Monday, September 27, 2010

An Old Favorite and a New Favorite: Pumpkin Blondies and Almond Cake

By: Jill
Pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients to work with and I always have a supply of canned pumpkin on hand in my pantry. When cooking with pumpkin you can, of course, make your own blend of spices, but I really like the simplicity of buying "Pumpkin Pie Spice" and it's something I always have on hand as well.

Shockingly, some people proclaim themselves not to be "dessert people" (scary, I know). I've found, though, that this "old favorite" is something that even people who don't normally indulge in desserts will absolutely love. These yummy bars include both white chocolate pieces and butterscotch chips to create a gooey, caramel taste within the pumpkin bar. The recipe is from Annie's Eats, a fantastic blogger that I follow.

These bars are light, fluffy, and full of flavor which make them popular with both adults and kids. My friend Emily loves these bars and her five-year old son Mateo has requested I make some more!

This is definitely a recipe that I keep at the beginning of my recipe book because it never gets old. I'll continue to make this recipe even with all the new things I am baking!

My "new favorite" is a dessert I've been thinking about non-stop since I made it for a cook-out recently. I'm constantly asking myself when the next occasion is so I can make it. (Even if there isn't an occasion, I'm considering making one for myself!) This cake is different because it is made entirely in the food processor in order to completely combine the almond paste. This cake also contains some more expensive ingredients (almost paste, almond extract, etc.) but it is well worth it! The recipe is from David Lebovitz.

Almond paste is similar to marzipan in taste and the way it looks. This cake is moist and incredibly flavorful. All is needs is some powdered sugar on top and the cake has enough flavor on its own.

It's also a cake that stays yummy for days after you make it if you keep it in the fridge. I enjoyed some of it with coffee during the week. I'm always searching for something a little different to make and this cake is a winner.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs!

By: Christine
I was looking for something to make for a family party and I was going through some cookbooks trying to find something different and creative to bring. I knew ahead of time that there was going to be lots of wonderful Italian food being served at this party and I wanted to make something that went along with the food theme.

Spaghetti and meatballs are a delicious Italian entrée and I wanted to make something that resembles this wonderful dish!

I was given, for my birthday, two amazing cookbooks/ cupcake idea books called “Hello Cupcake” and “What’s New Cupcake” and this is where I found the idea for the spaghetti and meatballs cupcakes.

I started out with one dozen yellow cupcakes

I tinted white Buttercream frosting a spaghetti color (brown/yellow) and piped it onto the cupcakes in a random pattern. This created the spaghetti base for the “entrée.”

Using strawberry jelly as the sauce, I piped a circle on top of the “spaghetti.”

Ferraro Rocher candies were used as the meatballs and they were rolled in the jelly to cover them in the “sauce.”

Spaghetti and meatballs are not complete without a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese so, using white chocolate, I added the “grated cheese”

These cupcakes were so much fun to make and they were enjoyed by everyone at the party!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Seashell Cake for Mom

By: Jill
For my mom's birthday, I made a cake from her favorite combination: chocolate and raspberry.
After search going searching through numerous recipes, I found one that I wanted to try. I decided to use this recipe from RecipeZaar. I choose it because my mother loves dark chocolate and the recipe called for melted dark chocolate to create a more brownie-like consistency to the cake.

The frosting was absolutely amazing! I had never made a chocolate cream cheese frosting before and it was creamy and easy to spread.

Because the birthday party was taking place at my parent's house on the Cape, I gave it a sea shell theme. I made chocolate sea shells from a mold and placed them on the top of the cake.

The finished cake ready to be cut! I loved the rich chocolate flavor of the cake combined with the sweet raspberry filling in the center and the chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oreo Fudge Brownies!

By: Christine
For a family party, I decided that I wanted to make brownies. I wanted to add a few things on top of my basic brownies to create something new and delicious.

I baked my usual brownie recipe, allowed the brownies to cool, and then I spread chocolate fudge frosting on top.

I crushed up some Oreo cookies.

Spinkled the Oreos on top!

Then, I made a glaze that I drizzled all over the top.

I cut the brownies in 1 inch squares and placed them into cupcake liners to create easy to grab treats for the party!