Apr 012013
 

We had a fun Easter dinner, but I think the best part was dessert.  So many Easter recipes feature eggs, but I found this Egg-Free Chocolate Cupcake recipe with Orange Buttercream Icing.  I should have made the icing a different color, to avoid the ‘Halloween look’, but these were great tasting cupcakes.

The cupcakes use basic ingredients like flour, and sugar, and cocoa powder, with chocolate chips for good measure.  You don’t need flax, or chia or any other egg substitute; the recipe just works.  They are so moist, they stick to your fingers when you eat them.

The frosting is a basic butter/powdered sugar blend, with orange juice for flavor and gelatin powder for color.  So you really could make these any flavor and color.  This will be my new go-to recipe for holiday cupcakes!

 

 

 

Feb 042013
 

For me, the Superbowl is all about the food.  And this year was no exception.  I brought two dishes to a party, but let’s start with dessert first.   I made these Gooey Chocolate Chip Sandwich Bars, and they exceeded all expectations!  I received a lot of compliments for making them, but the credit really goes to Recipegirl.

The top and bottom layers of the bars are like chocolate chip cookies, with a rich chocolate layer in the middle.  The recipe is pretty straightforward, but I do have just a few notes.  The cookie dough batter is fairly stiff; I wasn’t able to spread it easily, but it was fine in the end.  The chocolate layer is also fairly stiff once the mixture cools a bit, but that’s OK too.  As long as you get everything into the pan, it will come out fine.

Whether you eat these to celebrate your team’s win, drown your sorrows in your team’s loss, or just because you love chocolate, they’re guaranteed to be a hit.

 

 

Dec 112012
 

I really wanted to make these Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Pudding Cookies, but I couldn’t find the Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips.  Has anyone seen them in the Greater Boston area?  Maybe I am not looking in the right places.

Anyway, I was heading to a gathering this weekend and wanted to make something.  I had all of the other ingredients on hand, so I substituted a bag of Nestle Peanut Butter and Chocolate morsels for the peppermint chips.  I knew they wouldn’t be nearly as festive, but cookies are usually welcomed in any case.

Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by having so many awesome bakers among my family and friends, but I was disappointed by these cookies.  Of course, it isn’t really fair to substitute a central ingredient in a recipe and then complain!  The cookies are fine, but nothing special.  The pudding mix gives them an interesting texture, so the cookies don’t fall squarely in either the “crispy” or “chewy” camps.  I almost feel silly trying a new cookie recipe when I have so many amazing ones already on the blog, so next time I’ll go back to one of my favorites!

 

Nov 262012
 

Although my birthday always falls near Thanksgiving, we still manage to find time for birthday cake.  My request this year was for a chocolate cake with pink frosting.  This Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting fit the bill perfectly!  The recipe is from Joy the Baker, and she almost rivals Smitten Kitchen for great recipes.

 

 

You might be thinking – “beets…creative!”  But you might be thinking – “beets….yuck!”  Let me assure you that you can’t taste the beets in the cake or the frosting.  They only serve to make the cake moist, and the frosting a bright pink.  It helps to roast and grate the beets a day ahead because that’s really the messy part of the project.  After that, it’s a pretty straightforward two layer cake recipe.

My Mom did the majority of the work for the cake, and had my older nephew help with the frosting.

 

Later he got to decorate the cake with sprinkles, and then it was time for his favorite part, the candles!

With his little brother already in bed, he got to be center stage to help sing and blow out the candles.  Thanks to my family, it was a fun night and a fabulous cake!

Oct 302012
 

After making two pumpkin recipes last week, I had just 1 cup of pumpkin leftover.  I was saving it for these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies from the ‘a hint of honey’ blog.  I know, I just made Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies a few weeks ago, but these have even more pumpkin, and chocolate.

It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve creamed butter and sugar, and making these cookies was really fun.  I chopped a bar of good dark chocolate which was the perfect complement to the dried cranberries.  And the end result is rich, chewy, and delicious.  I better make these last, because I am all out of pumpkin at the moment!