My Favorite Brownies

If I had to name my favorite chocolate dessert, the words that would come racing out of my mouth would be Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies. I usually make them only when I am giving them away, otherwise I am in big trouble! I Love Love Love Brownies!

My Favorite Brownies

Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies

1 cup butter, melted
3 cups sugar
1 Tbl vanilla
4 eggs
1½ cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13″x9″ baking pan with foil and spray foil with non-stick spray. In large bowl, stirring by hand, mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, dark cocoa, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes (ovens vary but I alway bake them 45 min), until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely for easiest and cleanest cutting. Oh, and use these brownies for a brownie sundae…amazing!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies

One of my all time favorite cookies. Make a double batch and wrap some up to give to somebunny. ;o)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies 2

3/4 cup oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, cream butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar with electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, and mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and about 1/2 cup M&Ms (save some for top of cookies). Drop large scoop of batter onto cookie sheet and press a couple M&Ms into each cookie mound. Bake for 9-10 minutes, do not overbake.

Braided Sweet Bread

Happy Easter! Here is an easy bread that can be an impressive addition to your Sunday dinner.

Braided Sweet Bread

1¼ cups warm water
1 Tbl dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbl butter, melted
1 tsp salt
4-5 cups flour

In large bowl of mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. When yeast is bubbly, add egg, melted butter, salt and enough of the flour until soft ball forms. Knead. Turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled. Punch down dough and divide in half. Divide each half into three equal pieces, roll each piece into a 16″ rope and braid. Repeat with other half of dough. Place each braided loaf on greased or lined baking sheet and let rise 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk an egg with a little water and brush loaves. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown (interior temp of 180°). Recipe found at thebakerupstairs.com.

Pizza Rolls

Born from my love of bread and pizza. This is a pretty yummy snack or dinner.

Pizza rolls.jpg

Roll Dough:
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbl yeast
2 Tbl sugar
3 Tbl butter, softened
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour

Pizza Fillings:
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
dry seasonings (oregano, basil, Italian Seasoning, garlic)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar
1 cup cooked sausage crumbles
1 cup mini pepperoni
1 (3.8oz) can sliced olives

In mixer bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm milk, sprinkle sugar over yeast, let sit until bubbly. Add butter, egg, salt and flour. Mix until well combined. Knead. Turn out into oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. In small bowl, mix tomato paste and seasonings to taste.

Punch down dough, turn out onto floured surface and roll out to 12″x20″ rectangle. Spread tomato paste mixture evenly over dough. Sprinkle cheeses, sausage crumbles, mini pepperoni, and olives. Roll up gently to keep filling in place and seal edge. Cut (I use a thread to neatly cut through) into 12 rolls. Place rolls in sprayed 9″x13″ pan (or can use a 10″x15″ pan). Let rise about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until browned on top and bread looks well baked. You can sprinkle a little cheese on top and put back in the oven for a couple minutes to melt. Eat just as is or you can dip in marinara sauce.

P.S. These Pizza Rolls warmed up the next day are just as delicious! I put the leftover rolls on a piece of foil in the oven preheated to 300° and baked until warmed through. Serve with green salad, yum!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Bars

It’s been a while since I’ve been here and it’s good to be back! Since my last post, I have become a grandmother of four, yes four! We also moved, we now live up in the mountains in California and we are loving it. It’s a whole new chapter of our lives. I am enjoying my new kitchen and it’s gotten me really excited about baking new recipes. I have made chocolate chip cookies a few times lately, tweaking the recipe each time. Then, I started thinking about cheesecake and how I would really like to combine chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake. So, here you have it, my crazy thoughts coming at you as Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Bars!

chocolate chip cheesecake cookie bars

Cheesecake Layer:
2 (8oz) cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Chip Layers:
2½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 9X13 baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Make cheesecake layer by creaming together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, set aside. Make the chocolate chip layer; mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl, set aside. In large bowl, cream butter, sugar, brown sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mix just until combine and stir in mini chocolate chips.

Spread 2/3 of chocolate chip mixture in bottom of prepared pan (I drop spoonfuls in, spray fingers with nonstick spray and gently spread). Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate chip layer and gently spread to make even layer. Using your hands (this is another messy part) add remaining chocolate chip mixture to pan by putting small pieces evenly all over the top of cheesecake layer. There will be enough to almost cover but you do want to see cheesecake layer peeking through. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until just golden brown. Cool completely. Remove from pan to cutting board, lifting with foil. Remove foil and cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

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Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake

This cake makes a statement!

Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cake:
1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbl caramel ice cream topping

Milk Chocolate Drizzle & Toppings:
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 Tbl shortening
caramel ice cream topping
pecans, chopped
mini chocolate chips
toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl with electric mixer, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into a well sprayed bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake in pan at least 15 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to cool completely. Transfer to serving plate.

In a bowl with electric mixer, whip cream cheese. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add caramel and mix well. Spoon into pastry bag with large tip and pipe back and forth around (completely cooled) cake. In small bowl, microwave milk chocolate chips and shortening until just tempered, just melted enough to drizzle (hot or too warm on the cream cheese caramel frosting would melt frosting). Drizzle the caramel topping all around the cake. Sprinkle with pecans, mini chocolate chips and toffee bits. Inspired by chefintraining.

Coconut Lemon Mini Cupcakes

These little babies were well received at Book Club and work. So light, they couldn’t possibly have too many calories or be bad for you!

Coconut Lemon Mini Cupcakes

Coconut Lemon Mini Cupcakes 2

Coconut Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
1 cup coconut, processed in food processor
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1½ cups coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350° and put mini cupcake papers in mini cupcake pan. With electric mixer, mix cake mix, coconut, eggs, oil, and coconut milk for 2 minutes. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake 15-18 minutes, until top is set and springs bake when touched. Cool completely before frosting.
Makes approx. 48 mini cupcakes.

Lemon Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1 lemon, finely zest and squeeze juice
2-3 Tbl cream
yellow food color
coconut

Beat butter with electric mixer for 5 minutes until creamy lighter in color. Add powdered sugar, zest. Add enough food color, cream and juice to make desired color, consistency and taste. Pipe onto completely cool cupcakes, and dip frosted top of cupcake in bowl of coconut.

Cinnamon Babka

This is a rich buttery yeast bread (almost cake or dessert), full of cinnamon flavor. It’s not hard to make, just takes a little time, and so worth the wait!

Cinnamon Babka

Babka Dough
1/2 cup whole milk (heat to 110°)
1½ tsp yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites, 1 for filling & 1 for top of loaf)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbl butter, softened

Cinnamon Filling
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbl butter, melted and cooled
1 egg white
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

In bowl of mixer with dough hook, pour heated milk. Sprinkle yeast over milk, sprinkle sugar over yeast, and let sit until yeast is activated and bubbly. Add egg yolks, egg, and vanilla; mix. Add flour and salt; mix about 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium and softened butter in pieces, one piece at a time. Mix until butter is incorporated and dough smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until at least doubled (probably about 2 hours).

Mix cinnamon filling ingredients and set aside. Turn risen dough out onto well floured surface. Using enough flour so dough doesn’t stick, roll out into a 12″x16″ rectangle. Gently spread cinnamon filling evenly over surface of dough. Roll up starting from short side and pinch seam. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut all the way down the center of your dough cylinder (use flour on knife to help keep from sticking). Turn both halves of dough so filling is facing up. Twist one half over the other starting in the middle to the end (keeping cut edges facing up) and twist other end from center to the end. Tuck ends under and loaf together to length of loaf pan. Liberally grease loaf pan and carefully lift loaf into pan. Cover and let rise about 1½ hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly beat the one reserved egg white until frothy. Gently brush over risen loaf and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake about 45 minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack about 20 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely for clean, neat slices.

Cinnamon Babka 1  Cinnamon Babka 2

Cinnamon Babka 3  Cinnamon Babka 4

Pizza Pot Pies

My son-in-law sent a video of the Pizza Pot Pies from Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. As we watched the Pizza Pot Pie being inverted on the plate with all the saucy meat and melted cheese spilling into a golden pizza crust bowl, we knew we had to create it at home. So here is what we did…

pizza-pot-pies

Pizza Crust:
3/4 cup warm water (about 110°)
1 (2¼ tsp) pkt dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbl olive oil
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt

Sprinkle yeast over warm water, sprinkle sugar over yeast.  When yeast if foamy, add olive oil, flour, and salt.  knead.  Let rise in warm place until doubled. While waiting for dough to rise, make filling.

Pizza Pot Pie Filling:
1 lb ground turkey sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
20 slices turkey pepperoni, cut into quarters
1 (oz) can sliced black olives, drained
12 large slices mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

In large skillet, brown turkey sausage and onion. Add tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, oregano, seasoned salt, garlic powder, pepperoni, and olives. Set aside. *Add peppers, mushrooms, your favorite pizza toppings.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray or butter 4 oven-proof bowls (I used bowls approx 6″ diameter and 1½” deep, see picture above). Line each bowl with 3 slices mozzarella, overlapping to totally cover inside of bowl (break slices in half if necessary). Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded cheddar in bottom of each bowl. Spoon 1/4 of filling into each bowl over cheese. Divide dough into 4 even pieces. Roll or stretch each piece into a round large enough to fit over the bowls and over the edge about 1/2″. Press around edge of bowls to seal dough. Set bowls on cookie sheet covered with foil. Bake 20-25 minutes or until pizza crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, let sit a couple minutes. Invert each pizza pot pie onto a plate, use a rubber scraper to get every bit of cheese, grab forks and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts

My daughter Lindsay is visiting and we have been taste testing all things pumpkin spice. Have you noticed all the products in the stores? Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, Pumpkin Spice Lindor Truffles, Pumpkin Spice Kisses, Pumpkin Spice Ghirardelli Squares, Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal, Pumpkin Spice Jell-O Pudding, Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars. No, we did not eat all of that. Lindsay did make Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts, and we did eat them, yummy!

Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts.jpg

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Batter:
1 box yellow cake mix
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 Tbl melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, combine cake mix, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. Add pumpkin, eggs and melted butter; mix until well combined. Set aside, make streusel.

Streusel:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbl melted butter

In separate bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and melted butter.
Spoon batter into doughnut baking pan, filling each ring halfway. Sprinkle streusel over batter in each doughnut ring. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

More Pumpkin Goodness:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie Crust Pie 2

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes 1

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Milk Chocolate Blondies

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Cinnamon Pumpkin Cream Frosting

Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Sweet Rolls

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Apple Pumpkin Pecan Cake