Birthday Oreo Brownie Cupcakes

FullSizeRender-1.jpeg For family birthdays this month I decided change-up the usual chocolate cupcakes and bake some brownie cupcakes. Best decision ever!

I took my favorite one bowl brownie recipe and added an additional egg, 1/4 cup flour, and baking powder.  The result was dense, moist, and fine-grained brownie, perfect!

These brownies can be left plain or frosted with your favorite frosting.  I chose a vanilla butter cream but mocha or cream cheese would also pair nicely.  The brownie batter can also be baked in a 13 x 9 pan or 2 8- inch cake pans.

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar (I used one cup brown, and 1 cup granulated)
  • 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon, optional
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, optional
  • 12 oreos, optional IMG_4496.jpegIMG_4497.jpeg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.  Place an oreo on bottom if using. 
  2. Combine the melted butter and sugar, stirring until smooth.
  3. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and bourbor.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl, then add the water, stirring until smooth.
  5. Add the flour and chips, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the brownies for 28 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached. The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center.
  8. Remove the brownies from the oven, and cool them on a rack before cutting and serving. Frost, if desired.
  9. Yield: 2 dozen squares or 1 dozen cupcakes

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Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar add more until it reaches your preferred consistency
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste add more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Beat butter on high-speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes until light and airy.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Add vanilla bean paste and salt and continue to beat for another minute.
  • If desired, add more confectioners’ sugar to make the butter cream frosting stiffer.

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Sweet Sunday #24 – Lucky Charm Edition

Unknown-2.jpegMagically delicious edible cookie dough!

The recipe is a basic Snickerdoodle cookie dough but with some Lucky Charms marshmallows thrown in because I thought they would be cute, tasty, and festive. And it was!
This simple recipe would be perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or spread on a bagel.  Pure cookie dough yumminess.  
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 11/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (for taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or leave out if you just want sugar cookie dough)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of heavy cream

Directions:

  • In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Mix in the cream and vanilla.
  • Stir in the marshmallows.  
  • Store room temperature for 2 weeks, 1 month refrigerator.

Maybe next time I will add some green food coloring to make it even more festive?!?!

Recipe adapted http://iamafoodblog.com/snickerdoodle-lucky-charms-cookies/

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Notes:

  • If you want to bake the cookie dough into cookies, just add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and bake for 8-10 minute in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. 

Snickerdoodle Lucky Charms Cookies | www.iamafoodblog.com

  • Make or buy lucky charm donuts.

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  • Or maybe make a magically delicious no-bake ice box pie.
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  • Use lucky charms to make cereal milk and use for a latte!

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Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

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Just loving the chocolate mint combination right now and these cookies hit the spot.

The cookies are a rich chewy chocolate cookie with creamy mint and chocolate chips.  This is the time to use good quality cocoa.  It will make a significant difference in the final taste of the cookie.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperate
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  •  2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups mint flavored chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar for at least 4 minutes, scraping the bowl halfway through mixing.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in vanilla.
  3. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and mint chips.
  5. Refrigerate 12-48 hours.
  6. Drop large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 10-14 minutes.  Don’t over bake.

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Sweet Sunday #23- Chocolate Mint

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Sometimes, two flavors just click. Take creamy mint ice cream, and add chocolatey chunks of brownies.  It’s love at first bite!  It’s got everything you could want in a frozen treat: sweet, chocolatey indulgence balanced by the bright flavor of mint. Dig in!

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Mint Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint/peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Green food coloring, optional
  • 1 cup of brownies cut into chunks, homemade or store-bought

Directions

  1. Whisk heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, milk, extracts, and 4 drops of green food coloring in a bowl until evenly mixed.
  2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until softly frozen. Stir in brownie pieces.
  3. Transfer ice cream to a lidded container and seal. For best results, ice cream should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours to overnight.

 

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Other mint and chocolate creations:

  • Never can go wrong with the classic Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies or mint Oreos.

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Shrove Tuesday: Pancake Day Before Lent

IMG_4485.jpgShrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove comes from the old middle English word ‘Shriven’ meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you’ve done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confessions on the day before. This became known as Shriven Tuesday and then Shrove Tuesday.

The other name for this day, Pancake Day, comes from the old English custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, so that people were ready to fast during Lent. The fattening ingredients that most people had in their houses in those days were eggs and milk. A very simple recipe to use up these ingredients was to combine them with some flour and make pancakes!

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Tips for super fluffy pancakes:

  • Mix the batter just until the wet and dry ingredients are combined, and there are no more visible wisps of flour. The batter will likely be lumpy, and that’s okay.
  • Resting the batter is an important step that gives the gluten time to relax and settle down. In other words, it makes for pancakes that are more soft and tender, and this is especially important with crepes and Dutch baby pancakes. Use this time to clean up, set the table, or prep your toppings.
  • Getting your stove to the right temperature is one of the keys to great pancakes. For a well-cooked pancake with a golden-brown outside, and an inside that’s soft and cooked through, keep the heat set to medium.

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Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

Fluffy. Puffy. Buttery

Yield: 10 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar (to make buttermilk)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • scant 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, separated and at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat a pan over medium-low heat. Combine 1 cup of milk with vinegar (this will act as your buttermilk) and let sit for five minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, “buttermilk,” and milk. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients and stir gently until barely combined.
  3. Add egg white to the mixture and stir until a thick, lumpy bumpy batter forms. Stop before the batter smooths out, the egg white may not even be all the way incorporated.
  4. Lightly grease the pan with oil and raise the temperature to medium. Use a quarter cup to measure the batter onto the preheated pan. Cook until bubbles start to appear on the exposed surface of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes. Flip pancake and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until browned on the underside.

adapted https://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-ever-pancake-recipe-lofty-buttermilk-pancakes-134328

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Lots of real maple syrup!

Notes:  If you don’t feel like making pancakes from scratch here a few ideas.

 1. Go out to eat

 *Original Pancake house.

http://originalpancakehouse.com

* Stacks

https://www.stacksrestaurant.com

 *Toast

http://www.toastbirmingham.com

   2.  Use a mix.

Whole foods and Trader Joe’s sell mixes with ingredients you can pronounce and produce very fluffy almost home-made tasting pancakes.

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****Wish I was in La Jolla San Diego and going to Richard Walker’s Pancake House

https://www.richardwalkers.com, their apple pancake looks and sounds AMAZING!***

 

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Sweet Sunday #22 – Shamrock Shake Edition

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Shamrock shakes are officially back at McDonald’s. Yes, the green-hued minty blend of vanilla soft serve and “Shamrock Shake syrup,”  Warning not all locations have the minty dessert on-hand.
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Luckily, to make things easier, McDonald’s has added a Shamrock Shake tracker function to its app, which you can download here. If the shake isn’t being offered at a location near you, it time to take matters into your own hands and make your own.

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I created a homemade spin on the famous St. Patrick’s Day-inspired milkshake.  I used my ice cream machine to recreate the same thick and creamy consistency.

Shamrock Frosty

Minty and creamy

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 8-ounce tub Cool Whip
  • drops green food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract or 6 drops of peppermint essence oil
  • whipped cream & cherry (for topping), optional
  • chocolate sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. Place the milks, Cool Whip, peppermint extract, and green food coloring in an ice cream maker. Process until ice cream is formed, 30-45 minutes.
  2. Pour into glasses.
  3. Top with desired toppings.

 

Heathy Shamrock Shake

To create a little healthier version of this recipe   

1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt or coconut ice cream or greek yogurt
  • ½ cup skim milk or almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 handful of spinach leaves
  • 3 drops of green food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint oil or extract

Directions:

  1. Place in a blender and process until blended and smooth 30 seconds to 1 minutes.
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Notes:

If a shake isn’t your thing, these look super yummy!

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes

Green-tinted vanilla-mint cupcakes with whipped cream frosting, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Nutella Brownies

The sign of a good brownie is when they are baked in the morning and by evening all the brownies are eaten. (Note to self, ALWAYS double a recipe to make a big 13 x 9 pan.)  This decadent recipe is not difficult and the short ingredient list produces a super soft fudge- like brownie.

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Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom and sides of an 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan when cool.
  2. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes until creamed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in 1 cup Nutella and salt. Mix until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour, mixing just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Keep your eye on them and test with a toothpick to determine doneness.
  5. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

Recipe base off of Cookies and Cups cookbook.

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