Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Perfect Brownie

My friend, Carley, made these brownies and shared them with me. I have since tried other brownie recipes and even adjusted this one to try to make it healthier. However, nothing came close to how tasty these brownies are. Better than any boxed brownie I have ever tried and they come out perfect every time. I learned my lesson though and found that you cannot substitute applesauce for the butter (like I do in my chocolate cake recipe). Make these today! You won't regret it...your waist will, but your taste buds won't. 


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Newton’s Sugar Cookies

This recipe is from a friend of mine from college. They are super delicious sugar cookies and some of my friends call them the "best sugar cookies in the world." I love making these in circle shapes (easier to frost and so versatile to decorate). I'll often make a double batch and freeze a bunch of them either frosted or plain. Then, when I want to take cookies to someone, I can just pull out however many I need, frost them if they need it and I'm good to go. These cookies are great anytime but I love them after the frosting has been on for 24 hours and the frosting has dried and the cookie has softened just a little from the frosting. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour

Roll to about 1/4 inch thick. Maybe just slightly thicker. 
Bake @ 400 degrees about 7-8 minutes. They should not be brown when you take them out. If I see one cookies edge start to brown, I remove the tray.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk *
2 teaspoons light corn syrup *

* I usually add extra milk and corn syrup until it’s a smooth runny consistency. You don’t want to fight to have to spread it on the cookies. Add a few drops extra at a time. 

**If I double the batch of cookies, I usually use three eggs instead of two to make it moist enough. If you make a single batch and it's a little dry, you can always add another egg. Don't add the extra egg unless it needs it. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The BEST Granola Bars

My friend, Kendall, introduced me to homemade granola bars. This recipe tastes delicious and can be changed so easily depending on what you have on hand. Feel free to substitute coconut oil for butter, almond or other nut butter for the peanut butter, honey for corn syrup. Make it as healthy as you want and it will still taste delicious. I've included a link to the original recipe at the bottom of this post. This recipe includes some of the extra add-ins I use in my recipe.

You never have to buy granola bars again. Save money and make your own and know exactly what you're putting into them.

Coconut Granola Bars

3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips*
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds, shelled
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp flax seeds

3 cups old-fashioned oats

*You can use cranberries or other dried fruit in addition or in place of the chocolate chips if you'd like.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, nut butter, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Add the mix-in ingredients next and combine. Finally, mix in the oats at the end.
Press into two greased 9x13 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-30 or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Cut into bars. Enjoy!

Original Recipe Found at:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Coffee Cake

This is the coffee cake recipe I grew up with. It's so simple to make and so delicious. It's not too dry and not too "cakey." I brought it to MOPS this week and every last bite was eaten up. It really doesn't take that long to make but if I know I'm going to be in a rush for time, I will make the batter part up the night before and pour it into a greased 9x13 pan and put the pan in the fridge. I then mix up the brown sugar mixture and just leave it in a Tupperware on the counter. In the morning, I pre-heat the oven and sprinkle the topping over the batter. Once the oven is pre-heated, all I have to do is bake it for 25 minutes and I'm ready to go.

When you add the topping, just sprinkle it fairly evenly across the top of the batter. As it bakes, some of it will stay near the top and much of it will sink into the cake. It ends up looking very pretty and marbled when it's done baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

From the kitchen of: Martha Rowlands
Preparation time (start to finish): 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Mix together:

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons melted shortening/butter
1 cup milk

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

Pour into greased 9x13 pan.

Top with mixture: (Mix in separate bowl with a fork)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

This is definitely best when eaten warm although it can also be eaten room temperature or re-heated.