Sunday, August 12, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies

I've been on a chocolate rampage lately, meaning I been eating more than my fair share of chocolate. I am particularly obsessed with chocolate cake and love my Microwave Chocolate Cake recipe. It's been my go-to dessert for weeks! This recipe is so easy and quick to make in addition to being quite conducive to my semi-crazy schedule.

Fortunately, I had time to make something chocolately this weekend, the conventional way. I know I've made brownies from scratch before; however, boxed brownies are so good that I often don't think making brownies from scratch is worth my time. While brownies are fairly a simple dessert, making great brownies can be time consuming. I went on a pursuit to find a simply yet delicious brownie and  found an excellent one on Joy of Baking.

While the recipe itself is great, I believe there are a few keys into making gourmet tasting brownies. First key, use quality chocolate. You wouldn't believe what a different it makes but the higher quality chocolate you use, the higher quality and depth of flavor your brownies will taste. This goes for cocoa as well. Try to use high quality, non-alkaline cocoa. It makes a significant difference. I've researched the art of brownie making and chocolate quality is something I've consistently heard. I always disregarded this tip but when I wasn't getting the taste I was searching for, I had to change something in my practice. Secondly, the addition of coffee adds a depth of flavor to the brownie and accentuates the chocolate flavor. While coffee is an optional ingredient in many recipes, I believe coffee makes a good brownie into a great/gourmet tasting brownie. Lastly, add  chocolate chips! I know brownies are already chocolately but the chips gives texture and reiterates the chocolate goodness that brownies are known for. There's something divine about biting into melted chocolate that can really give brownies a heavenly status.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies


I will never get tired of the chocolate chip cookie. There are many variations and it is crazy how I never get bored of trying a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. How was this recipe inspired? Well, ricotta cheese. First of all, I do not like ricotta cheese. However, I bought some to make stuffed shells for a work potluck because I know people would like it. I don't usually eat what I bring to a potluck...for some reason, it just makes me feel weird, so it wasn't a big to not eat the stuffed shells. However, I had to give it a little taste to make sure I wasn't serving something terrible. Always test your product! To my surprise, the stuffed shells weren't too shabby. I'm not trying to toot my own horn but I learned it's not that I don't like ricotta but it's the amount I often feel there is an excessive amount in what I eat. 

Anyways, the store only sold a huge container of ricotta cheese so I had a LOT of ricotta cheese leftover so I had to do something with it. The first thing that came to my mind was a ricotta pound cake but I didn't want something so heavy and was going to weigh me down...literally. I started searching online to see if there were cookie recipes that ricotta cheese and voila,I found this recipe.

While the cookies do not have a distinct ricotta flavor, the cheese adds a nice texture to the cookies. The cookies turned out to be fluffy, soft, and moist. If you're a fan of the cake-like cookies, this is perfect. The cookies were tasty, not too greasy, and is a great variation of the chocolate chip cookies. Even if you overbake the cookies, the cookies remain moist and soft. No need to worry about the cookies turning hard the next day...if they last until then!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

In the summertime, I try to reduce the amount of baking because of the summer heat. The last thing is to have the temperature of my house to match the temperature outside. So, I've been on a pursuit this summer to find some non-oven recipes greatness. Thanks to Pinterest, I found this recipe: no bake peanut butter bars. Not only does this recipe requires no baking, it is super simple to make. I didn't realize that these bars taste like the inside of a peanut butter cup until I shared the end product with some friends. In my opinion, the bars tasted better cold because it has more texture. If the bars are left at room temperature, it gets mushy. There is nothing wrong with a messy, gooey peanut butter bar but just make sure you have lots of napkins or a fork! I learned the hard way!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Microwave Chocolate Cake - A Sweet Treat Under 5 Minutes

We all have our lazy days and today is one of those days! I've been having an irresistible urge for chocolate cake lately. Even though there are one bowl chocolate cake recipes, it still feels like a lot of work to me. On top of that, I would have this gigantic cake for just one person and have to end up throwing some of it away. That is when I decided to brave up and try a microwave chocolate cake recipe. I was quite skeptical of the baking process and that the chocolate cake would blow up in the microwave. I don't know why, it's just what I imagined.

Of course, this recipe is the exact opposite. To simply describe what I thought of this recipe, I have one word, AMAZING! For the time and effort involved, this is the best dessert in the world. It is amazing how quickly you can satisfy your sweet chocolate tooth with this chocolate cake. You can vary how long you cook or "bake" your chocolate cake, depending on what kind of cake you want. If you want a lava-like cake, microwave the cake for a shorter amount of time. You'll see the perimeter of the cake done while the inside is still runny. If you prefer a fully baked cake, just microwave the cake a bit longer. This recipe is quite versatile and have many adaptations. Play around with and see what your creativity takes you. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bran Muffins

I had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge this past week and debated what to do with it. I had that amount of pumpkin that's not enough for pumpkin bread but enough for a recipe that could replace oil/butter with pumpkin! Ultimately, I chose to jazz my up my Healthy Blueberry Muffin recipe by replacing applesauce and blueberries with pumpkin and chocolate chips. It turned out to be such a great variation to my typically blueberry and applesauce combination. I highly recommend using mini chocolate chocolate chips because the chips disperse all throughout the muffin, ensuring sweet deliciousness in every bite!

The idea to change this recipe was inspired by my dad, whom I've made my Healthy Blueberry Muffins for. He liked them but wished for chocolate chips instead of blueberries. My dad makes me laugh because he is very health conscious (if anyone can eat in moderation, it's him). However, he has such a weakness for chocolate and always say I could add a little more chocolate to my recipes. I can guarantee he will like these, especially with the addition of the mini chocolate morsels. Father's Day is on Sunday, isn't it? Breakfast for daddy: done.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

There is something mysterious about the chocolate chip cookie. I know, you might think I’m crazy and I’m okay with that. I mean, how hard can it be to make a soft, chewy, and tasty chocolate chip cookies? Trust me, I’ve made numerous chocolate chip cookies in attempt to achieve the perfect cookie and apparently, there are multiple of factors that go into making a chocolate chip cookie with the perfect taste, texture, and appearance. In my typical nerdy fashion, I researched how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I came across a plethora of tips: use an extra egg yolk, refrigerate the cookie dough before baking, use melted butter, don’t use melted, use corn syrup, make bigger cookies…the list goes on. You know what I concluded? It is too much work; thus, I shall never achieve the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It was something I was just going to have to come to grips with, well, until I decided to not be lazy anymore.

The top priority most people want in the perfect chocolate chip cookie is a soft and chewy texture and my priority is no exception. However, in order to achieve this, many bakers under bake cookies. While the baking time plays a factor in the texture of the cookie, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bite into a cookie and I thought I mind as well be eating cookie dough. While there is nothing wrong with that a little cookie dough action every once in awhile, I think a true cookie expert doesn’t need to make under baked cookie to achieve a soft and chewy texture.

So the purpose of this rant is to tell you that I’ve found a foolproof chocolate chip cookie recipe that will achieve a desirable textured cookie! In other words, this recipe is a simple way to have soft and chewy cookies without adding stress or time to your baking experience. The secret? Instant pudding mix. The pudding gives the cookies a soft texture that will last for days. As an added bonus, the vanilla pudding gives further depth of flavor to the cookies so you end up consuming multiple (yes, multiple) tasty and soft cookies. Also, you can the swap pudding flavor for a different chocolate chip cookie experience. I used vanilla but the cheesecake pudding sounds like it will make these cookies twice as addicting. More dangerous, yes, but totally worth it. I’m not a big proponent of packaged cookies but I’ve done my taste testing and this recipe is reminiscent of Keebler’s Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies. Obviously, these are homemade and x100,000,000,000 times better than the Keebler’s. Sorry Keebler, no offense. These cookies are super tasty and have the perfect soft and slightly chewy texture.

While I believe these cookies are pretty freaking fantastic, it’s always good to test the recipe on other people. Luckily in my household, testing doesn’t require much work. I can tell a recipe is good if only after a few hours of baking, half of my batch is already gone. Darn that cookie monster!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red Velvet Brownies

I’ve been dying to make this recipe for a while. It is hard to resist when I see recipe pop up on Pinterest a bazillion times and each time I see it, it looks better than the last. Also, how could I pass up the opportunity to make and consume a baked red velvet treat with cream cheese? You see what I mean?

Anyways, I learned a very important lesson while making these brownies. It’s a lesson I already know but like I said earlier, this recipe is simply irresistible! It is important to let the brownies cool before eating. Not only do you prevent burning of the fingers and tongue, you get the brownie taste and texture when it has cooled. While I didn’t burn myself as I cut a piece, I was disappointed with the end product. The brownies tasted like cake and it didn’t have the dense and slightly chewy texture that brownies are notorious for. However, the next day when the brownies were cooled, they had the perfect brownie texture and taste. This made me one happy gal. Okay, okay, I know. I need to learn to be patient.

My original intention was to make these brownies for a work function but I thought it was better suited for my own consumption…oops!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

With summer here, that can only mean one thing...strawberry season! Okay, strawberry season starts in the spring but summer is the time where we can eat strawberries all day, everyday. That's how things are in my house at least. I bought a four pound container of strawberries yesterday and intend to make ridiculous amounts of strawberry goodness. I started with strawberry cheesecake bars. I felt like doing something nice for my sister since she's done a lot for me lately. She is a huge fan of strawberries so this was the perfect dessert to make. If you thought I loved strawberries, you definitely haven't met my sister. She is a vicious strawberry devourer, no joke.

Back to the strawberry cheesecake bars, it starts with a standard graham cracker crust layered with a strawberry banana cream cheese filling and topped with a cinnamon streusel. The crunchy goodness from the streusel and graham cracker crust gives great texture to the bars and it makes these bars addictive. See the picture to the right? Need I say more?

I made a chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bar a few months back and this recipe was a play off of that. You're probably wondering where the post for that recipe is? Well, it was eaten so quickly, I didn't even have a chance to take a picture. No picture, no post. I know, sad day but it will be made again one day in the near future!

To give the bars an added layer of flavor, I chopped some additional strawberry pieces throughout the cheesecake batter so you know for sure it was a strawberry filling!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread

I've been having an urge to make something with apple. I was struggling on what to make because I wanted to use apples but not in its typical way through a pie, streusel, etc. That's when I saw the ripe bananas chilling on my counter and thought to myself, why don't I add some apple to my banana bread recipe? I also incorporated cinnamon to compliment the apples and bananas. This is a great banana bread variation, especially since I just made banana bread last week. The apples makes the bread super moist and adds nice textural element. Another great textural element are the walnuts which is slightly crunchier than the apple pieces throughout the bread.The cinnamon gives another depth of flavor throughout the bread. It's like eating apple pie and banana bread together. I don't mind that at all!

One note, because there are apples and bananas in this recipe, it won't keep long on the kitchen counter. I portion my loaf into serving sizes and freeze it. This way, I can pull out some bread for an out the door breakfast or midday snack. The bread last longer and you won't have discard your hard work when it's not edible anymore!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cupcake with Cookie Dough

Can you guess what's inside???

This cupcake is filled with a special treat for you. What is this treat you ask? Cookie dough of course! Now don't you worry about getting sick from this cookie dough because it is eggless cookie dough, which only means one thing...unlimited consumption until your stomach hurts from another reason besides the one you would get from eating raw cookie dough! To top it all off, it is stuffed into a chocolate chip cinnamon cupcake! The combination of the cookie dough and the cinnamon from the cupcakes is like a match made in Y-U-M-M-Y land! One of my favorite combinations is cinnamon with chocolate so this cupcake was absolutely divine.

Only one word can describe this...Y-U-M-M-Y!

The end product - cookie dough blends nicely with the cupcake!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Marshamallow Lover Cupcakes

I have a problem. It's more than just an obsession, it's an infatuation...with marshmallows. It's the craziest thing because marshmallow is pure sugar and I believe it's one of the great inventions ever. I do not exaggerate. There are times I go to the grocery store to buy a munchie and leave with a bag of mini marshmallows in hand. Marshmallows are least in my life. I can make Rice Krispie treats, dip em in practically anything, stuff em in a peanut butter sandwich, or eat em on their own. Oh, I did forget one more way to eat a cupcake! This cupcake is a ode to my one and only love, the marshmallow!
My one knows except for you!

Marshmallow lover cupcake is a yellow cupcake with marshmallow fluff filling, topped with chocolate malt frosting and a chocolate covered marshmallow. This cupcake is great from scratch (cupcakes, marshmallows, frosting, etc.) but it is also a great assembly cupcake. What do I mean by this? While I love baking things from scratch, sometimes we need a dessert but not enough time. This is a great cupcake to make that is, like how Sandra Lee says, semi-homemade. In this instance, I used boxed cake mix, store bought frosting, marshmallow fluff, and chocolate covered marshmallow. All I had to do was to bake and assemble the cupcakes. Sounds like a piece of marshmallow, right?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...