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Entries in Dessert (32)

Monday
Apr282014

Surprise Carrot Cake

Surprise Carrot Cake

Spring has sprung (finally) and with it has come another Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month, I was assigned to Lynn’s blog, Turnips 2 Tangerines. Lynn is semi-retired from the retail/restaurant industry and is a certified Gourmet Chef and Caterer! Lynn married her junior high school sweetheart and now lives on a picturesque lake in an old home that she and her husband renovated on their own. She has quite the arsenal of recipes on her blog and I encourage you to take a look!

We hosted Easter dinner for my family this year and I needed a dessert to “wow” the crowd. For some reason, carrot cake seems like the most appropriate dessert for a spring holiday, although I’ve never made it before. I liked that this particular carrot cake recipe had something that set it apart from most. The surprise filling made it special. This cake was amazing! We all had a slice on Easter, and even after giving some to my mom and my sister-in-law to take home, I ended up with half a cake left. I ate some for breakfast and treated myself to dessert each night. I finally finished it up on Friday. It held up well in the fridge for almost a week! Thank you, Lynn, for sharing such a special dessert recipe!

For the Filling
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Refrigerate the filling while making the cake batter. 

For the Cake
3 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Sugar
3 cups Shredded Carrots
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar. Add the carrots and oil and beat until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the carrot mixture and mix well. Stir in the walnuts. Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan. Spoon the cream cheese filling into the bundt pan and top with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely. 

For the Frosting
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 cups Powdered Sugar (I only used 2)

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting has reached the desired consistency. Frost the cake and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.  

SOURCE: Turnips 2 Tangerines

Monday
Feb242014

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter pie

I can’t believe that it is already the end of February. Somehow, I have the feeling that 2014 is going to fly. With the end of the month comes Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This past month, I was assigned to Nicole’s blog, I Am A Honey Bee. I absolutely enjoyed every second of searching through Nicole’s blog, reading about the food she cooks, her scrapbooking, her travels, and her family, including her super cute Boston Terrier and her sweet little baby daughter. Boston is one of my favorite cities, so I enjoyed her posts that explored the New England area. I also enjoyed her scrapbook posts, as I have scrapbooked for quite some time (though I’ve fallen away recently). Every recipe that Nicole posted sounded like something I’d make in my own kitchen. I couldn’t help but think as I read through her posts that if I lived in the Boston area, we’d be fast friends! After narrowing my choices down to about 2 dozen recipes, I finally settled on this peanut butter pie, thanks to a little help from my brother. His birthday was mid-month and my mom had us all over for dinner. As I do every year, I volunteered to bring dessert. I don’t know why I bother asking Michael what he wants me to make, because every year he responds by saying “anything with Oreo or peanut butter flavor”. Perfect! This recipe made more filling than needed for the pie, which would have been perfect to make individual pies, but I chose to eat it by spooning it onto the leftover Oreos from the crust. Thanks Nicole, for helping me to join my brother’s two favorite flavors into one delicious birthday pie. I had a great time getting to know you this month! 

8 ounces Oreos (about half a package)
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
4 ounces Chocolate Chips or Finely Chopped Chocolate (I used dark)
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice 

Process the cookies in a food processor until crumbs are formed. Dump the cookie crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter; mix well. Firmly press the cookie crumb mixture into a 9” pie plate. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the chocolate and place the pie plate in the fridge to firm while preparing the filling. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Place the whipped cream into the fridge to chill. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined. Add the condensed milk and beat until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling with a rubber spatula until blended. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Pour the filling into the pie plate and most the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional peanuts or chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate for until 3 hours before serving.

SOURCE: I Am A Honey Bee

Wednesday
Jan082014

Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies

Granola cookies

Here it is, January 8th, and I’m already making cookies. In my defense, I’m living in the world of the polar vortex and I’ve been stuck home these past two days because of it. All this after having 2 weeks off for winter break makes for a very bored food blogger! So, to cure the boredom, why not make cookies? I stumbled across this recipe while perusing Pinterest and I happened to have every ingredient for these cookies on hand, including a batch of granola that I had made last week. After testing a few right off the pan, I look forward to packing some in my lunch for work tomorrow, provided I can actually go back!

1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1/3 cup Applesauce
1 Egg
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Granola
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugars, butter, oil, and applesauce until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then gradually beat in the flour on low speed. Using a spoon, stir in the granola and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to cooling racks until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container. 

SOURCE: Barely adapted from Live Better America

Monday
Dec232013

Jamaretti Cookies

Jamaretti

I have to say that with the exception of one, the cookies I chose to make for Christmas have been absolutely delicious; this one included. However, when making this cookie, I had a serious case of not reading the recipe carefully. I made the dough, chilled it, then rolled it out, but instead of rolling it into a 2-inch wide log, I just rolled it flat, kind of wondering how I was going to make the trench in the center, but kind of just assuming that the dough would puff up as it baked. Well, after I baked it the first time, I pulled the dough out to make the trench and the dough was so flat that I could hardly make a dent in the center. After spreading the jam down the tiny canal I created, I hoped that as it baked again, it wouldn’t just melt and drip off the cookie. Luckily, the jam stayed where it was placed and it all worked out in the end. This is one forgiving cookie that ends up looking elegant and tasting delicious, whether you read the recipe carefully or not!

2 1/4 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup Almond Paste (that is half of an 8oz jar)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Jam (I used seedless raspberry)
1 cup Powdered Sugar
4 teaspoons Milk

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a food processor, pulse the almond paste and sugar until smooth. In another bowl (I used my stand mixer), cream the butter and the almond sugar mixture. Add the egg and blend until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 10-inch log. Transfer the logs onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and flatten them out to about 2-inches across. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until just dry. Remove the dough from the oven and make a trench down the center of each log using the handle of a wooden spoon. Spread about 2 tablespoons of jam into each trench. Return the cookies to the oven and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until they become golden brown. Let the cookies cool slightly, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the logs of dough. Let the glaze harden for about 20 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1-inch slices. Store the cookies in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

SOURCE: Martha Stewart

Saturday
Dec212013

Chocolate Fudge S'mores Thumbprints

Smores thumbprints

Since I never really want to make the same cookie twice, it takes me a whole year to come up with my Christmas cookie list. It usually begins at Christmas, when I try the different cookies that my friends and family make. As the year goes on, I find other recipes that I want to try, and they get added to a list. When it comes time to start making cookies for Christmas again, I have a list about a mile long that has to be pared down. It’s a vicious cycle. This year, the list consisted of 4 cookies, Christmas Crack, and cookie butter popcorn (recipe to come). Now that I type it, it makes me realize how pathetic it is that it took me an entire year to come up with 6 things to make for Christmas. Oh well, these cookies made that year-long search completely worth it. They are like a bite of summer during the cold winter months. I highly suggest putting these on your Christmas cookie list for next year. They are so good that maybe they will end up on mine again, too!

1/2 cup Butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg Yolk
3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugars until fluffy, scraping the bowl when needed, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, beating for another 2 minutes, until combined. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour mixture, gradually increasing the speed for the dough to come together. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and set them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) 2 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie, creating a dent. Place the cookies back in the oven and bake for 5-6 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Once cool, spread about 1 teaspoon of the marshmallow fluff in the dent of each cookie. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with graham cracker crumbs. Store in an air tight container. Makes about 18-20 cookies. 

SOURCE: Barely adapted from How Sweet It Is