Tag Archives: Dessert

Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana cupcakes
I think fall has to be my favorite season. Not only can we start wearing cozy sweaters and soft leather boots, but fall food is basically comprised of “comfort” food: donuts, apple cider, hot soup, cheesy pasta… God, I can feel my saddle bags growing by the minute! Blissful.

These cupcakes are truly delicious with this frosting but if you wanted to leave the frosting off you could easily call them muffins and eat them for breakfast. Or you could eat them for breakfast with the frosting. Ain’t no shame.

On the menu:
Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 16 cupcakes
Cupcake recipe dapted from this recipe on AllRecipes.com

Cupcakes:
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp buttermilk*

In a large bowl, blend bananas and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in eggs one at a time and blend until completely combined. Add vegetable oil and blend until the mixture is completely blended, about 2 – 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with the baking soda. Add to wet mixture and stir with a spoon to combine. Add buttermilk and stir to combine.

Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
16 pecan halves

In a small bowl, beat butter with electric mixer. Add cream cheese and blend to combine. Add brown sugar and vanilla and blend to combine. Frost cupcakes and top with a single pecan if desired.

*If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 2 1/2 Tbsp of regular milk with 1 tsp lemon juice and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes and then use as directed.

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Marble Cookies

marble cookies
One of my favorite food memories (of which there are bajllions) is from when I was really little, maybe 4 or 5. My grandmother used to take me to her local bakery to get the kuchen that inevitably showed up at every family meal, and she’d let me get one thing for myself. It was always a marble cookie. As a kid I never questioned what I liked about that cookie but my little kid brain always went straight for it: a cookie with chocolate and vanilla swirled dough and a delicious but faint hint of almonds. Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle (is there any other way?)… New York delis have these cookies in scores but they always disappoint. They’re always stale and usually hard as rocks. So in the interest of dredging up nostalgia, I dug up a recipe to make them in my own kitchen. And a pleasant surprise: they are so freaking easy.

On the menu:
Marble cookies
Makes 2 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 oz. unsweetened baker’s chocolate

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend the butter and sugar until combined. Add egg and blend well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and blend with electric mixer until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts and stir together the dough by hand.

In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate. Little by little, add the chocolate to the cookie dough, intermittently using a knife to swirl the chocolate. Do NOT stir! You want to be able to see the chocolate and the vanilla within the dough.

Chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When dough is nice and chilled, roll dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the edges are just started to turn light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

cookie bars
I don’t have to tell you guys how much I love dessert, and it’s never too late in the evening or early in the morning to retreat to the kitchen to create something sweet. Last night around 8:30PM I was dying (DYING) for a dessert and M&Ms just weren’t cutting it. So I turned to the amazing blog Dessert for Two where the blogger develops recipes specifically for small batches. Want two cupcakes? 8 cookies? Lasagna for you and your significant other with no leftovers? This girl has a recipe for it.

My dessert criteria were: something I could mix by hand, something I only had to dirty one bowl for, and something I had all the ingredients for in the fridge. BAM. Blondies. Only I don’t really like butterscotch chips and I didn’t have any anyway so I substituted regular chocolate chips. BEHOLD. The most delicious, insanely chewy, un-freakin-believably good cookie bars you have ever had. All I have to say is, it’s a good thing this only made 6 small bars because The BF and I ate. them. all. Maybe I even put the pan on the AC unit to speed up the cool down so we could eat them faster… I don’t know.

On the menu:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Makes 6 brownies
Adapted from Dessert for Two

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 3 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper*.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter with a wooden spoon. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt and stir well to combine. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder over the brown sugar mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and spread until batter is about 3/4 of an inch thick. My batter did NOT cover the entire base of the pan which is fine because this doesn’t spread. Bake for around 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out with moist crumbs stuck to it.

Remove parchment paper and bars from pan and let bars cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before cutting into 6 evenly sized bars.

*Note: If you don’t have a loaf pan you can still make these. You can spread the batter out evenly on a cookie sheet since the batter doesn’t spread. And let’s face it… you aren’t making these to look pretty for company. You’re making them to stuff your face before bed.

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Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Fudgy chocolate brownies from LaurenFoodE
It’s my lifelong goal to make brownies that taste just like the box but without all the preservatives and chemicals.

Oh no WAIT. It’s not MY lifelong goal. It’s The BF’s own personal goal for me.

In any case, there was one time where I plucked a recipe for brownies off the internet at random and the brownies that recipe yielded were perfection. And you know what? I never bookmarked the recipe and then I lost it. And The BF reminds me of it at least once a week.

So here is ANOTHER brownie recipe (I do this to you guys a lot, you realize) and this one is deliciously chocolate and fudgy and if you’re like me, you’ll undercook them just a touch so they stay nice and soft. Maybe you’ll add a scoop of ice cream on top. Maybe I’d salute you.

On the menu:
Fudgy Chocolate Browies
Makes 12 large brownies
Adapted from MommiFried

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp water
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, and water until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour into greased baking sheet and smooth until the batter is evenly distributed in the pan.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top is crackly and the corners are firmed up. Let cool completely* before cutting.

*Note: We have a running joke in our house that the brownies never, ever get to cool completely before they’re cut into. If your house smells like brownies and you can wait a full hour until they cool to eat them, then I have a medal here for you.

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

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There are few greater joys in a home cook’s life than when a first time recipe turns out really, really well. And this is a recipe that turned out really, really well. It’s a “pound cake” type of dessert, meaning it could be eaten by itself (tomorrow I’ll probably call it breakfast) or you could top it with 100 different things. For a pre-Father’s Day dinner with my dad last night I served this cake with fresh strawberries (tossed with a little white sugar for sweetness and to bring out the juice) and topped it with whipped cream. But you could do lots of different things: top with lemon curd, drizzle dark chocolate over each slice, or add any kind of seasonal fruit. The sky is the limit.

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On the menu:

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from Food + Wine
Makes 1 10″ round cake

7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1 3/4 cup flour, plus 1 Tbsp more for flouring the pan
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil*
3 Tbsp milk, at room temperature
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Zest of 2 lemons, approximately 2 Tbsp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10″ cake pan (I used a 10″ tart dish and it came out beautifully).

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, and milk.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, zest and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and frothy, around 3 minutes. While your mixer is still beating, alternately add the dry flour and wet butter mixtures, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.

Pour into your prepared cake pan and tap against the counter top a few times to release bubbles. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (see note below). Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. This cake will also keep for around 3 days at room temperature.

Cut into wedges and eat alone or top with whatever topping your little heart desires.

*I used regular old olive oil but you could use virgin or extra virgin olive oil if you want to. Just know that the heavier the oil, the heavier your batter will be and a cake made with olive oil might have to cook just a bit longer. Test the doneness of your cake by pressing down on the cooked cake gently with your finger – it should spring back when it’s fully cooked.

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Sea Salt Brownie Cookies

Sea Salt Brownie Cookies

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this recipe except that these cookies are SO FREAKING GOOD. I got the recipe from this article on BuzzFeed called 17 Hybrid Desserts That Will Blow Your Mind. Just beware if you click that link you’re going to end up making SOMETHING from that list. Next up, I think, will be the cupcakes with the cookies in the bottom. This is the stuff that dreeeeeams are made oooooof…

These cookies are basically brownies in cookie form. They get that incredible, flaky brownie crust on them but the inside is soft just like a regular brownie. Delish.

On the menu:
Sea Salt Brownie Cookies
Makes approximately 16 cookies

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 chocolate chips (any kind you like!), divided
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup plus Tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Coarse salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet, or use parchment paper (these do stick a little, even to my non stick baking sheets).

In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and butter until completely melted and combined.

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, blend together the sugar and eggs for around 3 minutes and until fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir together by hand. Add the remaining chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Drop batter by 1/4 cups onto the baking sheet. Flatten a bit into 1/2 inch thick disks with a spoon. Sprinkle coarse salt on top if desired.

Bake for 10 – 13 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies, or until the middle is puffy and the outer crust is flaky. Let cool for a minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Strawberry Cake

20130525002318
I love when a recipe says something like, “This is a great way to use up leftover berries.” Here in New York City, land of overpriced everything, I never really have too much of something leftover that costs an arm and a leg to begin with. I use every tiny little bit of that sucker. Even during the summer berries are ridiculously expensive around here (unless you trek to the farmers’ market, I know, I know) so when I make a recipe with berries, it’s on purpose, and I hope it comes out nicely because if not, it was one expensive mistake.

This recipe was no mistake. And I can’t recommend it enough. The cake is not too sweet and the sugar on top gives it a nice crunch. You could even serve it for breakfast, because frankly, what’s the difference between a slice of this and a muffin? As far as I’m concerned, nothing.

On the menu:
Strawberry cake
Makes 1 10″ cake

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus more to grease the pie plate
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10″ pie plate with unsalted butter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir in by hand until combined.

Pour batter into greased pie plate. Cut-face-down, place strawberries on top of the batter as close together as you can but not on top of each other [NOTE: do NOT press the berries down into the batter; the batter will cook up around your berries and make them all but disappear from view]. Sprinkle the remaining Tbsp of sugar on top of the cake.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 60 minutes. Once the cake is cooked (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean) cool on a wire rack completely before serving.

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