• 10 Habits of Professional Pastry Chefs
  • Caramel Stuffed Peanut Butter Blondies

    How to make Caramel Stuffed Peanut Butter Blondies

    Yield: 9 larger bars or 16 smaller bars

    Prep Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes


    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    25 soft caramel candies, unwrapped (a little under 7 ounces)
    3 tablespoons heavy cream
    Optional Chocolate Drizzle: 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.

    Add the melted butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix together until fully combined. Then, mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined. Scoop half of the blondie mixture into the prepared baking pan (set the other half aside) and press it down into an even layer. Bake at 350°F for 12-13 minutes or until the top is set. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the caramel filling.

    Add the unwrapped caramel candies and combine them with the heavy cream in a separate microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20-30 second increments, making sure to stir well after each increment, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour the caramel over the bottom half of the blondie mixture that you just baked, making sure to leave about 1/2″ of each side uncovered. Top the other half of the peanut butter blondie mixture on top of the caramel by taking pieces, flattening them a little with your hands, and gently laying it over the caramel. You want to make sure the pieces are overlapping and completely covering the caramel.

    Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until the top is set and lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into the bars.

    If adding the chocolate drizzle, add 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring well after each increment, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the bars with the melted chocolate as desired.

    Prep time also includes cooling time.

  • Carrot Sheet Cake

    How to make Carrot Sheet Cake

    Yield: 24-30 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes


    For the Cake:

    2 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup oil
    4 eggs
    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon all spice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    2 cups carrots, finely grated

    For the Frosting:

    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla


    For the Cake:

    Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 13×18 inch jelly roll pan.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and oil together. Beat in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the carrots and then spread into the greased pan. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

    For the Frosting:

    Beat the cream cheese and butter together. Mix in the powdered sugar and cream until smooth. Mix in the vanilla and then spread over cooled cake.

  • Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter

    How to make Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    If you use fresh pumpkin puree, make sure it’s not too watery. If it has a lot of extra moisture, wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess water.


    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
    Pinch salt
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin puree. Beat until very well combined. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining pumpkin puree, until completely incorporated. Add the honey and vanilla and beat until thick and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

    Serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using.

  • Ultimate Muffins

    How to make Ultimate Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Buttermilk is the best for making ultra moist and flavorful muffins. However, you can also use whole milk.


    2 cups (9 ounces or 254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 cup buttermilk
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if desired)


    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray (or both).

    In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

    In a liquid measuring cup beat together the buttermilk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir JUST until combined, do not overmix. Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups.

    Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400°F (don’t forget this!!). Continue baking until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about another 12 minutes.


    Add about 1 cup chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, candy, etc.

    For fruit muffins:

    1 1/2 cups fruit (such as berries, apples, etc.), finely chopped and well drained

    If using fruit, add in with the dry ingredients to make sure the fruit stays evenly distributed and doesn’t sink to the bottom.

    Banana muffins:

    3/4 cup mashed overripe banana (from about 2 small bananas)

    Add in with the wet ingredients.


    1/2 cup peanut butter, Nutella, Biscoff, etc.

    Add with the wet ingredients.

    Lemon Poppy Seed

    2 tablespoons poppy seeds
    1 large lemon, zested

    Add the poppy seeds with the dry ingredients and the lemon zest with the wet ingredients.

    Cocoa Muffins

    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

    Add in the cocoa with the other dry ingredients and increase the melted butter to 6 tablespoons and increase the buttermilk to 1 1/2 cups.

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons butter, melted

    Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Dip the cooled muffins in the butter then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

  • 50+ Easy Meals
  • Slow Cooker Beer Pulled Pork

    How to make Slow Cooker Beer Pulled Pork

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 6 hours 20 minutes


    1 (3.5 pound) boneless pork butt roast
    1 large onion, sliced
    12 ounces beer, such as a dark ale
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    For BBQ Sandwiches:

    2 cups barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
    Sandwich or slider buns
    Toppings of your choice such as onions, pickles


    Place the roast and onion in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker. Pour in the beer. Add the soy sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or until fork tender. Time will vary by slow cooker.

    Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Using two forks, pull the meat apart into shreds, discarding any fat. Strain the onions, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Return the shredded pork, onions, and reserved liquid to the slow cooker. Serve or make BBQ sandwiches.

    For BBQ Sandwiches:

    Stir in the barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

    Serve on sandwiches between buns with toppings of your choice.

  • Crispy Chicken Thighs

    How to make Crispy Chicken Thighs

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Cast iron pans get very hot which makes them great for crisping chicken skin, but also means they tend to smoke. Make sure you turn your vent hood on and, if possible, open a window. Also, chicken thighs can vary greatly in size. You may need to shave the cooking times slightly for really small thighs, and increase the cooking times for larger thighs.


    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 lemon, zested and juiced
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
    6 to 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil


    Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon zest (reserve the juice), and rosemary in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs.

    Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking with the skin side down until the fat renders and it is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for another 6 minutes. Flip the chicken so the skin side is facing up and cooking until the skin is crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers at least 165°F, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken before serving.

  • How to Make Vegan Ice Cream

    How to make Vegan Ice Cream

    Yield: About 1 quart

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes


    2 (13.5 ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled

    3/4 cup granulated sugar, raw sugar, or sugar substitute (OR about 1/2 cup agave syrup or 1/2 cup honey)

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean pod, seeded


    Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 30 seconds.

    Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers’ directions, about 25 minutes or until the mixture has increased in volume and resembles soft-serve ice cream. Serve immediately or for a firmer texture, remove to an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed against the surface, and freeze for at least 1 hour.

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