Friday, July 29, 2011

#30: Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Get excited. This MAY be the best brownie recipe I have ever encountered. Martha, you are a genius... and that's really all I have to say about it. Seriously, these brownies will knock you silent, TRY THEM!

#30: Fudgy Chocolate Brownies (as found in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)


1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides. Set aside.
     - You all know my beef with parchment paper, but here I believed it was absolutely necessary. After having had too many projects get stuck in the pan (Magic Bars, Oh Henry Bars, etc.), I finally decided enough was enough. After spraying my pan with PAM, I used the only sheets I could find to line it: wax paper. And it helped!

2. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
     - HEY! Look at my impromptu broiler!

3. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
     - And this is where I put a word of caution: however delicious this batter is at this point, because it IS!, DO NOT sit there with a spoon and eat directly from the bowl because you will get salmonella from brownie batter and you will rather choose death than what I had to endure for three days back in October. It had to be said.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with a spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
     - This brownie is so stinkin' moist that I actually had it in for about an hour, no joke. When I popped the pan out of the oven at 60 minutes, the very middle was still raw, and as much as I would've loved to have eaten it at that point, I couldn't in good conscience serve that to loved ones.

Make this brownie. It was so good, I was unable to take a picture of it before the pan was obliterated and only crumbs remained... so here is a shot I found from Martha's book:

Oh yeah! And everyone check out my adorably painted finger nails- raspberry red for Bear Lake. Nice.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#29: Raspberry Cream Pie

I love raspberries. And Oreos. So when I see a pie that brings together two of my most favorite things, I'm going to want to make it. Luckily for me, The Pioneer Woman did that, JUST for me. Have you all seen this website? It might be one of my favorites. The woman is so stinkin' creative and funny, if you have time, check it out ( Now I bring you one of my favorite Pioneer Woman treats: Stephen said it almost rivaled the Louisiana Mud Pie I made a few weeks ago... now THAT'S saying something...

#29: Raspberry Cream Pie (as found on


25 whole Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 cup (generous) Raspberries
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 containers (6 Ounce Each) Raspberry Yogurt
1 package (3.4 Ounce) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Extra Raspberries For Garnish


1. To make the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust cookies in a food processor (or smash in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin). Stir in melted butter until all combined. Pour into a regular pie pan and press crumbs all over the pan and up the sides. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes---just long enough for it to set. Cool crust completely.
      - If there is any mistake I think I might've made with this particular recipe, it is that I didn't crush the Oreo cookies very completely. So, I had huge chunks of Oreo clung to the bottom of my pie when I pulled it out of the freezer... which let's be honest here, there could've been a lot worse happening. I LOVE OREOS. Last time I'm going to say it.

2. Place raspberries on a plate or in an empty pan. Smash them with a fork, then sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir together and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
      - It was at this point I took off my white Bermuda shorts and threw on a pair of Stephen's basketball shorts because I don't need a pair of pink shorts. Thanks.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine raspberry yogurt with the instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder itself.) Beat on low until combined, about 1 minute.
     - The Pioneer Woman herself said that the cream mixture would look atrocious at this point, and if it did, you are doing it right. She wasn't kidding:

4. Pour in heavy cream and whip on low for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn mixer on medium-high speed and beat for two minutes, or until mixture is thick.

5.Turn off mixer, then fold in raspberries until just combined. Pour into cooled pie pan and spread evenly. Freeze for two hours, or until very firm. Cut into slices and top each slice with cookie crumbs, dollops of whipped cream, and extra raspberries. Keep in freezer, allowing time to thaw before serving.

There you have it: EASY. And so pretty. And so appropriate for a date night/bridal shower/girls baby shower/girls night in/mother's day... in the words of my wonderful boyfriend: "PLEASE, PUT THIS IN YOUR FAMILY COOKBOOK." Done and done, sugar.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#28: Oh Henry Bars

This is an Oh Henry Bar. Am I right?

Apparently in the baking world, it's not. The following recipe was a bit of an accident, not exactly one I was planning on creating. On Sunday, Stephen and I were FINALLY planning to head over to his Korean friend's house for dinner, and I had wanted to bring some of my fruit pizza to share with them. Naturally, the fruit pizza disappeared before I could get it to them, so I was left scrambling last minute for something to make them. Looking through the only cookbook I could find at Stephen's apartment, I found one recipe that I had all the ingredients for: homemade Oh Henry bars. This recipe is slightly different than the candy bars I remember as a kid, but still fairly delicious. 

#28: Oh Henry Bars (as found in the Wild Strawberry Lodge Seafood and Dessert Cookbook)


3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
chocolate chips
peanut butter


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Mix butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Add corn syrup and mix. Then add soda, flour, and oats; put in a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 18 minutes.
     - All right, this base is AWESOME, so good. I should've just stopped here, baked the base, and eaten that alone. The only problem was the 9x13 pan. It was MUCH too large for the amount of batter this recipe creates. The base ended up being SUPER thin, much thinner than most of the pictures of other Oh Henry recipes I've since looked up.

3. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter and mix together. Spread on top of bars.
     - Not knowing the amount of chocolate chips and peanut butter to put into the pan was a pain. I ended up dumping practically the entire bag of chocolate chips I had in the cupboard, as well as about 2 cups of peanut butter and melted them together. I also added a little vanilla extract to sweeten it up. There ended up being more chocolate than the base though, which I think was a mistake. This was MUCH too rich for me.

I really hope the Koreans enjoyed this dessert. I felt awful knowing that this was probably WAY more sweet than they would've liked, but Stephen kept telling me the gesture of bringing something over was more than enough. Will this recipe be going in my future family cookbook? Eh, probably not, but at least I know I can bake by the seat of my pants these days.

Here is a picture of a bar I found on the internet... since naturally I forgot my camera again. I need to keep that thing glued to my side.

#27: Fruit Pizza

FINALLY. I have been waiting months to try this recipe. As a kid, my mom would occasionally make this treat for our family, and we always loved it (although sometimes my brother would argue for NOT putting the fruit on the pizza... nice). If I had thought it out, I would've asked my mom for our family recipe before leaving for Utah again... unfortunately, I didn't, so I scoured the internet looking for something close to what I remember mom making. This pizza is fairly close, and the results were practically as delicious (I say practically because NOTHING can compare to mom's baking). Sugar cookie crust, cream cheese "sauce," and a wonderful glaze... I could eat this stuff all day, every day, that good.

#27: Fruit Pizza (as found on


1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (this is the only fruit listed in the recipe, but I also used raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, and nectarines)

1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice cookie dough and arrange on greased pizza pan, overlapping edges. Press dough flat into pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

     - After reading the comments on about this particular recipe, I decided to keep the cookie crust in the oven much longer, since a few of the comments said that the cream cheese spread would cause the cookie to become soggy. I kept mine in for 27 minutes, which in hindsight is a little too long. I would recommend keeping the crust in for 22-25 minutes or so, that way the crust is browned, but not overly crunchy like mine ended up.

2. In a large bowl, soften cream cheese, then fold in the whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust. You can chill for a while at this point, or continue by arranging the fruit.
     - The comments board also recommended using a little marshmallow fluff to give the spread a little substance, that way it wouldn't just melt all over the place when it was sitting on the counter, waiting to be served. I ended up using all of the cream cheese, 3/4ths of the cool whip, and about 1 1/2 cups of marshmallow fluff. I did end up having to use an electric mixer to actually get the fluff to fold into the other two ingredients, because as soon as the fluff hit the cold whipped topping and cream cheese, it hardened pretty badly. Using a mixer was the only way to get it to incorporate.

3. Begin with strawberries, sliced in half. Arrange in a circle around the outside edge. Continue with fruit of your choice, working towards the middle. If bananas are used, dip them in lemon juice so they don't darken. 
4. In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, corn starch, orange juice, lemon juice and water. Cook and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat, and add grated orange rind. Allow to cool, but not set up. Spoon over fruit. Chill for two hours, then cut into wedges and serve.
     - Again, I didn't see the point of buying an orange if I was only going to use a little of the peel, so I left it out, and the glaze turned out wonderfully.

There you have it. A fairly easy recipe, and a beautiful one at that. If you carefully arrange the fruit, the pizza almost turns out too pretty to eat... ALMOST too pretty. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

#25 and #26: Banana Cashew Cookies and No Bake Cookies

Ugh. I did it again. You think I'd learn my lesson. Yesterday, in an attempt to chug out two separate recipes in one day, I tried to make both of these cookies, with extremely mixed results. Evidently I am getting way too confident in my own baking skills because I BLEW this attempt in a very big way. Let me explain:

#25: Banana Cashew Cookies (as found in Sandra Lee's Bake Sale Cookbook)

All right, before I give you this recipe, I have to be frank: this is probably the worst cookie I have tried thus far. Now, this might be due to a series of misfortunes I had while trying this recipe out, but I'll let you be the judge.


1 package (17.1 ounces) banana nut muffin mix
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup banana milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2  cups chopped cashews


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
      - Note: This is the first cookie I've attempted where using parchment paper would be well advised. You'll see why in a moment.

2. In a large bowl, stir together muffin mix, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add banana milk, butter, and eggs, stirring until combined.
     - All right, first of all, finding 17.1 ounces of muffin mix at Smith's grocery store in Provo, Utah is apparently IMPOSSIBLE. I hate Smith's. I can NEVER find anything I need without tearing that whole store apart AND the people working there are RUDE... I would kill for an Albertson's at this point in my summer. I had to compensate my lack of Krusteaz muffin mix with, *gulp*, Fiber One banana nut muffin mix. Mistake number one, RIGHT THERE. Not only were there only 15.7 ounces of mix, but it was full of FIBER, which I am convinced played a role in these cookies not turning out.
     - ALSO, the whole reason I wanted to try these cookies out was because the recipe stated that if you couldn't find banana milk, replacing the 1/2 cup with one full cup of milk with 1 teaspoon of banana extract would work just as well... and I have a lot of banana extract to use up. LIES. The one cup of milk made the batter extremely runny. 

3. Gently stir in cashews. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing cookies two inches apart.
     - I HATE SMITH'S... I couldn't find any cashews either, so I had to use walnuts. Which is fine, because I prefer walnuts, but it's the principle of it all. Plus, because of the milk issue earlier described, the cookies ended up running into one another, resulting in one massive cookie on my cookie sheet. Uh, yuck.

4. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
     - 15 minutes later, the cookies looked wonderful. They weren't. They were flat, the edges were brown, the insides were still raw, and on top of that, the cookies were impossible to get off the cookie sheet. After I literally dislocated my shoulder trying to get one of these cookies off of the sheet, I tasted it... and it tasted... healthy. And not the good kind of healthy. The overly "fiber tasting"... I had a stomachache after trying these. Luckily for EVERYONE I tossed this batch as well as the remaining batter... but I'm still counting it in my blog. Failures are just opportunities for success... or something along those lines. Take a look at these nasties...

 STUCK. I had to soak the cookie sheet for four hours to get it clean. Gross.

This is what my nightmares are made of: healthy cookies. Seriously?

#26: No Bake Cookies (as found in the Wild Strawberry Lodge Seafood and Dessert Cookbook)

Next up, these delicious gems. This story is actually a pretty funny one. I had to make two separate batches of these bad boys because I messed up the first batch in a very big way. You'll see what I mean...


1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup butter
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. FOLLOW TIMES EXACTLY OR THESE COOKIES WILL NOT TURN OUT.
     - All right, if you know me at all, you know I saw those big, upper case letters and rolled my eyes at them. I seriously shouldn't have. The first batch I tried of these was simultaneously being made while I was tackling the banana cashew cookie, so I wasn't necessarily paying attention to times. Needless to say, I should've listened to the recipe. I am too dang stubborn.

2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.
     - That's it. And I messed them up. So, the rest of the story goes that while I was simultaneously making the other cookies, I let the chocolate mixture sit while I dealt with the other craziness. Bad move. I added the peanut butter about five minutes later and the chocolate started to harden on contact. Adding the oats made it the consistency of sawdust... NOT DELICIOUS. On my second attempt, I added the peanut butter, let it melt, and then added the oats, which was much better.

Lesson learned: follow recipes. I stinkin' love no bake cookies, and these didn't disappoint. And again, a huge thanks to Stephen's co-workers for taking them off my hands... how else could I lose as much BMI as I have been with my personal trainer if you hadn't? Big thanks!!

I was silly and forgot to take a picture of the successful cookies. We all know what no bake cookies look like though, FANTASTIC!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#24: Peach-raspberry Cobbler

After all of the chocolate we consumed last week, I decided it was time for something a little "fresher"... or I guess "fruitier." Plus, Stephen and I had talked about visiting his Korean family he had known on his mission, and I had really wanted to bring a little treat with us that I thought they might enjoy. Did you know that Koreans would prefer fruit to sweets for dessert? I didn't either... good thing I asked. Although we never did make it to their home on Sunday, we DID eat this delicious dessert and share it with my roommates, which is pretty dang awesome, if you ask me. Two of our favorite fruits put together into one delicious treat? Bring it on.

#24: Peach-raspberry Cobbler (as found on Better Homes and Gardens online [])



1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
1 beaten egg
3 tablespoons milk 

Fruit mixture-
1/2 cup sugar1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (evidently this will make 4 cups, I didn't measure the slices)1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon juice2 cups raspberries

1 additional teaspoon of sugar to coat the topping 

Ice cream or whipped cream


1. For biscuit topping, in a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, the 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine egg and milk; set aside.
     - All right, I feel like I need to do some clarifying on this step. Cutting the butter into the mixture is where you take your COLD butter and mash it up with a pastry blender. The mixture didn't resemble coarse crumbs at all, just a heads up. When all was said and done, it blended into the flour fairly easy, so there were small crumbs throughout the mixture. OH, and combining the egg and milk? Yeah, do this in a separate bowl from the rest of the dry ingredients. Luckily I read ahead and saw that you don't combine all of the ingredients until right before it goes into the oven, I was THIS close to just dumping all of them together.  

2. For filling, in a medium saucepan combine the 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch; add water. Stir in peach slices, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
      - Confession: I didn't see the use of buying an entire lemon and only using like a teaspoon of lemon peel... so I didn't, and the fruit turned out just fine. Also, I had some serious issues with my peaches. For whatever reason, I'm not the best at slicing fruit... it never looks very pretty. So, instead of the nice slices my mom would've made for a dish like this, I literally just cut chunks out of the peaches and threw them into the sugar mixture. It didn't look super nice, but it tasted good.
     - OH, and one more thing to mention: not only did I accidently buy white peaches instead of the usual "orangey" colored peaches (my bad), but one of the peaches I was going to use was rock hard. I only ended up using THREE medium peaches in this dish, luckily that didn't cause any problems. Phew.

3. Gently fold in raspberries. Return just to boiling, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the fruit. Transfer hot filling to a shallow 2-quart casserole.
     - I had no idea what a 2-quart casserole dish looked like. Google search told me a 9x9 pan or a 9x13 pan would work fine, so I used the guys' 9x13 pan.

4. Add the egg mixture all at once to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Immediately spoon topping into 6 to 8 mounds on hot filling. Sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon sugar.
     - I got 8 mounds out of this recipe. Make it work!

5. Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

This was delicious, even if it wasn't picture perfect. Most cobblers I have had in the past usually have a "granola-like" crust on top, but this one was really similar to the shortcakes I made earlier this summer. Fantastic, easy, and most people who tried it seemed to like it. I'm WAY too excited to try a few more cobbler and crisp recipes I have found, I think it's time to find an additional hobby, what do you think?

 Stephen's half eaten dessert, thanks for sharing, lover.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

#23: Magic Bars

In honor of the new, and LAST (*tear*) Harry Potter movie coming out this week, I wanted to make a cookie bar that my mom used to make for Christmas every year- MAGIC BARS! Although I usually hear this bar being called six-layer bars, the name was INCREDIBLY fitting for said events, PLUS the taste is truly magical, no joke. I have made this bar before using a pre-packaged bake set sold by those condensed milk people, but I was determined to find a homemade version. And luckily for you, I did.

#23: Magic Bars (as found in the Wild Strawberry Lodge Seafood and Dessert Cookbook)


1 cup butter
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
28 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups chocolate chips
2 2/3 cups coconut
2 cups pecans, chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pan with tin foil. 
      - Problem #1 I had with this recipe, NO TIN FOIL. Remind me to buy Stephen tin foil sometime.

2. Place butter in pan and melt in oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over melted butter. Mix and pat down evenly.
     - Problem #2, I had no idea what size pan to use, so I used the only pan the boys had, a 9x13 baking pan, which worked out fine.
     - Problem #3, Okay, this recipe calls for WAY too much butter, and too few cups of graham cracker crumbs. Seriously, the bottom of the pan was SWIMMING with butter. I think PART of the problem might've been that instead of buying pre-crushed crumbs, I tried to crush my own with some graham crackers Stephen and I had left over from a smores night we had had. Bad move. I am IMPATIENT, so I didn't crush for quite as long as I probably should have. Needless to say, I had some pretty large crumbs sitting at the bottom of the pan, which allowed the butter to seep up into the bars. Lesson learned. Patience is a virtue.

3.Pour milk evenly over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients listed in order. Press down firmly with fork. Bake for 25 minutes.
     - Problem #4, 25 minutes? More like 45. Seriously. I thought the middle of the bars would NEVER bake properly. Plus, when I took the bars out of the oven, they were first of all, stuck to the sides of the pan, second of all, way too gooey in the middle. We popped the entire pan into the freezer to let the bars set, and the results were DELICIOUS the next afternoon, although maybe a little hard to slice.

Lesson learned- buy tin foil. But these babies are awesome. Gone in a day (thank you IT boys for taking them off my hands so they don't go straight to my thighs!) LIKE MAGIC! 

Are you checking out those layers?

 Evidently I got one of Stephen's coworkers to like coconut and pecans with these bars. His conversion is complete.

You can't imagine the amount of effort that went into trying to get these bars OUT of the pan. Insane.