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Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in Desserts | 12 comments

Ready.Set.Cupcake!

I mentioned in my last post that the wonderful people at Ready.Set.Cupcake! sent me some cupcakes to bake. I’ll give you one guess what I had for lunch + an afternoon snack today.

ready.set.cupake1

 

You guys, these cupcakes are the jam! Ready.Set.Cupcake! is an all-natural, gourmet, no-mix cake batter that you can buy at Whole Foods. Unfortunately, they are only available at Whole Foods in Florida right now, but hopefully they will be coming to a Whole Foods near you soon.

When they say ‘no mess’ they mean it. I didn’t wash one single dish after making these cupcakes and it wasn’t because I was lazy and leaving the dishes for Dave. There were seriously ZERO dishes to wash. The cupcake batter and the frosting both come in pastry bags so you don’t have to mix anything. You literally just cut, squeeze and bake (& they even tell you exactly where to cut the bag, if you aren’t familiar with how pastry bags work).

cupcake pastry bag

 

Marley, my sous-chef, was amazed at the innovation. The frosting bag also comes with a pastry tip so you can make your cupcakes look all fancy, like they came from a bakery. Genius.

I really could have stopped after the cupcakes came out of the oven and called it a day because they were so delicious on their own. This is going to come as a shock to some of you, but I have a confession to make. You probably want to sit down for this. I haven’t been feeling the desserts lately. In fact, those cupcakes I blogged about earlier in the week….yeah….some of those actually ended up in the trash. I’m ashamed to say this….but they were just too sweet. I know. I know. I’m not sure what the world is coming to. I don’t even know who I am anymore. But these cupcakes were perfect. They weren’t over-the-top sweet.

ready.set.cupcake2

 

I was actually planning on trying 1 and then giving the rest away since my sweet tooth is on a hiatus, but that changed the second these came out of the oven. I ate 2 frosting-less cupcakes and I don’t even regret burning 3 of my fingers and my tongue. They tasted light and airy, almost like a muffin, which got me thinking….you can add whatever you want to the batter at the top of the pastry bag and make very flavorful muffins. You could add chocolate chips, lemon zest, blueberries, etc. Then you could make a glaze, which would require some dishes, but you could make the muffins taste like a donut of sorts. Seriously – I’m so fixated on this muffin idea I considered driving all the way out to Whole Foods, which is 30 minutes from my house, to buy another mix. But then I realized that was crazy. I could send Dave to do that later when he runs out in search of my girl scout cookies. Just kidding. Kind of.

After the cupcakes cooled, I busted out the frosting.

ready.set.cupcake.frosting

 

The buttercream frosting was good, but honestly I preferred the cupcakes plain. I think if my sweet tooth was in full swing, I would have sucked the frosting straight from the pastry bag  though. It was definitely sweet and if I make these again I would add some vanilla bean flavoring to the frosting bag to give it a little more vanilla flavor. OR…perhaps a root beer extract and it would be like a root beer float cupcake?? My sweet tooth is trapped deep inside me, but clearly it is screaming to be released.

I really think this product would be great for occasions when you need a tasty dessert whipped up in a flash. You could easily adapt the recipe to make it your own by adding fun toppings (crushed Oreos, Reese’s, Heath bar, sprinkles, graham cracker crumbs, fresh fruit, etc). If you live in Florida and you’re able to get your hands on a Ready.Set.Cupcake! mix, I highly recommend it!

Ready.set.cupcake

 

Thanks again to the people at Ready.Set.Cupcake! for sending me these great products to try! I can’t wait to have some fun with the chocolate batter!

 

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Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Desserts | 7 comments

Fudge Brownies with Cookie Butter Frosting

I love Sundays. I woke up feeling much better today, so Dave & I decided to take the dogs to the park. The dog park we visit has lots of nature trails and one of our favorite games to play is hide & seek. Dave & I will wait until Ob & Marley get ahead of us and then we run down a side trail and hide behind a tree and wait for them to find us. It sounds kind of cruel, but I promise they love it.

hide n seek

I’m always amazed at how quickly they can find us, even when we don’t make a lot of noise. Ob usually finds us first because she has the better nose…and because I don’t think Marley really cares to find us. He’s too cool for our games.

not playing

After over an hour of games at the park, we headed home with lunch on the brain. Last night I made a version of this pasta dish for dinner and I reheated the leftovers for lunch. I changed it up a bit and added some red pepper flakes and other spicy seasonings so it had a kick to it. I also added spinach and used a Pinot instead of a Chardonnay.

Tortellini

 

It was so easy to make and it was delicious. I’m pretty sure Jenna is my blog girl crush and she also happens to have  the cutest engagement story ever. Read it. You will melt.

After a tasty lunch and a bath for the dogs, I decided a Sunday treat was in order so I got busy in the kitchen. The result? Fudge Brownies…

Fudge Brownies

Topped with cookie butter frosting…

Fudge Brownies1

A.K.A. a good decision, topped with an even better decision. The brownies taste just like fudge. Maybe I accidentally made fudge? I’m not even sure, but it works.

Don’t even get me started on the frosting. I wanted to build my home in that bowl. I didn’t wait for the brownies to cool before frosting them, so the icing slightly melted but that was a small price to pay for my impatience.

No New Year’s diets were implemented in this house today.

Fudge Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

dash of salt

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8 pan.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add in the eggs & vanilla and mix well. Add in cocoa powder and then gradually add in flour, until well mixed. Add a dash of salt and then fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into greased pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Cookie Butter Frosting

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons cookie butter (can swap for peanut butter)

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

dash of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Cream cookie butter and butter together until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well, until no lumps remain. Add in milk and mix again until fluffy.

Eat with spoon. Spread over brownies.

 

 

 

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Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Desserts | 1 comment

Chocolate Rum Cake

I love frosting. Buttercream frosting. Cream cheese frosting. Fudge frosting. I love it all. Whenever there is a celebration that involves cake and I am asked what slice I want, I always declare I want the piece with the most icing. I want the corner piece with the giant frosting flower on it, to be specific.

Frosting is like the cake’s better half. A cake without frosting just doesn’t do it for me. BUT, this icing-less cake is one of my all time favorite desserts. It doesn’t have a creamy frosting, but it has a deliciously sweet glaze made with rum…

I had to hurry up and show you the liquor so you didn’t leave after hearing there was no frosting.

I don’t typically like pound cakes because I find them too dry. However, this cake is so incredibly moist. I love everything about this cake, from the flavor to the texture. And it is such a pretty dessert to make for the holidays. It just looks festive to me.

I don’t usually love chocolate cake. I’m a vanilla girl through and through. Seriously, I don’t like chocolate cake…I don’t like pound cakes…I love cakes with lots of frosting…why do I dream about making this cake? Someone riddle me that. It has to be the rum.

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 Package yellow cake mix

1 Package instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 Cup light rum (Dark rum is nasty in this – don’t even try it)

1 Cup sour cream

4 Eggs

1/2 Cup vegetable oil

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1 Cup chocolate chips

Glaze:

1 Cup sugar

1 Stick butter

1/4 Cup light rum

1/4 Cup water

 

Directions for Cake:

Beat all ingredients except for chocolate chips together until well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake in a well greased bundt pan at 350° for 50 minutes.

Just before cake is done, prepare glaze.

Directions for Glaze:

Boil ingredients together for 3 minutes. Pour over the cake while still in the bundt pan immediately after the cake is removed from the oven.

Let the cake absorb the glaze for 2 hours before removing from pan.

Make this dessert for Santa. Better yet, make it for breakfast tomorrow. That’s right – I just told you to have rum and chocolate for breakfast. Merry Christmas, friends!

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Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Desserts | 2 comments

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Christmas now is so different than Christmas when I was 7. Kids don’t realize how good they have it. I guess that is the beauty of being a kid?  Kids get to bask in all their gifts on Christmas morning without worrying about returning the generosity. I feel pressured to buy gifts for people I’ve known longer than 30 minutes. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I won’t have money in my bank account again until mid January. Baking has become my poor man’s version of still being able to participate in this holiday season…

I went out yesterday with the intention of doing some Christmas shopping. Buuuuuut, there was this really cute top(s) at Anthropology…and this adorable workout jacket in Lululemon….and this adorable scarf in Banana Republic….and this candle that smelled like the.best.cake.ever. in the most adorable jar…and this perfume that I’ve been seriously needing (no, seriously – I stink). Long story short, I still haven’t bought the first gift for anybody. Okay? Okay. Stop Judging. I’m going to make people these no bake peanut butter bars instead…

Assuming I don’t eat them all before I can wrap them up and hand them out. These babies are delicious and so easy to make. Don’t tell people that they’re easy to make though. Let them think you spent hours in the kitchen making these treats. It can be our little secret that you don’t even need to turn on your oven. There are 2 simple layers. A crunchy peanut buttery mixture comprises the bottom layer…

And all that goodness is topped with melted chocolate and butterscotch…

They’re easy, delicious and addicting and you can deliver them to your friends and family in a cute Christmas tin while wearing that new Anthropology top and Banana Republic scarf. Win-win. The more I think on it, being an adult at Christmas does have its perks. You can spike your eggnog and play under the mistletoe. 7 year olds can’t do that.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1 cup Light karo syrup
  • 1 1/2 Cups peanut butter
  • 6 Cups Special K cereal
  • 6 oz. Butterscotch chips
  • 6 oz. Chocolate chips

Directions:

Bring sugar and syrup to a boil. Stir in peanut butter. Mix with cereal. Press into baking dish and cool. Melt chocolate and butterscotch and pour on top. Chill and cut into squares.

*Note: Keep out of reach of labs and vizlas.*

I think I can safely say that a new puppy won’t be on Ob’s Christmas list this year. We saw the cutest Vizsla puppy at the dog park this weekend and I got showered in sweet puppy kisses…

And Ob about lost her mind and that sweet puppy about lost its face. She’s a jealous little thing.

She was almost placed on the naughty list. Apparently, we need an Elf on the Shelf to keep her in line. Seriously – have you guys heard of this elf? I want one and I want Dave to make it move every night. Is that asking too much?

 

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Desserts | 0 comments

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I owe you an apology. I’ve been blogging for a little over a month now, and I haven’t given you 1 dessert recipe. It has been all crunches and no cupcakes around here. I know – how rude!

I baked these cookies for you to make up for all those circuit workouts I asked you to do…and for asking you to put spinach in your smoothie. The cookies taste like all things fall and they are so easy to make. They only require 2 ingredients. You will need 1 can of pumpkin…

And 1 box of spice cake mix…

These cookies are semi-healthy, which is great since they ended up being my dinner last night. Actually, I technically only ate 1 cookie. I may have eaten 6 cookies in dough form, but we all know calories don’t count pre-oven.

Now, you can definitely stop right here and just eat the cookies (or the dough)…

However, if you want to take these cookies to the next level, you’ll need to be armed with frosting. Peanut butter cream cheese frosting, to be specific.

Come to think of it, I believe this frosting is the real reason I wasn’t hungry for dinner last night. I kept grabbing a clean spoon to test my creation and now every spoon I own is currently sitting in the dishwasher. Its called ‘quality control’ people. I may have gone back for a small sample using a fork(s) too.

These cookies are the perfect snack to bring to a Halloween party or Thanksgiving gathering…just try not to ruin your dinner.

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 box spice cake mix
Directions:
  • Mix the can of pumpkin & the spice cake mix in a large bowl (You can use elbow grease or an electric mixer).
  • Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
  • Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting 
Ingredients:
  • 1 (8 oz) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • vanilla extract (I didn’t measure, but I would aim for about a teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (you can add more or less, depending on your love of nut butter)
Directions: 
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and continue to stir.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and peanut butter and beat until well mixed. Be careful not to over mix your frosting.
  • Eat with a spoon Frost cookies.
I hope you’ve been doing those crunches, because I’m officially on a holiday dessert kick! Skinny jeans watch out!

 

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