Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shortcut recipes for this busy week. Peppermint layered brownies and a Creampuff Christmas Tree tower!

I had to make some food for an event on very short notice this past week and came up with a couple of shortcut recipes you might want to try out yourself.

First, I love the 3 layer Peppermint Brownies I make every Christmas but I knew that I would be too busy to get a batch made up with only a couple of hours notice so I did the next best thing. I ran to Sam's club and bought some premade brownies and them added the layer of peppermint frosting and the chocolate on top. They took about 40 minutes with 25 of that being a quick chill in the freezer and cutting! Not bad. The great thing is that they tasted just as good a homemade. Just go to the recipe and skip the brownie part.

The other thing I came up with was for a party I had forgotten about and I needed to bring a dessert. I grabbed some frozen cream puffs out of the freezer and made a Christmas tree with them.

Here's how I did it.
Take a box of frozen cream puffs- about 48
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup chocolate chips melted- use only if you need to transport the tree to a party. If you're serving it at home you won't need this. I'll fess up and admit that I used the melted sugar as the glue. Not one of my better ideas, first of all, I burned the crud out of my fingers more than once, melted sugar is HOT. Second of all, the dang sugar is such great HARD glue that we had to pry the puffs apart, breaking some of them. Not the dainty pickup a creampuff picture I had in my head!!!
  1. Melt the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a small bowl. Again- if you're serving these at home, just stack the creampuffs and skip to step 4.
  2. Make a base of cream puffs in the shape of a circle. Us a tiny drop of the melted chocolate between them to act as glue.
  3. For the next layers, put a small drop of the melted chocolate on the bottom of each creampuff and stack them up into a tree shape.
  4. Into a small sauce pan, place the 3/4 cup of sugar. Turn the heat to medium high and watch carefully as the sugar melts- DON'T stir- just watch, when the suger begins to get medium brown, you can swirl the pan GENTLY to get any unmelted sugar to mix in. When all of the sugar is melted and a medium golden brown. Immediately remove from the heat. 

  • Dip a fork or a tined whisk into the melted sugar and wave back and forth over the pan until the sugar starts to create threads/ Once you begin to get threads, dip and wave over the top of the tower of creampuffs. I'm no expert so I ended up with dropletts and the intended threads of sugar. It still looked and tasted great.
  • Continue doing this until you have the coverage you want. If the sugar gets to thick put it back on the stove for a few seconds to warm it up a touch.
  • Serve!!!


Jody said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmm those cream puffs. mmmmmmmmmmmm they look yummy mmmmmmmmmmmm

Last night I made the easiest cookies I have ever made in my life.
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg

Mix up, roll into balls, bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Wild Child said...

Very clever arrangement. I've been busy baking, made a hoska (Czech christmas) bread for my son's class when I went in to talk about different cultural traditions. Most kids knew their backgrounds, but a couple had no idea. I think that's sad. If you get a chance, come over to my giveaway for some after Christmas treats. I'm sending out my springerle cookies. Few have signed up, so chances of winning are good! They are almond flavored, and oh so good!

kys said...

You are so creative!

I did peppermint bark, Reese's cookies, fudge, chocolate toffee, and Chex mix.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

McMom said...

I checked out the peppermint brownies and will be trying those for sure. Thanks for the time saving idea! And the cream puff tree is amazing! Who doesn't love the frozen cream puffs from Sam's club?

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

Yummers! Oh those look sinfully sticky! Just wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

i love it..

following on google friend connect via followers club MBC...hope you will follow back too..