Tag Archives: Dessert

Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

8 Feb

What’s that you said? Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes? Oh yes……

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We got a sample magazine for AllRecipes in the mail in the beginning of the fall. I guess the online site is dipping their toe into the print world. The magazine is actually pretty cool – they have a great layout and some good features. They incorporate tips from readers – always helpful!

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Anyway….back to the bacon……and the chocolate.

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Robb perused the magazine and folded down some pages of interest. This was one of the pages. It is pure gold. I knew right away that I wanted to try it – and that my co-workers would also try it too 🙂

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The only annoying part about this recipe is cooking the bacon. No – you can not use baco-bits. No – you can not use pre-cooked bacon either.

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It has to be the real thing……And you have to cook it on the stove to get it crispy. Beyond that, it’s as easy as making any cake recipe from scratch.

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I don’t know who came up with the idea to pair bacon with chocolate. But I think I love them. Don’t tell Robb.

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Now when the cupcakes came out, they were good but not “amazing”. You could definitely taste the bits of bacon in the cake, but it wasn’t an overwhelming bacon-y taste.

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However when the chocolate icing went on, it was like magic. The icing just pulled it all together and made it SING! The only fault is that this recipe does not come with a recipe for chocolate frosting. So you will need to use your own favorite recipe (don’t buy storebought icing – gross!!!). Or you can do what I did and use my fave chocolate ganache.

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This batter makes a LOT of cupcakes. And I am not sure why, but I didn’t think it would be enough for my team at work, so I doubled the recipe.

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It made so many cupcakes! I had 2 full trays of them to bring into the office. I think there was one for everyone in the company!

They were a crowd-pleaser for sure! What a huge hit. How can you resist bacon and chocolate? That’s right – you cant. Everyone fell victim to the salty sweet confection.

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People – this is your endorsement: When Robb tasted the cake alone, he said “eh, it’s allright…nothing special”. But when I put the icing on top I got the special look with the words I love to hear: “you’ve outdone yourself” and a high five.

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Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ sp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong-brewed coffee, cold
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Cook bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, ¾ cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. Stir just until blended. The batter will be thin – don’t worry!

Mix in ¾ of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon batter into prepared cups, dividing equally.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (until tops spring back when touched). Mine were done in 20 minutes exactly.

Cool in pan set over wire rack. When cool, frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top. Dust with remaining cocoa powder.

 

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Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

13 Oct

I came across this recipe in People Magazine. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes you can really get some good recipes from People Magazine.

Every once in a while, I try one out and see what happens.

This is a keeper!!!

It tastes so elegant and gourmet. I love how you can see the lemon and the rosemary in the dough.

All I had at the time were star cookie cutters (and xmas stuff but that wouldnt have been right!).

And apparently I didnt have many sprinkle options either 🙂

These cookies are SO good! They are a fabulous twist on plain sugar cookies or rollout cookies. Definitely recommend!!!

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tblsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour

Directions:

In a mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add zest, rosemary, egg, vanilla, and salt and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down bowl. At low speed, add flour and mix just until combined; do not overmix.

Roll dough out between two large sheets of parchment paper to ¼ inch thickness. Chill dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Roll dough out on clean surface and cut out using your favorite cookie cutter. Place onto baking sheet. Top with sprinkles and bake for 16-18 minutes or until edges are golden.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

8 Sep

Blueberries are in season!!!! There are so many blueberries everywhere and I love it.

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What to do with so many blueberries……make a casual cake!

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This cake is absolutely simple and yummy. It uses lemon zest and buttermilk to set it apart from other blueberry cakes.

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This cake would be great to serve for a casual get-together in the evening, or a brunch in the morning!

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Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
  • 7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness.

If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

12 May

It’s almost blackberry time! I love this time of year, PERIOD, for so many reasons!!! But it’s always great when berries start to come into season.

I wanted to have a simple dessert to showcase the abundance of blackberries (and raspberies) I had in my fridge.

Raspberries and Blackberries – beautiful!

Spectacular berries…..dont you just want to stick your face in the bowl?

This cake goes together so easily – and uses buttermilk, along with basic ingredients you have in your pantry.

Doesnt that look beautiful before it’s even baked?

And then it looks even more amazing when it’s cooked!

It was so moist and delicious. We made 2 cakes and just sprinkled with sugar prior to baking.

Since this cake is more of a casual brunch/afternoon cake, it doesn’t need icing. The sugar on top was all it really needed to accompany the moistness of the cake and sweetness of the berries. You can also top with whipped cream and more berries.

Enjoy!

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups blackberries, plus more for serving
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving (if desired)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 9-inch-round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk and dry ingredients in 3 alternating batches, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overbeat. Gently fold the batter just until blended, then scrape into the pan and smooth the top.

Scatter the 1 1/4 cups of blackberries over the batter; lightly press them in. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over the cake. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out the cake and remove the paper. Turn the cake right side up and let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream/powdered sugar and more blackberries.

Makes one 9-inch cake.

Mexican Flan

26 Mar

There arent too many Mexican desserts. But one of the most popular mexican desserts is flan.

I decided to make Mexican Flan for Mexican Supper Club back in October. I was a little nervous since I’ve never made a custard before. I knew immediately to set up the basics – line a large roasting pan with a dish towel and place my flan pan inside so that everything is ready.

I struggled with the first step of making the caramel topping. I boiled the sugar water 3 times without it turning out right before I called the expert……my mom! Without having made this before either, she surmised that my heat wasnt high enough when simmering the sugar water mixture. She was right and it turned dark and was ready to go! I dont know how, but moms are always right.

The rest of the flan came together real easy after that.

Because my oven was having issues, it took a bit long than expected to cook through and in the process the top (well, really the bottom) got a little dark….You can see it in the pictures later on in the bottom of the plate.

I was especially nervous when the time came to flip the flan upright onto the plate in front of my dinner guests. Basically, you wait until it’s cooled completely, run a knife around the edges, then hold a plate on top of the pan, and flip the entire thing over so that the flan has the caramel part on top.

Look how perfectly this worked! SUCCESS! It looks gorgeous, too.

And then we finally got to try it at the end of our mexican meal. It was out of this world. I nailed the taste and the texture!! Again, dont mind the dark part on the bottom of the plate. My oven is to blame.

Mexican Flan

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tblsp water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 cups 2 percent milk
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees.

Place dish towel in bottom of large roasting pan and place 9-inch cake pan in center.

Bring sugar and water to boil in small saucepan, swirling saucepan gently until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Reduce to simmer and cook, gently swirling saucepan occasionally, until mixture turns deep, dark mahogany color, 7-10 minutes. Carefully pour caramel into cake pan and cool slightly until hardened.

Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks together in medium bowl until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in condensed milk, 2 percent milk, and lemon zest. Pour mixture into cake pan and gently place roasting pan on oven rack. Be careful not to splash any water inside pan of custard, pour boiling water into roasting pan until water reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.

Bake until center of custard is just barely set and is no longer sloshy, 30-40 minutes. Start checking after 25 minutes.

Carefully remove roasting pan from oven and careful transfer cake pan to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover cake pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Run knife around cake pan to loosen custard. Invert large serving platter over top of cake pan and grasping both cake pan and platter, gently flip custard onto platter, drizzling any extra caramel sauce over top (some will remain in pan). Serve.

Can be made ahead 2 days – cover tightly on top with saran wrap so it hits the custard.

Ice Cream Pie

27 Sep

Hurry up! It’s still warm outside to enjoy this awesomeness!!!

This is an old family recipe that my mom’s been making all my life. Everyone LOVES this treat in the summertime. I watched my brother, Pat, take down FOUR pieces in one sitting this past summer….it was quite impressive I gotta say.

My mom used to make it with Starbucks Java Chip ice cream – coffee ice cream with chocolate chips. But they no longer make that flavor – so we improvise!

This couldnt get any easier…..Make an oreo crust, dump ice cream in, and make sauce for top! It’s fabulous and so yummy when it’s hot outside. There are also different variations on ice cream….strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, mint chocolate chip…..you can really use any flavor you like! However, I recommend using premium ice cream.

Above is the cookie crust…..below is the softened iced cream poured into the crust. I used coffee ice cream and made my own “chips” by grinding up chocolate chips in the food processor and incorporating.

Next is the homemade chocolate sauce. You can cheat by buying store-bought sauce, but it wont sit right on the pie and wont adhere. (You will see pics of it later on – my mom tried to use it a couple times recently in a pinch.)

You can see how the sauce lays thickly on top of the pie. It is supposed to look similar to this.

Here is the side view of the pie as we devoured it.

Here is a slice of an ice cream pie my mom made this summer. You can see how her store-bought sauce doesnt adhere well to the pie.

Below is what remains of a Dulce de Leche ice cream pie my mom made this summer. Our family’s favorite was the Java Chip cake with oreo crust…..but sometimes, it’s a really really tough choice when the Dulce de Leche with vanilla oreo crust is offered as well. In that case, we mostly choose to have a SLIVER OF EACH 🙂

I cant tell you how simple and delicious this ice cream pie is. I encourage you all to come up with your own option for flavors and report back to me!! I am thinking about trying a strawberry version next summer.

If you are an ice cream lover – this is for YOU!

Ice Cream Pie

Pie Ingredients:

  • 18 whole oreos (approx)
  • 3 tblsp melted butter
  • 1 quart (or more) of ice cream (choose your flavor), softened a little

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • Small can evaporated milk
  • 2 squares bakers chocolate

Directions:

Crumble oreos in processor or blender until they are crumbs. Mix with melted butter and press into 9” pie plate. Freeze and then fill with ice cream (flavor of your choice).

Put back in freezer to harden and then make sauce.

Combine chocolate, sugar, and evaporated milk in saucepan. Stir and cook on stove until thick – it will take a while and feel like nothing is happening, but will suddenly thicken and come together. Chill the sauce for a couple hours. Spread over top of pie. Voila!

Other flavor combos:

–       Chocolate Oreos with java chip ice cream and chocolate sauce

–       Vanilla oreos with dulce de leche ice cream and caramel sauce

–       Strawberry ice cream with berries and chocolate sauce

–       Chocolate oreos with mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate sauce

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