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  • Chewy Brownies

    How to make Chewy Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups (249 grams) granulated sugar
    5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, cold
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar. Microwave for about 1 minute, or until the butter is melted. Stir in the oil and cocoa powder. Let cool.

    Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set and a cake tested inserted into the center has moist crumbs attached. Do not overcook. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

    Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

    How to make Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

    Yield: 22 cookies

    Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Cream Cheese Filling:
    6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla
    For the Cookie Dough:
    1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling the dough
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 egg + 1 egg yolk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Directions

    For the Cream Cheese Filling:
    With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Cover and and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
    For the Cookie Dough:
    In a mixing bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

    In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add in the flour mixture a little at a time and mix until combined.

    Place about 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl; set aside.

    Use a size #40 cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) to portion out the dough. Use you hands to form the ball of dough into a flat round circle.

    Place a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each circle and then fold up the dough around, sealing the cream cheese in.

    Roll the dough into a ball and then roll it in the bowl of sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.

    Space the balls of dough 2 inches apart (I put 8 on a standard cookie sheet). Use the bottom of a glass or a measuring cup to gently press down on each ball of dough to slightly flatten.

    Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cracks begin to form on top. Let cook on pan for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating

    How to make Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    Tempered chocolate (tutorial here)

    OR

    Melting, decorating, or dipping chocolate, melted (should contain NO cocoa butter)

    Directions

    For piped designed:

    Use a printable guide inserted into a sheet protector or placed under semi-translucent parchment or wax paper to get started, if desired.

    Transfer the tempered chocolate to a squeeze bottle or small piping or ziptop bag with a small hole snipped in one corner. Hold bag about 1-inch above the sheet then gently squeeze, tracing the designers. Squeeze with even pressure but stop before you think you should as the chocolate will continue flowing.

    Fill any gaps with the tip of a toothpick. Allow the chocolate to set completely in the fridge, about 15 minutes, before carefully peeling and placing on your cupcakes.

    For shard or shaped designs

    Scoop chocolate onto a small sheet of parchment paper and spread out evenly with an offset spatula, keeping about a 1-inch border on all edges. Pick up and gently drop the parchment on the counter a few times to spread out evenly and release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with sprinkles, decorations, or finely chopped candy.

    Allow the chocolate to set just until it’s dry to the touch but still flexible. Use a knife to square off all the edges. Make cuts into the chocolate into shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could also use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the cookie cutter is sticking, allow the chocolate to set and harden for a few more minutes before continuing with the shapes.

    Allow the chocolate to set completely in the fridge, about 15 minutes, before carefully peeling and placing on your cupcakes.

  • The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-process cocoa
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1/2 cup boiling water
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the frosting:

    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 large egg whites
    Pinch salt
    12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and at room temperature
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

    In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then set aside to cool.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

    Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix.

    Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

    Make the frosting:

    Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of gently simmering water. Whisking gently and constantly, heat mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and foamy and registers 150°F on a candy thermometer or a digital thermometer, about 3 minutes.

    Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat the egg white mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks curdled, that’s okay. Just keep beating until it becomes smooth.

    Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

    Frosting can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm frosting in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and stir until creamy again before frosting cupcakes.

    Frosting can also be transferred to a ziptop bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge overnight then rewhip in the stand mixer until light and smooth.

  • Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    FOR THE FILLING:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon flour
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon maple extract
    1 large egg

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon maple extract

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Cook the bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. Pour off the bacon fat and set aside. Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a resealable container and set aside.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter along with 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and flour and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Once chilled, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle each cheesecake with the glaze. Top with the reserved candied bacon. Serve.

    Inspired by The Food Network

  • How to Make Belgian Liege Waffles

    How to make Belgian Liege Waffles

    Yield: 10 waffles

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
    1/3 cup water, lukewarm
    3 teaspoons instant yeast
    2 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    2 tablespoons honey
    3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon fine salt
    3 2/3 cups (16.5 ounces) bread flour
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) pearl sugar (or sugar cubes, broken into pieces)

    Directions

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, water, yeast, eggs, honey, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Mix until well combined.

    On low speed, add in all but 1 cup of flour and mix until combined. On low speed, add the butter, one cube at a time, thoroughly kneading in each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed before adding in any more butter. Once all the butter has been incorporated, add the remaining flour and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

    Remove the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch the dough down, cover again with plastic, and place in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.

    When ready to cook, heat up a Belgian waffle iron. Remove the dough from the fridge and knead in all of the pearl sugar. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

    Place first ball of waffle dough on grid and cook according to waffle maker’s instructions. Cook until deeply golden all over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully transfer with tongs or a fork to baking sheet.

    Keep waffles warm in a 200°F oven if you plan to eat them right away. These waffles must be served warm or the pearl sugar will harden. Freeze any leftover waffles and reheat in a 200°F oven until warmed through.

  • Churro French Toast

    How to make Churro French Toast

    Yield: about 10 slices

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cream cheese glaze:

    4 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    4 tablespoons milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the cinnamon sugar:

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    For the toast:

    6 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon good honey
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 large loaf challah, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
    Unsalted butter
    Vegetable oil

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 250°F.

    Make the glaze:

    In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat all the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Remove to a zip top bag and set aside.

    Make the cinnamon sugar:

    In a wide shallow bowl, combine all the cinnamon sugar ingredients.

    Make the French toast:

    In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.

    Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a very large saute pan or griddle over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until well browned.

    Remove the French toast from the pan and immediately dip in the cinnamon sugar, turning to coat completely. Remove to a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it’s all cooked.

    Remove the warm French toast slices to plates. Snip a small hole in the corner of the zip top bag filled with the cream cheese glaze. Drizzle over the French toast and serve immediately.

    Adapted from Damn Delicious

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  • How to Make Butterscotch Sauce

    How to make Butterscotch Sauce

    Yield: about 3/4 cup

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 to 2 tablespoons dark liquor, optional

    Directions

    In a medium heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar, salt, and cream and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Without stirring, let the mixture cook at a bubbling simmer for three minutes. Be careful not to boil too long, or you’ll end up with chewy butterscotch candies instead of a sauce.

    Remove from heat and let cool slightly before stirring in the vanilla extract. Pour into a resalable container, preferably glass. Don’t scrape the sides of the pan into the container or you may end up with gritty pieces of undissolved sugar.

    Serving and Storage: The sauce should be served warm. It can be stored in a jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks. Reheat the butterscotch sauce in a saucepan over low heat.

  • Brown Butter Dulce de Leche Cookie Cups

    How to make Brown Butter Dulce de Leche Cookie Cups

    Yield: 48 mini cookie cups

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Find prepared Dulce de Leche in the Latin section of most grocery stores.

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) bread flour
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk at room temperature
    1 13.4-ounce can prepared Dulce de Leche
    Flaked sea salt, for finishing

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 24 mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl.

    While the butter is still hot, stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Let cool before adding in the vanilla and the eggs and yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

    Press a 1-tablespoon sized ball of dough into each muffin cup. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and using the end of a wooden spoon, make 1-inch wide indentations into the center of each cookie.

    Spoon a teaspoon of dulce de leche into each indentation. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool completely before serving.

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    3 large ripe bananas
    3/4 cup (5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
    1/2 cup (4.75 ounces) peanut butter
    1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) white whole-wheat flour
    1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup (1.75 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with baking cups and set it aside.

    In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher then mix in the sugar, egg, applesauce, and peanut butter until combined. Stir in the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder over the banana mixture. Mix lightly with a rubber spatula to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter should be just moistened but still a little clumpy. Don’t overmix!

    Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or spoons, divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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  • The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

    How to make The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (3.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    9 full-size peanut butter cups

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, peanut butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place the peanut butter cups on top then cover with the remaining batter. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature.

  • diy Cookie Butter

    How to make diy Cookie Butter

    Yield: about 14 ounces

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 0 minutes

    Grind cookies in a food processor or high powered blender until very fine ground. Remove any fillings (such as Oreo crème) before processing.

    Ingredients

    Method 1:

    2 cups (8 ounces) cookie crumbs
    2 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar
    1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more if desired
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

    Method 2:

    2 cups (8 ounces) cookie crumbs
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cup evaporated milk
    Cookie filling (such as Oreo crème), if any

    Directions

    Method 1

    Stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, cream, and butter until well combined. This can be done in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Add more cream for a thinner, more pourable or dippable consistency.

    FOR CRUNCHY BUTTER: At this time feel free to add in larger chunks of cookie crumbs for a crunchier texture.

    At this point you can remove the cookie butter to a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 14 days. Let sit at room temperature until softened.

    Method 2

    Place the cookie crumbs in a large heat-safe bowl.

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cookie filling, if any. Cook until melted. Remove from heat and pour about 1/2 cup into the cookie crumbs. Stir with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the liquid mixture very gradually to the cookie crumbs just until it is wet enough to hold its shape.

    At this point you can remove the cookie butter to a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 14 days. Let sit at room temperature until softened.

  • Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    How to make Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    Yield: 18 doughnut waffles

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the doughnut waffles:

    1/3 cup dark brown sugar sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teapsoon ground nutmeg
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) all-purpose flour

    For the maple glaze:

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    8 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    Directions

    To make the waffles:

    In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together. Add the egg and yolk, melted butter, milk, and molasses until just combined. The batter will be thick.

    Preheat your waffle iron. Place a tablespoon of batter in each waffle cavity and cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and repeat for the remaining batter.

    To glaze:

    In a small bowl whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle or dunk the slightly cool doughnut into the glaze. Let sit until set. Doughnut waffles are best served the day they are made.

  • Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 18

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:

    1 3/4 cup flour
    3/4 cup cocoa powder
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup hot water

    For the Icing:

    5 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    For the Topping:

    1/4 cup Mallow Bits
    Whipped cream

    Directions

    For the Cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with baking cups.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vegetalbe oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Scrape bowl as needed. With the mixer on slow speed, add the hot water and mix until combined.

    Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill baking cups 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    For the Icing:

    Place butter, cocoa powder, and milk in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth.

    Working one at a time, dip the tops of each cupcakes into the icing and immeiately sprinkle half the cupcake with Mallow Bits. (If the icing in the pot starts to dry and set up, just set it back on the stove for about 20 seconds while whisking until it thins again.) Let the icing set before adding the whipped cream. Serve immediately. (Wait to add the whipped cream until ready to serve. If you pipe the whipped cream on you’ll need to store the cupcakes in the fridge.)

  • Chocolate Coconut Cookies

    How to make Chocolate Coconut Cookies

    Yield: 24 cookies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

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  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Mousse Pie

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Mousse Pie

    Yield: 1 9-inch pie

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    20 Oreo cookies (regular-stuffed, filling intact)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade

    For the peanut butter whipped cream:

    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Additional caramel sauce, for drizzling
    Additional peanut butter, melted, for drizzling
    Additional semisweet chocolate, melted, for drizzling

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

    Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and set. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

    Make the filling:

    In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth. Let cool.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream until soft peaks form. On medium speed, gradually add the caramel and continue whipping until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled melted chocolate until combined. Pour into cookie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

    Make the topping:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream until thickened. Add the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.

    Spread the cream evenly over the mousse layer. At this point you can refrigerate overnight if desired.

    Just before serving, drizzle with caramel sauce.

  • Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    How to make Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 18 minutes

    Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat or in a 325°F oven until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, cream, salt, and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the topping:

    Once chilled, top each cheesecake with a spoonful of caramel sauce, just enough to cover but not too much that it completely overflows. Press pecans into the caramel.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Transfer to a small ziptop bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Return to the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

  • Loaded Leftover Mashed Potato Balls

    How to make Loaded Leftover Mashed Potato Balls

    Yield: about 24 balls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    You may need to adjust the ingredients depending on the consistency of your leftover mashed potatoes. If the mixture looks too dry and isn’t holding together, add one more egg. If it looks too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together.

    Ingredients

    3 cups chilled leftover mashed potatoes
    2 tablespoons chopped green onions
    2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    4 strips crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces (you can also use cubes of leftover ham!)
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten and divided
    3 tablespoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
    Salt, for sprinkling
    Sour cream, for serving

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    In a large bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, green onion, cheese, bacon, 1 egg, flour, pepper, and garlic powder until combined.

    Roll into balls roughly 1 1/2-inches in size. Place the beaten egg in a shallow pan. Place the panko in a shallow pan. Dip each potato ball in the egg then cover completely in bread crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and spray briefly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.

    Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crisp on the outside. It may not brown very much but will still get crispy.

    Serve alongside sour cream garnished with additional chopped green onions.

  • Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to make Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Yield: About 24 large cookies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 24 hours 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) bread flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours.

    Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop. Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Nutella Brownies

    How to make Nutella Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    The Nutella flavor is slightly muted with baking. To punch it up, feel free to add a tablespoon of Frangelico to the batter or a cup of toasted chopped hazelnuts if you want a bit of crunch.

    Ingredients

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup Nutella
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (3.4 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly. Stir in the Nutella.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake, you want to err on the side of underbaking. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature, warmed, or chilled.

  • Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

    How to make Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

    Yield: about 8 to 10 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons strong coffee (or water)
    6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon table salt
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

    For the filling:

    1 cup heavy or whipping cream
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the ganache:

    4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    Directions

    For the cake:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan. Line the bottom lengthwise with a piece of waxed or parchment paper.

    Combine the chocolate and coffee in a heat-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, and continue to heat in 20-second bursts, until the chocolate is almost melted. Continue to stir until melted completely. Let cool.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks until pale and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony. Gently stir the cooled chocolate into the yolk mixture.

    In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks. Stir a quarter of egg white mixture into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in three additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes for a jelly roll pan and 12 minutes for a half sheet pan, or until cake layer feels dry (but very soft) to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It will still seem a little underbaked.

    Transfer to a cooling rack and cover the top with a lightly damp towel for 10 minutes.Remove towels and run a knife around the edges of the cake. Sift one tablespoon of cocoa over the top of the cake and cover the cake with a thin tea or flour sack towel that is a little longer than the pan. Place the back of a baking sheet or a large flat tray over the towel and invert the cake onto it. Gently peel back the parchment paper. Sift the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over the top of the cake. Roll the cake up with the towel from short end to short end so the towel is inside. Let cool completely, seam side down.

    For the filling:

    Once cool, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks. Get your serving plate ready and place it near your cake roll. Gently unroll the chocolate cake. Spread the whipped cream filling evenly over cake, leaving a 1-inch border at the far edge. Gently use the tea towel once again to reroll cake and place on the serving plate. Wrap the log tightly in plastic to keep its shape and store in the fridge while preparing the ganache.

    For the ganache:

    In glass measuring cup, microwave the chocolate and cream for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 20-second bursts until melted and smooth. Chill until thickened, about 10 minutes.

    Remove the plastic from the cake and trim both end pieces. Spoon the ganache over the cake and smooth over the sides. Chill for 1 hour, or until set, before slicing and serving.

    The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, though the filling will deflate the longer it’s stored.

  • Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Blondies

    How to make Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Blondies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small blondies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    1 stick (4 ounces, 113 grams) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup (4.5 ounces, 128 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup milk chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
    1/3 cup white chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
    1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with aluminum foil.

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in until melted.

    Combine the browned butter with the sugar and stir until smooth. If still very hot, let cool slightly. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the salt and flour and stir until combined. Mix in all the chocolate chips.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with a small handful of the three chocolate chips and press into the batter. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden at the edges.

    Let cool on a baking rack before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  • Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

    How to make Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

    Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    To ensure these cinnamon rolls really are quick and easy, stick with the instant yeast (or sometimes called rapid-rise yeast) called for in the recipe.

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    1 cup lukewarm milk
    1/3 cup lukewarm water
    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon fine salt

    For the filling:

    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    For the icing:

    3 tablespoons heavy cream
    1 cup powdered sugar

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    For the dough:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the dough ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium speed and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Remove the dough to a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

    For the filling:

    In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

    After the dough has rested, use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into about a 9 by 15-inch rectangle. Brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Press the seam to seal before positioning the log seam side down.

    Use a very sharp knife to cut off the ends then cut the dough into 11 to 12 equal pieces. Place in greased pie pan or 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you could cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight then let them come back to room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

    For the icing:

    While the rolls cool, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle all over the warm rolls and serve.

  • Best Ever Focaccia Pizza

    How to make Best Ever Focaccia Pizza

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 45 minutes

    You can use the same amount of active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast. Simply allow the active dry yeast to proof for five minutes with the water before adding in.

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm (110-115°F) water
    1 teaspoon instant yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    2 1/2 cups (11.3 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    For the toppings:

    1 (15 ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    4 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
    Fresh basil
    Pizza toppings

    Directions

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and half the flour. Stir to combine. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and on low speed add in the remaining flour, salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, or until smooth and soft. If the dough is really sticky, add in another tablespoon or two of flour.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 1 hour. OR place the dough in a large plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature. Proceed with the recipe.

    Coat a 9 by 13-inch pan with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Put the dough onto the pan and begin pressing it out with your fingertips to fit the size of the pan. Coax and stretch the dough to fit the entire pan, or just about. Spread your fingers to make little holes all the way through the dough.

    Cover the dough with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

    In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush the focaccia with the olive oil on the pan. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the dough. Reserve the remaining sauce for another use (it freezes pretty well). Top with the cheese and other desired toppings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

    Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

  • Nutella Stuffed Churros

    How to make Nutella Stuffed Churros

    Yield: about 15 churros

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    For the cinnamon sugar:

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    For the churros:

    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
    1 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (4.5 ounces) flour
    3 large eggs, beaten

    Vegetable oil, for frying
    1/2 cup Nutella, melted until pourable

    Directions

    For the cinnamon sugar:

    Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a large shallow bowl.

    For the churros:

    In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, water, and salt over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the flour. Stir well for 30-45 seconds over low heat, allowing the dough to dry out a little. Remove from heat. Stir eggs in one at a time, making sure to thoroughly incorporate each egg into the dough before adding the next one. Stir vigorously until dough is smooth.

    Remove the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip (I used Ateco #827). Pipe the churros out onto a parchment-linked baking sheet, piping about 4-inches long. Use scissors to cut the end for a perfect shape. Place in the fridge while you heat the oil.

    Make ahead: The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 hours, or frozen for up to 1 week. Thaw for 30 minutes before frying.

    In a large heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, heat 2-inches of vegetable oil over medium-high.

    When the oil reaches 350°F, use a slotted spoon to add each piece of dough to the oil, frying only a few at a time. Fry for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Test the first churro to make sure the center is cooked through and no longer doughy. Let the fried churros drain on a paper towel-linked plate before toss them in the cinnamon sugar to coat while still hot. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

    With a skewer, carve a hole through the center of each churro. Place the Nutella in a piping bag fitted with a small, narrow tip. Pipe the nutella into the churros starting from the center until it comes out the end, then flip the churro around and repeat for the other end so it is completely filled.

    Adapted from this recipe

  • Cheesy Garlic Herb Crack Bread

    How to make Cheesy Garlic Herb Crack Bread

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 crusty sourdough or artisan loaf
    4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
    3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Combine the melted butter, garlic, salt, parsley, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl.

    With a serrated bread knife, cut the bread on a diagonal into 1-inch diamonds, being careful not to slice all the way through. Use your fingers to pry open each crack and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of butter and a pinch of the shredded cheese. Don’t worry if you make a bit of a mess.

    Wrap the entire loaf in foil. To make ahead, place the foil wrapped bread in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for a month, thawing before baking. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has mostly melted. Carefully remove the foil and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until crusty. Serve immediately.

    Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats

  • Dulce de Leche Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

    How to make Dulce de Leche Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 20 min

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    For the banana cupcakes:
    1 cup (128 grams or 4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    2 large overripe bananas, mashed
    About 1/4 cup prepared dulce de leche

    For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:
    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder

    Directions

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

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

    In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined. On medium speed add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the mashed bananas and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Do not overmix.

    Use a spring loaded scoop to fill each cupcake liner three-quarters full. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.

    Use a small knife or apple corer to cut a small hole in the middle of each cupcake. Place the dulce de leche in a zip top bag and snip one small corner. Squeeze out about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dulce de leche into each cupcake.

    For the frosting:
    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high until smooth and creamy. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. On low speed gradually add the sugar and cocoa, beating until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and blend until smooth and creamy.

    Place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes, directly over the filling. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.

  • Dutch Crunch Bread Rolls

    How to make Dutch Crunch Bread Rolls

    Yield: 6 rolls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes

    *Rice flour is a must for the topping in this recipe. It can be found in most grocery stores with other gluten-free flours and products.

    You can also substitute active dry yeast for the instant yeast at a 1:1 ratio in this recipe. It must be proofed by combining it with the warm liquid ingredients in the dough for 5 minutes before proceeding.

    Ingredients

    For the rolls:

    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 cup lukewarm milk
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt

    For the topping:

    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup (5 ounces) rice flour*

    Directions

    For the rolls:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer combine yeast, water, milk, sugar, and oil. Gradually add in the flour and stir until moistened. Add in the salt. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together in a smooth elastic ball, about 5 minutes. If the dough is unbearably sticky, add in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough can also be kneaded by hand.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into six equal portions. Shape each portion into a tight ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise while you prepare the topping.

    Make ahead: At this point the dough can be made ahead of time by covering tightly and refrigerating for up to 24 hours. Remove and let come to room temperature. If two fingers pressed into the dough leave indentations it’s ready.

    For the topping:

    In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes, or until frothy.

    Make ahead: Store the topping in a covered but ventilated container in the fridge for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before using.

    Spread a generous layer of the topping all over the rolls, maintaining a thick coating. You should use almost all of the topping. Let rise uncovered for another 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

  • Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

    How to make Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

    Yield: 16 to 20 servings

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 5 hours 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:
    30 (1-15.35 ounce package) Oreo cookies
    6 tablespoons butter, melted

    For the cheesecake filling:
    32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    5 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    8 ounces Reese’s minis

    For the topping:
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    8 ounces Reese’s minis

    Directions

    For the crust:
    Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.

    For the filling:
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add in the sugar, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the Reese’s.

    Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Cool the cheesecake completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.

    For the topping:
    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour over the cheesecake, allowing to drip down the sides. Sprinkle the Reese’s over the cheesecake. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

    Recipe adapted from The Foodie & The Family and Taste & Tell

  • Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 12 bars

    Ingredients

    For the brownies:
    1 stick unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    Cookie dough:
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 tablespoons milk
    3/4 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

    For the cheesecake filling:
    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions

    For the brownies:
    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang.

    In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until well combined, mixture will be thick. Let cool if the butter is still hot. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, stirring very well after each addition. Stir until the batter is very well blended. Add the flour and stir again until very well blended. Spread into prepared pan.

    Bake for 15 minutes, or until just starting to set but not fully cooked. Let cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to chill until ready to use. Maintain 325°F oven temperature if baking cheesecake layer immediately.

    For the cookie dough:
    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. On low speed gradually add the flour and beat until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

    For the cheesecake:
    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined and smooth. Beat in the eggs, flour, and salt just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie. Scoop out balls of cookie dough and flatten with your hands before placing over the cheesecake batter to cover all the batter.

    Bake at 325°F for about 50 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set and the cookie dough is barely golden but dry. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 2 hours to chill. Cut into 12 bars before serving. Bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Ultimate Dinner Rolls

    How to make Ultimate Dinner Rolls

    Yield: 15 rolls

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
    2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) bread flour

    Directions

    Combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, eggs, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, turn to medium-low speed, and gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a mass of dough begins to forms. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft, smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.

    Lightly spray a large clean bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is big, puffy, and about doubled in size.

    Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper, knife, or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours 37 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    14 whole graham crackers
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the chocolate peanut butter pudding:

    1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
    1/3 cup boiling water
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup cocoa
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3 cups 1% low-fat milk
    3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    For topping:

    Chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    In the bowl of a food processor pulse the graham crackers 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.

    For 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 peanut butter and chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla and reserved gelatin mixture. Pour the pudding into the pie crust. Garnish with the peanuts. Chill the pie in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight, until well chilled and set. Slice and serve!

    Adapted from this recipe

  • Salted Caramel Apple Pie Pizza Cookie

    How to make Salted Caramel Apple Pie Pizza Cookie

    Yield: 4 to 6 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cookie:

    1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup white chocolate chips

    For the caramel apple topping:

    2 large Granny Smith or Jonathan apples, cored, peeled, and diced
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 tablespoons heavy cream
    2 tablespoons butter

    For finishing:

    10 caramel square candies, unwrapped
    1/4 cup cream
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    Vanilla ice cream

    Directions

    For the cookie:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray two 6-inch pie plates or cast iron servers with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.

    In a large bowl stir the butter with the sugars. Let cool slightly if the butter is still hot. Whisk in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add in the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

    Divide the dough between the prepared pie plates. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned but the inside is still gooey, or until desired doneness.

    For the caramel apple topping:

    While the pizza cookies are baking, make the topping. Toss all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple mixture and cook, stirring often, until the apples soften, about 8 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.

    For the caramel topping:

    Place the caramels and cream in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the salt.

    To finish:

    Divide the apple topping among the warm pizza cookies. Top each with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with the caramel sauce. Serve very warm.

  • Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

    How to make Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

    Yield: about 8 to 10 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons strong coffee (or water)
    6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon table salt
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

    For the filling:

    1 cup heavy or whipping cream
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the ganache:

    4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    Directions

    For the cake:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan. Line the bottom lengthwise with a piece of waxed or parchment paper.

    Combine the chocolate and coffee in a heat-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, and continue to heat in 20-second bursts, until the chocolate is almost melted. Continue to stir until melted completely. Let cool.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks until pale and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony. Gently stir the cooled chocolate into the yolk mixture.

    In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks. Stir a quarter of egg white mixture into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in three additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes for a jelly roll pan and 12 minutes for a half sheet pan, or until cake layer feels dry (but very soft) to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It will still seem a little underbaked.

    Transfer to a cooling rack and cover the top with a lightly damp towel for 10 minutes.Remove towels and run a knife around the edges of the cake. Sift one tablespoon of cocoa over the top of the cake and cover the cake with a thin tea or flour sack towel that is a little longer than the pan. Place the back of a baking sheet or a large flat tray over the towel and invert the cake onto it. Gently peel back the parchment paper. Sift the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over the top of the cake. Roll the cake up with the towel from short end to short end so the towel is inside. Let cool completely, seam side down.

    For the filling:

    Once cool, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks. Get your serving plate ready and place it near your cake roll. Gently unroll the chocolate cake. Spread the whipped cream filling evenly over cake, leaving a 1-inch border at the far edge. Gently use the tea towel once again to reroll cake and place on the serving plate. Wrap the log tightly in plastic to keep its shape and store in the fridge while preparing the ganache.

    For the ganache:

    In glass measuring cup, microwave the chocolate and cream for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 20-second bursts until melted and smooth. Chill until thickened, about 10 minutes.

    Remove the plastic from the cake and trim both end pieces. Spoon the ganache over the cake and smooth over the sides. Chill for 1 hour, or until set, before slicing and serving.

    The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, though the filling will deflate the longer it’s stored.

  • Video: How to Make Pie Dough

    How to make Video: Pie Dough

    Yield: 1 9-inch single pie

    Double this recipe for enough dough to make a double-crust pie.

    Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups (5.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

    Directions

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with larger chunks of butter remaining. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse until it just comes together without being wet, sticky, or crumbly. If the dough doesn’t hold together when pinched between your fingers, add another tablespoon of water and pulse. This can also be done by hand using a pastry blender.

    Place the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a disk and chill in the fridge until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days or make ahead and freeze, well wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

    Let the dough sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes, or until slightly pliable, before rolling out on a floured work surface. Keep turning the dough after every roll to ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter and is of even thickness. Roll out into a 1/8-inch thick 12-inch circle. Gently roll the dough up and around the rolling pin then unroll and drape over a 9-inch pie tin. Gently press into the pie tin. Use scissors or a knife to trim the excess dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Crimp or decorate the edges and pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork.

    Place the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes. At this point you can place the pie tin (preferably a disposable one) in a zip-top bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. Defrost in the fridge overnight. The pie dough is ready to be filled if the pie recipe calls for an unbaked crust.

    If the pie recipe calls for a prebaked shell, preheat theoven to 400°F. Line the crust with foil pressed gently into the bottom and sides, leaving an overhang. Fill the crust with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the crust and carefully lift the foil with pie weights and set aside. Return to the oven and continue cooking for another 10 to 12 minutes for a partially baked shell, or 15 to 17 minutes for a fully baked shell.

  • Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

    How to make Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

    Yield: about 12 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon espresso powder
    3/4 cup hot water
    1 3/4 cups (7.87 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature

    For the glaze:

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons corn syrup
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    2 candy canes, crushed

    Directions

    Make the cake

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 4 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.

    Make the glaze

    In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Add in the peppermint extract. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with candy canes. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

    Adapted from this recipe

  • Chocolate Caramel French Silk Pie

    How to make Chocolate Caramel French Silk Pie

    Yield: about 8 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 7 hours 50 minutes

    The corn syrup in the caramel helps keep the caramel from crystalizing and keeps it nice and smooth and soft since the pie must be chilled.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    20 Oreo cookies (regular-stuffed, keep filling intact)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the caramel:

    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons light corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    6 tablespoons heavy cream
    1 tablespoon sour cream

    For the filling:

    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

    For the topping:

    1 cup heavy cream
    2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Chocolate shavings, if desired

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

    Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and set. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

    Make the caramel:

    In a small saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°F. Remove the pan from the heat and cautiously whisk in the butter and cream (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Whisk in sour cream. Let cool for 10 minutes then pour the caramel into the cooked crust. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours.

    Make the filling:

    In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Set over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160°F and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Cool to just warm, stirring occasionally.

    Use an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add in the cooled chocolate mixture then beat on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

    In a clean bowl use an electric mixer to beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

    Pour the mixture over the caramel, smoothing evenly. Chill for 6 hours.

    Make the topping:

    Use an electric mixer to beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate shavings.

  • Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

    How to make Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

    Yield: 24 cookies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours (with chilling time)

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger
    1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water
    7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    Directions

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl mix together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and fresh ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar and beat until well combined. Add the molasses and beat until combined.

    In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in boiling water. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then beat in baking soda mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture. Mix in the chocolate until just combined. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-tablespoon balls (I like to use this medium cookie scoop) and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Chill for 20 minutes. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar.

    Bake until surfaces just begin to crack, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cookies are best the day they are made, but can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

    From Martha Stewart's Cookies

  • Gingerbread Fudge
  • Peppermint Oreo Truffles

    How to make Peppermint Oreo Truffles

    Yield: about 36 truffles

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 25 minutes

    While I prefer a smoother texture, you can add some crushed candy canes into the cookie mixture for more peppermint taste and crunch.

    Ingredients

    39 regular Oreo cookies
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
    3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    16 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
    2 regular-size candy canes, finely crushed

    Directions

    Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the cream cheese and peppermint extract and pulse until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter. I like to use this cookie scoop.

    Place the cookie balls in the freezer until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

    When cookie balls are chilled, combine the chopped chocolate and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until just melted and smooth. Do not overheat.

    Drop each cookie ball into melted chocolate, coating evenly. Remove with a fork, gently tapping off excess chocolate. Place back on cookie sheet and immediately sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Repeat with the remaining cookie balls.

    Refrigerate until set before serving. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

    How to make Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

    Yield: about 15 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 large egg, at room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup hot plain coffee

    For the peppermint frosting:
    2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt

    For decorating:
    Crushed candy canes

    Directions

    For the cupcakes:
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard muffin pans with 15 paper cupcake liners.

    In a medium bowl whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously until the batter comes together. Add the coffee and stir until combined.

    Fill each cupcake liner three-quarters full with batter. Bake until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin pans to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely before frosting.

    For the frosting:
    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, peppermint extract, and cream with the mixer on low speed. Beat until incorporated then increase speed to high and beat for 3 minutes, or until ultra light and creamy. Add additional powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or additional cream if too thick.

    Scoop the frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a plain open tip, such as the Ateco 804 or 806. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Bring to room temperature before serving if desired.

  • Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

    How to make Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

    Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    To ensure these cinnamon rolls really are quick and easy, stick with the instant yeast (or sometimes called rapid-rise yeast) called for in the recipe.

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    1 cup lukewarm milk
    1/3 cup lukewarm water
    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon fine salt

    For the filling:

    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    For the icing:

    3 tablespoons heavy cream
    1 cup powdered sugar

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    For the dough:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the dough ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium speed and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Remove the dough to a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

    For the filling:

    In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

    After the dough has rested, use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into about a 9 by 15-inch rectangle. Brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Press the seam to seal before positioning the log seam side down.

    Use a very sharp knife to cut off the ends then cut the dough into 11 to 12 equal pieces. Place in greased pie pan or 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you could cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight then let them come back to room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

    For the icing:

    While the rolls cool, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle all over the warm rolls and serve.

  • Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Cookies

    How to make Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Cookies

    Yield: about 20 cookies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes

    To clear up some confusion, this recipe is made from scratch and does not contain any store-bought graham crackers. Happy baking!

    Ingredients

    2 1/2 (11.25 ounces) cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup whole milk
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips

    Directions

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pulse one or two times to combine. Add the cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also use a hand held pastry blender.

    In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until a soft dough begins to form. Remove to a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using a 1 1/2-tablespoon scoop, drop balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Flatten dough balls with the bottom of a measuring cup.

    Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Let the cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to make The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Yield: About 22 cookies

    Ingredients

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces or 142 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  • Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake

    How to make Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the filling:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

    For the cake:

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon espresso powder
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 3/4 cups (7.87 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature

    For the glaze:

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons corn syrup
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    For the filling:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and flour until well combined. Set aside.

    For the cake:

    Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

    Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth.

    Pour a little more than half the batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the center of the batter, not allowing it to touch the edges of the pan. Pour the remaining batter of the filling.

    Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.

    For the glaze:

    In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

    Adapted from this recipe

  • Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

    How to make Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

    Yield: about 24 cookies

    Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg, separated
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup pecans, finely chopped

    For the Caramel Thumbprint:
    16 unwrapped caramel squares
    3 tablespoons whipping cream
    Fleur de sel, or other flaked sea salt, for sprinkling, optional

    For the Chocolate Drizzle:
    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 teaspoon coconut oil or shortening

    Directions

    For the cookies:
    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and fluffy. Add in the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract. Reserve the egg white in a separate container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake.

    In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight, or until the dough is chilled and firm.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

    Lightly beat the reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball in the egg white, then roll in the pecans, pressing lightly to coat well. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly press down the center of each ball with your thumb.

    Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until set. Set the baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cool until just warm.

    For the caramel:
    While the cookies are baking, combine the caramel squares and cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.

    When the cookies are warm, press down the center of each cookie again with your thumb or the opposite end of a wooden spatula. Spoon about a 1/2 teaspoon of caramel into each thumbprint. Sprinkle the caramel with Fleur de sel to taste. Let cool completely.

    For the chocolate drizzle:
    In a small heat-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and oil in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Remove the chocolate to a small zip-top baggie and cut a small hole in one corner. Pipe the chocolate over the cookies. Let the chocolate set before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Adapted from Favorite Brand Names: Gifts from the Christmas Kitchen via Dawn's Recipes

  • Gingersnap S’mores

    How to make Gingersnap S’mores

    Yield: 11 s'mores sandwiches

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
    1/3 cup molasses
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    2 1/4 cups (10.12 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips (You can also use Hershey’s bars if you want)
    Marshmallow fluff (see post note)

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the molasses and egg and beat until combined. Add in the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda, and flour and beat until combined.

    Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon balls and roll in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.

    In a heat safe bowl melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst, until just melted. Dollop the chocolate over the middle bottom side of half of the cookies. Spread a dollop of marshmallow fluff on the bottom side of the remaining cookies. Using a kitchen torch, lightly toast the marshmallow fluff, being careful not to scorch the actual cookie. Sandwich a marshmallow cookie with a chocolate cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

    If using whole marshmallows, roast the marshmallows over a fire pit, a stove burner, or using a kitchen torch until golden brown. Place the marshmallow over the chocolate and sandwich with another cookie. Serve immediately.

  • Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    How to make Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    Yield: about 20 doughnut waffles

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the doughnut waffles:

    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup milk (any kind)
    1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour

    For the maple glaze:

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup powdered sugar
    8 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    1 to 2 tablespoons milk

    Directions

    To make the doughnut waffles:

    In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together. Add the egg and yolk, melted butter, and milk until combined. Stir in the flour until combined. The batter will be thick.

    Preheat your waffle iron. Place a tablespoon of batter in each waffle cavity and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and repeat for the remaining batter.

    To make the glaze:

    In a small bowl whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle or dunk the doughnut waffles into the glaze. Let sit until the glaze is set. Doughnut waffles are best served the day they are made.

  • 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.

    Ingredients

    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)

    Directions

    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.

    Mix-ins

    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.

    Spreads

    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.

  • Ultimate Guide to Muffins

    How to make Ultimate Guide to Muffins

    Yield: 12

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 cups (254 g) all-purpose flour
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    ½ teaspoon fine salt
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 cup whole milk
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    1 large egg

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400°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 milk, oil, and egg. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir JUST until combined, do not overmix. Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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  • Ultimate Gooey Brownies

    How to make Ultimate Gooey Brownies

    Yield: 16 brownies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Due to several readers experiencing issues with the brownies not baking or setting properly, I’ve added to the recipe an extra baking step to ensure that bottom layer will set and I’ve also slightly reduced the amount of condensed milk.

    Ingredients

    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until well combined. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

    Sprinkle with the remaining cup of chocolate chips and pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top. Pour the remaining batter over. Return to oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to chill. The brownies are easiest to cut when chilled and can be served chilled, at room temperature, or warmed in the microwave.

  • Ultimate Brownies

    How to make Ultimate Brownies

    Yield: 9 large brownies

    Prep Time: 10 min

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 4

    How to make Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 4

    Yield: about 22 cookies

    Prep Time: 10 min

    Cook: 30 min

    Ingredients

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces or 142 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 3

    How to make The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 3

    Yield: about 22 cookies

    Ingredients

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces or 142 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  • The Ultimate Chocolate Truffle Guide

    How to make The Ultimate Chocolate Truffle Guide

    Yield: about 24 truffles

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    Directions

    Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before whisking until melted and smooth. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until slightly firmed.

    Use a small 2-teaspoon spring-loaded scoop to form mounds of chocolate onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll the mounds into balls with the palms of your hands. Return the truffles to the baking sheet and chill for another 30 minutes, or until firm. Dip the balls in tempered chocolate. Let the chocolate set before serving. The truffles can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • The Ultimate Dinner Roll Guide

    How to make The Ultimate Dinner Roll Guide

    Yield: 15 dinner rolls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    3 1/2 cups (15.43 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour

    Directions

    Combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.

    Add 2 cups of flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, turn to low speed, and gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a mass of dough begins to forms. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft, smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.

    Lightly spray a large clean bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is big, puffy, and about doubled in size.

    Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper, knife, or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

  • The Ultimate Pie Crust Guide

    How to make The Ultimate Pie Crust Guide

    Yield: Makes enough for one 9-inch single pie

    Prep Time: 15 min

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups (5.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

    Directions

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with larger chunks of butter remaining. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and pulse until it just comes together without being wet, sticky, or crumbly. Do not over mix. If the dough doesn’t hold together when pinched between your fingers, add another tablespoon of water and pulse.

    Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap well in the plastic, and chill in the fridge until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Make ahead and freeze, well wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. The dough is now ready to be rolled out and baked.

  • Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to make Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Yield: About 24 large cookies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 24 hours 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) bread flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours.

    Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop. Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • The Ultimate Cupcake Guide

    How to make The Ultimate Cupcake Guide

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 10 min

    Cook: 50 min

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6.35 ounces)
    1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 large egg
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

    Directions

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour and milk alternatively, starting and ending with the flour, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for one minute. Divide the batter between the cupcake cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

    Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • The Ultimate Brownie Guide

    How to make The Ultimate Brownie Guide

    Yield: 9 medium brownies

    Prep Time: 10 min

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 ounces or 63 grams)

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all 4 sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter on high in 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted. Let cool slightly. Stir in the sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the salt and flour until combined. Pour into the prepared pan.

    Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

    Adapted from Baker’s One Bowl Brownie Recipe

  • The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2

    How to make The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2

    Yield: About 22 cookies

    Ingredients

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces or 142 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to make The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Yield: About 22 cookies

    Ingredients

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces or 142 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well to combine. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.

    Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

  • Chewy Brownies

    How to make Chewy Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups (249 grams) granulated sugar
    5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, cold
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar. Microwave for about 1 minute, or until the butter is melted. Stir in the oil and cocoa powder. Let cool.

    Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set and a cake tested inserted into the center has moist crumbs attached. Do not overcook. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

    Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

    How to make Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

    Yield: 22 cookies

    Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Cream Cheese Filling:
    6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla
    For the Cookie Dough:
    1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling the dough
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 egg + 1 egg yolk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Directions

    For the Cream Cheese Filling:
    With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Cover and and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
    For the Cookie Dough:
    In a mixing bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

    In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add in the flour mixture a little at a time and mix until combined.

    Place about 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl; set aside.

    Use a size #40 cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoons) to portion out the dough. Use you hands to form the ball of dough into a flat round circle.

    Place a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each circle and then fold up the dough around, sealing the cream cheese in.

    Roll the dough into a ball and then roll it in the bowl of sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.

    Space the balls of dough 2 inches apart (I put 8 on a standard cookie sheet). Use the bottom of a glass or a measuring cup to gently press down on each ball of dough to slightly flatten.

    Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cracks begin to form on top. Let cook on pan for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating

    How to make Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    Tempered chocolate (tutorial here)

    OR

    Melting, decorating, or dipping chocolate, melted (should contain NO cocoa butter)

    Directions

    For piped designed:

    Use a printable guide inserted into a sheet protector or placed under semi-translucent parchment or wax paper to get started, if desired.

    Transfer the tempered chocolate to a squeeze bottle or small piping or ziptop bag with a small hole snipped in one corner. Hold bag about 1-inch above the sheet then gently squeeze, tracing the designers. Squeeze with even pressure but stop before you think you should as the chocolate will continue flowing.

    Fill any gaps with the tip of a toothpick. Allow the chocolate to set completely in the fridge, about 15 minutes, before carefully peeling and placing on your cupcakes.

    For shard or shaped designs

    Scoop chocolate onto a small sheet of parchment paper and spread out evenly with an offset spatula, keeping about a 1-inch border on all edges. Pick up and gently drop the parchment on the counter a few times to spread out evenly and release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with sprinkles, decorations, or finely chopped candy.

    Allow the chocolate to set just until it’s dry to the touch but still flexible. Use a knife to square off all the edges. Make cuts into the chocolate into shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could also use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the cookie cutter is sticking, allow the chocolate to set and harden for a few more minutes before continuing with the shapes.

    Allow the chocolate to set completely in the fridge, about 15 minutes, before carefully peeling and placing on your cupcakes.

  • The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-process cocoa
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1/2 cup boiling water
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the frosting:

    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 large egg whites
    Pinch salt
    12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and at room temperature
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

    In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then set aside to cool.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

    Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix.

    Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

    Make the frosting:

    Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with 1-inch of gently simmering water. Whisking gently and constantly, heat mixture until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly thickened and foamy and registers 150°F on a candy thermometer or a digital thermometer, about 3 minutes.

    Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat the egg white mixture on medium speed until slightly cooled and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks curdled, that’s okay. Just keep beating until it becomes smooth.

    Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

    Frosting can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm frosting in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and stir until creamy again before frosting cupcakes.

    Frosting can also be transferred to a ziptop bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge overnight then rewhip in the stand mixer until light and smooth.

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  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    3 large ripe bananas
    3/4 cup (5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
    1/2 cup (4.75 ounces) peanut butter
    1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) white whole-wheat flour
    1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup (1.75 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with baking cups and set it aside.

    In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher then mix in the sugar, egg, applesauce, and peanut butter until combined. Stir in the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder over the banana mixture. Mix lightly with a rubber spatula to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter should be just moistened but still a little clumpy. Don’t overmix!

    Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or spoons, divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

    How to make The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (3.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    9 full-size peanut butter cups

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, peanut butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place the peanut butter cups on top then cover with the remaining batter. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature.

  • Chocolate Coconut Cookies

    How to make Chocolate Coconut Cookies

    Yield: 24 cookies

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Mousse Pie

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Mousse Pie

    Yield: 1 9-inch pie

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    20 Oreo cookies (regular-stuffed, filling intact)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade

    For the peanut butter whipped cream:

    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Additional caramel sauce, for drizzling
    Additional peanut butter, melted, for drizzling
    Additional semisweet chocolate, melted, for drizzling

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

    Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and set. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

    Make the filling:

    In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth. Let cool.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream until soft peaks form. On medium speed, gradually add the caramel and continue whipping until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled melted chocolate until combined. Pour into cookie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

    Make the topping:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream until thickened. Add the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.

    Spread the cream evenly over the mousse layer. At this point you can refrigerate overnight if desired.

    Just before serving, drizzle with caramel sauce.

  • Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    How to make Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 18 minutes

    Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat or in a 325°F oven until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, cream, salt, and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the topping:

    Once chilled, top each cheesecake with a spoonful of caramel sauce, just enough to cover but not too much that it completely overflows. Press pecans into the caramel.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Transfer to a small ziptop bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Return to the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

  • Oreo Truffle Cheesecake

    How to make Oreo Truffle Cheesecake

    Yield: 20 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 5 hours 40 minutes

    Use this Oreo Truffle recipe for the topping and make the following changes: cut the recipe in half and remove the peppermint extract and crushed peppermint. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, if desired.

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    30 Oreo cookies
    5 tablespoons butter, melted

    FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

    32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    20 Oreo cookies, quartered

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Oreo truffles

    Directions

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add in the sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the Oreo cookies.

    Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking. Cool the cheesecake completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Pour over the cheesecake, allowing to drip down the sides. Top the cheesecake with the Oreo truffles. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • German Chocolate Cookies

    How to make German Chocolate Cookies

    Yield: 24 cookies

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
    3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    For the topping:

    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg yolk
    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 heaping cup sweetened shredded coconut
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

    Directions

    For the cookies:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

    Using a medium spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoon rounds onto the prepared baking sheets

    Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

    For the topping:

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat combine the milk, sugar, egg yolk, and butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Let cool until thick enough to spread on top of the cooled cookies.

    Drizzle the melted chocolate all over the cookies. Let everything set for at least 15 minutes before serving. Cookies are best served the day they’re made.

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 24

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 12 minutes

    Enjoy two desserts in one with Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars!

    Ingredients

    For the Cookie Layer:

    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup butter, room temperature
    1 Tablespoon molasses
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 eggs, room temperature
    1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided

    For the Cheesecake Layer:

    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    Directions

    For the Cookie Layer:

    In bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugars and butter together for 3 minutes. Mix in molasses and vanilla. Beat in the eggs until smooth and creamy. Add in the dry ingredients while mixing on low. Mix until almost combined. Fold in 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Place cookie dough in fridge while you make the cheesecake layer.

    For the Cheesecake Layer:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with heavy duty foil and grease with cooking spray.

    With an electric mixer (standing or hand), beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined. Set aside.

    Assembling:

    Use your hands to press half the dough (maybe slightly more) into the bottom of the pan. Pour the cheesecake batter on top. With the remaining cookie dough, dot the top with tablespoon size scoops. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and then bake for 40-42 minutes until cookie dough is golden. Remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight before cutting and serving.

  • Nutella Rolls with Cookie Butter Cream Cheese Glaze

    How to make Nutella Rolls with Cookie Butter Cream Cheese Glaze

    Yield: 12 rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    You can use the same amount of active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast. Simply allow the active dry yeast to proof for five minutes with the milk and water before adding in.

    Ingredients

    For the rolls:

    1 cup lukewarm milk
    1/3 cup lukewarm water
    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon fine salt

    For the filling:

    1 13-ounce jar Nutella
    1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (if desired)

    For the glaze:

    1/4 cup cookie butter
    4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons milk

    Directions

    For the dough:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add all the dough ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium speed and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Remove the dough to a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Make ahead: The dough can be made, covered, and stored in the fridge for up to 1 day before using. Refrigerating overnight will also result in slightly fluffier rolls!

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

    For the filling:

    After the dough has rested, use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into about a 9 by 15-inch rectangle. Spread all over the with Nutella, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and cinnamon if using.

    Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Press the seam to seal before positioning the log seam side down.

    Use a very sharp knife to cut off the ends then cut the dough into 11 to 12 equal pieces. Place in 2 greased pie pans or a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Make ahead: at this point you could cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight then let them come back to room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

    Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

    For the glaze:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the Biscoff and cream cheese together until well combined. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until combined. Add the milk until the glaze is thick yet pourable. Drizzle over the rolls before serving.

  • Mini Caramel Chocolate Apples

    How to make Mini Caramel Chocolate Apples

    Yield: about 40

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    The yield will greatly depend on the size of your apples and the size of your melon baller.

    Ingredients

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 medium organic Granny Smith apples
    12 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
    Toppings as desired (nuts, candy, sprinkles)

    Directions

    In a small heavy saucepan set over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a boil. Add in the cream and spices if using and cook until a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer registers 250°F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

    Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted and smooth.

    Using a melon baller, scoop out balls from each apple. Place a candy stick into the center of each ball. Dip into the chocolate, coating evenly. Let the excess drip before placing on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set.

    Dip the apples into the warm caramel, letting the excess drip before rolling in any desired toppings and placing back on the lined baking sheet. Let cool and set completely before serving. Apples that are completely coated can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 day before serving, though they are best served sooner rather than later.

  • Homemade Fudge Rounds

    How to make Homemade Fudge Rounds

    Yield: 9 sandwiches

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon corn syrup
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    For the filling:

    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    2 tablespoons warm water

    For the chocolate stripes:

    1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
    1 teaspoon vegetable oil

    Directions

    For the cookies:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla.

    On low speed gradually add in the flour mixture. Beat until combined. Dough will be slightly sticky.

    Drop 1 1/2 tablespoon balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove baking sheets to cooling racks to cool for five minutes. Remove cookies to the rack to cool completely.

    For the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat on low until just combined. Add water and beat on medium high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.

    Pipe or spread filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Gently press another cookie on top of the filling.

    For the chocolate stripes:

    For the stripes, microwave the chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl, stirring every 15 seconds, until smooth. Remove the chocolate to a squeeze bottle or ziptop bag and snip a small hole. Drizzle over chocolate in a striped pattern. Refrigerate just until chocolate is set. Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Best served at room temperature.

    Adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

  • Nutella Brownies

    How to make Nutella Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    The Nutella flavor is slightly muted with baking. To punch it up, feel free to add a tablespoon of Frangelico to the batter or a cup of toasted chopped hazelnuts if you want a bit of crunch.

    Ingredients

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup Nutella
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (3.4 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly. Stir in the Nutella.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt, folding gently until combined.

    Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake, you want to err on the side of underbaking. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature, warmed, or chilled.

  • Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Blondies

    How to make Brown Butter Triple Chocolate Blondies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small blondies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    1 stick (4 ounces, 113 grams) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup (4.5 ounces, 128 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup milk chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
    1/3 cup white chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
    1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with aluminum foil.

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in until melted.

    Combine the browned butter with the sugar and stir until smooth. If still very hot, let cool slightly. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the salt and flour and stir until combined. Mix in all the chocolate chips.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with a small handful of the three chocolate chips and press into the batter. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden at the edges.

    Let cool on a baking rack before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  • Coconut Zebra Cake

    How to make Coconut Zebra Cake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Chocolate Batter:

    6 tablespoons cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    6 tablespoons coconut milk (or whole milk)

    For the White Batter:

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 sticks (1 cup, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    5 large eggs, room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon coconut extract
    3/4 cup coconut milk (or whole milk)
    2 tablespoons milk

    For the Glaze:

    4 ounces (2/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
    1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
    1/2 cup coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream)
    1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

    Directions

    For the Cake:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a bundt pan with shortening and then flour.

    For the chocolate batter: In a mixing bowl, mix the cocoa powder, sugar and flour together. Mix in the milk and then set aside.

    In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one a time. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts. Next, alternate between mixing in the flour mixture and the coconut milk in three batches until smooth.

    Add 2 cups of the batter to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Then mix 2 tablespoons milk to the vanilla batter (this will help make the batter thinner and work better to create the stripes).

    Spoon about 1/4 cup vanilla batter into each side of the bundt pan (I like to use a spring release ice cream scoop). Then spoon 1/4 cup chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter. Continue layering spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter. Occasionally give the pan a gently shake to help the batter spread.

    Place in the bundt pan in the center of the oven and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

    For the Glaze:

    Place chocolate and coconut extract in a bowl and pour hot coconut milk (or cream) on top. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 minutes and then whisk together until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes and then pour over the top of the bundt cake. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Let set before slicing and serving.

    Adapted from Southern Living and Bakers Royale

  • Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake

    How to make Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the filling:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

    For the cake:

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon espresso powder
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 3/4 cups (7.87 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature

    For the glaze:

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons corn syrup
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    For the filling:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and flour until well combined. Set aside.

    For the cake:

    Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

    Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth.

    Pour a little more than half the batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the center of the batter, not allowing it to touch the edges of the pan. Pour the remaining batter of the filling.

    Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.

    For the glaze:

    In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

    Adapted from this recipe

  • Fudge Filled Cookies

    How to make Fudge Filled Cookies

    Yield: about 24 large cookies

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 32 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the fudge:

    1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 can (7 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

    For the cookies:

    4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    2 cups (14.1 ounces) packed light brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Directions

    For the fudge:

    In a small saucepan set over low heat combine the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.

    For the cookies:

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to combine.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed slowly add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated

    Scoop a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough and flatten into a disk. Scoop a 1/2 teaspoon of the fudge in the center of each disk of dough. Cover with another heaping tablespoon of cookie dough. Repeat for the remaining dough and fudge.

    Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Best served warmed!

  • Best Ever Focaccia Pizza

    How to make Best Ever Focaccia Pizza

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 45 minutes

    You can use the same amount of active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast. Simply allow the active dry yeast to proof for five minutes with the water before adding in.

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm (110-115°F) water
    1 teaspoon instant yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    2 1/2 cups (11.3 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    For the toppings:

    1 (15 ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    4 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
    Fresh basil
    Pizza toppings

    Directions

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and half the flour. Stir to combine. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and on low speed add in the remaining flour, salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, or until smooth and soft. If the dough is really sticky, add in another tablespoon or two of flour.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 1 hour. OR place the dough in a large plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature. Proceed with the recipe.

    Coat a 9 by 13-inch pan with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Put the dough onto the pan and begin pressing it out with your fingertips to fit the size of the pan. Coax and stretch the dough to fit the entire pan, or just about. Spread your fingers to make little holes all the way through the dough.

    Cover the dough with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

    In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush the focaccia with the olive oil on the pan. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the dough. Reserve the remaining sauce for another use (it freezes pretty well). Top with the cheese and other desired toppings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

    Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

  • How to Make Crusty Bread Rolls

    How to make Crusty Bread Rolls

    Yield: 8 rolls

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours 30 minutes

    You can use the same amount of active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast. Simply allow the active dry yeast to proof for five minutes with the water before adding in.

    Ingredients

    2 1/2 cups (11.3 ounces) bread flour
    1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) lukewarm water

    Directions

    In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir until the mixture is thick and sticky. No kneading is necessary!

    Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and bubbly on top, about 3 hours. MAKE AHEAD: Alternatively, you can also let the dough rise overnight in the fridge.

    Using a scraper, fold the dough over about 12 times, adding enough flour so that it doesn’t stick. Use the scraper to cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Flour your hands before shaping each piece into a ball.

    Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Let rise until puffy, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F.

    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

    MAKE AHEAD: Store bread rolls in a container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month and re-crisp in a 325°F oven for 5 minutes from room temperature or about 15 minutes from frozen.

    Adapted from Jenny Can Cook

  • Whole Grain Oat Rolls

    How to make Whole Grain Oat Rolls

    Yield: 9 rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 10 minutes

    White whole wheat flour works best here because you get all the nutrition of whole wheat without all the dense texture and intense wheat flavor. However, if you can’t find it, feel free to use regular whole wheat flour. You can also use active dry yeast in this recipe, just be sure to let it proof with the liquid mixture for 5 minutes.

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 cup whole milk
    3/4 cup water
    3 teaspoons instant yeast
    2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving (if desired)
    1 cup (4.5 ounces) white whole wheat flour
    1 cup (3.2 ounces) oat flour
    1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon fine salt

    1 large egg
    Old fashioned oats, for sprinkling

    Directions

    In a small saucepan combine the butter, milk, and water. Set over low heat until the butter is melted. Let the mixture cool to about 110°F, or just warm to the touch. Stir in the yeast and honey.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or by hand), combine the white whole wheat flour, oat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir until combined. Knead on medium low speed until the dough comes together in a smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky ball. If the dough is unbearably sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Avoid adding extra flour if possible, sticky is better than dense.

    Remove the dough to a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat completely in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into three equal pieces. Divide each piece into three pieces, for a total of 9 rolls. Form each piece into a smooth tight ball by stretching the corners around the bottom and rolling between your palm and the counter.

    Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Place each ball of dough in the dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise again until puffy, about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the rolls. Sprinkle with oats. Bake the rolls for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve with honey and butter, if desisred.

    To make ahead:

    Wrap the completely cooled rolls tightly in foil then place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month.

    To thaw:

    Let the rolls thaw at room temperature overnight before rewarming in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes.

    To make straight from the freezer:

    Loosen the foil around the rolls place directly on the oven rack of a 300°F oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until warmed all the way through. Serve immediately before the rolls dry out from reheating.

  • How to Make Sourdough Bread

    How to make Sourdough Bread

    Yield: 2 small loaves

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 45 minutes

    If you have questions about feeding the starter or how you should time your sourdough making, see the helpful schedule directly above.

    Ingredients

    150 grams active, fed starter
    250 grams bottled water
    25 grams olive oil
    500 grams bread flour
    10 grams fine sea salt
    Cornmeal, for dusting

    Directions

    In a the bowl of a stand mixer combine the starter, water, olive oil, and bread flour. Mix with your hands until it comes together in a shaggy mass. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

    Attach the dough hook to the mixer and begin kneading the dough on low speed. Add in the salt. Increase the speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and soft.

    Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. In a warm climate, this will take about 3 hours. In a cold climate, this can take up to 12 hours. You can let the dough rise overnight in the fridge.

    Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half to make 2 smaller loaves. Cover and store the extra dough in the fridge or freezer until ready to bake.

    Gather the dough, one side at a time, and fold it over into the bottom center. Place the dough seam side down. Use your palms to roll it around into a tight ball. Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven with cornmeal and place the dough inside. Cover and let rise again for 1 to 2 hours, or until puffy.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Use a very sharp knife to make a 2-inch long shallow slash in the center of the dough.

    Cover the dough with the Dutch oven lid and place in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 400°F and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake uncovered for an additional 40 minutes, or until very golden brown. During the last minute or baking, crack the oven door open just enough to allow moisture to escape for a crisper crust. The sourdough is done when the internal temperature reaches about 205°F.

    Remove the bread from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for an hour before slicing and serving.

    Adapted from The Clever Carrot and The Bread Bible

  • How to Make Sourdough Starter

    How to make Sourdough Starter

    Cook: 2 weeks

    Ingredients

    Organic whole-wheat flour or rye flour
    Bread flour
    Bottled water

    Directions

    Day 1:

    In a perfectly clean bowl, combine a scant cup (120 grams) organic whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup (120 grams) bottled water. With a clean spoon, stir until a stiff dough forms. If the dough is extremely dry, add very small amounts of water until moistened. Scrape the dough into the 4-cup container. You should have about 1 cup (240 grams). Cover tightly in plastic wrap and place in a cool area for 48 hours. If you don’t have a cool area, let it sit for only 24 hours and feed as described for Day 3.

    Day 2:

    There will be no visible changes.

    Day 3:

    The consistency will now resemble a thick pancake batter and there may be a few bubbles. With a clean spoon, remove and throw away about half the starter, about 1/2 cup (120 grams).

    Stir in a scant 1/2 cup (60 grams) bread flour and 1/4 cup (60 grams) bottled water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. After 12 hours the starter may have increased quite a bit and have lots of bubbles. Don’t be concerned if it deflates and falls back down.

    Day 4:

    With a clean spoon, again remove and throw out about half of the starter, 1/2 cup (120 grams). Stir in a scant 1/2 cup (60 grams) bread flour and 1/4 cup (60 grams) bottled water. Cover with plastic wrap, but not tightly, as the gases forming will need to escape. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

    Day 5:

    If the starter is active, it will have increased in volume to at least 3 cups, even 4. It will dome and start to recede. If this hasn’t happened yet, repeat Day 4 steps until it reaches this stage.

    With a clean spoon, again remove and throw out half the starter (1/2 cup or 120 grams).

    Stir in 1/2 cup (60 grams) bread flour and 1/4 cup (60 grams) bottled water.

    You will now have 1 cup (60 grams) active starter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at warm room temeperature for about 4 hours, until it has almost doubled. If you want to bake bread, you can now expand it by feeding it with flour and water. If you want to wait, you can refrigerate it overnight and start expanding it the next day. If you don’t plan to use it for several days, feed it again to double it, let it sit for 1 hour, then refrigerate it.

    The starter will mature over the next few weeks, increasing in strength and flavor. For the first 2 weeks, store at least 1 cup (240 grams) of it and feed it at least three times a week. After 2 weeks of regular feeding at least 3 times a week the culture is mature and bread made from it will be more mellow and complex. Now you can switch to once-a-week feeding if you only make bread once a week.

  • Dutch Crunch Bread Rolls

    How to make Dutch Crunch Bread Rolls

    Yield: 6 rolls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes

    *Rice flour is a must for the topping in this recipe. It can be found in most grocery stores with other gluten-free flours and products.

    You can also substitute active dry yeast for the instant yeast at a 1:1 ratio in this recipe. It must be proofed by combining it with the warm liquid ingredients in the dough for 5 minutes before proceeding.

    Ingredients

    For the rolls:

    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 cup lukewarm milk
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt

    For the topping:

    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup (5 ounces) rice flour*

    Directions

    For the rolls:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer combine yeast, water, milk, sugar, and oil. Gradually add in the flour and stir until moistened. Add in the salt. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together in a smooth elastic ball, about 5 minutes. If the dough is unbearably sticky, add in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough can also be kneaded by hand.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into six equal portions. Shape each portion into a tight ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise while you prepare the topping.

    Make ahead: At this point the dough can be made ahead of time by covering tightly and refrigerating for up to 24 hours. Remove and let come to room temperature. If two fingers pressed into the dough leave indentations it’s ready.

    For the topping:

    In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes, or until frothy.

    Make ahead: Store the topping in a covered but ventilated container in the fridge for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before using.

    Spread a generous layer of the topping all over the rolls, maintaining a thick coating. You should use almost all of the topping. Let rise uncovered for another 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

  • Cheddar Potato Rolls

    How to make Cheddar Potato Rolls

    Yield: 24 rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours

    Ingredients

    1 cup warm water (110°F)
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    1 medium russet potato (7 to 8 ounces)
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1 teaspoon mustard powder
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
    2 tablespoons melted butter

    Directions

    In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) of the flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size with large bubbles on the surface, 20 to 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prick the potato all over with a fork. Microwave until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then peel the potato and grate on the large holes of a box grater.

    Combine the butter, sugar, salt and mustard powder in a stand mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and grated potato until combined, then beat in the yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cups cheddar until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough starts coming together in a soft, sticky ball. Shape into a loose ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, dusting with flour as needed, and arrange in the baking dish so they are slightly touching. MAKE AHEAD: At this point the shaped rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until puffy. If already at room temperature, let rise for about 30 minutes, or until puffy.

    Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover the rolls, oiled-side down. Bake until just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Uncover, brush with the 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Continue baking, uncovered, until the rolls are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 20 more minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

    Another make-ahead option: Parbake, covered, for 30 minutes, then let cool and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature, brush with the butter and bake, uncovered, 40 minutes, sprinkling with 1/2 cup cheddar during the last 15 minutes.

    From Food Network

  • How to Make Burger Buns

    How to make Burger Buns

    Yield: 8 buns

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    3 tablespoons warm milk
    1 cup warm water
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour (do not substitute this)
    1/3 cup (1.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    For topping:

    1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
    Sesame seeds

    Directions

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, and egg. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until frothy, before continuing. Add the flour to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the salt and butter. Knead on medium low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together into a soft yet tacky dough (should not be unbearably sticky). Avoid adding too much extra flour because it will create tough buns, it’s better to be sticky than dense I promise!

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again until puffy and almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Let defrost at room temperature before reheating in a 350°F oven until warmed or toasting.

  • Cheesy Garlic Herb Crack Bread

    How to make Cheesy Garlic Herb Crack Bread

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 crusty sourdough or artisan loaf
    4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
    3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Combine the melted butter, garlic, salt, parsley, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl.

    With a serrated bread knife, cut the bread on a diagonal into 1-inch diamonds, being careful not to slice all the way through. Use your fingers to pry open each crack and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of butter and a pinch of the shredded cheese. Don’t worry if you make a bit of a mess.

    Wrap the entire loaf in foil. To make ahead, place the foil wrapped bread in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for a month, thawing before baking. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has mostly melted. Carefully remove the foil and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until crusty. Serve immediately.

    Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats

  • How to Make Crescent Rolls

    How to make Crescent Rolls

    Yield: 16 rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup water
    3/4 cup whole milk
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
    1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 egg white, beaten

    Directions

    In a small saucepan combine the water, milk, and half the butter (4 tablespoons). Set over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm, about 110°F.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the warm water mixture with the yeast, sugar, egg, salt, and flour. Turn the mixer to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a clean bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, forming each into a smooth ball. On a clean work surface use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 16 to 17-inch round. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread 2 tablespoons of the remaining room temperature butter onto each dough round. Use a pastry cutter to cut each round into 16 triangles.

    Roll the triangles into crescents, starting from the bigger outside edge. Bring the edges together to create the crescent shape with the tip tucked down under the roll. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about 20 minutes, or until puffy. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

    MAKE AHEAD: Partially baked rolls can be frozen for up to 1 month. To partially bake rolls follow directions, but let them bake at 400°F for only 4 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then place in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag in freezer. When ready to serve defrost at room temperature and bake at 400°F for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.

  • Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

    How to make Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

    Yield: 12

    Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    Pretzel Dough

    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    4-4 1/2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon corn starch
    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) melted butter
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup Johnny’s Garlic Spread and Seasoning (*or use 1 1/2 Tbs garlic salt)
    1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

    Baking Soda Bath

    9 cups water
    2/3 cup baking soda

    Egg Wash

    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon water
    Salt for garnish (Large crystals)

    Directions

    1. Combine water, sugar, salt, and active dry yeast in a stand mixer
    2. Let yeast proof by letting it stand for about 5 minutes. When it starts to foam, move to next step.
    3. Using a kneading hook attachment, turn your mixer on, and slowly add flour, corn starch, and melted butter a little at a time.
    4. Mix on low to combine ingredients.
    5. Add in parmesan cheese and garlic spread and let combine
    6. Increase to medium speed, and knead for 5-7 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Kneading allows the gluten to develop, so do not skip this step.
    7. Remove from bowl, put a little oil in bowl, and put dough back in, cover, and let rise until double in size.
    8. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
    9. Line sheet with parchment paper
    10. Bring 9 cups of water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
    11. Divide dough into 12 even balls, and form into pretzel twists
    12. Once water is boiling, place each twist, one at a time, into boiling water for 30 seconds.
    13. Remove, and put on cookie sheet, about an inch or so apart, and continue until all pretzels have had a water bath.
    14. Beat egg yolk and water together and brush over top of pretzels with a pastry brush
    15. Sprinkle with large crystal salt and bake 13-17 minutes until golden brown.
    16. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

    Rachael Yerkes at Eazy Peazy Mealz

  • How to Make Biscuits: All Purpose Flour vs. Whole Wheat Flour

    How to make Biscuits: All Purpose Flour vs. Whole Wheat Flour

    Yield: 10 to 12 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour OR whole wheat wheat flour, plus more for dusting
    2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon Clabber Girl baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
    1 cup buttermilk, chilled

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 450°F.

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter or the shortening and pulse the food processor several times to cut the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also do this by hand with a pastry blender. The faster you do this the better, you want the fat to remain cold. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. DO NOT overmix, the dough will be slightly sticky.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and dust the dough with flour. Gently pat the dough out until it’s a 1/2-inch in thickness. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to push straight down through the dough to cut out circles, try not to twist the cutter. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing 2-inches apart. Reform the scrap dough into 1/2-inch thickness, being sure to work with it as little as possible, before cutting out more circles.

    Bake the biscuits until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

  • How to Make Biscuits

    How to make Biscuits

    Yield: 10-12 biscuits

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon Clabber Girl baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
    1 cup buttermilk, chilled

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 450°F.

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter or the shortening and pulse the food processor several times to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also do this by hand with a pastry blender. The faster you do this the better, you want the fat to remain cold. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. DO NOT overmix, the dough will be slightly sticky.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and dust the dough with flour. Gently pat the dough out until it’s a 1/2-inch in thickness. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to push straight down through the dough to cut out circles, try not to twist the cutter. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing 2-inches apart. Reform the scrap dough into 1/2-inch thickness, being sure to work with it as little as possible, before cutting out more circles.

    Bake the biscuits until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Cheese Stuffed Garlic Rolls

    How to make Cheese Stuffed Garlic Rolls

    Yield: 18 rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 pound pizza dough
    36 mozzarella cubes
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese

    Directions

    Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

    Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces. Flatten a piece of dough and place 2 chunks of cheese inside, sealing the dough around the cheese tightly. Place on the baking sheet seam side down and continue with the remaining dough. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Combine the butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic in a small bowl and microwave until the butter is melted. Brush all over with the butter mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve very warm.

  • Butterscotch Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

    How to make Butterscotch Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

    Yield: about 16 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Feel free to add in about 1/2 cup toasted nuts or even raisins to the bread batter.

    Ingredients

    2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 large egg
    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips, divided
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. In a glass measuring cup beat the buttermilk, egg and butter until combined then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir in 1/2 cup butterscotch chips until everything is just combined. Do not overmix.

    In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

    Pour half of the batter into pan then sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar. Carefully spread with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar. Cut through batter with a knife or skewer to swirl.

    Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In a heatproof bowl microwave the remaining 1 cup butterscotch chips in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until smooth. Drizzle over the bread. Let set before slicing and serving. Bread is best served the day it’s made but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

  • Vegan Butter Rolls

    How to make Vegan Butter Rolls

    Yield: 15 rolls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 5 minutes

    The bread flour helps create nice, perfectly round, soft yet chewy rolls. You can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour is the best here!

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup lukewarm water
    1 1/4 cups warm almond, soy, or dairy milk (100 – 110°F)
    4 tablespoons STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil, divided
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) bread flour

    Directions

    Combine the water, milk, 2 tablespoons of the STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, turn to medium-low speed, and gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a mass of dough begins to forms. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft and smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and tacky to the touch. Only add a tablespoon or two of additional flour if the dough is extremely sticky.

    Lightly spray a large clean bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is big, puffy, and about doubled in size.

    Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper, knife, or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan. Brush all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons of STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

  • How to Make Biscuits: Butter vs. Shortening

    How to make Biscuits: Butter vs. Shortening

    Yield: 10 to 12 biscuits

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon Clabber Girl baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter OR vegetable shortening, very cold
    1 cup buttermilk, chilled

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter or the shortening and pulse the food processor several times to cut the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also do this by hand with a pastry blender. The faster you do this the better, you want the fat to remain cold. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. DO NOT overmix, the dough will be slightly sticky.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and dust the dough with flour. Gently pat the dough out until it’s a 1/2-inch in thickness. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to push straight down through the dough to cut out circles, try not to twist the cutter. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing 2-inches apart. Reform the scrap dough into 1/2-inch thickness, being sure to work with it as little as possible, before cutting out more circles. You should get 10 to 12 biscuits.

    Bake the biscuits until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Baked Pumpkin Nutella French Toast

    How to make Baked Pumpkin Nutella French Toast

    Yield: 16 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 55 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 loaf (about 13 ounces) French, Italian, or Challah bread, cut into cubes
    6 large eggs
    2 1/2 cups milk (any kind)
    1 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
    1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 13-ounce jar Nutella, plus more for drizzling

    Directions

    Grease a 13-by-9-inch or similarly sized baking pan.

    Place half of the bread cubes in the prepared pan. In a large bowl whisk together all the remaining ingredients except the Nutella until very well combined. Pour half of the egg-milk mixture over the bread.

    Place the Nutella in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until pourable. Pour the Nutella over the bread and smooth to spread evenly. Place the remaining bread cubes over the Nutella. Top with the remaining egg-milk mixture to cover completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Drizzle with additional melted Nutella, if desired. Slice and serve warm.

  • Homemade Bread Bowls

    How to make Homemade Bread Bowls

    Yield: 6 bread bowls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    These bread bowls are best served with a creamy soup. Anything too watery will just soak right through.

    Ingredients

    4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) instant yeast
    2 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    4 cups (18 ounces or 510 grams) bread flour
    3 cups (13.5 ounces or 383 grams) all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons fine salt
    1 egg white

    Directions

    In the bowl of an electric stand mixer stir together the yeast, water, olive oil, and sugar. Add the bread flour and stir until combined. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and on low speed, gradually add in the all-purpose flour and then the salt. Turn speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. You can also knead by hand for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

    Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 equal portions. Stretch each portion into a tight ball, pinching the bottom with your fingers and rolling around on the counter to seal and shape. If the ball is too loose it may deflate while baking, so be sure to make a nice tight shape. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet. Slash the top with a sharp knife to score in an X shape. Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place an empty broiler tray on the top shelf.

    In a small bowl, beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush over the dough. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the door. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.

    Cut a large round from the top of each loaf and scoop out the center. Fill with hot creamy soup and serve immediately.

  • Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter

    How to make Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter

    Yield: 15 bread rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the bread:

    1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces or 43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) pumpkin puree
    2 large eggs, divided
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 3/4 cups (16.88 ounces or 479 grams) all-purpose flour

    Sliced pecan pieces, for the “stems”

    For the butter:

    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Directions

    For the bread rolls:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, and salt until well combined. Gradually add the flour and knead on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape into balls. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball slightly. With a pairing knife, cut 8 slices around each ball, being careful not to slice all the way into the center, to make the pumpkin shape. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Using the wooden end of a small utensil or your finger to poke an indentation in the center of each roll to create a space for the “stem.” In a small bowl beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush all over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place a sliced pecan piece into the indentation of each roll.

    For the cinnamon butter:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds, or until pale in color. Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, light, and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    Serve the rolls warm with the cinnamon butter.

    Adapted from my Ultimate Dinner Roll recipe

  • Focaccia Bread

    How to make Focaccia Bread

    Yield: 8 to 10 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 3/4 cups warm (110-115°F) water
    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    5 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped and divided
    1 tablespoons granulated sugar
    5 1/4 cups (23.63 or 670 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
    1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt for sprinkling
    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    Directions

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary, sugar, and half the flour. Stir to combine. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and on low speed add in the remaining flour, salt, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, or until smooth and soft. If the dough is really sticky, add in another tablespoon or two of flour.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 1 hour. Make ahead: place the dough in a large plastic bag, or divide in half and place in two plastic bags, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature. Proceed with the recipe.

    Coat a jelly roll pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Put the dough onto the jelly roll pan (you can divide the dough in half and bake in 2 smaller 9 by 13-inch pans) and begin pressing it out with your fingertips to fit the size of the pan. Coax and stretch the dough to fit the entire pan, or just about. Spread your fingers to make little holes all the way through the dough.

    Cover the dough with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.

    Brush the focaccia with the olive oil on the pan and sprinkle liberally with coarse sea salt and the remaining rosemary leaves. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.