Category Archives: Dessert

S’mores Cupcakes


It is certainly s’mores season! I love all the outdoor mountain summer activities. Camping, hiking, hanging out by the lake, campfires, tinfoil dinners and of course S’MORES!! I am not usually one for marshmallow, but when you toast it up and it gets all gooey and the perfect golden brown color. And then you add melty chocolate and crispy graham crackers and you have the perfect summer treat!

My first foray into s’mores baked goods were a few pans of s’mores brownies. This hit 2 birds with one stone. I have never made homemade brownies before so I wanted to give it a shot. And of course I had to elevate it and add some s’more elements. And as I was attempting to lightly toast them in the oven under the broiler they caught on FIRE……god I have never been so scared! Thankfully they were incredibly easy to extinguish.

Needless to say when I decided to make a cupcake version I went with a meringue frosting and lightly torched them with a handheld kitchen torch. I’ve had this torch for several years and I have only just barely mastered using it!


Once again I am back at it with my all time favorite cupcake recipe! If you haven’t tried this one yet you are missing out. They are both light and fluffy and incredibly moist! The filling for the cupcakes is the perfect Hershey Chocolate filling you would need to have a genuine s’more experience. I decided to go with a graham cracker crust instead of just crumbling some on top. Make sure that you don’t add too much butter otherwise you will end up with a greasy mess.

Well here we go!

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 1 Package Hersheys Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 6 oz Mini Chocolate Chips

Crust:

  • 1 sleeve Graham Crackers (8 full crackers), crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened

Filling:

  • 3 oz Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
  • 8 Tbsp Salted Butter

Frosting:

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 Cup Granulate Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Make the filling first. In a small sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate over medium heat. As soon as all the chocolate has melted remove from heat. Mix well and let chill in the fridge while you prepare the cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until you have well incorporated the butter and the crumbs slightly stick together when pressed.

Line your cupcake pan with paper liners. Press the graham crackers in the bottom of the liners. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool while mixing the cupcake batter.

To make the cupcakes add the cake mix and pudding into a stand mixer and mix on low. Add oil and milk. Mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Mix well for 2 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips. It’s very important to make sure that the sides of the bowl are scraped down because if the batter isn’t evenly mixed your cupcakes will have inconsistent texture and bake.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before filling and frosting.

Remove the filling from the fridge and scrape it out into a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat it for about 2 minutes until it has become light and creamy. Use a piping bag and filling tip to fill the cupcakes with the chocolate mixture.

To make the frosting.

In a double boiler or place your metal stand mixer bowl over a medium pot with a few inches of water. Add eggs, sugar, salt and cream of tartar into the bowl. Over a medium heat whisk together the ingredients. It will start to turn syrupy. Once your mixture reaches between 120 and 140 degrees remove from heat. Using a hand mixer or your stand mixer beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Make sure that your peaks don’t move at all. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat for an extra 30 seconds.

Pick your favorite piping tip and move frosting into a piping bag. Pipe onto the cupcakes. Lightly toast with a kitchen torch.

Angelic Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


What is your favorite pie? I’ve been on a kick lately that I want to make my favorite pies or cakes into cupcakes so that I can easily share them. Lemon Meringue is absolutely my favorite pie. I mean basically any dessert with lemon in it and I am sold!

During the summer my favorite dessert is a slice of Angel Food cake topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries and blackberries and whipped cream. Yum! So naturally I decided to combine these two and make a super delicious cupcake to share with all my friends at work!


When you try this recipe get ready to whip some eggs! Whipped egg whites will give you that light, fluffy, airy and fun dessert! One of my favorite things about this recipe was that I could make parts of it and then assemble it all on a different day.  The lemon curd can be made and stored days in advance. I usually like to use Meyer lemons when I bake, but this time I had to use regular lemons because they were big and beautiful and the Meyer lemons were looking kinda sad.

Makes 30 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Lemon Curd

  • 4 Large Meyer Lemons, juiced (should be about 1/2 cup) and zested
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cubed

Angel Food Cupcake:

  • 12 Egg Whites, room temperature (they will whip faster)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar, split
  • 1 Cup Cake Flour, sifted. This will help you really get that light and fluffy perfect angel food texture.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Emulsion or 1/2 tsp extract

Meringue Topping:

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

To make the curd:

In a small dish stir together the sugar and lemon zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are looking for a very smooth jelly consistency then push the curd through a mesh sieve.

Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature.

Store in the fridge.

To make the cupcake:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a stand mixer whip your egg whites on a medium speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. When you can remove the whisk and the peaks will stay in place you know that you are there. Beat in the cream of tartar, salt and the vanilla and lemon. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup sugar.

Using a spatula gently fold in the dry mix. I saw a technique that shows in a cingular motion running the spatula all around the edge of the bowl and then directly through the center. This helps keep the eggs light and airy and full incorporate the dry ingredients.

Fill  cupcake liners with the batter until they are almost full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake bounces back when you lightly press on it. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To make the meringue:

In a double boiler or place your metal stand mixer bowl over a pan with a few inches of water. Add all ingredients into the bowl. Over a medium heat whisk together the ingredients. It will start to turn syrupy. Once your mixture reaches between 120 and 140 degrees remove from heat. Using a hand mixer or your stand mixer beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Make sure that your peaks don’t move at all. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pick your favorite piping tip and move frosting into a piping bag.

To assemble cupcakes:

Using a filling tip add the lemon curd into a piping bag. Gently fill each cupcake with the lemon curd. Generously pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Using a kitchen torch gently brown the meringue. It is so fun to watch it slightly puff up and get that perfect golden brown!

I hope you give these a try….they are amazing and your friends and family will definitely appreciate it!

Spring Marbled Cake Balls


I wanted to make something bright and fun for spring. What is better than spring colored cake balls?!? The first few times I made cake balls were with my sister. I had never really heard of them before, but we made some pumpkin cake rolls several years ago and I was hooked! I’ve tried several different kinds of truffles and dipped balls. This is my very first solo cake ball though. I am still working on my ball rolling technique.

I wanted to make plenty for all my peeps at work so I baked 4 cakes! Yowza! I also know that these are pretty large, but they aren’t very rich so you can definitely eat a full one. I made my favorite White Chocolate Buttercream and added some Meyer lemon zest and juice. So it ends up being perfectly light and fresh! 


You can definitely adjust this recipe based on how many you want to make. You can divide 1 box white cake mix into 2-4 different colors. You can get 12-24 cake balls out of one cake based on how big you want them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes White Cake Mix
  • 1 box Blue Velvet Cake
  • 1 box Pink Velvet Cake
  • To make them you will need Butter, vegetable oil and water.
  • Yellow And Green food coloring. I prefer Wilton Icing Colors

Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 2 Meyer Lemons, zest and juiced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup White Chocolate, melted
  • 3-4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp Lemon Emulsion

Coating:  2 packages Almond bark

Decorations: Sprinkles, colored candy melts, or whatever tickles your fancy!

Bake cakes according to package directions. I recommend using clear glass pans to reduce the amount of browned edges. Let cool until room temperature.

In seperate bowls break up the different colored cakes into fine crumbs. I used my hands by taking a large piece of cake and moving my hands in circles getting closer and closer. (Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a video blog). Anyways, you’re smart people. You can figure out how to take a whole cake into little crumbs. Remove any browned pieces that won’t crumble and dispose of them into your mastication receptacle. (Maybe I have had too much wine)

To make the frosting. Beat the butter until it’s smooth. Add lemon zest, juice, salt and 1 Cup powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed. Once the melted white chocolate is cooled so that it is just warm to the touch slowly drizzle it into the frosting while beating it consistently. Add the rest of the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Beat for 3-5 minutes to get your frosting nice and fluffy.

In your cake crumb bowls add 1/2 Cup frosting at a time. Use your hands to mix it in. You will know that you have enough frosting in there if you make a small ball and press your thumb down in the middle and it stays together and doesn’t break apart at the edges.

To assemble:

Take equal parts of each color cake and roll into a ball. I used about 1 Tbsp of each color. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place the rolled balls on the cookie sheet. Place in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes.

In a small crockpot or a large bowl melt the almond bark. Use a fork to dunk the chilled cake balls in the almond bark, gently toss around until fully coated. Place back on the wax paper. Add sprinkles or desired decorations immediately. I dunked 3 balls and then decorated them. And so on and so forth. After a few minutes they should be hard enough to be able to be moved onto your serving tray or storage container.


Key Lime Cupcakes


Look at me being on top of things! I’m getting some St. Patty’s Day recipes up on the blog so you can make an Irish feast for your friends and family! Last year I made some Lucky Leprechaun Treats Click here for the recipe! Those are pretty fun, especially if you have kids and love Lucky Charms! Yum!


Here’s what I learned making these cupcakes:

Key limes are adorable.

Key limes are a super duper pain in the ass to work with.

Do not try to juice them in a juicer. Because that rind is super bitter.

Likewise, maybe zesting them was a big mistake (also a major pain in the ass)

So I have adjusted the recipe below based on what I think will help make them better than what I ended up doing. If you have any other adjustments or suggestions please let me know!!


Also, if you know how to make a confetti cake, let me know!! I tried putting green non-pariels in the batter and they just disintegrated and that is how I ended up with green cupcakes. Totally appropriate for the holiday, but not the effect I was hoping for.

The order that you want to make things in is curd filling first, you can make this a day or two ahead if you want. Then cupcakes and then frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Key Lime Curd:

  • 10 Key Limes, juiced
  • 1 Regular Lime, zested
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix
  • 1 Package White Chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Add some confetti wizardry or green food coloring if desired

Frosting:

  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 6 oz White Chocolate, melted
  • 4 Key Limes, Juiced
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Green food coloring and sprinkles if desired

To make the curd:

  • In a small dish stir together the sugar and lime zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Stir in the cornstarch. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Push the curd through a mesh sieve.Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature. Chill in the fridge while you make the cupcakes.

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer combine the cake mix and pudding mix. Add the milk and oil. Mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lime juice and sour cream, mix until just combined. Add in your sprinkles or food coloring. Use a cookie scoop to fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes have fully cooled use a filling tip and pipe in the lime curd to the center of each cupcake. If you don’t have a filling tip you can cut out a hole in the middle of the cupcake and spoon in the curd.

To make frosting:

In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the lime juice. Melt the chocolate 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each segment. Once the chocolate is fully melted let it sit for a minute or two until it’s just warm to the touch. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate. Add the salt and the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat for 3-.5 minutes until your frosting is light and fluffy.

To add the green swirl add green food dye to the side creases in your piping bag. Use a spatula to fill the bag with frosting. I used a Wilton 1 M tip to pipe the rosettes.

Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake


I just have to start out with this statement. I don’t think that I have ever made such a beautiful cheesecake in my life. And I’ve made some pretty good cheesecakes! Guys…I am just so proud! I don’t even know what possessed me to make an amaretto cheesecake. I didn’t even have amaretto just laying around. I was trying to think about good Valentines Day dessert to share, and of course it had to be cheesecake. That is my favorite dessert! Since chocolate is the official treat of Valentine’s Day of course it had to be a chocolate cheesecake. Amaretto seems like a pretty decadent addition to chocolate. So why not?!?!

I really did have to get away from the red velvet extravaganza that happened last year. I mean I did about 5 different types of red velvet recipes. Probably because that is Levi’s favorite flavor. But he was a really big fan of this one as well!


I’m sure you can try baking this without the water bath, but from my understanding you will get the absolute best textures if you use the water. It’s really not that hard. All you need is a roasting pan.

This cheesecake is super creamy and the flavors are very subtle and delicate. The mousse on top is very light and adds just a little extra amaretto into your life. The crust has just a right amount of crumble to it. Overall I think it’s not too rich like some New York Style Cheesecakes, it’s just the perfect way to finish your special dinner with your special someone!

Click here to see more Valentine’s Day inspired recipes!

I hope you all love this cheesecake as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 12 Chocolate Graham Crackers, crushed
  • 5 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 32 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Amaretto
  • 4 Eggs and 2 Egg Yolks, room temperature

Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup Amaretto
  •  3/4 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • Optional- 1/2 cup sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the crushed graham crackers and the 5 Tbsp butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, remove and chill in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

In a double boiler, or a medium bowl over a saucepan melt the 1/2 cup butter. Add the chocolate chips and stir continuously until all the chocolate has just barely melted. Remove from heat immediately. Set aside.

In a large bowl use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add sugar and sour cream, beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cooled chocolate sauce, vanilla and Amaretto. Mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beat on low until eggs are just incorporated.

Pour the batter over the prepared crust. Wrap tinfoil around the outside of the springform pan. Place in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water in until it’s halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes. Reduce heat to 300, bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest for 60 minutes. Move cheesecake to the refrigerator overnight.

To prepare the topping:

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and amaretto for about 5-7 minutes until the cream can hold it’s own shape.

Using a spatula take 1/4 of the whipping cream and fold it into the cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining whipping cream until you have a smooth mousse. Transfer the mousse into a piping bag and pipe the mousse over the top of the cheesecake. Smooth with a frosting spatula. Add almonds. Place back in the fridge for 15 minutes.

If you want to be super professional when slicing the cheesecake, run a long thin knife under hot water for a minute and wipe dry with a paper towel between each cut. This is definitely my new go to for picturesque cheesecake slices!

Meyer Lemon Curd

When I was a kid I remember that the church always had a big yard sale every year. And a woman always sold her homemade preserves there. This is the first time I had lemon curd, and every year I looked forward to buying a fresh jar.

I don’t know what exactly attracts me to lemon sweets, but especially in the dead of winter it brings happiness and brightness into my day. If I were to pick one favorite type of dessert I would have to say anything with lemon.


Lemon curd is so versatile you can put it on anything! Ice cream, toast, cake, english muffins, pancakes, waffles, or even just have a little spoonful now and then. I really like using Meyer Lemons because you get all the wonderful citrus flavor without battling the tartness of a regular lemon.

My first batch of curd first went on some citrus English muffins. So so so yummy. The rest of it went into a lemon cupcake! I wonder if I could mix it with whipped cream and pipe it into eclairs or use it as a layer in a trifle. So many possibilities, I can’t wait to make this again and again!


Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Meyer Lemons, juiced (should be about 1/2 cup) and zested
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cubed

In a small dish stir together the sugar and lemon zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are looking for a very smooth jelly consistency then push the curd through a mesh sieve.

Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature.

Store in the fridge.

What will you use your lemon curd for?

 

Strawberry and Chocolate Cookies

I am getting a head start on my Valentines Day blogging this year! I feel like a month is a pretty good jump on things. I haven’t quite planned out everything that I will be making this year yet. What are your favorite Valentine’s treats? Let me know in the comments and I might give it a try!

Visit the Valentine’s Day Page for more ways to wow the love of your life 🙂

Don’t want to spend loads of money and time on making chocolate covered strawberries for Valentines Day this year? Well here is an excellent alternative! And there is no shortage of red, pink and white M&M’s on the shelves so grab a bag and have some fun with your kids whipping up a special treat!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 package Jello Strawberry Creme Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • Pink Food Coloring
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Cup White Cheesecake M&M’s
  • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate M&M’s

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer beat the white and brown sugar with the butter until you have a grainy paste. Add the vanilla, food coloring and eggs, mix until combined.

Beat in the baking soda and salt. Mix in the pudding mix. Slowly add the flour. Mix well. Using a large mixing spoon mix in the M&Ms. If your dough is really soft place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Using a cookie dough scoop get a heaping scoop of dough. Place on a large non stick cookie sheet. I did 3 cookies to a row and 5 rows.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges just start to brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

White Chocolate Buttercream

I’ve made this white chocolate buttercream a few times now and it is delicious and beautiful. It is also an amazing base for a whole spectrum of flavors! The first time I made it I added Andes peppermint baking chips, and it was AMAZING! Yum! One of my girlfriends said it was the best cupcake I have ever made. The next time I made it I added 1/4 tsp of Almond extract and WOW! I think next time I will add some fresh lemon juice, I bet it will be spectacular.

This frosting is light and fluffy, almost has a whipped texture. If you like your frosting super sweet you could omit the added salt, but I definitely recommend using salted butter.

I had a night home alone one night and decided to play around with different decorating techniques. I discovered that I don’t need a coupler with my Wilton 1M Large Star piping tip. I thought for sure that frosting would just ooze out the sides, but lo and behold…..it worked like a charm! I am just obsessed with decorating with rosettes! Not sure what I will move on to next….but for now I will strive to perfect this art!

This will frost about 24 cupcakes with a medium amount of frosting. For a cake more than 2 layers I would increase the recipe by 50% or double.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 6 oz White Chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar

In a medium bowl beat the butter and salt with a hand mixer until it lightens in color and becomes light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, mix well. Slowly beat in the melted white chocolate. Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat well for 3-4 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

If you are adding extracts, add them with the first 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Mint Chocolate Fudge

We have been watching Great British Show Masterclass all week! I just love Paul and Mary’s banter. Paul’s impressions of Mary are everything! Hahaha. But seriously I love listening to them describe food. I especially love when Mary says a treat looks scrummy! It’s just adorable. Some day I will be ambitious enough to attempt some of those treats! I would love to make Mary’s Lemon and Raspberry eclairs, or try laminating my own puff pastry dough. The first recipe I think we need to master are French Macarons. The ones we made this time sure taste yummy but the feet were all out of control.

On the other end of the baking spectrum we have fudge. So so so easy to make! There are so many different flavors to play with, I am definitely going to be playing around with them more this year! This is the quickest and easiest addition to our cookie gift boxes this year.

Make sure that when you are buying white chocolate that you are baking chocolate or if you are buying chips I would suggest Ghirardelli chips. I have found that most “white chocolate” chips do not melt well and are more sweet.

This recipe will give you about 50 pieces of fudge. You can definitely just make half a batch if you aren’t sharing with an entire village!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3 Cups Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips
  • 35 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk (this is about 2.5 cans)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Mint Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Green Food Coloring

On the oven have 2 saucepans. In one sauce pan add 14 oz of sweetened condensed milk (1 can). In the other add 21 oz sweetened condensed milk (about 1.5 cans), mint and vanilla extract and food coloring. Heat these over medium heat stirring frequently until they just start to bubble. Remove from heat and add milk chocolate chips into the plain saucepan and white chocolate into the flavored and green saucepan. The heat from the milk and the pans should start to melt the chocolate. Stir each pot until you have a creamy smooth chocolate. You may need to add a little more sweetened condensed milk to get the smooth consistency.

Line an 8×11 cake pan with cling wrap or tin foil. Alternately spoon in the milk and mint chocolate. Gently drag a butter knife through the chocolate to create swirls. Place in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours.

When you’re ready to serve you can remove from the dish and peel off the cling wrap or tin foil. Cut into even pieces and enjoy! The fudge does not need to be stored in the fridge.

 

Gingerbread Cookies

 

These cute little cookies are so fun to decorate! They are the toppers for our cookie gift boxes this year. Imagine opening a beautifully wrapped package and seeing these little guys inviting you to venture in. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to make gingerbread before and there are a ton of different recipes out there! I wanted the cookies to be a little soft but still have a little crunch around the edges. The thicker you roll your dough in this recipe the softer and chewier your cookies will be.

There are seriously so many different recipes out there. I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. We used an actual royal icing, mostly because I was curious on what it was like to actually decorate with. It was pretty easy. We didn’t add any flavoring to ours because the gingerbread doesn’t really need anything to liven it up.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Tbsp Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Unsulphured Molasses
  • 1 Egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 3  1/2 cups Flour

Icing:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Warm Water
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Meringue powder

 

In a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat until you have a creamy mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Next beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the bowl again.

On a low speed add the salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and clove. Slowly add the flour. The dough will be very thick once it’s done. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in cling wrap and flatten into a disc and place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours. If you don’t chill this dough it will be way too sticky to work with.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once chilled remove cling wrap and flour both sides of the disc. Using a rolling pin roll the dough out between 2 pieces of wax paper. It should be about 1/4 inch or a little thicker depending on your preference. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out the dough. Place your cookies on a non stick cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes depending on size and thickness.

To make the icing just whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until you have a thick consistent icing. Use a piping bag with a Wilton candy decorating tip. Or you can use a ziplock bag with a very small corner cut out.

Cool for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. Once cooled decorate your cookies with icing, sprinkles, candies or whatever your little heart desires.

Still playing with my new photography kit! Definitely loving the scrumptious pictures so far! What an awesome birthday present!