Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Easy Red Wine Brownies

Easy Red Wine Brownies


Easy, delicious and fudgy red wine brownies. The perfect Valentine's Day dessert idea, girl's night treat, or mid-week pick me up! You are going to love how seriously quick and simple this recipe is. Serve with ice cream and my red wine chocolate sauce for the ultimate wine-lovers dessert!

Whenever I do a poll on Instagram asking what recipes you'd like to see, recipes with red wine always make the list! And especially red wine and chocolate. So here we are! Deep, rich, delicious chocolate? Check! Full, deep and fruity wine flavor? Check!


I definitely wanted this red wine brownie recipe to have a noticeable red wine flavor. I mean otherwise, what's the point? So I have two great options for you:

1) Use port! Port is a naturally sweet, red fortified wine. If you love red wine, I'm going to guess that you'll also love port. Because it has a stronger flavor, more of that deliciousness comes through in the brownies. You can find port at your local grocery store in the wine section, and it is usually not expensive. I used this port from Maryhill Winery, since it's my current favorite!

2) Make a red wine reduction! If you'd rather use your favorite red wine, you can easily reduce it on the stove. This will help concentrate the flavors so that you really taste them in your brownies. It's super simple to do, and you can read about how I reduced red wine in this recipe for Merlot Chocolate Truffles. I'd recommend using any wine that usually pairs well with dark chocolate, such as Merlot, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon.


Brownie Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup port (or red wine reduction - see note above)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish, and line with parchment paper. I like to create an overhang of parchment paper for super easy removal.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, port, vanilla and eggs. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, stirring with a spatula until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Serve with ice cream and chocolate wine sauce! 

Chocolate Wine Sauce Ingredients: 

2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup port (or red wine reduction)

Chocolate Wine Sauce Directions: 

Combine the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in port, and serve immediately.




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Kirsten Bell
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Peach Bellini Cupcakes

Peach Bellini Cupcakes


Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've all been having a wonderful holiday season, and it's not over yet! New Years Eve is just a few days away, and I'm so excited to ring in a new decade!

These super easy peach bellini cupcakes are the perfect champagne inspired dessert for however you plan to celebrate! Whether it's with a full blown party or pajamas on the couch watching movies (that will be me!), you'll love these fun and festive cupcakes. Full of fresh fruity peach flavor, and topped with delicious champagne frosting, these are the perfect New Years treat.


Even thought these cupcakes are cocktail inspired, they actually don't have any alcohol in them and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike! The delicious fruity flavor comes from my new obsession: Amoretti Peach Compound. It tastes like real fresh peach, and flavors the cupcakes in a subtle and delicious way. Also it uses natural flavors and no high fructose corn syrup, which are both wins in my book! For the frosting I used Amoretti Champagne Extract for something extra fancy! 





Makes 12 standard cupcakes

Peach Cupcake Ingredients: 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon Amoretti Peach Compound
1/3 cup Sour Cream (or full-fat plain or peach yogurt)
1/4 cup buttermilk

Champagne Buttercream Ingredients: 

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Amoretti Champagne Extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream, if needed 

Cupcake Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar until combined. Add in the eggs, peach compound, sour cream and buttermilk and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated. Then add the flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin, filling the liners evenly to about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool before removing from liners.

Buttercream Directions: 

Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add champagne and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high, and mix about 2-3 minutes. Frost the cooled cupcakes, and serve!






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Kirsten Bell
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Gingerbread Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting


Do you love gingerbread? Me too! Spicy, moist and festive - this Gingerbread cake is all the delicious gingerbread flavors in cake form! The perfect dessert for Christmas dinners and New Years festivities. This cake is sure to become everyone's new favorite dessert, even for the busy cook since it takes just a few minutes to come together and is beautiful to present!

Also, I personally love semi-naked cakes! They're so quick and easy to frost, and especially when the cake is such a pretty color like this one, I love seeing the cake layers peeking through the cream cheese frosting!


The star player of this cake is the Brown Sugar Bourbon drizzled over each layer of cake, and in the cream cheese frosting! So warm and delicious, and a perfect way to elevate the cake for special occasions. The bourbon perfectly compliments the brown sugar and molasses flavors in this cake, and it's basically a dessert and nightcap in one!

If you enjoy bourbon, scroll to the bottom of this post for my other favorite bourbon recipes!





Cake Ingredients: 

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
 2 eggs
1 1/4 cups brewed coffee
1 cup molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar Bourbon (plus more for drizzling)

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease and line the bottoms of three 6" cake pans or two 8" cake pans. Set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through cloves, and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, molasses and coffee, mixing until combined. Your batter will look piecy at this stage, and that's ok! It will all come together in the next step.

Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing on low speed until just combined and making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl often.

 Evenly divide the cake batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low. Add the Brown Sugar Bourbon and mix until light and fluffy.

To assemble, drizzle 2-3 teaspoons of Brown Sugar Bourbon on the top of each dry cake layer, and then frost. Allow the bourbon to settle into the cake for a few hours before serving, and enjoy!



Love Bourbon as much as I do? Check out my other Bourbon recipes!




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Kirsten Bell
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Orange Cranberry Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Orange Cranberry Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


The first Christmas cake of the season! This is such a fun and festive holiday dessert, baked with fresh orange and cranberries! The cinnamon cream cheese frosting is the icing on the cake (ha!). The cinnamon flavor is subtle, and compliments the cake flavors so well. This cake is perfect for all of your holiday parties, so let's get baking!


The fresh cranberries baked into this cake are so pretty when it's sliced into, and are little bursts of bright flavor when you bite into them! Orange and cranberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations; last year I shared my Cranberry Orange Muffins, which are still going strong as a top recipe!



For a super easy decoration, I cut a few orange slices and covered some leftover fresh cranberries in sugar. It doesn't get more simple than that, and I love how pretty it looks!







Cake Ingredients:

 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
6 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 1/2 oranges
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh cranberries

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degress F, and grease and line three 6" cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour through salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the orange zest and juice, and mix until all ingredients are just incorporated. Stir in the chopped cranberries with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake for 33-36 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, and then use a knife to gently loosen the edges before inverting onto a cooling rack.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing until it's fully incorporated. Add the cinnamon and vanilla, and beat for a few minutes on medium-high speed.

Frost when the cakes are completely cooled. (I even prefer to frost cakes that have been refrigerated at least an hour.) Top with cranberries and orange slices, and serve!



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Kirsten Bell
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