Tag Archives: dessert

Chocolate Marshmallow Mousse. It’s real and it’s beautiful.

All right, menfolk.  This post is for you.  Not because I think you’ll like it (I do) and not because I thought, you know, I should really reach out to the men who read this site (I didn’t) and not because I’m hoping that by doing you this favor, you’ll repay me by moving some furniture (seriously, I need to buy a new bed).  No, no.  I’m doing you this favor out of the kindness of my own heart.  And if you happen to be around when I’m moving a new bed in, well…that’s just random.  Entirely random.

But pay close attention to this post.  Because you need to learn to make this dish.  This dish is your “get out of man-jail free” card.  It is easy to make, it looks impressive, it is delicious and it’s so chocolaty I think I might die just thinking about it.  Your significant other will adore you for it—girlfriend, boyfriend, real doll, doesn’t matter.  Seriously.  Well I’m not serious about the Real Doll.  But maybe you are.  Who am I to judge?  The point is, this dessert is your chance to be the Old Spice Guy.

I should make a note here—I ran out of milk yesteryday.  So where it says “3/4 cup of milk,” I actually used cream.  It made it extremely rich and delicious, but if you don’t want the insides of your partner’s body to turn into molten rivers of chocolate and fat, you might want to stick with the milk.  I also topped mine with grated chocolate because I like extra chocolate on my chocolate.  Continue reading

200th Post! Homemade Snickers Bars

Oh yeah, we’ve hit the big time here.  That’s right, this is my 200th post on this blog.  200 entries of deliciousness, tastiness, snarkiness and about 1,322.57 other -nesses that need not be named.  I had to prepare something special for this momentous occasion.  I decided to make something that covered all the bases: included chocolate and caramel, wasn’t something you’d generally think of making on your own, had a few different steps but wasn’t overly complicated.  Snickers bars.

You can think our friend Jeff for this.  At some point, Jeff got the bright idea that if he just posted a recipe to my facebook page, I would then make it for him.  It was a risky gamble.  Actually, not that risky.  He was pretty much right.  As I’ve proven here.  Anyway, he posted a link to this recipe for snickers bars.  I was intrigued.  I like making my own candy–I mean, so far I’ve done mints, peanut butter cups, chocolate and turtles.  But I’d never made nougat before.  Or as complicated a candy as a Snickers bar.  And I love Snickers bars.  I love anything that includes chocolate, caramel and nuts.  So I gave it a go. Continue reading

Pie in the Sky

The best kind of pie is one that I'm eating.

There are two kinds of people in the world: pie people and cake people.  I am one of the latter.  Josh is one of the former.  They do say that opposites attract.  Anyway, I have not done much pie-making in my life (though I occasionally make things for pi).  I chalk this up to two things: one, my status as a “cake person,” and two, the cancellation of ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” which deprived me of my inspiration to produce top-quality pies (if you watched the show, you’d understand).

However, when Jen Haines of A2EatWrite fame—and a fellow member of the illustrious Michigan Lady Food Bloggers Group–sent out a message about needing pie donations for a pie-sale fundraiser for Ann Arbor’s Community High, I figured…this is a good excuse to try out some pie recipes. I sifted through my giant Evernote recipe file (701 recipes now) and my Stumble Upon favorites for a couple suitable recipes.  I ended up decided on a chocolate chip cookie pie from Bakerella and–at Josh’s request–a variation of a pumpkin pie with streusel topping, recipe below.  As I am not a fan of what I consider to essentially be a “squash pie,” I had to rely on the kindness opinions of strangers people I’ve known for years.  They said, “Om nom nom…yummy.”  That’s a paraphrase.  There were actually five more noms than that.

In the interest of full disclosure, I thought I would use this opportunity to begin learning how to make pie crust.  Like from scratch, not from the Pillsbury box.  That didn’t happen though.  Between work, lack of sleep, 3 pies to make and a feast to prepare for the next day, I ran out of time and energy.  Oh, oh…and the fact that since we moved, I have not been able to find my measuring spoons, rolling pin or various other baking necessities.  So…yes.  I cheated on the crust.  But I made up for it with this witty blog post…right? Continue reading

My superquick, super delish v-day dessert

Take a package of chocolate shortcakes…

…add  generous scoops of ice cream–your fave.  I used Calder’s chocolate chunk chocolate.

Mix in 4 marshmallows into a pot of homemade chocolate ganache over low heat and stir until the marshmallows are mostly melted and incorporated.

Top with something crunchy–toasted walnuts or almond slivers, salty roasted peanuts, coconut, graham crackers…more chocolate!


Hello. My name is Lauren and I’m addicted to cookies

Cookies Anonymous 12 Step Program:

  1. Admit that you are powerless in the face of your sweet tooth.
  2. Come to believe that a Cookie can restore (what’s left of) your sanity.
  3. Make a decision to turn your life over to Cookie.
  4. Make a fearless gastronomical inventory of your stomach.
  5. Admit to Cookie that you have wronged the Cookie.
  6. Be ready to rid yourself of culinary defects, like tasteless health food and store-bought cookies.
  7. Ask Cookie to remove your shortenings—er, shortcomings.
  8. Make a list of all the Cookies you have harmed and be willing to make amaretti.
  9. Make amaretti whenever possible.
  10. Continue to take gastronomical inventory.  Stock up on flour and butter.
  11. Seek to improve your conscious contact with Cookie, praying for the knowledge of Cookie’s will for us and the power to carry it out.
  12. Have a scrumptious awakening, carry this message to other addicts.  Bake, eat and be merry. Continue reading

Apri-can: Apricot Crumbcake

I found a recipe in Cooking Light for Strawberry Jam Crumb Cake.  It just sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?  It looks pretty good too.  I have the week off and you know I can’t go more than a few hours without getting bored and baking something.  My immediate thought was to make cookies, and then brownies, and then I thought that maybe I should try and wean myself just a little bit off my dependence on the black gold that is chocolate and try something new.  And I’ve never made a crumb cake before (as least, I don’t think so, and if I ever did, I guess it was so terrible that I blocked it out) so I figured, why not?

Of course, I didn’t have any strawberry jam because what fun is baking if you actually have all the ingredients you need?  I did have apricot preserves, though, since I’d needed it for my spicy apricot chicken.  Works for me. Continue reading

Georgie Porgie Pudding and…well, really just pudding, I guess

Josh likes pudding.  And I like chocolate.  So chocolate pudding is a nice compromise for the both of us.  Plus, it was great to make this as a trial run since I’m sure I’m going to have to make it again at the end of the week….since Josh is getting his wisdom teeth out.  All four of them.  At once.

Chocolate pudding is the least I can do.

Well, no, bringing him home and leaving him on the couch to wallow in pain medication is the least I can do.  But then what kind of wife would I be?  And then there’d be no pudding. Continue reading

The UnBaked

I know what you’re thinking: oh geez.  Here we go again.  Yet another post where she tells us about how she hates to bake but then bakes (delicious, delectable, decadent) desserts anyway.  I just can’t take it anymore.  I just can’t handle this gastronomical rollercoaster!

Well, never fear.  Because this time it’s different.  I promise.  I’ve changed.  I’m a new person.  And I’ve done that for you.  I promise that I will be everything a baking-hating person should be.  In fact, not only do I hate baking but I, in fact, did not bake last night.

Oh sure, I mean, there’s an image of a deliciously rich dessert attached to this post.  But I didn’t bake it.  Honest.  Would I lie to you?  I told you, I’m a whole new person.  No baking and I mean it.  These bars are actually unbaked.  For all you Twilight fans, that means this dish is like the Edward of the dessert world.  But healthier looking. Continue reading

Cinnamon Chocolate Bundt Cake: So Easy a Caveman Could Do It

My love of chocolate, as you know, knows no bounds.  This is a super easy and very fast recipe for a chocolate bundt cake, although I actually made a regular cake because I have a bundt cake pan but my bundt cake pan is…um…a castle.  Yeah.  So it seemed a bit…grand….for this.  But don’t fear: while this is a small cake, comparatively, it’s big on flavor and happiness.  Delicious delicious happiness.

Cinnamon Chocolate Cake
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. soft butter
2 large egg whites plus 1 large egg
1/2 c. lowfat milk
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp chocolate extract (or use vanilla if you can’t find chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat butter and sugar together; add eggs one at a time, then chocolate extract, cinnamon and milk.  Add in the flour, baking soda, salt and unsweetened cocoa.  Mix until well blended.  Spray a bundt pan or 9″ round pan with cooking spray.  Fold batter into the pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven.

Top with chocolate ganache.  Eat.  Smile.  Be happy.  Share.

Chocolate ganache is like an angel in edible chocolate food form

I got a bit bored tonight and as usual when I’m bored, I started itching to bake something.  I was too lazy to go to the store, though, so I had to make do with what I had in my kitchen.  Not enough butter for cookies (shock and awe!).  Not enough cocoa powder or unsweetenened chocolate for cake.  No dried fruit for bars.  No cream cheese for frosting.  No chocolate bars for les petit pains.  No yeast for bread.  Clearly I need to go shopping.  Okay, so what did I have besides a messy, empty kitchen?  Semisweet chocolate chips (it will be a dark forsaken day when I don’t have a bag of these in my fridge.  I buy them in bulk from By the Pound), a stick and a half of butter.  Flour.  Sugar.  Chocolate extract.  Milk.  Eggs.  Salt.  That was pretty much it.  However, lucky for me that’s just enough to make my usual brownies and a nice ganache topping.

I heart ganache.  If you’ve read my blog before, you know that in addition to my amazing culinary skill and incredible wit, I have a lot of scientifically supported, rational opinions on food (fish is icky, tomatoes are squishy, recipes are guidelines, good barbecue takes at least three days, white chocolate is an abomination against God, etc and so on).  You can add a new one to my list of completely indisputable* positions: frosting has no place on a brownie.  But you can smother that sucker in all the ganache you want and it is nothing short of heaven on earth. Continue reading

My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard

I want you to read this next part as if you were William Shatner:

My.  Milkshake brings.  All the boys. To. The. Yard.
And they’re like.  It’s better.  Than yours.
Damn.  Right.  It’s better.  Than yours.
I can.  Teach you.  But I.  Have. To. Charge.

And the charge for this, of course, is that I do actually expect you to read that part above like William Shatner.  Bonus points if you do it out loud.  And then you will have truly earned this milkshake knowledge that I am about to drop on you. Continue reading

Night of the Day of the Dawn of the 28 Days of Zombieland Cupcakes

According to a super-scientific quiz on Facebook, I am well prepared for the inevitable (Inewitable!) zombie apocalypse and will survive for at least a month, probably more.  And you know why that is?  Because I watch my zombie movies.  I will even admit to seeing Zombieland twice in the theaters.  What can I say?  I have a thing for watching Woody Harrelson kill zombies.  Between that and my numerous viewings of Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead and many others, I know the rules of surviving a zombie horde: don’t get attached, don’t get eaten, don’t go in the basement or upstairs, to defeat the zombie you have to remove the head or destroy the brain and of course, rule number one: cardio.

Thankfully, all you’ll need to defeat these zombie cupcakes with is a hearty appetite.  And maybe a pitchfork.  Or a regular fork.  These cupcakes were originally done by the Sweetest Kitchen and after I saw them, I figured—hey!  That’s a cute cupcake trick that I can actually do!  My friend Lindsay can decorate awesome cupcakes.  Me?  Not so much.  I’m a pretty good cook and an okay baker but decorating?  Not so much.  I lack the artistic talent to do anything beyond rudimentary.  So I was very excited to find these cupcakes because not only do I have an obvious, alarming and awesome affinity for zombies, but these are a tasty, fun and festive way to celebrate Halloween. Continue reading

Apricot and cinnamon are totally going together but don’t want anyone to know

So an apricot walks into a bar.  Which would be funny if it weren’t so terribly sad, seeing that alcoholism runs rampant in the apricot population.  It’s an epidemic.  You can do your part to help quell this senseless march towards destruction by donating your dried apricots to a nobel cause: baked goods.

I love dates.  I don’t get them often but they’re always nice.  Oh, and the fruit too.  The fruit is good.  And I like to make date bars.  Delicious, sweet, chewy.  However, today I had a bag of dried apricots I purchased awhile ago and I figured, why not substitute them in place of dates in the bar recipe?

So I did. These bars are extremely easy to make, and fairly quick too.  They’re also sweet, chewy and utterly delicious, with a nice crunchy crust.  Oh, and alcohol free. Continue reading

brownies. that’s about all i need to say.

I had difficulty committing to Brownies.

Not the delicious, gooey, chocolatey dessert.  But the group–you know, kind of like kindergarten for Girl Scouts.  I joined Brownies three times in elementary school.  And I quit Brownies early three times.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the group.  A lot of my friends were in it, and they were cool.  But the group did crazy things, like sit out at an Eastern Michigan Football game in freaking November.  Do you know how cold Michigan gets in November?  Do you know how cold metal football stadium seats get in November?  Also, they wanted me to sell cookies.  I don’t sell things.  I also lived in a bad neighborhood and am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been allowed to go door-to-door.  And they made me wear a brown uniform that was pretty much a skirt, a vest and a sash.  I don’t wear skirts.  I didn’t then, I definitely don’t now.  But mostly I quit for one reason in particular: the meetings were almost always on Friday afternoons, right after school and dude, I was missing Duck Tales.  That was not acceptable.  And in fact, to this day, I think I made the right decision.  After all, my obsession with pop culture, television, animation and movies turned me into the girl I am today and provided the platform for my current interests and career.

But while I couldn’t quite commit to Brownies, I can totally without a doubt commit to brownies.  Not quite to the level of love and adoration I have for cookies but still an admirable level of devotion. Continue reading

Tirami-sumofdat chocolate tiramisu

So awhile ago I got another email from the POM Wonderful people asking if I’d like to try out their new line of POMx iced coffees.  Um, of course I would.  Not because I drink coffee.  Because I don’t.  Which is odd because I’m pretty sure my office is about this (–) close to digging an underground tunnel straight to Starbucks for those every-three-hour coffee urges.  So I mostly took the offer for them, because they love coffee, and they’d love to try this stuff and most importantly, to see what I could make out of it.

In a brief bit of exposition (insert Morgan Freeman voiceover here), POMx iced coffee doesn’t actually taste like pomegranates (which kind of made me a little sad…I mean, how interesting would pomegranate coffee be?  People drink pumpkin coffee.  I suppose if you’re really interested, you can try making some pomegranate syrup and adding it to your morning latte), but does contain the very powerful antioxidants that come from pomegranates.  So you get your caffeine boost and antioxidants to boost.  If modern medicine journalism and my incredible powers of premonition* are correct, if you drink enough of this stuff, you will live forever.  Or at least until that super volcano under Montana blows. Continue reading

Vanilla cupcakes with roasted banana frosting

I tried to think of a witty headline for this one but failed.  Sorry.

I wanted to make Josh something for dessert.  Josh loves bananas.  I considered doing another batch of roasted banana bars but wanted something new.  And simple.  And easy.  And cakey.  And Josh loves cupcakes.  So…well, that was that.  However instead of putting the banana in the cupcake, I thought I’d try putting it into the frosting instead.

Because that works, right? Continue reading

Two ways from sundae: pomegranate and chocolate

This is going to be a short post.

I just had to share it with you.

First, a layer of French vanilla ice cream.

Then some pomegranate glaze (leftover from cheesecake!).

Then more ice cream.

Then a heaping spoonful of chocolate sauce (I use melted chocolate plus a bit of milk).

More ice cream.

Then pomegranate and chocolate together.

Sprinkle with nuts.

Stare at it.

Eat it.


Poms Away, Vol. 2: the Cheesecake Chronicles

So I continued my Adventures in Pomegranates tonight, using up more of the juice shipment I got from Pom Wonderful.

As you might recall, the last time we saw our intrepid heroine (uh, me), she had just conquered pomegranate molasses and used said molasses in creating homemade pomegranate barbecue sauce.  Now join us for the next installment of this thrilling storyline as our heroine strives to harness the power of the pomegranate for good, or for awesome.

Speaking of awesome, cheesecake.  Cheesecake.  Yeah.

I wanted to create a dessert with the pomegranate juice and while the idea of converting my current strawberry tiramisu recipe into a pomegranate one was bandied about, I instead decided to make a pomegranate glaze.  And the perfect conveyance for that glaze?  Cheesecake.  Delicious, delicious citrus cheesecake.

Now, granted, it didn’t come out quite the way I intended much at all, the cake part anyway, but that was mostly due to my own tiredness and inattention.  Having made the cheesecake before though, I can indeed vouch that the flavors are fantastic.   The citrus and vanilla really come through, and that pairs well with the sweetness of the pomegranate.  A bit of unsweetened whipped cream could pull it all together nicely. Continue reading

Chocolate chip (and pumpkin spice) cookies: best in the world?

We report, you decide.

So I know I keep saying that I hate to bake, and yet I keep baking things.  I really don’t like baking.  But I really do like baked goods.  And last night, I was bored.  Boredom + want dessert = make cookies.  Cookies are my favorite baked good of all time.  And after I spent a long summer testing out a bazillion different methods and recipes, I finally nailed down a perfect basic chocolate chip cookie.  I can churn out a batch in an hour.  I have this down pat.  And when the method is followed correctly, it makes perfect, round, soft, moist little cookies.  In fact, I actually make all sorts of cookies with it.  The base is a great delivery mechanism for all sorts of add-ins but chocolate chips are my favorite.

However, this time I thought I’d do something a bit different.  Not drastic, but different.  I said to myself, how about you throw in a little bit of cinnamon, since it is fall after all.  And then other me said, hell, why not just toss in some pumpkin pie spice?  It has everything.  It’ll work.  Trust me.  Then I thought, sure.  She looks legit.

So I did it.  Josh loved them.  And I have it on email record from several co-workers that they are “the best cookies I have ever made.”  And these people know their cookies.  So there you go.  Continue reading