Monday, January 28, 2013

Chocolate PB Spice Oatmeal Bars

Holy Mackerol. These things are just too many flavors going on at once to make a name for it! The best part is I didn't even bake them. So this is how these came to life. I was supposed to go to a party today so I was going to the grocery store after the gym. Then it got cancelled cause she was sick so I didn't go. Then I remember my Mom is having a Silpata party and I'd be a bad kid if I didn't go. Next I'm like I should probably bring something to share but I didn't go the grocery store and I was already home. So here comes the hunt for what to make. Currently somehow I have no butter, no flour, and no sugar. Who am I and how do I call myself a baker? What I do have is some coconut oil and half a package of spice cake mix. How I came up with this I will never know. You'll have to tell me what you think because honestly it's a little crazy but they were darn good!

~36 servings

1 1/4 cup spice cake mix
1 1/2 cup oats
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons coconut oil (vegetable oil will work as well)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Crisco

In a bowl mix the spice cake mix, oats, powdered sugar, and salt. In another bowl put the coconut oil (veg oil) and peanut butter, then place it in the microwave for 60 seconds to melt it together. Then mix that bowl and pour it into the dry mix. Mix everything together, you may have to use your hands as I did just to make sure it was all mixed together. In an 8x8 or 9x9 pan, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Press the mixture into the pan evenly. Next put your chocolate chips into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of Crisco and microwave for 2 minutes but do it 1 minute at a time. Once that's completely melted pour it on top of the cookie mixture and spread out evenly. Place in the refrigerator until solid, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites

These were the bane of my existence the past weekend. Trying to not eat 4 every day was completely entirely impossible. I think I have come to the conclusion brownies are my actual favorite dessert, especially because these have chunks of chocolate in them. Ugh, I'm reminiscing about them already. The only time I didn't eat a million of these was the one day I was not home this weekend on Saturday. I went down to Virginia to Luray because we got an inn stay and had a little getaway. We got to do some wine tasting in the Shenandoah Mountains which was lovely. It was 60 degrees and just gorgeous as you can see... Then we went to brunch at my favorite place, Gina's Cantina and ended our 3 day weekend with drinks by the fire at Pusser's in downtown Annapolis.
Back to the main subject though: chocolate heaven.

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites
Yield ~16 Brownies

1 cup dark chocolate chips + 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pour whipping cream in a bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Pour 1 cup of the dark chocolate chips in and let them sit in the hot cream for 60 seconds. Then stir them together like you are making a ganache then add in the oil. Next mix in the sugar and salt, and finally the eggs. Last fold in the flour to finish the batter off and the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. This should make about 16 brownie bites if you're using a mini cupcake pan.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Butter Pecan Cake

Hello! Long time, no talk. Sadly, I think these recipes are going to be more of a once a week thing now that I've been so busy with life, work, and holidays. You can tell how busy I was because this recipe was from the Sunday before Christmas and it's just making it to you now. BUT, that doesn't mean it's still not a wonderful cake to make year round. I love pecans and this cake really shows them off. My aunt told me it reminded her of wedding cake, so hopefully that's a good thing! 

You would think I would have tons of recipes to share right now considering my boyfriend is gone for 3 weeks in Nepal! He is helping at a school with family friends teaching English so I have been trying to hold up the fort. It's tough work being the only person in a town house, let me tell you! Especially when you are trying to finish painting the 6 month long project of installing wainscoting in your kitchen. Yes, it probably should have taken 1/6 that time but at least it's almost done! And, the best part is that I'm redoing the spare room that was completely empty and turning it into an office. I'm so excited that he has no idea and can't wait to see his surprise when he comes home! Anyway, I know that you probably care more about the cake so here it is.

Butter Pecan Cake
Yield ~16+ servings

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 cups pecans, chopped

2 sticks butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together, then add the vanilla and eggs in one at a time. Next mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. It will be very thick so don't worry. Last add in your milk to get the correct consistency, then fold in your 1 1/2 cups of pecans. Pour the cake into your cake pans, then bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. While the cakes are baking, mix your butter in a bowl with the vanilla. Then add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. To get your preferred consistency add in a tablespoon of milk at a time. Frost your cake once it is cooled and sprinkle 1/2 chopped cup pecans over the top.