There are many bonuses to this food adventure I'm on, best of which is meeting new people and making awesome friends. When I started this blog back in January, I wasn't at all confident that anyone beyond my circle of friends would be interested in reading what I had to say, apparently I was wrong. Alexandrea, a friend the fabulous Amy, my life altering high school sister-friend, is not only a follower and cheerleader of Hot dogs and wine but now a personal friend of mine.
Alexandrea and I met on-line on my Hot dogs and wine FB page. I loved her comments and her insight and we got to talking. Smart and witty, her words have encouraged me. Last week she posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough balls. I commented: "Oh you know I'm so gonna try this''. And the conversation went like this:
- ALEXANDREA: photos or it didn't happen!
- EVA: Photos and taste test...I make these and you judge...deal?
- ALEXANDREA: Counter-offer: You take photos after we BOTH make these, and then we can taste-test and compare results. wink emoticon Deal?
- EVA: Next Sunday ...it's on!!
So Ze Beeg Bake-off event was created and we both set out to bake for today's encounter. I read and studied the recipe she had posted and I mulled it over and over again. I wanted to make it more adult, more interesting...booze. Instead of the 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of applesauce, I decided to substitute with 1/4 cup of chocolate flavored Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 cup of Amarula. Heaven!
- 2/3 of a cup of room temperature butter
- 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 of a cup of Eagle brand chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup of Amarula
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 & 3/4 cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of Chipits mini chocolate chip cookies
- 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 cup of cooking cream
Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, Amarula and vanilla until well incorporated (a few minutes). Then add the sifted flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in the mini chocolate chips, scoop teaspoonfuls of the mix into balls on a parchment paper lined baking tray and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes to set.
In the meantime melt the chocolate in a pot on low heat or in a bowl over a pot of boiling water or in the microwave; whichever works for you. I have issues with chocolate and complete respect for chocolatiers.
Once the balls are nice and frozen roll them in the melted chocolate and return to the baking sheet. Then back into the freezer for another 30 minutes to set again.
The boozy balls were awesome! I also made my chocolaty chocolate chip cookies as well as the most delicious carrot pineapple muffins (will post recipe tomorrow). Alexandrea didn't make the balls but she made these phenomenal chocolate peanut butter squares for which I am eagerly awaiting the recipe in order to try and replicate. She also made blondies and brownies and banana bread cake. It was feast in the park!
I made a great friend, met some very nice people and spent a lovely afternoon in the park enjoying treats and good company. Thank you Alexandrea!