6″ simple cake base

I got this base recipe out of my Dessert for Two cookbook. I had some leftover caramel frosting from making salted caramel cupcakes, so I whipped up this one bowl base and smothered it with the abundant leftover frosting… just in time to watch the Bachelor (only slightly really embarrassing).

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup & 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Cream the butter & sugar. Add the egg white and vanilla extract. Sprinkle in flour, baking soda, and salt. Add sour cream. Combine all ingredients until just mixed. Bake in a 6″ pan for about 25 minutes at 325*F.

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(Pictured in the back is my copy of the Book Thief – bought 2nd hand for 4.95$ at 2nd & Charles. I publicly pledge to make a good dent in this book by the end of this week.)

Salted caramel cupcakes

Salted caramel is definitely my fav flavor this year. These cupcakes actually remind me a bit of the Sprinkles one I had at Downtown Disney (Orlando). I modified this recipe. Special thanks for friends who helped & provided the best company.

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • frosting
    • 1/2 cup salted butter
    • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
    • additional pinch of salt, as needed

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the butter & sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat. Mix the dry & wet ingredients together. Do not overtax the batter. Fill cupcake liners and bake for about 22 minutes at 350*F.

For the frosting, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add brown sugar & heavy cream. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for 3 minutes and then remove to heat and allow cooling for about 15 minutes. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time with electric mixer. Frost cooled cupcakes.

I love the color of rich caramel:

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One for the {recipe} books

Brownie cupcakes w cookie dough frosting

DOUBLE CUPCAKE POST on its way. It was a really great (gloomy) day to stay in & bake & frost.

This recipe only uses one bowl for the brownies & one for the frosting so it’s very simple.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces 60% Ghiradelli chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • frosting
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter,
    • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Melt chocolate and sliced butter in a bowl, stirring well. Allow cool for a few minutes and then stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Mix in flour & salt. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for about 22 minutes at 325*F.

For the frosting, cream the sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla. Stir in flour & salt. Stir in milk & beat until fluffy. Fold in the chocolate chips. Frost the cooled cupcakes generously.

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This would be great for brownie/cookie dough lovers! Personally, I prefer my cookies baked…

Blondies for 2

I modified a recipe from my cherished Dessert for Two Cookbook (best birthday present ever!!) This recipe is completely customizable with your favorite chocolate & nuts!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate (I used white chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

This is a one bowl recipe! First, cream the butter & sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Sprinkle in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. Stir in the  chocolate & nuts of your choice. Pour batter in a prepared loaf pan and bake at 350*F for about 20 minutes.

Your array of choices:
Chocolate: white, milk, dark, butterscotch… mixed
Nuts: pecan, walnuts, macadamia nuts… mixed

I went with white chocolate & pecans… and a sprinkle of chocolate on the top because I have no self control.

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Fruit pizza!!!

If there’s anyway to get me to eat fruits, it’s this way… I’ve seen it made at many gatherings (a crowd-pleaser for sure) and finally decided to make it tonight for me & one of my oldest friends on her less than 12 hour pitstop in Gainesville. You can easily hack this recipe by using premade sugar cookie dough, but I decided to make everything from scratch using this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • assorted sliced fresh fruit (of your choice!!!)

For the crust: in one bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg & vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch. Combine the wet & dry ingredients. Press dough into a 12 inch pizza pan as evenly as possible and chill for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350*F for about 17-18 minutes or until browned. Let the crust cool.

For the frosting: beat the cream cheese & butter. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 1 Tablespoon milk. Add vanilla and 1 additional Tablespoon of milk (if needed). Spread in a thick layer over the cooled crust. Decorate with fruit!

The sugar crust is perfectly textured, as is the tangy/sweet cream cheese frosting. My decorations could use work but I guess it doesn’t matter how it looks when it’s happily in your stomach. >:)

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Red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

To continue in the holiday spirit, I used more of the red food coloring to make these 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid or gel red food coloring
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Cheesecake Swirl
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar & vanilla extract together. Add the cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and white vinegar in that order. Then mix in the eggs. Finally, fold in the flour. For the filling: combine all ingredients together with an electric mixer.

Pour almost all batter into a prepared 8×8 pan. Add dollops of the filling on top and cover the rest with the remaining batter. Use a knife to create swirls. Bake at 350*F for about 28 minutes.

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The brownies are more cake like with a cream filling and kind of tangy.

Red velvet crackle sandwich cookies

A med school friend & I made these for a holiday party today using exactly this recipe (modified by tinting the frosting green to be more festive).

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (we used Ghirardelli!)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon red liquid food coloring
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened!

Melt the chocolate & butter together in the microwave for a minute. Stir well! Add sugar, eggs, and food coloring. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine wet & dry ingredients. Drop batter in balls (about a tablespoon size) into powdered sugar. Roll and press with the heel of palm onto a baking sheet. Bake cookies at 375*F for 10 minutes. Then, cool for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling: use a mixer to blend 1 cup of powdered sugar with the 4 ounces of softened cream cheese. When the cookies are cooled, use a rubber spatula to spread filling in between 2 shells (on the flat part).

Double chocolate chip nutella cookies

The jar of Nutella from these cookies has somehow managed to survive this long. Baking with Nutella was so successful last time that I decided to repeat & try another recipe.

I modified this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cornstarch & salt. In another bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing throughly. Add the vanilla extract & Nutella and stir well. Combine dry & wet ingredients and fold in the chocolate chips (you can add more if you’re feeling dangerous… I usually am). Roll dough out on a baking tray and chill for at least 2 hours. Bake at 350*F for about 10 minutes. Cool & serve.

They turned out quite chewy — not my favorite type of cookie. But the upside was the rich Nutella flavor. I think I have just enough Nutella left for one more adventure 😉

Loaf pan brownies

I got this recipe from the Dessert for Two cookbook I got for my birthday. I love scaled down desserts because I can eat the whole pan without any with less guilt.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Combine butter, sugar & cocoa powder and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave another 30 seconds on HIGH. Stir well, and add the salt & vanilla. Let cool a little, and add the egg. Finally, add the flour and stir for 50 strokes. Spread batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake for around 21 minutes at 325*F. Slice into as many or as little pieces as you’d like!

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Since I used the loaf pan for this, the brownies are quite flat… but also full of cocoa flavor! I prefer chunkier brownies but these have great flavor.

Triple chocolate bundt cake

I followed this recipe to make an extra chocolate-y bundt cake for Friendsgiving!

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup milk + 1 Tablespoon white vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 & 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, pour the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Sift. Add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract & mix. Add the eggs one at a time. Then, slowly pour in the boiling water while mixing. Pour this batter into a prepared bundt pan and add the chocolate chips, mixing them throughout the batter. Bake at 350*F for about 35-40 minutes.

To make the ganache, heat the whipping cream on medium heat until steaming. Then mix in the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Be careful not to overmix/overheat!! Pour ganache over bundt cake evenly.

It wasn’t my favorite because I felt it was bit on the dry side, but it was definitely chocolate full. I want to try another chocolate bundt with sour cream or cream cheese to avoid the dryness!