Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

AHH Happy Halloween guys! So how is everyone from the Sandy weather? Pretty crazy right? After having no electricity and oven for 2 days, I have gone completely mad at that time! As a teenager having your phone out of battery is an epic tragedy :P Anyways, I hope all are you are alright and safe from the terrible storm and I pray for everyone who got injured during the night...Since it is Halloween, I thought that making "Halloween Scream Brownies" would cheer up the tough experiences. Enjoy :) Follow me and leave a comment if desired!

Makes 24 brownies***

For the Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
orange food coloring

For the Brownie Layer:
1 1/4 cups plain cake flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Put a long piece of aluminum foil in the length of an 9X13 inch pan, letting the foil extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Fit another piece of foil into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the cheesecake layer: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and flour and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add orange food coloring to desired color; set aside.

To make the brownie layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
In large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at time, whisking after each addition until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
Transfer 3/4 of the batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface.
Spread cream cheese mixture on top. Distribute the remaining brownie mixture in 16 dollops over batter in the pan. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang.

***I halved this recipe because my whole family can't finish a whole 24 batch of brownies ><

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Banana Whoopie Pies

Bananas are my most favorite fruit of all time. Once I ate bananas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in one whole day! I can not get enough because I just love how sweet it gets as days go by. Being a banana lover, I felt very dumbfounded when I discovered that it has little tiny black seeds in the inside! After all of this time, I have just found out that bananas contain seeds! Haha well I hope you enjoy this recipe! Follow me on this blog for more blog updates and leave a comment if desired! :)

Banana Whoopie Pies
Yield: 30-36 sandwich cookies

For the caramel sauce:
½ cup sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup mashed banana (about 1-1½ bananas)
½ cup sour cream
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:*
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces, at room temperature
½ cup caramel sauce (above)
*This will make more filling/frosting than you actually need for this recipe (I had about 1 cup extra).  You could reduce to 2/3 or simply save for another use.
To make the caramel sauce: Spread the sugar out in an even layer in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Once the sugar starts to liquefy around the edges, stir it gently with a spatula towards the center.  Continue stirring gently until all of the sugar is melted and no hard bits remain.  Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, remove it from the heat. Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in half of the cream.  The mixture will bubble and steam violently.  Stir until the cream is thoroughly combined, then whisk in the remaining cream.  (don't worry about clumps)  Return the pan to medium-low heat and continue to whisk gently until everything is melted and smooth.  Stir in the salt and vanilla.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  (This sauce can be refrigerated and reheated.)
To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana and sour cream.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the banana mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.  
Pipe the batter using a plain round tip onto the prepared baking sheets into 1¼-inch rounds, spacing a couple of inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are just set and the bottom edges are starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  
To make the filling: Combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat the mixture, whisking very frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and reaches 160° F on an instant read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks.  Reduce the speed to medium low, add in the salt and begin adding the butter one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in ½ cup of the cooled caramel sauce until well blended.  
Once the cookies are completely cooled, match them up in pairs by size.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the caramel filling.  Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich the cookies together, pushing the filling to the edges.  Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Espresso Cupcakes

This is the perfect cupcakes for the fall or winter. The light and fluffy icing is what makes this cupcake extra delicious! To add more flavor, I drizzled maple syrup or homemade sweet and salty caramel sauce on top. Try this recipe out some day guys! It is defiantly what your taste buds are craving for ;) Feel free to follow me on this blog for more blog updates and post a comment in desired! Enjoy.

Vanilla Cake w/ Piped Rose

WOW! I cannot believe that I made such a beautiful cake! This accomplishment is very exciting for me because this wonderful cake is proof that I have improved from last year. When I was presenting this  vanilla rainbow cake to my classmates, they were stunned by how beautiful it look :) To make this, all you need is a box of your favorite vanilla cake mix and prepare it. After you are done mixing everything from the directions on the box, all you have to do is divide the batter equally into four bowls. Then using red, orange, yellow, and green food color, mix each color in the four bowls. Bake one colored batter at a time (lowering the baking time). After you are done baking the four different layers, spread vanilla icing in between each layer. Then surround the top and sides with the remaining vanilla icing. Decorate is desired. Instructions for the piped rose is in this link here. Enjoy! Feel free to follow be and post a comment :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Zucchini Walnut Bread

Like I said before in my other zucchini recipe, I have always doubted the taste of fresh zucchini in desserts. This is an easy way to get vegetables into your kids diet in a very delicious way! I offered this to my one friend and she said she absolutely loved it even though she hated zucchini vegetables. Plus, the vibrant smell of this bread leaves your home smelling cozy and welcoming! Hope you get to try this recipe! Feel free to follow me on this blog for more blog updates me, and comment on this post if you have any questions!

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup + 2 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Grease and flour one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ground cinnamon. Mix together until Incorporated; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar until it is all mixed. Add in the dry ingredients and slowly add in the zucchini and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.Cool on rack for 20 minutes when done. Using a knife, loosen the edges of the pan and carefully take the loaf out of the pan. Let it cool completely, or serve it nice and hot. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

I always wanted to find new ways to bake with a vegan recipe. I found this recipe in a random blog and tweaked it up a lot to make it more desirable. Even if this recipe if vegan, it is surprisingly moist and very tasty. Anyways, I have always wanted to try a recipe that was vegan but I could never find a vegan recipe that did not have any weird ingredients in it to make it work. Luckily, I was able to find this one for you guys and I hope you enjoy. Follow me on this blog for more blog updates! :)

Vegan Cherry Chocolate Cupcake

1 1/2 cups flour (cake flour works best)
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cocoa
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 cup cherry “all-fruit” preserves (reserve the remainder of the jar for the filling)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp. vinegar
12 fresh cherries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 12 liners in the cupcake pans.
  2. Mix the first 5 dry ingredients together. Then add the wet ones. Beat with a mixer for 1-2 minutes, until all indredients are thoroughly blended. Pour into the prepared pans and bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes; then invert onto wire racks and allow to completely cool. With a one teaspoon spoon, scoop out the cake in the center of each cupcake. Fill with cherry jam and frost with your favorite (vegan) chocolate frosting. Top with fresh cherries if desired.

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Cookies n' Cream Cupcakes

When making this cupcake, you have the decision to choose from minty, confetti, peanut butter, chocolate, or regular Oreo cookies! I made mine with the 100th year anniversary Oreo cookies and they were absolutely delicious! Since the cupcake is so rich in the flavor, I used heavy whipping cream instead of the icing recipe below. Hope you enjoy this recipe!


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup hot water
24 Oreos, plus more for crumbs


1 cup shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-6 Tablespoons milk
2 or more teaspoons Oreo cookie crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tray with 12 baking cups.
  2. Place one whole cookie in each cup or break apart at least 12 cookies and place the broken pieces into each cup. Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl using a wire whisk. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix well until thoroughly combined. Add the hot water and mix until combined.
  3. Transfer the batter (it will be very liquid) to a large measuring cup and then pour batter into each baking cup so it’s about three quarters full. You should have a little left over.
  4. Bake for 16-18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in the center and cool completely.
  5. Pipe with your desired cream cheese frosting and top with an Oreo cookie.

Mini Key Lime Pie

Hey guys! After fall and cold weather has washed over where i live, I get sudden cravings for making fruity baked goods! Wish is not so great since some fruits would be more expensive during the winter :( that is why I stay away from the blueberries. As you all know, lime is a very sour and bitter fruit. But when making them into a dessert, the strong flavors really make little things unique! Hope you get a chance to try this out! It is really worth it :) Follow me on this blog for more blog updates! Enjoy.

For the crust:

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs¼ cup sugar5 1/3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the cupcakes:

3 cups cake flour1 tbsp baking powder½ tsp salt1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature2 cups sugarZest of 1-2 limes4 large eggs, at room temperature1¾ cups buttermilk, at room temperature2 tsp vanilla extract2 tsp lemon extract

For Curd filling:
3 large eggs
¾ cups sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

For topping:
1¼ cups heavy cream
6 tbsp confectioners’ sugarDash vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom (bottom of a shot glass works very well). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature.
  2. To make the cupcakes: Combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together; set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute. Beat in the lime zest. Add the sugar  ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla and lemon extracts in scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients slowly just until incorporated.
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. While cupcakes are baking, make the lime curd. In a saucepan, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk together until well blended. Whisk in the key lime juice. Place the pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring or whisking constantly, until the mixture is warmed through (this should be done slowly to avoid curdling the eggs). Whisk in the butter a tablespoon at a time, stirring in each addition until completely incorporated. Continue to cook; scraping the bottom/sides of pan, until the mixture thickens and a spoon leaves a path when drawn through it. Quickly remove the pan from the heat and set aside. (This keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)
  5. To assemble the cupcakes: Use a teaspoon and scoop out the center of the cupcake to make a hole fore the filling.  Discard the cones (or eat themJ). Fill each well with lime curd.  
  6. To make the whipped cream: Combine the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Blend in the vanilla and continue to mix until thickens. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe a rim of whipped cream around the top of each cupcake, leaving the lime curd filling exposed. Garnish with key lime slices if desired.