Menu Banner
  1. Thursday, December 15

    Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats

    Here’s the thing with today’s rice crispy treats. When you look at them they look like normal, everyday, boring rice crispy treats. And then you take a bite. And you’re like, “What am I eating!?!?” You’re eating sea salt and brown butter rice crispy treats, that’s what. And they are so good.

    Recipe for Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats from @janemaynard

    I discovered this recipe thanks to my friend Nikki, who is also the reason that the SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake is in all of our lives. We went camping with Nikki and her family this summer and she brought these for dessert on the beach. As soon as I took a bite I knew she had done something different with the recipe. Sure enough brown butter was involved. And lots of it. The original recipe that Nikki uses is from Joanne Chang’s Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe cookbook. I have adapted it and my version is below. (You can see the original recipe on Epicurious.) I use vanilla bean paste to get that wonderful vanilla bean look and flavor but without messing with the pods, which I never have on hand anyway. I also added coarse sea salt to the mix because coarse sea salt always makes everything more delicious.

    Recipe for Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats from @janemaynard

    By the way, if you don’t really like rice crispy treats then I don’t think these are going to miraculously change your opinion. They are still rice crispy treats after all…but they have a really wonderful salty-sweet flavor and I myself can’t get enough of them! Enjoy!

    sea-salt-brown-butter-rice-crispy-treats-side-horiz-this-week-for-dinner-web

    Sea Salt and Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Adapted from Joanne Chang's "Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe"
    Author:
    Serves: 32
    Ingredients
    • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) salted butter
    • Generous ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus a bit more for sprinkling
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    • 2 10-ounce bags large marshmallows
    • 10 cups rice crispy cereal
    Instructions
    1. Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with oil and set aside.
    2. Heat a very large pot over medium heat on the stovetop. While pot is heating, gather all of your ingredients so they are ready to go.
    3. Cut butter into squares and add to heated pan. Cook, stirring regulary, for about 7-10 minutes until the butter has browned. For the first 5 minutes or so there will be a white foamy layer on top, then that will start to disappear, then the butter will start to bubble and foam up again. The butter will brown sometime after this happens. It will look light brown below the foam and have a lovely nutty aroma. Be sure to cook until butter just turns brown (you have to really look because the foam on top can obstruct your view. It is helpful to cook the butter in a light-colored pan so it's easier to see the color of the butter.)
    4. As soon as the butter has browned, reduce the heat to low and stir in the salt and vanilla paste. Mix well then add the marshmallows, cooking over low heat and stirring constantly until all of the marshmallows have melted and you have a smooth mixture.
    5. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove. Add the rice crispy cereal and stir well to coat. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
    6. Using wet hands, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
    7. Sprinkle the top with just a bit of sea salt.
    8. Let cool 1 hour before cutting. Store in an airtight container.
    Notes
    Makes 32 1½" x 2" squares.

     


  2. Tuesday, September 1

    Grandma Blomquist’s Brownies

    The very first recipe I ever made on my own was my Grandma Blomquist’s Brownies. I was in 5th grade and the experience was very memorable for me, not just because I burned both some chocolate and my arm in the process, but also because the brownies came out great, starting a lifetime of brownie baking.

    grandma blomquist's brownies from @janemaynard

    Last week when Cate was in charge of dinner, she asked if she could bake something for dessert on one of the nights. Of course I pulled out my grandma’s brownie recipe. I’ve never written a post about the brownies, but I did put the recipe on the blog ages ago with a cute picture of 2-year-old Cate stirring the batter. Last week when Cate baked her first batch of brownies, I took a few photos for a Babble post I’m working on. Today, as I got this post ready, I stuck the photos side by side and it made me smile. It also made me a little sad. Where did my baby go?!

    grandma blomquist's brownies from @janemaynard

    I needed to take some nice photos of the brownies for this post, so I asked Cate if she could whip up a batch for me. She happily complied. I’m kind of loving this whole Cate cooking thing, especially since her “thing” is brownies.

    grandma blomquist's brownies from @janemaynard

    These brownies are on the fudgy side of the brownie continuum, with a delicious crispy crust on top. It’s a basic, reliable and wonderful brownie recipe. Although, the brownies always taste best when my Grandma Blomquist or Cate bakes them!

    grandma blomquist's brownies from @janemaynard

    Grandma Blomquist's Brownies
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    My grandma's recipe that my family has been making FOREVER. Fudgy with a crusty top!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 8 tablespoons butter
    • 2 ounces baking chocolate (substitution: 6 tablespoons cocoa + 2 tablespoons butter)
    • 2 tablespoons corn syrup syrup
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 well beaten eggs
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup flour
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease/butter an 8" x 8" baking pan.
    2. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Add corn syrup and baking chocolate and stir until all melted. Remove from heat.
    3. Stir in sugar.
    4. Stir in eggs after the sugar has been mixed in.
    5. Stir in baking powder, vanilla and salt. Slowly stir in the flour until well combined.
    6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until fork comes out clean.

    Dishes from Q Squared NYC.


  3. Tuesday, August 11

    Perfect Chocolate Frosting + One Pan Chocolate Cake

    Today is all about chocolate.

    PERFECT chocolate frosting with one pan chocolate cake from @janemaynard

    When we were on Cape Cod a few weeks ago, my mother-in-law Pat made a chocolate cake, complete with homemade frosting that was TO DIE FOR. When it comes to cake, I generally like the cake more than the frosting. Not in this case. In this case the frosting, well, takes the cake. (Sorry! Couldn’t resist that one.)

    PERFECT chocolate frosting with one pan chocolate cake from @janemaynard

    And, if you’re looking for something to put that perfect chocolate frosting on, let me introduce you to the one pan chocolate cake. This recipe comes from a 2009 issue of Everyday Food and was originally called “dump cake,” since you just dump everything in the pan and then bake. The cake turned out beautifully.

    one pan chocolate cake from @janemaynard

    There’s only one drawback to the cake recipe: since you mix the ingredients directly in the pan, you can’t butter and flour the pan ahead of time. This means you’ll be serving the cake directly from the pan. Plus, you kind of have to scrape the servings out with a spatula to keep them in one piece, and the first slice of cake will be a bit tricky to get out of the pan. Because of this, the one pan cake may not be the best choice for serving guests or for special occasions. Or maybe it is. You decide. All I know is that this cake recipe is easy and delicious, and maybe that’s all that matters in the end.

    PERFECT chocolate frosting with one pan chocolate cake from @janemaynard

    Perfect Chocolate Frosting
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Recipe from my mother-in-law Pat, adapted from the back of the Hershey's cocoa powder container
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup butter
    • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2½ - 2¾ cups powdered sugar
    • ⅓ cup milk
    Instructions
    1. Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave, in 20 second increments until butter is just melted.
    2. Whisk in cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
    3. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar to the bowl. Using a hand mixer, start on low and beat in the powdered sugar, increasing the speed to medium and mixing well. Add half of the milk, following the same blending technique. Add 1 more cup of the powdered sugar, mixing as described, then the rest of the milk, mixing once again starting on low and increasing to medium speed.
    4. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar (this brings you to 2½ cups) and blend well, starting on low then moving up to medium speed. If you want the frosting to be a little thicker, add up to ¼ cup more of powdered sugar.
    5. Makes enough frosting for a 9" x 13" cake.

    One Pan Chocolate Cake
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Originally from a 2009 issue of Everyday Food, written in my own words
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 1 cup cold water
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In an 8-inch square casserole dish or baking pan (I like to use a pyrex casserole so I can see if the batter is full mixed), whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
    3. Make a well in the middle, then add the vegetable oil, vanilla, vinegar and water in the center. Whisk those ingredients together, then start to incorporate the dry ingredients, whisking until well combined.
    4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a fork or toothpick comes out clean.
    5. Let cool completely before frosting. If you use the chocolate frosting recipe above, you will have some frosting left over.

     


  4. Tuesday, June 9

    Coconut Almond Fudge Bars, i.e. Crack Bars

    Honestly, I don’t love using the word “crack” when describing food, but today I’m breaking my rule. Here’s the deal. Nate called these coconut almond fudge bars “crack” after his first bite, which is saying something. Nate is nothing like me. He can pass on dessert. I DON’T GET IT. But this dessert? He was rendered as useless as I was in its presence.  That alone should tell you how good these bars are!

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    I wanted to create a special recipe for my candied coconut almonds. The kids and I were watching some TV food show where they featured a bar from a bakery in Cambridge, MA. My bars are nothing like what we saw on TV, but they did get my creative juices flowing. And the result was, well, crack.

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    These bars have a crust that is sort of like a cookie crust but also really not at all like a cookie crust. The texture is coarser but still holds together and is all buttery and wonderful. Then comes a perfectly fudgy layer that could really be eaten on its own, but why would you do that when you can sandwich that fudgy goodness in between so much other goodness? The top layer consists of candied coconut almonds. Fair warning: coconut almond fudge bars can get a little messy because of that top layer. I recommend using a plate. But even if you don’t use a plate, the mess is totally worth it.

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    Also, these bars are better fully cooled because everything sets up so nicely. But if you cannot wait and have eat them warm out of the oven, use a fork and go ahead and indulge in the buttery, chocolatey, gooeyness.

    Feel free to call these bars whatever you like. Go the proper route and call them Coconut Almond Fudge Bars. Or go the Momofuku route and call them Crack Bars. I’m good either way.

    Coconut Almond Fudge Bars, i.e. Crack Bars
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    These bars are irresistible, with a cookie-like bottom layer, fudgy middle layer and candied coconut almonds on top!
    Author:
    Serves: 9-12
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 7 tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour (use whole wheat for the best texture!)
    • ½ teaspoon +1/8 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (this will be half of a 14-ounce can)
    • 1½ cups candied coconut almonds
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with hand mixer, beat together on medium speed the brown sugar and 6 tablespoons of the butter for 3-5 minutes, until well mixed and lighter in color.
    3. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
    4. Add the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and baking soda and mix just until combined.
    5. In an 8" x 8" baking dish, press the sugar-flour mixture into the bottom of the dish to form an even layer. Set aside.
    6. In a small bowl combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, remaining 1 tablespoon butter and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well until all chocolate is melted.
    7. Spread chocolate mixture over the cookie layer.
    8. Sprinkle candied coconut almonds over the chocolate layer, then press that layer down into the chocolate with your fingers. Whatever doesn't get pushed into the chocolate will remain loose even after cooking, so you want to carefully work it to get as much pressed into the chocolate as possible. But don't worry if there are loose pieces!
    9. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
    10. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving.

     


  5. Wednesday, September 3

    Apple Bavarian Torte: My Favorite Apple Dessert

    Confession: I’m not that into fruit pies, cobblers or crisps. I mean, they’re okay but not my first choice. Nate, on the other hand, goes weak in the knees over a good apple crisp and loves those other fruity desserts almost as much. That’s really saying something because he rarely goes weak in the knees over food. This is just another of the many ways in which he and I are complete opposites! (Shout-out to the ever wise Paula Abdul.)

    apple bavarian torte from @janemaynard

    But there are a few fruity desserts that I can get on board with. This Apple Bavarian Torte is one of them. The recipe has been hiding on my blog since Day One, but I have never written a post about it or photographed it for you. Honestly, I’m usually making this torte late the night before Thanksgiving so photographing has never been an option!

    apple bavarian torte from @janemaynard

    Since autumn is in the air I decided it was a good time to finally give this apple recipe the attention it deserves. It is SO GOOD. Even this apple dessert hater loves it.

    apple bavarian torte from @janemaynard

    A friend named Sarah gave me this recipe nearly 15 years ago. (Sarah is also the one who gave me the pizza crust recipe that I still use to this day. I sure am glad I met Sarah!) Sarah got this apple Bavarian torte recipe at a Pampered Chef party and that’s about all I know about it. Well, besides the fact that it’s amazing.

    apple bavarian torte from @janemaynardapple bavarian torte from @janemaynard (>> Find out more…)


  6. Wednesday, August 7

    Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Drops (a.k.a. Turkey Leg Donuts)

    Right now we are at my in-law’s home in New Hampshire. My mother-in-law Pat is the best mother-in-law on the planet. No joke. Yesterday as my sister-in-law and I slept in, she played with all the kids and even sewed THREE skirts. She’s Super Grandma.

    cinnamon-sugar doughnut drops | thisweekfordinner.com

    This morning she made Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Drops with my nephew Colby. He was complete engaged the entire time they were cooking, it was adorable. And the doughnut drops were DELICIOUS. Because they’re fried, as doughnuts should be! (Sidenote: A baked doughnut is NOT a doughnut. It’s a muffin posing as a doughnut. You need OIL to make a doughnut a doughnut! Okay, ranting done.)

    cinnamon-sugar doughnut drops | thisweekfordinner.comcinnamon-sugar doughnut drops | thisweekfordinner.com

    We also renamed these doughnut drops “Turkey Leg Donuts,” because a large quantity of them looked like, you guessed it, turkey legs! Sadly, I didn’t photograph any of the turkey leg donuts. What was I thinking?!

    cinnamon-sugar doughnut drops | thisweekfordinner.com

    Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Drops (a.k.a. Turkey Leg Donuts)
     
    From a magazine but I can’t tell which one from the cutout Pat has in her recipe box
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups all purpose flour
    • ⅓ cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    • ½ cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • Oil for frying
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Instructions
    1. In a medium to large heavy saucepan, heat 2 to 3 inches oil to 375. (Pat note: make sure you heat it to the right temperature!)
    2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in milk, oil, vanilla and egg with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened.
    3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil. (Pat note: make sure it really is just by TEASPOONful.) You can cook 5 to 6 at a time. Fry doughnut drops 60-90 seconds on each side until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
    4. Mix ½ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together and roll hot doughnuts in the sugar mixture.
    5. The recipe says this makes 30-36 doughnut drops. I suppose it’s right, but I can’t believe how FAST we ate them, it seemed like about 10!


  7. Tuesday, July 30

    SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake…It Just Might Kill You

    I have an incredibly high tolerance for rich chocolate. I may have eaten two lava cakes in one sitting before, but who’s keeping track?

    SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake, the best chocolate cake in the world on @janemaynard

    When we first moved back to San Diego, my friend Nikki brought us a homemade chocolate ganache cake and it was PERFECTION. I immediately called and begged for the recipe, ’cause that’s what I do.

    SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake, the best chocolate cake in the world on @janemaynard

    I finally got around to making the cake myself a few weeks ago, for Nate’s birthday. I love this recipe. It worked really well and the ganache was really easy to work with (as long as you follow Nikki’s detailed directions below).

    But here’s the thing with this cake – it seriously might kill you. Remember me? The one who can eat any amount of rich chocolate she wants? Even this cake stops me in my tracks. It is SO RICH. But it is SO GOOD. The cake itself has great texture and the ganache is smooth and wonderful.

    SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake, the best chocolate cake in the world on @janemaynard

    Quick update as of April 2016: I’ve made this cake a few times and each time I read the recipe I think, “It’s not that hard!” And then each time I make it I go, “Oh yeah, this is a labor of love.” But it is absolutely 100% worth it. It’s not that any one step is all that difficult, and Nikki and I have spelled out each step in great detail to set you up for success. But it does take a little time and patience to get it right. But I know you can do it, and you’ll be happy you did.

    SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake...It Just Might Kill You
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped (for ganache)
    • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped (for ganache)
    • 4 cups heavy cream (for ganache)
    • ¼ cup good-quality honey (for ganache)
    • ½ teaspoon coarse salt (for ganache)
    • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (for ganache)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1⅓ cups good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
    • 2⅔ cups granulated sugar
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 2½ teaspoons baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1⅓ cups buttermilk
    • 1⅓ cups brewed American coffee (If you don't drink coffee, get a Tall 12-ounce black coffee at Starbucks)
    Instructions
    1. To make the ganache: Place all the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl (1 pound semisweet, 1 pound bittersweet); set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, honey, and salt. Scrape the tiny black seeds from the vanilla bean pod, if using, into the cream, and add the pod. Bring the cream to a boil, pour over the chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the vanilla extract, if using instead of the vanilla bean. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the ganache stiffens, at least 6 hours or overnight. Alternatively, place in the refrigerator and chill, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes, until the ganache stiffens. (IMPORTANT NOTE FROM JANE AND NIKKI: Nikki said that the ganache never gets hard enough if you just leave it at room temperature. She recommended making the ganache the day before and refrigerating overnight. This is what I did and it worked perfectly. I refrigerated overnight and then took the ganache out a couple hours before I was going to assemble the cake. It was the PERFECT consistency for spreading at that point and super easy to work with.)
    2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9 by 2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper and dust with a little bit of cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. (JANE NOTE: I buttered the pan, placed the parchment round and then buttered again. Then I dusted with flour instead of cocoa because it's easier to work with.) (JANE AND NIKKI NOTE: Nikki uses three 8-inch pans and does a 3-layer cake and this works really well. I didn't have 3 8-inch pans, so I did 2 9-inch pans and split them as directed for a 4-layer cake. BE WARNED: The batter will overflow when the cake bakes, it's just a bit too much batter for 2 9-inch pans, so make sure you cook it on a baking sheet as directed in the recipe.)
    3. To make the cake: In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift in the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed to combine.
    4. Add the eggs, vanilla, melted butter, buttermilk, and coffee. Mix on low speed until fully combined. (JANE AND NIKKI NOTE: I mixed the eggs, vanilla, melted butter, buttermilk and coffee together BEFORE adding to the flour mixture. Also, Nikki said that if you mix just until combined, the cake sometimes falls when baking. She has found the cake doesn't fall when she mixes the batter a bit longer than is called for. I followed her advice and the cake rose beautifully when baking. So, mix until fully combined and then a little bit longer than that.)
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake on a baking sheet until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the cakes onto the rack and let cool completely.
    6. Jane note: Freeze your cakes at this point. This will make the cutting and frosting much easier.
    7. Using a long serrated knife, slice the top ⅛ to ¼ inch off each cake to level it, if necessary. Discard the top pieces. (JANE NOTE: If you use cake strips, you won't need to do this!)
    8. Splice each cake horizontally into two layers for a total of four layers. (Jane note: If you use 3 8-inch pans, you will skip the splicing step.) Place the bottom layer on a 9-inch cake round, a turntable, or a platter, and using an offset spatula, spread thickly with about 1½ cups of the ganache. Repeat with the second and third layers, spreading another 1½ cups ganache over each layer. (Jane: Use a bit more for each level if only doing three layers.)
    9. Add the final cake layer and spread it with a very thin layer of ganache (this is your crumb layer). Place the cake in the refrigerator until the crumb layer is set, about 30 minutes.
    10. Original recipe: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place it on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the reserved ganache just until liquid. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Using a large offset spatula, help spread the ganache from the center to the edges so the cake is completely covered. Smooth the top and sides. Refrigerate to set, about 30 minutes.
    11. What I did: Instead of melting the ganache and pouring it over the cake, I spread the ganache with an offset spatula on the tops and sides. As I mentioned earlier, the ganache was a fabulous consistency and really easy to work with. It was no problem spreading it on the cake and making it look beautiful!
    12. Serve at room temperature.
    13. Technique tip: When cutting a cake into horizontal layers, be sure to use a twelve-inch serrated bread knife. To achieve even layers, keep the knife perpendicular to your body, cutting back and forth while rotating the cake plate.
    Notes
    Click here for an excerpt from the cookbook that tells you a bit about the history of the cake


  8. Wednesday, April 3

    Double Chocolate Milkshake…Move Over, Starbucks.

    The whole reason I was inspired to make homemade cocoa syrup last week was because of my little Anna. Anna is obsessed with the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® Blended Crème at Starbucks. Every single time she sees a Starbucks, which in America is about 21 times per day, she asks for one. Needless to say her life is full of disappointment.

    Last week she was begging for one and I promised we would go home and try to make it. Which is why I ended up making chocolate syrup, which ended up taking all my energy and we never got around to making the drink! Today Anna and I finally got down to business.

    We nailed it. Totally as good as Starbucks. The syrup that Starbucks uses is mocha, so the taste is a tad different, but it’s a very small difference. Anna is in heaven and wants me to make more. I don’t think I’ve eliminated the begging from my life, in fact it may increase! But at least the occasional indulgence won’t cost me 4 bucks a cup.

    Double Chocolate Milkshake...Move Over, Starbucks.
     
    Inspired by Starbucks
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Serves: 2
    Ingredients
    • 8 ounces milk
    • 2 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup ice
    • 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup or cocoa syrup
    Instructions
    1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend well. (If you have a heavy-duty blender like the Blendtec or Vitamix, the texture will be more similar to Starbucks.)


  9. Wednesday, March 13

    Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie…Mmmmmm…

    I am LOVING all the great cast iron skillet recipe suggestions everyone is sharing on last week’s post. I am super excited to start using my cast iron skillet regularly! Many people mentioned making giant chocolate chip cookies in their skillet, so of course I had to give that a try ASAP. And the experiment was beyond successful.

    Here’s what I love most about making a giant skillet cookie: you only dirty one dish! All the mixing and baking happens right in the skillet. Oh, and I also love that it is DELICIOUS.

    I found the recipe on Tasty Kitchen, but if you have your own skillet cookie recipe or tips, please share! I want to perfect this delectable goodie!

    Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie...Mmmmmm...
     
    Adapted slightly from Tasty Kitchen
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 8 tablespoons butter
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Melt butter in 8-inch cast iron skillet over low heat. When butter is melted, stir in sugars with a spatula until well mixed. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
    3. Stir in egg and vanilla with a fork. Mix well. (I was worried the pan and dough would be too hot for the egg, but they weren’t – no scrambled eggs to be seen!)
    4. Using the spatula, stir in baking soda and salt, then stir in flour until well mixed.
    5. Spread batter over surface of the skillet then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Fold chocolate chips into batter. By spreading the batter first you minimize chocolate chips hitting the pan and melting. It’s okay if a bit of this happens, but it does help to sprinkle the chocolate over the spread out dough and then mix the chips in.
    6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until edges and top start to brown and center is set. (Took my oven 22 minutes.)
    7. Best served warm and with ice cream!


  10. Friday, December 7

    {Biscotti Week} Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

    Today we have the last yummy recipe for biscotti week!

    Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti. I must admit, when I walked into our little biscotti class last week and saw all the various biscotti flavors at hand, the cinnamon sugar variety was the one I was least attracted to. I don’t know, I just wasn’t expecting much.

    Well, low expectations served me well this time around because HOLY MOLY this biscotti was good. At first bite I was stunned at how much I loved it, and then proceeded to eat not one, not two, maybe not even three of these delectable goodies. Seriously, I’m not sure how many I ate. Best not to dwell on such things.

    I don’t really have much to add to this recipe. It’s from Joy the Baker (again) and she got it from Epicurious. And it’s fabulous. Enjoy!

    {Biscotti Week} Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
     
    From Joy the Baker (originally from Epicurious)
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • For Topping:
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 beaten egg (for brushing biscotti before baking)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and arrange two baking racks in the upper portion of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or silpat) and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    3. Also whisk together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and set aside.
    4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the egg followed by the egg yolk. Beat in the vanilla extract.
    5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter all at once. With the mixer or just with a spatula, bring all of the ingredients together until a somewhat stiff dough is formed.
    6. Divide the dough in two on the two baking sheets. Shape each half of dough into a 9-inch long and 1½-inch wide log. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle very generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake the two sheets on two different racks in the oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets for even baking and bake for 20-25 more minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
    7. Remove from the oven but keep the oven on. Let biscotti cool until able to handle. Using a serrated knife, cut logs into ½-inch wide diagonal slices. (Click here to see a diagram for how to cut biscotti.) Place biscotti cut side down on baking sheet and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. Bake again until pale golden, about 10-15 minutes.
    8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.