Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Truffles

chocolate_pumpkin_truffle_1

One of the most popular posts on Erin’s Food Files is the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles.  I originally posted these way WAY back in 2008.  The mere fact that I was blogging in 2008 is a bit mind boggling to me.  My life was incredibly different at that time.  I actually started my blog in August of that year because I was bored, and had free time on my hands.  I loved cooking and baking, and the blog was a great outlet for that, and a way to use up all my free time.  Now free time is a lovely memory.  In a perfect world I would work fewer hours, and I would have someone come and clean my house once a week.  But in reality, I get home at 6:15pm at the earliest every day, Elliott’s bedtime is 7:30, and by the time I finish with that I usually have about an hour or so to wash dishes and prep dinner for the next night.  My weekends are spent chasing after my on-the-go-all-the-time toddler, making up for lost time with him & my husband during the week, and also trying to get household chores done.  Finding time to bake is rare!

Considering autumn is my absolute favorite season, no matter how hectic my life is these days, I make room in my busy schedule to at least do a little baking!  I love seeing the renewed interest in the original Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles each year as autumn rolls in.  The original recipe uses white chocolate chips in the pumpkin mixture, and white chocolate almond bark for the coating.  These truffles are a riff on those, because I’ve gotten a handful of people asking about substitutions and such.  I knew replacing the coating would be a simple sub, but I didn’t want to sub regular chocolate chips for the white chocolate ones in the filling because you’d lose the pretty pumpkin color!  Then I realized I could substitute butterscotch chips for the white chocolate chips in the filling (and thinking of these cookies is what triggered that!).  The white chocolate in the filling of the original truffles is hardly noticeable, and a similar effect happens here.  You really can’t tell there is butterscotch in the filling.  Hence the reason this post is not titled “Butterscotch Pumpkin Truffles”.  They merely add a depth of flavor and thickness to the truffles.

chocolate_pumpkin_truffle_2

When I made these, I broke it up into steps; I made the filling one night when I was exhausted before bed.  I rolled them into balls in the morning, then stuck them in the freezer. I did the chocolate dipping in the afternoon.  As I was waiting for them to cool I was DYING to try one!  I could not wait to sink my teeth into them to see if they lived up to my expectations, to see how they compared to the original, and (most importantly) to see if I got it right on the first attempt.  Well, the wait lived up to the hype.  These were OH SO GOOD!  I might even say I like them better than the original.  But, I can’t be certain as I did not do a side by side comparison.  ;)

Click more for the recipe!

Read more

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Golden Graham S’mores

IMG_3387t

I am beyond excited to know so many fabulous food bloggers who have written cookbooks.  The newest one to land my way is Cereal Sweets & Treats by my dear friend, The Novice Chef.  This is her second cookbook, as her first was Mini-Donuts, which you may remember from my Mexican Hot Chocolate Donut post.  In her newest book, she really takes breakfast out of the box, if you can excuse my pun!

Jessica is the genius behind Fruity Pebble Macarons, Lucky Charms Cupcakes, Corn Pops Ice Cream, Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Truffles, and more!  This girl loves cereal.  Know who else loves cereal?  Kids!  Every summer my nephew comes up from Florida to spend the summer with his Grandad.  We like for him to come stay the night with us a few times during the course of his visit.  He’s almost 11, and ever since he was 6 years old we have always baked something together.  The time came for him to fly home, and he spent the night with us before he left.  I showed him the cookbook and he was SUPER impressed that I knew the author of such a cool book.  I let him browse through and pick out a recipe.  He first wanted to make the Pumpkin Cheerios Bars, but those need to stay refrigerated until serving, therefore weren’t the best treats to take with him on the airplane!  The Golden Graham S’mores were his second choice, and a mighty-fine choice that was!  These were super simple to make, and tasted delicious!  I received word from my father in law that my nephew ate about 4 of them as he was waiting to get on the plane.  Oh the lucky traveler who was seated next to my sugar-high 10 year old nephew on that flight!

I love that these are sort of a reconstructed, less messy version of s’mores.  It has all the flavor without the hassle of a campfire!  I highly suggest you pick up a copy of this book if you have kids who enjoy time in the kitchen.  There are a lot of simple, fun recipes.  Every single recipe has a mouthwatering accompanying photo, so this is a visual feast as well!  I hope Elliott grows up enjoying spending time in the kitchen with me like my nephew does.  If so, I think I’ll have the best sous chefs around!

(recipe after the break)

Read more

Monday, August 19, 2013

Nashville Coffee Shops

photo-32

When people come to visit or ask for Nashville recommendations for restaurants, I always include nearly as many recommendations for coffee shops as I do restaurants.  We’re blessed with a plethora of options, and I want everyone to experience how great they are too!  As part of my collaboration with the Music City Eats Festival I am sharing some of my favorites in a two part series with them.  I love to talk about all Nashville has to offer, but I tend to reserve this space for recipe posts.  Please pop over and see some of my picks!

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 9.42.41 PM

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Snickerdoodle Scones

IMG_3092_t

The other day I was browsing recipes and landed on this Snickerdoodle Scone recipe.  I decided to make it because I had every ingredient on hand.  Don’t you love it when things come together like that?  I even decided to get a jumpstart on it by prepping the dry ingredients the night before.  Well… that started me on a 10 minute search for cream of tarter.  I just KNEW I had some on hand.  I had to.  It’s a STAPLE.  In the end I gave up and decided I would look again in the morning and surely find it.  Morning comes, and I begin to tear the cabinets apart looking for the cream of tarter.  Even with Elliott’s “help” I still couldn’t find it.  Luckily we live really close to the grocery, and Nathan kindly offered to make a trip to the store, and took this ample opportunity to pick up a few extra items, like bacon.  (Sadly we are out of my dad’s homemade bacon right now.)

Chances are, you might have all the ingredients on hand to make these scones, even if I didn’t.  These are a delicious twist to the fruit variety of scones I often gravitate towards.  I really like snickerdoodle cookies so I knew I would like these scones.  These scones are really light, and the inside is almost muffin or coffee cake like.  Often I will skip the icing/drizzle on scones, but I’m glad I didn’t on these.  They add a bit of moisture to balance the dryness of the cinnamon sugar topping.  Elliott really enjoyed his portion of a scone, so much that he even signed for more!  I have been working on baby sign language with him for months now, and within the past couple weeks it’s like he all the sudden started signing back!  I couldn’t be prouder.  :)

IMG_3091

Read more

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

IMG_3066

Recently my family celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday!  We are very blessed to have such a wonderful lady in our lives.  When my family was planning the event, everyone offered different ways to help out.  I’m not gonna lie, part of the reason I offered to do the punch was because I wanted to be SURE there would be no sherbet in sight!  No offense to people who like punch made with sherbet, but I just wanted something different for my grandma’s big party.  I searched high & low for a recipe that would be delicious, easy to prepare, and easy to multiply.  It didn’t take long to land on a recipe from Martha Stewart.

Y’all, this recipe was so.freaking.good.  It was a definite hit!  I had a couple people ask for the recipe while at the party, and then later my mom called me because there were more inquiries!  Not only did it taste great, it truly was very simple and stress-free to make, using just 3 ingredients.  (4 if you count the ice.)   I’ve made this with frozen raspberries (that’s how I made it for the party), and with fresh raspberries as you can see in the photo below.  I have to admit, I prefer it with frozen.  The frozen raspberries have more juice that permeates into the punch, giving it more flavor as well as color.  Either way, this is a really refreshing & delightful drink option for a party.  I think it would be perfect for a baby shower, wedding shower, or any gathering.

IMG_2702-2Here’s an example of what it looks like with fresh raspberries.  As you can see it’s barely pink.

Read more