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Frozen Broccoli on a Stick

August 5, 2012

Peppermint hot fudge sauce

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Desserts,Holiday — admin @ 8:10 pm

From The Naptime Chef.

This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law who got it from her friend, Rhoda Janis, almost 30 years ago. As you all know, I love a good hand-me-down recipe, and this one has really stood the test of time. I think this hot fudge sauce is better than any other I have ever tasted because it is the perfect ratio of chocolate, butter, cream and sugars. Then, to really push the flavor over the top, I add pure peppermint extract to give it a minty candy cane-esque flavor.

If you have friends who don’t like peppermint, like my friend Meghan for example, simply use vanilla extract in lieu of peppermint. This works very well and makes the sauce even more versatile. When I make it like this I am able to drizzle it over poached fruit, berry pavlovas and even slices of bundt cake. The uses are endless, although, I’ll admit, sometimes I just eat it straight out of the jar and don’t even bother with basic vanilla ice cream.

Since this sauce requires stirring over a hot stove I make this exclusively during my daughter’s afternoon naptime. I don’t want to risk any kitchen accidents, so it is safer for her to be asleep in her crib then trying to cook with me. When I make these for holiday gifts I double the recipe to make a large quantity. This way it usually only takes me two afternoon naptimes (2 hours each) to get everything made and put in jars to giveaway. As far as I can tell, there is a hardly a simpler and more efficient way to prepare my Christmas gifts!

Rhoda’s Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce
a recipe from Rhoda Janis
ingredients
2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
¼ t. Kosher salt
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 t. pure peppermint extract OR pure vanilla extract

Yields 4 cups

Instructions

1. In a doubler boiler, or a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stir together cocoa, sugars and salt. Immediately add the cream and butter.

2. Cook this mixture over the simmering water, stirring constantly to make sure it stays smooth. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
3. Allow the sauce to cool for 5 minutes. Then stir in the peppermint or vanilla extract.

4. This will store well in the refrigerator for up to one month. If giving as gifts pour the sauce into sterilized, airtight mason jars.

Everyone should have a great hot fudge sauce recipe in their repertoire and this one won’t disappoint. I love that it can be made peppermint or plain and still taste delicious. I’ll bet it might be delicious with orange zest, too, if you wanted to give that a try.

As you can see, making this takes about 15 minutes from start to finish (obviously there was a little time lapse above). There is hardly an easier and faster way to make delicious holiday gifts for your friends and family.

My notes: I gave this out at Christmas last year to rave, RAVE reviews. Everybody loved it and has asked for more this year. Oh, and at least last year Whole Foods sold Organic Valley Heavy Cream in 1/2 gallon containers, which was a good way to save money.

Tomato Basil Butter

Filed under: Adventures in the Kitchen,Appetizers,Summer Fare — admin @ 8:05 pm

From Just The Right Size.

This amazing compound butter is fantastic on fish, grilled vegetables, garlic bread, and heck even as a base for non-sauced pizzas. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg….stir it in to mashed potatoes, soups, sauces, rice, put a dollop on a searing, grilled steak, smear it on grilled corn, mix it with spinach and use it as a filling for chicken breasts or thighs, OH MY!

Heck, I’ve even just spread it on warm bread and dug in…mmmmmmmmmmm.

This freezes amazingly well, so you can dip into this lovliness until next summer!

TOMATO BASIL BUTTER

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/ 2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/ 2 cup sweet butter softened
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/ 2 tsp. salt
1/ 8 tsp. pepper
1/ 4 cup minced fresh basil

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the tomatoes and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes form a puree that will mound. Let cool.

Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat in the tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated but best served at room temperature so that it will melt quickly. Freezes well, make a “log”, wrap in waxed paper, then Ziploc bags.

My notes: This is spectacular. Perfect for potlucks — a loaf of bread and a jar of this butter and people will love you.