Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monkey Bread Muffins

This is a recipe I have been wanting to make for months!  I found biscuits on sale this weekend so I bought a can.  Here in California we don't really eat biscuits so when I popped open the can of Homestyle Pillsbury Grands, I was sure there was cheese it in.  (I think I have only eaten biscuits 3 time in my life....) I was really mad that I had bought the wrong kind.  Come to find out the orange specks was just butter, not cheese.  I think these biscuits could have been cut into smaller portions to have more dough balls in each muffin, but they were still amazing.  I was very impressed with how easy, quick, and delicious these were.   You could easily whip these together for breakfast, or they could be dessert too!  YUM!

Monkey Bread Muffins - Adapted from The Kitchenarian
Yield: 10 Muffins
1 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 (16 ounce) Can Refrigerated Biscuit Dough, 8 big biscuits, I used Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter, Unsalted
1 Teaspoons Water
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease muffin cups of a standard muffin pan or fill with paper liners. 
  2. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Roll each piece in the cinnamon sugar and place three in each muffin cup. Continue until all 10 cups are full. Scatter the remaining dough pieces in the muffin pans. You will not have the same number of biscuit pieces in each muffin. 
  4. In a saucepan, melt the brown sugar, butter and water until bubbly.  Add the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Make sure the sugar has melted and the consistency is smooth. 
  5. Spoon the brown sugar sauce over each muffin cup. I put about 1 teaspoon of sauce on each muffin. I reserved a small amount of this sauce to drizzle over the muffins when they came out of the oven. 
  6. Bake for 10 to 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before taking out of muffin pan. They will stay together better this way.
  7. Spoon more sauce on the muffins while still hot.  
  8. Enjoy hot, or microwave the muffin for 10 seconds to reheat!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Whole Lemon Bars

When life gives you lemons, make whole lemon bars.  Life didn't give me lemons, I bought them, and then had to use them.  A co-worker of mine had been nagging me about making lemon bars for the last few weeks.  I have never made lemon bars before so I was kinda nervous.  It was actually very easy and super fast!!  I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I was afraid they would be too bitter.  So I did just half of a lemon, then zested the other half, cut off the rind, and put the middle in the food processor.  I think that amount of lemon was perfect!  The other thing that made me nervous was the texture of the lemon mixture.  It is lumpy and just weird in the food processor, but after it bakes, its perfect!  I highly recommend this recipe!

Whole Lemon Bar - Adapted from David Lebovitz
Yield: 8x8 Pan - 16 squares
Crust Ingredients:
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

Lemon Topping Ingredients:
1 Lemon, organic or washed, I used 1/2 and then the zest and inside of the other half
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
4 Teaspoons Corn Starch
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted

Optional: powdered sugar, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Overturn an 8-inch square pan on the counter and wrap the outside snugly with foil, shiny side up. Remove the foil, turn the pan over, and fit the foil into the pan, pressing to nudge the foil into the corners. The smooth it as best you can.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 8 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla, stirring just until smooth.
  4. Smooth the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or a small offset spatula to get it as level as possible.
  5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.
  6. While the crust is cooking, cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds, and cut the lemon into chunks. I only did half a lemon and then with the other half I zested it and put in the middle part, but not the rind.
  7. Put the chunks of lemon in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and lemon juice, and let it run until the lemon is completely broken up. Add the eggs, corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons melted butter, and blend until almost smooth. A few tiny bits of lemon pieces is normal...
  8. When the crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat of the oven to 300. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 18-20 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling and is barely set.  When I took it out of the oven, it looked like cornbread, but i guess that's ok.  It still tastes amazing!
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, carefully lift out the bars grasping the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles. Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving, if desired.
  10. Enjoy!!
Storage: The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to three days. You can freeze the lemon bars as well for up to one month, letting them come to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes


I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for a while now.  My boyfriends brother-in-law had specifically requested them and he was coming to visit so I figured it was a perfect time to make these.  I read some reviews on how to bake them to prevent the cone from getting soggy.  So I made 12 Jumbo Size but cooked them in 3 different ways.  I did some with the batter in the cone, some in a cupcake liner with a cone on top, and some regular cupcakes and put it in the cone when it was done baking.  I don't think the method you choose really matters because the cones don't taste very good to start with, so I don't think soggy cones would taste any worse.  I did like cooking the batter in the cone because then you get cupcake all the way down the cone.   But the cupcakes cooked with the cone upside down on top gives the cupcake a better ice cream look and the frosting is more evenly distrusted around the cupcake.  Overall, I think you should choose whatever method you want based on look, because they all taste pretty much the same.   I made the same vanilla cupcake recipe I love, but I tried a new buttercream.  I love it because you make a ganache, then add it to a buttercream.  It is a chocolate lovers dream buttercream.  So light and fluffy, but still sweet and chocolaty.  You need to try this.  The End!

This is one where the cupcake was baked in the cone!

Found these at marshalls for 12 bucks! heck yes!!
Before icing....

Vanilla Cupcakes - Adapted from my Churro Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted and room temperature
1 Cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs, separated
1 1/3 Cup Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Milk
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed. Once the butter is smooth and creamy, turn the mixer to low speed and add the sugar. Keep beating the butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy.  
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition.  
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla into the milk.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter-and-sugar mixture. You’ll want to start and end with the flour, and mix just until incorporated after each addition.
  6. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. It’ll be white and foamy. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Fill your lined muffin cups about 2/3 full of batter and then put a cone on top, or fill the cones just over 1/2 way. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a cake tester stuck in the middle comes out clean.  The cupcakes in the cone took way longer to bake, and the cupcakes with the cone on top are hard to tell when they are done, but it should be just about 20 minutes. 
  8. Let cupcakes cool completely.  If you put the cone on top, peel off the cupcake liners.  
  9. Frost with your favorite buttercream.
Chocolate Buttercream - Adapted from Completely Delicious
Yield: 2.5 Cups - enough for 12 cupcakes
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, I used chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Put the chopped chocolate in a small heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. If needed, microwave for an additional 30 seconds until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Cool to room temperature. 
  2. Combine the chocolate, butter, shortening, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add just enough milk to make the icing smooth and the right consistency.
  3. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Dip the cupcakes if desired!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

I love Coconut!  I love the smell, the taste, and just everything about it.  When we were in the Caribbean, my boyfriends brother tried to shimmy up a palm tree to get a coconut, but ended up just getting scrapes all over his body.  There is nothing better then a fresh cold coconut cut open for you to drink!  Anyway, enough about coconut and onto these delicious Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies!  They have the same chewy texture as a regular sugar cookie, but its loaded with flavor.  The coconut and lime compliment each other well.  These are a great cookie to make for any tropical themed party or just for fun in the summer.  I loved them, and i think you will to!

A mans quest for a Coconut!
Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies - Adapted from Sweet Peas Kitchen
Yield: 3 Dozen Cookies
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Sugar, plus more for rolling
2 Oz Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Teaspoon Lime Zest
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare baking sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, coconut, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of your KitchenAid, combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar, lime zest, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and mix to combine.
  4. Mix in the oil, egg, milk and lime juice until smooth. Mix in the dry ingredients into the wet, until a soft dough comes together.
  5. Place some sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoons of dough into ball between your palms, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet spacing the balls about 2 inches apart.
  6. Take a drinking glass and then dip the bottom of the glass in the remaining sugar. Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of the glass until they are about 2 inches in diameter, dipping the glass in sugar as necessary to prevent sticking (after every 2 or 3 cookies). Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the remaining sugar, using about 2 teaspoons per sheet of cookies.
  7. Bake until the cookies until golden brown around the edges and their center are just set and very lightly colored, 11 to 13 minutes. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
  8. Enjoy!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snickers Brownies

All my favorite boys were in town this weekend so I wanted to make them something they would all love.  I know they all like brownies so I figured this would be a good recipe.   I actually used two different recipes from My Baking Addiction.  I used her recipe for Amazing Brownies for the brownie part, and then her idea for the Snickers part.  I didn't have all the ingredients for the Snickers Brownie recipe so I had to find another.  These were super easy to make and a huge hit with everyone.   I loved the brownie recipe alone, but with the added nuts and caramel, they were delicious.  I will be making these again soon!

Snickers Brownies - Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield:16 or 24 depending on how you cut it
2/3 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
6 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate Chips
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 Eggs
3 Regular Size Snickers Bars

  1. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Fit a sheet of foil in pan and up two sides, so you can use it as a handle to pull cooked brownies from pan (I used parchment paper). Spray sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Melt chocolates and butter in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Continue to whisk until mixture is completely smooth and glossy.
  3. Add dry ingredients, whisk until just incorporated.
  4. Cut up the Snickers bars into thin slices.
  5. Pour 1/2 the batter into prepared pan; place the snickers to cover the whole pan.  Pour the rest of the batter on top.  Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out with wet crumbs, 35-40 minutes.
  6. Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Use handles to pull brownies from pan. Completely cool brownies on rack. Cut into squares and serve. Whole brownie cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil, and refrigerated for up to five days.
  7. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

I made these because they looked good, and they were delicious!!!!  The End.

Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies - Adapted from Cinnamon and Chai
Brownie Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
2 Ounces Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate
1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
2/3 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (optional)

Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. For Chocolate Batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir until melted. Let cool slightly. 
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  4. Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. 
  5. Add flour mixture; stir just until incorporated. Add Chocolate Chips.
  6. For Peanut Butter Filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
  7. Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running it through the layers three times lengthwise and three times crosswise.
  8. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
  9. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

So today I went to Costco and bought the double jar of Nutella!  Best purchase ever... And with this purchase I needed to bake.  I found a recipe for Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies but scanned a few for the right one.  I wanted to find the recipe with the most Nutella in it.  I found this recipe on Lovin From the Oven, one of my favorite baking blogs, and decided to give it a go.  Needless to say, these cookies are amazing!  They are super chocolaty and delicious.  My favorite part about this recipe is that it has cinnamon in it, one of my favorite ingredients.  I am working on stocking up the freezer with cookies for this weekend when I get to see all my boys!  They will be in town from all over the States, and one from Argentina.  So that means time to bake, bake, bake.  This is just the first of this weeks baking escapade.   Its also my aunts birthday at the end of the week so I will be making cupcakes later.  If you have any suggestions, let me know!  

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies - Adapted from Lovin From The Oven
Yield: 3 Dozen
1 1/3 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Stick of Butter, unsalted and room temperature
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg
1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips


  1. Mix together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and mix.
  5. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.  Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then move to cooling racks.
  7. Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nutella Pop Tarts

I have been wanting to make these for months.  I have had frozen pie crust in my freezer since Thanksgiving and I always have Nutella on hand, so why I didn't make these soon, I am not sure.  But for any Nutella lover, these will be you new favorite breakfast item.  It seriously only takes 10 minutes to make, and 8 minutes to bake.  I took the frozen pie crust out before our morning paddle boarding session, and when I got back it was perfectly defrosted.  I made these for the boys and they wanted more!  I only had one pie crust so I had to promise them more another morning.  I could make these every morning though because they are so quick, easy, and DELICIOUS!!!!

Nutella Pop Tarts - Idea from Babble.com
Yield: 6-8 Pop Tarts
1 Box of Frozen Pie Crust
1 Cup of Nutella

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Transfer the pie crusts to a lightly floured surface and cut it into 2×3 rectangles. It is easiest to measure the pieces with a ruler, score the crust with a knife and cut it with a pizza cutter. I made mine bigger then this...
  3. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of nutella onto one of the rectangles, leaving about 1/4 inch of space before the edge. Use a cookie cutter or paring knife to cut out fun shapes in the second rectangle. Then place the cut out rectangle over the Nutella and seal the edges together with the tines of a fork. I sealed the edges with my fingers.  
  4. Baking on a cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, then allow to cool.
  5. Drizzle some extra melted nutella over the warm pop tarts.
  6. Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Double Glazed Doughnut Muffins

I have a guest in my home, meaning I need to bake.  My boyfriends brother came up to visit this weekend before he goes off to college, so I wanted to fill his body with delicious treats.  As a young man with a fast metabolism, he ate 4 of these muffins and I think he got skinnier.   Haha, I ate one and I think I gained 5 pounds.  Its not fair. Anyway, these are great muffins that you can whip up quickly on any morning.   The cinnamon and nutmeg make your kitchen smell amazing, and the glaze is a perfect sweet addition on top.  I thought they were a little dry, but the flavor is there.  I might have baked them a minute or two too long also, but I will definitely be trying these again soon.  They were a big hit with the boys and neighbors!!

Double Glazed Doughnut Muffins - Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield: 18 Muffins
1/4 Cup Butter, Unsalted and room temperature
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Milk

Glaze Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Hot Water

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray, this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth
  3. Add the eggs, beating to combine.
  4. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
  7. Bake the muffins for 14 to 16 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
  8. In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.
  9. When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice!
  10. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.
  11. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cookies

I am back in gear for lots of baking the next few weeks. The only thing in my way is the heat.  Turning on the oven when its already hot is not fun, but the outcome is what drives me.  I only live a block from the beach which helps, but without that ocean breeze in my kitchen, its a sauna! Anyway, this last Friday was my boyfriends treat day at work.  I normally make something for to bring with him in the morning, but with a busy schedule on Thursday, i didn't have time to bake.  He brought doughnuts for his treat and there was an outrage!  No joke, people thought we had broken up or were fighting because I didn't bake something for him.  I had time to make some cookies Friday morning for him to share with his co-workers and that made everyone very happy.  I made these cookies and cream cookies that have Oreo's and Hersey's Cookies and Cream Drops in them.  I love the Cookies and Cream bars, but I had never tried the drops.  Its basically the same thing, just in a different shape.  My only thing was these drops are kinda big for a cookie, so next time I think ill chop them up or use a cookies and cream bar.  Overall, these cookies smell amazing, and taste delicious!!

P.S. Sorry for the terrible photos, I have temporary misplaced my memory card for my camera.  These are iPhone pictures in route for delivery.

Cookies and Cream Cookies - Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Yield: 3 Dozen
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
1-2 Cups Crushed Oreo's, I used mini
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 Package Hersey's Cookies and Cream Drops


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In the bowl of the your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment.  Cream until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  
  3. Add the vanilla and mix.  Add the Oreo's.  I just added the mini Oreo's whole because they are already small.  If you use regular Oreo's you might want to chop them up a little bit.
  4. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and mix just until incorporate. 
  6. Add the cookies and cream drops and mix until evenly distributed.
  7. Scoop dough onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown on top.
  8. Let the cookies cool, then ENJOY!!