Sunday, February 22, 2015

Everyday Brownies

Everyday Brownies

I was craving chocolate. Just chocolate. Okay … WAS is probably the wrong choice of words because I crave chocolate everyday.

Fudgy Brownies

And these easy Everyday Brownies from my friend Kamran’s new book Hand Made Baking were … p-e-r-f-e-c-t. < That was me singing btw.

So decadent and fudgy!

Brownie Ingredients

I love brownies because the ingredients are simple and you don’t have to mess with your mixer to make them. And truth be told, when I’m craving chocolate in a pinch, I will break out a brownie mix to quickly satisfy my craving. But these brownies. Oh my gosh, they are insanely chocolatey and totally worth making my craving wait an extra few minutes for their decadence.

Mixing

They call for dark brown sugar in addition to the white sugar. Sweet!

Chocolate

And the chocolate. Oh, the chocolate. Cocoa plus chunks of chopped dark chocolate get mixed in before baking.

Brownies

And in no time, you end up with these sinfully sweet squares to enjoy.

 

Everyday Brownies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, cold
3/4 cup all purpose flour
5 oz roughly chopped dark chocolate cacao (54-70 percent cacao)

  • Position rack in upper third of the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on each side.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Mix in both sugars, the cocoa powder and salt with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
  • The mixture should be lukewarm before adding the eggs. If not, set aside to cool slightly. To test, a clean finger should be able to comfortable stay in the mixture without getting burned.
  • Vigorously stir in the vanilla and eggs. Once the batter appears shiny and the eggs are blended in well, add the flour and mix just until the flour has disappeared.
  • Briskly stir in the chopped chocolate and spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 38-43 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter.
  • Allow brownies to cool in the pan placed on a wire rack. Life the parchment paper and transfer brownies to a cutting board and cut into 16 equal squares.

Recipe from Handmade Baking 2014, shared with permission from Chronicle Books.

 

Want more?

Here’s a little peek.

Handmade Baking

I started out wanting to make this Everyday Chocolate Cake.

I mean if I could take a bite out of a book, I would eat the heck out of that cover.

Handmade Baking

But, then I wanted to make these Chocolate Snickerdoodles.

Handmade Baking

And then these Heartbreak Chocolate Truffle Cookies were calling to me.

They’re still calling to me… Screaming!

Handmade Baking

But there’s lots of other non-chocolate yumminess inside too.

Check out Hand Made Baking sometime if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth… or visit Kamran’s Blog, The Sophisticated Gourmet for more goodies.

 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

30 Valentine’s Day Worthy Treats

I rounded up a bunch of fun treats for the fourteenth. If you’re looking for something yummy, cute or chocolatey to make for your sweetheart this Saturday, then check out the links below. The list is a mix of some of my favorite past Valentine’s Day desserts plus some straight up chocolate decadence, too. Enjoy!

 

LOVE Cake Pops

1. Mini Cake Pops Display

 

Assorted Box of Cake

2. Box of chocolates cake

 

Chocolate Truffles

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

 

 

Big Love

5. Big Love Butterscotch Cookie

 

Fourteen Layer Cake

6. Fourteen Layer Cake

 

Meringue Kisses

7. Meringue Kisses

 

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8. Cha Cha Chocolates

 

Cheesecake Pops

9. Cheesecake Pops

 

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10. Red Velvet Cake

 

Cookie Stands

11. Sugar Cookie Dessert Stands

 

Puppy Love Mini Cupcakes

12. Puppy Love Mini Cupcakes

 

Whale Cookie Valentine Treats

13. Whale Cute Sugar Cookies

 

S'mores Brownies

14. S’mores Brownies

 

Strawberry Cake Pops

15. Strawberry Cake Pops

 

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16. Valentine Bear Cake Pops

 

Candy Cupcake Toppers

17. Sweet Shape Candy Cupcake Toppers

 

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18. Cookie Molds

 

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bites

19. Itty-Bitty Brownie Bites

 

Kit Kat Cream Cheese Brownies

20. Kit Kat Cream Cheese Brownies

 

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

21. Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

 

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

22. Melty Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 

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23. Cupid’s Arrow Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

24. Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars

 

Mocha Brownie Milkshakes

25. Brownie Mocha Milkshakes

 

IMG_4331

26. Vintage Valentine Cookies

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cake
27. Peanut Butter Cup Cake

 

Give Someone A Big Kiss

28. Oreo Kisses

 

S'mores Cupcakes

29. S’mores Cupcakes

 

IMG_6260

30. Big Kiss Cake Pops

 

Hugs and Kisses and Happy Valentine’s Day this Saturday. Hope it’s the sweetest!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sweet Shapes Candy Cupcake Toppers

Sweet Shapes Candy Cupcake Toppers

I have another easy little project to share with you today using candy wafers and one of the candy molds in my Bakerella for Make’n Mold line. If you liked the candy jewel pops from a few weeks ago, then I think you’ll enjoy this project too.

It’s a fun way to make the cutest candy cupcake toppers … perfect for your sweetheart!

First, we’ll need this Sweet Shapes Candy Mold.

Bakerella for Make'n Mol

Here’s a glimpse of the super cute packaging.

Bakerella Candy Wafers

We’ll also need some candy wafers in happy colors. Melt them and you are ready to go.

Painting candy molds

Okay, let’s get some melted candy in this mold. You can take the easy road and fill the shapes with just a couple of colors …(or even just one) in no time, but I wanted to show you how fun they could be using all the colors in the product line.

To fill in the mold, use a toothpick dipped in the melted candy wafers to draw in defined areas. If you’re filling in larger areas with one color, you could spoon it in carefully or use a squeeze bottle to pipe it into the mold.

Painting candy molds

Then layer on more colors until the mold cavity is full. (This takes a little longer than just using one or two colors, but the great thing about these is you can make the toppers ahead of time.) Make sure to let each color set before adding another color on top. When finished, pop the mold in the fridge for a few minutes to set.

They don’t look like much here, BUT…

Sweet Shapes Candy Mold

…When you turn them over, they’ll look as sweet as can be.

Sweet Shapes Candy Mold

I mean, look at that cute little bear with his perfectly pink paws. Oh my gosh.

I illustrated these shapes and it’s so fun to see them evolve from a two dimensional drawing on the computer to an adorable edible 3d version.

Sweet Shapes Candies

To remove the shapes, give the mold a little twist, then turn the mold over and let them release on to your counter. You can do this over a dishtowel also to help prevent any from breaking. If some don’t want to pop right out, then twist again and gently lift them out by the edge, one at a time.

Making cupcake toppers

To turn them into cupcake toppers, just dip a toothpick in more melted candy wafers and attach it to the back of each candy shape and let dry.

That’s it. Super easy.

Cupcakes

I like placing these toppers on vanilla frosted cupcakes so the colorful candies really stand out.

Candy Cupcake Toppers

Leave them just like this or add a few pastel sprinkles around the edge of the cupcake to spruce them up a little more.

They’ll make the sweetest Valentine’s Day treat!

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Below are the Bakerella for Make’n Mold products used in this post if you want to give them a go.

You can find them in stores at A.C. Moore Crafts.

Or, if there’s not a retail location in your area, you can also order online from Make’n Mold at the links below.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Groundhog Cupcakes

Happy Groundhog Day!!! I know it’s late in the game to make these little guys, but I had a last minute idea for them this weekend using some fave candies and I didn’t want to a year to see how they might turn out. Bookmark these cuties if you want to make them next year for Groundhog Day… or I guess if you need any Beaver cupcake inspiration, then the faces could come in handy for that too. ; )

Now, I couldn’t be more ready for Spring. I’m hoping for a cloudy morning when Punxsutawney Phil pokes his little head out this morning. If he sees his shadow, then he’s predicted another six weeks of wintery weather.

But regardless if he’s right are not, I hope these little guys make you smile.

Here’s how to make them.

Cupcakes and candy

You can use the chocolate cupcake and frosting recipe below to get started.

Then you just need to organize your candies to decorate.

Candies

  • Hershey’s Chocolate Drops for cheeks and paws
  • Brown M&M’s for ears
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups for heads
  • Black coated sunflower seeds for noses
  • Chocolate wafer cookies crumbled up for dirt

Candy Eyes

Groundhog faces

  • To make the faces, first separate the peanut butter cups from the wrappers, but leave on so you can move them around without getting chocolate on your fingers.
  • Use a toothpick dipped in some melted chocolate coating to act as glue and attach the candies. Place two Hershey’s Drops in the middle.
  • Then dot on more coating and attach the nose, and two candy eyes.
  • For the teeth, take the marshmallow bits, press them together flat for teeth and attach them with melted coating.
  • Draw on eyes using a black edible ink pen and let dry.
  • If they cups started to warm up from your touch, place them in the fridge for a few minutes while you frost the cupcakes.

Decorating groundhogs

  • Frost the cupcakes using an offset spatula. Apply the frosting around the sides of the cupcake with a downward motion using the offset spatula, leaving a “well” in the center.
  • Roll or press the frosted sides of the cupcake into chocolate wafer cookie crumbs for the soil.
  • Place a groundhog face gently in the center until secure. You can coerce the crumb coated frosting around the base to help hold it in place if necessary.
  • Then attach two M&M’s in position for ears with more melted chocolate as glue and let dry.

Groundhog Cupcakes

Finally, take two more Hershey’s drops and place on each side of the groundhog’s face for paws.

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CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup hot water
FROSTING
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill cupcake tray with 18 cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Add hot water and mix. It will be very liquid.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Pour into liner with a large spouted measuring cup for ease.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
  • For chocolate frosting, beat 1 cup butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Add 1-2 Tablespoons milk and mix until creamy and smooth.
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Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Super cute!!! Here’s hoping for an early spring!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls and this weekend these were the perfect comfort food. Or comfort dessert that is.

Dough swirled with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Yes, yes. yes.

These are basic cinnamon rolls … basic yum … with vanilla icing. But you can also try these chocolate cinnamon rolls or pumpkin pecan cinnamon rolls if you like them jazzed up a bit.

Dough

Prepare the dough and let it rise per the recipe below before rolling it out.

Rolling dough

Then roll it into a roughly 14 X 24 inch rectangular shape.

Brown sugar

Cover with melted butter and brown sugar.

Cinnamon Filling

Then sprinkle on cane sugar and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Roll Filling

Then you are ready to roll. Start from the back and roll toward you to create a long spiraled cylinder.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

Like so. And like so pretty!

Cinnamon Roll Slices

Slice the dough into 18 equal sections about 1 1/4 – 1/2 inches thick.

Butter two square pans and place 9 pieces in each. I like using disposable aluminum pans with lids for these.

Cinnamon Roll Dough Rising

Let the cut rolls rise again in a warm place for about 45 minutes before baking.

Cinnamon Rolls

Remove them from the oven and cover with vanilla icing while the buns are still warm.

Yum!!

 

CINNAMON ROLLS WITH VANILLA ICING

Makes 18 cinnamon rolls

DOUGH
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg

CINNAMON FILLING
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

VANILLA TOPPING
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons whole milk

PREPARE THE DOUGH:

  • Heat milk and butter in a small heatproof bowl in the microwave until warm. Stir in sugar.
  • Transfer milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Sprinkle yeast on top of warm milk mixture and let rest for 2 minutes. Gently stir together.  (Note: temperature of liquid should between 100-110 degrees when using Fleischmann’s and between 120-130 degrees for Red Star active dry yeast.)
  • Add 3 cups of the flour, salt and egg and mix on low until combined.
  • Switch to the mixer’s dough hook. Add remaining cup of flour and knead dough for a few minutes until it pulls away from the bowl. If needed, add another tablespoon of flour to help all the dough completely pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Spray a medium bowl with non-stick spray.
  • Remove dough from mixing bowl. Knead dough a couple of times by hand and then shape into a ball. Place in coated bowl and turn over to coat each side.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise in a warm spot for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. If dough reaches top of the bowl, punch down.

FOR THE FILLING:

  • Butter two 8 X 8 inch pans.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Keep extra flour handy to coat your rolling pin, hands and work surface if needed. Roll into a roughly 14 X 24 inch rectangular shape with the longest side closest to you. Roll so that the dough is almost 1/4 inch thick.
  • Drizzle melted butter on dough, spread around to coat, leaving about a 1/2 inch uncoated along the edges. Sprinkle both sugars and cinnamon all over surface of the dough.
  • Starting from the side opposite you, roll dough tightly towards you to form a long cylinder of dough. At the end, pinch the seams together and turn so the long seam side is down. If needed, gently squeeze or shape the dough to help form more equal size cinnamon rolls. Cut dough shape into 18 1-1/2 inch sections with a serrated knife and place nine cinnamon rolls in each pan. There will be a little space between each roll.
  • Let rolls rise a second time in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and then bake rolls for 15-17 minutes.

COVER WITH TOPPING: While the rolls are baking, prepare the vanilla topping. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in melted butter, vanilla and milk until completely smooth. Remove rolls from the oven and pour topping evenly over cinnamon rolls while warm.

Notes:

  • You can also bake these cinnamon rolls the next morning. After placing cut rolls in the pans, refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, let the rolls rise in the pans in a warm spot for the second time (45-60 minutes) before baking.
  • For a maple topping: Make the vanilla topping above and use 1 teaspoon maple flavoring instead of vanilla.
  • For a cream cheese topping: Beat 4 oz softened cream cheese and 2 tablespoons room temperature butter until smooth. Add 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Then add 3-4 tablespoons milk until smooth.
  • If you like your topping thicker, add more confectioners’ sugar or thinner, add a little more milk.

 

Vanilla Glazed

Enjoy!!!!!!!!

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