Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

For Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun for Matt and I to make a homemade version of one of his favorite candies, Twix Bars.  I’d seen a ton of great-looking recipes around the blog world and thought it would be a good idea to take ideas from them but make my own version.  You can see different examples of homemade Twix Bars on Mangio Da Sola, Hoosier Homemade, Chocolate and Carrots, and Not Without Salt.

I started with the Mangio Da Sola shortbread crust, easy enough

shortbread crust

I thought that using packaged caramels would be a really easy shortcut for the middle layer; I guess I forgot how hard they get so quickly


Topped the caramel with salt, because I am kind of obsessed with that combination

caramel salt layer

And then melted milk chocolate; here you really can’t go wrong


chocolate layer

The first problem was getting the bars out of the pan; the shortbread was too crumbly and cutting through the caramel was tough

done 1

I think a foil-lined pan would have been better

done 8

These would have been so much better with a layer of caramel sauce or filling, instead of melted caramel candies (unless breaking a tooth is your goal)

done 5

We tried to eat them but it just wasn’t worth it, I may have eaten the entire layer of milk chocolate off the top… wasting chocolate is just wrong!

done 6

Have you had any desserts gone wrong recently?

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When I saw Lauren’s suggestions for Valentine’s Day treats included this cookie, I knew I had to try it!  Lauren has a wonderful blog that makes incredibly delicious and healthy versions of food that everyone loves.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any chocolate peanut butter on hand, but I did have some of this chocolate almond butter on hand.

chocolate almond butter

Since I wanted to make the cookies immediately, I decided to adapt her recipe for what I had on hand and make Flourless Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies.

cookies 22

Reasons to make these cookies:

1. They are deliciously light and fudgey at the same time.

2.  This is the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made.  3 steps, that is it!

3.  Portion control!  This recipe makes 8 cookies.  If you are nervous about eating the entire batch, you can’t get yourself into too much trouble*.  The cookies are pretty big, too.

*Each cookie comes out to 5 weightwatchers points+, as a result, the entire batch is 40 points+ which is less than the extra weekly points you get.  cookies 9

Step 1:  Mix together almond butter, brown sugar, whisked egg white, baking soda, vanilla extract and salt

all ingredients in bowl

Step 2:  Stir in chocolate chips

add choc chips

Step 3:  Bake cookies

dough on pan

Did I say they were easy?

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Flourless Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies

Adapted from Healthy Food for Living

Makes 8 cookies


1/2 cup chocolate almond butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

1 egg white, whisked

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together almond butter, brown sugar, whisked egg white, baking soda, vanilla extract and salt

Stir in chocolate chips

Use a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon to shape 8 cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Bake for ~12 min or until tops of cookies are no longer loose

cookies 3

What is the easiest dessert you have made?

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I’m kind of obsessed with caramel lately, especially when there is salt involved.

frosted cupcake 3

Ever since I made these bars a few months ago, caramel has been on the top of my list for delicious dessert ingredients.  There is something about the rich flavor and silkiness that keeps you going back for more.  After seeing this Caramel Sauce at Trader Joes so many times, I finally gave in and bought a jar.  In order to keep myself from eating the entire thing with a spoon, I figured I should use it in a recipe.

caramel sauce

What better way to use the sauce than in buttercream?  It creates a delicious icing that has the perfect hint of salt and caramel flavors, but not in an overwhelming way.  To keep the buttercream from being too sweet, I used cream cheese as a thickening agent.  That way, I didn’t have to use too much extra sugar.

frosted cupcake 12

This Salted Caramel Buttercream would go well on top chocolate or vanilla cake, maybe with some sort of peanut butter filling.  I used it to ice some low fat vegan chocolate cupcakes.  It’s all about balance;-)

Start with room temperature butter and cream cheese

butter and cream chs

Beat them in a mixer on high for a few minutes, until light and fluffybutter cream cheese creamed

Add confectioners’ sugar carefully, when mixed in turn mixer back to high speed

add sugar

Beat in vanilla

add vanilla

Then add the caramel sauce add caramel

Beat on high speed until all ingredients are well combined; if frosting is too liquidly, add extra sugar

caramel buttercream

Use to top cake, cupcakes or eat with a spoon

frosted cupcake 8

Salted Caramel Buttercream


1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup salted caramel sauce


Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixer on high for a few minutes, until light and fluffy

Add confectioners’ sugar carefully, when mixed in turn mixer back to high speed

Beat in vanilla

Then add the caramel sauce; beat on high speed until all ingredients are well combined

*If frosting is not firm enough at this point, add more confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time

frosted cupcake 6

Have you found any new products for baking recently?

frosted cupcake 13

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