Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Quick, easy and delicious is the best way to describe these little beauties.  I love how fast these whip up and you can kind of pull whatever fruit you have lying around together to make these.  My secret ingredient to these are....the store bought sugar cookie mix!  Sure you can spend your time making sugar cookie dough from scratch but really, these are so awesome.  Just the plain ole betty crocker mix in a bag is what I use and people always ask me for the recipe.  ;)  Don't worry, I don't normally take the credit.  :)

Mini Fruit Pizzas

1 bags betty crocker sugar cookie mix, prepare according to package
Cloud Frosting
Any fruit you want, I love kiwi, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, mandarin oranges, mango, etc.

Once cookies are cooled, top with cloud frosting and fruit.  I dare you to only eat one...impossible!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

No Fail Chocolate Cake

Cakes have always scared me.  I normally over bake them and they are always lopsided and not the most beautiful looking things.  I have spent hours watching cake boss and ace of cakes with my kids, especially my son.  Crew always asks for elaborate cakes and I either buy the cake, have someone else make it (thank you mom!) or suggest something else.  

Last weekend my friend was looking for someone to make a fondant cake and I finally decided to get over my fear.  I found this awesome chocolate cake recipe and went to work.  After we put the kids to bed I went to the store and spent almost 2 hours in the cake decorating isle.  To say I was like a kid in a candy shop would be an understatement!  People probably thought I was crazy.  I decided to make my own fondant instead of buying the prepackaged kind and I am glad I did.  It was really easy to make and work with.  The hardest part was adding the coloring...I will post that recipe later with tips and tricks!  I want to work with it a little more before I claim to be an expert.  :)

For the fondant cake I used a mascapone frosting under the fondant and between layers which was to
die for!  That recipe is coming soon, I promise!  The second time around I adjusted the cloud frosting by adding chocolate and malt and it is oh so scrumptious! 

This cake can drip a little in the oven out of the cake pans so cover the bottom of your spring form pans in foil if you don't want any dripping down into your oven.  

The cake has pero or postum in it but is totally optional.  The original recipe called for espresso powder but I opted for pero since I am a non coffee drinker.  The cake doesn't have a pero or coffee taste to it but it adds a depth to the cake that I love!  I also added pero to the frosting which you could taste a little more the second day along with malt and cocoa.  Sooo good.  

Both the cake and the frosting are versatile.  Like I mentioned earlier the cake was great with the mascopone frosting and I bet a salted caramel frosting would be divine!  The frosting would be great with a malt cake or even vanilla.  mmmm....go make this already!  Please ignore my paper plate....I am still working on the picture department over here.  :)

No Fail Chocolate Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pero or postum (optional, but highly suggested)
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray (it is the spray with flour in it)
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and postum to a large bowl. Whisk ingredients together.
  3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Carefully add boiling water to the cake batter and beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and stick straight into the freezer.  Let cake stay in the freezer for about an hour until all the way cool and then pull out to frost.  

Malt Cloud Frosting 

8 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 C malt
4 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 t. pero or postum (optional)

2 C whipping cream

2 t. vanilla extract

Whip cream cheese, powdered sugar, malt, cocoa and pero until smooth.  Add cream and vanilla and beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Once cake is cool add frosting to middle layer of cake and spread generously around cake.  Enjoy!

Maple Bacon

Eric fell in love with brown sugar bacon awhile back and we have been trying to figure out how to cook it.  We finally mastered it and it is time to share it with the world!  Be careful not to overcook the bacon because when you pull it out of the oven it hardens up as the brown sugar cools down.  

Brown Sugar Bacon

Bacon - 8-12 pieces
Brown sugar - about 1 t. per slice of bacon
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay out bacon on sheet.  Top each slice of bacon with brown sugar and pop in oven.  Bake for 15-25 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon.  After 15 minutes check the bacon every 2 minutes so it doesn't burn!  Remove from oven and place on plate or serving tray so as it cools it doesn't stick to the cookie sheet.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Cloud Frosting

This is my go to frosting.  I am not a huge fan of loads of butter in my frosting so this fits me perfectly.  I love cream cheese and this frosting is smooth and not too overbearing.  Because of that it goes with pretty much everything!!  The base is awesome and I love mixing it up by adding coconut extract, chocolate, or any fruit.  The possibilities are endless people!  I especially love this frosting with homemade devil's food oreos. They are so quick, easy and irresistible. 

Photo credit and original cloud recipe by your cup of cake

Cloud Frosting

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1 pint heavy whipping cream

Add vanilla and heavy whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Then beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. 

Homemade Oreo Cookies:

Ingredients:1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together and then place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-9 minutes.  Let cool completely and then add delicious cloud frosting between two cookies.  mmm!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lemon Fudge Brownies

I normally don't like to taint my chocolate with fruit but I was beyond happy with the results!  This is a knockoff version of the lemon brownies served at Pizzeria Limone and they were awesome!  The lemon, ganache, and brownie were all the perfect consistency and nothing overpowered the other too much. Make these already and enjoy!

Lemon Fudge Brownies

1 C Vegetable Oil
2 C white sugar
4 Eggs
2 t. vanilla
2/3 C cocoa powder
1 C flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Lemon Buttercream:
  • 3/4 C butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 t. fresh lemon zest
  • 2 -2 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. heavy cream
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. lemon extract

12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).Spray a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl, heat oil up in microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir in sugar, eggs, and 2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Lemon Buttercream:
  • Whip butter with lemon zest on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy (it should be nearly white.) Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar, then blend in lemon juice, cream, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Add remaining 1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, then whip mixture until very fluffy, about 4 - 5 minutes longer.  
Add chocolate chips and cream to medium pot and stir until chocolate is mixed and incorporated.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Put brownies in freezer straight from oven.  Once cool, add lemon buttercream and stick back in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  Top with cooled ganache and keep in fridge until time to serve.  mmmmm.... 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mud Cake

So the name of this cake isn't so appealing but get out your crock pot and get ready to indulge.  This cake is the quick and painless version of molten lava cake.  No worrying about overcooking or undercooking and you pretty much dump everything into the crockpot and enjoy!

I use one bowl for the cake and then use it again for the filling without worrying about washing it out in between since everything is going in the pot at the same time.  You can use regular or dark cocoa and any type of chocolate chips depending on the flavor you are going for.  Try it already!!

Photo source: Grandmother's Kitchen

Mud Cake
1 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
6 T. butter
1/2 C. chocolate chips
2/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. cocoa powder
1 T. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. milk
1 egg yolk

Molten Filling
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. hot water
1/3 C. coca powder

Spray crock pot with cooking spray.  In large microwaveable bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Add sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, milk and egg yolk and mix.  Add flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly.  Pour batter into crock pot and spread out evenly.
Stir together all molten filling ingredients in bowl and pour over batter in crock pot.
Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours.  Check after 1 and 1/2 hours to make sure it isn't finished already.  Cool slightly and serve with ice cream or whipped cream!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cutler's Peanut Butter Cookies

If you have never been to Cutler's Cookies before than you have never really lived.  They have the best sandwiches and the cookies are stuff dreams are made of.  Anytime I am remotely close to Bountiful I have to stop and grab a cookie or dozen.  Awhile ago I stumbled up their blog and they have some of their cookie recipes posted!  This one is my favorite.  Peanut butter, chocolate, and love is what these are made out of.  The dough itself doesn't have peanut butter in it but don't let that fool you.  They are packed with flavor and amazing so go make them already!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature (I soften mine in the microwave and it works great too)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups cake flour (I use all purpose flour and just add a little less than 3 1/4 cups)
1 bag Reese's Peanut Butter chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven.
Cream together butter, sugars, salt, baking soda and powder.  Add vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
Add flour and peanut butter chips. Mix just until flour and chips are blended together.
Using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, or just a large spoon, scoop into 2 inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. 
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set.

Peanut Butter Frosting 

1/2 cup butter, soft-room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (not natural)
milk to thin to proper consistency (whole milk is best)

Cream together room-temperature butter and powdered sugar. Add peanut butter and beat until smooth. Add milk a tablespoon at time, just until frosting is smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Chocolate Frosting

1 cup butter or 1/2 and 1/2 blend butter/margarine
4-6 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (or less if you like a lighter cocoa frosting)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk

Cream butter and 4 cups powdered sugar. Add cocoa and vanilla. Add milk a tablespoon at a time until frosting is smooth. If needed, add more powdered sugar.

After cookies are cooled, frost with peanut butter frosting. Then frost on top of the peanut butter frosting with the chocolate frosting. When spreading the chocolate frosting on top of the peanut butter frosting, be very gentle and leave a small space between the edge of the peanut butter frosting and the chocolate frosting for a layered frosting look.

Pictures and original recipe found: