Sunday, June 1, 2014

Melty! Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh my gosh I couldn’t stop eating these cookies! I gave a few to my mom and I was going to give the rest away too, but then… I opened the container they were in to have just one … and then I was like I’ll just have one more … and then there were just too few to give to anyone. Whoops. (wink) … So I kept the rest all for myself.

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Spread

The dough is kissed with a little salted caramel hazelnut spread. Oh yes!

Chocolate Wafers

But these jumbo chocolate wafers are what make them so irresistible. I love baking cookies with them. It means melty chocolate in every warm little … or big bite.

dough

Mix up the dough, scoop it onto baking sheets and then… sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt to finish them off.

Cookies!

And then bake…

Melty Chocolate Chip Cookie

Break…

Melty

and bite!

That’s it. I’m done! I just passed out. I think I’ll just need another melty cookie to revive me.

Melty Salted Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Servings: Makes two dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Salted Caramel Hazelnut Spread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 16 oz. semisweet chocolate baking wafers
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt together with a wire whisk.
  3. In a mixer, cream butter, sugars, and hazelnut spread until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. Add flour and mix on low until incorporated.
  6. Stir in chocolate wafers. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Scoop dough onto parchment paper about two inches apart and sprinkle tops with sea salt.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy while melty.
  9. Note: The wafers are made by E. Guittard and the salted caramel hazelnut spread is made by Jif.
Source: © 2014 Bakerella.com

Update: I accidentally left out the step where you add the flour to the recipe. It’s in there now (#5). : )

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pick Your Mix!

What’s your sweet style? Cakes, bread, confections, cute? What do you guys love or want to learn how to bake?

Check out the 10 books below and pick a mix of your favorite five to be entered for a chance to win them! FUN!!!

 

Surprise-Inside Cakes
Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – with a little something extra inside
by Amanda Rettke
Photography by Susan Powers

These whimsical cakes are as cute on the inside as they are on the out. The step-by-step photos will inspire you to get creative with layers of cake.

 

Sweet Paul Eat and Make
Charming Recipes + Kitchen Crafts You Will Love
by Paul Lowe
Photography by Alexandra Grablewski

If you love Sweet Paul’s blog and magazine then owning this book is a no-brainer. Beautifully photographed and full of comfort and charm, this one’s a real keeper.

 

 

 

Eat More Dessert
More than 100 simple-to-make & fun-to-eat Baked Goods from the baker to the stars
by Jenny Keller
Photography by KCB Photography

This book will make you want to fill your table with treats… and yes … eat more dessert! Jenny’s easy and adorable recipes are showcased in dessert tables like Spring Garden, Princess Tea Party, Down on the Farm, Vintage Baby and more.

 

 

Meringue Girls
Incredible Sweets Everbody Can Make
by Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman
Photography by David Loftus

I love how many different ways a basic meringue can be used to create decadent desserts and colorful confections. I made these meringue kisses from the book last week and they were way too fun!

 

 

Glorious Layered Desserts
by Glory Albin
Photography by Gene Chutka

Layers of sweets in small jars. I’m in. Pina Colada Cheesecake Mousse, Peach Raspberry Almond Trifle, and Brownie Bottom Coconut Cream Dessert are just a few of the sweets to get you started or use her basic recipes to mix and match and make your own combinations.

 

 

The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook
Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival
by Alex van Beuren and Dixie Grimes
Photography by Ed Anderson

This book makes me happy inside. It’s divided up into Breakfasts, Main, Sides, Soups for every Season, Spreads and Sandwich Fixings, Casseroles and of course Southern Sweet Thangs!  You’ll enjoy making this Mississippi Grocer’s best recipes.

 

Trophy Cupcakes and Parties!
Deliciously Fun Party Ideas and Recipes from Seattle’s Prize Winning Cupcake Bakery
by Jennifer Shea
Photography by Rina Jordan

The famous Seattle cupcake bakery shares some of their most loved recipes along with basics for party themes and tips for entertaining.

 

 

Modern Pioneering
More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life
by Georgia Pellegrini
Photography by Georgia Pellegrini

Georgia is a friend of mine and she’s really outdone herself with her latest book. And while it isn’t focused on baking, it’s like an excite-o-pedia of fun projects and recipes to sharpen your skills. Besides red wine popsicles and beet marshmallows, there’s tips on gardening, making preserves, tapping your own watermelon keg and much more.

 

 

Pure Vanilla
Irresisible Recipes and Essential Techniques
by Shauna Sever
Photography by Leich Beisch

Okay, vanilla lovers, this book is for you. 80 recipes showcasing this beautiful flavor that usually takes a backseat to chocolate. You’ll fall in love with the Twinkie Bundt Cake, Vanilla Cloud Cake and I dare you not to make someone’s day with the Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts.

 

 

Josey Baker Bread
Get Baking • Make Awesome Bread • Share the Loaves
by Josey Baker
Photography by Erin Kunkel

This step-by-step book would be great for the beginning bread baker. Josey Baker … yes his real name… starts you from scratch learning the basics and takes you on a journey through different types of flours to inspire you to have fun with bread.

 

……………………………………………………………………

Pick Your Mix Giveaway for your favorite FIVE (5) books!

  • To be entered for a chance to win, just leave a comment on the blog with your favorite 5 books from the ones above.
  • That’s it. Easy peasy.
  • Deadline to enter is Thursday, May 29th at 7:00 pm ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner Announced below.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced sometime Thursday evening.

Good Luck!!!

* Amazon affiliate links included in this post.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Okay … it’s time to announce the winner.

P.S. – I loved reading all your picks. It’s fun to see what people wish for. I just wish I had an easy way to tally everything up. I get so curious about these kind of things.

And the baking books go to Maggie! Congratulations. I think you’ll have tons of fun baking this summer.

 

 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Meringue Kisses

Meringue Kisses

So these were really fun to whip up. Cute. Colorful. Adorable.

And you only need two ingredients to make them. Unless you want to color them and then it’s only three. I like it.

I used the recipe from the New Meringue Girls Cookbook that releases in June, but you can preorder it now.  I received an early copy from my friends at Chronicle Books. I like sweet surprises.

Egg Whites

The Meringue Girls Mixture is super easy to remember. One part egg whites to two parts sugar.

(P.S. I’ve gotten used to photographing things one handed with my left hand turned backwards balancing the camera and holding ingredients in my right hand. I’m pretty proud of grabbing this one before the egg white dropped. I should use a tripod sometimes but I never do. I’m too impatient I guess.)

Superfine Sugar

Make the meringues with superfine sugar and heat the crystals in the oven for about 5 minutes so it will dissolve more quickly when added to the egg whites.

steps

Whisk away and then when ready for the sugar, add heaping spoonfuls of warm sugar one at a time to the whipped egg whites.

Meringue Mixture

Smooth and shiny.

You can leave your meringues marshmallowy white, you can flavor them and color them, too.

Making meringues

For stripes of color, turn a piping bag inside out and brush on stripes of food coloring.

Carefully turn it back and fill with meringue.

Striped Kises

Then snip off the end and pipe little kisses.

Kisses

Or for solid color kisses, gently fold the color into the meringue mixture until combined.

Meringue Kisses

Pretty and fun.

Just like the Meringue Girls.

Check out their videos below on how to make and color meringue. These two London girls are as cute as their confections.

Meringue Girls Mixture from Deneemotion / Denee Media Films on Vimeo.

Colouring & Piping Meringue Kisses from Deneemotion / Denee Media Films on Vimeo.

And here’s a peek inside the Meringue Girls Cookbook full of decadent desserts and colorful confections.

MERINGUE GIRLS

Meringue Kisses

Servings: three dozen kisses

Ingredients

  • 300 g superfine sugar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 150 g egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
  • food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, pour in sugar and bake for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees F until the edges just begin to melt.
  2. Meanwhile, pour egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer (make sure it’s clean) fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low allowing bubbles to form, increase to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
  3. Remove the sugar from the oven and begin whisking again at high speed. Add one big spoonful at a time, ensuring that the whties come back to stiff peaks after each addition. Once all the sugar is added, continue to whisk for 5 - 7 minutes. You should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers and not feel any grit from the sugar. You know it’s ready to use when it forms a smooth shiny peak on the tip of your finger.
  4. Decrease oven temperature to 200 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a dab of meringue on four corners of pan and press paper on top to hold it down flat.
  5. To stripe kisses, turn piping bag inside out and paint on 4-5 stripes of food coloring. Roll the bag so the painted side is inside and carefully spoon in meringue mixture so it is packed in tightly. Snip off the tip of the piping bag about an inch in diameter and pipe kisses on baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 200 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the kisses can easily be lifted off the parchment paper with bases in tact. Let cool completely. Meringues stored in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks.
Source: Adapted from The Meringue Girls Cookbook, 2014 published by Chronicle Books
Monday, May 12, 2014

Mom Approved!

Lemony Lemonies

These may not look like all that much at first glance, but let me tell you they are fantastic! They’re little lemon brownies or lemonies. My mom found them on Pinterest and said she wanted me to make some for her right away. So I came up with this version to give her on Mother’s Day.

These are such a refreshing treat.  A dense, tangy, cakey little bite of bliss. And it pains me to say that I might even choose them over chocolate. I know crazy, but they are that tasty. My mom loved them and so did I. Warning… they won’t last long so load up on lemons and be prepared to make a second batch.

Lemons

Pucker up. These pack the perfect amount of lemony punch. A combination of fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.

Lemon Zest

Zesty!

Lemon brownie steps

The ingredients are mixed in one bowl and stirred by hand. Nice!!!

Glazing

And after they’re baked and cooled, they’re topped with a tangy lemony glaze.

Perfection.

Lemon brownies

 

Lemon Bites

Lemon Brownies may not be the right name because they’re like the opposite of chocolate. And lemon bars don’t really work since that dessert is already taken. (Speaking of lemon bars, I think you’ll like this recipe, too.) Lemonies is a cute name that some recipes used. I think I like that best. Lemony Lemonies it is. Thank you for the recipe inspiration Pinterest and for helping me make my mom happy.

Sink your teeth into these right away. You won’t regret it.

And here’s more variations on Pinterest.

Lemony Lemonies

Servings:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, almost completely melted and then cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • - - - - - - - - - - -
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square pan or line pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray to easily lift brownies out of pan.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and zest together using a wire whisk.
  3. Add melted butter, lemon juice, eggs and vanilla and stir until completely combined.
  4. Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
  5. Remove from oven and cool.
  6. For lemon icing, sift powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until completely combined and smooth. Pour over lemonies and let rest until icing sets. You can also place in the fridge to speed things up.
  7. Cut into 16 or 25 small bars.
  8. Enjoy! P.S. I think they're even better slightly chilled for a few minutes.
Source: © 2014 Bakerella.com

 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

I’m sharing these easy flower bouquets today… just in time for Mother’s Day.

There are endless ways to make flower cake pops. I’m blown away by all the amazing designs you guys have created and it makes my heart happy to see how much fun this website has inspired and how creative everyone’s cake pop designs have become. You can use candies for petals, flower cookie cutters to shape your dough, molds to make flowering attachments, fondant for flower petal details, you can pipe swirly tops on roses and even use cupcake wrappers as backers to do most of the decorating. Then you can gift them grouped together for a beautiful bouquet. I bet if you did a search for flower cake pops, you’d be busy for days at all the different ways you can celebrate cake and flowers combined into one cute little treat.

Well here’s another little way that brings cute and cake together. In this design the cake pop is its own bouquet. Give them in a group piped in pastel colors or simply share them individually with a sweet little tag and make someone smile… like Mom! These would even be cute for baby or bridal showers or weddings with coordinating colors. So many options and the best part is they are easy to decorate.

Crumbling cake

You’ll need to make basic cake pops. Crumbled cake, mixed with frosting and rolled into bite-size balls.

BASIC HOW-TO HERE.

Then it’s time to get down to decorating.

Dipping Cake Pops

First up, dip your stick about two inches in green candy coating and let start to dry. Then insert the dipped tip about halfway into a slightly flattened cake ball.

When dry, dip the uncoated cake ball in melted candy wafers in the color of your choice and let dry. Then dot on more melted coating with a toothpick or squeeze bottle. I used a toothpick and dotted it on. These can be random sizes and shapes.

Piping petals

There’s no need for perfection because we’re going to swirl on more coating to resemble petals… or at least insinuate petals. At this scale, tiny little swirls are all you really need. Again, I used a toothpick dipped in melted candy coating that I made lighter by mixing with white wafers. I let the coating drip off the toothpick and used the coating that was dangling to land on the pop and then swirl in a circular motion to draw. Does that make sense. I wish I had a live action shot or at least a fourth hand so I could have taken a pic, but it’s easy. Just start playing and you’ll get it. The key is fluid coating so you can make thin lines.

Flower Bouquet Cake Pops

To finish the stems, use a toothpick dipped in remaining melted green candy wafers to layer on more stems for bulk.

Then if you want a little more detail, apply more random dots of coating and drop nonpareils on the cake pop over a large dish to reuse any that fall off. Wrap the stems in ribbon to make them super sweet.

If you’ve made flower cake pops, share a link below, I’d love to see what you’ve been doing!

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