Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dark Chocolate Molten Cakes

Citizens of America! No longer will you need to travel to far distances, or purchase mediocre cheeseburgers, just to feel the sweet satisfaction of a warm, gooey, chocolate molten cake.

They are beyond easy to whip up at home with only 6 ingredients! And the variations are endless... why not try white chocolate or semi-sweet? My favorite though? The cheek tickling sensation of dark chocolate. Pair it with vanilla ice cream (or pumpkin for the Fall season) and enjoy this trip down (or up to, I suppose) chocolate-y heaven...


You will need:
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dishes
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting the ramekins

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a double broiler, or your microwave, melt together the butter and chocolate until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, yolks, and sugar until the mixture turns light and thickened. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and gently whisk together. Beat in the flour just until incorporated, you do not want to over mix. 

Butter four large (6-ounce) ramekins. Sprinkle each ramekin with cocoa powder and tap out the excess. Divide the batter among the ramekins.

(I didn't have any cocoa powder on hand but it makes for a better taste)

Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes. The outside of the cakes should be set but the centers will be soft and wobbly. Let cool slightly, gently run a knife along the outer edges of the cake and then invert your ramekin onto the serving dish and let stand for 10-15 seconds.

Slowly lift one side of the ramekin and the cake should gently fall out. Top with your favorite ice cream and enjoy this fudgey delight!

My son said, "Mom, what is this chocolate cake and ice cream mess!?" 
To which I replied, don't question it son...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Candy Corn Milkshakes

Halloween is a little over a week away... Can you believe it?! Hopefully your boys and ghouls have their costumes picked out and the candy you bought for trick or treaters hasn't disappeared (if you know what I'm sayin'...).

But in case it has, whip up some of these cool milkshakes to even out your sugar high. I used less sugar ice cream and sherbet, so that counts, right?

You will need:
Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
Peach sherbet
yellow and red food coloring
whipped cream
Halloween sprinkles

I honestly didn't measure for this recipe, but I placed about 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 4-5 drops of yellow food coloring, and 1/2-3/4 (depending how thick you like it) of milk into a blender. Mix until smooth but thick (you want it pretty thick to hold up to the layers) and pour into the bottom of your glass.

Place 3-4 scoops of peach sherbet, 1/2-3/4 cup of milk and 2-5 drops each of yellow and red food coloring and blend to make a perfectly orange milkshake. Gently pour over your yellow layer.

Rinse out your blender.

Lastly, place 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream and 1/2 cup of milk into the blender and blend until thick and creamy.

Gently pour over the top of your orange layer, top with a generous amount of whipped cream and Halloween sprinkles. Enjoy with your favorite straw!

I love the look of this milkshake, even when it melts and slowly melds together. My original thought was to use orange sherbet so it would taste like a 50/50 bar but my grocery store was sold out. The peach is JUST as delicious!

Looking for another GREAT milkshake recipe? Please check out my friend Amy over at Crafts, Cakes, and Cats! She made an Almond Joy Milkshake that sounds to. die. for.!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hummingbird Cake

This Wednesday is my little boy's fourth Birthday! I can't believe I will officially have a pre-schooler. He has come SUCH a long way and we are so proud.

He is not a fan of traditional cakes and hates ice cream. He DOES however, love cream cheese, nuts, and banana bread.

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest a long time ago and had yet to make it... Until now.

The blogger describes this cake as banana bread meets carrot cake. Mm, perfect.

This is a dense spiced cake, with flecks of sweet pineapple, and crunchy pecans.

Since it is a full three layer cake a little slice is complete perfection.

For the cake:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple
2 cups roasted banana, mashed (this is about 4-5 large bananas, see recipe below*)
1 cup chopped pecans

For the Frosting:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed into 1 inch pieces and chilled
3-8 ounce packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch strips and chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place your bananas on a parchment lined baking sheet, whole with peels left on. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the skins are blackened. Remove until they are cool enough to handle, peel, place in a small mixing bowl, and mash. Set aside.
Leave the oven heating at 350 degrees!
Butter and flour 3-9 inch round cake pans. Cut a piece of parchment paper, large enough to fit into the bottom of the pan, do this for all three pans, grease the top of the parchment paper, and set pans aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Once combined, whisk in the eggs briskly just until incorporated.
Whisk in the oil and vanilla into the sugar/egg mixture just until combined.
Add the entire flour mixture into the sugar mixture at one time, stirring by hand as not to over mix.
Add the 1 cup of crushed pineapple to the mixture (fruit and juice) and also add in the mashed roasted banana. Stir just until combined.
Gently fold in the chopped pecans and pour batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans. Gently tap the cake pans on to the counter to remove any air bubbles and cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Allow the pans to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then carefully invert the cakes onto the cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, take the cut butter and place in the bowl of your stand mixer or using your hand mixer, beat on medium speed until the butter has softened but is still chilled. Add in the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until they are completely combined and smooth.
Add in the vanilla and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat until well blended and smooth. Fold in the pecans.

To construct the cake:
Place the first layer of cake upside down (flat side facing up) on to your serving plate. Frost the top with 2/3 cups of frosting or enough to create a thin layer.
Place the second layer of cake right side up (flat sides should be touching) and frost the top with another layer of cream cheese frosting. Place the third, and final layer of cake, right side up again. Use the remaining frosting to completely cover the tops and sides of the cake.
Allow cake to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving and keep all left-over cake in the fridge.

This spicy dense cake is the perfect Fall treat. Enjoy with a warm cup of apple cider!

*recipe adapted from the blog: Boulder Locavore

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mini Halloween Oreo Cheesecakes

Halloween is 18 days away! Seriously, Halloween is my favorite Holiday, but I swear there is something wrong with me this year!

I finally just put up a few decorations yesterday (not near as much as I usually do), I just purchased my kids' costumes, and my life is jumbled with fun Halloween recipes but not nearly enough time to make or post them.

I knew I wanted a quick and easy recipe, and to use Halloween Oreos again this year, after I made these brownies last year.

And, as I was craving these Funfetti Mini Cheesecakes it hit me, why not marry the two?

Plus, our grocery store carries double stuffed Halloween Oreo's. Double-yum!

For the Cheesecakes:
18 Halloween Oreo's
6 Halloween Oreos pulsed into crumbs in your blender or food processor
16 ounces (2-8oz packages) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 275 degrees, and line 3 muffin tins with 18 liners. Place one whole Oreo in the bottom of each liner.

In your food processor or blender, pulverize 6 whole oreos and set aside.

Place cream cheese in a large bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat on medium until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated, being sure to scrape the sides. Finally, gently beat in the sour cream. Once mixed, gently fold in your cookies crumbs into the batter.

Pour batter evenly over the Oreos, filling them almost to the top as they do not rise very much (I could fit about a 1/4 cup of batter into each). Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the cheesecakes are set. Remove from the oven, let cool on the counter and then place in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours and up to overnight.

Enjoy this quick yet impressive Holiday treat!

Happy Haunting! :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Bake

I know what you're thinking... ANOTHER pumpkin recipe.

But trust me, this french toast has just a *kiss* of pumpkin flavor packed with chewy bread, egg-y custard, and a TO DIE FOR streusel topping.

After it comes out of the oven, slice a huge piece while its still hot, top with a pat of butter that will begin to melt all over, and drizzle with real maple syrup.

I can't stop fantasizing about this french toast...

You can impress your husband, your kids, shoot, invite your neighbors over and you will be the envy of the 'hood. None of them will know you started it the night before.

Let's get started, shall we? I know how much you want to make this.

You will need:
1 lb stale bread (I used a mix of sourdough and french bread) cubed
8 whole large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (I made own by roasting pumpkins, but the canned is also fine)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla

Butter for greasing

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons cold butter, diced

Extra butter and Pure Maple Syrup for topping

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13" baking dish. Place cubed bread in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add in the pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add in the heavy cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and whisk together until incorporated.

Pour custard mixture over your bread cubes, tossing gently, and let sit for 3 minutes so the bread can soak up the custard. When time is up, gently toss again and pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge overnight.

In the morning, when you are ready to bake, remove the french toast from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature while you heat up the oven to 350 degrees.

Also, in a small bowl, mix together your topping ingredients until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is pea sized. Crumble the topping evenly over the top and bake the french toast in the oven for 55-60 minutes until golden brown and puffy.

Let the french toast bake cool slightly, cut large pieces for everyone (trust me here) and place a pat of butter on the top with a heavy drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Your taste buds, will love you.

This recipe screams Fall comfort food. Enjoy... And happy eating!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Graveyard Cupcakes

I hate cupcakes. Despise them really. I think because I have to make them perfectly. I spend far too long frosting to make sure all of the edges are smooth then run out of frosting before I can complete 12.

Plus, baking them requires far too much time. With only 2 pans of 6 cupcakes each, I can make 12 cupcakes at a time. TWELVE people. That guarantees me a full hour of sitting in front of the oven before they're even all baked. Ugh.... That's why I rarely have a cupcake recipe on my blog and it's only when I'm really feeling ambitious.

And if you ask me, I would give these cupcakes a 2/10. They're sloppy...

But, they're for my kids. And while I try to perfect the art of them, they're also going to feed their little bellies. And while they relish in the idea of a pumpkin candy sitting on a cupcake and a tree made of chocolate, I need to get over myself.

So alas, I will post my sloppy Halloween cupcakes. Hopefully someone finds them useful. And on the upside, they are easy peasy!

You will need:
12-2 1/2 inch chocolate cupcakes, baked and cooled (I used a box mix... shh, don't call the blog police)
1 container vanilla frosting
1 bag of pumpkin shaped candy corn
chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 cup chocolate or chocolate melts, melted

  1. Frost prepared cupcakes with a coating of vanilla frosting and set aside. 
  2. In a Ziploc bag, crush 10 chocolate wafer cookies (not frosted) and sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes to make it look like "dirt".
  3. Fill a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the melted chocolate melts and snip the bottom so the piping will be thin. On a piece of wax piper, pipe of the shape of your trees. I used squiggly lines coming out of the ends, use your imagination here. Place the chocolate "trees" in the fridge to harden.
  4. Taking one wafer cookie, use a serrated knife to cut 2 of the ends off of the cookie to make the shape of the grave stone. 
  5. Fill a Ziploc bag with a quarter cup of white frosting, snip the end to make a small pipe, and write on your stones. Use your imagination here as well but the words I chose were "RIP", "Boo", and "AH!". Set aside.
  6. Once your trees are set, working fast, gently stick a tree into the top of the cupcake, a gravestone into the other side and place a pumpkin candy corn on top.
  7. Use your creativity and have fun! (I sometimes forget to do that)

 I hope you enjoy my perfectly imperfect cupcakes this Halloween season! Stay tuned for plenty more Halloween recipes to come..... After all, it is my favorite season!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pecan Pie Bars

Last weekend was my cousin's baby shower and on the way home we stopped at a fruit stand!

I couldn't resist picking up a pound of freshly picked pecans. Yum! (They do pick them right?)

But I was stumped on what to do with them.

I honestly feel like I have been in a blogging rut lately. I know the holidays are upon us and during Halloween people will be posting Christmas recipes but geez. Sometimes I feel like I run out of blogging inspiration. I guess that's what makes me a bad blogger :(

Then I stumbled upon this easy recipe for pecan pie bars, that I could whip up at 8 pm after the kids fell asleep, and I knew I had to share. Because I know there has to be other bloggers who work full time jobs, with two needy toddlers and a husband right? Those that need quick recipes they can make and then blog with the snap of a finger?

I hope this helps all of you... Shout out to my bloggy friends who get it all done... You inspire me!

For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

3 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9" baking dish with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about the size of peas. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan and press together to form the crust.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
While the crust is baking, prepare your filling by mixing together the eggs, corn syrup, sugars, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Once the crust is finished baking, pour filling mixture immediately over the top, spreading evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, in the preheated oven or until set. You will want to bake this completely.
Place pan on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
Slice with a sharp knife and serve.

I absolutely love the taste of the buttery shortbread crust, the chewy almost alcoholic tasting filling and the crunchy pecans! This is a pecan pie, to go!


*recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Halloween Round -up and Link Party

Everyone can always use a few more ideas for Halloween, right?

We thought it would be fun to put together a Halloween Round up of all our favorite crafts, recipes, DIY projects, etc. and share them with our wonderful readers.

We also thought it would be fun to host a Halloween Link Party to let all of you share your wonderful ideas too.

This Spookctacular event is being hosted by four lovely ladies so your links will also be shared on four wonderful blogs.
     Crafts, Cakes, and Cats                                     Michelle's Tasty Creations
     Facebook Page                                                  Facebook Page
     Pinterest                                                               Twitter
     Hot Eats and Cool Reads                                  MorningNooNight
     Facebook Page                                                   Facebook Page
     Twitter                                                                   Pinterest

Here's what your hostesses have been up to this past week or two ~

~Starting with the top left we have ~

Melted Witches & Pumpkin Cupcakes from: Crafts, Cakes, & Cats
Halloween Surprise Cake from: MorningNooNight
Halloween Advent Calender from: MorningNooNight
Halloween Skeleton Bones from: Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Fun Halloween Pudding Parfait's from: Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Candy Corn Vases from: Michelle's Tasty Creations
Spooky Banner from: Crafts, Cakes, and Cats
Rice Krispy Pumpkins from: Michelle's Tasty Creations
Classic Caramel Apples from: MorningNooNight
Halloween Wreath from: Crafts, Cakes, and Cats

~ Now let's see what you've been up to ~

~A few things to remember~

Please only link up Halloween/Fall recipes, crafts, DIY, tutorials, printables, etc that YOU have created.
Please don't link up any Etsy shops, giveaways, or other link parties.
By linking to this party you give us permission to share your post on our blogs and other social media.
Please share this party by linking back to us in your post or by adding this party to your party page.
Be sure to stop by and visit a few of the other blogs that have posted; we all love to see sweet comments.