Mother's Day Treats

This  Sunday is Mother's Day and what better way to say "Mom, I love you" than baking up a batch of treats?  Every woman loves her sweets :).

I will be featuring 3 easy to make treats for today -- Pecan Bars, Coconut Macarons and Brownies.  You may choose to be fierce and make all 3 or simply pick your favorite one for your mommy dearest.

Ingredients for Coconut Macaroons:

  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Ingredients for Chewy Pecan Bars:

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil. Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in processor. Add butter and process until mixture begins to clump together. Press dough evenly onto bottom of foil-lined pan. Bake crust until set and light golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand while preparing topping. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.



Ingredients for Espresso Brownies:
  • 8oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 12 oz butter
  • 12 oz eggs
  • 24 oz sugar
  • 0.12 oz salt
  • 1/2 oz vanilla
  • 1/2 oz instant espresso powder/coffee
  • 16 oz all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Grease and flour two 9"x13" sheetpans or 3 9" square pans.  Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature.  Mix the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla together until well blended, but do not whip.  Whipping to a foam reates more leaveningm resulting in a more crumbly, less fudgy brownie.
Gently fold in with the chocolate mixture.  Sift in the flour and gradually fold in the wet batter and mix thoroughly.  Pour equal amounts into your baking pans and bake for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center.
Ingredients for Ganache Filling:
  • 12 oz of dark chocolate discs or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder/coffee

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in espresso powder.  Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward.

To assemble brownies, pour the ganache filling evenly onto one sheet pan.  Very carefully take the second sheet pan and place on top of the first, sandwiching both brownies together.
***Helpful til: By freezing/refrigerating the brownie beforehand will make assembly easier.
To make brownie bites, simply cut your brownies with a 2-4" round cookie cutter.  Dip the tops of the brownies in ganache (see recipe above) and set aside on wax paper.  To finish, drizzle the tops with more ganache and garnish with whipped cream and edible flowers.  You can use different toppings like sprinkles, fruit etc -- be creative!
This recipe makes about 16-20 brownie bites.
I hope everyone enjoys their Mother's Day this weekend.  I am very fortunate to have a wonderful mother who is not only caring and loving but funny as all hell.  I find that the older I become, the more I appreciate my mother -- the things that she does, the things that she's done and I'm sure the many things she will do as I grow up.  It's hard enough to be a good parent, but a good mother?  Those women deserve more than just a day out of the year.  But in the spirit of Mother's day don't forget to tell her all the ways you love her, appreciate her and how lucky you really are to have the best mother in the world.

Also today will be your last chance to enter my giveaway which will end at 7PM. (CT)

The lovely folks of Challenge Butter sent me a loooovely Zoo Animals Pancake Griddle from Nordic Ware($35 value), it is the most ADORABLE thing I’ve ever seen.

And you will win your choice of a 5"x7" framed and matted color photo from my Spring Flower collection listed below ($50 value).

I will select one winner on Friday, May 7th at 7:00 PM using a random number generator service.  In order to be eligible for this giveaway please:

1. Leave a comment about your favorite Zoo animal and why.

2. Become a fan of Joylicious on Facebook.

3. Follow me on Twitter.

Good Luck!

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