Monday, March 30, 2009

Cake #3

I HATE Wilton roses...
Just in case anyone was wondering, this is a strawberry cake with a layer of hot fudge.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Coconut Pudding Pie

          My personalized graham cracker crust creation.

As promised, I'm putting up more recipes on here, though I still feel like I've lost some of the people who used to come and visit. :( Sad. I hope you all come back though! I do again apologize for my bad pictures. I don't have a very good camera at all, nor am I able to turn the flash off b/c I don't know how.

I kind of felt like I was in a baking rut...I was tired of doing bars, brownies, cookies, or candies, so why not make a pie? To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of pies in general. I don't like pastries or crusts or anything of that sort, especially doughnuts--gross. 

I found this recipe off of I wanted to make a pie with a fruity filling, and once I saw this Choose-your-own Filling Pie I was heart-set on using coconut. I did modify their original recipe, using Coconut Creme Pudding instead of vanilla and I also used a graham cracker crust instead of a crescent roll crust, which sounds weird to me. To make this extra special, I had the brilliant idea (humble I know) of smearing a layer of melted chocolate on top of the graham cracker crust. Once my mom tried this pie, she informed me that every pie ever made will HAVE to have chocolate on top of the graham cracker crust. This pie is super easy to make and only takes about 10 min. to make it. 

Moment of honesty: I haven't tried this pie. I did try a little of the filling and it was good--very light. This would be a great summer pie b/c you wouldn't feel heavy and gross and after it. Oh yeah, go check out Pillsbury's website! They have a ton of wonderful recipes on it.

1 graham pie crust
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 box (4 serving) of Coconut Creme instant pudding and pie filling mix (if your store doesn't carry it, Vanilla works too)
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, about 2 min. Spread carefully and evenly over the graham cracker crust. Put in freezer for around 5 min. or until the chocolate is hardened.
Make pudding mix as directed on box, using 1 3/4 cups milk. Stir in vanilla and coconut extracts and the whipped topping. Spread on crust. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Store covered in refrigerator. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

White Trash-revamped

If you guys haven't noticed yet, I LOVE homemade candy. Cakes,, they're ok and all, but candy is where it's at! I'm sure all of you have had white trash before so I decided to vamp up the recipe a little bit. I added peanut butter (of course I would right?) to the white chocolate in addition to Cadburry mini chocolate eggs. This stuff is amazing...really really really good. It is, however, kind of rich and after a few bites you've had enough.

The other great thing about this is that you don't have to use the stove or oven AND you just dump everything into one bowl. Instead of writing a paper, I made this and am watching Grey's Anatomy...I know I know, it's trashy at times--just let me have my guilty pleasure. Besides, when you're wanting to procrastinate school, anything sounds good other than the actual work itself. 

There is a little bit of justification to not doing school too. The Memphis Tigers (my school!!) play tonight so I of course have to watch and support. They are going all the way to #1 this year I feel it. Last year #2 was an ok spot, but I feel it...#1 here we come!

2 cups Cheerios
1 1/2 cups peanuts
2 cups pretzel sticks, broken
2 cups Chex cereal (I just realized I forgot to add these :()
1 1/2 cups M & M's
1 bag Cadburry Mini Chocolate Eggs
1 package of white chocolate chips (around 16 oz.)
3/4 cup peanut butter

Put all the ingredients except the white chocolate and peanut butter in a large bowl. Melt the white chocolate and peanut butter in a microwavable bowl (about 2 min.) until smooth and creamy. Pour over mixture and mix together, coating the dry ingredients evenly.  
Put wax paper on the counter and pour mixture on top, spreading in a thin layer. Let set and break into clumps. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Torte

I know that I haven't been posting many recipes on my blog, or even comments for that matter. I've been really busy with school as of lately so I haven't found much time to cook. My cake decorating class has received all my baking attention as of recently, but I promise that I'll do better and start posting more recipes ASAP! Don't forget about me and never check my blog anymore...I'm still alive. 

 I promise you that this tastes and looks much better than my horrible picture. Unfortunately before I could take a good picture it was cut up and served, hence the bad picture. This is like a chocolate chip cookie/cheesecake blessing of goodness! I found it off I highly recommend this to anyone who likes chocolate chip cookies or cheesecake.

1 roll (16.5 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat and it tasted fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocoalte chips
1 cup chopped honey-roasted peanuts
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate-flavored syrup (I actually used the magic shell syrup)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In an ungreased 10 or 9 inch springform pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 15-18 min. or until light golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and egg until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the peanuts. Pour over cooled crust and spread evenly.
In a bowl microwave the butterscotch chips until smooth and melted. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Drizzle over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and peanuts.
Bake 30-40 min. until edge is set but center it still slightly jiggly. Cool on cooling rack 10 min. Run knife around side of pan to loosen the torte; carefully remove side of pan. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
To serve, cut torte into wedges. Drizzle 1 tsp. of chocolate syrup onto each dessert plate. Place wedges over syrup. Store in refrigerator. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cake #2

Here's my clown cake!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My first Wilton Cake

Here it is! My very first cake I officially decorated myself. Please be nice :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars

Thank you all for your kind words wishing me to get well. Unfortunately I'm still not 100% better, but long as I'm not nauseous and throwing up I'm good. I found this recipe again off Anna's website 

This didn't turn out like I had hoped it would, but I was also in a hurry because I was doing my friend's hair and makeup for a wedding she was in. I wanted to make a smaller batch in a 8 x 8 inch pan, so I halfed the recipe and tried it. Not everything got done, but after a setting up for an hour or so in the refrigerator they were great. 

The bottom is essentially a cookie crust with the chocolate in the middle layer, topped with a brown sugar meringue. I felt better after reading in some of the comments that other people had trouble making them as well. Eh...I've had my share of undercooked bars so I know all the tricks, but the refrigerator sets them up very nicely. 

The end result tastes like a chocolate pecan pie, but that probably isn't how they're supposed to taste. I put the original recipe here (not like I halfed it) so if you want to try and half it...good luck. 

On a sugary note, my cake decorating class is on Monday so you'll soon be seeing a pretty rainbow cake! I'm putting my sister Andrea's cake on here too for a compare and contrast, so I expect everyone of you to say that my cake looks better. :)

2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, divided use
1 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 egg whites 
2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper. 
In a bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat in milk, vanilla, and egg yolk--reserve white.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir into butter mixture. Press into baking pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of batter.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar to whites and continue beating for another 30 seconds or so. If you add an extra egg white, use an additional 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Spread the egg white mixture over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle chopped pecans over top and bake for 28-30 min. or until edges are golden brown and pull away from side of the pan.
Let bars cool slightly, then lift from pan and score while still warm. Allow bars to cool completely or chill if desired. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Super Small Batch of Extra Large Chunk Cookies

So I've been sick for the last two days...two precious days of my spring break. I could be negative nancy and be annoyed that I got sick on my spring break, but instead I'm choosing to be grateful that it happened now. I at least don't have to miss class.

I'm still running a fever, but today I'm getting a little antsy and decided to make some cookies. I ran across this recipe at Anna's website at I wanted to make a small batch of cookies, and these were so gigantic in her picture that I had to try them out. 

These really came out well...I was surprised. Usually big cookies don't get done in the middle, but these were super soft in the middle, but not underdone by any means. From the little bite that I took (cookies don't sound too appealing when you're sick), they were incredible. They were so soft and gooey that I might never make regular sized cookies again. 

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and very hot
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. beaten egg (break egg, mix it with a fork and measure)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup flour, leveled in measuring cup
1 tsp. water (optional)
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 milk chocolate candy bar, broken into pieces (I used Cadbury's Milk Chocolate bar)
2-3 tbsp. white chocolate chips
1/2 cup M & M's

In a large bowl, stir together hot butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until smooth. If still hot, let cool for about a min., then stir in egg. Beat with a spoon until egg is fully mixed; stir in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add flour and stir just until mixed.If dough seems too dry (falling apart), add water. Stir in white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, broken candy bar pieces, and M & M's. Shape dough into a fat log of about 5 inches. Chill for 1 hour. Carefully cut log into 4 equal pieces (each should weigh 3 1/2 oz). 

Place cut pieces, spaced about 4 inches away from each other, 4 to a sheet, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 18-20 min., rotating pan halfway through. Remove from oven and arrange a few more semi-sweet chunks on top--the candy will melt and adhere to the cookie. Cool on cookie sheet for 3 min, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. 

Let the cookies sit around for awhile to set. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Peanut Buttter Cup Fudge Swirl Ice Cream

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!"

If someone came up to me and asked me what my favorite dessert is, I wouldn't even need a second to tell them of my love for ice cream. Now I'm not talking about the nasty grocery store kind of ice cream...I'm talking about frozen custard or the other really fattening kinds of ice cream. Sorry, but unless I'm having a health-conscious day, I'm not going to go get frozen yogurt--it's a waste of time. 

But back to the ice cream! I've never made any before because I'm very intimidated of the ice cream maker. All the spinning, churning, ice, rock salt, etc...I had no idea how to make it. So I finally buckled down and got my dad to show me how to use our ice cream maker; it was so much easier than I thought. What does this mean? Well from now on I'm pretty much going to go a little crazy over making ice cream. Once summer hits, I'm just going to warn you that it's going to probably be a new flavor a week. This recipe is from I added my favorite candy, Reese Cups, to the mixture because everyone knows that I like to have multiple textures in my food. 

Is this ice cream good? Oh my goodness...look at the picture? Do I really need to tell you how great it is? The ice cream is essentially more like a creamy vanilla custard, and then peanut butter swirled in just about makes me want to eat the whole container. But sadly enough I won't eat it all, well today at least. :)

Ice cream
2 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 bag of Reese Cups, chopped

Fudge Swirl
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
pinch of salt

To make ice cream:
Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Put yolks, sugar, and salt into a bowl. Beat on high speed with an electric mixer until yolk mixture has tripled in volume and can hold a ribbon on surface for 2 seconds, about 3 min. 
Reduce speed to medium and add cream and milk; beat to combine. Transfer mixture to saucepan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. It should read 180 degrees F., about 5-7 min.
Pour custard through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl set in ice-water. Add vanilla extract. Let cool completely, stirring often.
Freeze custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately, or freeze in an airtight plastic container until ready to serve. If frozen for mroe than 4 hours, let ice cream stand at room temperature 15-20 min. before serving.

To make fudge swirl:
Combine cream and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, peanut butter, and salt. Let cool.

To assemble:
Pour ice cream from machine into a freezer-safe container (it will be the consistency of soft serve). Allow to harden slightly in freezer, about 1 hour. Remove from freezer and pout fudge sauce in a zig-zag over top. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the fudge into the ice cream. Return to freezer and allow to harden another hour or more, until scoop-able.

Poor Man's Toffee

Imagine this to be some late night informercial that you're watching because there's nothing worth watching at 2 am. The lady comes on saying "Are you bakers tired of baking? Well put away your mixers and mixing bowls and try this recipe out!"

Ok yes overly cheesy (no pun'll get it in a second), but I'm in the midst of "studying" for my African American Lit. midterm tomorrow...and by studying I mean NOT studying. But there are just times when you don't feel like melting or softening butter or measuring out a ton of ingredients. If you feel that way, then this candy recipe is a quick and different twist on a normal toffee or brittle recipe. 

Normally when I make this I use saltines for the base, but on I found a different version of brittle, a personal favorite candy recipe, using Cheez-It's. When I saw this my immediate reaction was 'oh sick.' I bookmarked it in case I changed my mind...and I felt adventurous tonight so I tried it. You actually don't taste the cheesy-ness of the crackers once it's finished. It really does all blend in together--the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I made my parents try it out and asked if they liked the saltines or Cheez-It's better. My dad was in favor of the Cheez-It's and my mom liked both equally. They do have a distinctly different taste. The saltines are more mild whereas the Cheez-It's give have a little kick...a little 'BAM!' as Emeril would say. :)

Usually people use toasted almonds to top their brittle, but not me. For some reason I felt inclined to use crushed Butterfinger on top...honestly I think it's b/c the Cheez-It's are orange and so is Butterfinger. Maybe I really do have the mind of a three year old and made color associations. For whatever reason, Butterfinger is way better than nuts on top of this. 

P.S. On a side note, keep checking the blog b/c very soon (as in tonight or tomorrow), there will be something I've never made appearing for the first time on my blog. I even will have to make a new label for it, so get excited and keep checking! Post a comment if you think you know what it is, and if you guess right...I'll send you some! Ok well not really, but you'll get gold star in my book. 

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine (you can cut some out to save some calories, but the toffee won't taste as good)
1 cup, packed light brown sugar
1 package of milk chocolate chips (about 2-3 cups)
3/4 box of the Big-size-Cheez'It's (the bigger ones cover more room)
2 Butterfinger bars, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil. Spread out the Cheez-It's until there are no holes (lay some on top of the others--don't just use one single layer). 
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once brought to a boil, simmer for 3-4 min. Pour mixture on top of Cheez-It's. Do not mix or stir them up! Bake for 6-8 min., until it bubbles. Let stand for 1-2 min. and spread chocolate chips across the surface. Let set for 1-2 min., or until the chocolate chips have melted. Spread the mixture until evenly coated. Spread the crushed Butterfingers on top. 
Set in the freezer or refrigerator until set. Break into bars.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chocolate Graham Cracker Brownies

I think if I had a rewind button for life, I might've used it tonight when I decided to make these brownies...ok well maybe not now that they're done, but a few minutes ago I definitely would've pushed rewind.

I had some leftover chocolate graham crackers that I wanted to use up, hence the recipe I found on Her brownies look absolutely beautiful, and tonight I knew that I wasn't in the mood to even try and make them pretty. Perhaps it's b/c I just finished reading some really boring stuff for school, who knows. 

So these brownies have no flour or butter in them...but for all of you who think you'll be saving on calories, just wait. The chocolate ganache isn't necessarily healthy...and it hates me. I've never made it before until tonight, and it turned out fine--that is until I dropped the not-yet-set ganache brownies on the floor. Thankfully only the top layer of ganache messed up and the brownies were fine. Oh yes, it went everywhere. I thought about taking a picture like I've seen people do with baking messes, but this was too depressing to capture.

The Bachelor Final Rose Part 2 comes on tonight (YAY Molly!) so I was too impatient to let the ganache set up, which of course it wouldn't do anyway b/c it really does hate me. Please ignore how horrible these pictures are, but I promise you these brownies really are great. They don't have the usual texture of brownies; it's slightly crunchy and thicker than a fudge brownie. The graham crackers crumbs really act like a great thickening agent. 

Final point: make these. The ganache was a bit rich for me, and since we're not on good terms I would say that it's not absolutely necessary to make. You could just melt some chocolate chips over this and call it a day. But for now I'm still in emotional turmoil over The Bachelor and have to see who the next Bachelorette is going to be! So sorry for the gross pictures, but just keep in mind that I'd spent 15 min. cleaning up ganache off the floor...and my pants, so I'm probably a little fussy. 

P.S. On a side note, I started taking a cake decorating class so soon you'll be seeing a plethera of hopefully pretty cakes. Just don't judge my decorating/baking skills from the aesthetics of these brownies. :)

This is about how thick the batter should look after the 3 min.

They have potential to look much better, but The Bachelor is more important for me to sit and wait around for the dumb ganache to harden. Whatever they still taste good.

16 chocolate graham crackers
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
 1 tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch pan. Crush the graham crackers finely. Pour into a bowl and add cocoa and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugars; beat with an electric mixer at a high speed until thickened, about 3 min. Stir in the coffee granules and vanilla. Fold in chips/chunks and the graham crumb mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 min. Make sure not to overbake. Let cool completely in the pan and frost with ganache. 

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups chocolate chips
Microwave cream until bubbly and hot. Fold in chips and stir until thickened and smooth. Spread over brownies. Let harden and cut into squares. 

**My family LOVED the texture of these brownies by the way! Chocolate graham crackers in a brownies=awesome!