I Am Baker

snickers special-k bars

I win the internet.

Snickers Special-K Bars!

 

I was going to tell you that, post a few pictures and a recipe and be done with it.  Cause I mean, hello.  I won.  Game over.

But then I thought you might want to know why I won.

But that would mean telling you all about these, and they wouldn’t be my little secret anymore.  And people might judge me that I made a dessert with 47 snickers bars in it.  And then added butter.  And sugar.  Cause apparently that’s bad or something.

Snickers Special-K Bars!

 

These are Special K bars covered in Snickers Frosting.

Frosting.

Made of Snickers bars.

Melted down Snickers bars.

Yes, I totally went there.

Snickers Special-K Bars!

But that wasn’t it!

I then chopped up an entire bag of the snack size bars and sprinkled them on top as if they were the magical happy tears from rainbow colored unicorns and each precious chunk was saving a Dalmatian puppy from being turned into a coat.

Then I brought one to my husband and made him eat it.  We just looked at each other.  No words were necessary.

Then my daughter came in and said, “Those look weird.”  And I laughed and laughed and crazy eyed laughed and said,

“You have no idea what you are saying child!  Just back away.  Don’t look into them too long or they will bewitch you with rainbows and love.  Slowly, just turn around and then run as fast as you can!  Run I tell you!”

She gave me a weird look and went back to playing My Little Ponies on her ipad.   Even though I forbid her playing that game.  Dang those ponies are sassy!

Snickers Special-K Bars!

snickers special-k bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 7 cups Special K cereal
  • Frosting
  • 3 full size Snickers bars
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2-2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 bag fun size Snickers, each bar chopped into at least five pieces

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan. (I spray my pan then line it with parchment paper)
  2. In a large sauce pan, combine sugar and light corn syrup and cook over medium heat until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal. Pat the cereal mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. Frosting
  5. Melt three full size Snickers bars with 1 stick butter in a saucepan over very low heat. (about five minutes) Once melted, remove from heat and add confectioners sugar then the milk.
  6. Pour warm frosting over bars and sprinkle chopped Snickers bars over frosting, allow to set for at least 3 hours.
  7. (You can refrigerate to set quicker, but let bars come to room temperature before serving.)
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The Special K Bars recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com and the frosting was adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Snickers Special-K Bars!

 

Immediately after making these and sampling just a bit I packaged everything up to be given away.  They MUST BE GIVEN AWAY.  Or you will eat them ALL.

And you will curse me and thank me and proclaim yourself THE WINNER OF THE INTERNET.

Just trust me.

I Am Baker

patriotic hi-hat cupcakes

I think it’s safe to say that I love all things surprise-inside.  These hi-hat cupcakes are a perfect way to celebrate with the classic red, white and blue theme, but to pleasantly surprise family and friends!

Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

I really enjoy making hi-hat cupcakes and since I make them so often, I really experimented with these.  My vision was to have them be all white from top to bottom.  White cupcake then the white candy coating shell.

However, that does not bode well with bright red and deep dark blue frosting.  It took me no less than four coats of candy coating to cover the colors of the frosting, and then the shell was so thick it was hard to imagine eating it!

Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

And even then the red, white and blue was still visible.  Sprinkles were the next logical step because, hello, sprinkles are always the answer.  But even that didn’t cover up the massive globs of white chocolate candy coating.

So back to semi-sweet chocolate shell.

Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

Which worked great!  Still tastes amazing, still conceals the wonderful surprise, still perfect for any July 4th Party!

Here is my recipe for chocolate candy coating. (or magic shell)

And here is my new FAVORITE recipe for white cake cupcakes.  I am not kidding, it is truly delicious!  Perfect every time.  It is adapted from the Cherry Limeade Cupcakes that were adapted from Sprinkles.

the perfect white cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffins tins. (This recipe yielded 15 muffins for me.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack.
  7. Let cupcakes cool completely and dry before topping with frosting.
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Patriotic Hi-Hat Cupcakes!  (with a fun surprise-inside!)

 

To make the red, white and blue colors inside the cupcake, prepare one batch of frosting.  I recommend this Basic Buttercream, but use an imitation clear vanilla extract to help frosting stay white.

Evenly divide buttercream into three bowls then tint one bowl red and and blue.  I use Americolor gel food coloring and a LOT of it to achieve these vibrant tones.

Place frosting into pastry bag with a 9PT tip from Bakery Crafts.

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

Holding bag directly above cupcake start to apply pressure.  Do not move bag up, keep at steady and apply more pressure, letting the frosting fill out around the cupcake.  When you have reached the desired size of dollop, release pressure and lift up.

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

I tried this method in a pastry bag without the 9PT tip and while you can still achieve a somewhat similar result, it’s not as perfect as when the tip is used.  There is a little line from the pastry bag and the shape is not perfectly round.  But it could work in a pinch!

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

Repeat with the red frosting.  You can really see here what a difference the 9PT tip makes!

Then I switched things up and did the colors in opposite order, and this happened.

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

Just look at the perfect swirl.  Man I love that tip!  (For the record, I have no affiliate links, or pay-per-click links, in this post nor does Bakery Crafts know I exist, I just truly love their products and the beautiful results they give!)

How to Make the Perfect Hi-Hat Cupcake with Surprise-Inside Colors!

 

I have one more amazing-never-been-seen-before patriotic dessert to share this week and I am SO EXCITED for you to see it!

In the mean-time, here are some other fun patriotic desserts!

July 4th Surprise-Inside Cake!July 4th Surprise-Inside Cake

Red Velvet Graham Crackers!

Red Velvet Graham Crackers

Patriotic Rose Cake (the Original!)

Original Patriotic Rose Cake (video tutorial)

Patriotic Cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes! (100% edible, even the wrapper!)

Patriotic Pancakes!

Patriotic Pancakes

I Am Baker

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Death and taxes.  Few things are more certain.  Except that is, my obsession with banana bread.  I have many on my site.  This one, this one with a brown butter glaze, this one where my husband emotionally cheats on my and declares his love for another woman’s banana bread, this caramel banana cake, and this zucchini banana oat bread and the crappiest day of all time.

Buttermilk Banana Bread!  You will never go back to regular banana bread again!

Yeah.  I love em.

But this recipe is different!  I saw it over on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and was totally intrigued.  She say’s its the only kind she has tried in years.  In years!

So I tried it.

Amazing Buttermilk Banana Bread!

 

Ok, let me back track a bit.  As much as I love and adore banana bread, I have NEVER in my LIFE made it right.  I always always always burn the top and sometimes the inside is not done.

Yeah, my streak was not broken with this one!  But I blame me, not the recipe.  If you have tricks on how to avoid this, do let me know.  I have tried covering it (don’t do that), I have tried covering it for the last 15 minutes, baking it lower in my oven, decreasing the temperature, adding more flour (don’t do that either), freezing it immediately out of the oven, cooking for longer than recommended and even refusing to bake it in a traditional loaf pan.  (i.e. all the “cake” recipes above)

With this recipe the inside was perfect, and I do mean perfect, but the outside was a bit more brown that I would like.  I will perfect it if it’s the last thing I do!

Good thing it still tastes amazeballs. (that’s for you Kristen) Obvi.

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare loaf pan. (I used two smaller loaf pans.)
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (Do not skip this step!)
  3. Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl with a fork. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer on medium high, cream butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time with mixer on low speed. Add in buttermilk and vanilla until the batter is just combined.
  5. Slowly pour in the flour mixture. Mix until JUST combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in banana's.
  7. Divide batter into greased and floured bread pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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This is Mel’s original recipe, which I have slightly adapted.

Buttermilk Banana Bread!

 

Just look at that.

I mean, have you ever seen a banana bread like that?  So light.  So sweet. So amazing.

Buttermilk Banana Bread! You will never go back to regular banana bread again!

I just may be converted to a buttermilk banana bread kind of girl.

 

I Am Baker

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cupcakes

I have been waiting all week long to share these with you!  My favorite, favorite, mostest favoritest everest summertime flavor combination is Neapolitan.  And this one is extra special to me!

 

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cupcakes!

 

This cupcake is adapted from a cake in my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!  I have an entire cake that is a Neapolitan Hi-Hat.  It is a glorious and amazingly delicious and seriously unique HI-HAT CAKE!!

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake!  from Surprise-Inside Cakes!

 

photo credit Susan Powers from Surprise-Inside Cakes

I love that cake.  Sorry, I can’t help myself.

Back to the cupcake!

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cupcakes!

 

This has got to be one of the greatest cupcakes ever, is that it is a Brownie bottom layer, a Strawberry cake layer, whipped cream (cool whip) piled high, and then semi-sweet chocolate coating.

Um, yeah.  It’s good.

To make the brownies you can use this recipe.

To make the strawberry cake you can use this recipe.  (That recipe is huge, so plan to make a cake from the left over batter)

For the whipped cream you can use this recipe. (substitute vanilla)  You can also use Cool Whip.

Chocolate Shell

Ingredients

  • 11 oz. chocolate chips or finely chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or shortening)

Instructions

  1. Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to small container with high sides (like a drinking glass, just make sure its wide enough to fit cupcake), and let cool about 15 minutes.
  2. OR
  3. Place chocolate and oil in a tall glass in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If chocolates not all melted, return to the microwave in 15 second increments until chocolate is all melted.
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To assemble the cupcakes you can use the method outlined on this post, Mardi-Gras Hi-Hat Cupcakes.

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cupcakes!

 

Or you can get my book and use the all original from-scratch recipes in it!  I mean, who wouldn’t LOVE that Hi-Hat Cake?

Ok, I will stop.  Sometimes it’s hard to reign in the excitement when you love something, but for you I will try. :)

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cupcakes!

Did you see all of the other cupcakes I shared this week?

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Coconut Angel Food Cupcakes!

Coconut Angel Food Cupcakes

Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes! Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

s'mores cupcakes! #chocolate #summerdessertsS’mores Cupcakes

I Am Baker

s’mores cupcakes

I think one of my favorite summertime flavors is s’mores.  There is something so comforting about melting marshmallows between chocolate and graham crackers.

It’s almost as if the food has transcended flavor to represent something more; a feeling of joy, peace, love, family and friends.

s'mores cupcakes! #chocolate #summerdesserts

More specifically though, there is something quite magical about a melting marshmallow.  I have to admit, I am one of those people who likes it burnt.  Are there any other burnt fans out there?

How to Make Marshmallows for Smores

 

(from the Great Marshmallow Debate)

Completely burnt and still on fire.  I mean, I try to put the fire out first, you know, for safety reasons and stuff.  Those burnt marshmallows above?  They are not quite burnt enough.

Seriously.  But I digress.

s'mores cupcakes! #chocolate #summerdesserts

Upon reflection, I think half of the fun in s’mores is the process.

Being with loved ones on a warm summer evening.  Sharing oozy gooey desserts, licking fingers and laughing at all the messes.  Cleaning up the garbage by throwing it in the fire.

Now that is fun. #youknowyourareoldwhen

s'mores cupcakes! #chocolate #summerdesserts

Now when it comes to the cupcake, everything changed.  Since the emotion and tradition was tied to the original process (and not the the s’mores cupcake)  I was completely focused on flavor.

Here is how I like a s’mores cupcake.  The chocolate has to be RICH and bold.  The graham cracker and marshmallow, they can hold their own and need no assistance.  The chocolate cake, however, needs to be kicked up a notch.

This is the Perfect Chocolate Cake simply done in cupcakes.

s’mores chocolate cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I use decaf)
  • 1 cup good quality chocolate, preferably bittersweet and finely chopped
  • Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 24 regular sized marshmallows (not mini)

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Fold in finely chopped chocolate.
  5. Prepare graham cracker crust. Add metled butter to graham crackers and combine until moistened. Spread about 1 tablespoon of crumbs into bottom of cupcake liner. Press down flat.
  6. Pour the batter (a heaping tablespoon) into the prepared cupcake pans and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  8. Marshmallows
  9. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, set out 6 marshmallows. (You will be working in batches of six) Place under broiler for about 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallow starts to turn brown and deflate. Remove from oven and (being careful not to touch pan!) slide a spatula under the marshmallow and set on cupcake. Press gently to flatten. (You can also just pick up slightly melted marshmallow from cookie sheet and transfer to cupcake.)
  10. Best served warm!
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This recipe was adapted from a million sources, and I claim no credit in the idea what-so-ever.  I read about a hundred posts on s’mores cupcakes and have yet to find the original source.  If you know, be sure to let me know! :)

s'mores cupcakes! #chocolate #summerdesserts

I had a couple issues with process here.  I liked the idea of placing the marshmallow right on the cooled cupcake and then placing under the broiler, but this also sometimes burned the edges of the cupcake liner and that is no fun.  However, if the cupcake is very chilled it will help.

Basically all that happened because I was too scared to use my husbands medium sized blowtorch by myself.  #foodbloggerproblems

Overall though, I preferred the method of roasting the marshmallows separately then placing them on the cupcake.  It was easy and fun and ended up being an effective way to brown the marshmallow without a mini torch.

s'mores cupcakes! #chocolate #summerdesserts

 

Now I just need to make these a few more times with the kids so that we will develop a new s’more tradition.  These are the sacrifices I make for my family. ;)

It has been Cupcake Week here at iambaker, where I am showcasing easy, fun, and delicious SummerTime flavors of cupcakes!  Check out these other flavors!

 

Cherry Limeade Cupcake! Delicate lime cupcake with sweet Maraschino cherry frosting!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Coconut Angel Food Cupcakes!

Coconut Angel Food Cupcakes

Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes!

Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

And don’t forgot to stop back tomorrow for my FAVORITE summertime cupcake flavor ever.  You will not want to miss it!!

I Am Baker

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Let the summertime fun begin!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

 

This week I am all about baking.  Let me get even more specific:  baking cupcakes.  Wait, I can get even more specific.  Baking summertime flavor cupcakes!

There are a few “flavors” that come to mind when I think about the warmth and fun of summer.  Drinking a refreshing limeade is one of them!

 

Cherry Limeade Cupcake!  Delicate lime cupcake with sweet Maraschino cherry frosting!

I have to tell you, this cupcake is heavenly.  I adapted it from Sprinkles Key Lime recipe, (very small adaptations!  There is a reason she has a successful cupcake empire!) and am completely smitten.  The crumb is delicate, the texture is soft and the flavor is subtle, yet bold.

Well, that makes no sense.  It’s subtle until you add the secret weapon of flavor!

Right after the cupcakes come out of the oven, brush on some extra lime juice.  I made some with this method and some without and absolutely loved the extra little zing that it gives the final cupcake.

Cherry Limeade Cupcake!  Delicate lime cupcake with sweet Maraschino cherry frosting!

 

I also made some with lime zest sprinkled over top but did not like that as much.  It was a tad overpowering and didn’t add anything to the cupcake texture-wise.  So a lone cherry it is!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffins tins. (This recipe yielded 15 muffins for me.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Remove from mixer then fold in lime zest with spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes.
  7. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack.
  8. Use pastry brush to brush remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the top of the cupcake.
  9. Let cupcakes cool completely and dry before topping with cherry frosting.
  10. Frosting
  11. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  12. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
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Tips for success:

I bought a jar of cherries and then simply placed them on the cupcakes before serving.  However, I would recommend removing the cherries from the juice and placing on a paper towel prior to placing.   Doing that will ensure that the cherry juice doesn’t drip into the frosting and all over the place.  I only recommend this for appearance sake; if you like the extra cherry juice flavor then ignore.

If you want extra extra lime juice flavor you can poke holes into your cupcakes with a toothpick before brushing on lime juice.

I used a 1E tip from Bakery Crafts to pipe the frosting onto these cupcakes.

Cherry Limeade Cupcake!  Delicate lime cupcake with sweet Maraschino cherry frosting!

 

I completely adore these simple and fun cupcakes and hope you will too!

cake-res

If you love creative and beautiful creations (dang I am humble, huh?) , be sure to get my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

Brownie Frosting

I have a confession.  I have never liked frosting on brownies.  It was a rash decision that I made when I was a teenager and for some reason it stuck.  Kind of like deciding that you dislike peas so never ever ever trying them ever again.

The Perfect Chocolate Frosting for Brownies

Well.  I was a foolish, foolish, foolish girl.

I made some From-Scratch Brownie Mix this week.  As I was scouring the internet for simple yet delicious recipes, I stumbled upon this frosting recipe.

It was new to me in that it had honey.

Why honey?

I don’t know.  But I love it.

The Perfect Chocolate Frosting for Brownies

 

Let me tell you why this is the perfect frosting specifically for brownies.

1.  It’s soft, but ‘crusts’ ever so slightly.  The texture and consistency is natural and pure.

2. It is complimentary.  It adds to the overall flavor combination, not making one or the other the star of the show.

3. It is made to be applied to warm brownies, meaning that it locks in the moisture of the brownie itself and creates this seamless transition of velvety smoothness to chewy gooey brownie.

Brownie Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk (or heavy cream)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (may also use hand mixer), combine room temperature butter, cocoa, honey, vanilla and sugar.
  2. Turn mixer on low and let it combine ingredients for about 30 seconds.
  3. Slowly add in milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency. You may not need all 3 tablespoons, you may need 1 more.
  4. Spread over warm brownies.
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Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.

The Perfect Chocolate Frosting for Brownies

 

I think it’s safe to say that I am officially converted into a fan of frosting on brownies.

But I am curious to know, what do you prefer?  Frosting or no frosting?

Be sure to check out my new book, Surprise Inside Cakes!

 

I Am Baker

Homemade Brownie Mix

I am a sucker for a good box mix brownie.  I know, I know, it’s like against Foodie Law to say such a thing, but I can’t help it.  I like a consistently good brownie.  I like it to have a flakey crust.  I like it chewy inside.  I like to taste the chocolate.

From-Scratch Brownie Mix!

 

But I also like convenience.  And ease.  And being able to dump stuff in a bowl and make magic.  (I know, I know, it’s bad and wrong, but it was how I was raised.  Isn’t there something to be said for the comfort of a tradition?)

So this is my attempt to capture the ease of a box mix, but without the other icky stuff.

Here is why I like this recipe:
It tastes good and easily lends itself to adaptations. (Add chocolate chips, double the recipe, add frosting, etc.)

It’s not huge.  Most people don’t have five kids like me and prefer “normal” size pan of brownies.  (This recipe yields nine brownies.)

There are only three “wet” ingredients.

Homemade Brownie Mix!  This will replace your box mix!

 

Butter, eggs, and vanilla.

And the recipe can be made on one bowl too.

How awesome is that?

Homemade Brownie Mix

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter melted, then cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Sift together all dry ingredients. Place into a jar or airtight container.
  2. On a gift tag or label write the wet ingredients and quantities and then directions. "Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, beat two eggs with the vanilla. Add in and gently stir dry ingredients. Pour the melted butter into brownie mixture and mix until just incorporated. Spread batter in a prepared 8-inch square pan and bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees."
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Recipe just barely adapted from allrecipes.com.

For a fun option you can add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or tie a good quality dark chocolate candy bar to the jar.  It can be chopped and added to the batter.

 

Homemade Brownie Mix!

I think these brownies are really good, but I especially loved them when paired with a sweetly tart fruit like raspberries.

And stacked in a pile of three and covered in chocolate sauce.

That’s just how I roll folks.  That’s just how I roll.

Here is the perfect chocolate frosting made just for these brownies!

The Perfect Chocolate Frosting for Brownies

Check out these other great homemade treats:

Homemade Cake Mix!

 Yellow Cake Mix From Scratch

Homemade White Cake Mix

White Cake Mix From Scratch

And don’t forget to check out my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!

 

I Am Baker

White Chocolate Confetti Cheesecake

This is just plain fun!! White Chocolate Confetti Cheesecake   It’s a little something of everything I adore… cheesecake, Oreo crust, white chocolate, and sprinkles! But here’s the skinny: (Please note, that will be the only time I will use the word ‘skinny’ in reference to this recipe) My husband keeps telling me that the Oreo crust is too much!  Like in this neapolitan cheesecake.  Just stop with the Oreo crust he says! But I can’t.  I love it! However, he may have a small point in that the chocolate crust does compete with the delicate flavors of white chocolate and cream cheese (and strawberry in this case). I think a shortbread, graham cracker or vanilla cookie crust would all be really lovely with this cheesecake. White Chocolate Confetti Cheesecake!   I utilize Cool Whip as a topping, but you can certainly use heavy whipped cream and make your own. To make Homemade Whipped Cream: Start with cold heavy creamy and pour it into stand mixer with whisk attachment.  When the cream starts to thicken, add in sugar. (A good rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of sugar for every cup of cream)  Continue beating until soft peaks occur. Don’t overbeat as you will then have butter. White Chocolate Confetti Cheesecake The star of this show is definitely the sprinkles!  I added some into the cheesecake as well as on top.  They are so fun to look at and surely do bring a smile to anyone’s face.  Which is why I do what I do.  I am a SMILE MAKER darnit!

White Chocolate Confetti Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup rainbow sprinkles, plus extra for garnish

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in stand mixer until well blended.
  2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
  3. Add chocolate; mix until just combined.
  4. Pour in sprinkles and fold into cheesecake batter with spatula.
  5. Pour over crust.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes at to an hour or until center is almost set.
  7. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.
  9. For the whipped cream I used a large closed star tip and piped out little billows.
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Recipe inspired by this recipe from Kraft. As I mentioned above, I used Oreo for the crust.  I use the pre-packaged crumbs, as seen in detail here.  Simply add 2 tablespoons melted better to crumbs then press into springform pan.  I used an 8-inch springform pan for this recipe. White Chocolate Confetti Cheesecake!   As you can imagine, this was a huge hit with the kids.  They love the color and and fun that sprinkles bring!  Heck, so do I. If you like what you see on my blog, be sure to check out my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

BEST Ever Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is a reason I can say that.  These cookies are adapted from the New York Times BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  With a few simple modifications, the recipe turned into a Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

New York Times rated Best Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Well, its actually a chocolate, chocolate, white chocolate chip cookie, but that is just a bit redundant don’t you think?

To which my husband would say, “No.  It is an accurate representation of the ingredients, redundant is excessive use of, or not useful.”

To which I say, “Shut up.  No cookies for you.”

Then he takes one anyway and smacks me on the behind.

Then I punch him in the arm.

The end.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (6 ounces) good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 heaping cup (8 ounces) granulated
  • sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (chips are fine)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped (or chips) in microwave safe measuring cup and add in 2 tablespoons butter. Heat for 45 seconds, then remove and stir. If chocolate is not all melted, return to microwave for 10 second increments until fully melted.
  2. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream room temperature butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Slowly add in melted (and slightly cooled) chocolate and vanilla.
  5. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 24-36 hours. (Do not skip this step!)
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. (325 convection)
  8. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. Slightly gooey centers is the best way to eat!
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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie!

We loved all the different layers of flavor in these cookies.

One thing I recommend:  DO NOT SKIP THE REFRIGERATION TIME!  I know it adds a day to the process, but it is worth it.  Also, the dough is yummy so you can snack on that if you are insanely patient like me.

Don’t skip the salt either.  It really makes a difference.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies based on the NYTimes Best Recipe!

 

Hope you enjoy these!