Tag Archives: sweet

Happy Halloween! I Made a Spider Web Cake!

Happy Halloween, everyone! As I sit here trying to keep myself from eating the candy we got for trick-or-treaters – between Andy and myself we are down three Twix and two bags of Peanut M&M’s; those kids better walk faster-, I wanted to share with you something I made this weekend. A Marshmallow Spider Web Cake.

Okay, I know it isn’t the most challenging thing to do, but I had a blast and didn’t completely destroy my kitchen. Which is always a plus. I used this tutorial by The Cake Blog. I wanted to try this last Halloween, but time got away from me so I felt like I had to wait another year before giving it a try. Checking another one of the list. You guys have fun, be safe, and remember you have to be at work tomorrow!

 

Halloween banner by Chickfetti.


Blackberry Cobbler Quickbread with Spiced Topping & Blackberry Lemon Thyme Butter

Feeling buoyed by my recent success, I decided to continue on my Sweet & Vicious baking streak. This time I selected a recipe that actually allowed for a lot of variance, but still maintained the sass that I am coming to expect from this book. First, I decided on the cobbler quickbread and, after checking my fridge, refined it to the blackberry iteration of the recipe. Then of course, I went all the way by adding the recommended flavor elevator of blackberry lemon thyme butter to pair with the finished product. Here’s how it went:

Notes:

  • This recipe made me so happy! Reading it and mentally running through the steps, it seemed… well… a bit extra, but every little thing blends perfectly into something so delightful that you don’t mind the effort. Just go for it; you won’t regret it.
  • While the base recipe is solid, it is the bells and whistles that really take this over the top. First the spiced topping, that pinch of cayenne brings the most subtle hint of heat which in turn brings out the sweetness in the berries. The compound butter adds an extra level of richness, and the lemon zest paired with the mashed fruit keeps that slight tart that makes this more than just another sweet quickbread.
  • I am having so much fun with this book; the more recipes I try, the more I want to make.

Southern Sartorialist’s Cookie

While my mom was here to lend a hand, I decided to tackle a few of the things on my 31 before 32 list. One of the items she was keen on helping me with was trying out recipes from the Sweet & Vicious Cookbook. We decided on two cookie recipes, the first of which was the Southern Sartoralist’s Cookie. A pretty impressive name to live up to, but we were not disappointed.

Notes:

  • This cookie was so kick ass that we made two batches in three days. The first we took to Andy’s coworkers (all 2 dozen were gone within 3 hours) and the second we made the night before my mom left so she could take them to some of our family in NC. And so she’d have road trip treats, but mostly for family 😉
  • I lucked into some modifications since we made both batches so close together, first we tried this with both dark and light brown sugar and hands down dark brown sugar is the way to go. The other thing I accidentally tweaked was the measurement for the smoked salt. While that stuff is incredibly powerful, I will say that the cookies with a slightly more full 1/2 a tsp (think slightly humped not level) really highlighted the play of salty and sweet in the recipe.
  • I know it is a little more complex than your average rip and dump cookie recipe, but it is well worth the effort. I get a lot of positive feedback on my baking, but rarely have a gotten this enthusiastic of a response. After having one of the left over cookies for dessert the day we made the first batch, Andy even said it was good that he hadn’t tried the cookies when we dropped them off at his office because he wouldn’t have be able to stop himself from eating them all. My mom is on a very strict diet right now (she’s lost almost 30lbs!), but after trying a single bite, she rearranged her daily calorie allotment to make sure she had enough at the end of the day for a single cookie.

Pecan Banana Bread with Brown Butter Glaze & Toasted Pecans

I’m on a roll, you guys! I woke up the other day and thought “I want to up my banana bread game,” and a few short hours later, I had this recipe. Now I will admit that this isn’t a “from nothing” origin: I used several different reliable recipes and shuffled, edited, and altered them until I had exactly what I wanted. This bread is dense, rich, nutty, and completely delicious. I can’t wait to make it the next time we have house guests!

Ingredients:

Banana Bread

  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 5 1/2 tbsps brown butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Glaze

  • 2 1/2 brown butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cream

Topping

  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease one standard loaf pan.
  2. Heat the butter over medium high heat until it turns a toasty hazelnut brown. Once the desired color is reached remove from heat immediately.
  3. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then beat in the sugar, brown butter, eggs, pecans and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Combine the two mixtures, stirring until just incorporated.
  6. Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool for 25 minute and then turn out of pan.
  8. Toast the pecans to put on the top of the glaze in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
  9. While the bread is cooling, brown the butter for the glaze.
  10. Whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth and then drizzle over the cooled loaf. Top with the toasted pecans.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Notes:

  • I actually don’t have anything I would change about this. I think my only comment would be that it is a little dangerous. With the exception of the two small slices I cut for tasting and photography purposes, Andy ate the rest of the loaf within 6 hours of it being made. I’m just glad it wasn’t me.

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

I love watching recipe videos; I can spend hours on sites like Tasty or Delish. I think about how I could rediscover my passion for cooking, become the next Martha Steward and make all the things. This ambition inevitably gets derailed somewhere between watching the video and getting up to go to the grocery store. Christmas day my brother in law and his girlfriend came down to stay with Andy and I for a few days, and we agreed that we’d all enjoy a bit of holiday baking. When the idea of cheesecake came up, I hit Pinterest and quickly located the Death by Chocolate recipe I had pinned and Facebooked a couple of weeks ago. After watching the video, they agreed to give it a shot, and spoiler, we kind of killed it 🙂

Ingredients

Cookie Crust
  • 24 whole Oreo cookies
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
  • Pinch kosher salt
Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Make crust: In a large Ziploc bag or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, crush or blend Oreos until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl and pour in melted butter. Add salt and stir until crumbs are completely coated and moist.
  3. Make cheesecake: In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment), beat cream cheese, sugars, cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Add eggs one a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in melted chocolate.
  4. Coat a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray and press Oreo mixture into pan and 1/3 of the way up the sides, packing tightly. Pour cheesecake filling over crust.
  5. Bake until cheesecake is only slightly jiggly in the center, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. (If you want to use a water bath to ensure cheesecake top does not crack, wrap the outside of the pan in aluminum foil and place in a baking dish. Place on oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Follow baking instructions.) If using a water bath, remove pan from water and unwrap foil. Refrigerate cheesecake until totally chilled, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  6. Make ganache: Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof bowl and set aside. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. When bubbles begin to break the surface around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat. Pour the hot cream over chocolate chips, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth.
  7. Pour ganache on top of the cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Return to the refrigerate for about 10 more minutes to let the ganache set.

Notes:

  • I neglected to really read the actual recipe until after we’d already started baking, but I was a little annoyed with the “refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight” part. The video implies immediate cheesecake gratification, and we had to wait: so lame. Other than that, this is a really great recipe and I can’t think of a single thing I’d do differently. 9 out of 10 to be sure.