I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Espresso Petit Fours

For Hanukkah, I received a cool petit four pan from Willams Sonoma. It's got 20 cavities, each one is the shape of a flower. We were having friends over for dinner, so I figured I'd try to make something cool! I found a great espresso cake recipe from an old Cooking Light magazine and used 1/2 the recipe to make 20 petit fours. Then I dipped them halfway in chocolate and voila! Instant impressive dessert.

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground espresso
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottom of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.

3. Combine the hot water and 2 tablespoons espresso in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve; set aside. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

4. Combine the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Place 1/4 cup sugar mixture, shortening, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed 30 seconds or until well combined. Increase speed to medium; add remaining sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, beating 15 seconds between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl; beat an additional 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Add espresso mixture, beating until well combined. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans.

5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Discard wax paper. For the petit four pan, bake at 350 for 10 minutes, until they are no longer sticky. Cool in pan 2-3 minutes, then invert on wire cooling rack. Trim excess "muffin top" from each petit four for a finished edge.

No comments: