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Gooey Chocolate-Caramel Fantasy

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This luscious dessert includes a chocolate crumb crust and caramel-pecan filling crowned with melted chocolate.

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (about 38 wafers)
30 vanilla caramels
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
2 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup whipping cream

Directions

1.In a medium mixing bowl, stir together chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack.

2. In a heavy medium saucepan, melt caramels in caramel ice cream topping over low heat, stirring often. Stir in the first 1/4 cup whipping cream. Remove from heat; stir in nuts. Spread over crust. Cool; cover and chill for 1 hour.

3. For topping: In a heavy small saucepan, melt chocolate. Remove from heat; stir in remaining whipping cream.

4. Drizzle or spread over caramel-pecan mixture. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Makes 12 servings.

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Sunday Reflections

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Happy Sunday and Thanksgiving week! Safe travels to all!

Mini Chocolate Snowball Cakes

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For when a snack-cake craving (or nostalgia) strikes. Confession: Sometimes we get a little nostalgic for a classic Hostess snack cake, specifically of the Sno Ball variety. When the craving strikes, we turn to this recipe for mini chocolate snowball cakes.

Ingredients

Cakes

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup warm water 

Finishing

3 cups shredded coconut
2 2/3 cups whipped topping or whipped cream

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Make the cakes: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, and scrape the side of the bowl well after each is added. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Add about half of the flour mixture to the mixer, and mix on low speed to combine.

5. Gradually add the buttermilk and water to the mixer; mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix to combine.

6. Scoop the batter (an ice-cream scoop works great) into 16 even mounds on the prepared baking sheets. Stagger the cakes, leaving at least 2 inches of space all around—the cakes will spread during baking.

7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely.

8. Trim the uneven edges from the cakes by pressing a 3-inch circle cookie cutter (or the rim of a large glass) into the center of each cooled cake. You will end up with 16 perfect circles.

9. Spread the coconut into an even layer on a large plate or baking sheet.

10 .Build the cakes:  Scoop ⅓ cup whipped topping or whipped cream onto a cake and then place another cake on top. Press down on the top cake until some of the filling comes out the sides and then use a spatula to spread this excess all over the sides and top. Repeat with the remaining cakes and whipped cream.

11. Roll the cakes in the coconut to coat all over. Refrigerate the cakes until ready to serve. They will keep in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container, for up to a week.

Sunday Reflections

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Happy Sunday, #friendsofTenaciousM! Have an amazing day and glorious week!

Chocolate Cream Pie

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The filling of this chocolate-crust pie is luscious, but not too rich. (Think old-fashioned chocolate pudding.) A bit of sour cream in the whipped topping balances the chocolate perfectly.

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled and cut up
3 -4 tablespoons ice water
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Chocolate curls or grated semisweet chocolate

Directions

For crust: In a medium bowl, combine flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 4 1/2 teaspoons sugar and the salt. Using a pastry blender, cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of the mixture. Gently toss with a fork. Continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface press dough into a disk. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Ease circle into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2-inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra crust and crimp as desired.
Prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Line crust with a double layer of foil. Bake in a 425 degrees F oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 8 minutes more or until set and dry. Remove from oven and cool completely.

For filling: Place chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Set aside. Heat milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until steam rises from surface (do not let boil). Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar, the yolks, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (mixture will be thick).

Slowly whisk 2 cups of the hot milk into egg mixture. Add egg mixture back into saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 30 seconds more. Pour over chopped chocolate and butter. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add vanilla; whisk until chocolate and butter are melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour into cooled crust. Cover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until set.
When ready to serve, prepare topping. In a large mixing bowl beat cream, sour cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed just until stiff peaks form. Spread over pie and top with chocolate curls.

Sunday Reflections

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Have a blessed and amazing Sunday #friendsofTenaciousM! Remember that daylight savings time ended this morning. #fallback