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Sweet Treat

By Angie Sutton

www.momsapronstrings.com

Life can be more fun with desserts! Whether you’re making one from scratch, going semi-homemade or thinking you’ll be lucky to have enough time to whip up something straight from a box, you’ve got to indulge every now and then. Too often we mark off the good things in life, but practicing portion control and enjoying a sweet as an occasional treat can bring a smile.


Chocolate Strawberry Torte

Beautifully presented and tastes just as good.

Source: Taste of Home

Ingredients:

5 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 c. butter, cubed
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. tap water

Strawberry Filling:

4 c. sliced fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze:

3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8-oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottoms of two greased 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool. Transfer to a large bowl; beat in sugar until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

4. In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients; set aside. For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, water and vanilla until smooth. Cool slightly.

5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with half of each of the following: whipped topping and strawberry filling. Drizzle with half of the glaze. Repeat layers.


Chocolate Mousse Cake

So rich and yummy, it’s worth making it once a year.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. 2 percent milk
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
2 tsps. vanilla extract
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling:

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped<
2-1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Ganache:

10 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped<
2/3 c. heavy whipping cream

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, cook the milk, butter and chocolate over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat eggs and vanilla; stir in chocolate mixture until smooth. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture and mix well (batter will be thin).

3. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

4. For filling, in a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cream until smooth.

5. For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache reaches a spreading consistency.

6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread ganache over top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator.


Cherry Brownies

For a thicker brownie, use a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake for 30 minutes. Easy and tasty!

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
2 large eggs
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 c. granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. margarine
1/3 c. milk
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 10-inch by 15-inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Put pie filling in a blender and pulse for a couple of minutes. You only want to break up the cherries, not liquify them. Pour cherries, cake mix and eggs into a bowl and mix well.

3. Bake 20 minutes.

To make the frosting: Mix together sugar, margarine and milk and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips; stirring until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled cake.


Chocolate Cherry Bars

Ingredients:

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. quick cooking oats
1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
1-1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 tsp. shortening

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar and butter until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cup for topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the pie filling and almond extract. Gently spread the filling over the still warm crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the top and return to the oven to bake for 25 more minutes. Edges and topping will be lightly browned.

4. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the warm bars. Cool on a wire rack.


Mini Cherry Cupcakes

These lil’ beauties take a few extra minutes but are worth it! They are perfect for potlucks and will disappear quickly into the hands of the kiddos!

Ingredients:

1-1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
ΒΌ tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
>2/3 c. cherry preserves
>30 maraschino cherries, drained, but reserve the juice

Powdered Sugar Cherry icing: Mix together until smooth 2 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons reserved cherry juice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

Directions:

1. Line 30 mini muffin cups with miniature paper baking cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat on low until combined and on medium for one additional minute.

4. Spoon just enough batter into the paper cup to cover the bottom. Add 1/2 teaspoon cherry preserves and then top with enough batter to cover the preserves. Cups should be 3/4 full.

5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing cakes. Cool completely on wire rack.

6. Drizzle tops with icing and top with maraschino cherry while icing is still soft.

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