Tag Archives: desserts

Cookies of Fire and Ice

 

Who is ready for the Game of Thrones Finale on Sunday? I have been reading all the online theories and basically any article or post that I come across. Has there ever been a show that generated this much talk? I’ve never thought so much about a show or book before. I wish that I could pick up on all the subtle references and inferences that drives the conversation forward. I am just in awe of people who can pick up on these hidden gems and generate predictions. Amazing.

So for last year I made Cupcakes of Fire and Ice….click here for the recipe. And they have been really popular so far, but I’ve always felt back that they are just white chocolate flavored. I wanted to make a party desert that doesn’t just look cool it also tastes super amazing! So I decided to recreate my Lemon and White Chocolate cookie for the “Ice” and I came up with a whole new combination for the “Fire”. Red Velvet Raspberry with Chocolate Chips, these turned out so soft and chewy! I split the batch in half and dyed one half red and the other an orange-red and swirled them together to get a cool fire effect!

Check out the Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork for the perfect GoT party dinner!


You can decorate these cookies with your favorite sprinkles for some extra shine! I hope your viewing parties are amazing and that you enjoy the finale!

Ingredients for Lemon Ice Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 package Whipped Meyer Lemon Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Emulsion
  • 2 Eggs
  • Freshly squeezed juice of one Meyer Lemon
  • Finely grated rind of one Meyer Lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • Light Blue Food Dye- I prefer gel dye
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer mix the sugars and butter until it forms a grainy paste. Add the pudding, vanilla and lemon extracts, and eggs. Mix well. Add the fresh lemon juice and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until you have a thick cookie dough. Add blue food coloring till you reach your desired shade. Use a big spoon to mix in the white chocolate chips and lemon rind.

Use a cookie scoop or a small spoon to measure out cookie dough into 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are slightly browned on the bottom.  Add sprinkles. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Store in an air tight container.

Ingredients for Red Velvet Raspberry Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 package Red Velvet Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Raspberry Emulsion (optional)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 6 oz Fresh Raspberries
  • Orange and Red Food Dye- I prefer gel dye
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer mix the sugars and butter until it forms a grainy paste. Add the pudding, vanilla and raspberry extracts, and eggs. Mix well scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until you have a thick cookie dough. In a small bowl crush the raspberries into a pulp. Use a big spoon to mix in the chocolate chips and raspberries. Separate the dough into two bowls. Add red dye to one and orange to the other until you’ve reached the desired shade.

Use a cookie scoop or a small spoon to measure out 1/2 red and 1/2 orange cookie dough into 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are no longer shiny on top under the oven light. Add sprinkles. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Store in an air tight container.

 

Advertisements

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.

Chocolate Peppermint Buche De Noel (Yule Log)

Chocolate Peppermint Yule LogWell this is a quite a birthday cake if I do say so myself. For my birthday this year we decided to take on a very different and slightly difficult cake. There was an episode of Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network a few weeks ago where the bakers had to innovate this classic French dessert. So I took on that challenge as well! For many people holiday baking is the best baking of the year, for myself included! I have never really done a ton of fancy treats, but I am sure ready to start. Next year I will get a better jump start on this so that you have time to perfect your favorites. Many of my recipes come from my mom. Not this one though. I had to go to a serious source of baking expertise, Martha Stewart.

I won’t lie to you, first time making it was a little bit stressful. But now that I have done it once I am very confident that this will become a yearly tradition and a treat that will be shared with friends and family. It’s really not as difficult as I imagined, all you need is patience and a few hours of your time. A baking partner doesn’t hurt either.

This was also a great opportunity to break in my new icing application tool (Thanks Alanna!) As you can see we are far from professional cake decorators, however, the rosette tip turned out to be perfect for the making bark-like decorations.

Cake Batter: For Martha Stewarts site click here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/7bTRR8/www.marthastewart.com/338834/chocolate-genoise

  • 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • Pinch of Baking Soda
  • 5 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Peppermint Buttercream Filling:

I have updated this buttercream recipe to my favorite white chocolate buttercream. Trust me it is soooo much better.

  • 1/2 Cup Andes Peppermint Chips
  • 1 Cup Softened Salted Butter- If you don’t have salted butter you will want to add a tsp of salt or else the frosting is way too sweet!
  • 6 oz White Chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter- Softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter- Softened
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Prepare the cake according to Martha Stewart’s instructions. Do not over cook your egg and sugar mixture, it will turn into scrambled eggs.  Max temp for that mixture is 110 degrees. Be patient waiting for your eggs to thicken, this may take some time.  Be very gentle when folding the dry ingredients in. Do not be skimpy when buttering the pan, you don’t want a fight when taking the paper off.

IMG_1951 

We baked this for about 15 minutes in the convection oven. You want the cake to be springy to the touch. It’s also very important to not over bake it otherwise it will just crumble when you try to roll it.

Once the cake has cooled for about 3-4 minutes lift the parchment paper out of the pan and invert the cake onto plastic wrap dusted with flour. Very carefully roll the cake with the plastic wrap. Here is how it should look. It’s ok if it cracks a little on the first roll, but don’t let the outer rolls crack too much. Wrap the cake in a damp dish cloth and place in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the filling.

IMG_1952Make the peppermint white chocolate buttercream:

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. Mix in the peppermint chips.

Take your cake out of the fridge and unroll it. Lightly and evenly spread the filling on the cake. Leave at least  1/4 inch around the edges. Start to roll the cake the same direction you did before. Remove the plastic wrap as you roll. The filling may start to come out the sides, it’s ok. Just keep on rolling. Once you are done it should look something like this:

IMG_1953Cover and place back in the fridge while you make the chocolate frosting.

Place the softened butter in a mixer and beat until it’s pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Keep the mixer going and add in the vanilla extract and cream. Keep mixing until you have reached the desired texture. Add a little more cream if your frosting is too thick. You want it to be easily spreadable, but not runny.

I put mine in the fridge for just a few minutes just to firm it up and make it spread on to look like bark. One of the tricks to spreading frosting on cake is to move the frosting around as if you’re going over the cake and do not press it onto the cake.

We added some sparkly gel mistletoe decorations and silver sugar to finish off the decorations.

IMG_1956Chocolate Peppermint Yule Log

I really hope you give this one a try! Let me know how yours turns out. And don’t forget to sign up for email alerts for all the upcoming posts.

Twix Cheesecake

Twix Cheesecake

So I have tried making a Twix cheesecake twice already and they have both been individual cheesecakes in cupcake papers. Two years ago I did this for a bake sale at work and it went over like gangbusters!! They were delicious. So many people asked me for the recipe but I was just to lazy to put it together. So I tried again a month ago for a work BBQ for my other job. Those did not turn out so well. But they were still pretty tasty.

So now it’s time for the charity bake sale again. I decided against the individual cakes because……well….ain’t nobody got time for that!!! So I gave it a go in the 9 inch springform pan. I also got kinda crazy on the batter and was just making stuff up on the fly. It turned out pretty AMAZING!!

Crust- Pretty basic stuff

2 cups of Nilla Wafer crumbs

1/2 stick of softened butter

Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the crust for about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the crust.

Filling

16 oz softened cream cheese

1 cup sugar

16 oz sour cream

7 oz sweetened condensed milk

8 caramels

1 cup white chocolate chopped

1 tbsp vanilla

3 eggs

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Smuckers Caramel Topping

Drizzle some of the Smuckers over the crust while it’s cooling. In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese till smooth. (This is not the time to get lazy, otherwise your cheesecake will not be smooth and creamy.) Once the cream cheese is smooth add the sugar and mix completely. In a double broiler over medium heat warm up the sweetened condensed milk and caramels. Mix until the caramels are completely melted. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the white chocolate until melted. Pour it right into the mixer. (Even though you may be tempted to eat the whole bowl, don’t give in!!) Keep it moving while you add in the sour cream, vanilla, eggs. Stir in a 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top and drizzle a little more caramel topping to top it off.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Then reduce the temperature to 200 and bake for another 20-30 minutes. You can generally tell it’s done when you give it a little wiggle and the filling doesn’t jiggle very much. Then leave it the oven to cool for about an hour and then move it to the fridge for about 4 hours.

 

White Chocolate Razzleberry Cheesecake

I made this tasty treat for the most colorful lady in our lives. Levi and I recently went on vacation and we had a couple friends looking after our furry babies. We decided to give our thanks with wine and cheesecake. 

This particular friend is new in my life so I am still trying to learn about her tastes. She had told me that her favorite wine is pink moscato. So Levi and I were in Durango, Co and we were in one of the many liquor stores stock piling our liquor cabinet. And believe it or not, we couldn’t for the life of us find a pink moscato. I’m pretty sure even our little tiny Utah liquor store has that. So after 15 minutes of combing through a huge wine selection I happen across a single bottle of Strawberry Mango Moscato. And it’s perfect!! Fun and fresh, just like my new friend. And now to come up with an equally perfect cheesecake.

For me nothing pairs with fruit like white chocolate! So I decided to use a little strawberry to match the wine and white chocolate chips for the added texture. Then to make it extra special I added some Razzleberry preserves!! I hope that my friend loves it and you will too ❤

Image

Crust:

2 cups crushed Nilla Wafers

1/4 cup softened butter

Filling:

8 oz  Regular Cream Cheese

8 oz Strawberry Cream Cheese

16 oz Sour Cream

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 TBSP Vanilla Extract

Red food coloring

1 bag of white chocolate chips. 

1/4 cup Razzleberry preserves

1 TBSP Sugar

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350. Soften the butter in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Mix the butter and cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9 in springform pan. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Cool in fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Beat both cream cheeses, sour cream and sugar till smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and a few drops of red food coloring. Mix well. Add in 3/4 of your white chocolate chips and mix in with a spoon. Pour the filling over the crust. Mix your Razzleberry preserves with a tablespoon or sugar. Pour in a ring in the filling, and then use a knife and drag it up and down and then side to side through the filling to spread the preserves inside the filling. Sprinkle the rest of the white chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 30-50 minutes based on your oven. Your cheesecake should crack on top and brown slightly around the edges. Also, if you give it a little shake it should barely jiggle. I also suggest baking on an oven sheet just in case your pan doesn’t completely seal.

Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an hour after baking and then move it to the fridge to cool for about 4-5 hours.