baking, blogging, chocolate, recipe blog, recipes, Uncategorized

St. Patty’s Day Brownies With A Twist

St. Patrick’s Day is just about here and you will see everyone adding the color “green” to just about every drink and food they make. Not for nothing, but I find that mostly not appetizing.

Instead of making your brownies green, how about we add a little Bailey’s Irish Cream to the batter and also to the frosting?  We can add green sprinkles that look appetizing to top it off.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  and I add about 2 tablespoons of sweetened cocoa.
1 tsp. instant coffee powder 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
heaping 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly spritz with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, instant coffee powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside. Place butter in a large microwave-proof bowl and melt in 30 second spurts, stirring in between each interval until completely melted. Set aside to cool a bit. Once the butter is warm (not hot!), add eggs one at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate. Whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds to incorporate fully. Add sugar, vanilla, and Bailey’s and whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, folding until just combined. Coat the chocolate chips with a little bit of flour and then add them to the batter. The flour will help the chocolate chips not sink to the bottom of the pan while baking. 
Pour batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top. Bake at for about 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Let cool.  You can make a chocolate glaze to go onto the brownies by getting a can of your favorite icing, melting it in the microwave at about 20 seconds and then add about 1 tablespoon of the Bailey’s Irish Cream and stir.  Then pour over the mixture.   This of course is optional.  Then sprinkle the green sprinkles…..  and enjoy! 
You can also top the brownies with just a dusting of powdered sugar instead.
Tip: To cut brownies with clean lines, lightly spray your (sharp) knife with cooking spray
Baily's Irish Cream Brownies

 

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baking, blogging, chocolate, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day Treats

valentines day cakes

Pictured above: Raspberry-filled golden butter heart cakes. ( Not iced…yet)

Golden Butter Cake:

 

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Baking Spray

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Pour into your heart pans which have been sprayed with baking spray.  Bake at 325° until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 21 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack over waxed paper and hit the hearts with a spoon to loosen the cakes to fall out.

Raspberry Filling:

Combine raspberries, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Pour mixture back into the saucepan.  Mix remaining water and cornstarch together in a bowl until dissolved; add to raspberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool filling in refrigerator, at least 30 minutes.

OR… here’s a HACK: Get a can of raspberry pit filling in your grocery store. ( It’s easier and no one will know!)

I then used a small heart cookie cutter to cut a hole into each cake and fill it with the fruit filling. Then I placed the heart I cut out back inside.

Go to my Facebook page tomorrow and see the finished cake!

 

valentines day cookies

Another treat that you can make that is much easier than the cakes, are sugar cookie hearts.  It’s your simple sugar cookie recipe and then frosting is a cinch!  Frosting hack: Get a tub of vanilla or white icing and melt it in the microwave. You don’t want it to be soupy. Melt it at 21 seconds, check and then add 5 seconds until you get a good consistency.  Then I scoop it into a pastry bag and design the cookies. I have heart sprinkles and place those on the cookies.  Oh, how did I get pink cookies? Simply, separate the dough and with half the dough I add some pink or red food coloring and mix.

Check my Facebook page tomorrow for how I created the DIY bags to put these lovely cookies in.

 

baking, blogging, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Let’s Party!

pita chips

Homemade Pita Chips – Part 1:

There’s nothing quite like making your own chips! First off, it’s healthier. Secondly, it’s fun! With the AFC/NFC Championships this today and then the Superbowl in 2 weeks, it’s a great time to start thinking about snacks for your football parties!

First you need to buy pita bread. You can buy whichever you prefer.

Secondly you will need to cut each pita into wedges OR if you don’t want to be that creative, you can just cut the pita bread into pieces.

Next, Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Then you need to place the chips in a large plastic bag so you can coat each pita slice/piece with olive oil. I use grilling/Sautéing Olive Oil.  There’s real no “exact” measurement of how much, since I just eyeball it into the bag, seal it shut and then massage the chips on the counter ( the pita bread gets a spa treatment!) until I see that each piece is coated. If I have to add a little more oil, I do. BUT you don’t want to soak the bread, just coat it.

Then I place them on the baking sheet and sprinkle my spices. I make a mixture of Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Salt and Pepper.    I make sure BOTH sides get coated with the spices. If you want them plain, then you skip this step and follow the next one.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy and browned. Cool completely.

Part2: Then I like to serve mine with salsa and melted cheese. OR you can Serve them with your favorite dips or eat them plain! The choice is yours and it’s endless!

pita recipe

Happy Snacking!

 

 

baking, chocolate, Christmas, cookies, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

The Making of Christmas Part 2

The first thing I made was the Santa Snack Mix.  If you follow me on Facebook, Clever Cakes then you saw the special syrup I made to pour on top of it before I baked it at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

cookies christmas

I made over 300 cookies this year, and sometimes it’s impossible to get pictures of every one of them! But here’s a sample of the types of cookies I made.  I give them out as gifts but I also need them for my family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  Don’t worry, all these recipes will be in my recipe book which will be released late January 2019!

christmas cake

Then I made the Christmas Tree Cake. Thank goodness for pans that are already in the shape! It cuts the process in half!  I made a Golden Butter Cake and then I topped it with vanilla icing that was made green.  Of course, no cake would be complete without little decorations!

nephew

This year my nephew who is almost 3, got his first baking set and we learned how to bake cookies. Those are the ones he baked with his Auntie’s help!

tree

I wish you all a Very Merry and Bright Christmas!!!

 

 

baking, chocolate, Christmas, coffee, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

How To Make Christmas Tree Brownies

christmas tree brownies

Nothing says Christmas better than Christmas trees, candy canes and chocolate! Here’s how to make these fun chocolate bites!

Brownies

Now, if you have a favorite boxed-brownie mix you can make that. Or if you want to be creative, you can make them from scratch. Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A dash of Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee like Folgers
  • Icing
  • Sprinkles
  • Candy Canes

Directions

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water; stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter. Add flour, vanilla, salt, cinnamon sugar and instant coffee.

Pour into greased 13×9 pan – you can use the baking spray to grease the pan.

Bake between 30-40 minutes. I set the timer for 30 minutes and then check then add 5 minutes. If they are done I take them out, if not I leave them in for an additional 5 minutes.

When they are done, let them cool down for 10 minutes before you get a Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter and start to cut out the trees. You can do it when they come out, but they will break apart more easily.

Then you can start to decorate them. I make a simple icing, but you can use store bought as well. You can find festive sprinkles in your craft stores, grocery stores or Target.

Then you will need to break the stick off of the candy canes, since that will be the tree trunk.

Put a little icing on the ends of the candy candy that you will insert into the brownie tree. This just helps it stay in place. Then gently push the candy cane inside the brownie tree. Let it dry in place for at least an hour before serving them.

 

 

baking, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Everyone Can Have Fun On Halloween

Halloween is just a six days away! As crazy as that sounds, it’s time to have some fun no matter how old you are!

Feeling Batty?  I was when I made these doughnut bats. The recipe will be in my recipe book in 2019. BUT I can tell you these aren’t that hard to make at all AND I have a DIY recipe for this as well that is way easy!

Now, the lollipops.  These are cool! Why? Because these you can eat the ENTIRE  treat, including the stick! How awesome is that?  ( And yes, these will be in the recipe book too!)

I have some more tricks and treats up my sleeve for Halloween. Including my costume that my nephew chose for me.

 

 

 

baking, cookies, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Let the Fall Baking Begin!

apple cookies

It’s officially fall so do you know that means?

It means my favorite time of year starts: Fall Baking!

The picture above are the Apple Caramel Cookies I baked for a dentist’s office open house they were hosting.  Yes, even dentists love cookies!

There are many different things I love to bake during this time of year.  Let this be a warning that you will be seeing the posts pile up in the next few weeks.

Before I go though, let me ask all of you a question: What is your favorite dessert to bake during fall?