Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

I wanted to find something light and spring-like for Easter dessert (in addition the the chocolate pudding cake!). This cake was originally from Cooking Light and it was wonderful. It was almost like a dense blueberry lemon muffin. Yum! I altered the icing/glaze....quite a bit. I actually have no idea what I did to come up with the end result. I tasted the lemon juice mixed with powdered sugar and honestly I thought it was awful. So I added some sugar.... still no good. Maybe some flour to thicken it up... nope. So, I googled a cream cheese frosting recipe and then added some of the lemon glaze (already significantly modified at this point) to that. It turned out really well! My suggestion would be to make a cream cheese frosting and add some lemon juice. You'd think I'd take more notice as to what I was doing since I knew I'd be posting this recipe!

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup lower in fat cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbs)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) carton non-fat lemon yogurt (I use vanilla if I don't have lemon on hand!)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
4 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl beat the sugar, butter and cream cheese at medium speed with a mixer until well blended (4-5 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a smaller bowl measure the 3 cups of flour. Remove 2 Tbs and sprinkle over the blueberries, gently stirring and tossing to coat. To the remaining flour add the baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, being careful not to over-mix. Gently, fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into a bunt pan coated (VERY coated!) with cooking spray. Sharply tap the pan once on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. (about one hour). Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from sides of the pan. Cool an additional 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool completely.

GLAZE (I did not use this and could not tell you how I made mine! Cream, powdered sugar and this icing were involved...)
Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Cake

The name accurately describes this dessert. It's gooey, but not quite pudding... but not enough to be just called cake. It was very chocolaty and not as much sweet. This was also a "healthier" recipe, supposedly. I saw quite a few recipe for Chocolate Pudding Cake and this definitely had less of the unhealthy ingredients (like lots of butter!). I was bringing this to my parents' for Easter and knew there would be perogies, mac & cheese, cauliflower casserole.... I had to keep the desserts not entirely bad for you! ;)

Adapted from:

All Purpose Flour - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Cocoa Powder - 1/2 cup, divided (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Low Fat 1% Milk - 1/2 cup
Canola Oil - 3 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 2/3 cup
Semisweet Chocolate Chips - 1/4 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Hot water - 1 1/4 cups


Boil 2 cups of water. Grease a round baking tray with a teaspoon of Canola Oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine white flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk and oil. Mix well and then spread out in prepared pan. (The original directions had you combine this in the same round baking tray. However, the canola oil stuck to all of the ingredients as I was mixing, then it was as if you didn't grease the bottom of the pan, so I wouldn't suggest this method.) Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Evenly sprinkle 1/4 cup of cocoa powder on top. Evenly sprinkle semisweet chocolate chips on top. Add hot water and vanilla in a measuring cup. Combine. Pour the hot liquid over the batter. DO NOT MIX! Carefully place this in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Mine baked for 30 minutes exactly.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

I was hesitant to try this recipe - spicy chocolate? Sure, anything chocolate can't be BAD, but I'm not big on spicy. I don't like the aftertaste it leaves in my mouth that ruins the taste of other foods. However, I've seen many recipes for cayenne brownies or cayenne cookies so I figured I'd try it out. If I gave bacon cookies a shot, I might as well try this too! They were awesome! So fudgy with a nice kick at the end. I had tasted the batter for the spicyness after adding the minimum amount of cayenne (1/2 tsp) and it didn't taste much different than regular brownie batter, so I went ahead and added the extra 1/4 tsp. Honestly, I could've added a little more (that is, if you like spice)....and that's a lot coming from me!

Adapted from: www.

For the brownies
1 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
12 Tbsp butter, cubed
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla

6 oz semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup whole milk


Preheat oven to 325. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13×9 pan. Whisk cake flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and in 30 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate has completely melted. Pour into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add sugar and mix on med-high until combined. Turn mixer to low and add 1 egg at a time and mix completely. Add vanilla. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for ~30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool ~15 minutes. Heat semisweet chocolate and milk in the microwave for 30 seconds and then in 15 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate has completely melted. Pour over brownies. Let cool completely before cutting.

Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

There wasn't a strong Nutella flavor to these cookies (maybe I should have added more..) but they were still very good. Thin and chewy...they almost tasted as if the weren't baked long enough. I like cookies like that better actually. I had made these as a back up to my Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies, which I didn't need to because they turned out awesome. I will post that recipe next.

Adapted from:

INGREDIENTS (Makes about 30 cookies)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup Nutella

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.

Using a mixer, cream butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add in white and brown sugar and cream until light and fluffy. About 3-4 minutes.

With mixer on low speed, add in the egg and vanilla. Then add the Nutella. Mix until well incorporated.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and mix until well combined.

Refrigerate dough for about 20- 30 minutes.

Scoop dough using cookie scoop, and spread about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 7-9 minutes, or 6-7 minutes if dough was not refrigerated.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made these for my husband's birthday back in February and they were delicious! Of course, I'm more of a chocolate fan, but these were really good. I had no idea what went into red velvet (vinegar, really?) so it was a good learning experience for me! The cream cheese frosting was very good also. I've made ones before that were a bit watery, but these were very easy to manage decorating (which I'm getting better at). And look - they match my family room. ;)

Adapted from:

Yields: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 20 minutes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

4 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.
2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.
5. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.
7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.