31 Days of Chocolate: Oct.16- Dirt for Dessert

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October 16th: Eat “Dirt”

No, we’re not talking about actual dirt. We’re talking about Dirt Cups. And if you’re a parent, you’re probably more than familiar with them. Kids love the staple ingredients to this dessert- crushed Oreos and gummy worms.

Classic Dirt Cup

Recipe by Kraft

Wanna dig a little deeper?

Try this Halloween version.

Boo Cups

Recipe by Snackworks

31 Days of Chocolate:Oct.14th- National Dessert Day

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October 14th: Enjoy a Fall dessert in honor of National Dessert Day

My jeans are yelling, “You’ve been eating Fall desserts every single day.”

But, the voices in my head are yelling something different.

Perhaps, just one little cookie….

Ms. Fields Yummy Mummy Cookie Cake

Or, just a small bite…

Vampire Teeth Cupcake

by ShopBakersnook

Or, one tiny slice of cake.

Halloween Chocolate Cake

By William Sonoma

And, if one little slice, leads to the whole cake, that’s okay. It’s a special time of year.

31 Days of Chocolate: Oct.12th- New Improved S’mores

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October 12th: Add new flavors to the traditional S’mores

There’s nothing wrong with the classic s’mores.

Nothing.

Today, we’re just expanding the options. Try these new flavor combinations:

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cookie Dough Marshmallows, Reese’s Cups

Triple Chocolate: Chocolate Crackers, Chocolate Marshmallows, Dark Chocolate

Bourbon Caramel: Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Caramels, Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Spicy Cinnamon: Cinnamon Crackers, Cinnamon Churro Marshmallows, Dark Chili Chocolate

31 Days of Chocolate: Oct. 10th- Mmmummies

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October 10th: Chocolate Mmmummies

These little guys are warm, toasty, and oozing with chocolate.

Ingredients:

Miniature Hershey Bars

Refrigerator Croissant Rolls

Mini M&M’s

Directions:

1. Stretch a croissant around a candy bar. Be sure to cover the bar well so the chocolate doesn’t escape. Just leave a small opening for the eyes.

2. Add the M&M eyes.

3. Bake according to package directions.

Now that’s a Yummy Mummy!

You put WHAT in my chocolate cake?

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You want the best cake. The moistest cake. The healthiest cake.
I get that. I really do.

Bring out the chocolate flavor with a dash of espresso powder? Sure. I can handle that.

How about adding a dollop of sour cream? Maybe.

Make it moister with mayonnaise?

That’s where things cross the line for me. Some things just don’t belong in chocolate cake. My rule of thumb, if it goes on a sandwich, leave it out of my dessert.

Now, I’m not totally closed-minded. Let’s say you’d like dessert, but you don’t want all the calories that come with it. That’s understandable. In fact, I find some of the early hacks acceptable, substituting fats with fruits, such as, apple sauce, bananas, or pumpkin.

But, the latest trends have me holding my stomach.
Avocado, zucchini, kale, and the one that pains me to type in the same sentence as chocolate…black beans. Black beans, you guys.

If you are one that eats like this, I’m not putting you down. In fact, I applaud you and your super powers.

Call me stubborn, or call me a purist (I prefer the latter), but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

It’s not the fact that I don’t like vegetables. I’d just prefer to keep them out of my dessert. (Back to my sandwich rule).

Am I alone on this one? I’d love to hear your opinions!

13 Baking Essentials for your Fall Kitchen

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It’s hot outside. The trees are lush and green. But, the calendar says September, and that’s enough to get me excited about Fall.

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Fall is my favorite. The colors, the weather, the food.

It’s the dip-it-in-chocolate,

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smother-it-in-caramel,

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and put-it-on-a-stick time of year.

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And, I love it.

This year, I’ve put together a list of some of my most wanted fall kitchen items.

(While I’m not a brand ambassador, should you like and purchase any of the items too, this site will receive a small commission.)

 

Fall Baking Wishlist

Mini Pie and Quiche Baker

Why I need it: Because there’s nothing better than a warm gooey pie, than my OWN warm, gooey pie.

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Fall Apron

Why I need it: For times baking motivation is low, this little number will provide some Autumn inspiration.

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Raccoon/Fox Cookie Cutters

Why I need it: Quite simply, these little fellas are adorable.

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Fall Kitchen Towel Set

Why I need it: Because my kitchen is happy it’s almost Autumn, too.

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Harvest Loaf Set

Why I need it: Fact- Food tastes better in cute dishes.

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Mini Iron Skillets

Why I need it: Skillet cookies, brownies, and cobblers. Need I say more?

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Acorn Silicone Mold

Why I need it: These little acorns will add a cute little bit of whimsy to dessert. Put one on a cupcake, or a pile of them on a cake. Or, just rest one on a spoon, for an after dinner treat.

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Whipped Cream Dispenser

Why I need it: Time to take the hot chocolate game to a new level.

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Fall Sprinkle Collection

Why I need it: I like to get a fresh set of versatile sprinkles at the start of Fall that I can use all season long.

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Wilton Candy Melter

Why I need it: This goes into that dip-it-in-chocolate, smother-it-in-caramel category. Perfect for dipping apple slices, pretzels, marshmallows, or anything you want dripping with chocolate.

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Fall Leaves Cookie Stencil

Why I need it: Stencils are a fast and easy way to add artistic flair to desserts. Use them on cakes, with a dusting of powdered sugar, or paint them on cookies with royal icing.

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Tree Bark Footed Server

Why I need it: I love bringing nature indoors. This platter is the perfect pedestal for a cake or any assortment of fall goodies.

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3D Pumkin Cake Pan

Why I need it: It’s a cake that makes a statement. It can be dressed up, or served simple with a drizzle of warm fudge or caramel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s on your fall baking supply wishlist?

Community Share- Bake & Take: Pies

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 Hello Bakers!

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In honor of Pi Day, we’re hosting our first official Bake & Take


What is a Bake & Take?

Step #1

Bake something scrumptious. This month: Pies



Step #2

Take a photo of your masterpiece and link in the comment section.

 



Step #3

Sit back, while the foodie community salivates over your culinary creation.


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Happy Baking!

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Up Next: Spring Desserts

 

13 Tips for Baking the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Tired of looking for the chocolate chip cookie of your dreams?

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Confession: 

I’ve met my share of chocolate chip cookies. Okay, since I’m confessing, I’ve met way more than my fair share. The problem is that the majority of them are just okay.

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They always seem to have an issue.

Boring,

Crummy,

Dense,

Or, just not sweet enough.

So even though I’ve enjoyed a lot of cookies, I’m always searching for that perfect one that has all the right stuff. And guess what? I’ve made a list- of that stuff.

 

In honor of Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, we’re counting down the top thirteen tips to baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

13 Tips for a better Chocolate Chip Cookie

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13. Accuracy. It’s really important to measure ingredients carefully, preferably with a digital scale. You may be saying-Uh Agatha, this isn’t rocket science here. They’re just cookies.  

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Fact is, there’s a lot of science going on in every little cookie. Get it wrong, and…  

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12.  Fresh Ingredients. This one seems obvious, but sometimes we don’t realize how long things have been sitting in the pantry. When’s the last time you checked the date on baking powder? Also, keep in mind that once you open the package, most ingredients will lose their freshness faster. Stale expired products, will produce stale expired flavor.

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11.  Encourage an Even Bake. Avoid dark, non-stick pans that can cause cookies to burn on the bottom. Unless using a convection oven, bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven and rotate once during baking.

10.  Butter is betterUse butter, not margarine. Margarine makes a denser cookie, and more importantly, butter has flavor. (Of course, just my opinion).

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9.   Better Butter is butter at room temperature. When butter is too cold, it will not mix evenly. Too hot, and cookies will spread.

If you need to warm it quickly, don’t be tempted to soften it in the microwave.

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Instead, slice or grate the butter and let it soften naturally while you preheat your oven and gather materials. 

8.  Don’t bake blindlyKnow your ingredient capabilities. 

For chewy cookies: Add 1 Tablespoon of corn syrup and use a higher ratio of brown sugar. I prefer dark brown sugar for that extra kick of toffee-like flavor.

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For cake-like cookies: Add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and use cake flour.

For crispy cookies: Use only granulated sugar.

7.   Whip it, whip it good.

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As a general rule of thumb, cream sugar and butter first. Gradually add in wet ingredients and eggs one at a time. Then, incorporate the dry ingredients. If the ingredients are not uniformly combined, you may end up with a crumbly cookie.

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6.   But…dont whip it too good. See, I told you it’s a science. You want to stir well enough to get an even mixture, but you don’t want to overwork the dough. Overmix the ingredients and the cookies will get tough.

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5.   Lay it, dont spray it. I highly recommend lining pans with parchment paper or silicone mats. If you prefer non-stick spray, don’t over do it.

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Too much spray can cause cookies to spread and will cause a greasy build-up on your pans. Furthermore, if spraying, be sure to wash pans in between bakes. There’s nothing worse than burnt chocolate or sugar stuck on your trays.

4.   Be cautious of soggy bottoms. To ensure the cookies are done, check that the bottoms are lightly brown. Even when cookies are fully baked, they will bend and break apart right out of the oven. Let them rest for just a couple of minutes and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack, single-layer.   

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3.   Keep it cool. Cool pans. Cool dough.

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Always bake on cool pans. If refilling a pan just from the oven, rinse with cold water. Hot pans will cause over-spreading. It’s also helpful to chill your dough in the refrigerator in between bakes.

2.   Accessorize. We eat with our eyes first, especially when it comes to dessert.

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After rolling the cookie balls, top them with a few chocolate chips and any other candy mix-ins you are using. Cookies will look more appetizing and nobody will feel short changed. (Am I the only one who has been disappointed by the pitiful two-chip cookie?)

Official Baker Rule: A cookie should never disappoint.😉

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1.   And the number one tip…eat those chocolate wonders while they’re fresh out of the oven.

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The key is to bake in small batches. Refrigerate dough (up to 3 days) or freeze the dough up to six weeks (in an airtight container), until ready to bake. You’ll just have to add a couple minutes of cook time. 

Fresh, warm cookies every time.

 

Have any other tips? Please share in the comment section below.

*gifs by Giphy