Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reptar Bars


If there was one TV show that could summarize my childhood in its entirety, it would be Rugrats. I absolutely loved that show as a kid, probably because it was so darn relatable with all the wild imaginary adventures the kids had. I was browsing the instant view tab on my netflix account last week and was ecstatic when I saw Rugrats Seasons 1-4 under New Arrivals. Of course, the next several days were spent watching the first two seasons, and I realized I love the show just as much now as I did when I was five years old. The writing and characters are just so consistently great, the perfect combination of funny and adorable. I'd been thinking about what sweet and tasty treat to make for myself lately, and after watching the Halloween episode in the 1st season, my question was answered. Reptar Bars!!!! Reptar Bars!!!! The candy bar supreme, the candy bar that turns your tongue greeEEEeeeen!!!



Ingredients:

24 Ounces Milk Chocolate Chips
4 Teaspoons Crushed Pecans
4 Teaspoons Caramel
7 Ounces Marshmallow Fluff
2 Ounces Green Food Coloring

Grease a 2 x 4 inch mini-loaf pan and set aside. Empty the marshmallow fluff into a medium-sized bowl, add the green food coloring and mix with a fork until well blended and consistent in coloring. Set aside.

Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate over the boiling water and then remove from heat. Pour 1/4 Cup of the melted chocolate into the greased loaf pan and spread until the surface is even. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the crushed pecans over the melted chocolate and place the loaf pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the lower layer of the Reptar Bar.


Remove the pan from the freezer and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the green marshmallow mixture in the center of the bar, spreading it vertically but making sure that there is at least 1/2 inch of chocolate space surrounding all sides of the marshmallow. If you don't do this, when you add the top layer of the chocolate the marshmallow will not be encased and it will look like my first unsuccessful attempt at a Reptar Bar, featured above. Sad, isn't it?


Then drizzle the teaspoon of caramel over the marshmallow and take the bar back over to the pot of chocolate, which should still be melted. Using a spoon, first drizzle the chocolate around the green marshmallow heap to encase it in a chocolate wall, then drizzle just enough chocolate over it so that the green part is covered. If you do this in the opposite order, the weight of the melted chocolate on top of the marshmallow will force it to the sides, once again making a messy Reptar sandwich instead of a nice enclosed Reptar Bar.

Place the Pan in the freezer for another 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has solidified. Gently press the sides of the pan in and out to loosen the bar, then flip the pan over onto a plate and shake it until the bar falls out. Repeat this process until all of the chocolate has been used, will make about 4 Reptar Bars. Store them in a cool, dry place.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dulce de Leche S'mores


S'mores are a fantastically simple dessert that deserve to be consumed outside of a campfire setting. They're also very versatile in so far as the astounding amount of add-ins you can toss on them. I decided to add some homemade dulce de leche to the mix, (I've been on a dulce de leche kick as of late due to the awesome Argentinean bakery down the street from my apartment), and it was probably the best combo ever. Seriously, if you are reading this, you need to make these. They are so good!!! I hope you give these a try, they are most definitely worth it!



Ingredients: 

3 Hershey's With Almonds Bars
9 Graham Crackers
3 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
(1) 14 Oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk


Fill a small pot halfway full of water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, remove the label from the condensed milk can and poke several holes in the top of the can so that the steam can escape. Place the can in the pot of water, making sure the water level rests about 1/2 to 2/3 up the side of the can. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Boil the can in the water for about 3 hours, making sure to replenish the water when it boils away and swirl the can around (wearing an oven mit), a bit to help mix up the condensed milk. Be careful not to bring the water to a rolling boil, as this may burn the dulce de leche inside of the can, but to always keep it at a low constant simmer.

Once the 3 hours have passed, remove the can from the pot and set it aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Remove the top of the can with a can opener and pour the dulce de leche into a bowl. There may be burnt bits at the very bottom of the can, but unless they are black and hard they are fine and can be left in the dulce de leche mixture. Blend the dulce de leche with a hand mixer or fork until smooth in consistency. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Break each of the graham crackers in half and place each piece on a baking sheet. Next break each of the Hershey bars into three pieces, and place each piece onto a graham cracker. At this point half of the graham crackers should have chocolate on them. Next, place about 1/3 cup of miniature marshmallows on each of the empty graham crackers. Now half of the graham crackers should have chocolate on them and half should have marshmallows. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the marshmallows just begin to have a tint of pale gold at the tips. Don't leave it in too long otherwise the marshmallows will get crunchy. 

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly spoon one tablespoon of the dulce de leche onto each of the marshmallow sides. Now flip the chocolate sides over on top of the marshmallow & dulce de leche sides to make a s'more. Plate and serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blueberry Kuchen


I'd recently been craving a berry-flavored cake, and since kuchen is like a cake with berries and crumbles on top, I decided to try my hand at it and, darn it, it turned out so good that I ended up eating most of it myself. This is very dangerous, so I will probably wait a few months before I decide to make another one, but it was tasty nevertheless and I wanted to share it with you all. I hope you like berries and cake as much as I do!


Ingredients:

1 Quart Blueberries
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup Butter
4 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a roughly 9 x 13 inch casserole pan and set it aside. In a medium sized bowl mix the berries with 1/3 cup of the sugar and 1/4 cup of the flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the entirety of the nutmeg and baking powder. Add the eggs and 1/3 cup of the butter and mix well until the mixture begins to form a dough. Continue to mix the dough until it solidifies a bit more, about 5 minutes. Then place the dough in the casserole dish and press it into the bottom of the pan to form a layer. Set aside.


In a medium sized bowl, sift together the remaining flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the mixture, making each butter piece about the size of a pea. This is very important to keep the crumbly texture on top.


Take the bowl with the blueberry filling and empty it into the casserole dish on top of the dough. Then take the bowl with the butter crumbles and empty it into the casserole dish on top of the blueberry filling. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until when the lowest layer, (the dough), is pricked with a toothpick and comes out clean.