Monday, October 25, 2010

Ghirardelli Brownies

This is a recipe for classic chocolate, but you can also make them using dark chocolate. They are my favorite brownies to make!

1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips
4 ounces Semi-Sweet Ghirardelli  Chocolate Baking Bar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1-inch pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

I made these pumpkin brownies last week, and they are one of my favorite things I have ever made. The cayenne pepper is a great addition. The recipe is from Martha Stewart. Delicious! 

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-packed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
  • Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.
  • With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
  • Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

  • Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

    • I wanted to make something with pumpkin and autumnal spices. The basic recipe is from, but I modified it a bit. It makes 12 regular size muffins.

    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    • 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
    • 2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
    • 3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Autumn is in the Air!

    I love baking in the fall! I like to bake with pumpkin, apples, and different spices that remind one of crisp, autumn days. 
    When I have time this week, I am going to bake these apple muffins from Martha Stewart. I plan to use more than one apple....probably three.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Beach Cupcakes

    This is how I made these beachy cupcakes!
    1- Bake any cupcake.
    2- I made Wilton decorator frosting (because it holds well) and I dyed it blue with Wilton's food coloring gel. A little goes a long way!
    3- I took some Teddy Grahams and put them in a Ziplock baggie. I smashed them up with a meat tenderizer. You could also use a food processor or blender to do this. 
    4- I made three styles- one is covered in all crushed Teddy Grahams for the beach, one is half beach and half ocean, and the other is all ocean.
    5- I used Gummy Lifesavers for the floats and the Teddy Grahams are the people. I stuck some drink umbrellas in also. 

    Happy Summer!

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Molten Chocolate Lava Mini Cakes

    I know I haven't been a very good blogger. I have been baking, I just haven't been posting enough. I plan to get back into blogging about what I bake a lot more!

    I made these Molten Chocolate Lava Mini Cakes using the Pampered Chef Floral Cupcake Pan. They were amazing! You can probably make them as cupcakes also. Using the Floral Cupcake Pan was an added bonus because they came out pretty. I got the recipe from the Pampered Chef's website. 

    I suggest that you serve these right after you take them out of the oven because as you bite into them, chocolate oozes out! It is delicious! I served some a few hours after I baked them, and there was no ooze. But they were still good. I sprinkled some powdered sugar on them before serving.

    I definitely plan on making these again. 

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Upcoming Christmas Baking

    This week, I have plans to bake the following:

    1) Mint Brownies (using peppermint patties in the middle)

    2) Peanut Butter Blossoms (using red and green sugar sparkles to make them festive)

    3) Sugar Cookies (using lots of cookie cutters)

    4) Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

    5) Mint Chocolate Chip Chunk Cookies

    Stay Posted!

    Baker's Edge Brownie Pan

    Looking for a last minute gift idea for a brownie-lover or baker?  Get them the Baker's Edge Brownie Pan!
    When you use this pan, every brownie has lots of edges! You can buy it from their website or places online, like Amazon. I have purchased this in the past for brownie lovers and they have loved it!

    Cupcake Ornament

    I received this as a gift! It is from Pier One, so run out and buy it! Very cute!

    Applesauce Spice Cupcakes

    This is another great recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.  I highly recommend getting this book if you don't already have it. 
    These cupcakes have a hint of each of the spices. The recipe makes 18 cupcakes. 

    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/8 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. On a low speed, add applesauce and then the flour mixture, beating until just combined.

    Fill each cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake 20 minutes. 

    Frost with Brown Sugar, Cream Cheese Frosting:

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup packed light-brown sugar

    Using electric mixer, mix cream cheese with 1 stick butter and 1 cup light brown sugar on medium speed until smooth. Spread cream cheese frosting on cupcakes. Cupcakes can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 days.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Some Halloween Treats

    I made these eyeball cupcakes with an M&M and red icing with a very thin tip for that lovely blood-shot look.

    These owl cupcakes were very simple- Oreos, M&Ms, and a candy corn nose.

    New and improved Graveyard Cake. This year, I added a candy corn fence and candy corn pumpkins. As always, the Milano cookies make great gravestones and Peeps are cute for the ghosts and pumpkins around the cake.

    I love cupcakes so much, I was one for Halloween!

    Yup, I was a cupcake for Halloween. My husband, Mike, made me the costume. How did he make it? Well, he used a large plastic beverage pail, and cut out the bottom. We bought it at the local hardware store. Then we took posterboard (sometimes called oaktag) in a bright pink color and folded it accordion-style. To attach it, he used a hot glue gun. The white 'frosting' is a sheet of fake snow that is used in Christmas displays. I bought two large packages and it was wrapped around me and secured with the hot glue gun. The 'sprinkles' are pom-poms which were attached with the hot glue gun. The trick was that the pail had ropes attached to it so it would stay on me, and the 'frosting' hid it. It was slightly uncomfortable, but a lot of fun!

    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

    These Red Velvet Cupcakes were wonderful! The recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, which I love! Definitely use the Cream Cheese Icing recipe with it. These cupcakes went so fast, I was unable to get a picture of them! So the photo above is from

    2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self rising)
    2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
    2 large eggs, room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (The paste is much better than the liquid. I use the Wilton kind.)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined.

    Add eggs, beating until each is incorporated. Mix in food color and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

    Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen for up to 2 months, in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days in airtight containers. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 24 cupcakes.

    Cream Cheese Frosting: Makes 4 cups.


    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

    12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

    1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar

    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Beat butter and cream cheese on medium until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce to low and add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, then vanilla. Mix until smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth again.

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

    I really cannot rave enough about the book Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. There are many amazing recipes in it. This is the first one I have made, and I have a huge list of others I will try. I personally do not eat cheesecake, but these got rave reviews from the many people who I shared them with. I plan on making them again soon!

    Here is the recipe, from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes:
    42 Oreos (30 whole and 12 coarsely chopped) - I chopped about 20! :)
    2 pounds of cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup of sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 large egges, room temperature, lightly beaten
    1 cup of sour cream
    1 pinch of salt

    1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line 30 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
    2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
    3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt.
    4. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
    5. Divide batter evenly among cookie-filled cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Cool completely in tins. Refrigerate (in tins so they don't lose shape) for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. Remove from tins just before serving.

    Royal Icing Flowers

    This is a great royal icing recipe for making decorations. You can store them for a very long time (a year) in a cool, dry place. I have mine in tupperware in a closet. I made a ton of poinsettias that I can keep until Christmas.

    To make 3 cups:
    4 cups of confectionary sugar
    3 tablespoons of meringue powder
    7 tablespoons of warm water
    If it is too think, add a little bit of water. Keep it covered when not in use.