Posts tagged ‘dessert’

November 11, 2011

Food: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Muffins.

When you have left over Halloween candy, what do you do with it? I mean besides taking detours in your kitchen to snag a few pieces, 16 times a day.

They kind of look pitiful when naked..don’t be fooled.

Add some chocolate syrup.

And a scoop of ice cream.

Dessert is served!

That drip of chocolate syrup on the side, kills me. Don’t you just want to drive into that picture and catch it from falling?

Heat these up. Serve with ice cream. Grab a fork or not. Open your mouth and enjoy!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins


  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, rough chop


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray.

1. Melt 1 cup of chocolate morsels and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stir until smooth. Remove from heat.

2. Add melted chocolate and butter into large mixing bowl. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking soda. Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate morsels.

3. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of batter to each individual muffin tin. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top of each muffin. If any batter remains, pour over the top.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. The centers will subside – leaving the perfect place for some ice cream or whipped cream. When storing them, cover completely with plastic wrap or in a sealed bag.


October 7, 2011

Food: Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream.

I was so kindly asked to bake cupcakes for my friends son’s upcoming birthday. So in an effort to have the best possible cupcakes for this cupcake snob of a 1-year-old on his birthday, I have been test baking.

Like I really need an excuse for test baking, but it helps.

Oh and he isn’t a snob…I mean he is 1 years old, remember.

Mini cupcakes are more time-consuming than the regular size but serving mini’s at a party work so much better.

They are easy to eat. There are little to no crumbs.

You don’t need a napkin.

You have one mouth’s full instead of several to break up your very important conversation.

And, you can hold your beverage and eat one of these at the same time.

Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

inspired from Barefoot Contessa at home

Yield = 72 mini cupcakes

This recipe was cooked and modified for high altitude. The oven temperature was increased by 10 degrees and flour increased by 1/4 cup.


For the cupcakes-

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 granulated sugar
  • 2/3 light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, no alcohol
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons brewed strong coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, good quality
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Crystal Sugar, for garnish

For the buttercream-

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcakes pans with paper liners and spray with cooking spray.

1. In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and two sugars on high-speed for 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add 1 egg at a time. Then add vanilla extract and combine.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low-speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds. Begin with the buttermilk mixture and end with the flour mixture. Mix only until combine. Fold batter – making sure that the batter at the bottom of the bowl is incorporated.

3. Divide the batter among the cupcake pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Center of cupcakes should spring back when touched with finger. Cool on rack.

4. To prepare buttercream, cream together the butter and cream cheese, until blended. Add melted yet cooled white chocolate while mixer is on low-speed. Add vanilla extract. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time. Taste test after 3 cups – to desired sweetness.

5. Once cupcakes are cooled, frost each one with a knife or pipe on a fancy design. Dig in!



October 5, 2011

Food: Junior Mint and Chocolate Wafer Ice Cream.

What is your favorite candy?

It might now be obvious what mine is.

You know those mini sized boxes of Junior Mints? Besides being just plain cute, they give you the perfect portion of mint and chocolate…I try to eat one but that usually doesn’t happen. Kind of like feel fine about eating one because of the small portion but then realize that you have just consumed 5 while thinking about it!

Besides Junior Mints being my favorite candy. My favorite ice cream is mint. In front of coffee and chocolate.

You can’t tell this is mint ice cream can you? I know you are used to that artificial green color ‘they’ call mint. Me too, don’t worry. The mint extract really gives this ice cream a punch. Its powerful. So fresh and minty tasting – hows that for a description?!?!?!

Make this before the weather gets too chilly..or wait until the dead of the winter and dream about summer nights!

Junior Mint and Chocolate Wafer Ice Cream


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 8 oz sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Peppermint Extract
  • 4 large chocolate wafers
  • 1 box junior mints


1. Heat milk, heavy cream, half of sugar and peppermint extract in a saucepot over medium high heat. Stirring occasionally. Combine egg yolks and remaining half of sugar in a bowl. When milk begins to form small bubbles on the edge of the pot, turn down to low. Add a ladle full of the hot milk mixture to the yolk bowl while whisking constantly. This is called tempering. Add about 3-4 more ladle full, while whisking constantly.

2. Combine the tempered yolk mixture into the remaining milk mixture pot. Turn heat up slightly, and stir constantly with a rubber spatula. Cook until nape consistency – until it coats the back of the spoon. Be careful not to over cook it.

3. Strain and cool. Once cool put into prepared ice cream maker. Process. When it is almost finished churning, add crumbled chocolate wafers and junior mints to the mix. Let the ice cream maker combine them.

4. Freeze until frozen, at least a few hours. Enjoy with more junior mints and wafers on top!


September 23, 2011

Food: Mint Espresso Brownies.

Brownies bring me happiness.

They are in the running for my first choice of hand-held treat – along with cookies and cupcakes.

Adding a little peppermint extract gives them just the perfect amount of mint flavor that doesn’t over power the chocolate!

Mint Espresso Brownies


  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line  two 8×8 baking pans with aluminum foil and then grease the foil.

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in double boiler until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Set aside until it reaches room temperature.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla and peppermint extracts, salt, espresso and sugars.

3. Add the melted chocolate/butter mixture and stir to combine.

4. Stir in the sifted flour and mix until blended. Spread batter evenly into baking pans. Bake for 35 minutes.

5. Let cool, if you can be patient!

September 15, 2011

Food: Wine Poached Pear Galette with Cinnamon Chantily Cream.

Poached pears may just be my newest favorite thing.

What soaked in red wine, a pinch of cinnamon, sugar and a clove, wouldn’t be good?

Pate Brisee is a savory crust. It is perfectly flaky and buttery. It takes 10 minutes to assemble. 1 hour to rest. and about 25 minutes in the oven.

The Galette started out without the Chantily Cream..and I’m not sure what I was thinking. Since I was going to eat this in about 2.2 seconds I didn’t have time to make ice cream and we didn’t have any in our freezer because it doesn’t stick around these parts for long. Long story short…

Chantily cream is super easy to make. Yes, it’s the fancy name for whipped cream. Sugar and heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks, flavored however you want and dolloped (is that a word??) on top of whatever. Time to eat. You have to try this.

Oh cinnamon chantily cream, how I adore you.

This recipe is not complicated at all! I just had a hard time describing things and end up being a little wordy…normal occurance in my life 🙂

Wine Poached Pear Galette with Cinnamon Chantily Cream

Yield= 2 6-inch Galette’s. Enough  for 4-6 people.

Pate Brisee Recipe


  • 12 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz. cold butter (I cut it up into small cubes, and put into freezer, while I’m gathering the rest of the ingredients)
  • 4 oz. water, cold
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. Add flour and salt to large bowl. With hands/fingers, add butter and coat with flour. Pinch each cube of butter to form flat disks. Do this to all of the butter – working quickly so that the butter doesn’t melt. Add 1/2 water and lemon juice and mix (turning the dough/mixture on to its self). Add remaining water and combine. Put dough onto working countertop surface. Fold over itself (like you are folding a piece of paper – side to side and top to bottom). Do this just until it is incorporated. Cover with wrap and put into refrigerator as soon as possible.

Poached Pears


  • 6 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1 -1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


1. Place pears in our even layer in a saucepot that has a lid. Add the remaining ingredients on top. The wine should cover the majority of the pears – about a 1/4 of an inch of the pears should appear. Place on stove top on high- bring to a boil. Once to a boil, cover and turn heat to medium low. Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour, checking on them occasionally. Turn pears over, so that the entire pear absorbs the wine and is a constant color. When done, remove from heat and take lid off to cool slightly.

Assembly of Galette:

**Depending on the size of Galette’s you want to make – this dough is enough for 2 larger galette’s or 4 smaller ones – either way the method of assembly is the same.

1. Take the pears out of the poaching liquid and place on a cutting board. Return the liquid to the stove top – DO NOT THROW AWAY…you will be sorry if you do 🙂 Place on low, very very low and uncovered.

2. Cut the pears into thin slivers with a pearing knife (get it pearing knife, yep, I’m full of jokes). Keep them into their natural pear shape or place them all in a bowl.

3. Cut the dough into sections (how every many galette’s you are making). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Turning and picking it up so that it doesn’t stick. If the dough gets too warm, put it into the freezer for a couple of minutes. It is important to keep the dough as chilled as possible- this ensures a flaky crust. The dough should look like a circle with very rough edges.

4. Place the pears either organized in the pear shape or free form with a center pile (the one pictures above is free form) – either way place them in the center of the dough. They shouldn’t be more than 1 inch high. 4 inch wide for a smaller and 6+ for a larger galette- totally personal preference. Fold dough edges up towards the center, folding over each other when turning the galette. I cut about 1 1/2 inch off the outer portion of the dough- since you want the fruit to show through the center.

5. Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or cream) and cinnamon and sugar for sprinkle is a nice touch to the outside of the dough. Place ready to bake galette on pachment paper and place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Depending on the size, cook for at least 20 minutes uncovered- checking on it occasionally. The crust should be golden brown, fruit bubbly…check the bottom on the galette- cook it more if the dough is doughy.

Let cool or dig in right away! Whoops…dollop with Chantily cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Chantily Cream

1 part cream to 1/2 parts sugar. Whip in cold metal bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in flavoring, if desired.


Look who stopped by when I turned to go inside after the photo shoot…

August 15, 2011

Food: Chocolate Chip Cookies with butterscotch drizzle.

Chocolate chip cookies are as classic as cookies come.

 I do love classics but it is nice once in a while to spruce them up. Que butterscotch.

Melting some butterscotch chips and drizzling the melted mess over each cookie and topping them with a sprinkle of sea salt = heaven.

I used mini chocolate chips and I might have to say that they are a perfect complement to the stand out butterscotch flavor – they just melt in your mouth.

You will not bite into a solid piece of chocolate (which could be a good and bad thing) – but you will enjoy all the flavors combined into one. The nutty cookie, with the blend of chocolate and then the smoothness and contrast from the butterscotch on top! Yum.

Oh and I can not forget the star of the show. Sea Salt. When is there a time that sea salt isn’t good? It adheres to the warm butterscotch. Sweet and salty combo’s are ever so good.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with butterscotch drizzle

adapted from New York Times


  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups  light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used the mini’s this time)
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • Sea salt


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

August 3, 2011

Food: Lemon and Olive Oil Sorbet.

I know what you might be thinking. Olive oil in Sorbet? Yeah, I know. I thought that same thing.

But I’ve changed my questioning mind.


We made this in school and I just had to share it with you.

It is delicious.

The olive oil adds just the right amount of smoothness and silky texture to each spoon full which is bursting with fresh lemon.

Lemon and Olive Oil Sorbet

1 1/2 quarts


  • 14 oz water
  • 11 oz  sugar
  • juice from 6-8 large lemons
  • 8 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


1. To make a sugar syrup, bring the water and sugar to a boil. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Cool completely.

2. Combine syrup, lemon juice, olive oil, egg white and zest. Make sure mixture is chilled to 40 degrees F.

3. Process in ice cream machine and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving (best to freeze overnight).


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May 20, 2011

Food: Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.

What to bring to a girls night? Well, cupcakes of course. Cupcakes are just perfect! Bite sized so that you don’t think about portions or having too big of a cake slice. And when you have a second and a third cupcake you still don’t feel guilty.

I love plain white cake but in the effort to jazz things up a bit – lemon became the star. A little zest, extract and food coloring did the trick!

The food coloring was a last addition – I love the nature look of white cake with the hint of lemon but I wanted the little cute cakes to look more like lemons!

*Yes, I didn’t put on a ton of Buttercream. I am more of a cake girl so the soft mountain peaks of frosting did it for me. Decorate any way you like with as much or as little frosting as you want. It’s your world.

Adapted from Jamie from My Baking Addition

Makes about 20 medium to large-sized cupcakes. Best to use an electric mixer (KitchenAid) for this recipe. 

Lemon Cupcakes


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • lemon zest from two large lemons
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 -2 teaspoons yellow food coloring, depending on how yellow you want them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.

4. Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of your mixer and beat for 1 minute. Add the butter and beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts.

5. Add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter incorporated, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Add yellow food coloring and beat for 2 minutes. If the yellow color is too dull, add a few more drops and mix. Fill each cupcake mold to 2/3 full.

6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean from the center of cake. Cool on wire rack.



  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Beat all ingredients together until combined. Taste test. May need more powdered sugar.

2. Ice cooled cupcakes.

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