Loren Wood is the best. She made us gals who had to do a shoot (for our summer issue no less) in the 32-degree weather a big batch of REAL hot chocolate. We’re talking melted milk chocolate, cream, caramel, and marshmallows all perfectly melted together to just the right, hot, sippable consistency. Love you LW.
Gooey cream cheese frosting sandwiches between two dense, fudgy chocolate chunk brownie cookies. Say what? Yeah, it’s for real.
Get ‘em while they’re room temp! Available this week from Spoonfed Grill, or order directly!
The most classic cupcake perhaps of all, in honor of the most classic rock star perhaps of all. A pompadour of sweet, buttery Swiss meringue buttercream frosting literally floats above a rich chocolate cake. Bonus, this bad boy is topped with sugar sprinkles for a little bit of sparkle, fit for a king, or should I say, The King. Sink your teeth into one of these this week at Spoonfed, or…order straight from me!
Have you guys noticed the abundance of people posing with mustaches lately? Just this week I saw it here in cookie form via Bake it Pretty, here in stationery form via 100 Layer Cake, and here in chocolate at Miette’s Patisserie via Tartlette.
Simply stated: I love it, it’s freaking hilarious, and I want it at my Halloween party. But the problem? I didn’t have a mustache candy mold, and I didn’t have time to order one and have it delivered by tomorrow. So I pulled out my Wilton candy melts, some trusty parchment paper, and my pastry paint brushes, and in no time flat I had….THESE!
Don’t Kamin, Sarah, and Kimberly look simply dashing with their chocolate ‘staches? Tomorrow at the party I’ll stick them up in a styrofoam block covered with some cool wrapping paper, and hopefully everyone will see the humor and not think they’re chocolate worms or…well…you can use your imagination.
Step by step, ooh baby…
Here’s how to make ‘em when you’re sans a mustache mold:
1. Paint the ‘stache shape onto the parchment in a thin layer. Let it set up in freezer for a couple minutes; it doesn’t take long. And remember you can do several of these at a time.
2. Paint a little more and set the skewer on the side. Back into the freezer.
3. Here’s where my method gets a little less…methodical. I literally glopped on, for lack of a better term, the chocolate. It holds well and mounds up nicely, and since you already have the initial chocolate template has already been firmed up in the freezer, it won’t run past the edges into a big chocolate mess. Let it go back into the freezer for a couple more minutes to set.
4. Now you’re pretty much done, but glop on a little more chocolate to give it some depth and texture. It can stay in the freezer almost indefinitely.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who shared in Halloween Week with me! It was a lot of fun, and we’ll have some post-holiday wrap-up stuff next week. Dunno about you, but I can’t wait for next year!
Photos by Kamin!
Well, actually, I encourage you to fool with a classic brownie recipe, because that’s what makes baking fun. But, a good trad recipe is always a winner. When our buds Brad and Meredith had us over for dinner a while back, I made these and served them warm with ice cream. It was perfection: slightly crispy top and dense fudgey chocolateness inside. Sah-weet!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares. Brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to bake a recipe called Heart of Darkness Brownies? Especially when they’re chock-full of Snickers and chocolate chips, then topped with caramel-drizzled marshmallows? Jill O’Conner is my girl. She’s the author Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey, and it’s one of the best over-the-top dessert cookbooks out there. BUY IT!! Not only are the recipes new, inventive, and downright sinful, but the art direction is amazing. I look at food photography and art layouts so much differently now that I work for a food magazine, and the book is just so visually pleasing to read. If my house looked like a book, I think it’d look like this one. Anyway, enough of that, here’s Jill’s great recipe.
(Because most things are cuter in miniature, I baked some in a mini muffin pan.)
Makes 24 brownie cups
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup very coarsely chopped raw almonds or pecans, toasted
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 5 full-size (2.07 ounces each) Snickers Candy Bars, cut into small chunks
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
For the Caramel Drizzle:
- 6 ounces (about 25) unwrapped caramel candies
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray two standard 12-cup muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and stir in the sugars, eggs and vanilla. Sift the flour and salt into the chocolate mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in the cooled chopped nuts, chocolate chips, and chunks of candy bar.
Fill each cupcake cup halfway with batter. Bake until the surface of the brownies has a glossy, crackled surface, about 20 minutes. Remove the brownies from the oven and top each one with 1/4 cup of the mini marshmallows. Return the brownies to the oven and cook until the marshmallows start the melt and puff up a bit, but not browned too much, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just enough to handle, then remove from the cupcake cups, running a knife around the edge of each brownie to loosen it from the cup. Let cool completely on the wire rack.
While the brownies are cooling, make the caramel drizzle. Combine the caramels, cream, vanilla, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If the caramels are not completely melted, continue heating in 30-second increments, stirring until smooth.
Drizzle the brownies with melted caramel and let cool completely for the caramel to harden. Do not chill. Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days in a covered container.
Happy Easter a couple of days late, fellow bloggers and blogettes. What better way to celebrate spring and the resurrection of our Lord than with cupcakes? What better way to celebrate anything than with cupcakes? For my fam’s Easter festivities I made these darling cupcakes per Martha Stewart. I did my own little spin on them, however.
First things first, the cupcake itself. I used a regular white cake mix (I’m sorry to be so semi-homemade here, but I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before) and mixed in some Bailey’s White Chocolate liqueur (about 3 tablespoons). SO good. I would have added some white chocolate chips in as well, but sadly, I just used up the last of them. I got a little of Wilton’s cornflower blue icing dye and swirled it in the batter, careful to make sure the batter gets tinted but also careful that you get those nice darker blue swirls. While those were baking a I toasted some coconut.
Next is the icing. For this I used Martha’s chocolate buttercream. This is the best buttercream I’ve ever had. It’s not a confectioners sugar base; it’s more of a swiss meringue buttercream with egg whites and granulated sugar. I have the leftovers hanging out in my freezer, waiting, beckoning, calling my name.
After the cupcakes cool and you dollop some buttercream on top, roll them in a bowl of the toasted coconut. I used some tinted white icing and a #12 tip to make the little eggs.
Here‘s the Martha version I based these off of, and below is some more pictures that I took and I just like how they turned out. Enjoy!
My bff from college and old rowing buddy, Perry, is in grad school at Georgetown. He came home for Spring Break and stopped by the casa for dinner and a re-hash of old times. Our dear friend Margaret joined us too, so I knew I had to make something homemade and fabulous. The answer: Cream Cheese and Chocolate Cupcakes via Taste of the South magazine (the other mag I work for). They were ooey-gooey melt in your mouth and they are also really pretty whenst you pull back the cupcake papers! They have the nicest texture, too! Technically, the recipe is called Cherry Topped Cupcakes, but all that means is that in the end, you garnish with a maraschino. I didn’t do that, though. But how good would some toasted almonds be on there?
Click here for the recipe.
It has nothing to do with baking, but here’s some old rowing pics of me and Perry! Allow me to reminisce…I really miss those days!
Me (second from the left) and Perry (far right) after getting thrown in the water (tradition for the coxswain when your boat wins).
One of the best pictures of all time–Perry in mid-flight after beating the crap out of the Auburn’s boat-twice.
When we all had fashion mullets in 2004.
The unstoppable coxswains on Bourbon Street the night before we scrimmaged with Tulane (and kicked their bows). I miss my green hair and mullet; Perry’s was purple. We were so tiny!
Perry’s 4+ boat.
Tags: Bakerella, Hoffman, Kisses, Oreos, Valentine's Day
This year for Valentine’s Day, I took a cue from Bakerella, one of my fave bloggers, and made some the most adorable Oreo Truffles you could ever hope to receive from your dearly beloved. I shaped them into jumbo-sized Hershey Kisses, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and made little flags that had an inside joke written on them. I gave several to the hubby so he could keep them stashed at work and think of his wifey, but since the recipe made so many, I gave them to some of friends and co-workers. I know it sounds so cliche, but they were so much fun to give! One of the gals at the office, my associate editor Karen, even kept her foil and flag and perched it on her desk. The inside jokes were as big of a hit as the goodness underneath it. Some of my faves are posted below:
Click here for Bakerella’s super cute blog and her Oreo Truffle Kiss recipe.
These are the ones I made for Zack. Aren’t they cute on my kate spade china?
For both Erin Moon and Stacey Norwood.
Another classic quote from The Office that I gave to Brandie, and “now we match! yay!” for Ruth (a quote from Meet the Spartans).
All boxed up and ready to go to work to spread the love.
Pate a Choux. A little intimidating at first? Sure. But it doesn’t have to be, my friends. My first time out of the gate with Pate a choux was with a great and simple chocolate eclair recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Tartelette. One my husband’s best friends came over one night for some male bonding. They watched the Simpons Movie and a Korean horror flick–I made these and watched Ace of Cakes. Ian and Zack complete devoured them. And by devoured, I mean that I walked into the living room 30 minutes later to wrap up the uneaten ones, and they were completely gone and the plate was licked clean. Do you think I am kidding?
Enjoy these and then click over to Tartelette’s blog to see the other two desserts she made to go with these!
Eclairs With Dark Chocolate Espresso Mousse: (serves 4)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
Heat oven to 375F. Heat water, sugar and butter in 3-quart saucepan to a rolling boil. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool a few minutes. Beat in eggs, one at time making sure the eggs are well incorporated each time. The dough should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with the batter and pipe fingers of dough about 3-4 inches long on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until puffed and darker brown on top, 20 minutes, let cool completely before filling with the mousse. You’ll have more than just for 4 servings but you can freeze the shells for up to 3 months.
Dark Chocolate Espresso Mousse:
3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup espresso
2 egg yolk
1 Tb sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Combine the chocolate, butter and espresso in a small saucepan over low heat until the chocolate melts and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sugar until pale. Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the chocolate base. Refrigerate one hour before using. Fill the eclairs with the mousse. Dip them into the chocolate glaze. Let set in the fridge
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1 Tb butter
2 Tb cream
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, add the butter and cream and stir until combined