Category Archives: Desserts & Sweets

How to Make Easy Lemon Bars with Sweetened Condensed Milk

Written by : Chris

easy lemon bars image 1 400

Freshen up spring celebrations with these simple, sweet and vibrant lemon bars! Lemon bars are a classic American dessert composed of a shortbread crust topped with a simple, tangy lemon filling.

We’ve simplified the traditional recipe by using sweetened condensed milk. So once you make the crust, all you need to do is whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, fresh lemon juice and lemon peel. It couldn’t be easier!

Here’s the recipe for Easy Lemon Bars:

easy lemon bars image 2 400

Ingredients for 20 bars:

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

BEAT butter, powdered sugar and salt in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour on low speed just until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press dough onto bottom of prepared pan.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

WHISK together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon peel until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

REFRIGERATE for 2 hours or until firm. Using foil overhang, lift onto a work surface; cut into 20 bars. Dust with additional powdered sugar before serving. Squares will hold, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

easy lemon bars image 3 400

A few tips:
If you make the bars in advance, don’t dust with powdered sugar. Only do this right before serving.

To produce really clean slices, place the baking pan with lemon bars in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Wipe the knife between cuts. If desired, trim away edges (I didn’t trim all the edges on the photo above, but I did freeze them).

For serving, place bars in individual paper cupcake liners. This way guests can easily help themselves and you don’t need to worry about dessert plates.

Happy spring!

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Lemon Spring Tart Ginger Bites with Zesty Lemon Sorbet
Lemon Spring Tart
Ginger Bites with Zesty
Lemon Sorbet

Stout Brownies for St. Patrick’s Day

Written by: Chris

Brownies 1

Beer in a brownie may seem unconventional, but the malt actually adds depth by intensifying the chocolate flavor. Stout and other dark beers are often described as having chocolate and coffee overtones, so this combination may not be too far-fetched. 

These brownies couldn’t be any easier to make. In fact, most of the ingredients you likely have on hand. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you might even have stout!

Speaking of stout, if you want a more intensely flavored chocolate brownie, you can boil the stout to concentrate the flavors. To do this, place the stout (1/2 cup total) in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Allow it to cool a bit before adding to the chocolate mixture. I’ve made the brownies this way as well as straight from the bottle and loved both. You really don’t taste the stout in the brownies – it just intensifies the chocolate flavor and makes them a bit more fudge-like.

Here’s a look at the ingredients.

Brownies 2

Easy Dark Chocolate Stout Brownies

Ingredients needed for 16 brownies:

  • 1 2/3 cups (10-ounce package) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup stout beer
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

Brownies 3

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Line an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan with foil leaving a 2-inch overhang. If you like thick brownies use an 8-inch pan.

Brownies 4

MELT 1 cup morsels and butter in large, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir until smooth.

Brownies 5

STIR in granulated sugar, beer, vanilla extract and salt with a whisk or wooden spoon. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Brownies 6

STIR in flour.

Brownies 7

FOLD in remaining 2/3 cup morsels. Spread into prepared baking pan.

brownies 8

BAKE for 38 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan; cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

brownie final baked

Now if you are really pressed for time and want to try your hand with beer and brownies, you can use your favorite box mix brownie and replace the water with stout beer. I’d also recommend stirring in a half cup of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels into the batter.

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Oven Irish Stew   Lucky You Mint Pie  
Oven Irish Stew
“Lucky You” Mint Pie

We Love Potlucks!

Written by Chris -

Potlucks

I absolutely love potlucks! There is nothing better than getting together to share favorite recipes and celebrate good family, friends and food. It seems like every month there is a work function, school activity or gathering of friends that revolves around a buffet style meal, and I love it!

Here are some tips and ideas to help with your next potluck:

Feeding a Crowd
One of the biggest questions when cooking for a potluck is, “How much do I make?” Try to take an estimated headcount and plan accordingly, but you don’t need to make full portions for each person. Remember, there are always many options and dishes at potlucks! Typically, count on having enough food for 8-15 small servings, depending on the dish.

Making the Perfect Dish
When choosing a main dish to share, think simplicity and portability. Focus on recipes that combine common ingredients into one dish or pot so that it’s recognizable, easy to serve and will please even the picky eaters. Casserole and crock pot recipes are great ways to combine flavorful ingredients into one transportable meal – just make sure the dish is cooked prior to transporting.

Keep Cool with Appetizers
One concern with potlucks is keeping food warm. You can avoid the hassle by bringing a dish that can sit at room temperature. Salads, vegetable and fruit dishes, and dips are great contributions to the buffet line!

Don’t Forget Dessert
Potlucks are a great time to try out a new cookie, brownie or other decadent recipe. Dessert recipes are often easy to multiply or divide to accommodate any amount of guests, and are an added bonus to the end of the meal.

Find Your Go-To Dish
There is nothing wrong with bringing the same crowd-pleasing dish to multiple potlucks. Find a couple fool-proof dishes that you can rotate throughout the year. Having your go-to meals will reduce the amount of time and planning spent on your end.

Tips and Etiquette
Serving: Be sure to bring the appropriate serving ware for your dish so people can easily fill their plate and move on to the next yummy treat.

Portions: Everything on the table looks amazing! Don’t let your eyes fill up your plate! Be sure to take small portions of the dishes you like, and pass on others.

Thank the host: Always thank the host or coordinator of the evening before leaving. For an added touch, bring a small gift as a special way to show your appreciation.

Recipe Ideas
Looking for a new recipe to wow the crowd? Check out some of our favorite potluck dishes!
Baked Potato Casserole
Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake
Spinach and Fresh Fruit Salad
Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
Italian Antipasta Cold Salad
Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Pumpkin Platters

Written by Cynthia -

The warmth and joy of the holiday season is only made better by the food, people and memories we share them with. What I look forward to most this time of year is spending time with family and friends, while enjoying all of the great seasonal meals. One of my favorite of which is any dish that includes pumpkin!

In early fall, pumpkin becomes a staple in most households and a versatile super food that could be enjoyed both savory and sweet. Pumpkin also adds extra flavor, fiber and Vitamin A, while being low in fat and sodium.

At Nestlé Kitchens we have tons of delicious and even unique recipes using LIBBY’s® 100% Pure Pumpkin. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes

Pumpkin Chia Pancakes

These hearty pancakes feature whole wheat flour, chia seeds and pumpkin for a nutritious boost.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Curry and white pepper add zest and flavor to this creamy pumpkin soup that is sure to be a winter favorite at your table!

Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta

Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta

Oh!… how they will adore this easy yet completely delicious Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta treat. Crushed gingersnaps add wonderful texture and flavor. For an elegant presentation, serve in ramekins topped with orange slices and crushed cookies.

Quick Pumpkin Pizza

Quick Pumpkin Pizza

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Quick Pumpkin Pizza uses prepared pizza crusts. You’ll love the great flavor combinations of pumpkin, shredded Gouda or Fontina and parmesan cheeses, garlic and basil pesto. Toasted pine nuts add a flair. Perfect for entertaining when you’re sure to impress your guests with your flavor creativity.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta Recipe

Try this amazing Pumpkin Sage Pasta when you’d like to serve something elegant and distinctive. Works well with all types of pasta such as trottole, spirals, penne or bow tie. And it’s ready in 30 minutes! Garnish with fresh sage leaves for an extra flavor dimension and eye-catching appeal.

A New Favorite: Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

Written by Chris -

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Baking cookies is a wonderful holiday tradition. Each year my kids and I bake several recipes to give to family, friends and teachers to show our appreciation.  It’s a fun activity to do as a family and the recipients are always so appreciative. We’ve added a new cookie to our “Holiday Favorites” list this year!

These chocolate gluten-free cookies are rich and chewy and ridiculously easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients! The texture is similar to that of meringue cookies or French macarons, yet the centers are chewy and fudgy like brownies. Even better, they are quick to make and no mixer is required (perfect for kids to make)!

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients for 3 dozen cookies:

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

COMBINE powdered sugar, baking cocoa, coffee granules and salt in large bowl; stir in morsels. Add egg whites and vanilla extract; stir until combined. The mixture should look a little like brownie batter.

DROP by level tablespoon 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. If you want fluffier cookies, after you scoop the dough, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (this is completely optional).

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are cracked and shiny and edges are firm. Place baking sheet on wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely. Gently peel cookies off of parchment paper with your hands (I find it’s easiest this way) or a spatula.

Flourless Chocolate Fudge Crinkle Cookies

DUST with additional powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Cookies hold well for 3 days if kept in an airtight container. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Cook’s Tip: for Chocolate Fudge Coconut Crinkle Cookies, eliminate instant coffee and stir in 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut with the morsels.

If you are participating in a cookie exchange and looking for stress-free solutions, be sure to check out this article on Meals.com .

Happy Holidays from our kitchens to yours!

Related Recipes:

Choco-Coconut Cookies Flourless Chocolate Brownies
Choco-Coconut Cookies Flourless Chocolate Brownies

It’s In The Slice

Written by Chris -

Dulche de Leche Cheesecake Kit

At Nestlé, we receive and respond to questions all the time about simple ingredient substitutions, how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and where to find our products. Fortunately, we have an excellent Consumer Services team who responds to each and every question.

So what food or recipe question do I personally get asked all the time? Crazy enough, it’s about how to get the perfect slice (think cheesecakes, layered cakes and brownies). Even a beautifully frosted cake or a silky-smooth cheesecake can turn ugly after the first slice. We’ve all seen this happen, and most of us like to blame the recipe. Sadly, it’s typically not the recipe’s fault. Rather, we just haven’t mastered this simple technique:

Slicing Tips 101

In the video, I used our NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Baking Kit  (pictured above) for illustration purposes. It cuts beautifully especially when you clean your knife between each slice. Side note: If you are pinched for time yet want to make a grand entrance with a dessert, I highly recommend this Baking Kit! You can find it at Walmart, Safeway, and other retailers during the Holiday Season. And if you have any questions or want further cheesecake tips, like using jars to bake the cheesecakes in, using lighter cream cheese or even how to drizzle the dulce de leche, please leave a comment and I will get right back to you!

Additional tips for slicing success:

When making brownies, line your baking pan with heavy-duty foil and leave enough overhang so that you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan. I like to freeze the baked brownies for about 30 minutes so that they don’t bend as I’m lifting them from the pan. They cut a lot better when they are cold too! Once you cut the brownies (remember to clean the knife after each cut by dipping it into hot water, then drying it off between slices), gently remove the foil. If the brownies are super cold, you can peel away the foil before slicing if you’d like.

Latte Machiatto Cheesecake

When it comes to cheesecakes, I’ve found that the freezer is my friend. I like to freeze cheesecakes for 15-30 minutes before slicing. It helps to make an extra clean cut. In the cheesecake image above, I did just that.  And if you are making cheesecake bars, line your baking pan as described above. It is so much easier to cut a cheesecake when it’s outside of the pan or dish. In the photo at the very top (cheesecake bars), I lined the baking pan and froze the cheesecake before cutting. The dulce de leche was drizzled after cutting, but you can drizzle first then cut. It’s just as beautiful this way!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Related Recipes:

Dark Chocolate Brownie Recipe Moist and Tender Chocolate Cake Recipe
Dark Chocolate Brownies Moist & Tender Chocolate
Cake Recipe
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