Maple Walnut Scones

I saw this recipe for Maple Sugar Scones over on Good Life Eats and immediately printed it off.  Ever since I learned that scones weren’t that difficult (these Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Scones, for instance) to make and were, in fact, quite delicious, I’ve been looking for another opportunity to make them and this recipe was perfect for the start of fall baking.

I didn’t have the maple sugar that the recipe calls for so instead I used Pure Grade A Maple Syrup (do NOT use the maple syrup sold in the cereal aisle of your store…it’s not real maple syrup) and adjusted the amount of dry ingredients.   They turned out so delicious!  The dough itself was more biscuit like with a hint of maple and toasted walnuts, but the syrup and sugar on top gave it a nice bit of added sweetness.  Perfect warm out of the oven with a cup of coffee on a nice, chilly day.

Enjoy!

Maple Walnut Scones
 
Ingredients
  • 4 c. AP Flour
  • 1½ t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1 c. Chopped, Toasted Walnuts
  • ½ c. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, very cold and cubed
  • ⅔ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ⅔ c., plus 2 T. Pure Grade A Maple Syrup, plus a little extra for glazing
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Raw Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and walnuts. Using your hands or fork, work the very cold butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl (I used a large measuring cup) whisk together the heavy cream, maple syrup, egg and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to butter/flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. With your hands, form dough into a large disc, roughly 7" round. Place on a lightly floured surface and cut into 8 wedges (the wedges were a little large so I think I'll cut it into 10 next time). Place on cookie sheet and brush with maple syrup. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one scone comes out clean.
Notes
Serves 8-10

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My First Crafty Baking Adventure … Owl Cupcakes!

I finally did it.  I got over my fear and lack of patience for cutesy, crafty baked treats and made these adorable owl cupcakes!  Once I saw how utterly cute and simple they were, I figured there was no way I could possibly screw this up.  The craft is recommended for kids after all!   I am so pleased with how they came out and I think I might possibly be ready to embark on another crafty baking adventure…maybe…someday.

But for now, I’m just going to enjoy these!

Owl Cupcakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (18.25 oz.) Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 1 (16.6 oz.) Package Regular Oreos
  • 1 (5.5 oz.) Bag Reese's Pieces
  • Brown or White Paper Cupcake Liners
Instructions
  1. Bake cupcakes according to directions on the box. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, begin separating the Oreos. I warmed my Oreos on a plate in the microwave for 5-6 seconds and gently slid one cookie off (don't pull it off or it will bring some of the white with it). Test one cookie first to see how much time works for you...it probably won't be more than 5 seconds.
  3. Next, with a toothpick, dab a bit of frosting on a brown Reese's Pieces and place slightly off-centered on the white of the Oreo. These are the eyes.
  4. Now frost the cupcake with a knife and again, using a toothpick, make "ears" for the owl. Place two of the Oreo eyes on the cupcake and push an orange Reese's Pieces sideways into the frosting for the beak.
Notes
Serves 24

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Chocolate Mud Cake…In a Crockpot

There’s only one thing hotter than football this fall…crockpots.  Yes, CROCKPOTS.  They are blowing up all over the Internet like they were invented yesterday.  And there are many reasons to love crockpots…they require simple/few ingredients most of the time, they cook for you while you’re at work and it’s all done in one single piece of equipment.  Yay!  And there are soooo many recipes that you can make in a crockpot…from apple cider, to mexican casseroles, to appetizers and meatloaf, the possibilities are endless.  And I recently discovered another use for my crockpot–cake!

Who would have thought you could make a cake without turning your oven on??  Simply amazing.  Now this cake isn’t winning any beauty pageants any time soon, but in the taste department it takes home the gold!  I literally threw the ingredients together for this cake in 30 minutes over my lunch break, went back to work for a couple of hours and when I got home my whole house smelled like chocolate.  Yeah, I could come home to that smell every day.

It’s an interesting recipe because you make the cake batter and put it in the crockpot and then pour this water/sugar/cocoa mixture all over the cake.  I mean, it’s a LOT of liquid!  But amazingly enough while the cake cooks, the liquid turns to a  yummy fudge sauce underneath.  It’s hard to capture the full deliciousness of this cake in a picture just ’cause really, it’s not pretty, but alot of ugly recipes taste the best.  This is one of those.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Mud Cake
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake:
  • 2 c. AP Flour
  • 4 t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 6 T. Unsweetened Cocoa (I used 4 T. regular unsweetened cocoa and 2 T. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
  • ⅔ c. Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1½ sticks Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 t. Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1¼ c. Granulated Sugar
  • ⅔ c. Whole Milk
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Fudge Sauce:
  • 3 c. Hot Water
  • ⅔ c. Granulated Sugar
  • ⅔ c. Packed Brown Sugar
  • ⅔ c. Unsweetened Cocoa (I used half regular unsweetened and half Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
For the Cake:
  1. Coat the inside of a 2½ quart to 5 quart slow cooker or crockpot with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl melt the chocolate chips, butter and instant coffee granules in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each until melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar thoroughly and then the milk, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a spatula. Pour into the bottom of your slow cooker and spread evenly.
For the Fudge Sauce:
  1. Combine the hot water and both sugars and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the cocoa and vanilla. Pour over the cake batter.
  2. Cover the slow cooker with a tea towel and then put the lid on top of that (the towel will absorb any condensation that occurs). Cook for 2½ hours on high. You will know it's ready when nearly all of the cake is set and the edges begin to pull away from the sides. Let it set for 30-45 minutes and then serve in bowls with whipped cream or ice cream.
Notes
Serves 12-16

 

 

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Pink Ombre Swirl Cake

I am absolutely IN LOVE with this cake from Glorious Treats.  From the different shades of pink, to the perfect swirls covering the whole cake, I just can’t stop staring at this beautiful creation!

I must make this soon.  The prettiness is killing me.  In a good way.

For step-by-step instructions and more gorgeous pictures, head on over to her blog and get inspired!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Malted Butterscotch Filling

I know that I just posted a recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream earlier this week, but the truth is I am already WAY into fall baking mode.  After having several days of degrees well above 100 this summer, anything less than that seems cool and fall-ish in comparison even if it is still in the upper 80s!  So now that it’s September, I am opening up the flood gates on everything pumpkin, apple and maple and the recipes are gonna come pouring out!

Let’s start with this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.  I initially wanted a chewy cookie but these were some of the puffiest, softest cake-like cookies that I have ever made.  And that was ok by me.  And they weren’t too sweet which was perfect because the butterscotch filling more than made up for any lack of sweetness in the cookie.  I took these to a get-together and they got rave reviews all around and not one made it back home with me.  Always a good sign.

Let the fall baking begin!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Malted Butterscotch Filling
 
Ingredients
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1⅓ c., plus 1 T. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. AP Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1½ t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 2½ c. Oats
Malted Butterscotch Filling
  • 1 c. Butterscotch Chips
  • 2½ T. Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
  • ⅓ c., plus 2 T. Plain (not chocolate-flavored) Malted Milk Powder
  • 1½ ounces Cream Cheese, softened and cut into chunks
  • 3 T. Milk
  • 1½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
For the Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and oats together. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. Roll dough into 1½-2" balls and place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes (9 minutes was perfect for me), rotating pans half-way through. Let them sit on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, microwave the butterscotch chips and butter at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth. Cool to warm. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and malted milk powder until well blended and completely smooth. Beat in half the butterscotch mixture just until incorporated. Beat in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well blended. Beat in the remaining butterscotch mixture and the vanilla until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until somewhat thickened but not stiff. (The recipe then calls for you to beat the filling on high speed until light in color and very fluffy, about three minutes. I accidentally missed that step. Oops. So it's up to you, but I'd recommend NOT skipping that step.)
  2. Spread about 1½ tablespoons of the filling on the underside of half of the cookies and then top with the remaining cookies. These can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Notes
Serves 25

*Malted Butterscotch Filling Adapted from The All-American Cookie Book

 

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Sweet Treat Aprons

I’m loving aprons right now and I think I might buy each and every one of these if I could afford to!  If you have anyone in your life that loves to bake, think about getting them one of these for Christmas or their birthday.  Such a perfect gift for a baker!  Check out the other aprons on these sites too–so pretty!

Original Frosted Cupcake-Flirty Aprons

Sweet Treat-Cupcake Provocateur

The Sophia Vintage Inspired Birthday Cake Half Apron-Boojiboo

Mother & Daughter Cherry Cupcake Aprons-Jessie Steele

Pink Sweet Treats Cupcakes-Aprons by Vittoria

 

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

I am pretty much LOVING all things key lime right now so I thought I’d “squeeze” (Get it?! Squeeze? Limes?? Umm, never mind.) in one more summertime recipe before the temps start falling and pumpkins and apples become the baking ingredients of choice.

A couple of months ago I saw a recipe from My Baking Addiction for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream and I knew there was no way I could let the summer pass by without making it.  And I am so glad I didn’t!  This ice cream is awesome and so simple…you basically whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl, put the mixture in your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing and then transfer to your freezer to harden up.  That’s it!

I only changed a couple of things about this recipe.  For starters, I wanted a REAL graham cracker crust in my ice cream and let me tell you it is worth the little bit of extra effort to make it.  I also thought the mixture was a little too sweet so I doubled the key lime juice to balance out the sweet and tart–perfect!  If I do say so myself.

Enjoy this recipe!  And enjoy what’s left of summer!

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 8 T. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • Dash Salt
  • 1½ c. Whole Milk
  • 1 c. Fresh or Bottled Key Lime Juice (such as Nellie and Joe's)
  • ½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Dash Salt
  • 1 (14 oz.) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Instructions
  1. For Graham Cracker Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and salt. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. For Ice Cream: In a large bowl, whisk together whole milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, crumble your crust into small pieces and place in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. When ice cream is done, layer ice cream and graham crackers into a freezer-safe container. I had about four layers of each. Cover and freeze for one hour or until firm.

 

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Bed & Breakfast Weekend

Jeremy and I just got back from a short but sweet weekend in a little town called Ironton, Mo.  He surprised me with a belated anniversary trip to a bed and breakfast called The Parlor.  When I went online to do a little research on the activities in and around the town, I found out that the B&B used to be a funeral home and was supposedly haunted! We didn’t see any ghosts or notice anything out of the ordinary while we were there but we did have an absolutely wonderful time and enjoyed our stay IMMENSELY.  The husband and wife that own The Parlor were the nicest people and so accommodating.

There wasn’t much on our agenda (which was nice) other than going to a couple of state parks, eating some good food and relaxing.  Oh and of course enjoying some yummy desserts!  Jeremy also surprised me with a horse-drawn carriage ride Saturday night when we got back to the bed and breakfast.  It was so romantic and a great way to end the weekend.  Here are some fun pictures from our trip!

Outside of our lovely B&B, The Parlor
Flowers that were waiting for me in our room.
At Elephant Rocks state park.
Chocolate covered bacon a vendor was selling at Elephant Rock (for $3 each!!). Random...but good.
Getting cooled off at Johnson's Shut-Ins.
Dinner in Farmington, Mo.
The view from our corner booth at 12 West Bar & Grill. We were a little early (and hungry) which is why it was fairly empty.
An up-close look at those gorgeous chandeliers.
Dessert #1 at 12 West Bar & Grill: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake with Chocolate, Caramel, Sliced Bananas and Whipped Cream. Insane.
Dessert #2 at 12 West Bar & Grill: Triple Chocolate Cake with layers of Devil's Food Cake, Chocolate Mousse and Ganache. Even more insane.
Other than McDonald's, this was the only cafe/restaurant type place in Ironton. Every town has to have a bakery. 🙂
Outside the cafe.

 

A cinnamon roll at Aunt Mary's. It was yummy...warm, cinnamony and soft.
Cream Horn at Aunt Mary's. I had never had one and I LOVED it. Light, flaky pastry filled with the fluffiest buttercream. Really delicious.
Old Village Mercantile in Caledonia, Mo. This was one of a few antique shops we stopped at on the way home. Bonus: They had a coffee/smoothie bar, bakery and candy shop on the first floor.
The first floor of Old Village Mercantile. Lots of candy. And check out the original, beautiful ceiling.
View from the upstairs of Old Village Mercantile. LOVE that ceiling.
Barrels of old-fashioned candy at Old Village Mercantile.
Chocolate candy. Mmmmm.
LOTS of candy!
We stopped at another antique shop in Steelville, Mo and this little ice cream stand was across the street. How convenient. 😉
My choice--Mint Chocolate Chips. It was good. But I liked Jeremy's choice better. Why does that always happen?!
Jeremy's choice--Strawberry Waffle Cone. It was sooooo good!

Hope you enjoyed the peak into our weekend!  Tomorrow I’ll have a yummy end-of-summer recipe to share with you…have a great Sunday evening!

 

 

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Anna Sova Food Paint

I’ll bet you  didn’t know you could paint your walls with food, did ya?  Well, I didn’t either until a friend recently told me she had read about it in a magazine. Sure enough there is a company called Anna Sova that is making specially formulated “food” paint.  The ingredients are the same ones found in milkshakes, powdered donuts and chocolate.

The paint is supposed to be free of the many dangerous chemicals that are found in a typical can of paint and is instead made up of more healthy food ingredients.  Not only that, it also makes your walls smell like a vanilla milkshake!  Which I think is divine, but Jeremy says it’s gross.  Whatever.  Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re like my husband) the aroma fades after several days.

The foodie paint comes with quiet the price tag however.  At nearly $70 per gallon, yours walls should not only smell like a vanilla milkshake FOREVER, you should be able to LICK your walls and TASTE a milkshake.  Now that would be awesome…but also gross.  Yeah, never mind.

So what do you think?  Cool?  Weird?  Delicious?  Hmmm?

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Peach Pile

Never heard of a Peach Pile?  That might be because I made it up.  Yep.  See, this weekend  for my mom’s birthday I made a very special, ooey gooey, deep dish peach pie that was topped with a buttery, sugary, cinnamony oat topping.  It smelled delicious, it looked delicious and I just knew it was going to taste delicious.  But there was only one problem–it DID NOT want to come out of its pan.  Nuh uh.  Wasn’t having it.  Absolutely refused to be eaten.  Unfortunately we had to get a little rough with the pie and ended up with what I could only think of in my mind as a big ‘ole pile of peaches and crust.  See below.

I think part of the problem was that in my haste I didn’t wait for the pie to cool down enough (as in all the way), in fact, it was still slightly hot.  So while we didn’t have the massively tall, delicously perfect slices of pie I had imagined in my mind, we still had an amazingly good pile of peaches, buttery crust and oatmeal topping that was everything I imagined it would taste like along with some cold, creamy vanilla ice cream.  Oh yes, and I did use a store-bought crust only because I think they are quite good and didn’t want to take the 4.5 HOURS to make the pie that a homemade crust would have required.

I will say that not one person cared about what the pie looked like once they started eating it.  We were licking our plates clean with this one.

Enjoy!

See original recipe here.

Peach Pile
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 9-inch Deep Dish Pie Crust (I used store bought)
Peach Filling
  • 8 Large Firm, Fresh, Ripe Peaches
  • ¼ c. AP Flour
  • ½ c. Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ⅓ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • ⅛ t. Salt
  • 2 T. Cold Butter, diced
Oatmeal Brown Sugar Topping
  • ½ c. Oats
  • ½ c. AP Flour
  • ½ c. Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ c. (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ½ t. Cinnamon
Instructions
For the peach filling:
  1. Peel peaches and then cut into ½-inch thick chunks and place in a large bowl. Whisk together flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt and then add to the peaches, stirring to coat. Immediately spoon into the pie crust and dot with the two tablespoons of diced butter. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 and make the oatmeal topping.
For the Oatmeal Brown Sugar Topping:
  1. Thoroughly stir together the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter until well combined. Remove the pie for the freezer and carefully press the oatmeal topping onto the pie.
Baking:
  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the pie on top of the cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake 40 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning and bake 25 more minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and cool two hours before serving or until completely cool.
Notes
Serves 8 *I found that for peeling the peaches, a potato peeler worked perfectly. Also, the recipe calls to bake the pie on the lower rack of the oven, but I accidentally baked mine on the middle rack and it turned out fine.

 

 

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Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

For the past year or two I’ve had a minor obsession with what I call “cheesecake cakes” and it all started when I made Jeremy this Red Velvet Cheesecake for his birthday.  He first had Red Velvet Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory and absolutely loved it.  I have to admit, it was awesome.  When his birthday came around I did my best to imitate their version and think I got pretty darn close.

After that, my brain couldn’t help but imagine all the possibilities of cheesecake cakes…I did a vanilla cheesecake and strawberry cake combo, a neapolitan with chocolate cake, vanilla cheesecake and strawberry cake…you get the picture.   While they are delicious to make, they can be somewhat labor intensive and difficult to transport.  So I finally had the bright idea to make it into a cheesecake CUPCAKE.  Brilliant, right?  So much simpler!  And that idea led to the glorious recipe offering I give you today…Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes.

I don’t think I need to say too much about these other than they are good ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  The chocolate cake is a recipe I borrowed from My Baking Addiction and the cheesecake is a recipe from a friend.  I was a little skeptical about the cake since it used a cake mix, but it was actually quite good.  It had a more spongy texture than I was used to but was still very moist and had a rich chocolate flavor.  And the Oreos…I mean, how can you NOT put Oreos in these?  They just send them over the top and transport you directly into chocolate/cheesecake/Oreo heaven.

Make these and share them with the people you love.  They will love you back.  Promise.

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes
Dessert
36
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 1 c. Sour Cream
  • 1 c. Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ c. Warm Water
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Cheesecake
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 (18 ounce) package Regular Oreos
Buttercream Dream Frosting
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 c. Shortening
  • ⅛ t. Salt
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 lbs. (7.5 cups) Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 4 T. Very Cold Heavy Whipping Cream (or milk)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular size muffin pan with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. For the Chocolate Cake: In an electric mixer, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, water and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  3. For the Vanilla Cheesecake: In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla, beating well. Beat in the egg and set aside.
  4. For the Buttercream Dream Frosting: In an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the salt and vanilla and combine well. Begin adding the sugar, one cup at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition. After all the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold heavy whipping cream one tablespoon at a time, combining well after each addition. Beat on medium-high speed for three minutes to reach desired consistency.
  5. To assemble: Use a scant tablespoon full of chocolate cake mix and smooth into the bottom of the muffin tin (I actually used my (very clean) finger to do this). Spoon in just enough cheesecake to cover the chocolate cake. Press an Oreo into the cheesecake and cover the Oreo with cheesecake mixture–just enough to cover the cookie. Top with another tablespoon of chocolate cake and gently spread until even in the tin. (Be careful to do no more than a tablespoon each time otherwise your muffin tin will be too full and the cupcake batter will rise above the muffin tin and “mushroom”) Repeat with remaining muffin tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch. Place on wire rack and cool completely. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

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A Barn Wedding and Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Over the next four weeks, Jeremy and I will be attending three weddings…THREE.  However, I don’t mind too much because next to desserts, weddings are one of my most favorite things.  I’ve helped many friends and family with their own weddings and love seeing all the details that go into someone’s big day.  Last night we had the privilege of attending the wedding of one of Jeremy’s friends from high school, Brandon.  He married a sweet girl named Morgan and they had a very cute, very simple wedding on a farm.  Yes, farm.  A very nice farm.

The ceremony was held outside and for awhile it seemed like it was going to pour rain, but thankfully it just thundered the entire time.  And the clouds were nice for some relief from the heat.  The reception was held in the upper loft part of the barn.  It was a fun night with good music, yummy food and a dessert table with cotton candy cupcakes, heart-shaped brownies, gumballs and rock candy.  Here are some shots from the night that Jeremy got with the camera on his phone…

 

Hope everyone has had a great weekend–enjoy what’s left!

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Shopping for Sweets

Every now and then I like to wander over to Etsy and see what kind of deliciously evil treats people are coming up with in the Edibles section.  I love the creativity that goes into some of the sweet confections and it’s inspiring to see how many of these people make a living doing what they love.

These were some dark and decadent desserts that were calling my name and I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share them with you all.  Take a couple of minutes and check out these fun shops and most importantly, buy something!

Have a lovely day!

Rocky Road Cookies by cookietown

XXX Rated Dark Chocolate Bliss Brownies by cupcakesinjars

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes by thetinykitchen

Artisan Candy Bars by BeesandBeans

Mayan Dark Chocolat Caramel Bars by haveitconfections

 

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Peanut Butter Cup S’more Bars

After seeing all the awesome recipes last week in honor of National S’mores Day, I was inspired to make my own variation of the classic campfire treat.  But what to do?  There are so many creative recipes out there!  I finally decided I wanted it in bar form and peanut butter was going to be incorporated one way or the other.

So, I found this recipe from Taste of Home that had great reviews.  And I now know why!  These might actually be one of my favorite things I’ve made thus far and I think it’s the marshmallow creme that really does it for me.  I absolutely abhor store bought marshmallows but marshmallow creme…that’s a different story.  I might have at one time or another sat down with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of marshmallow creme, a spoon and….well…you can imagine what happened next.  Not pretty.  Needless to say, this is a little more dignified way to eat all of those yummy ingredients.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars
18
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1½ c. Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2⅔ c. AP Flour
  • 1½ c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 35 Regular Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1 (13 oz) Jar Marshmallow Cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Set aside 1 cup for topping.
  3. Press remaining mixture into the 9x13 baking pan. Place peanut butter cups wide side down on the crust. Spray a large spoon with cooking spray and spread the marshmallow creme gently onto the peanut butter cups. Crumble the remaining graham cracker mixture over top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown (mine were a little dark around the edges at 45 minutes). Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.

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Bring On The Weekend: Saturday Morning Breakfast

Needing some inspiration for breakfast tomorrow morning?  Me too!  As I was researching some seriously sweet breakfast recipes, I came across so many I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted to share, they all looked so good!  So I thought, why not share them all?  For me, there is nothing better than actually having time to cook or bake on a Saturday morning and filling your whole house with delicious smells of a homemade breakfast.  And since Saturday is usually our “cheat” day around our house, it’s a great time to try one of these not-so-healthy, but oh-so-delicious recipes.  Yay!

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Banana Bread by Whipped

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by Recipe Girl

Homemade Pop-Tarts by Smitten Kitchen

Apple Cinnamon Buns by What Katie Ate

Monkey Bread by Gimme Some Oven

Chocolate Chip Waffles by Tasty Kitchen

Overnight French Toast Casserole by The Girl Who Ate Everything

Red Velvet Donuts by Taste and Tell

 

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Cherry Crumble Cake

Every time I walk into the grocery store lately, the piles upon piles of dark red, sweet Bing cherries call my name. And I ignore them. Not that I don’t like them. Oh, I love them. But they are too dang expensive! Until a couple of days ago that is. I walked in and behold, they were half the normal cost! Hello! I immediately bagged some up and high-tailed it home to bake. Naturally.

I already had a recipe in mind:  Cherry Crumble Cake.  Does that not sound divine?  Sweet, juicy cherries mixed into a moist cake, topped with a brown sugar and butter crumb topping…mmmm mmm mmm!  And it was very, very good.  There were cherries in every bite and their flavor really came through the mild and not overly-sweet cake.  Reminded me of my mom’s apple cake that I absolutely love.  One thing I didn’t care for was how crumbly the crumble topping was.  It just kind of fell off the cake whenever it was cut so next time I think I’ll do a whole stick of butter instead of a half and that should take care of it.  I also whipped up some almond whipped cream to go with it, but some good quality vanilla ice cream would be just as good.

If you’ve been wanting to bake with some of those beautiful cherries but not sure what to do, give this recipe a try.  Delicious!

(See original recipe here.)

Cherry Crumble Cake
Dessert
12-15
 
Ingredients
  • Crumble Topping
  • 1 c. AP Flour
  • 2 T. Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 T. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 c. Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • Cake
  • 1 c. AP Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • ½ c. Sour Cream, room temperature
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 t. Almond Extract
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • ¾ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 T. Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, room termperature
  • 1¼ lb. Whole Bing Cherries, stemmed, pitted and quartered
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch round, springform pan (or 9-inch square).
  3. For the crumble topping, in a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or fork (or your fingers--that's what I find easiest), blend in butter until it has the consistency of crumbs. Set aside.
  4. For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla extract and almond extract. Set aside.
  6. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat just until combined.
  7. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  8. Gently fold cherries into the batter.
  9. Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top. Spread half of the crumble topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Stir pecans into remaining crumble topping and spread over the cake. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes more.
  11. Allow to cool 20-30 minutes and serve.

 

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Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream by Claire Thomas

I’ve recently discovered these super short, super adorable videos by Claire Thomas of L.A. who describes herself as “a food writer, photographer, enthusiast, personal chef and all round nerd”.  More of them will definitely be showing up every now and then on my blog.  She also has her own tasty little blog over at http://thekitchykitchen.blogspot.com/.  Go check it out!  But watch the video first…and prepare to drool.

Happy Friday!

Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream from Claire Thomas on Vimeo.

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Fair Food

Jeremy and I went to the fair this past weekend.  We basically had one thing on our agenda while we were there:  FRIED OREOS.  Ok, so maybe it was more MY agenda but after getting a taste of those delicious fried chocolatey puffs last year, I’d been dreaming about them ever since.  And really, what is there to do at the fair besides eat?  I mean, you’ve got fried twinkies, funnel cakes, caramel apples, ice cream, fried Oreos, cheesecake wontons, cotton candy, fried peanut butter and jelly, chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick and even fried Kool-Aid!  And that’s just the sweet stuff!

So after a little searching, we found the fried Oreos and also decided on a fried PB&J.  We grabbed a spot near the karaoke stage to listen to the up-and-coming Springfield musical talent and do a little people watching while we munched down.

First, the fried PB&J.  Absolutely NOT good.  Jeremy and I both agreed that while in concept the idea is great, it just didn’t work this time.  The peanut butter tasted disgusting (perhaps because all I ever eat is natural peanut butter?) and it wasn’t really a peanut butter sandwich, it was one of those Uncrustable things that you get in the freezer section at the grocery store, fried in funnel cake batter.  So disappointing.  I’ve actually been wanting to purchase a deep fryer for home, so once I do, we are trying this again…with a REAL PB&J sandwich!

Now the fried Oreos on the other hand…absolute. fried. genius.  I just love these little things.  The Oreo is dunked in funnel cake batter which fries up nice and golden while the Oreo gets soft on the inside.  Finished with a touch of powdered sugar, these are Oreo HEAVEN.  They are fresh and warm and oh so delicious.  My only complaint is that they don’t serve them with milk!  Other than that, magic.

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Key Lime Cookie Truffles

It’s the start of a new month which means a new “flavor of the month” for most of the cupcake and cake pop places around here (uh, yeah, we have a few).  Apparently the flavor star of August is…drumroll please….Key Lime!  Can’t say I’m upset about this at all as I heart me some key lime pie.  As a matter of fact, I had planned to do some sort of key lime recipe for the last couple of weeks and never could decide if I wanted to do a traditional key lime pie recipe that I have and LOVE or stray from the typical and do something crazy different.  Well, I decided on the latter and ended up making some Key Lime Cookie Truffles.  These are based off of that famous Oreo truffle recipe…the one people go nuts over that is basically Oreos and cream cheese.  Yeah, that one.

Anyway, I used the vanilla Oreos and key lime juice, not fresh squeezed (oh the horror, I know) but Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice, which in my opinion is just as good.  I also threw in some raspberry jam, hoping to get the perfect mixture of sweet raspberry and tart lime but the jam kind of got lost in the mix and the flavor wasn’t too distinct, which was a bummer.  I also think I’ll throw in some lime zest next time for even more of a tart factor.  These were pretty delish but I think with a couple of tweaks, they’d be out of this world.

P.S. This recipe makes a TON of truffles, like, 80!  I’d suggest halfing the recipe.

Key Lime Cookie Truffles
Dessert
80
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 c. (1 lb, 2 oz pkg) Golden Oreos, crushed (I used my food processor)
  • 3 c. Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used my food processor)
  • ¾ c. AP Flour
  • ¾ c. Key Lime Juice
  • ½ c. Raspberry Jam (optional)
  • 2 lbs. White Chocolate Candy Discs, melted
Instructions
  1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the Oreo and graham cracker crumbs, lime juice and flour. Beat in the raspberry jam (if using). Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Roll dough into balls with the palm of your hands and place on the cookie sheet. Put in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Dip into white chocolate and decorate with green sugar, white chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, etc.

 

 

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ok, confession time.  See, I have this feeling that I give off the impression on my blog that everything that emerges from my oven is perfect and beautiful and rainbows and puppies and all that cute stuff.  But the truth is, it’s not.  Every now and then I have some serious baking failures and not-so-perfect baking days.  Usually when it happens, I can immediately look back and realize what I’ve done wrong or need to do differently.  I didn’t go to a fancy, schmancy pastry school (I wish!) or get trained by some world renowned pastry chef; I’m just learning as I go.  So, in light of this revelation, I’d like to start off this post for a most delicious chocolate zucchini bread (more like cake, who are we kidding) with a short list of things I did “wrong”:

1.  Forgot an egg.

2.  Took it out of the oven prematurely, thus causing the middle to collapse upon itself.  Lovely.

3.  Didn’t line the pan with parchment or foil, thereby making the removal of the bread to a serving plate in one piece, a feat worthy of Houdini himself.

So, there it is.  Now, I can’t say that forgetting the egg made any difference and I did manage to throw the bread back in the oven and get it on the more cooked side as opposed to raw and inedible and getting it out of the pan only took one VERY large spatula and some sideways tipping maneuvering.  All in all, a good time in the kitchen.  Just ask my husband who has to listen to the choice words coming from that part of the house.

Needless to say, this cake…err, bread is one of the most delicious things I have every tasted.  It was incredibly moist and dense and formed a beautiful crust on the top.  And I loved the hint of cinnamon blended into the chocolate.  Also, I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips both in the batter and on top and they kind of disappeared into the batter so next time I’ll use regular size or maybe chocolate chunks.  And there WILL be a next time.  Cause it was that good.

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Snack, Dessert
10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ c. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 c. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. Grated Zuchinni, squeezed dry (I processed mine in a food processor; just be sure and remove any large seeds first)
  • ½ c. Cocoa
  • 2 c. AP Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 2 t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 c. Sour Cream
  • 1, 12 oz. pkg Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x4½" baking pan or, if removing from pan, line with foil or parchment paper and grease well.
  2. In an electric mixer, beat oil and sugars on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Beat in the zucchini.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Fold in one cup of the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle the remainder of the chocolate chips over the batter and press down lightly.
  6. Bake for 1½ hours or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

 

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