorite thing– cake pops!

Thin Mints Cake Pops | sagebrousseau.com

Sorry for the lag in posts here, I’ve been buried up to my neck in this lovely Boston snow. But in between shoveling sessions, I’ve whipped up this little post to celebrate the only good thing about February: it’s Girl Scout cookie season!

Thin Mints Cake Pops

  • 1 Box chocolate cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 x 9 cake)
  • 1 (16 oz.) Can chocolate frosting
  • ¼ tsp. Peppermint extract
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips (or white candy melts)
  • Green sugar sprinkles
  • Lollipop sticks (or popsicle sticks)
  1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  2. Add all the frosting to the bowl, and peppermint extract. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet (approximately 45-50 balls).
  4. Place in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  5. In a small bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 sec intervals, stirring in between, until melted.
  6. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted chocolate coating and insert (a little less than halfway) into the cake balls.
  7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the chocolate coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and gently tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off.
  8. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.
  9. Place about ¼ cup of white chocolate chips into a zip-lock baggie and microwave for 20 second intervals, until melted. Squish the bag with your fingers to mix and smooth the chocolate between intervals. When melted smooth, snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag and drizzle over pops.
  10. Sprinkle green sugar over pops while white drizzle is still wet.
  11. ENJOY!pops2

christmas bonus: bourbon pecan fruitcake bites

Like many folks, I have never been a fan of the traditional fruitcake.  Ridiculed for its brick-like appearance and studded with unnatural glossy green and red “fruits,” it never really tasted any better than it looked.

mini fruitcakes | sagebrousseau.com

Why does fruitcake have such a bum rap? Generally speaking, fruitcake is just a mixture of brandied fruits and nuts with a spiced batter to hold them together… sounds delicious, where did this holiday treat go awry? Since I enjoy reveling in Christmastime traditions, and fruitcake being among the most time-honored, I am determined to make a more palatable recipe!

Despite the fact that this is a dessert composed mainly of nuts and fruits, it is not technically a health-food. However, I did shop my favorite local natural-foods store for the necessary ingredients: dried fruits and nuts. I had all the other tasty ingredients already in my kitchen: butter, eggs, sugar… and bourbon, of course.

Bourbon Pecan Fruit Cake Bites bourbon pecan fruit cake bites | sagebrousseau.com

Yield 24

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups diced mixed dried fruits (I used dates, cranberries, and crystallized ginger– you could also try apples, apricots or golden raisins)
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ¾ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 6 Tbls. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ to 1 cup flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Soak nuts and an dried fruits (omit crystallized ginger, if using) in bourbon for 8 hours. Preheat oven to 325º Cream butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy, add egg and beat. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt and cinnamon. Reduce speed on mixer and add flour mixture. Batter should be thick. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fruits (including ginger) and nuts to the batter, fold into batter with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. If batter appears dry you may add some of the left over bourbon a teaspoon at a time.

Line mini-muffin pan with paper liners, use a measured scoop to fill each with a rounded teaspoon of batter. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly and the cakes are a light golden brown.

bourbon fruitcake bites | sagebrousseau.com

Because of the alcohol content, fruitcake may be stored (covered in the refrigerator) for up to one month, but these are so tasty, I don’t think that will be a problem! Happy Holidays.

not your grandmother’s rice pudding

You either love rice pudding or you hate it. I L-O-V-E it, and my grandmother’s recipe was actually pretty darn good.

coconut rice pudding | sagebrousseau.com

It’s so simple to make, and really may be my most favorite food. I loved when my Gram would make it for me when I was a little girl, it was her favorite too and we’d eat it together with spoons from the pot (“let’s not bother with bowls”), gobbling it down, right off the stove top.

Now, I savor every grain of warm, chewy rice before its warmth fills my belly, thinking about my Gram and imagining her here with me. It’s the perfect treat on a cool Autumn afternoon.

gram's rice pudding | sagebrousseau.comHere’s my spin on the classic recipe, scented of vanilla with a hint of cinnamon and coconut milk for a rich, creamy finish.

Coconut Rice Pudding

  • 1 14oz. can of coconut milk
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine coconut milk, milk, rice and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently for for approximately 30 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and no longer liquidy.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla.
  3. Eat all of it immediately. Serve warm or chilled.

coconut rice pudding | sagebrousseau.com

mexican hot chocolate mug cake

It’s Cinco de Mayo! Let’s celebrate with a little chocolate cake made in a mug!

mexican hot choclate

Mexican hot chocolate is a slightly spicier version of regular old cocoa, thanks to the addition of cinnamon. For this recipe, you’ll need a store-bought Mexican hot chocolate such as Abuelita (look at that sweet little grannie). You’ll be using about half a tablet, chopped up very fine (finer than what’s pictured below).

I have to admit, I’m a little obsessed with the microwave cake-in-a-mug movement. It’s just so much fun making a little one-person cake in under five minutes! It’s perfect when you need a little something warm and chocolatey, just for you. My go-to is usually a chocolate chip cookie cake, but I thought I’d spice things up a little.

abuelita

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablet of Mexican hot chocolate, chopped fine (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Instructions:

  1. In a microwave-safe mug, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk in the milk and vegetable oil until all ingredients are combined and batter has no clumps.
  3. Microwave mug cake for 70 seconds, to 1 minute 30 second on high
  4. Carefully remove from microwave, let cool and enjoy!

yumm!

It’s chess pie…

Are you familiar with Chess Pie? I had only heard about it for the first time a few weeks ago, and was very curious.

chess pieIt is a pie or tart with a filling made of eggs, butter, and sugar, according to Merriam-Webster. This one is technically a lemon chess pie because it includes lemon juice and zest. It tastes like a very sweet version of lemon squares– I recommend serving it with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

To say that this recipe is basic, made with simple everyday ingredients that most people have available in the pantry, is an understatement. Chess Pie also seems to be a Southern tradition, which goes along with chef John Besh’s explanation of the origin of its name– “it’s just pie” (say that with a slow, southern accent, it’ll make sense).

bird's-eye-view

Chess pie comes in variations with white sugar or brown sugar, with cornmeal or flour, lemon or orange juice, it’s clearly a recipe that adjusts easily to whatever’s on-hand. This time I used a pre-made pie crust and John Besh’s recipe, next time I may be a bit more daring and try different flavors or Chess Pie’s northern cousin the New England Maple Sugar Pie.

Chess Pie from John Besh’s My Family Table

Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk or whole milk
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cornmeal
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 unbaked pie shell

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the eggs, sugar, milk, butter, cornmeal, and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Mix until the sugar is dissolved, but do not beat. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell.

2. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300˚ and bake until the filling is set, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 6

caramel coconut cookie bars

Aka, Girl Scout Samoas copycats. If you’re like me, you’ve already eaten through your stash of Girl Scout cookies… and you need a fix!

Samoas BarsIt’s pretty easy to clone the tasty confections from our fine little friends in green vests– especially in bar form– you’ll be eating these up in no time. Just a few simple ingredients…

Samoas Cookie Bars (makes 9 generous cookie bars, or 16 smaller squares)

Shortbread crust:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ¼ cups AP flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt

Coconut caramel topping:

  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • ½ (12 ounce) bag of caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream

Chocolate drizzle:

  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

samoa ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan, line with parchment paper.
  2. Spread coconut on a rimmed sheet pan.  Toast the coconut in the oven, turning occasionally for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix flour and salt. Press dough evenly into the bottom of prepared pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Bake until pale golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  5. In a small bowl combine caramels and milk. Heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between until melted. Place toasted coconut in a large bowl and add the caramel stirring well to combine.
  6. Pour coconut caramel mixture over brownies and gently spread evenly over the top. It will be thick so you might have to gently press it in an even layer.
  7. Place chocolate chips and butter into a zip-lock baggie and put into microwave for 20 second intervals. Squish the bag with your fingers to mix and smooth the chocolate between intervals. When melted smooth, snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag and drizzle over bars.

… and voila, samoa cookie bars.

cookie barsOn my honor, I will try not to eat all of them.