Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate cookie

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If you love chocolate this is the easiest, most moist chocolate on chocolate on chocolate cookie you can make.

Ingredients

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook’s note:

Don’t worry if the batter seems thin. It should look more like a brownie batter than a cookie dough.

Do not bake the cookies to a crisp; they are meant to be soft and chewy.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart. (Thanks Martha!)

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Carrot cake

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This carrot cake recipe is probably one of the easier ones out there. Simple ingredients, quick and moist.

The recipe yielded enough to make a “carrot cake loaf” as requested by my husband for his birthday and one 6″ round. I cut the 6″ round to make it a tiered cake and layered a vanilla buttercream.

Carrot cake recipe courtesy of anna and blue paperie

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups finely grated peeled carrots (I used 1 lb via the food processor)
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped (optional)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour two 6-inch diameter cake pans with 1 1/2 inch high sides.
Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl until well blended.
Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Beat until blended. Stir in carrots and walnuts.
Divide batter between pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean about 30-40 minutes.
Cool cakes in pans on rack for 15 minutes.
Run a small knife between pan sides and cakes to loosen.
Turn pans upside down and gently pat to remove.
Then place cakes onto racks; cool completely.

Smashed

Smash cake:

smash cake n. a celebratory cake intended to be destroyed, especially by a child. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

I started baking smash cakes in partnership with my photography friends. All cakes are homemade, custom and made with love.

Here’s to a successful 2013.

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My first time.

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I have to admit I have never made oatmeal cookies before, kind of shocking.

I opted for McCann’s Irish Oatmeal for the cookies and they are amazing.

Irish Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups softened butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
3 cups McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal
3/4 cup raisins.*
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

* In the future I will add a full cup of raisins as I felt there weren’t enough to go around with only 3/4 cup.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla extract.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture. Mix well.
4. Stir in McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal, raisins and walnuts.
5. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire cooling rack.

Carrot Cupcakes

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A perfect snow day calls for a perfect recipe. Martha Stewart’s Carrot Cupcakes from her book Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I’m specifying as I’ve noticed that the online recipes vary from her book with ingredients and preparation.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Carrot Cupcake:

1 Pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup buttermilk*
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

* I substituted buttermilk for the following : Measure 1 3/4 tablespoon cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk. Whisk to combine and let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, until curdled and then stir.

** fun fact: I made my substitute buttermilk and accidentally used the entire 1 cup instead of the 1/3 cup that the recipe calls for. Was questioning myself as to why the batter was on the thin side. Ding ding ding ding. Turns out it made the carrot cupcakes SUPER moist. Sooo moist my husband states “wow, I’ve never had a carrot cake/cupcake so moist” I would recommend sticking to the 1/3 cup buttermilk but if you end up doing what I did it they are still edible.

Icing:

Recipe calls for Cream-Cheese Frosting, however I made mine with homemade vanilla frosting.

Cream-Cheese Frosting- makes 4 cups

1 cup (2 sticks) unsealed butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Vanilla Frosting- makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalaried butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium- high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. After every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, the return to medium. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

3. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together carrots, eggs, buttermilk*, sugar, oil, vanilla and raisins (optional). In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

3. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with a mound of frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and, if desired, garnish with toasted coconut.

#cupcakethursday 8.2.12

Candied. Bacon. Cupcakes.

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Candied Bacon

1 pound bacon slices or thick-cut bacon slices. (I used low sodium)
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

Preparation

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place large rack on lined baking sheet. Arrange brown sugar coated bacon slices in single layer on rack. I noticed if you sprinkle brown sugar on the bacon while already on the rack excess sugar will fall underneath the rack and start to burn. Bake until bacon is crisp and glazed, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

#cupcakethursday 6.14.12

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Get me s’mores.

This recipe is pretty simple. When you have a 2 yr old running around time is of the essence.

Ingredients-

Cake: Devils Food cake mix.

Marshmallow: Fluff from the jar.

Graham Cracker: Pre-crumbled graham cracker. Huge time saver.

Chocolate: Hershey’s milk chocolate bars.

Directions-

  1. Bake and cool the cupcakes.
  2. Spread a small amount of fluff on the cooled cupcake. To get a brown top / crunch I placed small batches under the broiler. I found that adding a few of the graham cracker crumbs pre-broil tasted best however  watch that they don’t burn. About 1 minute under the broiler should be fine.
  3. Now that the marshmallow has a toasted top I poked a small whole on the top to insert the Hershey’s chocolate bar.
  4. Add additional graham cracker crumbs
  5. Try to serve within a few hours of toasting the top. I found that a few started to soften and drip with marshmallow.

cupcakes love and sweets   xo

#cupcakethursday 6.7.12

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Pretty in Red Velvet

#cupcakethursday 3.22.12

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Chocolate Fudge icing with Andes Mint topping.

#cupcakethursday 4.26.12

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Pretty in pink. Strawberry buttercream with chocolate cake.