Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brownie Pudding (God's gift to women)

I just typed an ENTIRE post. 

and then deleted it.


So It's gonna be one of THOSE days. I see how it is.
Good thing I'm posting this recipe. I may need to go have some for breakfast now.

Seriously, this stuff is da' bomb! (does anyone even say that anymore?)

I had one of those neverendingly hungry 'I-want-to eat-everything-chocolate-in-my-kitchen' days yesterday. But, of course, I'm trying to maybe watch my girlish figure, so I had to try so so so hard to resist. And then, I was weak and gave in. Boy, was it worth it. 

After I ate 2 *large* helpings, I was so very happy, and remembered, hey, you only live once! 

Here's to Girlish figures out the window!

Brownie Pudding

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Reeses Pieces, Chocolate Chips, or Peanut Butter Chips for top (cause I always feel the need to overdo it in the sugar department)
Whipped cream or ice cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch square baking dish or round souffle dish. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/3 cup cocoa in medium bowl. Add milk, butter and vanilla, stir until just blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish.

Combine brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Pour boiling water over entire mixture; do not stir.

Bake 35 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the top layer comes out clean.

If you want, you can immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips, reeses pieces, or peanut butter chips so they get all melty and wonderful( I highly recommend this). Or, you can leave it plain with either whipped cream or ice cream....but I highly recommend chips on top. You can never EVER have too much chocolate or peanut buttery-ness in anything! No matter how you serve it up, it will melt your heart and change your life <3


Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls That Will Change Your Life

I have so many recipes to share.

Sometimes I get so excited about making desserts and blogging about them I literally lose sleep over it. No joke.

I'll lay in bed for hours just dreaming about combinations of sugary goodness, so much so that I get super anxious, and if my husband wouldn't mind, I would totally get up at 2 in the morning to do a little baking. and eating. Everyone knows sleeping is so much easier on a stomach filled with deliciousness.

So enjoy these awesome recipes.

I'm all out of stories....lets just get to the good stuff.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 cups bread flour (you can use regular all purpose flour but bread flour makes them lighter)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

Caramel Frosting
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 dash salt
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar (add more for consistency preference)

In small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter just until warm and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg.

Add half of the flour to pumpkin mixture, then throw yeast on top. Beat mixture on low speed 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Beat on high for 5 minutes. Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly.

Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down then turn onto floured surface. Roll dough into 12x10 inch rectangle.

In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut roll into twelve 1- inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, in greased 11X17 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

 Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until golden. Immediately drizzle with 1/2 caramel frosting. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with remaining caramel frosting.
Makes 12 rolls.

For the Caramel Frosting:
In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk.

Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium low heat 1 minute.

Transfer to a mixer bowl and cool mixture. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more confectioners' sugar for desired consistency.


Monday, November 21, 2011

S'mores Cake

Did I ever mention the fact that I grew up in a big family?

There were (still are, ones disappeared yet) 11 of us, including my parents. And I have ALL brothers. Not one. stinkin. sister.

That's okay though. See, the thing about being the only girl, is you are guaranteed pretty much to always have your own room. And I did! Score! But I think I only slept in there 30% of the time. Cause I didn't like having my own room.

It was scary at night.

So The other 70% of the time I slept on the floor in one of my many brothers rooms. We would have slumber parties. But boys don't call them slumber parties. 

We have good memories, me and those boys.

One game me and my 3 older brothers used to play with my dad was called 'Moo-Moo Island'. 
I was the Princess stuck on Moo-Moo Island (the couch), and my brothers were mean men that tried to keep me captive, while my dad tried to save me. 

Oh and my dad was called the Moo-Moo monster.

One thing I DID NOT like about growing up in a huge family was when people would find out how many kids were in our family they would ALWAYS respond with: 'There are 9 of you?! Oh my goodness! Are your parents Catholic?' Every.Time.
And THEN,  they would find out we were home schooled. 
But the icing was when they found out I was the only girl out of 9 kids.
'You're the ONLY girl?! How do you survive?'
Followed by questions like: 'Do you like being in a big family?'  'How does it feel being the only girl?' and 'Do you feel deprived being home schooled?'

Honestly though, when you don't know any different, it doesn't seem weird to you....but people made us feel weird. Like we were freaks of nature. Well, a few of my brothers are slightly............ peculiar.

I've moved on.

And all of that has nothing to do with this wonderful cake I'm about to share with you.

Crumble up 2 cups of graham crackers in a food processor or blender. I chose you can see.  Add baking powder and salt.
Remove egg whites from the bowl and set aside. Then beat your butter and sugar in that bowl...

alternate adding the milk and dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture.

Fold in the egg whites veeeery gently
and I know the mixture looks gross. But that's how its supposed to look!


After cooling for 5 minutes in the pan, remove onto wire rack until completely cool!

Lay that fluff on there like its going out of style.

S'mores Cake
For the cake:
2 cups of graham crackers, original or chocolate
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
8 tbsp. butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk

For the filling: 
Marshmallow Fluff

For the milk chocolate glaze:
8 oz. milk chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 tbsp. light corn syrup

For decoration:
3 tbsp. butter softened
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. cream or milk
Hershey bars, chocolate chips, or graham crackers for garnish

-Pre-heat oven to 375.
-Line the bottom of two 9inch round pans with parchment paper. Generously spray pans with cooking spray and flour.

-In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.
-In a mixer bowl with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites of the 3 eggs on medium high, until soft peaks form.
-Transfer egg whites to another bowl, and in the mixing bowl with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla.
-Add in dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
-Mix just until incorporated.
-Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten batter, then fold in remaining whites, very gently, until completely incorporated.,
-Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
-Let cool in pans 5-10 minutes, then flip out onto a cooling rack, remove parchment paper and let cool completely.
-Once cooled, transfer one cake round to a platter, and spread generously with fluff. Top with the second round, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make milk chocolate glaze:
-Combine chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a sauce pan over low- medium heat. Constantly stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
-Pour over chilled cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Return to fridge til it sets.

To make marshmallow for decoration:
-Combine butter and marshmallow fluff in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium til smooth.
-Beat in confectioners sugar until very well combined.
-Add in the cream or milk to smooth it out, adding a bit more if necessary.

Transfer frosting to  a pastry bad and decorate as desired, garnishing with chocolate and crackers.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pumpkin Donuts

Weekends make me happy...

I'm not sure why though since my husband works Saturdays, and the weekend is like every other day for me since I'm a stay at home mom.
There's just something so exciting about the thought of it being Friday night and Saturday! Usually, I like to do nothing on Saturdays....Just do a little snuggle time with my munchkin, have a lot of cups of coffee, watch tv, bake some treats to have with my many cups of coffee, stay in my jammies til right before my husband gets home...that sort of thing.

Today, was the opposite of that.

I suppose you could call me supermom/person.

I did so much today, starting with a 30 minute work out video, and a 2 mile run.
Then, I did 4 loads of laundry, vacuumed my whole house, washed all the floors (moved all the furniture to clean under....yeah, I CLEANED.), gave my baby girl a bath....oh, and this was all before 10:30 am....and that's just the beginning....I wont bore you with the details of everything I did the rest of the day....

AND did I mention I didn't really sleep last night? It was a very aggravating night. I kept waking up every hour, and then at 5am, my body decided it was time to start the day. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed! 

Okay lets not push it. I was awake.

I figured out why I didn't sleep though....did I mention I got a donut pan testerday?!?!
I thought about it aaaall night, and what kind of delicious donuts I would make. Obviously pumpkin was at the top of the list. Have I ever mentioned also how much I LOVE pumpkin?

If it was a man, my husband never would have stood a chance.

So, the problem that I know how easy these babies are, and now that I know how amazingly delicious they are, I will be making them way too often. Good thing I own lots of sweatpants.
Add your wet ingredients together.

add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients.
Mix just until combined....Don't over mix!!!

After 11 minutes of baking they came out perfect!

a little glaze action

Pumpkin Donuts
For the donuts:
1 3/4 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

preheat oven to 350.
Grease your donut pan very well. I used lots of cooking spray.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.

Mix oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and pumpkin together very well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix JUST until combined. You DO NOT want to overmix.

Using either a pastry bag, or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off, fill the donut compartments almost all the way full.
Bake 11-13 minutes. Or until they spring back when you touch them.

Let sit in the pan for a minute, then flip them out onto a cooking rack.

For the Glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour cream, which is what I used.)
3 or 4 tablespoons of milk, If you are using sour cream.
1/2 tsp. vanilla 

Mix glaze until very smooth.

Glaze the donuts while they are still warm. Put back on cooling rack to allow excess glaze to drip off.
Enjoy! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Super Easy Sopapilla Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


So, you're probably looking for something to make this weekend. Oh, you're not?
Well, you should be.

This is the easiest thing in the world and I just HAVE to share it with you.

I'm on a bit of a cinnamon/sugar combo craze these days....I just cant resist a good cheesecake ( and pumpkin at that!), never mind when there is butter, cinnamon and sugar goodness on top!

Sopapilla Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

2 cans Cresent Rolls
2 (8 oz.) Packages cream cheese (room temp)
3/4 Cup Pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

-Pre-heat oven to 350.
-Unroll one can of cresent rolls and lay flat on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Stretch the rolls to cover the bottom of the pan, and pinch the seems closed.
-In  a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla until very well combined.
-Spread this mixture over the cresent rolls.
-Unroll the remaining can of cresent rolls over cream cheese mixture, again, pinching the seems closed.
-In a bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.
-Pour melted butter over the cresent rolls, then cover with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
-Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Let cool for about 30 minutes, then put in the refrigerator to COMPLETELY chill before cutting into squares.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cinnamon and Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Growing up, my mom was the kind of person that would make us breakfast almost every morning.
We would either wake up to pancakes, waffles, muffins, coffeecake, fried dough, cinnamon get the idea. 

Oh, and she homeschooled us. All 9 of us.

I remember I always HATED the fact she would make us breakfast. I thought it was so 'dorky' and 'homeschooler-ish'. Me and my brothers were always jealous of our friends who got to have cereal for breakfast! Instead, for us, cereal was a thing that we got on our birthday....we were allowed to choose whatever kind we wanted. And we also got to have REAL milk in our cereal on this special occasion! not soymilk!
Whenever I slept over my friends houses, I would always be SO excited to have cereal in the morning... Not that fresh out of the oven, hot, homemade stuff! My friends didn't get it. They would have killed for their moms to get up early and make them fried dough and I couldn't understand why. Wierdos.

I always swore to myself I would NOT be 'that' mom that baked and cooked for her kids all the time, and  I most definitely would NOT homeschool them!


How things have changed.

Now my kids will be the ones excited to go to their friends houses for preservative filled, artificial, year old cereal.

Sorry, future kids, for all the delicious, fresh baked goods I will make you.

Up until recently though, the thought of baking bread, or anything yeast-y freaked. me. out. 
But it's really soooo easy, especially if you have instant yeast. Go buy some.
And this bread is just to-die-for.... a mix between cinnamon swirl bread, monkey bread, and cinnamon rolls. You just cant go wrong!

                                                                            then finally

So now that you have a play by play how to make this yummyness, you have no excuse!

Cinnamon and Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

For the dough:
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

For the Filling:
1 cup sugar
2 tsp.cinnamon
2 tsp. butter
dash of nutmeg

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp.milk- or enough to make it silky and drizzly
1 tsp. vanilla

-In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter in the milk and water until very warm...not hot.
-Dissolve sugar and salt in butter mixture.
-In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on low speed, combine butter mixture with flour. Quickly add eggs and vanilla and yeast.
-Continue mixing on low speed until a cohesive dough forms, adding flour as needed so the dough doesn't stick to the side of the bowl. You've added enough flour when dough is tacky, not sticky.
-Beat on highest setting for 5 minutes. This is VERY important to develop the gluten and get fluffy delicious results.

-Spray a medium size bowl with cooking spray and transfer dough. 
-Let rise for an hour or until dough is doubled in size.

-Flour a large surface, dump dough onto floured surface and roll out into about a 12x20 in. rectangle.
-Pour melted butter and spread, covering all of dough.
-Pour ALL of the cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg mixture over that/.
-Slice dough vertically onto 6 even strips.
-Stack srtrips on top of eachother and cut again into 6 even sections. 
-Stack squares and put in a greased loaf pan.
-Bake 30-35 minutes in an oven preheated at 350.
-Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.
-During this time, drizzle half the glaze on hot bread.
-Run a knife around edges of the bread to loosen and VERY carefully turn loaf out onto a serving plate.
-Drizzle rest of the glaze over loaf.

                                                                    Enjoy! Trust will :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reeses Stuffed Oreos

You know how sometimes you see a recipe, and think, WOW....I NEED to go make this NOW!! Well, that happened to me the other day. So I went to the store that very day and got what I needed to make these bad boys. And I made them. And ate them. And ate some more. Then told my husband he had to have one. So, he had like 6.

Our lives have never been the same. Seriously...It was one of those moment where you don't know how you have lived a good life before now. And the best part is: they are SO easy! Actually, that might be the worst part. But who cares?! Its worth it and you will love me forever for it.

Basically, you don't even need a recipe for them.
-Go get a package of Oreos.
-And a package or Reeses...The big ones.
-Get a package of milk chocolate or white chocolate. Or both!
-Take top of the cookie off, and eat it. Or reserve it for decoration. Or if you're really boring, throw it away.
-Put the Reeses in between the filling parts of 2 cookies you took the tops off of.
-Dip them in your milk or white chocolate you melted with a little butter or shortening.
-Refrigerate until hardened. 


Just don't weigh yourself for a few days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Most Amazing Ever Boston Cream Pie

I love cake.

 I LOVE frosting.

When I have a real hankering for cake (usually chocolate), I like to whip out the old Hershey's Hot Water cake on the back of the cocoa container. 45 minutes later, you have the best, moist and fudgy cake in the universe. Which is good. But even better topped with frosting as thick as the cake itself. 
Preferably chocolate as well.

I think I love cake so much cause it carries frosting to my mouth.

But anyways...
usually, If I see a new cake recipe, and it has more than 2 steps (1: Pour ingredients in bowl. 2: mix ingredients in bowl.), I kinda shy away. not cause I don't like making fancy things, but If i'm making a cake, usually its cause I want it now. Not in 6 hours.

But THIS cake. Oooooh yes. I will climb mount Everest to get this goodness in my mouth. I mean, who doesn't love a good Boston Cream Pie with moist, not too thick/not too thin cake (I guess perfect would be the word), loads of vanilla custard and loads of chocolate loveliness poured over the top?!
That someone just does not exist. And if they do, they live a pitiful life.

With that being said...go make this cake. It will be worth the 6,000 steps. I promise.

These are the second ones I made. I walked away from the mixer the first time I tried them, and my egg whites over-whipped, resulting in very flat cakes. I had to eat them. It was awful.
And by awful.........I mean tasty.
This stuff is definitely good by the spoonful. I had to taste test you know.


You want to use all the custard, for sure. 
I would have had more, but spoons kept finding their way to my mouth.
It was weird.

Boston Cream Pie

For the pastry cream:
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the sponge cake:
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar

For the ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the pastry cream, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

To make the cake, adjust an oven rack to lower middle position. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with wax or parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides of the pans; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla; set aside.

Separate 3 of the eggs, putting the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and reserving the 3 yolks plus the other 2 whole eggs in a separate bowl. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and beat the 3 whites on low speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium and gradually incorporate 6 tablespoons of the sugar. Continue beating until the whites form soft, moist peaks, being careful not to overbeat. Transfer the egg whites to a clean mixing bowl and add the yolk-whole egg mixture to the stand mixer bowl. Beat the egg mixture with the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and pale yellow in color, about 5 minutes.
Add the beaten eggs to the bowl with the egg whites. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the beaten eggs and whites. Fold in very gently with a spatula, about 12 strokes. Make a well in one side of the batter and pour the milk-butter mixture into the well. Continue folding until the batter shows no trace of flour and the eggs are evenly mixed.

Immediately divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops are light brown and spring back when touched, about 16 minutes. Immediately run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cakes. Place one pan on a towel and cover the pan with a plate. Invert the pan so that the cake is upside down on the plate. Peel off the wax paper and reinvert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second cake layer.

To make the glaze, combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; cover and let stand for 8 minutes. (If the chocolate has not completely melted, return the saucepan to low heat and stir constantly until melted.) Stir in the vanilla extract very gently until smooth. Cool the glaze until tepid so that a spoonful drizzled back into the pan mounds slightly. (You can refrigerate the glaze to speed up this process, stirring every few minutes to ensure even cooling.)

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Place strips of parchment or wax paper underneath the edges of the cake all the way around the perimeter. If desired, reserve about half a cup of pastry cream for decorating. Spread the remaining pastry cream in an even layer on the first cake layer, all the way to the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer and press down gently. Pour the glaze onto the middle of the top cake layer and let it flow down the sides of the cake. Use a spatula, if necessary, to help cover the sides completely. Let the cake sit until the glaze fully sets, about 1 hour. This cake is best served the day it is made.