Monday, April 30, 2012

Biscoff Pretzel Bites

Today is my little man's 3rd birthday!  I can't believe that he's already three years old.....and I also can't imagine life without him.  He's definitely a clown and a total blast to be around.....unless he's being grumpy......then he's super G-R-U-M-P-Y (just ask everyone at Kindergarten pickup that see him right after he wakes up from a nap) and stubborn.  Did I mention he can be stubborn?  I've been itching to start potty training for ages, but he just would not have it.  So, I would tell him that when his birthday comes around, we would start, because three year olds use the potty.  His response?

"I'll be one!"

Well.....we've started today.....Mommy can be just as stubborn!

So how about these little treats for something festive?  I mean, who can resist the pull of rainbow sprinkles?  And wait till you hear what are in these pretzels sandwiches......wait for it........Biscoff!!  Oh yeah!  They are fantastic!  So simple, and absolutely delicious!  I brought these to three different get togethers, and they were a huge hit everywhere we went.  And did I mention that they are super easy to throw together?  Yup, these might just be a perfect little bite.

Check out the awesome Two Peas and Their Pod for the recipe.....and Enjoy!!

My little monkeys enjoy sprinkles just as much as Mommy does!
This post is linked to:
Mix it Up Monday - What Makes You Say Mmmmm? Monday  - T' Time - Crazy Sweet Tuesday - Tasty Tuesday - Tip Me Tuesday - Tuesday Talent Show - Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party - Link It Up Wednesday - Cast Party Wednesday - Sweet Treats Thursday - Full Plate Thursday - Bake with Bizzy - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday - Friday Favorites - Feed Your Soul - Friday Free-For-All - Anything Goes Linky - Friday Food - Fun Stuff Fridays - Sweets for a Saturday - Seasonal Inspiration - Sweet Tooth Friday - Scrumptious Sunday

Friday, April 27, 2012

My First Guest Post!

I was so excited to be asked by Mandy over at The Project Queen to do my first guest post!  She's got a ton of great ideas over there......I was more than happy to be a part of it.  So, while Mandy if off on vacation, I'm sharing some fun flower cupcakes that would be perfect for Mother's Day.  Check it out!

Monday, April 23, 2012


I totally love cookies that are chock full of yummy things (chocolate chips, nuts, toffee chips, you name it) or stuffed with something yummy (hello Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie!!)......but sometimes, simpler is better.

These snickerdoodles are good old-fashioned hidden surpises......just a super yummy chewy cookie that is dunked in cinnamon sugar.  One of the hubby's favorite kinds of cookie!  This is the best snickerdoodle recipe I've's from Joanne Chang at Flour Bakery, so that's no surprise.  The cookies don't flatten out much when they bake, and they stay nice and chewy (nothing worse than a crispy snickerdoodle).

Source: Joanne Chang via Fine Cooking

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar to blend.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat in the eggs until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.  Scrape the bowl again.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly blend in the flour until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.  Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons into the cinnamon sugar and roll around to coat.  Set the coated balls of dough about 3 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake until golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.


This post has been linked to:
Tasty Tuesday - Show Me What You Got Linky Party - Crazy Sweet Tuesday - T' Time - What's New Wednesday - Link It Up Wednesday - Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party - Cast Party Wednesday - Taste This Thursday - Sweet Treats Thursday - Full Plate Thursday - Show Off You Stuff - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday - I'm Lovin' It - Feed Your Soul - Anything Goes Linky - Friday Free-for-all - Friday Favorites - Sweets for a Saturday - Foody Friday Linky - Scrumptious Sunday - What Makes You Say Mmmmm Monday - Mix It Up Monday

Monday, April 16, 2012

TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

For this round of Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia, we are baking the Lemon Loaf Cake.  A dense, poundcake-ish type cake flavored with lemon zest.  Because there was no lemon juice in the recipe (only the zest),  I ended up make a little lemon glaze to pour over the top, and it definitely helped bring up the zing factor a bit.  Looking at the comments some bakers had made, they found the lemon flavor too mild.....which would probably be the case if you were going to eat this on its own.

I decided to make this cake to bring to our family Easter brunch, and it was a perfect springtime dessert.  We served the cake sliced and topped with some perfectly ripe sliced strawberries and whipped cream.  The cake absorbed some of the juices from the strawberries, but was dense enough that it didn't fall apart with the extra liquid.

To check out the other bakers' results click here.....and for the recipe check out this round's hosts......Truc over at Treats, and Michelle at The Beauty of Life.....and Enjoy!
This post is linked to:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Club: Baked - Grasshopper Bars

I'm so excited for this round of Club: Baked for two reasons......I'm hosting, and I got to pick one of my favorite desserts in the book (Baked Explorations)......Grasshopper Bars!  When I was in Charleston last summer and went to Baked, the Grasshopper Bars were my favorite thing that I tried......delicious!  

A brownie base, topped with a mint flavored buttercream, all topped with a chocolate ganache.  Each bite has an amazing mint chocolate taste......if you're a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream, you will freak out over these bars!  I think that my bars came out tasting exactly like what I remembered....but I had a tricky time getting a nice clean looking bar.  The only change I had to make when I was baking was that I added a few drops of green gel food coloring to the mint buttercream.  The hubby bought a clear creme de menthe for me (he said there was a green one as well, but he went with the clear), and I wanted to get that mint green coloring in the buttercream.

Grasshopper Bars


For the Brownie Base
3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
5 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Buttercream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened but still cool, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons creme de menthe
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the Chocolate Glaze
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes

Make the Brownie Base
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2.  Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal 9-by-13-inch pan.  Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.

3.  Configure a large size double boiler.  Place the chocolate and the butter in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined.  Turn off the heat, but keep bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars.  Whisk the sugars until completely combined.  Remove the bowl from the pan.  The mixture should be at room temperature.

4.  Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined.  Add the vanilla and stir until combined.  Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

5.  Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate.  Using a spatula (do not use a whisk) fold the dry ingredients into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.

6.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth with an offset spatula, and bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  The brownies should be just a tad underdone (not too gooey, but ideally, just 1 minutes from being cooked through completely).  A toothpick inserted into the brownies at an angle should contain a few loose crumbs.  Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool completely white you make the creme de menthe filling.

Make the Buttercream
7.  In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.  Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

8.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on high speed until cool.  Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until filling is light and fluffy.

9.  Add the creme de menthe and peppermint extract and mix until combined.  If the filling is too soft, chill slightly in the refrigerator and then mix again until it is the proper consistency.

10.  If the filling is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and re-mix to proper consistency.  Spread the filling evenly across the top of the brownie later and place the pan in the refrigerator, for a minimum of 45 minutes, while you make the chocolate glaze.

Make the Chocolate Glaze
11. In a large non-reactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.  Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth.  Remove the bowl from the pan and stir vigorously for 1 minute to release excess heat.

12. Pour the mixture over the chilled creme de menthe layer and use an offset spatula to spread it in an even layer.  Place the pan back in the refrigerator or 1 hour, or until the glaze hardens.

13. Remove the pan from the refrigerator; wait about 15 minutes for the glaze to soften slightly, and cut the bars with a warm knife.  Cut into squares and serve immediately.

14.  These bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

Click here to see the other baker's results.....and Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Salted Butterscotch Blondies

I have to admit.....when I'm planning on making a few things to take to an event (in this case, my nephew's birthday party) of them is almost always some bars.  They're usually easy to throw make it all at one time (with one oven, a lot of cookies will take a while)........and you get a lot of servings from one batch.

So when I saw this recipe for Salted Butterscotch Blondies come through my inbox recently from Bake at 350, I knew I'd need to try it soon.  I've had a bag of butterscotch chips in my pantry for a while.....I had just been waiting for the right recipe.

The hubby would not normally be a big fan of butterscotch anything......but I gotta say he loved these!  The bars on their own are a little on the sweet side for me......but with the sprinkling of sea salt flakes on top, the saltiness really balances out the sweetness.  They were a hit a the birthday party!

Check out Bake at 350 for the recipe......and Enjoy!

This post is linked to:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Search for the Best Blueberry Muffin

For this round of the Crazy Cooking Challenge (CCC), we are looking to find the best blueberry muffin recipe.  I immediately knew that I had to make my favorite muffin, Barefoot Contessa's Tri-Berry Muffin. However, the rules for the CCC are that you must make a recipe found out there in blogland......but one quick search, and I found that The Sisters Cafe had tried, and loved, this recipe.

This recipe is more than just a blueberry muffin recipe.  It's got blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries!  And there's a little twist in the don't add the sugar until the very end of putting the batter together.  This allows the sugar to form a delicious crunchy top on these muffins.  I've made these 4 or 5 time now, and they have always been a hit!

Triple Berry Muffins
Source: Barefoot Contessa via The Sisters Cafe

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line or grease muffin cups.  Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In another bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and melted butter.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into the well.  Stir until just combined.  The batter will be not overmix!  Add the berries and the sugar and stir gently.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Makes 16-18 muffins.



Check out all of the other entries in the search for the best blueberry muffin!

This post is linked to:
Seasonal Inspiration - Sweets for a Saturday - Scrumptious Sunday - Sweet Indulgences SundayMix It Up Monday - Tasty Tuesday - Tuesday Talent Show - Crazy Sweet Tuesday -  T' Time - Link Party - Tip Me Tuesday - Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party - Link It Up Wednesday - What's New Wednesday - Cast Party Wednesday - Sweet Treats Thursday - Full Plate Thursday - Taste This Thursday - Anything Goes Linky - Feature Friday Free-for-All - Friday Favorites - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday - Sweet Tooth Friday - Friday Food

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TWD: Pizza Rustica

For this round of Tuesdays with Dorie - Baking with Julia we are tackling the Pizza Rustica.  As I've said before I usually cheat when it comes to making pie crusts.....most people never figure out that I've used a refrigerated pie crust instead of using a homemade one.  This time around I decided I needed to try to do my own....and well, it worked out ok.

This recipe does form a lovely crust, but it does need to be well chilled or it will stick like crazy when you're trying to roll it out.  Since I was trying to get it done for dinner one night, I kind of rushed and didn't really concentrate on making it too pretty.

Pretty or not, I thought this was pretty delicious!  This pizza pie has a sweet crust and a savory filling.  I did decide to cut back on the sugar to 1/4 cup so i wasn't quite as sweet.  Ricotta, mozzarella, and pecorino......lots of cheesy ooey-gooeyness!  I used more prosciutto than the recipe called for to make the hubby happy, and I actually thought it was perfect.  I think using the amount called for, it would kind of get lost in all that cheesy goodness.  I also subbed in chives for the parsley, which gave it a nice mild onion flavor.

To check out the other bakers' results, go to Tuesdays with Dorie......and for the recipe check out our hosts.....Emily at Capital Region Dining and Raelynn at The Place They Call Home.....Enjoy!!

This post is linked to:
Link It Up Wednesday - Full Plate Thursday - Show Off Your Stuff - Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday - Anything Goes Linky - Fun Stuff Fridays - Friday Food - Feature Friday Free-for-all - Seasonal Inspiration - Scrumptious Sunday - Mix It Up Monday - Tasty Tuesday - Tuesday Talent Show -  T' Time - Link Party