Category Archives: Desserts

Baby Love

Seems like it’s baby season right now. Every where I look my friends have just had or are having a baby. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of baking the cake and cupcakes for a friend’s baby shower. I was quite nervous with this being my first big event, but I think the end results were not too shabby.

Now for some details. I call this cake my Ruffle Cake. This particular ruffle cake was strawberry, lemon poppy seed cake filled with strawberry buttercream and iced with vanilla buttercream icing. I used a rose tip to pipe the icing and it took what felt like half my life to ice the entire cake. The cupcakes were chocolate cake filled with nutella and topped with vanilla buttercream icing.

My favorite part of the shower (besides the glowing guest of honor) was when a guest came up to me and asked me if the cupcakes were filled with nutella. After I said yes, she shook my hand and said ‘spectacular.’ I never never did find out her name but she totally made my day :).

Here are some more fun pictures:

I made little flags to top the cupcakes. The crowd favorite was ‘B is for Booger.’ I really wanted to put ‘B is for Boob’ but couldn’t get the image of kids running around the room screaming boob so I decided to leave that one out.

Since the cake was very tall (a little over 10 inches) I placed a cardboard piece in the middle of the cake so it would be essentially be a 2 tier cake when cutting. Very easy to do, just make sure you tell the person cutting the cake not to try to cut all the way through.

Why Did The Banana Go To The Doctor?

Because the banana was not peeling well….hahahooahhaha oh my, I think I need a vacation.

Okay, let’s be serious for a moment and talk about these seriously good Banana Nut Muffins.

A while back a friend asked me to post a good banana bread recipe. I know, I know, this isn’t banana bread. But what’s a girl to do without a loaf pan on hand. Don’t worry though, these delicious Banana Nut Muffins can easily be converted to a banana bread recipe.

One of your bananas needs to be mashed by fork. You want to just lightly mash it to give your muffins good texture.

The other banana you can mix until smooth along with the brown sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Now this is the important step. When mixing in the dry ingredients, do NOT use a mixer. Use a spatula and gently mix in the dry ingredients and mashed banana until just incorporated. Over mixing will cause the muffins to come out tough. Don’t worry about lumps, they will bake away. The key to super moist and soft banana nut muffins or banana bread is to not over mix and using super ripe bananas!

Fill each muffin tin about half way. Use an ice cream scoop to have the muffins bake to the same size. They will be nice and moist and will peel out of the tins easily after they are baked.

Okay, just one more. What do you call two banana skins? A pair of slippers.

There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s!

Did you know that Mr. Hershey has created over 45 variations of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? A few examples include:

Marshmallow – the traditional cup with an added layer of marshmallow filling

Crunchy – a traditional cup with crunchy peanut butter, as opposed to the smooth peanut butter in the original

Thank you Wikipedia, for making me a little smarter and unfortunately, a little hungrier today.

Without realizing it, I created a similar version to one of Mr. Hershey’s ‘limited edition’ variations:

Dark Chocolate – peanut butter filling in a dark chocolate cup

These Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls are so simple to make and perfect for a quick chocolate fix!

The filling, three simple ingredients: peanut butter, butter, and confectioners sugar.

Mix the filling ingredients together with and electric mixer and then roll into approximately 2 inch balls.

Using a fork, dip your peanut butter balls into melted dark chocolate.

This is an optional step. Place the balls into mini muffin tins. You can also just place the balls directly onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Refrigerate the balls for about 15 minutes and then peal them out of the muffin tin. They won't be perfect in shape, but they will taste fantastic!

Pop the whole thing in your mouth, eat the sides first, just remember, there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s!

Get Your Day Rollin’ with Cinnamon Rolls

I am very shamelessly admitting to my fellow readers that I have eaten 6 cinnamon rolls in the span of 4 days. I am well on my way to a bigger pant size and utter happiness.

People often ask what I do with all the baked goods I make. I always spread the wealth. I have some very happy co-workers and friends. This week, the only person that was happy was me.

Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls are a sure fire way to make any Sunday morning better. Little did I know I was going to be making my Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning better.

This was a very special day for me. I got to use my dough hook attachment in my standing mixer for the first time! That just looks fun, doesn't it?

After pulling the dough off the super fun dough hook, knead it for another 30 seconds with your hand and shape it into the shape above..oval?

Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and let it rise for about 2 hours.

Now for the fun part. Punch the dough to take the air out. Then place it on a well floured surface and use your knuckles to get the rest of the air bubbles out of the dough.

After you have rolled your dough out into a 12x16 rectangle, spread your filling (brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans) on the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border on one of the 16 inch sides (preferable the side away from you). Lightly pat the filling into the dough.

Roll the dough using your fingers and thumbs (coolest part of your hands).

Slice the rolls in half. Then in thirds. Then in thirds again. This will help you cut the rolls evenly so they will all be the same size.

You would think the recipe is coming to an end. Negative. At this point, I put the rolls into a well buttered pan. Covered it well with saran wrap and then placed the pan in the refrigerator overnight. I actually prefer this 2-day method of making cinnamon rolls because otherwise you’d have to wake up at 6 a.m. in order to get the recipe done before brunch…and that ain’t happening.

In the morning, you want to 'proof' your dough for about 30 minutes. All this involves is placing your rolls in an unheated oven over a bowl or pan of boiling water. The steam will wake up the yeast.

After you have proofed the cinnamon rolls, place them in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Once the rolls have cooled slightly, pour your cream cheese icing over each roll. Make sure it gets in all the nooks and crannies!

Eat immediately. And then for 5 days after. Unless you plan on sharing. But sometimes sharing is overrated.

The ‘Crepe’d Crusader

I think I have a serious problem with puns. After this blog post I am going to put some serious thought into cutting back…..

Who am I kidding, that is never happening. Puns are just so punny!

What’s not funny though is how incredibly easy it is to make these delicious crepes (without a crepe maker!).

Strawberry Nutella Crepes

These Strawberry Hazelnut Crepes made for a nice impromptu brunch this weekend. What is great about crepes is that you most likely have all the ingredients you need to make them sitting in your pantry. The illusion of complexity that is invoked from the name ‘crepes’ is a good ploy used by crepe-maker marketers to intimidate mankind (and make you ‘crepe’ in your pants), but really they are simply simple.

Flour, eggs, salt, butter and milk are all you need for this easy crepe batter. Crepe batter is very thin and easy to pour. The kind of pan you use will be important. It's best to use a non-stick pan that has shallow sides.

Immediately after you pour the batter, lift up the pan and spread it around allowing the batter to coat the entire pan. Cook the crepes on medium heat for no more than a couple of minutes on each side.

Your crepes will be thin and delicate. In order to spread the hazelnut spread without tearing the crepe, heat up the spread for about 30 seconds before spreading it onto the crepe.

Organize the strawberries from the outside in.

Fold the crepe over so that you can see some of the strawberries peaking out. Sift powdered sugar on the crepe and all around the edges of your plate.

Garnish with a few more slices of strawberries. And then eat the 'crepe' out of them!

Oscar Nominated Chocolate Mousse

‘I want to thank everybody and anybody who ever had anything to do with the making of this mousse. And most of all, I’d like to thank my family and friends, who supported me in eating it.’ -Kinjal

If you are hosting a Oscar party this weekend, nothing says elegance and excellence like this Chocolate Mousse.

I bet most people didn’t know that the main ingredient in Chocolate Mousse (besides the chocolate of course) is raw eggs. You heard me. I’ve never made a dessert quite like this so I was a little nervous, but ultimately very happy with the final product.

Egg White and Egg Yolks - both have a part in this movie.

You want to beat the egg yolks until you can form a ribbon that takes a few seconds to dissolve.

The egg whites on the other hand need to be beaten until you reach soft peaks.

And now for my favorite ingredients: Bittersweet Chocolate (get the good kind) and butter!

Melt the chocolate until smooth.

Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, gently whisk in your egg yolks (and a little bit of whiskey!)

Next, gently fold in the egg whites. Take your time with this because you want your end product to be light and fluffy. If you fold the egg whites and chocolate too quickly, you will have a very tough consistency.

You can also fold in fresh whipped cream for a lighter texture. I like my mousse a little dense and rich so I only folded in about 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Most other recipes will call for 1-2 cups.

And there you have it - your final product. But don't eat it just yet! Refrigerate it in your ramekins for at least 3-4 hours before serving. I used a star piping tip to make pretty swirls of mousse in my ramekins.

Happy Oscar Weekend!

Happy Red Velvet Cupcakes Day!

Oh…and Happy Valentine’s Day too!

I learned two fun tricks making these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting:

#1 – It’s very easy to make chocolate decorations for your cupcakes. Pipe melted chocolate into whatever shape you want (hearts, initials, etc.) onto parchment paper, put the parchment paper in the refrigerator; 30 minutes later, end up with cute decorations.

#2 – All you need is a rose piping tip to create fun ruffles on your cupcakes. Nope, not all my screws are loose, I know these are not roses, but I think they still look pretty cool.

Rose Piping Tip

Icing Ruffles - not to be confused with Icing Roses 🙂

Hope everyone has a fabulous Valentine’s Day!

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