Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Father's Day!


Happy Father's Day to a "whopping" good dad!
My baking skills come from my mother- along with of my other talents.  But luckily I am a great blend of both my parents- and I received a lot of wonderful characteristics from my dad also.  My dad is an amazing person- supportive, loving, talented, and just all around awesome.  Him and my mother together are a dynamic duo that I love more than anything.  One thing my dad and I share is our love of chocolate- and one of his all time favorite candies are chocolate malt balls.. aka.. WHOPPERS!  These lil balls of chocolatey goodness were the main attraction for my dad's Father's Day dessert and this was one heck of a cake.  I used a receive from The Country Cook but changed it up a little to make it look like a picture I had seen on Pintrest.  I think either way you bake it, stack it, and decorate it, it is going to be a delicious cake.  I follow the cake recipe per the Country Cook's directions but make it into 2- 9 inch rounds and used what should have been the topping (whipped cream mixed with the malted chocolate milk powder) to make a creamy layer between the two cakes.  Then I took your good ol' chocolate frosting and mixed some of the malted chocolate milk powered in that and covered the cake with that mixture.  Before the frosting had time to get too warm (it's summer here and my house was a tad warm) or too firm I placed the malt balls all over the top of the cake and then started stacking them on the sides.  I immediately placed the cake in the fridge so the malt balls would stay in place and they did. And all that made for one happy dad!  He loved it, the family loved it and it's a definite repeat with our group!
Happy Father's Day to my dad and all the dads out there!  Enjoy!
Whopper Cake

1 box Milk Chocolate Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups chocolate malted milk powder, divided
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
1 cup Whoppers malted milk balls

Preheat oven to 350F degrees
Spray 13x9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour
In a medium bowl, combine cake mix with 3/4 cups malted milk powder.
Add in eggs, oil and water and stir until combined.
Pour batter in baking pan.
Bake for about 38-40 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean)
Allow cake to cool completely before making topping.

For the topping
In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping with 3/4 cup malted milk powder.
Stir until completely incorporated and no longer grainy.
Spread topping on top of cooled cake.
Put one cup of malted milk balls into a ziploc bag and zip it up.
Pound with a rolling pin (or other hard object) to crush Whoppers.

Sprinkle finished cake with crushed malted milk balls.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Snickers. Does a Brownie Good!

My mother is quite the baker herself... where do you think I get if from? But sometimes even the best bakers look elsewhere for help/guidance.  My mother makes dessert to celebrate the birthdays of her coworkers.  From time to time she turns to me to see what funky pin or blog recipe I've found.  Of course on this occasion- I was able to deliver with some sinfully good brownie bites.  Yes, I love my staple port brownie bites- but these run a very close 2nd if not tie for first.  Snickers Brownie Bites from The Domestic Rebel.  Don't let the name full ya- you aren't just chopping up a Snickers bar and mixing it in with the brownie mix- oh no- you are creating the essence of the Snickers bar to enhance the already gooey, chocolateyness of the brownie.  The recipe makes these in a pan, but I decided to step up the presentation game and make them in to individually wrapped brownie bite cups. 
Following the recipe I mad the brownie batter, poured them into my lined mini cupcake pan and let them bake up for about 15-20 minutes (time will vary depending on your brownie mix).  Allow them to cool and then begin stacking on the layers of nutty, caramel goodness.  The rest of the recipe I followed pretty true, you may have some leftovers but you can always make more brownies!  The caramel was a little complicated to get on the brownies and I would put it on a few at at time and then add peanuts so the caramel wouldn't be hard by the time I got to the last one if I'd put it on all of them.  And you do need to push the peanuts in- or they will fall off in the chocolate.  Maybe next time I'll drizzle some caramel on top of the peanuts or just drizzle the chocolate on- so many ways to do it!  I did not put my brownies in the fridge after adding the caramel and peanut layer, I just let them sit for a little while and they seemed to get firm enough to dip in the chocolate.  And just another tip- because I did make a small pan of brownies in addition to the cups- and I poured the chocolate on before I cut them- cut them first- then dip them in chocolate!  But if you are like me and you just can't wait that long, just let them sit for a while (I let them go overnight so I guess it was longer than if I'd just cut them) and cut them later- the chocolate will crack a little but believe me- taste out weighs presentation any day when you have a yummy treat!
The end of the recipe says will store up to 2 days in an airtight container- don't worry about them going bad- they won't last that long!  The email from my mom the next morning at work is proof... I made her 3 dozen (not all were Snickers topped), for 18 people....
"Hey Riz - It is only 8:58am and there is only 3 desserts left that you made. Rave reviews, especially about the ones with the snickers type top. Thank you, but next time I better order double. Love Ya Mom"
Because of nut sensitivities now and days- I made some brownie cups- minus the Snickers topping.  When I took all the brownie cups out of the oven I immediately placed caramel filled Hershey Kisses on top so they would melt onto the brownie- at least they were getting some caramel treat with their brownie- but I'm pretty sure nut sensitive or not- everyone had one of each!
Snickers Brownie Bites from The Domestic Rebel
1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 jar marshmallow fluff
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 pkg Kraft caramels, unwrapped
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 & 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 pkg chocolate Candiquik or milk chocolate almond bark
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9″ baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Prepare your brownie mix according to package directions and pour into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean per the directions on the package. Cool the brownies completely.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the marshmallow fluff + the smooth peanut butter with a rubber spatula or hand mixer until blended. Spread the fluff mixture on top of the cooled brownies in an even layer.
3. Microwave the unwrapped caramels in a medium bowl with a splash of heavy cream for 1 minute. Stir, then heat for an additional 30 seconds or until melted and smooth. Spread the caramel layer on top of the fluff nougat layer evenly. Immediately sprinkle on the peanuts and press them gently into the caramel. Pop the brownies in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set.
4. Melt the Candiquik according to package directions until smooth. Using a sharp knife sprayed with cooking spray, cut the brownies into 1″-2″ sized squares. Dip the tops of the squares in the melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat until all the bites have been coated.
5. Store the bites airtight, at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cake

If you haven't already been able to figure out, I am a chocoholic.  I admit it and I do nothing to break myself of the addiction.  Therefore any mouth watering chocolate recipe I find is bound to be on my TO DO... SOON list.  And this one was a delicious adventure.  As you can see from the picture the outside is covered in chocolate chips and chocolate frosting... but wait.. it gets better! Wedged between two moist chocolate cake layers is a chewy, fudgy brownie layer! 

Best piece of advice- bake the brownie layer with some wax paper or foil in the pan and you can lift it out in one piece as opposed to trying to flip it out of the pan.  The brownie is harder to keep together than the cake.  But then again if you do have some cracks or spaces- fill it in with frosting!  Everyone- well most people- love frosting so you can't go wrong and they will be too far on their way to chocolate coma to notice a few fill in areas!

This is a repeat in my book!  Enjoy

Ultimate Death by Chocolate Brownie Cake


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


About a year ago I stumbled upon an article about a hybrid dessert that brings together even the most devote Pie or Cake Lovers.  The "Cherpumple" or "Piecaken"  is a crazy combination of, you guessed it, pie and cake- but of course this cant just be one layer- oh no- it must be three different layers of pie and cake to be a true "Cherpumple".  Traditionally (if you can even use this word to describe it) this dessert consists of  cherry pie in chocolate cake, pumpkin pie in spice cake, and apple pie in vanilla cake all coated in a heavy layer of vanilla frosting!  This is the true "TURDUCKEN" of the dessert world!

Of course this challenge is one I could not pass up!  Found the recipe, bought the ingredients and set my oven to bake! The process seems relatively easy- until the step of actually putting the pie into the cake.  You bake the pies (simple enough), then you are suppose to remove them from their pans without breaking them- mission failed.  So to avoid any further issues, I took the easy road and just flipped them over upside down into the cake pans- it seemed to all work pretty well.  And note- if you add too much cake batter make sure to bake with a sheet pan under your cake pans- the batter may spill over the edge!  With the pies baked into the cake- then came the art of stacking.  I do not pride myself on my cake building or decorating technique so these next two steps were nail biters.  Cakes all stacked I placed them in the fridge and went to sleep. I thought for sure I would see a crumbled pie/cake mess when I awoke in the morning to frost this beast.  To my surprise- the cake layers were still intact and I proceeded to frost.. and frost.. and frost some more. The end result was a mile high marshmallow looking dessert that is one big conversation starter. 

I made this for a holiday party at work- it was the gift that just kept giving!  Pie lovers and Cake lovers alike loved the sweet and salty, and unexpected delight they received from this dessert.  I can't even begin to explain the look I got when explaining this to people- make one and you'll know what I'm talking about.  But it was a hit!  Managed to slice some very presentable pieces for a while until I cut through about 2/3 of it, then- TIMBER- I lost the top half of this dessert!  But it was pretty while it lasted- and still tasted delicious!

If you ever want a fun challenge, and an attention grabber- bake this treat up!  See the link for photos of other Cherpumples, the recipe and a how to video!


Charles Phoenix- Cherpumple

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kitchen Re-do

Being a homeowner your house is alway evolving.  Decorations change seasonally, the yard always needs refreshing, of course you have to clean, clean and clean some more, and occasionaly you get the crazy idea to put that wish list into action and dramatically change your living space.  After growing up in a home with a contractor for a father, I lived in a constantly revolving space.  But a beautiful space none the less.  There were smaller projects as I grew up but when I was in college my dad decided to rip out the kitchen and dining room- basically half the house and remodel it- and 2+ years later my mom has an amazing kitchen, my dad has the staircase he always wanted and they have a delightfully large dinning room to entertain in. Along with other upgrades my parents house is amazing.  So of course being a product of my enviroment, and now married, I still live in a constantly changing space. Our biggest project to date would have to be our kitchen upgrade.  It did not take nearly the time or budget, as my parents- however it was an amazing transformation and such a big change that makes me happy my husband is so handy. 

I didn't get a great before of the kitchen because really from conception of the idea to the acutal start of the process the picture below is basically what I came home to one day after work.  I knew my dishwasher had been sold, but little did I know while at work the next day- my fridge, stove/oven, and microwave had also been sold.  That was my husband's cue to begin staining the cabinets.  One small detail- we hadn't even purchased new appliances- and of course- I had an event I needed to bake for in the coming week.  At 8pm at night we ventured down to Sears and picked out all new appliances.  Luckily my stove/oven was in stock- we picked that up the next day.  Once the cabinets were stained around it that went in and later that week I put it to work- luckily it was amazing.  Got to the end of the week- cabinets were almost all stained and we were waiting on the appliances. I left town to my dad and husband installing the microwave and my dishwasher and fridge in the garage.  Well my husband busted his butt and got the rest of the cabinets done- appliances in and I came home to a beautiful "new" kitchen.  One of which I am very proud to bake in once again!

On to the next baking adventure!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy birthday Hubs!

Over the past two days I've been celebrating my wonderful husband. He is one if the best guys in the world. He is an amazing friend, worker, brother, son, nephew, grandson and husband. He's part of the reason I took up my blog again. He's very supportive of just about anything I do and he understand what baking does for me. Now if I can just find a way to make it into a profitable hobby then we are in business, literally. But another blog for another time!

Happy Birthday Clay! 27 years young! We celebrated with family and friends and my task is always to come up with a fun birthday cake for him. Since he isn't a huge chocolate lover, but he can never say no to an Oreo, I went with a Oreo Cookies and Cream cake.. SO GOOD! The recipe was easy and it turned out delicious- only one hitch- didn't read the warning on the bottom of the recipe until it was too late. When you make the frosting for this recipe- you really can't use non-fat, reduced fat, etc cream cheese or whipped cream- totally makes for runny frosting! But I got a little creative with the Oreos and no one really minds the look of something when it's a tasty, sugary treat- so still a success in my book! I didn't get a picture of this creation ( and it definitely was not as pretty as the picture on the blog) , but here is the recipe- Cookies-N-Cream Cake. If you have an Oreo lover in your midst- you will score some major brownie points with this cake. Just remember - read the entire recipe AND directions before starting ;)

Once again.. Happy Birthday Clay! I love you!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Salty and Sweet

Pinterest strikes again! Saw this creative creation and couldn't help but try it out... Yup it was a hit! I do love that I have such brave coworkers who are wiling to try all my baking ventures and they make sure to let me know their opinions. Who can not like something that satisfies your sweet and savory taste buds... Right up there with chocolate covered bacon... Well maybe ( but what an beat bacon.. I mean come on.. It's BACON)! Reviews were positive and this will probably be a repeater. Not only did they love it, but it was super easy! Next time ill have to step it up and do brownies and caramel from scratch but figured best to go with the recipe for the first time through. I'll let you know how my attempt to really "make it my own" goes. You can find the recipe I used here http://recipesweet.net/salted-pretzel-caramel-brownies/ and make yourself up a yummy treat! Bake on friends!