10 Baking Secrets You Need to Know

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  • Cookie Butter Pudding Pie

    How to make Cookie Butter Pudding Pie

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 22 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

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

    For the cookie butter pudding:

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

    For topping:

    Cookie butter, melted
    Crumbled Speculoos cookies

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

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

    Make the pudding:

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

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

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

  • Twix Chocolate Layer Cake

    How to make Twix Chocolate Layer Cake

    Yield: One 8 inch layer cake

    Prep Time: 1 hour

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate cake

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

    Caramel frosting

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

    Directions

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

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

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

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

  • Nutella Chocolate Covered Pretzel Milkshake

    How to make Nutella Chocolate Covered Pretzel Milkshake

    Yield: 1 to 2 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

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

    Ingredients

    For the milkshake:

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

    For topping:

    Whipped cream
    Nutella
    Crushed chocolate covered pretzels

    Directions

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

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

  • How to Make Decorative Carrots

    How to make Decorative Carrots

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    Method 1: Buttercream

    Small batch of buttercream
    Orange & green gel food coloring
    Plain open tip (Wilton #12)
    Leaf tip (Wilton #352)

    Method 2: Candy Melts

    Orange and green candy melts

    Method 3: Marzipan

    Marzipan
    Orange food coloring
    Fresh parsley, trimmed for carrot tops

    Directions

    Buttercream Carrots

    Place 3/4 of the buttercream in a medium mixing bowl. Add orange food coloring and stir until colored.

    Place the remaining buttercream in a small mixing bowl. Add the green food coloring and stir until colored.

    Transfer the orange buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Transfer the green food coloring to a piping bag fitted with the leaf tip. Pipe an upside triangle on your cake or cupcake. Add three or four ‘leaves’ using the green buttercream.

    Candy Melt Carrots

    Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Melt the orange candy melts per the package instructions then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag or piping bag. Let the melts cool slightly until less runny. Cut off the tip and pipe the shape of a carrot.

    Repeat with the green candy melts, but pipe the green leaves of each carrot.

    Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for 5 minutes or until the candy melts have fully hardened. Carefully release each carrot from the baking sheet and place on your cupcakes or cake.

    Marzipan Carrots

    Knead food coloring into marzipan until brightly colored. Roll into a log and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Rolling each piece between your palms, form into a small carrot shape.

    Make lines into the carrots with a toothpick dipped in oil to give a realistic appearance. Use the toothpick to poke a small hole at the top of each carrot. Insert parsley stems the hole. Place on top cupcakes or cake.

  • Perfect Carrot Cupcakes

    How to make Perfect Carrot Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

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

    For the frosting:

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

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

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

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

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

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

    Make the frosting:

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

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

  • Baked Creme Brulee Doughnuts

    How to make Baked Creme Brulee Doughnuts

    Yield: 6 large doughnuts

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the doughnuts:

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

    For the filling:

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

    For topping:

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

    Directions

    Make the doughnuts:

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

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

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

    Make the filling:

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

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

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

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

    Make the crème brulee topping:

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

    Inspired by Donna Hay issue #86

  • The Ultimate Tartelette Crust

    How to make The Ultimate Tartelette Crust

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

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 10 to 15 minutes

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

    Ingredients

    Tartelette Pastry

    1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

    3 tablespoons granulated sugar

    3 oz. soft, unsalted butter

    2 egg yolks

    1 to 3 tablespoons ice water

    Pinch fleur de sel

     

    Traditional Crème Patissière

    3 medium egg yolks

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cornstarch

    1 cup whole milk

    1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

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

    Directions

    Tartelette Pastry

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

     

    Crème Patissière

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

    How to make Rocky Road Brownies

    Yield: 20

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Brownie:

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

    For the Topping:

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

    For the Frosting:

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

    Directions

    For the Brownie:

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

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

    For the Topping:

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

    For the Frosting:

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

  • Bananas Foster French Toast

    How to make Bananas Foster French Toast

    Yield: Serves 2-3

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    French Toast:

    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Pinch salt
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    Challah bread, cut into 6 1/2-inch slices
    Unsalted butter, for frying
    Vegetable oil, for frying

    Bananas Foster Topping:

    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
    2 firm bananas, sliced
    Pinch cinnamon
    Directions

    Directions

    Make the French Toast:

    Preheat oven to 250°F.

    In a large shallow bowl or dish whisk together eggs, milk, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. 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. Add more butter and oil to the pan as needed. Once all the bread is cooked, place it on a baking tray in the warm oven.

    Make the Topping:

    In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved into butter. Add banana slices to pan, stirring so they are covered in caramel sauce. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon. Bananas are done when they are warmed through. Pour bananas foster mixture over French Toast.

  • Baked Nutella Donuts

    How to make Baked Nutella Donuts

    Yield: 9-10 donuts

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Nutella Donuts:

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup buttermilk
    1/4 cup Nutella
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the Nutella Glaze:

    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons Nutella
    2-3 tablespoons milk (or more as needed)

    Directions

    For the Nutella Donuts:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a donut pan well with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the buttermilk, Nutella, brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla extract until fully combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.  Spoon the batter into the donut cavities, make sure to only fill them about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way full.  You should end up with about 9-10 donuts, if you have a 6-count donut pan you will need to bake in two separate batches.

    Bake at 350°F for 9-10 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove the donuts and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

    For the Nutella Glaze:

    Add the powdered sugar, Nutella, and 2 tablespoons of milk to a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.  If the glaze is too thick, slowly add one more tablespoon of milk as needed to thin out the glaze and mix until everything is well combined.  If the glaze is too thin, add in a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it up.  If the glaze is too thick, add in a bit more milk to thin it out a little.

    Place a piece of foil under the wire rack (to catch any glaze that falls off the donuts).  Take each donut and dip the tops of each one into the prepared glaze, then transfer back to the wire rack for 10-15 minutes to let the glaze harden.

  • Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

    How to make Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Yield: About 12 sandwiches, depending on their size

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Strawberry Ice Cream:

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

    For the cookies:

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

    Directions

    Make the strawberry ice cream:

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

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

    Make the cookies:

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

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

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

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

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

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

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

    Assemble the sandwiches:

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

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

  • Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 16 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

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

    For the cheesecake filling:

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

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

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

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

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

    Make the filling:

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

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

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

  • Ding Dong Cupcakes

    How to make Ding Dong Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    Chocolate cupcakes

    3/4 cup (105 grams) plain flour
    1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/4 cup (45 grams) brown sugar
    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk

    Marshmallow filling

    2 egg whites, room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Chocolate ganache

    2/3 cup (100 grams) dark chocolate
    1/2 cup (120 ml) thickened or heavy cream

    Vanilla buttercream

    1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup (90 grams) icing or powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons milk
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    Chocolate cupcakes

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and then add the sugars – give it a stir. Place the butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl and pop into the microwave for 10 seconds or so at a time, until it is just melted. Give it a stir with a fork to eliminate any lumps. Then add the eggs and vanilla to the butter, along with the buttermilk and whisk together until smooth. Then add the wet butter mixture into the dry mixture and fold until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared patty cases and pop into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes before setting the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Marshmallow filling

    To make the marshmallow filling, add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and place on a medium heat. In a small heatproof bowl, add your eggs whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar. Whisk together. Then pop the bowl over the saucepan, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. As the egg whites heat, whisk gently by hand the entire time. You’ll want to heat the egg white mixture to 120 F (50 C) which you can test by sticking a candy thermometer into the mixture or go by feel (the mixture should be hot to the touch) – should be around 5-6 minutes or so. The mixture should become smooth and the sugar should be dissolved. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and place in the base of a stand mixer (or simply use a hand beater) and beat on medium speed for approximately 7 minutes until the mixture is fluffy, white and voluminous. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds or so.

    Use a knife to cut out a hole in the middle of each cupcake – but keep these cake cores. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the marshmallow fluff frosting and pipe into the middle of each cupcakes – be careful not to overfill them. Then cut the tops off your cake cores and press on top of the marshmallow filling so the cupcake has a closed top once again. Continue with all 12 cupcakes.

    Chocolate ganache

    Then it’s time to make the chocolate ganache. Roughly chop your chocolate and place into a small bowl. Then gently heat your cream over a low heat on the stove until it becomes warm to the touch but do not boil. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and leave for approximately 1-2 minutes. Then gently whisk the mixture until combined and smooth. Pop the chocolate ganache into the fridge to cool and thicken slightly for about 20 minutes or so. It’s really up to you how thick or thin your would like the ganache. You can refrigerate it for longer if you want it thicker. Give it a stir and then drizzle over the top of each cupcake. I like to remove the cupcake liners here so the chocolate ganache can drip down the sides.

    Vanilla buttercream

    Finally, it’s time to make the buttercream for the swirls. In a small bowl, add your butter (ensuring it is nice and soft) and give it a good stir with a spoon. Then add half of your powdered or icing sugar, milk and vanilla and stir together. Once it is smooth, add the rest of the powdered or icing sugar. Then transfer this mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and pipe the swirls on top. Just make sure the ganache has set slightly so the two frostings don’t run together. Enjoy!

  • Oven 101: What You NEED to Know
  • Carrot Sheet Cake

    How to make Carrot Sheet Cake

    Yield: 24-30 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Cake:

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

    For the Frosting:

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

    Directions

    For the Cake:

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

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

    For the Frosting:

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

  • Homemade Milano Cookies

    How to make Homemade Milano Cookies

    Yield: 12 sandwich cookies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    I’ve included the ingredients and steps to make Mint Chocolate Milanos, if you desire. Feel free to omit that part if you’d prefer just chocolate.

    Ingredients

    1 stick (133 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 large egg
    1 1/4 cups (159 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    4 ounces (133 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    Mint Layer (optional)

    3/4 cup (94 grams) confectioners’ sugar
    1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract, optional

    Directions

    In a medium bowl, using an electric mixture, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour and salt and beat until just combined.

    Transfer dough to a quart-size zip-top bag; with scissors, snip a 3/4-inch hole in one corner (or use a pastry bag with a plain tip). Pipe about 24 cookies, 1/2 inch apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake until cookies are light golden at edges, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

    Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. If desired, in another bowl whisk together confectioners’ sugar, peppermint extract and 3 to 4 teaspoons of water.

    With a small offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate on flat side of half the cookies and mint glaze on the other half (if using). Sandwich cookie halves together. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.

  • Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 16 smaller bars or 9 larger bars

    Prep Time: 5 hours 25 minutes (includes cooling & chilling time)

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    18 Oreo cookies
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.  Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.  Add in the melted butter and process until all of the crumbs are moistened.

    Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down firmly in an even layer.  Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    To make the cheesecake:

    Pour the peanut butter cheesecake filling over the prepared crust.  Spread the mixture evenly over the crust, making sure to smooth the top out as well as possible.  Gently add the chocolate cheesecake filling on top of the peanut butter cheesecake filling and smooth the top out.  Bake at 325°F for about 35 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (for about two hours).  Transfer to the refrigerator for about 3 hours or until the cheesecake is completely chilled.  Lift the cheesecake out of the pan with the foil and slice into bars.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

  • How to Make Perfect Cupcakes
  • Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    How to make Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    Yield: 14 whoopie pies

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    Chocolate whoopie pies

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup (135 grams) brown sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 and 3/4 cup (245 grams) plain flour
    1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
    3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk

    Nutella frosting

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    3 cups (375 grams ) icing or powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (200 grams) Nutella
    2-3 tablespoons milk

    Directions

    Line two oven trays with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift in the baking soda, plain flour and cocoa powder. Add half the buttermilk and gently fold with a spatula, before adding the rest of the buttermilk. When the mixture is combined, it will be quite wet – similar to cake batter.

    Cover the batter with plastic wrap and pop into the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help firm up the mixture so you can easily roll spoonfuls of the batter into balls using your hands – just like you would for cookies. They will be a bit sticky but rolling them in your hands will help achieve a nice smooth finish.

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Place the cookies onto the prepared trays, leaving space for them to spread out when cooking. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Leave them to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the cookies onto a wire rack. While they are cooling, you can make the Nutella frosting.

    To make the icing, beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the icing sugar, one cup at a time, and beat with the electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat again. Then add the Nutella and mix through, adding the milk as needed. The frosting should be fairly thick and easy to apply.

    Pipe the icing onto one whoopie pie before placing another on top. Continue until all whoopie pies are complete.

  • Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles

    How to make Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles

    Yield: about 20 cookies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 12 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (114 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
    1/2 cup (134 grams) smooth peanut butter
    3/4 cup (148 grams) granulated sugar, divided
    1/4 cup (50 grams) packed dark brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Directions

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

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

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated.

    Place the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a shallow dish. Using a medium, spring-loaded cookie scoop, shape the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon rounds then roll in sugar to coat evenly. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass.

    Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Butter vs Shortening: Which is Better?
  • 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 (191 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups (159 grams) bread flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups (247 grams) packed brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 cups (340 grams) 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 (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces (113 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/4 cups (245 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (150 grams) 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 (25 grams) 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.

  • How to Make Ice Cream

    How to make Ice Cream

    Yield: about 1 quart

    Prep Time: 15 min

    Cook: 7 hours

    Roasting the strawberries low and slow in sugar and balsamic vinegar completely intensifies the flavor and is PERFECT in ice cream.

    Ingredients

    • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1 tablespoon vodka

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

    Toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Spread strawberries into one even layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the strawberries have darkened in color, are soft, and their juices have released. Transfer the strawberries to a medium bowl and mash until only small pieces of fruit remain. Cover and refrigerate the strawberries until chilled about 1 hour.

    Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and a cup or two of water. Place a medium bowl fitted with a fine strainer inside ice bath.

    In a medium saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, with the milk, cream, salt, and vanilla. Set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is warm and begins to steam, about 5 minutes.

    Whisk together the egg yolks until well-combined and pale in color. Carefully whisk half of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, until the egg mixture is warmed. Whisk the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and registers around 175°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful not to boil the mixture.

    Immediately strain the mixture through the fine strainer into the prepared ice bath. Cool the custard in the ice bath until it’s at room temperature, stirring often. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the custard and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours or up to 1 day.

    Pour the custard into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the 5 last minutes of freezing, gradually add the roasted strawberries. During the last minute of freezing add the vodka. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, press plastic wrap against the ice cream, and freeze until firm and flavor is ripened, at least 2 hours.

    Recipe from Cookies & Cream by Tessa Arias

  • Blueberry Scones

    How to make Blueberry Scones

    Yield: 8 scones

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Scones

    1/2 cup milk (1% or higher)
    1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 cup (1 stick) frozen butter, grated
    1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen- do NOT thaw, use straight from the freezer)
    1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
    Coarse sugar (optional)

    For the Glaze:

    1 cup powdered sugar
    2-4 tablespoons cream, half-and-half, or milk
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla

    Directions

    For the Scones:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.

    Mix milk and sour cream together in a small bowl and place in the fridge.

    In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the grated frozen butter and mix in with a pastry cutter or two forks until the size of small peas. Drizzle the milk/sour cream in and stir until almost combined. Use a spatula to gently fold in the blueberries (take care not to break the blueberries or their color will bleed).

    Sprinkle work surface lightly with flour and dump out dough.  Form into a 9-10 inch disk. Cut the dough into 8 slices like a pizza. Place wedges of dough on prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Brush the tops of dough with the melted butter and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

    Bake for 16-20 minutes until tops are lightly golden. Remove scones from pan and cool on a wire rack.

    For the Glaze:

    While the scones cool, make the glaze by mixing powdered sugar with vanilla and 2 tablespoons cream/milk. Add more cream/milk if needed to get the desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over the scones that you will be eating immediately but wait until the scones are cooled to glaze the rest (it will just look cleaner/prettier).

  • Chocolate Raspberry Pancake Cake

    How to make Chocolate Raspberry Pancake Cake

    Yield: Two 5-layer pancake cakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the raspberry whipped cream:

    4 ounces (113 grams) fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
    3/4 cup (179 grams) heavy cream
    1 tablespoon powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the pancakes:

    1 1/3 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/4 cups (284 grams) whole milk
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    For serving:

    Powdered sugar, for dusting
    Semisweet chocolate, melted

    Directions

    Make the whipped cream:

    Place the raspberries in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer to remove and discard seeds.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the raspberry puree. Set aside.

    Make the pancakes:

    In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and whisk until combined. The batter will be lumpy. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Heat a griddle over medium heat and lightly grease with butter.

    Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to scoop batter onto the griddle. Cook until pancakes have bubbles on the top, then flip them over and cook for an additional minute. Repeat with the remaining batter.

    Stack the pancakes, spreading about 3 heaping teaspoons of whipped cream on top of each one. Garnish with powdered sugar and additional raspberries, if desired.

  • Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

    How to make Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

    Yield: 12 pancakes

    Ingredients

    Pancakes:
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    Pinch salt
    1/3 cup poppy seeds
    Zest of 4 lemons
    2 cups buttermilk
    2 large eggs
    2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for frying

    Lemon glaze:
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    Fresh blueberries or other berries for serving, if desired

    Directions

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

    In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the poppy seeds, lemon zest, buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Don’t overmix. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

    Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add a pat of butter and drop 1/3-cup of batter into the skillet. Cook until the pancake is golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining batter. If not serving the pancakes immediately, keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven.

    For the glaze:
    Meanwhile, combine the sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add more sugar for a thicker glaze and more lemon juice for a thinner glaze.

    Divide pancakes among plates and drizzle with glaze. Top with fresh berries, if desired, before serving.

  • Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 16 squares

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours 55 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    10 whole graham crackers
    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    2 (8-ounce) packages 1/3-less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 lemons, zested and juiced
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoon flour
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    For the raspberry swirl:

    1/2 cup fresh raspberries
    2 tablespoons sugar

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang.

    In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Let cool.

    For the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Add in the flour and salt and beat until just combined. Spread the mixture over the crust.

    For the raspberry swirl:

    In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Press through a fine mesh strainer, discarding any seeds and pulp that remain. Stir in the sugar. Dollop the unbaked cheesecake with spoonfuls of the raspberry puree. Use a skewer to make swirls.

    Bake for 30 minutes, or until set at the edges but ever so slightly jiggly in the middle. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the fridge until very cold, at least 3 hours. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

    Before serving, use the foil to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into 15 squares. Serve chilled.

  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ice Cream Pie

    How to make Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ice Cream Pie

    Yield: 8 to 10 servings

    Ingredients

    Chocolate crust:
    20 chocolate cookie wafers (4 1/2 ounces)
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    Strawberry ice cream filling:
    1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
    4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons corn syrup
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Chocolate topping:
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    Directions

    For the crust:
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cookies until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes then cool completely. Cover and freeze the crust until ready to use.

    For the filling:
    In the bowl of a blender or food processor, puree all the ice cream ingredients until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.

    Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the ice cream into the chilled crust and freeze for at least one hour, or until firmed.

    For the topping:
    Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and add the butter. Let stand for 3 minutes before stirring until smooth and shiny. Let cool slightly before pouring over the strawberry ice cream. Freeze until firmed. The pie can be stored wrapped in plastic in the freezer for up to 1 week.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • No Bake Frozen Raspberry Pie

    How to make No Bake Frozen Raspberry Pie

    Yield: 1 10 inch pie

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: Freeze 4 hours

  • 3-Layer Pistachio Cake

    How to make 3-Layer Pistachio Cake

    Yield: 12-14 slices

    Prep Time: 60 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 67 minutes

    White tender cake made with fresh ground pistachios and decorated with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting, pistachios, and blackberries.

    Ingredients

    For the Frosting:

    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1/3 cup cream
    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
    6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    3 tablespoons honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    For the Cake:

    1 cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    1 whole egg
    1 tablespoons vanilla
    1 1/2 cups milk
    3 eggs whites
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

    For the Garnish:

    Blackberries
    Pistachios

    Directions

    For the Frosting:

    Mix sugar and flour together in a sauce pan and then whisk in milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick and begins to boil (about 15 minutes start to finish, should be considerably thick). Pour into a bowl or Tupperware, cover with plastic wrap pressing it against the mixture, and then place in the fridge until cold (at least 4 hours or overnight).   Meanwhile, make the cake.  When the cake is cool and ready to assemble, finish making the frosting.
    Place cold frosting mixture in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on low speed using the paddle attachment. Add butter a tablespoon at a time and then cream cheese an ounce at a time. Turn up the speed and beat until smooth. Mix in the honey and vanilla until combined.

    For the Cake:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if using a dark colored pan, preheat to 325 degrees F). Grease the bottom and sides of 3 (8-inch) cake pans with shortening and then dust with flour.
    In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    Puree pistachios in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped and then take 2 tablespoons and add it to the dry ingredients. Continue to puree the rest of the nuts until it becomes a powder. Mix into the dry ingredients.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in the whole egg and the vanilla until just combined.
    In 3 batches, alternate mixing the dry ingredients and milk into the butter. Mix completely before adding each additional batch. Scrape down the sides as needed.
    In a separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until it reaches soft peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until combined.
    Pour batter into 3 cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

    Assembling the Cake:

    Using a large serrated knife, cut off the tops of cakes to make them evenly flat.
    Place one cake round on a plate or cake platter and then frost the top of it. Top with another cake round and frost again. Add the last cake round and then add a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) to the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes and then frost the cake with the remaining frosting (save some of the frosting in a piping bag if you wish to decorate with frosting). Garnish with extra frosting, pistachios, and/or berries as desired.
    Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve.

    Adapted from Eats Well with Others

  • Mini Berry Tarts

    How to make Mini Berry Tarts

    Yield: 20 mini tarts

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Crust:

    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened, cubed
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    For the Filling:

    6 ounces cream, softened
    6 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the topping:

    20 blackberries
    20 raspberries
    20 mint leaves (you can use kiwi slices)

    Directions

    For the Crust:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and generously grease little molds or a mini muffin pan.
    Place all crust ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until it forms a ball. Place about 2 tablespoons dough into each mold and push into the bottom and all the way up the sides. Bake for 8-10 minutes until barely starting to turn light brown. If crust puffs up in the middle of the tarts, indent it with the cap of a water bottle or something of similar size (you just want room for lots of filling!). Set on a cooling rack to cool completely. When cooled, use a sharp knife to gently pop each tart out.

    For the Filling and Topping:

    With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Dollop about 2-3 teaspoons filling into each tart crust. Top each filled tart with one raspberry, blackberry, and mint leaf (or kiwi slice).
    Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

    Adapted from Paula Deen

  • No-Bake S’mores Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make No-Bake S’mores Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup heavy cream
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

    Marshmallow frosting:

    2 egg whites
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 Hershey’s bar, broken into pieces

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Thoroughly grease a mini cheesecake pan. 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). Set aside.

    For the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in the vanilla and cream and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Pour in the melted chocolate. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

    For the frosting:

    Place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start beating on low speed then gradually increase to high, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined. Remove to a piping bag fitted with a plain open tip, such as the Ateco #808. Pipe a dollop onto each cheesecake.

    If desired, use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the marshmallow. Garnish with a piece of Hershey’s bar. Return to the fridge until ready to serve. Cheesecakes are best served the day they are made, but may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Spring Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

    How to make Spring Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients

    1 pound ground turkey
    1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    1 large egg
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 large zucchini, sliced into half moons
    1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
    4 ounces sliced button mushrooms (1 cup)
    3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
    3/4 cup pesto

    Directions

    Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chives, egg, salt and pepper. Do not overmix. Form into 2-inch balls. At this point the uncooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day.

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the meatballs on the sheet and broil until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to a serving dish and heat the oven to 400°F. Toss the zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned.

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

    Add the cooked vegetables, spaghetti, and pesto to the serving dish with the meatballs and toss to combine. Add pasta water to loosen pesto if needed. Serve.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Whole Wheat Spring Pizza

    How to make Whole Wheat Spring Pizza

    Yield: 1 12-inch pizza

    Prep Time: 10 min

    Cook: 24 min

    Ingredients

    1 ball no-knead whole wheat pizza dough
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1/3 cup pesto
    6 ounces fresh smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
    10 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    12 to 15 cherry tomatoes
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives

    Directions

    Place a baking stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 450°F.

    Place one ball of dough on a large sheet of parchment and shape and stretch until you have a thin 12-inch circle. To get the dough super thin, briefly roll with a rolling pin. Slide the dough to a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet. Cover with a clean towel until ready to use.

    Brush the olive oil onto the edges of the pizza dough. Spread the pesto over the dough. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with the asparagus and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slide the dough onto the baking stone, keeping the parchment underneath the dough. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is golden. Sprinkle with the chives and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • 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 (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    4 ounces (113 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) 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 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. 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 (191 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 cups (159 grams) bread flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups (247 grams) packed brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 cups (340 grams) 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 dry ingredients 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 or 114 grams) 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.

  • Nutella Chocolate Covered Pretzel Milkshake

    How to make Nutella Chocolate Covered Pretzel Milkshake

    Yield: 1 to 2 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

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

    Ingredients

    For the milkshake:

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

    For topping:

    Whipped cream
    Nutella
    Crushed chocolate covered pretzels

    Directions

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

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

  • Rocky Road Brownies

    How to make Rocky Road Brownies

    Yield: 20

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Brownie:

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

    For the Topping:

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

    For the Frosting:

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

    Directions

    For the Brownie:

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

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

    For the Topping:

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

    For the Frosting:

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

  • Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

    How to make Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Yield: About 12 sandwiches, depending on their size

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Strawberry Ice Cream:

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

    For the cookies:

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

    Directions

    Make the strawberry ice cream:

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

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

    Make the cookies:

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

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

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

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

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

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

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

    Assemble the sandwiches:

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

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

  • Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 16 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

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

    For the cheesecake filling:

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

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

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

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

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

    Make the filling:

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

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

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

  • Ding Dong Cupcakes

    How to make Ding Dong Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    Chocolate cupcakes

    3/4 cup (105 grams) plain flour
    1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/4 cup (45 grams) brown sugar
    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk

    Marshmallow filling

    2 egg whites, room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Chocolate ganache

    2/3 cup (100 grams) dark chocolate
    1/2 cup (120 ml) thickened or heavy cream

    Vanilla buttercream

    1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup (90 grams) icing or powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons milk
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    Chocolate cupcakes

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and then add the sugars – give it a stir. Place the butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl and pop into the microwave for 10 seconds or so at a time, until it is just melted. Give it a stir with a fork to eliminate any lumps. Then add the eggs and vanilla to the butter, along with the buttermilk and whisk together until smooth. Then add the wet butter mixture into the dry mixture and fold until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared patty cases and pop into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes before setting the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Marshmallow filling

    To make the marshmallow filling, add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and place on a medium heat. In a small heatproof bowl, add your eggs whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar. Whisk together. Then pop the bowl over the saucepan, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. As the egg whites heat, whisk gently by hand the entire time. You’ll want to heat the egg white mixture to 120 F (50 C) which you can test by sticking a candy thermometer into the mixture or go by feel (the mixture should be hot to the touch) – should be around 5-6 minutes or so. The mixture should become smooth and the sugar should be dissolved. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and place in the base of a stand mixer (or simply use a hand beater) and beat on medium speed for approximately 7 minutes until the mixture is fluffy, white and voluminous. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds or so.

    Use a knife to cut out a hole in the middle of each cupcake – but keep these cake cores. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the marshmallow fluff frosting and pipe into the middle of each cupcakes – be careful not to overfill them. Then cut the tops off your cake cores and press on top of the marshmallow filling so the cupcake has a closed top once again. Continue with all 12 cupcakes.

    Chocolate ganache

    Then it’s time to make the chocolate ganache. Roughly chop your chocolate and place into a small bowl. Then gently heat your cream over a low heat on the stove until it becomes warm to the touch but do not boil. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and leave for approximately 1-2 minutes. Then gently whisk the mixture until combined and smooth. Pop the chocolate ganache into the fridge to cool and thicken slightly for about 20 minutes or so. It’s really up to you how thick or thin your would like the ganache. You can refrigerate it for longer if you want it thicker. Give it a stir and then drizzle over the top of each cupcake. I like to remove the cupcake liners here so the chocolate ganache can drip down the sides.

    Vanilla buttercream

    Finally, it’s time to make the buttercream for the swirls. In a small bowl, add your butter (ensuring it is nice and soft) and give it a good stir with a spoon. Then add half of your powdered or icing sugar, milk and vanilla and stir together. Once it is smooth, add the rest of the powdered or icing sugar. Then transfer this mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and pipe the swirls on top. Just make sure the ganache has set slightly so the two frostings don’t run together. Enjoy!

  • Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 16 smaller bars or 9 larger bars

    Prep Time: 5 hours 25 minutes (includes cooling & chilling time)

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    18 Oreo cookies
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.  Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.  Add in the melted butter and process until all of the crumbs are moistened.

    Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down firmly in an even layer.  Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    To make the cheesecake:

    Pour the peanut butter cheesecake filling over the prepared crust.  Spread the mixture evenly over the crust, making sure to smooth the top out as well as possible.  Gently add the chocolate cheesecake filling on top of the peanut butter cheesecake filling and smooth the top out.  Bake at 325°F for about 35 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (for about two hours).  Transfer to the refrigerator for about 3 hours or until the cheesecake is completely chilled.  Lift the cheesecake out of the pan with the foil and slice into bars.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

  • Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    How to make Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    Yield: 14 whoopie pies

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    Chocolate whoopie pies

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup (135 grams) brown sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 and 3/4 cup (245 grams) plain flour
    1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
    3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk

    Nutella frosting

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    3 cups (375 grams ) icing or powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (200 grams) Nutella
    2-3 tablespoons milk

    Directions

    Line two oven trays with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift in the baking soda, plain flour and cocoa powder. Add half the buttermilk and gently fold with a spatula, before adding the rest of the buttermilk. When the mixture is combined, it will be quite wet – similar to cake batter.

    Cover the batter with plastic wrap and pop into the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help firm up the mixture so you can easily roll spoonfuls of the batter into balls using your hands – just like you would for cookies. They will be a bit sticky but rolling them in your hands will help achieve a nice smooth finish.

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Place the cookies onto the prepared trays, leaving space for them to spread out when cooking. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Leave them to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the cookies onto a wire rack. While they are cooling, you can make the Nutella frosting.

    To make the icing, beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the icing sugar, one cup at a time, and beat with the electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat again. Then add the Nutella and mix through, adding the milk as needed. The frosting should be fairly thick and easy to apply.

    Pipe the icing onto one whoopie pie before placing another on top. Continue until all whoopie pies are complete.

  • Chocolate Raspberry Pancake Cake

    How to make Chocolate Raspberry Pancake Cake

    Yield: Two 5-layer pancake cakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the raspberry whipped cream:

    4 ounces (113 grams) fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
    3/4 cup (179 grams) heavy cream
    1 tablespoon powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the pancakes:

    1 1/3 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/4 cups (284 grams) whole milk
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    For serving:

    Powdered sugar, for dusting
    Semisweet chocolate, melted

    Directions

    Make the whipped cream:

    Place the raspberries in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer to remove and discard seeds.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the raspberry puree. Set aside.

    Make the pancakes:

    In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and whisk until combined. The batter will be lumpy. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Heat a griddle over medium heat and lightly grease with butter.

    Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to scoop batter onto the griddle. Cook until pancakes have bubbles on the top, then flip them over and cook for an additional minute. Repeat with the remaining batter.

    Stack the pancakes, spreading about 3 heaping teaspoons of whipped cream on top of each one. Garnish with powdered sugar and additional raspberries, if desired.

  • Deep Fried Cookie Dough

    How to make Deep Fried Cookie Dough

    Yield: about 24 cookie dough balls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cookie dough:

    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 egg, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups (159 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    For frying:

    1 1/4 cups (159 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 grams) milk
    2 teaspoon vegetable oil
    1 quart oil, for frying

    Melted chocolate, for drizzling
    Powdered sugar, for dusting

    Directions

    Make the cookie dough:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until very well combined. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or up to 2 days if placed in an airtight container.

    Prepare the dough for frying:

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the milk and vegetable oil, and whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.

    In a medium heavy pot, heat 2 inches of oil until it reaches 360°F. Take a chilled ball of cookie dough and dip it in the batter, turning it over with your hands until it’s completely covered. Let excess batter drip back into the bowl, then gently drop it into the oil. Fry up to 4 or 5 balls at a time.

    Fry the balls for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, or until they’re puffed and a dark golden brown on all sides. Remove them from the oil using a frying skimmer and place them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough balls and batter. Maintain the temperature of the oil between 360 to 370°F.

    Drizzle the balls with melted chocolate and a dusting of powdered sugar before serving warm. These are best served the day they’re fried, but can be kept warm in a 175°F oven until ready to serve.

  • 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:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    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.

  • Natural Cocoa vs. Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 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.

  • Potato Burger Buns

    How to make Potato Burger Buns

    Yield: 6 burger buns

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    2 cups (255 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (128 grams) bread flour
    1/2 cup plain mashed potato
    1/4 cup (35 grams) nonfat dry milk
    3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 large egg
    2 teaspoons instant yeast
    4 tablespoons (58 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup (227 grams) lukewarm water

    For the topping:

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

    Directions

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the ingredients. Stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium low speed and knead until a soft yet tacky dough forms, about 5 minutes.

    Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it’s almost doubled.

    Turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface, gently deflate it, and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

    Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 to 3 inches between them and flatten gently. Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size 45 to 60 minutes minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Bake the buns for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and brush them with melted butter, if desired.

    Transfer the buns to a rack to cool. Store buns, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days or in the freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost to room temperature then reheat in a 300°F oven or toast.

  • 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