Brown Butter Icing

 

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Brown butter takes any recipe you use it in to a whole new level!  The nutty aroma that swirls through the air as it’s turning from plain butter, to a golden brown liquid with tiny specs of mouthwatering goodness, is so enticing!!

I like to use this delectable icing on bundt cakes.  It takes the overall flavor of the cake over the top!  YUMMY!!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (113 grams)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (227 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 5 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will start to bubble. Continue stirring constantly, until  golden brown (about 7-10 minutes).  Immediately remove from heat as soon as it turns golden in color. It can darken very quickly.

Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl.  Make sure to get most of those brown bits.  They have so much flavor!  Sift confectioners’ sugar into the bowl.  Add the vanilla bean paste, milk and salt to butter and sugar mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Add more milk if needed.  

Spoon icing over cake and spread with an offset spatula.

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Look at those delicious specs of yumminess!!

I hope you try this delightful icing, and if you do, be sure to post pictures and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  

Enjoy!!

Espresso Salted Caramel Macarons

 

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Happy Macaron Monday friends!!  I’m very excited about these espresso salted caramel macarons!!  I know, I know, I am always excited about macarons, and I’m also excited about sharing them with all of you!

When I posted my lavender strawberry macarons last week, I asked what flavor combinations you would like to see me make and @smalltownlivingusa (follow them on Instagram. You’ll be glad you did!) requested anything mocha or coffee, I immediately got started on making this flavor fusion.  These things are so flippin’ good!!

I start with the macarons.  Although I think you can change the flavor of a macaron by your filling choice, I like to change the flavor of the actual macaron.  I usually do this by tweaking my original recipe.  Blending dehydrated fruits, edible flowers etc. into the flour/confectioners’ sugar mixture, changes the flavor without compromising the texture. It’s important to keep excess moisture out of your batter or it is going to ruin the outcome of your macaron!

With these macarons,  I wanted them to taste like coffee, so I added 2 teaspoons of  King Arthur Flour espresso powder to the almond flour mixture (this is not a paid advertisement, I just really like their product).

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I used my original macaron recipe.  To this I added the espresso powder.  I bake them at 325º degrees (instead of the usual 300º degrees).  The first tray I put in the oven took much longer than the usual 17 minutes. It took 22 minutes and the color was darker than I would have liked, so I raised the temperature to 325º  before baking the second tray.  I baked them for 18 minutes, and they came out just right.  The color and “feet” were perfect.  As I’ve said before, these finicky cookies can be a bit difficult sometimes!

I have found that the macaronage (fancy word for folding process) is very important in the outcome of your macaron.  I have watched many macaron tutorials and recipes and it says to fold the flour mixture into the beaten egg whites until it looks like lava.  Well, that isn’t really a good analogy for me, because I’m not really sure what that looks like.  Fold until your batter is smooth and runs freely from your spatula and forms a figure 8.

I filled these delicious coffee flavored macarons with a whipped chocolate ganache (check out my simple chocolate ganache and whip it until light and fluffy).   I added a teaspoon of espresso powder to enhance the flavor just a bit more!  As if these things weren’t already delectable enough, I spooned a bit of salted caramel into the center (see recipe below).   Did I mention I topped them with a chocolate covered espresso bean?!   Yes friends, this sent these luscious darlings right over the top….oh my!!

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Whipped chocolate ganache dam filled with delicious salted caramel!
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This is optional, but I dusted mine with espresso powder.

These marvelous bites of mocha deliciousness need to be in your macaron arsenal.  I think they are my new favorite (why am I so darned fickle?!!).

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YUM!!! That’s all I have to say about that 🙂

Ganache Recipe:

  • 8 oz. (227 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Instructions:

Heat heavy cream on stove until just before boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let it sit for about three minutes.

Whisk together until ganache comes together and becomes smooth.  Cool to piping consistency.  Beat with mixer until light and fluffy…yum!

Salted Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/4 cup water (60 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (55 grams)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (115 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoons extra fine sea salt

Instructions:

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan heat the sugar and water together on high until the sugar has dissolved and water starts to boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil continue stirring until it becomes a deep amber color.  Be careful to watch closely so that it doesn’t burn (you can’t save it once it burns and you will have to start over….ugh!!!!).

Once it reaches a dark amber color, carefully add the butter and salt.  Be careful because it is going to bubble up.  Whisk until the butter has melted and is fully combined.  Return it to a boil and add the heavy cream (being careful because it is going to bubble up again!).

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Remove from heat, stir until completely incorporated and transfer to a glass jar.  Allow caramel to cool to room temperature. This recipe makes about one cup of caramel.

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You can use it to fill your macarons at this point.  Store any unused caramel covered in the refrigerator for up to a month (trust me, it is NOT going to last that long!).  This stuff is so good on ice cream, brownies, cupcakes and as a cake filling.  The possibilities are endless!!

If you make these incredible macarons,  tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  I’d love to see your pictures and hear what you think!!  Enjoy and Happy Macaron Monday!! Give someone a compliment today or share a random act of kindness (maybe one of these macarons…wink wink).

God Bless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

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There are so many different cupcake recipes out there (remember my avocado cupcakes?), but sometimes the perfect vanilla cupcake adorned with a delicious buttercream is the ideal choice.

Wikipedia describes a cupcake as a small cake designed to serve one person. I also discovered that November 9th is National vanilla cupcake day. Mark your calendar friends, this sounds like a pretty important occasion to me!

I can’t even begin to count how many vanilla cupcakes I have baked in my lifetime.  My children and grandchildren love cupcakes.  My children refer to themselves as cupcake “snobs”.  I remember buying cupcakes in a local supermarket bakery and when I served them for dessert, they asked me what I was trying to pull serving them store bought baked goods.  Ooops….sorry!!

Two of my grandsons prefer a vanilla cupcake over any other flavor.  I made a strawberry shortcake cupcake last summer.  I think it was one of the best cupcakes ever! It had so many components,  but they were NOT a fan.  My adorable granddaughter, on the other hand, was all about it (you go Evie Girl!).

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This is how you eat a cupcake!

So this cupcake recipe goes out to all the vanilla cupcake lovers out there (or cupcake lovers…period).  These cupcakes are my go to vanilla recipe and will be yours too!

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

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Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

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In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about two minutes).

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Mix in the eggs one at a time.  Mixing well after each addition.  Add sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.

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Batter may look slightly curdled. That is normal and will come together nicely once flour mixture is incorporated.

Add the flour mixture and mix just until flour is incorporated.  If you would like, you can use a hand whisk at this point.  Mix until there are no traces of flour (do not over mix or your cupcake will not have a light texture).

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Scoop into paper cups filling them 2/3 full.  You can use a large ice cream scoop or two spoons, whichever you prefer.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.  All ovens are different, so begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes.  If the toothpick has a few crumbs attached, remove from oven.  The cupcakes will continue baking after they are removed from the oven.  You don’t want to over bake them or you will end up with a dry cupcake!

After 2 minutes, transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.  Top with my simple buttercream frosting.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It may be simple to make, but it’s oh so good!!

Simple (but delicious) Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (455 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) heavy cream

Instructions:

Cream butter until fluffy.  Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time. Make sure your mixer is on a low speed (trust me on this…you will have a sugar mess!  I learned this the hard way!!). Add the salt and vanilla extract.  Drizzle in the heavy cream to desired consistency.  Add more or less until you achieve this.  Of course, at this point, you can make your icing any color you would like using liquid or gel food coloring. The possibilities are endless!

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You can ice your cupcakes using a small spatula or place the frosting in a decorating bag with a piping tip.  I used a bag for these cupcakes.  I like to use a large star shaped tip to pipe the frosting in a swirling motion.  Top with sprinkles.  Don’t forget the sprinkles!!  Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

Throwing it Back with Seth Jason

Almost 11 years ago, something wonderful happened.  I received a phone call from my son saying that in an hour (yes, an hour) a baby boy was going to be coming to their home.

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The day Seth came into our lives (with Melissa, his now Mommy).

Let’s go back a couple of years before that phone call.

My son David, and beautiful daughter-in-love Melissa made the decision to foster children.  It was something they bathed in prayer and God was leading them to do.  At this point they had fostered a little boy who was a temporary placement while his foster parent went on a small vacation.  Then they fostered a little girl until she was placed with a family member.  Next came a little boy who was with them for 8 months before he was reunited with his family.  I’m not going to lie, I got pretty attached to this little boy.  He was just 18 months old when he came to be with David and Melissa. He had the sweetest personality and it was very easy to fall in love with him.  But, God had other plans and he went back to his family.

David and Missy (that’s what I call Melissa) were the only people in our large family to do foster care so it was all very new.  Teaching in the public school system, I had some idea, but this brought it very close to home!  Watching them on this emotional roller coaster was pretty difficult, but they had faith God would see them through all of this, and just wanted His will in their lives (and He has…God is good!).

Now let’s get back to the baby boy who came to them on February 5th, 2009.  He was born February 2nd (our little groundhog), and came to them right from the hospital. David and Missy didn’t have any baby supplies so they were busy making calls to family and friends getting a crib, clothes, diapers etc.  This was a very exciting time!  This was their first experience with an infant, and of course their hands (and hearts) were full.  Seth was not his birth name.  David and Melissa changed it to Seth when they adopted him January 7th, 2011.

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This day definitely goes down as one the best days for all of us!  Seth is an amazing boy.  He is funny, kind, and has an awesome imagination! That’s when I officially became Mimi (I can’t help but smile just thinking about it).

So, of course, with my love of baking I couldn’t wait to make his first birthday cake.  He didn’t really have a preference as to what kind of cake he would like, so I made him a “Safari” themed cake topped with animals that I made with a fondant/gum paste mixture.  I was pretty happy with them. It was the first time I had made figurines and I was hooked.

We were excited to celebrate Seth’s big day, but God had other plans.  We had the biggest blizzard since the 70’s!  “Snowmageddon”, as we like to call it.

We finally celebrated later that week and we had a blast!

I look forward to making his cake every year, but he gets to choose what he likes now.  He has a birthday coming up in few weeks and I can’t wait to share that cake with you too.  You may even get to see a sneak peek video of the cake topper being made with the help of my son David (Seth’s Daddy).

Here’s a look at his cakes so far.  Seth actually helped with the characters for his 9th birthday.  He loves to make figures with clay and he did an amazing job with fondant!!

I hope you enjoyed walking down memory with me.  I can’t wait to share birthday #11.

Do you have a favorite cake?  Let me know:)

 

Brownie Macarons

 

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Happy Macaron Monday!! That’s a thing, right? Well, if it’s isn’t, it should be! All of my chocolate loving friends know what I’m talking about.  Now, let’s talk about these amazingly delicious brownie macarons!!  YUM!!

I’ve made chocolate macarons before, but these macarons are, well, the best!! I baked these on a silicon mat, and I think it really makes a difference in the chewy texture.  I tweaked my original recipe, by switching out the cocoa for some of the confectioners’ sugar, and I increased the amount of granulated sugar from ¼ cup to 1/3 cup.   I was pleasantly surprised and happy with the outcome.

As  I was folding the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and cocoa mixture into the meringue, it felt a bit thicker than usual, but I continued until it was completely combined and the consistency seemed right.  Folding until the mixture falls from the spatula into a figure eight works for me every time.  Be careful not to over mix the batter, as this will result in a hollow macaron or possibly even a cracked macaron with no feet!  Let’s face it, nobody wants that (insert winky face here)!

As I mentioned in my last post about macarons, I was struggling with my piping skills. Some were too big, some too small, and some (what I thought) just right.  I purchased silicon mats with premade circles on them.  Yes!! These things were a deal changer!

I let them dry for almost an hour. I was able to gently run my finger across the top without it being wet or tacky.  I only bake one sheet at a time on a rack placed in middle of the oven.  I don’t turn my pans in the baking process.  Bake the macarons for 17 minutes.  I suggest that you place an oven thermometer in your oven to make sure the temperature isn’t off.  If you don’t have one, they can be purchased for under $10.00.  Trust me, it will be money well spent.  A whole batch of macarons can be ruined if your oven temp is off!

Remove the macarons after they have baked for 17 minutes.  You can add a couple of minutes to the time if they don’t look like they are done.  You don’t want to underbake your macarons.  The texture will be off and they will stick to the baking surface!

As these macarons cool, the tops get a slight “crust” making them look like a brownie.  This isn’t the norm for macarons, but don’t panic (I did the first time I made these), this is the way they are supposed to look.  They almost look underbaked, but they are not. Let them cool completely on the baking sheets. They should pop off the baking surface at this time.

Match your macarons so their top and bottom match.  I don’t know why, but this is one of my favorite parts (go figure).

Now you get to fill them with your favorite filling (jams, curds, buttercreams, ganache). The sky’s the limit!! I filled these with a simple 3 ingredient chocolate ganache. I highly recommend this as the filling for these macarons!! It really adds to the brownie flavor. I dusted these with a little cocoa powder to give even more chocolate flavor.  Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate!

I hope you make these, and I hope my pictures and tutorials are helpful! Let me know if you do and post pictures and tag my Instagram page @goodeatsbymimi .

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites (100 grams)
  • 1/3 cup extra fine granulated sugar (66 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure chocolate extract (use pure vanilla if you don’t have chocolate)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (171 grams)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (25 grams) plus extra for dusting on top of macaron
  • 1 cup almond flour (98 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt

Instructions:

Wipe down mixing bowl, whisk beater, and baking mats with lemon juice or white vinegar. This removes any  residue that will cause the meringue to not properly mix. Set aside until you are ready to pipe your macarons.

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees  (use thermometer to make sure your oven isn’t running too hot or cool).

Place the confectioners’ sugar, baking cocoa and almond flour in a bowl.  Sift these four times. I use two bowls for this process, sifting back and forth between the two bowls. This is a very important step. It not only incorporates the ingredients, it also gets out any lumps, making for a very smooth macaron.

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Place egg whites and cream of tartar (use a pinch of salt if you don’t have cream of tartar…this helps to stabilize the meringue) in a large mixing bowl.

Using a whisk attachment, start beating the egg whites on medium speed until light and frothy.  Add the extra fine sugar a little at a time, allowing the sugar to slowly incorporate into the egg whites.  Begin mixing on medium/high until peaks begin to form being careful not to overbeat.  You want the meringue to be stiff enough to withstand turning the bowl upside down without falling out (check out my picture).

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Fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture in thirds.  Gently folding after each addition, making sure not to over mix.  Mix just until the batter falls off the spatula and you can smoothly form a figure 8.

Place batter in a large piping bag with a medium circle tip (I use a Wilton tip #12).  Pipe 1 1/2 inch circles (3/4 inches apart).

Drop baking sheet on the counter (4-5 times).  This knocks the air bubbles out of the macarons.  Use a toothpick to pop any remaining bubbles.

Dry the macarons for at least 30 minutes (this depends on the humidity in your area). This gives it a thin shell. You should be able to gently run your finger across the top without it leaving a mark.

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Bake for 17 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Match tops and bottoms.  Fill with delicious chocolate ganache (see recipe below).  Pipe a small dollop in the middle of the bottom macaron and top with matching macaron. Dust tops with cocoa powder.  This is optional, but it really enhances the flavor!  Refrigerate overnight (of course I never wait that long to taste one).  Enjoy!!

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Ganache Recipe:

8 oz. (227 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Instructions:

Heat heavy cream on stove until just before boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let it sit for about three minutes.

Whisk together until ganache comes together and becomes smooth.  Cool to piping consistency.

 

 

 

 

Flaky Blueberry Scones

 

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If a flaky biscuit and a muffin had a baby, I think it would taste like this blueberry scone. Adding a few quick folds in this dough adds a bit more rise and a little more puff to the finished product.  This makes for a party in your mouth!  You may even break out in the “happy food dance”.   It’s a real dance, just ask any foodie out there!

That being said, these scones are a little more involved than most scone recipes I’ve made, but the end result is way better… Trust me!

I am going to walk you through the process from start to finish with step by step photos.   Did I mention I received a new camera for Christmas from my husband?  Thanks Babe…you just made my life a whole lot easier!!

Now let’s get started!

First you are going to want to put ½ cup (one stick) of unsalted butter in the freezer. You are going to be grating this so it will be easier to mix into the flour mixture.  Gently folding the grated butter into the flour and folding a couple of times is going to give these scones a nice rise and flaky texture.

It is very important not to overwork the dough. If you do your scones will be tough instead of tender.  You will only want to knead and fold the dough the number of times called for in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (frozen) 113 grams
  • 1 ½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries (255 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted) this will be brushed on top of the scones before baking.
  • ½ cup whole milk (122 grams)
  • ½ cup sour cream (57 grams)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinato sugar- to sprinkle on top before baking (13 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (8 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (3 grams)
  • Zest from one lemon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use silicone pad. Rinse blueberries and pat dry.  Place in the freezer until ready to use.

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Grate one stick of butter. Place butter in the freezer until ready to use.

Whisk the sour cream and milk together and place in the refrigerator until needed.

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Place flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest in bowl and whisk until combined. Add the frozen butter to this mixture and gently toss with the flour mixture just until the butter is coated. Add the milk mixture and fold with a spatula until combined.  Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough 6-8 times with floured hands.  The dough should come together in a ragged ball.  Add flour to the surface and to your hands as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.

Now roll the dough into a 12” square. Fold the dough into thirds (like a business letter).  I used my large bench scraper to help me with this process.  Fold into thirds again, starting with the short ends and bringing them towards the middle forming a 4” square.  Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.  (I put mine on a floured plate).

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a 12” square again. Place blueberries on top of the dough and gently press into the dough.

Roll the dough into a log. With seam side down, gently roll and press into a 12” X 4” rectangle.

Using a sharp (and floured) knife, cut dough into four equal squares. Cut each square on a diagonal (making 8 triangles).  Place them on a prepared baking sheet, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the Turbinato sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until tops and bottoms are golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack.  Wait approximately 15 minutes and serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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I think the invention of peanut butter and chocolate together is genius, and these chocolate peanut butter calls are a prime example of this!

As I was putting my Christmas cookie list together (by the way, this is NO easy task), I found this recipe. I usually make my go to peanut butter cookie recipe with a chocolate kiss placed on the top after it comes out of the oven.   Being a favorite with my family, they have always made the list.

The addition of mini M&M’s is the “icing on the cake”, so to speak. I added 1 cup of peanut butter, as opposed to the ¾ cup called for in the recipe.  After I added the confectioners’ sugar it seemed like it needed more, and the extra ¼ seemed to do the trick.

I used my 1 tablespoon scoop for the dough and it made 30 cookies. I dipped the balls in Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with extra chocolate after they set.  I placed mine in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill.

I served these at my son’s “100 days of storms” reveal party at his art gallery. If you get a chance, go to his Instagram page @davidmacomber_dotcom and check out his artwork.  I’m a very proud Mom, I know, but his work is amazing and you are in for treat!

My daughter-in-love said they are her new favorite cookie. You have to love compliments like that…I know I do!

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Ingredients:

  •  ½ cup unsalted butter (115 grams) room temperature
  • 1 cup * creamy peanut butter (185 grams)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)
  • ½ cup mini M&M’s (100 grams)
  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I used Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate)

Directions:

Beat the butter on medium speed in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy (about two minutes).

Add the peanut butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix until everything is combined and creamy.  With your mixer on low speed, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until combined.  It will be a little crumbly,

but will come together when you add the M&M’s. Work the dough with your hands.  As you mix them in and the dough will become soft and easier to work with.

Scoop into one inch round balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. While the balls are chilling chop the chocolate and place in a double boiler until the chocolate has melted, and smooth and creamy.

After the peanut butter balls are chilled, dip them in the chocolate one at a time. Tap off the excess chocolate and place on the parchment lined sheet pans.  Put the extra chocolate in a squeeze bottle and work the bottle back and forth over the dipped chocolate balls, making a design on the top (shown in the above pictures).

You really need to make these, and I think they will be your new favorite too (or at least on the top five of your list)!!

These cookies were inspired by Sally McKenney’s Peanut Butter M&M’s truffles. Check out her Instagram page @Sallysbakeblog (you’ll be glad you did!)

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Have you ever been on a date and the other person orders dessert and when it comes, you think to yourself, “Oh man, I wish I would have ordered that!”.  And then they say, “Would you like to taste it?”.   You taste it, and well, you know what I’m talking about.  Well, it happened to me, and it was an amazing flourless cake!  When I found a recipe that only had three ingredients I knew I had to make it.  It has to be one of the easiest (and most delicious) desserts I have ever made!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chocolate (I used Guiradelli 60 percent bittersweet baking chocolate)
  • 8 large (cold) eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into 16 pieces)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the inside of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper. Cover the outside of the spring form pan with aluminum foil.  Place covered pan in a slightly larger pan. Fill outer pan with one cup of boiling water right before the cake is ready to be placed in the oven.

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave just until melted. Set aside to cool while you whip the eggs.

In a large bowl, using a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed for about 5-7 minutes (or until double in volume).  Gently (and I do mean GENTLY!) fold  the whipped eggs into the melted chocolate and butter mixture.  Start with 1/3 of the whipped eggs.  Fold until incorporated.  Continue two more times in 1/3 increments until the egg mixture and chocolate are fully incorporated.  Be very gentle with this process.  You do not want to knock all the air out of the eggs.

Pour this mixture into the prepared pan.  Place in the preheated oven.  Be careful not to get burned by the boiling water!

Bake the cake for 22-25 minutes. There will be a thin crust on top when finished. Carefully remove cake from oven (again, being careful not to get burned by the water). Completely cool in pan on wire rack.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  Remove spring form from pan before serving.  Remove the parchment paper and place on serving platter.  Dust with confectioners sugar and berries if desired.  I also served mine with a small scoop of my homemade ice cream…Yum!!!! You need to make this cake SOON!  Enjoy! xoxo

This recipe is inspired by Ali @gimmesomeoven.  Thanks Ali!!

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Cran-raspberry Crumble

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I did it! I made the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. Yup, that’s right! Look no more. It’s the most incredible crumble EVER!!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a firm believer that cheesecake, pumpkin and apple pies should still be on the dessert table, but this will be a delicious new addition…YUMMM!

I don’t think cranberries get the respect they deserve. They are perfect when they are paired with apples, raspberries and oranges (and a little lemon zest too!).  I am a lover of anything raspberry too, so putting these two together with some sugar, citrus zests and extracts, makes for a bowl of goodness!  I made some homemade vanilla ice cream to have with mine, but whipped cream would work too🤗.

Cran-raspberry Filling

  • 3½ cups (350 grams) cranberries
  • 2½ cups (375 grams) raspberries
  • ¼ cup (45 ml) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1¼ cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour (30 grams)

Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (about 158 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375º degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish. Put the cranberries and raspberries in the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl whisk the orange juice and extracts together and drizzle over berries. In a small mixing bowl, add the sugar and zests and mix until well combined. Work the zest into the sugar to release the essential oils for maximum flavor. Add the spices and tapioca flour; whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the fruit.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into flour mixture until it resembles small pea-sized pieces. Whisk the extracts and egg together. With a fork, gently toss the beaten egg and extracts into the flour mixture until moist and the dough starts to hold together. Continue to gently blend your with fingertips until combined.

Be careful not to overwork the dough. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit filling. Sprinkle topping with sugar.

Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 50 to 55 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh whipped cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

 

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

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In honor of National Chocolate Day (yes, it’s a real day), I made a chocolate Pavlova,  topped with a thin layer of delicious chocolate, whipped cream and fresh raspberries. This pavlova is so light and airy with all “feels” of a decadent dessert. There are a few easy components, that when put together, have an out of this world taste!

As a food blogger, I love all the “special” days that are food related. There are certain things that I am particularly fond of and chocolate is at the very top of that list!  I wanted to make something a little different for you today.  Pavlova always sounded so intimidating to me, but I can assure you it is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made.  Most of the time making a pavlova is in the baking and cooling.  It needs to be baked on a low temperature for an hour, left in the oven for another 30 minutes with the oven off, and then cooled for 45 minutes after it’s removed from the oven.

I can guarantee you are going to love this yummy dessert. You can top it with any fruit and then drizzle a sauce of your choice (chocolate, caramel, salted caramel, etc.).

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (25 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 4 0z. good semisweet chopped chocolate (113 grams)
  • 1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream (237 ml)
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (25 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Fresh raspberries (for topping)
  • Salted caramel sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with nonstick parchment paper.  Using an edible marker, make a 9” circle.  I traced a 9” pan.  If your parchment paper isn’t nonstick, grease your paper with butter or shortening and dust with confectioners’ sugar.  Sift cocoa and cornstarch and set aside. Wipe the mixing bowl and whisk beater with lemon juice or vinegar to make sure it is free of any oils.  This helps the egg whites to form stiff peaks.  Mix egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed for 1 minute.  Continue whipping the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar.  Gradually add the sifted cocoa and corn starch.  Once cocoa mixture is incorporated, turn mixer on high and continue to mix until stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue mixture on the parchment paper in the circle. Make an indent in the middle (leaving about a 2” border).  Bake for about an hour until the meringue feels dry to the touch.  Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside for about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow cooling on the baking sheet (about 45 minutes).

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly and then spread in the center of the meringue.  Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Spoon in the center of the meringue on top of cooled chocolate.  Top with the fruit of your choice.  I like to sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top.   Serve right away or refrigerate for a few hours.  This is such a treat!  I’m sure this will be a hit at any event!!