It’s been ages since I did a recipe roundup and I thought what better time than now–Valentine’s Day–to do one! So here you go….my top three healthy, chocolate desserts perfect for the most perfectly perfect day of love and romance and all things hearts and pink.
First up, these Homemade Chocolate Candy Cups are so stinking easy and soooooo good. They’re fun to make because you can top them with whatever your heart desires…nuts, dried fruit, sprinkles, coconut, etc. So creative! And SO much better for you than anything you could buy at the store. 🙂
Second, this Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake is my all-time favorite cake ever. When I made this, we weren’t quite 100% plantbased, so there is a good amount of eggs in it but I plan on seeing if there are any substitutes that will work for making it completely free of any animal products! If you try to make it vegan, let me know! In the meantime, this cake is waaaaaaaaaay healthier than something you’d get from your local bakery, so make it and enjoy!
And lastly, these Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies are my absolute favorite chocolate dessert on my blog–I have converted many non-vegan, SAD (standard American diet) friends to these brownies. Everyone who tries them loves them because they simply are the fudgiest, chewiest brownies you could possibly ever want.
Ditch the Russel Stovers and get in the kitchen! Enjoy!
I haven’t done a recipe roundup in QUITE awhile and thought it was high time I bring you some of the best, brightest and cutest dessert ideas from around the blog world! If only I had more time I’d make every. single. one. of these but we’re a little short on time these days so I will probably have to be satisfied with picking up some mini robin eggs at the store and eating ALL of them while I drool over these pics. Doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea, huh?
Doesn’t the title of these things just SOUND delicious?! As well it should because these bars are good. Very, very good. They definitely remind me of one of my favorite recipes of all time, Sugar Cookie Bars, but with a touch of cocoa in the bars (YUM) and decadent white chocolate cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day with the red in the batter and cute, sparkly pink sugar hearts on top. I used a cookie cutter to make the heart shape and directed the pink sugar with a funnel into the heart. Easy! These make great treats for kids and adults alike!
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars
3⅓ c. All-Purpose Flour
¼ c. Unsweetened Cocoa
½ t. Salt
1 t. Baking Powder
1 c. Unsalted Butter, softened
1½ c. Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 T. (one, 1 oz. bottle) Red Food Coloring
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1, 8 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
½ c. Unsalted Butter, softened
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 c. White Chocolate Chips, melted
4 c. Powdered Sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
For the Bars
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press evenly into the bottom of the 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool bars completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the Frosting
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and the melted white chocolate. With the mixer on low, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Spread evenly over sugar cookie bars.
Gooey butter cake again? YES. And this time with Nutella. NUTELLA. In OOEY GOOEY BUTTER CAKE. Can your mind even comprehend?! I’ve made all kinds of gooey butter cakes, but this one might be my favorite. It’s rich, decadent and perfect with ice cream. A great, chocolatey addition to any holiday spread!
1, 18.25 oz. Box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 Large Egg, at room temperature
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Filling
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. Nutella
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
3¾ c. Powdered Sugar
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla and mix well. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
For the Filling
Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, Nutella and vanilla. Dump in powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes (mine is done around 40), until a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Have you heard of dessert hummus? Sounds kind of gross, right? When you think of hummus you typically think savory, spicy, chickpea goodness served with veggies, crisp chips and deliciously soft, warm pita bread. You usually don’t think of dessert. But this recipe will forever change the way you view hummus! Because chickpeas have a fairly neutral flavor, they are a great base for MANY things (brownies, fudge, etc). Kind of like avocado…remember this awesome Chocolate Avocado Pudding made with avocados?! Yeah, it was awesome. But back to the hummus…in a word, this stuff ROCKS. You would never know it was made with BEANS and you definitely don’t have to tell people. I absolutely love that it is healthy and a perfect holiday treat. I served it with graham crackers, gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookies and tart fuji apples. I actually liked the apples best for dipping! That is when I was actually using something to dip it with and not just eating it with a spoon. Kind of addictive. But in a good way! Try this for your next holiday party just don’t mention the beans! 😉
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!
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!
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!
Homemade Orange Marmalade (or lemon curd) (see link above)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
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.
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!
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!
I started pinning things for Valentine’s Day on Pinterest and couldn’t stop. Thus, this blog post. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to make everything I was pinning so I decided to just put them all into one massive blog post and let you decide what to make! In my opinion, anything pink, red, strawberry, raspberry, cherry or chocolate says Valentine’s Day! And that’s pretty much what you’ll find in this post. Lots of pretty, delicious, Valentine’s Day-perfect treats and ideas! How to choose?! I hate making decisions. Especially when it comes to dessert. They all look amazing.
Get ready, Valentine’s Day is coming. Some will roll their eyes, others will get giddy with anticipation of flowers and gifts and then some will just look forward to eating CHOCOLATE. Lots and lots of chocolate. Like me. Nothing like a big box of chocolates whether single or attached. Everyone loves them. My favorites used to be Russell Stover and Whitmans while I was growing up but then I discovered See’s and I love, love, loooooove See’s. As a matter of fact we are actually getting a permanent store in our mall any day!!! Seriously, pinch me, it’s too good to be true! And you better believe I will be buying myself a box for Valentine’s Day if no one else does (hint, hint Jeremy). Raspberry Truffle, Dark Buttercream, Mocha, Orange Cream….ahhhh, they are ALL good.
Another great way to get a chocolate fix this Vday is with these M&M Blondies! They are super rich, super buttery from the BROWNED BUTTER (one of my favorite things to do with butter!) and chalked full of chocolate. Great for kid’s parties, work parties, your significant other, a night just by yourself….really, just come up with some excuse to make them.
P.S. What is YOUR favorite chocolate?? Brand, flavor? I’d love to know!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns an amber color and begins to smell nutty. Brown bits will start to appear in the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the browned butter and sugars. With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg, vanilla, heavy whipping cream and salt. Stir in flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips and half of a cup of the M&M's. Spread evenly into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M's. Gently press them into the batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes (recommended 27 minutes). Let the blondies cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.
I am not quite done with Superbowl recipes (I’ll have another later this week!), but I made these Cherry Pie Bars a couple of days ago and they were so fantastic I couldn’t wait to share the recipe! I love anything cherry and combined with the crumbly streusel topping, they are beyond yummy. And so incredibly easy to make. I think they would make a lovely Valentine’s Day treat!
12-16 oz. Frozen, Unsweetened Dark Cherries (I could only find 12 oz. in my store)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
For the Crust and Topping
Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into ½-inch pieces and add to the flour mixture. Cut in with a fork or use your fingers (my preferred method) until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Evenly press ¾ of the mixture into the bottom of the pan and reserve the rest for topping.
For the Cherry Filling
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour and almond extract. Gently fold in the cherries and pour over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining topping mixture evenly over the top
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (mine took 55 minutes) until the top turns golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
This morning I want to share a recipe that is one of my absolute favorite holiday recipes. It’s a hot punch drink that my mom makes every year at Christmas and it is one of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever had. The flavors of cranberry, cinnamon, citrus and cloves are perfectly balanced and blend together so nicely. And this recipe couldn’t be easier–simply heat and it’s done! If you are looking for something warm and absolutely delicious, try this punch.
9 oz. (3/4 of 12 oz. can) Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
9 oz. (3/4 of 12 oz. can) Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
3 Qt. Water
20 Whole Clove
3 Cinnamon Sticks
15 oz. Cinnamon Imperial Candies
Heat all ingredients in a VERY large stockpot over medium heat until heated through. Stir frequently.*
Makes about 25, 8 oz. servings.
*The Imperial candies will want to stick to the bottom of the pan while the mixture heats, but just a use a wooden spoon to keep them scraped off and they will eventually melt.
Last week I had the privilege of giving a brief presentation to our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in Springfield, MO. I shared two recipes with them, one healthy and one definitely not healthy. I was a little nervous because I have never tried doing a cooking demonstration AND talking at the same time, but everyone was very nice and made me feel very comfortable!
The first recipe I shared was this one for my No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (chocolate version). I actually made this one in front of the group with a little help from two lovely assistants. They were passed around so everyone could try them and the general consensus was “yum!”. Everyone seemed to love the fact that these were healthy, easy to make and tasted delicious (I describe them as tasting just like a no-bake cookie!). I was sooo relieved that everyone liked them!
The second goodie I shared were my Cappuccino Truffles. There are a few candy recipes that I have made many times in the past and NEVER shared and this was one o them. When I find recipes that people rave over and are willing to pay me to make, it’s hard for me to let go of them, but it was time! I had these done ahead of time and did a few with coffee bean decor and some with gold luster dust. It was so fun to pass these out and watch while people tasted them…the look of sheer pleasure on their faces was priceless. Yep, they’re good.
I make mine with bittersweet chocolate ganache that has a hint of cinnamon and coffee and has been enrobed in a yummy white chocolate. They are absolutely divine. If you are looking at candy recipes for this holiday season and just don’t know which one to choose (there are MANY out there) I would highly encourage you to make this one! They will be gone in seconds wherever you take them.
Needless to say, I had a fantastic time with the MOPS group of girls. They were so fun and had lots of questions which I actually really enjoyed answering! I’m definitely thinking I might be ready for my own cooking show….
1 lb. Bittersweet or Dark Chocolate, finely chopped (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Bars)
1½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 T. Instant Coffee Granules (or espresso powder)
½ t. Ground Cinnamon
1.25 lbs White Chocolate Candy Coating
60 Coffee Beans, for decoration
Place the bittersweet/dark chocolate in a large bowl. Place the instant coffee in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir 3 tablespoons into the instant coffee, to dissolve the granules, then blend this mixture back into the rest of the cream. Stir in the cinnamon, then pour the cream into the bowl with the bittersweet chocolate. Let the mixture stand for one minute, then stir together until thoroughly blended and smooth. Let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until thick but not stiff, about 2 hours.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil. With a melon baler, scoop out about 1” balls onto the foil-lined pan. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and roll into balls with the palm of your hands. Place back in the refrigerator while you melt the white chocolate.*
Melt the white chocolate candy coating in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted and smooth. Dip each truffle in the white chocolate and place on foil. Top immediately with a coffee bean.
Makes 60, 1" truffles.
*Be sure your truffles are not frozen or too cold. If they are very cold, it will cause the white chocolate to crack after you dip them.
This recipe started off as blondies but somehow turned into cake. Not sure what I did wrong but it’s all good because this turned out to be one of the best pumpkin cakes I’ve ever made. It’s super moist and the spices are very pronounced which I love. On top of all that, the orange cream cheese frosting is THE PERFECT frosting to complement all the spices in the cake…it’s absolutely delicious. I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries but if I did it again, I’d omit the chocolate chips. The just seemed unnecessary and didn’t really add anything. I did love the dried cherries but you could also leave those out if you prefer.
If you’re looking for a fantastic pumpkin cake recipe, try this one. You won’t be disappointed.
Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
2 sticks, plus 2 T. Unsalted Butter, softened
1¾ c. Packed Brown Sugar
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1½ c. Pure Pumpkin Puree
1½ T. Cinnnamon
½ t. Nutmeg
2 t. Allspice
2 t. Ginger
1 t. Ground Cloves
2¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
1½ t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt
¾ c. Dried Cherries (optional)
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
1, 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
¼ t. Salt
4 c. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Orange Zest
4 T. Fresh Orange Juice
For the Spiced Pumpkin Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla and pumpkin until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in dried cherries, if using.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely and frost with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and shortening until smooth. Add salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Beat in orange zest and juice. Frost cake.
I really enjoy finding recipes from other blogs to share with you guys. The only problem is I find so many that it’s hard to choose which ones to include without the post being incredibly long! So I managed to narrow things down to TEN pumpkin recipes. All look drool-worthy and absolutely freakin’ delicious. See if there is one you like and make it! If you do, please tell me about it in the comments…I truly would love to know what you end up making and loving!
Happy July 4th! How are you celebrating today? We have zero plans today (except staying inside in the air conditioning!) and then we’re heading to a get-together our church is putting on with bbq, games for kids and of course, fireworks! I will say fireworks are making me extremely nervous this year with the dry conditions and potential for fire but I’m just gonna try to relax and not freak out and tackle every little kid I see with a sparkler too near to grass. Hopefully I’ve done enough preaching to all my friends and family on Facebook. I’m sure they just loooooove me and my paranoid ways right now. Oh well!
Anyway, onto a more pleasant topic: CAKE. I love cake…cheesecake, ice cream cake, cake-cake, cupcakes, cheesecake-cakes…you get the point. And these patriotic cakes are perfect for July 4th, whether you’re celebrating today or this weekend.
My niece is a genius. Yes, she is one of the sharpest, brightest, most creative and beautiful little girls I know. But I’ve now confirmed she is a CULINARY genius as well. My sister-in-law, Rachel, had mentioned a loooong time ago that Joslyn misunderstood something she said once and mistakenly thought that she and Rachel were going to make red velvet funnel cakes, instead of cupcakes. Ummm, can you say brilliant?!? I immediately tucked the idea away in the back of my mind knowing one day I’d get around to it and I am so happy to finally announce that day has come!
Now I’ve only made funnel cakes once in my life when I was a kid and I seemed to remember it being fairly easy and so, so fun and most of all extremely YUMMY. The same can pretty much be said this time around but I must have forgotten how MESSY it was. Umm, yes, this was messy. I’m just going to be honest–get a funnel cake pitcher. There’s a reason they make these, people. Do not attempt to use a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (like I did) or a ziploc bag with a corner cut off. I basically had to hold my finger over the hole of the tip while Jeremy poured the batter into the pastry bag (it turned out to be a VERY loose batter) and then release it into the oil Don’t get me wrong…it worked. Oh it totally worked. But messy? Yes. And I HATE messy. As a matter of fact, you could probably even use an empty, clean ketchup bottle which I know a lot of people do for pancake batter, which has a very similar consistency and would be much more controllable. If only I had thought of that before…
Besides the messy factor, this red velvet funnel cake was super easy to mix up, required an absurd amount of red food dye (eek!) and was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS with a generous amount of powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream and fresh blueberries. And if you want just a plain funnel cake but still want to be patriotic, just dye the basic recipe red or blue and voila! I think it is such a fun dessert for the 4th of July!
Powdered Sugar, Ice Cream, Blueberries, etc for topping
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. And the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together until smooth. Add the red food dye until you have the red color you desire (I used about half of a 1 oz. bottle).
Pour the oil into a large skillet. Heat oil until a thermometer reaches at least 290 degrees (even though the original recipe called for 360 degrees, mine only ever got to 290 so I went with it and it worked). Release the batter into the oil while making a circular motion. Mine were pretty large, about 7-8 inches in diameter. Fry for about two minutes until it no longer looks raw. Using large tongs, grab the funnel cake in the middle (NOT the edges..they are crisp and could break) and gently turn over. Fry for one more minute and then place on a paper towel lined plate to soak up additional grease. Dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar and top with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and blueberries.
Makes 5 large funnel cakes.
Note: This is NOT a sweet funnel cake, which is why I recommend topping it with a generous amount of the powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream, etc...it pairs perfectly with those things.