September 20, 2006

Think Outside the Box

And try to guess what’s inside! It’s Sugar High Friday #23, hosted by Veggie Venture and the theme is “surprise inside”. The rules are pretty simple; make anything you want so long as it’s full of sugar and has a surprise on the inside. This was definitely a challenge that I was up for. Like the Kids Party challenge, I came up with lots and lots of potential ideas, but it took me a long time to settle on which one to make. I considered making a muffin or cupcake and filling the centre with some of my fresh homemade jam, but it didn’t seem special enough. I’ll make jam filled muffins pretty soon anyways, (I’m thinking making chocolate with white cherry inside) it’s a good idea, just not today. I thought about making cookies with caramel, nutella or fruit in the middle, (or all three together) but they weren’t exciting enough. With iced cakes the possibilities were endless. Virtually anything could be put in the middle and it would be a surprise until the cake was sliced open. Maybe a red velvet cake? Or a mint centered bundt cake surrounded by chocolate? Too many choices, forget cake. I contemplated making something that looks like one thing but tastes like another, like a pale green macaroon or meringue that appears to be mint but is actually pistachio. But the pain of ruining two whole trays of chocolate macaroons is still too fresh, another day. Each of these sugar filled items had potential, but none of them were quite what I felt like making.

I think I was still thinking about kids’ parties when I made my final decision about what my contribution to Sugar High Friday would be. I had kids parties on the brain and what are kids’ parties full of (besides sugar)? Presents! They’re the epitome of SHF23’s theme, always a surprise on the inside. Decision made; I would make little presents. I think I was overambitious. I let my imagination get ahead of my ability. The end result was cute… in a homemade, unprofessional sort of way. But that’s ok, my presents are full of sugar and fulfill the SHF23 requirements. I guess at this point you’re wondering what is inside the box? The answer is fudge! Rich, decadent chocolate fudge. And the boxes are made of sugar cookies. I left some of the boxes open to prove that there really was a fudgy surprise inside. Or maybe I left some of them open because I didn’t measure any of the sides and so none of the boxes actually fit together properly, you decide.

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I had a whole lot of fun making these. I got to roll out dough, use my cookies cutters, eat a lot of fudge. It was a good time all around. I highly recommend making this fudge, it’s really easy and quick and very, very tasty. Cookie boxes are optional and only recommended when you have nothing else to do and a fair amount of patience, the recipe can be found here. The only change I made was using kirsch instead of vanilla, and seriously reducing the baking time because I was using such small cutouts.

Chocolate Fudge

1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
A handful of dark chocolate chips
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon kirsch (you could alternatively use vanilla extract)

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, cocoa powder, chocolate, brown sugar and milk. Microwave until mixture boils. Stir in confectioners' sugar and kirsch. Pour into a pan lined with wax paper. Chill. Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

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Anonymous said...


You get the award for creativity! Those little pastry boxes are just too adorable!

Alanna Kellogg said...

"I had a whole lot of fun making these". NO wonder, they're just wonderful little treasure boxes!! Thanks for entering "Surprise Inside" ... look for the round-up over the weekend!

wheresmymind said...

Looks GREAT! Where's the frosting?? (my fav. part)

Anonymous said...

Hi Brilynn! What a fantastic idea - I just love them! Very creative, and tempting to boot!

Anonymous said...

wow... that is so awesome.. Impressive! I am sure they even taste better than they look which makes it even more impressive!

I would vote for you to win without even seeing the other entries (is there a winner?? or just a random winner??)...

Alanna Kellogg said...

Hi Jerry, I'm going to answer the 'winner' question. Nearly all food blogging events are entirely for the fun of it, the excitement of the creativity and of sharing what we've made with everyone else. So ... like in grade school, everyone's a winner!

Anonymous said...


Abby said...

Those are adorable! I'm so impressed. The kids party threw me off this month. I kept thinking about everything I chose - a kid wouldn't eat this!

But yours would be a hit.

Anonymous said...

How adorbale are those!

Alpineberry Mary said...

Totally cute! I love the idea of a sweet inside a sweet box.

Josie said...

Holy cow! You are one of those amazing people who takes the time and has the imagination to build litte treasures out of food...these look absolutely precious. Well done you!

Ana said...

Ohhh, these are so cute, I love the idea!!! They look pretty too!
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment, I am enjoying your blog too!