Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=964

I’m going to be entirely honest when I say that mint-chocolate has never been one of my favorite combinations. I hardly ever grab an Andes mint when I’m leaving a restaurant and York Peppermint Patties don’t really thrill me. However, I can’t deny that mint-chocolate certainly is a classic dessert combo. With Girl Scouts selling Thin Mints all around me and an approaching St. Paddy’s Day calling for all green everything, you better believe I’m getting out those green sprinkles and whipping up something minty.

I made these cupcakes last week for one of my best friend’s birthdays. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be “surprised” with coconut cupcakes or mint chocolate cupcakes, and who am I to squash someone’s double dessert dreams? Coconut cupcakes are an old favorite of mine, and I threw those together pretty quickly. But mint-chocolate was a different story. I haven’t dabbled too much in the mint scene, but after grabbing a box of mint Oreos and taste-testing just one,  I knew it was time to give it a go.

The base of these cupcakes was made using my favorite chocolate fudge cake recipe. The cake is moist and chocolatey, and it pairs perfectly with almost any kind of frosting. Several drops of peppermint extract turn my classic chocolate buttercream frosting into a chocolate-mint frosting that is minty, cool, creamy and fudgy. They are topped off with a mint Oreo and some green sprinkles, and there you have it: mint-chocolate cupcake heaven. If you are a mint-skeptic like my naive self used to be, you have to give this recipe a try. 

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
For the Cupcakes
  1. 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  2. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  8. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  9. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  10. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting
  1. 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  2. 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  4. 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 tsp peppermint extract
  7. 12 mint Oreos (optional)
  8. sprinkles (optional)
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set this bowl aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, oil and vanilla until well-combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix for 30 seconds. Then, add in the buttermilk, and stir until just combined. The batter will be a little runny.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill the cupcake liners with batter. The cupcake liners should be between 1/2 and 3/4 of the way filled. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, or for about 2 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extra, and peppermint extract with the mixer on low. Beat on medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar if the frosting is too thin. Add in another tablespoon of cream if the batter is to thick. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt.
  2. Using a piping bag, pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate each cupcake with a mint Oreo and green sprinkles to add a festive flare if you'd like!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=954

It’s no secret that my favorite combination in the entire world is peanut butter and chocolate. If you didn’t know that about me, you probably haven’t been reading my blog for too long. I am mildly obsessed with peanut butter (and by “mildly”, I mean incredibly). Just last weekend I found an embarrassing amount of half-eaten jars of all different varieties. Creamy, chunky, natural, dark chocolate, whipped, etc. I swear they just kept coming out of the depths of my kitchen cabinet. Surprisingly, I found a way to use the remaining contents of almost all of the jars when I baked for Valentine’s Day a few days ago, but there was one almost-empty jar that endured my peanut butter purge. But, because I never make it too long without baking something with some good ole PB, it didn’t last for long. Thank you, muffins!

You might be a little surprised by the whole wheat in this recipe. I’m not exactly the most health-conscious of individuals when it comes to baking, and I don’t use whole wheat flour all too often. However, when I thought back to the alarming amount of McDonald’s that I consumed last night for dinner and the lack of exercise that I have engaged in lately, I thought I would use whole wheat in these muffins to at least give myself the illusion that these are healthy-ish. In reality, only a fraction of the flour used in this recipe is whole wheat, because let’s be real: it’s not very often that I will trade in taste for nutrition when it comes to dessert.

If you like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips, and you are a fan of treats that can double as both breakfast and dessert, you should get to making these. Like any muffin, I find that they are best served warm. If you really want to treat yourself, pop one in the toaster over, split it in half, and spread some butter on the inside of each half. Although your waistline might not thank me, your taste buds definitely well.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
19 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
19 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp butter, softened
  6. 2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
  7. 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup of milk (I used 2%)
  10. 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine both types of flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the milk and mix on medium for about 30 seconds. Slowly add the dry mixture to the mixing bowl, little by little, mixing on low until just combined. Finally, add the chocolate chips. The batter will be thick.
  4. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Add a sprinkle of chocolate chips on the top of each muffin, if desired. Bake the muffins at 425° F for 5 minutes, before lowering the oven to 350° F and baking for 12-15 more minutes. The muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted into the middle of each muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Blossoms

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=943

Each year for Thanksgiving when I am planning out the dessert menu for my family’s holiday feast, peanut butter blossoms are always at the top of the list. In addition to being one of the most classic holiday cookies, like ever, they also happen to my mom’s favorite cookie. Which is why when I was thinking about what Valentine’s Day confection to send my parents this year, I started to question why I only tend to make these cookies once a year. Not only are they really easy to make, but they are the perfect, classic, quintessential combination of chocolate and peanut butter. But, if these were going to be made for a Valentine’s Day treat, they would need something, anything really, to give ’em the V-day twist. Enter: Reese’s Hearts.

I’m totally convinced that weird-shaped Reese’s taste slightly better than the traditional peanut butter cup. There’s something about Reese’s Trees, Reese’s Eggs and Reese’s Hearts that gets me going even more than the regular ones, and that’s saying something. So when I thought about placing Reese’s Hearts in the middle of the peanut butter blossoms instead of the standard Hershey’s kiss, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Who would complain about an extra dose of peanut butter in an already wonderfully peanut-buttery cookie? Not this girl.

So, make these cookies for Valentine’s Day or make them just because. Make them for yourself, or make them to ship to your mom and dad. And, if you make them for mom and dad and you end up eating them all yourself, I swear I won’t tell. Those things happen. My point is, you need these peanut butter blossoms in your life one way or another, because it’s the season of love and cookies sure do make a great Valentine.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup of white sugar, divided
  3. 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  4. 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  9. 24 Reese's Hearts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly grease two baking sheets with non-stick spray. Set pans aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and 1/2 cup of the white sugar, until light and fluffy. Then, beat in the peanut butter, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Finally, mix in the baking sofa and flour until a soft, creamy dough forms.
  3. Using a rounded tablespoon, roll cookie dough balls into a bowl containing the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on the baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before placing one Reese's heart in the middle of each cookie.
  4. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/
PS: Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, keep an eye out for a sweet package in the mail!

Extra Fudgy Triple Chocolate Cookies

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=933

It’s really hard for me to stray from my all-time favorite cookie recipe. The Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe is basically my life blood. If I ever decide to get a tattoo, I think I would get that recipe inked across my shoulder blade to show my devotion. But today is not about the Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe. Today is about another kind of cookie that will delight any chocolate lover.

Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips were my old go-to whenever my parents would take me to Subway as a kid and I had to decide between chips or a cookie to go with my 6-inch turkey and cheese. It was always a tough decision, but in the battle between sweet vs. salty, sweet comes out victorious 150% of the time. However, these cookies are no Subway cookies. These cookies are thick, fudgy, and brownie-like. They are overflowing with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips to make for chocolate in every bite. Oh, and they’re massive. This cookie recipe could easily spit out 3-4 dozen cookies. But giant cookies just get me going, so I turned 36 small scoops of cookie dough into 12 enormous ones.  They’re quick to prepare (they require only one bowl!) and if you’re anything like me when it comes to the eating of desserts, I guarantee that they’ll be gone even faster. 

Extra Fudgy Triple Chocolate Cookies
Yields 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
16 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
16 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  2. 1 1/4 cups of sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1/2 cup of dark chocolate cocoa powder
  5. 2 1/4 cups of flour
  6. 1/4 tsp of salt
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  9. 2 cups of white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F and grease two baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed. Mix in the cocoa powder, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Then, add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the bowl. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute until well-incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the cookie dough onto your prepared sheets. I only put 6-7 cookies on each sheet because of their size. Bake for about 16 minutes if you like soft cookies, or 18 if you like them with a little crunch!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=913

fullsizerender-16

I made this cheesecake for my fiance’s birthday last weekend (and we are still recovering from the experience). A few weeks ago, he showed me a screenshot of a cookie dough cheesecake he had seen on Instagram, and I knew it was the perfect birthday cake to make for him. The cheesecake in the picture he found had globs of chocolate chip cookie dough mixed into a classic-style cheesecake, all sitting on top of a graham cracker crust. As I drooled over the Insta, I realized that there are only so many times a year that you can literally bake an entire batch of cookie dough into an already gluttonous cheesecake, and a birthday is one of those times.

I’m not going to lie, this recipe is slightly time consuming. Luckily, I had the week off from school for our October break (thank you school calendar gods), so I had plenty of time for some experimenting in the kitchen. First, I whipped up a batch of my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie dough. If you are looking to save some time, you can always buy some pre-made cookie dough (I won’t tell!) but I’m partial toward the classic recipe found on the back of Nestle chocolate chip bags. After making the cookie dough, I then put together a graham cracker crust, followed by the cheesecake batter in which I mixed the entire batch of cookie dough. Once the cheesecake was baked, I melted together some heavy cream and chocolate for a deep, rich ganache, and used the remaining heavy cream for a small portion of home made whipped cream. I told you this recipe was time consuming, but as they say, good things are worth the wait!

img_4567

The final product is a creamy, delicious, original cheesecake riddled with chunks of cookie dough. The cookie dough pieces near the top of the cake come out of the oven gooey and half-baked, and mini chocolate chips are laced throughout. The top of the cheesecake is covered with a thick layer of indulgent chocolate ganache, and pillows of freshly whipped cream line the perimeter, each topped with a chocolate chunk cookie.Thank god birthdays only comes one time a year; just writing about this cheesecake is making my pants feel tighter.  I better wrap this post up and get on with the recipe already.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
For the Cookie Dough
  1. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  5. 3/4 cup white sugar
  6. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Cheesecake
  1. 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  2. 3 tbsp sugar
  3. 1/3 cup of butter, melted
  4. 4 packages of 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. 4 eggs
For the Ganache
  1. 1 cup of heavy cream
  2. 9 oz dark chocolate chips
For the Whipped Cream
  1. 1 cup of heavy cream
  2. 2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
For the Cookie Dough
  1. Heat the oven to 325° F. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set this aside.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix in the vanilla, and then add the eggs, one at a time until well-combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, and then mix on medium-high speed until the dough is creamy and smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Then, roll the dough into teaspoon-sized balls and put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put the pan in the freezer and freeze until you are done making the cheesecake batter.
For the Cheesecake
  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbsp of sugar, and the melted butter together. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform cheesecake pan. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla extract until blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Mix until just blended, do not over-mix. Pour 1/3 of the batter over the crust. Then, take the cookie dough balls from the freezer and mix the balls with the remaining batter before pouring it in the pan.
  2. Bake the cheesecake for 55-minutes to 1 hour until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I like it best refrigerated overnight!)
For the Ganache
  1. Heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan on the stove until just boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the dark chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Remove the sides of the cheesecake pan and pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake, spreading it to the sides with the back of a spoon. If you want the cheesecake to drip over the sides, I suggest placing the cheesecake on a big cutting board so you don't make too much of a mess!
For the Whipped Cream
  1. Place the sugar and heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Beat with the whisk attachment on high, until the cream forms stiff peaks. Place dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake in whatever pattern you would like. Top with chocolate chunk cookies if you desire!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=903

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Last weekend we ventured downtown to Denver’s Oktoberfest, where I consumed sausages, giant soft pretzels, and of course, glass steins brimming with Oktoberfest brew. With the beginning of October finally in full swing, and Oktoberfest fun fresh on my mind, I decided that this weekend’s baking adventure should be Oktoberfest-themed. I’m going to be honest. It wasn’t until after I finished drizzling the chocolate on top of my German Chocolate Cake Cookies that I found out that German Chocolate Cake is neither Oktoberfest related, nor is it a dessert that even originally hails from Germany. In fact, German Chocolate Cake was invented in the United States by a man named Samuel German. Oh well. Dessert > Dessert Research.

These cookies really take the cake (pun 100% intended). Although I will admit that German Chocolate Cake has never been my favorite dessert, when I saw a recipe from Handle the Heat that combines the traditional-style cake with a chocolatey cookie, I knew I had to give it a shot. German chocolate cake has just bumped itself pretty high up there on my list of my top 1,000 favorite desserts. 

The double chocolate cookie is soft, chewy, and loaded with chocolate chips. The topping is sweet, coconutty, and gooey, with the occasional crunch of pecans. They are quite simply divine. If you’re in the mood for cookies and cake but you can’t make up your mind, give these a try.  Let’s face it: two desserts in one is never a bad decision. 

img_4306

Note: In the recipe card below, forgot to add the step where you sample the coconut-pecan topping by spoonful right out of the pan. This step is not optional.

German Chocolate Cake Cookies
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. Cookies
  2. 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  3. 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 stick of butter, softened
  6. 3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  7. 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1 large egg yolk
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
For the Topping
  1. 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  2. 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  3. 1 large egg yolk
  4. 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  7. 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  8. 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate, melted
For the cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set dry ingredients aside.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined. Add the egg, the egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. With the mixer on medium-low, incorporate the dry ingredients. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop the cookie dough into 24 rounded portions on the 2 baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies appear set. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 10-15 minutes.
For the topping
  1. In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolk, and butter. Cook, stirring frequently, on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The mixture will be thickened and bubbly. Removed from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Let the mixture cool until gooey and thickened. Then, spread evenly on top of the cooled cookies.
  2. Finally, put your chocolate mixture in a small plastic baggy with a corner snipped off to drizzle. Let the cookies set for a few more minutes before serving. Cookies can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge.
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Mom comes to Denver: A Weekend of Eats

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=896

Last weekend, my mom came to Denver, and it could not have been more perfect timing. A weekend full of retail therapy, restaurant therapy, and happy hour therapy was just what I needed after a chaotic week at work. Having not seen since her since early July, I knew that we were in for a fun-filled ladies’ weekend together. The week prior to her arrival, my mom had told me over the phone to find some fun places for us to wine and dine, and of course, I failed to decide on a single thing to do until she got here.  I had planned a midnight charcuterie for us to munch on when she got here late on Friday night, but we decided to save our appetites for the next morning, when we were faced with the decision of where to brunch.

I’ve probably said it before, but brunch is my all time favorite meal in the entire world. For brunch, you can have a  savory egg dish or meat-and-cheese filled breakfast burrito if that tickles your fancy at the moment. Or, you can choose a meal with more chocolate than any other ingredient, and no one looks at you funny. Ahhhhh….brunch. One day I hope to find a daily routine where I can brunch at my leisure. Overnight oats in my classroom as I scramble to pretend I have lessons planned each morning just doesn’t quite cut it for me.

I had been hearing about Snooze, an A.M. Eatery even before I got to Denver, but I hadn’t actually been there yet. In a city with thousands of restaurants, leave it to me to take my mom to a place she’s already brunched at. However, she didn’t complain as we walked up Snooze and saw people drinking spicy bloody Mary’s and fizzy mimosas outside on the patio on our gorgeous end-of-summer Saturday morning.

The pancake special listed on the display sign outside of Snooze immediately caught my eye. My mind was subconsciously made up before we even sat down. Black & White Tuxedo Pancakes, filled with dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, topped with a chocolate drizzle and creamy mascarpone may literally be the stuff my pancake dreams are made of. (Yes, I sometimes have pancake dreams.) The three massive pancakes sat in a pool of melted white chocolate that I scooped up with every bite. I don’t even think I used syrup on these babies. No side of bacon necessary.

Black & White Tuxedo Pancakes

My mom enjoyed her egg-hollandaise-avocado-arugula sandwich as well, but she couldn’t help herself in assisting me to finish off the plate of pancakes sitting in front of me. Snooze, I will be back for more.

The rest of the weekend was just as fun as our Saturday brunch. We shopped, we laughed, we relaxed, we happy houred and more. On Sunday, we even made it to the Highland’s Square Farmers Market, where the dog had lots of fun sniffing the butts of the locals, and we had fun deciding what to purchase. I ended up buying an interesting iced coffee drink made with black tea chai concentrate and we both bought pastries made by Izzio’s Bakery. She chose blueberry, and I chose chocolate chip (*shocker*), and they were both delicious. I was pretty sad when I realized that the Farmer’s Market will only be setting up shop up the road from me a couple more weekends until the Spring, but I probably don’t really need delicious chocolate chip scones to be available for me to purchase all that often anyway.

img_4140

On my mom’s last evening in Denver, with my fiancé back in town, we happened upon an adorable Italian restaurant called the Odyssey. And when I say that we “happened upon” it, I really mean that we spent 45 minutes on Yelp and Eater and every other Denver restaurant review site until we found one that was highly rated, well-reviewed, and had extensive pasta menu. I definitely didn’t realize I that take Italian food so seriously. We knew we made the right choice when we walked into a beautiful old brick building, with dimmed, soothing lighting and roses overflowing from glass vases throughout the restaurant. The servers were excellent, the food was even better, and at that point we had drunk enough Chianti that it didn’t even matter. My mom’s last evening in town was a blast, and we’ve been enjoying bites of leftovers from that meal all week.

My weekend with my mother was a weekend filled with so much love and lots of deliciousness, and that’s just the way I like it.

Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=886

It’s always exciting to have visitors here in Denver, as being away from friends and family has certainly been the hardest adjustment about moving across the country. Lucky for us, we’ve already had a small handful of family and friends visit us here, and this week has been no exception. Our visitor of the week, (let’s call him Bird), has been talking about finding a brownie sundae here in Denver since the first night he got here. I’m more than ashamed of the fact that I haven’t taken him up the road to our favorite ice cream place, Sweet Cow, to meet the needs of his sweet tooth. However, when I was deciding what to bake yesterday for our belated housewarming party, Bird’s unrelenting brownie cravings made my decision pretty easy.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Dark Chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting. The name of this dessert itself is just as complex as the brownie itself. A rich, fudgy, dense brownie sits underneath a layer of creamy, whipped, peanut butter buttercream frosting. Topped with Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, mini chocolate chips and pretzels, these brownies are the perfect salty-sweet treat to celebrate Labor Day, AKA the official end of bikini season. Don’t worry, your white pants probably won’t even fit you anymore after consuming one of these things.

The brownie layer is made from my favorite, one-bowl brownie recipe. The frosting is a simple peanut butter buttercream that you’ll be tempted to eat by the spoonful. And although the toppings may seem a little extravagant, you will not be sorry about the peanut-butter-cup-pretzel-chocolate-chip combo. Try these out for your Labor Day festivities or make them “just because”. I’ve never been one to need an excuse to make dessert anyway.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Write a review
Print
For the Brownies
  1. 3/4 cup (12 tbsp) of unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 cup of flour
  4. 3/4 cup of dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Frosting
  1. 5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  3. 1 cup of confectioner's sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2-3 tbsp milk (any kind)
Topping
  1. about 20 mini pretzels
  2. 1 cup mini Reese's Cups
  3. 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Brownies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a 9x9 square pan with tinfoil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Wait momentarily as to not scramble the eggs. Add in the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and eggs. Mix with an electric mixer of by hand until well-combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.
For the Frosting
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and peanut butter together for 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Then, add in the powdered sugar (the mixture will be thick). Add in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you have reached your desired consistency.
  2. Top the brownies with the mini pretzels, peanut butter cups, and chocolate chips. Enjoy!
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=877

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Even though cupcakes aren’t necessarily my favorite dessert to eat (because, well, ice cream exists), I have come to realize that they are by far one of my favorite things to bake. I get overly excited about piping bags and frosting tips, food coloring and sprinkles. When it came time to decide which essential items I was going to be bringing across the country on our move, you better believe my cupcake supplies box made the list. I even made room for it in my car by throwing out my printer. *Priorities*

I made these chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes for my brother and sister-in-law’s going away party this past weekend. They are about to embark on a round-the-world trip and they wanted to throw one last bash before they take off. Although it’s extremely unfortunate that they’re leaving Colorado just as we arrived, I’m incredibly excited for them- it’s a once in a life time opportunity and they’ll be back in Denver before we know it. And, at least we’ll be able to follow along on their travels on their blog, Abroad Direction.

Anyway, back to the cupcakes. I’m going to be honest. I made up this frosting recipe as I went, adding a little of this and a little of that, and I was nervous that it would come out too sweet. Based on the fact that the cupcakes were gone within minutes of me putting them out, I’d say they came out a-OK. I enjoyed coyly smiling from the corner of the party as I watched people wandering around after a few beers, stuffing cupcakes in their mouths asking who made them. Muahahaha. That would be me.

C

These cupcakes have a dark chocolate base, and are topped with a swirl of cookie dough flavored frosting and mini chocolate chips. The cake is decadent, the frosting is sweet, and the chocolate chips are the perfect crunchy topper. I hope you enjoy my latest cupcake endeavor!

FullSizeRender 11

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the Cake
  1. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 cup of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
  6. 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) butter, softened
  7. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 cup + 2 tbsp milk (I used plain almond milk- any kind would work)
  10. 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Frosting
  1. 2 sticks of butter, softened
  2. 1/3 cup of light brown sugar
  3. 2 cups of confectioner's sugar
  4. 1/4 cup flour
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 tbsp milk (you might need a little more depending on the consistency of the frosting)
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the over to 350° F. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder salt and cocoa. Set the dry ingredients aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Gradually add in the sugar, and beat for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. The add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the milk and the vanilla. With your butter mixture going at low speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk mixture. When the batter appears to be combined, scrape down the sides and beat for about 15 more seconds on medium-high speed. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely (about an hour) before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In your electric mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy on medium-high (about 3-5 minutes). Gradually add the powdered sugar and brown sugar with the mixer on low speed, and mix until well incorporated. Add in the flour and mix until combined. Then, add the vanilla and salt and beat for one more minute. Finally, add the milk, until the desired consistency is achieved.
  2. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and swirl on to frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle the top with mini chocolate chips and serve.
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/

Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Follow me!
Pinterest
INSTAGRAM
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/?p=863

Teaching in a middle school over the past couple of years, I often find myself trying to recall my own time in junior high. Part of me hopes that through this type of reflection, I can better understand the unusual, awkward experiences of my adolescent students. This jog down memory lane usually leads to a strong sense of relief that I can’t quite remember what middle school was like. I remember that I was placed on the Red Team in 7th grade, and that I was slightly obsessed with Avril Lavigne and Nelly, but that’s about it. I also think I wore glitter eyeshadow and studded belts for a time. I guess I hold on to the really important things.

There is one other really random thing that I remember about middle school, and that would be my daily breakfast. Each morning after getting dressed, crimping my hair, and trying to do something about my overgrown eyebrows, my sister and I would come downstairs to find a bag of assorted Big Y jumbo muffins sitting on the counter (Mom…you the best). We both always hoped for triple chocolate muffins as part of the selection, but were satisfied with cinnamon sugar, blueberry, or banana chocolate chip just the same. Yes, I was very aware that jumbo muffins are not at all a healthy breakfast. That’s why we always split them in half. 

Over the years, my sister and I both strayed away from daily muffin-eating once we realized that jumbo muffin halves are still an incredibly unhealthy choice for breakfast every single day. But that doesn’t mean that muffins aren’t still my favorite, favorite, favorite breakfast pastry. Is there anything better than a breakfast that doubles as a dessert? 

I still enjoy a triple chocolate chip muffin drizzled with fudge as much as my 12 year-old self, but banana chocolate chip is undoubtedly the kind of muffin that I adore the most. So, when I mozied into the kitchen this morning to make some coffee, and spotted the over-ripe bananas sitting on the counter just waiting to be mashed, I knew I had to break out the jumbo muffin pan. If you’ve ever tried my chocolate chip banana bread, these muffins will taste very familiar to you. They’re moist, dense, and crumbly, and chocolatey. I think you’ll just have to see for yourself.

FullSizeRender 10

PS: Emalie, I think you should fly out here right now and split one in half with me.

Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Yields 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup granulated sugar
  2. 4 oz (1 stick) of butter, softened
  3. 3 large, over-ripe bananas, mashed
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F and grease the cups of a jumbo muffin pan. Cream together the sugar and butter in an electric mixer. Beat in the mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and stir into the first mixture until just moistened. Fold in 1 cup of the dark chocolate chips until well-incorporated. Pour the batter into a jumbo muffin ban, dividing equally. Each muffin cup should be almost full. Bake the muffins for about 35 minutes, or until the muffin tops turn slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
All the Sweets http://www.allthesweetsandothereats.com/