Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
S'mores Cookies

S'mores Cookies


I have such fond memories of s'mores. As a kid my parents took us camping every summer, and s'mores were my favorite part! The gooier and messier the better. I can't wait to introduce Charlotte to s'mores this summer, but these s'mores cookies might be just as good! Melty chocolate, delicious marshmallows, and of course - graham crackers. No fire required!

If you love s'mores, be sure to also check out these:

S'mores Cupcakes with Smoked Chocolate Ganache



These cookies are so easy, which is good because they'll be gobbled up in a second! The dough needs to be refrigerated overnight, which means I can whip up a batch in 10 minutes one day, and bake the next! As a busy work-from-home mom, I find that pretty amazing!



Makes 18-22 medium cookies

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup chopped chocolate bar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped mini marshmallows

Directions:

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugars. dd the vanilla and egg to the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate, graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows. You may need to use your hands to form all the graham cracker into the dough.

Transfer the dough into a medium bowl, and cover well. I press plastic wrap directly onto the dough, and then I cover the bowl again with plastic wrap. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and form 12 heaping tablespoon size balls of dough per sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the edges are just beginning to brown.








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Kirsten Bell
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Traditional Carrot Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

Traditional Carrot Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting


Easter is just a week away, and I can't wait! All the egg hunts, Easter baskets, and yummy food await! This is the first year we're doing a real Easter egg hunt with Charlotte, and I'm so excited! When I think of traditional Easter desserts, the first thing I think of is carrot cake! This is a moist cake, with lots of spices, topped with delicious ginger cream cheese frosting.


It's amazing how much moisture there is in carrots and apples! Make sure you use fresh carrots, not pre-grated ones. If you buy them already grated, they'll be too dry. Believe me, I tried it! Plus it's really easy to grate carrots, so it's not worth paying a premium! 

The ginger in the cream cheese frosting is so good. Fresh ginger is beyond delicious, and really sets this carrot cake apart. You can of course omit it, but I promise you won't want to!




Cake Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups freshly grated carrot
1 apple, skinned and grated
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 

1 cup butter
16 oz cream cheese
5 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
8 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Directions: 

Grease and line the bottoms of three 6" cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through nutmeg. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time.

Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. Gently fold in the carrots, apple and pecans.

Distribute the batter between the three cake pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, followed by the vanilla and ginger. Beat until light and fluffy.












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Kirsten Bell
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Cadbury Egg Cake: Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Cadbury Egg Cake: Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting


My dad and I have always shared a love of salted caramel. That salty sweet combination is my favorite, and the creamy, buttery melt-in-your-mouth taste of good caramel is magic! Maybe the love of good caramel is hereditary, because my daughter has been choosing salted caramel ice cream lately! (Win, win because then I can steal a bite!)

I could seriously eat this salted caramel buttercream by the spoonful. It's soooo good, and combined with the rich and moist chocolate cake and chocolate ganache drip? Well let's just say you won't have anyone saying no to a second piece!

If you're looking for more Easter/Springtime inspiration, check out my blue and white brunch tablescape - a classic, simple and elevated table for any event! 


For this recipe, I'm using my favorite store-bought salted caramel sauce. You can totally make it on your own too, if you have a favorite recipe! I'm currently working on perfecting mine, and will update this post when it's done. Using a high quality caramel for the frosting is crucial. A lot of caramel sauces have pretty weak caramel taste, which we don't want. Go big or go home!


Cake Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup butter, softened (two sticks)
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Buttercream Ingredients: 

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
salt to taste
Optional garnish: Cadbury Caramel Eggs

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients: 

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of three 6" round cake pans. Set aside. 

In a small pan, heat the butter and water until the mixture is steaming and the butter is melted. Let cool. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through baking soda. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the butter mixture once cooled. Add the dry ingredients into the now combined wet ingredients in two batches. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and baked at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Salted Caramel Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Ganache Directions: 

Whip the butter and salted caramel sauce until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, and then add the vanilla extract and salt as needed. Spread the salted caramel buttercream between each cake layer and the outside of the cake. Put the cake in the fridge while you prepare the ganache.

For the ganache: Melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream together in a small bowl. Drip the ganache over the top of the cake, and garnish with Cadbury Caramel Eggs just before serving!








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Kirsten Bell
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Strawberry Basil Crostini

Strawberry Basil Crostini


One of my favorite meals of all time is just a table full of appetizers. It's such a fun way to get bites of a lot of different flavors, and everyone can decide how little (or how much!) they want to eat! A few weeks ago I shared super delicious Fig, Brie & Prosciutto Rolls, which are perfect for an appetizer party! And today's recipe are these seriously delicious Strawberry Basil Crostini. A perfect mix of sweet from the fruit and savory from the cheese, your guests will never want cocktail hour to end!


I'm so excited to serve these crostini at spring picnics, summer brunches and Mother's Day! Can I tell you a secret though - I'm not usually a fan of goat cheese. Or stronger cheeses in general. But in these, I'm obsessed. I use cream cheese mixed with the goat cheese to soften the flavor, and it's beyond delicious. With the strawberries and basil - total perfection! But honestly I also ate the leftovers it on its own with crackers!








Ingredients: 

1/2 half cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honeyA fresh baguette
4 oz herb and garlic goat cheese, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
12 strawberries, thinly sliced

Directions:

Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Allow to cool completely.

Combine the goat cheese and cream cheese in a medium bowl with a spatula. Slice the baguette, and toast in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes if you'd like the bread to be toasty, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Spread each piece of bread with a generous amount of the cheese, and top with the sliced strawberries and basil. Drizzle the balsamic blaze over each piece just before serving. 




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Kirsten Bell
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