Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lemon Blackberry Scones


It’s been feeling like spring around here lately, so I decided to make some Lemon Blackberry Scones.  I wanted to use some ingredients that reminded me of warm weather, i.e. lemon and blackberry.  You could also use raspberries or blueberries in place of the blackberries or whatever fruit that you like.  I made a lemon glaze and drizzled it over the tops.  These scones were scrumptious and perfect with a cup of tea or as an after-dinner treat.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk and lemon zest until blended and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces to the bowl with the dry ingredients and cut the butter into the flour using two forks or a pastry cutter, until the largest butter pieces are the size of small peas.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a spatula until a sticky dough has formed.  Gently fold in the blackberries.
  5. Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface and pat into a disc about 8″ in diameter (dough will be stick).  Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar and slice the disc into 8 wedges.
  6. Place the scones on the baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on top, about 18-20 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.
  7. Meanwhile, mix the confectioner’s sugar with the lemon zest.  Add 1 tbsp of milk and stir to combine.  If frosting is too dry, add another tbsp of milk (1 at a time) until desired consistency is reached.  Drizzle over cooled scones.

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Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

After being in the field and out of the office for two weeks, I almost forgot that our office’s annual chili cookoff was being held the same day that I was returning to the office.  Since I signed up to bring a dessert and remembered this at the last minute, i.e. the night before, I decided to whip up something quick and delicious.  These Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes are the perfect solution: not too time consuming and extra scrumptious.  And who wouldn’t love to be welcomed back to the office with 6 tasty chilis and these beauties?  Great day to come back to the office!
Ingredients:
  • 1 package Fudge Brownie Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • Water, Eggs And Oil (per brownie mix directions)
  • 1 package (8 0z) Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Peanut butter chips, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 20 paper cupcake liners.  Prepare brownie batter as directed on package and spoon into cupcake liners, about half full.
  2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, peanut butter and vanilla with a mixer until blended.  Drop a spoonful into the center of the batter in each cup.  Swirl with a knife and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  1 minute before the brownies are done, remove from oven and sprinkle peanut butter chips on top.  Return to the oven and bake for 1 minute longer.

*Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

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Chocolate Butterscotch Blondies


After two weeks of traveling for work, I am finally home!  After eating out at restaurants and in hotels for every single meal, I couldn’t wait to get back into the kitchen and bake.  I decided to bake my hubby these Chocolate Butterscotch Blondies.  These blondies are chewy and scrumptious with the chocolate and butterscotch chips.  They’re easy to make and perfect for Fat Tuesday!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8″ square baking pan.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook 1 minute longer and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla to cooled sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Combine the flour and salt in another bowl and add to sugar mix. Stir until combined.
  5. Fold chocolate and butterscotch chips into the batter.  Pour the batter into the pan, spreading with a spatula to smooth.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

*Adapted from Cookies

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Maple Walnut Cake


 A few posts ago, I mentioned that last week I was traveling in Vermont.  While there, I bought some of their amazing maple syrup.  Since I spent this past weekend at my parents celebrating my dad’s birthday, I decided to use my new maple syrup to make this amazing Maple Walnut Cake.   I used one, 9″ deep dish pan for the cake, drowned the top and the sides in a delicious maple syrup cream cheese frosting, and topped with crushed walnuts.  This cake was fabulous and had so much flavor; the high-quality maple syrup definitely made this cake taste amazing.  Enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one, deep-dish 9-inch cake pan (or two, regular 9″ cake pans) with cooking spray, dust with flour, and tap out any excess. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a mixer set on high speed, beat the butter and sugar for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Add 1 cup maple syrup and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the water and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently stir in 1 cup of the walnuts.
  4. Pour the batter in the pan (or divide the batter between two pans) and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool in the cake pan(s) on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan(s) and invert onto the wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting, combine the softened cream cheese and unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl using the paddle attachment.  Add in the 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and continue mixing.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed.  Use a spatula to scrap down the sides.  If the frosting is too runny, add more confectioner’s sugar.  If it is too hard, add a bit more pure maple syrup.
  6. Using a spatula, spread frosting on the top and the side of the cake until smooth. (If making two cake layers, spread frosting in between the two layers and on the top  and sides- more frosting may be needed).  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts on top and enjoy.

*Adapted from Country Living

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Red Velvet Cake Truffles

Here’s another quick and delicious recipe to share with your special someone this Valentine’s Day:  Red Velvet Cake Truffles.  I was at home visiting my parents this past weekend and everyone loved these red velvet cake balls probably because they’re mixed with cream cheese frosting and doused in white chocolate.  They’re addicting and because they’re small, you can justify eating a lot of them (or at least that’s what I told myself!).  I have to thank my hubby for taking these photos for me as well.  I’m traveling for work (again!) and forgot to take photos before I left.  Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 tub cream cheese frosting
  • 2 packages white chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles for decorating
Directions:
  1. Bake red velvet cake mix according to directions in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Allow cake to cool thoroughly.  Once cake has cooled, break cake into pieces and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add tub of cream cheese frosting to cake pieces and mix together until homogenous and smooth.  Place in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.
  3. Take teaspoonful of cake and frosting and roll into 1″ ball and place on wax paper-lined baking sheet.  When baking sheet is full, place in refrigerator and chill thoroughly.
  4. Melt white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl (30 second blasts are best so the chips don’t burn).  When thoroughly melted, dip red velvet truffle centers in chocolate and place on wax paper-covered cookie sheet.  Drizzle with sprinkles and return to refrigerator until chocolate is set.
  5. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

*Adapted from Duncan Hines

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Thin Mint Stuffed Sugar Cookies

I’m currently traveling for work, so I made these delicious Thin Mint Stuffed Sugar Cookies this past Sunday to enjoy for the Superbowl and to also blog about for Valentine’s Day.  Since I knew that I’d be gone this week, I decided to kill two birds with one stone.  I’m glad that I did because not only are these cookies ridiculously easy to make, they are scrumptious too.  What is better than a chewy sugar cookie stuffed with a thin mint cookie?  Not much.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 18 oz. sugar cookie dough (cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • Thin Mint or Grasshopper cookies
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cookies 2-3″ apart on baking sheet.  Top each with a thin mint cookie and cover with another slice of sugar cookie.
  3. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Allow cookies to cool completely.  Brush melted butter over the tops of each and top with sprinkles.

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Who doesn’t love red velvet… it’s absolutely delicious and is a wonderful deep red color that is perfect for Valentine’s Day.  Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with saving a little time, money, and energy by cutting a few corners and using a cake box mix to make something delicious.  I had a bad experience making a red velvet cake last year; it came out deep purple (too much red food coloring) and just didn’t taste like the delicious red velvet that I’m used to.  So this time, I was pressed for time and decided to make these semi-homemade Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies.  These brownies are delicious and sure to please a crowd or that special Valentine’s Day someone.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Red Velvet cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, after melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine egg, butter, water in a bowl. Add box mix, stir until the ingredients are combined, and lumps are gone.  Pour mixture into the greased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  3. To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the brownie batter and swirl in with a knife.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

*Adapted from Dunan Hines & Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

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