Kicking off the week with something sweet. I sure need it. I’m having one of those moments/days/feels like a lifetime of stress and I just want to crawl into a big fluffy cocoon and never come out. Ok, it’s not that bad, but I’ve definitely been having moments. When even the idea of making a cake sounds stressful and I actually contemplated using a box mix. That’s when I know something is off.
Anyway, you take it one ingredient and one step at a time. You may not think you have time for it but it helps slow you down. And watching the mixer gradually turn liquid cream into frosting is one of the best sights ever…it’s worth slowing down for.
I’ll get back to feeling like I’m on top of things. I can’t not get there. In the meantime, you just have to try to not get so down on yourself. Focus at what’s hand. Surround yourself with only supportive people. (I’m lucky to have many.) Don’t sacrifice things that make you happy for time or punishment…you just might find that those are the things, like cake and cream or a Justin Timberlake concert, that can pull you out and get you back to your stride.
Dulce De Leche Cake
Start with a basic white cake – like Martha Stewart’s. Frost layers with dulce de leche – like La Salamandra. Top with this dulce de leche whipped cream.
Cinnamon Dulce De Leche Whipped Cream
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche
In a mixer using a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until whipped. Slowly beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Gently fold in the dulce de leche.
Guys. I may have made the best cookie ever. I didn’t mean to. It just sort of came together. I’m still surprised…and now I’m ready to brag and share the recipe with you. It started with browning two sticks of butter…I mean, you can’t really go wrong with that. Then I added crunchy peanut butter, baked, took a bite and almost died. Ok, I’m being dramatic…I hardly slept last night…but seriously, make these cookies. Then give them to your friends, tied up with a bow as holiday treat. Give them to boys as a “nice to know ya” parting gift. Sandwich some caramel ice cream between two of them and feel no shame when you eat a few of them during a Gossip Girl marathon. Seriously. The best. Ok, get baking and enjoy!
Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Brown butter in a medium saucepan then add the sugars. Set aside and allow mixture to cool for about ten minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Once butter is cooled, transfer butter mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add peanut butter to the mixture and beat on medium speed just until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until dough comes together. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least two hours or up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Press a fork into the cookie in a crosshatch pattern.
- Bake until cookies begin to brown around the edges but centers still look somewhat doughy, about 9–10 minutes. Immediately upon removing from the oven, sprinkle sugar on the tops of the cookies and let cool on a wire rack.
PS. I’m over on vmac+cheese today sharing my abridged biography. Check it out!
It’s a new week and I’m ready to dive in and GSD at both work and in life. I pump myself up at the beginning of each week to do this but it’s not easy. There are distractions. I get tired. Things don’t go as planned.
I’m going to keep trying to do things differently until I get them right. Maybe I need to shut off some of the noise. Maybe I need to pay closer attention to my to-do lists. Maybe I should just come up with some better rewards for myself.
I pretty much reward myself every day with dessert, so dessert isn’t so much a reward. But if I am going to treat myself, it better be with something chocolate and fudgy…and these double chocolate raspberry brownies do just the trick. Whip them up Sunday so you can treat yourself all throughout the week. Or late on a weekday after a tough day so you can lick the bowl and share with coworkers the next day. They heal, they cheer, they perk you up, they put a smile on your face. Enough said.
Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
- 6 oz dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate (chips or chopped)
- 8 oz butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 6 oz (raspberries)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs. Mix in cooled chocolate. Slowly incorporate the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine.
- Pour into a greased cake pan and top the mixture with the raspberries. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set.
Hello friends. Life has been pretty crazy recently, and I absolutely feel like I’m missing something every day when I don’t post. Of course life and work gets in the way, but I really want to try to write and create here more often than I have been. It makes me feel so much better. More alive. Most like me.
This week was this blog’s fourth birthday! Of course first I forgot the day and second I completely forgot what my first post was about. (Warning: if you click on these links you’re going to see some pretty awful and hilarious photos.) I thought my inaugural post was this brownie recipe, but it was actually this post about a blueberry galette. Oh goodness. When things sometimes feel so hard and you’re struggling to get somewhere, it’s refreshing to look at something like that to see how I’ve grown. How this little blog has grown.
To celebrate little victories – like knowing how to take a better photo (even if it is with my iphone) or knowing how to develop my own recipes now or not having to eat off plastic plates anymore or living on my own and being an independent, determined, and strong woman – let’s bake some gooey grown up brownies. (And pretend this is actually coming full circle and brownies weren’t my second post.) Use two kinds of chocolate. Toast almonds. Stir in much needed strong coffee for a kick. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. This is a girl who knows what she’s doing now. Although she still and always will love her dessert with a glass of milk!
Double Chocolate, Espresso, Salted, Almond Brownies
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or use chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a double boiler, combine and melt chocolates and butter. Let cool slightly.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar, eggs, coffee, and chocolate. Slowly add flour, salt, and toasted almonds and mix to combine.
- Pour brownie mix into an 8×8″ greased pan. Sprinkle sea salt on top. Bake just until set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before digging in – or totally skip this step and cut into them when they’re still warm and top with ice cream, like I did.
Oh hey happy April! I’m still on a bit of an orange kick last week after I made these orange ricotta dessert pizzas. So to try out a different citrus/cheese combo, I made this orange poppy seed mascarpone pound cake. I think the mascarpone makes it pretty rich, but I still enjoyed having a small slice of it for breakfast, or as a dinner/dessert combo after a long day at work. This would be perfect for a weekend brunch with friends paired with prosecco and a savory bread pudding.
I just love the fresh and bright orange flavor – a perfect way to welcome spring.
Orange Poppy Seed Mascarpone Pound Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest from a medium orange
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from the same orange
- 8 oz. container of mascarpone cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Greece a loaf pan and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer add sugar and orange zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest and sugar together so it’s blended and fragrant. Add mascarpone, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture until fully combined.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.