Monday, October 20, 2014

Nutella Cresents

 I have a granddaughter that love Nutella, I know, the nut does not fall far from the tree...right?  But anyway, I always make cookies for my grandchildren and send them on their birthdays.  I know Lily also loves what could be more perfect than Nutella rolled up in a nice flakey buttery pie crust? 

These cookies were so easy.  You could cheat and buy some refrigerated pie crust...personally I never use that stuff.  I love to make my own.  I sure hope she likes them!  

Happy Birthday Lily!

Until next time

Nutella Crescents

Yield: 18 crescents


1 9-inch pie dough (store bought or homemade)
1/2 cup Nutella
1 tablespoon butter, melted
coarse sugar


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Roll out pie crust into a 9 inch circle (or if it's store the package and unroll the pie crust) and slice into 18 triangles (like you would a pizza).
Spread each triangle with a healthy amount of Nutella. Roll into a crescent, starting with the wide end. Continue till all triangles are filled with Nutella. Transfer crescents to baking sheet, leaving about an inch for possible spreading.
Brush the top of each Nutella crescent with the melted butter and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pigapalooza 2014

Each year we host a big Pig Roast to celebrate the end of summer/beginning of fall and our wedding anniversary.  We have been married for 4 years now and I have to say that I have married a good man who I know will take care of me for the rest of my life.  I love him to the moon and back!  Enough of that mushy stuff!!    

My husband smokes the pig in the smoker that he built and it always turns out really delicious.  We shred the shoulders and make a big mess of pulled pork doused in my almost famous barbeque sauce.  People actually think I should bottle it!  It is a big hit and the highlight of the party. The rest of the pork is cut up and served in all it's smoky goodness.  
I also make Baked Exploration's Honey Cornbread Muffins....yummmm, homemade applesauce (you gotta have applesauce with pork, right?)  All the guests bring delicous covered dishes and we have a grand time!

I also make a bevy of sweets and desserts! 
 The desserts, my friends, are the reason I am here! 

gluten free chocolate piggy cupcakes

sunflower buttermilk cupcake

caramel apple mini cheesecakes
oatmeal pumpkin cream pies

S'mores Macarons

banoffee tarts
cookie tray

Piggy buns
This year I made my traditional Sunflower Cupcakes, Brooksters and Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.  Along with those tempting treats;  Apple Pie Cheesecakes,  Banoffee Tarts, Gluten-free Chocolate Piggy Cupcakes, Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies, S'Mores Macarons, Sunflower and Piggy Sugar Cookies and I tried to make some adorable little piggy buns.  
It is alot of work but I absolutely love doing this every year!  


Pumpkin Harvest Dunking Cookies: Baked Sunday Mornings

I can't believe that after this recipe there are only 3 recipes left of the Baked Elements cookbook.  I wish I could have baked them all.  I did what I could and 95% of the recipes that I baked were winners!  This cookie was super easy to make.  It is an oatmeal cookie with pumpkin, chocolate chips and dried cranberries added to it.  I didn't have eggs so I substituted applesauce,

 I am not sure if I baked mine long enough because they were very soft...I was expecting a crispier cookie since it is suppose to be a dunking cookie.  
I had them in the oven for 14 minutes and didn't want to risk it any longer.  I am thinking now that I should have. 

I didn't taste them but they smelled wonderful while they were baking away in the oven.  Hubby said they were really good!  I will have to 
take his word for it.

Next up are Chocolate Mayonnaise cupcakes. Not sure yet if I can bake that one without a taste.  We will see how my willpower is that day ;)

To get the recipe go here
And to see what the other bakers did with this challenge go here.

Until next time

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Candy Bar Cookies: Baked Sunday Mornings

 We are winding down our recipes from the Baked Elements Cookbook and only have 6 more to go!  I personally have not baked through the entire book like some of my fellow bakers here have, but the recipes that I have participated in have been wonderful!  
This one is no exception.  

I am an admitted chocoholic so these outrageously chocolatey cookies suited me just fine!  You have a chocolate cookie dough that is wrapped around a piece of a candy bar of your choice, (I chose Mounds, Snickers and Simply Caramel) baked them then dipped them in dark chocolate. The cookies with the Mounds bars worked the best the caramel in the other bars oozed out of the cookies making them flatter and misshapen...but they 
still tasted really good!

Grab a nice cold glass of milk and make up a batch of these little beauties.  They have a thumbs up from me!

The recipe is here
See what my friends did here

Next up from the Baked Sunday Mornings Group is
Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
more chocolate! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wedding Sweets

After four days of continuous baking and decorating...I completed 12 dozen cupcakes and a small cutting cake for my nephews wedding.

I have never baked for a wedding before...other than my own so this was more or less a learning experience for me.

I baked 5 different kinds of cupcakes 3 of them being recipes which were revisited and I had baked before in cake form while baking along with my Baked buddies at Baked Sunday Mornings

This one is Antique Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting 
a Baked recipe.

I just used the Baked Chocolate cake recipe from the Chocolate Coffee Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache for this one and filled them with cannoli cream and topped with a little semi sweet chocolate lace heart

Another Baked recipe....This one is my fave Aunt Sassy Cake.  A lovely pistachio cake with honey vanilla bean frosting.

 This one was a new one for me.  I did a traditional wedding cake for the cupcake filled them with raspberry jam and topped it with Italian Meringue Buttercream.  Loved the buttercream! Was intimidated by it at first, but it was fairly easy to make and easy to work with!

Then last but not least, Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyone raved about all of them!  The favorites were the Pistachio, the Antique Caramel and the Chocolate filled with cannoli cream.  There were people that tried each kind!  Good thing I made extras!

And the best thing of all is the Bride and Groom loved them!
Glad it is over and so happy it was a success.
I would do it again!

Until next time

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fancy Pants Bars

Chocolate Chip cookies, caramel, twix bars and chocolate...what could be a better combination?  The base of this bar is a simple chocolate chip cookie dough with twix bars added in.  Then a very easy microwave caramel layer is added over that.  Then is is topped with semi-sweet chocolate and a white chocolate drizzle.  They took a little over an hour to make 
including all the cooling time.  

Easy Peasy! 

These bars were made to brown nose the boss at work.  
And worked ;)  

Until next time!

Fancy Pants Bars
source: creme de la crumb 
Thick chocolate chip cookie bars loaded with Twix candy bars, topped
with gooey caramel and two kinds of chocolate! Get your fancy pants on
cause these decadent bars will make you feel like a million bucks!

Serves: 9 ( I got more than 9 servings out of mine...more like 12!)

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 snack-size Twix candy bars
½ cup corn syrup
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate layer
1 cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and mix until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla
and mix again until smooth.
3. Add flour and salt to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated and dough comes together.
Gently stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.
4. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of your prepared pan. Gently press Twixes into the batter
every 2 inches or so. Pour the rest of the batter over the Twixes and spread into an even layer. Bake
for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean besides a few crumbs.
5. Allow cookie layer to cool while you prepare the caramel. In a microwave safe bowl combine melted
butter, corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, condensed milk, and salt. Stir until smooth.
6. Place bowl in the microwave and microwave on high for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. (I recommend
placing bowl on top of a microwave safe plate because it may bubble over the sides of the bowl.)
Using hot pads, remove bowl from microwave and stir in vanilla. Pour caramel over baked cookie layer
in the pan.
7. Chill for 30 minutes or until set.
8. In a microwave safe bowl melt white chocolate chips at half power for 2 minutes. Stir and return to
microwave at half power for 20 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted (stir between each 20
seconds) Stir until smooth. Pour white chocolate over caramel layer.
9. Melt milk chocolate chips the same way you melted the white chocolate chips (may require a little less
microwave time since there are less chips). Drizzle milk chocolate over white chocolate.
10. Chill until ready to serve. Cut into bars immediately before serving.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake

Can you say the best carrot cake you will ever eat?  This is it my friends!  I always make a carrot cake for my husband's birthday and I usually try a different recipe each time and I gotta tell ya...this is the most delicious carrot cake you that will ever pass your lips!  
You must try this....
go ahead....
you probably got it all the ingredients in your kitchen...
what are you waiting for!


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (preferred) or sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup diced dried pineapple*
  • *Substitute one 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry, if preferred ( I used crushed pineapple)


  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make frosting spreadable


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
2) Beat the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl till smooth, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
3) Mix the melted butter with the oil. With the beater running, add the oil mixture in a stream, beating till smooth.
4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt, and spices. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to make a smooth batter.
5) Stir in the carrots, nuts, coconut, and pineapple.
6) Spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it to the edges.
7) Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8) Remove the cake from the oven, and cool right in the pan.
9) When it's completely cool, make the frosting.
10) Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and beat together until light and fluffy.
11) Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
12) Add the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
13) Spread frosting over the cake. Garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.
Yield: 9" x 13" sheet cake, about 24 servings.