Touchdown Brownies

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Regardless of whether you’re a Patriots or Falcons fan, there’s a good chance you’ll be watching the big game. Although I love football and am a diehard Vikings fan, I usually feel pretty “meh” about the Super Bowl. To be honest, I get more excited about the food, commercials, and halftime show then the actual game. Since I consider dessert to be the best part of any meal, I know it’s important not to forget about sweet treats come game day!

With two posts in one week, the Sweet Precision Kitchen is back up and running in 2017! I had to share this recipe with you, because it’s SO easy and absolutely perfect for a Super Bowl party. So let’s have a quick chat about these brownies. When thinking about brownies you have one thing to consider. Are you the type of person that enjoys cake-like or fudge-like brownies? One reason I enjoy this recipe is because it meets somewhere in the middle between the two extremes. I also love it because it comes together in less than 45 minutes. You can even use boxed brownie mix to cut down on the time—there’s no shame in that!

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Touchdown Brownies Recipe
Adapted from Betty Crocker

Brownie Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Frosting Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 container white decorating icing

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center. Generously grease and flour an 8×8 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

To make frosting, melt butter in a glass bowl in the microwave. Combine 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar.

When brownies are cool, cut into football shapes with a football-shaped cookie cutter. Spread frosting on brownies. Pipe on decorating icing to look like football laces.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
It’s important that you don’t over-mix your batter. To help with this, make sure you beat your eggs before adding them to the mixture. This way they will combine easily with butter and sugar without requiring you to mix more than needed.

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Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons

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As much as I love spending time in the kitchen baking, there is one part of the process that I really detest. I hate going to the grocery store. I’ve hated grocery stores and grocery shopping all my life. My list of complaints could go on forever—from inadequate parking, to confusing store layouts and poor food selection—it seems as though the deck is always stacked against me when I walk through those sliding doors.

Given my grocery store-averse personality, I often plan my desserts around what ingredients I have at home. If a recipe requires only a few items that I don’t have, I’ll prioritize that recipe over one where I’d need to purchase more items. All this leads us to these delicious coconut macaroons. What inspired me to bake these cookies? I only needed two items from the grocery store—an obvious win in my book.

So let’s chat about these cookies a little bit. Coconut can be a pretty polarizing ingredient when it comes to desserts. If you aren’t a fan of coconut, steer clear of these little beauties. I brought these cookies into work this week for a baby shower. I usually do most of my baking on the weekend when I have more leisure time. When it comes to work-week baking projects, I’m always on the lookout for something that comes together rather quickly. These cookies take about 15 minutes of prep work and need about 15 minutes in the oven. It doesn’t get any easier!

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups melted semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut and salt. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla using your hands until well blended. Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about golf ball size.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted. Once cooled, dip cookies in melted chocolate and cool completely on waxed paper.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
I chilled my mixture for 15 minutes before baking. This helps things firm up a little bit and produces a rounder shaped macaroon that is perfect for dipping in chocolate!

Chewy Vanilla Cookies with Orange Glaze and Zest

Summer is officially here! I can say this with authority now that I have switched over to my summer wardrobe. Goodbye turtlenecks and wool sweaters… hello capris, tank tops, and sun dresses! There’s plenty to love about summer. I welcome the warm lingering nights, fresh fruits from the farmers market, and the occasional trip to Dairy Queen for a pineapple sundae. It seems as though people are so much happier when summer comes around. It’s the season completely devoted to leisure and good times with the people you love.

The Sweet Precision kitchen always slows down a little during the summer months. But these citrus infused cookies were a recipe I wanted to share with you right away. These cookies are a great addition to your baking repertoire when you’re in need of a quick and easy dessert. I’m in love with the glaze which uses fresh orange juice and zest. The cookies look so unique, people will think you slaved away in the kitchen to create these little delicacies. No one needs to know your secret… which is that all you need is a box of vanilla cake mix! I made this recipe for a summer picnic when I didn’t have time to pull something elaborate together and they were a hit!

Chewy Vanilla Cookies with Orange Glaze and Zest
Makes approximately 36 cookies

Cookie Ingredients
1 (18.25 oz) package vanilla cake mix
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Glaze Ingredients
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, or as needed

Directions
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs and oil until well blended. Place dough in refrigerator for approximately one hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy. Cool completely on a cookie rack.

Meanwhile, mix confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and orange juice in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle over cookies and garnish with leftover orange zest, if desired.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
Be sure to cool your baking sheets between baking batches of cookies. To cool your cookie pans in a hurry, run them under cold water and then wipe dry before using.

Classic Key Lime Pie

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Key Lime Pie has always been one of my favorite summer desserts. I think the rich and luxurious texture has the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. A fun fact about this pie is that traditional recipes always call for sweetened condensed milk. No fresh milk, no refrigeration, and no ice was available in the Keys until the arrival of tank trucks with the opening of the Overseas Highway in 1930. Because of this lack of milk, local cooks had to rely on canned sweetened condensed milk. Key lime may be the star ingredient of the key lime pie, but it is the sweetened condensed milk that makes it so smooth and delicious.

My parents made a trip to visit Ann Arbor last weekend and I made this pie for dessert. This was no coincidence because it also happens to be one of my dad’s favorite desserts as well! He gave it two thumbs up, which is high praise coming from a food lover like him.

So let’s talk about this pie a little bit. This Key Lime Pie recipe uses condensed milk and sour cream. It is a fabulously easy way to whip up a summertime favorite dessert in under an hour. You can even use bottled key lime juice to save some additional time. Don’t forget to garnish with whipped cream as this helps cut the tartness of the lime.

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Key Lime Pie Recipe
Makes approximately 8 servings

Ingredients
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Directions
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until set and tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Be careful not to brown your pie. Remove from oven and chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with lime slices and whipped cream if desired.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If you have time, a homemade graham cracker crust is even better for this pie. Check out this quick and easy three-ingredient recipe for a crust that will be done in 15 minutes.

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