10 Baking Secrets You Need to Know

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  • Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

    How to make Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

    Yield: about 15 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

    1 3/4 cups (222 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
    2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
    1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
    2 lemons, zested and juiced
    3/4 cup (115 grams) fresh blueberries
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    For the buttercream:

    3/4 cup (115 grams) fresh blueberries
    3 cups (306 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
    Lemon zest, for garnish

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with 15 paper liners.

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

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy and very well combined, about 3 minutes. On medium-low speed , add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, until combined. Add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

    In a small bowl toss the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add into the batter and fold with a spatula until combined. Be careful not to overmix.

    Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make the buttercream:

    Using a blender, immersion blender or food processor, puree the blueberries. Pass the pureed blueberries through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium bowl to remove the skins. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute.

    Remove half of the buttercream to the bowl with the blueberry puree and stir until well combined. If the buttercream is too thin, add more powdered sugar to thicken. If desired, add a few drops of purple food coloring to enhance the blueberry color.

    To the plain buttercream, add the cream and beat until well combined.

    Swirled Piping

    In a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip (such as the Ateco #846), use a spoon to scoop the plain frosting into one section of the bag, using your finger on the outside of the bag to help scrape it off. Repeat with the blueberry frosting. Ensure you’re aligning the frosting so it starts at the same place in the bag. Don’t worry if the colors touch each other.

    Squeeze the bag to slightly blur the colors together for a watercolor type effect. Twist the bag and squeeze out a test pipe to ensure the colors are coming out evenly before piping onto your cupcakes. Garnish frosted cupcakes with lemon zest.

    Serve or store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.

  • Monkey Bread

    How to make Monkey Bread

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 2 hours

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the dough:
    1 package quick rise active yeast
    1 1/2 cup milk, warm (120 degrees F)
    1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
    5 tablespoons butter, melted (no hotter than 120 degrees F)
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 1/2 cups flour
    For the sugar coating:
    10 tablespoons butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    For the glaze:
    1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

    Directions

    For the dough:
    Mix together warm milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoons sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook (you can also just do this by hand) and let it dissolve for 5 minutes. Mix in the 1/4 cup sugar, butter, egg, and salt. Start adding in the flour while mixing, adding 1 cup at a time until you’ve added 4 cups (scrape sides of bowl as needed). Mix on low for 5 minutes, adding a couple tablespoons of flour at a time if the dough gets too sticky. Place dough in a large greased bowl and turn the dough over so the top is greased. Cover with a towel and let it rise for an hour.
    Grease a bundt pan and set aside.
    Melt the 10 tablespoons butter in a bowl. In another bowl, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
    Pinch or cut off dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Roll into balls (use flour as needed), dip in the melted butter, and roll in the sugar mixture. Place the coated balls of dough into the greased pan. Mix any remaining butter and sugar mixture together and pour over the balls. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove onto a platter.
    For the glaze:
    Heat cream and butter together in the microwave until melted. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar until desired consistency. Pour over the warm Monkey Bread. Serve.

  • Strawberry Baked Donuts

    How to make Strawberry Baked Donuts

    Yield: 11 to 12 donuts

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    *Freeze-fried strawberries are available at most grocery stores near the other dried fruits like raisins.

    Ingredients

    For the donuts:

    1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 large egg
    7 ounces (198 grams) unsweetened nonfat Greek yogurt
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

    For the strawberry glaze:

    1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup or golden syrup
    *1/2 cup (6 grams) freeze dried strawberries, finely crushed
    2 tablespoons hot water

    Directions

    Make the donuts:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray two 6-cup donut pans with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, yogurt, oil, and lemon juice. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Add in the chopped strawberries. Gently fold everything together until just combined. The batter will be thick, do not overmix.

    Scoop the batter into a piping bag or freezer bag and snip a bottom corner with scissors. Squeeze out the batter evenly into each cavity of the prepared donut pan. You may only have enough for 11 donuts.

    Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then flip over onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Make the glaze:

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Immerse each doughnut into the glaze. Place glazed doughnuts on a wire rack above a lined sheet pan to catch any excess glaze. Let set for 15 minutes before serving.

  • S’mores Cookie Cake

    How to make S’mores Cookie Cake

    Yield: One 9" cookie cake

    Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes (includes cooling time)

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6-7 full-sheets)
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
    1 and 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
    Optional: 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips, melted

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″ pie plate (or cake pan or springform pan) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla, making sure to mix well after each ingredient. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the chocolate chunks and mix until just combined.  Scoop the cookie dough into the prepared baking dish and smooth it out into one even layer.

    Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes or until the top is set and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least one hour, but it’s best to let it cool completely.

    Just before serving, top with the mini marshmallows, return to the oven and broil until the marshmallows are lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, slice, and enjoy.

    Adapted from: All Recipes

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  • S’mores Cookies

    How to make S’mores Cookies

    Yield: about 32 cookies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (206 grams) all purpose flour
    1 cup (8 full crackers or 120 grams) graham cracker crumbs
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    Pinch of cinnamon
    2 sticks (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3/4 cup (149 grams) granulated sugar
    3/4 cup (149 grams) light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    1 cup (170 grams) miniature chocolate chips
    1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
    2 Hershey bars, chopped

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Use a medium cookie scoop to drop 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a few pieces of hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container and room temperature for 3-4 days.

    From Make and Bake via Baked Perfection

  • Funfetti Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownies

    How to make Funfetti Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownies

    Yield: 9-12 brownies

    Prep Time: 45 minutes

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate brownie

    1/2 cup or 1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter, chopped
    1 and 1/3 cup (200 grams) good quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate, pieces
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/2 cup (90 grams) brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 large eggs
    2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose or plain flour

    Funfetti cookie dough

    1/2 cup or 1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup (90 grams) brown sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose or plain flour
    2-3 tablespoon milk
    1/2 cup (75 grams) milk chocolate chips
    1/2 cup (70 grams) funfetti sprinkles, plus extra for decorating
    2/3 cups (100 grams) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, pieces

    Directions

    Grease and line a square 8 inch baking tin with parchment paper, ensuring two sides of the paper overhang. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place on top of a medium saucepan that is filled with a small amount of water. You need to ensure the bottom of the bowl will not touch the water below. Place the saucepan on the stove on a medium heat and stir while the chocolate and butter melt. Once the mixture is lovely and smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

    Preheat the oven to 320 F (160 C). Next, add the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and beat with an electric mixer until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat again. Sift in the flour and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the brownie batter into your prepared tin and place in the oven. Bake the brownie for approximately 35-40 minutes. The brownie should have a nice cracked top and no longer wobble in the middle. Leave to cool completely.

    To make the cookie dough, add the softened butter and sugars to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat again. Sift in the flour and add the milk and stir until a soft cookie dough forms. Add in your chocolate chips and sprinkles and stir through. Then place the cookie dough on top of your brownie and spread it out as evenly as possible.

    Finally, melt your chocolate in the microwave, stirring in-between 20 second bursts, until just melted and pour oven the top. Add extra sprinkles. Pop into the fridge for 15 minutes to set, then cut and serve.

  • No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 crackers, 140 grams) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
    Zest of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup lemon juice

    For topping:

    5 ounces (142 grams) strawberries, hulled and chopped
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    Strawberry slices
    Lemon slices

    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 cream, zest, and juice and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    For the topping:

    Combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with a strawberry and lemon slice. Serve.

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

    How to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

    Yield: About 8 to 10 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    The bread flour helps create a chewy texture. If you don’t have any, use all AP flour. But I’d highly suggest picking some up on your next grocery run because it’s my fave trick for chewy cookies!

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate chip cookie base:

    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups (247 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    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 cornstarch
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 cups (340 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips

    For the buttercream:

    1 1/2 cups (153 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    4 ounces (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    Pinch fine salt
    2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 tablespoons cream or milk

    Sprinkles, for garnishing

    Directions

    For the cookie base:

    In a large mixing bowl, stir together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined.

    Stir in the eggs, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Gradually beat in the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips. Bake now or cover the dough and refrigerate until ready to bake.

    When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown but not overcooked. Let cool completely.

    For the buttercream:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla, and cream and beat on medium for 1 minute, adding more cream if needed.

    Spread all over the cooled cookie cake then garnish with sprinkles. Serve or cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerated for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.

  • 3 Ways to Make Swirled Cupcake Frosting

    How to make 3 Ways to Make Swirled Cupcake Frosting

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 batch of buttercream frosting
    Gel food coloring (I like Wilton or Americolor)
    Piping bags
    Decorative piping tips (I used Wilton 1M)

    Directions

    Double bag technique

    Fill two small disposable piping bags with different colored or flavored frosting. Use scissors to snip holes in the bottoms of both bags. Insert both bags into a large (16”) disposable piping bag fitted with a decorative tip, making sure the two bags are aligned by squeezing and twisting the large bag. Squeeze out a test pip to ensure the colors are coming out evenly.

    Plastic wrap technique

    Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Spoon one color or flavor of your buttercream frosting in a log down the center. Repeat with the second color or flavor, spooning it parallel alongside the first color.

    Fold the plastic wrap over to shape it into a two-toned log. Twist the excess plastic to seal the buttercream inside. Drop the plastic wrap log into a large pastry bag fitted with a decorative piping tip, using the excess plastic wrap to pull the log through the opening of the bag. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before frosting your cupcakes. Squeeze out a test pip to ensure the colors are coming out evenly.

    Spatula Striping

    In a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip, use a spoon to scoop one color of frosting into one section of the bag, using your finger on the outside of the bag to help scrape it off. Repeat with your remaining color(s). Ensure you’re aligning the frosting so it starts at the same place in the bag. Squeeze the bag to slightly blur the colors together for a rainbow type effect. Twist the bag and frost your cupcakes. Squeeze out a test pip to ensure the colors are coming out evenly.

  • Salted Honey Caramel

    How to make Salted Honey Caramel

    Yield: Depending on size, about two dozen squares

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    3/4 cup sugar

    1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

    1 tablespoon local honey

    4 tablespoons salted butter butter

    1 tsp cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

    1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, small coarse pieces

    Directions

    1. Trace around an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about an inch on all sides. Generously butter the parchment paper and place it as securely as possible inside the pan.
    2. In a small saucepan, heat the condensed milk, butter, honey and cinnamon. Keep an eye on this mixture: once the butter has melted, turn off the heat. At the same time, insert your kitchen thermometer (optional) into a medium saucepan, combine sugar with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water. Place over medium-high heat and let the sugar dissolve. Stir gently to be sure that the sugar melts smoothly. From this point on, stir only as necessary. Cook until the sugar reaches 300 degrees, or for 5-7 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat and add the cinnamony milk and butter to the sugar mixture. Cook the caramel over medium heat until it reaches 245 degrees, or for 3-5 minutes.
    4. Remove the medium saucepan from the heat. Add vanilla extract.
    5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, carefully as to not scrape the hard bits on the bottom and sides. While letting the caramel cool for up to 15 minutes, melt chocolate chips over low heat. Spread the chocolate over cooled caramel. Sprinkle fleur de sel as a garnish.
    6. Once completely cool, lift out of the pan and onto a countertop. Slice the bar of caramel with a long, sharp knife.
  • Homemade Nutella

    How to make Homemade Nutella

    Yield: About 2 cups

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 cup hazelnuts
    12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the hazelnuts until they’re slightly browned and the skin is slightly blistered, about 10 minutes. Wrap the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much loose skin as possible (some skin may not remove, that’s fine). Let cool completely.

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

    In a high-powered blender or in a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and continue to process until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any chunks of hazelnuts that might be left behind. Allow the mixture to cool (will be warm from blending or processing). Store the mixture in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

    From Cake Simple via Leite's Culinaria

  • Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

    How to make Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

    Yield: about 1 quart

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
    3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    3/4 cup REAL® Seal whole milk
    1/2 cup REAL® Seal heavy cream
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    4 whole graham crackers, chopped

    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.

    Meanwhile, in the bowl of a blender or food processor, puree the remaining ice cream ingredients except the graham crackers until smooth. Transfer 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 mixture into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the 5 last minutes of freezing, gradually add the roasted strawberries and graham crackers.

    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.

  • Chocolate Nutella Cookie Cups

    How to make Chocolate Nutella Cookie Cups

    Yield: 24 cookie cups

    Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Cook: 13 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate cookie cups:

    1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the Nutella frosting:

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup Nutella
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    tiny pinch of salt (optional)

    Directions

    To make the chocolate cookie cups:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 24-count mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract, making sure to mix well after each ingredient. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Evenly distribute the cookie dough between all 24 mini muffin cavities. Bake at 350°F for 11-13 minutes or until done in the center. Remove from the oven and gently press down the center of each cookie cup using the bottom of a measuring teaspoon. Allow the cookie cups to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, or until they’ve firmed up a little and can easily be removed from the pan. Remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the Nutella frosting:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the Nutella and mix until well combined. Next, add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until fully combined.

    Pipe the Nutella frosting into the cooled cookie cups as desired.

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  • Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

    How to make Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (354 grams) mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1/4 cup (57 grams) whole milk
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.

    In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    Fill each cup about three-quarters full. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

    Move the muffin pan to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let them finish cooling on the cooling rack.

    Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    From Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

  • How to Make Powdered Sugar

    How to make Powdered Sugar

    Yield: As much as you need!

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    Half as much granulated sugar as you need powdered sugar

    Directions

    Pour the granulated sugar into the bowl of a powerful blender or food processor. You don’t want to do this in a cheap or old appliance because it probably just won’t get fine enough. Blend until the sugar is fine, fluffy, and powdered. Keep the lid on until the powder has completely settled.

    If using right away, sift before adding to a recipe. If storing for later, add in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or arrowroot then sift the sugar into a storage container. This helps prevent the sugar from caking and clumping.

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  • Mini Sour Cream Chocolate Cakes

    How to make Mini Sour Cream Chocolate Cakes

    Yield: 10 mini cakes

    Prep Time: 1 hour

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Cake

    1 cup and 1 tablespoon (250 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup (200 grams) caster sugar
    3/4 cup (135 grams) brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1/2 cup (120ml) hot water
    1 and 3/4 cup (245 grams) plain flour
    3/4 cup (60 grams) cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup (240 ml) sour cream, room temperature

    Chocolate frosting

    1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3 cups (375 grams) powdered or icing sugar
    2-3 tablespoons milk
    2/3 cup (100 grams) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, pieces
    Extra chocolate shavings for decorating

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Prepare a 12-cup mini loose bottom dessert tin with butter (My dessert tin features 2 x 3 inch cups). In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract. Then add one egg at a time and continue to beat until mixture is combined and creamy. Boil the kettle and pour out 1/2 cup water and set aside.

    In a separate bowl, sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and lightly whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, along with the hot water and gently fold with a spatula. Add the sour cream and fold until the mixture is combined.

    Carefully spoon the cake mixture into your prepared cake tin – it makes 10 mini cakes. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly to the touch. Leave the cakes to cool for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the chocolate frosting, place your softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Sift in your powdered or icing sugar, add your milk and beat until combined. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a microwave, stirring in between 20 second bursts, until just melted.

    Next you will want to add in your melted chocolate to the buttercream mixture, ensuring the chocolate is smooth and melted but is not warm at all. Beat until the chocolate is completely mixed through. Use a small spatula to spread the frosting onto the cakes, then sprinkle over a few chocolate shavings.

     

  • No Knead Rosemary Parmesan Skillet Bread

    How to make No Knead Rosemary Parmesan Skillet Bread

    Yield: 1 loaf

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    If you don’t have instant yeast, you can always substitute with the same amount of active dry yeast. Simply add the active dry yeast to the warm water and let it proof for 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

    Ingredients

    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
    2 cups lukewarm water
    4 1/2 cups (574 grams) all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for sprinkling
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Directions

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water. Add half the flour in and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the rosemary, salt and remaining flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over the bottom of a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour before shaping it into a disk. Dough will be sticky, it doesn’t have to shape perfectly. Place in the skillet, cover loosely, let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Drizzle additional olive oil over the top of the bread. Slash the dough with a sharp knife to create an X shape. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle all over with the Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Adapted from Baker Bettie.

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  • 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) lightly 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 (96 grams) 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: 1 hour

    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

    For the 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.

  • Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

    How to make Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

    Yield: about 15 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

    1 3/4 cups (222 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
    2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
    1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
    2 lemons, zested and juiced
    3/4 cup (115 grams) fresh blueberries
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    For the buttercream:

    3/4 cup (115 grams) fresh blueberries
    3 cups (306 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
    Lemon zest, for garnish

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with 15 paper liners.

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

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy and very well combined, about 3 minutes. On medium-low speed , add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, until combined. Add the buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

    In a small bowl toss the blueberries with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add into the batter and fold with a spatula until combined. Be careful not to overmix.

    Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make the buttercream:

    Using a blender, immersion blender or food processor, puree the blueberries. Pass the pureed blueberries through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium bowl to remove the skins. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute.

    Remove half of the buttercream to the bowl with the blueberry puree and stir until well combined. If the buttercream is too thin, add more powdered sugar to thicken. If desired, add a few drops of purple food coloring to enhance the blueberry color.

    To the plain buttercream, add the cream and beat until well combined.

    Swirled Piping

    In a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip (such as the Ateco #846), use a spoon to scoop the plain frosting into one section of the bag, using your finger on the outside of the bag to help scrape it off. Repeat with the blueberry frosting. Ensure you’re aligning the frosting so it starts at the same place in the bag. Don’t worry if the colors touch each other.

    Squeeze the bag to slightly blur the colors together for a watercolor type effect. Twist the bag and squeeze out a test pipe to ensure the colors are coming out evenly before piping onto your cupcakes. Garnish frosted cupcakes with lemon zest.

    Serve or store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.

  • No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 crackers, 140 grams) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
    Zest of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup lemon juice

    For topping:

    5 ounces (142 grams) strawberries, hulled and chopped
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    Strawberry slices
    Lemon slices

    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 cream, zest, and juice and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    For the topping:

    Combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with a strawberry and lemon slice. Serve.

  • 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

  • How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

    How to make Ice Cream Without a Machine

    Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 6 hours 10 minutes

    If you want to use the last two methods with homemade custard-based ice cream, check out this video tutorial.

    Ingredients

    2 Ingredient Method

    2 cups heavy cream, chilled
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

    1 1/4 cups whole milk, chilled
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 cups heavy cream, chilled
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions

    2 Ingredient Method

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, mix in the condensed milk, vanilla, and any flavorings.

    Pour into a resalable container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, then seal. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or until firm. Keep stored in the freezer.

    Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. If mixture isn’t cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 seconds.

    For the freeze & stir method:

    Place the mixture in a deep stainless steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously with a spatula. Return to the freezer.

    Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have a hand held mixer or blender, use one of those. Repeat this process for 2 to 3 hours, or until frozen.

    Plastic bag method:

    Place the ice cream mixture in a quart size resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Place this bag inside another quart bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Put the bags inside a gallon size resalable bag and fill with about 4 cups crushed ice then sprinkle with 4 tablespoons coarse salt. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra cold environment that aborbs heat, causing the ice cream base to freeze.

    Squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Wrap the bag in a towel or put gloves on before shaking vigorously and massaging the bag, making sure the ice is surrounding the ice cream mixture constantly. Shake for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the ice cream is frozen. The more vigorously you shake, the smoother your ice cream will be.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ultimate Cookie Troubleshooting Guide
  • The Ultimate Guide to Measuring
  • 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) lightly 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.

  • Homemade Nutella

    How to make Homemade Nutella

    Yield: About 2 cups

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 cup hazelnuts
    12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    3 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the hazelnuts until they’re slightly browned and the skin is slightly blistered, about 10 minutes. Wrap the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much loose skin as possible (some skin may not remove, that’s fine). Let cool completely.

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

    In a high-powered blender or in a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and continue to process until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any chunks of hazelnuts that might be left behind. Allow the mixture to cool (will be warm from blending or processing). Store the mixture in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

    From Cake Simple via Leite's Culinaria

  • Chocolate Nutella Cookie Cups

    How to make Chocolate Nutella Cookie Cups

    Yield: 24 cookie cups

    Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Cook: 13 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate cookie cups:

    1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the Nutella frosting:

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup Nutella
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    tiny pinch of salt (optional)

    Directions

    To make the chocolate cookie cups:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 24-count mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract, making sure to mix well after each ingredient. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Evenly distribute the cookie dough between all 24 mini muffin cavities. Bake at 350°F for 11-13 minutes or until done in the center. Remove from the oven and gently press down the center of each cookie cup using the bottom of a measuring teaspoon. Allow the cookie cups to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, or until they’ve firmed up a little and can easily be removed from the pan. Remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the Nutella frosting:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the Nutella and mix until well combined. Next, add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until fully combined.

    Pipe the Nutella frosting into the cooled cookie cups as desired.

  • Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

    How to make Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (354 grams) mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1/4 cup (57 grams) whole milk
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.

    In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

    Fill each cup about three-quarters full. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

    Move the muffin pan to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let them finish cooling on the cooling rack.

    Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    From Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

  • Mini Sour Cream Chocolate Cakes

    How to make Mini Sour Cream Chocolate Cakes

    Yield: 10 mini cakes

    Prep Time: 1 hour

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Cake

    1 cup and 1 tablespoon (250 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup (200 grams) caster sugar
    3/4 cup (135 grams) brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1/2 cup (120ml) hot water
    1 and 3/4 cup (245 grams) plain flour
    3/4 cup (60 grams) cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup (240 ml) sour cream, room temperature

    Chocolate frosting

    1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3 cups (375 grams) powdered or icing sugar
    2-3 tablespoons milk
    2/3 cup (100 grams) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, pieces
    Extra chocolate shavings for decorating

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Prepare a 12-cup mini loose bottom dessert tin with butter (My dessert tin features 2 x 3 inch cups). In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract. Then add one egg at a time and continue to beat until mixture is combined and creamy. Boil the kettle and pour out 1/2 cup water and set aside.

    In a separate bowl, sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and lightly whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, along with the hot water and gently fold with a spatula. Add the sour cream and fold until the mixture is combined.

    Carefully spoon the cake mixture into your prepared cake tin – it makes 10 mini cakes. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly to the touch. Leave the cakes to cool for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the chocolate frosting, place your softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Sift in your powdered or icing sugar, add your milk and beat until combined. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a microwave, stirring in between 20 second bursts, until just melted.

    Next you will want to add in your melted chocolate to the buttercream mixture, ensuring the chocolate is smooth and melted but is not warm at all. Beat until the chocolate is completely mixed through. Use a small spatula to spread the frosting onto the cakes, then sprinkle over a few chocolate shavings.

     

  • No Bake Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

    How to make No Bake Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    I adore my mini cheesecake pan, but if you don’t have one you could use a muffin tin. Just be sure to line it with paper or foil liners, otherwise the graham cracker crust might crumble and the cheesecake might stick when you go to remove them.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/3 cup (90 grams) creamy peanut butter
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2/3 cup (157 ml) heavy cream
    4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

    For the topping:

    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/4 cup (58 grams) heavy cream
    Mini peanut butter cups

    Directions

    Make 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.

    Make the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, 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 and beat until combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Make 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 each cheesecake, allowing to barely drip down the sides. Top each cheesecake with Reese’s. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Death by Chocolate Ice Cream

    How to make Death by Chocolate Ice Cream

    Yield: about 1 1/2 quarts

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the ice cream:

    1 1/2 cups whole milk
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar, divided
    1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process, sifted
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
    4 large egg yolks

    For the fudge swirl:

    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    Make the ice cream:

    Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and 1 to 2 cups of water. Place a medium bowl fitted with a fine strainer inside the ice bath.

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

    Whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Carefully whisk half of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, one ladleful at a time, until the egg mixture is warmed. Whisk the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, 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 reaches 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.

    Make the fudge swirl:

    Heat the cream, butter, and sugars in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Let stand for 3 minutes before stirring completely smooth. Stir in the salt and vanilla. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before using. Fudge swirl can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

    Finish the ice cream:

    Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container in batches, spooning the fudge swirl in between layers of ice cream in a swirled pattern. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream and freeze until it is firm, about 3 hours, before serving.

  • 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.

  • Monkey Bread

    How to make Monkey Bread

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 2 hours

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the dough:
    1 package quick rise active yeast
    1 1/2 cup milk, warm (120 degrees F)
    1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
    5 tablespoons butter, melted (no hotter than 120 degrees F)
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 1/2 cups flour
    For the sugar coating:
    10 tablespoons butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    For the glaze:
    1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

    Directions

    For the dough:
    Mix together warm milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoons sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook (you can also just do this by hand) and let it dissolve for 5 minutes. Mix in the 1/4 cup sugar, butter, egg, and salt. Start adding in the flour while mixing, adding 1 cup at a time until you’ve added 4 cups (scrape sides of bowl as needed). Mix on low for 5 minutes, adding a couple tablespoons of flour at a time if the dough gets too sticky. Place dough in a large greased bowl and turn the dough over so the top is greased. Cover with a towel and let it rise for an hour.
    Grease a bundt pan and set aside.
    Melt the 10 tablespoons butter in a bowl. In another bowl, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
    Pinch or cut off dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Roll into balls (use flour as needed), dip in the melted butter, and roll in the sugar mixture. Place the coated balls of dough into the greased pan. Mix any remaining butter and sugar mixture together and pour over the balls. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove onto a platter.
    For the glaze:
    Heat cream and butter together in the microwave until melted. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar until desired consistency. Pour over the warm Monkey Bread. Serve.

  • No Knead Rosemary Parmesan Skillet Bread

    How to make No Knead Rosemary Parmesan Skillet Bread

    Yield: 1 loaf

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    If you don’t have instant yeast, you can always substitute with the same amount of active dry yeast. Simply add the active dry yeast to the warm water and let it proof for 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

    Ingredients

    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
    2 cups lukewarm water
    4 1/2 cups (574 grams) all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for sprinkling
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Directions

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water. Add half the flour in and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the rosemary, salt and remaining flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over the bottom of a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour before shaping it into a disk. Dough will be sticky, it doesn’t have to shape perfectly. Place in the skillet, cover loosely, let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Drizzle additional olive oil over the top of the bread. Slash the dough with a sharp knife to create an X shape. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle all over with the Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Adapted from Baker Bettie.

  • 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.

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