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Best Friend’s Birthday Cupcakes

Saturday was my best friend’s birthday and it’s terrible to say but we haven’t been able to see each other for over a year, which is probably the longest we’ve gone since she moved to Georgia over 5 years ago. She specifically requested that the cupcakes not be chocolate, so I decided to get a little creative. If I know anything about my best friend at all, it’s that she loves Lindt chocolate, which is what inspired me to make these cupcakes. They’re currently making their way to southern Georgia right now and it breaks my heart to know these cupcakes won’t look anything like they do in my pictures, but I’m just happy she can enjoy them! Happy birthday Melissa!!!!!

Lindt Stracciatella Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Adapted fromWilton

  • 3 cups cake flour sifted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate bar, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with baking cups
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
  3. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy
  4. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well
  5. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating one minute
  6. Melt white chocolate in microwave on medium power for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir melted chocolate into the batter
  7. Grate chocolate bar over the batter and stir in the batter
  8. Pour into prepared cups and top off with Lindt chocolate ball. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean
  9. Cool 10 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack; cool completely

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  1. Beat butter on high speed until light and fluffy
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached
  3. Beat in cocoa powder and syrup
  4. Place into piping bag and frost cupcakes

Pre-baked

Post-baked. Yes, those are Ariel paper liners. She is Melissa’s favorite Disney Princess…I couldn’t resist 😉

I’d have to say this is definitely my best frosting work yet! I think I’m finally getting the hang of it!!!

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Milky Way Cookies

This weekend was candy-themed for some reason…I just really felt like baking with candy I guess. It was also an effort to empty some things out of my pantry that I bought for another purpose but never got around to, such as a bag of fun size milky ways and a bag of caramels.

Milky Way Cookies

Adapted from All Recipes

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 caramels, chopped
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 1 bag fun size milky ways
  1. Preheat over to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Set aside
  3. Cream butter, both sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs
  4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture
  5. Mix in the chopped caramels and chocolate chips
  6. Gather dough and wrap around a milky way. Repeat until all the milky ways are gone
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on cooling racks

Close-up of the batter

Pre-baked

Post-baked

Boston Cream Pie Petit Fours

This recipe is so intricate that it literally took me all day to accomplish, but I say it was well worth it. What I did was I baked a sponge sheet cake and using a square fondant cutter, I cut out a bunch of little squares. I made a custard as well and once it was chilled enough, I made sandwiches with the cute out squares and the custard and finally soaked them in a chocolate ganache to make little Boston Cream Pies!

 

Boston Cream Pie Petit Fours

Sponge Cake

Martha Stewart

  • Unsalted butter, for pans
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Custard

Elinor Klivans

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

Elinor Klivans

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat
  2. In a heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until thoroughly blended
  3. Return the egg-yolk mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly for 1 minute longer to cook completely
  4. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla
  5. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and poke a few holes in the plastic with the tip of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet and a 9×9″ square baking pan. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, and butter again. Flour the pans, and set aside
  7. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch; set aside
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 3/4 cup sugar on high until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Transfer egg-yolk mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment
  9. Combine the egg whites and salt in the mixer bowl, and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy, about 1 minute
  10. Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold the reserved flour mixture into the egg mixture. Transfer two-thirds of the batter to the baking sheet, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Transfer remaining batter to the 9×9″ pan; smooth the top with the spatula. Bake until light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool; turn out the cakes, remove the parchment paper, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze until ready to use
  11. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, butter, and corn syrup and cook, stirring, until the butter melts and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate
  12. Let stand for about 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Stir in the vanilla

Assembly

  1. After a few hours, remove cakes from freezer. Run a knife under hot water and slice the 9×9″ cake in half horizontally. Spread cake and cake halves out. Using a square fondant cutter, cut out as many cake squares as you possibly can (save scraps for snacking!)
  2. Remove custard from the fridge. Take one cake square and “frost” the top of it with the custard. Stack another cake square on top and repeat again with the custard. Stack a third cake square on top of that custard layer and set aside. Repeat with remaining cake squares
  3. Place all cake squares on rimmed baking sheet and spread enough of the chocolate ganache over each stack to fully coat it. Place the baking sheet in the fridge and allow the chocolate to firm up. Then enjoy!

Here are just the plain sponge cake and custard sandwiches

Adding on that ganache

I was worried they would get too soggy if I made sure every single piece of the cake was covered

The finished product!

Chocolate French Toast

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew Kamil would like it and I had to make it. Sprinkle Bakes has been a favorite food blog of mine for a while now and I must say, she whipped up an amazing recipe for french toast!

Chocolate French Toast

Sprinkle Bakes

  • 1 load day old challah bread
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in hot water. Whisk until blended; set aside
  2. In shallow pan (such as a 1 1/4 quart baking dish) whisk together eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Add chocolate cocoa mixture; whisk again until incorporated
  3. Melt a small piece of butter in a 12″ non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Dip 2 bread pieces in egg mixture (turning if necessary) and place in pan.  Turn pieces after about 2-3 minutes and cover one piece with chopped chocolate or chips.  Place the other piece of bread on top of the chocolate covered piece, creating a sandwich.  Heat until chocolate has melted.  Repeat process with remaining pieces.  Serve with butter flavored pancake syrup

I used pieces of a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips. While the chocolate was melting, I was thinking it would taste really good with some Nutella too!

Nutella Cream Cheese Brownies

I was kind of a baking machine this weekend. Not to mention I also made Kamil dinner twice. But this was the last of my baking spree because I was headed back to school and I needed something quick that I knew the girls on my floor would like. And since I know at least a few of them really like Nutella, I grabbed some while I was at the store and decided to make some Nutella brownies! With cream cheese and peanut butter chips 🙂

Nutella Cream Cheese Brownies

Adapted from Lovin From the Oven

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 5 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbs. softened butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. flour
  • 1/4 cup Nutella

Brownie Batter

  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 stick of softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Grease and line a 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray
  2. Cream together butter, sugar and flour. Add cream cheese and mix/blend until smooth. Scrape bowl and add the egg and beat until the topping is nice and creamy. Scrap bowl and add Nutella, beat about one minute or until the nutella is mixed into the cream cheese mixture completely. Set topping aside and mix brownie batter
  3. Sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a medium sized bowl. Set aside
  4. In a small bowl cream sugar and 1/2 stick of butter, add eggs one at a time, beat well then add vanilla
  5. Fold egg, sugar, butter and vanilla mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix in the milk chocolate and peanut butter chips
  6. Spread 3/4 of the brownie batter into the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish
  7. Randomly dollop the cream cheese topping over the brownie batter
  8. Randomly dollop the rest of the brownie batter on top of the cream cheese batter. Swirl with the tip of a knife
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40 to 50 minutes

The brownie batter

The nutella cream cheese batter

Here is the first layer of the brownie batter

Then the cream cheese layer on top of that

Then finally the remaining brownie batter “swirled” into the cream cheese batter. I was in a bit of a rush at this point so I didn’t have time to perfect my swirl but I promise you it did not take away from the taste!

Post-baked

Obviously my pictures are nothing compared to hers, but my good friend Kaleigh who also happens to be an amazing photographer made these brownies and let me upload the picture to my blog. Make sure you check out her flickr!

For my birthday, my mom also got me a bite-size brownie pan so I made these in a mini version as well!

Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies

This recipe truly made the perfect whoopie pies because they weren’t too cakey which makes them stick to the pan and they end up breaking apart. They came out of the pan very nicely and the filling brought the flavors of the chocolate and the peanut butter together wonderfully!

Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pie

Whoopie Pies

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
  3. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the vegetable shortening, brown sugar, and peanut butter until combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract and eggs
  4. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, beat in the flour mixture and alternating with the buttermilk
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes and let cool slightly in pan. Carefully remove and let cool completely on a wire rack

Chocolate Fluff Filling

Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 7 1/2 oz marshmallow fluff
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until incorporated – the mixture will become crumbly at first, just keep beating and it will come together.  Add the marshmallow fluff, vanilla, and instant chocolate pudding and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Pre-baked

Post-baked

And put together with the yummy chocolatey, fluffy filling

Seven Layer Bar Cheesecake

This cheesecake is yet another example of what happens when I let my mind wander in class. In my opinion, the cheesecake tasted just like a seven layer bar should and all the flavors worked very well together. However, I think I got a little over excited when I started using the cream of coconut and the sweetened condensed milk because I basically used the whole can and it just wouldn’t bake through. So as a result, the outside of the cheesecake was perfectly baked but the center was a bit too mushy. I need to learn to stick to the measurements!

Seven Layer Bar Cheesecake

Adapted from Hershey’s

Crust

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 packages graham crackers, crushed (1/2 reserved for cheesecake)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

Filling

  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips, melted
  • 1/2 (3/4 oz.) package butterscotch instant pudding
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 (3.4 oz.) package chocolate instant pudding
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Pulse graham crackers and walnuts in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. Add in melted butter, sugar, and coconut and pulse until the crust just holds together. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs, sour cream, flour, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Stir together 1/4 of the batter with melted butterscotch chips and the butterscotch pudding mix in medium bowl; pour into prepared crust. Top with 1/2 cup coconut and graham cracker crumbs
  4. In another medium bowl, stir together another 1/4 of the batter with melted chocolate chips and chocolate pudding mix; pour over butterscotch layer. Top with 1/2 cup coconut and graham cracker crumbs
  5. Stir together 1/2 the remaining batter with cream of coconut; stir until smooth. Pour over chocolate layer. Top with 1/2 cup coconut and graham cracker crumbs
  6. Stir together the last bit of the cheesecake batter with the sweetened condensed milk and pour over the the coconut layer
  7. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until center of cheesecake is almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, immediately loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake

The baked crust. I thought I had walnuts on hand but I didn’t so I didn’t use them in my crust but I encourage you to if you want all 7 layers of the magic bars!

The butterscotch layer. The melted butterscotch chips made it very thick and difficult to spread without ruining the crust so I just kind of let it settle in the middle like that

The chocolate layer. Much easier to spread

The in-between layer of coconut and graham cracker crumbs

The coconut layer

Finally the sweetened condensed milk layer

Fresh out of the oven! I was really impressed it didn’t crack at all. I’ve also learned my lesson as a result of wayyy too many oven fires to bake cheesecake on baking sheets just in case they spill over

Post-baked

Obviously my photography is nothing compared to her’s, but my good friend Kaleigh, who is an amazing photographer, made this cheesecake and let me upload one of her photos. Make sure you check out her flickr!

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