I am primarily a cookie baker, but once in a while I will try and pull off a cake. I made this chocolate mousse cake this weekend. It had multiple steps and some chilling and assembly time, but was worth the effort. A layer of chocolate mousse is sandwiched between two thin layers of chocolate, orange and toasted hazelnut cake, with more mousse piled on top...a chocolate glaze and chocolate shavings really puts cake this over the top. I served it sliced thinly with a scoop of coffee ice cream on the side. And I am wondering why my pants were snug Monday morning? This is a special cake perfect for a special occasion. Adapted from epicurious.com.tags: desserts bake simmer more
Always on the lookout for a new muffin, I went to my old friend Joy the Baker's blog and came across these berry streusel muffins with the right amount (read: not too much) of jam swirled in. These will be a new regular in my repertoire for sure. Joy says any kind of berries (including frozen, which I used here) and jam can be used, an added bonus!tags: breakfast snacks lunch box fruit rice, grains and breads bake more
I'm always on the lookout for a new bar recipe that's a little bit more upscale than your typical brownie. Think dinner party but your kids will also love them. These grasshopper bars fit that bill – elegant and delicious, and special enough for company. They have three layers and there is some chilling time required, so give yourself some time here, but they store well in the fridge, so you can make them up to four days in advance.
Adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
This ice cream pie is truly deluxe and brings it to an adult level. You can customize with your favorite ice cream – I used mint chip because I was serving it to kids and adults, but coffee ice cream would give it a grown-up flair. It has a crunchy cookie crust on the bottom, a layer of decadent fudge, a layer of ice cream (use best quality) and is topped with homemade fudge sauce. A small slice goes a long way.
(Adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)
These muffins are hearty and satisfying, yet stil have only about 150 calories and 4 1/2 grams of fat in each. Plus, they freeze well. Now, I'm not going to pretend that these could even compare to a coffee cake muffin or banana streusel, but if you are looking for a healthy starter in the morning, they are a good bet.tags: breakfast snacks lunch box fruit rice, grains and breads bake more
My son requested "giant M&M cookies" (note: I had never made these) as his birthday treat to bring to school this year. I made these huge sugar cookies studded with not-too-many M&Ms and they were a hit. They are huge and just as good as the giant bakery cookies kids (and adults) go crazy for.tags: desserts cookies bake more
This pecan pie is different from other recipes because you don't have to pre-cook the filling on the stove top – just mix it in a bowl and pour into the crust. Plus, a few chocolate chips (of course) enhance the pecan filling. This pie keeps for a few days wrapped at room temp...if it lasts that long before being eaten up! Be sure to serve with some vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream to really put it over the top.tags: desserts bake more
Peppermint bark is one of those gifts that impresses the receiver yet couldn't be easier to make. It's $27 per pound at Williams Sonoma, but costs a fraction of that when you put it together in your own kitchen. Non-bakers rejoice! You, too, can make this – no skill is required. Put it in a bag with a bow, and you have a sure-to-please hostess, teacher or neighbor holiday gift.tags: desserts more