Monday, December 24, 2012

Nutella and Eggnog Muffins

Christmas is tomorrow! You are soooo ready, but soooo worn out. The last thing you have time to think about or expend energy on is what you're going to have for breakfast in the morning, right? Well, here's my early Christmas gift to you: Nutella and Eggnog Muffins. They need only a few ingredients and take less than 30 minutes from start to stomach. It’s a Christmas muffin miracle!




Nutella and Eggnog Muffins

For the complete and completely fabulous recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Fudge

To those who think Strawberry Shortcake is a summer dessert I say, "Pish posh!" There is no such thing! All desserts are awesome all year-round. It's dessert; you don't need to put limitations on it! This is especially true in the winter time when you might need a pick-me-up to pull you out of the dreary days of gray. So that's why I decided to make Strawberry Shortcake Fudge. It's sweet, and lovely, and reminds me of summer (and Breyer's Strawberry ice cream).


Strawberry Shortcake Fudge

Ingredients

  • 12oz white chocolate chips
  • 1can Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Starter Frosting
  • 1pkg Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Strawberry Shortcake Flavor
  • 1 1/4c Nilla Wafers, chopped
  • 3/4c dried strawberries, chopped
Directions

  1. Line 9x9 pan with wax paper.
  2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave.
  3. Mix and heat up frosting in microwave for 30 seconds. 
  4. Combine chocolate and frosting.
  5. Stir in cookies and strawberries.
  6. Spread into wax paper-lined pan and chill in fridge.
  7. Chop into pieces and consume!

Like I said: a wonderfully sweet and crunchy bite of summer in the midst of the cold of winter. If you need a treat to brighten your surroundings, this is the one to make.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Munchies White Chocolate Bark

Earlier this year, I moved to Boulder, CO from the east coast. I have to say the people here are quite passionate about a some things: the outdoors, organic/free-range food, and well, you know the third. While I”m working on participating in the first, the second two don’t much interest me. Regardless, I aim to please, so I thought I’d throw together a little homage to the passing of Amendment 64. FritoLay is already on point with their awesome (and fittingly named) Munchies snack mix: Doritos, Cheetos, Sun Chips, and pretzels? Yes, please! But I thought I would add some chocolate, subtract the cheese fingers, and multiply your joy with this tasty Munchies Bark.


Munchies White Chocolate Bark

For the full recipe that is sure to satisfy any craving, visit Foodbeast.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chocolate Covered Dill Pickle Pringles

Can you believe how long it's been since I've covered something strange in chocolate? Too long, for sure. So when I saw these at the gas station, I was like "Score!" Awesome find (although, I'm still in search of the Pringles holiday flavors).

Covering straight up pickles in chocolate has been on my to-do list for a long time, but I've been struggling to find the perfect pickle for the job. These seemed like a perfect way to try it out without having to make such a decision.



Chocolate Covered Dill Pickle Pringles

Ingredients

  • 1 can EXTREME Dill Pickle Pringles
  • chocolate bark

Directions
  1. Remove Pringles from can for easier access when grabbing and dipping.
  2. Line cookie sheet with wax paper.
  3. Melt chocolate; dip chip; let set... Enjoy?
These aren't for the faint of heart, but I had some real troopers try them for me. I think the thickness of the chocolate really tempers the intense pickle flavor, but you can definitely still tell its a pickle-flavored chip inside there. Coating the Pringles was a pain as I wanted to keep their shape intact for stackability. So would suggest only coating half: it's easier and would like the pickle-y-ness really shine... if that's what you're into.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole Cookies


Thanksgiving is almost upon us, so that begs the all-important, albeit extremely personal, question: What's in your Sweet Potato Casserole?

I'm guessing sweet potatoes, cinnamon, either pecans or marshmallows (or both, you baller), and a lot of butter. Guess what's in mine: cake mix. It's basically dessert anyways, so why fight it? Instead, embrace the gooey, glorious goodness that is Sweet Potato Casserole Cookies.

Sweet Potato Casserole Cookies

For the full recipe, that will make you glad you wore your elastic pants to the Thanksgiving feast, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


For those of you out there who aren't into the whole "let's add pumpkin or apple to everything" kick that happens when the leaves change, I thought I'd throw out a recipe that is year-round awesome. Chocolate and peanut butter in convenient bar form? Yes, please!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
(Adapted from the Cake Mix Doctor)

Ingredients

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1c smooth peanut butter
  • 8T butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1c Reese's Pieces (or as many as you see fit)
  • 12oz peanut butter and milk chocolate morsels (Toll House has a mixed bag at Target, or you can just put in your preferred ratio of each)
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2t vanilla

Directions

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set aside an ungreased 13- by 9-inch metal pan.
  2. Blend the cake mix, peanut butter, butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter will be thick. 
  3. Reserve 1½ cups crust mixture for the topping. Turn the remaining batter into the pan and spread it evenly with your fingertips so that it reaches slightly up the sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.
  4. For the filling, place the pb and c chips and condensed milk in a large microwave-safe bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir until the chocolate chips melt. Stir in the vanilla. 
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture over reserved crust, and spread so that it reaches the edges of the pan. Then evenly sprinkle the Reese's Pieces over the filling. 
  6. With your fingertips, crumble the reserved crust mixture over the top of the filling. 
  7. Bake the bars until they 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 30 minutes. Cut into 24 to 30 bars and enjoy.

Peeeeanut butteryyyyy goodness! These would be great for a crowd, so if you are heading to a fall-oriented shing-dig in the coming weeks, and think the pumpkin bit is tired, try these on for size. Believe me, three or four of them will fit perfectly on those hips of yours. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Candy Corn Coated Ghost Marshmallow Peeps

If you like chocolate-covered Peeps (and I know you do), you are going to think these uncanny confections are fan-franken-tastic. Candy corn and Ghost Marshmallow Peeps brought together in a most unholy union: great for that Halloween party you are going to tonight, and even better to hand out to those sugar-crazed kids and their unsuspecting parents.


Candy Corn Coated Ghost Marshmallow Peeps

For the full, scary-good recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Triple Candy Corn Bark

So you went and made those Triple Candy Corn Cake Batter Blondies I told you about, and they were awesome, but now you have all that left over candy corn-flavored stuff. What's a girl, guy, or superhero-disguised as either to do? Well, do you have some white chocolate chips? 

What? No? Consider yourself judged. You should always have a bag of white chocolate chips on hand for just such an occasion. I'll wait while you go to the store and purchase one...

Ready? Okay. Put it all together and what do you get? Triple. Candy. Corn. Bark. It's easy, oven-free, and boy does it taste awesome.


Triple Candy Corn Bark

Ingredients
  • 1 bag (12 oz) white chocolate chips
  • 14 Candy Corn Oreo cookies
  • 3/4 cup Candy Corn
  • 3/4 cup Candy Corn M&Ms

Directions
  1. Chop up cookies (into about 9 pieces each) and mix in medium-sized bowl with candy corn and M&Ms.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
  3. Melt white chocolate in the microwave and spread evenly on lined cookie sheet.
  4. Pour cookie, candy corn, and M&M mixture over melted white chocolate and press down.
  5. Put in freezer until set, and then break apart into pieces.

Your search for the perfect addition to your Halloween party is complete. Make this bark and you will be the ghostess with the mostest.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cookies 'N' Creamsicle Fudge

I walked into work yesterday and a co-worker asked, "Is making fudge like a stress thing for you?" Ha, no. But I just can't stop making it. 

Baking is an addiction, and when I don't have time to make something involved (read: something that has more than like 5 ingredients and actually uses the oven), this is what happens. It's glorious. And it is just. so. easy. (Feel free to insert some comment about my mother here, my husband would... sorry Mom.)


Cookies 'N' Creamsicle Fudge

Ingredients

  • 12oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 packet Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Orange Creme Flavor Mix
  • 1 can Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Frosting Starter
  • 16 Creamsicle Oreo Cookies, chopped
Directions
  1. Line 8x8 or 9x9 pan with wax paper.
  2. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave.
  3. Mix frosting and flavor mix according to directions and heat in microwave for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir frosting into melt chocolate, then stir in the chopped Creamsicle Oreo cookies.
  5. Spread into pan and put into fridge to set.
  6. Cut into bite-sized pieces and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
I think Orange Creme is one of my favorite flavor mixes from DH. It's doesn't taste fake or overwhelming, but I wouldn't make this fudge without the addition of the Oreo cookies. In addition to adding that necessary textural difference, they magically enhance yet mellow out the intense creamsicle flavor. 

I got a lot of great feedback from this particular recipe, so if you are considering making any of the fudge recipes I have posted, start with this one.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Corn Dog Brownies

You know how sometimes you are really into two different things and you think putting them together is a great idea, but it’s really not? Pottery and break dancing.  Kittens and hang gliding. Drinking and operating heavy machinery.

This is not one of those times.

You’re bonkers for brownies and crazy for corn dogs, so it's only right that you put them together in one awesome dinner/dessert of epig (get it!?!?) proportions.


Corn Dog Brownies

For the complete and completely awesome recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

German Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

Cake mixes are so super versatile. Depending on what you add them (or what you add them to), you can make cookies, brownies, bars, cheesecake, ice cream, candy... oh yea, and cake. Yet, there seems to be a heavy preference towards certain flavors when creating these treats. I love a good yellow cake and sprinkles, but there is more to life than Funfetti, my friends! And to prove this to you, I've combined my love of cookies and cake with my love of Germans to bring you these awesomely moist and gooey German Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies.


German Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
(adapted from Cookin' Cowgirl)

Ingredients
  • 1 box German Chocolate cake mix
  • 1t baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2c oil
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 1/2 can Coconut Pecan frosting (do what you will with the rest)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. 
  2. In a large bowl, sift cake mix and baking powder, then add the eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Scoop out 1.5T of batter, roll it into a ball, and make a little hole in the middle.
  4. Fill the cookie with about 1t of frosting and then close the rest of the cookie around the frosting the best you can.
  5. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
I wouldn't be too pressed about wrapping the cookie around the frosting perfectly, it's still going to be come exposed during the baking process, but that kind of keeps it contained to a certain degree. Letting them cook and set up on the cookie sheet before you dive in is a good idea, or else they may fall apart. But they are still going to taste awesome regardless, so I won't judge you if you can't wait. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Triple Candy Corn Cake Batter Blondies


It’s fall. The season you wait for all year round for several key reasons: football, sweaters, and most importantly, candy corn.

So when the leaves start to fall, you go to the store, and you find not only the traditional candy corn, but you pick up those Candy Corn M&Ms, and even a package of those crazy new Candy Corn Oreos. Because there’s absolutely no good reason I can think of why you shouldn’t throw all three of these into one dessert, I’ve decided to put them all into one cake batter blondie.

Enjoy:


Candy Corn Cake Batter Blondies
(adapted from Girl Meets Life)

For the entire chewy, gooey, sticky, and fabulous recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Caramel Apple Bark

It's that time of the year again—fall—which means pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, and candy corn! All of those other lovely fall flavors are coming back in full force, so I figure, why fight it? I've already made two loaves of my favorite pumpkin bread recipe, and I have plans to make another two today! 

In the meantime though, let's focus on another fall favorite: caramel apples. Red, green, rolled in nuts or not, caramel apples are a great combo of chewy and crunchy, of sweet and tart. But they are a mess, right? Well, I'm about to share a way to get rid of the goop and keep the taste in tact.



Caramel Apple Bark

Ingredients

  • 12oz white chocolate chips
  • 1c dried Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped
  • 1c Kraft Caramel Bits
  • 1/2 cocktail peanuts (not roasted), kind of finely chopped like "nut topping"

Directions

  1. Prep baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Melt white chocolate in microwave and then spread over waxed paper.
  3. Sprinkle apples, caramel bits, and then nuts over chocolate and press them into the melted chips.
  4. Let set in the freezer and then break apart into consumable-sized pieces.

Fall-tastic! Just like a nutty caramel apple, but with a little extra sweetness from the white chocolate. Shout out to Kraft for creating these new caramel bits that allow me to use caramel in more recipes with less hassle.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chocolate Guinness Strawberry Shortcakes

Chocolate Guinness® Draught Beer shortcakes, filled with Baileys® Irish Cream whipped cream and strawberries, and topped with a decadent chocolate Jameson® Irish Whiskey sauce. 



Chocolate Guinness Strawberry Shortcakes

Oh my gosh that picture looks a hot mess doesn't it? I think I was a bit overzealous when putting mine together.

For the full recipe on Half St. Patrick's Day, visit Foodbeast.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Turtle Chex Mix Marshmallow Treats

We're taking sweet and salty to the next level with Turtle Chex Mix Marshmallow Treats. Chex already did half the work for me, adding that sugary, chocolaty goodness to salty Chex and pretzels. But the addition of butter and marshmallows is an extra but necessary bit of sweet to bring it all together.


You know you want to sink your teeth into this tower of sweet, salty... and sweet, gooey, crunchy awesomeness.


Turtle Chex Mix Marshmallow Treats

For the full, turtle-free recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

S'mores Chocolate Bark

I think August 10th was National S'mores Day, but I've also heard that this is National S'mores Month. I don't know how accurate that is, but since I missed the boat on the day, I'll take it. I'm going to use a Chopped tactic and describe this bark as a deconstructed s'more: chocolate topped with mallow and graham (or in this case cereal, because that's how I roll).

I wasn't sure how regular mini marshmallows would fare just sitting around in chocolate. Fortunately, at the same time I was considering this idea, I found a new (for me) product from Kraft: Mallow Bits. Kraft was doing what we were all thinking: Why are you making me go through the trouble of picking through the can of hot chocolate so I can get to what I really want: those crunchy little marshmallows? (Don't try to act like I'm alone in this.) And Kraft said, "You're welcome." 


S'mores Chocolate Bark

Ingredients
  • 12oz milk chocolate chips
  • 1c Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Golden Grahams would work just as well, but I'm a CTC kinda girl)
  • 2/3can of Mallow Bits
Directions
  1. Prep baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Melt chocolate chips and spread evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Pour cereal and mallows evenly over the chocolate (and totally eat whatever doesn't fit) and give it a nice smush.
  4. Just let it all hang out in the kitchen until it's hard enough to break apart and eat.
So I don't know what it is about hardening chocolate, but it just won't work in the fridge, unless you want to keep them in the fridge all the time. (You don't). So leaving it out on the counter to set allows you to have the bark out at room temp so it is easily accessible.

Oh man, I love these crunchy marshmallow dealys, and adding chocolate and cereal to the mix definitely made me want to go back for s'more (it had to be done). There are still a few days left in National S'more Month my friends, so hop to it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Cheetos Ice Cream

I recently purchased an ice cream maker. Be afraid. Be intrigued. Be ready to run out and buy one of your very own. That way you can make Chocolate-Covered Cheetos Ice Cream. You’re Welcome.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Becky, you sure know how to rock a polar bear hat/scarf/mittens combo.” Thank you, and I know, right! But you’re probably also thinking, “Wouldn’t the Cheetos get soggy?” Not if you dip them in chocolate first! The coating creates a buffer around the Cheetos to help them maintain maximum crispiness for as long as this ice cream lasts (which won’t be long). I used the Simple Vanilla Ice Cream recipe that came with my Cuisinart Ice Cream AND Sorbet Maker (which, in and of itself, is an amazing ice cream and a perfect background for all kinds of crazy mix-ins).
Chocolate-Covered Cheetos Ice Cream
For the full cheesy, creamy, crunchy, chocolate-y recipe, visit Foodbeast.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chocolate Covered Croutons

I'm beginning to branch out. Beginning to? Yes, I've been quite tame in the past haven't I? No, I mean that no longer is it just the snack, freezer, or candy aisle that holds the key to chocolate-covered awesome. As long as it's edible, it's fair game. (Sorry kids, no chocolate-covered dishwasher detergent). So that brings me to croutons. And not just any old croutons: cheese and garlic croutons! I would buy these otherwise to top a salad, so why use original when I can add all this extra, awesome flavor?


Chocolate Covered Croutons


It's as easy as melt. Dip. Chill. Enjoy.


They were actually quite good. As always, sweet and salty is a winning combination. They were great to just snack on, AND they were a lovely addition to my salad the next day...


Friday, July 27, 2012

Pizza Cookies


Yes, pizza cookies. Just like DiGiorno’s combination Pizza and Cookies box only more efficient. I took basic cookie dough and hopped it up with pepperoni, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes. A house that smells like hot pizza and cookies at the same time? Glorious! (Although some people wouldn't agree). Exhibit A:



Nick's definitely not the first person who has said that to me, and he most certainly will not be the last. But that only fuels my desire to keep cranking out these oddball experiments. Are you with me? If so, grab your recipes for your favorite chocolate chip cookies dough base, some pizza toppings, and an open mind, and join me in creating more of these beautiful cookies you see below.



Pizza Cookies

For a recipe that will put all of your former leftovers to shame, visit Foodbeast.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hostess Cupcake Truffles

It’s time to get nostalgic people. Think back to the days when your mom packed your lunch for school. You would beg her to buy you Hostess® Cupcakes, but she never would. Now you go to the grocery and stare longingly at those blue and white boxes, wishing you could have one. Well, guess what, you have a job and a credit card with your name on it, so you can run out to the store right now and buy as many boxes of those fabulous snack cakes as you want and eat them right up, or you could do this…

Hostess Cupcake Truffles

For the cream-filled, chocolate-y details, visit Foodbeast

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, and Trix Cereal Bark

I love fruity cereal, Fruity Pebbles being my favorite; however, Froot Loops or Trix will do in a pinch. But what if I don't want to choose? If I'm feeling particularly fruity (when isn't that the case?), then I can just munch on all three. Why? Because I'm grown and am allowed to do that now. And I can even take it one step further. How about smacking all three down on a slab of yummy white chocolate to make one travel-friendly, easy-to-share snack.





Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, and Trix Cereal Bark


Ingredients

  • 1 cup each of your favorite cereal (your the one who's going to eat it, so you just make it however you want)
  • 12oz white chocolate chips (or other chocolate of your choice)
Directions

  1. Cover cookie sheet with wax paper.
  2. Combine cereals in a big bowl.
  3. Melt chocolate chips and spread out on wax paper.
  4. Evenly drop cereal all over the chocolate and smash it down.
  5. Add some nice, cold milk to the left over cereal and eat it up while you are waiting for your chocolate to harden.

Yum yum yum! One yum for each cereal. It's a burst of fruity crunchy goodness with a nice solid, but subtle white chocolate undertone. Make it. Eat it. Love it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chewy Sugar Cookies


Discovery! At long last, I have finally found them: chewy sugar cookies that are actually chewy! I think  might have seen this recipe before, too, but the cream cheese threw me for a loop. So I am glad I made them anyways because, wow, they are exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you America's Test Kitchen for never letting me down! Oh man, look at them. Look. At. Them. You wish you looked that chewy.




Chewy Sugar Cookies


Ingredients

  • 2¼c (11¼ oz) flour
  • ½t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • ½t salt
  • 1½c (10½ oz) sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling
  • 2oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • 6T butter, melted and still warm
  • ⅓c oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1T milk
  • 2t vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Parchment up your baking sheets. 
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
  3. Place 1½c sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Place remaining ⅓c sugar in a different bowl. 
  4. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk, then add in the oil and whisk some more. (Yes, it's all hand mixed.)
  5.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla and keep on whisking. 
  6. Add flour mixture and mix with spatula until dough forms.
  7. Scoops out cookies (about 2 tablespoons each to make around 24 cookies). Roll dough into balls, then roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet. Feel free to slightly flatten dough with the bottom of a cup or leave it relatively round.  
  8. Bake until edges are set and beginning to brown (11 to 13 minutes). It's probably best to under-cook them if you are unsure. 
  9. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes, then cool to room temp.
I know they might look really good fresh out of the oven, but you must wait, wait, wait until they are completely cool. I promise, if you did it right, they will still be chewy... even days after you've made them. And, heads up, they are perfect for making ice cream sandwiches! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Veggie Tray


This is the perfect Independence—or any other—Day recipe for those of you who can’t decide whether you want to make an appetizer or dessert to take to that blazingly-hot cook out.
It’s a desstizer. It’s an appessert. It’s a chocolate-covered veggie tray! Significantly easier than the labor-intensive cake balls that you were considering, but also significantly less of a cop out than that bag of chips you had your eye on.
The variety of veggie is up to you and your local grocer. I snagged a pre-made tray (no shame in my game) because not only did it have veggies, it had cheese and bits of meat too. Deluxe!


Chocolate-Covered Veggie Tray

For the all the Ranch-dipped details, visit Foodbeast.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chocolate-covered Sun-dried Tomatoes

Over lunch the other day I was telling my friends about the ketchup fudge disaster, and we were trying to figure out how to work out a tomato-oriented dessert. We nixed chocolate-covered tomato slices as they would be quite juicy. Then one of them suggested sun-dried tomatoes. Small, dry, and flavorful. Huh, that was a pretty rad idea, so I jumped on it.


Now there are all kinds of sun-dried tomatoes cut in many different forms. I got ones that were dry but still soft, but I think the crispy kind definitely has potential, too. Oh, and the tomatoes I purchases were julienne cut. I figured I wanted a high chocolate-to-tomato ratio, so the smaller the pieces the better.




Chocolate Covered Sun-dried Tomatoes


The directions and instructions are easy, as per usual with my chocolate-covered confections. Use the baking bark of your choice, though with the strong flavor of the tomatoes, I would suggest sticking with chocolate. Melt the bark, cover the tomatoes, and let them set in the fridge. 


I don't know if I can describe the flavor exactly, but I know it wasn't like "Ew, this tastes like a chocolate-covered tomato." So I consider it a success!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Krispy Kreme Doughnut® Brownies

Have you been exercising and eating healthy for the past few months to get ready for swim suit season? Not me. Sun and sand? I don't much care for either. So where does that leave me? In the kitchen, thinking of ways to foil your plans of achieving that perfect bikini (or speedo... yowza) bod. And I think I’ve come up with a good one: Krispy Kreme Doughnut Brownies. Yes folks, ooey-gooey brownies chocked full of glazed doughnut awesomeness.

There’s no Krispy Kreme in Boulder, shocker. But there is one within driving distance. Sure it took a little extra time to get there and back, but we got a few extra doughnuts for the ride home, which turned into a few extra doughnuts for a soon as we got into the car.

The recipe mirrors the Pumpkin Pie Brownies I made last year. It’s bank, so why mess with a good thing?

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Brownies

For the entire recipe that will make you go nuts for doughnuts, visit Foodbeast.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Frosting Creations Recipe Challenge Winners Weekend at the Duncan Hines Test Kitchen

As you have probably read via all of the social media outlets I am on, I went on a little trip this weekend. Duncan Hines recently held a recipe contest featuring their new product: Frosting Creations. I submitted a recipe, and it won me a trip to Duncan Hines' state-of-the-art facilities in Parsippany, NJ. Can I get a fist pump?


My weekend started with a flight to Newark, New Jersey Friday afternoon. Have you ever had someone waiting for you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it? It's pretty satisfying. Next time you head to Denver, let me know. I'll head on up to the airport with the appropriate signage and pick you up. After collecting two other winners (there were 12 in total—one for each flavor of frosting), and a blogger come to capture the event, we were on our way.

Okay, is it totally weird that I just up and left in the middle of writing this to cover something in chocolate?

Anyways, so we arrive at the hotel, get a chance to meet the rest of the winners, and head to dinner at Delicious Heights. It was so much more awesome than I anticipated. So many people from Duncan Hines were there: chefs, product developers, the marketing team. It was really cool to get to mix and mingle with them. They really went balls out for this whole thing. Right off the break, the appetizers were ridiculous. And the Malibu Bay Breeze I had... I'm sorry, the TWO I had, were money. 

Sitting down for dinner we had a nice spread of appetizers including tortilla chips, so what do you think my next request was? Ketchup. And, oh man, their ketchup was awesome. I managed to put some on pretty much everything I ate from then on...except dessert, which was more out of respect than anything else. During dinner, we had a chance to really get down and dirty with the people sitting around us. I learned a great deal about what it takes for DH to create a product from conception to sale. Also during dinner (and around the end of my first drink), I showed Chef Joe how I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue. (Don't act like you're not impressed). Dinner ended on an extremely high note with a dessert made especially for us by Joe, the DH pastry chef. It was the bomb-diggity and I plan on making it as soon as he hits us up with the recipe.
Me and Joe (aka Best Friends for Life)

After a night of lying in bed wondering if it was time to get up yet and start the day, we all piled onto a bus and headed to Duncan Hines. As I said before, they hit us hard with awesomeness the entire way through. And that awesomeness started as soon as we got to the the facilities as we were greeted with a red carpet to walk down. I made sure to wave and blow kisses to all of my adoring fans. 

We spent the morning learning about each other's inspiration for our recipes as well as Duncan Hines inspiration for the Frosting Creations and their road to getting to what the product is today. We got to do some taste testing and see what it was like to go through their product testing phase of development. And we spent a lot of time in the kitchen learning a number of fabulous things from Chef Joe. At one point during the afternoon, each of us were given the opportunity to share about our recipe and Frosting Creations in general on film. (Heads up to Duncan Hines, if you are looking for a spokesperson, I am totally available). 

Here's my recipe, much improved by Chef Chris's skilled hands...


It was a day full of fun, fabulous people, and frosting. Oh my gosh, the frosting. 

We got to sample each of the other winners' recipes (all made by Chef Chris): that's 12 desserts all featuring a different flavor of frosting. And this was in addition to sampling some other frostings earlier in the day. Needless to say I was full of sugar. See...


I was full of sugar running down the hall. I was full of sugar jogging in place. And I was full of sugar when they put me in the car to send me home... kind of like when you visit your grandparents.

All-in-all it was a mandible-claw-your-sister's-annoying-best-friend fabulous experience. A big shout out to the DH employees, the PR chicas and all the winners for making this weekend amazing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cotton Candy Fudge

Again with the fudge! And I'm not even posting all of the variations I've tried, but I'm posting this one because of the sweet, sweet deal I got because of it. I entered this recipe in the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Recipe Challenge, and guess what suckas, I won (along with 11 other bakers). So now it's time to share this awesome-sauce (or more accurately, awesome-fudge) recipe with all of you.

Cotton Candy Fudge
Ingredients
  • 1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Cotton Candy Flavor Mix and 1 can of Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 ounce pink cotton candy
Directions
  1. Pour pack of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Cotton Candy Flavor Mix into can of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter. Stir until evenly blended.
  2. Line 8x8 or 9x9 pan with wax paper.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in microwave.
  4. Stir Duncan Hines® Frosting into melted chips.
  5. Break up cotton candy into pieces and fold into chocolate-frosting mixture.
  6. Spread evenly into prepared pan and chill in the fridge until set.
  7. Remove from pan, peel off wax paper, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Fun to make, fun to look at, and even more fun to eat (as I say in my submission). Part of my winnings was a trip to the Duncan Hines facilities in Jersey, which was awesome. One of the chefs recreated all 12 of the winning desserts for us to try and made slight tweaks to most of them. With this recipe, he let the cotton candy dry out so it was crispy and crumbly before making the fudge. Definitely an improvement. It was like Pop Rocks without the pop. And his version definitely looked better than mine.


DH was good times. I'll post details and pictures soon.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Goldifsh® Graham White Chocolate Bark

Did you know that Pepperidge Farm makes Goldfish Grahams? They do, and they are delicious (the grahams, not the Farm). And they SMILE at you. So, to the people who say, "I don't eat anything with a face," you're outta luck. Sorry, suckas. 




Goldifsh® Graham White Chocolate Bark


Ingredients
  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 3/4c EACH of vanilla cupcake, xtra chocolaty, and chocolate chip Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Grahams
Directions
  1. Cover baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Mix the fishes (3c total) in a bowl.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and spread out on the wax paper.
  4. Pour fish over chocolate (I took the time to make sure it was a single layer of fish all securely smashed into the chocolate. You may have fish left over).
  5. Chill in fridge until set and then break apart into pieces.
Yes! Great results! This was even better (way better) than the savory Goldfish bark. And do you see the smiles??? THE SMILES. I definitely felt like smiling myself after eating this bark, and you will too.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bugles Marshmallow Treats

I love Target. I do. But then there are times when I shake my fists at it, too, because (as I hear is the way for most people) Target always offers me things to buy that I hadn't planned on buying. So I buy them. And I really only shop in the grocery section! BUT then those purchases that I never planned on purchasing allow me to make tasty things like Bugles Marshmallow Treats. So I think my love for Target outweighs me wanting to give it the side eye.



Bugles Marshmallow Treats


For the full recipe that will sate both your sweet and salty cravings, visit Foodbeast.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Margarita Cake Balls

So Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, and now you are stuck with all of this left over (yeah, right) tequila, triple sec, and limes. Solution! Make dessert! This was actually my second attempt at this cake. Earlier in the week, I made it as instructed, but I thought I'd mix it up and make cake balls out of it on this go-round. Turned out great, I think.


I haven't made a Cake Mix Doctor recipe in a minute, so I was happy to be able to have a chance to crack open her book (although you can find the recipe for the cake version of this on her blog, too.)




Margarita Cake Balls


Ingredients (for the cake)
  • 1pkg (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or lemon cake mix
  • Half a package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix (4T)
  • 1/3c sugar
  • 2/3c water
  • 1/2c vegetable oil
  • 1/3c fresh lime or Key lime juice
  • 1/4c tequila
  • 2T triple sec
  • 1t grated lime zest
  • 4 eggs
Ingredients (for the glaze)
  • 2 1/2c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2T tablespoon tequila
  • 2T triple sec
  • 2 to 3T fresh lime juice or Key lime juice
  • 1t grated lime zest
Ingredients (for the coating)
  • white chocolate baking bark
  • margarita salt
  • lime zest
Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9x13 pan.
  2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, water, oil, 1/3c lime juice, 1/4c tequila, 2T triple sec, and the lime zest and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula and bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 32 to 37 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edges of the cake, shake the pan gently, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 25 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, 2T tequila, 2T triple sec, lime zest, and 2 to 3T lime juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  5. Crumble cake into big bowl, add glaze and stir until combined.
  6. Scoop into 2t balls and chill in fridge.
  7. Melt chocolate bark, coat cake balls, sprinkle with a little margarita salt and lime zest, and chill in fridge to set.

It could have been from all of the taste testing beforehand, but I thought they were great—you got smacked in the face with margarita taste without getting a surprise follow-up backhand from the alcohol.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Goldfish® Crackers Chocolate Bark

Did you know that I LOVE fishes. I think it's because they are so delicious... but I could be wrong. I had actually forgotten my love of Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Crackers until I spotted a Vanilla Cupcake flavor at the Target. SOLD! I didn't actually use those for this particular bark because I wanted to stick with the oldies but goodies. (But expect to see them and your other sweet fishy friends on a white chocolate bark in the near future).




Goldfish® Crackers Chocolate Bark


Ingredients

  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 1c EACH of cheese, originial, and preztel Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Crackers

Directions

  1. Cover baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Mix the fishes (3c total) in a bowl.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and spread out on the wax paper.
  4. Pour fish over chocolate (I took the time to make sure it was a single layer of fish all securely smashed into the chocolate. You may have fish left over).
  5. Chill in fridge until set and then break apart into pieces.

For some reason the barks that I've been making lately have been getting all soft and melty on me. Anybody know why? I think it may be because I'm spreading them too thin. I'll have to figure that out next time.


Don't have much to say about these. They were okay. Nothing spectacular. I'm looking forward to trying it with all of the sweeter fish.