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Life-inspired recipes sure to get the point across

By on February 26, 2015

Some recipes are so good that you want to keep them a secret. Maybe you or someone you know makes the absolute best desserts. There’s never any extra, and they’re lick-the-bowl delicious. They can work miracles, too. I bake standard favorites such as banana bread or oatmeal cookies for ordinary days. But I have a few desserts that are reserved for special occasions. I’m often asked what to bake for those moments in life when emotions are tough to express. Here are a few life-inspired recipes to add to the top-secret category in your recipe box. Fair warning: They’ll work their magic.

“Please Forgive Me” Brownies

2 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 sticks butter
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 egg whites, beaten until stiff peaks form
chopped pecans, optional

Frosting:
1 stick butter
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 box confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 F. Put sugar in mixing bowl. Melt chocolate and butter together over low heat; stir until well blended and smooth. Add to sugar and mix well. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add flour and vanilla, and mix well. Stir in chopped pecans. Fold in egg whites.
Spread in a 10-by-15-by-1-inch greased and floured jellyroll pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When cool, spread on frosting.

Frosting:
Melt butter and chocolate over low heat; stir until smooth, then add confectioners’ sugar. Heat milk until hot; add to chocolate mixture. Add vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over brownies and sprinkle with chopped pecans, if desired. — Tisha D., Canada

“Don’t Forget the Trash” Pound Cake

1 16-ounce rectangular pound cake
1 8-ounce container whipped topping
1 8-ounce can sliced pineapple, drained
1 8-ounce can sliced peaches, drained
1/2 cup mixed nuts, chopped
fresh strawberries, sliced, to garnish

Cut pound cake into thirds lengthwise. Line a bread pan with plastic wrap. On the bottom of the pan, place one slice of pound cake. Spread 1/4 of the whipped topping. Next, layer the pineapple. Add second layer of pound cake. Spread 1/4 whipped topping. Layer peaches. Place top slice of pound cake. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove pound cake from pan. Flip pound cake so the top is facing down. Spread the remaining 1/2 container whipped topping on the top and sides of pound cake. Press nuts onto pound cake. Garnish with fresh, sliced strawberries. Slice and serve.

“Let’s Go to Garage Sales” Muffins

1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Combine dry ingredients. Combine moist ingredients and add just until combined. Fold in berries. Divide evenly among 12 muffin cups. Combine streusel ingredients and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes. — Michelle, Massachusetts

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