Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes


Since the key lime pie was no longer an option to take to the office, I decided to make something else. I went with chocolate cupcakes because they would be super easy to make with a box cake mix. Plus, almost everyone loves chocolate cupcakes! When I was at the store, I saw a box of triple chocolate fudge cake mix, so I grabbed that instead of the plain chocolate one.

When it came to the frosting, I wanted to try something new. I'm really glad I did because this chocolate syrup frosting is one of my favorites now! Sorry about the pictures not showcasing the frosting...I didn't pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes until I got to the office so that everything would be easier to transport. But the frosting is a MUST! It makes the cupcakes so much more delicious!

Ingredients:
CUPCAKES:
24 paper liners
1 cup chocolate chips
1 pkg (18.5 oz) triple chocolate fudge cake mix
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

FROSTING:
8 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with the paper liners.

Place the cake mix, chocolate chips, cream cheese, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend for 2 minutes more. Scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cup, filling it 3/4 of the way full. (You get 22-24 cupcakes.)

Bake for 20-23 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Cool for 5 minutes and then move to a rack to cool for at least 15 more minutes before frosting.

For the frosting, place the butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate syrup in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Use it to frost those cooled cupcakes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Key Lime Pie


Key lime pie is a classic dessert, and I cannot believe how easy it is to make! Just 6 ingredients and only 8 minutes of baking? Why have I not made this before? Probably because it is so hard to find key lime juice at the grocery store. Luckily, I found it this summer!

Originally, my dad wanted me to make this pie so I could take it to the office to share. However, this pie turned out so delicious that he told me we are no longer taking it to the office...It is staying at home to be consumed by just us!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp grated key lime rind
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice


Preheat your oven to 350°F.

For the crust, place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and add the butter. Mix to combine. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan (I actually used a spring form pan). Bake for 8 minutes and let cool.

Beat the yolks until thick. Beat in the milk, lime rind and juice. Pour into the prebaked pie shell and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours. To serve, you can add some whipped cream to the top if you like.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cherry Coffee Cake


I am frequently guilty of buying fruit when it's on sale at the grocery store and then never eating it all quick enough before it spoils. I found myself in this situation once again when I noticed the bag of cherries I bought last week sitting in the back of the refrigerator, barely touched. Therefore, it is time for a recipe which uses a lot of cherries!

Cherry coffee cake is a recipe which originally uses strawberries, but I think cherries work just fine. In fact, you could probably use any fruit you wanted in this coffee cake. The batter for the cake is one of the best I have ever tasted (it's gotta be the cream cheese), and the simple brown sugar and nut topping goes with anything. If you're a fan of coffee cake, I would definitely recommend this recipe.

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups fresh cherries, sliced
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x13 baking dish.

While waiting for the butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature, pit and slice 3 cups of cherries.



In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and white sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Stir in the milk, eggs, and vanilla and beat thoroughly.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix just until smoothly combined.

Spread half of the batter into the baking dish. Scatter the berries evenly over the batter. Dot the remaining batter over the berries.

Mix the brown sugar and nuts together and sprinkle evenly over the batter.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip "Crack" Cookies


I love getting tried and true recipes from people because I know they will always be fantastic, and I was lucky enough to get a delicious cookies recipe from my friend, Nell. She says that one of her friends calls these cookies "Crack Cookies", and I can now see why. I think I ate at least 10 of them today. I've never made cookies with pudding before, but I really like the cake-like, moist texture it gives the cookies.

Caution: These cookies are dangerous and should only be made if you are willing to eat at least half a dozen per day. Make at your own risk.

(Oh, and I would definitely recommend adding 2 tsp of cinnamon for an added kick. I will make sure to do this next time I make these treats.)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups quaker oats
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup vanilla pudding


Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars.

Add in the eggs and vanilla beat until well mixed.

Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the Quaker oats and chocolate chips. Finally, add the pudding and mix until combined.

Drop a heaping tablespoonful of batter onto the cookie sheets for each cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies begin to brown around the edges.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Cookies


After returning from my vacation to the lovely Florida beaches, I realized that all my cookies I made last week had been eaten while out of town. Oh no! Since I cannot function without cookies in my system, it was time to make some more. But there were two things stopping me from making one of my usual go-to cookie recipes. 1) No butter was in my refrigerator. 2) It was raining outside and I was too lazy to drive to the store. So what's a cookie addict to do?

I consulted my favorite baking book and came across a recipe which needs no butter, and it created a chocolate cookie. Perfect! Oh my goodness these are more than perfect. They are heavenly.

Let me tell you that these cookies are AMAZING! They are definitely best when eaten ten minutes out of the oven when the insides are still really gooey, but they are still delicious when kept a couple of days. I have a feeling I will be making these all summer. I hope you will, too!

Ingredients:

4 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until barely frothy. Beat in the sugar, cocoa powder, and flour until the mixture thickens.

Add in the nuts and chocolate chips and beat until mixed.

Drop a heaping tablespoonful of batter onto the parchment paper for each cookie and leave a couple inches in between each cookie since they will spread.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the top is cracked and firm, but the inside is still moist and gooey.

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