Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box
Subscribe

Mardi Gras King Cake I (Blondie)

January 14, 2013 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Creative, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path, Party

PinterestFacebookTwitterEmailPrintBookmark/FavoritesGoogle+Share

Mardi Gras revellers, take note of this stunning Fat Tuesday dessert greatness: this is my sweet take on a “King Cake,” which is typically a braided cinnamon bread with icing and colorful sprinkles. My version is less of a cinnamon bread and more of a big, uh, cinnamon cookie ring.

20130114-204628.jpg

20130114-204609.jpg

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, falls on the day before lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

The season of lent–with its actions of penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial–eventually leads to Easter, when Christians commemorate the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ. Perhaps that goes a little way to explain why inside of a traditional King Cake is a small trinket, usually a baby Jesus. King Cakes are popular at Christmastime, as well, a time when maybe a baby Jesus trinket makes a bit more sense.

Hey look, you got the trinket! (Look, I just follow the traditions; I don’t make ‘em up.)

Traditionally, whoever gets the piece with the trinket gets the HONOR of being king (or queen) of your Mardi Gras party and also the RESPONSIBILITY of bringing the King Cake next year. You might want to have a paper crown on hand. Here’s my friend Katie, after she got the baby trinket from my cake:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 6 T margarine, melted
  • 1 box Snickerdoodle cookie mix (box includes 1 bag sugar cookie mix and 1/3 cup of cinnamon sugar)
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
  • Bundt cake pan–prepared with cooking spray and 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 T margarine
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • A few dribbles of milk
  • Sugar sprinkles in green, gold, and purple
  • Baby trinket to push inside the crust after baking

20130114-204722.jpg

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, scramble 2 eggs. Melt butter in microwave and add to eggs.

20130114-204743.jpg

Add sugar cookie mix. Do not add the cinnamon sugar at this point; save it for later.

20130114-204803.jpg

Mix in cream cheese.

20130114-205327.jpg

Prepare bundt pan first by spraying liberally with cooking spray.

20130114-205419.jpg

Add flour on top of the spray and shake, heavily coating all the surfaces that batter will touch. Shake out all excess flour. I kinda banged my pan against the counter to shake loose the extra flour so I could pour it out.

Now that your pan is prepared, pour about 20% of batter into it. Then evenly shake half of the cinnamon sugar onto the batter.

20130114-205459.jpg

Pour half of the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon sugar and spread it to cover the cinnamon.

20130114-205522.jpg

Evenly shake the remaining half of the cinnamon sugar on top of the batter.

20130114-205532.jpg

Pour the remaining batter on top and spread it to cover the cinnamon.

20130114-205545.jpg

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick, looking for a moist, but nearly clean pull from the center.

20130114-205625.jpg

Let cool for only 10 minutes, then push your little trinket deep into the warm, soft crust of your cake.

With your trinket safely inside the warm cake, let your cake finish cooling completely on a rack. Don’t let it cool completely in the pan; it will be harder to turn out of your pan.

20130114-205708.jpg

Once it’s cooled, it’s time to start your icing. Smoosh margarine against the sides of a small bowl.

20130114-205718.jpg

Add sugar. Mix in a few dribbles of milk until it’s just thin enough to pour in big globs.

20130114-205734.jpg

Spread this thick icing on top of your King Ring. Be generous with the icing; remember, you’ll be crowning royalty when you serve this!20130114-205806.jpg

Quickly, while icing is still wet, sprinkle with the colored sugar in a pattern that will please your Mardi Crew.

20130114-205837.jpg

20130114-205848.jpg

One final piece of advice: When you serve your frosted cinnamon King Cake at your Fat Tuesday party, remind your Mardi Gras guests to bite carefully until the  Baby Jesus trinket is found!

20130114-205916.jpg

Apple Walnut Blondie

November 09, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Fruit, Nutty

PinterestFacebookTwitterEmailPrintBookmark/FavoritesGoogle+Share

Utterly autumnal and ready for hungry leaf-rakers…it’s the Apple Walnut Blondie, a recipe for those who want to keep their kitchen full of happy fall-time snackers.20121109-133905.jpg

BATTER INGREDIENTS

  • 1 17-ounce package sugar cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand)

TOPPING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 21-ounce can apple pie filling (I used Comstock brand)
  • 1.5 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (I used Diamond walnuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of ground cloves, optional
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, optional
  • Vanilla glaze, optional (a little butter, confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla)

20121109-133918.jpg

DIRECTIONS

To the cookie mix, mix in the eggs, melted butter, and cream cheese (it makes mixing easier if you slice the cream cheese as you add it to the bowl).

20121109-133950.jpg

The batter will be thick. Spread it into a greased 9″ by 13″ pan.20121109-134001.jpg

Open the can of apple pie filling. Using a sharp knife, cut down and around in the can so any large pieces become more bite-sized.

20121109-134016.jpg

Spread apple pie filling evenly across the batter.

20121109-134028.jpg

Put your chopped walnuts into a medium bowl. Add the cinnamon. If you love ground cloves, add a sprinkle (about 1/8 teaspoon), but that’s optional.

20121109-134049.jpg

Add melted butter.

20121109-134059.jpg

Add lemon juice. You can add less than 2 tablespoons if you want your blondie to be sweeter. The lemon juice is an inspiration from my great-grandma Katherine’s recipe for Hungarian Christmas-time cookies.

20121109-134109.jpg

Pour this tart, nutty mix on top of the batter and apples. Using a knife, gently swirl these delicious layers. Don’t mix too much. I find that swirling side-to-side is good, but you’ll also want to do some up-and-down swirls to get some of the fruit and nuts down into the batter.

20121109-134121.jpg

To counter the slight pucker of the lemon juice, you may want to add some brown sugar by hand, just sprinkling it over the top evenly. It gives sort of an “apple crumble” look to your crust. If you like your sweets to be not too sweet, I suppose you could skip this step.

20121109-134130.jpg

Bake for about 35-45 minutes at 350 F, using a toothpick to check for doneness. The toothpick should be nearly dry and almost clean.

After I baked my blondie, I whipped up a little optional ultra-vanilla glaze to drizzle on top. (Mix 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine with 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a dribble of milk. Voila!) Drizzle to your heart’s content.

The Apple Walnut Blondie is pretty enough to use as a centerpiece at your big holiday party, so try this easy recipe now… before you have to give them all away to your drooling guests!

20121109-134140.jpg