Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Molten Chocolate Skillet Brownie

Hi there, remember me?  I am the girl who started a blog with yummy recipes and pictures and then got busy and abandoned said blog for months at a time.  Not entirely though, I am always lurking around here (that's not creepy, right?), sometimes making subtle changes like adding a bar at the top, changing the background, or just watching the numbers roll...and I must say that I am amazed at how they have rolled, even in the absence of new posts (ha - new posts, what's that?).  Like from about 2,000 views to 12,000 + views, and counting, since my last blog post, back in June...

 Do you know what post is making the numbers roll the very most?  (answer yes because I'm going to tell you anyway)...it's this one - "How to Make an Ice Cream Cake."  I'm not really sure why.  Is there an astoundingly small number of "How to's" for icecream cakes available?  Or is it just the fact that it is a "How-to" post in general?  I suspect maybe a little of both...so now that I have ripped the band-aid off and am officially blogging again - I plan on doing how-to's more often.  Like maybe twice a year this time.  Just kidding.  More often than that.  Also I feel like this is a good time to let you know that my "h" key is sticking...no doubt a victim of the Dr.Pepper spill... So if you see "wit" or "tat" just know that I missed that one in my editing and try to forgive me (sheesh people I just got back, cut me some slack!  You can overlook a few missing h's, can't you?). 

Anyways, sorry for rambling and on to the recipe (can you tell I need adult conversation?)...
A few weeks ago I found myself in dire need of something sweet and chocolatey, and all I could think about was this heavenly chocolate thing the Pampered Chef Consultant had made at a party I hosted once.  I e-mailed Lisa and she was prompt to send me the recipe, so today I pass it on to you:

source: Season's Best Fall/Winter 2005
1 pkg. brownie mix (19-21oz.) (I lived dangerously and used one that was only 18 oz...we survived, it was fine)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups water

1 jar (12 ounces) chocolate fudge ice-cream topping

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350  Lightly spray bottom of Family (12-in.) Skillet with nonstick cooking spray.

Make brownies according to box directions for CAKE like brownies, pour into a 12 inch skillet  (or 12 inch cake pan).

 Sprinkle choc. chips over batter (I was lazy here and got a brownie mix that already had chocolate chips in the batter)...this is what I used...

 My fudge icecream topping jar was bigger than I needed, so I just measured out 12 ounces with my kitchen scale...

Combine water and ice cream topping in large microwave-safe bowl, whisk until well blended.
 Cuss a little cause you spilled some...

 Microwave, covered, on HIGH 5-6 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil (I cover with a saucer and use a potholder as the bowl gets very hot!).

Whisk until blended; stir in vanilla. (Mixture will be thin.) Carefully pour ice cream topping mixture over brownie batter in a circular pattern. 
Bake un-covered 35-40 minutes (Will appear saucy, but will thicken as it cools).

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and almonds (eh I skipped this part).

Spoon out to serve...I don't think it's possible to serve this without icecream, the hot gooey chocolate is so perfect beside slightly melting BlueBell...Enjoy!!

Linked up to Sweets for a Saturday


Happy Baking!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

O My Heavens...oatmeal cream pies!

There are no words...well almost no words...I found this recipe at An 'A' for Effort. they. are. divine! I will never buy store bought again. Unless I run out of oatmeal. Seriously. I won't even expound anymore. Go make them...after you read the recipe and look at the pretty pictures ofcourse...

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies


1 C flour
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted (I used regular salted butter)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 C Old Fashioned Oats

Cream Filling:
1 C vegetable shortening
1 C + 4 tbsp powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla
7.5 oz jar marshmallow cream


Make the cookies.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. *Don't skip this step! The cookies will need to cool on the baking sheet and you don't want them to stick!
2. Combine all the dry ingredients except oats in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a mixer, cream the brown sugar, melted butter, egg and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the oats.
5. Using a tablespoon size scoop, place evenly size dough balls on parchment paper. Allow room for the cookies to spread.
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.

While the cookies cool, make the cream filling.
1. In a large stand mixer, cream the shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add the marshmallow cream and mix until well combined.
3. Place cream mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large tip...a few notes: as a general rule I don't fill the piping bag more than half way (if the bag is too full icing will ooze out the opposite end as you squeeze the bag).  Also, if you don't have piping bags, you can use a ziplock bag, fill with icing, twist the top then snip off a corner, or just skip the piping altogether and use an icecream scoop for the cream filling.

Fill the cookies.
1. Turn half of the cookies over. On the inside of the cookie, pipe the cream filling starting on the outside edge, and pipe in a circular pattern until you reach the middle.
2. Place another cookie on top and press slightly.
3. Repeat for all cookies.

I used a regular sized cookie scoop for these and it made 14 Oatmeal Cream Pies, and I have enough cream leftover to fill another batch (ran out of oatmeal, so I am freezing that for another day)!

Linked up to Sweets for a Saturday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

So the kids have been sick, with a stomach virus, for the past two weeks. Again. Just when one gets over it, the next one gets it...such is life. So I haven't baked. At all. Because I've been cleaning. Alot. (wish I had stock in lysol)!

But I've missed you guys.  And I've missed blogging, and baking...and not cleaning vomit.  So I pulled this from my backlog of things baked but not yet posted...I found it at Cooking with Libby and decided to make it for the Easter spread. It. Was. A. HIT!! There was very little left, I literally got about 2 bites of it! Everyone raved about it, so it is definitely a keeper!  (I also love that it is so easy and has ingredients that I already have on hand)!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

You need:
1 (30 oz.) pkg. of chocolate chip cookie dough (I used Pillsbury)
2 (8 oz.) packages of Cream Cheese at room temperature
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cover the bottom of an ungreased 13x9 inch pyrex with half of the dough, forming a crust.

...I love to use this Pampered Chef tool for this, but if you don't have something like it, you can use a small rolling pin, spatula, or your hands to spread the dough evenly...

3. Bake for 10 minutes and it comes out looking like this:

4. While baking, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well blended.

5. Take the crust out and spread the cream cheese mixture on top...being sure to cover the entire top. It will be ooey and gooey and may blend with the crust and this is ok :)

6. Take the other half of the cookie dough and crumble it on top of the cream cheese coating, being sure to cover it all.

7. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fauxstess Cupcakes - pastel mini's

Wow, where did April go?! I have been too busy to post, so today I am posting one of the desserts I did for our family's Easter celebration...
Remember my previous entry, "Less Mess Fauxstess Cupcakes?" Inspired by that, I wanted to do something similar but with more of a spring/Easter theme...so this is what I came up with. Less mess? hmmm not so much...but super cute, and soooo good, and because they are mini's they can be deceptively dangerous (you know, like, "I just ate 5 of these but that's ok because they're so small..." not that I did that...ahem...)

Here's what I did:

1) Mixed a white cake mix according to box directions, then just for fun I decided to divide my batter equally into three bowls, and colored one bowl pink, one purple, and one blue (note: I was really going for pastel batter, but I dumped a big blob of food coloring into each batter before stirring...these would've been even cuter if the cake itself was pastel).
2) Line 2 24 cup mini muffin tins (or 24 regular sized) with mini cupcake liners.
3) Then I decided to alternate the colors of batter in each cupcake, so that each cupcake would have all 3 colors...but I couldn't decide which order to alternate them in! SO, just to torture myself, I ALTERNATED ALTERNATING the colors...and lost an hour of my life, lol...In the end, I think my favorite are the ones that have the pink on the bottom. or on the top. or in the middle. because I just love pink.

4) After the cupcakes had baked and cooled, I filled each one with my leftover hostess filling, then dipped them in the white chocolate mixture that I had leftover from this (one bag of white chocolate morsels, 3 TBSP shortening, melt in 30 second intervals in the microwave) and when I ran out of that I melted some candy discs from the craft store to dip the remaining cupcakes in. (Note: when I make a recipe, whatever icing/filling/etc. I have leftover I ALWAYS use or freeze - it is so convenient to have them on hand for a quick dessert or new creation, and I hate wasting good ingredients!)

5) After the white chocolate coating has lost it's glossiness but is not completely set (like 5 minutes-ish), sprinkle generously with pastel sugar sprinkles (my favorite way to do sprinkles is over a clean coffee filter, because it makes for easy clean-up and makes a great funnel for returning left-over sprinkles to their container!)...if you accidentally wait too long and the white chocolate has set the sprinkles won't stick - if this happens you can just gently dab the top of the cupcake with a damp papertowel (ask me how I know ;). Then I did the hostess "e-motion" with the hostess icing recipe.

And here's what they look like cut (REALLY wishing they were pastel now...):

And here's where I got a little crazy and decided to bedazzle them with Easter non-pareils...

I know it's a little late, but I hope you all had a Blessed Easter, surrounded by your loved ones and celebrating WHY we live!

"But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said..."
Matthew 28:5-6 NKJV

"I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
John 14:2-3 NKJV

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Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's - fake french toast!

Happy April Fool's Day! (I think...). So I don't usually participate in this silly holiday, usually just roll my eyes and watch it pass...I guess I've always assumed I was "too cool" to be bothered with it (not to imply that I was cool at all...because I was not.) but then I had kids. And became a blogger. All of the peer pressure to be a "cool mom" and a "cool blogger" got to me and finally I caved. So, here is my lame offering of April Fool's Day fun food...the kiddos and hubby had fun with it, (and were fooled at first sight) so that's all that matters right?

I decided to make fake French toast, but I didn't have enough sugar to make pound cake, so I found this cool recipe that starts with a regular cake mix. It was not as dense as a "real" scratch poundcake, but it was more dense than a regular cake mix cake (did I lose you?) and it was yummy and fluffy (can cake be "fluffy?").

Anyway blahblahblah here's what to do:

For the "french toast":
I used pound cake recipe here
1(18.25 ounce) package cake mix (I used white)
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
1 teaspoon butter flavored extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the "butter"
I used banana laffy taffy but lemon starburst would work too

For the "syrup"
I used carmel icecream sauce, butterscotch would also work


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour loaf pan (you will have extra batter which can be made into cupcakes or a smaller cake).
2.In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil and water. Beat until moistened. Add eggs and beat well. Add flavorings. Beat 6 to 8 minutes on medium high speed. Batter will be very thick.
3.Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

After cake has cooled, slice into bread sized slices, position on plate.
Cut laffy in half, position on bread.
Drizzle generously with icecream sauce, and Voila! Fake french toast!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Less Mess Fauxstess Cupcakes!

I was so excited to find a recipe for "faux" hostess cupcakes...until I read the reviews. Every blogger I could find pretty much promised that this recipe would require every bowl in my kitchen. And maybe a few of my neighbor's bowls too...every.one. I do dishes. Like all day long guys. Family of seven. It's practically my job. So, as much as I love baking and trying new recipes, "every bowl" was definitely a deal breaker.

Enter lightbulb moment! I LOVE using cake-mixes to create shortcut recipes, and this was the perfect opportunity. I had some left-over cake batter and realiazed that it was actually a flavor very close to the hostess cupcake. So, here's what I did:

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

I used "Triple Chocolate Fudge" cake mix by Betty Crocker - follow package directions
(Or refer to link above for the actual cake recipe)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven, mix cake batter, scoop into muffin tins and bake as directed (one mix usually makes about 24 cupcakes, I like to use an icecream scoop for consistency).

Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside or refrigerate.

Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until
smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

Spoon the filling into a pastry bag - I like to use disposable decorating bags and tip #230 (check Hobby Lobby or wilton.com) - but a round tip #12 or a medium star tip also work fine. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill. (It's OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.)

Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. (I decided to dip mine instead). Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a disposable decorating bag, trim the end of bag with scissors to create a small round opening (no tip needed) pipe cursive e's onto the cupcakes (or write sweet words) to decorate.

And, just for clarification, here's all the dishes that were dirtied for the making of this recipe - not including the actual cake mix dishes, because it was refridgerated left-over batter...but it would have consisted of an additional mixing bowl, paddle beater, spatula and liquid measuring cup :)

I think I can handle that...if you want to be brave and attempt the original batter, maybe you can make a deal with your hubby - he does dishes, you do cupcakes...worth a try ;)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy "Spring First!" and decorated Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

Happy Spring First everyone!! (Ok I am 1 day late, but who's counting right, Spring is officially here!) Of all the seasons, I think spring is my favorite (and fall, and winter...er...). But seriously - I love spring :) and I'm back. I have recovered from the temporary St. Patrick's insanity...I don't really know what happened, I just felt it necessary to MAKE something green and blog about it, you know...because can there really ever BE too many green baked goods blogged about for a holiday? lol my mother-in-law actually told me that she really liked the mint chocolate chip cookies, but that she had to close her eyes to eat them so she wouldn't barf because they were green...yeah. I'm not sure what to do with that one. So...I'll just leave it at that.

In other news, here's the recipe I tried today! I have been wanting to make these cookies after reading about them on SweetSugarBelle's blog, and Cookie Crazie, and a few others. So, here they are! I followed the recipe and also Sugarbelle's tip and only used 2 cups of flour. The dough is perfect - my kiddos loved the chocolate chips, and while they were great by themselves, I decided the whole point of rolling and cutting them out was to decorate them, right? So, I did that too...I used a basic glaze icing, so they're not as perfect and gorgeous as they would be in royal, but they sure were yummy!

Sugarbakers’ Chocolate Mini-Chip Cookies

1 c unsalted butter
⅓c granulated sugar
½ c light-brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ c all-purpose flour {I think they got a little overzealous with the flour...try 2 cups first, and work your way up}
½ tsp salt
1 ½ c semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars. To that add the vanilla and egg yolk. Sift together the flour and salt, and add it one cup at a time until completely incorporated. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least thirty minutes (don't overchill, I actually had to let mine come back to room temp. b/c I overchilled and could not roll). When it is chilled, roll dough in between parchment, cut out desired shapes, and bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

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