27 January 2011

S'mores Nut Bars

My favorite part of summer barbeque and camping is the S'mores after the meal!  This recipe looked good, but I wasn't sure I could adulterate a S'more with peanuts.  Surprisingly, the salty crunch added by the peanuts were delicious.  There is no longer a need to wait until the summer season for this rich treat.  The original recipe called for 10 quartered marshmallows, I had a full bag of mini marshmallows in the cupboard and thought they worked quite well.

S’more Nut Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 15 minutes | Chill Time: 3 hours

2¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
7½ ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
7½ ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ teaspoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups mini marshmallows
½ cup lightly salted whole peanuts
½ cup chopped lightly salted peanuts

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Add the butter. Combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Press the crust into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
3. Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
4. In a large heatproof bowl, toss the chocolates together. Drizzle the corn syrup over the chocolate and set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate mixture. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture in a circle  until completely smooth. Fold in the marshmallows and the whole peanuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread it as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the top with the chopped peanuts.
6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until set. Cut into squares and serve. The bars will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

Adapted from  Brown Eyed  Baker

23 January 2011

Farfalle with Tomatoes and Cream

Browsing for ideas for the weeks menus I came across a recipe listed as one of the “best” pasta recipes on Epicurious.  It sounded easy and delicious, but made a lot more than we would have eaten in a week without never wanting to eat it again.  After reading all the comments I adapted the recipe to fit our tastes, cut it in half and lightened it.  When I took the last of the leftovers to work for lunch Mark complained that I’d taken his leftovers, the whole recipe might not have been a bad idea!     

Farfalle with Sausage Tomatoes and Cream

              1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound hot Turkey Italian Sausages, casings removed
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes mashed with a potato masher.   
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and crushed red pepper. Sauté until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender and sausage is browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add sausage mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Sprinkle with basil. Serve, passing cheese separately. 

Serves 3
Adapted by Carol from Epicurious