Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cream Cheese Lemonade Pie

Made this twice once with great resluts, once not so great. I used limeade both times but the second time I bought low fat Cool Whip by mistake and ended up with a runny mess that didn't set up. So I ended up freezing the pie which ended up tasting as great as my first try. Good thing that I made it the day before I was serving it. I also added some crushed pretzels to the graham cracker crust I made hoping for a Margarita type pie. That was a nice chang.

Recipe >> Cream Cheese Lemonade Pie @ greatgrubdelicioustreats.com

Monday, May 30, 2016

Churro Ice Cream Bowls

Churro Ice Cream Bowls

Makes 8 churro bowls

  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • Cooking-oil spray
  • Oil for frying
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Ice cream
  • Hot fudge and caramel topping (optional)

Piping bag with a small star tip
Muffin tin (6 to 12 cups)


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add butter, brown sugar, salt, and water, and bring to a boil. As soon as the butter has fully melted and the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and add in flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough comes together to form a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes before proceeding to the next step (to prevent accidentally cooking the eggs).

Mix in the vanilla extract and add in the eggs, one at a time, being sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next. Once all the eggs are incorporated, transfer it to a piping bag with a small star tip.

Invert a muffin tin and spray thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Pipe the dough around the inverted cups in spirals to form the bowls. Immediately transfer the tray to the freezer and freeze until solid (about 3 hours or overnight).

Heat oil in a deep pot to 350˚F (175˚C). Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and flex it to release the churro bowls (you may need to also use a small knife under the bottom edge to initially release them). Return any extras to the freezer while you wait to fry.

Fry them in batches, until nicely browned, no more than 3 at a time. Be sure to carefully tip them into the oil so they sink to the bottom. Once desired color is reached, remove them from the oil to a paper towel–lined plate. Dab off any excess oil then roll them in cinnamon sugar. Fill with your favorite ice cream and toppings. Enjoy!

Snickers Cake

Easy-to-make chocolate cake with a gooey caramel center--almost like a candy bar. - I made this cake for my boyfriend's birthday and his entire office loved it! This is an extremely rich cake - you can't eat much! I subbed Devil's Food cake and peanuts because he doesn't like coconut or walnuts. Turned out great and also did the snickers on top.. It was very delicious and rich. definitly need a glass of milk or vanilla ice cream. I plan on making it again for my husbands bday.

Recipe >> Snickers Cake @ plainchicken.com

Sunday, May 29, 2016

We Held A Chocolate Chip Cookie Taste-A-Thon

It’s a hard life, but we did it to bring you the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipes.

As part of the process of creating the best chocolate chip cookies ever, I baked 10 famous existing cookie recipes and held a blind taste test for 40 of my co-workers.

The 10 recipes came from all over the cookie spectrum. There was the New York Times’ top pick, the Nestlé Toll House version that we all grew up with, and favorites from Bon Appétit and bloggers like Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons.

I wanted to include something for everyone, because even though I’ve spent many years as a professional recipe creator, I know that not everyone is necessarily looking for the same kind of cookie. For this test, I asked my co-workers to taste all 10, then pick their absolute favorite.

To keep things as even as possible, I created a few simple parameters when it came to the actual baking.

I used the same size cookie scoop for all the cookies, as well as the same brands of ingredients. I baked off and tried one cookie right away, but for the sake of even testing, I chilled all the dough for 24 hours before baking.

The tasting was “blind” so that no one knew which recipe was which. Here’s what the tasting plate looked like.

The biggest thing I learned was that there are four types of chocolate chip cookies that people love to eat. They are:

• A classic chocolate chip cookie, with crispy edges, a chewy interior, and a toffee flavor throughout
• A crispy cookie that’s packed with extra butter and sugar
• A soft, bakery-style cookie that is sugary and has no crunch to it at all
• A cakey cookie that is somewhere between a slice of cake and a soft chocolate chip cookie.

The first THREE recipes below pulled ahead as clear winners of the taste test. Read about why our tasters loved them, and get links to all the recipes below.

1. Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies From the Seven Spoons Cookbook, by Tara O’Brady

The backstory: The recipe comes from blogger Tara O’Brady’s Seven Spoons cookbook. When this cookbook came out, I saw beautiful pictures of these cookies all over Instagram and knew that I had to try them. Turns out there was a reason: These cookies won in a landslide victory for favorite cookie.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Buttery, toasty, and toffee-like.”
• “Crunch on the front, goo everywhere else. Divine.”
• “This is like a cartoon cookie: nice shape and the taste is flawless. Wouldn’t fall apart, would be there for me.”

Get the recipe here.

2. Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Milk Bar Life cookbook, by Christina Tosi

The backstory: New York-based bakery Momofuku Milk Bar frequently has lines out the door for pastry chef Christina Tosi’s whimsical creations like Crack Pie and Cereal Milk Frozen Yogurt.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Very pretty, nubby and chewy with salt up front and strong vanilla.”
• “It is gooey but also crunchy and definitely has enough chocolate vibes.”
• “Soft and yum.”

This recipe was originally published in her book, Milk Bar Life, but you can find the recipe online over at Foodie Crush.

3. Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Bon Appétit, by Alison Roman

The backstory: If you love a crispy cookie, then these are for you. The recipe was created by Alison Roman, (formerly of BuzzFeed Food) during her tenure at Bon Appétit.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Salty, toasty, buttery.”
• “Oh fuck, it’s perfect,” “It tasted complex and more dynamic — like this cookie elevated me to another level.”
• “It was notably salty and notably sweet.”

Get the recipe here.

4. Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies From Serious Eats, by J. Kenji López-Alt

The backstory: J. Kenji López-Alt is a sort of mad genius in the kitchen. His Food Lab column over at Serious Eats is a must-read for cooking geeks because he delves into the hows and whys of recipes with nerdy granularity. This recipe was the result of months and months of testing, and the payoff is a somewhat complicated, totally delicious cookie.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Oh boy. Crispy and chocolatey. Come to Papa. Toffee-ish, salty — this cookie had all my favorite qualities.”
• “Perfect shade of brown, toffee AF, and also, like, browned butter?”
• “So much butter! (In a good way) LOVE the gooeyness.”

Get the recipe here.

5. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies From Cook’s Illustrated

The backstory: Cook’s Illustrated is basically Mecca for food geeks like me, so including their “perfect” chocolate chip cookie in the taste test was essential. After many rounds of testing they settled on browned butter for a nutty note and one egg and one yolk to enhance chewiness.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Love! So much chocolate. Hell yes. I also like the dark color.”
• “Perfect balance between gooey and a bit crunchy. Loved the salty kick.”
• “Chocolaty but not too sweet.”

Get the recipe here. (You’ll need a subscription to access the recipe.)

6. Chocolate Chip Cookies from the New York Times, by Jacques Torres

The backstory: When the New York Times published famous pastry chef Jacques Torres’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies back in 2008, it started a mini-revolution. Even though professional bakers commonly wait 24 hours (or more) to bake their cookie dough, this article brought the trick to light.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Awesome. Crunchy, kind of chewy, good salt. I would be pleased if I made this.”
• “Flood of chocolate.”
• “Nice crunch with a soft, chewy inside.”

Get the recipe here.

7. The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie by Alton Brown

The backstory: You may be familiar with food scientist Alton Brown, who has the show Good Eats on Food Network. He’s a recipe perfectionist, and this cookie is perfect for people who want a chewy cookie with crispy edges.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Chewy, buttery, lots of chocolate.”
• “Super caramel-y, heavy brown sugar.”
• “Chocolaty, velvety…all I can think about is the chocolate.”

Get the recipe here.

8. Chocolate Chip Cookies From Nestlé Toll House, by Ruth Wakefield

The backstory: If you grew up in the U.S., then you’ve probably eaten one of these cookies. (The recipe runs on the back of Nestlé chocolate chip bags.) The legend goes that Ruth Wakefield, one of the owners of the Toll House Inn, chopped a chocolate bar and folded them into her drop cookies, thinking that the chocolate would melt into the batter. No such luck — the chopped chocolate stayed in place. The result was a massive success, and this American classic was born.

Here’s what the tasters said:
• “Golden and smooth; looks like a classic.”
• “This tastes like what a cookie should be: perfect amount of chewy and crispy.”
• “Grandmother-y. The epitome of a ‘decent’ cookie.”

Get the recipe here.

9. Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies by Pinch of Yum

The backstory: At last count, these cookies by blogger Pinch of Yum have 350K-plus repins on Pinterest.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Oh fuck, I like this a lot. Soft, tastes cheap, and classic.”
• “Looks store-bought and tastes like it.”
• “Cakey, really good.”

Get the recipe here.

10. Chocolate Chip Cookies by David Lebovitz

The backstory: David Lebovitz is a Paris-based pastry chef who’s written several dessert cookbooks. These cookies call for almonds, but can be made without, which I did for the sake of standardization.

Here’s what tasters had to say:
• “Compact and chewy.”
• “Very chocolaty, but weak finish.”
• “The taste is nice and mild, but it lacks oomph.”

Get the recipe here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse

This was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly with a few minor changes. (1), I used Nestle's semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and reduced the amount of white sugar to about 1/3 cup. It still very rich and plenty sweet. And (2), I heated the chocolate chips in a double boiler to avoid burning the chocolate (a glass heat-safe bowl holding the chocolate chips set on top of a saucepan with a small amount of simmering water). 

The mousse was set firmly within 4 hours, although it may have set in less time than that, since I didn't check on it. Using 6 oz. glass custard cups, this recipe makes 8-9 servings. I will absolutely make this again.

Recipe >> Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse @ lemontreedwelling.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

Homemade All Butter Pie Crust

I have to get better at giving pie crusts a nice edge. Mine didn't look very pretty but that's my fault. This recipe was easy and really good. My food processor isn't big enough to hold the entire volume of this recipe so I had a few issues with that. Also, I bought salted butter by mistake. I was still happy with the flavor though because I was making a savory dish with the crust. In the future I will stick to unsalted butter, especially if making a pie.

This pie crust is my personal favorite and is made using a food processor, which makes cutting the butter into the flour very simple. By the way, you can make a double batch of this, and freeze the individually wrapped dough for future pie-related adventures."

Recipe >>   Homemade All Butter Pie Crust @ sugarapron.com

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Cake

This is a quick lemon cake that benefits from the lovely addition of blueberries. You could leave out the berries if you're after a classic lemon drizzle cake, though the blueberries are heavenly!

I love pound cake, and I have tried a bunch of recipes...this one makes a beautiful cake. The cake rose right to the top edge of the tube pan, but I did have to let it bake about 20 minutes longer than specified, so be sure you test it with a wooden skewer before assuming it's done. I followed the recipe as written with only a few minor changes: added one teaspoon vanilla extract in addition to the lemon flavoring, didn't measure the lemon zest - just used the zest of one large lemon, and added about a cup of diced fresh cherries I had and needed to use. I tossed the fruit with flour, and this kept them distributed throughout the cake without sinking. The cake has a wonderful flavor and texture, and is easy to prepare. This is a good basic pound cake recipe, and you could experiment with other extracts and berries. I'm adding this to my pound cake repetoire!


Kids said that these are better than Reese's! Very tasty. Has anyone tried using just 1 stick of butter successfully? I'll let you know if it works! UPDATE: I made these with 1 1/2 sticks of butter with equally delicious results. I will update again trying 1 stick...UPDATE #2: Okay, I tried one stick of butter - the taste is still delicious! The only difference is that the peanut butter part is a little more crumbly...doesn't hold together quite as well...so you decide how much butter you want to use! These have become an absolute staple in my house! Also, it is my total standard recipe for 'gotta-bring-something-sweet' to 'fill-in-the-blank'. SO easy, SO fast and terrific for satisfying those cravings.


Bakery Quality White Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is awesome!. I read all of the reviews and was concerned about how this would turn out. So, I would have felt bad if this didn't turn out well. But, I noticed that many others had success and I thought surely I could use their suggestions. I wrote out all of the suggested adjustments to this recipe and did those, and it tastes...well, heavenly! If you don't want to go through all the reviews, here's the adjustments... Use 1&1/2 cups of milk instead of just one. Wait till the other ingredients are mixed before you make your meringue, and then fold it in rather than beat it. I also made a few other adjustments to make mine low fat. I used skim milk, and light butter with canola. I made 24 cupcakes and they are wonderful! Note that the batter seems thin, but it makes up moist wonderful cupcakes. Also, do make sure to notice that you are suppose to sift the flour first, then measure and add baking powder and salt, then sift all together three times. I'm wondering if some of the other reviewers didn't notice that you were suppose to sift the flour before you even measure it out to add the baking powder and salt. It could have been the difference. I hope you decide to make this recipe!

Get the recipe here >> Bakery Quality White Cake with Buttercream Frosting @ carissashaw.com