Ultimate Fudge Brownies

Ultimate Fudge Brownies 1

Just when I think I’ve found the most amazing brownie recipe ever and can end my search for good, I find another recipe that claims to be “the best, most chocolatey, fudgiest, decadent, to-die-for, OMG good” brownie EVER and just have to try it.  Such was the case with these Ultimate Fudge Brownies.

Ultimate Fudge Brownies 2

I’ve tried a few brownie recipes in my time (many flops that I have never even bothered to blog about…or maybe I should have just as a warning to readers haha) and thought I had found the perfect one with the infamous Baked Brownie but honestly, this new one totally gives it a run for its money.  And I’m pretty positive I like it better.  Ok, I KNOW I do.  It’s thicker, denser, fudgier, richer and so, so, SO GOOD.  The perfect brownie?  Umm, yes.  For now at least!  I’m not sure it can get any better!  And they are easier to make than the Baked Brownie which is another plus when you’re the mom of a newborn.   You DEFINITELY need fast and easy.

Ultimate Fudge Brownies 3

Enjoy!

Ultimate Fudge Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 1¾ c., plus 2 T. Sugar
  • 1¼ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¼+1/8 t. Salt
  • 3 Large Eggs, cold
  • ¾ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ½ c. White Chocolate Chips (or whatever kind you prefer...dark, milk, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x9 square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large bowl in the microwave at 30 second increments, stirring each time until the butter is completely melted. Mixture will look gritty. Set aside for a few minutes and let cool slightly.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. The batter will be thick and glossy. Add the flour, stirring with a whisk until just combined. Do not overmix the batter. Gently fold in the semi-sweet and white chocolate chips with a large spatula. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick/tester inserted in the middle comes out clean with only a few crumbs. Do not overbake.
  5. Cool brownies completely on a cooling rack, cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 20 brownies.

 

 

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I know what you’re thinking….avocado pudding?!  Hear me out on this one though!  Believe it or not, avocados make a great base for a LOT of desserts.  My brother-in-law, who is from the Philippines, will not eat guacamole because where he is from they use avocados in sweet things, smoothies, etc. so using it in a savory way is weird to him.  When I heard that I thought it was so strange but it kind of makes sense, especially now that I’ve tried it in a sweet dessert.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding Close

Avocados are fairly neutral in flavor, can be blended until they’re super creamy and contain loads of nutrients and healthy fat!  And this pudding is absolutely delicious.  SUPER thick, creamy, chocolatey and not too sweet.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone would know the difference if you never told them it wasn’t “real” pudding.  They’d probably even like it better!  I know I do.  Oh and did I mention it literally takes minutes to make?  Put everything in your food processor and done!  Easy!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Medium to Large Avocados
  • ½ c. Coconut Milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 6 T. Regular, Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 T. Dark Cocoa
  • 6 T. Agave (or honey)
Instructions
  1. Remove skin and pits from avocados and place in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend for a few minutes until mixture is smooth and no green pieces remain. Scrape down the sides and blend for a few seconds more, until mixture is thick. Put pudding in a bowl or air-tight container and place in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.
Notes
Serves 3-4.

 

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New York Style Lemon Cheesecake

NY Style Lemon Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of my all time favorite desserts, especially New York style cheesecake.  So a couple of weeks ago when we were getting together with some extended family for a little cookout, I knew what I’d be making for dessert!  Nothing better than cool, creamy cheesecake on a ridiculously hot day…well, ok, maybe ice cream is better but cheesecake doesn’t melt!

NY Style Lemon Cheesecake Close

NY Style Lemon Cheesecake Slice

I have a fabulous cheesecake recipe that I decided to put a little twist on with fresh squeezed lemon juice and grated lemon rind.  I also topped it with homemade whipped cream, which not only looks pretty but helps balance out the sweetness of the cheesecake.  It was fabulous and the perfect ending to a great meal!

Enjoy!

New York Style Lemon Cheesecake
 
Ingredients
  • 2¾ c. Lemon Sandwich Cookie Crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs)
  • 8 T. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 4, 8 oz. pkgs Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c. Sour Cream
  • 1½ c. Sugar
  • ¾ c. Milk
  • ¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (I used 4 large lemons)
  • 2 T. Lemon Zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. (Wrap pan in foil if doing waterbath. I did not do a waterbath but did place the pan on a large cookie sheet to catch butter that would leak out.)
  2. Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press evenly into bottom of pan and up the sides an inch or so.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium to high speed until smooth. Blend in milk and then mix in the eggs all at once, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Beat in lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour filling into crust.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the center appears firm. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill for at least 4-24 hours before serving. Top with homemade whipped cream just before serving.
Notes
Serves 20.

 

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Bakery Review: Elle’s Patisserie in Springfield, MO

Elle's Patisserie Outside

Elle's Patisserie Front Door

There’s a teeny little shop in our town that sells the most delicious treats.  And when I say delicious treats I’m talking legit truffles, ice cream and serious baked goods.  I had the pleasure of visiting Elle’s Patisserie a couple of weekends ago and was in love with the quaint little shop the moment we stepped inside.  From the cute purple exterior to the lovely little patio outside, everything about Elle’s is perfection.  The interior is relaxed and French inspired and tiny but the perfect size to display everything that comes out of the kitchen.

Elle's Patisserie Menus

Elle's Patisserie Menu

Elle's Patisserie Display Case

Elle's Patisserie Chairs

Elle's Patisserie Banner

Per usual, I wanted to try one of everything and was in a sort of daze just looking at all the truffles.  We sampled some ice cream (totally yummy) and then proceeded with the difficult task of deciding what we wanted to buy.  We finally narrowed it down to a piece of Chocolate Covered Bacon, a Salted Caramel Coffee Macaron, a Dark Ganache Truffle with Cocoa Nibs, a Peanut Butter Ball and a Peanut Butter Ganache Brownie.

Elle's Patisserie Ice Cream

Elle's Patisserie Macarons and Truffles

Elle's Patisserie Brownie

I won’t go into tons of detail about each one because they were all equally divine and if I wasn’t watching my girlish, post-pregnancy figure, I would have promptly bought one of each of everything else.  My favorite thing was probably the macaron.  Or maybe the dark ganache truffle.  Definitely a toss-up. Suffice it to say, Elle knows what she’s doing in the kitchen.

Elle's Patisserie Truffles

Elle's Patisserie Macaron

Elle's Patisserie Brownie and Treats

My only regret is that we didn’t get there a little earlier in the day.  By the time we arrived they were completely sold out of pastries.  Bummer!  But we’ll be back.  Elle’s is definitely a must-visit little chocolate shop so be sure and check them out if you are in Springfield, MO!

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Homemade Chocolate Candy Cups

Almond Chocolate Candy Cups

I am still on a healthy sweet kick around here!  Hope you guys don’t mind!  I have been craving chocolate like MAD lately but didn’t want all the refined sugar, dairy and other junk that comes in commercially produced chocolate.  And believe it or not, you can actually make chocolate HEALTHY.  Well, ok, I’m not sure it would be classified as a health food but it’s 1,000x’s better than what you’d buy at the store.

Chocolate Candy Cups

Pistachio Chocolate Candy Cup

Good fat from coconut oil and organic cocoa make these little gems possible.  Seriously, we love them.  Yes, hubby loves them too which is the true test of course!  I topped mine with coconut, raisins, pistachios, almonds and dried mango.  Next time I’m going to experiment with pure mint oil,  peanut butter and a few other variations I have running through my brain.  I can’t wait!

Coconut and Raisin Chocolate Candy Cups

Enjoy!

Original Recipe: Pepperplate

 

Homemade Chocolate Candy Cups
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ c. Organic, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ⅔ c. Organic Coconut Oil
  • ⅓ c. Agave (or honey, etc)
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Toppings such as dried fruit, nuts, coconut, etc
Instructions
  1. Place mini muffin or candy cups on a cookie sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, melt coconut oil. Whisk in cocoa, agave and vanilla all at once. Spoon chocolate into muffin/candy cups and top with toppings of your choice. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes until hardened. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
Makes 15, 1½" chocolate candy cups.

 

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Coconut Mango Chia Seed Pudding

Coconut Mango Chia Seed Pudding 1

So, who isn’t thinking about losing weight and looking hot in a two-piece right now?!  I for sure am thinking about it more and more as the weather warms up and summer gets closer.  And since I don’t have quite as much time to exercise right now (who knew babies could be so demanding?!) I am watching my diet like a hawk and definitely limiting my sugar intake.  Which led me to this recipe for Coconut Mango Chia Seed Pudding.  Did you know you could make pudding with chia seeds??  I love it!  Once this mixture sets overnight, the chia seeds plump up and thicken and you’ve got cold, creamy, good-for-you pudding!  I made mine with lite coconut milk but you could use almond milk if you’d like and even use a different fruit besides mango.  Very versatile!  And DELICIOUS.  Great guilt-free treat!

Enjoy!

Coconut Mango Chia Seed Pudding 2

Recipe Source:  Skinny Taste

Coconut Mango Chia Seed Pudding
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. Lite Coconut Milk
  • ¼ c. Chia Seeds
  • ¼ c. Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut
  • 1T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 T. Agave (or honey/sweetener of choice)
  • 1 Ripe Mango, chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.
Notes
Serves 2.

 

 

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Campfire Treats for Memorial Day Weekend

Cast Iron Skillet Brownie by Simply Food Love
Cast Iron Skillet Brownie by Simply Food Love

Hi friends!  Well, I’ve been just slightly busy lately with the new little person in our home and haven’t had much time for baking, unfortunately.  Sigh.  So I decided to go online and find some fabulous camping recipes that would be perfect for Memorial Day festivities.  Love all these…the skillet brownies and cherry cheesecake both look AMAZING.  Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend and eats some delicious food!

Peach Cobbler

 

Peach Cobbler

Grilled Banana Boats

 

S'more Banana Boat

Campfire Cones

 

Campfire Cones

Tin Foil Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 

Tin Foil Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Strawberry S’mores

 

strawberry+smores

Orange Blueberry Muffins

 

Campfire Orange Blueberry Muffins

S’MOreos

 

smoreos

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

 

 Cast Iron Skillet Brownie

Dutch Oven Cinnamon Rolls

 

dutch-oven-cinnamon-rolls

Campfire Cheesecake

 

Campfire Cheesecake

 

 

 

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Banana Cream “Pie”

 

Photo by Southern Living (Not what this recipe will look like when done, but I didn't have a photo of the one my sister made!)
Photo by Southern Living (Not what this recipe will look like when done, but I didn’t have a photo of the one my sister made!)

This is a fabulous layer dessert that my sister has made for several years and my family absolutely loves it, especially my hubby.  It really is delicious….cool, creamy, chocked full of bananas and not overly sweet.  Oh and SUPER simple to make.   If you love banana pudding or banana cream pie, you’ll love this dessert!  Perfect for Mother’s Day!  Hope your family enjoys it as much as ours does.

(Homemade Whipped Cream recipe here.)

Banana Cream "Pie"
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1, 14 oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Large Box Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 2 c. Whole Milk
  • 3 Medium Bananas
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip or Homemade Whipped Cream
  • 1 Regular Size Box of Vanilla Wafers (few crushed for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Beat cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat thoroughly. Add instant pudding and milk and beat 1-2 minutes until thick. Fold in sliced bananas and ¾ of Cool Whip/homemade whipped cream. Layer in 9x13 pan--layer of wafers, pudding, wafer, pudding and then spread remaining Cool Whip/whipped cream on top. Garnish with crushed wafers. Let sit in fridge overnight or 8-12 hours before serving.
Notes
Serves 8-12

 

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The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think it has finally happened.  I may have found the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie.  I’ve searched high and low and my journey may be over!  I’ve always struggled to find the ideal chocolate chips cookie which in my mind is thick, soft and slightly chewy.  This N.Y. Times Chocolate Chip Cookie was good, but a little flat for my preference and didn’t quite hit the mark.  Then, I saw this recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction and had to give it a try.  I had made her Soft Baked Monster Cookies which were PHENOMENAL so I had full confidence she knew what she was doing when it came to cookies and was excited to try her recipe.  And I was NOT disappointed.  Seriously, the perfect thickness and so soft and chewy at the same time.  Amazing.  I was SO happy, I think my search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie is over!

The Perfct Chocolate Chip Cookie

Enjoy!

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ c. (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ¾ c. Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ c. Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, room temperature
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 t. Cornstarch
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • ½ c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Roll dough into 1½" balls with the palms of your hands and place about two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes (I did 4 minutes, rotated pans and switched racks and did 5 more minutes) until barely golden brown around the edges. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheets and transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Notes
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

 

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Rocky Road Cake

Rocky Road Cake and Ice Cream

I wanted something dark, decadent and over-the-top chocolate for Easter Sunday dinner.  And this Rocky Road Cake TOTALLY fit the bill.  I know, I know…it’s springtime and desserts should be light and fruity.  But when is chocolate ever out of season?!  Yeah.  Never.  And judging by all the “mmmm’s” and “oh my gosh, this is so GOOD”s that I got, I think I picked the absolute perfect dessert to make.

Rocky Road Cake

I used dark unsweetened cocoa for both the cake and frosting (the recipe just called for regular unsweetened) and I loved how rich it made the cake but think next time I’ll use the regular cocoa for the frosting so it’s not quite so rich.  I also used homemade marshmallows instead of store-bought which I think makes it so good but feel free to use some from the store.  It’s definitely extra work to make you own marshmallows but SO worth it.  I was also really skeptical about the cake.  Just by reading the recipe it seemed way, waaaaaayyyy too simple to make.  However, this cake was delicious.  More like a cakey brownie, it was the perfect foundation for the gooey marshmallows and thick, fudgey frosting.

Are you sold yet??  This cake is GOOD.  So goooooooood.  Make it!  You’ll be glad you did.  Oh, and ice cream!  Ice cream is a must.  Enjoy!

Rocky Road Cake
 
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c., plus 2 T. Dark Unsweetened Cocoa
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1, 10.5 oz. Bag Miniature Marshmallows or 2 c. Homemade Marshmallows
Frosting
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • ½ c. Dark Unsweetened Cocoa
  • ½ c. Unsalted Butter
  • ½ c. Whole Milk
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ c. Powdered Sugar
Instructions
For the Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Whisk in cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour just until combined. Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Sprinkle with marshmallows and pecans and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt marshmallows slightly.
For the Frosting
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and beat in vanilla and powdered sugar with a wooden spoon. Continue beating with the spoon until frosting becomes glossy and holds shape. It will take about 15 minutes but if you place the pan in a bowl of ice, it will speed things up significantly. Pour over the cake before it gets too stiff and let it cool completely. Cut into squares and serve with ice cream, if desired.
Notes
Makes 24 pieces.

 

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Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake

Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake

I’ve mentioned before that I have a slight, very minor obsession with ooey gooey butter cake.  Red Velvet and Blueberry, Chocolate and Strawberry Lemonade are just a few that I’ve done and trust me, there are many more I’d like to do.  I just don’t want to bore you all!  However, this Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake is in a whole other realm of yum and I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad I went with my obsession this week.

Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake Bars

So how good is this ooey gooey cake?  Let’s just say my husband took one bite and then proceeded to tell me to remove it from our house immediately!  Haha.  The bottom layer of spice cake combined with the ooey gooey carrot cake filling is phenomenal.  The filling is studded with white chocolate chips, toasted pecans and pineapple tidbits.  Yeah, yum.  It’s definitely one of my favorite ooey gooey cakes thus far and I think would make the perfect treat this Easter Sunday!

Enjoy!

Ooey Gooey Carrot Spice Cake
 
Ingredients
Spice Cake
  • 1, 18.25 oz. Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
Ooey Gooey Carrot Cake Filling
  • 1, 8 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 16 oz. (3¾ c.) Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅛ t. Nutmeg
  • ½ t. Cinnamon
  • 1½ c. White Chocolate Chips
  • ½ c. Pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 1 c. Finely Grated Carrots
  • 1, 8 oz. Can Pineapple Tidbits, drained
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Spice Cake Layer
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the spice cake, egg and melted butter until combined. Pat evenly into the bottom of the pan and set aside.
For the Carrot Cake Filling
  1. Still using the electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs. Dump in powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter until combined. Beat in vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in 1 cup white chocolate chips, pecans, grated carrots and pineapple. Pour evenly over spice cake layer. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup white chocolate chips. Bake for 40-45 minutes until center is firm. Let cool completely and cut into pieces.
Notes
Makes 24 pieces.

 

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Bars

Gluten-Free Chocolate PEanut Butter Protein Power Bars

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that Jeremy has been wanting me to come up with a homemade protein bar similar to a Cliff Bar or Larabar but of course cheaper and healthier.  I tried one that I actually REALLY liked and could hardly keep my hands out of (you CAN get too much of a good thing) but he wasn’t really a fan so I moved onto this recipe from The Balanced Platter shared by my cupcake partner in crime, Robyn over at Gluten Free Crazy.   And I can safely say we have a winner with this one!  Jeremy loves it, I love it and everyone is getting crazy amounts of protein!  It’s very chocolatey, very peanut buttery and soooooo yummy.  They’re very rich so I cut them into small squares and keep them in the freezer, although they’d probably be fine in the refrigerator also.  Great pick me up and healthy dessert option!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Power Bar

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 16 Medjool Dates
  • 1 c. Raw, Organic Almonds
  • 1 c. Sunflower Seeds
  • ½ c. Cooked Quinoa (I had accidentally mixed my dry quinoa and couscous together so it was a mix of both which I really liked!)
  • ½ c. Thick Rolled Oats
  • ¼ c. Chia Seeds
  • 1¼ c. Chunky, Organic Peanut Butter (or smooth)
  • ¾ c. Agave
  • 1½ Scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
  • ¼ c. Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 4 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x9 pan with foil, letting it hang over the edges creating "handles".
  2. In a food processor, chop the dates into very small pieces. Add the almonds and sunflower seeds and process until a meal has formed. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the quinoa, oats and chia seeds to the food processor and process until a meal forms again. Add to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add the peanut butter, agave, protein powder, cocoa and vanilla to the bowl of the electric mixer and beat everything on low speed until it is well-blended and starts to clump together. Form into a ball and press evenly into the bottom of the 9x9 pan. Freeze for 1-2 hours until firm, lift out of the pan and place upside down on a cutting board. Peel away foil, turn bars over and cut into 1½" squares. Store in freezer.
Notes
Makes 20 bars.

 

 

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Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake with Powdered Sugar

Doesn’t the title of that cake just sound divine?  I have always loved sweetened condensed milk and quite truthfully could eat it by the spoonful and have.  Healthy, I know.   So what is a sweetened condensed milk cake like?   It’s…different.  But in a good way!

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake Slice

This recipe is by one of my favorite foodie personalities, Claire Thomas, of The Kitchy Kitchen and I think she describes the cake perfectly when she says it has a sweet, eggy flavor and is like a less buttery, denser brioche.  So almost like a very dense sweet bread.  I did a dusting of powdered sugar and lemon zest but I think next time I’ll do a little orange zest in the batter and orange marmalade with homemade whipped cream to top it off.  Or do a lemon curd with it!  It’s so different and so good and just a beautiful, simple cake.  Perfect Easter Sunday dessert!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Milk Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 8 Eggs, room temperature
  • 2, 14 oz. Cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Orange/Lemon Zest
  • Homemade Whipped Cream (see link above)
  • Homemade Orange Marmalade (or lemon curd) (see link above)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until pale yellow and smooth, then pour in the melted butter, salt and vanilla and beat until blended. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and with the mixer on low, add a little at a time until just incorporated. Pour into the greased bundt pan and bake for 60-75 minutes ( mine took 60) until cake is slightly browned and a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely and remove from pan. Top with powdered sugar and citrus zest and serve with lemon/orange curd and homemade whipped cream.
Notes
Serves 20.

 

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Leprechaun Hat S’mores

Leprechaun Hat S'mores

One more last minute St. Patrick’s Day idea–Leprechaun Hat S’mores!  Courtesy of The Cake Blog, this treat doesn’t get any easier or yummier.  I mean seriously, how cute is this?!  Cookies and marshmallows??  I am SO there!  Thanks to The Cake Blog for this ingenious idea–we love it!  Get all the details on how to do it yourself here!

Leprechaun Hat S'more

 

 

 

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Banana Nut Crunch Muffins

Banana Nut Crunch Muffin and Butter

 

I know there are many holidays right around the corner that I should be blogging about…St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day….on and on and on.  But yesterday I had an INSANE craving for banana muffins so I went with it!  And I’m SO glad I did.  These banana muffins are to. die. for.   Seriously some of the most moist, flavorful, yummy banana muffins I have ever had.  The original recipe is by Ina Garten so you know you’re off to a good start when you begin with one of her fabulous recipes.  I made some minor changes and was so pleased with the results!  Treat yourself to these for breakfast tomorrow morning…but make them tonight!  They are even better the next day!

Banana Nut Crunch Muffin

Banana Nut Crunch Muffins

Enjoy!

Banana Nut Crunch Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1 c. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c. Whole Milk
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Mashed Ripe Bananas (I used 5 medium bananas)
  • 1 c. Toasted, Chopped Pecans
  • 1½ c. Granola
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffins cups with liners.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, beat in the melted butter. Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and bananas and add to the flour-butter mixture. Mix until everything is just combined--do NOT overmix.
  3. Scoop ⅓ cup batter into each muffin cup.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together pecans, granola and melted butter. Spoon a couple of tablespoons over each filled muffin cup. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 23) until the tops are brown and a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes and then remove from the pan and cool completely.
Notes
Makes 24 muffins.

 

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White Cliff Manor B&B…and some of the best food EVER.

Jeremy and I love, love, love to visit B&B’s and I’ve posted about a couple on the blog before (read about them here, here and here).  We decided to do a quick trip to one for a combined Valentine’s Day/babymoon getaway, but it will definitely not be the last!  We realized that we’ve been to four in just the past year so I guess you could say we’re kind of addicted haha.   Jeremy found this absolute gem of a B&B called White Cliff Manor in St. Mary, MO.  You’ve probably never heard of St. Mary, MO but it is a VERY quaint little town near St. Louis and Illinois (the view from our bedroom window was actually of Illinois!) with one of the biggest antique malls we have ever been to!  I mean there is literally nothing there but houses and this antique mall.  However, if you drive about 30 minutes you’ll start seeing signs for a ton of wineries!   They’re everywhere!  And thank goodness because we really weren’t sure what we were going to do for dinner the Friday night we were there but one of the wineries, Chaumette Winery, was open for dinner and highly recommended.  This place was quite possibly one of the best meals Jeremy and I have ever had.  They only use local, seasonal, organic ingredients and wow, does it totally make a difference!  If you are ever in east MO near St. Louis, definitely check Chaumette Winery out!  I have a few pictures below of our brief but wonderful trip to the B&B.

First up, the cutest little candy shop, Sweet Things, in St. Genevieve, MO which is about five minutes from St. Mary.  We tried a couple of truffles and some turtle fudge.  Yum!

Sweet Things Outside

Sweet Things Candy

Sweet Things Bakery Case

Salted Caramel Truffle

Pics of our bedroom and the view from the balcony outside our bedroom!  The snow was perfect.

White Cliff Manor Bedroom

White Cliff Manor Balcony View

Chaumette Winery.  There was a huge, roaring fireplace we stared at during our whole meal.  So cozy.

Chaumet Winery

I had the Cinnamon Bread Pudding made with their house bread, topped with a locally made apple butter, cinnamon whipped cream and a browned butter/sugar sauce.  OMG.  I was practically licking the plate.  Jeremy got the Dark Chocolate Brownie, which was their homemade, fudgy brownie, topped with chocolate whipped cream and a port infused ganache.  Heaven.

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Brownie

This place, The Anvil, was our lunch stop in St. Genevieve before heading home.  Some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had, amazing burgers and even chicken livers!!!  Yes, I love chicken livers and they don’t show up on menus that often, ya know.  We also tried their homemade coconut cream pie and it was delicious!

The Anvil

The Anvil Bar

Coconut Cream Pie

It was a great weekend and we loved every minute!  If you are looking for a cozy, accomodating B&B (with wonderful breakfast), definitely give White Cliff Manor a try!

 

 

 

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Homemade Thin Mint Brownie Ice Cream

Homemade Thin Mint Brownie Ice Cream

I have found my new favorite thing–homemade ice cream.  Believe it or not, I have never made homemade ice cream!  I mean, I’ve made my parents recipe which is DIVINE and probably will be my all time favorite, but it’s a no-cook, eggless recipe so it’s a little different than this one.  Yes, this one had eggs, had to be tempered, the whole nine yards but honestly it was NOT hard and turned out soooooo good.

Thin Mint Brownie Ice Cream

For my first ice cream adventure I chose to do a Thin Mint Brownie Ice Cream with REAL mint, tons of crushed cookies and chunks of dark chocolate brownie.  Oh and a chocolate chip swirl!  Just for good measure.  And I have only one thing to say about it–YUM.  Actually, MAJOR YUM.  Seriously people, this stuff is so, so good.  Rich, creamy and totally addictive.  I will NEVER buy ice cream from the store again.   It does take a little forethought as you need to steep the mint and also let the final mixture chill but it could definitely be done in one day, just in time for after-dinner dessert if you start it early enough!  I’ll definitely be experimenting more with flavors in the future so be warned–lots of ice cream recipes in the near future!  Haha!

Enjoy!

Homemade Thin Mint Brownie Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 c. Whole Milk
  • 2 Bunches Fresh Mint Leaves (I used .75 ounces which was plenty in my opinion)
  • ⅛ t. Salt
  • 1½ c. Sugar
  • 12 Egg Yolks
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies, coarsely chopped (I used all but 6 or 7 of the whole box, about 1½ sleeves)
  • 2 c. Brownie Pieces (I used half a batch of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate box mix)
  • ½ c. Dark Chocolate Chips, melted
  • Green Food Dye, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine cream, milk, mint and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge (I let mine steep for 2.5 hours and it was definitely strong enough).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and yolks. Remove mint from cream mixture and discard. Bring milk mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Using a measuring cup or ladle, slowly pour about ½ c. hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue adding milk mixture, about a ½ c. at a time, until it has all been added.
  3. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over low heat, sitrring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. The custard should retain a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your finger. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Stir occassionally until cooled. Cover and transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least one hour or overnight (I chilled mine overnight).
  4. Pour custard into a 2-quart ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions until set but not hard. Toward the end of the freezing, add green food coloring, if using. Pour into an air-tight container and stir in cookies and brownie chunks. Swirl in melted chocolate chips. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Inspiration!

Hey guys!  So I had what I thought would be a GREAT St. Patty’s Day-themed cookie recipe to share with you today but needless to say they didn’t quite meet my expectations when everything was said and done.  They weren’t horrible (actually pretty tasty!), but definitely not the prettiest cookie and not quite what I had in mind when I was making them.  And I’ve decided if I don’t absolutely LOVE the recipe and think it turned out how it should, I just don’t want to share it with you guys.  I want you to have the best!  So I’m gonna do a little more research on this cookie and figure out what went wrong and how I can get it to turn out like I want…in other words, PERFECT.  😉

In the meantime, I wanted to share some green-inspired, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day recipes from some of my favorite bloggers that I thought might get your wheels turning for the upcoming holiday festivities!  These foodies know their desserts and I’m confident you’ll find something delicious!

Enjoy!

Grasshopper Mint Chocolate Bark

 

Grasshopper Mint Chocolate Bark

Skinny Frozen Mint Chocolate Chip Pie

 

Skinny Frozen Mint Chocolate Pie

Green Velvet Cupcakes

 

Green Velvet Cupcakes

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

 

Mint Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Grasshopper Brownie Bars

 

Grasshopper Brownie Bars

 

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Rich Baked Homemade Protein Bars

Homemade Protein Bars

Jeremy is on  a big lifting/protein kick right now so we’ve been searching for ways to incorporate LOTS of protein into his diet.  One of his requests was a homemade protein bar along the likes of a Larabar or Cliff Bar.  So the search began.  I found one recipe that calls for blueberry and buckwheat (who knew buckwheat had so much protein?) and he found this one, so we tried his first.  I’ll be making mine in the near future though, not to worry.

Homemade Protein Bar

So the verdict on this one?  Good.  VERY good.  At first I didn’t like them AT ALL.  I thought they had too much of a greek yogurt flavor (and I’ll probably make them again and adjust that) and I didn’t care for the amount of cinnamon in them but then the taste of them really grew on me.  And we keep them in the fridge and they are MUCH better cold.  So I’m kind of addicted to them now…pretty sure I ate almost the whole pan by myself.  Jeremy just didn’t care for the greek yogurt taste so there will most definitely be a second round of these with some adjustments here and there.  Overall, I think they are delicious and most importantly a GREAT source of protein.

Enjoy!

Rich Baked Homemade Protein Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 3½ c. Thick Cut Oats (preferably organic)
  • ½ c. Chia Seeds
  • 1 t. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • ¼ c. Sucanat
  • 1 c. Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (one without artifical/processed sweetener, colors, flavors, etc)
  • 2 c. Plain Greek Yogurt (love Fage brand)
  • ¼ c. Raw, Organic Agave (or honey)
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c. Organic, Natural Peanut Butter (only ingredient peanuts if possible)
  • ¼ c. Coconut OIl, melted
  • ½ c. Organic Raisins
  • 1 c. Chopped Raw Almonds
  • 1 c. Dark Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 pan with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, , chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, sucanat and protein powder.
  3. In another bowl, stir together greek yogurt, agave, vanilla, peanut butter and coconut oil until smooth. Add to dry ingredients along with raisins and almonds and mix together. Mixture will be VERY thick.
  4. Spread evenly into the pan and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips and then place bake in the oven for about 1-2 minutes, until chocolate chips start to melt. Remove from oven and spread chocolate chips in an even layer over the bars. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in refrigerator.
Notes
Makes about 24 bars.

 

 

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