Friday, May 25, 2012

Cosmic Brownies

Have you guys ever had Little Debbie's Cosmic Brownies before? Well apparently this recipe's meant to taste like Little Debbie's. I've had a Cosmic Brownie by Little Debbie and I must say this does not taste exactly like them but not far from them! 

This Brownie recipe is very rich, almost too rich for me. But none the less It's really good! Just make sure to cut a small slice and pour your self a glass of milk with these babies. I don't know about you but I love my brownies chilled in the fridge. I'm not into a warm brownies!

I thought this recipe was fun and easy to follow. Give it a try if you like rich chocolate, ganache and sprinkles! 

Cosmic Brownies 
Source: adapted from Elle's New England Kitchen, une Gaminedans la Cuisine

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (that's 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons milk (or cream) (used coconut milk)
2 large room temperature eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder (didn't use)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream (coconut milk)
7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (used semi-sweet & dark chocolate)
pinch of salt

mini stars (or anything tiny and edible that you have on hand)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray or grease a foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan; Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, melted butter, cream, eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder; Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Using a large rubber spatula, or a wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
Spread the batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. (Try not to over-bake.)
Remove the brownies from the oven place the pan onto a cooling rack.

While the brownies are cooling, prepare the ganache.

For the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate into a large, heatproof bowl.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to just a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and sprinkle with salt. Allow the chocolate to sit in the hot cream for about 3-5 minutes. Use a small whisk or spatula to stir the chocolate into the cream until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate has melted.

Pour the ganache over the semi-cool brownies. Use a small knife or an off-set spatula to spread the ganache over the entire pan of brownies.
Immediately sprinkle the ganache with your decoration of choice.
Refrigerate the brownies until they are completely cool, and the ganache has set.

Use a hot knife to slice the brownies into squares. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day & Coconut Macaroons!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mama's out there! & Happy Macaroon Day! Yes I know it's not National Coconut Macaroon Day, I just needed an excuse to bake them so I can eat them! haha 

These Coconut Macaroons are super tasty and easy to make. I just used the recipe that's on Baker's Angel Flake Coconut. It's right on the back of the bag. Really quick and easy, all you need is a few simple ingredient's to bake up these deliciously, moist babies. I used a medium size cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbsp) and 1 5/8 Mini Baking Cups. Don't they look cute?

 I'm super happy to be spending this Mother's Day with my one and only Mama Bear, Love you! I know my Mom will love these, cause she just loves coconut as much as me!

Coconut Macaroons
Prep: 15 Minutes plus cooling
Makes about 3 dozen or 18 servings, 2 cookies each

1 package (14 oz.) Baker's Angel Flake Coconut (5-1/3 cups)
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract

Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased and floured cookie sheets.

Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to wire racks. Cool completely. 


Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons:
Prepare and bake cookies as directed; cool. Melt 1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate as directed on package. Dip cookies halfway into chocolate; let excess chocolate dip off. Lat stand at room temperature or refrigerate on wax paper-lined tray 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

To celebrate my mom's birthday this year, I decided to bake something simple but delicious. So where do I go to find really good cake recipes? Sweetapolita of course! This is my second time baking a recipe off her site. The first were Vanilla {or Funfetti} Cupcakes {recipe here}, which were awesome! So when I read the post on this Fluffy Vanilla Cake, I just had to bake it! Oh boy was I glad!

 I have to say this was a fairly easy recipe to follow. The cake baked in just 22 minutes. I was surprised by that. If your planning on making this recipe do keep watch on not over baking this cake. I used a timer and set it for 20 minutes (like she states on her post).

This is a very delicious, light and fluffy cake. The Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting is oh so yummy! It's light but just sweet enough and the vanilla bean just makes it even better! You can make this frosting without the vanilla bean but I wanted the full experience, so I went and order some on Azamon {vanilla beans I used}. I used 9" Wilton Cake Pans. I also added candy pearls around the edges of this cake. Looks super pretty right?

Everyone who celebrated my mother's birthday with me really enjoyed this cake. Before you knew it, it was gone! I regretted not having a second piece but I'm planning on baking this recipe again for my boyfriends birthday, which is in a few days! Can't wait to have another piece yet again! ^_^

This is the yummiest Vanilla Cake I have ever had! Please visit Sweetapolita {recipe here} for a more in depth instructions on achieving this delicious cake and many others!


Fluffy Vanilla Cake
Yield: One 2-layer, 8-inch round cake

5 large egg whites (5 ounces/150 grams) at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk (180 mL/6 liquid ounces), at room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (9 grams)
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted (11 ounces/315 grams)
1 3/4 cups sugar (12 ounces/350 grams)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder (19.5 grams)
3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces/170 grams), at room temperature and cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans.

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.

Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh to ensure 2 even layers.

Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over bake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting
Source: Sweetapolita & Adapted from Donna Hay

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 grams/13 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 cups sifted (480 grams/1 lb + 1 ounce) confectioners’ sugar (icing, powdered)
3 tablespoons (45 mL) milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

Best used right away.

You can eliminate the vanilla bean and use a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.
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