• 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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  • 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.

  • Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Doughnuts

    How to make Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Doughnuts

    Yield: 6 doughnuts

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the doughnuts:

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

    For the filling:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the topping:

    3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    Raspberry jam, for drizzling

    Directions

    Make the doughnut dough:

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

    For the cheesecake filling:

    Meanwhile, make the filling.

    In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, cream, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

    Finish the doughnuts:

    On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds from the dough. Place on a large parchment-lined baking sheet spacing far apart. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.

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

    In a shallow dish combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Dip each warm doughnut in the melted butter, the coat in the cinnamon sugar.

    Remove the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag fitted with a long filling tip. Insert the tip into the side of a doughnut and squeeze the filling inside to fill. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts. Top each doughnut with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture then drizzle with jam.

    Doughnuts are best served the day they’re made.

  • 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.

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  • Caramel Stuffed Peanut Butter Blondies

    How to make Caramel Stuffed Peanut Butter Blondies

    Yield: 9 larger bars or 16 smaller bars

    Prep Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

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

    Directions

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

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

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

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

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

    Prep time also includes cooling time.

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  • Cookie Butter Pudding Pie

    How to make Cookie Butter Pudding Pie

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 22 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

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

    For the cookie butter pudding:

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

    For topping:

    Cookie butter, melted
    Crumbled Speculoos cookies

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

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

    Make the pudding:

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

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

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

  • Twix Chocolate Layer Cake

    How to make Twix Chocolate Layer Cake

    Yield: One 8 inch layer cake

    Prep Time: 1 hour

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate cake

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

    Caramel frosting

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

    Directions

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

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

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

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

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