White Chocolate & Cranberry Homemade Cookies

I once saw stand up comedienne Fiona O’Loughlin  jokingly tell the story of being at home while her kids and husband were at school and work. In order to appear like she’d been busy all day, she told us that at 4pm in the afternoon she’d throw onions on a pan. She assured us all that this act would 1. have everyone assume that she’d been very busy all day and 2. that the aroma of cooked onions was so comforting that everyone was automatically calmed. I figured all jokes aside, with 5 kids she’d  know how to calm a house!

white chocolate and cranberry cookies
Freshly baked white chocolate and cranberry cookies

Continue reading “White Chocolate & Cranberry Homemade Cookies”

Recipe : Double Chocolate Pecan Fudge Squares

We bake most weekends and this past weekend was no exception.  With winter theoretically on our door step ( in theory, I say  because the days here in Brisbane at this time of the year really are glorious!) it seemed only fitting to bake ourselves  a triple layer treat.

Dello Mano Kitchen Baking of Double Pecan Fudge Squares
Triple layers of yumness!

The layers in these Double Chocolate Pecan Fudge Squares  do take a little more time however the result is well worth the effort.

Start by preparing the biscuit base according to the instructions below. Take care not to overbake it as it tends to dry quickly and you really are looking for lovely moistness across each of the square layers.

The  creamy chocolate filling is simply a brown sugar and butter mix made super delicious with condensed milk.  I’ve long been a fan of condensed milk. Beginning my Food Science career at Carnation, I remember clearly the joy of huge and I mean really huge, vats of white creamy condensed milk. My job then was to taste test the condensed milk as it caramalises over time.  A  life well spent – condensed milk tasting to now these days brownie tasting!

condensed milk pouring
Delicious condensed milk makes for the beginning

Of course, as we always say great chocolate makes or breaks a dessert. Here at Dello Mano our choice of beautiful chocolate is Belgian chocolate however so long as you choose great quality, the choice of chocolate is yours.

dark chocolate bowl
Delicious dark chocolate

After melting, pour the molten dark Belgian chocolate onto the base of biscuit and creamy filling.

Dark chocolate pouring into pan
Use great quality dark chocolate

Starting to get exciting now – take a little care to evenly spread the chocolate so as to ensure the squares look balanced when they’re cut. Refrigerate.

spread dark chocolate onto filling
Dark chocolate spread onto filling

Remove from the refrigerator and carefully cut the layers to your preferred size. Since we love Dello Mano cubes, we have a preference for little squares, but really the fudge squares could be ribbons or bar shaped.  Just take a little care when moving the knife through the layers to avoid cracking.

cutting double pecan fudge
Carefully cut into neat squares

Sit back and enjoy those delicious layers.

double pecan fudge finished
Double Pecan Fudge – the final product

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PECAN FUDGE SLICE

INGREDIENTS:

BASE

¼ cup finely chopped pecans

100 g Butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup plain flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

FILLING

395 g can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup brown sugar

125 g butter, chopped into small pieces

120g coursely chopped pecans

100 g  dark Belgian chocolate, chopped

FROSTING

60 g butter, chopped

200 g dark Belgian chocolate, chopped 

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 170-180°C depending on your oven. Grease and line a brownie style pan.

       THE BASE

Combine butter, sugar and pecans in a bowl. Add flour and baking powder. Mix until well combined. Using the back of a spoon         press the base mixture into the cake pan.

Bake for 18 minutes or until golden and firm to touch.

THE FILLING

Combine milk, sugar and butter in a 2-liter (8 cup) microwave safe jug or bowl. Cook, uncovered, stirring every 2 minutes for 6         to 8 minutes on high (100%) power or until mixtures comes to the boil and is thick and golden. Stand for 1 minute.Add the          chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Stir in pecans.

Add the chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Stir in pecans.

Pour over warm base and set aside to cool completely.

TO MAKE FROSTING

Melt butter over a low heat.  When melted slowly add chocolate, stirring gently  until smooth. Be careful not to aerate the chocolate mix. Pour over fudge filling.

Optional : Spread some crushed pecans on top before refrigerating ( can there ever be too many pecans!)

Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set. Cut into squares and serve.

        Recipe adapted from Stahmann Pecan Farms – www.stahmann.com.au