Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Bars

2  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 jar of grape jam
1/2 cup peanut butter chips


Preheat oven to 375. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter, room temp.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, work in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.

Add egg, lightly beaten, and vanilla; stir until dough just comes together.

Set aside 1 cup of dough and firmly press remaining dough into pan in an even layer. Spread jelly over top.

Combine reserved dough and peanut butter chips; crumble over jam layer.

Bake until topping is deep golden brown, 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Run a sharp knife around edges then, using parchment, lift cake from pan and cut into squares.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sorry for the Absence

The past few months have been incredibly chaotic but I am going to be trying to work on more things here. Starting with a very unique tiramisu this weekend!

Can't wait to get back to work here. =)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

What you'll need:

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 slices white bread
1 table spoon Nutella

How to do it:
  • In a pie dish, whisk together milk, vanilla and egg. 
  • Place one slice of bread into the egg wash, allowing it to soak in for 20 seconds. Flip over and allow the other side to soak for the same length of time.

  • On the stove top, in a skillet over medium heat, drop in a pat of butter. Once melted by the heat, drop in the first slice of soaked bread. Allow to cook until the underside is golden brown. Flip and allow the other side to cook to the same doneness. 

  • Once you flip the first piece of bread in the skillet, place second into the egg wash to soak, turning 20 seconds afterward, just like the first time.
  • After the first slice of French toast has been made, place it on a plate to cool for about 1 minute while the second slice is cooking in the skillet. Once cooled for that amount of time, spread a thin layer of Nutella over the exact middle of the bread.

  • When the second slice is done, immediately drop it onto the first piece, sandwiching the Nutella between them.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apple Pie Pound Cake

You may have noticed how my Tumblr's URL is taking up the top right hand corner of the above photo. Usually, I will just put photos on here without credits or straight from Flickr. Not this time. I had a very frustrating morning involving Flickr's privacy policy. Seems people have been able to share my photos though my settings were, clearly, on a function that is supposed to make that impossible. Needless to say, I will be tagging my photos from now on with my Tumblr account name.

On to something else!

This past week has been a very stressful one for me and, to be quite honest, I am glad it's over. A little baking helped a bit but not as much as I would have hoped. This is what I came up with; apple pie pound cake!

What you'll need:
  • A box of pound cake mix plus half a stick of butter, 2/3 cup water and 2 eggs
  • One can of apple pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Whipped cream, the kind of your choice
  • Caramel sauce

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a square loaf pan and set aside. 
  2. Mix together the pound cake, butter, water and eggs. Pour batter into the pan. Bake for 55 minutes.
  3. Allow the cake to cool then flip it out onto to a wire rack or large serving plate.
  4. Pour can of apple pie filling, sugar and cinnamon into a pan. Heat on stove until just warm. 
  5. Cut cake slice and pile it with whipped cream, topping it with apple pie filling, whipped cream and caramel.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brownie Dessert Pizza

Brownie Pizza

 You'll need:

1 box of brownie mix (your choice)
1 tub of cheesecake filling OR your favorite homemade recipe, enough for one cheesecake
half bag of chocolate chips
chocolate sauce
caramel sauce
green food coloring
pink food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a traditional pizza pan, set aside.
  2. Mix brownies according to the directions on the box. Spoon all the mix onto the pizza pan, spreading to the edges. Bake for 25-28 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, split the cheesecake filling in half, placing mixture in separate bowls. Dye one half pink, the other green. This will NOT affect the taste at all. Place back into the fridge once they've been dyed.
  4. Once brownie is done, leave it to cool for about an hour. Do not remove from pan.
  5. After it's cool, spread a layer of pink cheesecake filling over the top of the brownie, repeating with the green layer on top. Do NOT mix the colors together. Immediately cover with chocolate chips and as much chocolate and caramel syrup as you like. Pop back into the fridge until you're ready to serve.

There are many variations you can play with as well!

  • The Elvis: Substitute peanut butter for half the cheesecake filling, layering it onto the brownie before the cheesecake, topping the cheesecake with bananas and chocolate sauce.
  • Candy Bar: Fore go dyeing the cheesecake, simply layering it all onto the brownie and topping with crushed toffee bars, Snickers, M&M's and chocolate sauce.
  • Strawberry Heaven: Dye the whole cheesecake filling pink, topping with fresh strawberries and a light drizzle of both chocolate and caramel.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hawaiian Punch Cupcakes

(Hawaiian Punch Cupcakes)

Things you'll need:

1 box of white (not vanilla) cake mix
1 can of vanilla frosting
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups Hawaiian Punch
pink food coloring (to dye frosting)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tin with paper liners or, if you are not using them, grease each of the cups in the tin. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil and Hawaiian Punch. 
  3. Divide batter among the cups in the cupcake tin and bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the very middle cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Dye the frosting the shade of pink you think works best for you and, once cool (it'll take at least 14 minutes for them to), frost.
Makes: 36 regular sized cupcakes

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Vanilla Chocolate Chip Filling

This is the first of many, many entries to come and it's so incredibly easy! It took me less than an hour to make them all. Believe it or not, it doesn't require many ingredients either so...let's get started.

What you'll need for the cookies:

1 box of chocolate cake mix (your choice)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

What you'll need for the filling:

1 can of vanilla frosting
half a bag of chocolate chips (your choice of brand)


1). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine your cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil. The dough will be quite thick so, even if you are tempted to "thin it out a bit" with water, don't. This is what it should look like when it's done:

2). Measure out rounded spoonfuls of the dough and place them on a cookie sheet, 9 to a sheet.

3). Using either the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, press the dough balls flat.

4). Bake for 11 minutes and remove them to a wire rack to cool. It won't take them only to cool at all, just about 4 or 5 minutes. Once they are, you can pile them up on a plate.

5). When all the cookies are done, you can go ahead and start your filling. Just empty a container of vanilla frosting into a medium bowl and fold in half a bag of chocolate chips.

6). Once all the cookies are cool, sandwich the filling between two cookies and pile them up in a large bowl or cake stand to serve them.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pretty Girl Rice Krispie Treats

(Pretty Girl Rice Krispie Treats)

Sometimes, having regular rice treats is nice. Adding in something like chocolate chips, peanut butter, caramel or anything else seems like too much of a hassle and, let's face it, sometimes you just want to have plain ol' treats!
That doesn't mean that those treats have to be plain looking, though. Jazz them up with some sprinkles!

The recipe is very simple, as it should be. You'll need:

1 box of puffed rice cereal
1 large bag of marshmallows
1 stick of butter
1 jar of the sprinkles of your choice
A greased cake pan, in whatever size you choose


  •  Melt the stick of butter in a large/oversized pot. Once it's melted down completely, add in the marshmallows. Stir them occasionally to make sure they melt as well. The process could take a short while, about 7 or 8 minutes. 
  • Once the marshmallows have melted, remove the pot from heat.
  • Pour cereal into the marshmallow mixture along with the ENTIRE jar of sprinkles. Fold everything together with a wooden spoon until very well incorporated.
  • Spoon the mixture out into the cake pan you have greased and allow to set and cool for about an hour.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Macarons Made Easy(ish)

("Macarons" by Berengere Abraham)

Yesterday, the post brought in the first cookbook I have ever purchased for myself. This lovely jewel has such great ideas for macarons that I cannot wait for it to be October again in order to really enjoy them. While, of course they can be enjoyed year round, I prefer them as autumn approaches.

What I don't love so much? The very complicated recipes for them that you will find all over the internet and, sometimes, in books.

Macarons have long since had a history of being difficult, at best, to make. I don't find this to be true. However, I do believe they require a great deal of patience and a touch of creativity. They aren't something a novice would probably enjoy making but, if you fancy yourself a pro, or just enjoy a challenge, then they are perfect for you.

Here is my own step-by-step guide to fool-proof French macarons.

The basic recipe:

1/4 cup of finely ground almonds*
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
Filling of your choice
Pastry bag or a large Zip-Lock bag
large round tip
parchment paper
an old oven mit

*If you are allergic to almonds, or simply do not like the taste, using them is not essential. However, realize, you will no longer be making "French macarons" but, instead, meringue shells.


  1. In medium sized bowl, with an electric mixer attached with a whisk, beat egg whites and pinch of salt on medium speed, until foamy. Slowly add in the sugar and crank the speed up to high. Continue to beat mixture until white, glossy peaks form in the bowl. This could take a while. If you're using a hand mixer, don't get discouraged easily. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Fold powdered sugar into the egg mixture.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  5. Fit the pastry bag or Zip-Lock bag with a large round tip. Spoon meringue mixture into the bag. Pipe small rounds onto the parchment paper and place remaining mixture into the fridge. Allow the meringues to "dry" for at least 20 minutes. The longer it can "dry", the better.
  6. Once you have allowed the meringues to "dry" (you should be able to touch them without leaving a fingerprint), put them into the oven. Be VERY careful not the shut the door all the way. Keep it ajar using an old oven mitt, preventing it from closing all the way. Allow to bake for about 12-15 minutes. You'll know they're done when the tops of them look glossy and dry.
  7. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. They cool quite fast so, about 5 minutes is all you really need. Very carefully peel them from the parchment paper and place them, flat side down, on a plate until you're ready to assemble them, sandwiching your favorite filling (be it a ganache, frosting or jam) between two of the meringues.
Flavoring the mixture is extremely easy, too! Make the macarons according to the above directions and, after you fold the powdered sugar into the egg mixture, add your favorite exact or about a teaspoon of your favorite spice or dry ingredient. Coloring them with food dyes can also be done in this step.


 (All photography belongs to me!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Upcoming Posts!

(photo: 'Watermelon' Cake)
It's the first day of Spring! So, it's official: I am starting back to "work" full-time this week. It's going to be pretty hectic in the mornings but my afternoons and weekends are going to be filled with as much baking as I possibly can come up with.

When I started this blog, I said I would always try to keep everything I make simple so, that is what I am going to try to adhere to over the course of the spring and summer. In fact, I sat down and wrote out a list of the awesomely fantastic things I am going to be making soon. Here is the master list:

  • Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Vanilla Chocolate Chip Frosting
  • Hawaiian Punch Cupcakes
  • Decadent Brownie Pizza
  • Apple Pie Pound Cake
  • Neapolitan Pudding Sundaes
  • Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
  • M&M Parfaits
  • Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Sweetheart (PINK!) Pancakes
  • Sweet Won-Tons 
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake
  • Two Color Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Cinnamon Cheerio Breakfast Parfaits
  • Cake Batter Milkshakes
  • Lemon Cookies
  • No-Bake Mango Papaya Cheesecake
  • Peanut Butter Pancakes
I am always open to new ideas so feel free to make some suggestions as to what I can add to the list of goodies!

See you all soon.


Monday, March 14, 2011


Haven't joined in yet? Well, let me tell 'ya, you're missing out.

CoverGirl is having an extremely awesome campaign going on full of prizes, beauty tips and all sorts of other fun stuff. I'm just spreading the word. It's free to join in on and such an amazing thing for them to do. Go try it for yourself!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Single Serve Cupcakes

The title might sound a bit redundant but, the reality is, almost everyone I know has a very difficult time eating just one cupcake. They are small and delicious and you want them to be everywhere you go. (Okay, maybe that is just me.)

I decided that I was going to put together cupcakes that I could take with me and that I could, potentially, send to some lovely people.

That's when I came up with the idea to put single cupcakes into small yogurt cups with lids. You know you probably have them around anyway.

Just bake your favorite cupcakes, without a liner, and pop them into an empty container. Yay for recycling! It's especially great if you have kids and want to tuck a little something extra into their lunchbox without having to worry about frosting getting everywhere.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Homemade Kool-Aid Pops

Yes, I am aware it's still January and while it may be extremely cold, even snowing, where you are, here in Texas it's a nice 85 degrees. It's, in turn, the best time for me to try to make these frozen pops.

Step One: Gather your supplies and Kool-Aid

You'll need cling wrap (if you have tin-foil, for the love of all things Holy, please use it instead!), as many 3 oz. Dixie cups as you want, just as many pop sticks and a pre-made canister of your favorite Kool-Aid.

Dixie now makes really cute cups! So, if you want something more eye catching that just plain white ones, you should be able to find a very nice variety.

Step Two: Set Out and Fill Cups

On a regular dinner plate, I was able to fit 8 cups comfortably.

I didn't fill them completely but you can pour as much as you like into the cup. If you want to do a multiple layer of flavors, pour about 1/3 of the cup full, follow the rest of the instructions, freeze completely and then add another flavor to it without having to re-wrap with Cling Wrap.

Step Three: Cover with Cling Wrap and Set Pop Sticks

Pull the cling wrap SUPER tight over the plate (do not use a plastic or paper plate for this!). Using a toothpick, prick a small hole directly above each cup and insert the pop stick into it. If you need to, once the sticks are in the cups, pull the cling wrap even tighter. It doesn't matter if the sticks are straight in the cups because, during freezing, they'll still be completely inserted into the pop. If you, however, want them to be super perfect, using tin foil will help keep the sticks in place MUCH better.

Once it's all done, place into the freezer. Freezing time varies but, personally, I say keep them in for about 24 hours, if possible, or at least overnight so they can become completely solid.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caramel Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats

Classic rice krispie treats are something, I think, most American children remember from their childhood. Two basic ingredients come together to create one of the most rich and delicious sticky snacks anyone could ever dream up.

Now, in the aisle where you used to find either just plain sacks of marshmallows or Jet Puff spread, you can now find something a bit different; flavored marshmallows. Kraft has started production on sets of "swirled" flavored marshmallows that most definitely could add a little something extra to your next batch of cereal/marshmallow treats.

Since I wanted to make these extra delicious, I bought the following items: rice cereal ($2.48), 2 packages of Kraft Jet Puffed Caramel Vanilla SwirlMallows ($1 per bag) and used some of the chocolate chips I had bought for another project as garnish.

Step One: Pour your marshmallows and a bit of butter into a large pan.

Pour both packages into the pan and set the pan onto the heat. Use the time it takes for them to start to melt to spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking oil or, if you're feeling the spirit of Paula Deen, you can always coat it with butter.

Step Two: Melt your marshmallows and butter

This process takes a little while to complete if you are like me and impatient. Stir the marshmallows around the pot every 30 seconds to make sure they all melt down. It may seem like it's taking forever but, in reality, it only takes about 5 to 7 minutes, if that!

Once the marshmallows are almost completely melted down, remove from heat and continue to stir the marshmallow mixture until it is.

Step Four: Add the cereal

This is where stuff gets hard. Literally! Fold the cereal into the marshmallow mixture until it's completely incorporated. The mixture may get hard and stick to the pot but, don't worry to much about it. Allowing the pan to soak in extremely hot water for a few minutes once you get the rice mixture into the baking sheet will loosen it all up and make clean up extra easy.

Step Five: Pour into the baking sheet:

If you have someone around that isn't doing much of anything, have them either hold the pot for you while you scoop the mixture out or vice versa. Use a metal spatula sprayed with cooking oil in order to spread the mixture out without the back of it sticking. Sprinkle the top with chocolate bits and allow it to cool for an hour

Step Six: Cut into squares and chow down!

Cut the pieces as big, or small, as you wish and enjoy!

*Note: Kraft SwirlMallows also come in chocolate/vanilla swirl, strawberry/vanilla swirl and seasonal gingerbread. You can buy them at your local grocery store for the same price as the plain ones.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

All this week, I agonized over what to make for weekend treats. I didn't really feel like doing a lot of baking but I really wanted chocolate chip cookies. Who doesn't love them, right?

So, this morning, I took my $20 (that is all I allot for baking per week) and went to the store. I knew I already had most of what I would need to make basic stuff but, really, I was extremely lazy. So, I decided to just buy a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough ($3.25) and an 8 oz package of cream cheese ($1.75) and went home to figure something out.

I knew I wanted to make a cookie tart and needed some frosting. Because my mother was nice enough to buy a jar of Nutella the last time she was in the city, I knew I had to include it somehow. And so, my chocolate chip cookie tart was born!

Step One: Gather ingredients

You need one tube of chocolate chip cookie dough (or make your favorite recipe, if you are feeling up to it), 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 stick of room temp. butter, 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of Nutella. Pre-heat your oven to 350.

Step Two: Release the dough

Cut the dough (make sure it's thawed!) out of the tube or, if you have made your dough, put it into whichever kind of baking dish you want. You can use an actual tart pan or, like me, use an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.

Step Three: Smooth out dough

Make sure the dough is evenly spread out in the pan. You can use your fingers or the bottom of a smooth glass in order to do so. Place inside the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cookie is done.

Step Four: Make the frosting

Just like when you're making normal butter cream frosting, cream together the powdered sugar, butter pieces and cream cheese. It's going to be THICK! To make sure it's thin enough to actually work with, pour in about a teaspoon of vanilla. Once it's incorporated, add in 1/3 of a cup of the Nutella. Beat it in the stand mixer, or with your handmixer, and then, using a spatula, manually fold in the remaining Nutella. Or, you can add more of it to fit your taste. Do NOT put it in the fridge. Leave it out because you will need it to stay at a nice spreading consistency.

Step Five: Let your cookie cool

 Once you pull it out of the oven, allow the cookie to cool for about half an hour.

Step Six: Spread on the frosting:

Evenly spread the frosting over your cookie base. Once you have that done to your liking, place in the fridge until you're ready to serve it or, at the very least, for one hour.

Step Seven: ENJOY!

I know I sure did!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vanilla Graham Cracker Pudding Pops

I tried, as a test, to make some pudding pops using the plastic pop molds my mother had sitting in her freezer. The pudding, caramel and graham cracker combination was delicious. Eating it from the plastic, however, didn't happen because they didn't freeze into the pudding the way they should have.

Still, I can't just let you go without the recipe if you want to try them as regular pudding cups or frozen (in small Dixie cups and wooden sticks).

You need:
  • 1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups of super cold (not frozen) milk
  • Crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • Caramel sauce of your choice
 Whisk the pudding and milk together until it starts to become a bit thicker than water, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the molds (if you're freezing them) and layer with graham cracker crumbs and caramel, parfait style.

If you are just going to make an unfrozen parfait style pudding cup, put the pudding into the fridge to set, about 5 minutes. When it's thick, spoon into a cup or bowl, or even ramekin, then layer it parfait style with the graham cracker crumbs and caramel sauce.

I am going to take you step by step through a similar thing next weekend when I make Fruity Pebble Pudding Cups.

Until then, enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Homemade Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Winter is horrible on everyone's skin, including my own. I went in search of a really good sugar scrub that would help get my skin back to being even remotely healthy. Thing was, every single place I looked, decided that sugar scrub should cost a small fortune. If I were rich, that wouldn't be such a problem.

Sadly, I'm not rich and I have to keep on a tight budget just like a lot of other people do these days. So, after nixing the idea of buying a pre-made scrub, I opted to try to find a recipe for one that I could make at home without having to buy special ingredients for. I wanted something that's all natural and easy to put together. I found it!

Here it goes! How to make brown sugar body scrub:

Step #1: Get your ingredients together

You need some light brown sugar, olive oil (I used extra virgin) and some white sugar. How much of what you need depends entirely on just how much you want to make and how big your containers are. Which brings us to the next step.

Step #2: Find a manageable sized container

I bought this 4-pack of 1.2 cup sized Rubber Maid Take-Away containers for $2.50. They're the perfect size for a small, personal batch. But, since I wanted to make one for my mom, my aunt, and cousin to try as well, they're also great for transporting without having to worry about them dropping and breaking as glass jars would.

Step #3: Measure out brown sugar

In each little container, I scooped 1/3 of a cup of brown sugar into the bottom. You will have to adjust the measurement based solely on how big your own container is but, be careful not to add too much. You want both sugars to be in an even amount and have enough room to be able to stir the oil in without making a giant mess. Small ones are what we aim for.

Step #4: Measure out the white sugar

Again, this is 1/3 of a cup of white sugar. Adjust the measurement for your own container.

Step #5: Mix together

Using a fork, try to whisk the sugars together. If you are using a larger container, go ahead and use an actual whisk to do it.

Step #6: Pour in oil and mix

Using the same fork you used to whisk the sugars together, stir the oil into the sugar. You don't want to add too much oil to the mixture. You basically want just enough to make the whole thing look damp. I didn't really measure out how much of the oil I used, though, the amount was probably close to 1 1/2 or 2 tablespoons for each container.

Step #7: Cap containers and give them away

You are done! Go ahead and screw the lids on the containers SUPER tight and give them to whomever you wish. Or keep them all. Enjoy!