Chocolate Pecan Pie

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Let’s get one thing straight about this pie, you will not want to share! I usually make this around the holidays with my mom and sisters, and we crank them out 4 at a time. And then gift them to our friends and family. Today, I was feeling extra cheery, or rather am getting used to not having homework to do, so decided… why not bake some chocolate pecan pies. They’re a treat for everyone. So tonight, on my relaxing Sunday afternoon/evening, I baked three chocolate pecan pies. One for my friend Hosana, we went grocery shopping together today, and I thought a pie at the office would be a nice Monday pick me up. The second pie I will bring to my grandmother’s for dessert tomorrow, and the third pie I’ll keep at home for my sister, myself and my roommates.

This chocolate pecan pie is so good you will not stop at just one slice. My family loves it when I make this for them. it’s a great combination of sweet and salty. I love to drizzle a little bit of semi sweet chocolate on top too, just to give it that extra chocolate-y loving. The recipe below is for one pie, although I usually bake two at a time if I am buying the frozen deep dish pie shells, since two come in one package.

 

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Baking Temp: 325

Baking Time:  45min – 1 hr

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup corn syrup

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

¼ cup of butter (½ stick)

Instructions:

First you want to add eggs to mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until frothy. Then add vanilla.

In a separate bowl melt chocolate and butter. I microwaved it for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, in 30 second increments to be sure the chocolate didn’t burn. Make sure the chocolate is cool before adding it to the eggs, you don’t want the high temperature of the chocolate to cook the eggs. Put this bowl to the side.

Next, add the sugar in with the eggs then add in salt and syrup. Mix together.

Last add in the chocolate and butter mixture, until all ingredients are combined. This does not take long, around 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t over mix the batter.

In your frozen pie shells, pour in 1 cup of pecans. Then add 1/2 cup of the batter on top of pecans. Add in the last 1/2 cup of pecans on top of batter. Then add another 1 to 1 1/2 cups of batter on top of the pecans.

The pie will cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. After the first thirty minutes of baking, remove pie and cover with aluminum foil, this will prevent the pie from burning on top.

Let cool for 20-30 minutes and then you can serve or save for later. No need to refrigerate.

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Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These cookies are just what any chocolate lover needs, decedent and delicious. I love baking cookies because they are so simple. The ingredients can easily be found in any regular baker’s pantry, and cookies are easily adapted by changing the type of chocolate chips or adding nuts or sprinkles. I was in the mood for something chocolate-y, plus tomorrow my family and I are going to be going to see Think Like A Man 2, and I wanted to make sure we had some homemade snacks to bring in addition to the popcorn! Also, when my family goes to the movies, we usually take up close to half or a whole row, depends on how many of us are going.

This cookie recipe was what I found on Pinterest, and I especially liked it because it used whole milk and no eggs. I needed to use up my milk that’s been in the fridge and had a little more than half a package of white chocolate chips in my pantry, so that’s particularly why I chose this recipe.

Here is the link to the recipeI found on Pinterest., and the only thing I did differently was I added in ½ cup of milk chocolate chips in addition to the 1 ½ cup of white chocolate chips.

Recipe adapted from Chez CateyLou blog – http://chezcateylou.com/2013/06/13/oreo-inspired-cookies-chewy-chocolate-white-chocolate-chip-cookies/

 

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Ingredients

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cocoa powder

½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

½ cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup whole milk

1 ½ cups white chocolate chips

½ cup milk chocolate chips

 

Instructions:

First you want to whisk together the flour, baking powder, sat and cocoa powder

Then in a separate mixing bowl beat butter until smooth and fluffy

Add sugars in with butter then mix in vanilla

Add in about half of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, then pour in the milk

Add the rest of the dry ingredients plus the chocolate chips until well incorporated

Chill dough in freezer for 15 minutes

Take out the freezer and scoop about 1 ½ tablespoon into your hand (I use coconut oil spray to grease the spoon I’m scooping with)

Put dough in your hands and roll into a ball, then put on cookie pan and press down, making it a round cookie shape

Bake at 325 degrees for 13 to 17 minutes.

Let cool for about 20 to 25 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

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Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Muffins

Brown Sugar Muffins - Final Pic

This recipe is so delicious; I could probably eat two or three muffins in one sitting. Not only is it delicious, it also requires just one mixng bowl! I love recipes that don’t require all these tools and baking gadgets. I made these babies for a few of my fellow graduating classmates who I appreciate and love so much for supporting me through my last two years at CSUEB. The day of graduation, all seniors had to be on campus at 7:30AM, and the ceremony didn’t start until 10:00AM. I knew we’d get hungry somewhere in between all the excitement. So, I decided to make graduation goodie bags for three of my friends. Included in the goodie bags were 4 Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Muffins, a mini bottle of champagne, a cute set of 3 nail files, and a compact mirror. The last two I got from Forever21, I spotted them while purchasing some other stuff for graduation and thought they’d work perfectly for fillers in the goodie bags.

These muffins are perfect for breakfast, or a mid day snack. Bake a bunch and bring them to the office, or to a family gathering. I think the touch of cinnamon and the dark chocolate chips really balance out the flavor. I like using only brown sugar because the muffins come out perfectly moist. You can also use any type of chocolate chips you want, I decided to use dark chocolate because I thought it would pair well with the cinnamon.

This recipe is adapted from Averie Cooks – Buttermilk Brown Sugar Caramel Muffins. Her recipe can be found here – http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/04/salted-caramel-buttermilk-brown-sugar-muffins.html

Brown Sugar Muffins - Close up giftBrown Sugar muffins - 4 muffins Brown Sugar Muffins - Gifts

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Muffins

Bake Time 20 minutes

Oven Temp 350 degrees

Ingredients:

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of salt

1 ½ to 2 cups of dark chocolate chips

 

Instructions:

Melt butter in microwave safe bowl for 1 minute

In a mixing bowl, add in buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk ingredients together.

Add melted butter in with the rest of the whisked ingredients.

Add brown sugar and continue to whisk. Then add in flour, dark chocolate chips, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix all ingredients together. Do not over mix the batter, just know it will be lumpy.

Pour batter into muffin pan, filling it ¾ of the way. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes. Use a toothpick or fork to poke through a muffin, if it comes out clean then the muffins are done.

Once you smell the amazing aroma of the cinnamon and dark chocolate, you will want to take a bite instantly. Let muffins cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from muffin pan to let them cool fully.            

Moist and Delicious Lemon Pound Cake

Hello readers! Lately I have been so busy preparing for graduation and knee deep in finals that i haven’t gotten a chance to post this recipe for lemon pound cake! Thursday was my last final and this course was taught by a professor who has helped me throughout my two years at CSUEB. He is one of my favorites in the communications department, and I wanted to thank him for everything. So, what better way to thank someone than to bake them something delicious! I came up with lemon pound cake because I’d been wanted to bake a pound cake for a while now. Then after browsing through Pintrest, I called my grandmother and asked her for a recipe. She instructed me to do the following and I must say the pound cake turned out perfect! When I delivered it to my professor, I opened it up to show him how good it looked, and you could smell the lovely scent of lemon. I wanted to cut a slice right then and there, but I refrained (of course). I sprinkled the cake with powdered sugar after it was cool.

Lemon Pound Cake - Whole Cake Lemon Pound Cake - Side View

 

Oven Temp: 350

Baking Time: 45 min to 1 hour

Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups sugar

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

½ cup shortening

5 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1 lemon zested

6 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Instructions

In mixing bowl cream butter and shorting until fluffy, then add in the sugar until creamy. Add in each egg one by one as you mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. This process should take about 10 minutes. Add in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix together.

In separate bowl mix dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt. In small increments add in flour to mixing bowl, and exchange between adding flour and milk. Mix until batter is nice and smooth.

Pour into batter into 2 loaf pans or 1 large bunt pant and bake at 350 degrees for 45minutes to 1 hour. Another known trick is to put a toothpick or fork into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Pineapple Banana Bread (made with coconut oil!)


 This recipe is so simple and easy to make, I love recipes that only require one mixing bowl. It is also different from you regular banana bread. The pineapple elevates the flavor and adds that extra sweetness to it. I baked the bread in one loaf pan and then with the remaining batter, I made a dozen muffins. I didn’t get to cut into the bread because it was a gift for my dear friend Valeria, who currently lives about 2 hours away.

Valeria has been a friend of mine since I was in 1st grade, we have known each other our whole childhood and grew up in the same small town. Since I was not able to attend her party, I sent up the bread, muffins and other treats with a friend who did go to the birthday soiree. When I got the phone call the next day about how happy she was with the gift and how the delicious everything was, I knew I did something right. Happy Birthday Valeria!

This recipe is from Averie Cooks, I love her blog! All the sweet treats you could think of! Link below.

http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/03/pineapple-coconut-oil-banana-bread.html

 

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 ¼ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

½ cup coconut oil (you can also use vegetable oil or butter)

A pinch of salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 ¼ cup of ripe smashed bananas (I used 3 medium sized bananas)

1 cup diced pineapples (canned pinepples)

Instructions:

In one large mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, buttermilk, eggs, sugars and vanilla. Whisk all ingredients.

Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and stir. Mix well enough so all ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix, or else the gluten will overdevelop and the bread will come out tough.

Stir in bananas. Before you stir in the pineapple make sure they are not carrying too much liquid. I squeezed the pineapple with my fingers to remove the excess liquid. Careful not to over mix the batter.

Use cooking spray (I use Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil spray) to coat the loaf pan. Then pour batter until loaf pan is a little over half way full. You can bake this using two loaf pans or bake one loaf and a dozen muffins. The muffins are also excellent! They are a yummy on the go breakfast when in a rush.

Preheat over to 350 degrees and bake the loaf for about 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

I baked the muffins for about 20 minutes at the same temperature.

Allow the bread to cool for about 20 minutes before removing from pan. I used a mix of powdered sugar and whole milk for the glaze. It was just to add a little extra sweetness.

Store in a airtight container or foil. Bread is delicious with tea, or coffee in the morning. Enjoy!

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes & Birthday Cake

June is a month filled with birthdays of my close friends. Saturday June 7th, is my dear friend Hosana’s 25th birthday. I decided to bake her a cake from scratch. She is amazing, but also super indecisive, so it seemed natural to bake a funfetti birthday cake! This was my first attempt, and boy, I can’t lie this recipe was time consuming. I was browsing Pinterest for recipes when I found a funfetti birthday cake recipe from blogger Brooklyn Homemaker. He went into SO much detail in his blog post that I could nowhere near try and explain each step as well as he did.

Here is the link to the Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe, which I followed word for word.

Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe by BrooklynHomemaker.com

http://brooklynhomemaker.com/2014/05/22/funfetti-birthday-cake/?blogsub=confirmed#subscribe-blog

A few things I did differently than Brooklyn Homemaker included, this cake was a 2 layer rather than 3. I did not have 3 round pans to create a 3 layer so I ended up baking a dozen cupcakes as well as the cake. It was suggested that if you only have 2 pans, to create a 2 layer, since there is leavening agents in the cake mix, it would not be recommended to bake 2 layers then bake the 3rd layer. Everything should go in the oven at once. Also, I did not have parchment paper so I buttered both pans and dusted them with flour. This technique worked okay, but since butter burns, certain of the bottom parts of the cake stuck to the pan. Next time I will definitely use parchment paper. Also, next time I will try and bake a 3 layer. I think Brooklyn Homemaker is right, 3 layers looks more impressive.

Funfetti Cake Hosana

After I took cakes out of the oven, I let them cool for a few hours. Mixed up the frosting, put it in a piping bag and started piping the middle filling. Once the middle layer of filling was complete, I evenly stacked the 2nd layer of cake on top. Then, like Brooklyn Homemaker, I put a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides, this is called the crumb coat. Put the cake in the fridge for an hour, then removed and did my final layer of frosting. Reminder – this was my first attempt at baking a birthday cake from scratch and I still need to work on my frosting technique. I started from the top and then worked the frosting around the sides of the cake. With my spatula, I rotated the cake plate as I used the tip of the spatula to get an smooth even layer of frosting around the cake. I decorated the top with hearts, using a cookie stencil, and wrote in red glitter icing, some fun words that my friend Hosana and I use often. This was a fun cake to make, and I definitely know I will be making it again. Who doesn’t love funfetti birthday cake from scratch?!

Single Layer Chocolate Cake

 

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I was with my grandmother a few days ago and we decided to do a little baking. I wanted to see how she made  chocolate cake because I was thinking about baking a birthday cake for a friend for the weekend coming up. My grandmother is a regular baker so she had all of the ingredients needed for a little mid day baking action. This cake is light and fluffy, and I think would go nicely with a strawberry jam filling, since we didn’t have any fresh jam, we made a cream cheese frosting, so delicious!

 

Single Layer Chocolate Cake

350 degrees, 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup butter cream

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Instructions:

In medium size mixing bowl combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Then add each egg one at a time while mixing, add vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture, until all ingredients are mixed together. Pour batter into greased 8 inch round pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks butter

4 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Put all three ingredients in mixing bowl and turn on mixture until becomes frosting. If more frosting is needed, add more powdered sugar ½ cup at a time.