Wednesday, August 3

Classic Chocolate Brownies

Brownies are a classic dessert that anyone can find in a bake sale spread, birthday party, or just when you are seriously craving some at 11pm... not that I would ever bake...for myself... that late at night. that would be ridiculous. Anyways, I decided to tackle a new brownie recipe since I'm always a fan of giving new recipes a chance. I love using the semisweet bars by Ghirardelli if I'm melting chocolate for a recipe since I feel like chips are more processed and don't melt as smooth as bars. I noticed the wrapping of the semisweet bars had a few recipes printed on the inside and immediately the classic chocolate brownies caught my eye. One thing that drew me to this recipe was how the brownies don't actually contain any coco powder, just a melted Ghiradelli bar and chocolate chips. Having both the chips and melted bar in these brownies gave them a veryyy chocolaty taste. However, it was not a fudge-y chocolate taste like I was expecting. Overall they were fairly run of the mill brownies that had a very nice soft flaky quality.

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounce semisweet chocolate baking bar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Chop the 4 ounce baking bar into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool until it reaches room temp. Once cooled, stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl shift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the dry ingredient mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into pan. Bake for 25-30 mins and remove from oven to cool for 10 mins.

Wednesday, July 13

RIce Krispie Treats

Sometimes even the simplest baked goods can be as delicious as a complicated souffle. Going back and putting your own spin on childhood favorites is one way to make them perfect for any occasion. When my friend requested that I make her some rice krispie treats I immediately began thinking how I could take classic american treats and make them more moist, more marshmallowy, and just down right more delicious. One problem I always find with rice krispie treats is that they are too dense and too dry. In order to solve this problem I decided to double the marshmallows and add some complexity of flavor with the addition of vanilla and a pinch of salt.

2 bags mini marshmallows
6 1/2 cups rice krispie cereal
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

On low heat melt the butter. Add 1 1/2 bags of marshmallow (other 1/2 will be added later) and simmer on low heat, constantly stirring until fully melted. Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla. Pour mixture over the cereal in a large bowl and stir to incorporate without crushing the cereal. Add the 1/2 bag of reserved marshmallows so you have big chunks in the treats. Pour the mixture in a parchment lined pan (I used 9 x 11 but a smaller pan would yield thicker treats) and press down lightly with a spatula. Let sit until fully cooled and cut into large squares!

Thursday, May 28

Cupcake Critique: A review of Dots Cupcakes in Pasadena

In the past few years’ cupcakes have become an obsession. These cute little portion friendly treats are perfect for any occasion. Dots Cupcakes in Pasadena is one of the many cupcake companies out there that has become famous. Dots offers some interesting flavors and a unique look of their own. The flower on top has become their logo in the same way that Sprinkles has the trademark "dot". 

I thought it would be cool to do a review of some of their cupcakes. Here's a look into 4 of their flavors: 

Dulce de Leche: I bought this one in a mini version and it is really cute. I really liked the flavor of this one. The caramel was not too overpowering, it had kind of a maple brown sugar taste. The frosting was creamy and I thought the vanilla actually was too strong to complement the caramel. The cake was not dry, very moist and did not crumble everywhere when I bit into it. Overall, a really interesting flavor! 

Lemon Drop: I love the yellow swirl on top, so cute! I liked the lemon flavor; it was very key lime pie tasting. The cake was a little dry but not super dry or anything. Maybe I just had one that had been sitting out longer. This would be a great cupcake for an afternoon tea or a baby shower because it's really light and does not make you feel sickly full (sometimes those double chocolate ones really get to me). Overall this one was my favorite. 

Red Velvet: The ever so popular red velvet lived up to my expectations. The color was a really deep red and I liked that. The cake was spongy but dense enough. The flower on top was really cute. The cream cheese frosting was the perfect frosting to balance out the cake. I get so sick of really heavy overpowering cream cheese frostings but this one was so light and delicious. I highly recommend it. 

Chocolate Vanilla: The first thing that caught my eye about this cupcake was the great brown color of the frosting. However, I was disappointed by the way it tasted. The frosting was kind of gritty and bland. The yellow vanilla cake didn't do much for me either.I really liked the flower on this one. Overall I think this cupcake could use some work. 

Dots has 2 stores. One in Old Town and one on arroyo parkway. I went to the one in Old Town and it was very clean and open. I know this one makes more cupcakes than the one on arroyo parkway. I think Old Town is a great location for a cupcake store that wants a lot of walk in customers. 


So, go to Dots Cupcakes in Pasadena and try some yummy cupcakes!  

Key Lime Pie

I do enjoy decadent desserts every once in while, however my favorite type of desserts are ones that are light and fruity. Key Lime Pie happens to be one of my favorite types of pie and overall dessert. It’s a great thing to make, and very easy, now that it’s getting hotter. I mean nothing says summer like a big cold slice of key lime pie and a huge dollop of whipped cream on top, right? 


This recipe for key like pie comes from the joy of cooking. I have the 75th anniversary addition, but I am pretty sure it would be in any other one too. 



one 15-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (this might be a typo b/c the only ones I know of are 14-ounce cans)

4 large eggs 

1/2 cup key lime juice: 12-14 limes (or you can buy bottled key lime juice) 

3-4 teaspoons grated key lime zest

1 graham cracker pie shell 


All you have to do is whisk the ingredients together until everything is well blended. Then pour it into a homemade or store-bought pie shell. I like to use a store-bought graham cracker pie shells (so easy and super delicious). 


Bake for 15-17 minutes at 325˚F.  A good way to test if it's done or not is to jiggle the pan and see if the pie looks set but still quivers. When it's done, store it in the fridge and serve cold with a dollop of whipped cream 

Thursday, May 21


Don't worry, I have not fallen off the face of the earth! 

I am currently editing like 5 posts so you should get really excited. 

Some of them are: Key lime Pie, Carmel Apples, and a review of Dots Cupcakes in Pasadena

I have been SWAMPED with work which is why I feel like I abandoned my blog. But in the next few days I hope I can post a lot of the things I have been working on. 

Saturday, March 21

Blueberry Oat Bars

Last night I volunteered to provide baked goods at our schools' Amnesty Coffee House. The event features baked goods, jewelry, shirts, CD's, bags, live music and more! We donated all the profits to an organization of our choice. Anyways, when it came time for me to decide what to make, I knew I wanted to make something that was light, filling, and did not have chocolate. As much as I love brownies and cupcakes, sometimes I feel like they are overdone. I know when I go to an event I feel like the choices when it comes to the baked goods section are often very limited. Thats when it came to me that I should make some type of a fruit bar. I remembered that Starbucks had a really yummy blueberry oat bar that is only available certain times of the year. After doing some research, I found this Blueberry Oat Bar recipe on and knew it would be a good option at a coffeehouse. I have to say, they were quiet a hit with people and I got some great compliments. Try these wonderful treats if you want to bring some variety to the normal ho-hum chocolate spread at your next event.


1 3/4 cup Quaker Oats, uncooked (I used quick, but old-fashioned works too)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts) 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted (meaning, melt the already measured butter) 
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen because they were cheaper)
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
2 teaspoons lemon juice 

1. Heat oven to 350 F

2. Cover a 11x7-inch baking pan with aluminum and grease it. 

3. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, nuts, baking soda and salt in a bowl. 

4. Add the melted butter and combine with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. 

5. Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the baking dish. 

6. Bake for 10 minutes. 

7 . Meanwhile, combine blueberries (if using frozen ones make sure you have thawed and strained them), granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of your water in a medium saucepan.

8. Bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes, uncovered and stirring occasionally. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon water, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small bowl (like one you eat cereal in) and mix well. ***if you have never worked with cornstarch before you will be very befuddled when you do this. When mixed with water cornstarch becomes a solid and a liquid. If you try to force your spoon into the mixture it will turn solid but if you slowly ease it in it acts like a liquid. Here is a link to a funny segment on the Ellen Degeneres show about Corn Starch.

9. Gradually stir the corn starch mixture into the blueberry mixture. Cook and stir for about 30 seconds at which point the mixture will turn into thick consistency. 

10. Spread over the partially bakes base and sprinkle with the remaining oat mixture. Gently press topping on blueberries. 

11. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown 

12. Lift aluminum out of dish and cool on wire rack. When ready cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 

Makes about 16-24 bars depending on how small you cut bars. 

Image source and recipe source: Group recipes 

Sweetened Whipped Cream

While making homemade whipped cream one day, I realized that it tasted kind of plain. I am not a fan of store bought whipped cream so I figured there was some way of making homemade whipped cream taste sweeter. After doing some research and trials, I came up with this great recipe for homemade whipped cream. Its perfect on pies, like my homemade Apple Pie, or even simple desserts like a bowl of strawberries. This recipe is as easy and only has 3 ingredients and 3 steps so I know anyone can do it....even my baking challenged friend Madlyn :) 


1 1/2 cups well chilled heavy whipping cream 
          (found near milk section in grocery stores)
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In the mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer set on low speed, begin beating the cream. Gradually increase the speed to high. 

2. Beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. To test, turn off the mixer and lift the beaters. If the cream makes soft little peaks that flop over slightly, it is ready. Be careful not to overbeat, or the cream will separate and begin to resemble butter. 

3. Use the whipped cream immediately, or cover and refrigerate.