Browsing Tag


Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

February 21, 2011
This weekend, Joey and I had a date to celebrate the fact that he passed a very important work-related certification exam. Naturally, I thought baking a cake was in order and had intended to share with you a cake and frosting recipe. However, the cake was a tad on the dry side and not yet ready to share. The frosting, on the other hand, was fabulous. 
It was thick, dense, and ultimately rich in the very best sense. And I was so delighted with how easy it was to work with when frosting a cake. The smooth, shiny, velvety texture made cake decorating a breeze. I would, however, offer this bit of advice: this frosting is best eaten on the day you frost the cake. After a day it loses its luster just a bit. Though it didn’t really stop me. 
And now for a public service announcement: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this year, go and do so this week. Though I felt decently healthy on Friday and was on the mend from my recent sickness, I woke up Saturday morning with chills, intense body aches, and major chest congestion. The doctor’s diagnosis on Saturday was Influenza B, and I spent the rest of the weekend in a ball on the couch. It was no fun and a flu shot could have saved me a bunch of pain and discomfort. 
Take care of yourselves and have a happy Monday!
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Adapted just slightly from Maida Heatter’s Cakes
*12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
*16 oz. milk chocolate chips
*1 pint sour cream
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/4 cup milk
*Heat semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until just melted. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat 1 to 2 minutes on low heat until smooth. Add in milk and beat an additional 30 seconds. 
*Spoon over cake and spread into an even layer. 
Happy baking!

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies

December 13, 2010

I’m thinking of turning Monday mornings into a time for weekly wedding updates. Everyone okay with that? Mmmkay good.

What’s become very evident to me over the past week and a few days is that I’m a very decisive bride. One who doesn’t dilly-dally over decisions in the least bit. And since Joey and I didn’t want a long engagement, it works out well.

Decisions Made:
*Date: July 9!
*Ceremony and reception locations: Check!
*Dress and veil: Check and Check!

In other news, I made you some cookies. Ugly ones at that. But just because they are ugly doesn’t mean they don’t taste amazingly delicious and deserve to be given a chance. Seriously, these cookies are pure deliciousness. They’re chewy, thin and crispy around the edges with a slight caramel wafer appeal. And for anyone who loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, these will pull at your heart-strings like none other.

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2010 
(Printable Recipe)

*2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup mint-flavored hot chocolate powder
*3/4 tsp. baking powder
*1/2 tsp. salt
*2 sticks butter, softened
*1 cup sugar
*1 large egg
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 cup chopped peppermint patties

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 
*Whisk together flour, hot chocolate powder, baking powder and salt.
*With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture, beating until just combined, followed by the peppermint patties.
*Form dough into 1-inch circles. Place on baking sheets and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake 9 minutes per batch. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transfering to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!


Strongbow Hard Cider Cupcakes

August 24, 2010

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a passionate beer drinker. In fact, I’m not much for alcohol in general, and when J. and I sit down to have a drink, a half glass of anything is enough to satisfy my tastes.

What I am is a Strongbow drinker.

Strongbow, as in the English hard cider, my favorite alcoholic beverage, and pretty much the only drink I ever really have a craving for. It’s crisp, and bubbly, and slightly sweet. Just sweet enough, I reasoned, to put it into a cupcake. Playing up the apple notes of this cider, I peppered these cupcakes with a bit of ground cinnamon and apple jelly.

And in case you weren’t temped already, I gave you chocolate, too. Apples and chocolate? Heck, why not? I’m already made a cupcake based on something from a beer bottle for goodness sake. The time to be risky, if there ever was one, is now.

I know that questions will come in about how that little flower was made. It’s an edible marzipan flower and it’s super easy to make. So easy, that I think a tutorial is in order. More details to come! Until then, bake some cupcakes and bide your time.

Strongbow Hard Cider Cupcakes 

(Printable Recipe)
*1 stick butter
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 large eggs
*1/4 cup apple jelly 
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup hard cider (such as Strongbow)
*3/4 cup self-rising flour 
*2 sticks butter
*2 cups powdered sugar
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup cocoa powder
*1 Tbsp. milk, if needed 
*Shaved coconut (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Set aside. 
*With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in sugar, then eggs one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add in apple jelly, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until just combined. 
*Beat in all-purpose flour until just combined. Beat in the hard cider, followed by the self-rising flour. Spoon batter into muffin cups, about half full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until just golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire rack.

*Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Beat until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the extra tablespoon of milk, if needed.
*Top cupcakes with icing and shaved coconut, if desired.
*I also topped my cupcakes with homemade sugar flowers. Tutorial to come! 🙂

Happy Baking!


Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 23, 2010
I’ve been a real-life, full-time working girl for three whole days now and boy is it tiring! Tiring in the best sort of way, in the my-brain-is-exploding-with-new-information sort of way. Yet despite thinking about food all day at work, I still somehow find myself baking and cooking at the end of the day to decompress and relax. 
This morning I woke up to a sky full of rain, I have a new Netflix movie coming my way this afternoon, a half a dozen Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies in my kitchen, and my first weekend home in over two months! Needless to say, I’m just a little bit excited. If you have a free weekend, or even just an hour during the week, I strongly recommend these cookies. 
I’m going to keep it short because, really, I think these cookies say everyting they need to on their own. Nutella. Chocolate. Hazelnuts. Cookie. Chocolate drizzle. And if that wasn’t enough, the texture is somthing special, too. Crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy in the center. Pretty much everything you could want in a cookie. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.
Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies 
(Printable Recipe)
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
*3/4 cup sugar
*1 egg
*1/2 cup Nutella
*1/2 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. baking powder
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)
*Additional melted semi-sweet chocolate (optional) 
*Preheat oven to 375°F. 
*With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the egg and beat until combined. Beat in the Nutella, baing soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until well combined. 
*Beat in the flour until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts by hand. Scoop dough by large tabelspoons and form into balls. Place, about 2 inches apart, on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are crispy and center is still slightly soft. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Finishing cooling on wire rack.
Happy Baking!

White Chocolate Dipped Nutella Cookie Dough Bites

July 5, 2010

Originally I planned to post these on Friday in preparation for 4th of July. But then I made these brownies and got so excited about them that I lost my mind, got distracted, and in a sugar-induced haze I posted brownies instead. Not to worry, these White Chocolate Dipped Nutella Cookie Dough Bites (yes, you heard that right) taste good any time of the year.

If you’re at all like me, you probably don’t need to read the rest of this post to know you want to make them, so I will keep this short and sweet so you can head on over to your kitchen and get to making them. Joy’s post last week was what first got me thinking about chocolate dipped cookie dough, but me being me, I had to play around and make it mine.

So what could make chocolate dipped cookie dough better? Adding Nutella, of course! Boy oh boy are they delicious, and quick, because when a craving strikes, the last thing you want to do is wait. Rest assured, this cookie dough is egg-free and safe for all to eat, though I can’t safeguard you against the stomach ache that comes when you eat too many, too early in the morning.

White Chocolate Dipped Nutella Cookie Dough
(Printable Recipe)

*3/4 cup butter, softened
*3/4 cup sugar
*3/4 cup brown sugar
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 cup Nutella or creamy peanut butter
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 (16-oz.) package white chocolate or almond bark
Wooden toothpicks 
Sprinkles or other toppings (if desired)

*With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars and beat for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, salt, and Nutella. Add in the flour and beat until well combined.
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Stick a toothpick into the center of each dough ball. Freeze for 20 minutes.
*In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate or almond bark, microwaving in 15 second intervals and stirring between each interval until chocolate is just melted, about 2 minutes.
*Dip cookie dough balls into chocolate and return to waxed paper. Freeze for at least 20 minutes. Keep in the freezer until ready to eat.

Happy Baking!


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