Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Fall is finally in the air in Southern California.  It was a pretty hot summer and I am glad to be back to wearing boots and sweaters, sipping hot cocoa on a cool night, and cuddling with my new husband under a blanket.  Well its not that cold yet, but a girl can dream (the high temp today is still 78 degrees). Anyway, I made these granola bars to get into the fall spirit, but I was too anxious and I did not read the recipe all the through.  I only baked mine for 20 minutes, instead of the full 40 minutes.  The flavor is delicious but my bars were falling apart.  I will definitely make these again soon and I will post an update.  I brought some of these to work with me and made everyone try them.  My husband brought them to his work too and shared them with his coworkers.  Everyone loved them even though they were pretty crumbly.  I am a cinnamon fanatic so I added more cinnamon to the recipe, and when I make these next time I am going to add nuts and white chocolate chips.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars - Adapted from Hip2save
Yield: 16-18
Ingredients:
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup ground Flaxseed (optional but if you have it in your pantry it adds great nutritional value to the bar, then you don't feel so guilty when you cannot stop eating these...)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey (I like to buy local organic honey from the farmers market)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Optional Additions/Substitutions:
White Chocolate Chips
Nuts - Almonds, walnuts, pecans

Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats and flaxseed and set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix honey, pumpkin, coconut oil, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. 
  4. Add wet ingredients to the oatmeal and stir. Add in chocolate chips. 
  5.  Press the mixture into the pan and flatten it really well with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and press down with a spatula again. 
  6. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until brown.  (I was too excited and forgot this second bake time... Whoooops!)
  7. Let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting. Makes about 16-18 bars. I like to cut them and store in a Tupperware container with parchment paper to keep the bars separated.
  8. Enjoy for breakfast or a snack!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Stuffed Cookies

I AM BACK!!

After about a 6 month hiatus, I am back baking and blogging.  I started a new job in July, got married in August then went on a two week honeymoon to Thailand & Cambodia in September.  Now that we are back and things have calmed down, I finally have time to blog again.  I made these cookies way back in April but I am just getting around to posting them.  They were such a hit that I actually made them twice in about a weeks time.  My husband's family said these were the best cookies I have ever made.  I am a sucker for anything dark chocolate, and salted caramel is one of my new favorite flavors.  This recipe combines both of those delicious flavors into my dream cookie.   I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!!



Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Stuffed Cookies - Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 14 - 16 big cookies
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2  Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg, room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 1/2 Cups NestlĂ©® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels - or store brand
16-17 Rolos - about two rolls
Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:
  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. 
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. In a separate medium size bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. 
  5. Slowly add to the wet ingredients. Stir in the milk, then fold in the dark chocolate morsels. The dough will be thick and very sticky. 
  6. Chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  8. Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled dough and split in half and roll each into a ball with your hands. Stick a caramel into 1 ball of dough. Top the caramel with the other ball of dough and seal down the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and 18 caramel candies. 
  9. Sprinkle each with sea salt before putting into the oven.
  10. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Enjoy!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Hello all! My name is Reese and I am taking over the Goddess of Baking blog today. I work very closely with Merlot and when my niece's first birthday was coming up, I knew where to go for her one of a kind cupcakes! We decided to have a baking party at her house where we whipped up these magnificent Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. I knew they were good, but once I brought them out at my niece's party, they were an instant hit! The icing is light, fluffy and full of real strawberry flavor, with a hint of lemon (thanks to Merlot, I know what a mircoplane can really do!). Also, the cake is a perfect compliment to the flavorful icing. Compliments to the chef - yet another group of satisfied bellies!

My cupcake holders came in handy for this great picture I snapped before all the cupcakes were claimed. We will DEFINITELY be making these again!

Thank you for letting me take over for the day and I hope you enjoyed my post!

Reese



Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes - Adapted from The Cake Blog
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients for the cake:
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs, room temperature
3 Cups All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Lemonade Powder Mix (I used Country Time)
1 Cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (about 1 lemon)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, lemonade powder and lemon zest, set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating starting and ending with the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Strawberry Lemon Frosting

Ingredients for the frosting:
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Strawberry Puree (from about 3-4 big strawberries)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

Directions:
  1. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in strawberry puree and lemon zest.
  4. Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with tip 1M to decorate cupcakes.
  5. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Loaded M&M Cookie Pie

The spring holidays are officially over but (if you're like me) the sweet tooth is here to stay. All of the left over Reese's, M&M's, Cadbury eggs and so on are beginning to get tiresome, so I found a quick and easy way to use up unnecessary candy. This Loaded M&M Cookie Pie is the perfect answer to my/your "problem."

This recipe is great for any left over holiday candy - not just Easter - but Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day as well! The best thing about it is that it only takes 30 minutes to make (including prep AND bake time!). It's very quick and easy and was (as usual) a huge hit. 




Adapted from: Averiecooks.com
Yield: One Pie - about 8 slices
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick), melted
1 Egg, room temperature
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 1/3 Cups Flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips - I used mini chocolate chips
1/2- 1 Cup M&Ms, divided (I used peanut and peanut butter but all flavors are ok!)
6 or more individually wrapped small Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (or whatever candy you have laying around)
6 or more Rolo (or other mini/bite-size candy bar) - I didn't add these

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch pie dish very well with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait about 5 minutes before adding the egg so you don't cook it. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; do not overmix.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Add about 1/4 cup M&Ms and stir to combine; reserve remainder.
  7. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  8. Evenly add the remaining M&Ms to the top of the batter, pushing them down slightly to anchor.
  9. Evenly insert the peanut butter cups and Rolos (or candy of your choice) into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.
  10. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools. Allow pie to cool in dish for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Pie is meant to be on the soft and under baked side in the center while edges are crisper.  In general, if you prefer more well-done cookies, bake a few minutes longer. Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  11. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crunchy Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Easter is only a few days away and I am sure if you are like me you are trying to plan out a menu.  I am not hosting Easter but I am responsible for desserts.  I made these cookies last week for a test run and they were a huge hit.  They are a soft cookie but have a nice crunch from the peanuts and M&M's.  The peanut butter flavor really comes through and I liked having the mix of peanut and peanut butter M&M's in the cookie.  I will be making these again if I can keep my hands out of the M&M bag for a few more days!  Hope you all have a great Easter.


Happy Easter!



Yield: About 3-4 Dozen Large Cookies
Ingredients:
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter - I used smooth Skippy and added the chopped nuts for the crunch
¾ Cup Butter - Unsalted and room temperature
2 Eggs - room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1-2 Tablespoon Hot Water (I used one)
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts - I used dry roasted and unsalted
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter M&M's
1/2 Cup Peanut M&M's

Directions:
  1. Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the peanut butter, butter and eggs until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla, salt, baking soda and hot water and mix again until well blended.
  4. Stir in flour just until combined. Add the peanuts and M&M's.
  5. Drop with an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 375° about 10-12 minutes or more depending on size.
  7. Enjoy! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY Distressed Mason Jars

Goddess of Baking has been exclusively a baking blog for almost four years. In these four years, we've come a long way! I'd like to introduce my first crafting post.

With a new house and my wedding coming up, I am trying to stay away from the sweets (I need to fit in my dress) and focus on decorating my new house. I made these distressed Mason Jars yesterday and was completely thrilled with how they came out! Since I was so proud of myself, I wanted to share them with all of you so you can be as thrilled as I am.  They are very easy to make and only require a few affordable items.


Materials:
Mason Jars - Ball or Kerr ($1 each)
Acrylic Paint - NOT shiny or glossy or satin ($.50 each)
Paint Brushes
Sandpaper - course or fine, course is just a little quicker ($3 for a variety pack)
Acrylic Sealer/Finisher - I like the matte look so I bought the Americana kind from Michaels ($6)
Flowers - real or fake is up to you - mine are fake ($6 on sale for a bunch)

Directions:

  1. Clean your jars and dry them well.
  2. Paint your jars.  I would recommend two coats.  Let them dry overnight.
  3. Take a piece of sandpaper and start to distress the jar.  When finished, clean off all the dust.
  4. Spray 2 light coats of the sealer/finisher over the mason jars but be sure to let it dry in between the coats.  If you buy the quick drying its only about 5-10 minutes in between coats!
  5. Once dry, add flowers or use for whatever you would like.  I think they would look good as a pen holder in an office, or you could use them in the bathroom too.  I made these for Easter/Spring decoration.
  6. Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chocolate Fudge Caramel Brownies


This Valentine's Day, surprise your loved ones with these simple and delicious chocolate fudge brownies with a gooey caramel center. This exquisite treat is perfect for anyone with a BIG sweet tooth.  I was busy running around on Saturday so I went with a box mix brownie this time.  We had friends coming over for dinner so I made these to spoil them afterwards! After dinner, we walked over to my neighbor's house for game night and I brought the rest of the batch with me. Instantly, my brownies were a hit! No one could tell that these brownies were made from a box because they were super moist and gooey.  




Chocolate Fudge Caramel Brownies
Adapted from I Heart Nap Time
Ingredients:
Fudge Brownie Mix (+ ingredients the box calls for) - I used Ghirardelli Supreme
1/4 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Chocolate Chips - I used semi-sweet ones
1 (11oz) Package Caramel Bits or Wrapped Caramels
1/2 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 or 8x8 pan with foil and set aside. I made mine in an 8x8 for thicker brownies.
  2. In a large bowl combine the brownie mix and the ingredients that the box calls for. Then mix in 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate chips.
  3. Then, combine your caramels and 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk in a small pan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on the caramel so it doesn't burn and stir constantly.
  4. While the caramel is warming up, pour half of the batter into the pan and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Stir the caramel mixture until smooth (about 10 min) and then pull out the brownie pan and drizzle the caramel over the bottom layer. Then pour the remaining brownie batter over top. Continue to bake the brownies for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool. Then lift the foil and brownies out of the pan for easy cutting. - I stupidly skipped the foil step and boy was I sorry.  I lost lots of precious brownie that stuck to the pan and was too hard to eat.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cookies & Cream Cookie Bars

These Cookies & Cream Cookie Bars are always the first thing to go when I bring them to a party. Everyone loves them, and when you cut them into smaller servings, there is more to go around (and you don't feel as guilty)! If your stumped on what to bring to a party for New Year's Eve, these cookie bars are great as either an appetizer or a dessert or both! The pictures show the Halloween Edition of these cookie bars, but as the seasons change, so do the editions of Oreos, so these practically go with any holiday or occasion!




Oreo Cookie Bars - Adapted from Skinny Not Skinny
Yield: 16 - 24 bars depending on the size
Ingredients:
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
20 Halloween Oreos (chopped) - Or Red Holiday Oreos for Christmas - or regular oreos for an everyday treat!

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter in large bowl; mix well. This mixture will be crumbly.
  2. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper with shortening. This is VERY important to do or your bars are going to stick to the bottom of the pan. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture and press remainder onto bottom of the baking pan.
  3. Bake 10 minutes.
  4. While the crust is cooking, chop the Halloween Oreos into pieces.
  5. After removing from oven, immediately pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crust.
  6. Sprinkle with chocolate and white chocolate chips and top with Oreo pieces.
  7. Top with reserved oat mixture; press down firmly.
  8. Bake an additional 25 minutes. Topping will be lightly browned.
  9. Cool bars for at least 15 minutes and then cut into bars.
  10. ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Whether your waiting for Santa to arrive or snuggling underneath the mistletoe, these Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfect for your holiday festivities. Personally, I love getting cozy by my Christmas tree and indulging in this delicious dessert. It's hard to share these with my family while they are in town, but there is no way I could eat all of them! Enjoy this recipe and leave comments; I am excited to hear your feedback!

Happy Holidays!


Red Velvet Cupcakes - Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 12 cupcakes or about 48 mini cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
2 1/2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring - way less if you are using gel food coloring!
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons Distilled White Vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 Ounces Butter, at room temperature
4 Ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.

2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste - or if you are using gel food coloring, just add it to the batter.  Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

5. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

*Note: This recipe can be doubled to make an 8 or 9-inch layer cake.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Its that time of year again where I have to think of a good cake to make for my Fiance's birthday.  This year I decided to hoard all the Reese's I could find around Halloween time and save them to make this cake.  This cake was a huge hit with him, his family, and all our neighbors.  My future brother-in-law requested it for his birthday as well.  The frosting is what makes the cake, its perfectly rich and creamy. I got the idea for this cake from Make Bake Celebrate but I used a different recipe.   If you know a peanut butter lover, I am sure they will love this cake!

Happy Birthday Joe!






Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes - Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:
1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 4oz Package Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Water
4 Eggs, room temperature

1 Bag of Reese's Mini - (I used a combination of Reese's regular size and some of the small ones)

Peanut Butter Buttercream
Ingredients:
3 Sticks Butter, unsalted and room temperature
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
5 1/2 Cups Confectioners' Sugar, sifted
6-8 Tablespoons Heavy Cream - I used about 4 tablespoons milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your cake pans, I used 2 8in round pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, water, and eggs. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Divide the batter between your two pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. 
  5. Allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove cakes from pans and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cakes are cool, you can either freeze them or frost them right away.  I would reccomend you freeze them becuase it makes it easier to frost them.    
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy. 
  8. Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
  9. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy
  10. To assemble the cake, I spread one later of frosting on the bottom layer of cake and then put a layer of chopped Reese's.  Put the second layer of cake on top and then cover the whole cake with frosting.  I then melted some chocolate and poured that over the top.  I then put the remaining Reese's on top.
  11. ENJOY!!