Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pops

Happy 4th of July! If you’re looking for something last-minute that has a huge wow factor, this recipe’s for you!

Cake pops (in this case, brownie pops!) do take some time and there’s a bit of technique involved with dipping them in the chocolate, but, overall, these are a lot easier than you think. Not only are we using an easy-peasy brownie recipe, but because all of these are hand-dipped, you don’t have to worry about uniformity, meaning there’s no stress if they don’t all look the same. After all, that’s part of their charm!

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg
Brownie Batter

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (2 bars)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup flour

Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

White Chocolate Coating

  • 4-5 cups white chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup blue chocolate (pre-colored)
  • 1 cup red chocolate (pre-colored)


How You Do It
Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9×13 inch or 8×8 inch pan.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter on medium-lowBlog Butter
  3. Add water and sugar to butter. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture starts to bubble.Blog Sugar Water
  4. Turn stove to low and add chocolate and vanilla. Stirring frequently, cook until chocolate melts. When mixture is similar in consistency to frosting, remove from stove and let cool. Note: cooling time is important. Otherwise, the eggs will begin to cook if added immediately.
  5. When cooled, add in the eggs and stir. At this point, the consistency will be similar to pudding.Blog Egg
  6. Going 1/3 a cup at a time, add in the flour and baking soda.Blog Batter
  7. Spread evenly over the pan and bake. If you used a 9×13 pan, cook time will be 10-12 minutes; if 8×8, it’ll be 25-30.Blog Unbaked

Frosting

  1. Combine butter and vanilla.Blog Butter Vanilla (2)
  2. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. If the mixture is dry and clumpy, that’s okay!Blog Frosting 1
  3. Mix in 2 tablespoons and milk. At this point, the frosting will he on the thinner side, but still hold its shape.
  4. Add in the remaining sugar. Frosting will be thick.Blog Frosting 3
  5. Add in the rest of the milk. Depending on your desired consistency, add in either 1/2 or 1 tablespoon.Blog Frosting 4

Cake Pop Balls

  1. Using a fork, crumble the brownies. Break down as many as large chunks as possible, and pour into a large bowl.Blog CrumbleBrownie Crumbles
  2. Add in 3 dollops of frosting (there might be leftovers) and mix with a spoon. Roll some between your hands. The mixture should be moist, but not overly wet. If too dry, add in more frosting.Blog Brownie Frosting
  3. Begin to shape into balls. Roll into desired size, placing on a plate. When finished, cover, and stick in fridge until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Coating

  1. When ready to assemble, melt chocolate in separate bowls.  If you’re using a microwave, melt for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring between each.Blog Chocolate Colors
  2. To add sticks to brownie balls, dip into white chocolate, scraping edges.
  3. Slowly push stick into the brownie balls. This will act as a glue, keeping the stick firmly in place.Blog Stick
  4. Combine colors. Using either piping bags or plastic baggies, but the red chocolate in one bag and the blue in another.
  5. Alternating between colors, drizzle over white chocolate.Blog Drizzle
  6. Swirling as you go, dip the cake pop into the chocolate. Continue to swirl as you pull up.Blog Dip
  7. If you don’t have full coverage on the first dip, use a knife to spoon out a small amount of chocolate and spread over and part that isn’t covered in chocolate.Blog Knife
  8. Stick in freezer until hardened, then move to fridge. When ready to eat, remove from fridge, wait five minutes, and enjoy!20180701_181958

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love how no two are alike.20180703_122903.jpg

Some even remind me of planets.20180703_122814.jpg

They’re absolutely perfect for lounging poolside.

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So what are you waiting for? Give these a go, and let me know how it goes! Until next time,

♥Danielle

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

With my birthday coming up in a few short days, I wanted to make a classic: a yellow birthday cake. Both easy and delicious, there’s no wrong way to decorate a classic yellow birthday cake. It’s an “all about the taste” cake, so don’t feel like you have to do something extravagant. Keep it in the pan and just frost the top, have several layers with frosting in the middle… The choice is up to you. With something so delicious, it doesn’t matter how it looks.

What You Need

CakeBlog Cake Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) salted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

FrostingBlog Fristing Ingredients

  • 3 ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) salted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

How You Do it

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare pan. If you’re going to serve in the pan, simply butter and flour. If serving right out of the pan, line with parchment paper. I used a 9’x13’ with the intention of cutting it in half, so if you’re not going to do that, you can use a smaller pan.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter.Blog Butter Sugar
  3. Adding one at a time, mix in eggs and vanilla. The consistency will be similar to that of uncooked pudding.Blog Sugar Butter Eggs Vanilla.jpg
  4. In a separate dish, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternating with the milk, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until all are combined.Blog Cake Batter
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let set as room temperature for at least 20 minutes, then place in freezer until ready to decorate (it’s a lot easier to work with cold!).

Frosting

  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mixture will not completely combine at this point; there will still be clumps.Blog Frosting Butter Sugar
  2. Add milk. Mixture will be slightly thinner than typical frosting.
  3. Add cocoa powder. This will thicken the mixture, but if you plan to frost your cake instead of piping, add some more milk until desired consistency is reached.Blog Frosting.jpg

Putting it Together

  1. Take cake out of the fridge. If making a layered cake, cut in half and begin to carve cake into desired shaped. If your layers are uneven, use a bread knife and shave off the tops.Blog Cake LayersBlog Carve Cake
  2. Stack the layers on top of one another, frosting in between, and create a crumb coat. If you’re planning on piping, this might be as far as you go–and that’s okay! If you’re interested in piping and adding sprinkles, continue below.Blog Crumb Coat
  3. Staring at the bottom, begin to pipe the cake. I used an open star tip, but which one you use is up to you.Blog Piping
  4. Pipe all the way around the cake. Depending on how you want to decorate the top, either pipe until the cake is completely covered, or leave the top open for sprinkles. If putting on sprinkles, do so carefully and slowly–they have the tendency to bounce around and make a mess! Putting the sprinkles on the dead center of the cake and then pushing them to the desired spot works the best. Pat them down if needed.20180520_131600 (2).jpg
  5. When you’ve finished decorating, that’s it! Cut, serve, and enjoy!Blog Cake Slice.jpg

The sprinkles make it so fun, worthy of any celebration.Blog Complete Cake.jpg

I love layered cake, don’t you?Blog Cake Center

I’m so excited for my birthday this year, and though I made this cake a few days before hand, I’m trying my best to save a slice or two for the big day. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it up: The sprinkles I used are nonpareils, but if you don’t like the “crunch” they produce, you have so many other options. You can even use sanding sugar. Experiment!

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Ever notice how versatile cheesecake it? You can have a plain cheesecake, cheesecake with fruit, cheesecake with chocolate, coffee-infused cheesecake…Basically, cheesecake is so forgiving that you can pair it with just about anything sweet and you’ll come out with something amazing.

Take the recipe below. There’s chocolate incorporated throughout–from the cookies in the crust to the chocolate in the filling to the chocolate on the top, this is truly the cheesecake for the person who never turns down chocolate. And don’t worry if you don’t have a spring form pan (see note below); you’ll still be able to make this with whatever pan you do have.

What You’ll Need
Crust20180422_092328

  • 4 cinnamon graham crackers
  • 8 sandwich cookies, filling removed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling20180422_095058.jpg

  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup flour

Topping

  • ½ cup milk chocolate, crush (I used a chocolate Easter bunny!)
  • ½ to 1 cup caramel sauce

A quick note about the pan20180311_083300.jpg

Ideally, cheesecake should be cooked in a spring form pan. But if yours is leaking, or you just want to try something different, there’s nothing stopping you from using a regular ol’ pie pan or a tart pan. The one I used has a glass bottom and removable silicon sides. This produced a thinner cheesecake (see pictures below) and cook time wasn’t as long, but this recipe is written as if you’ll have a spring form pan. If you use anything other than a spring form, don’t sweat it–you’ll just have leftover filling.

How You Do It

Crust

  1. Using a food processor, combine graham crackers, sandwich cookies, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Pulse until texture is crumb-like. Mixture will hold its shape when pressed. If not, add another tablespoon of butter.20180422_092850
  2. Press crust into pan.20180422_093459

 

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cut up semi-sweet chocolate into desired chunks and sprinkle over crust. I left larger chunks, but the size is up to use. The smaller the chunks, the more likely they are to melt into the crust, creating a fudge texture, so it’s completely up to you.20180422_095937(1)
  3. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. When combined, add in milk.
  4. Adding one at a time, beat in eggs until combined.20180422_101337.jpg
  5. Add sour cream and flour into the filling. When fully combined, spoon filling over prepared crust. If there are a few lumps in the batter, that’s okay. *Remember, if you’re using a pie pan instead of a spring form pan, you’re going to have some extra filling. If you’d like, save it and make another cheesecake!20180422_101925
  6. Bake for 65-75 minutes (about 45 if not using a spring form). Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 hour at room temp. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours afterwards. Note: if there are cracks, don’t worry–that’ll be covered up later.

 

Topping

  1. After cheesecake has cooled, remove the rim of the pan.
  2. Begin to decorate. The pattern is up to you, but I created a cross-cross pattern using caramel sauce. Make sure the sauce is warm enough to easily spread/ drizzle over the cheesecake. If not, put it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.20180422_154251
  3. Break the milk chocolate into desired chunks and sprinkle around the rim.20180422_154327.jpg
  4. When you’re done, cut into it, and enjoy!

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Can we talk about the crust for a moment? Look how gorgeous!

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So much chocolate; I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

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Truly a cheesecake you won’t want to share.

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That’s all for today, but what do you think? Are you big on chocolate cheesecakes, or are you more of a strawberry cheesecake person? If you give this a try, let me know how it goes. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it Up: Prefer dark chocolate? I bet it would be amazing, especially it you use a sea salt caramel sauce.

Brown Sugar Orange Triangles & Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s so hard to believe that it’s already April–and Spring! I don’t know about you, but I was getting tired of snow…and snow…and more snow. Don’t get me wrong, it gave me the perfect excuse to stay in and bake, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of sunshine and not need to ear snow boots everywhere you go.

April also means that I’ve had this blog for just over two months–can you believe it? In case you missed anything from last month, this post is perfect for you!


In Case You Missed It

Brown Sugar Orange Triangles
12 triangles | 2 hours
Dense. Sweet. Delightful.

Cut use 3

These make the perfect breakfast treat. The icing is made with cream cheese, and there’s orange juice woven throughout the entire recipe. Serve them with some coffee or tea!

Peanut Butter Cookies
Approximately 24 cookies |45 minutes
Classic. Simple. Rich.

Use above shot

Fair warning: these are only for the biggest peanut butter lovers. They so rich and flavorful, that you just have to have a glass of milk with them. Plus, it’s pretty much impossible to eat only one. Trust me; I tried.

Hungry for More?

The next recipe doesn’t come out for almost two weeks, but if you still want more, check out my Instagram, daniellesmixingbowl. Hope to see you there!

Until next time,

Danielle

Peanut Butter Cookies

Who knew peanut butter cookies were so easy to make?

I admit, this wasn’t the original recipe I’d planned on for this week, but, after a snow day/ work from home day a few days ago and a strong desire to bake something that wouldn’t take up a lot of time, these were so easy to put together that I couldn’t resist. Plus, there was no way I was going to brave the storm just to buy a bunch of ingredients.

A quick note: you can mix all of this by hand–no stand or hand mixer required. You’re certainly welcome to use a mixer, but, because there is very little flour and because you can throw these together in less than 10 minutes, it’s definitely not a requirement. Completely up to you!

What You Need

Use ingredients 2.jpg

  • ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 4-5 teaspoons flour*
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • ½ cup white sugar to roll cookies in

*Want to make these gluten free? Scroll all the way down to the bottom to learn how!

How You Do It

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine brown and white sugar. Because the brown sugar was lightly packed, it might clump together. Make sure the sugars are evenly mixed.Use Brown and White Sugar
  3. Add in the peanut butter.Use Peanut Butter AddedUse peanut butter mixed
  4. Mix in the vanilla and egg.Use with egg
  5. Add in the flour. By this point, the dough should be able to hold shape. It’s going to be slightly greasy due to the peanut butter, but if it’s too wet, add in some more flour.use-fully-combined.jpg
  6. Roll the peanut butter into tablespoon-sized balls. Roll into sugar and then place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Do not press down or flatten out.use-covered-in-sugar.jpg
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. While cookies are in the oven, unwrap the Hershey’s Kisses to get them ready.
  8. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, lightly press the chocolate into the center of each cookie. Note: don’t wait to do this step. If you do, the cookies might crack too much. Let set on the cookie sheet for 1 minute then move to a cooling rack.

And that’s it! Who knew creating something so delicious could be so easy?

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I hope you have a glass of milk or tea or coffee ready because these suckers are rich.use-above-shot.jpg

So when you’re bored, want to bake, and don’t want to spend all day doing it, give these a try. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it up: Want to make yours gluten free? If you’re using a gluten free peanut butter, simply omit the flour. Because there is so little in the original recipe, it won’t drastically alter the texture.