• Cookie Butter Pudding Pie

    How to make Cookie Butter Pudding Pie

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 22 minutes


    For the crust:

    24 (1 7-ounce box) Speculoos cookies
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    7 tablespoons (99 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cookie butter pudding:

    1 tablespoon (1 envelope) unflavored gelatin
    1/3 cup boiling water
    2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar
    1/3 cup (33 grams) unsweetened cocoa
    1/4 cup (28 grams) cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3 cups milk
    3/4 cup (230 grams) cookie butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    For topping:

    Cookie butter, melted
    Crumbled Speculoos cookies


    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    In the bowl of a food processor pulse the Speculoos cookies and sugar until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Use the bottom of a measuring cup, glass, or ramekin to press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until fragrant and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

    Make the pudding:

    Put the gelatin in a small bowl, add the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
    In a medium saucepan whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add the milk, whisking until smooth. Set over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 10 minutes.

    Remove from the heat. Add in the cookie butter and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla and reserved gelatin mixture. Pour the pudding into the pie crust. Chill the pie in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight, until well chilled and set.

    Drizzle with melted cookie butter. Garnish with the Speculoos cookie crumbles. Slice and serve!

  • Twix Chocolate Layer Cake

    How to make Twix Chocolate Layer Cake

    Yield: One 8 inch layer cake

    Prep Time: 1 hour

    Cook: 45 minutes


    Chocolate cake

    2 cups (280 grams) plain flour
    1 cup (80 grams) cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 and 1/2 cup (300 grams) caster sugar
    1/2 cup (90 grams) brown sugar
    1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
    3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
    2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1 cup (240 ml) hot water

    Caramel frosting

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    2 and 1/2 cups (325 grams) powdered or icing sugar
    1/2 cup (120 ml) salted caramel sauce
    Twix bars, chopped
    Shortbread cookies, crumbled
    Extra caramel sauce for drizzling


    Preheat your oven to 360 F (180 C). Grease and line two 8 inch round cake tins. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Then add the sugars. Whisk together. In a separate mixing bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs. Whisk together.

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Start to fold together, slowly pour in the hot water, and continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Divide the mixture into the two cake tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave for 10 minutes before gently removing the cakes from their tins and leave them to cool completely on a wire rack.

    To make the frosting, add the butter to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered or icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the caramel sauce and continue to beat until creamy.

    To frost the cakes, you may need to trim off the dome of the cakes using a large serrated knife or a cake cutter. Then, add half the frosting to the top of one chocolate cake and then add the other chocolate cake on top. Frost with the remainder of the caramel frosting. Finally, top with chopped Twix bars, crushed shortbread cookies and drizzle with any extra caramel sauce.

  • Nutella Chocolate Covered Pretzel Milkshake

    How to make Nutella Chocolate Covered Pretzel Milkshake

    Yield: 1 to 2 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    The sweetened condensed milk adds unbelievable richness, but feel free to use heavy cream instead. My favorite chocolate covered pretzels are the ones from Trader Joe’s!


    For the milkshake:

    1/4 cup Nutella
    1 1/2 cups ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or hazelnut)
    1/2 cup whole milk
    2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (or heavy cream)
    1/2 cup chocolate covered pretzels

    For topping:

    Whipped cream
    Crushed chocolate covered pretzels


    Add all of the milkshake ingredients into the bowl of a blender and blend until just combined.

    Pour into a glass. Top with whipped cream. Drizzle with Nutella and sprinkle with crushed chocolate covered pretzels. Serve with a wide straw or spoon.

  • Perfect Carrot Cupcakes

    How to make Perfect Carrot Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes


    For the cupcakes:

    1 1/4 cups (174 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 cup (47 grams) canola oil
    1 cup (198 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup (125 grams) unsweetened applesauce
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups (148 grams) finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (42 grams) finely chopped walnuts, divided

    For the frosting:

    8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar


    Make the cupcakes:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, and eggs. Stir in the applesauce, vanilla, and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the walnuts.

    Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

    Make the frosting:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until very light, creamy, and smooth. On low speed gradually add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.

    Frost cupcakes and decorate with remaining chopped walnuts, if desired. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Baked Creme Brulee Doughnuts

    How to make Baked Creme Brulee Doughnuts

    Yield: 6 large doughnuts

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes


    For the doughnuts:

    1/2 cup warm water
    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons instant yeast
    4 large egg yolks
    1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
    2 1/2 (319 grams) cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup heavy cream

    For the filling:

    1 cup whole milk
    1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
    3 large egg yolks
    Pinch of salt
    2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

    For topping:

    3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons water


    Make the doughnuts:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, zest, vanilla, yeast, eggs, and sugar. Gradually add in the flour then salt, mixing until absorbed. Add the butter and cream and beat on medium speed for 6 to 8 minutes, or until a smooth sticky dough forms. Remove the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

    On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds from the dough. Place on a large parchment-lined baking sheet spacing far apart. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the doughnuts for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. Let cool completely.

    Make the filling:

    In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk and half the sugar. Place over medium heat to come to a boil.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the yolks, salt, and the remaining sugar. Stir in the flour.

    When the milk boils, whisk a third of the boiled milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot. Continue whisking until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Pour the cream into a heat-proof glass or stainless-steel bowl or pan. Press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

    Remove the pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a long filling tip. Insert the tip into the side of a doughnut and squeeze the filling inside to fill. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts.

    Make the crème brulee topping:

    Place the doughnuts on a wire rack over a baking tray. In a glass measuring cup, combine the sugar and water and stir until combined. Spoon the sugar mixture over each doughnut and allow to set for 5 minutes. Using a kitchen blowtorch, caramelize the sugar until amber. Serve.

    Inspired by Donna Hay issue #86

  • The Ultimate Tartelette Crust

    How to make The Ultimate Tartelette Crust

    Yield: Roughly 4 individual tartelette shells (4 x 0.75-inch tart plate)

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 10 to 15 minutes

    This pâte sablée recipe was passed down from my adopted Parisian family; it’s simple and sweet, the ultimate base for your tartelette of choice.


    Tartelette Pastry

    1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

    3 tablespoons granulated sugar

    3 oz. soft, unsalted butter

    2 egg yolks

    1 to 3 tablespoons ice water

    Pinch fleur de sel


    Traditional Crème Patissière

    3 medium egg yolks

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cornstarch

    1 cup whole milk

    1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

    For a more embellished finish, Teresa Floyd’s Strawberry Rose Crémeux is a must-try.


    Tartelette Pastry

    1. Place flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center; then add butter, egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of ice water. Blend lightly by fingertip, gently kneading until all ingredients gather to form smooth dough. If a crumbly texture persists, add up to 2 tablespoons more of ice water by drops. Shape the pastry into a slightly flattened ball, dust lightly with flour and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight, until firm.
    1. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place the pastry on a floured surface and press it into a flat circle with the heel of one hand. Sprinkle flour over the pastry and roll it out with a rolling pin. Lift and roll it onto the pin. Unroll and ease pastry into a 4 x 0.75 inch fluted tartelette pan, pressing the pastry into the bottom and around the sides. Roll the pin over the pan to trim extra over-hanging dough. Chill for 20 Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    1. Blind bake the tartelette shell (sans filling): Line with parchment paper. Use dry beans to fill the center of the pan. Edges of the tartelette will start to take on a golden color after 5 to 10 minutes in oven. Remove the parchment paper and return to bake up to 5 minutes longer. Baked crust will appear lightly browned in color. Set pan on a jar to slip off the loose-bottomed rim. Fill as directed in the tartelette recipe of your choice.


    Crème Patissière

    1. Warm the milk in a saucepan so that it begins to steam.
    2. Place egg yolks in a bowl and gradually whisk, adding the sugar until light and thick. Beat in the cornstarch and hot milk.
    3. Pour mixture back into the saucepan. Set over medium heat, stir then whisk slowly until the mixture thickens like pudding. When it comes to an early boil, remove from heat.
    4. Add in vanilla extract and pour the cream into a strainer set over the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly over the surface of the cream and store. Pastry cream will keep 3 days under refrigeration.
  • Rocky Road Brownies

    How to make Rocky Road Brownies

    Yield: 20

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes


    For the Brownie:

    2 cups sugar
    2/3 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup butter, melted
    4 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup chocolate chips

    For the Topping:

    1 (10 ounce, about 5 cups) bag mini marshmallows
    3/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup chocolate chips

    For the Frosting:

    1/4 cup butter. melted
    3/4 cup powdered sugar
    3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    2 tablespoons whipping cream


    For the Brownie:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar and cocoa powder together. Mix in the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Folding the chocolate chips and then spread into the greased pan. Bake for 32 minutes.

    For the Topping:

    Top brownies with marshmallows, almonds, and chocolate chips. Bake for 3-4 more minutes until marshmallows start to expand.

    For the Frosting:

    Mix frosting ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over the warm brownies. Let brownies cool completely before cutting.

  • Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

    How to make Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Yield: About 12 sandwiches, depending on their size

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes


    For the Strawberry Ice Cream:

    1 pound (453 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
    4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
    1/2 cup (113 grams) whole milk
    1/2 cup (113 grams) heavy cream
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons corn syrup
    3/4 cup (149 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    For the cookies:

    1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (297 grams) granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon milk, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
    2 1/2 cups (319 grams) all-purpose flour
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder


    Make the strawberry ice cream:

    In the bowl of a blender or food processor, puree all the ice cream ingredients until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or until chilled. Mixture can be stored for up to 1 day.

    Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours, or until firmed.

    Make the cookies:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon milk. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    Remove half the dough and place in a separate bowl. Each half of dough should weigh about 430 grams. Add the cocoa powder and remaining 2 teaspoons milk to half the dough and mix until combined.

    Place one half of the soft dough in between two large pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface. Roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness, using the parchment paper to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining half. Place each sheet of dough in the freezer until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles from the dough and place on prepared baking sheets, spreading at least a 1/2 inch apart.

    Chill the baking sheets in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the dough circles are firm.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Remove the baking sheets from the refrigerator and prick the cookies all over with the probe of an instant-read thermometer or the blunt end of a skewer or chopstick. Bake the vanilla cookies first, for 9 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set. Then bake the chocolate cookies. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 1 month.

    Assemble the sandwiches:

    Remove the ice cream from the freezer and assemble ice cream sandwiches. Freeze the sandwiches until firm, at least 1 hour, before serving.

    Sandwiches can be individually wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer for up to 1 week. Let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  • Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 16 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes


    For the cupcakes:

    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup (123 grams) peanut butter
    1 1/2 cups (187 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/3 cup (66 grams) vegetable oil
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup water

    For the cheesecake filling:

    4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (123 grams) peanut butter, plus more for topping
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup (85 grams) peanut butter chips


    Make the cupcakes:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with 16 paper liners.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir until smooth. If not completely melted, return to the microwave for 10 second bursts until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter. Let cool.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl vigorously whisk the sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the melted chocolate chips and peanut butter. Gradually add the flour mixture alternatively with the water. The batter will be thin. Set aside.

    Make the filling:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, egg, and salt until creamy. Stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

    Fill each muffin cup half full with the batter. Spoon a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the cream cheese filling. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool completely. Melt additional peanut butter for spreading over the tops of each cupcake, if desired. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.