Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nutella and Salted Caramel Brownies

That's right, I combined three of the most delicious things in the world and turned them into a fudgey and heavenly brownie. My downfall with desserts are brownies. I love them and could eat a whole pan of them. They are so moist and yummy. One of my sister and I's favorite fall activities is to make homemade salted caramel. It is so delicious and can go on almost everything. So my sister helped me out on making these brownies. Baking can always be such a great family bonding experience. Food is love in my family.

The first step of making these brownies is to make the salted caramel. This caramel is easy to make, but you have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. It also only has a few ingredients. Here is the recipe:
Salted Caramel:
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of heavy cream
6 tbs of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
In a heavy sauce pan pour the mix the sugar into the water and then stop mixing it.You don't want to mix it again until you add the other ingredients.

Let it boil. You want to keep an eye on it. First it will look clear.
Then it will turn yellowish in color.
When it turns a dark amber color it is time to add the heavy cream, the butter, and the vanilla extract. 
The butter has to be cut up into small pieces before you add it to the mixture. 
Then, you take the mixture off the heat and add the butter, the heavy cream, and the vanilla extract and whisk it together. 
Keep whisking it. It will appear really light in color at first, but it will darken. 
Then, add some salt. Add as much or as little, it just depends on your preference. 
Let it cool for a little bit, then pour it into a glass bowl and put it into the fridge until you need it. 

Next we made the brownies. They are so rich and chocolatey. These brownies mix with the caramel perfectly. Here is the recipe: 
Nutella Brownies: 
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar 
1/2 cup of Nutella 
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups of cocoa powder
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tbs of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
5 oz of chocolate chips 
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9X13 pan with vegetable oil. 
In a small sauce pan on low heat, let the butter melt. 
Then, stir in the sugar and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Don't allow the mixture to boil. 

Remove from heat, and stir in the Nutella until combined. 
Then mix together all of the dry ingredients: The cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and the flour. 
In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, pour the butter mixture into it. Then, add the dry ingredient mixture. 
Next, add the eggs and beat it until it is combined,
Then, add the vanilla extract and mix until combined. 
Then, stir in the chocolate chips into the mixture. 
Spread the mixture into the pan. The mixture is very thick. 
Next pour some of the salted caramel mixture into the the brownie mixture. 
Then, stir it around to spread the caramel mixture. 
Then bake it in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.

Then, pour some of the caramel sauce on top of the brownies. 
Then, let the brownies cool and then enjoy them :) 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Almond Joys

Another one of my all time favorite candy bars are Almond Joys. I can't resist their creamy, coconutty, and, chocolately goodness. They are so rich, but also so light. Since summer is officially over, I thought I would make from scratch one of my favorite candies to get over my "summer is over blues" Also, what could be better to celebrate the end of summer than baking with one of summer's favorite ingredients, coconut!? These delicious treats are so easy to make and are even easier to eat.
Here is the recipe:
Almond Joys: 36
10 tbs of butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar (light)
2 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of sea salt
28 oz of sweetened condensed milk
28 oz of shredded coconut
1 tsp of vanilla extract
5 cup of bittersweet baking chunks
Preheat the oven to 350. Then, line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with canola spray. I use a 13 x 9 inch pan.
In a bowl or mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until combined.

Then, add the flour and the salt. Mix, until it resembles chunky bread crumbs.
Then, put the chunks onto the aluminum foil and evenly pat it down to an even layer. 
Bake for 8 minutes and let it cool. 
Next, make the yummy coconut filling. In a bowl combine the condensed milk, the vanilla extract, and the coconut. 

Spread it evenly over the crust.

Bake it for 20- 25 minutes or until it is golden brown. 

Next melt the chocolate over a double broiler (or melt it in the microwave depending on which type of chocolate you use) and then pour it on top of the coconut. 
Here, you can also add an almond on top or you can just leave them like they are. I left the almonds off of these, Either way is delicious! 

Cut them into squares. (This may get messy) :) I also refrigerate mine because I like them cold, but it is up to you and your preference. 

And Enjoy!! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Butterfinger Cupcakes

One of my all time favorite treats are Butterfingers. I love their crunch and peanut butter and chocolatey taste and how they melt in your mouth. I was walking through the grocery store and came across the Halloween candy aisle and my heart jumped for joy. My favorite time of year is here and one of my favorite candies is on the shelves in bulk for trick or treaters. Candy inspired cupcakes are so fun to bake and create because you can put your favorite part of the candy into cupcake form and enhance your favorite flavors. For the cake part of this delicious treat I made my favorite chocolate cake again, the "Wacky Cake". I love using this cake recipe because it uses coffee which greatly enhances the chocolate flavor. It also uses no butter, eggs, or milk, which can save you some money. I also love how the olive oil and the vinegar moisten the cake.

Here is the "Wacky Cake" recipe: 
"Wacky Cake": Serves 12 
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder1 cup of sugar1 tsp of baking soda1/2 tsp of salt1 cup of brewed coffee (I love using coffee with a caramel flavor, but any kind of coffee will do)1 tbsp of white vinegar2 tsp of vanilla extract6 tbsp of olive oilYou want to set your oven to 350 to preheat, then fill cupcake wells with liners.In a big bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.Make sure there are no clumps!In another bowl mix together the coffee, vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until they all come together and the batter is thin and lumpy. Don't over stir!

Fill the cupcake liners with the batter 2/3 of the way full and then bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Of course with  a Butterfinger cupcake you need some peanut butter flavor, and this cupcake doesn't disappoint. I made a peanut butter cream filling to put inside the chocolate cake. This filling is super creamy and decadent and complements the chocolate cake wonderfully. Here is the recipe:
Peanut Butter Filling:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
With a mixer. beat the butter and the peanut butter until combined. 
On low, beat in the powdered sugar until fluffy.

When the cupcakes cool, make a small hole in the center of the cupcake. Don't go to far down or the filling will seep through, and don't make it too wide or the cupcake will break. Then, fill the hole with the filling. 

Next, I made a peanut and peanut butter frosting. I love this frosting because it is crunchy and delicious. It is the perfect icing on top for a moist and creamy cupcake. Here is the recipe:
Butterfinger Frosting recipe:
6 full size Butterfingers (I use more to sprinkle on top)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 tbs of milk (use more depending on your texture preference)
First, crunch up the butterfingers in the fine pieces.
Next, with a mixer beat the butter and the peanut butter until creamy.
Then, add the Butterfinger pieces and blend them into the mixture.
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix until fluffy.
Then, add the milk until you reach the desired consistency. 

Then, frost your cupcakes with the icing. 
Next, I added some crushed up butterfingers on top for some extra crunch :) 
Enjoy these delicious and wonderful cupcakes!