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.
How about a cozy baking day? Make these little round chocolate raspberry tarts while bundled up in this animal print shawl sweater, old t-shirt, and wool socks. Seriously, can I have a day off to do this?
tarts // sweater
What a fantastic holiday weekend! It was the perfect kick-off to summer. I went on long walks through the city, checked out a new favorite cafe, toured two Virginia vineyards, shared a backyard BBQ with friends, ate an incredible meal at Bandolero with my brothers, got a nice little tan, and hit up a stocked farmer’s market. Seriously, could it have been any better?
Along with a great assortment of veggies, I also picked up my first batch of strawberries at the farmer’s market. My first inclination was to make my favorite strawberry cupcakes with them, but I wanted to try something new. Don’t worry, I’ll make those cupcakes again very soon! I remembered a peach shortbread recipe that I made last summer and thought that it would be a perfect treat to go with this hot, festive, summer weekend.
I also added a thin layer of raspberry jam to these bars to make them a little more gooey. You could add any flavor of jam or use any kind of fruit for these though. It’s a super easy recipe too… have fun with it!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) semi-softened unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- Raspberry jam
- 1 carton/quart of strawberries, sliced in half
- Preheat oven to 375° and spray an 8″x8″ pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl combine sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. (I use my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, which I keep in the freezer. Although you could definitely mix the shortbread with your hands.)
- Add the butter and egg into the mixture and combine to create a crumbly mix.
- Press 3/4 of crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the crumbs. Tile strawberries over the jam. Finish by sprinkling the remaining 1/4 of the crumbs on top.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool before slicing into bars.
Last week the lovely owners of DC-based Dolci Gelati kindly gave me some samples of one of their new creations, raspberry red velvet gelato. Immediately, I knew what would go perfectly with these flavors so I made a cheese pound cake to use as a base. I ended up with classic red velvet flavors (there’s real pieces of cake in the gelato!) plus a little raspberry tartness too. Oh, and of course I had to add a little homemade whipped cream to the mix.
I found this cream cheese pound cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it blew me away. It was so moist and rich. Who knew pound cake could be that good? My only regret is that I didn’t save myself more! (It got devoured within an hour at work.) I will definitely be making this again this summer – adding some fresh farmer’s market berries and maybe adding some of Dolci Gelati’s mascarpone gelato on the side! A perfect dessert to share with friends al fresco.
You can find Dolci Gelati and all of their amazing flavors around DC at Nat’s Park, the National Zoo, and Taylor Gourmet (my personal preference because it also comes with an awesome sandwich).
Happy almost springtime!
I’ve been so busy recently that I really haven’t had much time to spend in my kitchen. With spring on the way, it’s time to get back to cooking with fresh veggies and baking some sweet new treats.
I’ve actually never baked anything lemon before and I’ve been wanting to try it. These lemon cupcakes were actually inspired by some cupcake wrappers and decorations I had. The liners on these cupcakes are actually yellow with little white polka dots, but of course after baking you can’t even tell. And then there are the daisy toppers. How cute, right? So I wanted to bake something that felt and tasted like spring and ended up with these raspberry-filled lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting. So delicious!
The lemon flavor is so fresh (just don’t pull a Nikki and zest your thumb while you’re zesting the lemons) and the frosting is so creamy and tart. I really love this flavor combination, which is saying a lot for me when chocolate isn’t involved. The cupcakes got great compliments from my co-workers – someone even said it was better than a Georgetown Cupcake!
Raspberry-Filled Lemon Cupcakes
(Cake adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- Zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Seedless raspberry jam
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
- With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla. Alternate by adding some flour mixture, then some buttermilk, then some lemon juice. Repeat in 3 batches until fully incorporated.
- Fill cupcake cups half way with the batter. Spoon about a teaspoon of raspberry jam in the center of each cup and press it down into the batter. Cover the jam with the remaining batter.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pans half-way, until cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block of 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- A few drops of yellow food coloring
- With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese.
- Gradually add sugar, beating well after each incorporation.
- Blend in lemon juice and add food coloring.
- Pipe on to cupcakes and decorate!
A view from the inside! The surprise raspberry filling is a perfect flavor addition to the fresh lemon.