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Friday, December 9, 2011

Nutter Butter Truffles

Truffles. . . chocolatey, elegant, decadent, and with this recipe EASY and FUN!

3 Ingredients!

1 package Nutter Butter Cookies
8 oz. Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
1 bag good quality Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Yields 30-32 truffles


In a food processor, grind up all but 5 nutter butter cookies.  With a wooden or silicone spoon, mix in cream cheese.  

Using a 1 tablespoon scoop - line these little guys up on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.  They should be about 1" rounds.  Pop these in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the next step.

Melt chocolate chips either in a double boiler or in the microwave.  If in the microwave, make sure it is at 50% power and you are checking and stirring every 30 seconds until melted.  

Dip each ball into the chocolate using a fork so that the chocolate drips off and place back on wax or parchment paper to harden.  

Once they are all dipped, use the remaining chocolate to "decorate".  Drizzle the extra chocolate using a fork. It not only looks pretty and professional, but helps cover up any imperfections!

Let these harden in the fridge overnight, or for at least 6 hours.  Serve at room temperature. 

Chocolatey Crunch Outside - Creamy, Peanut Buttery Inside!

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tahitian Vanilla and Lemon Creme Fruit Tartlettes

Mini desserts are all the rage and these delightful tarts are sweet, tangy, fruity and cute to boot!

Strawberry, Mandarin Orange, Blueberries
Kiwi, Blueberries, Mandarin Orange
Blackberry, Strawberry, Kiwi
Play around with the filling and use your favorite fruits.  

Shortbread Tart Shells (go ahead and cheat - store bought are just as delish)
** Recipe yields 36-40 tarts so purchase accordingly
8 oz. Cream Cheese (reduced fat works well)
14 oz.  Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 Lemons - zest of one lemon and juice  = 1/3 of a cup
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract 
1/2 -1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanilla dried seeds
1/2 cup Apricot Jam

Using a mixer or food processor, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth.   It helps to have your cream cheese at room temperature.  Add in the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and vanilla beans.  Don't over mix - you don't want this to be too runny!

Line your tarts up and start filling assembly line style!  Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling into each tart and top with different combinations of fruit.  

In a saucepan, heat the jam and a splash of water.  Stir until jam is completely dissolved.  Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of the tart with the apricot glaze making sure to completely cover all of the fruit.  This will not only give it that professional looking, glossy, pretty shine, but this step will also ensure that your tart doesn't dry out!  Fun tip huh?   

Pop these in the fridge for 30 minutes to1 hour to set up.  Serve at room temperature on the same day if possible.  They tend to get a bit soft with the filling after 8-10 hours.

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stylishly Simple Side Dish - Pearled Couscous

I have fallen in love. . .with Pearled Couscous.  You get more of a nutty bite since these gems since they are pearl shaped.  This side dish is easy to prepare and can be dressed up in many different ways.  

Serve it up warm or at room temperature.  If you are going to refrigerate this, I'd suggest re-heating the couscous separately and then adding your toppings.  Play around with your ingredients with the Seasons and experiment with different fruits and nuts. 

Suggested Ingredients:

Pearled Couscous - Plain or Tri-Color
Dried Cherries, Cranberries, Apricots
Feta Cheese, Gorgonzola, Goat Cheese
Toasted, Sliced Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios
Mandarin Orange Segments, Nectarines, Raspberries, Strawberries
Sundried Tomatoes
Fresh veggies
In season fresh herbs
Your favorite salad dressing or vinaigrette


Cook Couscous according to package directions - I like to add a generous handful of sea salt and a splash of olive oil to the water.

Drain and spread on a baking sheet to prevent sticking.  I like to add 1/2 of the vinaigrette immediately so it can get soak in - this also prevents clumping.  

Chop and gather your "toppings".  I love a combination of salty and sweet.  Mandarin Oranges, Sundried tomatoes and Feta or try  Dried Cherries, Almonds and Basil.  Last week, I tried this combo with a tangerine vinaigrette - delish.  My usual go to is an easy champagne dressing.  

Sprinkle your toppings, toss with the remaining vinaigrette and enjoy!

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!