Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pies, Phyllo Mini Tarts 3- ways, and Gale Gand's Butterballs

My husband knows how much I like to bake. In the past he has asked me to make dessert for his work functions. This happens every couple of months and usually everyone requests Cheesecake Pops and I make them. This time his boss called him and asked him to ask me to make some desserts for a small lunch and then the next week for a larger event. I am getting paid! Anyway, I told him I didn't want to make Cheesecake Pops again (I like trying out new recipes) and he didn't have any suggestions, so that left me to decide what I would try.

I remember seeing these Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pies in Southern Living (I still get my subscription even though we moved to Utah) and at the time thought they looked a little too fancy for everyday, so I thought this was the perfect time to try them. I just made them in a normal muffin tin, with normal size aluminum liners and made two small pies in ramekins, so we could try some too. I made them the night before and kept them in the fridge overnight. They required about 5-10 more minutes to set then the recipe suggests and the centers fell a little. Everyone loved them though. I thought they tasted more like cheesecake than pie, which isn't really a bad thing. I got the last bag of key limes at my grocery store and garnished them with raspberries and sweetened whipped cream.

The ButterBalls, (isn't that a great name) are the cookie featured on the cover of Gale Gand's Chocolate and Vanilla Cookbook (well, the vanilla side cover) and I thought they looked cute, so I made them. I made the dough and the vanilla sugar the day before and these were the favorite item with the tasters here. I couldn't keep the hands away. They were grabbing them right out of the oven, with the chocolate and then with the sugar. I finally had to hide them!

The mini phyllo shells are just so versatile and I tried a couple of different fillings. Everything was a hit. Next week for my hubby's workplace, I am going to make Bakerella's Cupcake Pops and Red Velvet Cake Balls, more Butterballs, and a few other things, so make sure you come and check them out!

Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pies from Southern Living Magazine
Prep: 30 min., Bake: 20 min., Cool: 30 min., Chill: 4 hr.
12 jumbo-size aluminum foil baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (9-oz.) package chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons key lime zest
1/3 cup fresh key lime juice
3 large eggs
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, fresh cherries and blackberries, fresh mint leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place 12 jumbo-size aluminum foil baking cups in lightly greased muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray.
2. Pulse chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely crushed. Stir together cookie crumbs and butter; firmly press on bottom and two-thirds up sides of each baking cup (about 3 Tbsp. crumbs per cup).
3. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add lime zest and lime juice, beating at low speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Spoon mixture into prepared cups, filling completely full.
4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until set. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cool 15 minutes or until completely cool. Cover and chill 4 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Mary's Butterballs from Gale Gand's Chocolate and Vanilla
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam or ganache*
2 cups vanilla sugar **, for rolling

In a mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it's light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the granulated sugar and when the mixture is well blended add the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours to make it easier to handle. This also helps prevent the balls from flattening out too much when they're baked.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Taking off pieces of dough with your hands, roll small (3/4-inch) balls of dough (about the size of a hazelnut in the shell). Chill them for 30 minutes in the freezerm then place them 2 inches apart on cookie sheets to allow for some spreading. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until the cookies are firm but not browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans.
Spread the flat surface of half of the cooled cookies with the jam of ganache and top with a second cookie to form a little sandwiched ball. The filling will not show very much. Once you've sandwiched them all together, bury them in the vanilla sugar to coat the entire outside.
*Ganache (Gale Gand)
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream

In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. When melted, pour in the cream and whisk until combined. Remove from heat.

**Vanilla Sugar from Alton Brown
1 vanilla bean, whole or scraped
2 cups granulated sugar

If vanilla bean is whole, slice down side of bean with back of knife and scrape seeds into airtight container with the sugar. Cut bean into 3 pieces and bury down in sugar and seal tightly with lid. Let sit for 1 to 2 weeks. Use as regular, granulated sugar.

PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE KISS from Athens Fillo recipes
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup marshmallow creme
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 Athens® Mini Fillo Shells (1 box)
15 Hershey's® Kisses

In a small bowl, place peanut butter, marshmallow and vanilla. Blend well. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon of filling into each Fillo Shell. Top with Hershey's® Kiss. Serve immediately.

Lemon Cream Phyllo Tarts by Mary Ann
1/3 cup lemon curd
1/2 cup Cool Whip
Athens mini fillo shells

place lemon curd in a bowl. Stir until color changes and well mixed. Add in Cool Whip and stir until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate or if ready to serve, fill phyllo shells. Garnish with whipped cream, Cool Whip, blueberries or other fruit.

Pumpkin Phyllo Tarts by Mary Ann
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup Cool Whip
2-5 Tbls brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger and nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp allspice
Athens mini fillo shells

Combine pumpkin, Cool Whip, brown sugar and spices in a bowl. Stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Right before serving, fill shells and garnish with whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Coming Tomorrow- A Simple, Family Favorite-Cashew Chicken and Chow Mein Cookies


Gabrielle said...

Utter amazement. Now what things can you make for me???

I love to cook but you- you are a freak! The kind of freak I aspire to!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are a superwoman. Those all look fabulous! And at least you'll be getting paid. Awesome.

Melanie said...

I'm impressed by ALL the desserts, although the cupcakes have my attention peaked. Yum! They all look beautiful.

Amy said...

Yum!! It all looks SO good!!

Prudy said...

I'm so glad you're getting paid. Heck, I'd pay you to come over and bake all this for me. Yum! You are amazing. Why don't you open up a bakery? And why not in southern UT? Wouldn't your husband love to be a PT down here? My husband's work is hiring-SERIOUSLY!!!! I promise to be a very good neighbor/taste tester!

Mary Ann said...

Gabrielle- hey you! I will make you anything you want, just let me know!

Candy- Thanks! I didn't get to try all of them, but the ones I tried tasted great!

Melanie- the cupcakes will definitely be made again, they were delicious!

Amy- Thank you!

Prudy- First of all let me say that if we were neighbors it would make life alot easier for me, because then I could just try everything you make, when you make it! And it would be warmer, hmmm

Alexa said...

Yeah, it sounds like you're starting a pastry/catering business... Everything looks so professional and delicious. I wish I could taste it all. Beautiful job Mary Ann!