Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy (and almost cheating) Key Lime Pie

This is the second time in the past two months that I've made this pie. Well, since I made two pies today, I suppose you could say third.
But look at it! I mean, really? Could you resist this limey goodness?! I hope you're answer is no, otherwise that means that I have some major problems.
The best part about this pie is that it only has four ingredients (plus two for the whipped cream topping).

What you'll need:
  • One can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 9 inch pre-made graham cracker crust
Yup! That's really all you need to achieve this...

To make:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl beat together the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice. Pour mixture into pie crust.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before refrigerating. Top with whipped cream before ready to serve.
Now this time my pie did turn out very limey, but I think the whipped cream balanced out. My mom is bringing one of the pies to work, so I guess they'll be the final verdicts!

Enjoy :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Special K Bars

I'll be back later to post pictures once the Special K bars have set, but I thought... Why not get the ball rolling and at least begin to blog about it?! So... While I was at the grocery store looking for stuff to make my Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread, my dad got a sudden craving for Special K bars while we were in the baking aisle. Since I'm such a foodie, I volunteered in a heartbeat to make them for him. Special K bars are a big hit, and I'm sure many families have their own recipes, but I thought I'd share one with you today anyways.

My camera didn't want to be my friend tonight. That was the best picture I could get while they were still setting. Oh well, I'm sure they'll be delicious!

What you'll need:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 12 oz package of chocolate chips (we used the peanut butter swirl chocolate chips, but it's really your preference. The Blake family is a peanut butter family...)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (since we used the swirl chocolate chips we only used about a tablespoon of peanut butter instead.)

-In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine sugars and corn syrup and stir well. Microwave on high for two minutes- meanwhile rise the spoon off with very hot water.
-Remove bowl from microwave and stir mixture once again. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Return the bowl to the microwave for another 2 minutes on high, or until the concoction starts to bubble. Make sure to rinse the spoon again!
-Take out of microwave and stir in a cup and a half of peanut butter until smooth and combined. Add cereal and stir until evenly coated. Pour cereal into a 9x13 inch greased pan, using the back of a spoon to press evenly.
-Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium power for 2 minutes then 30 second intervals until the chips melt and combine smoothly. Spead over cereal mixture, let cool then cut into bars.

Enjoy :)

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread

So my dad came to me today telling me that we have a million zucchini from our garden and that we have no idea what to do with them... I kinda made a face. If you're like me, you really don't do anything green. It's just not part of my lifestyle. Yes, I'm aware of how unhealthy that is. But all of the sudden an idea came to me- zucchini bread. My step mom has made it for the family before, and I've always wanted to attempt making it! Today was my day. We headed to the store to get a few things and ta-da! I know have four loaves of zucchini bread on my counter (I doubled the batch). We still have a ton of zucchini left over. Does anyone want a loaf?

On to the recipe, shall we?

What you'll need:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (I learned this today, you don't peel the zucchini. Apparently the skin adds extra protein! Woohoo! Less work for me!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I almost always up that amount by another half teaspoon)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I suppose you could use walnuts instead.... Personally I'm a fan of pecans)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (If you're not a chocoholic like I am, you may use a cup of dried fruit such as cranberries instead.)
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
-Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans, liberally. 
-In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. From there mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla extract.
I apologize. The egg mixture is not very pretty!
-In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the pecans and chocolate chips.
 Morgan was helping me out today! Unfortunately I couldn't get a very clear picture of her.

-Stir dry ingredient mixture into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
-Place in the oven and bake loaves for 60 minutes (+ or - 10 minutes.)

My bread turn out really well. It was moist and delicious. I'll definitely be making it again!

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cookie Dough Cupcake

Cookie dough and cake seem to have always been in their own separate worlds, right? Well, not anymore! A few months ago I made these sugar coma-inducing treats, and I've been an addict ever since...  So have many of my fellow classmates. The best way to make a ton of friends at school: bring in baked goods. 
I decided to make these once again for a surprise going away party for my friend Katie, who moves back to Missouri later this week. We'll miss her tons, and I thought these might be something for her to remember me by.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • one box yellow cake mix (along with the necessary materials to make the cake.)
  • one tub of frosting (any flavor) or homemade frosting (I typically make the chocolate frosting that's simply on the back of a container of Hershey's cocoa)

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside. Cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add one egg and vanilla extract  until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until incorporated then fold in the chocolate chips. Form dough into 24 evenly sized balls, place on a cookie sheet and freeze for two hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tins with liners.
  3. Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box. Pour batter into cupcake liners. Once liners are filled, place one cookie dough ball in each tin.
  4. Bake cake according to directions on box, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake part (not the cookie dough!) comes out clean. Cool in pans for about ten minutes, then remove. Let cool completely before frosting.

Before being frosted! I almost wished I would've just made a cake from scratch. Then again, this is less time consuming.

This is what the center of the cupcake looked like. I'm sorry I couldn't really get a very pretty picture! But take my word, they're delicious!

Enjoy! :)

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Frosting

Okay... I'm apologizing ahead of time... These were gobbled up before I could get a picture of them. They were really that yummy. The next time I make them, I promise I will post pictures!
So. I don't know about you, but I'm a big sucker for red velvet. If anything is red velvet, I'm buying it, sniffing it, eating it. I know, that doesn't sound very appealing, but I love this stuff. I even have a red velvet candle...

So as you can imagine, I was pretty thrilled when I found a recipe for red velvet brownies on one of my favorite food blogs (I'll put the link at the end of the post, her blog is absolutely amazing). I couldn't wait to try them, so I invited my friend Sarah over for a baking day! Here's what we did:

Ingredients (for the brownies)

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
2/3 cups chocolate chips (optional, although I say you should go for it.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Butter and flour an 8x8 inch cake pan. Set aside
  3. In a small bowl combine cocoa, red food coloring, and one teaspoon vanilla to make a paste.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs in one at a time, mixing before each addition, then add the remaining vanilla. While on medium speed, slowly add in cocoa powder mixture. Beat until the batter turns red. (if the batter doesn't turn red, more food coloring may be added.)  Add flour and salt, mixing until combined, then fold in chocolate chips if desired.
  5. Spread batter in pan and cook for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely before frosting.

By the time we made these brownies, Sarah and I were feeling a little lazy. So we just used a tub of cream cheese frosting on the brownies. I'm kinda sad that we did this, because I was later told that this white chocolate frosting is to die for! Next time, I promise!

To see the frosting recipe, or just another amazing food blog, click here!

Salted Fudge Brownies

First off, I'd like to apologize. I'm awful about keeping up with this blog! But I'm making up for it with three posts today! So enjoy!

So my best friend Chelsea was in need of what she called "a grown up dessert" to bring with her up north. We stumbled upon these delicious treats!

Granted my pictures didn't turn out very well, the brownies sure did!
So here's the recipe:
. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
.2 oz. unsweetened baker's chocolate, finely chopped
.1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
.2 cups sugar
.3 large eggs
.1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
. 1 cup all purpose flour
.1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 inch square pan with tin foil, enough for the foil to drape over the sides. Lightly butter the foil
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and the unsweetened chocolate on very low heat, stirring often. 

3. Remove from heat. Whisking one in at a time thoroughly, add in the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly with a butter knife. Spread salt on top of the batter, then using the knife swirl it into the batter.
4.Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the sides are set, but when a toothpick is inserted into the middle, a little residue comes off with it.
5. Let brownies cool at room temperature for one hour, then refrigerate for at least another hour. Lift brownies out of pan and peel off foil. Cut into sixteen individual brownies. Serve at room temperature.